Cirque de Moi
Tonight, Ladies and Gentleman,
the sideshow takes center-stage
here in the hall of mirrors
where a Queer little girl becomes
a living fractal, splintering herself
through the world's kaleidoscope eyes.
To your left, we have Miss Silvertongue,
the daughter who swallows six-inch razors
during summer to survive dinner with
her father, a habitual fire-breather. Steel
has slashed her vocal cords, but she's learning
to live with the lump in her throat.
Next up, the Shrunken Elephantess teeters
on the scale. No doctor can fix her eyes,
those funhouse mirrors blurring with tears
at the glimpse of her bloated reflection. Go on,
throw her some of your peanuts or your pity,
but please, no flash photography.
Perhaps you've come for a gander
at the Failed Feminist, that part-time lady lover
who's a crossbreed of Betty Crocker and
Gloria Steinem. There's a certain mystique
about her hypocrisy; she'd sooner stick her head
in an oven than admit her motives for baking.
Countless other exhibits await:
the Cynic and the Romantic
cleaved together in an awkward embrace;
the Vulture Madam, guardian of bookshelves
who picks clean her own heart;
and the Poet wallowing in the corner--
the strangest specimen by far--she speaks
only Dictionary, stringing syllables around her neck,
and forgets metaphors are extinct.
How are such monsters born? you'll ask
the Queer little girl as she climbs out of herself again.
Easy, she'll tell you, just look in the mirror.
Author's Note: If readers, like voyeurs, like to creep inside my notebooks and watch my soul undress, does that make me an exhibitionist, or just another freak show? June 14, 2010.