CatOber 2022

Art by Marcin Owczarek

Two by Jessy Randall

Conversation with the Cat

me to cat: boop boop boop beep boop boop-bee-boop-boop

cat to me:

me to cat: petty petty pet pet for the poody poody poody

cat to me:

me to cat: look at this tummy! oh this is the fluffiest fluff floof!

cat to me:

me to cat: who’s the purriest furriest fur face?

cat to me: [flicks ear]


Unfortunate Facts

Penelope doesn’t rhyme
with cantaloupe.
The lump under the covers
is a pillow and not a cat.


Michael Hettich

Another Kind of Absence

You were balancing your mother’s quiet regrets
like a saucer of milk for the strays, as you
walked out her front door, placed the saucer 
gently on the stoop, then hurried away

with the ashes of her words in your hair, holding
a picture of your blanked-out self running
through the woods, like fire, and making up a language—
another kind of absence—by burning out the underbrush

so nothing would grow, to remind you. But you
did grow, and now you are older than yourself,
at least whenever you admit to things
you haven’t accomplished, to the animals you’ve seen

but left unnoticed, the feral dreams that yapped
and pulled themselves across the empty air,
then purred as they licked you raw as any sidewalk
in a city without seasons, where no one remembers

the word for horizon. And when she opened
her window to look out, wearing the nightgown
you gave her with your childhood, she looked for a moment
like a girl whose sweet face had been drenched by the rain

that had soaked her clear through, to the bone.

Jim Moore


     Stumble and rise is the rhythm of paradise, the echo of footsteps at midnight, moonless or moonlit, it doesn’t matter.

     Paradise requires an old cat sitting by the drain next to the door of the church, her small tongue at the ready, requires the stones of a piazza that have been crumbling forever into the dusty rubble.

     Paradise is the cat shrinking back into a corner when at midnight two teenagers arrive on a motorbike, the huge cough of the bike’s exhaust, their excited laughter, the girl with her arms around the waist of the boy.

     Paradise is the boy, ready for anything, his helmet resting on its straps in the cradle of his arm, the motor idling, the cat completely still watching the girl from its hiding place as the girl watches the boy.

     Paradise: midnight, her arms around his waist, moonless or moonlit.

[reprinted from Prognosis (Graywolf Press, 2021)]

CatOber 2021

CatOber 2020

CatOber 2019 


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