Monkey’s Book Burnings


Monkey’s Book Burnings
16 June 2018

Monkey’s Book Burning
(Remembering Cervantes’s Scrutiny of the Library
and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451)

Who burnt Monkey’s books?
Who took them from their shelves,
evicted them into the courtyard,
built them into book stacks, like hay,
then applied gasoline, and a lighted match?

Monkey watches in horror
as smoke and flame devour his beloveds.
He tries to approach, but the fire is too hot.
One book jumps out from the smoke, still smoldering,
and monkey snatches it and carries it away beneath his coat,
the fire burn branded into its cover,
the skin still sizzling on monkey’s hand.

How many books were burned that day?
How many monkeys now walk in the woods,
trying to re-create their lives,
circulating their memories by word of mouth?

Moth is to candle as book is to flame.
Monkey runs his hand in and out of the candle.
He recalls the bonfires in the streets.
He coughs through the throat burn of smoke.
He touches the blistered scars of flame.


12 thoughts on “Monkey’s Book Burnings

  1. Roger: What a beautiful project! What a dramatic difference between silently reading poems, and hearing them read by the author. How they burst into colour when read with energy and knowledge of their message. Would that more poets could give such voice to their work, instead of the usual poet-drone. More! -j

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


    Liked by 2 people

    • Just left me a bit breathless too, John. Everything from the Spanish Inquisition, the Conquest of Mexico (especially Oaxaca) Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Krystallnacht … and it’s still happening … we destroy the knowledge that we don’t wish to believe in …

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s