I decided to take a break from writing today and instead would like to share with you words from Dolemite!!, the righteous brother who won’t cop out when there’s heat all about. Join me, won’t you? For the modern poetry classic, The Signifyin’ Monkey:
The Signifyin’ Monkey
Way down in the jungle deep,
The bad ass lion stepped on the signifyin monkey's feet.
The monkey said, "Muthafucka, can't you see?
Why, you standin on my goddamn feet!"
The lion said, "I ain't heard a word you said."
Said, "If you say three more I'll be steppin on yo muthafuckin head!"
Now, the monkey lived in the jungle in an old oak tree.
Bullshittin the lion everyday of the week.
Why, everyday before the sun go down,
The lion would kick his all through the jungle town.
But the monkey got wise and started usin his wit.
Said, "I'm gon' put a stop to this ole ass kickin shit!"
So he ran up on the lion the very next day.
Said, "Oh Mr. lion, there's a big, bad muthafucka comin your way.
And when you meet, it's gonna be a goddamn sin,
And wherever you meet some ass is bound to bend."
Said, "he's somebody that you don't know,
He just broke a-loose from the Ringlin Brother's show."
Said, "Baby, he talked about your people in a helluva way!
He talked about your people till my hair turned gray!
He said your daddy's a freak and your momma's a whore.
Said he spotted you running through the jungle sellin asshole from door to door!
Said your sister did the damndest trick.
She got down so low and sucked a earthworm's dick.
Said he spotted yo niece behind the tree,
Screwin a muthafuckin flea!
He said he saw yo aunt sittin on the fence
Givin a goddamn zebra a french.
Then he talked about yo mammy and yo sister Lou,
Then he start talkin about how good yo grandmaw screw.
Said yo sister's a prostitute and yo brother's a punk,
And said I'll be damned if you don't eat all the pussy you see every time you get drunk!
He said he cornholed your uncle and fucked your aunty and niece,
And next time he see yo grandmaw he gonna get him another good piece.
Said your brother died with the whoopin cough and your uncle died with the measles
And your old grandpaw died with a rag chunked up in his ass, said he's goin on home to Jesus.
And you know yo little sister that ya love so dear
I fucked her all day for a bottle of beer.
So, Mr. Lion, you know that ain't right.
Whenever you meet the elephant be ready to fight."
So the lion jumped up in a helluva rage!
Like a young cocksucker full of gage.
He let out a roar!
Tail shot back like a forty-four.
He went through the jungle knockin down trees,
Kickin giraffes to their knees.
The he ran up on the elephant talkin to the swine.
He said, "All right you big, bad muthafucka. It's gonna be yo ass or mine."
The elephant looked at him outta the corner of his eyes.
Said, "Alright go ahead home you little funny-bunny muthafucka and pick on somebody your own size.
The lion jumped up and made a fancy pass.
The elephant side-stepped him and kicked him dead in his ass.
He busted up his jaw, fucked up his face.
Broke all four legs, snatched his ass outta place.
He picked him up, slammed him to the tree.
Nothin but lion shit as far as you could see.
He pulled out his nuts, rolled em in the sand.
And kicked his ass like a natural man!
They fought all night and all the next day.
Somehow the lion managed to get away.
But he drug his ass back to the jungle more dead than alive.
Just to run into that little monkey and some more of his signifying jive!
The monkey looked at him and said, "Goddamn ole partner, you don't look so swell."
Said, "Look like to me you caught a whole lotta hell."
Said, "Yo eyes is all red and yo asshole is blue,
I knew in the beginning it wasn't shit to you.
There's one thing you and me gotta get straight
Cause you one ugly cocksucker I sure do hate!
Now, when you left, the jungle rung
Now you bring yo dog ass back here damn near hung.
Look muthafucka, ain't you a bitch!
Yo face look like you got the Seven Year Itch!
I told my wife before you left,
I should kicked yo ass my muthafuckin self!
Why I seen you when he threw you into that tree,
Cause some of that ole lion shit got on me!
Why every night when me and my wife is tryin to get a little bit,
Here you come around here with some that old "I owe" shit!
Shut up! Don't you roar!
Cause I'll bail outta this tree and whoop yo dog-ass some more!
And don't look up here with yo sucka-paw case.
Cause I'll piss through the bark of this tree in yo muthafuckin face!"
The monkey got happy, started jumpin up and down.
His feet missed the limb and his ass hit the ground.
Like a streak of lighting and a ball of white heat,
That lion was on his ass with all four feet.
Dust rolled and tears came into the little monkey's eyes,
The little monkey said, "Look Mr. Lion, I apologize!"
Said, "If you let me get my nuts out the sand,
I'll fight yo ass like a natural man!
Look muthafucka, ain't you a bitch, you ain't raisin no hell,
Cause everybody saw you jump on me after I slipped and fell."
Said, "If you'll fight like men should
I'd whoop yo ass all over these woods!"
This made the lion mad!
It was the boldest challenge he ever had.
He squared off for the fight,
But that little monkey jumped damn near outta sight!
Landed waaay up in a banana tree and began to grin.
Sayin, "Look here you big, bad muthafucka, you been bullshitted again!
Why, I'll take me one of these bananas,
And whoop on yo ass till it sing the Star Spangled Banner!"
And said, "If you ever mess with me again,
I'm gonna send you back to my elephant friend!"
Said, "The things I told you will never part,
But what I'm gonna tell you know will break yo muthafuckin heart!"
Your mammy ain't no good and yo sister's been a whore"
Said, "I had that bitch on the corner for a year or more!"
But the lion looked up with a helluva frown.
Roared so loud that little monkey fell back to the ground.
The little monkey looked up and said "Please, Mr. Lion! Please don't take my life!
Cause I got thirteen kids and a very sickly wife!"
Said, "All of my money to you I'll give, Mr. Lion,
Please just let me live!"
But the lion kicked him in his ass and broke his neck,
Left that little monkey in a helluva wreck.
The monkey looked to the sky,
With tears in his eyes.
Nothin he could see or nothin he could hear,
But he knew that it was the end of his bulllshittin and signifyin career!
©Rudy Ray Moore
If more poems were like that, I might have read something more than Lewis Carroll and Shel Silverstein when I was a kid.