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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Knife Thrower and his Wife

Barker:
dice!

Step right up! Step right up! See the Knife Thrower and his Wife! Though sharp as razors he tosses blades like

The Knife Throwers Wife: His eyes get dim and far away
he laughs like a small boy at play
and he winks and whispers to the knives
as if they were alive.
No one heard.
I soon stopped saying a word.

The Knife Thrower: I'd always joked and called her cat
because, I pointed out that
she clearly had at least 9 lives.

She used to close her eyes
each time I threw.
She knew
I'd miss one time;
the streamlined
arc of the blade would sink
before she had time to think.

She got used to it.
She usually wasn't hit.
But sometimes I drank
and the steely knives sank
just barely into wood over skin.
Then I'd do it again

Sound knife fall, Jayme scream

and again

Sound knife fall, Jayme scream

and again.

Sound knife fall, Jayme scream

Laughing at the spin
of half reckless knives, then
hurl another with abandon.

Sound knife fall, Jayme scream

Everyone wondered if I'd planned it.

She'd been saying I wasn't right for weeks.
For weeks more she just wouldn't speak
at all. She'd flinch with each knife-fall.
She cringed when she heard the Barkers' call.
Barker: Step Right Up! Step Right Up!
See the Knife Thrower and his wife.
She rather convincingly looks like she fears for her life.

The Knife Thrower’s Wife: His vision bleared.
His thoughts got weird.
The Knife Thrower: I raised my arm
intending harm.

Sound knife fall

The Knife Thrower’s Wife: He lost his grip.
He slipped
past the edge of reason.
The Knife Thrower: It’s wife slicing season!

Sound knife fall

They both fell in a slump.

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