Channie Greenberg and Diane Mayr

Big E 2011

by Diane Mayr

Inspiration piece


Carnival Provocations

by Channie Greenberg

Response piece


Carnival Provocations

Carnival provocations, very harpy-like, beckon via cotton candy sweetness,
The smell of doughnuts, impossibly deep-fried pickles, also Oreos.

Among those funhouse calories, brave hearts gasp, drool, inhale, then pull away.
There’s no stuffed or laminated prize in greasing one’s innards with fabricated offal.

Kewpie dolls excluded, likewise not the Ferris Wheel, this county’s annual contests,
Blue ribbon madness, stampeding crowds, comforts 4H-ers, makes BBQ call girls happy.

Us other folk pay fees, taxes, levies, to point at neon-haired elders, kids sucking
Multiple pacifiers; their parents already sloshed from troughs of ale, gin, malt whiskey.

Once upon a fair, some pink pony, trotting ahead of a buffalo, equine-winked me,
That miniature mentioned forgetting horses, suggested driving away.

Accordingly, I smashed go carts, rode a mangy camel, considered roughing up
The Weight and Age Guess ‘Em barker, but threw twice at milk bottles, instead.

When that not-quite-giraffe tossed a shoe, I got suckered into buying penny sours,
Licorice whips, candy cigarettes, caramels, at five dollars a pound.

Meanwhile, shrills multiplied, pushed ticketers so as to yield better fireworks, fistfights.
Miss Pumpkin Queen gestured Joes, too, toward chugging more chocolate-coated corndogs.

Morning, ghosts, ground crews, hung-over hash slingers picked at wrappers.
A couple kids, gone AWOL from school, asked a few carneys for work.

Remember: all that is neon, sprayed in glitter, maybe coated with florescent paint,
Can be swept up, fixed, reconfigured, for minimum wage, all by willing underachievers.


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One Comment

  1. Posted February 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm | #

    Hahaha!! Love it! The words fill out the image with profound humor. I could look at this pairing for hours!