monkey see monkey

while i was under
they flashed the whole thing on a screen
from earliest deep till
what’s that phrase? kingdom come
it’s all in the noodle (subject to retrieval)
‘n’ kept whispering in my ear
there’d be no pain when i woke
‘n’ i’d be sure to like the changes
strange how i was out don’t know how long
‘n’ yet could hear ’em

ma doesn’t know how long either
but says now i look like something
others pulled the feathers off
‘n’ she has a point even if she stretches
they did remove a lot of hair
‘n’ it won’t grow back shaggy
cool most places ‘specially round the you know
but i’m warming to the idea of
distinguished sexy savvy

i saw myself in the river
‘n’ there’s no scar on the skull
no marks on my jaws
my legs wow! arty as a giraffe’s
‘n’ a straight back
they used lights to do it

pa says i’m degenerate
‘n’ go trapeze on someone else’s branches
haven’t the heart to tell him
my swinging days are over
if replays on the video are true

and truth they said as revelation
is what they ‘n’ i are after
every one ‘n’ every thing has a name
is a presence delights in its spirit
earns a place or goes down
stripy’s a zebra (i like the sound of that)
black in your face wriggler a mamba
‘n’ the light felt as much as seen that drives
dark away ‘n’ makes the sky pink ‘n’ the rocks
gold a while is dawn

they confided
i crave beyond necessities
fruit from further trees (the first misjudged)
should i take their word for it?
all i gotta do is stamp my authority give orders
‘n’ they’ll bring exotic fowl served on Meissen
pour claret in golden bowl
paint my nails the colour of parrot cheek
sweeten my face with powder
(must distance myself from ma ‘n’ pa)
wear cotton with a Y down there
to keep the chill off willy
‘n’ for propriety even if i don’t mean it

i already practise gossip ‘n’ backbiting
know the tools of war
i’ve licence to kill anything in my path
or just for the hell of it
adaptation’s not half bad
when minders give you a leg up

there was one thing i’m not sure i got
just before they brought me round
they said headmasterish ‘we’d rather not
have to come back so we’re counting on you
remember you have choices’

27 thoughts on “monkey see monkey

  1. This is fantastic, John – a great take on evolution, and I like your ending. Yes, it’s a pity we can’t go back and make some rather better choices. Oh, well, I guess it won’t be that long (evolutionarily speaking) before something else comes along and takes our place.
    Good luck to them is all I can say!
    Hope you’re keeping well
    All the best

  2. I most certainly question the choices we have and if there really choices. This is poetry at its best John.

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