Nimble: Joker (2019) by Susie Gharib

A clown was my metaphor for the purely puerile.
I resented his theatrics to elicit a smile
since I had always been too serious a child.

I watched the film trailer and his fiery garb
made my lips curl with its giddy style,
but there was something in the way he moved about,
after his metamorphosis into a butterfly,
that caught my attention and haunted my mind.

My armor was pierced with a cello that shrieked aloud,
to give utterance to the writhing man inside,
who choked over his laugh
and repeated assaults on his manly pride.
His only aspiration was to entertain mankind.

She had called him Happy, the most miserable child.
He had to dissemble and endure his plight
as the garbage of Gotham on his consciousness piled.

And despite the blood that he spluttered around
that made me nauseous at violence and crime,
my heart with his afflictions did rhyme,
with mental illness, the inevitable outcome
of a milieu that Eliot had immortalized
in his prophetic poem The Waste Land.

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