attack of the babbling acrobats (3rd draft)

(for all the fringe artists out there feeling a little beat-up)

damn those goofy fools
and their rubber bones
who drag their wild weather
wherever they go 
so ferociously flexible
so transcendental  
        so rude

acrobts are the leading cause of jungle gyms, 
       giggle-ism and restless leg syndrome 

acrobats are like sugary snacks, they’ll ruin your dinner 
       evil playmates who eat birthday cake 
       all year long

worst of all, acrobats will steal your tv, so easily
and so completely, you won’t remember owning one

all acrobats wear bullet-proof jackets, just in case in snows 
all acrobats wear ugly hats, except those who don’t

acrobats like to feed baby ducks on the grave site of 
dee dee ramone, king of acrobats

acrobats make and trade the most horrible things:
        chinese finger traps 
        left-handed puddle shovels 
egyptian ice cream forks 
        poetry and totem poles   
and worst of all, nun flavored gum 

all acrobats have loose screws, which makes them rattle 
        like spare change in the dryer 
        some call it music, some call it inspired 
songs that sound like lunatic finger-strumming rubberband lips  

nobody like lunatic acrobat music, except those who do	

	and worst of all
we need to build a wall, to keep them contained 
        some kind of acrobat habitat 

but what is it exactly 
that makes them so dangerous to cardboard cutout society?
too quick with a joke? too fast on their feet? too many tricycles on flimsy highwires? 
dancing on beach balls? running around thinking their own thoughts?

        damn them! damn them all to kansas! 

and how do we defeat them?
some call an exterminator
some scrape away the bad brainwaves with a hot coat hanger
some bang their heads on church bells
some cuss out the waiter and leave one percent tips
        some get their yawn on and try to forget 
some bury their heads in suburban homesteads and wallow in comfortable sorrow
        but not me
i’ve got acrobats in my attic
and couldn’t be happier 


13 thoughts on “attack of the babbling acrobats (3rd draft)”

  1. I was grinning ear to ear the whole way through this. I especially love the first section, “giggle-ism,” “acrobats are like sugary snacks,” and the tv bit. Your poems make me very happy. I reread them across your various blogs all the time. Thank you for all the work you put into your art.


  2. “acrobat habitat..” ! And worst of all they steal your tv! Those bastards. They deserve Kansas. This is a rough and tumble masterpiece, Phillip, full of vaults into the stratosphere by questionable lunatic finger-strumming-lipped clowns, and I smiled from beginning to end. I'm so glad to have all the acrobats in your head and your poetry back my friend. Thanks for cheering me up in my least favorite time of year, and may the coming year treat you right.


  3. I love how your title embeds the message of the ending: “attic of the babbling acrobats.” I adore this piece. Phenomenal writing. Are Egyptian ice cream forks a thing? Must investigate.


  4. i think they are a real thing, if i remember right, they were invented in the 5th century bc, loosely bases off of grecian soup tongs… i think. happy new year pepper!


  5. You have made a very sad addition to your poem. I had a friend die like that—ODing on heroin after getting clean, like Dee Dee did. But I do love the baby ducks.Happy New Year, Phillip. Take care of you.


  6. it is a sad sorry, he had a tough life, but he also created a lot of awesome music, so i celebrate him. for all that he was. happy new year to you as well pepper


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