Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
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Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Teh-Ima's Complaint

by Richard Stevenson

Hey, yer the funky monkey, dude!
So drop the fetid attitude.
Gather yer own poop in a group.

We don't swim in yer toilets;
please don't piss in our pools.
It's bad enough you chop down our trees.

What?! We gotta get on our knees now,
genuflect at yer starched human hems,
praise Allah or some other abstract deity?

Sorry, but we're gonna pass on yer theology.
Swing from the trees with grace and ease.
Bongo Beatnik Pongoides. Stick that in yer taxonomies.

Tell Darwin and St. Peter, Miss Otis regrets
she ain't gonna dine at either trough today.
We're compin' on a hairy hominid stomp.

Gonna tromp out of the trees, grab a sheep,
go on the lam in a saucer bound for the Pleides.
Ain't no intelligent life on this planet, babe.

You human beans haven't ascended no beanstalk
as far as we can see. Yer judgment's as clouded
as the peak of Everest in a snow storm.

Got yeti? Good for you. We prefer spaghetti.
Tell the cryptobiologists we cryptid critters
ain't quitters. We're bum thumpin' down the scree.

Gonna drop off the keys, Euripides.
Gonna ride a waterslide wormhole outta here.
Get ourselves free. (We'll tell Elvis you said hey.)

© 2016 Richard Stevenson

Richard Stevenson has just retired from a 30-year stint teaching at Lethbridge College and will be moving back to his beloved Vancouver Island as soon as his wife retires in a couple of years. Meanwhile, his son and a renter are holding the fort in Nanaimo ( He originally hails from Victoria), and he travels back and forth from Lethbridge. His most recent books include two haikai collections, Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) and The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015), and a lyric/narrative collection, A Dog Named Normal (Ekstasis Editions, 2013).

Find more by Richard Stevenson in the Author Index.

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