Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Clowns and the Phantoms of Privilege

Hesitating to even patron the local library I grew up reading books in, I decided one day to risk it, keeping my wallet down in the deep, long reaches of my pocket.
A man with a glassy salamander stare was rocking back and forth back near a section once made up of high minded French Literature, his tongue extending to the sticky, ruined table, the whole pulpy mass covered with ladybugs. Most of the good books belonged to other libraries. There were small, gold wreathed funeral cards for the books gone missing.
The patrons were, though, mostly worn out looking clowns.
One had something resembling blackface on and a stovepipe hat, as if he’d just wandered from a minstrel show. They were pretty suspicious, actually. Wandering in a circle towards the men’s room, the librarians ducked down and whispered into police headsets, blue and ambulatory.
“I want to know”, a sneering librarian spat, “just what those clowns do in that bathroom”.
I wasn’t going anywhere. This place was mine. I’d spent too much time there, or around there, to be moved.
An exhausted, small woman with an eye you could have placed on a rabid Cyclops cleared her throat, announcing that though we’d all have to leave soon, there’d be a show first: the Clowns were going to perform for us. And sure enough they showed, one by one, with the solemnity of monks. Speech after speech about revolution, or about getting wild in the streets, individual liberty, etc.
The agitated Ladybug man left, moaning about something or other.
It was great. They cajoled, coagulating in true clown fashion. Not a trick or an illusion was neglected. They even read from Heidegger. But soon darkness was falling like a yellow fever, or the sad inevitability of a stomach flu, and moonlight fell on each pair of eyes. (It didn’t matter that we were in a library.)
“I need those rubber shoes!”, the clown called to a concerned but helpless librarian as he confiscated them along with his joy buzzer, which gave the man a heart attack. Soon another was shouting. “Why? Because my feet get cold at night, asshole!"
 Beckoning toward them from behind the bus stop glass, I got nowhere; these guys were true idealists: they pounded on the yellow, defaced library door till the bus came, demanding what was only once theirs.

Editing stage: 


Thoroughly enjoyed frolicking
with you and your colorful characters.
I use to spend time in the library, who
knew it was taken over by clowns lol.

thanks for posting

(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.