He loved that cat …

“The sailor boy upstairs
— his cat, you know that tabby?”

“Yes I know, but come your shirt is frayed again,
we can’t afford a new

I need to mend it, take it off; The cat you said?”

“I think it died, there was a car outside…
it tried to brake, too late, there was blood, we need to tell”

“Take off your shirt, I’ll bring your tea”

“The sailor boy is out at sea,
and now his cat is dead”

“I have butter for you bread today
where is the cat you said?”

“Butter on my bread it’s good,
it’s very very good
the cat (poor thing)…
I put it in the bin outside… the cat”

“He loved that cat, do you want milk?
He’s still a kid, what’s his name?… Peter?
…your mother called”

“The cat really was a tabby wasn’t he?”

“She said his heart is failing,
all day he’s sleeping … you know your pa”

“Or was it gray … that cat,
I need to tell the sailor boy, I think I hear him
in the stairs”

“You need to call her,
I promised her…your mother called”

“No it’s the girl downstairs, he loved that cat
what did mother say ’bout pa?”

“We need to tell the sailor boy
… he loved that cat”


Kitchen by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Kitchen by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Today Victoria want’s us to use dialogue in our poetry at dVerse MTB, or maybe even try to write something only in dialogue, often real speech is fragmented, silence and pauses play a great role, I tried to write something inspired by Harold Pinter. Maybe just a scene, and make it into a dialogue… this is very experimental for me, but that is the purpose of writing isn’t it?. Come by at 3PM CET.

September 9, 2015

39 responses to “He loved that cat …

  1. This is so cool. Dialogue is very challenging to pull off in poetry – particularly when there is a lot of it and not just a shot burst of it, here and there. I thought your left/right alignment was a great idea … almost as if you positioned the blurts of exchanges as if they were coming from people in a scene … the dead cat – somewhat like the proverbial elephant in the room. In this case, the cat is mentioned frequently, but almost in passing, as life goes on and then, as the exchange comes to an end, it is as if the speakers have to remind themselves: “We need to tell the sailor boy … he loved that cat”. Very life like, I thought, the way conversations veer off and alter and try to find there way back to the business at hand. Awesome job!

  2. I’ve always had a real soft spot for Pinter and I think you manage a poetry out of it very well– there is a certain poignancy about it — the mix of concerns and lack of concern too. I liked it a lot. I think you have some typos with a couple of you’s that maybe should be yours? Not sure if you meant them as you– so just mentioning — but i thought the whole piece worked well and glad to see you branching out. K.

  3. Ha. This shows our ADD well. Our minds firing too fast for our mouths to keep up. Its like popcorn conversation. And not terribly exaggerated if we are honest. Its a wonder all the threads don’t get tangled

  4. Good dialogue, Bjorn. Sounds like the person who saw the cat killed is really upset and isn’t following the part of the conversation about his dad. Things are getting confused. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

  5. It was lovely and brilliant. I felt swept right along with a old married conversation, an old routine, a new dilemma. I loved it, even in its sadness.

  6. Dang, this is so good, Bjorn. So typical of a married couple, the flitting between subjects, the wandering trains of thought…and the poor sailor boy and his cat. Great one. Thank you.

  7. Well, this is really realistic dialogue. Smiles. So often in conversation each person is so interested in saying what they want to say that they pay little attention to what the other is saying. It also sort of reminds me the way two-year-olds converse….parallel conversation with one another child, and both are happy just chatting away.

  8. Excellent branching out you did. Showed very well the communication between two people who know each other so well and how their lives have become narrowed. One concerned about the owner of the cat, the other just moving along in their path….very good. An great homage to Pinter and how easily your turned this into poetry.

  9. Pinter was the master of absurdist dialogue, & you mimicked him superbly, presenting us with poetic playwright exchanges that also conjure up a sense of place, like a Welch seaport; fascinating.

  10. I see now how its done, smiles ~ I like the conversation between two people with different questions and responses, as if they are not really conversing with each other ~ The repetition of thoughts were well done ~

  11. Ah.. the monologues of care passing ships
    never meet on sea of fog..
    oh.. distrActions
    bring new
    way of
    focus
    wheEre human
    ears never fear
    Loss
    of
    heARt
    seaRinG
    spiRit
    fliGht
    soUls
    dROWn
    bottom ocean
    deep sHallows…

  12. I guess the cat’s heart was failing too 😉 poor sailor boy…i heard he loved that cat! It was fun to eavesdrop on this conversation, Bjorn.

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