dVerse — Poetics — Carnivale

https://flashbak.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/THE-CIRCUS-Albina-Felski-1971-acrylic-on-canvas-1200x1196.jpg

Curled in her warm arms, rocking
as James Darren* sings on the radio.
At bedtime, she tells me stories of faeries
and ogres while rubbing my aching legs.

I’m dropped at another stranger’s tent.
Ignored, uneasy sleep in an empty corner
until her midnight voice returns, slurs,
Let’s go.” Dad will never know.

Carnies’ front room partying with Barbie.**
Crawling from my room along the wall,
their curiosity is more entertained with
mine than Barbie, whisky, and weed.

Reading diary’s center ring epithet for her,
my hair is in her handfuls, slap after slap,
trapped under her on the floor
as she screams, “I’ll teach you…”

Off-key calliope tunes, haunted echoes
remind that the circus is always in town.
Yet rides, now old, fall down. Crumbling
clown honks to calloused learned ears.

Image (one that I truly adore):  The Circus, by Albina Felski

A continuing thread through the stanzas is the circus.
*James Darren sang, “Goodbye Cruel World,” about running off to join the circus.
**Barbie is a pseudonym for one of a stream of interesting live-in babysitters we had.

The cadralor form is perfect for this prompt.

Ingrid is today’s host for dVerse’ Poetics. Ingrid says:
Now try your hand at writing your way out of a place of pain… Let’s always keep in mind Wordsworth’s definition of poetry as ’emotion recollected in tranquility.’

51 Comments Add yours

  1. The separate tableaus of the cadralor combine in a powerful way. There is something immensely sad in something so broken as the one you paint.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Bjorn, yes there is.

      Like

  2. Misky says:

    I find this somewhat frightening, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It was! It is, even after so many years later.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    You definitely nailed this one. Each stanza stood on their own but came together beautifully (considering the subject matter, that sound odd, bu you know what I mean!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dale, thank you, and I know what you mean ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        1. fireblossom32 says:

          I love James Darren, aka Vic Fontaine! My favorite is “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

          Liked by 2 people

          1. msjadeli says:

            Neat to know his real name. He has a smooth voice.

            Like

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    You know, each of us has no difficulty conjuring up “pain” within the spectrum of our lives. This piece touches me emotionally. I send you retroactive hugs, and feel so sorry that this may be biographical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      {{{{HUGS}}}} back, Glenn. I know you had a rough way to go also.

      Like

  5. If only there weren’t a need for these words. The past may be behind us, but it’s always with us. I hope that writing brings a resolve to continue moving forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Well-said, Ken. Every time I share a piece of it, there is a feeling of catharsis but at the same time a feeling of betrayal. I had to use a paraphrase from an old cigarette commercial, but I’ve come a long way, baby. Thank you for your empathetic and affirming comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sanaarizvi says:

    This is incredibly haunting, Lisa! I felt every word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sanaa, thank you, and I’m sorry to bring you pain with the words 😦

      Like

  7. memadtwo says:

    I wish I could go back and rewrite the script for you. And yet you have written such a rich and affirming one of your own. There’s no way to erase these images, but your life is rebuttal to them. Sending hugs, K.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m sure all that pain was so confusing as a child and still a riddle as an adult. The cadralor is a great form for your piece, I think little flashes speak so much, thanks for sharing, sending hugs! 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Tricia, as a child, I think I had nothing to compare it to and so thought this is the way life is. As an adult I learned different. Now I see it as a burden that has had to be lifted off of my shoulders and put onto the guilty party. It truly is “not my circus, not my monkeys” anymore. Thank you very much for your comment and your support, Tricia ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thank goodness you made it out of that fiasco, childhood shouldn’t be so hard!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sadje says:

    A heartbreaking story Li.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Helen Dehner says:

    Every poem you create / share comes from great depth (why I adore your writing) this one more than any I’ve read. Hugs, huge hugs from me, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Helen, I sincerely appreciate your kindness and your hugs. ❤

