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Monkey

Note: This poem was created as a performance piece for Poetic Threads: Lady and the Unicorn. Actions are noted by italics.

 

1 - “Stupid Spike” (Smell)

(Enter as monkey)
(Sniff)
Monkey has escape plan
(Sniff)

First
(Sniff)

Wake from dream (Slap)
Wake from dream (SLAP)
(Hrmm)
(Sniff)
Hello unswingable trees
(Sniff)
Hello abstract bird (Sniff)
(Bows, submissive) lion
(Sniff)
Yuck. Spike. Hello spike.
(Sniff)
Lady hello lady!
(Sniff)

Monkey has an escape plan
(Sniff)
Monkey once dreamt of a branch over a small pond rippling like fabric in the breeze
It’s so still here.
Monkey has an escape plan to get away from

(Audience / art gallery attendees)

Ah.
Hmmm
Yes.

(Monkey stares back).

Ah.
Hm
Yes.

(Sniff)
(Sniff)

Monkey can smell your dreams
Monkey can smell the memories
Monkey will claw through cotton and tear silk rather than sew myself to a wall

Come my lady
(Sniff)
Yuck Spike
Spike so dumb spike washes whites with reds
Spike so dumb spike thinks earth is flat because carpet is
Spike so dumb spike is first to say “everyone should think for themselves”
But last to think for himself “Maybe I could be wrong”

Hmmmm
Hmm
Ahhh
Yess
Hmmmm

(Sniff)
(Sniff)

Stupid spike.

(to lady)
Monkey has an escape plan. Before you sew yourself into
Time.

(LION GRABS MONKEYS FOOT)

(SHY, SUBMISSIVE)
Monkey is nothing
Monkey is a beast
Monkey means nothing
Nothing ever eats
Monkey is disgusting
No one ever seeks
Monkey for a meaning
No one loves monkey
No one cares monkey
No one asks monkey
How you doing monkey
Monkey just a stupid monkey
Monkey be the monkey
You wanna see a monkey?
I’ll show you monkey
Monkey has no answers
Dance monkey dance
Monkey has no answers
Dance monkey dance
Chain monkey to a pattern
Monkey dance on the rings of Saturn
You want to touch?
You want to touch her?
You want to touch her?
see no evil
Monkey never saw it happen
(Shh) Monkey pummelled on the lid to get her out get her out.
But she chose to stay inside.
Safer here. She whispered to monkey. Safer here where no one can take her and make her
their bride.
Force her to wed and rape her for life.

(CAUGHT)

 

2 - Stupid Handcuffs (Touch)

Spike is a snitch
Lion is a liar
Unicorn is an overused metaphor anyway

(Choke)
Monkey is sick now
(Choke)
Monkey is dying
(dead) (one eye peeks out)
OK Monkey is not dying but monkey is thoroughly unimpressed.
(Chews fleas)
Shutup dumb fox
(Chews handcuffs)
Stupid chain
Monkey has a plan

In the middle of the night while lion is sleeping, monkey will escape with Lady. Fox with fluffy tail will run behind monkey in case lion wakes up. If lion wakes up fox will be noble sacrifice.
Tadaaaaa.

Help monkey.
Fine.

Monkey and lady can swing from trees and you won’t have to sew yourself to anything.
There will be no strings attached.
Do you really need this flag?
Do you want this spike?
Do you want this tapestry to hang on your wall and never never
never be touched?

They can never never never touch it.
Can never Touch me touch me
Touch us touch us touch us.

(Wrestles against ball and chain) (Discovers fleas)
Dumb fleas.
Fabric is old and there are dumb bugs.

Lady?
I have an escape plan.
Just reach
Out.

 

3 - Not-stupid food (Taste)

(Monkey collapses on floor, picks teeth, smacks lips, burps)

Monkey likes it here with the food.

