Friday, 17 August 2012

Clown Burial in Winter by DA Powell

meringue icing beaten over hot water, ruffle-edged
and the occasional rosette atop an otherwise vanilla
sheet cake boxed in paraffined cardboard, raffia-tied:

maybe we can squint the midget into pastry, instead
of the polymer resin rectangular planter, impervious
to drought (unlike its plumes of maiden grass, gone dead

despite the youthful fuzz and tolerance to neglect)
that’s one way to abide the loss.   or change the japer
to a swan:  pallid jewel set in the mind’s frozen lake

just long enough to dip its beak — sheepstorm imminent,
cloudbank chattering diminished pinhead chatter    —
what madness drew this little man’s painted grimace:

down-turned mouth on whiteface.   his droopy drawers
canvas the landscape.   a band of tin whistles plays

pop the balloons. it’s a fine serenade.   burst of applause

DA Powell is an American poet and teacher. This poem was first published in Jacket 33. His latest collection is Chronic from Graywolf Press. 

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