Christopher Robideaux has been a professional writer since 2000, and has written several
collections of poetry, a "play for stage or screen" called Lilith's Lion, and two novels. His
first novel, Thespia's Abandon, is a romantic thriller and Hollywood satire. He followed
that with Dead to Love, a supernatural thriller with sci-fi/fantasy elements. Thanatopaeia,
completed in 2005, is an "experimental epic poem" written in the wake of 9/11 and the rush
to war in Iraq, and is a sprawling polemic against war and a "world of death," as well as "a
Joycean exploration of language, meaning, and myth". His current poetry collection and work-
in-progress is called Holly & Hemlock. He is also writing the sequel to Dead to Love, entitled
The Moonfrost Runes. He was born in Spokane, Washington and currently lives in Northern
California (USA). He can be reached by email at for correspondence
on all things concerning the language arts.

Cat Fight

In the wars of miniature tigers, the fence leaned in where knives and fangs were out. The elder feline grew a fat beard of discontent to cover the pain and indignation of his territorial pas de deux. We nursed him carefully from his swollen incursion and the towers still broadcast sports and weather, viruses and fake feathers. A turn of light opened a chamber of seasonal doubt: no matter the welter, the whiskers ached and stood out for relief. Would an eye toward loss see all the way through? Pock-marked desire and streets shadowed by birds that flew. Destroyer of Shadows left his drink on your nightstand. Destroyer of Stealth mocked his heartbeats like a clown. But now he sleeps, that tiger-king of the enclosure; an eye-language marks his prowling story.

You can't beat the winds back for this kind of October spectacle. We were saying all along a rival may breach our paddock, and here, our Golem humps nothingness with a smirk of bald power.


Great hunk of colonial mash, cities like eyes on giant face in medium-burg corners lie, starring prodigious rivers. Industrious, some. One, you stare toward Canada across great lake; one, you had also a sepia-toned past of opportunity fleshed with pioneer netting and coal chambers. We straddle apparent opposites of the New Kingdom, such intrepid gulfs of land leaving us dry. Drying our leaves. What was once housed in a school or requiem for youth, is now click-trotting, globe-clicking, un-champion of status quo and with great grids at his feet. Tea time, the alphabet of the land curls leaves and no brain is another's. In we go.


Vroom with vervain guessing, and what are these cities all about? Randoms syndicated, teeth all irradiated. The boy who swallowed a swallow — his heart then fluttered for years attempting to break out. I then looked not at faces but throats. No eyes, only what everyone swallowed, from day one. Breast milk, then Coors, then Almaden wine. Ice cream bars at 4 am. We hiked to the lake and paused on plash of stem, where a warbler heard our glowing perversity and lit up the glen. Another time I thundered Thor's cliffs as she swam far below. She, who untangled a moth from spider's web as August burned laughed and laughed death away as the time-trains blared.


This dream is a France of the mind. A world we tumble into, where music-mavens grasp on cue, alter house music to fit their queue. Rod Stewart asks, "Do ya still think I'm sexy?" as the discotheque writhes in an anachronistic welter. "Beware les flics!" the cognoscenti scions of radical chic rave. And then she is there — a girl who once I played with when young, our bodies hot again under impossibly-colored lights. Linnet poses cause her a redness, too. She says "My cherry leaf has turned," and pale, she must go. I catch her; she says, "You must be needed back at your bachelor pad" to my bemused incomprehension.

Now I am alone with my France of the mind. Sex a trophy for its sleeping wiles. The discotheque filled with discontent — les flics ready with batons and hate — the free, young bugs they fever to eliminate.

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