Clowning Around

Sweet Clown, paint on your face
Prepare your act
Don’t wonder, sorrowing, about that patch;
That bare, uncluttered square –
Don’t pin your hopes on it
Learn not to care.
If you insist on pouring out your heart,
Remember there’s no contract
No agreement
And no part
Your loved ones have to play
Remember: some already
Have shown you they
Care, if mostly by return.
Soft Clown
Don’t let your cotton heart
Get trampled on, or burned
For you must focus now:
It’s time for your next show.
Weave those wordspells
Ready? Steady? Go!
Dance and sing and surely entertain
Draw on that smile
And don’t dwell on this
It’s such a pity
You can’t understand
How stupid you are
Going with word in hand
To fly your heart
Glittered, child-like, stupid
You’re not part
Of worlds you want
And will be forever marginalised
Just dance, Clown, dance
On that peripheral ridge
Where they can glance,
Let eyes slide over,
Not acknowledge
You as more than
Just a toy, which
When they pick you up
They oft enjoy
And, oh, that makes you crave them
Even more,
Knowing for a moment there
You made them
Want you, sure,
(Albeit fleetingly)
But no; the shelf’s the place
For thee:
Your flimsy soft-fluff self
Just can’t belong
And each time that you try
You’ll find
You’re wrong.

20 comments on “Clowning Around

  1. Pete Vanlaw says:

    Very very touching! Very human. Very impressed!


  2. Joy Christi says:

    I can't brain poems, but this really makes me want to drink brown liquor from the bottle, wrapped in a brown paper bag. Those are my feels, LET ME FEEL MY FEELINGS 🙂


  3. Lizzi R says:

    In fact I'd say that pretty much summed it up.


  4. Lizzi R says:

    Thanks Pete – I'm glad you thought so, and that it comes over well.


  5. Chris Carter says:

    Oh Lizzi.. I'm trying hard to figure this out- and figure you out. Help me understand what this means?

    Do you feel abandoned by your blogging friends? Is that this? Are you having a hard time with the ebb and flow of the blogosphere? I pray not, honey. I need some clarification. Your words are powerful and perplexing all at once.


  6. Lizzi R says:

    I've been wondering myself. It's not a specific thing, forsure. And I can't call it 'exclusion' even, because there are so many places and ways I am included. I could just put it down to being a perpetual outsider and have done with it, I think. I'm never inclined to trust acceptance, and I think it all stems back into worth.

    Because fundamentally, I don't accept myself. If I did, I could believe it when others do. Which is an odd kind of 'outside' to be, but there you have it.


    it's just a pretty piece of nonsense.


  7. Roshni says:

    So, similar to Christine, I don't get poems but I understand that you feel down. I myself have a hard time fitting in…kind of being lonely even in a crowd?! I'm not trying to say that I understand how you feel! You are a complex, sensitive person and I trust that you will figure things out soon.


  8. bethteliho says:

    *frowny face* Yucky feels here today, yet you waxed poetic so artistically. I love that poetry is so obvious, yet so veiled at the same time. A peek. Just enough to give you the emotions behind it, but not enough for the whole story. But aren't the emotions the whole story, ultimately?


  9. Lizzi R says:

    Oh I always find a way to carry on entertaining, don't worry. But yeah – the lonely in a crowd thing – I totally get that. Without losing the (clearly) joyful tenor of this piece, I pretty much live that, except when I'm busy being THE LIFE AND SOUL OF THE FREAKIN PARTY (if that makes sense to you – do you get that, too?)

    Complex. Thanks 😀 I like it.


  10. Lizzi R says:

    Sickeningly obvious sometimes. I almost felt a bit grossed out posting this one.

    I think you're right, in the end, and there's nothing like being able to take out a feeling, look at it under the microscope for a bit and then make it safe by wrapping it up in a few pretty words. It's kind of a relief, to have it out rather than tugging at the insides all the time.

    A peek. Which is usually sufficient 🙂

    Thanks *hugs*


  11. Pete Vanlaw says:

    Just to clarify my earlier reply, Lizzi, I know some funny people but none of them can be funny all the time. Humor, more often than not, comes from a painful place. And you're only being human when you slip back toward that dark hole. But to be able write about it with such grace and artistry is a real gift. A catharsis for you and a treasure for us. That's why I was impressed.


  12. Lizzi R says:

    You're right on the money with 'catharsis'. I find that these things roll around inside me, looking for someplace to lodge, and they usually get increasingly toxic the longer I keep them in. I do appreciate your clarity, though – thank you. And I think you're right about the humour thing, too – I know I'm very good at being funny in person, and it's been a long learning process of humour to deflect or defuse, which has created this ability.


  13. Pete Vanlaw says:

    >>- I know I'm very good at being funny in person, and it's been a long learning process of humour to deflect or defuse, which has created this ability.< <
    Why am I not surprised….!


  14. Lizzi R says:

    I am nothing, sometimes, if not an absolute fit for the stereotype 😉


  15. Pete Vanlaw says:

    But looking at the flip side, it's also a gift that you've been able to turn into humor for the enjoyment of the rest of us. That's a good thing…!


  16. Lizzi R says:

    This is true, and I do love to entertain. I think I'm glad it's not always with this level of 'personal' but at the same time, I'm kind of glad I can wrap these things in pretty words and make them acceptable, one way or another 🙂


  17. Zoe Byrd says:

    Self acceptance will come with time, yes? I dont know if it ever comes fully very often … its one of those things about the process being the actual journey… I dont mean to not make sense but think Im rambling now… I meant to get back here when I had something poignant to say about this… but that came as most inspiration does in the shower… and was lost… As my insight wanes… I do have to say that I admire how you structure your poems… I so want to do that more. You have a way of ( I feel a ramble coming on) … of what? I dont know … you just seem to be able to tell everything you need to convey … I often feel I give up on that before the poem is completely written… make any sense?


  18. Lizzi R says:

    I don't know how though, honestly! My poetry-writing process is highly 'stream of consciousness' and I very rarely edit more than a few words. You might remember my recent Vilannelle – that is absolutely the poem I've taken most trouble over creating, and it's by no means my favourite.

    This one was written in one long, hard purge. I might have changed a coupla words here and there, but hardly anything. What am I trying to convey…? I think it's not so much skill as dumb luck that I have a brain which can just *do* this without much thought.

    Self acceptance might come with time. It's interesting – I came here having looked back at my heart room post ( and the golden words didn't hurt tonight. When I wrote it, each one of them felt like hot coals in my brain, as though they didn't belong.

    Tonight they're alright.

    I think these things happen in stages, and sometimes when we're not looking.

    FYI, some of my deepest and most resentfully forgotten comments happen in the shower. If you and I could invent a waterproof pen which still rubs off tile, we'd make MILLIONS, I tellya!


  19. Zoe Byrd says:

    well thats awesome then! It is such a labor intensive project for me….every poem is a vilannelle!

    and even better that tonight was no bleeding!

    Change is indeed insidious!

    Yeah , I have been toying with that idea for some time… ie the shower thing…


  20. Lizzi R says:

    I'm lucky – I seem to have a brain which is wired for it. I wrote one last night in the comments to someone, might even copy it and write it up here in a coupla days time, and well….it just poured out! I don't know where it comes from, but I'm pleased.


    Change is the only constant, as Denise says.



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