How I got to be the greatest show on Earth

I did it by being a jerk,
By not caring.
By telling the truth,
The real truth, which is

That everything is a lie.
Try it. It works.
Truth? Lie?
What’s the difference?

Life is nothing but a foggy mirror.
I just plowed ahead like china in a bull-shop.
There was nothing sheepish about it.
But it worked for me. Know what I’m saying?

Everything was big
And ugly and beautiful.
When I was wrong
I ran the herd.

I ran off cliffs,
Crashed into mountains.
Everyone was out to prove me wrong,
But they couldn’t catch up.

I threw them off,
They self-destructed. It was ugly.
At the height of my powers,
I could do no wrong.

I was buried up to my knees in debt,
And they laughed.
Now I’m laughing.
Pathetic. Pathetic.

I buried my democratic
Bones in the sand.
I closed my borders.
I squinted. It worked for me.

I could only see the raw shapes of reality.
I hired monkeys to brief me.
I raged and everyone crossed themselves.
Was I wrong to build towers

With my name on them?
With lettering in proportion to my excesses?
My improprieties were both vast and nebulous.
Sometimes I thought I was god.

I fired the architect,
I fired the doorman.
I fired the cook and the fireman.
I began to see

My enemies swarming
I felt them watching me
When I turned my back.
I would spin around and say, Gotcha!

And they’re like – What’s his problem?
I made friends with tyrants and thieves
For relief from judgment.
I made my story fit my perfect thinking.

I hired people to charm me,
And laugh when I laughed.
I made so much money, you wouldn’t believe. . .
I hired lawyers

To shroud my methods
Behind their mumbo jumbo.
I made war on germs,
Sterilizing one terrible disease after another.

I wasn’t afraid of dying,
I was afraid of being weak.
The weak are losers.
Who knows what I would say if I lost it!

One day I began to crack
Like my father and his father before.
The first cracks were hard to see.
I could only see them with a magnifying glass.

I grew increasingly fragile
I avoided being jolted or bumped.
I covered my cracks like a pro.
Powders, lotions, you name it.

I began to look like a clown.
That was a tough phase,
I clowned, so it would look intentional.
What could I do?

I took a big chance and joined the circus.
There were clowns everywhere!
It was the wrong circus for me
But I didn’t care.

It felt wrong to care.
It was the Big Top!
It was nothing but a show.
Biggest show on Earth.

It was a good move for me.
Everything under one big tent.
Acrobats, trained animals
Illusionists, freaks of nature

Dwarves and giants
I felt at home.
It was all wrong.
Wrong as an upside-down plate,

China in a bull-shop.
But you know what?
Don’t I look great
In a foggy mirror?