Prose Inspired By the Carnival

There is no shortage of things related to circus and sideshow that I enjoy writing about. While mostly I stick to fiction, such as a short story about an albino and snake charmer who find love, or the novel I have been working on for the past several years, there are also thoughts that are put together in some sort of poetic fashion. Honestly, I dislike putting labels on anything I write, as the words just come as they want to.  Here are a few things that were composed while traveling with the carnival in 2005, which were also published in Issue 1 of Alive On the Inside.

BOZO

In that iron cage you ruled
The gathered crowd was fooled
Aiming and pitching their best
To see you in water up to your chest
From the platform you would holler
Made them part with that dollar
Insulting people you’d hardly know
The worse it was, the harder they’d throw
Hit the target and in the water you fell
When you didn’t they said “Go to hell!”
During a break you went to the bathroom
Saw those marks, thought you were doomed
Recognized as the foul-mouthed clown
They had tried so hard earlier to drown

SNAKE GIRL

With the head of a beautiful woman
And the body of an ugly snake

They say Angel is her name
An ancient illusion of fame
Only a dollar to enter
Closely inspect the cage
She’s resting on a table
Exactly as described
And yet…

That snake body is fake
And the girl seems to be as well!
Someone cried

Rest assured she is alive
Tho does not speak as advertised
People leave with disappointment
Missing the simple illusion
In the end it doesn’t matter
No refunds for the ignorant

Come inside and see Angel
Beautiful woman and serpent of evil

TINY TIM

THE WORLD’S SMALLEST HORSE

Even a handful of hay and a cupful of water are a mighty big meal for Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim is the World’s Smallest Horse
He’s housed in a barn across the midway
Plastic barn painted red and white
His name visible from every side
People pay their dollar to see Tim
All day he stays in that barn
And I hear how small he is
It’s starting to infect my brain
The madness turns thoughts deadly
A plot of insanity to kidnap him
Turn him into glue for my hair
Jell-o that I happily slurp down
Food for my hungry dogs
That damn horse deserves it!

At the end of the carnival
When the rides are dark
Everyone in tear down mode
There is Tiny Tim
No bigger than a tractor’s tire
He’s not such a bad guy
It was the grind—
The looping tape from Hell

GEEK

You know what a Geek is don’t you?

Red and yellow canvas tent
Pitched behind the sideshow
Crowd gathered in curiosity
One dollar gets you inside
Packed against sweaty bodies
Air reeking of cheap beer

Eyes stare at the oddities
Nature’s cruel mistakes
Live freaks put on display
A madman, they are warned
They push forward in eagerness
Anticipation saturates the air

With a grin he steps into the light
Takes a survey of the curious faces
Politely bows for the captive audience
Holds a clucking bird by its feet
Brings it closer to his mouth
Women are screaming in the rear

He’s a geek, self-made freak
Robbing chickens of their heads
He’s a geek, self-made freak
Likes them raw not cooked instead
See the geek, take a peak
Just a dollar for the show
Why he does it—no one knows!
He’s alive; on the inside
So c’mon in and see him now!

Stand in line to have a turn
Observe the advertised tattooed man
Brightly colored ink embedded into skin
Detailed designs cover him from head to toe
Even in places which cannot be seen
Clothes fit enough for a King

Drawing crowds towards the show
Exotic girls on the bally stage
Wrapped in the coils of snakes
The smooth pitch lures them in
An extra dollar will gain access
To something gruesome
That comes with warning
Bodies packed in the blow-off tent
What they saw was quite alarming!

He’s a geek, self-made freak
Robbing chickens of their heads
He’s a geek, self-made freak
Likes them raw not cooked instead
See the geek, take a peak
Just a dollar for the show
Why he does it—no one knows!
He’s alive; on the inside
So c’mon in and see him now!

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