flying monkeys


The truth about flying monkeys is this: they need no simile, no Wizard of Oz, no green witch. Clearly, they do not have to be like something to be respected or understood.

Flying monkeys are voiceless primates with hawk feathers and nervous skin. They are hoverers, wrathful territorialists, all fist and tooth and silent flight. They work routes, they leave no paths, and most importantly, they love the vine, to hold and not to swing. There is no other more touchy creature. They sleep forehead to forehead, stomach to stomach, knee to knee. 

Their young suckle until the blood. They smell the heat. They heed invisible beckon, the inner ear function often lost upon flight. Their deaths are almost always a landing that sends them smashing on the ground of the moon.

———

What do you know of the Flying Monkey? What do you think about fiction with no metaphor? Is it possible?

———

In honor of Stephen at Novel Doctor for giving me an assignment I could complete, at least in short, and also in honor of my friend Colin who suggested I write without using metaphor. I don’t think I did it.

amberhaines
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12 Comments

Natasha (@SomethingGirl)
Reply June 25, 2009

Nicccce. Too many words and phrases I liked to pick out just one.

Natasha (@SomethingGirl)’s last blog post..What really irks me about writing

Amber
Reply June 25, 2009

I wrote my daddy an email to tell him I had written a weirdo post about flying monkeys, and this is how he responded:

"Flying monkeys are not weird, it’s just those funny looking tennis shoes they wear."

Shewt. I forgot to add the tennis shoe part.

Stephen
Reply June 25, 2009

the only acceptable response to this must be spoken aloud in Napoleon Dynamite's voice and directed to your husband:

"...lucky..."

other than that? i'm speechless.

Stephen’s last blog post..s.d.o.n.d.

Your Husband
Reply June 25, 2009

Do you remember when I was in law school and you were in writers-school and we were living separate fantasies in that little white shack on the property? I fantasized that you were okay and not in least concerned with my conspicuous absense at the shack and my choice of the law library as a place for Sunday worship. You fantasized also.

You fantasized that there was a monkey living in a tree in our back yard. You called me at the law library, all out of breath, and with all the southern charm you could muster, you said:

"Seth, there's a monkey in the tree--the big oak tree with the knot in the side. I saw it climbing just above the out building."

I laughed and said you needed to take your ritalin and get back to writing about the devil in your childhood attic. We hung up and I bought a diet coke and went back to studying. You kept looking out the window, looking for that monkey.

I'm sorry I didn't listen to your story about the monkey back then. I love this monkey story...
even though it creeps me out a bit.

brittney
Reply June 25, 2009

Who knew monkeys could be so inspiring!

brittney’s last blog post..200 (or something like that)

Amber
Reply June 25, 2009

Well, I sure didn't know it, Brittney. Who'd a thunk a lot of things about what goes on here?

melody
Reply June 25, 2009

Do flying monkeys have wings out their backs like Pegasus? or do they just have extra skin between their arms and their bodies like sugar gliders? What do flying monkeys eat? Do they share a fondness for bananas with normal monkeys? How do you catch a flying monkey? Maybe you could take a banana peel and tape it to the top of your flying monkey cage so that fruit flies will fall inside.

The imagination of a 4-year-old, though incredible, is very parametered. Writers, i think, have imaginations that grow with them. Don't feel weird about showing that bit of genius.

melody’s last blog post..every cliché and everything new

Hallie
Reply June 26, 2009

I didn't double-check what I think I already know about metaphors but....I don't think you used any.

Corrections?

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