Saturday, March 21, 2009

HISTORY OF MAN

This is a revision of a poem I started about a year ago, and has yet to actually work. But I'm reading some of Russell Edson's poetry right now so I thought I'd give it a go in a new format.


HISTORY OF MAN

a green speck in the sea sprouts two pink fins and unfurls a tail. the other specks make way, wishing they could wish to react. the changeling swims toward shore. the tail splits in two and a lump forms between the fins, the head, eyes like fried eggs and a crooked oyster mouth.

it steps from the water and proclaims itself a he. he raises his arms for emphasis but loses his balance; he falls hard. he is quick to pick himself up, smack the sand from his skin, glance side to side and sweat his first sweat.

a monkey wearing a dark suit has been waiting for him, holding a broom in one hand and a book in the other. the book is open at the middle.

and so it begins, the monkey says, holding up the book to show a picture of a man face down in the sand. the new man understands and starts cussing. he says he had a feeling he was bound to fuck up history.

the monkey snaps the book shut and slips it into his jacket pocket. yes, he says, we’ve known this for some time.

what should I do? the man asks.

the monkey says, support your local zoo.

but what is a zoo? the man’s large eyes are full of tears.

it is where we keep all the broken clocks, the monkey replies, but he has lost his patience and walks away from the man. he uses the broom to brush away his footprints.

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