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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Auto Da Fé

I was very surprised indeed, on finally getting to read the PIR 100 article mentioned here, to see that the poem of mine noted therein is one that’s not in any of my books and which, in fact, I’d forgotten I’d even written. As I’m currently trying to finalize a contents page for another book, and find myself sitting knee-deep in discarded and rejected poems, I am reminded of how many of these things I’ve racked up over the years. I see Todd Swift mentioned the other day, in between copious references to the Feast of the Crucifixion of the Easter Bunny or whatever the festival is that Christians are currently celebrating (and how nice to see the Irish Catholic Church able to take time off the other day from its busy schedule of abetting child rapists to denounce the sinful practice of consuming alcohol of Good Friday), sorry, where was I, mentioned his hope that someone might be interested in publishing a Best Of his blog; so maybe I too should place a small advertisement for myself here, on condition that the book in question be called The Worst of Me: Rejected Poems. For instance, there is the rake of Projective-y poems I am obliged to write ever time a full moon falls on a Friday 13. But then there are quite normal poems too, like this one I noticed recently. And as it mentions black cats I thought we might have a picture of the patron and overseer of all domestic literary production to go with it. Monorail kitteh currently experiencing slight delays on the line, but hopes to resume normal service shortly, I think he is telling us. And now here is the poem, ‘Auto Da Fé’:

That Alice Kyteler have her revenge –
vengeance for her witch’s fiery death –
St Canice’s Cathedral is swarming with
black cats familiarly making strange:

hundreds of black cats with burning eyes
upsetting the round tower’s vats of boiling oil,
fouling graves and altars, sworn to chill
the wine of Christ’s own blood to burning ice.

For coupling with the devil himself you stand
condemned, our ardent heretic, to burn,
putting to shame the heaven never ours

to lose and the fires of hell you laugh to scorn:
abashing us beyond your wildest curse
changed to a black cat, eating from my hand.


Mark Granier said...

'...abashing us beyond your wildest curse
changed to a black cat, eating from my hand.'

What, no supernumerary nipple?

Nice to see Anthony get a mention in that essay.

puthwuth said...

Exact number of male cat's nipples remains something of a mystery to me. I think I've counted up to seven, but there may be more. But then the number of toes per paw can vary too (among polydactyls).

Have ordered your Fade Street, Mark -- I look forward to reading it!

Mark Granier said...

Thanks David, should be printed by now with a bit of luck. Hope you enjoy it.