Viral Cat


Spring 2014 Issue

Recent Blog Entries





The Spring 2014 Issue of Viral Cat is available in print and may be purchased from or directly from Viral Cat. You are encouraged to purchase from Amazon if you are requesting multiple copies or if you are requesting that the issue be shipped outside of the United States. You may purchase from Amazon by clicking here

(82 pages, black and white interior, glossy cover, 5.5" x 8.5")


If you are interested in purchasing your copy directly from Viral Cat, you may use the check-out link below. The issue costs $6 plus $3 for shipping and handling.



You may also purchase a PDF of the Spring 2014 Issue for $1.99.


Below, you'll find the contents of the Spring 2014 Issue of Viral Cat. Blue links will bring you to our Viral Web Selections, where we highlight some of the work of our contributors. All works can be found in our print edition.


                                  Spring 2014 Issue


Table of Contents


"Restlessness, oil on linen" by Dagmar Hrickova

the poet in wartime” by Christopher Mulrooney

Somerset House / London, UK” by Sarah Kayss

Cardiff / Whales, UK” by Sarah Kayss

Regarding Rooms” by Marilyn Joy

"J'adore le coup des fourmis, 2012" by Samy Sfoggia

“Die Schraube und der Bauer, 2012” by Samy Sfoggia

A Birth in the War Zone” by John Grey

Rain, oil on linen” by Dagmar Hrickova

A Word ... My Kingdom for a Word” by Marilyn Joy

Catechhuman Waiting Baptism on Easter Eve” by Tinca Veerman

In the Bleak Midwinter” by Marilyn Joy

"McGillicuddy's Wake" by Donal Mahoney

"At Fifteen, Visiting My Uncle Frank" by John Grey

"Chelsea Market 2” by Jeff Williamson

"14 days' furlough" by Christopher Mulrooney

"Gypsy" by M. Krochmalnik Grabois

Orange Cat” by John Kaniecki

The Medicine Man" by Tinca Veerman

Experimental Poetry” by John Kaniecki

"from the editorial offices" by Christopher Mulrooney

"Emmy Body Paint 11" body paint by Israel Morales; photography by Angel Velazquez

"Kevin loves Lisa" by Ally Malinenko

"Wondering What the Future Will Bring" by Dagmar Hrickova

"Hot and Cold" by John Grey

Wheelchair” by M. Krochmalnik Grabois

"Gabbia di volo, 2012" by Samy Sfoggia

"Barbara the Clown" by Sayuri Yamada

Nikki” by Michael Lee Johnson

Plant More Trees” by Benjamin Blake

Emmy Body Paint 21” body paint by Israel Morales; photography by Angel Velazquez

"Bi-Coastal" screenplay excerpt by Richard Lasser

"Stairs" by Jeff Williamson

Holocaust Memorial/Berlin, Germany” by Sarah Kayss

"The Willing" screenplay excerpt by Phillip E. Hardy

"'We Govern We' by Mulligan's Island" music video directed by Jeffrey Blake Palmer

"Strings" by Peter Wisan

"Portabello Market / London, UK" by Sarah Kayss



Restlessness, oil on linen     | Dagmar Hrickova


the poet in wartime     | by Christopher Mulrooney

her cigarette is lit still she asks for a match

just when he's about to light a firecracker to drop over the precipice


the news correspondent explains on his large map the divisions around the city and the fighting there


she leaps and not to him but past him to an officer for succor

yes that is how it must seem to some in the circumstances



Somerset House / London, UK     | by Sarah Kayss



Cardiff / Whales, UK”    | by Sarah Kayss



A Word ... My Kingdom for a Word     | by Marilyn Joy

Some babies are born

a few good grunts and there they wail,

demanding the world

bow down to them.

Others have to be pulled, pried, cut out.

Sleepy-eyed and yawning

they look around and wonder why

they were yanked from their aquatic

world inside the womb.


Words are like that, some arriving slick,

easy, not weighted with

the labor of indecision, of hesitation.

Others argue with their order

or cling willful to the tip of your tongue,

hang out with impossible friends

that taint

their reputation and reliability.


