The clowns

  
While you sleep, the clowns walk the tightrope of your life story. The faintest gust of wind topples them. They drift down like leaves.

—–

The clowns daub themselves with war paint and don dark suits with silver cuff links and tumble into the sulphurous day.

—–

The clowns juggle appointments, ointments, disappointments. They grin when we insert coins in their wide dead mouths.

—–

Catching a clown is easy. Wait until he’s on his second bottle and then set your crows on him. When you’ve got him, don’t listen to his pleading.

—–

If allowed near a churchyard, the clowns will dig up the dead. They can’t help it! They may bring you a leg, a head, hoping for your approval.

—–

Water burns the clowns. Consequently, they bathe in vodka and drink mercury.

—–

The clowns enjoy a special diet of strawberries, lamb, azaleas and fear. They can’t abide anything pink. Mirrors and loudspeakers confuse them.

—–

Tell me about yourselves, she says to the clowns. But they have nothing to say. The silence stretches and yawns. She sneezes and apologises.

—–

The clowns ride unicycles around the rings of Saturn. Astronomers sulk in their beds. A pie in the face, a supernova. Whatever.

—–

Time stutters, the lights blink. The clowns wear our faces, but we don’t wear theirs. We wear nothing. We’re naked, soft, almost zero.

—–

The clowns visit a bombed-out hotel. The air tastes of ash. They insist on a room with no view. The pulverised concierge wears a stiff smirk.

—–

It is evening. The clowns are ensconced in your cerebellum. The feasting begins soon. The wet grey tables are laden with larval images.

—–

Sometimes, the clowns slip out of synch with the ticking world. Slapstick tricks crack their backs. Mums and dads are sent out of the room.

—–

The show is over. The clowns sit in rows, dabbing at their grease painted faces. The masks dissolve and their skulls show through.

—–

The clowns try crawling down the wall. They want to be Dracula. But they fail. Hours later, rats have conquered the mountain of corpses.

—–

For the clowns, sleep is a rehearsal for death. They keep their eyes open and dream of nothing.

—–

Originally published as a series of tweets.

Saint Gertrude and the Cat Puncher

‘Cat-Puncher – he punches cats:
why would he even do
a thing like that
unto a cat?’
(traditional air)

What is a little known fact is that St Gertrude, the patron saint of cats, was a notorious cat-puncher until God stepped in and said, ‘Stop!’

*

Gertrude Cat-Puncher (as she was known at the time) had been out on on a punchy date with Mr Cat-Puncher and had just drawn back her fist.

*

An adorable little ‘naughty torty’ tortoiseshell kitten was just staring at her unaware of the impending right uppercut when God intervened.

*

God’s ‘Stop!’ was emitted by a passing starling with as it were no dog in the fight in the distinctive tones of a Southern Baptist preacher.

*

‘Yew talkin to me?’ said Gertrude Cat-Puncher to the nonplussed starling, and Mr Cat-Puncher said, democratically, ‘Punch that goddamn bird!’

*

‘This is the Lord thy God, Gertie, speakin to you thru this pore bewildered starlin, n I don’t want you punchin them cats no more!’ said God.

*

‘That Mr Cat-Puncher yew been hangin round with, drinkin future juice n blasphemin, ain’t no good fer yew nor for cats,’ God continued.

*

‘It’s one uh them cat-lovin ventrilly-o-quislins,’ Mr Cat-Puncher said in Gertrude’s ear. ‘Jest punch the goddam starlin and we’re outa here.’

*

But Gertrude felt the light of the Lord illumine her heart within its bony cage, and she looked on the starling with joy: ‘I hear yuh, Lord!’

*

She seized that naughty torty by the tail n brought it down on the head of the evil tempter Mr Cat-Puncher, and went on her way a new woman!

*

From that day to this her house has been full of cat piss and every bird within a three mile radius has been righteously deaded, Amen!

*

And Mr Cat-Puncher saith unto the Lord, ‘What yew got against cat-punchin anyway? Have you seen the stupid self-regardin simpering brutes?’

*

And the Lord said unto Mr Cat-Puncher, ‘I made them that way so you could wipe the smile off uh their smug lil faces. Also I hate starlins.’

*

‘Mr God, yew got yuhself some problems I don’t wanna hear about.’
‘Mr Cat-Puncher, go yore way and we’ll discuss this when all cats is punched.’

.ditsy days.

one thing then another, as   all regular days     really.

 

graphs will show it, we can draw ,        we may discuss.

if we wish,                                                  walk the graden

play with spelling with                                   punctuation.

 

this is no disaster,                 word survival          deleted.

 

we have

they say it begins at home,  that depends on                 belief.

 

we eat off broken plates.

 

titanic.

 

sbm.

 

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