Tag Archives: mental illness

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
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.


People Lose it All the Time and become ghosts of themselves lost to what they think the world has become

I have seen a lot of people
absolutely lose it
on me
on other people, dogs, llamas, monkeys
on private and public property, televisions, fence posts
over bosses, ex’s, children, football games
soup arriving without crackers
or just in general for no reason at all
buying a one-way ticket to the asylum
to be greeted by a dazzling array of chattering teeth
and quickly put to work cutting up paper dolls
in the basement of some psyche ward
where the mind is numbed by pills in small paper cups
and all the women want to be your mother
or perhaps sailing off the end of the world will translate
into looking for god under a rock
arms flapping out into the wilderness
quoting daffy duck.

It’s not disturbing
It’s pretty normal
It happens all the time
I wait for it to happen
watch the steam build until it starts
piping out the ears
All Aboard!
and people become ghosts of themselves
lost to what they think the world has become.

I sometimes don’t know that it’s about to happen
such as when offering a visiting friend
some stir-fry
he gazes at me with eyes as dark as a
Stephen King novel before he
kicks his chair over
slam-dunks his freshly-opened can of beer
onto the cement floor
(which was my last one, by the way)
and tears the garage door open
almost ripping it from its frame
before disappearing into the night.

I personally didn’t think
the stir-fry was that bad.

It’s all relatively normal
people cry, become angry, get hurt and hold it in
the world is not a fair place and
neither is anybody inside of it
Me! Me! Me! Me! ME!
it can weigh you down or
burn you up so this kind of shit
happens all the time
because everybody is absolutely fucking nuts and we live on
the largest asylum anywhere and
fuck, babies should come with straight-jackets
because very little makes sense if any of it
makes any sense at all
and I love my eggs scrambled
with a side of Kafka and

Dostoyevsky was a drag, Man

So a little breakdown
here and there can clear
things up and make the sky
blue again for a little while.

The ones that you should truly
watch out for are those
that are so smart that
they have their shit together
all the time
all wrapped so perfectly up
into a neat little package

fuck them, by the way

you know (I know you know),
the sociopaths with freshly pressed
brightly coloured shirts
and teeth so white that it
hurts to look at them
with meticulously manufactured
manicured mentalities
that stand up so straight that
they might use a toothbrush on their face and
there also might be something very wrong with them
underneath the manic smile
something dark and hideously deranged
gliding just beneath that
well-flossed veneer
felt like electricity in a handshake
because everything is just so fucking perfect
in a world of shit
and they are not fooling anyone
but themselves
so when it finally comes
it’s going to come big
like Waco, Manson, Magnotta
Holmes (wanna go see a movie?)
and in the end there will be
yellow tape wrapped around everything
as sirens light up the neighbourhood
like Christmas in Hell
and all the normal crazy people
will gather to watch because we’re all just
faces on the side of a cereal box.

snap, crackle, pop.