In Memory

Over three months ago, the world lost a great friend.

Sunday Best Reading Series wrote a particularly squish-inducing tribute to Phil, which includes the statement from friend and collaborator Martin Mitchell, praising the late poet’s “incisive, illuminating comprehension of everyday occurrences and people.” Any person who has spent any amount of time with Phil can appreciate the truth of this observation.

Phil Miller was remembered with affection, reverence, laughter and unavoidable tears yesterday at the Huntingdon Art Space.

Looking through his old books for inspiration before the reading, I stumbled across many, many poems about cats. As it happens, Phil wrote more than one book about kitties, this one>>

and the one from which I borrowed the following poem, a collaboration with writer Patricia Lawson entitled, “Why We Love Our Cats and Dogs”.

More proof that Phil knew what was up.

The Cat I 
by Phil Miller

It’s the cat
that I love the most,
and you wouldn’t snicker
if you remembered that the cat
accepts the way things are,
and his affections,
if perfunctory, are specific–
a purr, a rub against the leg,
a sharp touch of the claw
reminding me he’s there and I’m
alive, and he talks to me
about the weather and the time,
in case I’ve forgotten
something– hates departures,
and is, if a distant,
at least a constant friend,
who could get along without me
but doesn’t begrudge
the fact that I’m here;
it’s the cat I love the most
and he knows it,
and the terrible truth,
we’re stuck here together,
and might as well make the best,
it’s cat sense
and you wouldn’t snicker
if you had a bird’s notion
what the cat or I were really
thinking half the time
if you knew
where you really stood with us.

I am feeling like this lately.


About bearicaquinn

Smallish, smushy in the sad parts, certainly destined for cat-lady-dom. Enjoys boats, bikes, black coffee, pug faces, sourdough bread, the morning when you have slept long enough, beards, mountainsides, art, rooftops, etc. Will continue to live in things that are interestingly shaped. So octopus.
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