Monday, June 1, 2015

Poems for Prisoners


“Life Sentence” – put that way,
Doesn’t sound so bad
(Life is what a lot of folks
Round here
Wish they’d had)
But say instead they measured it
In centuries of time?
(1/2, 2/3 --
        Depends what kind of child you were
When you did the crime)
Or say, perhaps, they counted it
Up in tens of years
(Or better yet they sentenced you
In quantities of tears)
People might just realize:
Continuance of breath
Doesn’t mean you didn’t get
A life sentence of death


Day One of my log
Reporting my sensations in
The isolation pod
And writing this note back to
The solitary God
I am an
Resident in
Medford, Mass
Height 5’9”, Diet Vegetarian (But
Cheats with fish)
And only hours into
Our agreed experiment
Scientific truth has been revealed to me
That I’m ready to get out – what I saw
(Four or five hours in) was that
Not one single thing matters
Or comes close to mattering –
Except for other people
That IS a thing
That you and I think matters
Does not and we only
Think it does because it forms
An extension
Of other people
Please now release the
Pressurized hatch I’m ready to tell all
The other people who live
Everyday with other people
And think they don’t matter
That they are the only things that do
And that putting other people in
Solitary cells, the way we do
Is up there with
The worst things we’ve ever done
Cause we take from them, in doing so
The only thing that matters or could matter, oh
By the way:
Turns out my addressee
Doesn’t matter either
Since I’ve told you the only thing that does
(Who then, am I talking to? – Do you start to see --
Now – my point?)
Unless other people are the things
We mean when we say God
In which case it is the gravest sin,
This isolation pod

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