Climax the Clown Looks Death in the Face, Michael Derrick Hudson

Marilyn Higginson, Fragment Series #1, Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 30″ X 30″

Climax the Clown Looks Death in the Face


Death has a mouth like a collapsing black zero. Death
takes around fifty to sixty breaths

an hour. Death has a very faint smell. Death counts

itself in milliliters. Climax watches its drip-drip-drip
and eats a mid-afternoon snack and nods

and says all the same things everybody else
in the room keeps saying. Climax wears this great big

frown and paints it on bigger when it’s not big enough…


Michael Derrick Hudson


Review by Corinne Bailey

This is haunting and rather creepy, especially the image – “death has a mouth like a collapsing zero.”  If you’ve ever been put under via anesthesia, you may have experienced that collapsing zero feeling. The drip-drip-drip  –  take this to mean morphine, and death taking ever-slower breaths from suppression of the respiratory system. Not sure of the meaning of “Climax the Clown.” Is death the ultimate climax, or is this a sexual reference?

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