Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three Clowns On The Dark Sidewalk

Three clowns pretending to trip and stumble
emerge performing from the crowded dark
in my mind that’s something like a deep map
of the dark sidewalk I do not walk on.
One clown is crying. Two clowns are laughing.
They pantomime something. It’s a broad farce
pitting two laughing against one crying.
They don’t speak but they squeeze bulbs that honk horns
and their big, white clown hands make slapping sounds
when they clap or slap another clown’s rump.
Their long clown shoes flop as they run around.
Throughout all the clowning around always
one clown is crying, two clowns are laughing.

I don’t know what the hell they are doing.
Do the laughing clowns want me to laugh, too?
Does the crying clown want me to cry, too?
Am I supposed to wonder what to do?
If I could I’d comfort the crying clown.
I don’t want to laugh with the laughing clowns.
I don’t want to watch this clowning around.
I want, I guess, the crying clown to laugh
and I want to laugh with the crying clown.
But clowns have their emotions painted on
and their emotions are part of the show.
I don’t walk on the dark sidewalk because
monsters use the show to pump up their buzz.

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The Dark Sidewalk

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