“Ridi, Pagliaccio….”

Some days, on a day like this,

I feel the coarse stuffing coming out

of my side and torn places like

tissues someone’s wept in.

Whenever I look there’s a

miserable offstage harlequin

sharpening his knife,

looking for his wife.

I know I could kill him

just by laughing at his jokes,

but I don’t want another body floating

in the false-blue pool in the backyard.


Days like these are like a long Unseen,

a test with no answers, taken endlessly.

I would go out but the streets are full of

pretty girls striding with a masculine gait,

aggression oozing from each drop-dead pore:

I’d kiss you but I’d cut myself!

So, it’s another shitty day in Paradise

where even the flowers smell of nothing

and great causeways of silence cross

the still lagoons of afternoons.

I will offer my ghost a drink but not a chair

for ghosts don’t need to sit.

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  • humphrey king  On April 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    great images, carries you along, I like it

  • jackiedick  On June 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Seeming ambivalence toward women, and love fools me not. I find the hurt here very painful to read and yet most touching. Beautiful women in the street frighten you with their aggressive sexuality.To say you would kiss someone and yet be afraid to be cut…sad and telling. A mood? A permanent condition? Who knows. But imagry is vibrant. Well done poesy, altho my heart hurts reading it.

  • jackiedick  On June 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Amended comment: Wish I could erase some of what I said. But can’t. Truly, this is a fine poem, and I had no right to seemingly pass judgment on your feelings. They are valid to you. But as a woman, it did hurt me to see the the violence there. Pax

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