Saturday, October 28, 2006

Satan the Cat: Sonnet, "Thinning the Pretenders"

Thinning the Pretenders

Don’t bury me in sawdust, it's flammable.
Cremation should be straight. I need dirt
In case I’m someday famous. I have no will
But if I did I’d give you my last shirt
Like Jesus would. Shirt off the back and welts—
Flog me with your superior reticence.
Borrow the clubs and the spiked belts.
Tell the police there was good evidence.
Plato endorsed the poets’ persecution.
We could use some persecution now—
At first the whippings, then electrocution
Would rip the laurels from most poets’ brow.
We need a thinning of this bastard art.
If you won’t die for your work, well that’s a start.

Today’s sonnet I tried to begin as dissociative as yesterday’s, but alas, I was forced by long habit to make some sort of sense out of it, which makes it a Post-Modern failure. Don’t get me wrong: I tried to let it disintegrate but I’ve been writing too long in the mode of communicating meaning (which for lack of a better term might be named “The William Stafford School” here in America) to dissociate on cue. I get the feeling the Brits have not gone to the lengths we have in deconstructing poetry, but I’ll have to query my Brit poet friends to be sure.

I attract black things: especially ravens, and to a lesser degree, crows, seem to follow me around, and though I suspected this was a psychosis long ago, Kathleen has assured me that the phenomenon is real. What it means I don’t know. I know they don’t feel antagonistic; it’s more that they’re watching. And who knows but an angel might take the shape of a raven? To be fair they could also be demons. And I’ve just noticed it again, so “black is back” may be a good omen for my depression.

And another sort of black has come to me. Three nights ago a cat came whining at our door and with Kathleen’s permission I let her in. She is a large, black, sleek, domesticated pussy with white only on her left rear toes. She acted as if she’d always belonged here; she leapt right up on my lap and made it difficult for me to type on my laptop. She sampled Kenyon’s food, then went by him to try to rub her back against his muzzle for pleasure. Kenyon didn’t move. This audacious cat obviously has had previous contact with dogs. She’s the kind of cat that just takes over a room. Kathleen hopes we can keep her but I think she cruises the neighborhood for the best food and attention and returns to her owner. She’ll lie on her back and paw at you to rub her. Like most cats, she’s in charge of all living contact. If she deigns to sit on you, well good. I call her “Satan” but Kathleen doesn’t like it so we’re open to another name. White-toed devil? “Satan” sounds so much like a sleek black cat, and has the added advantage of desensitizing us to a loaded word.

Incidentally, I went to my first movie since moving to the Northern California coast. “The Departed” was excellent. I think Leonardo Di Caprio by far did the best acting job; I consider his performance Oscar worthy. That boy can act. If there are any doubters, go watch “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” again.

At 1 kilorat,

Craig Erick


  1. Anonymous7:57 AM PST

    The crows sense your negative capabilities CE and just crowd in.



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