Shinjuku Park and Spot the Ocelot

By Eric Norris (December 2017)

Two People #4, Darren Thompson, 2012

Shinjuku Park


The last time it was sunny was the first

Full day we spent together in Japan.

It started with a cigarette, a burst

Of flame, a yellow lighter, your right hand.


Another puff at Denny’s. Maybe two

O’clock we stopped to read a sign inside

. “Hey, doesn’t  mean new?”

I pointed to the character with pride.


You laughed. The cherry blossoms were not gone:

Beneath those black and twisted boughs there lay

Soggy little pastel piles. How long

They looked like crumpled Kleenex, I can’t say.


To me, that afternoon seems like the last

Nice day on Earth. It’s been so overcast.

Dali and Babou, Roger Higgins

Spot The Ocelot


Consider, friends, the ocelot,

My kitty-cat—except he’s not.

In Göttingen, they called him ‘Gott’.

In Aberdeen, they call him ‘Scot’.

I call him Spot—the ocelot—

My sideways 8, my endless acht!

He roams the Earth in polka dot

Camouflage, like a Seurat

Fantasy—a kind of clot

Bound for your brain. Now, that’s a thought.

He might be cancerous. Or not.

He might be the slight cold you caught

While skinny-dipping on your yacht,

Anchored off of Montserrat.

He might be many things—all hot.

Like love. Or Lava. Spot is sought

For murder. He’s the source of rot

In Denmark—though no mugshot

Exists for him. And there’s no plot

To his life story. Not a jot

To follow. Only spoor. A lot

Of spoor. The scent of ocelot.

The stink of lynx which one cannot

Link to anything. That is Spot.

The beast Glaswegians call ‘Scot’.

The guy the Göttingens called ‘Gott’

In darker times, best forgot.

My kitty-cat. (Except he’s not.)


Eric Norris‘s short stories and reviews have appeared in: Foglifter, Ambit, Impossible Archetype, The Peacock Journal, Classical Outlook, E-Verse Radio, Singapore Poetry, Softblow, Assaracus, Glitterwolf, New Walk Magazine, The Raintown Review, The Goodmen Project, The Nervous Breakdown, and American Arts Quarterly. His latest book is Astronomy For Beginners.

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