Monday, 28 May 2007

Eric Ormsby interview

Carmine Starnino's interview with Eric Ormsby can be found on the Biblioasis blog. You can find it here. Eric published Araby with Véhicule Press in 2001. His latest, Time’s Covenant, will be launched by Biblioasis tonight, along with Robyn Sarah’s Little Eurekas, at the Word (469 Milton St., Montreal) at 7:30 pm.

"Jaham and his Cat" (from Araby)

The pink melodious ratchet of her tongue
psalmonized as she hunched on Jaham’s chest.
Jaham admired her reverence of repose,
the prayerful alertness of her ears,
the pierced opacity of her green eyes
whose irises held aloof the more they shone,
her silken dignity, the way she made
a pedestal of paw to rest upon
behind a twitching balustrade of tail.

To drink he gave her pungent camel’s milk
he bought at the Desert’s Edge Convenience Store.
Jaham listened, he heard her chant Qur’an
in purr-cadenzas of complicit calm.
The cat sang Allah Allah Allah
and made her chant sound natural as breath.

Was she some subtle prophetess of sleep,
a disciple of our Prophet (may God
pray for him!), who once had said:
People are sleeping;
when they die, they wake

He remembered how Muhammad cut his cloak
rather than dislodge a dozing cat.
All night he let her murmur on his breast,
all night her coiled contentment lulled his rest.

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