Everybody's Monkey
#1
is on Everybody’s back,
an idiot rain of random claws
with an inconsequential stare,
a wind of hunchback fictions
it twists our skeleton like handlebars,
shrieks to its gods
when we follow the heart’s track,
knocks our brains against eyes of flint.

We pray to a liar’s moon
to pour down its dancing bullets
on Everybody's backwards crucifixion
until Monkey makes another leap.

And so the Circus goes on,
on a flat earth beneath a tent of stars
no trapeze, no clowns, no elephants,
just a Ringmaster 
with a curious ape-like gait.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#2
Is this poem about a circus?
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#3
Hi TqB,

This is great stuff. I like your capitalisation of the E and all the imagery. And I always like a bit of shrieking in a poem.

I was going to explain a few things to Maj, but I see he's been banned. Ah well.
All best,
Leaf
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#4
(05-19-2021, 03:31 AM)Leaf Wrote:  Hi TqB,

This is great stuff. I like your capitalisation of the E and all the imagery. And I always like a bit of shrieking in a poem.

I was going to explain a few things to Maj, but I see he's been banned. Ah well.

Yes, I really wanted to respond to Maj, but I know (sometimes) when I'm being trolled.  Actually his comment was unintentionally funny in what it revealed about him.  

Thank you for the encouraging words.  To critique my own poem, "curious ape-like gait" is probably a cliche, but I couldn't think of a better description.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#5
Maj is a funny chap. I think he has trouble understanding a few things. Well, I suppose I should write about him in past tense now.

I like the ape; it puts me in mind of Poe's 'Murders in the Rue Morgue', which makes the poem doubly sinister.
All best,
Leaf
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#6
I am still making sense of this poem about a circus? Taking psychedelics in the rain? A terrible manager? Capitalism?
It is a super fun read, and I love how you play with the imagery and words.
Its been fun reading some of your work!

Bunx
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
--mark twain
Rob Cave
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#7
Hello,

I like how you took the idiom of "the monkey on the back" and expanded the metaphor.  Instead of "getting the monkey off the back" as the saying goes, the narrator suggests we are trapped by them, that we all have problems we can't shake off, that claw at and twist us up inside.  I thought most of the imagery worked very well to further the metaphor.  

I know this is not in critique, but a few lines were confusing to me and I couldn't follow the train of thought that connects them to the rest of the poem.  It may be my own faulty reading, but I'll point them out in case it is helpful to know what landed and what didn't for this reader.  I like the title, but I don't like that it steals the first line of the poem.  I would prefer that the first line be "Everybody's monkey," even if it causes redundancy with the title.  

(05-16-2021, 12:21 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  is on Everybody’s back,
an idiot rain of random claws  
with an inconsequential stare,  Maybe "impassive" instead of "inconsequential?  It's not that the stare doesn't matter, but that nothing matters to the one staring. Yes?
a wind of hunchback fictions  I'm not entirely sure what this line means, other than that the monkey on the back would make one appear to have a hunchback, the wind and the fictions I don't follow.
it twists our skeleton like handlebars,  I love this line.  It's an excellent image of how our problems control us, and how they can seem to reach all the way to our core.
shrieks to its gods I sort of get these next two lines but only vaguely 
when we follow the heart’s track,
knocks our brains against eyes of flint. I like this line.

We pray to a liar’s moon  I like this line.
to pour down its dancing bullets I don't know what is happening here or in the next line.  I cannot understand how it fits into the poem.  
on Everybody's backwards crucifixion  
until Monkey makes another leap.

And so the Circus goes on,  I like this stanza, extending the metaphor.  
on a flat earth beneath a tent of stars
no trapeze, no clowns, no elephants,  a circus without the actual circus, all the other elements are missing except the chaos
just a Ringmaster The monkey on the back, the problem that won't go away, makes the monkey-wearer feel like a hobgoblinesque circus-less Ringmaster: all the drama with nothing to show for it.
with a curious ape-like gait.  Whether he is walking this way because the monkey is weighing him down, or because the monkey is taking over and becoming him, either way I like it.    
Thank you for posting.  I enjoyed this poem.  

