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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Epilogue

The Midway Boss: It's all quieted down
but for the sound
of the survivors settling in.
As early birds tuck in
there's a gypsy laugh, then,
a burst of flame and a laugh again.

Madame Ugly: Rumor is there's a new Sword Swallower coming.
The Midway Boss: Everyone's taste for Knife Throwing is running
out. That's the third time one's turned out
to be more than apparently doubtful.

The Devil: Wonder if the next swallower don't take more than a mouthful,

The Midway Boss: The acrobats jeer
at the Elephant Man out of habit.

The Magician's rabbit
changes from white to red.
The man who bites off heads,
thank God, went to bed.

He has a terrible problem with alcohol.
He often smashes rats against the wall

in a fevered frenzy.
Someone screams. He
laughs viciously.

It's hard to see
but the gypsy man with the blue-black eyes
gave the Tightrope Walker quite a surprise
back there behind the Ferris wheel.
And to the left the Gaffer makes a deal
with one of the Roustabouts.

The Lady with the 7 Veils
and the Elephant Man
ran off with the Barker's bite.
Over to the left there,
behind that curtain,
I will divine the night.

I don’t tell the future,
no, it's the night itself I read;
while primal popcorn bursts
and cotton candy spins
of dim and din
and games no one wins
drift up to dim the moon
and wither the trees.

The man biting heads off of rats turns
to eye small children with an ominous glare,
a carnivorous stare
and there - look - over there
the Bearded Lady Weeps
while the animal keeper sweeps
and the Fat Lady sings.

Brass rings
fall in rust-dulled clinks
on to the candy sticky ground.
The carousel spins round
with a madness and mind of it's own.

The Sword Swallower groans
as if he's met with accident.
A few stragglers shuffle, spent
on the dreams of jugglers and gypsy's.
You’ve been here before.
And you will be once more.

Repeat God’s Gonna Cut You Down – exit out with Conjurini still juggling fire.

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