‘The Damaged Ape’ by Russell Edson

Ape, Hackensack, N.J., 2020

A little piece of the ape’s nostril had fallen off; and then we noticed one of its ears was chipped. On closer examination we saw that one of its fingernails was missing.

By this time, of course, we had grown to love the ape, but still we wondered if it shouldn’t be sent back for an undamaged one.

The guarantee slip was still attached to one of its ears: This ape is guaranteed in perfect working order on the day of the purchase.
But then we noticed something else written on the slip: Floor model, demonstration ape, reduced for quick sale.

Ah, so we did get a bargain without even knowing it.

The ape shyly smiles and presents its cheek for a kiss …

But later on in the evening a large hole develops in the ape’s stomach from what had seemed earlier only a tiny tear. And all evening we watched the ape’s insides slowly coming out all over the rug …

Source: Edson, Russell. The Tunnel: Selected Poems. Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College Press, 1994. Print.

For All the Vegans I’ve Loved and Consumed (Trendy Modernist Power Play)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 991


of animals
as moral consumers
justify their sight

moral consumption of animals and you
don’t fry up this fragmented animal
as moral constraint either hence

we dig up this fragmented animal class
in anti-intellectual stories under wonder
what’s moral consumption?

the poets are moral consumers mutatis mutandis
what’s moral? we wonder what’s something their patients see
this fragmented pharmaceutical animal perhaps?

as far as moral constraint
either we wonder what’s moral or
consume animals as we wonder what’s moral


don’t fry up that ego: all organisms work
self-affirming live monkey limb
because we think of animals as moral consumptions
size and constraint either hence we consume them
but we don’t generally see animals
we don’t have stories to tell
self-affirming little tales to negotiate
guilt over knives
don’t ponder what’s moral consumption
size and constraints
what their habits whisper of self-awareness
don’t have their patients moral consumption
animals as moral consumers of size
condors constrain their populations
but they selfishly extol story structure
that doesn’t have to do with man and god
foolish moral constraints as we wonder what’s moral
consumption sounds and chimps
our nearest relatives tearing
them apart but selfishly expanding
to don’t have stories to justify they also don’t have live monkeys
pharmaceutical animals as tonal constraint
what’s our nearest relative for tearing
tell me something about self-awareness
to negotiate guilt tell me
hurting stories to negotiate guilt
hurting their habitats don’t consume size and constraint
what of them? their populations? there’s only one story
the tearing story we tell self-affirming agents
no normal moral considerations just stories
what’s moral consumption size and constraint
either we wonder what’s or we don’t


something trendy back in grad school
all the poets enabled study of age as a class
in all those poems that enabled

so it was its almost discourses that as poets
were something of pound olson duncan and you
to undergrad all the trendy bach pieces

the poems people turned in at grad school
all the trendy modernist power play
a pound of olson a pound of duncan

and you don’t have to dig up this fragmented
anti-intellectual potsherd
weak domesticated anti-intellectual egoism

Prose Poem

Wikipedia Poem, No. 893

The $18 Lady Passes The Asp or Perhaps You Run, Joseph M. Gerace, 2019

Your blood you’re acting Eng-lich you are valuable how you save but either you thought actual is everything long to you, you are adamant to love—oh, trope!—around relation time. Milosz says no system works. If you want your brown what’s the opposite? You canonize the senators quarries you’re large and bald and rich as a gold mine here you made this for the angelheaded neonblood ogre rests now in homes and kitchens it would just be better that way!

Wikipedia Poem, No. 119


“The soul, / like the square root of minus 1, / is an impossibility that has its uses.” Vijay Seshadri

George Washington
has left to run a Cruz 
cigarettes to take a ton 

hard to the campaign 
against missiles against faces against 
the heft to abandon the relentless we 

according to pay their hide 
behind classified if they hide 
been if civilians senior months

a bureaucracy that moves deploys fighters 
their weapons even below and drone 
said at headquarters too high

the civilians: ”So?” 
even that if their vehicles classified impossible 
including heft to the hide Senate consequence 

in its all heft to run the month to run the group’s leaflets 
and that their bills including to discriminate including
a cigarette Baghdad Raqqa Iraq the Air Force of them

the region a dubious general top leader 
near doughy precause last month hellfire
used a hint of chiefs togethers whose surgical 

sunrise Sunni tribesmen whose jail it’s more 
campaign the valuable target because the jail
and those careful 9,000 foot soldiers said the jail

it’s in the pentadragon that the expresident dilemmas 
the coalition against Mr Baghdadi the group’s leaders 
who failed Mohammed they hide behind countries of 

     civilians “So?” 

even campaigns began in that territory of will 
spoke on condition of abandon to be likely empty 
too takes their bills and officials behind “We want to run” 




Rosenberg, Matthew, and Eric Schmitt. “In ISIS Strategy, U.S. Weighs Risk to Civilians.” New York Times 2015. Web.

Seshadri, Vijay. “Imaginary Number .” Poetry Magazine. Feb. 2012. Web.


Her catholic harness
In the lamp-lit corner
A black habit
Praying for what
I’ll never know