by: Umberto Fiori
translated by: Geoffrey Brock
At the center of the lit circle, rising
from cotton-candy calf muscles,
the White Clown ushers his
eyebrows skyward. He grates his ukulele,
opens a heart-shaped mouth, inhales—
his serenade begins.
Now's the time. From the shadows,
a blast like a trumpeting elephant:
obscene, ragged. The Auguste capers like a fawn,
darts away, pads around
with his trombone. The gold of the slide
slips into and out of the infinite.
Everything smells of panther
and piss and mint. His gaze fixed
on the clash between the welled tears
and the awful laughing shoes,
the little boy grows
ever more grave, ever more severe.
Went to the Shrine Circus with my kids this evening. I've been doing this every year since my daughter was in kindergarten. Progressively, it has gotten to be more and more expensive. It's almost like going to Disney World on vacation now.
The first time I took my daughter to the circus, she had an allergic reaction to the lions or hay or something. She could barely breathe. We had to leave before the clowns even piled out of their car. The first time I took my son to the circus, he rode on the back of an elephant for $15. One time around the center ring. The elephant crapped half-way through, and my son nearly threw up.
I, myself, am not a big fan of clowns. They are the scariest things under the big top.
Saint Marty didn't see the greatest show on Earth. However, it was pretty darn entertaining.