Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Story Poem

When my lovely, talented, musical friend Ruth Gordan sent me a poem with the middle missing....this is the filling I provided.....

The Story Poem (Stome)

I know a cat,
A black cat,
Playing tunes on the kora
Or facing the crowd,
Double bass in paw,
Wowing them into applause

I know a cat,
A black cat,
Inventor of song
And full moon dance-along
With wet red tongue
World expert on Jung
But he doesn’t like me
Oh no
He doesn’t like me

Slink and stare Santor
Blink and don’t care Santor
Not about me

*********** THE FILLING************************


We interrupt this poem to debate the pros and cons of melodic rhyming.

 There’s not enough rhyming in the land
Typed up or written by hand
 Rhyming makes you look clevererererest
 It would continue the format that prompted all this
 Rhymes can easily be turned into songs
 Rhymes are nice.

 Ugly forced rhymes are bound to happen
 Creative flow might be stifled
 I left my word starts at home
 Rhymes take twice the time(s) of non-rhymes
 Nothing rhymes with orange – Santor’s favourite colour
 Rhymes rarely span the whole page and therefore use more paper than prose and are therefore less planet friendly
 Rhymes are soporific and I would need to have several naps periodically throughout the poetry construction.

CONCLUSION: no rhyming here

Santor was undoubtedly most happy when he was attached to his kora or bass surrounded by a flurry of notes of his making. That’s why Santor did not like me, I was not an instrument and I certainly could not be played.

However, his happiness was relative and Santor knew his deepest needs had not been satiated. His Jungian subconscious was rumbling and stumbling and churning inside and he was certain his musical climax was yet to be reached. He loved his kora and bass and the applause they could elicit made him glow with pride and achievement. But the kora’s randomly un-chromatic scales rattled with his finely tuned western ear and after a bout of playing, his psyche was so flustered he would have to go out ram-raiding. Even the toughest cats in the neighbourhood disapproved of this behaviour. Santor knew this had to stop and the kora had to be sent back to Mali via the Cat Hobby Equipment Catalogue (CHEC Ltd) that he had ordered it from.

And the double bass, huge and booming, made Santor feel quiet, unnoticeable and insignificant. This unsettled him greatly. He aspired to be loud, noticed and very significant. The bass would have to be sent to his giant aunt Maud in Skegness. She would play it like a violin.

And this is where I came in. For though I tried to pretend it did not matter that Santor did not care for me, it actually bothered me more than anything. Santor’s friendship was something I aspired to.


Santor later explained that I had been brought up by a cat called Frank for the first two years of my life. Frank looked remarkably like Santor. I did not know this until Santor’s extensive psycho-analysis explored the contents of my unconscious through regular session on the couch and intense dream analysis. Being abandoned by Frank at two had left me with a huge block: a void that needed filling and my attachment to a need for Santor’s friendship. That's what was going on subconsciously. All - of course - without my conscious understanding.

In sensing Santor’s dissatisfaction with the bass and the kora, I saw an opportunity to please him. This drove me to some slightly peculiar 'pleasing' behaviour over the next few weeks: several times I knocked upon Santor’s door and presented him with a brand new musical instrument in an attempt to help him arrive at the pinnacle of his musical experiences and therefore ultimately (and hopefully) curry his favour and friendship.

The first instrument was a trombone. He looked at me shiftily as I presented it to him across the threshold. I returned a week later, responding to a phone call from Santor in which he stated that such a comedy instrument should never be played. He said his ribs ached from the amount of laughter the sliding action of the trombone and its bizarre notes had caused.

I exchanged the trombone for a pennywhistle. Santor rang the same day saying that he simply could not play something that had money in its name. It would make him seem greedy.

On subsequent visits I tried a variety of instruments but to no avail. The piccolo was too small, the xylophone made him fidget (and made him think of skeletons and that spooked him), the maracas were too simple and insulted his intelligence, the tuba reminded him of elephants and clumsiness, the bass drum made him angry, the guitar needed too many fingers (and hands), the violin was too melancholic and the clarinet too prone to squeaks.

It was at a point - close to giving up - that I presented Santor with a flute. I waited a week, then two, then three. I heard nothing from Santor. Eventually my intrigue got the better of me and I found myself stood in Santor’s porch, about to knock at his door. With my knuckles poised, I heard the sweetest sound: a cascade of notes trickling through the air. It was Santor and his flute. The notes came to me, pouring into my ears, on and on, a continuous flow.

I pushed open the door. There was Santor, looking frail and exhausted with a flute to his mouth. He was clearly mesmerised by his own playing and could not break free. The flute’s music had hypnotised him. I pulled the instrument from his mouth and he fell to the floor.

Santor looked up at me and grinned. He said,
‘I think I have had my fill of music for now. I want to try different things. Cat things.’

‘I want chase mice
And scratch lice

I want to pounce and creep
And lazily sleep

I want to lick my paws
A flash my claws

I want to purr and rub
An gobble my grub

I want to be a cat
It’s as simple as that!’

******************END OF FILLING*************************

I know a cat,
A black cat,

He sat and he gave me his paw
And rolled on his belly
And scratched on the floor.


  1. That confirms it...

    There really is little hope.

    Maybe they'll invent a drug....

  2. Yes the evidence is mounting...

  3. Thanks Molly,
    I am going to distill and market a liquor product and call it 'Shornge' so all lyricists everywhere will finally have rhyme.

  4. It has, er, potential? Maybe just a few tweaks here and there...

  5. Mark - I think there have been posts that more readily lend themselves to 'evidence' than this. Remember - this was in response to someone else's insanity (Ruth is quite mad - and only 25 - so has more to develop!!!) I think Fustyweed, Molly the diplomat and a trip to Venus can also go in the dossier. xxx

    Oh Eric - please!!!! And please describe it's taste...a new flavour called Gorange perhaps? It might bring about a flurry of poem with tipsy people in them - no bad thing!

    Andy C - what?!?? I share my insanity and you want to tweak it????

    I believe Ruth has turned the full story into a poem and is making a book - with her artist friend. That will be lovely to see.


I LOVE comments......