The artwork doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t even have to like it. As long as I’m working, I’m sane.
In November of 2012 I injured my lower back. I have consulted general practitioners, specialists, pharmacists, neurosurgeons, and osteopaths. The magnetic resonance imaging says bulging discs, stenosis, and moderate disc herniation. It was suggested I sit, but don’t sit too long; walk, but don’t walk too long; lie down, take strolls around the neighbourhood, complete light household chores, play with your daughter. Ten months of limited mobility accompanied by bouts of pain and muscle spasms. Hope you feel better soon. See you again in two weeks. Fuck that noise.
Since January I have been on a cocktail of Dilaudid, Naproxen, Tramadol, Cyclobenzaprine, Codeine, Ativan, Dexamethasone, and Zopiclone, some to treat the back pain, some to counteract the side effects of others, and some to give a bit of head rest. Don’t you worry about these drugs young substance abuser, these are legal drugs prescribed by your doctor, nothing to be ashamed of…. Fuck that noise.
It’s been a year and a half since I was subpoenaed and forced to defend my ability as a parent. Everything I write can and will be used against me in a court of law. Everything, from celebrations to laments. Everything, from my words to readers’ words. For future reference, parents, suggesting someone could be portrayed by the hetero-married-with-children Philip Seymour Hoffman makes kids gay. Also, gay is bad. Fuck that noise.
God, the church, and world religion. I am a veteran atheist who lives in peaceful coexistence with his lack of faith. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a potential omnipotent being, churches, or dogmas. I don’t give a shit if you love God, as I don’t give a shit if you enjoy rubbing your nipples with cod liver oil. Good for you if the idea of a God tickles your fancy and offers you respite. I love my family, I will not steal or kill, I will not covet my neighbour’s wife, but I will take your name in vain on this blog, my dear old friend. Fuck that noise.
I enjoy parenthood, speaking out against misogyny, and fighting the stigma around mental health, but this is not a blog about parenting nor social activism. A Clown on Fire is the scrapbook of my mind, and I will write whatever feels right at any given moment. I don’t strive for the Recommended Blog status, or further Freshly Pressed nods. I am motivated by having fun, being loud, giving space to my creative process, interacting with my readers, and growing with my readership while being loyal to my own standards and voice. And if I ever wake up one day with nothing to say, I’ll pull the plug instead of blowing smoke up your ass. Fuck that noise. And don’t you worry, you will never read a poem from this blogger….
I have avoided airing my dirty laundry, getting involved in name calling, and in whatever low brow business you hold in your publicly announced private blogs. I have argued with you and held my position and opinion, but when it was too personal, I have sent you an email, as not everything is for the public eye. I am not interested in your gossip or taking sides. Fuck that noise, and let me out of it.
I don’t want to read your blog or like or comment on your post because I need a new reader. I don’t care about the Kardashians, your favourite handbag, or what Lady Gaga wore on her last date. I want to read you because you amaze me, because you stand out, and if it is about Lady Gaga’s outrageous outfit then good for you for proving me wrong. If I do miss your post, don’t sweat it, drop me a line, but don’t you lay the guilt on me for not taking a trip your way—my protective shell is not as thick as I might make it sound. Fuck that noise.
You disagree? You hate the new direction? You lost interest in A Clown on Fire? You think Le Clown’s ego is getting too big? Fair enough. Let’s shake hands, and meet somewhere else on the blogosphere. I’ll say hey there when I bump into you.
You agree? You love the new direction? Let’s shake hands, and meet back here next week. Hey, Le Clown, I’m not quitting this place, let’s chat! Why the fuck not! I am proud of this blog, and rather confident about my craft. But I am not arrogant, I will listen to constructive criticism. If I disagree, I will let you know, as it will take a lot of convincing to change my mind about an idea I hold dear. And I do know when my gigantic ego should not be my guide. Fuck that noise.
Through the background noises, the distortion, and the resolving interference I’ve pounded the keyboard and built a space that is not free, but is priceless. I have been read and watched and judged. I have endured pain, physical and emotional. I’ve suffered the consequences of medicinal side effects. Fuck that noise. I’m stepping away from the static. I am doing what I want.
Photo Credits (from the Unurth Street Art website)
1. Featured image: “8 of Swords”, by Dale Grimshaw;
2. Installation art in Ersilia, Berlin, by Delavega, Ephemera, and Lascarr;
3. “Cross the Mirror”, by Rub Kandy;
4. “Floating Chair”, by Fintan Magee;
5. “Pictures on Walls”, by Escif.
Postscript, by Melanie
When Le Clown says “edit”, you say “how much?”. Actually he didn’t say “edit”, he was quite nice about it. Don’t tell him I told you, but under that shiny red nose is a kind and polite man. Le Clown sent me his draft, and I sent him my thoughts, and back and forth we went until layers lay together. Le Clown sent me an idea for a Featured Image, and I sent another one back, and back and forth we went until a visual representation of the story emerged alongside the words. The idea became a sketch. The sketch became a work of art. Together we labored over his words and produced this piece.