John Harper

Things to do today in the seminar making me up,
painting my next move
up in soda-fashion,
in this dreamt of canvas
of so-so merry weather—

saunter yonder—ok;
get a handle—ok;
quit the solemn varnish & context—ok;
know now is the sole time of all

by vanishing into hazy loud silence, no letters thence—I want this,
I want that—
not a single, good-tasting, lasting drop of an answer
under my circus-wear,
where behind feels the wheels of fear, and ahead

is large, open wind—ok.

I haven’t done anything—ok.
Anything I’m not usually ashamed of: the address
is as last time, as almost always the case, and the time

before, etc.  What is it—real life
            and then fake life?







This poem is part of a loosely related series of clown poems that I have written through the years—I love the clown archetype. This particular poem tries to cover the absurd attempt toward getting on top of life, while, paradoxically, the result seems to be that of drifting further away.