“The Last Testament of Myron Clay: Carnival Barker” A Poem

Posted: May 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

When June was too young to belch fire,
Like Mr. Inferno, who we’d picked up in White Plains, New York
We gave them dwarves, wild beasts and the queen of the wire
We took the champagne and we popped the cork
For eager guests with ravenous faces
Who had given their Sunday to admire our work.
You see, this is a job that the public embraces
We are the mesmerists of their shame
Putting down repulsion when it rises
To rebuke them for a long day of games.

My wagons are chock full of Unchristian words
That those churchmice shout out in their dreams.
Those Christians watch those men who swallow swords,
In hopes that their little wives might follow suit,
But won’t compromise the comfort prayer affords,
By doing anything else but standing mute
And as the awful blockhead pounds those nails,
The girls can’t help but think he’s sort of cute.

We’d made our way from Hartford on the rails
To this Massachusetts town where we’d shown ’em who’s boss

But I couldn’t hear the wolf boy’s tragic wails,

Since it was hours after the show and I slept on the sauce.

The mob even dragged the strong man to the ground,
Because mobs, like carnivals, live by their own laws.

When I woke, flames licked my feet and I was bound
Cause the mob who applauded before named me a sinner
For showing things as true as that the earth was round.
The body of the skeleton man looked even thinner
As he hanged beside the fat lady, his wife.

To act this way for God made the devil the winner,
As he lent the eager zealots ankouscythe,
Which they used to cut down the men who told the truth
About the desperate ugliness of their lives.

Then a cool hand on my cheek began to soothe
The pain from the loss of my friends and the fire’s heat.
A pale lady stood beside me in the light of her youth
And whispered that my days were not complete.
No townsfolk saw her, they just kept on adding more wood
And screaming that I’d never sit by God’s seat.

When they laid me down in the ground I understood
That this lady was sent by the devil below,
Though my body was charred, their flames had done no good,
But it was something that ignorant mob would never know.
So I came out from my grave into the light,
Determined to give these rubes a better show.

I wore a mask since my face was a grisly sight,
A frightening, elegant red-lipped harlequin,
And gathered up a gallery of rare delights,
That would once more tempt this goddamn town to sin.

In Africa, I found the dreadful gorilla man,
I got a lovely Pacific mermaid with scales and fins.
Twenty-five blushing geishas came from Japan,
There was a Turk who swallowed swords with awesome skill,
An Appalachian puma girl who looked grand
And with tigers and wolves I rounded out the bill.
A show the townsfolk certainly couldn’t resist,
With an army of attractions to do my will.

When we got to town, they thought there could never exist
A display so wanton, so beyond repentance
But when they watched it their faces were full of bliss.
Maybe somewhat moreso since they wouldn’t revoke their sentence.

The puma girl had every man there entranced
With feline contours that threatened their ascendance.
Though her fangs were bared, they still enjoyed the dance
Their catcalls and applause revealed their gaiety
And the measure of her success was in their pants.

The gorilla man enthralled all of the ladies
With great hairy arms that could snap them in half
And the eyes of a beast that had come forth from Hades
With a primitive, savage mind bent on wrath.
They were swooning and crying and frozen to the spot
And many of them were robbed of their breath.

Maybe half of that awful town had tickets bought
On a Sunday that was supposed to be holy
And I promised them all that these things would be naught
Compared to the magic of a thrilling finale.

When the sun set on the fairgrounds, I gave a yell,
A call to make my myrmidons all rally
To take these hypocrites to their circles of Hell.
When the cages sprang open, the townsfolk were all afraid,
It turns out that my horrors were chosen well.

The Turk had taken heads with his whirling blade,
And desperate men were trying hard to swim
Drawn into the tank with a lecherous mermaid.
The puma girl soothed many libido’s whims,
So men forgot about their wives and their daughters
As the gorilla man had taken advantage of them.

Such violence and lust defined the slaughter
Of which I’d been the clownish host;
Ill used, sliced up, seduced and submerged in water.
And when the town’s rewards were finally just,
I knew that the devil would take for what he’d given,
When I saw my comrades who had gone to dust
Before my eyes as if they were still living.
They led me then to the place where I’d settle down,
I began damnation and I finished grieving.

Comments
  1. […] The Last Testament of Myron Clay, Carnival Barker: A Poem https://chainsawnoir.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/the-last-testament-of-myron-clay-carnival-barker-a-poem… […]

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