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(for Henri Bosco & Gaston Bachelard)


Everyday in Jumbleorium, XXXIV (The Howl)

Sometimes,
early in the mornings,
Gunwald stirs down the bottom of the stairs

Since some years,
he's not allowed into the bedroom upstairs,
after biting my hand in his sleep, or semi-sleep,
perhaps mistaking it for a mouse or a bird,
when I moved in my sleep

As we both woke; the hunter and his prey,
Gunwald discovered his mistake,
and I bled from my hand

He had always
- since I arrived on the scene in 2011 -
slept with us upstairs,
running up the staircase
with a distinct, pounding gait
you'd think improbable for a cat's paws,
when we'd already laid ourselves down,
each of us with an opened book in front of us

Usually he'd charge through the doorway
that we always kept open to the upper hall,
continuing 'round the bottom of the bed,
jumping up on Anna's left side, walking across her,
ending up on my chest, right under my face,
in between my book and me, purring,
expecting to be stroked and cuddled,
which he'd always be

Then, as we folded our books
and turned toff the lights,
he'd withdraw to the foot of the bed,
where he'd curl up and instantly fall asleep

It did happen, though,
that he'd change his whereabouts
during the night,
inching up along our sleeping & disconnected bodies,
close to our chests or heads,
pressing his warm peacefulness to our outlines,
adding to the sweet notions of a good night's cross-species rest,
and it was during one of those nocturnal upper body visits
that he bit me,
causing me a sharp pain between thumb and index finger,
blood colouring the white sheets
like a proper Rorschach test

The teeth of a cat
who's also an avid hunter
and spends most of his wake hours on the prowl outside,
can easily infest his prey with dangerous bacteria,
when his four canine teeth, looking like a snake's fangs,
sink deep into the prey,
so I had to make a drive in the morning
the forty miles to Luleå City and a health center
in – 30°C,
this being the wild, sparsely populated land of Northbothnia,
having blood tests taken and antibiotics prescribed

We then decided, with heavy hearts,
to bar Gunwald from the bedroom,
since it just caused us too big an ordeal
if he'd bite one of us in his sleep once again,
and he learned quickly
that this peaceful place of closeness and cuddling
had become off limits

He settled for an armchair downstairs
for his, from then on, nocturnal loneliness,
and that was that

The years passed,
and as Gunwald obviously approached the end
och an average cat's life expectancy,
getting thinner and perhaps a little confused,
his need for closeness and cuddling
still remained untarnished,
even growing in intensity

He tended to stay much more inside during winter,
but was his own old self during the warm season,
catching birds and mice just like in younger years,
proudly posing for my photographs
with a bird in his mouth,
and once even with a half-eaten squirrel out by the garage

However, this winter, 2023 – 24,
he has changed some,
leaving his living room armchair late at night /
early in the morning,
positioning himself halfway up the staircase,
sitting there silently for hours,
until he felt it was time for Anna to get up,
to drive to work, at circa 4:45 M,
which was when he started howling,
and I mean HOWLING,
from the bottom of vocal resources I didn't know
a cat could work up;
not just like a spring cat in heat,
no, more like you'd imagine a werewolf
in an overwhelming lust for human blood
out on an English moor in a 19th century novel;
a scary, deep growl, sort of rolling like the waves of an ocean,
modulating the pitch from side to side in a bloodcurdling horror
of hunger & despair

Being a sound artist,
I thought I'd record this otherworldly sonic ghostride,
but this was a tough task,
since if he noticed us being awake and up,
he'd immediately change over
to a cat's quite normal request for food,
that cringing meowing round your feet in the kitchen
which I had no interest whatsoever to digitize

I wanted the unique sonic expressions I'd heard,
from hell or the moors

I designed a plan, though,
and put my Zoom recorder on a tripod
in the upper hall, right outside the bedroom,
connected with an extension cord
to the nearest outlet inside the bedroom,
not to drain the batteries,
and proceeded to make a few good tries,
keeping the recorder connected and on stand-by
all night,
till it came time around 4:30 AM or so,
to stumble up and wait for the call,
when all that was left for me to do
was to press ON
to make the Zoom start registering,
but these weary morns invariably resulted
in good old Gunwald noticing me,
in spite of all my efforts,
consequently switching over
to his bleak and meager cringing
- or could it have been
that the alien force
within his howling capacities
didn't desire the recording
of its anguished predicament?

In any case, nothing came of it,
'cept this poor story

I disconnected the extension cord,
rolled it up
and placed it where I'd found it,
and came to accept that you can't,
and maybe shouldn't,
record all mystic occurrences


Still, on stormy nights that grab hold of the house,
or on dead calm winter nights with the full moon listening
over the snow, that incredible howling may still emerge,
but I will not try to record it for posterity anymore

Instead I'll remember that otherworldly voice
like one sometimes remains in the alien atmosphere
of a dream for a long time

(Notes taken inspired by the reading of
Henri Bosco's “Malicroix”)




Fri vers (Fri form) av Ingvar Loco Nordin VIP
Läst 17 gånger
Publicerad 2024-03-02 17:26



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