A Kitten Sits Still

Original Text: 
Susan Holbrook, Joy is so Exhausting (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2009): 66-67.
7Fudgey mesh.
8Shifty mussel whistle.
13Wonka pawpaw fop.
14Cowa whipwhip poot.
15At the end of the piece, not the end of the movement, that's when you can
16leap from chair to chair, catch claws in the velvet.
17Then chit. Chit. Schedule.
18Now swat smitten.
22A croissant
23filled with


1] Spackling: surfacing compound that smoothes away imperfections. Back to Line
2] Chit: kitten, young animal. Back to Line
4] a flirting Marlboro (man; after a brand of cigarette) with a rather small penis (slang-word "putts") and new-smelling ("minty") country-style pants? Back to Line
5] Bib: "best clothes" (OED, "bib," n.1). Back to Line
10] Béla Bartók (1881-1945): Hungarian composer-pianist whose six string quartets are among his greatest pieces. Back to Line
11] catgut: used for violin strings. Back to Line
12] All which may resemble, to a kitten, sitting still. Back to Line
24] A kitten's dream reward for sitting still? Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Susan Holbrook and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.