The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe White-Tufted Marmoset - Issue Fifteen
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The White-Tufted Marmoset, photo from Christian ArtusoThe White Tufted Marmoset is a New World primate who lives in the forests on the Atlantic coast of southeast Brazil. Of all the marmosets, they have the southernmost range. They have a grey-black skin, a touched tail and remarkable white ear-tufts which flop over more distinctly than the Common Marmoset's. They live in the coastal forests up to a sea-level of 500 m. They are diurnal and arboreal, living almost all of their life in the trees. They live together in small groups of two to eight animals. Their size ranges from only 14 to 18 centimeters and weigh around 400 grams. Their diet consists of tree sap, fruit, insects, eggs of birds, flowers and spiders. Common Marmosets have long limbs and tail which they use for climbing and have specially designed teeth for extracting gum from trees. Distinguishing characteristics of common marmosets include white ear tufts, and a white blaze on the forehead. Little is known about their reproductive patterns. Gestation is approximately 170 days and births are typically of twin offspring.




In 2003 the New York Times suggests that Americans buy
duct tape to guard against chemical attack.

They are having a war against evil
and need me onboard. They tell me
to buy duct tape to fix the windows
and doors against the chemical arsenal
that will rain from the sky. They warn
of nosebleeds and death. I want to know
if they mean and how some people mean or,
or if they mean it more in the traditional sense.
No one at 911 has majored in English
Two transfers later, I am talking to DHS,
who wonders who I am and why
I want to know. But all I want is
an answer: Do they mean that some people
will get nosebleeds and some will get death,
or did they mean that everyone will get
a nosebleed and then die some time later?
They say it depends, but I want something
like a percentage. They cite homeland security
and hang up. So I call back and ask
just how long I have left once my nose
is flowing. Is it seconds or hours?
They pull me out of the line at the airport
and throw away the bottle of wine I am
taking to my dad. When they find my
duct tape, they take it and tell me I can
buy more when I land. But I don't want
to be caught unawares. They could attack
any minute, and pestilence will eat my brain.
I watch the all-day news and wait for
the inevitable. In the corner of the screen,
the stock-ticker blips up and down.
There isn't much else to look at. I've been
shut in this house for a week, doors and windows
taped tight. If I am ever evil, I'll also invest
in that sticky silver just in case
being evil isn't all I'd hoped it would be.
But right now I am fine. Nothing goes out,
and nothing comes in. I am ready,
ready for the war, and sleepy.

Todd Heldt's poems have appeared in dozens of print and online venues. In 2009, Ghost Road Press published my first full-length collection of poetry, Card Tricks for the Starving. I live in Chicago with my wife Kelly and two young sons. I aspire to feel okay about things.


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