Fear in the Funny (poetry)

“Fear in the Funny” by Mykell Hatcher-McLarin 5/18/14

I’m not afraid of no woman!
Me? Patriachy? Please!
I just think they should stop teasing me
I’m a big system who comes crashing down heavy
when you tamper with my insecurities.
…and I mean that’s kinda scary…
*clears throat* Naw, I didn’t mean scary!
I’m not afraid of no women!
Me? Patriachy? Please!
Women, ya’ll don’t have a sense of humor.
If they just looked at it my way, ya’ll would laugh more
instead of coming after me with jokes sharp as pitch forks.
I’m kinda like Frankenstein, I don’t like fire coming near me.
Hey! Back off Girl! That fire is scary!
*clears throat* Naw not scary…
Just hot! Shit!
Wait, Wait, Wait, What if I told you this?
I bet you’ll laugh, ooo ooo ooo
If you’re a man, what do you tell your female workers to do?
“Go make me a sammich!”
Haha! That was funny wasn’t it?!
*Pause* No, Maybe I’m losing my edge.
I guess comedy isn’t funny going downward…
Naw, you women just don’t have a sense of humor.
Even though some of the guys weren’t laughing either…
But if no one laughs then…
I’ll just keep teasing them about your weight
and making jokes about rape
and the docks in your pay.
It’s funny! I mean it doesn’t affect me anyway.
You’ll laugh…someday…
Shit you burned me! Go Away!
Why you make that penis joke anyway?
Now people gonna think I’m small
and follow up with a destructive guffaw.
You need to stop hitting me
with that punchline. You see…
I’m scared to be made vulnerable like you,
after I took your power and your truth.
Don’t you know what taking back the power is gonna do?
With your jokes and laughs,
Society’s gonna be laughing at me.
No! I don’t want that!
That’s Scary!
They need to laugh at You! Not Me!
I’m Patriarchy remember?
I’m funny! I’m funny!
Laugh with me not at me!
Or else I’ll fall apart
every time women step up to the mic or page and their routine starts.
I’ll lose my happy ending on your behalf.
Then who’s gonna get the last laugh?
It’s gonna be you, not me
and everyone’s gonna start to see
that I’m afraid of you women and your jokes.
Me. Patriachy.


Source of Reference/Inspiration: Regina Barreca – Last Laughs: Perspectives on Women and Comedy (1988)


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