-Image by Carter Goodrich from the cover of the New Yorker, October 30, 2017

the yellow-haired clown
the house of mirrors
see yourself
and the world
beyond recognition

then ride
the roller coaster
into the dark

try to
knock down
the impossible, weighted

the insufficient
falls to the ground
with a dead-cat bounce


This is a Quadrille (44 words) containing the word “bounce” written for De at dVerse.

16 thoughts on “Circus

      • I did not know that. I was only imagining the way a dead cat would “bounce.” I know you meant this to be political, but I enjoyed reading it as if about a relationship — the way a dead one might drop and thud at the end, if it were truly over (or if I were the dead cat being dropped).

        The bad ones are very much like a side show and can be so confusing and have that dizzying effect I felt reading your poem. This reminded me of a particular man I dated for two years, over a decade ago (approaching two decades, actually). I would have followed him anywhere, no matter how bad I felt, no matter how lost I got, no matter how horribly it messed up the way I saw the world and myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great, I mean that this works for you on another level. I’ve been in a relationship like that too, so I know what you mean, though I think, consciously about it while writing. Thanks for your great comments!


  1. I read this the other day but couldn’t find the words to comment. It works so well, the image of a circus ride, that woozy, surreal feeling of queasy fantasy mixing with reality. The clown in charge somehow is in charge, but who knows where the ride will end? And as others have said, that ‘dead-cat bounce’ – the finality of the rhythm, the evocation of a dead cat – works so well.
    Skillfully done

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s