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The Fourth Black Cat

Volume I

A collection of works from who_leo, photography, poetry, short stories. All materials herein are
property of the author, any and all similarities are coincidential unless explicitly conveyed.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution­NonCommercial­NoDerivatives 4.0
International License.

i

Note from the
Editor
First I would like to start by saying that this is a preliminary collection of
works spanning from the years 2005 to about 2016. Not everything will be
included in this volume though; some things will come in and out through out
several issues, themes will rear their heads out of the pages if you will. It has taken
a long time to decide on doing this particular task, compilation, editing, and self­
publishing. I have often thought about finding an agent, or a publishing house,
but it always seemed like such a hassle, wanting to share art is a simple thing,
which does not need to be so complicated. Besides, with the advent of modern
technology and mediums, it becomes easier to share and to pass on information. It
is as simple as a few clicks and there you are.
So here it is,
the first issue of
"The Fourth Black
Cat ­
"
I would like
to thank a few
people, particularly
those with whom
I’ve had the
pleasure to work
with on previous
publications. You
know well who you
are, especially if we
didn’t end badly. Oh the drama of human existence! I would like to thank my
mother, thanks for the birthing and all that, you’ve been an inspiration and the
strength that has allowed me follow through on a lot of things. I’d like to thank my
maternal sister, for her patience and love. To my cat(s), whom I’ve not forgotten,
ever. For Grandma, who taught me strength through adversity. Lastly, to Sour Girl,
you’ll always be that voice in the back of my head, thank you, to all the women
who've lent me their strength, I love you. This is all for you.
Your Dutiful Editor.
ii

INDEX
PAGE TITLE
1
2
11
16
18
19

POETRY

Death And Rebirth / Once Upon A Time
Waiting For You
On Meeting A Dead Body
Worms
Healing
We Walked With Lions

SHORT
FICTION
PAGE TITLE
3

Da'Rien

iii

Death And Rebirth
You asked me once if I was dying
maybe it's because I was,
inside—
that person was dying off, disappearing.
If only the memories died along as well,
then maybe rebirth wouldn't be
such a bad thing. I remember it all though,
every inch of your skin
and every time your hand slipped
from your cool demeanor
and touched me.
Bliss.

Once Upon A Time
Cool mornings spent wrapped warm
under my sheets often reminds me
of a night we spent in embrace
shivers first ran through us
but the hearth of our humanity
warmed our skin and bones.

1

Waiting For You
You come up the stairs
with the balloon bag in your hand
you see someone waiting
and you see they're awake but
it's easier to walk past them
‘cos they don't understand
just why you won't say hello.
Because someone is waiting for you
and they don't want to be waiting long
do they?
You've raised hell with the bourgeoisie
told them all "where it is"
just then someone wanders out
but finds a way back in
you say “who’s there”
and “what they say”—
it’s never safe when you’re not home.

You've lost yourself to lovers
who loose themselves to their love
it's easy to find excuses
when it's all you've ever done
don't expect anyone to wait around
while you pump poison in your veins

Because someone is waiting for you
and they don't want to be waiting long
do they?

'Cos someone was waiting for you
and hell, they waited long enough
didn't they?

You've given them a notice
to vacate and leave your mind
but they can't move out
because the elephant is in heat
then they give you a monkey
to roll cigarettes on the streets
in front of mimes playing for tricks
just wonderful
now you have got to start to smoke
Because someone is waiting for you
they don't want to be waiting long
or do they?

