I liked when we went to London
And all of the advertisements
Bestival off the train at King’s
Cross, Greggs, Laura Ashley
Making jokes together
On the balcony at night.
I was afraid and thought I might die
Thought I could die and I wanted
I wanted to just…I’m not sure
Put under, it put me under
Rain and London city lights
From the rest of them, he
Gave us a squinting look which I
And can’t find out
If it meant a thing
I wished they’d watched us laugh
To put some extra value on it perhaps
And I hated the food but not really
And I hated the eating though the hating
It could have been avoided.
But i did not avoid it
Were the lights avoiding me?
"real" what a hilarious concept
pain needs recognition
but what if all you do is hurt
what kind of soil is that
if you keep reminding something broken
of its damaged parts
how will it know how to heal
would it otherwise not be real
would you then be running
towards a hallucination?
but if you keep looking back,
how can you even be set in motion?
I’m easily bored. That’s why.
spindles; what are they? Jazzed,
Clasped, bread like white halitosis
Pinkness weeping from the noses
and the tiredness and our knowinglessness
For the girls
Put it on
And hope it carries on
and that you payed
inside the throat it is diseased
a voicebox singing, intermittently
But doesn’t everybody
Not their weather or work
Just their own
We are not substance
It is not the substance
We are not the substance
We are colourful,
And beyond the light that we can see
I can’t remember everything
so no longer can I check.
You make me for-get anything
So bad and all’s a wreck
I can not double think
I can not sleep
but I can sink
Where is my self security where are my
pills where is my state to give me bread?
Where is my mother, make her keep me
An oldie but a goodie
(i can tell cos this one got 4+ notes).
a man was watching me take out the trash,
i had stopped taking my antipsychotics at some point
due to the ongoing feeling of “being a failure and
staring at the ceiling”, feeling too sick to live.
my craziness is very cute, i think,
cause at the store a girl said
NELL.: Derek asked me to marry him again.
WIN.: He doesn't know when he's beaten.
NELL.: I told him I'm not going to play house, not even in Ascot.
WIN.: Mind you, you could play house.
NELL.: If I chose to play house I would place house ace.
WIN.: You could marry him and go on working.
NELL.: I could go on working and not marry him.
It wasn’t that I didn’t…
I don’t know what it was.
Is. Will be. Different tenses.
Different levels of tenseness.
The calmness you lend;
A violet sea inside
My fragile tummy -
A trance, a fear love attends -
A grotesque, a mundane
Girl to lay and stand;
Awoken by myself
Or new spring light
At the winter’s end
Tender, tenderly rendered,
Though through all that pain…
Perhaps, I am really being shot
In another life, another plane.
There’s a thoughtful piece about teaching Platonic dialogues to death row inmates in Tennessee that concludes with a powerful statement about how the transformations undergone by death row inmates, if seen, fundamentally undermine the goals of the death penalty system:
[I]n order to perform the anaesthetic function of soothing public anxieties around both violent crime and the violence of the criminal justice system, the prisoner’s own aesthetic practices must remain invisible. The job of the death row inmate is not to transform himself, but to remain the same throughout an appeals process that can last years or even decades.
There are countless prisoners on death row who are working harder than we can imagine to transform themselves and to build a meaningful sense of community. We could learn a lot from these people if we weren’t so determined to kill them.
The piece sets this argument about the expectations of the public against discussions with the inmates about the trial and execution of Socrates, as well as artwork created by death row inmates. These conversations about philosophy, literature, and art belie the impressions of death row inmates that keep the vast majority of us so apathetic about strapping them down and injecting them full of poison.