Monday, October 29, 2018

A Lost Story: Knock Down That Tree

The schizo stood and shook my hand in a forest. “Years ago,” he said, “when you lived a lifetime beyond sun and moon in a basement, or maybe Africa -- one day you promised, when you had become a crone, one who could only hobble, totter, drabble, dribble and leak, you promised to return from The Great Beyond. And you did. You are here. You told the congregation listening to your poetry and stories that you would take schizos into a forest and shout at them with a noble voice: ‘Nazis, Russians and friends. You were my neighbours and chose to murder my soul.’ You lived many lifetimes and yet you have returned. You have returned from The Great Beyond. You have returned with your broken, desperate heart. And you have lived beyond time.” And then the schizo finished speaking and slowly sat down to rest.

“I have returned to talk to you and to the dead, also,” I said. “To tell you that I have lived. I have lived to write many blogs in The Great Beyond. We mourn and we remember a past precedence. Those buried in the soil beneath these living trees. We live in the name of schizophrenia, mental illness and addiction. And we remember the names of unborn children. We take you as the example and then elevate you above the forest, because without you there cannot be a future.” I handed him some cold fast-food.

I turned around and then I turned on the ghetto-blaster. The rich music sounded magnificent. And then he sat more comfortably and took a bite of the Big Mac and tore a piece off the bun of the burger. “But I’m imagining that I’ll live beyond the end of a new tomorrow,” he said, “where there are no schizos.” He finished the end piece of the burger and chomped vigorously on the bun. Drool began to fall from his lip.

“Ronald McDonald is a clown and schizophrenia is an illness,” I said. “And you are as branded as McDonald’s and unless you can split that tree…” I pointed at the tree behind him. "There's no other way you can rid yourself from the clown within. To split means you must cut down the tree from the tree of loneliness and contempt.

He turned his head. “No,” he said, “I do not wish to split wood.”

“Then you would do well to hide from the world,” I said.

A Poem Without An End

Inside a haunted forest,
bruised lonely trees.
Inside a beaten tree
is battered wood.
Inside tree-parts
is a heart,
scared of an axe
beating faster
out of control
with fear
and me
cutting down
the tree,
ripping out
the roots.

Richard Tattoni

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