When she died, they gave me her porcelain cat. White, with orange markings and a red collar, curled into itself in perpetual sleep. I knelt beside it, close to the ground, peering into its face, imploring it to wake. On the days I missed her most, I fell asleep with it, my body curled around the cold, silent object, like a comma.
Years later, a picture hanging above the cat came loose from its hook and fell on it, shattering it, disturbing for the first time the slumber of the cat who never woke. Its remnants dispersed across my bedroom floor. I considered using one of the fragments to carve a name into my arm. But I didn’t know if I should use her name or my own. As I wept, my mother swept up the pieces.
In time, my mother repaired the cat. Reconstructing it piece by piece, gluing it together, but not seamlessly. When she was done, I traced the cracked lines on its back with my fingertips. This became a habit.
My daughter was born with her eyes open. At night, her curved, warm body, sweet with sweat and dreams, nestles in the crook of my arms. Like a comma, like a question.
So we travel on earth seeking the terrain of Poetry, walking through wilderness and empty landscape or visiting those ancient sites like Dholavira in far-western Gujarat, or Mykenai in the Greek Peloponnese, or the Arawak campsite on eastern Carriacou in the Grenadine Windward Isles, pursuing that authenticity of experience in a form of antique material reality...
These are places, strange and vague situations where death is manifold and thoroughly extant to the careful eye. There are women’s bangles made of shell to be picked up from the saline dust or small copper beads and thin chert blades, or tiny obsidian arrow-heads that can be unhidden and disclosed beneath those bloody grey walls about the Lion Gate, or beautiful indented potsherds and ceramic fragments at the waterline where the Atlantic rolls out its long blue visceral waves...
Kevin McGrath 🐚Yoga of Poetry
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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