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Alan Catlin, Erroll Miller, & Jack Micheline — Bad, mad and dying


In 1997 the synaesthesia press published Bad, mad and dying — a limited edition chap book featuring three writers: Alan Catlin, Errol Miller, and Jack Micheline.

There were three different editions: 26 copies were lettered and had a cover with an original painting by Micheline; 1 – 50 numbered copies were signed by all three contributors on the page in which their story appears; the rest of the edition were numbered.


Alan Catlin is from upstate New York and is a poet & bartender. His story, “Finnegan’s Wake,” takes place in — you guessed it — a bar, on Saint Patty’s day, and all I’ll say is: fatality. Catlin’s poetry has appeared in many little magazines, including X-Ray.

Errol Miller is a short story writer from Louisiana. His stories have appeared in hundreds of little magazines. His contribution is called “The Pool Hall Affair.”

What can be said of Jack Micheline? He was an original Beat, there from Day One; Jack Kerouac penned the intro to Micheline’s classic first book of poems River of Red Wine, Charles Bukowski loved him, and Allan Ginsberg couldn’t ignore him…Jack really helped on this title. Here’s how:

We were waiting for the #16 to take us out of the Mission when it all began:

ME: I got a couple good stories to publish.

JACK MICHELINE: I gotta poem, man. It’s good. You want it?

ME: Of course. Now all I need is a title.

JACK: What’re the other stories about?

Here’s when I tell him about Alan’s and Errol’s stories, and then Jack leans up against the building on 17th and Mission — the Asian fish mart — and he thinks real hard for a while and I’m thinking maybe he’s making fun of this whole deal when suddenly —

JACK: I got it, man. Bad, mad and dying. That’s a tough title.

ME: Better believe it. Now I need a cover.

JACK: Gimme two days. Come to my room Friday. You’ll have your cover.

Jack also provided an illustration for the center of the book: it’s a picture poem — Kenneth Patchen comes to mind — and it is a drawing of 4 horses and under the drawing the poem reads:

North Star Number 2
Wins the 1 Mile Race
At Cold Downs in Memphis Tenn
June 12 1948 It Paid $97.60
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