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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

expects nothing

regurgitates disarray in a whisper


The Blindcatofmoulayidriss

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.