In the water, on the air



Circus Time

Before the Circus
Before the circus, everyone in town heads over to the fairgrounds. They hang their elbows over the fence and whistle as the big-top rises. The way it rises reminds them of having fun.

Across the fence in the big-top, the ringmaster stands in his circle (practicing) and makes big gestures at the unfolding walls (as practice). He’s glad to get it all going again, but first he has to hire a new cast of circus fleas. They do great tricks that make the crowd go “ooh” and they get paid well, too. It’s just the way the town likes it, being a kind town, and so the ringmaster obliges. “Everyone likes a local face,” he reminds himself.

The Morning of the Circus
The morning of the circus, the cooks rise as soon as they hear the fleas practicing tricks on the lawn. The cooks dip candy apples and fry bits of dough but it’s all to get that old scent in the air. Circus peanuts are the only snacks that interest this town. These come from a factory and so the cooks spend their mornings playing trivia games.

“Did you know that circus peanuts are not real peanuts?” they ask, quoting from a website. “Did you know that they are too chewy for my taste?” “Did you know that my son keeps a bag on his dresser for when he misses me?”

The Afternoon of the Circus
The afternoon of the circus, and it’s almost time for the kicks. Under the ring in the big-top, the fleas sit in their dressing rooms with jumpy stomachs. Ida and her husband Paul, old-familiars with the circus, are kind enough to set down their tiny lipsticks and practice books for a quick chat. “I can’t wait to get out there and show off my tricks,” shares Ida, rubbing her feet together excitedly. Paul agrees that the tricks really are “all that,” but adds that the cash is good, too. “Each year after the circus, we buy ourselves sharp new outfits and go for a spin around town,” explains Paul. “We like that a lot,” agrees Ida, planting a little kiss on Paul’s cheek.

After the Circus, at Night
After the circus, at night, the townspeople squish one last handful of marshmallow candies into their mouths and discuss the performance. Narrow streams of orange liquid leak from the corners of their mouths as they talk. “Good to see those local faces,” they tell each other, all the way home.

Big Light

[Star talk, pulled from the net]

Around in the clubhouse before the game,
Movie Star really wants to
stand out from the crown.

Fitted with a star tip
on the end of each hair,
Movie Star pokes
saggy shadows
and makes face beautiful
once merely, for a newly-arrived.
(Stab away, and welcome.)

They swallow greedily
red beer white wine blue regal yuppie wine.
“You can pipe it all over;
you can turn without moving,”
says Movie Star.
“I amn’t just
any type of spinner.”

Then, a sign that is immediately understood:

“Ohh yea yea,
my old game,”
sings Movie Star
with a winky-eye and a cat-eye.

A big racket, then
the top note opens.
Cows milk the limelight,
and still
the ready horse stands quietly.