she must be mad II – Robert G Wertzler

“Insanity – a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.”

“We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.” [R. D. Laing]

In a world run by madmen
She must be mad too
The choice is between
Being mad in the way
They see as sane
Or mad in a different way
One in keeping with her truth
Truth at once new and ancient
One in accord with her nature
And with nature’s nature
This is the sane madness
To change a madmen’s world


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

Featured Post: she must be mad – Robert G Wertzler

Mad? You say she’s mad?
She must be to so complain
To challenge how it’s always been
To think she could ever be his equal
To deny his right to the use of her
To so fly in the face of the natural order
To not understand that God is male
To seek to define her own place
To not accept there must always be
One above and one below and
Deny his right to be above her
And make him fear
She means to rule over him
No, it is not that sort of “Mad”
It is not insanity
It is rage
It is fed up to barfing
On the lies and bullshit
On the abuse and disrespect
Yes, she is mad, mad as Hell
And she will not be silenced


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

Featured Post: she must be mad – Tamara Fricke

stark raving
and bat shit smeared
I care nothing for anything
that does not rejoice
in my sister’s curves

that does not dissolve
in the plaited luxury
of her voice

that refuses to surrender
to a body of knowledge
more profound
than Challenger Deep

“she must be mad”
only scratches the surface
of 30 days of bleeding
of 15 years of conceding
of 45 years of screaming
for the dying cacophony
smothered in unrelenting
testosterone leaded folds

I no longer know
when anger and insanity
fused and usurped my blood
but certainty foretells
this red bolt lightning will repeat
with rejoined acuity
singing for the anglerfish
weeping ink in the stalls
equanimously sure
I am not mad
at all


Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

Featured Post: She Must Be Mad – Marie Prichard

She is a lady, a loving wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and an educated, contributing member of society. And fuck is her favorite word.

Is she mad?

Fuck. Fuck me. Fuck you. Fuck it. A well-placed fuck used alone, as a noun or as a verb, makes all the difference in the world when she’s expressing herself.

When she’s in a good mood, she likes to say it with a smile on her face and a lilt in her voice: “Fuck yeah!”

When she’s sad, she can stretch it out for an impressive amount of time: “Fuuuuuuuuuuuck me.”

But when she’s enraged––and she finds herself enraged quite a bit these days––the words just bubble up and out they come: “Fuck! Fuck you! Fuck it! Fuck off! FUCK!”

I wonder if she’s mad?

To those who tell her that fuck is not a dainty or ladylike word, she says, “Who the fuck cares?”

If she needs to get someone’s attention, you can bet your sweet little dimpled ass she’s going to add a well-placed fuck. If she needs to express how angry she is at what’s happening in our country, fuck in all its variations is the word for her.

I suppose she could be mad.

When she listens to the news about white men in the government taking away abortion rights, she rages. She becomes incensed.

She screams, “Fuck you!” to those misogynistic pieces of shit who think they can control women through their bodies.

I bet she’s mad.

When she reads a Facebook post from a so-called Christian, preaching against gay marriage, preaching against her marriage, using their bible as a weapon, her blood boils until it explodes through her veins.

“Fuck off!” gets slammed across the keyboard and splashes across the screen.

I think she’s mad.

The word gets hurled against the walls when she sees the person in charge of our country and his supporters on television. Their unchecked, gleeful bigotry disgusts her.

The Make America Great chants, the “there are good guys on both sides” interviews, the narcissism, the gaslighting, the insidious use of power against the helpless festers until “FUCK!” is ripped from her throat.

I’m pretty sure she’s mad.

Build that wall … build that wall … the battle cry of racism that has caused children to be wrenched from their parents lost and forever damaged, locked in cages, left in facilities that “shouldn’t be compared to concentration camps because that would just be wrong” makes her chant, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

She must be mad.

So, to those who say that fuck is not a dainty or ladylike word, you may or may not agree with her. You might have already judged her to be a dreadful person, someone who is un-dainty and un-ladylike. Perhaps just reading this has insulted your oh-so-delicate sensibilities. Maybe you think she cares. But guess what? She doesn’t. Because she has zero dainty, ladylike fucks left to give.

She’s mad.


Marie Prichard is a longtime writer and educator. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her wife, their two wiener dogs, and a Munchkin cat. She loves reading, writing, walking the beach, and filling her wife’s pockets with heart rocks. You can read more of her writing on Medium

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: she must be mad

Throughout the month of August, Christine will be providing a daily writing prompt based on the title of a seminal feminist book. These are designed to inspire you to write a poem, prose piece, or a piece of flash fiction in 30 minutes or less.

The only rule is that you use the book title as your piece title OR integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow

If you would like to have your piece considered for publication on Brave and Reckless and Whisper and the Roar, email your prompt inspired pieces to Christine at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.

You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • #braveandreckless66

or on Instagram by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
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You can also share your response pieces in the comments below the Daily Prompt.

she must be mad – Charly Cox