A Mad Woman, a Shovel and an Icy Embankment of Existential Angst

My Russian neighbour’s wife,
she has a lot of heft to her and she wields it like
a battle-axe in a field full of dead Scotsman.

She likes to spend her time shovelling the snow
and for reasons beyond my mortal grasp
she will shovel the holy flying fuck
out of everything in sight
for hours at a time.

Because I hear it from my window
all day long
day after day
when it’s not even snowing
and hasn’t for days.

First she’ll do the driveway
then the adjoining neghbour’s
then the sidewalk
the edges all around
twice
and finally the front lawn
all with this look of rage darkening her pale face
turning it red
while she pushes that shovel hard in deep as though
she were killing a small furry animal
or destroying the lives of the innocent.

I know that there’s something wrong with her.
Some people wear crazy
all over their face.
You could see it.
You could smell it.

So while I was out salting my driveway
the other day
as she shoveled away
I began to dance
because in being a
stand up stand straight standout guy
I thought it would bring some levity
to her existential angst
as she furiously drove the shovel in
cracking large chunks of ice
like they were the backs of the weak.

She most likely hated her reality,
despised her kids,
hated Canada and Canadians.
Americans, them too.
Probably hated her husband most of all

and when she was done here
she was going to go back inside
and beat him half to death
or worse, fuck him.

I could picture his face grimacing
as she enveloped him in the folds of her flesh
screaming out as she thrust angrily,
screaming something about the good old days of Stalin.

He probably didn’t like it. I know I wouldn’t. Christ.

I was on the road now
shaking my two cups full of road-salt
in each hand
like they were maracas
feet like Usher, like Beiber, like Timberlake
all rolled into one Godless pointless fuck
as she continued to pound the handle
deeper into China.

She hated sunlight and music,
ice cream and happiness.
She hated not being in chains.

She wished that unicorns existed
just so she could stab one to death
with its own horn.

I was dancing. I was really shaking it.
I was a giraffe. I was a lion.
I was a monkey.

She plowed away at grass now
throwing chunks of frozen earth
onto the road.

She hated Ghandi and Bambi.
She hated things that slept peacefully.
She hated things that tried to crawl away
from the merciless hammer of industrialization.

I was doing the robot, the running man.
I was hustling into another dimension.
She thrust her shovel deep into an embankment of ice
and started heaving pieces of it
over towards me.

I danced out of the way,
thank you, Mr. Timberlake.

Her husband peeked his head out the door
and asked her something.
Face flushed, she turned and started screaming at him
in Russian most likely telling him
to go to Hell in a really creative way.

Overall, my dancing had little effect
as she still seemed as angry
as Hitler giving a speech
so all that effort was for naught.

She still hated God, the government, gravity.
She hated words, shapes and colours.
She wished that everything was at the bottom
of the Black Sea and from the looks of things
she intended to dig us all there
right now.

In fact, she was out there
as I was typing up this little ditty.
Scrape scrape scraping away.

I turned up the Bach
so that I didn’t have to hear her anger
in my living room.

There is just something
about classical music
that moves the soul
into sunlight.

Don’t you think?
Maybe she should try it.

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13 thoughts on “A Mad Woman, a Shovel and an Icy Embankment of Existential Angst

    1. Thank you, Skye. I would love to see a unicorn so sometimes I rewatch Legend just for that express purpose. That and dragons though I probably wouldn’t want to pet a dragon unless it talk me into it and gave me some gold.

  1. Holy shit! Yep it qualifies as swear word material….damn, if poems were baby’s, I’d want this to come out ta my own womb.

  2. I don’t know how you kept this all together so well with the length but it all worked. I’m impressed. This was funny and different, and I also can’t avoid anything with Existential angst. You have much control over humor. Keep using it.

    1. Thank you! Using humour is relatively new to me but I won’t write much else now that I have found it. It’s strange because I’ve been writing for years and just suddenly it just found it’s way into my stories and now I don’t want to write anything because I feel I found my niche in dark humour. I’m going to drive it forward pedal down. Thanks for commenting. It’s nice to have a sense of community.

      1. You’re welcome. It takes a long time to find that niche sometimes. You should definitely not let it go. Yeah, a sense of writing community is great. Especially when it is so global.

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