by Lee Nash

Dear son

I’ve taught you how to iron a shirt,
to boil an egg, to be on time, to apologize,
to pray, to pry a thorn so it doesn’t hurt;
I’ve taught you grit for the tough goodbyes.
I’ve shown how to lift a stain
and shown you stains that won’t go away.
I’ve taught you that failing means trying again,
and if someone invites you, don’t overstay.
I’ve warned you to read before you sign,
and urged you to work to stay in the black.
I’ve taught you to twist as you pour the wine,
and nagged about laundry, granny and plaque,
to get it checked and make copies of keys.
If you need a reminder, call me please.


Keith Chen and the monkey brain

Research economists
teamed with psychologists
aiming to study the
mercantile mind;

chose as their subjects some
Capuchin monkeys and
cotton-top tamarins
(creatures of lure).

Monkeys are partial to
marshmallows, cucumbers,
peanuts and grapes, and they
soon got the gist.

Using a system of
levers, rewards and a
budget of treats they made
progress until

scientists noticed a
well-known phenomenon:
monkeys began to trade
silver for sex.

What was discovered (in
subsequent tests) was that
monkeys don’t save and are
likely to steal –

habits suggestive of
human behavior; now
these observations led
Chen to conclude:

monkeys learn quickly and
most are astute. Hire a
monkey investor to
manage your loot.




My hair, loose from its bindings,
is the fabric of lost years;
my nails, bitten to beginnings, are now strong.
I smooth my brow,
carve a pediment of grace
on the new facade of my face.
I relax my gritted teeth, throw them
like flat stones to skip along;
ask the root of my tongue for its forgotten song.
When my cells announce their daily circus,
I tell them that their show is perfect;
when my bones ask to dance
with my marrow, I say take your chance.
I am learning to love my blood, its odd and even pulses;
love the warming of my ancient heart.
I’m coming home
to my mind and faithful spine,
my organs clothed in purple.
My brain is nicely balanced on its stem.
I feel my digits clasped in fists, and release them.
I train my thoughts, persistent vines
that, if left and over time,
will mask an artful brickwork.
I kiss the graceful ages of my skin,
press my lips against its calluses.
I close my eyes on torn dimensions;
when I open them, I don’t divide the light.


Photo by Majid Gheidarlou on Unsplash