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The Man Who Laughed

The Man Who Laughed

A Poem by Louis McKraker




The eyes of the man who laughed

Tell his story

So much differently

Than anyone would ever know--

Than anyone would ever think

From his charisma on the stage--


The words upon the page

Tell us now of his demise--

Tell us how his widow cries--

Alone at night now,

In a cold and broken marriage bed.


Now I see the truth--

Now I carry it with me,

Same as you carried it with you--


The eyes of the man who laughed

Tell us more

Than the roles he portrayed--

About the darkness he longed to erase--

With every standing joke

The laughing man would ever tell--


But darkness will dwell

When laughter is pushed aside--

When laughter turns to cries--

And hope seems to fade,

Like some lonely and distant shore.


Now I see the truth--

Now I carry it with me,

Same as you carried it with you--


Against my heart--

Against my will--

I see how the laughing man's eyes

Have come to rest now--ever-still.





In memory of the late Robin Williams...

May angles sing thee to thine rest.




© 2018 Louis McKraker



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OMG - you helped me with yet another view of my Amazing Brother thru your Write. He died almost exactly 1 month after Sept 11, and my Papa his Dad suffered a massive stroke - in June of that Year - 2001. My brother was a teacher 6th grade in Negaunee Mi, for 27 years and the last 5 was the Union rep for all the teachers in the Upper Peninsula of MI where I grew up. But his passion was stand up comedy - I wish someone could share some of his stories - routines really that he dreamed up - Even if it was only the one - the famous announcer of the Chicago Cubs voices - about Jesus and the apostles baseball team. We don't know now they got here in the run for the Pennant folks, now look at this Jesus has gotten on First - there is no way he will steal a base - somethin' about his religion, look at him hug that base - how you gonna score with philosophies like this - from the captain of your team. ... He had all these stories about the crazy old timers in our sleepy little town of about 300 people Champion MI like Andy Gumps - he had a tongue that could almost reach is Eye brows - and it gave him the most peculiar voice that my brother had down exactly as I'm sure he studied at the Horse Pulling - the big event Lions Club/ Firefighters fund raiser - team horse pulling / later they added Mud - 4 wheeler pit, and of course Sat night was the big dance/drunk of the whole county. And then there was Alec Duhame - who could be witnessed downtown at Dawson's Red Owl store - he would be in the aisle going hmmmm, hmmm hand weighing different boxes of cereal determining which won may have had a little more weight - oh yeah and he was a Germ Freak - you know crazy Germ freek. but who knows - how many Hearts my brothers smile relieved - people loved to see him comin' down the hall, or approachin' on the street. How many hearts did he lighten - I think it was at least in the 10s of thousands - to You Beav - the Man that would make em all roll over laughin' ... thank you, thank you ... for showin' your little brother to never take ourselves to seriously -- and when everyone around is crying all hope is lost, to come out with a Gut Flapper - that puts a smile back on all their faces again and give everyone a moment to just breathe and not let whats around us bring us down. And it is uncanny after he passed I got more accutely who he was, all that he carried - but inspite of all the darkness in his own life - how he lighten the load for all those around him, though much of it - his knees were buckling under his own weight of his own darkness. to You Beav - you are here - you are there - we are All everywhere . An Amazing writer - Louis - you Cracker .... do you know the source of that ... well it's the whip cracker in slave days - you Cracker - is a reference to all of us having that within us - the Whip Cracker - in the days of Slavery - and today - we are still all Slaves - if we have not found our way out from under the Thumb of the Corporatocracy that rules our world today. thank you thank you thank you - for bringing me back to the deep memories of my dear Brother Steve (Beaver) Frisk - he was 5 years older so not incredibly close growing up .. he was always the one out in front blazing the trail ... and then one day - at his funeral ... there I was in the lead . and I stood in the Catholic Cathedral in Ironwood - MI ... and invited to say something at the funeral - I stood and announced I wanted to stand for my mom and dad and all my siblings and say a few things. I said we knew him as Beaver, as a son - a Brother, Mr Frisk, Teacher - but in whatever way we knew him - We knew that we knew an Amazing Man. thank you again, Amazing write - perfect for Robin as well - the same thing going thru pain - he lightened all of our Hearts, right? loved it - I am indebted to you.


Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Louis, perhaps my favorite poem thus far (I'm still reading your work). When I wrote Fugitive, a poem I published on here about one month ago, I had the same thoughts. We so often mask pain and our true lives with smiles, laughs and jokes, and when the mask falls, the pain is revealed and often consumes us. You said it much better here. An eloquent piece with such depth and truth.