I used to think the ones that came easily,

not out of my head or history,

were the bright stars—lithe spontaneous

sparks that could lead the parade.

But have come to know

the merit of my prodigal sons,


hard-won words, worried over,

awakened in the night over,

when they finally arrive—repentant and

resplendent souls,

it takes the breath and emboldens

a pen to strive, to labor long

with these reluctant, ineffable utterances.








Rain, oil on linen    | by Dagmar Hrickova



McGillicuddy's Wake     | by Donal Mahoney

Two new crutches and two double shots of Bushmills Irish Whiskey enabled Joe Faherty to move from the back seat of Moira Murphy's 1976 Buick into Eagan's Funeral Home for Tim McGillicuddy's wake. At 87, Joe was in bad shape, only a tad better than McGillicuddy who looked splendid in a rococo casket. 

The way the funeral home had painted McGillicuddy's face, he looked better than most of the folks who had come to say good-bye. Many of them were in their eighties. Even Moira, who still had her driver's license, was creaky at 75. 

McGillicuddy was 90 when he fell off his horse out in the country. Until that moment he hadn't been sick a day in his life. Never drank and never smoked. Women were his passion. He was was calling on a couple until the day he died. 

Few folks knew that McGillicuddy had been expelled from Ireland by the British in 1920. He was 18. He had been captured at 16 bringing guns to older IRA rebels who were fighting the British. A few rebels with rifles caused the British occupiers a lot of problems. 

For two years they kept McGillicudy in prison. They finally agreed to let him go to America. Why not, McGillicuddy thought. Life in America had to be better than prison.

In the funeral home, however, much to the disgust of Joe Faherty, the priest had come to the wake early. This meant Joe didn't have time to grab his crutches and get to the bar next door before the priest started the rosary. The custom at Irish wakes was that the priest would arrive at 6:30 p.m. and all the men would have made it to the bar by then. The women would say the rosary with the priest. 

But this was a new priest and there he was in front of the casket saying 15 decades of the rosary. Not the traditional five, as was the case at Polish wakes. 

Joe figured it would take the priest an hour to finish. Then he'd ask Moira to take him home. He was too tired to go to the bar. Besides, he had had more than the two double shots of Bushmills he had mentioned to Moira. 

Moira drove Joe home. She waited until he was inside the house. She wanted to make certain his new crutches wouldn't result in a fall. Joe waved good-bye to Moira and shut the door but didn't lock it. He had to let the dog out. 

Although he hated to turn on a light--he lived on Social Security--he turned on just one because it was as dark inside as it was outside. He planned to buy some candles.

As soon as Joe turned on the light, he saw McGillicuddy in his favorite recliner wearing the same fancy suit he had on in the casket.

"What the hell are you doing here," Faherty asked. "Why didn't you stay where you were. We got through the rosary so why do this. They'll come here first, considering all the years we've been friends."

McGillicuddy didn't say a word.

"Well," said Faherty, "if you aren't in the mood to talk, I'll have another Bushmills till you decide to say something. You don't look dead. In fact, you never looked better." 

McGillicuddy maintained his silence. 

"It's too bad you don't drink. You could join me in some Bushmills. It's as good today as it was back in Ireland."

Down deep Faherty didn't know what to do with dead McGillicuddy in his favorite recliner. How long, he wondered, would McGillicuddy stay. He wanted to be friendly but there was a limit to his hospitality.

"Let's watch the news on television," Faherty said, turning on the set. "Maybe they'll explain how I've come to enjoy your company. 

"You didn't drive, did you? If you need a lift I'm sure Moira will come pick you up. After all, you two almost got married. I think she's still fond of you.”

Still, not a word out of McGillicuddy. 

"I'm going in the kitchen and call Moira," Joe said. "I'll be right back. We can talk about which way you're going, up or down, if you know what I mean. 

"The bets were about even on you. I told everyone you'd be in heaven before they embalmed you. Except for the women, you probably didn't commit another mortal sin in your life. Of course, you were dead when the priest gave you the Last Rites. Don't know if they work on a dead person. Let's hope they do." 

