THE BLIND CAT OF MOULAY IDRISS
I have no reason to believe in the appearance of things or in sight itself
but I believe in the existence of things in themselves
in such a way the Seeing cannot imagine
And when I bump into a wall
I bump into the palace of God
for you haven’t seenhim
and therefore you cannot know
When I walk off the roof
and fall down into the mess of this world
I am not afraid for myself
but for the mule who is marched on
over my deformed body
flattened not by the drop
or the repentant hoof
but by the sheer weight of all that is unseen
but nonetheless heard
The blind cat of Moulay Idriss sings his praises back five times daily
roaring approval at the state of affairs
the orderly disarray shouted from shop windows of pale blue streets
and carried across the valley from motorcycles
projected from the loudspeakers of minarets
erupted from bored and forgotten pack mules
floated from the gentle beating of dove’s wings
and escaping from an all-but-silent warmth of soul
This all brought to the erect and awaiting ears
of the cat that hears all
and knows nothing
regurgitates disarray in a whisper
is seldom forgotten by wise elders
and yet wiser children,
except on occasions of momentous bliss or anguish,
say an awful birthday party
or brilliantly executed funeral with a fabulous bagpiper.
The cat is known to many as a bringer of bad luck (on Wednesdays),
good luck (on Fridays and Sundays),
and mediocre luck the rest of the week
(excluding the fourth day of Ramadan).
The wise men of the town debate the significance of the cats powers
or whether they really exist at all,
but they do agree that the blind cat has knowledge of the city
better than any,
and is partially responsible for the mint green colored walls
(though it didn’t paint them itself, or can even see them).
The donkeys of Moulay Idriss were often found conversing with the blind cat
over the intended morals of childhood fables
and on some days about astronomy,
as the cat could name every constellation
– how the donkeys could not know but did not question.
Although their parents often mistook the donkeys for simple creatures
whose only purpose was to carry things,
the children knew that they were the brightest,
most enlightened in the village
– second only to the blind cat.
There were twenty-nine more satellite dishes
than comfortable baskets in Moulay Idriss
(and they were warmer anyhow)
so one most often found the blind cat asleep in one.
It spent the majority of the day meditating the condition
of live’s innumerable sufferings
and listening to talk radio.
The cat had the best sense of smell
in the entirety of North Africa (for a cat)
but in his youth lost it due to an accident
involving a bag of chili powder.