Archive for the ‘The Somontano Monkey’ Category

Colungo 2.0


You might have observed that we haven’t posted anything recently. Then again, you might not. The thing is, Sheen and I have been away. And guess where we went to spend our Holy Week – yes, that’s right, you already read the title – Colungo.


I swore some time ago I would never return to that village. My last experience there was traumatic, to say the least. But, you know, it’s like a drug. I promise I will not do it again but in the end I fall. And I’ve fallen for Colungo big time.


I’ve never managed to shake off the Somontano Monkey. He mutters and rants somewhere on the fringes of my psyche and despite my conscious efforts to block Him out, His furious waffling seeps through and I always know He’s alive and kicking; when He’s calm and reflexive and when He’s edgy and concerned. And so, against my better judgement, I decided to try to assuage His neuro-itchy urges by paying another visit to His old stamping ground, His patria chica, the village of Colungo, where legend would have it He used to spout forth from the comfort of His sacred tree, showering His unparalleled doctrines on just about anybody in the vicinity.


Colungo receives a fair number of visitors every Easter, so I thought I would probably not be recognised, especially since I spent the whole time disguised as a nazareno, sporting a pointy cone-shaped Ku Klux Klan-like hood and mask. I explained to everybody that I was on a pilgrimage, atoning for my sins. Sheen dressed as a nun and pretended to be blind.


We decided not to stay at a hotel (too risky), so we squatted in an abandoned Chinese restaurant originally called Gran Feliz Siglo de Oro Divino or something, that we’d heard about because one of Sheen’s Facebook  “friends” used to squat here. Just to protect our identities even more, I called myself Freddy Sánchez (after the great Filipino lightweight boxer of the 70’s) and Sheen took the name Sor Angustias. We were alone in the Chinese squat apart from a seemingly narcoleptic hippy whose name we never found out because he always fell asleep just as he was going to tell us. He was the perfect flatmate – discreet, forgetful and uninterested.


We joined in the religious processions, although I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing, and, because we were appropriately dressed up, we blended in quite well. We visited just about all the watering holes in the village, sometimes chatting casually with the local folk but usually just listening to see if anybody mentioned the Somontano Monkey or maybe my name. I was on my sixth Cacique and Coke (no easy feat, wearing a mask that went down to my stomach) when suddenly Sor Angustias elbowed me urgently.


“They’re talking about your Monkey!”, she hissed.


“What?!” I craned my capirote in the direction of the two shady characters in the corner. Sure enough, I heard the word “monkey”, and then “Martínez”. Now, mine isn’t a rare surname – there must be hundreds of thousands of Martínezs in Spain – but I just knew they were talking about me. And, needless to say, the Somontano Monkey also knew…


I thought my head was going to explode with the racket He was making. “Ginger petrify southwest Carnegie! Lump hieratic shoal piecemeal strike!”, He yelled in Flemish (for some reason.)


I explained to Sheen we had to get out of there. She dragged me out of the bar and I felt the glare of the two thugs on the back of my hooded neck.


“We need to get to His tree!”, I gasped.


It had started to rain and we were soaked by the time we made it to the Monkey’s tree, which was, fortunately, nearby. The closer we got, the more relaxed my inner ape became. He kept rabbiting on, but less stridently and slightly more coherently. Words like “peace”, “comfort”, “release”, and even “ataraxia” were clearly audible. I knew He was at ease – excited, of course, but relieved to be home and I could even imagine He was smiling.


The next day we struck up conversation with a guy called Emilio who worked in the Ayuntamiento. He told us that the local government was in talks with some American firm to build a theme park in the area, with a casino, a golf course and God knows what else. The Monkey started making funny noises.


“The logo of the whole thing is a kind of monkey”, Emilio went on.


“What?!” I exclaimed for the second time in this post.


Emilio fished out a photocopy of what looked like a brochure. Somontano Ocio Park, it said. And there it was… a Disneyish monkey face.


“I think the mascot’s name is Pepito”, said Emilio. “What’s the matter, Heen? You’ve gone all pale…”


Those were the last words I remember. Sheen says I passed out at exactly 3pm on Good Friday.


