The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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the talking french cat

it gets darker and i hold my plastic frog in my hand and i pull the thumbtack out of my frog and i push the thumbtack into my frog and my talking french cat sits next to me in my chair and it doesn’t say a word my cat doesn’t and people

they come into my house but i didn’t

i didn’t invite them i

they look at my things and they take my things before they leave but i don’t

i don’t

i don’t let them they can’t take my chair and my frog and my talking french cat

they can’t

i won’t

i always put the matches and the lighter in the cupboard before i go to work always always always because what if someone broke in and wanted to steal

they wanted to steal all the stuff i don’t have anymore

i don’t have it

all that

it’s gone so they get mad and they set my house on fire they set it on fire i’d come home from work and there would be fire trucks and police cars and people all looking and saying what a shame the man’s house got

it got burned down there goes his talking french cat and his chair and his frog

did you see what he did to that frog


i keep

my gates i keep them locked now so

they’re locked and so people can’t even get into my yard i put

late at night i went out and i put razor wire on the fence i nailed it

the firemen would have to stand in the street and spray their hoses from there if the robbers broke in and set my house on fire the police

the police would keep the people back across the street sorry folks there’s nothing to see here there’s

i have a club

it’s a club that’s a branch from a tree and i wrapped

razor i wrapped

i wrapped razor wire on

really it’s a branch in the bedroom corner there’s a knife under the bed just in case and the windows are shut

they’re shut

i keep them

and the doors are locked i won’t be taken

no one will take me

i nail razor wire to my window frames on the inside

inside my house with my cat and my frog i check the pilot lights every

all of the pilots lights i check them every day

there won’t

there won’t be any accidents no sir

i come home from

home from work and the windows


the windows

the fences are torn down the razor

someone cut my razor wire

cut it all to shreds the pilot lights

the lights are all blown out the matches and the lighter

they’re gone


from the cupboard where i know i put them i checked three times

three times three times always

i count i always count

it gets darker and

it gets

it’s night

the wind blows

hard it blows hard

i go out

out to my back yard where i scream as loud

as loud

as loud i scream i want

i scream and wrap myself in razor wire and fall to sleep on the ground and dream my talking

my talking french cat

i dream my cat has found

it gets darker

my cat has found

(Originally published in Mad Hatters’ Review #12, 2011. Copyright 2011 by Tetman Callis.)

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