The Cat in the Prose Poem

Today is the last day of #NaPoWriMo and National Poetry Month. I have kept up my share of the bargain (the bargain with myself: I will write some version of a poem each day and in return I will not think I missed a good opportunity). I have one more poem to write today. Then I can relax on that count. I’ll wait a few days before I look at what I have and then start to revise.

Yesterday, I stopped and asked myself what my goals are for May. I can’t keep up the pace of April’s poetry, but certainly I can aim for a few goals. I think I’ll work on creative nonfiction in May, with the idea that I complete at least one short project or do some significant work on my long project. Additionally, I can play around with April’s poems.

I think it helped me not to post my poems every day because rushing to “complete” a poem is not a good idea (something I mentioned last week).

On the cat front, I had to take in a couple of my seniors for checkups. Felix’s heart murmur is stable and his poo is bugless. He continues to have IBS symptoms, but that is probably caused by the parasites he harbored in the past. Eighteen-year-old Pear Blossom’s bloodwork is like that of a “two-year-old cat,” according to the vet, but she has another UTI. Sigh. So tired of her getting those things. I worry about the quantity of antibiotics she has to take.

Tiger will be next. Then Kana. Then Sloopy Anne. Yes, all seniors and all with issues. But I need to wait for another credit card billing cycle :/.

As for Perry, he still does that rapid breathing thing sometimes.

Did anybody try writing a prose poem? I find myself falling more and more in love with the form.

In yesterday’s #NaPoWriMo prompt, you can find an essay about prose poems. Listen to this cool quote:

A prose poem is a poem written in sentences. It appears as a block of text without line breaks. You could think of a prose poem as a bowl or a box with poetry inside.

OK, I can’t help but see a glass fish bowl with a poem inside, pressing it’s wacky little face up against the side of the bowl, its feet and arms all squished in around the face. The poem is confined, but I’m drawn to the bowl and what’s inside as much as the creature inside is wondering what in the world is outside the bowl.

Sorry, but I cannot unsee this image. If it helps, imagine it’s a cat inside the bowl!

I feel as if I am writing more and more prose poems. There are two in Doll God and six in Kin Types.

This poem was originally published in the October 2013 issue of A Narrow Fellow and then included in Doll God.

This is from my copy of the book that I use for readings, so the binding is getting overused!

This past month I’ve written at least six of the poems in prose poem format. There is no telling what will happen to form in the revision stage, but it does show me how useful I find the prose poem.

Go forth and have a productive week! Or, if you prefer, have one where you pamper yourself, even if it’s for fifteen minutes a day. Who am I kidding? Let’s go for both!

Arizona spring means that the saguaro cacti have flowered with bridal wreaths on their crowns.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I can’t get a pic just yet, but a mama hummingbird has set up shop in the oleander right outside my door. The gardener saw three eggs in it, and I saw Mama sitting there looking busy.



Filed under #amwriting, #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Doll God, Flash Nonfiction, Kin Types, National Poetry Month, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing Talk

47 responses to “The Cat in the Prose Poem

  1. It seems to me that good imagery is poetic – either in prose or poem, e.g “cat, a pinwheel”.

  2. I like the idea of having a monthly theme for your writing. I may need to try that as I feel a bit adrift at the moment…

  3. Nice blog to start the last day of April, Luanne! I feel like I know your kitties- It must be fun having a gang. I’m happy with just Chapman, who seems to love being an only. You’re being so productive…it’s an inspiration!

    • Have you seen the doctor yet, Elaine? Let me know how it goes, please! It’s a good thing with your back you don’t have six cats to scoop after! These guys are a lot of work. Of course, each one secretly wishes he or she were the only cat here. Especially Sloopy Anne who desperately wants to sleep with me, but she can’t because she was mean to Tiger who is the chosen one ;). Yes, it’s been a productive week. I did start to feel too tired to write the poem yesterday, but pushed through it. Today is the last day!

  4. Annual checkups for my cats are mostly in the fall so I know that feeling well. Good news on all fronts though. Can’t beat that.

    • Yes, it was pretty good. We had to culture Pear’s pee, so I am waiting on that to see what antibiotic to use. It stinks that she has basically lived with an infection for several years now.

      • Some cats have chronic UTIs. Maybe there is something mild to use prophylactically to help.

        • I’ve been giving her D-Mannose (supplement), but she doesn’t eat much wet food, so maybe wasn’t getting enough of it. I just started giving it to her in a pinch of cream cheese for dinner. I hope that helps!

          • Good luck. I had two diabetic cats (both gone) that were plagued by it and at that time there wasn’t anything but a round of antibiotics. I could usually tell — inappropriate peeing or dripping.

            • The weird thing with Pear is her hallmark has been to all of a sudden have a panic attack and run all around the house, not being able to pee, always around dinnertime or after so it would mean an ER visit unless I had some antibiotic on hand. This time it was an “incidental” finding, so now I wonder if she’s had it almost all the time!

  5. How nice to have a hummingbird nest so close by. Thanks for the update on the cats and your writing. I expect you’ll enjoy the revision stage where you don’t have the pressure to produce.

