The Galloping Cat

May 20, 2016

reach for the moon

Oh I am a cat that likes to
Gallop about doing good
So
One day when I was
Galloping about doing good, I saw
A Figure in the path; I said
Get off! (Be-
cause
I am a cat that likes to
Gallop about doing good)
But he did not move, instead
He raised his hand as if
To land me a cuff
So I made to dodge so as to
Prevent him bringing it orf,
Un-for-tune-ately I slid
On a banana skin
Some Ass had left instead
Of putting it in the bin. So
His hand caught me on the cheek
I tried
To lay his arm open from wrist to elbow
With my sharp teeth
Because I am
A cat that likes to gallop about doing good.
Would you believe it?
He wasn’t there
My teeth met nothing but air,
But a Voice said: Poor Cat
(Meaning me) and a soft stroke
Came on me head
Since when
I have been bald
I regard myself as
A martyr to doing good.
Also I heard a swoosh,
As of wings, and saw
A halo shining at the height of
Mrs Gubbins’s backyard fence,
So I thought: What’s the good
Of galloping about doing good
When angels stand in the path
And do not do as they should
Such as having an arm to be bitten off
All the same I
Intend to go on being
A cat that likes to
Gallop about doing good
So
Now with my bald head I go,
Chopping the untidy flowers down, to and fro,
An’ scooping up the grass to show
Underneath
The cinder path of wrath
Ha ha ha ha, ho,
Angels aren’t the only ones who do not know
What’s what and that
Galloping about doing good
Is a full-time job
That needs
An experienced eye of earthly
Sharpness, worth I dare say
(if you’ll forgive a personal note)
A good deal more
Than all that skyey stuff
Of angels that make so bold as
To pity a cat like me that
Gallops about doing good.

Stevie Smith

Sam Zumian - Broken sliding chairs N9

High School was us and we. We learned our grammar there.
Became devised by bells sawing halls sharp as number two
pencils: we grew thin, grew dark as men in its hallways, we
grew up on men, our breasts their beards, their beards our
breasts, while we cracked open beer cans in the Girls’ Room,
swug down foam minutes before walking into Homeroom.
I was known to be dumb, detentioned, a kill-myself kind of
girl, but it was you who shot herself in the head. What kind
of girl shoots herself in the head? You wanted a quality kill?
Take some sleeping pills, spare your mother the blood-grief.
You always took the hit for me. Turned around in your seat.
Did you hear what they said? Yes, some of us are intending
to go to college. Loser grief. Then the tarry hot of the parking
lot rose up, black, promising me any boy’s face bent to crack
against my face that was becoming a face: when we wanted
what we all wanted. To be pretty. Which then meant famous.

Cate Marvin

(Cate Marvin is co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her third book of poems, “Oracle”, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co)

rauschenberg.estate

There is a different kind of world out there
and it is not called Heaven
or any word they have taught me.

In this place, we have a language with no words.
None of us remember what a scream sounds like.
We have bodies but they do not ache
and they are seen the way
we want them to be.

I know we built it with our own hands
and it is good. I know this is my smallest,
truest hope. The thing is,
everything about this place
removes me from myself.

So much of what I want
is to be less a person.
Fewer crackings and moans.
When I imagine myself
I am barely there.

Clementine von Radics

ruining myself…

May 20, 2016

man4

Something’s not right about what I’m doing but I’m still doing it – living in the worst parts, ruining myself. My inner life is a sheet of black glass. If I fell through the floor I would keep falling. The enormity of my desire disgusts me.

Richard Siken
Birds Hover the Trampled Field

flam

And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy’s and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don’t listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you’re sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the TV programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your…

and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you’re late and be amazed when you’re early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I’m black and be sorry when I’m wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I’d known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you’re angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you’re gorgeous and hug you when you’re anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I’m next to you and whimper when I’m not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don’t and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I’m rejecting you when I’m not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I’d ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don’t believe me and have a feeling so deep I can’t find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I’d get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don’t want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don’t mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it’s empty without you and want what you want and think I’m losing myself but know I’m safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don’t deserve any less and answer your questions when I’d rather not and tell you the truth when I really don’t want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it’s all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it’s beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.

Sarah Kane
Crave

whatisitSaturday_sinister2

Fear, after all, is our real enemy. Fear is taking over our world. Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society. It’s how politicians peddle policy and how Madison Avenue sells us things that we don’t need.

Christopher Isherwood
A Single Man

Robert Delaunay - La Ville No. 2, 1910

It’s possible to read “The Waste Land” not as a po-faced rattle of miseries by a man who has suffered a nervous breakdown but as a collection of mocking growls, often at his own expense — “rhythmical grumbling,” he later called it. The poem’s pitch-black despairs are leavened by the knockabout portrait of a workingman’s pub (reading the scene aloud, Eliot was mordantly hilarious), the cynical rendering of the typist’s sleazy liaison with the house-agent’s clerk, and the mortal comeuppances dealt to Phlebas and others. Emotionally, it is a shockingly cold poem. The famous notes, scribbled out to pad the American edition, are more like Pope’s cod learning in the “Dunciad” than the scholar’s self-justification for which they are sometimes mistaken (Eliot called himself ill-read). Eliot’s poems, especially the pre-Christian poems, have been so weighed down by the concrete overcoat of reputation, their terrifying humor has sometimes been forgotten or misread. With Swift, Byron and Carroll, Eliot was one of the great comic poets in English.

William Logan
T. S. Eliot’s Rattle of Miseries