This morning, whilst walking to town, I stumbled upon a cat attempting to walk on its hind legs. As Orwellian visions of Animal Farm and a terrifying tabby incarnation of Joseph Stalin entered my mind, the cat noticed me and dropped to all fours, slinking off into a bush. Luckily, I saw through the shifty bastard, vowing to inform everybody of the secret evolution of cats and our future feline heads of state.
This revelation was to be the subject of this post. That was until I walked home and noticed on the way a middle-aged woman talking to a tree. “You silly thing,” she kept saying, shaking her head. Initially, I was pretty blasé about it; growing up in Telford you develop an immunity to the ramblings of the insane and walk past such displays in the same way you might if someone were attempting to collar you and canvass your vote for UKIP. Poor thing, you might think. They don’t know any better, you might add, if you’re feeling particularly generous.
“Get down you silly cat.”
I looked up into the tree and saw the same cat from before. Much to my relief, rather than spewing Stalinist propaganda, the cat just mewed pathetically whilst looking helplessly at its owner, who was probably not insane, and at worst harbored communist sympathies. Then again, what if the little shit had set out to deceive me, fool me into thinking it was as innocent and stupid as every other mammal that can’t climb down a tree when it actually is in fact the 21st Century’s Stalin?!?!
I considered offering to help, but I also considered whether I was more willing to be responsible for the continuation of a Greek tragedy or for setting in motion the beginning of a dystopia. Needless to say, I left our furry Icarus stranded. You’re welcome, “the Free World”.
Since I can’t be the saviour of the human race (though you can be certain my time will come), I thought I ‘d share some of my amateurish poetry instead.
This one was inspired by a painting at the Tate Modern – WAIT!! Don’t go! Let me attempt to justify my pretentiousness:
I have been to the Tate Modern around five times. Four of those times I spent the entire afternoon mentally recording the number of pieces I wouldn’t wipe my arse with. The most recent visit, however, there were, much to my dismay, several paintings that did move more than just my bowels. One of them was a piece by Dod Procter called Morning, and it looks a little bit something like this :
I have no idea what I like about this painting, and to be honest, after only just discovering that its female model was 16 years’ old, I’m a little bit disturbed by the poem. Nevertheless, here it is:
This scene (the emerging morning sun
nuzzling the curtains; the cool white
gown resting over your body; and you here
but casually elsewhere, spreading
your sleep over the sheets). This naturalness
was plotted over handshakes, coffee
and cash. Recommended by a friend
of a friend, you waltzed in, stripped off
your suit and lay down without a yawn.
It was all strictly business,
till I saw you as the birds do,
when you bathe on the beach
or under a skylight. I see
your chest rise and fall
with my heartbeat, and I can tell
by the whisper of a smile, the hint
of crescent moons like bookends on your lips –
I know you see me
seeing you. Now the brush ponders
over your mouth: will I awaken you?