Shappy the Clown

(yes, a clown poem will do nicely!)

Shappy the clown lives downtown
he has a round white painted face
Shappy’s hands snap his happy fingers, and
the air around his earlobe lingers
before escaping to that snappy place.

He wanders by the winding water
he's blowing goose-balloons for free
but sometimes real, nonballoonic geese appear
- it’s bi-winged, ornithid, aviarian fear -
just flapping feathers, dust and wind on Shappy's white mascara skin

And we ask:
Do you laugh, Shappy, at the fat grey gooses?
Do they peck you in the knees?
Do they ask you 'pretty please'?
“No,” screeds Shappy, “they honk and screech, and they clog the beach
- gather the gooses, call a truce, it's a thousand maniacs on the loose!”

The policemen and the clowns go dancing
the town mooses scatter fast
the fire patrol’s on a red-white roll
and ambulancers fence their patients’ pants
while dogtors play duck-duck goose

Shappy smiles at the smell of fried liver
and winter ice makes old men shiver
but Shappy jumps, slides on the sleet
a rat-tailed mouse squeaks in his pocket
-- it’s been living there for weeks!

Paperboy Pete is a friend of Shappy
he delivers the morning Times
and Shappy’s maids cook up his kitchen,
everything seasoned with cinnamon, cumin,
cayenne, dill and lime – oh what a nice relaxing time!

Shappy calls his agent, Bruce - but Bruce is out of town
so Shappy blows a Bruce-balloon
conflated, taut, he tied the knot
“Funny, Bruce - he looks like a goose!”
“If he sees this, he will surely frown!”

Shappy has a million clown tricks, just sitting in a bank
just waiting for his wife
but Mrs. Clown has not come around
so lucky and alone, with no one else to phone
Shappy lives a single life;

he says:
“Better to swing low than rocket high!”
“Better to blow up balloons than to expire and sigh!”
“Better to eat liver and season your life,
than to sit and shiver, and forget to taste the spice!”

“Now,” says Shappy, “where in tarnation is my wife??”

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