The Friday Poem on 04/11/22
We chose ‘The Laugh’ by Christopher Arksey to be our Friday Poem this week because it does a pretty perfect job of being a poem. It has a neat pattern of half rhyme, landing on near full rhyme at the end. The line endings feel entirely natural and also add to the sense — look at the enjambment, how the third line tips you into the fourth, and how the fourth line stretches along with the delayed reveal. Each of the first two stanzas is a single sentence, and if you’re into syllables, get counting. The whole is a neat, tight little machine — controlled and expressive. Ten lines, in which Arksey proves he can do it.
It was like you’d surfaced after a spell
underwater; spent and roused at the same time,
breathless toward the inevitable
big-reveal of your long-delayed punchline.
Then you let fly — the laugh of someone twice
your size — with such potency it rocked your frame
and sent you seeking my arm for balance,
stopping short of doubling over from the strain.
Only this soundless record of it exists.
And I forget the joke, but I’ve got the gist.