“The Art of Insanity” by Krikor N. Der Hohannesian

The Art of Insanity

or vice versa, the question

awaits the first rays,

the shedding of light

on a slippery profundity

not obvious from night’s

whirligig of dreams,

a pastiche of insanity

trying to make sense

of the nonsensical.


Van Gogh had his brushes

and oils and still lopped

off an earlobe. Where

are my words? A voice whispers,

“look in the well”. But

the well is deep, dark,

sapped of water.


Ha! So this is how

they do it, the torturers!

Steal the familiar,

deprive the senses and

he’ll say anything, sell

his mother’s soul, talk

gibberish, maybe throw in

a state secret or two.


Now come two squirrels

caching acorns under hoary grass.

“My dear squirrels”, I ask,

is winter coming soon?”

A furtive glance, they

burrow the harder.


It is dead calm, I raise an eye

to the sun – low, piercing

a red sky. A puff of wind hushes

“red sky in the morning…”

What better than an artless chestnut

to revive one’s sanity?



Krikor N. Der Hohannesian’s poems have appeared in many literary journals including The Evansville Review, The South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Louisiana Literature, Connecticut Review, and Hawai’i Pacific Review. His first chapbook, Ghosts and Whispers (Finishing Line Press, 2010), was nominated for The Pen New England Award and Mass Book Award, which also selected it as a “must read” in their 2011 poetry category. A second chapbook, Refuge in the Shadows, was just released in June, 2013 (Cervena Barva Press). You might be interested to know that he was surrounded by art as a child, his father being a fairly well known painter of the abstract impressionist school and his mother a musician and artist as well.

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