Poem: The Clown, In His Closet
The Clown, In His Closet*
For Robin Williams
Quiet, at last.
The King, in his court, heeds my words,
But here, there is no one to hear my voice.
I do not want anyone to hear my voice.
I do not want to hear my own voice.
I want what there was before a Voice spoke –
“Let there be” – a void without form.
But still, I hear these words,
Rattling in my skull like beetle carapaces.
Had I no jaw, I would hear these words.
They tumble out, words upon words,
And they fill the spaces between people.
If I cannot have it empty, then I will fill it.
So that all have what they touch in common.
Or what touches them.
I fear it, this emptiness I desire.
But there, there is no fear. No desire.
No Kings. No people.
No words. No voice.
No spaces in between.
Only – silence:
More profound than when the laughter is stilled
And the hands no longer come together.
- August 12, 2014
I use “Clown” in the Shakespearean sense, a member of court whose job is to amuse the monarch with truths told in an amusing way. The Fool in King Lear and Yorick, unseen in Hamlet, are the most famous of these.
I mean “closet” in its Elizabethan/Jacobean usage – a small, private room – as used in Matthew 6:6 of the King James Bible “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…”