FEAR AND THE MONKEY
(an Oui-Ja board poem)
by William S. Burroughs
[From the book 'The Burroughs File', City Lights Books, 1984. Originally written in August 1978 and printed in an obscure magazine somewhere.]
Turgid itch and the perfume of death On a whispering south wind A smell of abyss and of nothingness Dark Angel of the wanderers howls through the loft With sick smelling sleep Morning dream of a lost monkey Born and muffled under old whimsies With rose leaves in closed jars Fear and the monkey Sour taste of green fruit in the dawn The air milky and spiced with the trade winds White flesh was showing His jeans were so old Leg shadows by the sea Morning light On the sky light of a little shop On the odor of cheap wine in the sailors' quarter On the fountain sobbing in the police courtyards On the statue of moldy stone On the little boy whistling to stray dogs. Wanderers cling to their fading home A lost train whistle wan and muffled In the loft night taste of water Morning light on milky flesh Turgid itch ghost hand Sad as the death of monkeys Thy father a falling star Crystal bone into thin air Night sky Dispersal and emptiness.