Thursday, April 28, 2011

who killed the circus chimera?

let's see, chimera, what's the definition? something totally unrealistic or impractical: a wildly unrealistic idea or hope or a completely impractical plan. or organism with genetically different tissues. in other words, like these letters a deer combined with a goat makes a dote!

actually, i'm in mourning still for a certain big top that came to town several years ago. i got a few pictures, yet wanted to go back for more. when it didn't show up again, i did a bit of research.

BROWNSVILLE — In Jim Judkins’ Rio Hondo backyard, trailers of circus equipment sit locked and immobile, monkeys curl their fingers around the bars of a metal cage, a massive tent — the big top itself — is furled and stored behind a row of unused generators.

�Circus Chimera — Coming soon,� reads a spray painted sign on a trailer’s broadside.

Judkins laughs. No circus, he says, is coming to Brownsville in the near future.

Because of recent changes in the United States’ temporary-work visa program, Judkins had to cancel Circus Chimera’s itinerary for the first time in its 10-year history

turns out a quirk of fate put them out of business. they couldn't get visas for the 51 mexican workers who did all the grunt work. and evidently they didn't want to go with lowlife carnies. during the intermission, a manager had told me the circus family-run and cleaned up. what a difference from the county fair with its garish, rusty rides.

a world without circuses, do i want to live in it? after all, running away to join was always a way out. the physical life, balancing on a bar high above the crowd, daring fate to do its worst. instead, now it's the tame, boring existence. the one that leads to crime and war. no wonder we demand the news be dramatic and deadly. ordinary days leave us cold.

NO WAY OUT, what could be worse. pretty soon we'll have nero fiddling while the gladiators tear the lions apart. not quite what i had in mind. this circus one of the few not to use animals. and you know, i hadn't even missed them at the time: the sad elephants, lions pacing behind bars, the seals balancing on balls.

without that dream, where am i to run? even at night i wander in strange cities, looking for sensual satisfaction and metaphysical meaning. no wonder my sheets twisted and torn.

pics of this wonderful bunch: