Suite Clownesque


for the critic

Suite Clownesque

Across the painted colonnades
Among the terra cotta fawns
Among the potted palms, the lawns,
The cigarettes and serenades

Here’s the comedian again
With broad dogmatic vest, and nose
Nose that interrogates the stars,
Impressive, skeptic, scarlet nose;
The most expressive, real of men,
A jellyfish impertinent,
A jellyfish without repose.

Leaning across the orchestra
Just while he ponders, legs apart,
His belly sparkling and immense:
It’s all philosophy and art.
Nose that interrogates the stars
Interrogates the audience
Who still continue in suspense

Who are so many entities
Inside a ring of lights!
Here’s one who has the world at rights
Here’s one who gets away with it
By simple spreading of the toes,
A self-embodied role, his soul
Concentred in his vest and nose.

excerpted from Inventions of the March Hare
[copyright Valerie Eliot, 1996]

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