Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Clown Diaries (Fan Reconstruction)

Like other readers of the popular blog Bogol, I'm intrigued by some of the "clown" posts on that site. Are those posts fragments of a larger, completed story? Clearly, the answer is 'yes'. My latest project is to piece together the fragments that I can find on Bogol, into the author's original narrative order. I've put a lot of thought, sophistication, and creative energy into the following reconstruction (long hours of 'textual analysis', 'copying', 'pasting', and other refined techniques that would only be interesting to other "literary nerds") . Here is the fruit of my efforts. Enjoy!

Fragment 1. "The Great Clown of Gloucester"

i was four yers ol. thare was a headlin in teh botson golb one satidy: teh greate mechanical clowen of gloster! fifty feat tal! fun for teh whoal famely! they're was evan a picher. i wuldn shut up abot it so they took me to see.

thousens of peple were their milin aroun on teh grass. they had freid dough an coton candy an flags an penants an whatall. bands playin an litl kids pukin for joy. we wated in line for an hour an finly we got to see the clown close up. it moved slowly an bent at the waist. it lenad down an kids fed id icecream cans an candy aples. itd take the food in its hand bow poliately an eat.

it made no sound an we we're all in to much awe i thikn to make a sound oursalvces. u culd hear the wind an the ocean.

atlast it was my turn. i was tremblin i was so exited. i hald up my cotten candny to feed it. it rechaed down deliacately whith both hadns an picked up my mom whith teh left an my dad with the riaght. an smiled kindly at me as it ate em.

Fragment 2. "Mr. Hrblrblr"

aftar teh clowan et my folks, they put me in a orphenage.

at teh orphanege we had schol which was ok acept for mr. hrblrblrs class. i liked him but he was real old. hed just sit at his deks kinda lened ovar an talk stedy for teh whoal class but he was so quiat noboddy knew whgat he siad. just a 'mrr mrr nmbl' sound if u sat up fromt. he nevar loked up ether. wed wlak in an hed be muterin alredy and hed still be at it whan the bel wrang an we left. the kids wuld ask to go to the batharoom but they culdnt get his atention so nobbody cuold go. so aftar a whial youd start hearign 'drip... drip... drip...'.

the onyl time mr. hrblrblr wuld moave was evary week or two hed sudnaly make a litl crekin niose like a dor an len ovar a litle farthar. by april his nose was tuchin teh desk.

than one day we walkad in an his lips wernt moving. a few days latar the room startad smelin real bad but aftar a whial it was ok agian. we kept havin his clas for yers an he nevar moved any more or mutard at all. his face got to lokin prety bad so we stoped lookin at im.

i was sad becuase he wasnt syain 'nrbm mbl nrmrmr' any moar. so for the whoal clas thared be nothign to lisen to until soboddy hadda go an started up with the 'drip... drip... drip...'.

i liked taht class.

Fragment 3. "A Night of Terror"

a clown whith his keen noase can trakc a sent for mials.

whan i was encarcarated there was a chainfenced pen fulla clowns. theyd be in there hoalin an barkin an weepin all hours of teh day an night. bashin against teh fence an snapin their dripin fangs. sometiams theyd be quiet an youd wlak by an theyd expload inta a franzy! 'yapyapyap! harrooo!' etc. whith their gliterin swivelin clowany eyes al buged out an lungin at ya.

fare done gime a turn it did.

an so teh night when i ascaped tehy found me misin an they let teh cloawns out. five mials acros teh mors behint me i culd here em comin. i ran an ran for hours but they ganed on me stedily. finly runin down a hilside i stombld an fel. i turnd an they're they were in the moanlight on teh crast of hte hill behind me lepin down the sloape like devils shiriekin an slaverin. they ware off their chains an i thot it msut be teh end of me. but stragengly they stremed on past an kept goin.

whan they were goan i made good my ascape. in the moarning a isolated farmin famly tok me in. the radio sadi a pack fo clowns had kilt an et a whoal famely at a loanly crosrods.

noboddy new what becaim of em. sometims i hear em stil.



Fragment 4. "Flashback!"

i thikn u can buy a clown. you mihgt haiv to feed them somtims. i dont no waht their good for. jeff sayes you can make soup ott of em. but there not veal. theyr a clown.

if u wnat to get rid off one bafor it daprecaites 2 much i thnik u can do taht on ebay.

[Ed. note: "decapitates" is clearly a reference to the traumatic accident in Fragment 1.]


Fragment 5. "Clown Dreams"

h.b. on col widswapt nights whan teh fiendes are yodalin in back bay the whoal exparince comsas bakc to me in dereams an i waike up bolt upriat giberin.


Fragment 6. "Song of the Clowan"

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.

Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

— Ezra Pound

[Ed. Note: These verses are not specifically identified as part of the "Clowns" cycle. But even allowing for absurd misspelling, the name 'Ezra Pound' is clearly an invention.]