The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday, Skating, Carcassonne Inquisition Museum

By Margaret Atwood

Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.


It rained all day Saturday, quite hard at times, so all plans to go walk in gardens or around the National Mall got postponed. Still, it was a Pokemon Go Community Day, which in this case meant that there were Dratini all over the place including very rare shiny ones. So I made Paul take me to the park and then the mall so I could catch some, and now I have two green Dragonites and a few pink Dratini and a very wet hooded sweatshirt.

That was about all the excitement apart from being happy about the U.S. curling gold medal. NBC covered the figure skating exhibition so atrociously that we ended up watching it in real time using the Roku (blissfully free of commentary, and showing the skaters goofing off on the ice afterward so we got to see who Evgenia Medvedeva took selfies with and how Eric Radford pretended to be Yuzuru Hanyu's pairs partner and it was gloriously Yuri on Ice).

All week Facebook has been showing me "On This Day" photos from our trip to Provence last year, which made me nostalgic and also reminded me that I never posted these photos from Carcassonne's Musée de l'Inquisition, which sadly does not allow pictures inside the museum of things like the models of the Cathar castles destroyed in the Albigensian crusades but does allow pictures of the outside instruments of torture:









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