That monkey on my back looks too much like me, perched up there on sharp knees. Old man of the sea, is there no end to his pestering? He pulls each ear to guide my steps and turn my path. He covers my eyes, each hand a screen. All about, this foreign world is protean and mean. His voice, thin and reedy, says: see what you may. I look along our pathless paths and see flowers and nymphs, anemone. He removes is reedy fingers and look: pestilence and pain. He leads me along flaking cliffs and ambuscades. All that is illusion too. His other fingers hold my face, and those he removes. We are in void of sea or space. He leers and speaks: to get what you wish, first you must catch simian me. And though he is all sharp elbows and stabbing knees, he's as hard to hold as mercury. And I feel old and godlike, and I feel young and horribly free. And what if what I would wish would be to catch and hold the beast? And what if 'simian me' is not him but me. And what if I'm just turning on myself, meaningless in a boiling sea?