SIGNS AND PORTENTS: Sheng Xiao
Year of the Monkey I, February 23, 1944: A disquisition on male ejaculation
Monkey god born under the sign of General Zaius, or a zookeeper.
When I was a child I thought as a child, and we laughed ourselves to near-vomiting by going to the Bronx Zoo monkey house to watch the apes jerking off, on their fur, on their food, on each other. Protein is a basic survival tool.
According to Anthony Burgess' version of the execution of Dr. Rodrigo Lopez, the Queen's previously Jewish physician, the Portingale, sentenced to drawing and quartering, did not get beyond the drop which alone killed him, and like Joyce's Croppy Boy, blew his load when his vertebrae snapped at the drop. The hangman probably was docked 10 pence for his miscalculation. The anomaly of what is moral: parents who thought nothing of bringing their children to witness a traitor's prolonged death at Tyburn whilst held in screaming agony ("See what shall sure befall thee if thou eatest not thy spinach?"), but covered their kids' eyes when Lopez spurted like a fire hose and died on the spot. Later, his housemaid would confess without even the threat to see any instruments but Lopez' that Dr. Rodrigo was a basic lustbunny and could do her like a studhorse and keep enough left over to extinguish small kitchen fires. Ah, those oversexed Hebraics who want to doodle a Christian girl!
What did his prowess get him?
Monkey II: October 22, 1944
Choosing a Wife
You ought never marry your familiar, especially if you like to fake Chinese astrological signs. We never asked each other "Yo, babe, what's your sign," but we found out soon enough: Mendoza's guts torn from him post-mortuis to gratify the pissed-off crowd, the executioner sliding around in the Portuguese Jew's semen and guts arrayed like an evacuated bowel. Our marriage: the melding of seed turned to bitterness and the odor of a butcher-shop. Like Uncle Ezra said, "Wrong from the start." He also wrote "Make it new" but was full of shit because there is nothing new but clean underwear.
Monkey III: Monkeys like practical jokes
I made two normal children in the womb of the woman I used to love. I should have been Quasimodo. Did anyone, after watching Laughton in The Hunchback, ever wonder at the star that presided over his making, what thwarted critters could have coupled under the sewer grate to make this thing of fear and hellish vision?
We never go beyond the Face and the hump. We never hear the gorgeous music behind Rigoletto's jester's humpback. We want our women to look like Angelina Jolie or Penelope Cruz. As the Chinese man said when his wife birthed a white-sembling baby, "Sum Ting Wong."
Monkey IV: Monkeys like being healthy
Believing that being sick is a waste of a valuable day,
Monkeys very rarely feel ill. Their constantly active
lifestyles are likely what helps Monkeys remain in good
health. When Monkeys do become ill, such feelings are
generally the result of feeling nervous.
Awaken before visions can dispel. Sick of body or soul. I am aging and
my joints ache. I am the Mass of complaints that concelebrate with my
Monkey V: Career Advice
I have had more jobs than times you've gotten laid. Quiz: describe your last orgasm. I can describe my last job.
Monkeys VI: Relationships
I once skimmed a book about the bonobo, remarkably humanoid chimpanzees, with a photo of two bonobos fucking. The male does not take the female from behind: they assume the Missionary Position and their faces are close enough to touch each other. Extrapolating from the primatologist Frans de Waal, they would be very bad Catholics for they use sex for affection and peacemaking, to settle a dispute, and propagation is only a secondary concern. If a child is born of a given union they may raise it or they may behave like some human parents and destroy it as countless human parents have done, imitatio Cronus, setting aside he wasn't really human but was supposed to be a god. Psychoanalytic tales tell of parents who, like Cronus, devour their children from fear of the rival they have made, or from their horrid realization that the child will be human and not a redemptive god. That story worked in Christian Scripture, but never again. And so the history of child generation is a history of abject and toxic failure that leaves bones scattered about like this is a elephant's graveyard.
Wood Monkey, Years 1944 and 2044
The Wood Monkey have exceptional communication skills that enable them to
interact well with others. They are hard workers who have a keen
understanding of the way things operate.
Caught in a lie. I don't have a clue how anything operates. If I owned a power drill I'd be able to set up a crucifixion assembly line but I cannot operate the goddamn thing without be- coming my first victim. I can't even lace a pair of sneakers for a morning run without catching my fingers in the ties. I don't want to communicate with you unless I'm being paid for it. Communication is a profession. I want to end each discussion with "Good night and good luck" as though I were Edward R. Murrow but I'm grateful I survived 45 years of non-filtered cigaretttes. Why tempt fate?
2044. Who can think forward to age 100? No fond or mad wishes. I expect to be gone, asleep with cabbages and kings in a field.
© Marie Golda
Ken Wolman is a retired technical writer and composition teacher who has lived in New Jersey since 1976, except for almost three months in suburban Philadelphia. He began writing poetry seriously in 1990 at age 46 because his voice was not available until then. Since then he's been very fortunate, and has been awarded a New Jersey State Council on the Arts poetry fellowship, plus a bunch of online and print publications in venues from New Jersey to Tasmania.