Amit Majmudar

Training Course

Day one. Monkey is strapped into chair.
Trainee tonsures monkey and affixes electrodes.
Introductory lecture regarding alternating and direct current,
Trainee and Monkey at desks, side by side.

Day Two. Basics of cocktail preparation.
Sodium thiopental to win minds, potassium chloride to win hearts.
Pancuronium to cure all.
Mint sprig optional.

Day Three. Trainee straps Monkey into chair.
Trainee shaves the rest of Monkey’s body and attaches electrodes,
Then EKG leads.
Lecture on induced current, one coil awakening the charge in another.

Day Four. Trainee is to familiarize himself with pertinent knots:
Falconer’s knot, grief knot, hunter’s bend.
Killick hitch, axle hitch, slip knot, monkey’s fist.
Pity not. Noose.

Day Five. Preliminary killings.
Trainee will set out ant bait in at least five corners.
Visit to lobster tank at local grocery store.
Interactive online tutorial, “Do Primates Feel Pain?”

Day Six. Trainee zips previously shaven Monkey into orange jumpsuit.
With Monkey secure in chair, Trainee makes verbal offer of cigarette and Bible.
Trainee attaches electrodes to Monkey, EKG leads to himself.
Supplementary lecture on circuit breakers.

Day Seven. Historical overview:
Asps hooked onto the breasts of empresses,
Peasants sagging down wooden pikes, pistols handed to Soviet generals.
Crucifixion. The arithmetic of quartering.

Day Eight. Self-assessment module.
After leathering properly-dressed Monkey into chair,
Trainee places left hand on switch, right hand on heart,
And waits for Monkey, preoccupied with naked tube light, to meet eyes.

Amit Majmudar’s poetry has appeared in 32 Poems, The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-2012, the Norton Introduction to Literature, and The New Yorker, among other places. His collections are 0′,0′ (Northwestern) and Heaven and Earth, which won the 2011 Donald Justice Prize.