Invitation to a Masquerade

by Pat Smith
Invitation to a Masquerade


To Tawn Earnest spokesman for Dollar General
And Summer Ash director of outreach
On the occasion of the Transit of Venus
Let me say upfront I love your names
And I invite you to come as a commedia clown
And her killer shadow
For game-used dirt from all thirty ballparks
Where we will scale outdoor sculpture
To deploy a mobile splicing unit
And bounce it off a donut fender
Darlings please don’t overthink it
Yours sincerely King of Sleep
Répondez s’il vous plaît

P.S. the rectangular holes in my forehead
Are the latest eastern fashion
Perfectly cut voids, one big, one small
You can see the air right through them
The big one holds a shiny metal gizmo
That I think controls my gears
Until I pull back the blue plastic liner
To reveal a dark pond beneath my pool
And a startled puffer fish
Who I guess is me since I smoke
Segments of wrought iron fence

To install on summer cabin porches
And light your way with tiki torches




Pat Smith was born in La Rochelle, France, and raised in Middletown, Ohio. He received his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His play Driving Around the House (1985) has been produced in theaters around the U.S. and is published by New Rivers Press. His poems have been published in Psychic Meatloaf, Haggard and Halloo, and soon in Apeiron and Eclectica. He curates poetry events for the Brooklyn Reading Works at Park Slope’s Old Stone House. A former writer and editor at Time, Smith is a communications director for a New York City public labor union. Smith lives in Brooklyn where his blue-eyed babies are grown and soon to leave him.

Invitation to a Masquerade
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