POEMS OF DAVID WILEY     


MONKEY 

 

For eons I have followed Monkey

and Monkey has pursued me

and sometimes we have met and danced

in metamorphic aerial embraces 

 

or struggled hair tooth eardrum pore to pore

in always/never thunderstruck abyss

and always Monkey won it was his nature

world of fantasy appearance disappearance

breathing through his ears inviting everyone

to join mad escapades in fields of cinnaba 

 

in palaces of jade in China-Mexico

on beaches where we met to tell Cortez

there is a monkey savior

and gold is not the only substance in existence 

 

filling him with rum-peyote to admit

his captains climbed Mt. Popo in their armor

just to prove that subjects of the King and Christ

could carry their gravity everywhere 

 

or that the motive of their conquest

by starvation cannon cross and sword

was white man's lust for darkskinned slaves

to manufacture steelclad teddy bears

on Toledo assembly lines

for the children of the courts

who are everybody's children now who wonder 

 

where did the day that left the night laughing

at a choice between the sea and the mountain go? 

 

and stood watching in Veracruz

while a big tableau of picaresque characters

with Monkey as Yama himself

chased me away from my lover

away from myself 

 

and vaporized in New Orleans again and again

vaporized like termite armies

melting into salt skin in the night

into tears into Mind 

 

because I was chased by Monkey

because he made me laugh

because he made everybody laugh

because his antics struck a note of doom

in the hearts of those who go to the circus

once in a decade 

 

because magnolia scent in Jackson Square

at midnight made me want to wander

arm-in-arm through Africa Japan,

Grand Canyon reading room

with talking dogs and dreamers

of Adamic realm

where no one ever stood before 

 

where we could sit unbludgeoned

by the screech and scrape of leaden book

and gold ataxia the fragments of our Monkey's

dead cosmology and ask each other one by one

eternal question: tell me what you've seen 

 

and let the muco-pus of history's human dread

disease run freely to the seas and be absolved

in climbing exercises in the trees

where we will fast and scratch and Monkey then

will ask our choice of discipline 

 

like Drinking Bride's Milk

Gathering the Yin

Patching the Yang

or Rubbing the Navel to Pass Air 

 

but will these make us immortal?

so we say so I have asked all other poets

wild in hands to grasp the world to turn the key

to Royal Street Wildlife Museum

enter screaming one long BRREEOOUUGH

from Monkey's belly 

 

Monkey's maelstrom whirling inward outward

one fierce look horrific word that sent me back

to Africa to Rimbaud's gray-green poet's grave

ennobled by the tribal plexus city walls

of bones of saints of blue-black Jesus children

evaporated in the air of plague 

 

and vision yet of Monkey riding naked in a car

out of head out of mind to perfect forest

by the sea and everybody laughing

deliriously in tune or not 

 

entering through nostril ear and eyeball

growing in the darkness heart of water Capricorn

apotheosis just to get together in the bus line

maps of cities needless of the angry

Patagonian volcanoes 

 

forgetting that the lens of arts is not yet clean

but what is clean and what will ever be transparent

but the eye of GOD? 

 

the eye itself the source of water heaving

upward underground in to the billion telephone

sensations of the skin 

 

like primer agua in the found of Las Estacas

paradise the bones and flesh of Toltec time

ground under here in the earthly reproduction

dreams of paradisiacal aristocracy 

 

royal spirit mind imagination ultimate escape

and holy war relentless radar Monkey

devastation Heaven system with a wisdom trick

distilled and learned by cheating at Their game 

 

the one I go to know with Monkey

flying over all the words of history

all the pointless conversations

printed on the tongue with YES 

 

and WHY upon this treadmill WHY electric eyes

phantasmagoric sex of WHY and solid touches

in the apoplectic nighttime corners WHY

it isn't over nothing ends and WHY all novelty

is oblivion and WHY the Aleph in the gutter

up the street a huge machine wielding a broom

and WHY relieving winter blood transfusion rising

in the Colorado plains like egg in mouth?  

  

So I met you Monkey bowing to the Four Quarters

and we sat down and we spoke

and I said I don't want to be President

and you said I don't want to be Pope

and we said I don't want to be King

and the one thousand languages of the world

poured through our heads 

 

and the one thousand stories were told

upon the mountain

and we watched the boy herding his cows

across the river in Abyssinia

and it was not necessary to become

dragons or hippogriffs anymore

and we said YES I am that I am.  

 

 


All images and text copyrighted.  All rights reserved.    Copyright 2002 David Wiley.