Gravediggers

Woo new poem!

This one’s been knocking about since near the start of the holidays, when I decided it would be a good idea to get drunk and see if any poems appeared.

comedy tragedy masks

As you know if you’ve been reading this for a bit, I sometimes try my hand at stand-up comedy, as a Nose Flautist (if you don’t know, don’t ask). And for a while, I’ve been trying to write a poem about the experience of stand up. And it’s not easy. Still, I got a good start that drunken night (I should try that experiment again) and just today I’ve fixed most of the problems. I’m quite proud of it, which is nice, as it’s been a while since I’ve been proud of something I’ve produced. That said, it’s still a little obtuse, and I’m not sure if comics corpse. Actors do. I think comics do. Either way, here it is:

Gravediggers

He died on stage – corpsed.
The audience buried him,
then a short, uneasy mourning
at his passing. Next up.

Let’s say a few words.
He knew it back to front
but every night they’re different,
So smile, rush in and engage,

And to pause… for a laugh,
to let his torrent glide down
into an unrelenting silence.
For what? Hope of a response.

And for what? That is the question,
It’s not to be or not, it’s Yorick,
the “comic” stopper in an otherwise
tragic tale. Gravediggers indeed.

Thrill-seeking, I suppose.
“So brave”, they say, “I could
never.” Which is why they don’t,
and he did. And it’s in that pause,

that long old drawn out
hold-your-breath-and-wait pause,
risking everything and yet
precisely nothing, that pause –

for effect – that he lived.

Tennant_and_Tchaikowsky_as_Hamlet_and_Yorick
Only half appropriate, but woo, David Tennant!

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