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Monkeys Torturing Diminutival Man

A sign hangs across my back,
a rope an aggravation around my neck.
Terrible posture, almost crawling, decrepit,
I search for people who can easily rip me apart.
(Because I can’t find any others.)
Signs are spat all over me in layers.

Evil monkeys come from all around, reading
instructions for how to tear down my spirit
and delete the hope, written by Mother
so many years ago.
Mother was thorough and the signs stick.
With heavy prayer, they were to stay under
my four-poster with balls of dreaded,
deadly dust and musky mattress bottom
which was well-known in all its deformities.

Defenseless water balloons, filled
with what was left of love, love in liquid,
running down pitiful, worn, shameful cheeks.
Monkeys, joyfully squeezing the balloons,
loving the pops, cackling,
blaring laughs from trombones.

Why could I not leave the instructions
in some desolate parking lot, in the rest area
off of I-70 where I camped to find out if I was alive
or if it was only the stars that were alive?
The stars blared at me,
and I ran, alive, ran away from humans,
but the signs stayed on me.

These monkeys have Mother’s spirit. One time
in hundreds through months, I feel that I’ve done
great things. No in-between for the other hundreds,
the monkeys gnawing and slashing
at what is left of my spirit, they know Mother’s tune.
How do they know?
From so far away,
from so long ago?

I struggle to be alive like the stars as I work
to slink the signs somewhere dark,
pulling the rope away,
but the monkeys know me and I can’t hide,
and they are slicing and dividing me
over and over
by two, until there seems to be nothing.
The liquid is almost gone.
My spirit is a tiny speck,
a fly under a humid mattress, begging for air.

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  1. #1 by Evelyn on August 21, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    “The stars blared at me,
    and I ran, alive, ran away from humans,
    but the signs stayed on me.”
    Magnificent. Really perfect.

    • #2 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:21 am

      I am grateful for your comment. It counters a lot of doubt.

  2. #3 by Carl D'Agostino on August 21, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    This is quality, real deal,here. Top tier.

    • #4 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:22 am

      Your words help me learn. This one came from a different place.

  3. #5 by abichica on August 22, 2011 - 5:20 am

    i love it.. i think you should get published.. 😀

    • #6 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:23 am

      Those are big words, and I appreciate your kindness.

  4. #7 by scribbla on August 22, 2011 - 4:06 pm

    I’m with the others. This is superb. So much so, I think it may be your best yet. Fantastic writing.

    • #8 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:25 am

      These things are hard for me to see or to understand, but your words are important to me and you help me learn.

  5. #9 by pattisj on August 22, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    I think many of us can identify with these feelings. Lovely the way you worded them.

    • #10 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:26 am

      Thank you, Patti. Your comment is very kind.

  6. #11 by Find an Outlet on August 22, 2011 - 10:29 pm

    Carl, you’ve hit a central nerve. You had me at diminutival.

    • #12 by Carl on August 23, 2011 - 6:28 am

      Ah, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s nerves, but I am lucky for your reading and comment. There were other, more bombastic words in place of diminutival, but they were too harsh.

  7. #13 by Pamanner on August 23, 2011 - 9:22 am

    “Mother was thorough and the signs stick.
    With heavy prayer, they were to stay under
    my four-poster with balls of dreaded,
    deadly dust and musky mattress bottom
    which was well-known in all its deformities.”

    Whoa! Incredible imagery and creativity!

    • #14 by Carl on August 24, 2011 - 9:44 pm

      Those are kind words from you. I appreciate your reading and commenting.

  8. #15 by Indigo Spider on August 23, 2011 - 9:42 am

    So many marvelous, astounding lines and images combine to make this a stunning piece of writing. I love all your poems/essays but this is definitely on the top of the list of favorites. Do you even have a clue how talented you really are?

    • #16 by Carl on August 24, 2011 - 9:46 pm

      You are so generous with your words. It helps me and keeps me going. I don’t think I have talent, but I love writing.

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