Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Freak Show

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Ladies and gentlemen,
Boys and girls,
Children of all ages…
I invite you to step inside the Halls of Idiosyncrasy
To witness to this spectacle of the bizarre,
Deformities on public display for all to see.

First, witness the contortionist.
Watch as she manipulates
Her limbs into unnatural poses,
Far beyond the limitations
Normally required of human beings,
Shaping herself to the whims of those around her.

Here we see the sword swallower,
Ingesting every blade handed to her,
All those cutting words of sharpened steel,
Risking evisceration with every mouthful,
Her bleeding scars unseen by the outside world.

Next comes the bearded lady,
Genetics and hormones
Transforming this once-beautiful woman
Into a hirsute horror
Seeking to hide her shame
Behind scarves and veils.

Behold the snake charmer,
Whispering just the right words
To calm the wrath of the serpents
Who slither through deception
Then coil in defensive postures,
Ready to strike at any moment.

Finally we have the fire eater,
Consuming blazing words
That should never be left silent,
Determination scorched
In hopes of avoiding annihilation.

And what sets these oddities apart,
You may ask?

This display consists of only one performer…

Welcome to the freak show I call my life.

~~~ This was written for my prompt this week over at Poetry Jam about the circus.  This is also for the prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us as poets to “break the fourth wall” of writing.


Mary said...

Mary, what a strong (and depthful) write you have come up with for your own prompt. Ha, we probably all could be our own show one way or another, as we accomplish amazing (and yes, sometimes freaky) feats in our own lives.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is so clever. You completely reeled me in. Love the ending!

Ella said...

Wow, this was amazing on so many levels! I really enjoyed you taking me there and I feel sad you feel this way~ (You might need your thyroid checked-it can cause many of these symptoms) (((hugs)))
You really embraced this prompt!
Well Done~

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow, Mary! You knocked this one out of the ballpark. Each descriptive stanza placed me in the place of the callous observer, there to gawk at abnormalities, then you last lines deliver the blow: this is me, you, all of us on display to the world.

I especially loved the description of the sword-swallower - she seemed particularly poignant to me.

Laurie Kolp said...

Love this, Mary!!

Brian Miller said...

i totally love hte sideshows...they are my favorite parts...the freaks...ha, maybe i feel a bit at home there are not a freak...thought life can def make you feel like it at times...

Peggy said...

Very cleverly done Mary. The twist at the end took me by surprise! Thanks for the great prompt.

Old Ollie said...

Halls of Idiosyncrasy...this is cool.

all us freaks eh?

Kim Nelson said...

I laughed out loud at the truths within the tents, Mary!

Poet Laundry said...

Ha! Your ending got me! Fun surprise...and I do love me some freaks.

Helen said...

Well ... this is quite the poem, I mean exposé! Great writing!!

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL...Loved the twist at the end...

Mama Zen said...

I love your approach to the prompts. Excellent writing.

SaraV said...

Mary, you are so clever! You really had me going there, enjoying your words and descriptions and then, great twist--well done! :-)

Margaret said...

words and whims... this is fantastic and yes, life can be a circus! :)

Dave King said...

Wonderful idea for a take. There were clues enough, of course, but still you floored me at the end. Marvellous!

Dana Dampier said...

My life too can be compared to a circus, especially these past few months. We must put on our clown shoes and silly hats and keep on dancing or it will surely bring us down.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Such a great take on your own prompt!

Anonymous said...

ooooh loved it... thank you for pointing the poetry jam out to me -would have hated to miss this one!

my heart's love songs said...

wow! i wasn't expecting that ending! i love the way you turned things you've gone through/aspects of yourself into the circus "freaks" ~ we all have them, don't we? really amazing writing!

thanks for such a challenging prompt!