--Quix
The Soufflé isn’t the soufflé; the soufflé is the recipe. --Clara 
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#8
(05-21-2021, 02:55 AM)Bunx Wrote:   Taking psychedelics in the rain?  I wish

Bunx

Thanks for the read and comments Bunx.  It is partly inspired by John Lennon's "Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey" but also the circus of my life during a recent "bad patch" as they say.

(05-21-2021, 04:35 AM)Quixilated Wrote:  Hello,

I like how you took the idiom of "the monkey on the back" and expanded the metaphor.  Instead of "getting the monkey off the back" as the saying goes, the narrator suggests we are trapped by them, that we all have problems we can't shake off, that claw at and twist us up inside.  I thought most of the imagery worked very well to further the metaphor.  

I know this is not in critique, but a few lines were confusing to me and I couldn't follow the train of thought that connects them to the rest of the poem.  It may be my own faulty reading, but I'll point them out in case it is helpful to know what landed and what didn't for this reader.  I like the title, but I don't like that it steals the first line of the poem.  I would prefer that the first line be "Everybody's monkey," even if it causes redundancy with the title.  

(05-16-2021, 12:21 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  is on Everybody’s back,
an idiot rain of random claws  
with an inconsequential stare,  Maybe "impassive" instead of "inconsequential?  It's not that the stare doesn't matter, but that nothing matters to the one staring. Yes?
a wind of hunchback fictions  I'm not entirely sure what this line means, other than that the monkey on the back would make one appear to have a hunchback, the wind and the fictions I don't follow.
it twists our skeleton like handlebars,  I love this line.  It's an excellent image of how our problems control us, and how they can seem to reach all the way to our core.
shrieks to its gods I sort of get these next two lines but only vaguely 
when we follow the heart’s track,
knocks our brains against eyes of flint. I like this line.

We pray to a liar’s moon  I like this line.
to pour down its dancing bullets I don't know what is happening here or in the next line.  I cannot understand how it fits into the poem.  
on Everybody's backwards crucifixion  
until Monkey makes another leap.

And so the Circus goes on,  I like this stanza, extending the metaphor.  
on a flat earth beneath a tent of stars
no trapeze, no clowns, no elephants,  a circus without the actual circus, all the other elements are missing except the chaos
just a Ringmaster The monkey on the back, the problem that won't go away, makes the monkey-wearer feel like a hobgoblinesque circus-less Ringmaster: all the drama with nothing to show for it.
with a curious ape-like gait.  Whether he is walking this way because the monkey is weighing him down, or because the monkey is taking over and becoming him, either way I like it.    

Thank you for posting.  I enjoyed this poem.  

--Quix

Thanks Quix.  Some very good suggestions and your reading shows me where I need to do some work to elaborate.  The Ringmaster was supposed to be sort of a mad God, not the Everybody of the poem.  So I need to fix that, among other things that you mention.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#9
(05-16-2021, 12:21 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  is on Everybody’s back,
an idiot rain of random claws
with an inconsequential stare,
a wind of hunchback fictions
it twists our skeleton like handlebars,
shrieks to its gods
when we follow the heart’s track,
knocks our brains against eyes of flint.

We pray to a liar’s moon
to pour down its dancing bullets
on Everybody's backwards crucifixion
until Monkey makes another leap.

And so the Circus goes on,
on a flat earth beneath a tent of stars
no trapeze, no clowns, no elephants,
just a Ringmaster 
with a curious ape-like gait.

The last line is a thunderbolt.
This is delightful
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#10
Hey Tim- Below is an edit I did, and of course, only kept (and rearranged) the parts I liked.  I also put it in 1st person, to, uh, make it more personal: 

Everybody's monkey
is on my back,
raining idiot claws
as it shrieks to its gods,
and twists my skeleton
like handlebars, knocks my brains
against eyes of flint. 

I pray to a liar’s moon,
but it makes another leap...
and so this Circus goes on-
on a flat earth beneath a tent of stars,
no trapeze, no clowns, no elephants-
just a hunch backed Ringmaster
with a curious ape-like gait.


(Obviously, I liked your piece enough that I co-opted it, ie stole it.  I guess I should apologize but I won't, since I won't save it as my own.  That said, I can relate to that Ringmaster).
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