Prison as a whole
is a dark hole
a whole lot of empty.
Nobody talks about prison
until they end up there.
Then it becomes central
a main theme
a radical scheme
a right-wing meme.

Prison is an asylum
from the world’s insanity
from what is required,
prison itself has no reality
or centrality,
it’s a compound fusion
a collective illusion of safety
and lunacy.

For some it’s a laugh a minute
a riot of hootch
an all-night gambling house
a drug den
what they call the pen
with few penitents
mostly denizens
citizens deprived of their eminence.

Prison as a whole
is a time machine
collapsing time into space
it’s a space/time vacuum
it’s like walking in your sleep
sinking to the deep.
Above, the world spins by
a blur
of months and years
you seem to disappear.

Its walls are built on guilt
inspired by wire
fed by flaws in laws
by righteous indignation
a sorry lack of imagination
institutional sadism
a merciless concatenation
impossible to conjugate
what’s wrong or right
or tell day from night
in the Kingdom of the Blind
when reason is left behind
and space is collapsed by time
which is what the inmate finds
and feels and fears and faces
as a whole:
a dark hole
a whole lot of empty.


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