January 21, 2009
Freaking Love and Other Oddities (Photo by Clare Coco)
(a double sestina)
Summer barely gave way to fall the year
snows filled up the Truckee mountain pass
and was the sun’s first day in Sagittarius,
in San Carlos Mexico, one thousand miles away,
That the stars bode well the birth of tiny Lucia Zarate
No bigger than a mouse was she, yet live she might.
Elephant ballerinas and ripped men of great might
The Big Top swept her up in her twelfth year,
the greatest star of small dimensions, dona Lucia Zarate
The little girl missed her home less as time did pass
She dined with carnies and wiled her nights away
with freaks born under the sign of Sagittarius.
But JoJo the dog faced boy was not a Sagittarius,
In this he differed from the tiny General Mite
This and he stole the fair puppet girl’s heart away
still Barnum planned a miniature wedding in a year
yet imaginary engagements could never pass
for the likes of love between JoJo and Lucia Zarate
So step up for the nuptials of the Pygmy Lucia Zarate
general admission to bans of these Sagittarians.
The wedding invitation is your circus pass
Have some cake, catch bouquet or garter, any guest might
For Barnum’s take in smalls is big this year
Until the night Lucia and Jojo run away
And on the night Lucia and Jojo ran away
The dog faced boy pledges his heart to Lucia Zarate
They make a pact. They’ll marry in a year.
Back at the big top the freaks and Sagittarians
keep company with the jilted General Mite
And promised him his heartbreak soon would Pass
Touring alone, dona Lucia traveled the Truckee Mountain pass
Locals and miners dug for days to clear the avalanche away
Many souls saved by merciful God in his wisdom and in his might
The engine steamed to life, it left without the lifeless Lucia Zarate
and whistled away under the Harvest Moon in Sagittarius
Afterward Jojo the dog face boy left the side show for a year.
For freaks and oddities through this world will pass
Exhibited but still unseen, as one such as Lucia Zarate might,
Born in the year of the Cock or in the sign of Sagittarius.
Jojo (the-dog-faced-boy) was born on the cusp of Aquarius,
he lived his life in places where it was cool to be a freak:
the circus, San Francisco, and shimmering New York City.
Jojo played the fiddle and raised homing birds,
he spoke Russian and several other languages.
and made his living as an oddity but knew better than most
That the oddest ones he knew were more ordinary than most
Which made sense to him in this strange age of Aquarius
And in a world where difference sometimes transcended language
Jojo thought of his grandfather’s love for the puppet-girl freak
And so after Grandpa Jojo and Lucia, he named two of his birds
And launched them with his secret desire into the dawn of the city.
The two birds carried Jojo’s intention to the city
As if wings bore magic and imparted enchantment most
Upon the slanted eaves of loving possibilities lit the birds
Above the statue of the water bearing granite Aquarius,
In time Jojo and his intended would recall this day as a freak
that love could be spoken in such unspoken languages.
For who and how we love is the private language
of country birds or those from New York City,
Jojo knows that who he’s with does not make him a freak
And to know such love makes him more fortunate than most
Yet even in the modern age of open-minded Aquarius
There will be those who fear the difference of such birds.
The hearts of those in love tremble like the hearts of birds
As they desperately search for an expressive language,
For love can hide the truth or bear it like an Aquarius
O especially when the Scorpion Moon hangs over the city,
And the one you cannot have is the one you want the most,
Such insanity could make an ordinary man freak.
Jojo (the-dog-faced-boy) to some he was a freak,
He built his nest with extraordinary and colorful birds,
His blood was red and heart was as true as most
And he pledged both in several languages,
Gave up his home and fled the bustling city
to be with his one true love in this age of Aquarius.
Some wonder at the freaky happenstance of love spoken in different languages./Or how it is that homing birds find their way back to the city, when clear returns are lost to most,/Perhaps their wings recall a roost upon the granite statue of the water-bearer Aquarius.