Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara, 1971
The magic trick:
Tying together a seemingly stream-of-consciousness narrative with a concept at the end
“Gorilla, My Love” rushes out of the narrative gates and never lets up. Our narrator is rattling off anecdote after anecdote in a seemingly stream-of-consciousness fashion. It’s a rush of language and often very funny. What’s remarkable though is that by story’s end, it’s clear it wasn’t so random a stream. It all ties together under the themes of honesty and deception and adult control. This wasn’t a rollicking ride but a high-concept piece. And that’s quite a trick on Bambara’s part.
So the movie come on and right away it’s this churchy music and clearly not about no gorilla. Bout Jesus. And I am ready to kill, not cause I got anything gainst Jesus. Just that when you fixed to watch a gorilla picture you don’t wanna get messed around with Sunday School stuff. So I am mad. Besides, we see the raggedy old brown film King of Kings every year and enough’s enough. Grownups figure they can treat you just anyhow. Which burns me up.