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Marc Swan

Marc Swan’s latest collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK). Poems recently published or forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Stony Thursday Book, Queen’s Quarterly, Chiron Review, among others. He lives in coastal Maine with his wife Dd, a maker and yoga teacher. His collection today can take your breath away is available from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions.

Kicking the Sawdust

A Nod’s As Good As A Wink…
To A Blind Horse — Rod Stewart

Start the circus without me—
no more lions, tigers or bears,
go ahead with the trapeze artists,
the clowns—
we need a few laughs these days.
Bring them in
on the backs of elephants
if you can find any with tusks
or just alive
for that matter.
The Big Top spins. Audience
whistles and applauds
for the ringmaster—with a tiger
and a panther—opening the cage.
Will this be enough—
those fangs, the claws.
It’s been a sideshow—
the fat man and plastic lady,
the swinging doors,
even strippers brought into
this carnival scene
with barkers spewing gibberish
gobbled up faster
than peanuts, popcorn,
cotton candy.
When I was a kid, we’d sneak
under the tent
into the three-ring
or down dusty paths
to carnival stalls
with hawkers and shills
and stare with awe at what
a wink and a promise can bring.

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