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From The Great Apes (Broken Sleep Books, 2022)



tell us how to end this horrible nightmare

force us into an improved submission

where we learn to accept the providence that eats

the other stuff as metaphor 

for funny naff distractions

for no orangutan ever put their hand up to offer an opinion

and no orangutan claimed

sought, beckoned, beasted

it sits with a base so firm one would not move to attempt



when it is

you might as well stay because you won’t eventually be able to

smile? the big boy

is overhead all apart from love

orangutan won’t fight, say what you like

it won’t be had

a wingspan stands before insult

though orangutan whispers to his followers

monkeys, dogs, frogs

even respected by Chimp, Gorilla, Bonobo

the insult is the humans' best invention

and has a right laugh

but the other animals don’t understand

for mystery lies within the parasites

it’s why orangu will swallow us

a brown eyed clarity that shapes wings

to organise

and this has always been the truth

what you seek

deforestation as metaphor for death itself

the kind of creature who invents the word confused

for the sensation of being stumped

rather than being confused

what is the difference between that which invents the word

that is the feeling,

and that which feels the feeling?

a big transformation

orangutan      >          you



SJ Fowler is a writer, poet, and artist who lives in London. The Great Apes (Broken Sleep Books, 2022) is his 10th poetry collection and his 31st book. 

ISSN 2632-4423


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