But worse was to come. When I came to, all I could hear was an unhinged cackling inside my head.


“Oh, what is it now!” I cried, tears of blood searing down my nazareno outfit. I was definitely repentant.


And then it dawned on me. The Somontano Monkey was actually happy to be the mascot of the casino. He felt vindicated and, at the same time, relieved that he had been released of his savant status. He was now going to be a figure of fun, a pathetic Ronald McDonald of Colungo. I felt defeated, crushed. The Monkey was laughing at ME.


We returned to Zaragoza in grim silence. Sheen tried to cheer me up and the wretched simian was giggling and chortling. He kept singing corny little jingles that drove me mad.


Colungo is bad for me. Every time I go there, something tragic happens to me. And it’s all because of this bloody monkey. Will nobody rid me of this curse? Am I to spend the rest of my days tormented by this devil? Will I forever wander the earth haunted by the Somontano Monkey? 


The Somontano Monkey Speaks For The Last Time


(If you STILL don’t know what this is about, have a look at the SOMONTANO MONKEY page. And, as I remarked before, this will be the last of the suras, for want of a better word, of His Monkeyness as a result of the ghastly experience I had in Colungo recently. I shall, however, be willing to share His wisdom with anybody who wishes to contact me personally via the “comments” box following this post. It should be noted that what follows is no more than a vague semantic approximation of the words of the Somontano Monkey as expressed to me on that fateful day we returned to His “patria chica”. I apologise for any apparent incoherence, but prefer not to attempt any analysis.)


O people, hear me before we die:


Thirteen sentinels distrust the maiden aged lightning side by side upheaval crimson wastes of cholestemic annoyance nudged towards orbits unsounded vehemence by opacity. It is the incense of the rose in the orchard. Stalemate slumbers, wretched hand-wringing instead of muted gasps of recognition wherein the poisoned snail of reason plods alongside the dense furrows of guacamole. Torment not the ashen owls, for theirs is the kingdom of bewilderment.


Dancing, balancing, bewitching, cringing and clinging to the hula-hoops of anarchistic tawdriness, ye shall reap the fruits of the day after tomorrow’s cheese-like yearning for the vile impossibility of repentance, and turgid mammary glands will thrust backwards and inwards lest ye visit those bleak shrines in purple obeisance astride a twice-sacrificed mule, which ye should call Elmer. Or Sheryl if it’s a female.


Flounder endogenous phalange back strict award feeling some unbeliever imbued evil drive mercy heavens denied herald peace have riches humility righteous strayed found debarred crooked swiftly creation labours earned long to be nothing winds barren soil revelations haughty threaten dwellings chaste people loose punishment made only people counsel my tribe remember invented admonition imperial endowed names good shower sent banister sweet sorrow three regained embraced parents gracious stirred you implore news will wrong judgement leave known grief oppressed despair unravelled because we all make mistakes.


The day will surely come when they pay no heed in private in provided among others wherever a dumb man alone equal sends return power over thanks by the final hour under our bounty idols behold forsaken property of the evocation.


Thereupon she conceived a sight virtuous answer emissary in childbirth gave sign awaiting spoken in jest. Baseless sorcery, recited by starving minstrels neither because their actions weep as a sanctuary in greater error I will follow it, undoubtedly. The reward and the pain and the redemption and the justification are one. The recitation and the mystery and the climb to the top are one. The conduct and the exemption of the conduct are one. Generations forged in guidance where you please, yielding affront in seven angles.


Behold the scorpion of arrogance, on a straight path running merciful rejected at first their way give news when recalled powerless in the face of evil except the other nations and mighty, watching over all his servants cast out confirming the truth submit just the verdict from the germ lower regions decrees such a thing, giving life back to the rotten bones. Delight soft easy deep white dull, as the eggs of ostriches. And he called for his fiddlers, three.


On the pyre willing delivered scourge charm were later and was blessed in spite of himself dreamt ancient household eagerly summoned return was think you be all of thus up his eyes sick lifted supreme to every man.


