A Discourse on a Hairball (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 23 Dec 2019 in Art, Poems

Digitalized photo of cat face




A Discourse on a Hairball


You’ve undergone a scaling off

A weakening, Fish, that drains you of color

Your eyes bulge

And as you pump along your promenade

Point to point from the death’s head diver

Always waving

To the castle

You are like the mouse crushed in the trap

In sad hope of escape; its spine signaling demise

Tail switching, switching

Toes clutching and unclutching

I would bite its head off…yes

I would bite off yours

I ate a marigold today

Drank sour water from the toppled vase

And still I feel this torsion of malaise

The hairball, Fish, is an underappreciated

Art form

Or, I should go as far as to say, anti-appreciated


Cat, I am well, thank you

I believe we haven’t met.  I don’t know anyone here.

He (she indicates her tankmate) told me you liked goldfish.


Ah, the plastic bag they wouldn’t let me chew.

Little fish—I mean you—plastic bits, a rubber band, feathers, of course…

When one can get them

Will bring a hairball up, as will fins and scales.

The finesse is in the nap, you see

I may relieve myself on their faux-suede duvet

(The color matches my coat)

Who is this third party sharing your tank?


Cat, I lived in an overcrowded tenement

And how we would scatter when the net came in!

Those spotted things with the beady eyes

Our best guess was…they were company spies

They were always suckered to the walls


From the castle, the senior goldfish speaks: “A cleaner fish―they make their way in everywhere.”




A Discourse on a Hairball

Virtual cover for poetry collection Mystery Plays Buy on Amazon
The Cleaner Fish and the Dust Mite
















 (2016, Stephanie Foster)




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