(Please see below for Part One.)
Just what is a clown of the infinite? I mean besides a banana peeled to its phallic essence and eaten by a joker? Speaking seriously, a clown of the infinite is a tripster of the finite. A high-strung, high-wired, high-on-all-counts bard in the earthly bardo whose bookends are birth and death . . .
And whose poetry is the profound yet inconsequential dirt under his fingernails. Or popcorn hulls stuck between his teeth, signifying among other things religion in its last throes. Signifying the ascendancy of faith without dogma, without ideology. The clown’s existential faith in his own antics.
A clown of the infinite is a dancer in the halls of meaning who uses words to express both his heights and depths . . . and a pained smile to show that he believes in all he’s been through. After all, it’s made him what he is: a high-wire artist languidly pinching a daisy between two fingers.
So delicately he holds that flower as he smiles his velvet smile at nothing and everything! His wistful smile, no longer sardonic, just with a twist not quite capable of being interpreted. It is the smile of a clown of the infinite.
And what, I repeat, is a clown of the infinite? He’s the circus’s strong man whose chains have become his toys. Who plays with death to prove he’s finite, human. Who climbs the ladder propped against nothing as if its rungs were strung with the masks he wears at reality’s costume ball.
He does not leave his smile at the foot of the ladder, but takes it to the summit of his irony—where the ladder dissolves and he is left falling through a sky that drinks clowns’ smiles like the earth drinks rain.
What’s infinite about his clowning is the fact his ego is mortgaged to enlightenment. And enlightenment, whatever it may be, pisses on time even while it worships the holy laughter in a flower whose beauty never dies even if it does. Such flowers do exist, though they are not always called flowers. They exist mainly for the delectation of clowns (or trapeze artists or strong men, etcetera) of the infinite.
Clowns—poets and philosophers though they may be—who love to be high because high feels like home . . . or a facsimile of heaven. Perhaps Baudelaire said it best: “Always be drunk.” It is for each clown to answer for himself, drunk on what? It is for every seeker of the light to decide what has and will get him high, higher and highest. Or indeed what high means in the first place.