i am the cat in the box

from: trouble in the bubble jungle – diary of a punkrock poet – 11 poems 2000 to 2007

       i am the cat in the box
trapped in someone else’s experiment
locked in someone else’s question mark
but i’m clever, and i drink the poison
and with my insane disdain to drink anyone's 
       half-glass of bullshit
and my magical powers of scio te ipsum 
i convert it to vinegar in my gut
in the corner of the box i piss
the acid burns a hole and i crawl out

       now i sharpen my teeth on real trees 

and i’m chewing thru random wires, inverting map legands
i’m banging on drums made of duct tape and dirty jokes

i declare this alley, these loose bricks, burnt newspapers
this pile of ford pinto an institution, i declare it sculpture 

i’m blocked all downtown rush hour madness
for emergency poetry yard sales

       i’m joining random counterculture revolutions
to meet pretty girls and collect free bumper stickers
i’m doing the neolithic antihero freak-show-bar-hop
		i’m performing human folly
with freelance daredevil authority and a two-drink minimum 

	(i was there when they invented slam dancing
	i know how to give and receive love)

i’m washing my face with industrial strength mask remover
my survival is hop-scotch thru the mainstream minefield
		my youth is eternal 
				full of piss 
                                        and vinegar 

	i lost my label, my brand name, my serial number 
	took a giant academic sized dump, flushed and it was gone
		i’m existing without a guild
			without a publisher
			without an em-eff-ay
	without a pepsi grin, a juicy ass to kiss, or a walmart handjob

all these tall towers of glass standards, these glass monsters, these glass hammers
looking down on me, scolding me:

	you can’t bend spoons with your eyeballs
	you can’t play piano with a baseball bat
	you can’t wear your hat as you please
	       inside or outside or in-side-out
	you won’t make any money writing this crap
	don’t expect us to take you seriously


					bite me
                                        yours truly
                                        the cat that
                                        pissed all over your box

Published by

phillip woodruff

i live in colorado, i love poetry and fishing, i've never been to kentucky, i own 5 pairs of shoes, sometimes i drive too fast, i like craft beer, i own 37 fishing poles, i've never been to iceland, sometimes i drive too slow, right now there is a black bird outside my window, i stare at him and he stares at me

10 thoughts on “i am the cat in the box”

  1. Playing piano with a baseball bat is difficult but not impossible–I bet The Killer could pull it off. This piece has the manic energy and weird unexpected loop de loops of a Gregory Corso poem. (Corso being a huge favorite of mine since forever.) This kind of energy is impossible to sustain, I fear. In the words of the prophet Jerry Garcia, “Most of the cats you meet on the street makin’ true love, most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home.” Nonetheless, being able to set fire to the page is a fine and thrilling thing. Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you shay. yes, lots of corso in this poem, and ferlinghetti, two of my all time favorites. and yes, tons of energy, this one is a about 20 years, and don’t i could muster up enough energy or attitude to do this one at an open mic today

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my tip top favorite singers was Laura Nyro. Listening to herself singing on “New York Tendaberry (my favorite album ever) later in life, she exclaimed “All that energy!”

        Corso and Ferlighetti were two of my earliest favorites. I have been carrying around “Gasoline”, “Pictures of the Gone World”, and “A Coney Island of the Mind” since I was a teenager. Even now, if i am stuck, I read Corso and Lorca and I’m off to the races pretty quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. laura nyro, ok, i’ll check that out

        i read ferlinghetti at lease once a year, but i need a new copy, mine is falling apart, i’ve read it to death. you’ll appreciate this, i have a combo of gasoline and the vestal lady that was stolen, i mean i essentially stole it from the library maybe 30 years ago and i finally returned it a few years ago =) i still need to replace them.

        and this may be hard to believe, i’ve never read kurouac, on the road, dharma bums, nothing. i’ve alway listen to spoken word albums, he’s just fucking amazing, he is the frank senatra of the beats

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I read kerouac like mad when I was in my 20s. Dharma Bums was the only one I couldn’t get through, but i read On The Road, The Subterraneans, Tristessa, Satori In Paris, Desolation Angels and Cassidy’s book The First Third.

        Liked by 1 person

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