Cats and poetry go together like peas and carrots. (“Jenn-aye.”) Perhaps it’s because they are so often linked by that crucial variable—the sad girl.
The sad girl conducts a life wrought with wackiness and painful sentiment. She dons gobs of zany jewelry and is likely to enjoy coffee and knitwear. She is quick to become a lady of the sauce. No matter what the situation, no matter that she has a stable family network and a beard to call her own and a highly successful blog, she is filled always with a subtle sense of doom and poignant regret. She writes a lot of poems. And also likes cats.
Sometimes, when she is a girl living in the attic of a large brick house covered in ivy, a girl whose sole communicant and life-partner is a mustachioed cat, she will write poems about him and months later she will recite them at a poetry reading (coffee shop, naturally) and people will say, “I didn’t know your boyfriend’s name was Tom” and the sad girl will trudge back home and snuggle back with her cat, watching the snow fly past the window.
If you really didn’t believe me about the cats and poems thing, here is a Bukowski poem sent in by Monika, the cat-mom of Zee Boogwa. “I heard it on the radio“, she writes.
by Charles Bukowski
the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely
one of the finest things about cats is
that when you’re feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it’s a grand lesson in persevering
if you watch 5 cats at once that’s 5
no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it’s all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
we humans can
only envy and
And here is a poem sent in (just in time for Christmas!) from rad girl and fellow blogger Kristin Maffei. Kristin ought to know about poetry, too. Her credentials on this matter are extensive, but the most-easily-weblinked example of this is her current project, Call and Response—check it out, you will not be disappointed.
canvas and mirror
by Evie Shockley
self-portrait with cats, with purple, with stacks
of half-read books adorning my desk, with coffee,
with mug, with yesterday’s mug. self-portrait
with guilt, with fear, with thick-banded silver ring,
painted toes, and no make-up on my face. self-
portrait with twins, with giggles, with sister at
last, with epistrophy, with crepescule, with nellie,
with my favorite things. self-portrait with hard
head, with soft light, with raised eyebrow. self-
portrait voo-doo, self-portrait hijinks, self-portrait
surprise. self-portrait with patience, with political
protest, with poetry, with papers to grade. self-
portrait as thaumaturgic lass, self-portrait as luna
larva, self-portrait as your mama. self-portrait
with self at sixteen. self-portrait with shit-kickers,
with hip-huggers, with crimson silk, with wild
mushroom risotto and a glass of malbec. self-
portrait with partial disclosure, self-portrait with
half-truths, self-portrait with demi-monde. self-
portrait with a night at the beach, with a view
overlooking the lake, with cancelled flight. self-
portrait with a real future, with a slight chance of
sours, with glasses, with cream, with fries, with
a way with words, with a propositional phrase.
I conclude this post with a photo sent in of the very-famous-on-the-internet Zilla sent in by his/her former roommate and cat-blo-enthusiast Brit Moyer! Sleepy cat days.