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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Tattooed Man from Borneo

Barker: Step right up! Step right up!
See the Tattooed Man from Borneo.
He’ll chill you to the bone when he smiles just so.
He's quite a fright, with spikes in his nose,
rings through his eyes and eyes on his toes.

Tattooed Man hands his soul to the Devil.

Tattooed Man:

No one knows where I really came from
or got my love of pain from.

My native tongue
is clearly not exotic.

I often fly into a fearsome rage
and rattle the bars of my Borneo cage
reducing children to shivering bits.
No one who sees me likes it.

I was a castaway
on a ship that was to carry me away

from unspeakable crimes that remain unspoken,
committed on some far more Northern coast than
Borneo. I just liked it so kept it as my own.

It’s generally thought that I’m from France
and my ship wrecked so I took the chance
and disappeared.
I was feared
by the natives I found
so stuck around.
I dined every day on enemy stew
and executed grisly tortures too.

The Midway Boss:

So he says. Though no one fully believes him,
they have to admit they can easily see him
doing any of the above.
He doesn't exactly inspire love.

The trapeze artist shudders noticeably.
for what? It's rather hard to see
until she casts a wayward glance
at the Tattooed Man's hands.

At first sight she looks like she might
go suddenly insane.
Then she looks like that again.
and again,
and again.

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