Does It Need a Title? – David Lohrey

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Does It Need a Title? – David Lohrey

There is nothing sadder than an old elephant at the zoo.
All alone, the color of tarmac; a gigantic mouse behind bars.
She stands at the ready, to turn around and around. By the end
Of day, she’ll be fit for a shower and a long cry.
What’s an elephant to do, chained to the ground, with a 6-year child
The only one who understands her pain?

I say, throw a peanut at her head. Pick up a chunk of rock. Hop
On its back and stick its ear. That’ll teach it to dance. Shout, “Go!”
Hit it over and over again, the way you do your wife and kids. When
You’re through with the elephant, you can move on more important things,
Like burning churches and killing doctors. Take it out on them, too. Why
Stop with the dumb elephant and your shitty family? You too can be effective,
Get yourself all worked up if you are of the mind, pour gasoline all over and
Set yourself on fire.

When we kill elephants, we kill ourselves. These killing sprees are assassinations.
Don’t kid yourself. It’s murder. Whoever said so, and it’s probably your daughter, is
Right. The decimation of the elephants, and that goes for gorillas and anteaters, too,
Is self-destructive. It’s annihilation of the soul. It’s a catastrophe of thought. Pure
Neanderthal, a spasm of base instinct. But then so is the murder of man. Keep in mind,
It is happening every day of the week and it is not because they are poor.

He murdered his sister because he has no money is a sinister joke told by the devil.
Our heads need to be examined. Here, it’s becoming a killing field like Rwanda or Cambodia before it.
Incredibly, decent people are confused; they are not sure it’s wrong.
One thing for sure, it’s a lot of fun. Put a cap in his ass. HAHAHAHA. Now that we stripped
Our youth of their humanity, what’s next? I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S COMING: mass killings.
Human life is worth nothing in a place like this. You might as well drive the herd over a cliff.


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.]

Author: Sudden Denouement

A Literary Collective

10 thoughts on “Does It Need a Title? – David Lohrey”

  1. Thank you for this piece. It’s a brilliant reminder to me of the undying view of our world as “ours”… treating life, animals and plants, ecosystems … soley as resources or possessions.

    Liked by 1 person

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