Poem: Voices of Madness – I – self

Voices of madness, a spontaneously composed series of quasi haiku voices in bedlam
dedicated to Axel Neumann

a leading European clinical psychiatrist
who became a structured psychotic
(one who can transmit that state to another)
who later died of the drugs they gave him after each increasingly frequent episode
and which he knew would eventually kill him

Prompted by Gabriel Rosenstock encouraging the author to enter an international poetry competition around the theme of ‘madness’ organized by a university in Katmandu, Nepal (linked below).

Esther Hannah 1858 Chronic mania with delusions

Voices of Madness I: self

when the chattering mouth inside
engollops the whole world
now so many tongues
screaming back at you!

The union of
all and everything with
Mighty Me and
Mini Me

the wastrel candy wrapper
scudding across the ocean of bedraggled pavement
talks in sign language
only I can understand
and so we are friends

gazing into my dog’s soft eyes
drowning in kindness
we long for the oblivion
of everlasting life

suffering so extreme
I am King
of the charnel ground
I survey
in ostracized isolation

Woe is me!
Alone at last!
Alone again!
Alone forever!
Alone alas!

I have dug deep into hell
where you can’t see
fresh air
green fields

now worship my many manias
which you good people
with your many conventional insanities
have driven me screaming into!

once I jumped off the mountain peak
and started gliding far above
and you all down there far below
there was no turning back
so here we are
alone together again!

Captain George Johnson 1848, homicidal maniac

I screamed…
and the other person
in here with me
jumped almost out of their skin
and into mine!

you people are all so dumb
and sanctimonious about it
you’ve driven me
out of my wits
and into the arms of demons

I know a little devil
she’s right here
do you want to see her…

don’t ask me how
but I know
for certain
this nightmare will never

I could cry
all the tears
for all the girls
and it would never
be enough
to slake the thirst of this anger

Harriet Jordan 1858, acute mania

teeth and nails are my claws
my gaze lightning
my speech a bloody knife
my body a writhing sex crazed she devil!

when I see you
I feel the urge
to squash a banana!

how many years ago
was I a happy child?
that life has left me…

the apples are falling
falling, falling
I will soon drown
in that well

if only you could touch me
you might see me
if only you might see me
you could touch me

I am the veritable Queen of Ireland
but you FOOLS
have put me in a straightjacket
though one not nearly as restricting
as the ones you wear yourselves
over your taut middle class heads

I yearned so much to fly
that after I leapt
I simply refused to come back down
to earth

on the ride home
after our time together
after reading Kafka’s trial together
the train tracks kept
telling me, telling me, telling me, telling me
you’re mad, you’re mad, you’re mad, you’re mad
you’ll die, you’ll die, you’ll die, you’ll die,
you know it don’t you, you know it don’t you,
you know it don’t you, you know it don’t you
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
you’ve always been mad and you’ll never get better
then tears flowed down
but somehow I made it home
through the mist of sadness and madness
and slept for a day and a night
and woke up
blessed and


Spontaneous composition 2022-02-09

The competition open call for poetry:

Published by The Baron

Retired non-profit administrator.

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