Tag Archives: insanity

The War Veteran

Johnny had his face in his iPhone.
He didn’t see the crippled old war veteran
lying like litter on the sidewalk
in a beaten parka begging for change.

“Get out of my way, you filthy bum!”
Johnny was disgusted. The city should do a better job
of keeping this scum out of his sight.

As Johnny went to kick the man’s legs
to teach him a lesson
the old man’s hand reached out
and seized Johnny by the ankle
for while this particular veteran had lost everything
along the way he had obtained a very special gift
and today it would be Johnny who was the one
receiving the lesson
of a lifetime.

Everything went dark and quiet but for only a moment.
Johnny opened his eyes but didn’t remember closing them.

He wasn’t downtown anymore.
Instead Johnny was in a rice field and his ankles were all wet
the air was stifling hot with no breeze
large insects buzzed all around him and he could
smell his own sweat along with cow shit
but he didn’t have time to feel disgusted again.

A large boom displaced the air all around him as
further up the way
the entire tree line disappeared beneath
a wall of mushrooming fire
as jets roared past overhead.

Johnny’s eyes widened as the heat hit him and as
dozens of men came running out towards him screaming
all completely covered in crawling flames.

Johnny could smell their skin burning
when the barrage of endless bullets began
whipping right past his head and
cutting down the men Johnny realized
where all around him
scared just like him –men that
he went to basic training with
that he played cards with
men that were like his brothers.

The way that his best friend’s body
twitched as it was riddled with bullets
made him look like a dancing puppet
and it might have been funny as Hell
if it didn’t break Johnny’s heart.

Bombs exploded dirt high into the sky
that came raining back down all around him.
Then another hit…and another
closer and closer each time.

Johnny turned his head to look behind him.
A boy, must have been only seventeen
a new recruit that Johnny knew well
was seated on the ground trying to hold his guts in
screaming for his momma.

Men in straw hats came running out of the forest
fire spouted in rapid succession from the barrels of their guns.
They were all around him coming in fast.
Johnny was paralyzed with fear
his bladder let go inside of his pants when
the sergeant –a large shirtless man wearing a cowboy hat
calmly smoking a cigar
came up to Johnny and slapped him:

“Don’t you dare wet yourself on my field, soldier. You worthless piece of wet chicken shit I’ll hand you over to Charlie myself and you’ll get ass-banged all the way to Goddamn China if you don’t get a grip on your gun and DO WHAT YOU”RE TRAINED TO DO!! We’ve got to take this damned village or we’ll all be sucking bamboo dicks for the next ten years so get your Sally-ass shit together and make yourself GOD-DAMN USEFUL! GET TO KILL’N SOME COMMUNISTS! YOU WANT TO MAKE IT HOME SOME DAY THEN START MOVING! THE ONLY WAY OUT IS FORWARD AND THROUGH THESE SHITBAGS!”

The sergeant was the scariest person Johnny had ever seen
he was obviously completely insane
and made Johnny want to run into the fire just to escape his presence.
Instead the sergeant pushed Johnny forward and at that moment
Johnny somehow knew that he had spent over a year
in this Hell and there was no respite from it
not day or night
it would just continue on and on.

Johnny’s Mom wasn’t going to be able to
bail him out of this there was no one
there was nothing but him and his gun and
he was going to die or go mad in this man-made Hell
where everything was burning and filthy and all covered in
grease and blood and where everyone wanted you dead
and the only thing worse than the insects was the heat
and the constant endless stream of enemies.

This was a reality that he had never had to feel
or know was real and Johnny just couldn’t handle it.
Johnny just wanted to go home and hide under his bed.

Johnny leaned over and vomited
then vomited some more
as the sounds of passing cars and people
laughing returned and Johnny opened his eyes
realizing that he was in the middle of the sidewalk
crying, having wet his pants and now
retching his insides out in front of a
group of Japanese tourists.

Johnny ducked into a nearby alley
and leaned back against the cold brick wall
shivering and still crying.

The last thig he remembered before all this was
the man…the old man…
The war veteran.

The old man climbed up into his wheelchair and
quietly rolled himself down towards the harbor.

He had found some bread to feed the gulls with.

It was getting late and the view of the water
at sunset always made him feel at peace.

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.

A Letter in Blood From the Heart of a Madman

I once wrote a woman
a letter
penned in my own blood
but I had disposed of it
before I could mail it
in fear that she would
think me mad
and rightfully so
because it seems the
only creatures
that would truly understand
passion
these days
are the ones that stagger
across the common room
of any given nuthouse
as I stagger across
the impossible realm
of every day.

Today is The Kind of Day That Has Driven Men Mad For Thousands of Years

Today is the kind of day that
madmen rave on about in those
sparse moments of lucidity
before retreating once again
into the back of their minds
way back into that dark dark
place that beckons like a
midnight candy van
driving them once again to
begin screaming nonsensical statements
about government experiments
and Christ in a taco.

It is of the days that you wonder if you
could clear the front yard with your laptop
and would consider it quite possible
were you to spin around and
give it a good swing outward
setting it free
free to fly
like a bird from a prison
or a whispered wish from a child’s lips
though the window might slow it down
might
but you really don’t think so.

Today is like some hideous creature
that has crawled onto your back
and dug in
breathing it’s horrible scent into your face
and laughing while doing so.

It is the office people that you would
much rather not talk to but seem to always
have a keen sense of when you are going
to the bathroom and expertly plan to
intercept you in the hallway
in order waste long moments of your life
with boundless idiocy
especially when you have a project due
two hours ago.

Today is a rock for your window
it is the chattering salesman at the door
and the bullish bill collector on the phone
it is the alarm clock that will not shut off
even when unplugged
it is the hole in the boat
the tears on the orphan’s face
the hot boiling Hell that you feel
when nailed to a desk
like Christ on the cross
as the hours
laugh in your face.

Today is the kind of day
that has driven men mad
for thousands of years
and it has become fully apparent
that I am no exception.

No, I will not put down the match.

So…

how was your day?