If I Smile Like St. Dismas the Good Thief
by Catfish McDaris

If I had better concentration, the writer of my novel wouldn’t take the reins. Listening to Johnny Cash sing If I Were A Carpenter warms the heart of an old man on a cold lonely night.

The novel has a writer, a painter, a thief, a killer: those are the 4 main characters.

The gargoyles sneer
down from the Basilique
du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

Mademoiselles and
gypsies dance and laugh

There is no sadness
or hunger

PHOTO: “Sacré Coeur Basilica (Paris)” by Hugh Smith (2012).  Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is listed in Wikipedia. His ancestors are from the Aniwaya Clan of the Cherokee Nation.His newest book is Sleeping with the Fish.

AUTHOR’S CAPTION: My self-portrait was when I was 50.