Andean Night Monkey Night monkeys are found in the Andes range throughout
South America. Night monkeys inhabit evergreen tropical rainforests and
deciduous scrub forests, as well as habitat along rivers. They prefer
dense middle-level canopies and understories with tangled vines that provide
cover for sleeping sites. They also like hollows in old trees (Note the
photo). Night monkeys eat mainly fruits, but also consume leaves, flowers,
insects, tree frogs, spiders, bats, birds, and eggs. They forage for food
at all levels of the forest, from the canopy down to the forest floor.
Night monkeys are hunted for their meat and fur by native people and poachers
and are sold as pets and used for medical research. The IUCN lists the
Andean night monkey as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in
the wild, because of small populations and habitat destruction from deforestation.
with an elevator's opening
and backwards they hammer
as the metal doors ricochet
what was rat-a-tat-tat,
was it not?
Or did he really not say,
that Nazi skin head
in an instant's other side:
"I'm not riding in there, no way,
not with that fag."
Try it another way.
Up one more floor, than three, two,
and attempt to parse, re-phrase,
for was I just not riding
with my own business to mind,
and no other occupant hearing
words leaving me so riddled
though some shy smile deflected,
tried staying in preoccupation:
For instance, that woman beside me,
spilling chips from her bag,
her tall bearded gray friend's laugh
a rescue rope, yes, as each Frito
layered her dyed blond curls,
and the older Civil Servant
across from them, her eyes too
were rolling behind lenses
of bemused granny light,
so maybe I imagined it all,
I wonder, stepping, not stumbling,
from the elevator's freight,
and the Baldie's hateful words
were only a compiled lifetime
of memories his gaze relayed in laughter
to his slim stooge chum, in on the joke,
mocking, for did I not cut a funny figure
open in my love for another man,
shrining my partner's photo there on my desk,
with his grandkid's a triptych
in plain cubicle sight?
"Gay." Maybe that was the tired punchline.
"I'm not riding in there. He may try something."
Or did I simply fill in the blanks
for this is my workplace
where he's stared, tittered with whispers,
and likewise encouraged others.
But why be paranoid, oversensitive?
Why, softy, take persecution and bank it?
What authority have I if the rest was just hearsay
after the definite: "in there, I'm not getting."?
Yes, the rest simply inference from being his butt
to his buddies for a month,
and he, the sniper, of that macho lunchroom team.
No, this is not the opus
I ever sought to make
of white collar bigotry or the crimes in ties
with secret desires behind wives and keyboard decoys,
a men's room player, one of the down low boys.
No, as a lock operator controlling flows
so boats may go and the current stay stable
for the surrounding docks,
I shall cleanse my heart from the pestilence
of vengeance, cleanse and let go
to find wisdom's difference in an unjust world.
Yes, so I write, striving for betterness
of some spiritual sort, but meanwhile report him,
file a complaint, and grieve, and grieve
that such waste of earth's abundance
is still this stupid stones and sticks
vs. the hurt in calling calling names.
Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer and maker of short collage-films
living in NY. His latest Amazon release, "Our Book of Common Faith", a
poetry-art hybrid, explores world cultures/religions in hopes of finding
what might bond humanity as opposed to destroy. Stephen has also joined
the internet "It Gets Better Project" project on youtube, with "Our