Wednesday, 4/11

I’ve wanted to write a poem about raccoons all semester: how they are destroying the ancient Buddhist temples in Japan; menacing German homeowners. I’ve always been fascinated with raccoons for some reason; I had a stuffed raccoon-totem when I was just a wee little Binky.

But the raccoon poem hasn’t happened yet.

Yesterday, at the Anthony Carelli reading, I sat next to Robbie, who mentioned to me that he wanted to rescue this old podium that has a big cross on the front of it; to set it up in his living room and minister to his cats.

I thought, the minister of cats –– and jotted that down in my Field Notes notebook, which Robbie rather hassled me for having; so I figure he rather owes me the cat-minister image. I scribbled out the image into a quick poem upon stopping at the Starbucks on my way home.

The lines are so short in this because, of course, the notebook is so small. This is still just a coughed-up hairball of a work in progress. But at least I got a raccoon in there. A raccoon among cats.

The Minister of Cats

In a housing
development,
the boy finds
a podium
left for trash;
drags it
from the curb
into a spare cul
de sac; declares,

“I am minister
of cats; arrived
in knitted cap
to tell you
what to expect
from it.” Neighbor

beasts amass,
incl. 1 confused
toddler & a raccoon.
The congregation
yawns & begins
to scratch itself.
There are naps
to be had, after all.
––What
now?
mews another.
The toddler
licks the raccoon,
which claws at its
face. Curtains close
& doors lock. The
toddler runs back
into the woods.

The minister
raises a hand,
then, beginning
to purr. Stretching
their necks to hear the
lavender affirmation;

“What we thought
were fireflies were
just 2 flickering
Christmas lights;

the flood,
a leaky air
conditioner; the
locusts, some gummy
worms.

That smell
you smell
is not incense,
kittens.”

Absorbing it all: the
furry little sponges,
their marble eyes
glitter in the
godless night.
They roll over
on their backs w/ it;
yearning.

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One Response to Wednesday, 4/11

  1. robbie. says:

    haha! so far, i adore it 🙂

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