No-one Wants to Know You

When You're Mad

She reads her newspaper while he descends into madness

No-one wants to know
You when you're mad;
Sad but true,
A cliché,
Like me and
You were sad
To see me go
When I was sane,
Pained to wash even
One small memory
Down the drain
Like a toenail
Or the dripping
That I'd left in
A mug by the
Door for
And you loved
That little piece of
Me that was
Trusted my idiosyncrasies,
The seasons of my mood,
Brooding silences,
Mournful glances
Entranced you;
God knows why.

And we would speak
For fifteen minutes on the
Phone at lunch time,
Pine for home time
And each other,
Mimicking the
Softened tones of lovers;
And you were
Glad to see my
Face each night, though
It was pasty and gave me,
For one, a fright each
Morning at the mirror.

Then someone pushed
The dimmer switch
In my head
And you did not
Want to know
A mad man
And his pain;
You washed affection
Down the drain,
Dragged the chain
Across and smashed
The thin glass.
I do not blame you.
I would have done the same.

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Poem Study Notes:

'Mad' here is written in English English (insane) as opposed to American English (angry), but maybe the poem could be read both ways...

This poem - a serious one for a change - was written in 1997 and can be interpreted as a pessimistic view of relationships or as a comment on the inability of partners in a relationship to appreciate and look after each other's heads properly. In another way, this poem just tells a story.

I don't know if there is a name for the technique used in "Like me and You were sad", near the beginning, where "You" is both the last word of one sentence and the first word of the next sentence. To be honest it wasn't deliberately written that way in order to use any technique ... it just seemed to sound nice like that. But if that is a real technique and somebody knows what it's called, I'd be interested to find out!

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