s there a level at which one can be considered “stark raving mad”? Some mark on a graph or meter that measures the drop-off point of sanity? Or does it vary according to the individual? I’m just curious how near I am. On the brink or not even close? Halfway there? What signifies that specific division between genius and delusion? If one’s writing sounds insane, is this enough to qualify? Well, I have always been fond of strait-jackets, and there is something about a good loony bin that I can’t resist or refuse. But I must confess that my tales are simply not adequately eccentric enough. I have yet to write as truly and frightfully bizarre as I please. So I shall have to work on that.

Okay, sure, my novel DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS is probably as close as I have come to barreling over the edge, for it is one quirky exotic quixotic tome! My stories “Penned” and “The Thirteenth Tale” in OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES are slightly warped and peculiar. But there is so much farther that I can go into the daft and delirious, the offbeaten and off-the-chart reaches of the absurdly weirdoish wilds. Even my most nonsensical poems make too much sense. I need to constantly strive to outdo myself. And do better at being nuts. Whether plain or unsalted.

Ah, what can I say? My mind is in a continuous state of disravelment and unhingence. Insanity is something that has to be nurtured. How well I know that when people say they think you are crazy, they do not always mean it. Thus, I must always try harder to be batty. Cuckoo. Coconuts. These are words to live by.

(Oh, by the way, I appear to be babbling. Like an idiot. These things happen.)

Nevertheless, there is the Inkadink Principle to consider, which states that upon the writing of the written that is wrotten, one should never look twice into the eyes of the fish while making a wish that involves beating a conundrum or the pre-positioning of a preposition, as well as not ever once to take a fly’s leap off a short paradox that is not verbatim or verboten. Oh yes, and let’s not forget to not walk the dog through the neighbor’s hippocratic oafs. I believe I’ve made my point. (Well, I would have if there was one.)

No, no, you needn’t call the paramedics. I am not daffy or illucid, irrational or irregardless, speaking in tongues or speaking of whiches. In fact, I think I have made myself perfectly unclear. You see, I often think this way. All part of the process of my thought. Nothing to be alarmed about.

Rambling? Who’s rambling? Okay, fine, of course I’m rambling. This is a Free Ramble Zone. See the sign? (Scribble scribble.) There is one now! (Some people!) Oh, you heard that? (Awkward.) Who says I was talking about you? I might have been, but I certainly wouldn’t admit it. This is a Free Muttering Zone too, for your information. (Scribble scribble.) See?

For that mutter, I mean matter, have you ever wondered whether you were all there or all here? I wonder that a lot. Especially about you. Oops, did I think that aloud? (Still awkward.) Nevermind then! If you can’t handle a little criticism, why did you even bring it up? I brought it up? Brought what up? Ah-ha!

What do you mean I’m not making sense? Isn’t that the point???

Very well, I think I am going to write some poems about madness and try to forget that this ever didn’t happen . . .

stark raving mad

I’ve decided to go stark raving mad!

Yes, it seems like the thing to do

When all of Life’s ups are getting me down

And I’ve lost my crazy glue

Imagine the freedom of being insane

To the point that there’s no point at all

Completely imbalanced, extremely undone

Blissfully banging your head on the wall


Must be nice to go nuts and get so much attention

Observed in such infinite detail

A private plush room where your meals are served

With all the comforts of jail

Where you’re only required to stare into space

And contemplate the clowned

That fine line between sheer brilliance and madness

Like a hearing quiz to see if you’re sound


Quintessential elements can be so trite

Compared to the railroad-crossing clang

That echoes through a vacant skull

Like a bell with a crack that never rang

And what you were dreaming has sprouted to life

Distorted and skewed like a yellow beast

That crawled up out of the wishing well

Growling and starved for a little feast


This madness is absent of malice or anger

Like smiling devoid of a reason to frown

When there’s really no need to shake one’s fist

Then nothing can actually get you down

Don’t lunatics seem like the happiest clams?

