Song of Madness

Song of Madness

Published by a blog called The Oblivion Catalog, “Song of Madness” offers a picturesque glimpse into the mind of a patient possibly suffering from schizophrenia. Told from a physician’s perspective, this poem showcases the pain and constant struggle of those with mental illness.

He often shaped the world
into a rifle,
aimed backwards.
Helpless before a spectral army,
marching to coincidence,
his mind noticed
the small things
and conjured
a weapon.
I heard
he would polish it furiously.

He would say:
Even the breeze is an enemy
to this feverless sickness.
And I would nod my head.

His hobby
was digging through wreckage.
A junkyard regular
haunted by a boundless jigsaw,
he assembled
the most frightening shapes.
Tin dragons,
aluminum ghosts.
I heard
they followed him everywhere.

He would say:
Even the rubble is a treasure
to this feverless sickness.
And I would nod my head.

His ancient rucksack
was crowded with crumbling maps,
tattered sigils
of Kyoto and Beijing.
He dreamt of a neon prairie.
A good place to take a wife.
I heard
he never quite made it there.

He would say:
Even the street is a monster
to this feverless sickness.
And I would nod my head.

He was hit by a car,
too busy photographing himself
to notice,
while the planet spoke
through a mouthpiece as narrow
as the billboards.
His final transmission hinted
at a vast connection
between crumbs;
pieces of thought spilled about
like radiant bits of glass
on the road.
I guess
we’ll never know.

He would say:
Even death is a blessing
to this feverless sickness.
And I would nod my head,
before removing
my white coat.