the circus train comes to town once a year,
carrying Russian ballerinas & corporate America dropouts.
she brings an irresistible bouquet of
caramel apples & greasepaint, of
cotton candy & mechanical smoke.
the circus is a seductive beast, she'll grab your heart
between her teeth & she won't let go, like a
when the show begins on opening night,
you'll be sure to grab a front row seat, right in the
Grand Stand, among the soccer moms & their sticky-faced toddlers.
you'll feel the childish delight bubble
in your chest when the music swells, when the elephants march
& the clowns tumble out in garish colors.
after the show, you'll stumble to the three rings with the
toddlers & their tired moms, right to the center ring, don't be
shy when the clown dressed in yellow & black,
like a bumblebee, comes towards you, a devilish grin on
his painted coal black lips.
your knees will tremble, you'll turn as red as his big nose, when he pulls your back to his solid chest, & he begins to juggle right in front of you.
"stick around, after closing" he murmurs in your ear, "that's when the real circus begins."
the circus is painted bright, a swirling mass of
red & blue, with sparks of yellow, ribbons of pink.
even when the show is over, the mystery is still
there, the sweet seduction lingers, like an old lover's fingers can trace circles on your skin in the dead of night.
when the bumblebee clown drags you around town that night,
as if he lives there & not you, you'll go along with him,
your heart racing fast, as fast as the girl dressed in
pink spandex flew from the cannon across the circus ceiling,
how could you have forgotten that?
he'll take you to McDonald's, ask you to pay for the meal, he's broke until Thursday at 2. of course. you split a small
fry and a chocolate shake, by then it's midnight,
he performs some simple magic tricks, balancing a
chair on the edge of his chin, snagging a shining quarter
from your brunette curls, watch out, girl, he's reeling you in,
he's as seductive as the circus.
he will walk you back to your college dorm &
he's sure to mention how it's been years since he has
been inside a dormitory, since clown college, yes it's real.
your roommate is gone & you're not ready to say goodbye
just yet, so you'll sign him in & guide him to your third floor
he marvels at your textbooks & cuddles your teddy bear
brought from home, while you drink him in, solid, squat,
a true Texican, his skin is brown as caramel, & you wander
if he will taste just as sweet. he'll notice your blush, & pull
you close, pinch your hips, nuzzle your neck & kiss you hard,
maybe a bit too hard.
he lays you on your back, & you're naked, you're scared,
vulnerable, you watch him dip his head & kiss you, nibble you in that sweet, sweet forbidden spot. there's a black coal
in your chest, in the pit of your stomach, you're disgusted,
you're curious, you taste the circus firsthand, gagging.
the circus will remain in town for
an entire week, & for an entire week you have a
circus clown as a boyfriend.
you take him on adventures around your college campus,
to your favorite burger spot, to the big water balloon fight
& he'll show you the circus world, you'll hug
an elephant, you'll drink your first beer in Clown Alley,
& you'll watch the show a dozen times.
he'll write you a love letter on your skin, caramel drips on
China porcelain, he'll leave bruises in the shapes of hearts,
& you'll cry when he leaves, it's only been a week, but
it's been a lifetime. he'll hold you tight, too tight, and he'll whisper,
"it's only a year, i'll see you in a year."
when the circus train leaves, the asphalt lot will be
conspicuously empty, except for a trampled clown nose,
much like your aching heart. you'll feel numb & blue,
you'll cling to your phone, the clown promised you
he would call.
you fall asleep cradling your phone to your chest, startle awake when he finally calls you, it's 4 in the morning, you have an early class, but that can wait, his voice is on the other line.
you'll lose a lot more than sleep when you fall in love
with a circus clown, you have to conform to his schedule,
you see, he is the one calling the shots, not you, not we.
you'll start to slip up in your classes, all you do is stare at your phone screen, who cares about supply vs. demand, anyway?
you hitch a ride to see the clown half a year later, you could
hardly stand him being an hour away, & you'll fly into his arms
like a trapeze artist, after the show, he'll carry you like a bride
to his coffin
bed & you're naked again, scared, vulnerable, he's all the way
he's grunting and sweating, and you're cowering, numb.
you leave 15 minutes later, with shaky thighs, you're slightly
nauseated, you try to kiss him goodbye, but he pushes you away,
he's got eyes on the concession stand girl, the one with
raven black hair and a Marilyn Monroe piercing. your heart drops as you get into the car, your friend begs you to talk, but you can't,
you're confused, you're scared, you won't see the clown
for some time to come.
you try to focus on your schoolwork, but your As slip to Ds, you
try to go out with your friends, but they want to talk about
the cute guy in psychology, not about a circus clown miles away.
you forgot to do laundry, all you do is lay in bed, your dorm is
smelling moldy, your roommate starts to stay away. you're
falling, sinking into a blue sea, deep, dark, endless.
when you fall in love with a circus clown, you must know
you're just another Rube from another city, nothing special,
you see, he's got girlfriends in Florida and Las Vegas, that
concession stand girl, too, you're nothing special, girl,
not even close. you gave it all up, your love & your
bleeding heart, to a circus clown, you foolish girl, don't
you know, he'll just play you as hard as he plays in the
Don't know why I'm happy,
To see the forbidden sun,
Don't know why I'm worried,
To hear the dumbness of its words,
Don't know why I'm relieved,
To hear its soft cry,
Don't know why I'm alive,
even at little things,
Don't know why I'm happy,
that it's him.
