This Is No Freakshow

This Is No Freakshow
By Shawn Misener
This is awful, but not awful enough.
A messy wound you could fit a canyon into
leaking clear juicy drops to the white sands.
You charged us five dollars for this?
I could’ve seen much worse for free
on my parents ultramodern laptop/fax/phone/espresso machine.
I could’ve ventured into the caves under the desert
and emerged with centipedes guaranteed to blow minds.
There are friends on the fringes that have limbs missing
or sometimes extremities in the wrong places
like they were created by a two-year old with a good lego set.
There’s no shortage of freak show on this dusty earth.
They take money shamelessly.
What better to do with the finger sprouting from a left nostril then
commercialize it as it picks the right nostril,
bending around like a bull ring and probing like a drill worm.
How amusing is that?
This is just a nasty wound, kid.
Give me a carving knife, and I’ll show you how it’s done.
No freak show here.
Watch the embers from the lava geyser as it engulfs the birch tree.
Count to one hundred, slowly, clenching your jaw.
Do not scream. There are extraterrestrials afoot.

0 thoughts on “This Is No Freakshow

  1. ‘If man is 5, and the Devil is 6, then Misener is 7!’ I think you captured the Zeitgeist (spirit of the times) perfectly…an aspect of our current need for the absurd or cockeyed, which ulteriorally deep down allows us to feel more normal (as if there were such a thing) and better about ourselves.
    “This is No Freakshow”, like other Misener poems, walks that circus tightrope with the long balancing rod defying the gravity of the obscure poem with a safety net that bounces the reader into jigsaw enlightenment. I know that might sound like a bunch of crap… “Dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with bull” (is my unsung motto). But there is a strong allure to the dark side of esotericism that every poet faces every time he/she writes…I know more that once I’ve succumbed to this succubus, waking up naked the next morning on a cold park merry-go-round clutching half-eaten fig-newtons. This poem is not guilty of that.
    The title gives readers a good up-front indication of the subject matter and fairly right away they are able to figure out the theme (it’s human nature to be awed by the awful)…the rest of the poem expounds and elucidates so it is unneccessary to perform any Vulcan ‘mind-melds’ or consult the Oijat/8-ball to discern what the hell this guy’s talking about. I wish I could write more often like this.
    I was impressed with the 3rd stanza: “There are friends on the fringes that {who?} have limbs missing or sometimes extremities in the wrong places like they were created by a two-year old with a good lego set. There’s no shortage of freak show on this dusty earth.”
    There’s quite a feeling of psychology and the inner-workings of we homos[apiens] here. Indeed, ‘there are extraterrestrials afoot’, but they got killed by 10,000 lbs. of slush from New York and New Jersey…and this monkey’s gone to heaven…

  2. This kid looks like the love-child of Saddam Hussein and Sandy Duncan; nevertheless, he (or she?) appears very similar to the picture of the androgenous looking short-haired girl petting the bambi for one of B. Follett’s poems some months back. Or he might have been the stunt double for Forest Forest Gump…it looks like this one’s a runner. I’m acrewing (-1 spelling) bad karma here by dissing this kid…i bet he’s at least got good manners and walks old ladies across the streets…i could definitely see him playing baseball in a Norman Rockwell painting with old floppy mitt and feisty pup tagging along. Life is like a box of [discount paperback Taschen art books]…you never know what pic you’re gonna get.

  3. ahhh. quasimofo, this does remind me of that girl feeding/petting the fawn. after i saw this boy i thought “there is a photo of this child somewhere else here on h&h”. i went to look for it, but no luck (i didn’t try very hard). you have a mind like a plastic venus fly-trap. shock and awe. lol. seriously, your brain is still impressing me. please don’t stop.
    anyway, when travis mentioned diane arbus i realized that i’d actually seen this very photo before. don’t recall where though. not that it matters. i looked it up. so if you’re interested in the story behind the shot, read on…

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