Clive James: Initial Outlay

I take off my disguise and thus reveal The man I used to be but now am not. Surely when I made mirth I was less real Than I am now. Before this thing I’ve got Made laughter hard, I used to spread around My sunny nature with a liberal hand: Not overdoing it, you understand, But eager to amuse, if not astound. My death came very near, and out of that I also tried to make a joke, but then Death didn’t happen and the joke fell flat, And bit by bit I came alive again. I still faced…

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