The circus is over;
curses escape rouged lips,
the mask slips,
dripping with clay
lumpen and grey.

Clown hands squeeze,
poking dreams
filled with screams
trapped in a false face –
a frozen grimace.

Kim M. Russell, 2016

Image result for slipknot clown pinterest
Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics: The Metaphorical Mask, also linked to earthweal open link weekend on 24th October 2020

Today Mish is our host and, with the spirit of Halloween hovering, she has been pondering about masks, their origins and uses. She’d like us to focus on metaphorical or psychological masks.

42 thoughts on “Slipping

    1. I don’t like it much either – I’m actually scared of clowns. There is no way I would watch Stephen King’s ‘It’, although I can read it without getting too scared. It’s just the way they look.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I liked the phrase “trapped in a false face”. Smiling is something worth practicing until our brains get good at it, but a clown’s laughter is a excessive. I wouldn’t want to be trapped in that face.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not really afraid of clowns but I do think they epitomize the mask we wear so often, the one smiling though the pain. We shouldn’t have to wear that mask so often.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh ugh………I can understand how children..and some adults..are creeped out by clown faces. That lumpy clay face. Who is trapped behind the frozen smile? I’m reminded here of the Stepford Wives also…their frozen smiles. Very few words you’ve used…but they sure send out the atmosphere and message.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow-lots of warm responses out here on the trail. In some ways, we all play the clown at times, the jester,
    & those who wear the greasepaint well, like Robin Williams, have a depressed persona beneath it. Remember the film, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, where Jimmy Stewart played the clown who never took his make up off?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaykuala

    trapped in a false face –
    a frozen grimace.

    The joke’s on them sometimes. A pity as they are supposed to provide laughter. Instead they may be laughed at.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness, Kim, what a terrifying clown portrait (both your words, and the picture!) There are perhaps too many of us now trapped with frozen grimaces behind our masks. I try to wear a smile behind mine, but it’s not always easy!

    Liked by 1 person

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