Poetry Thursday: Ridonkulous

caricature of the author by the artist Walt Taylor Call me a clown or a loser, a cheat or a louse, a hack or a snob or a "poet" (in quotes).

Call me crazy! (You're on safe ground, there, as it runs in the family). Call me clueless or craven, bobble-headed/bow-legged chickenshit-selfish-shortsighted (three times fast).

Call me the doormat of true genius, pretender to the nearest available throne, World's Weakest Brownnose or the Leading Asshole in the State.

I won't stop you. I won't even pause to correct you.

You can call me nothing I haven't labeled myself years before, and with far more venom and bite, quietly at first, hoping no one would notice, out loud later on, when I learned the value of getting there first.

After all, let's be honest: there are more things wrong with me than there are sticks to shake at them, than there is tea in China, than there are fleas on a dead horse. More things than I can hope to correct in a thousand lifetimes, and as far as I know, I just have the one.

And yet, here I am, imperfect, ungainly, exuberant, beloved, ridiculous, sublime, occasionally loathed, absolutely breathing and utterly human.

Every day is a gift to the clown who knows it. Every busted, hateful, glorious, broken-down day is one more chance to turn dross into gold, to let go of a lump of awful or maybe if you're really lucky and patient and strong, to sque-e-e-eze it into something brilliant you can actually see through.

And so I awaken and shake off the night, apply my greasepaint don my red nose, pull on my bloomers and Bozo shoes and do the work I am here to do.

xxx c

Magnificent drawing of yours truly, the clown, © Wally Torta, gentleman and scholar.