Not Alfred Prufrock’s fog, the little yellow neighborhood cat come smelling, touching, and arching once, wags, then slinks furtively off and licks herself to sleep, the house warm and safe in her arms. But the fog that falls from a hairball night, wet and thick, as sleazy as the backuped drains running up the gutters down on skidrow. A light that illuminates nothing. And the only sound one hears is the tinkle of a bell like the carriage return signal on a fin de siè·cle typewriter, the kind T. S. Eliot might have used.
In the failing fog the Prufrocked cat froms and froes,
catcher of mice and men,
leaving not a trace of trance or dance
with which we were once familiar,
catabolic feline with contractible claws.
A hiss as from a match declares this driven cat with drawn claws.
This hideous hipstress wears no frown.
Nevermind, nevermore, familiar
tuna must suffice; in fact,
I’m opening the can as fast as I can.
Fiend, your mane is mean!
Man knows not your true menace,
the deceitful pale rose of your delicate claws
clinking ice to a theremin dance,
an idle locomotive meowing to and fro,
the moves of this domestic cat’s
imagery eerily familiar.
In what lonely lair was sired this queen of liars?
Did He who made thee amid mice make men?
How came you back from the cataclysm?
Did I hear you in the catacombs caterwauling?
Yet now you come in dress frolicsome,
singing, “Do you wanna dance….”
Though the salty leap gives rise to a contra dance,
the caryatid looks familiar,
a choreography of calligraphy, dancing to and fro,
a sweating menagerie.
Mind those mendacious claws.
This mendicant needs no frilly silly cat
messmate out to act
some tunahall cancan.
I too should have been a pair of claws,
a crawling cat on the lam,
whose unreadable bedlam mien
strikes mayhem then saunters off to and fro.
One more clause regarding this catachresis:
Whether to or fro on this floor dancing,
Prufrock’s cat is the cat of a family man.