They were birdlike and referred to their planet as the nest.
(Timothy Lake, Oregon, July 2018)
I feel a slight brush
Of fur and tail
upon my calves
Then, a head bunt.
Mr. Fry is concerned
About my Word document
My Scrivener, my Office Suite
PDFs and printables
Sharing and synced
Blogged, published, backed up………
My prose is threatening to verse
My verse is proposing to prose
My characters are in a state of mutiny,
My alliteration is acting like an assonance
My plot took a poop
“My dialogue sounds suspiciously like
Someone I know”, the narrator said
My enjambments are threatening to reach the right side of the page and beyond
My cliffhanger fell to its death
My denouement denounced all involvement
I’m suffering from hyperbole!!!! It’s no exaggeration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr. Fry, who knows
When to place something
In the litter box
Offers his help……
Searches at my feet
Looking for stray words
I may have disregarded, for…………
He loves to bat words around
Like a plastic ball with a bell
Engaging the toy mouse muse.
He’s intent on editing.
First, it’s the tail……….chewed off
The sewn-on eyes and ears
Are the last to go,
What is left?
Left……….. is a bag with stuffing
The finished piece?
No, for then he moans
(He’s half Siamese)
Wanting better words
Ones that act like catnip
That make him silly with play
Taking him to a higher
Realization of Cat
To touch, to speak, to comprehend
All that is of Cat
I tell him, sorry dude
Promising to go to the store
To pick up a treat.
I return to my scratch pad
He chews on my T.S. Eliot books.
I was invited to one of those huggy, huggy group meetings. You know, the type where everyone reveals inner lies about themselves, others, and the world around them. Well, we soon started picking out animal personalities for each other, which sucked, because someone else chose what animal you were. So, right off the perch, things weren’t going to be honest, just brutal like a writers’ workshop. There were cougars, bears, eagles, dolphins—lions, owls, deer, and yadda, yadda. Me? I was a bird. Not a specific bird, just a generic, B-I-R-D, bird. That’s the word. Not an avian personality like a bluebird or gold finch, but a plain old bird. What were they trying to tell me? All I could do was pretend it was a compliment. My feathers weren’t ruffled and I didn’t chirp up. I wouldn’t dare peep in public.
If I was to be a bird, then I must be a flightless bird. After all, I drove ten miles to attend the meeting. Somewhere, back in my sordid evolution, I had the ability to fly. Now, for reasons of survival, that ability was lost, because I wanted to drive a Prius, Passat, or Volvo and feel good about it. I developed a quick, efficient waddle that could outrun stupidity. Unfortunately, stupidity is stubborn and I have had to keep running, continuously. My beak became sharper. I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic. My eyes moved to the front of my head from the sides, so I could see who was insulting me and who I insulted back. I went for easy prey, foraging in schools of overpriced degrees, chewing on grants, choking on loans, leading to a career inside an aviary called community college. This led to teaching kids who don’t read, who prefer spark notes instead of critical thinking. Thinking is for the birds. Go America. I watched out for (not always successfully) bigger hunters who would kill my personality. They fed voraciously upon individuality like it was Tweety’s feed, spewing out rotten eggs of ego during union meetings. I would mate with those of my kind, but since none of us could fly we kept to ourselves. Occasionally a kindly scientist patted me on the head and gave me a treat, but they always wanted something in return.
So, the meeting was a success, yes I’m a bird. I’ve now been caged. But, I’m going home proud. You’ve heard about migration, so I’m going to get seasonal. By the time you hear my birdsong. I’ll be long gone. I just need to find my keys.
My cat does not pass judgement
Nor does he profile.
If he were to guess wrong
About my sneaky movements in the kitchen,
He has not made an assumption.
He’s acting upon detailed information.
For I have been known to
Pass out a treat or two……three or four.
And If some friend or snackless fool,
A human like me…..
……..Were to be lurking around my kitchen
For no good reason,
Perhaps for a glass of water
Or to eat an innocent chocolate chip cookie,
My cat pays no mind to them.
You see, even though we all
Are enamored with Pokemon Go,
Watch Justin Bieber’s hair with avid interest
And wonder who having sex
On Game Of Thrones,
My cat is smart enough to know
Who passes out treats.
Regardless of how our limbs,
Voices, yawns and wants are placed together—
The trick is that…
He must see an “individual”
Dig a hand into the treat bag
Dishing out the good stuff
Before he knows for certain
What’s going down
He makes no educated guess
No scholarly charts of bias are involved
No gathering of tendencies
No cat debates that rhetorically argue
About which kind of human gives out snacks
And which kind of human does not
No, guessing happens
Maybe if my cat were to watch more
He would think
Every human is a potential snack thug.
No move in the kitchen would
Everyone in the kitchen
Must be scanned
Profiled, suspicious of treat dealing
In the dark, dark corners of the dining room.
He would watch all of us
Very, very, very, very carefully
He might even rub against a leg
Just to make sure that no tricky movements
Were perpetrated against his food bowl