Thursday, July 27, 2017

on the evil of clowns

     "I began my comedy as it's only actor, and I came
       to the end of it as it's only spectator."
                                                                                   Antonio Porchia

this is something i know very well. (i should be sleeping. and here i am talking in my sleep. maybe my shadow side can come out only then.) when at sixteen, i started to be a writer, i thought of myself as a clown tumbling through the universe. an adequate image of a bumbler and improviser, never truly at home anywhere, with shoes too big always tripping him up, a crooked nose broken three times in childhood. i always wanted to make fun of what others loved, particularly love itself. 

and there's the essence of evil, if you need a definition. somehow the passions of people, the coupling, never worked for me, though god knows, i tried, list of attempts embarrassing. i realized my urge was to conquer, not to be a true mate. no wonder i ended up defeated. i fought the wrong battle. the performer in me, the clown, the one who could be the trickster, in life as well as in writing.

what makes the clown so evil? anger, anger at whatever stood in his way. rage at being beaten with a belt, made fun of in the boy scouts, the jester in class, always embarrassing the teacher whenever he could, the preacher's kid squirming in the front row: he wanted to be the one giving the sermon, not the father. how bizarre it was to see him after his term in korea. i'd been the man of the family for a year. and now as king i'd been deposed. 

the joker hides behind a mask of laughter, a smile too big, eyes too bright. what he wants is attention and revenge. his comic turns, like those of hopi katchina clowns, meant to be scathing. no wonder they scared the little kids into being good. no one really likes to be the butt of a practical joke. and trickster coyote couldn't help getting himself in trouble, sometime winning, sometimes losing.

and i always want to solve the world's problems with violence, especially by dropping an atomic bomb on a well-chosen target. or rubbing out an enemy, getting paddled by the principal in front of the whole fifth grade class. after that i learned to disguise myself better. unfortunately, the outrage hidden in the comedy runs through my writing like lightning. here's a quote from myself:

                             NICE GUYS DON'T WRITE POETRY. 

yes, in the circus world everything is topsy-turvey. i always knew i should not be a leader, especially president. i'd trick the populace into thinking i served them when i only served myself. best to stay in the shadows. yell fire when i had to, and pretend i didn't want sometimes the burn the world down.