Monday, February 2, 2015

CARNIVAL by Rebecca Lindenberg


by   © 2012 by Rebecca Lindenberg        

The mask that burns like a violin, the mask
that sings only dead languages, that loves
the destruction of being put on. The mask
that sighs like a woman even though
a woman wears it. The mask beaded with
freshwater pearls, with seeds. The plumed mask,
the mask with a sutured mouth, a moonface,
with a healed gash that means harvest. A glower
that hides wanting. A grotesque pucker. Here’s
a beaked mask, a braided mask, here’s a mask
without eyes, a mask that looks like a mask
but isn’t—please don’t try to unribbon it.
The mask that snows coins, the mask full of wasps.
Lace mask to net escaping thoughts. Pass me
the rouged mask, the one made of sheet music.
Or the jackal mask, the hide-bound mask
that renders lovers identical with night.


For most of the time the town was dark and dreary,
But come carnival time it was downright cheery!
For with the carnival that would come to the town,
Was a caravan and a man with a gold-plated crown.

Oh, what a sight it was down the main street!
People laughing and cheering everyone they meet!
Colors bright and flowers all over and everywhere!
Music and laughter flitting through the very air!

Yes, I did say there was a man who wore a crown.
They say he did some magic in that small little town.
No, not the usual thing of fortune telling or so,
But real magic with such a beautiful glow!

Oh, the people said it was all false and fake,
That it was only for the gullible to take.
Still, I remember a time, way back when,
The magic seemed to make me alive again!

There I was just wandering aimlessly around,
When a ghost in the alley is what I really found!
It was ready to take me and had fingers in my throat,
Then suddenly I was surrounded by a golden moat!

The power saved from the evil ghost,
And it came from a strange host!
The man with the gilded crown shone like the sun,
And was just as suddenly completely gone!

Still, the world has never looked the same to me,
Not the green grass below, or the flowering tree.
I always look for what most don't try to see,
What is there and what will most likely be.

Bah! I can see my story is wasted on you!
You just want to visit where the carnival grew!
You want to go outside and play!
Well, my dearie, go and enjoy the day!
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