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.
Your shirt still smells
Like a better life.
Washing powder, fabric softener
No ulcers in your mouth
And no hypercondria.
Fruit-full shopping baskets that
I can stare at; your mother
A wife: my mother out of law
Pays out in more
Than the cracked mortal walls
Can or will tell you - yes, even they -
I don’t always tell you
And I can’t always tell you.
Will it taste of me,
A transvestited messy little quarry…
Of what do I taste? I come
And I go, confused as a
Ride at the funfair. Scream,
I saw a boy I tried to seduce -
The same (but not quite) the same
Name as you (how odd)
I embarrass myself? And I sweat?
What am I meant to do?
The same day out and day in
Swirl, whirl, fling.
Will I spoil it with sweat,
Tears? Or would that enhance?
Can’t I dance…
Can’t I dance…
How I saw them all
And how they saw me
Was different, perhaps:
I wore you as my shirt;
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed.
I’ve got feathers in my hair,
I get high on hydroponic weed
And my jazz collection’s rare;
I get down to beat poetry:
I’m a Brooklyn baby,
I’m a Brooklyn baby.
Yeah, my boyfriend’s pretty cool,
But he’s not as cool as me.
Cause I’m a Brooklyn baby,
I’m a Brooklyn baby."