Monkey has a problem with wheat
Monkey is trying a paleo diet
Monkey has needs
Monkey has wishes
Monkey feels bloated again
You know what happens to monkey if monkey eats too many almonds?
Monkey has a nut allergy
Monkey is going into anaphylactic shock
Monkey needs hospital
No monkey never saw a doctor about it monkey googled it and that’s what was wrong because
Just because
Monkey needs to go to work
Monkey is barista
Monkey knows the best coffee in town
Monkey works at a cafe in a side alley in a converted old tree that used to be a brothel but is now the carcass of an old memory
We sell vinyl as well
Monkey has a seminar on mindfulness in the morning
Monkey keeps a dream diary
Monkey would like to read your tarot
What Chinese star sign are you?
The year of the monkey?
That’s great

 

4 - Stupid Song (Sound)

What is that bad song? Bad dumb song? Silly dumb song?
Birds fly away
Lion pretends to like it
Spike face is hoping to stab itself in the face with the spike
(Covers ears).
Mistress doesn't need song.

Is it Rihanna?
Sounds like Rihanna.

Shutup think-pieces
Shutup old laments
Shutup ideal future
Shutup and listen to the hum of an old gallery at night. Silent as a stone buddha downstairs that
sits and only ever says to himself
“Nailed it”

Listen to the sound of us escaping.

Monkey is wondering what is destiny?
Monkey is wondering why you’re not listening to the plan.
(Angry and upset now)

Shut up!
Monkey wouldn’t blink if the princess was wrapped in a giant rug and left at the bottom of a deep deep deep pit. With a rotting horn and teeth of a lion. And the police would say she was so beautiful. So innocent. But she was just another dead girl wrapped in a blanket to soak up her stink.

Monkey can’t hear a heartbeat.
Shutup
Shhh
Shut up

why is it not a sad song?
This should be a sad song

Is it Rihanna though?

Listen
Listen​ here is the plan.
Make a rope from jewels slide climb down out of the garden into the forest below dressed in lion skin, leap across the moat where alligators snap like orgasms, dig a horn into the side of the mountain with your leap and slide slide slide down onto the back of Cerberus. One head to change the light bulb. One to taste bitter. The other to get drunk at the bar and discuss which shade of purple equals your child is gay.

I have an escape plan.

The princes are lining up outside
You need to do it now.
The sky isn’t this red.
That’s not the sun it’s the cycle of violence.
Masculinity creaking at the lock. They pick at it with their teeth. Men are Leaking from the walls.
This is my plan.
Fling shit at each other and draw blood. I fling shit and draw a trapdoor. Shit escapes through the fingers. Leaking with what we teach to men from the day they are born.
I have an escape plan.
Burn this fabric to the ground so they never make you into a tea towel. They are selling magnets with your face on it
You are sold and you are
whatever it is they think you are and I
I’m just a monkey
Just a stupid monkey who hopes you are safe and happy just be safe and happy and know that you are loved.

 

5 - Stupid Metaphor (Sight)

Why does monkey not belong here?
(Hide at the bottom of the tapestry/stage just like monkey in the picture)
Why is monkey not seen?
Monkey means something too
Sight sense seen sense.
Ahhh
Mmmm
Ahhhh
I
Get
It

Lady looks through sights of a rifle
Mirrors flung in the air like clay pigeons
Each pop is a storm
When it rains we see our reflections falling.

Dumb stupid metaphor
Dumb as a spike.

Lady not God. Lady not Mary,
Lady is broken mirror
Lady is new tooth
Lady new song

Can’t touch no no no
Get in trouble by the gallery
Can’t smell no no no security come
Can’t taste
No eating in here
Nope. Nope.
Nope.

I have an escape plan.

But it’s a choice

 

6 - Stupid Choices (Final sense…)

Lady knows

Lady sewed herself into the future.

(To Lady)
You chose?
This?

But monkey had a plan.
Not a good plan.
Barely articulated.

Here she has all the freedom.
She puts the jewels away.
Puts her heart away.

Puts herself away when the exhibition finishes.
Lady rides the unicorn at night.

Lets her hair out.
Monkey has a plan.
Monkey will watch for the humans to come.
Monkey smells them coming.
Tastes their need
Touches the air.
Monkey hears them opening the gallery in the morning.

Mistress is free

she chose her own thread count.

With a

Lion for a heart.

A unicorn for her dreams.
And a monkey
She sewed a monkey here
Just so there was always
A plan
Always a plan
To escape...

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