Sunday, May 4, 2008

I got a kitteh!

My wife and I got a cat today. His name is Jasper. He's about 2 years old and he's from a rescue group called All About Animals. He's a great little guy (that's his picture).

Whilst looking for poems about cats I came across "'kitty'. sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute" by E. E. Cummings. It has nothing to do with Jasper, but it is about prostitution which is how I earn my living. Okay, that's not true, but my wife is, right this minute, belly dancing at a bachelorette party for cash. Granted, this isn't prostitution, but it is closer to it than what I'm doing right now which is sitting on my couch in sweatpants eating corn chips.

Following the Cummings poem is a more appropriately cat-related poem by Marge Piercy, "The Cat's Song."

"kitty". sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute.

ducking always the touch of must and shall,
whose slippery body is Death's littlest pal,

skilled in quick softness. Unspontaneous. cute.

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focusses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal,

Kitty. a whore. Sixteen
' you corking brute
amused from time to time by clever drolls
fearsomely who do keep their sunday flower.
The babybreasted broad "kitty" twice eight

—beer nothing,the lady'll have a whiskey-sour—

whose least amazing smile is the most great
common divisor of unequal souls.

(E. E. Cummings, from Complete Poems 1904-1962, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1991).

The cat’s song

Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother’s forgotten breasts.

Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I’ll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.

You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?

Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.

Come I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word

of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.

(Marge Piercy, from Mars & Her Children Alfred A. Knopf, 1992).

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