February 20, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Lorie Shaull photo



Michelle Bonczek Evory







Ten little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

The other nine laughed and his inner voice said:

Go buy a rifle shoot ‘em full of lead.


Nine little monkeys playing on the bed

None of them know who’s hiding in the shed

The one aimed his gun before anyone fled

Four little monkeys howling on the bed.


Four little monkeys kneeling on the bed

More room now since the others all bled

One called the doctor but the doctor said

I’m in Florida counting up the dead.


Four little monkeys hostage on the bed

Eight brown wrists tied together with thread

The shooter pulled a pistol to use instead

Three little monkeys bleeding on the bed.


One little monkey pleading on the bed

Tried to jump off got shot in the head

Shooter raised his pistol and then he said

It’s my goddamn right to make deathbeds.








A friend called my poems sad.

And though she meant that they evoke

sadness, which made me sad, I see them

also as the other sad. The one that feels

remorse that they couldn’t be anything

but what they are. Sad. But not the sad

that ends tweets, as though the word itself

was a period. Fake remorse. Sad. S

ad as in I am a better capitalist than you

because I own more stock in companies that drain

aquifers, underpay moms with hungry children,

and produce (produce, produce, produce!)

carbon dioxide—that rev in the engine

drained of oil—vroom vroom goodbye

six species a day, so long regular harvest

patterns, oops there goes another rubber

tree plant. Sad for the plant. Good

for the market. Sad as in the laid off

manufacturing men in Jamestown who all

voted thinking some equation between sanctuary

cities and the fact that they can barely afford

eggs on their disability checks. Sad.

As in oops there goes another white man

complaining that the blacks who live

in government housing, in the projects,

are stealing from the government sad. Sad

as in we sound like the 1980s. As in oops

there goes another pregnant woman

collecting her free money from the government

for popping out babies sad. As in it’s come to this:

each of us staring into the mirror of each other,

Bugs Bunny spiral-eyed, Sylvester the cat

hair-jagged scared, Elmer Fudd angry—

red-faced, rifle loaded.






Michelle Bonczek Evory

Michelle Bonczek Evory is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, The Art of the Nipple (Orange Monkey Publishing); Before Fort Clatsop (Finishing Line P); A Roadside Attempt at Attraction (Celery City), as well as the Open SUNY Textbook Naming the Unnamable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations (forthcoming). Her poetry is featured in the Best New Poets Anthology and has appeared in over eighty journals and magazines, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, Orion Magazine, The Progressive, and is forthcoming in Wasafiri: The Magazine of International Contemporary Writing. In 2015, she and her husband poet Rob Evory were the inaugural Artists in Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park. She holds a PhD from Western Michigan University; an MFA from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University; and an MA from SUNY Brockport. She teaches literature at Western Michigan University, and mentors poets at The Poet’s Billow (thepoetsbillow.org).

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.