Monday, December 8, 2008

catman by Steve Ely

i know this guy all his life he killed cats the first time he was eight years old

he dropped a litter of kittens into a half filled bucket and shoveled in dirt until the mix stopped quaking

there was one up a tree in his garden he got lucky with a halfbrick and watched it bounce off every branch before it hit the ground he finished it with the flat side of the shovel

he killed a tabby with a bat playing cricket on the street it just walked past and he slogged it in the head he said it was a six

his staffie roofed a tom on a shed up bull lane he knocked it down with a branch the dog crashed face first into the brambles swaggered out with it limp in its grinning jaws

he chased one tree to tree in the graveyard throwing sticks and stones until after minutes or hours it came tumbling down the dog ripped it apart or maybe that was a squirrel far as i know he had nothing against squirrels

this warehouse had a problem they were breeding among the pallet stacks he took a 4.10 terriers jawtraps poison he showed me a photo four cats six kittens lined up dead

a grey one crept in the bushes near his feeders leaping out at the robins and blue tits he took aim from the kitchen window and shot it through the eye with a .22 pellet gun

he drove his car off the road and dented the wing swerving to hit one on the a638 outside upton

a black one walked in through the open front door and curled up on his hearthrug he couldnt believe it he coaxed it into a sack and drove out to the reservoir

he never tied fireworks to them because that was just cruel and he didnt do it for the cruelty just to kill them

i asked him why do you hate cats so much and he said i dont know i just do dont you hate something if you had a rat in your house wouldnt you kill it or maybe its music bagpipes perhaps i cant give you a reason theyre sly i hate cats

are you answered

Extracts from Steve Ely's massive poem JerUSAlem, have been published in a range of litzines, including Beat the Dust, Laura Hird Showcase, Dogmatika, Black Mail Press & Paper Cut. Other poems and short stories by Ely have been published in Literary Chaos, Lit Up, Lilies & Cannonballs Review, the Savage Kick, The Slab of Fun, Magma and elsewhere.

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