Dean Young

Original Monkey

I’m working on my vanishing point.
I’m practicing my zenith.
I used to rely on a piece of glass
to plunge into my heart but that’s nothing
compared to my monkey. Usually
we meet on a bench by the whortleberries
to weep and watch the lambs disappear
into the chasm. Hey, it’s a rotten world
for a monkey too. Just because
you’ve got opposable thumbs
doesn’t mean you can untrip the trap.
My monkey though is very self-involved
so when the glass doesn’t work
and the invisible girders are groaning
and I can’t get back to the old country
of the great works of western art
restored to the luminosity of looneytunes,
I call my friend who’s drunk again
like me like me and my moonbeam.
Wrong answer. Wrong ballistics report.
Wrong club membership. Wrong draconian
countermeasure. Wrong emergency room
where the client in the party hat
blinking blood says It’s nothing,
it’s nothing. I’ll be the judge of that.
We can see that once the work of interpretation
is done, the dream is the fulfillment of a wish
just as the injury is fulfillment of a wish
and vibrating at the speed of E-flat
and unloading heads into the furnace
and realism which is a form of surrealism
on a time-delayed fuse so what I’d like to know
is who’s making all these helpful wishes?
My agony is no sillier than yours
even if it’s riding a tiny unicycle.
All I’m asking for is a fellow monkey
to accompany my original monkey
in his bridal sadness. Once he was one
among many in a tree. Once my piece of glass
was part of a larger piece of glass
which was part of a larger piece of glass
which was…well, you get the point.
As if back there somewhere
was something immense and intact.