MT 2-1 Kinder Monkey Garten

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MT 2-1
Kinder
Monkey Garten

Give him a magnifying glass
and monkey nit-picks!
He likes nit-picking.

Hunting for fleas,
he combs through the fur
of less fortunate monkeys.

Monkey see: monkey do,
and what monkey does best
is crack fleas between his nails
and stick his paw in the jam jar.

Here, in the Kinder Monkey Garten,
young monkeys learn monkey skills:
how to conduct monkey business,
how to throw a monkey wrench
into other monkeys’ plans,
how to wear monkey suits,
how to square round pegs
and fit them into triangular holes,
how to build better monkey traps,
how to reinvent the monkey wheel,
again and again and again.

Monkey likes to perch enthroned
at the top of the monkey temple.
Paradise is to squat
on the organ-grinder’s shoulder,
top banana that.

Monkey also likes to visit the rest of the zoo.

 

MT 1-8 Monkey’s Verdict

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Monkey’s Verdict

(After George Orwell’s Animal Farm,
an inverted Mr. Micawber, and a Gower proverb) 

Although monkey has been the primus primate inter pares,
he has never done anything himself,
so he reduces all competitive monkeys to his own level
by negating anything they have ever done.
Only then, will he be their equal.

“All monkeys are equal,
but some monkeys are obviously
more equal than others!”

Here, in the temple’s garbage dump,
monkey finds the lowest of the low,
scratching for fleas and baring
their yellowed, monkey teeth.

They scrabble in the temple’s garbage,
searching for something,
anything to reject yet again.

Monkey writes anonymous letters
with a poisoned pen.
He conceals his hand
and throws ambiguous stones.
He has learned from blows
delivered to another monkey’s head
and has become a wise monkey:

Monkey’s template for survival in the temple:
“Dick other monkeys before they can dick you!”

Primus primate steadily ascends
the monkey puzzle tree:
but the higher he climbs,
the more he reveals
his asshole.

 

MT 1-7 Monkey’s Cage Rage

Chaos

Monkey’s Cage Rage
(Remembering  Dylan Thomas:
“Do not go gentle into that dark night…”)

“Do not go gentle!”
Monkey’s sharp teeth gnaw holes in the safety blanket;
a fist in the darkness, he punches the pillow, again and again,
until the dark fist tires and rage falls silent.

Angry words are forged in iron.
Monkey wants to rage, rage, rage,
against blind bars which bind him.

In dawn’s frail light, cage bars are less visible.
Iron bars seem softer in the silence
of their invisible, silken gloves.

This barred and barren cage
in which he bangs his head against the bars
means all the world to monkey.

But how can monkey lament the loss of liberty
when he wasn’t born free?

 

MT 1-6 Monkey Gets Cabin Fever

 

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MT 1-6
Monkey Gets 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.

Is there a gem concealed in those hearts,
he wonders, a blood-red heart stone,
like the jewel in the crown
of the green toad’s throbbing skull?

Monkey explores new territories
with his knife and fork.
He lifts the flap on the ventricle’s
dark, pulsing cave,
and is aware of bright red sparks:
blood diamonds, perhaps?

Rose petals gently bleed.
Monkey wipes his scalpel on his ruby apron,
and opens another heart,
searching one more scarlet oyster
for the perfect mystery of its imperfect pearl.

 

 

Roger Moore’s Monkey Temple is available on Amazon.

MT 1-5 Monkey Receives Tenure

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Monkey Receives Tenure
(In the Monkey Rhyming Dictionary, tenure rhymes with manure)  

“Gentlemen of the Committee: have you reached a verdict?”
“We have.”
“And is it unanimous?”
“It is, your honour.”
“Then will the committee Foreman stand and read that verdict to this court.”
“Guilty, Your Honour. The defendant is guilty, on all counts.”
“And are there no mitigating circumstances: a failure to complete an assignment on time, for example, or a questionable reference?”
“None, whatsoever, Your Honour.”
“What a pity! What a damnable pity!”

The monkey judge puts on his black wig, and raps with his gavel.
“Will the defendant stand.
I sentence you to a term of two years’ hard labour
at the Monkey Temple, renewable for another two years.

Should you continue to publish, 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 Monkey Temple part.”

The monkey judge coughs.
“There, now. Stop your sniveling. You’ll be reasonably well treated,
as long as you remember your station.
Life imprisonment in one of Her Majesty’s Monkey Temples
is not that bad.”

 

MT 1.4 Pavlov’s Ostrich Monkey

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MT 1.4
Pavlov’s Ostrich Monkey

(after Pavlov)

A memory murmurs deep in monkey’s chest.
They dress him in a grey concrete coat.
Now monkey works at his desk
from eight in the morning
until whenever at night,
seven days a week.

Trees, stripped of branches,
disguise themselves as telegraph poles.

Their sharp wires shred monkey’s mind:
instant messages of work unfinished,
Herculean labours stabled on monkey’s desk.

When monkey asks for a lifeboat,
they send him to government surplus.
He fills in forms in quintuplicate.

Monkey’s laptop has all the bells and whistles.
When bells ring, monkey answers his emails;
when whistles sound, he drools.

Empty coffee cups litter the floor.
Monkey calls for the cleaner,
and a magic broom appears.

Monkey doesn’t want to be swept under the carpet
nor abandoned at the roadside with the garbage;
he sticks his head in the waste-paper basket,
raises his rear end high in the air, and hides,
like an ostrich.

 

MT 1-3

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MT 1-3
Monkey Statue

(after Rabelais and his many experiments with goose down and geese)

Covered in concrete
a conquering hero
stands in the yard.

Pigeons feed on scattered breadcrumbs.
Squabs squat on the statue’s head.
They gift his shoulders with the fresh
white lime of guano,
as dry as dandruff.

Is this what all monkeys will become,
statues in a square, pooped on by pigeons?

The statue stretches out a hand,
clutches at a passing pigeon,
thrusts it head first between his legs,
strains hard, then wipes his …

Monkey takes the hint,
dons an anonymous grey
suit of medieval armor,
and runs.