The Wasp

Leaves rustle in the cardboard box my cats call their bed. I think they are leaves. But the tabby cat tugs at the gray blanket, scooting away, reaching for the fleece once more. I realize the rustling continues when her paws are off the bed. I also notice that instead of peeking inside the box, she’s set on keeping her head high, as if her body was immersed in a bucket of water. She blinks at me, and I stare at the box. Wriggling continues near the opening, where cardboard flaps were pushed inward. I don’t think ants are this strong, and the few I’ve seen this past month suggest that no one is using any sort of leaf for any parade or burial procession. Truthfully, there is no leaf, though a sliver of neon quite like the glimmer of a harmless soap bubble tells me that my cat is arguing with a wasp.

The scratching slows, and I see a pinch of fleece sucked inward. The argument may be moot. The wasp grows quieter and I hope it is happy because noon is the time for infinite napping. A pile of napkins sits on the counter and I count the seconds between each rustle.

Three,
eight,
seventeen.

He’s using all he has to scrape a song out of dead trees. It feels like a scalp massage, listening to him, while I reach for a napkin and grab a shoe recently deemed missing. He is not a horse. He continues to make noise. I place the shoe next to its identical twin, who rests on a shelf in the same place for months at a time, toe box pointing diagonally as if to scold anyone and everyone who can’t keep still. Including myself after drinking three cups of hot chocolate.

The rustling booms into a frantic rattle, capable of turning the heads of strangers like the fists of someone who realizes that the HELP button isn’t working, that she will stand stuck within this chessboard elevator. She can only hope that the walls don’t fall, that the floor doesn’t swallow with the insistence I see in this unhappy wasp that pulls and pulls on the fleece blanket draped over a cardboard box. Over one thousand seconds pass. The leaves outside fall, barely impressed.

tic-tac-toe

four-sided panels.

tic-tac-toe
that claims your frustration
as you scratch the wrong symbol.

again, swerving into plastic bins
thanks to well-meaning migraines
while your brow line swells.

try again, grounded.

Cat No. 71 of the 500 Cats Project

keep on foraging

rummaging in the exhaust
of tires interrogated,

brought to deflate
when the alibi of “dinner party”
failed to beckon
the nods of swaying jurors.

to find the ring
already retrieved.

clanking down the garbage disposal
while Tim screamed, “Fuck,”
looking for a place to hide,
fork prongs bent between bluish teeth.

Cats No. 69 and 70 of the 500 Cats Project

Scraped Knees by Kristine Brown

Hermione Flavia at CravenWild has written a lovely review for my collection, Scraped Knees. She hosts a blog ample with feedback on books, cosmetics, and more. Stop by at CravenWild on your next coffee break, and feel inspired!

CravenWild

Poetry is a funny thing. It’s kind of forced on us in school, and becomes something we love or hate, something that bores us to tears or moves us deeply. It’s also something that, well, a lot of modern hipsters like to think they’re poets, right? Poems are a lot like man-buns, lumberbeards, Mac laptops in Starbucks and toting copies of Nietzsche that you’ve never read.

But poetry can also be Wordsworth, Byron or Maya Angelou. Or Eminem for that matter.

Kristine Brown, to get to the subject at hand, sent me an email asking me to review her little chapbook of poems, Scraped Knees, published by Ugly Sapling. I got the good vibes from her, so I said yes, though I don’t normally deal with poetry in this blog. I do happen to quite like poetry.

The book itself you can see in the picture above, it’s a neat…

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outlook

the whistles are calling
children crossing streets
though school already started
a good while ago.

no squirrels today,
but another kid
who could very well
be one of my brothers
crawls under the fence, yawning.

the further we walk
towards what only seems
like the end of an old brick path,
the more forgivable resting becomes.

Cat No. 68 of the 500 Cats Project