There are times when laughter cant be trusted,
like when it leaks from these lips
to stain every shirt I own, I laugh
because things are funny,
but I find funny things funny,
so I hold my breath at funerals,
I walk out to hide it at weddings
and I bite both my lips sometimes just to keep them shut
because I giggle.
And I confess in riddles
and I provide just enough body language to say,
“Look, I’m here!”
But even when I’m there, I’m not.
I just reply without answering,
or really questioning the antics of antique mind-sets
set on devouring new ways of thinking,
I laugh because I’m sinking.
I smirk with jerks who believe themselves
and I smile just to hide my own face
for when that last embrace
just chases to fix faces
like braces
because the abrasive are the ones
still making us bleed.

So walking becomes reasoning,
but only when it’s away
and talking’s like ironing out
those shirts that want to play.
Now is the time I’m not silent,
but maybe reliant
on those metaphors that could explore
the different ways that we can speak.

But there are times when all I can do is laugh,
because the smartest person in the world
is still stupid in the eyes of destruction
where those who know,
know enough not to be sorry
and those who don’t
get lost in their own glories
and between two eyes,
all I have is skin,
skin too thin to touch
until it all gets too much for me to keep still
and then I laugh.

And this is what it looks like when I shake,
this is what it looks like when everything breaks
for the sake
of something that can make me smile,
where miles become nothing more than steps
and every other reason becomes good enough to try.
But I laugh when happiness is described
and when our butchers are bribed
into becoming leaders
where the frenzy of seizures
has us all falling from our chairs
and rolling on the floor.
And my feet are kicking,
but it’s just to stop the words from squeezing
out between your teeth
where my fists smash smiles,
broken teeth cup lips
and the screams choke
on the air that breaths between them.

I think I laugh because crying’s not enough
and lie’s have gotten rough
along thin lines that call them the right thing to do.
Where there is always a time and place for everything,
only the time’s not now
and the places are misplaced
like unlaced shoes tripping laced-up junkies,
I fall over what I never knew could take me
and it feels like the layers peel
only to steal back
what little time they have left.
I laugh although I know
what’s real has become plastic,
sewn into our unknown dreams
just so we’d believe it
and common knowledge has become the thing
that scares us the most
and only prepares us for those events
we either couldn’t make it to,
or weren’t invited to in the first place.

This is what it means when I laugh,
because fright fights the doors off our hinges
and when I hold my pen
to the scrap throat of a lonely piece of paper
I want to tell a story,
stories of personal mistakes
and lavish heartbreaks
where success breeds excess
in the forms that play games
with the frames
that contain entire worlds.

So I laugh when the fear changes lanes,
I laugh at the tears that follow shame,
I laugh at the ground-up grinds of pain
and I laugh at the sound of my own name,
I laugh…


About Sean O'Gorman

Spoken Word poet from Ottawa. View all posts by Sean O'Gorman

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