a tail of tubby tabbies with j. patrick lewis

 #5 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.   

 photo by *k t*.       

Holy Meow!

The king of nonsensical verse is here! Purrrrrrrrrrr.

Yes, I knew that when it comes to exuberant, outlandish, riotously funny poems, J. Patrick Lewis is totally the cat’s pajamas. The man sells underwear, for crying out loud, and even has a wickedly chewy collection called, The Bookworm’s Feast: A Potluck of Poems. Hi-Ho Silver Away!

But (silly me), I never knew about Pat’s propensity for buns — Sticky-Goo Buns, to be precise. For better or verse, it seems our favorite master of the irreverent has a serious yearning for yeast. His Fat Cats procured fourteen tons of said buns at an isle of cinnamon sand, almond bushes and doughnut trees. Never has there been a finer feline feast, a rowdier riot of the rotund. I’ll let the Goo Gourmet dish up the sticky himself:

Not so long ago I published a nonsense story in verse called The Fat-Cats At Sea (Knopf, 1994). It’s the tale of six swashbuckling cats who sail across the ocean in search of the elusive “Sticky-Goo Buns,” which just happen to be their Queen of Catmandoo’s favorite dessert. Sticky-goo buns are also one of my favorite treats.

I dare you to try the recipe below. It’s been known to make people start hopping back and forth on one foot to the county line.  A must for every food group.


I’m Hillary-dillery,
Hillary Hollery over the sea!
A potbellied cat
Delightfully fat,
There’s no one as tubby as me.

Yes, I’m the happy Captain Captain
And these are the adventures
Of my famous Fat-Cat crew.

The First Mate, Razor-Toes Jerome,
Deserves a name that draws
Attention to the rows of cactus
Needles on his paws.

The Cook is Stewart Rottenham,
Alias Rotten Stew,
Who makes a dish that’s perfectly
Impossible to chew.

The Compass-Cat’s in a bunk below,
Buried under maps,
Coloring them with crayons
When he isn’t taking naps.

Lookout Lou writes Post-It notes
Upon a frying pan
And drops ’em down by yo-yo
To the Gunner, Catty Moran,

Who fires catnip cannonballs
Into the midnight sun
So Lookout Louie can shout, “Gadzooey!”
As he catches ’em one by one.

Fat-Cats are long on kindness,
Fat-Cats are seldom rude
Fat-Cats are known from coast to coast
For Fat-Cat gratitude.

Six furry Fat-Cat comrades,
Six favorite Fat-Cat sons!
We’re off to fill —
We will, we will! —
One boatload full of Buns!

© 1994 J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

photo by sweetpea baking co.

And here is the absolutastical marveleriffic recipe for


1 cake of yeast                      Filling:

1/4 cup milk                          1/4  pound butter

1 tsp. sugar                           4 tbsps. confectioner’s sugar

4 cups sugar                         1 tsp. vanilla

3 egg yolks                            1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt                             2 nitroglycerin pills

1 -3/4 cups milk

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of milk. Add 1 tsp. of sugar.

Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes. Add yolks, flour,

salt, milk, and anticipation. Knead until dough is smooth.
Roll dough into oblong. Spread the filling, sprinkle with

cinnamon. Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide side

and ending on the fun side. Seal well by pinching edges

of roll together. Cut roll into 1 inch slices. Place in a

buttered pan and let it rise until double in bulk.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes. Put on a bib,

eat, pat yourself on the back, and say hello to heaven.

(FDA warning: Keep the nitroglycerin pills handy.)


 New books by Fat Cat Pat coming out in 2010.

J. Patrick Lewis is a former economics professor and the critically acclaimed author of more than 60 children’s books, both poetry and prose. Ask anyone familiar with his work, and the words, “prolific,” “versatile,” “expansive,” “witty,” “hilarious,” “delightful,” and “punny” usually come up. He’s one of the few children’s poets who’s allowed to play with his food while playing with his words. Like a wandering minstrel, Pat travels from blog to blog, making surprise appearances and constantly winning over new fans with his distinctive brand of the serious and the silly. He claims his favorite foods are his mother’s apple dumplings and lasagna, but the Queen of Catmandoo would beg to differ. Due to today’s bounty of buns, I’m permanently stuck on him.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.



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