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Translations from the Cinema - Sawdust and Tinsel
by Dr. Lawrence Nannery
2018-03-12 06:19:56
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Translations from the Cinema
Sawdust and Tinsel


The smirking boy came to Frosty.
Frosty was in his clownsuit and painted-on smile.
The word was, he was being made a fool of.

The clown dropped everything and ran, the boy and other hands following,
Down to the edge of the lake, where his wife was in the water with some soldiers,
Shameless and open in front of so many of them.

The laughing soldiers smirked and laughed and enjoyed her nakedness,
But not the Carny folk.
The horror and shame on that fool face of Frosty moved the wife when she turned and saw.
And she, held by that, shocked by his shock and humiliation
And his lack of indignation, stopped,
And the laughter suddenly died away and all eyes looked away.

Frosty, with a bright, naïve Hyperion upon his chest, treads the obedient water
Towards her.  She is naked, covering her breasts with her hands.
He picks her up by the haunches and carries her, chest on chest, home.
Her legs are wrapped around his waist, she rides him all the way.

It is a long way. 
They go in silence, the crowd following in silence.
They go double-backed, double-headed, move over painful terrain.
Her shameful parts are open to the air.  She hides her head in his chest, grateful.

The long walk proceeds.  Frosty grimaces, doubling his smile.
The complicit boy takes her clothes from off a rock and now runs ahead.
Frosty is shoeless, and his thin legs must wobble in each step.
The way must be strewn with sharp rocks.
He may not drop her or stop.

Now the Sun itself becomes a player, and burns their skins.
Their burning skins take on the consistency of sand.
Now the pounding drums, which add to their misery,
Pound in their ears, in our ears, not like heartbeats, but like deathly pains.

The way is slow, slow … and endure everyone must, to the point of conversion.
The onlookers fall into the silence reserved for the preternatural.

When they get to the big top, the wife's clothes miraculously turn up
And she is saved, and knows herself to be saved.
Everyone knows she is saved, but no one can ever say it to her.
Even she can never thank her husband, the clown,
Who would anyway be blank and unable to respond.

Years reel out.
The story never recedes, but is revealed only in times of distress,
To for example straighten out grueling roads, or banish inclement weather
For those alive and present, both tellers and hearers.


Check Dr. Lawrence Nannery's Poetry Collection:
"Translations from the Cinema"
You can download them for FREE HERE!

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