Now that you lost your mind
it's easier to tear out the nails
eat at the seams
gnaw at the walls
itch the collapsed veins
cry out at the shades
hiding behind the pictures
of the life you once led.
It's not too late,
but it is.
Someone had been waiting for you.
2

Da'Rien
Light from the morning sun shone through the ancient Oaks’ leafs, casting
its rays through weathered patterns onto the courtyards gravel finish, warming up
the stones and drying off the morning’s dew. Pieces of paper littered the ground
and gusts of wind moved them to and fro around the plaza. There, an old man,
with a spine twisted by the ravages of time cleaned up what he could with his
sweeper and barrel. If the old man’s memory serves him right, from the spot
where he stands he can see perfectly the façade of the church of Da’Rien, being lit
up by the break of dawn, which made the image of the town square seem like it
was from a post card; except like varicose veins, overworked and stressed, the
electric wires sewn throughout the edifices gave away the age of the old city. This
wasn’t the image in the old man’s mind, it was much more beautiful the way he
remembered it.

''SShhee unnd
deerssttooood w
whhaatt iitt
w
was lliikkee tto yyeeaarrnn ffoorr
bbeeaau
utty, too ggo foorrtth and
d trry
too u
unnd
deerssttaannd
dw
whaatt ssttooood
d
bbeeyonnd
d tthe ord
diinnaaryy.'

Feliciano, a young man
who spent his days at work
and nights with close
childhood friends, was his
mothers’ only son. His father
had died in the war years
before, defending the
freedoms of the people at
home, his picture hung
proudly in the family chapel in an alcove next to the family room. ‘Mum,’ as he
liked to call her, would fix him a morning meal and inquire as to the happenings
of the night before. Always asking, and basking, on the youthful and resonant
stories her son would tell during these morning rituals. She just loved the sparkle
in his green eyes as he spoke of his friends and their adventures. ‘Just like his
father,’ she would often think to herself of the striking resemblance between the
two.
During the first half of the day, Feliciano would work alongside his uncle
who was a man of short stature, packed muscle, and the stamina of a bull. His
arms easily dwarfed Feliciano even though he was taller himself, it made him

3

work harder and faster, hoping to one day to emulate not just his uncles stamina
and raw strength, but also his innate skill with stone. He just seemed to possess an
innate ability that allowed him to know where every stone should go during the
construction of the homes and their arches. Construction wasn’t an easy job, but it
was the family trade for some generations. Musicians, Politicos, and owners of
large haciendas that spanned beyond the horizon have all come from Feliciano’s’
family lineage, but right now they were all happy just building a different, more
tangible future for everyone to enjoy.
‘How has your mother been?’ His uncle would ask. A man of few words but
wise beyond his years, he always made a point of showing affection to the young
Feliciano whom he treated like the son he never had.
‘She’s doing well; the medicine the doctor was asking for finally came in.
She can get her blood pressure leveled out, and I can stop worrying so much.’
Feliciano took out a metal tin from his pocket; it was one of the old style mint
boxes. He vicariously lit one of the joints that he had tucked inside, he always had
a couple hoping they would last him the day.
‘Good. I’m glad that you’ve got that taken care of. Always look out for your
mother, Feliciano. She loves you very much; after all you’re all she's got. Heck,
son… You are all we’ve got.’ He grabbed the smoke from Feliciano and took a few
puffs. He didn’t partake too often, but with Feliciano, it was always alright.
‘Thanks uncle. I’m just glad that I’m able to take care of her. I hope one day I
can be strong like you, and truly hold the reigns of the family.’ He grabbed the
loosely rolled joint, took a few puffs. The smoke filled the half built room they
stood in, the sun raysplaying with the smoke. His uncle grabbed the joint, and
inhaled almost half of it, even his lungs were massive.
‘Don’t thread it too much, son. Just be sure you keep a leveled head. This
blood that pumps through your veins is strong, your father and mother both
carried the weight well, and you will no doubt be the same, heck son, you are the
same. Are you going to see the baker today?’ He passed the marijuana cigarette
back to Feliciano.

