Monday, February 2, 2009


Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It's his
way of telling whether or not I'm dead.
If I'm not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He'll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It's all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we'd do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it's love that does us in. Over and over
Again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and the pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You're the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

By Margaret Atwood, from Morning in the Burned House.


Amelia said...

as winter and cold is associated with death, hopelessness and boredom...

as spring and warmth is associated with life, love and rebirth...

happy love month!:)

Angeli said...

happy love month too. :)

Kayni said...

I'd like to emphasize: "February, month of despair, with a skewered heart in the centre." Exactly, the heart is ready for barbecue.

Anonymous said...

I love cats. And winter. To me winter isn't a "death" season...

Angeli said...

Hi Kayni. that particular line is what i like best in the poem. so right on. :)

Hello Agnes. Winter is more like hibernation to me.

jacqueline said...

well, Feb is the love month, at least for those who have significant others to share the fun and romance with. Feb or not, let's share love. :)

muffled solitude © 2007-2021. Design by Pocket | Distributed by Blogger Blog Templates