  6. I just discovered a nest, too 🙂 Nice spring surprises.
    Sorry about the kitty cat troubles, and the bills to boot.
    Love the cactus photo! Nice shot!

    • I’m happy for you! What kind of bird is it? Do you know? Yeah, the bills are never-ending. And they hate going in, of course. I hate to admit it but I took that photo out the car window while I was driving. What I can say for myself is that I was NOT looking haha! I just shot and took what I got!

      • Well ya did good! I think it’s a sparrow’s nest. Not seen any birds in it yet, but sparrow near and over it all weekend, singing an alarm…

        • Haha, the pic I really wanted was of a truly amazing flowering saguaro next to a blossoming palo verde, but I would have had to be sitting behind me and NOT driving. Oh, that sparrow mom, she’s a mama bear haha!

  7. Sounds like you’ve been productive despite a busy schedule. I like that you set yourself poetry goals. I often set my own writing deadlines, and I find that helps my productivity.

    • I think it’s smart to set goals and deadlines that are do-able. Otherwise, you run the risk of doing little OR trying to do too much. Once you complete your goal, rest a bit!

  8. Good luck with cats and writing, Luanne. It sounds like you’ve been productive–while not ignoring the pampering. 🙂
    I’m still not sure how I feel about prose poems–though I love yours, of course!

  9. Love the cat as pulsing center. We are celebrating our new neighbor, Deirdre, who has taken the cats who nest beneath her porch to heart; she sits outside each day, inching closer, letting them get to know her, drawing them into her little family. YAY.

    And I vote for both, too…let’s pamper AND produce!

  10. Yay, mama hummingbird!
    I took an online poetry writing course a few years ago. One of the poets who lectured said that she wrote fragments of thoughts, observations, ideas on slips of paper and put them into a bowl over the course of several days. When she wanted to write a poem, she would take out several slips of paper and see what she could make of them. (I may not have this exactly right. It’s been a while.) That was her technique and I thought it was a lovely one. I think she would dip back into the bowl if what she took out initially didn’t seem to work. Anyway, that’s one example of someone taking poetry in a bowl literally 😉
    Here’s hoping your other kitties have good checkups! After our experience with Maxine, I’m a bit more skeptical of urinalysis. You might ask your vet if she could consult with the lab technician. When our vet (finally) did that, we learned that the bacteria in Maxine’s urine was not abnormal for an old cat (15) and it was better left untreated since it doesn’t respond to antibiotics and is unlikely to infect the kidneys. I suspect that vets are having to learn new things because our cats are living longer than they used to.

    • Hahaha, I’ve heard about that bowl method a few places! Now I am seeing two fishbowls–that one and the one with the cat inside. Thank you for reminding me about Maxine. I want to check on that about Pear. The only problem is when it gets bad Pear is in misery. That doesn’t happen to Maxine?

      • She definitely doesn’t strain at urinating or appear in any distress (except when we shoo her away from our food). She’s been less of a drama queen since her teeth were removed. We’re keeping an eye on her though. She’s 15. By this point, a couple of our previous kitties had started showing signs of kidney disease so we’re watching her 🙂

  11. Congratulations on meeting the challenge, Luanne. With all of the hummingbirds at our house, I’ve yet to see a nest.

    • We are so blessed with our hummingbird nests! Rooting for these guys this year. Remember how we had the nest in the back in both 2014 and 2015, but we didn’t have a nest last year. Now this one is near the front door.

  12. Your writing is beautiful – I’m a lover of rich, evocative prose – however it comes! A hummingbird nest sounds delightful, you are the first person I follow who has ever reported having one close by. My daughter has just adopted an older rescue cat. A big, beautiful black and white boy who has been thoroughly traumatised by a series of unfortunate events in his little life, She will have her hands full easing him into trust, but when they get there it will be a lovely relationship. She’s already considering a companion for him 🙂

  13. Your prose poem is beautifully hypnotic…it’s been a wee while since I’ve visited and I’m glad I did!

  14. I want to understand more about the prose poem, and you gave an excellent example here from your book. Quite intense and complex, poetic…in prose. I think I’d need to practice this a lot. Great post. Oh, and the cactus – lovely. I’m jealous of your mama hummingbird. We’re waiting for them to arrive here in NE.

  15. I am sorry to hear about the cat maladies but glad they are getting good care. I’ve been out of the loop so am new to your April goals. I’m impressed, and you might have inspired me to set monthly goals. That seems manageable. I love the prose poem! This might be my favorite writing structure. Problem is, I often try to sneak one into a novel. It works sometimes, but not often. 🙂

  16. First, big congrats on finishing April’s commitment! And I love this section of your post:

    OK, I can’t help but see a glass fish bowl with a poem inside, pressing it’s wacky little face up against the side of the bowl, its feet and arms all squished in around the face. The poem is confined, but I’m drawn to the bowl and what’s inside as much as the creature inside is wondering what in the world is outside the bowl.

    So inventive! I hope you give yourself a good dose of credit for your April accomplishment, especially in light of so many other activities you had during the month. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about May!

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