For their ignorance gives them no cause to pout

I am certain one day I will reach the point

Of having no reason and thus no doubt


Whilst wading through the murkled marshes

I’ve covered my ears to subdue the peep

Of a coy pond where shallows take monstrous nibbles

Out of ankles until you are in too deep

I’d ruther be a babbler of verbal confetti

Than torn apart by the knife-teeth of wails

That hover like sharks in the atmosphere

Grown eerie and chill like the shivers of quails


Myself, I am loopy as a fish in a bowl

Swimming circles and spirals without surcease

I’ve nothing to speak of outside the nittiness

Of facing the world like a metickulous timepiece

Mouth flapping, orbs vacant, unblinking and solemn

Hands treading the water, a pair of sore feet

Appearing to gasp as if breathing in gulps

My visage too narrow with unmindful conceit


My foolish prattle with the hour reels on

In the drafty wake of a sleepless moth

Revolving uncessant around the sun

Of a lightbulbous pondrance that’d shake a Goth

With the chatterent drool of an egadly honker

Which ganders and flutters in sputterous glee

’Tis truth I am bonkers and none be the wiser

The pudding is proof there’s nobody like me.

madmen and monsters

There’s a saying I made up that’s older than me

Of lunar madness when it touches the sea

Down that silvery trail, shed like tears from a glower

Leading straight to peril, for such be its power

But whether a sailor or stuck on the sand

’Twas magic afoot at the moon’s command

This warning I’d issue in whispers of dread:

“Shun madmen and monsters or wish you were dead!”


At the ocean’s center, a far cry from shore

It is easy to forget what you can’t see no more

Twice as easy to imagine what doesn’t exist

Below heavens and stars where your eyes may insist

There’s a tentacled beast rising up with ten arms

Better say a quick prayer to protect you from harms

Like the dozen-humped whale-viper writhing the crests

A razorbacked spiderfish among the pests


There is many a wonder to behold in the brine

And so many a treachery to beware with eve’s shine

The safest I found was in daylight or gloom

Any else, you might visit a mariner’s tomb

As it happened, a monster charged out of the spray

Roaring ferocious and wanting to play

Our ship he would toy with by the fullest moon’s glimmer

And by dawn smash apart in that vile fading shimmer


Moonbeams make madmen of the staunchest fools

Inspiring the best friends to square off for duels

Inviting the lonely to love at all cost

Leading the dreamer to be hopelessly lost

Welcoming the wicked to commit foul deeds

Corrupting the innocent to have selfish needs

Exacting a toll if you dare cross her path

So pity the sailors who have incurred such wrath


I have as my witness a Manx named Bobbin

A tailless breed whose meows were like sobbin’

