Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloweeny Cat

With the moon behind him
He’s as black as pitch.
He sits upon a gatepost
Watching for a witch!

His eyes like jack o’lanterns,
They have a yellow gleam.
He sees the ghosts and goblins
And hears the banshee scream!

Tonight he’s not a kitten,
Cute and soft and furry,
He’s a Halloweeny Cat
Big, and black, and SCARY!

I was enrolled in the Ft. Lauderdale Children’s Theater at age 7 for the very same reasons kids are medicated and given detention at school these days. I needed to work out some of my hyper headstrong ways. Seems I had manifested, according to the big fat sweaty mean penguins nuns a very annoying and rampant imagination and a compulsive need to command attention by disrupting class with outlandish outbursts talking, a lot. This needed curbing and direction. Although regular spankings time-outs were prescribed by the nuns, Mom decreed that theater was the solution.

The first assignment was to tape that poem carefully into my black and white Composition Book, decorate it with crayon drawings, memorize it and “act it out” for my seven year old peers in the class. It was written by one of the most talented drama teachers ever, Miss Nancy Yohe. “Picture it in your mind’s eye,” she told us, “Go there and feel the shivery thrill of HALLOWEEN! Whooooooo!” And she’d whoosh by our rapt little faces, a ghostly floating Isadora levitating on pointed toes. Damn, if I didn’t go there.

I go there still.

The moon holds me in its thrall.

The cat
a black hole punched into the air on the fencepost,
arranges itself in stark silhouette be-rimmed by the ghastly cloud-riven orb.

Its yellow candle wick eyes, flickering, scan the skies for contrails of flitting witches, grey floating revenant tatters on the wind.

The cat turns her carved pumpkin eyes to me.

For I am the ghost of a goblin, screaming like a banshee in the midnight, and only now, on this twelfth toll of the bell, allowed to rend the tissue-thin veil separating our worlds.
I am the cat.

For one night I am the night and the nightmare.

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