Portrait of “Rags,” by Gacy
An old lover bought it. He claimed
he felt sorry for the clown. I think a surfeit
of snark did him in. The lover, I mean;
he disappeared one morning after the night
we read poems to each other. There he hangs—
the clown, I mean—great caterpillar brows
tent-tilted in sorrow. Did murdered boys
see those sloppy lips, that streaky pallid brow,
No, I can’t go there.
Neither could John Wayne Gacy.
So he painted these simulacra of pathos,
and he killed.
And I write poems that I read
to no one.