The ape didn’t like this idea. He tossed the pencil from hand to hand, because he didn’t think it was safe.
‘I’ll write nothing, I don’t care,’ he said.
‘For the first time in my life, I don’t care.’
But the doctor didn’t want the ape to fool him.
He threatened to show the whole world that the ape wasn’t a god, unless the ape wrote a poem.
So the ape started out, crumpling the paper, wiping away the blue ink as it trickled from the pen.
‘Don’t wipe it away,’ Dr. Bluespire said.
‘You’re only supposed to write something good.’
But the ape was too afraid.
He even made a few crumbs fall on the floor.
‘If you try to run away,’ said Dr. Bluespire,
‘I’ll send you to a psychiatrist.
And I’ll teach you how to write a poem.’
So the ape started again, crumpling the paper and sliding it across the table.
‘You’re not supposed to make the paper crinkle,’ said Dr. Bluespire.
‘It’s bad manners.’
But the ape was nervous.
He closed his eyes, and tried to picture what he thought a poem should be.
‘I can’t come up with a good one,’ he said.
‘It doesn’t matter,’ said the doctor.
‘You have to start somewhere.’
So the ape tried again.
He crumpled the paper and didn’t wipe it away.
This time the doctor asked him what he was doing.
‘I’m getting it ready,’ the ape said.
‘That’s all I can do.’
Then Dr. Bluespire helped him get his hands ready for the pen.
‘Do you think the pen’s slippery?’ he said.
‘Well, I don’t know,’ said the ape.
‘But that’s what you’re supposed to do. Write something bad, so you’ll know how to write a good one.’
Then the doctor told the ape to start.
‘Open your eyes!’ he said.
‘Make sure the words flow out.
The ape wrote: “Could they be wrong about ‘god’ and the stories?”
:: 10.19.2021 ::