LNH/TEB: Haiku Gorilla Collected Vol. 1: Unjaned Melody

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 24 11:25:34 PST 2007

VOL. 1: unjaned melody
collecting Haiku Gorilla # 3-64
    by Tom Russell

apes signing with ease
two paws are mute, ridiculed
snow blankets the grass

they call him hopeless
can't play any reindeer games
a sting worse than frost

pretty doctor Jane
won't give up -- snowmen melting
carrot-nose remains

she reads to the ape
like cherry blossoms, love bursts
kisses are stolen

lovers discovered
Jane leaves in disgrace: good-bye
a dry leaf crumpled

other apes shun him
doctors sneer and Jane is gone
a long cold winter

fur matted with tears
the lonely gorilla speaks
blistering sunshine

" worms from mother's mouth
  the taste of spring is bitter
  with no chicks to feed "

excited doctors
an ape that can speak English!
great pumpkins grinning

talking paws jealous
the talking mouth exalted
speak o gentle wind

they give him a mate
her fingertips profess love
crickets can't hear trees

she tries to listen
he feels more alone with her
trees can't hear crickets

like a tiger caged
he yearns for full free summer
plot, pussycat, plot!

he's too valuable
institute won't let him leave
scarecrows 'round his cell

when she wakes, he's gone
guard with the stuffing torn out
swans can't sing but once

his name without sound
her fingers dancing with air
christmas cha-cha-cha

walking on real grass
cold night air, moon on his fur
first time in his life

no last name for Jane
there's no such thing as hopeless
for each leaf, a face

at a library
newspapers on microfiche
the dawn's red promise

'doctor Jane Goodle
of Net.ropolis disgraced'
media monsoon

unlisted number
still, a name and a city
pumpkins come from seeds


"Wretched jellyfish!  He
 must be brought back!  Summon
 Briefcase-Eater Lad!"

briefcase presented
Briefcase-Eater Lad eats it
wheat threshed at harvest

"Tasty.  What's in it?"
"That was your down payment, sir."
spiders spinning silk

library a lead
Briefcase-Eater Lad follows
woodchuck's shadow seen

claiming he's a fed
the PATRIOT ACT invoked
books weeping torrents

newspapers retrieved
destination determined
clouds are people too

the Institute called
files consulted, address found
like a scythe through wheat

Jane answers the door
teeth tearing through his briefcase
a soulless thresher

"Where's the gorilla?"
drools imitation leather
summer swelter swoon

he enters her house
puts sleeping beauty on couch
time to hibernate

keen eyes scan the room
no sign of the gorilla
-- soft! the brown monsoon

no fur on the seat
digested leather spills out
cherry blossoms? no

two-ply quilted love
aching, puckering pink rose
a courtesy flush

too much quilted love
no one foresaw breached levees
montezuma's flood

plunger not working
flooded city abandoned
a bird in the Bush

he seeks sustenance
cheap vinyl embarrassment
cameo apples

bites balsa wood frame
the distinct click of a gun
white lilies grinning

he drops the briefcase
"Talk!" Jane's gun demands for her
cornered cunning fox

"Ten thou per diem
 to bring the ape back alive."
warmth suffocates snow

"But why come to me?
 Haven't seen him since I left."
reply: spring invoked

"You think I loved him?"
Jane laughs: "It was just a fling!"
forgotten acorns

a knock at the door
anticipation of spring
opens: it is he!

" I knocked on each door
  one-by-one til I found yours
  soft sweet summer dusk "

moment's distraction
briefcase remnants disarm Jane
sudden hoary frost

Jane is pushed aside
"You're going down, monkey-boy!"
summer to a boil

" men kill not for food
  or to protect; they strike in
  mindless rage: a storm "

"If you fight or not,
 I'm still gonna take you back."
pristine waterfall

" pigeons do not fight
  neither consent to be caged
  imperious rex! "

the battle is joined!
Briefcase-Eater Lad falters
crumpling like a leaf

half-eaten briefcase
Jane holds it up: "Horse physic.
Husband's a vet." (cold)

hubby's name is Gore
met in winter, wed in spring
she'll always love him

there have been others
horses, dolphins, echidnas
sweet, sweet amplexus

paramedics leave
Jane offers tea to her guest
drink of the dead leaves

" do you love me, Jane?
  will you take my paw and sit
  sleepy autumn eve "

a windless winter
cold and deaf, rendered mute, still
she's run out of smiles

an empty tea cup
oak door closes behind him
a cold orange sundown


the park: grass mattress
the sky: a twinkling blanket
sweet banana dreams

" lost dogs brave the snow
  they paw at their master's door
  the house is empty

  I spoke for you, Jane
  and speaking I was defined
  like shores shape their lakes

  without Jane, no shore
  a lake without, lake no more
  just another ape

  what use is sunrise
  to the dead?  my heart unjaned!
  then why does it beat?

  beats because it does
  and I speak because I do
  it snows when it's time

  I define myself
  I am Haiku Gorilla!
  that is enough! (frog?) "

the news spreads quickly
talking ape in lush green park
dispensing advice


Briefcase-Eater Lad used through the kind permission
of Jamie Rosen.

.         __________
         /          \
        |    TOM     |
         \ RUSSELL  /
          \___   __/
              | /
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         \____/  * | *
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