      Like

  11. Ingrid says:

    I too love the image, and your choice of form, which does seem perfect. There’s a strong thread with the circus theme. In the end, all clowns crumble. A poem of great strength and endurance!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ingrid I love this: “In the end, all clowns crumble.” Thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ingrid says:

        Your welcome Lisa!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. K.Hartless says:

    Amazing exploration in how the fantastical and what might be another’s fantasy can be filled with pain. I love this, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Karen, I appreciate your perspective on this. Hadn’t considered it could be something another person fantasizes about. Maybe in another dimension they are! Thank you for reading and your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Brendan says:

    The piecemeal narrative is apropos to childhood and wells of wounding which remain in the psychic terrain. A therapist once told me, “every access is a re-frame,” meaning our willingness to go down and re-live those hurtful moments takes away some of the damaging charge. History has a way of improving as we heal, or try to. Well done –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Wells of wounding is a good way of putting it. I remember a layman’s class I took close to 30 years ago (a counselor at a church taught it) took us through going back (in a meditative state) to the inner child and comforting them. I think your re-framing is similar in that it brings some salve to the wounds so they can heal. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Brendan.

      Like

  14. Gillena Cox says:

    Nice cadralor.

    “The circus is alwsys in town” Bravo
    Much💜love

    Thanks for dropping by to read mine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Gillena, and you’re welcome.

      Like

  15. I may never go to the circus again. “my hair is in her handfuls” is a wonderful phrase (if frightening)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I understand, Phillip. It’s a danged messed up place. Thanks for reading and your comment.

      Like

  16. hedgewitch says:

    Your use of the form gives this the surreal quality of childhood, the memories we make without understanding the things that we see or feel, and what takes a lifetime to understand. I can relate to every single line, and feel all the terror, the distance, the immediacy, and the altered life that comes out of them. Excellent writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Joy, I’m both sad and glad you can relate to them all. It’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t been through it to comprehend the experiences in their shaping influence. The “altered life” is a great way of putting it. Thank you for reading, your feedback, and your understanding.

      Like

  17. Pain stays coiled inside till we recognise it and then it uncoils leaving us in a daze. Li, I couldn’t erase the image of a bewildered girl. Hugs. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Punam, many thanks. I’ve been whittling the snake down over the years. It’s venom has drained for the most part. Soon it will be an empty husk that can be washed down the drain…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad that the venom has drained. May there never be any bitterness. You are very welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid images throughout here that took me into your writing. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, TJS. Glad you enjoyed the trip to the fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dora says:

    Lisa,
    Like snapshots you use the form to shed light on what to a child would be confused darkness and pain and fear. They say children are resilient but only because as adults they carry the burden of what they couldn’t understand then. What scars they have left I pray healing for, dear Lisa.
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, thank you. You’re so right, so many times kids don’t have the language or the understanding they need in times of trauma, and when the person they are supposed to turn to for safety and understanding is the one hurting them, they feel alone in the wilderness. Thank you very much for your prayers, Dora. They are appreciated ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. calmkate says:

    perfect format for those stark but disjointed childhood memories, glimpses of a dark time you have been bleeding to expunge the bewilderment/hurt felt. You have had much to heal and grow from and you’ve done it with much aplomb.

    I too wrote a response to Ingrid’s prompt but felt it too personal to share, you are far braver than me! I can write and talk about it with those I know and trust, just don’t feel comfortable airing on the www 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kate, perfectly understandable about not wanting to share the deeply personal out on the www. Since I’ll never run for public office — oh they would have a field day with my history! — and the fact that I’m not protecting my abusers anymore, I feel more liberated in sharing. The hope is that someone who has been hiding or protecting someone who has or is hurting them will find courage to speak out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        I found that speaking out created far more abuse – the assumption being that I was a liar – so we do need to be selective!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          😦 I’m so sorry to hear you were further abused by not being believed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. calmkate says:

            oh you have no idea 😦

            Liked by 1 person

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