The Theater or Better Yet the Circus


In the theater or better yet the circus

the elephants come out then the dancing bear then
cages on wheels with lions in them then maybe some
horses cantering prettily then usually the
clowns as many and as varied as possible doing really
nothing but seeming to be fully committed to
whatever it is they’re doing

Each moment entering with spotlit fanfare and tuba-honk
hoopla the same way as in life herself if we

pay attention like the halos around each gnat in a
suspended sunlit gnat congregation

And in such glorious moments someone
ascends to a throne gets burned alive in the
citywide wildfire in Rome discovers the light-prism or
how to decaffeinate coffee

Events unheralded though prepared for way beforehand by the
Master barker of ceremonial cheer

And very dutifully the one with huge feet flaps forth
the tall skinny one holding a tall skinny mirror topples over
twenty-five in a smoking Volkswagen that goes backwards tumble
out onto the sawdust

Each of our moments on the angelic schedule takes place
precisely at that time not a second earlier or later

Especially the elephant with her sad eyes sitting on a box
or the moth-eaten lion waiting for its chance to
pounce once and for all on Roderigo Velazquez from
Venezuela in his spangley white skin-tight suit and be
done with it forever

4/6/2004 (from Underwater Galaxies)

Categories: Poems