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This poem, "Quarry," was originally featured as part of a project called 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, a blog project by Dean Rader that mixed politics and poetry. When the blog was printed as a book, the poems were taken down, but "Quarry" is a poem that is best experienced in an electronc environment so it can be erased and unerased. Iris Law at the Lantern Review Blog picked the poem up in her post about erasure and self-erasure. Here is the poem—you can use your mouse to click on the poem to unearth what's been buried.

Quarry for the Hungry Monkeys

Poor families can’t afford to live like Brontosaurus
because old bodies no longer generate fireworks
for monkeys. Sepulchered in the stomach’s sad
hollow, butchered remains of peasants are winnowed,
divided among luckier apes who cannot digest
the poverty of dinosaurs. Those creatures have
no memories of primates perched gluttonous
at their desks—that movie with Ronald Reagan
as the father of all chimpanzees, Marie Antoinette as
that princess who bobbles on about dessert before losing
her head. Each morning, the gibbons feast on foreclosed
homes, on faded polaroids of theropod scraps jettisoned
in the swamp. Under the cloche of night, here is a jawful
of coffee-stained teeth and hoary mugwort. Here is desire,
shaped like that simian taste for Triceratops and primate
skullduggery. Here is Charlton Heston’s America—allegory
disguised thin as an astronaut unboxed and duped
into discovering his landlady buried in the strata.
Here is George W’s America—a fortune for monkeys
greedy for meat as General Motors lays off enough
livestock to fire up indigestion in the fattest
orangutans. Perhaps spear gashes in prehistoric bone
shall not still the mouths of long-vanished sauropods,
tinny voices from the Jurassic sparking a plot against
apes looking for supper. That dithery brain recalls
eating giant ferns, dreading thatchy predators who stalk
with expensive thumbs. That leathery body remembers
living on the skids without worry about last paychecks,
but here is a family portrait, a smorgasbord for gorilla
billionaires—here is a mother worried about her mortgage,
father about social security, junior about extinction.

 

99 Poems for the 99 Percent
Edited by Dean Rader
99: The Press (July 14, 2014)
ISBN13: 978-0988266223
99 Poems for the 99 Percent Blog

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© 2014 W. Todd Kaneko. All Rights Reserved.