Posted 1 Month Ago


OMG - you helped me with yet another view of my Amazing Brother thru your Write. He died almost exactly 1 month after Sept 11, and my Papa his Dad suffered a massive stroke - in June of that Year - 2001. My brother was a teacher 6th grade in Negaunee Mi, for 27 years and the last 5 was the Union rep for all the teachers in the Upper Peninsula of MI where I grew up. But his passion was stand up comedy - I wish someone could share some of his stories - routines really that he dreamed up - Even if it was only the one - the famous announcer of the Chicago Cubs voices - about Jesus and the apostles baseball team. We don't know now they got here in the run for the Pennant folks, now look at this Jesus has gotten on First - there is no way he will steal a base - somethin' about his religion, look at him hug that base - how you gonna score with philosophies like this - from the captain of your team. ... He had all these stories about the crazy old timers in our sleepy little town of about 300 people Champion MI like Andy Gumps - he had a tongue that could almost reach is Eye brows - and it gave him the most peculiar voice that my brother had down exactly as I'm sure he studied at the Horse Pulling - the big event Lions Club/ Firefighters fund raiser - team horse pulling / later they added Mud - 4 wheeler pit, and of course Sat night was the big dance/drunk of the whole county. And then there was Alec Duhame - who could be witnessed downtown at Dawson's Red Owl store - he would be in the aisle going hmmmm, hmmm hand weighing different boxes of cereal determining which won may have had a little more weight - oh yeah and he was a Germ Freak - you know crazy Germ freek. but who knows - how many Hearts my brothers smile relieved - people loved to see him comin' down the hall, or approachin' on the street. How many hearts did he lighten - I think it was at least in the 10s of thousands - to You Beav - the Man that would make em all roll over laughin' ... thank you, thank you ... for showin' your little brother to never take ourselves to seriously -- and when everyone around is crying all hope is lost, to come out with a Gut Flapper - that puts a smile back on all their faces again and give everyone a moment to just breathe and not let whats around us bring us down. And it is uncanny after he passed I got more accutely who he was, all that he carried - but inspite of all the darkness in his own life - how he lighten the load for all those around him, though much of it - his knees were buckling under his own weight of his own darkness. to You Beav - you are here - you are there - we are All everywhere . An Amazing writer - Louis - you Cracker .... do you know the source of that ... well it's the whip cracker in slave days - you Cracker - is a reference to all of us having that within us - the Whip Cracker - in the days of Slavery - and today - we are still all Slaves - if we have not found our way out from under the Thumb of the Corporatocracy that rules our world today. thank you thank you thank you - for bringing me back to the deep memories of my dear Brother Steve (Beaver) Frisk - he was 5 years older so not incredibly close growing up .. he was always the one out in front blazing the trail ... and then one day - at his funeral ... there I was in the lead . and I stood in the Catholic Cathedral in Ironwood - MI ... and invited to say something at the funeral - I stood and announced I wanted to stand for my mom and dad and all my siblings and say a few things. I said we knew him as Beaver, as a son - a Brother, Mr Frisk, Teacher - but in whatever way we knew him - We knew that we knew an Amazing Man. thank you again, Amazing write - perfect for Robin as well - the same thing going thru pain - he lightened all of our Hearts, right? loved it - I am indebted to you.


Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

If I could score you 1000 on this, I would. I love Robin Williams & so relate to his life story, having been plagued by bipolar myself. You really nail this for all the people who wear a smile but feel suicidal as a bleak streak running thru everything. Even tho this is a sad topic, you make it sound like something to be honored & respected, not scorned. I actually saw people scorning RW for what he did to his family & robbing the world of his talent. I love that you turn it into a sad celebration of honest life experience (((HUGS))) fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A beautiful fitting tribute for this amazing human being....a great loss to us all. Thank you for your words.

Helena

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Just because you look happy, doesn't mean you are. Hiding pain might as well be the way you cope with life. Maybe it makes you happy knowing others might think you're happy, but in the end, you're going to have to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Who is the person you see in the reflection?

Good piece! I love it! And I'm sure Conrad Veidt would be pleased to read this!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful actor..
May be R.I.P. forever. He was awesome

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 17, 2018
Last Updated on January 17, 2018

Author

Louis McKraker
Louis McKraker

Montpelier, VT



About
I was born in Central Alabama and began writing poetry and short stories at age nine. I am now the author of several poetry compilations, a song and lyric collection, and a collection of short stories.. more..

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