Archive of Issues
Archive of Narrations
Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No. 43 ~ David Giannini

Yakety Yak (Don’t Talk Back)  Audition

By  David Giannini

Narrated by Charles Rammelkamp




Yakety Yak (Don’t Talk Back)

It was still June and I was still April, my mom’s

kid, home from college, you know, when I

thought about joining a Tibetan monastery, but

after all that harsh yakking against spiritual stuff

from the fat old mothers on couches in our living

room, each wearing a mask of make-up, I

stopped believing in meliorism, at least that day,

and I wanted to look for yak butter, good in tea,

they say, to smooth the way, even though I knew

I wouldn’t find any, except in Tibet, maybe,

where clouds too might be shaggy like those

vegetarian quadrupeds clomping on the plateau.

But since we were all at my mother’s house in

Massachusetts, you know, I wanted to leave after

one yakker started waving her arms and knocking

into things. Yakety yak, yakety yak. Did you ever

see someone coldcock a Buddha with her elbow?

Well one yakker knocked mine clear off a side

table. That’s when I thought of nirvana glue to

mend its broken belly, that prosperity chamber,

you know, but, like, no such adhesive exists, or

none that I knew of, so there was just that

shattered dharma dumb Buddha belly which,

anyway, held nothing from the beginning and less

than nothing at the end, just like the rest of them.




No one else is in the coffin, only you, for no

reason you can remember. Then you do. And it

all begins again, the practicing with no one else in

the theatre.


After a while there must be judges, other players,

an audience, but no one you can see; and there is

no hand to pull the lever for your plunge through

the trap door which is like the top of a bench

made of framed thick glass, on which you sit,

unable to move anything but your hands.


It occurs to you that everything is set on a timer.

That must be why the ebony lid is slowly

descending overhead as you sit and see the coffin

below you again. The lid descends for what

seems a lifetime.


What bothers you most is that you might not fit

what awaits you, but in time you begin to

 applaud the unknown.You can’t get up, but you can laugh. After all,

you are only playing, as far as you can remember.

Then the shattering begins, the glass shards from

the bench sounding as notes as you plunge


into the hammers of velvet,


the lid shutting over you,


shiny and so grand.





Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
History of Syndic
Write Letter / Contact Publisher
© all photos/text

Archive of Issues

Archive of Narrations