Today's poem is by Daniel Groves


        I. Aperture
        The monkey is the only producer of pictures who imitates
        nothing . . . and recognises only the unadulterated pleasure
        of the disruptive mark.

                —Thierry Lenain

That old scene — monkey see and monkey do —
is done. That organizing grind, the grid,
is barred. Guerilla movements must exclude
such cagey, simian similitude,
banana republic exhibitions rid
the colony of artists. It's a zoo.

Or New World Order? Pleased to trace our line
from theirs, the prim revere a primitive —
wrenching, illuminating — by Ape X.
Abstract expression climbing toward its apex?
Creation thus evolving to outlive
our monkish copying? A monkeyshine?

We draw on our background (animals instinct
with second nature — God, the strain), that dark
age of which we — continent, prehensile
detailers, great apologists, with stencil
and rule — make light, for this disruptive mark,
to miss it, feeling, in the missing, linked.

        II. Image
        Featuring the complete line of Canon copiers


Outside the window, sheets of rain, the garden;
inside, the earth-toned ceiling sprouts a patch
of sprinklers, all aligned like silver flowers
to spray the cloud-gray tiled floor with showers
(the copier, alone, may strike a match).
Temps vanish, gone to smoke. I beg their pardon.

Reflecting in a depthless black, I smack
the next original against the glass,
face down, and shut the lid — a blinding light —
its spitting image spits right up, upright.
Dual echoes, out of Catechism class,
reprove me now, my hand laid on the stack:

Salvation in the Information Age?
Or just mass reproduction?
This debate
repeats itself, subsides — CLEAR PAPER JAM
(these damn contraptions). I am that I am;
a copy copies, but cannot translate
the space beyond the margins of each page.

Copyright © 2010 Daniel Groves All rights reserved
from The Lost Boys
The University of Georgia Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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