All posts by Stephan Anstey

Stephan Anstey is the founder of Shakespeare’s Monkeys and Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, both venues primarily for poetry and poets. As an artist, he is focused on spiritual exploration and the celebration of the individual in mankind’s endless war against an increasingly invasive society. Anstey’s art is primarily a combination of poetry and digital collage, some of which is on display at the Arts League of Lowell Gallery on Shattuck Street in Lowell. He lives an idyllic life in the historic mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts with his beautiful and beloved bride Ellen and their talented and wonderful children, Emily, a Classics major at Boston University, and Cameron, an excellent trombonist with many bands at Lowell High School.

If I Had Purple Hair

On Wednesdays, I would play with books
tell stories of a young boy
i loved, and of course reveal the drawing
of blood from thin little veins
into glass tubes for careful consideration
later. when the words were gone
I would sit in a dark room
considering the importance of groceries
and use all the best swear words
to explain the path I took
to get to this place where I think
I might be found.

Something a little different

Working on a bit of art that’s definitely my style but a different subject matter. Lately, the image of the ‘gun’ has been in the forefront of my consciousness. My views on guns are a lot more complicated than one might expect, and the symbolism of guns is something that I find endlessly interesting to explore and use to illustrate ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with guns.

The Day Papi left Hispaniola

In matching sun dresses
covered in big pink Bayahibe roses
they walked hand in hand.

The little girl, she said, ‘Mami,
why does the cao fly away
when I run up to kiss him?”

Her mother sighed,
“he does not understand
— he is a bird.”

The little girl nodded, “yes, Mami
but I understand.”

There were no tears,
only the flutter of black feathers
into the blue sky.

Freedom & Ketchup

I eat my burgers raw
as the full moon buggers down street
for a beer — life is simple
the blood can flow
or the flesh can burn

Some people are more perfect than me,
they eat their burgers welldone
damned be the full moon
and the beer — life is perfect
hopeless and full of laughter
smiles and despair

I drive a thousand miles
never considering my burger
never wondering who I am
who anyone else might be

Some people prove their point
they soar like wonder
up the hard gray stony sides
of some unsold product — moonless & quiet
hopeful and full of laughter
smiles and despair

there is no flesh, only bright eyes
and the certainty of a burger
somewhere raw enough to dream
somewhere welldone enough to be satisfied
and still, regardless the moon,
i eat my burgers raw

As I burn away leaving me

  the cigarette won’t smoke itself under this almost-moon
so the man in the shadows stands
there holding the orange glow of burning 
that reports the streetlight to the darkness

the smoke reaches from the cigarette
toward the nearest star – the one
the man doesn’t notice as he stands
in the shadows. If there is a question
between them, it remains unasked.

the man continues to smoke
the cigarette until it is done 
the orange glow fades
until only the stars are burning
with questions for the moon.