Sleet Seasonal Supplement — Summer 2011

Brad Rose

Clown Car

On the weekends, to make ends meet, you donned a sponge nose mop top, and suspenders, and with bulging, striped shoes pointed your rusted Volkswagen toward suburban-bright birthdays. In living rooms and basements, you plied your trade, like peanut butter. Phalanxes of 4 year-olds moved in close to you, navigating that border between terror and delight. They shrieked, as if electrocuted or impaled by your gags: ears yielded coins, pitchers poured into newspapers, every card guessed, a King. These were the miracles of a saint garbed, of course, in stripes and checks. But before the gleaming cake was served and the candled wishes exhaled, mothers expected you to disappear. When that magic failed, however, they showed you the door. Cash in hand, like confetti, you drove home, bitter and sullen, as if crowded into a car packed greasepaint-tight full of clowns.

"Clown Car" appeared in Up and Under/QND Review in the Spring of 2007.

Brad Rose was raised in southern California, and lives in Boston. His poetry and fiction  have appeared in Third Wednesday, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, Tattoo Highway, Imagination and Place, Right Hand Pointing,, Six Sentences, Staccato,  Fiction at Work, Monkeybicycle, Six Little Things, Short, Fast and Deadly, and other publications. Links to his poetry and fiction can be found at:  Brad's novelette, Lola Loves Richard, a tragicomedy set in contemporary Hollywood, told in 6-sentence chapters, is in progress at