Pagliacci (A Most Memorable Case)

 

The story of Pagliacci the Clown is an old narrative made newly popular by Alan Moore’s The Watchmen.

 

Lyrics:

It’s been several decades
that I’ve been a therapist to date
What’s that you say?
Oh my most memorable case?
To answer,
there isn’t an effort to be made!
Yes I guess it would seem strange…
it was an unprecedented patient
who solely saw me for a segment of a day!
I recall being connected and engaged,
immediately impressed by the exchange,
embedded in recesses of my brain
where it’s perpetually stayed
in cerebral crevices engraved,
His expression was so grave,
(I’ll take its memory to the same)
it validates and emulates the famed
life imitates art etc. cliche
Oh I’m violating a confidence
God forgive the error of my ways can
I justify it as there just might be
a necessary lesson to be taken?

Nothing’s black and white,
Never easy fixes
much to our surprise
we’re our own elixir,
nothing’s as perceived
when we feel confusion
easier to give than receive
advice, we might be our solution

Oh I’m violating a confidence
God forgive the error of my ways can
I justify it as there just might be
a necessary lesson to be taken?

You could technically label him a “walk in”
though more it was a stumble
I offered him a smile, chair and question
“what’s the trouble?”
his face bore familiar signs of a struggle
pockmarks bored complexion
deepened lines sunken sleepless eyes, subtle
bleach-white salt seeped inside his stubble.
Accent had thick undertones European to the utmost,
He sat next to my vast desk with slumped shoulders, poor posture.
Before he unloaded dirty laundry warned me:
“little I can afford doctor”
Cordially assured him:
“this is more a service than a business,
for now forgo the financial burden of the visit
later we’ll work out payment,
first the symptoms, let me listen.”
He thanked me languidly, smile turning to a grimace
explained he’s been pained to paint a purpose of existence
he’s a traveling artist, lately work feels like a gimmick
it’s a joke, he’s anguished at the world, it is so vicious!
Despite the crowds, solitude discouraged him and distanced
he pressed on, depressed for close to thirty minutes,
if the world’s a stage, he’s wishing
to close the curtains and be finished
flushed and sweating, blushing red
he paused and caught his breath
he observed me sternly like a critic,
I presumed I knew his solution,
it turns out I surely didn’t.

Nothing’s black and white
never easy fixes
much to our surprise
we’re our own elixir
nothing’s as perceived
when you feel confusion
easier to give than receive
advice, we might be our solution

Oh I’m violating a confidence
God forgive the error of my ways can
I justify it as there just might be
a necessary lesson to be taken?

After that emphatic monologue we sat tacit,
melodramatic. Sure of course I empathized as is my job…
I thought and concocted my best advice to solve
the tragic state of mind in which he’s caught,
“It might seem odd as you’re nomadic,
perhaps the answer’s a change,
get off the stage, have some entertaining interaction!
I know! Yes that’s it! There’s a traveling circus in town,
the show the perfect distraction get immersed in the crowd,
animals exotic, impossibly strong men,cannons bursting men out!
The popcorn, the hot-dogs, the music is loud,
the colors, the action, the mirth and the sounds!
Main attraction is fantastic, I heard it’s a clown,
Pagliacci across the world he’s renowned,
the man will have you laughing, belly aching, knee slapping
the exact thing to pick you up when hurt and down!”
That’s when my visitor gasped,
“but doctor!” he stopped me dead,
started sobbing, responding
“I’m lost my friend” with an ambiance of dread
“you see, I perform in the tent,
I’m the Pagliacci you referenced”
I dropped my jaw, he dropped his head
into his palms and promptly wept.

Nothing’s black and white
never easy fixes
much to our surprise
we’re our own elixir
nothing’s as perceived
when you feel confusion
easier to give than receive
advice, we might be our solution

Oh I’m violating a confidence!
God forgive the error of my ways!
can I justify it as there just might be
a necessary lesson to be taken?

 

 

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