THE FIST-PUPPET'S SOLILOQUY
You have to look past my felt-tipped eyes,
my lolling tongue drawn by the granddad
or uncle who has talked too long at lunch
and knows he must entertain the toddlers
with his jabbering, magic-markered fist.
I am the last item on your list, the puppet
that costs nothing to make: the bogeyman
couched between worn index and thumb,
my snarl converted to a hayseed's guffaw.
Admit that I bear traces of inbreeding,
that my face and body must always be
an abomination to children of any age,
that it twists me up inside to hear them
clamour for more of my troll's antics.
If you like hearing cracker bromides,
say that I also favour arenas, imperial
banquets involving human sacrifice,
oblations to the god of spewing lava.
Demand for me rises as I'm washed off
another hand in another suburban sink.
Others are waiting in need of laughter.
It is time I dusted off my Punchinello
and swam out into a little sea of faces
with my disfigurement at stage center:
winded, bleary-eyed, yet discovering
after each pratfall, a dropper's-worth
of the bile which keeps me going.