Madness: An Analysis in Verse

You could debate down to the debris

Of the last thread of the last stitch

Of the last tapestry, last ditch

Effort to begin to explain how or why

The tree is behind the river and why the

Sky is up or the sun and the moon are

Both shining at the same time

What the woman might be doing

Why is she standing mid stream with

Her skirts hitched up and screaming

You could argue and shout and she probably

Thinks the same of you as you of her

And then you could set fire to the tapestry

And let the flames drive you out of the window

Not the door- mind- the window only because

Our entries and our exits must be so spectacular

But what do you do then? Find a poor man to save

On the corner of the street, or at the bottom of

The last valley around the last corner of town

But he doesn’t want to be saved, not by you,

And you offer him water as he dies of thirst

To realise you were giving him gasoline only

Neither of you really knew it but he is dying

And as you watch, he goes, and there is just an

Empty house where he used to live

And you scream and cry and beat your head

Against the wall because what a tragedy darling

It’s almost entirely your fault

But days, months, years later, what do you do?

You buy, and you sell, and you hoard

And you quarrel and command and ruthlessly

Change the ways of the land because you are haunted by

The thirsty man and all the other thirsty men are

Now your debt to pay and your life to live

But they, damn wretched things, don’t want your water

And then your rivers have run dry anyway

So you go in circles outside of town, crying

And nobody will cry with you and then you throw

Your hat upon the road in a fit of rage and stamp on it

Until it is no longer a hat but a rag that once

Sat proudly on your head, and now you are naked

And so you get a stick because what would you twirl

If you just had empty fingers and thumbs to rub together

And then you begin to dance- who cares really,

That you don’t have your own orchestra, of course you do

You really do

And with that one dead twiggy stick that breaks your skin and

Draws out little drops of your blood you begin

To jump and prance and circle around on your toes

And you wave it this way and that way

And your music picks up until the very trees shudder

In its echoes and the birds fly up in multitudes

And you toss your neck around like a broken spring

And your hair is everywhere and your knees and elbows

Pop and your stick keeps time with you and the river

Does too and the rain and the great gusts of wind

And the fire leaps along with you

And you dance like all the ropes on a marionette

Have been cut straight through

And women and men of the country call you wild

And dangerous and mad and delusional

And unhinged and you dance wilder and madder

Because they are all right,

But you dance yourself to the edge

The wide open expanses where you begin to bleat

And the marionette of you becomes a screaming beast

She was such an exquisite dancer

You’d think the pieces might stay together

But there are other songs

And other partners, other sticks

Other stars, other strings

Other stories, darling

Why be just one dance,

Or one dancer?



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2 thoughts on “Madness: An Analysis in Verse

  1. Stumbled up on your blog by chance…and its amazing good job.

    Very nicely put!


    By sheer chance perhaps you find something unique. Like none you’ve seen or heard before and you know that no other tune, song or dance shall ever hold the same for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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