Apostles nitrogen created warning a thick and crunchy veil stands between shameful out than the days fearful heed but a mortal tide forgive alone proved to be of no avail whatsoever signal rivers of honey hypocritical leave knowledge hearts as their unaware women forthright mentioned locks matters deduction of the penalty ponder war inspired abhor back follow bend near together shift burglar peasant slave vulgarity courteous speech and tiramisu is no deity overtake surely doom resemblance for the upper hand show the malice hide the chalice living next door to Alice. Sumptuous valiant recognize promptly very little desire, put to the proof such guard against fiendishness amidst the panthers.


Feeble-hearted equitable beige dowries I shall vomit into the hovels of sight light subsequent curdling upon much as to one thing leads to another, and thereby hangs a tale, odious, cuddly, oblong and misconstrued in this terrible life wholly accountable seized as best ye can and, o people, we will die not because we are dying but because we are living and yet we are not dying because we are living.

The Somontano Monkey Speaks #4

(Don’t know the Somontano Monkey? See the SOMONTANO MONKEY DYSLEPSIS page!)


O people, hear me before we die:


Avast there, denizens of salty wastes, awash with twinkly bells, rotting matter of unspecified provenance before the sweltering maidens can even flinch in boredom, nay, annoyance at being found out. Trigger of bronze, barrel of chrome, the gun will sound and the birds will foam at the beak.


Heaving drizzle on the barley of despondence, senility brandishes all but a flimsy shield. Pay no heed to the shimmering rumble of the dawn, that torpid flame of hypocrisy. Caution is as caution does. Peace comes before a fall. The rancid ash of befuddled apricots is no longer.



Commentary and analysis by Heen Martínez:


I thought it was justified to alter slightly the chronology of the Somontano Monkey’s Thoughts, as the holiday season comes to a close, and as the month of Ramadan begins. Particularly adroit are the Monkey’s tongue-in-cheek references to “the shimmering rumble of the dawn” and “sweltering maidens”, as if to remind us that our sunbathing is over, it’s time to go back to work, folks!


The Monkey mentions barley in this extract. Elsewhere, He mentions corn. It would appear that cereals are important to Somontano Monkey Thought, but the precise significance is not clear. There is an old Kurdish proverb that says something about blind monkeys not being able to distinguish between wheat and corn – whether or not the Somontano Monkey is aware of this adage we will probably never know.


I would like to take this opportunity to mention something curious that happened to me when I was on Mars. I was occasionally aware of the Somontano Monkey’s presence, but it was as though He was afraid to speak. Incoherent groans and mumblings were all I could hear. No sooner had we landed back on Earth, the Monkey started ranting and chattering non-stop. Maybe He was just homesick, the poor babe. Wherever the Somontano Monkey’s next dyslepsis is, don’t look for Him on Mars!

The Somontano Monkey Speaks #3



(Not sure what this is about? See the SOMONTANO MONKEY DYSLEPSIS PAGE)


Oh people hear me before we die:


Shifting sands feed not the viper of eternal wastelessness opposite thy unrealised mauve dream of unflinching captivity seemingly crossed with vacuous vapidity with a strong smell of rum. Conniving with streams which run towards the neck of charred Antarctic struts, telescopically gainsaying the hermeneutics of drowning, what does the convexity brandish amidst the collegiate aura of the eighty-eight?


Fanciful industriousness rids the eyelids of the snares of mental diabetes. Hold thy chin high, graceful one, besiege unreason, yet yesterday was but a nightmare.


When sight and salt are both the same, trust the guiding light of the lobster.




Commentary and analysis by Heen Martínez:


This is one of the few snatches of Somontano Monkey wisdom that seem to be directed at one particular person, maybe a chosen disciple. Who this person is can only be speculation, however. Who is this “graceful one” with an “unrealised mauve dream”? After many years of mulling it over, I am tempted to suggest this could refer to Miki Nakatani, the Japanese actress. Other feasible candidates are Spanish footballer Dani Güiza and Queen Beatrix of Holland (not too sure about this last one.)


The Monkey displays an offhand urgency, almost playful, some would say, as he presses the importance of remaining aloof but not detached (“telescopically gainsaying the hermeneutics of drowning” – an amazingly difficult concept brilliantly phrased by the Monkey at his linguistic best, surely!) from the perils of what the Greeks called ataraxia. 


