Poem of the Day: A Dead Drunk Clown

a dead drunk clown

there used to be a clown down in Harvard Square
and many people would walk to him

he was a clown from top to bottom
big green and yellow shoes
a short red jacket
white pants that reflected the summer’s daylight
beckoning tourists for some good old New England fun

but he was a drunken clown
a horrible sight when you got close
we’ve all been tricked once
by the drunken clown of Harvard Square
never forgetting your last image of him
before you jolted back

the cakey makeup
the blood shot eyes
dying teeth
and sharp breath
whose taste lingered on your pallet
he smelled of thick body odor and lousy booze
and his deep, clogged-with-ash utterance
hollering at you
stayed with you
as you walked on

he would trick parents
and scare children
girlfriends gasping when the clown
got close enough
to smell their hair
and a hand around their waist
boyfriends would shove him after the quick groping
but the clown would just laugh louder
this was his joke
and no one was his match
he always

one day, I sat and watched him for a bit
his balding greasy hair
his staggering movements
his caveman hairy arms, long and black
and thought
when was his first day out like this?
what triggered it?
what did the people who know him think of his
stories of fright?
does he stand at his bathroom mirror giggling as he
gets ready?
or was it a serious matter?
and how long does the drunken intoxication keep the joke fun?
does he go to the packy store as the clown?

I wanted to read his story
know where he’s from
and learn when the clown idea got set down
on his front burner

maybe he just enjoyed being a deceiver to the innocent
I mean—
he always seemed happy…’ish

I was impressed a bit that he was so organized
and driven
at being a drunken clown
day in and day out he’d be in Harvard Square

I was told today that he died drunk in the middle of JFK St.
face down in the middle of the street
is that what he wanted?

for he did accomplish
more than anyone else
of being
a dead drunk clown

Poem from The Gypsy Mile available on Interpunk.com

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