Nittaewo by Richard Stevenson

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Narrated by Richard Stevenson

Nittaewo by Richard Stevenson
Illustration by Sue Babcock


Nittaewo, cousin of Teh-Ima,

himself a relative of Orang Pendek

What the heck!  Are all three

cryptid proto pygmies really just

relic populations of Pithecanthropus

Erectus, AKA Homo Erectus, or what?!


Short little humanoid boogers

covered in reddish hair, they have all

ignored roll call, so far; would as soon

pelt us with their dung as mug for

photo ops or hang about any green room

for a candid hominid interest interview.


Nuts to that!  Or a greasy banana peel!

We humans just don’t get it.  Should slip

and fall on our faces, more often.  Yeah,

that’s right.  Do a face plant in our forebear’s feces.

Get a good whiff.  Finger paint our cribs

with it.  Can’t smell any worse than we do


to them.  And why all the fuss over a name?

We’re all sons and daughters of some

skookum booger Lucy.  She of the sloped forehead

never wed.  Just padded about the savannah

in bare feet, huntin’ and gatherin’ nuts in May.

Raggin’ on the old man for better, sharper tools.


What would Lucy do, if his nibs

turned up one day with a Cuisinart

or managed to assemble and program

a flat screen telly or lap top?  I betcha

she’d start makin’ a grocery list!  Yeah!

Get this… get that… Order a No! No! maybe.


Can’t be scufflin’ about the jungle

in this boring red fox fur.  I’ll need highlights —

at the very least, a trim and pedicure!

And don’t be comin’ home expectin’ to get lucky

with all those prickly whiskers.  Get a multi-blade

razor and some after shave.  When did you last bathe?


I say, get low.  Hunker under the snow if need be.

Don’t start drawin’ attention to yourselves

with bricks and mortar – or even igloos.

Hang loose with Rank and Skanky; stay nude

and furry.  Don’t be in such an all-fired hurry

to catch up with our sorry tribe of miscreants.


You’ve got it good.  No one’s bombed yer ‘hood

or engaged in a drive-by banana pie-ing.

You don’t have to worry about anyone uploading

intimate pictures of yer daughter on You-Tube.

Just yell Eugh! Eugh! Eugh!; leave footprints,

enough hair and scat to make us hopeful, dudes.


BIO: Richard Stevenson has recently retired from a thirty-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College. He is the author of thirty books, most recently, two haikai collections, Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) and The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015). A long poem sequence on the Clifford Olson murders, Rock, Scissors, Paper is forthcoming.