contrariété

if a harness is keeping
this cat on the ground,

I ask myself
what she
could have done
to deserve.

moistening suitcases
and tasting a freckle,

I stop to marvel
at another
celebrated
custard-whipped dictator.

humming as her mustache
clips itself,

while a child
has delighted in
pinching her
floured neck.

tiptoeing ’round to find
that ammonia’s not like bleach.

*Cat No. 29 of the 500 Cats Project

boredom, unamused

the cardboard torn says “Antiques.”
describes you perfectly as you stare.
and as you aren’t a lamp from IKEA,
I look to the side, and walk away.
you know, like when you were younger,
and your elders told you to ignore mean things.
I know you aren’t mean, exactly.
but greetings from strangers
mumble like the very mosquito
nestling into your ankle.
I’m wondering if I should nestle
in the dust of the earth,
in the vase that gapes
by a van emptied of ice cream,
upholstered with patchwork fur.

*Cat No. 27 of the 500 Cats Project

Sardine in the Middle

they fought over fattened sardines.
a can rolling with summer’s shine.
they fought over an evening indoors.
and I was happy with a pigeon’s demise.

I understand how magnetized
a business card can be,
when squirrels nod and prettily boast
about nuts they gather, three times quick.

my friends, in actuality,
are roommates, smiling widely.
scheming, almost nightly.
glue in a bottle of your brother’s shampoo.

I blink at another brown recluse,
not exactly wishing a viral ill.
but if they scream a bit too loud,
I won’t hyperventilate a minute prolonged.

*Cat No. 26 of the 500 Cats Project

IMG_3060

smugly

your worries amuse,
as I lay here, quiet.

a fence deterring
an awkward climb.

fall to the ground,
and questions

from Mom.
angry, and disturbed

as she clambered to bed,
reaching for the covers.

naps at a time
ideal for fried eggs

are the new paradigm.
but I pretend, conformity flat.

you walk a little closer,
and I open one eye.

another step forward
wouldn’t be smart.

*(Hardly Visible) Cat No. 25 of the 500 Cats Project

She’s staring.

collateral,
co-cat-purr-all.

is this a partnership,
or contest performed
before dangling pompoms
and technicolor fish bait?

in any case,
most mornings
we do a pretty good job
sleeping without
passersby and their goldfish.

yesterday, got hit by goldfish.
really, the audacity
of pedestrian boys
and voyeuristic girls.

IMG_1764

she’ll leave in just a second,
when the tea we’ve sipped
from heiresses’ wine glasses
calls for our worship, again.

*Cats No. 22 and 23 of the 500 Cats Project