Monkey Teaches Sunday School



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Monkey Teaches Sunday School on Mondays
(With apologies to Pavlov and his dogs)

Younger monkeys e-mail elder monkey
and expect an answer within two minutes.
Elder monkey drools and writes right back.

He is turned on by the bells and
whistles of his computer.
“Woof! Woof!”
His handlers hand him a biscuit.

Elder monkey has grown to appreciate
tension and abuse:
the systematic beatings,
the shit and foul words hurled at his head.

The working conditions in his temple
kennel are overcrowded.
Elder monkey is overworked.

Yet he has managed to survive,
to stay alive and fight
what he once believed was the good fight.

Now he no longer knows:
nor does he drool anymore
when bells and whistles sound
and his handlers bait him with
an occasional, half-price biscuit.

Monkey Reviews Retirement

Monkey Reviews Retirement


“No more Latin, no more French, no more sitting on the old school bench.”

Monkey chants this famous ditty as he relaxes in the whirlpool bath, a glass of white wine on the tray before him and his faithful tablet sitting beside it.
“The olde order changeth …”  Monkey pauses and takes a sip of wine, “… lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”

“Welcome to heaven,”Monkey lies back in the jacuzzi and the beating waters whirl around him, sending him into a dream world.

No more committee meetings: The unter-monkeys sit in a circle, where all are equal but some are more equal than others.  They pass a lyre bird feather  round and round, weeping crocodile tears and lying through the tight monkey  grins of their alligator teeth.

No more writing reports: The dead text he revises is composed of misquotes, harsh judgements,  double-talk, and outrageous lies.

No more long-term contracts: “Will the defendant please rise. Sir: I sentence you to a term of two years’ detention at this institution, renewable for another two years. And, should you continue to to do well, and should you fail, over that four year probationary period, to fall by the wayside, or to do anything wrong, I sentence you to life imprisonment, till death do you and the institution part. Amen!!!”

No more promotion: Inmates with crowded heads and vacant faces, fools grinning at a universe of folly, paddled in piddle beside him.

No more cabin fever: Monkey has worked for forty years among foreigners and lunatics afraid of the rats who keep him company, devoured by his monkey lust to drive silver knives and forks through the watch springs of their inhuman, foreign hearts.

No more penis envy: They lounge in glass cubicles, checking each other out for size, weight, length, girth, with a roll of the eye, and a casual flicker of a forked lightning tongue.

No more water-fountain gossip: They prefer death by blow-gun, their poison dart injected through hollowed fangs or Chinese Water Torture, the slow drip after drip of poison inserted into ears and veins, a drop at a time, and slowly gathering … until their victim slows down, ceases to struggle, stands there, eyes open, unable to move, poisoned and paralyzed.

No more gala occasions: … gripping cup handles between finger and thumb, enormously pleased to be the center of attention, however clumsily they walk,  in their hired-for-the-occasion, ill-fitting,  black and white penguin suits.

No more macaronic Latin: Caesar adsum jam forte, Brutus aderat; Caesar sic in omnibus, Brutus sic in at!

No more thought police: The Thought Police try to make him change his mind. Others, in blind obedience to a thwarted, intolerant authority, first bully him, then beat him, then bite him till he’s dead.

No more Wittgenstein: Or is it just the act of perception, as Wittgenstein would have us believe, and nothing more, the money always spinning on its metal edge, never falling, the coin on its axis, a new day with its potential,  sunshine or shadow, thrown dice still skittering, a new world  imperceptibly poised in its own making?

No more Camus: “Il faut imaginer l’esclave heureux.”

No more Shakespearean tragedy: Down in the kitchen, the cooking staff are preparing the next nutrition break. As the cauldron boils and bubbles, three old monkey witches dance around the pot and polish that bright red poisoned apple.

No more annual reports: Monkey is not übermenschen, nor is he untermenschen, either. He thinks of himself as honorable mention, not a whole chapter in the book, but rather an interesting footnote to one of those less important pages that abound in local histories.

No more kowtowing to a vacant authority: “Yadda, yadda, yaddathree bags  full … and a fig for the frigging king beneath my frigging cloak.”

No more drugs: The bartender measures poison and monkey slips it skillfully into his veins.

No more avoiding direct questions: When asked where he grew up Monkey will now say “I don’t think I have.” When asked what he did for a living, Monkey will now say“I no longer know.”

There’s nothing more to say. The jacuzzi whirs on and on and Monkey continues his voyage serenaded by the buzzing of the bees as he walks past  the cigarette trees on his way to the soda water fountain.

Monkey Presses Delete



Monkey Presses Delete

Monkey loves walking behind the gorillas.
He loves to see fear in faces, tears in eyes
as the gorillas smash and grab and break down doors.

The gorillas break and enter: and when they do,
monkey simply points and gorillas do their thing:
it’s that simple …

Monkey has a code word he took from his computer course.
“Delete!” he says with delight
and the gorillas delete whatever he points to.

He loves deleting parents in front of children,
though deleting children in front of their parents
can be just as exciting.
He also loves burning other people’s books
and deleting their web pages.

The delete button excites monkey:
maneuvering the mouse tightens his scrotum
and he feels a kick like a baby’s at the bottom of his belly
as he carefully selects his victim and “Delete!”

The gorillas go into action:
ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, seventy years of existence
deleted with a gesture
and the click of an index finger pointed like a gun.

Monkey Throws Away the Keys


Monkey Throws Away the Keys

Monkey is tired of writing reports
that are never read.
He is fed up with frequently asked
questions and their unread answers.
To every lock, there is a key.
Monkey looks at the red and gold
locks of the last orang-utangs
and wonders how to unpick their DNA.

Monkey would give his kingdom
for a key, a key, a little silver key:
the key to a situation, the key to a heart,
the office key, the key to the door,
at twenty-one, the keys of fate,
the Florida keys, the key to San
Francisco’s Golden Gate,
a passe-partout, a skeleton key,
the key to Mother Hubbard’s
cupboard, where she hides dry bones …

On the last day, when monkey leaves work
he takes a lifetime of keys
and throws them down a deep dark well.
As they halve the distance to the water,
he listens to the sound of silence
and wonders if they’ll ever hit the bottom.

Run, Monkey, Run!


Monkey Turns Down Promotion

 “I hereby appoint you head of the asylum.”
The young office monkey with the plastic stethoscope
was dressed neatly in a white sheet.

“Dr. Freud, I presume?” Monkey held out his hand
but his witticism was lost in a flood of water
flowing from the flush and over the floor.

 Monkey stood there, paddling in piddle.
Inmates with crowded heads and vacant faces,
fools grinning at a universe of folly, paddled beside him.

He wiped a sick one’s drool from his sleeve.
The office boy spat on his hands,
slicked down his hair, and placed his stethoscope
on monkey’s heaving chest.

 “You have no pulse.”

“How do you know I have no pulse?
Surely, you cannot hear my heart
for you have a banana stuck in your ear.”

“Speak up!” said the office boy, “I cannot hear you:
I have a banana stuck in my ear.”

 Then monkey felt fear.

Daylight diminished and waters closed over his head.
He spurned the proffered paw,
the life belt thrown by the offer of a new position.

Exit monkey left, pursued by a chorus:

“Run, monkey, run!”