August 30-September 6, 1998: John Horváth Jr. and Catherine Daly

Week of August 30, 1998-September 6, 1998

John Horváth Jr  and Catherine Daly

John Horváth Jr


It is too often necessary to note that I write poetry, not autobiography.

Editor of PoetryRepairShop, Chicago-born Mississippian, John Horvath, Jr writes from “inside the sinner ” He’s taught college English and American literatures, criticism, and theory But, his first love is writing poems focused on the strange and stranger among us He has been published in British, Canadian, and US magazines since the 1970s (his links to online publications can be found at EXCITE and a short in-print list is at Poets & Writers’ “Directory”)

(Also, please visit OnlineOriginals (copy and use code 00753JH ) to order original books published online (Poet trying to make a buck here ))

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
John Horváth Jr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


These days are dead shells
jamming the chamber,
rounds that will never discharge.


we prefer our warriors
and our wars
much prettier

on a she-gook We were all men
Never mention
finding that friend
in a pool of blood–
pants around ankles
Wonder what question
was on his face A bite or cut?


no bamboo cage
can strip away
the prairie
inside me

I build my future
stick by stick

into days
into years

we are enemies
to innocent

Catherine Daly


I am currently working as a computer consultant supporting the space shuttle orbiter and teaching my class My poetry is upcoming online at Crania and Conspire, and is at Agnieska’s Dowry, Pif, Eclectica and my own site

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Catherine Daly and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Straight Story

My grandfather was kicked out of Ireland for fighting in the IRA Actually, my grandfather snuck out of Ireland
when they started tying Tom Dalys
to trees with sticks of dynamite He came to Chicago and worked on the railroad
until he was cut in half
by a train
when my dad was six months old and my aunt was eight Later, dad bashed his teeth in
playing football on scholarship
and his sister scarred her face squeezing zits Her teeth rotted out when she was 25,
but by then she had kids She eventually had five kids, and a husband,
until he had triple bypass surgery and a mistress After plastic surgery and a divorce,
my aunt became a terminal cancer nurse Dad lost our house and moved
to Florida to work on a riverboat My sister and I and all our cousins still have teeth,
but Colleen doesn’t have a pancreas;
John had a Jeep accident in the Philippines — he’s quadriplegic;
Kevin dropped out to become an advance scout, then went to Hollywood;
Mike and Tom are professional comedians Colleen and Tom were in the house,
which has a plastic covered couch and smells like sweat socks,
when the police woke them They were sleeping when
my aunt’s thirty-year-old boyfriend Larry Hoots
(my aunt liked country and western bars)
stabbed her to death He was meek, but possessive He ran to the police station with bloody hands.

A Small Saga of a Paddle Wheeler

“Go ahead and sell your own home,
you riverboat gambler, you “
Advertisement, National Association of Realtors

In the days before the boat sank,
what a party! If only we’d thrown it
The Empress of Palm Beach was a three-story wedding cake built on a barge, 
plying the Intracoastal, delivering tours of millionaires’ homes,
before we sank her
We sent her up the coast to tie her to a pier
The tide ebbed If only we’d sold her before sending her to the Delaware River
Canted at a forty degree angle, the boat didn’t cut loose If someone had seen her! The bars slid seaward If only we’d thrown them What did we have to lose?

Sure, the tours were corny — not Mark Twain —
EsteÈ Lauder’s cabana area, Ray Kroc’s secretary’s dock The insurance company saw red It was a gamble

we lost We lost our jobs
and sold our house Before the boat sank,
we played roulette.

Fish Stories

I don’t know how anyone ate at the banquet
afterwards, although other families in the restaurant
the same way I drank wine
until I got the whole casket story
and saw fish

pictures from the Muskie
Festival The Muskie banquet
is the Governor of Wisconsin came to the restaurant
and had a glass of wine
with the family Anyway, we were mourning

Grandma, and mourning
Granddad, because he had to be exhumed after 50 years Fish
aren’t treated that way I drank more wine
at my cousin’s banquet It was nicer than the restaurant’s So the casket story

is related to another story:
we were still mourning
Aunt Joan She was murdered by a guy she met in a restaurant Gutted like a fish Her kids didn’t drink at the banquets They’re alcoholic
I drank more wine The burial plot
was dug deeper and the caskets rearranged The banquet
was low budget Exhumation is expensive We mourned We held pictures of Gram, Granddad, Joan,
and Muskie, sitting in different restaurants
We put the stories to rest,
as well as the dead We all, except my cousins, drank toasts Like good Catholics on Friday, we didn’t eat fish We told fish stories, including family stories
about who lays on whom and the way things should be, until dawn Bottles littered the top of the banquette
The cemetery plot
meant for two did for three dead Mourning
comes for the living and eating.

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