Quiet Laughter (Bad Etiquette)

“Bad Etiquette” cassette, 1992 – Hamilton, ON

John Harvey, John Battaglia


Quiet Laughter - drawing by Harvey Dog 2020SQ

When the whippoorwill repeats whisperingly,
as the head ruptures and cracks
under pressure intensified,
never-ending, unchanging,
holding on to the
last thread of
…a siren’s wail.

A siren’s wail
outside my window
please pass me by
not like last time

I’m hiding behind the curtains
cause I’m scared
and it’s dark

Go back to the beach
you siren’s wail

The quiet laughter
I’m holding on to it
I’m ok
please pass me by
not like last time
please pass me by.

Bad Etiquette cassette cover


  • The opening number of the Bad Etiquette cassette. An ominous song about trying not to lose control of the mind, and hanging on to that last thread of laughter…
  • Grammarly rated this as a very anxious poem!
  • The poem I brought to the project was the short 1st half. The 2nd part was written at the time.

Recorded: August 1992

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