And Don't know why,
Even a short time,
Meant so much,
A dream that meant so much,
Favorite word: “nymphet”, but no!
Halcyon, a kind of drug, you know.
Searching through the pages’ mist
And imagined deeds
Of poets’ needs…
I found my favourite word,
Neither sacred nor profane
That describes the Venetian rain
In my beloved’s eyes
And the Florentine sun upon her hair:
“Auburn, russet, mythopoeic”.
Oh, it is not fair,
To liken an object
Of my lust and love
To anything as mortal as autumn air!
Nor “October’s orchard Haze”;
She had her own
Inscrutable, premeditated ways!
Rather let me say that she was perfect,
Though her eyes, pale and myopic,
Her shuffling gait and
Graceless limbs, to them Grace lends
Fey charm, the power to mend
My suffering and
Delusions of a poet’s end
As anything but pathetic,
(Her mother’s fondness for vague emetics)
And I left softly hanging,
On a girl’s new taste,
A tang of russet apples on her face,
But no, not that, the sum
Of my love, My Lo!
Then her bleak demise, partly by my hand
That none of you brutes could understand;
The pure love,
So sadly consummated,
Between a lover
And the one she hated
Yet loved once with inexplicable delight,
On one stolen, frightened night…
In which the two of us agreed
To satisfy a simple, yet maniacal need,
And then depart…
But I could not,
She was my life,
My love, my heart.
Humbert Humbert 1950
S. Tolbert White ca. 2005
Romeo promised to run away with me
to a castle where it was for us only
and I held his hand and started moving
to an empty house I sad waiting
for I was to filled up with lies of true love
that I didn't see he crossed his fingers
and now he fled with Juliet
to an island where they shall meet
so I pulled out my heart and closed my mind
soon after Romeo and Juliet had died
and I was left shattered and dead inside
It gives you peace yet causes chaos
it makes you trust yet lets you doubt
it makes you strong yet weakens your soul
it makes you proud yet lets you regret.
It makes people fight but eventually let go
it makes people unite but causes them sorrow
it makes people humble but it makes them boast
It makes people forgive but ends up hating most
It makes you learn but hurts you in return
it makes you feel but lets your heart burn
it makes you dream but leaves you nightmares
it makes you joyful but leaves you broken
This I emplore
Why is it him
That I so adore?
Why is it his hands
I feel in my own
While I sleep alone?
Why is it his lips
That have naught yet brushed mine
That I feel in my dreams
Those fantasies so sublime?
Why him, I beg as the moon gazes on
Why him, I cry as the stars sing their song
Why him, I entreat as the rooster first crows
Why him, I scream into the wind that blows
Who can tell why the heart aches
Or why the soul breaks
Who can know why the yearning night air
Whispers secrets farther from the public stare
Why him? she asks, question old as love's own reign.
Why not another, more suited, less strange?
But in the end nobody knows
For fate knows no liars
And love stings
For whomever it desires.
'The sun loved
the moon so much
that he died
to let her breathe.'
the beautiful forbidden lovers
never able to meet
to share warm kisses
but I remember the sneaky Moon
she sneaks out of her dark domain
I see her in bright daylight
swathed in the Sun's golden touch
opposite in the sky
they watch each other
with love so pure
although she is forbidden
in his bright domain
she is there
because she believes
that nothing is impossible
and the day comes
when they can meet
for but a few minutes
they embrace in fire
and we stare in wonder
as they meet
but then they must
with broken hearts
she blows him kisses
'goodnight, my love'
as he sinks beneath the horizon
bursting into colors
and the Moon cries
'I love you.'❋
Porcelain skin- it was literally as fragile as a glass doll and when you smiled I was petrified you would shatter in my hands-
Long, dark black hair that you always wore a little too messy for your own good- it flowed around your shoulders-
Glancing to the right with secrets hidden in your eyes, you were always avoiding the camera-
Strawberry red lips and leafy green eyes - you're my favorite fruit-
Forbidden by society but so tasteful in our secret garden-
"When did you stop smiling? I can't remember the last time you looked this sad" I said as she grabbed her coffee and walked back into the bedroom.. alone.