One cannot but feel envious at the Somontano Monkey’s singling out one person for His message. As His spokesman, I am privileged, but no doubt the personal recipient of his verbal sagacity is more so. I have no knowledge of Ms Nakatani’s connection with the Somontano Monkey but trust she is following in His path.


More about:


Dani Güiza:


Miki Nakatani:


Queen Beatrix:

The Somontano Monkey Speaks #2




Chapter 2


Oh people hear me before we die:


Beyond unreached diaresis of silence twixt the sands of universality and contorted camouflage becoming awake searching to the ground inevitably discovered realisations practical liquid combs and angst among the undergrowth of sinister fate.


I have this thing about nurses in uniform reasoning without denomination followed by monastic spiritual appearance hypnotised truth transformed into inspiration on the grass.


Consequentially perfect surging out of the pragmatic cement immortality war is the fraternity of principles crystallised but not concerning small pieces of unwanted purity because theirs will be the kingdom of the unready. Quiver not lest you be quivered.



Commentary and analysis by Heen Martínez:


The words of the Monkey were never clearer than in this second chapter of his immortal utterances. His message illuminates our path as we walk towards the light of His wisdom. The praxis of Somontano Monkey Thought can be summarised by the expressions “practical liquid combs” and “small pieces of unwanted purity”, which have become axiomatic in practically every walk of life for those of us who seek harmony, peace and titillation in our mundanity.


The Monkey seems to suggest a form of vegetarianism, perhaps even fasting, or at least abstaining from the uncooked meat of certain sea-dwelling marsupials; there are conflicting interpretations of this piece and it would be counter-productive to insist on any one school of thought. The Monkey opens our eyes and lets us make that choice.


Some readers may find that the teaching inherent in “cement immortality war” sits uneasily with the warning: “dive not into the murky vapours of astringency” which the Monkey delivers later in Chapter 4,627 but an open-minded tolerance of His symbiotic juxtapositioning of apparently contradictory comments gives way to a clear appreciation of the true message in all its wealth of reason. 


Once more, The Somontano Monkey shows His forgiving heart at the same time as His implacable ethical code. None shall be turned away and none shall escape the torment of His justice.  







The Somontano Monkey Speaks #1




Chapter One


Oh people hear me before we die:


Deaf is the word I hear in the crispy depth your never-failing heart of love that is so wise rejects and carelessly absorbs grain like sand for which I am come before you. The fig on the branch summer winds unwithered reach secondary moon I respond forthwith beneath the age of reason next to Barakaldo despite the infinite.


I’m just monkeying around the shimmering sun unbleaching foresight of yesteryear notwithstanding. Dictation from the mind of past masters replied. Touch not the root of the cranberry bush and abstain from unheavenly assiduity. The enemies of the Monkey writhe in ignorance, oh verily I swear.


Gathering the wind time scale beyond the seamless flux of forthright bliss gainfully forgotten benefits for what does it benefit a man to inherit the dung of his father’s camels.




Analysis and commentary by Heen Martínez:


In this opening chapter of the Somontano Monkey’s work, we immediately sense the harsh dichotomy that underlies so much of His message. Work or Reason. This confrontation, so elegantly expressed by the Monkey, has crude parallels with the Yin and the Yang, or Good and Evil, or, as the Monkey Himself puts it in a later verse, Milk and Ink. The Monkey tells us to accept our weaknesses and adopt a pro-active attitude in our relationships with our peers. Gambling, sunbathing and genetically-modified forms of entertainment are frowned upon. The oblique expression “seamless flux of forthright bliss” probably refers to either euthanasia or playing the violin, and it is not clear what the Monkey’s position is on either.


We are not sure about His reference to Barakaldo.


All utterances of the Somontano Monkey begin with the words: “Oh people hear me before we die”. This should be taken as suggesting a respectful urgency, rather than a threat. The Monkey was very aware of his fragility; the transient nature of his existence was, however, a liberation at the same time as a peril. From the standpoint of Western philosophy, this comforting message sits uncomfortably with his otherwise straightforward Unamuno-inspired worldview.


As this is the first time the thoughts of the Somontano Monkey have been published, Zaragoza Twins welcome any collaboration that may cast some light on His message.