4

‘Yes, I’m finally getting it… I think… There is something very special about
the dough uncle… It’s just so malleable… like life! I can mold it into anything I
want. As an artist I can make the dough into anything that I please, and it will rise
to the occasion.’
‘We’ve always had quite the number of artists in the family Feliciano. Don’t
forget that it’s in OUR blood.’ They snuffed out the joint and went back to work
building a new home.
When he finished the lunch they had bought from an ambulant food worker,
Feliciano headed out. As always after long days labor at work with his uncle, he
looked forward to his walk en route to the baker. The house they were finishing
was atop a hill, and although it was a new house, Uncle had taken great care at
making sure that it looked as authentic to the Colonial style of the town as
possible. ‘An artist is an artist,’ his mother used to say about her brother. ‘No
matter what you want to make do with it, an artist will always shine through, and
create. It is a trait in our family, Feliciano.’ He always loved this about his mother.
She understood what it was like to yearn for beauty, to go forth and try to
understand what stood beyond the ordinary.
Making his way past the great white homes lining the street, Feliciano lit up
the remainder of a joint he’d started earlier. He passed the posters that had been
popping up all over town, men in dark helms, marching with their flags. It
reminded him of the books that he’d read in the old library at the house, old
ancient books. ‘MAN! Does it feel good to be ALIVE!’ The Echo of his voice came
hurdling back at him. He casually waved at the girl across the street. She sat atop
her windowsill, behind the decorative wood, carved with swallows and flowers.
That was Armando’s work; he taught Luis who is now teaching Mauricio. She
waved back, an amorous smile escaped from her lips as she slid back inside. He
turned right at Left St., and only stopped when he hit Begin Rd. That is where the
bakers place was.
He walked in through the back door, unaware of anything that was going on
in the kitchen up ahead. He was here to knead the dough for the next day. It was a
laborious task, one that took 3 different shifts. His was the first, he would have to
gather all the ingredients, and put them together: eggs, milk, flower, the usual
suspects. This was fairly easy, truly the hardest part was getting the dough to kick
into gear. He would outstretch his arms to get all the ingredients from the table to

5

''SSoocciieettiieess aallll eevvoollvveed
d ffrroom
m
tthhee iid
deeaass ooff ootthheerrss, ggrroow
wtthh
aannd
d eexxp
paannssiioonn w
weerree aallll p
paarrtt
ooff nnoott jju
usstt tthhee bbrreeaad
dm
maakkiinngg
p
prroocceessss,, bbu
utt ooff lliiffe iittsseellff..''

meet into one. As it
was customary for
this bakery in
particular, more
dough was added to
a smaller left over
from the day prior.
‘It makes the flavors
of the dough really
come out,’ the Baker
would say. ‘You can really get an idea of all the fine ingredients we use in Da’Rien,
the olive oil from the Moore side of town and their olive trees… the fresh produce
eggs from Miss Klein’s chicken shack, the delicious dairy milk from Lily’s cows
and her churned butter.’ All of these things, he said, came through every night,
and it was all brought out by adding a little from the old to the new. ‘We all
depend on the past to survive, and sustain us… itself… This is one of the reasons
why I like to do this, you see.’ And so he did. Feliciano understood completely
that without a firm past it was difficult to know what to expect from the future,
from the world; but as long as you worked hard on it, anything could be done.
Societies all evolved from the ideas of others, growth and expansion were all part
of not just the bread making process, but of life itself.
Outside, the sun started to set, which meant Feliciano’s’ shift at the bakers
was over. He went out the way he came in, unnoticed by many, except to those
who mattered. He lit up a joint, and walked towards the Plaza. She would be
there, just like last night, and every other night before that as long as he could
remember, this is the place he first saw her all those years ago as children. As
always, it only took just one glance at her, to make his heart go into a million
different directions, his chest about to explode from the sheer excitement of having
her near..
‘Aurora!’ He called out to her.
‘FELICIANO!’ She made her way out of the crowd of people, they had
gathered to hear a local musician with his Lute. ‘How was your day?’ She hugged
him, and everything was alright, the smell of her hair soothed his breath, his heart
slowed down, and calm would swept over him and she smiled as he held her
against his warm chest.

6


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