Enzo Cordello: ‘A Parodic Original of the Species’

A Parodic Original of the Species

(from “Modern Ruins”, a work-in-progress)


“Midway along the journey of his life

Virgil woke to find himself in a dark wood.

This, more precisely, had begun long before


Midway, but in the loam, foam and warp of time,

what started as a misty wood, a child in twilight

had now grown into a black forest in daylight.


Lions, leopards and wolves were becoming extinct

So none of these really crossed his path.

Man’s inhumanity to animals guaranteed this.


The animal sins were in men, as they had

always been, and lions, leopards and wolves now

feared man. The time of the concrete jungle.


Virgil awoke, to the thud of axes cutting

down much of the dark wood anyhow, 

and his ears buzzing with electric saws clearing


A path to the unknown. Or into a darker forest.

Sins had become a guilt trip. And to have guilt

was becoming a sin. Something lurking in the


Roots of the black forest. Cut it down, out.

There was nothing right or wrong but fuzzy thinking

made it so.  The field man fraud saw into that.


He took his wooded cue from the biologist

on the Beagle, who declassified God

by classifying nature. God now only existed by invention.


The beagle-blower should have stayed

at home, but having nothing better to do,

took to the high seas, dissected the origin


Of species with his specialist scalpel

and naturally selected whatever suited him.

It was a fitting find for the survival


Of his name. The Beagle’s captain later

regretted that he allowed this upstart

Biologist on board and subsequently killed


Himself. Such was the power of God’s

slow demise in the minds of people.

Without vision, the wood was becoming


A wasteland that the people were cherishing.

As a result of this strange evolution 

nothing much mattered except a monkey’s bare bum


Ego who sat on his own importance

to out-rival other monkeys for territory

and position. The monkey’s grip grew stronger.


Everything was possible so long as you

didn’t get caught. Any Higher Authority

was unauthorised. So long as there were


Enough trees in the concrete jungle to

swing from (they were being chopped down

at an alarming rate) any upstart monkey could aspire


To master another monkey’s fate. And there was

no shortage of contenders. Tribes were rivaling

with other tribes in all types of Banana


Republics. Each monkey aspired to be

top dog with a top hat. Some were mad

as hatters or hell, which had a subjective


Existence. There were not enough bananas

to go around and the road to dominance

was indeed slippery. Having usurped God’s garden


All the monkeys’ (who now didn’t want to see

themselves as such) egos were having a field

day. There was now nothing to turn to, to cross-check 


Right or wrong or right of rule of trees of any

aspirant. In fact, nearly every one of this species

believed there were no trees of knowledge


Of good and evil. They had been cut down.”


Virgil awoke in this wood.


Enzo Cordello


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