painting by c. nelson kellar
Send in the Clowns
“I remain just one thing, & that is a clown--which places
me on a far higher plane than most politicians.”
Actually, we have co-existed
dating back to the medieval courts of kings,
and fools were given permission
to be outrageous
to represent bawdiness
to pretend to violate sexual norms, even
to mock the gods
roast the aristocracy, and then later
morph into the more malicious
Extreme fear of clowns
is called Coulrophobia,
a term found on the internet since the 80’s
but not found in medical texts or dictionaries.
Many younger children have intense dislike or fear
of clowns, recognizing a familiar body
that sports an unfamiliar face, giving
no real clue what/who might be lurking
behind the make-up,
bulbous red nose
& electric pink or violent violet fright wig,
representing a frightening visage, a frightful person
whose intentions are unknowable.
Even in 12% of all adults,
though most of them would deny it,
fear of clowns can induce panic attacks;
in isolated cases keep them out of
carnivals, circuses, horror theme parks,
& even prevent burger munching at
Theories abound that too many stories,
movies & events
featuring killer klowns (From Outer Space),
in Stephen Kings IT, or the sinister Joker
have intensified & exacerbated these fears.
Emmett Kelly became famous as Weary Willie,
but his personal life was a shambles,
& his angry ex-wife claimed that
Willie overtook Emmett’s personality.
Emmett Kelly Jr., after losing his leg
in a train accident, bizarrely decided
that he needed to become the reincarnation
of Weary Willie, began dressing as him,
began calling himself EK III;
falling into a life of degradation, drugs, and madness.
In 1978 he was arrested for the murders
of two of his homosexual partners,
& he claimed that Willie was an accomplice.
Between 1975-78, John Wayne Gacy,
an actual killer-klown,
sodomized & murdered
33 boys & young men in the Chicago area,
claiming that he selected his prey
while performing as a clown
at their birthday parties & events.
clowns represent the side
of human nature not totally
accepted by society;
as the conflicting dichotomy
of evil clown vs. circus clown
or repel us
secondary to holding up a funhouse mirror
to our secret inner selves.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics
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