By Chelsey Minnis b. 1970 Chelsey Minnis
It seems like I'm growing more and more like a clown. First of all, I'm always
sad. Secondly, all my knives are made out of rubber. Thirdly, it's like my house
is on fire.

No, I'm definitely becoming more like a clown. I have a tendency to want to put
on clown clothes. As soon as I put the clown clothes on I feel faintly happier...

Another sign is that I constantly feel like I'm alone in a dressing room. Most
of the time I feel amused. Anyway, the only thing good about the circus is
the tigers.

I realize that I could get both legs cut off by the circus train or get frightened
by an elephant. But it's very depressing to sit around in a clown suit and think
about death.

Sometimes I don't feel happy unless I'm in my clown suit. And I enjoy hitting
people on the head with a foam club. I really do...

When people see me they realize that it looks very sophisticated to wear a clown
suit and smoke a cigarette. This is how I get all the ladies because they think I'm
very droll.

People don't understand how you turn into a clown. You turn into a clown
because you feel more and more like putting on a clown suit. When you're
around people you sense a kindliness. It makes you so nervous you can't
stay calm. Which is why it feels perfectly normal to wear orange pants.

Plus, it's very subversive to wear bow ties. You can't imagine how jolly
everything is. And the fright wigs... I don't want to be a clown but I'm
sure to be one. My mother was a clown.

Chelsey Minnis, "Clown" from Bad Bad, published by Fence Books. Copyright © 2007 by Chelsey Minnis.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Bad Bad (Fence Books, 2007)

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Poet Chelsey Minnis b. 1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire


Born in Dallas and raised in Denver, poet Chelsey Minnis received a BA in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and studied creative writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
In open-ended poems that question our conceptions of the poetic line, Minnis frequently tackles the world of poetry and its conventions as her subjects, reclaiming unfashionable gestures such as the frequent use of ellipses, exclamation marks, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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