for Hunter S. Thompson
A life in isolation breeds its own brand of malaise,
that the respected classes just ignore
and seek instead on worthless causes to heap shame or praise,
with their good sense, naming such moods a bore.
The paranoia of the underdog they call a sham,
not worthy of their time, a waste of ink;
the causes that disturb the peace are just not worth a damn,
or dangerous, if they make people think.
And who would dare innoculate the tough, unfeeling side
of such a beast, except a man possessed
with his own brand of madness and a sense of civic pride,
when noticing the emperor’s undress?
Beyond the limits of good sense, and often at great risk
(where reputations are built on mere whim)
who is to say where genius crosses into wild hubris?
The line between the two is faint, and slim.
But madmen are the world’s redemption; there amidst the cracks
in grand facades, under its public face,
they toil to bring to our ennui the honesty it lacks,
and see beyond our masks, to our disgrace.
When leaders bend reality to disguise or deceive,
cloak their ill intentions with a winning smile,
despite volumes of evidence they cannot be believed,
are any sane who hold back on their bile?
Too many sane, respected souls stand silent and do naught,
while freedom, trust and liberty are sold.
It is the madmen, in these times, whose minds cannot be bought,
that shock us into breaking from the fold.
They ask why should such things take place, in language coarse and rough,
and whisper their dissension in our ear.
What’s more, they make us wonder if we’re paranoid enough,
or numbed by false pretense and hollow fear.
Truth lies somewhere past the lines that we’ve been taught to see,
those boundaries of someone else’s dreams.
Too often, we accept as gospel such insanity
that even madness is not what it seems.
21 FEB 2005