October 13-19, 2014: Catfish McDaris and Jill Dalenberg Thompson

Catfish McDaris and Jill Dalenberg Thompson

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration. Click here for submission guidelines.

Catfish McDaris

Bio (auto)

Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy"the ghost of Hendrix"Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 20 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, Café Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010 and 2013, he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. Catfish McDaris has been published widely. In The Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ.Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin..

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Suzanne O’Connell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bird House Poet

My pal, Tony died in March
he was 95, a master carpenter,
boxer, husband, father, usher
at church, a World War II Vet.

His son, Roy rode a Harley, last
week he laid down his hog and
didn’t get back up, he wasn’t old

They are survived by Lorraine, a
forlorn sweetheart, we visit often,
she said someone was ringing her
doorbell, but was gone real soon

I thought of all the birdhouses I
helped Tony build to give away,
no two alike, they were his poems

I told Lorraine about the finches,
hummingbirds, nuthatches, robins,
cardinals, and sparrows and that I
thought Tony was now a bird

Watching over her to keep her safe.

Dreaming of Paris

Intense sheer walls painted
hyacinth and saffron with
brushstrokes of scarlet sulfur

Searching for silver spoon to
make sotol and datura for sun
tea and going on a magic trip

Dangerous peacocks in a raspberry
sky, green sleeping ducks by the
cattail forest and melodic stream

Rainbow cutthroat trout leaping
for the gnat hatch, fat frogs burping,
loons and cranes on stilts hunting

Thinking about the dancer at the
Crazy Horse in Paris and how I’d
stolen her a Gauguin, she asked me
my name and I said, Scaramouche.


Jill Dalenberg Thompson

Bio (auto)

Jill Dalenberg Thompson is an aspiring writer living in Gaylord, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1980, with a BS in Actuarial Science. After fifteen years as a consultant, she obtained a MA in Education from Michigan State University and moved to northern Michigan to teach mathematics. Her 2006 research on assessing mathematical reasoning made its way through the public domain, where it can still be found with enough diligence. In 2014, she retired from teaching and completed UC Berkeley Extension’s certificate program in Writing. She is presently working on a book about teaching.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Jill Dalenberg Thompson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I have no coffee shop,
no park, no Walden woods.
I’ve lost inspiration’s postal address.

Sometimes I stare at empty paper,
as if the words will appear.

Sometimes I type them
but they can’t survive my edits.
Like Easter Eggs with two pinholes
in the ends where I blew out the insides –
brightly painted and empty.

Sometimes I seek them
in the air –
toss of a lilac branch,
fluttering leaf,
slant of sun on a flower.
When I pick up my pen
they are gone.

Something tells me
I’m looking in all the wrong places.

I hid them once
inside myself,
away from discord
and disapproval.
I thought I was keeping them safe –
a secret in skin
one thing on the outside
but not on the inside,
trying to be everything
succeeding in being nothing at all.

Now they’ve disappeared.

Perhaps they ran out
the bottom of my feet
when I wasn’t paying attention.

It’s easy to blame the place.
I find no beauty here,
except in trees
and things that do not speak.

I stood yesterday
on the yellow line,
staring at flaking paint
and crumbling asphalt,
wishing a car would come –
screaming tires,
a last-minute dash,
a rush of adrenaline
telling me I’m still alive.

I waited a long time
but nobody came.
I waited until the clouds
crept over the trees
and it started to rain.



Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: