THE MAGICIAN CONSIDERS HIS AUDIENCE
by Grant Clauser
The first is always family,
living room arranged
around the coffee table
and a Mickey Mouse Magic kit
hidden behind the La-Z-Boy.
Handkerchiefs produce silk flowers.
Three balanced balls become two,
become one, then melt into the darkness
of a palm, a pocket.
Later counting the eyes
in a night club, a firehall,
the late-night train ride home—
he learns to study the difference
between paying attention
and real scrutiny—
the ones who want to see through
the darkness are the enemy.
The others, for whom the darkness
is the comfort of sleep, something
you trust to hold you through silence
those are like his interchangeable pigeons
all cooing the same infuriating note.
Grant Clauser is the author of the books Necessary Myths and The Trouble with Rivers. Poems have appeared in The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cortland Review, American Poetry Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and others. In 2010 he was Montgomery County Poet Laureate. By day he writes about electronics and daydreams about fly fishing. He runs workshops at Musehouse and other writing conferences and runs the blog www.unIambic.com.