National Poetry Month Day 7: from “The Singing Ape, Or, Life in Pink” by Amy Letter


from “The Singing Ape, Or, Life in Pink”

Singing Ape HOBO1


“The Singing Ape, Or, Life in Pink” is about a group of people who live constantly connected to a global entertainment network, where they are essentially gaming all the time—at work, or eating, or walking down the stairs, they’re deeply immersed in gameplay. My characters are also primatologists whose research has brought them to the ruins of the former Disney Empire in what was once Central Florida—now a war-torn region overrun by feral zoo animals and the only inhabited place on Earth where the global game connection doesn’t reach. There they encounter an unusual ape who has been enhanced by the technology of war into something of an indomitable monster. The story takes on the feel of gameplay, and the characters become unsure whether they’re going to die or just have to start the game over. This is the first of several portions of the story written from the point of view of the singing ape herself, the “monster” of the story, whose thoughts I have conceived as a sort of song embedded in the datastream that guides her functions.


Amy Letter is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in journals including Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, and PANK, as well as gallery spaces like the Jaffe Center for Book Arts and the 18 Rabbit Gallery.  “The Lighted Globes” is forthcoming in the GIGANTIC anthology of science flash fiction; her chapter on the digital-creative classroom is included in Creative Writing in the Digital Age. She presented in the 2014 AWP panel Brave New Media, is an alumna of the 2013 in(ter)ventions literary program at the Banff Centre, and was Artist-in-Residence at the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, November 2014.  Amy Letter is the Digital / Electronic / New Media Literature editor at The Rumpus. She earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas and teaches Fiction and New Media at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. More at

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →