Guest Poet Adam Rau

The Buried Clown

Under a sheet of tin
in the small old machine shed
he never used anymore
I found that porcelain clown
buried in the brown dirt.

Its smooth white face
confused at the sun or at me.
It leaned back, pointed cap
curled toward its forehead,
palms up like it were surrendering 
or making an offering of peace.

I wondered what memory had broken
its legs off at the knees.
Without them, somewhere between
dance and repose
it sat a curious piece of unearthed glass.

There so long
it didnít belong to anyone 
or anything
but the ground and the worms.

Now I wonder what memory lost
that bewildered jester.
What forgotten stump it sits on
or in what box
left in the upstairs closet
when we moved.

What dirt,
waiting to be brushed away,
does that old glass clown 
rest under now?

June, 1998

Adam Rau's Questions:

I am most concerned with cadence and rhythm.† When read aloud does it flow well?

I was also wondering about clarity and interest.† Is the subject matter remote or is it a readable piece?

Thank you

Correspond with Adam Rau at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Pastry Drawer

I remember,
after fifty-two cards of Concentration
with dad on the floor
of the living room,
I got lost in the big drawer
on the far side
of great-grandmas kitchen.
It was dark, so I wandered.
When I grew hungry I ate
her homemade cookies and pastries
that nothing tastes like anymore.
I found my way out
through a crock in the basement
that still smelled like sauerkraut,
Even though
it had been years
since she made it.

June, 1998

Adam Rau's Questions:

I fear that this is a bit choppy.† That there are too many stops and starts in such a short piece.† Is this the case?

Also, is the flight of fancy believable from the point of view presented here?

Lastly, is it obvious that this is a child's remembrance?

Correspond with Adam Rau at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop