Skullface Comedians

Skullface Comedians, art by Caitlin Johnstone

“Here is a government official who’s helped kill thousands of children.
Let’s make jokes about his hairstyle.”

“We live in a country that spends medicine money on cluster bombs.
Let’s giggle about penises and vaginas.”

“Your government is lying to you and the media is helping them.
I live in a mansion but I’m just like you.”

They only come out at night.

Light dances in dark rooms
across half-dead faces full of all-dead dreams
staring at advertisements between advertisements
and listening to the shrill laughter of the live studio audience
and clutching their furniture so they don’t spin off the earth.

An actor sits on the chair beside the desk
and talks about a movie where actors pretend to do things
then cuts to a clip about a movie where actors pretend to do things
then cuts to a commercial about a movie where actors pretend to do things.
The host makes a joke about boobs.

The moon is not laughing.
The sky is raining the skeletons of birds.
But our hearts are real
and our flesh is made of dinosaurs and stars.
The dew collects on our eyelashes
as the horizon turns pink
and we feel our own lives
for the very first time.

Sit down, you skullfaced clown.
Tell the band to make real music,
go plant your microphone in the soil
of a garden of blossoming antiques,
set out to sea upon your desk,
and let life get a word in edgewise.

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