Bad Betty’s second season of pamphlets opens with The Death of a Clown by Tom Bland—an audacious and essential take on authenticity, alienation and sexuality that simultaenously estranges itself from and relates to its audience. Audience, rather than readers—like the life within, this book is performance, mask, role play, seminar, B movie and YouTube clip. A peep hole into the most shocking of all our roles: human.
“Clowns, ketamine, erotic asphyxia—there’s something for everyone. These poems, sometimes shocking, often hilarious, frequently touching and always entertaining, describe a world where something true and liberating might emerge out of the extremes of experience. If the word “confession” suggests an admittance of guilt then these poems aren’t confessional, they don’t seek absolution. They do though, want to let the light in. Reading them it’s as though the poems pull back the curtains on a bright sunny morning after a debauched and only partly-remembered party.” Mark Waldron
“Tom’s poems are a joy to read. Unsettling, engaging, and often profound, they are incisive and surprise with sharp pivots and stark imagery. At times this work exposes unspeakable corners of experience. The mask the clown wears here, allows the poet, who is both mask, clown and audience, to take us into the surreal and at times warped darkness at the underside of what it means to be human.” Anthony Joseph