Penelope Weiss

Those Clowns

The clowns who laugh in your backyard
and hide in your bedroom or maybe in the toy chest
you haven’t opened in 25 years,

those unicycle-riding, freedom-loving clowns
will spit your brains out, if you let them,
and bury you in a box of red noses and stinking great shoes.

That’s my prediction for today, folks. Don’t ask me
any more questions. Time’s up, gentlemen and ladies,
time for me to drive to my next doomsday cyclorama

at the bottom of an ink well or the top of my head,
the one and the same, the once and forever,
where the great mandrill that no one can see,

the great mandrake that no one can hear,
will clarify my mind and yours to the tune of
old glory and new money minted in my basement

among the red noses and the stinking great shoes
that I collect on my everlasting rounds.

Fever Chart

The scissors are sharp.
I cut through the oak tag right
on the dotted lines.

The glue pot sits on
the little bedside table.
The brush is there, too.

Mama watches me.
What is she thinking about?
I don’t want to know.

My fever is high.
I feel cooler when I cut
out the Dutch skaters

and send them whizzing
along the paper canals.
My Little Ice Age.

Penelope Weiss grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont. Storiana, a collection of her stories, was published by Casa de Snapdragon Press and is available on Amazon.
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