Monkey King Gets Introspective for a Minute

by Matt Broaddus —

Having flown to the Southern Heaven on a whim, having gotten drunk on Lao Tzu’s elixir, and
having crash landed in the desert, I lie back in the fresh crater of my success and listen to the
earth steam. Over the rim and the dust that refuses to settle, I can just make out the celestial
horde descending on a solar flare to dish out justice. I remember my old master used to say:
Sometimes the peaceful stream, sometimes the marathon beatdown. As demons crawl out of the
sand wielding a number of pointy objects, I wonder when and where I’ll find my stream. I try to
change, but the seventy-two transformations can’t change my insides. All I can do is keep
scaling the heavens, annoying the Jade Emperor, pilfering plums from immortal gardens.

Matt Broaddus earned his MFA from the Creative Writing Program at NYU in 2013. His poetry has appeared in Ghost Ocean Magazine, Leveler, Whiskey Island Magazine, and elsewhere. He recently turned to the dark side and entered a Ph.D. program in literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches composition there as well. His top five cereals in no particular order are: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Raisin Bran Crunch, Froot Loops, Kix, and Trix (but only classic Trix, which you can’t really get anymore).