edited by Sean Enfield
Maybe you’ve caught today’s featured poet, Adam S. Mahout, sharing his poetry or maybe you’ve seen him rocking a drum kit with one of his two local bands. Either way, we bet he left a solid impression. Having first discovered Spiderweb during our 2016 Winter Formal, Adam is relatively new to the web. In fact, his first Spiderweb performance will be on June 17th for the incredibly nerdy, incredibly weird Spidercon, but prior to that, we are bringing you this taste of his work.
Adam wrote “The Apple Skinner & The Elephant” around a year and a half ago while trying to say more with less. By focusing on clarity through an economy of language, Adam paints an evocative portrait of a mistreated circus elephant. Adam describes the piece as individual’s struggle to overcome their passive support of an antagonistic power structure. Check it out below.
The Apple Skinner & the Elephant
I saw you last night
swaying in your elephant cage.
Above you, acrobats hung
from silk knots. And the ankusha man
beat you in four directions
onto an iron globe.
And the audience gibed
as tumblers wove their streamers
around your awkward shuttle.
You always got too close to the
contortionists, and such your trumpet
warbled in time to the whip.
Your tune marked the turning
of wheelbarrows, of blind clowns rapping their canes,
and by a leather cord they lead
the rhetorical stallion
in dance and neigh-saying songs.
For every number they fed the horse skinned apples.
But why does the fruit
labor just to fall
into a bed of a thousand tongues and eyes,
or the hands of hungry men?
Yet your grey skin,
an encomium of scars,
wraps round a stranger fruit
that no man, god, nor law can appraise,
but your family
risen in prayer, across the circus-courts of barbed-wire,
pardon you from the blades of men.
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