Answers to questions (Carnival)

What do you think of when you hear the word carnival?

I think of my dead father,
a terribly dramatic answer perhaps.

Of Tom Waits singing ceaselessly
although I cannot hear him.

There are no good-natured humans in costumes
that would make sense to small children.

An older man standing before a makeshift Tunnel of Love.
Tear it down today, put it back up tomorrow.

He is telling the girl who stands beside me
he has a ticket for her, single ride, no returns.

There is no pleasure left, only boxes
containing things that are never explained to me.

Somewhere amongst it all is a boat, no engine,
and a han drum is playing

(this is the wooden board
beaten to tell Zen monks to come eat)

for Han is also a Korean cultural notion of lament
and the Turkish word for a caravanserais,

the sort of place that any weary traveller
might stop for the night.

Or forever.
There is thick pale grease.

 

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