by Katie Darby Mullins

People have speculated things—
We’re holy rollers, we’re super religious
Face that mystery about us head-on, you know?
Sometimes I write a song and I feel
God is talking through me—
Where in my life did I learn the wisdom or the knowledge
To say that? I’m having help.
It was an out-of-body experience, the first time
I felt the Dark Carnival in me.
(Shake the funk off me.)
I felt like I was in the room with somebody
Words were coming really cool and scary—
Years before I ever smoked weed.

Back in the day, people didn’t know what to expect
So the shows were crazier
I used to have dreadlocks and I remember having
My dreadlocks ripped out of my head. People want
A souvenir. Now, a lot of the mystery is gone.
Back in the day, the mystique was cooler.
We have utter chaos maybe one show a tour. The rest
Is organized chaos. But we don’t have a lot
Of complaints—we still want to be
The most hated band in the world.
We want to be the opposite of everything else,
We want to be underground.
We want to be the sewer dwellers—the tunnel runners.
When push comes to shove, we still don’t have hits.
We don’t have songs on the radio.
We couldn’t be happier.

SOURCE: “…the World’s Most Hated Band,” Vice Magazine.

PHOTO: Members of the Insane Clown Posse. L.A. Weekly photograph, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always been weirdly obsessed with Juggalo culture (though very much an outsider) and the Insane Clown Posse, despite finding their music unlistenable. When the band came out of a few years ago and said that their violent, misogynistic music was actually supposed to be an outreach and expression of their evangelical Christianity, I couldn’t get enough or stop reading, even though I found that claim to be ludicrous. However, the interviews that followed that announcement all had a strange rhythm to them, and if I didn’t know what I knew about the band, would be beautiful in a way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katie Darby Mullins teaches at the University of Evansville. In addition to being nominated for a Pushcart Prize and editing a rock ‘n roll crossover edition of the metrical poetry journal Measure, she’s been published or has work forthcoming in journals like Hawaii Pacific Review, Harpur Palate, Broad River Review, Big Lucks, The Evansville Review, and she was a semifinalist in the Ropewalk Press Fiction Chapbook competition and in the Casey Shay Press poetry chapbook competition. She’s also the lead writer and founder of the music blog Katie Darby Recommends.