I met a clown in plain clothes
drinking in a bar—of course.
He told me a kid once asked him
“Are you a real clown?
Underneath the make up?”
and he didn’t know how to answer.

He said clowns were angry.
They’d been demonized,
no longer booked for parties.
So angry he had a mind to find
Stephen King’s house and stand
outside just pointing. In the rain.

“Everyone used to love clowns…”
I’m not cruel—I didn’t tell him
no one ever found them funny.
“… and women—they always love clowns!”
Amen to that. I called for another beer
and bought him a drink with an umbrella.

Selected byJordan Trethewey
Image credit:Daniel Clay



Marc Woodward is a poet whose work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and a musician who has performed and taught internationally.

He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and commended for the Aesthetica Award and the Acumen prize.

A New Yorker by accident of birth, he has been resident in rural Devon, England for a loooooong time.

Recent collections:

‘Fright of Jays’ published 2015 by Maquette Press;

’Hide Songs’  published 2018 by Green Bottle Press.

’The Tin Lodes’ (co-written with Andy Brown) published 2020 by Indigo Dreams Press.


‘Shaking the Persimmon Tree’ published in 4/2022 by Sea Crow Press.

‘Grace Notes’ a collection of music related poems written in collaboration with Andy Brown is due out from Sea Crow Press in 2023.

He can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwoodwardartist

and on twitter @marcomando or at www.marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.com