Monkeys of Emei Shan by Lauren Tivey

Monkeys of Emei Shan

Lauren Tivey

Thieves! Imagine,
snatching the corncob
from the pig-tailed girl,
then having the nerve
to glare at her, screeching,

or hassling the fruit seller,
ceaselessly attacking
his stores, his protective
stick in motion. You
hairy little bastards.

This is one of the four
sacred misted mountains,
where monks meditate,
and naturalists connect
with the earth, you know.

People come a long way,
in special tourist buses
belching smoke up the
winding road plastered
with highway signs,

to buy monkey puppets
at stalls lining the concrete
path to the summit. And
you steal a guy’s camera?
Keep your hands away,

we don’t need your shit.
I even saw a youngster
clutching a dirty diaper,
sucking out the contents
with relish—true story—

from the piles of garbage
near the overlook, before
leering at the crowd with
a smeared face, as cameras
clicked like the paparazzi.

Disgusting creatures, how
dare you. We paid a lot
to get in here. There are
more of us than you.
Now, act accordingly.

About the Author

Lauren Tivey currently lives in China, where she works as an English Literature teacher in the American program at a Chinese high school. She received an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lowestoft Chronicle, Split Lip Magazine, The Blue Hour Magazine, The Camel Saloon, Red Fez, Hobble Creek Review, and Deuce Coupe, among others. Her chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & Other Poems, was released in 2011 by Big Table Publishing. She lives for poetry, photography, travel, and adventure. You can find her at