Cat, Cat, and Cats
I’m cutting words into my midriff. Large and Old
English: CATS. We’ve got to be fair to the
very rich. Their generosity makes this prosody
possible. When you’re in moonlight, sucking
the breath out of a sleeping child, you will know
the power of my rhetoric and disgusting
translations. Hey, I think you and I need to
have a little chat. About the cutting. About the parts
between the fur where I can see the etchings.
Long, luxurious chats striding down the catwalk.
When my heart jumps the lungs are its
pillows. Cushion for the pushin’. So if I cash
in my portion, nothing’s gonna cut into my fortune.
“I’ve often thought that noxious, disgusting animals were, perhaps, merely the coming to life in bodily form of man’s evil thoughts.” (Baudelaire)
I chatted badly. Made a mess of tempo,
overtyped into oblivion the mewl of my coterie.
Itself blustering from an abyss. Cutting off the price
tag. Cutting off the catnip, the delight in catnip,
the catnip-provoked rassle round. Followed by a
catnap. Everything got so vulnerable-ish. Precarity
from which, I dunno, I’d rather lick the pus out of my
social trauma. Puss in my favorite boots running out
of canvas. General Bonkers. The whole catastrophe
declares general war on string, so why am I
composing free encomia in praise of string? A chat
(yawn) feeling more like a yarn. I’m trying to read
what my kitten’s written but it’s all cat scratch.
At the bar Evan asks what am I writing. I say I’m translating Baudelaire’s poems: cat, cat, and cats. He tells me about a friend in France who heard her cat back home had died and cried and when someone asked her what’s wrong she said “ma chat est mort,” which by virtue of a misused possesive meant “my cunt is dead.” I want to tell you this so we can both recall our pleasure in one of Ali’s opening lines in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder), when the girl asks Ali why he doesn’t want to fuck and he says schwanz kaput. My dick is broke. My pussy’s dead. I know you’d laugh, but in the humorless terrordome of chat-abyss I’m bereft of those tonsular gestures which coax. Good morning baby. Good morning
baby. Good morning Alli. Morning baby. Good
morning baby. Good morning peanut. Morning
baby. I had a chat in my chamber, me in all my snuggery.
General Bonkers wiping his mustache on my whiskers. I mean
real haptic pattycake of our faces. Our minds merged
and I heard the meow erupt inside me. Bubbling like
a cholera which I could not chat away I mean
which I could not chase away. When I am old
and full of paranoia, a cat like the squirt of cheese
food into the roof of one’s holes, tingling
with salinity and the stench of near-murder
I’ll comb through these chats looking for gnats,
recalling that in my life, before the total
psychic disability prevented my holes from
liking to bump up against these other holes
I groomed and I was marvelously groomed.
Someone starts paying me for playing
with my bad-faith allegorical fuck-buddy. Butting
paws and with many flicks of the cutest-ever
button nostrils akimbo we meet in the neutral
zone of spayed intimacy. Click click click. Lick lick
lick. Purr purr purr. Dumped cat in the furnace
meows upward. It’s so “resume ready.” What
I’m good at is chatter and curiosity.
That very thing goes about killing cats famously, but
it can’t stop my misconstrued quarter-joke that enrages
my beloved and provokes a Sturm der Angst Typing.
Blowing on a dime. Aerating the petrified
gunk of it. Hallraker in a pretty-worn-out-already chat.
Cat curling up on a bed of mottled lice. Tonguing
tuna. Zonin’ on Ambien for cats. Dreaming of tuna
and crabs, lining up for bottomless consumption.
This is what it’s like, when the working day crashed
but we clip our fur daily. Cat pulling a plow. Plow typing into the fields. I am
typing. My typing wrecks of itself. My typing
somehow responsible for dead cats. For the death of a litter
of kittens. Someone pays me to do this.
Brandon Brown’s first two books were published in 2011, The Persians By Aeschylus (Displaced Press) and The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus (Krupskaya.) Poems and prose have recently appeared in Postmodern Culture, Model Homes, Poetry Project Newsletter, Swan’s Rag, Try!, and Art Practical. He has programmed literary series at New Langton Arts, 21 Grand Gallery, several consecutive living rooms, and published small press chapbooks under the imprint OMG! He lives in San Francisco.