My Jeoffry (for NaPoWriMo, Day 26)

He is the Living God.

At first glance, his body with elegant quickness
leaps up to catch the blessing.

He rolls.

He begins to consider this:
if they are clean, his paws, himself.

He rolls; he may not be interrupted.
He looks up in quest of his neighbor;
he will kiss her in kindness.

When he takes his dallying,
his business more properly begins.
For he keeps in the night
his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

He counteracts death.
He loves the sun, the Tiger.
(The Angel Tiger.)

He has a serpent, which
will not do destruction
without provocation.

For a blessing at the departure
from Egypt, every family had
one cat at least in the bag.

Love is the quickest
point of gravity
he knows.

There is nothing sweeter
than his life. He is poor.

I bless the name, Jeoffry,
the divine spirit, complete,
exceeding pure in what it wants.

He can carry a stick,
waggle, jump, catch
the hypocrite afraid
in very pernicious land.

His ears, they sting from
the passing quickness of
electricity. Light. Fire.

Electrical fire from heaven blessed him tho he cannot fly.

His motions are,
more than all the measures,
the music for life.

He can.



NaPoWriMo, Day 26 prompt: Write an erasure poem, which is where you take an existing poem and remove many of its words. For bonus points, you leave spaces where the erased words used to be. But WordPress hates long, strange lines, and I kind of like it this way. I started with For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry, by Christopher Smart, which I’ve loved for a long time. 


2 thoughts on “My Jeoffry (for NaPoWriMo, Day 26)

  1. WOW! This is dazzling, Marilyn–this is both a wonderful distillation of Smart’s best words and your own original vision. (I love the myth-making you do in “For a blessing at the departure / from Egypt, every family had / one cat at least in the bag.”) That is one fantastically electric cat!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I found this poem during a previous cycle of trying to figure out religious faith and what I think or feel about it. I connected with it because the poet tapped into something I feel, too … that nature (if a pet cat is nature, anyway) offers a way to connect with the divine.

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