The Ramingo’s Porch – “Five Finger Discount” by Catfish McDaris


Five Finger Discount

Nasty Jack was a greaseball biker
from near the Mexican border, he
got his name from his Levis being
so stiff, he could stand them up in
the corner awaiting his reentrance

He was always working on Indians
and Harley Davidsons, occasionally
he applied his magic to four-wheel ve-
hicles, but he preferred the freedom
of riding in the wind, unless he was

Pulling a big shoplifting job requiring
a crew to cart away the stolen goodies,
his hands were invisible fast, I worked
with him a few times as a distraction
man or driver, Jack knew no fear

I’d entered stores with him and never
saw anything, outside he’d unload
eight huge Porterhouse steaks, three
bottles of Heinz 57 and he’d grab a
rack of fifty packs of Marlboros

Situated right in front of the checker,
he once walked away with two dollies
of booze, one had nine cases of Corona
and the other had top shelf tequila and gin

We never knew what Jack would show
up with next, but he never came home
empty-handed, he wrote a note goodbye and
said forget about being thieves, he was going
fishing at Boca Chica where the Rio Grande
flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.


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 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in a lot of magazines and literary reviews and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016, he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s listed in Wikipedia. Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. His ancestors are from the Aniwaya Clan of the Cherokee Nation and related to Wilma Mankiller. Bukowski’s Indian pal Dave Reeve, editor of Zen Tattoo gave Catfish McDaris his name when he spoke of wanting to quit the post office and start a catfish farm.


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