Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jefferson Hansen


the people I know
with schizophrenia

are a far cry from “schizos”—
the stereotypical guy
drooling in his beard
who takes a break
from braying at the moon
only long enough to ask
for a quarter

as for violence
most violent acts
are committed
by so-called healthy folks

the actual dangerous category

if a person with schizophrenia
is violent
does the condition
have anything to do
with the act

why is it okay
for the TV news
to mention “a history
of mental illness”
when no relevant link
has been established
between the condition
and the crime

prisons are full
of the mentally ill
but what sane person
wouldn’t go crazy

time to consider cause
and effect

time to think through
the implications
of metaphor

would we say “drunk like
an Irishman” or
“stupid like a Polish

why “crazy like
a schizo”

the people I know
most reckless with
others’ feelings
are horrifically “healthy”

you would probably
be surprised to learn
how many schizophrenics
you interact with
on a daily basis

what is it to stuff
a human being
into a sealed
metal category

wind of a reason

the wind of a reason
aimed in a particular
started walking
like a root
curling and
branching its way
toward water—
it thinks
in its way

Jefferson Hansen
has been publishing in a variety of contexts for several decades.

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