Faherty hoisted himself out of the guest chair, got on his crutches and headed for the kitchen to call Moira. He stumbled a bit on the rug because he wasn't used to the crutches or all that Bushmills. 

"Hello, Moira," Faherty said when she answered the phone. "Could you drop back here for a minute. I've got an unexpected guest who needs a lift. I think you'll be happy to see him. I have to go to bed. We've got McGillicuddy's funeral Mass tomorrow. Wouldn't want to miss that."

Moira said she'd be right over. Faherty, heading back to the parlor, tripped over his dachshund. The dog had slept through all the commotion with McGillicuddy. Joe landed with a thud on his forehead. He never moved.  

The next day Moira blamed Joe's death on his crutches and indeed that was part of the problem. No mention was made of the Bushmills, however. Moira, who had found the body, found the half empty bottle and took it home. 

As Joe's driver for three years Moira thought she deserved the liquor. But she wondered who the guest was that Joe had called about. When she got to his house, there was only the dachshund snoring next to the body.



Chelsea Market 2    | by Jeff Williamson



At Fifteen, Visiting My Uncle Frank     | by John Grey


Preserve, he says, though why I don’t know

Preserve books no one reads. 

And farm implements from the twenties.

Letters from dead people.

Post cards from the living.


He shows me to his room

where a hundred butterflies are pinned behind glass.

This is the rarest in my collection,

he says, pointing to an insect with purple wings.

It’s no more common

for me having seen its corpse.


In a cabinet in the cellar,

he’s stored a hundred empty beer cans

representing fifty seven countries

some of which no longer exist.


And then there’s his great grandfather’s pipe,

weaving loom, bottle tops, horse shoe

and the sheet music to “Be My Love.”


And wouldn’t you know,

on my way home,

a pretty blonde girl smiles at me.

Ephemeral, half-meant...

I’ll keep it.





Wheelchair     | by M. Krochmalnik Grabois

Her husband is a quadriplegic

so alongside her Capezio sticker

on their van’s bumper

I’d rather be dancing

is his handicapped sticker

a blue wheelchair


In the kitchen he drinks vodka

occasionally gives a sip to his old Airedale

the stinkiest dog in the South


She comes in to make dinner

and he tells her that he’s going to create

a new kind of zoo

one inhabited solely

by different varieties of snails and slugs

He’s going to get

the largest banana slugs known to man

and show them in black light


She says: no one will come to a zoo like that

People want to see animals moving around


Slugs and snails move around, he protests

only slowly


They get into an argument

which turns violent

Drunken and diabolic

he powers his wheelchair into her legs

runs over her feet

In pain she falls to the floor

and he bashes her body

with his foot rests


She calls the police

but they refuse to arrest him 

The neighbors up and down the street

see the squad car  

and go: tut tut

That awful woman is abusing

 that nice paralyzed man






Wondering What the Future Will Bring     | by Dagmar Hrickova



Emmy Body Paint 11     | body paint by Israel Morales; photography by Angel Velazquez



Catechhuman Waiting Baptism on Easter Eve     | by Tinca Veerman



Emmy Body Paint 21    | body paint by Israel Morales; photography by Angel Velazquez



Nikki     | by Michael Lee Johnson



Watching doves

peck away,

all day long at

a full bowl

of mixed seeds,

out on the balcony

of my condo,

my cat curls

up on the sofa,

after a meager

meal of house flies-

and dreams of

sparrows with

wide soaring









'We Govern We' by Mulligan's Island     | music video directed by Jeffrey Blake Palmer



Orange Cat     | by John Kaniecki

I saw her not as before

Not the well groomed feline

Sweetly purring at my door


Cast out from home

Abandoned to roam

A feat hard for a street savvy cat

Let alone, one who has known

Comfort and only that


No winter’s bitter freezing snow

No hunger or soaking rain

No wandering to and fro

With anxious worried pain


So I contemplated

The Sahara and lands far away

And I hated

The evil they


It makes not sense

Babies die of starvation

While others live in crowded slums

And when they strive for salvation

The horror of war comes


So I left my refuge secure

And fed her milk in a bowl

I could do no more

Except mourn in my soul



Portabello Market / London, UK     | by Sarah Kayss