He yowled at the moon, perched high on my shoulders

We weathered the waves which were larger than boulders

He kept my nape warm as the wind slashed our faces

We soon approached Death and desired to trade places

For the harrowing hours that ensued were extreme

And I wish to this day it had been a bad dream


Out of Hades that creature must surely have slipped

More than enormous, rather jagged tipped

With horns and sharp plates, a spike-festooned glare

It could actually pierce you with only a stare

And its breath was akin to a needle storm

A gust could resemble a hornet swarm

With stingers for noses and teeth that bit

Claiming tiny gouges would leave a pit


With two flailing limbs from each side of its gourd

And a sizzling whip on its brow like a cord

That sea serpent walloped the side of the tub

Then lifted and slammed it as if a mere club

Again we were hoisted and shaken about

To be crashed to the water with a reverberant clout

Crew members fell off, and others would dive

Solely by miracle did any survive


The leviathan thundered a tremendous grumble

And gnashed its teeth to make a loud man humble

Twenty-four sailors it devoured, all told

Shrieking like babies who need a hold

The kitty and me clung to a life-rope

Soaked and then dangling, attempting to cope

As the ship hove aloft or plunked to the drink

The cat scratched my back while I clutched the brink


After hours it seemed, the ship’s hull was a wreck

Having shed scraps and shards and a portion of deck

In a field of flotsam, the crippled shell wilted

Listing, bedraggled, its belly was tilted

The ocean would swallow a proud vessel’s bulk

With nary a whimper, nor even a sulk

And hardly a glug or a gurgle it made

The old relic went under like a drowning mermaid


Bobbin and me released that fey line

Not wishing to be dragged to the bottom’s decline

But floating beside us with too broad a grin

His demeanor so abnormal, he might have been a twin

The captain gone madder than an angry flea

Seizing my wrist, he embarked on a spree

No ship to command, the fiend he would straddle

And ride him under without a paddle


The skipper towed me and I the cat

In a wake of bubbles gone in nothing flat

We submerged with haste like a submarine

In the fastest lunge I had ever seen

The captain hooting as he hugged its tail

Like a bronco-buster breaking out of jail

My breath was bated, the Manx quite miffed

At being underwater he spat and sniffed


The behemoth would waggle and agitate

Lashing in a frenzy like a hissy spate

So determined to unseat the wrangler’s latch

He struggled like a fisherman’s most challenging catch

Then shot from the water, arcing through air

To plummet straight downward with devil-may-care

Dripping, I gasped before the plunge

Ere soaking more dampness like a thirsty sponge


My mien was terrified, drained of valor

I must have worn an ashen pallor

But a ghastly countenance cannot betray

The depth of my loathing for Captain Quay

He swiveled to wink, and with a great mirth

Unhanded the beast so we drifted to earth

Alas, we were standing well beneath the sea

Which is where the lunatic aimed to throttle me


I had enough trouble to keep my mouth shut

Let alone fending off this moonstricken nut

Madmen and monsters can be such a pain

Just ask my cat, who was going insane

Bobbin’s eyes were bugged, his cheeks awfully stretched

Then he yelped with a blub and left the kook etched

Ten clawmark welts the length of his mug

When the captain let go, I was limp as a slug


I would be on that ocean bed this very day

A bloated corpse, my flesh chewed away

Yet miracles come when you least expect

The monster swam back as if to protect

He riddled Quay with a gale of pinpricks

Boosted me on his snout as if performing tricks

The Manx on my chest, I was elevated

To the surface where the cat and I respirated


We hugged each other in an exuberant manner

And climbed on debris like an S.O.S. banner

A search plane buzzed over; we sat up and waved

It wouldn’t be long before we were saved

But I’ll say it again so you understand

’Tis magic afoot at the moon’s command

This warning I issue in whispers of dread:

“Shun madmen and monsters or wish you were dead!”

temper tantrum

My temper had a tantrum

There was nothing I could do

But wait for the conclusion

To see if it was through

Or if it would continue

To bear a grizzly grudge

It can be temperamental

When given half a nudge

The thing did snort and snuffle

And kicked its heels awhile

The antics of a three-year-old

It almost made me smile

Then curled into a ball

To tumble off and grump

I found it making gripey noises

Bunched into a clump

I hope it’s nearly over

When will the snit be done?

I’m leaning towards distemper

I’d like to have some fun

If only it would let me

Instead I have to pout

I need a cheering-up spell

A witch to chant and shout

My brooding is so flaky

I never can be certain

If mad or glad or sad

Or the one behind the curtain

I think I’ll just ignore it

If it starts to yank my chain

Get my goat or push my buttons

I will not go more insane!

the craze

It was on an eve in Autumn

The kind of night could take a bite

In a small town like most others

With that one burned-out streetlight

Somber lanes so still past sundown

It might seem they’ve all been damned

Heaven help the random sinner

Who should venture through this land

There’s a craze that swept the townsfolk

And it wasn’t for a team

Neither politic nor conniption fit

Wholly abstract as a dream

That you can’t remember or forget

Having woken from a daze

In a stupor like your town is lost

Neath a thickly rolling haze


Cloaked in foggy resolution

Like a shoe that won’t stay tied

Feeling off in some direction

Where there is no place to hide

Like a thief it crept on stolen feet

Sneaking past their best defense

It inhabited them mind and soul

With an attitude intense

Out of nothing it began to stem

Twisting, turning all to bent

How the naked heart of man doth quake

When exposed to such lament

The asundred crack of bravado

In a curdled soup of cheer

The incontinence of timid mice

Occupied this atmosphere


Grayness spread, a funeral mood

Spirits weighted like the sink of stone

Seeping under doors and windows

To infest the hollow of a bone

With a twilish nip of rapacious cold

Morosely enveloping the lot

Every one of them from young to old

Gave the ghost up on the spot

Convolutions, convulsions, flopping limbs

Accompanied general panic

The craze was contagious as a sneeze

And rendered a city manic

Hysteria ruled amidst that brume

For a brief and endless night

The streets were empty, the town gone quiet

Seemingly normal in the light


But behind each door, insanity dwelled

Harbored and dormant within the flesh

Waiting for dusk and the clouds to descend

To begin its sport afresh

Emerging from ears, from nostrils and lips

By a marionettish jerk of strings

The corpses cavorted supported by creepies

Wispy and charrish, ethereal things

Like puppeteers they manipulated

The bloated stiffs of a decayent throng

There was no logic to this awful frolic

Just motley grimaces oh so wrong

And even as the skin peeled off

Reducing them all to spindly skelters

Those creepies had their fun after dark

Till a storm transformed them to melters.

~ Published ~
March 31, 2012

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