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“Nobody likes a clown at midnight.”       Stephen King


Darkroom abscessed 
with neon blush and black-blood —
sunken eyes look surprised
to find oneself in a dank dungeon.
Fecal stench, not humorous,
screams on each bold painted-on face.

“Are we dead?”

“When did I die?”

“I didn’t want to take along this honking nose! It never quits!”

“These humongous shoes, like flippers, so cold they grip!”

The clowns, their smiles and frowns,
continue to gripe in the big tent abyss.
The epic fail of their lives an applause
from the demons who have them in grip.

Like fools, they suppose, they can feel their way out.
They march in one straight line with clanging chains,
chortling, “Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s off to work I go!”*

You see, they can’t help being funny - never could.
So on they march clinging to claustrophobic walls.
Yet they, one by one, begin to notice no floor exists.

Squalid birds, their chains rattle and roll,
with cheap jokes that never cease.

“Take my wife…please.”

Rings through the air. The demons cackle and boo
their despair, occasionally deflating the roof of the tent
on their heads - it sticks to their gooey faces, causing
them to run out of hot air, go limp, confine their space

even more - no audience to exploit. When the roof rises
each one finds water caterwauled at their faces, then
strapped to a chair as sufferable makeup - acidophil -
leaks behind their eyes, into their pores, maliciously.

Clown at the abyss digs his nails into the soil, climbing
a mountain of ill will, always failing...falling, and then
the jokes hammer again...over and over, head over heels.

...head over heels,
                                      with no end…

Clown at the Abyss Poetry Contest
Sponsor: Kai Michael Neumann 

*Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Copyright © Kim Rodrigues