The Tragedy of Comedy


Robin Williams 7/21/1951 - 8/11/2014


THE TRAGEDY OF COMEDY


To drain away the agony he feels
the comic mugs and riffs
spiraling one joke atop another.
He cackles as you laugh,
opens his robes
and throws another joke at you
so you cannot see
the tracks his tears have made
from his eyes to his heart.

He opens his grin-box
and spills the contents over you,
saving nothing of its contents
for himself.
It has been said that
comedy equals tragedy plus time
but if true, it means
he must live with tragedy
until time converts it,
bearing the weight
beneath his own smile.

He never laughs when he is alone
never cries when he is not,
needing our love of his silliness
to carry him through another day,
his nights carrying him along
a river of his own tears
and blood, and sweat.

Weep for him, if you must,
shed a tear at his exit,
realize what we have lost,
but know that even now
when it will do him no good,
he only wants you to smile,
laugh at his jokes
and love him for who he showed you,
not who he truly was.



©2014 Christopher Reilley
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