In Prism

by Max Bouillet

The sun is rude.

I keep challenging it
to staring contests
but I've only won
18 times this century.

I am quite embarrassed
--losing to a bloated
ugly eye.

But I am not a quitter.

I practice at night
staring at
light bulbs,
and cats.

Cats are harder than you think.

Years from now
when I'm wide eyed and blind,
I will retire
and focus my
sightless Godly stare
on the cat.

Of course,
someone will have to tell me
if it moves.
Because staring at a cat
that isn't there
is plain crazy.


Posted on 06/09/2010
Copyright © 2019 Max Bouillet

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Therese Elaine on 06/09/10 at 03:01 PM

And the cat would be the first one to tell you so! I've learned however, that they are quite capable of cheating...and the sun generally wins only by virtue of size, the bully.

Posted by George Hoerner on 06/09/10 at 08:30 PM

Well dogs certainly look away more quckly than cats. If the cat were real he win just by quckly reaching forward and scratching your nose or your eye before you even knew it. Good write though and probably gives pause those nearing retirement and wondering what there is to do.

Posted by Adam Dyson on 06/11/10 at 12:32 AM

Cats frequently stare at things only they seem able to see, and one cat-shared glance from the corner of an eye told me I would rather not. When the sun wins the final round, and even the cat has moved, just tell the world that you stare at what the cat sees. It may even unsettle the cat.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 06/11/10 at 09:52 PM

Winning gives birth to hostility. Losing, one lies down in pain. The calmed lie down with ease, having set winning & losing aside. As for cats, people like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as some people that it is often hard to tell the people and the cats apart. I am the cat, doesn't matter if anyone sees me move. Great poetics, Max. Delighted, thanks.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/12/10 at 04:08 AM

The stare of the cat is near hypnotic and, depending on the circumstance, they have so much more attention than I do (in my A.D.D.ness) as they look at me to discern my emotion or my motion toward their food. I particularly like the parallels among the sun, lightbulbs, and cats' stare. I recommend Ken Harnish's poem, "A Sleeping Cat" - http://pathetic.org/poem/1258184667 - which I read just before reading your's. Good one, Max.

Posted by Laura Doom on 06/17/10 at 10:32 PM

Can I say that this left a persistent after-image?
[purring, by lingua glottis]

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 06/24/10 at 12:25 PM

Kafkaesque and surreal. This should be hanging at the Met next to Dali's, Persistence of Memory, in that both this poem and that painting seem to melt into my subconscious. To stare at this ode is not to go gently in the night, but it offers much light.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 06/25/10 at 12:29 PM

Love the wry sense of humor at work here Max. Thanks for sharing this! :o)

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 07/09/10 at 02:55 AM

hahahahahaha!! i needed that!

Posted by A. Reed on 08/16/11 at 10:57 AM


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