Thursday, December 22, 2011


BY J.S. Watts
“The very nature of life is to be random,” the lobster argued eloquently. “A sentient observer gathers a collection of unlinked, linear events and arbitrarily strings them together, calling them a chronology.” The lobster preened his whiskers with his claw, admiring his reflection in the highly polished wine glass opposite.
            “But”, said his dining companion, trying to inject his own thoughts into the conversation.
            “No buts”, said the lobster firmly. “This is how it is. The fact that we create recognisable patterns from chaos and call it life is both our victory and our undoing. I’d say ultimate undoing, but that would imply a directional flow which would undermine the obviousness of the lie of cause and effect.”
            His dining companion remained silent, staring morosely into his soup plate of half consumed lobster bisque.

            He lay full length on the couch.
            “Please continue”, said the psychiatrist.
            “But I really miss him, you know: his blue eyes, his ruddy complexion, the sublime eloquence of his arguments and his fervour. Oh, how I miss his fervour! Dining without him has lost its appeal and, quite frankly, Doctor, I don’t know what to do.”
            “Do you feel your life has become random and without purpose?” the psychiatrist asked, but the man was too busy crying to answer.

            The analyst stared thoughtfully at the lobster crouched half under and half out from his leather couch. It was a very fine lobster: ruddy carapace, large meaty claws and the best set of whiskers this side of a cat.
            He wondered what to do with it. There was no rush. His next client wasn’t due for another forty minutes. There was plenty of time, but how to fill it? That was the question. The lobster wasn’t helping much. It was just crouched there; half under and half out from the couch. It looked beautiful, elegant and highly edible. If only it had been a sheep.

            It was a young sheep, little more than a lamb really: clear eyes, soft white fleece that looked like it had been hand washed lovingly in the softest Dreft and the cutest pair, two pairs really, of little black hooves. It was so innocent, so perfect, he couldn’t help himself.

            Afterwards, as they lay down in the hay together, he found himself wanting to tell her all about the others, to make a clean breast of it, so to speak, but he couldn’t bring himself to sully such sublime Arcadian bliss. Perhaps he should take her to the city: the theatre, maybe and then a fine restaurant. Over lobster, cooked to perfection and a glass or several of the very best champagne, before the arrival of the meat dish, of course, he would tell her all about himself and what had passed before. There was such calm and placid order in the depth of her clear, dark eyes that he was sure she would understand.
Cats and Other Myths, the debut poetry collection by Pushcart Prize nominee J.S.Watts, is published by Lapwing Publications. 88 pages of poetry that finds contemporary relevance in the echoes of myth and legend and the mythic in the day to day world around us. ISBN 9781907276644.Website:
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