Just some thought

By Brent Brents

In January 2009, Brents sent me this poem, along with the following note: “Ok my attempt at a George Carlin, Dennis Leary type poem/rant is in here tell me what you think (honestly)…Obviously my spelling and puncuation are shit. So at some point could you correct all that and print a copy for me? Yes i know this may take a year or more. It’s not like I’m in a hurry.”

He was right–I set the poem aside, only to discover it a couple of weeks ago, when I typed it up and sent it to him.

So far, this is the only entry of his where the punctuation and spelling were corrected, at his request.

-Amy Herdy

January 19, 2010

Alone in my forever captive body living
in a cage masquerading as a cell
one that in all of reality is nothing more than
a bathroom without a tub
all amenities within reach
seven short steps end to end

Three foot by six inches
my view of the world outside
a scenery that changes
only with the seasons
yet never changes at all

From time to time
Murderous oaths are hurled
from one warrior to another
warriors whose true identities
are as cowardly villains and users
who prey on the weak of the world

Constant companions the smell of
Feces, urine and dried blood
then there are the chemicals
scientifically designed and scented
to mask this hell surrounding us

In the grip of night
echo the noises of self gratification
Nightmares and flagellant conclusions

Carved in paint clad steel doors,
door frames, window frames and desks
are the initials, names and countless
other things to announce those
that were, are or who have been
and once again returned to
this never ending hell

Walls, doors and window frames
painted the color of shit
shit from a diarrhea pained ass
peeling like so many tears in
the fabric of life’s cruelty

Small TVs, Radios, pictures of Jesus,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mom, Dad
and our children are the
blessed treasures of us all
He stares at me twenty-four-seven
What is it you are doing
with your captive self
he seems to ask accusingly

Rosaries, crucifixes, Pentacles and
stars of David
don the necks of All
announcing our faiths

Shaved heads become cost effective
alternatives to the rising prices of shampoos
and less the symbols of
gang-related identities

Hygiene a hellish nightmare for some
a welcome pleasure for others
stainless steel sinks, toilets and showers
diseased hot beds places where
we clean souls live in
agitated states of paranoia

Caffeinated coffee and tea
become hot commodities
traded like stocks

Prescription painkillers
psychotropic mind-filtering pills
and of course the illicit reality
Killers’ heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines
are the choice of most
and become the main currency
of murderers, rapists, thieves
and crooked guards

Fishing lines made of boxer
short waist band threads
strung from cell to cell
another way to communicate the
murderous secrets, drugdeals
and the simple needs of all

Nurses, librarians, teacher and
female guards clad in breast covering
protective vests are our only
source of contact with the fairer
sex making up illnesses, pains
and other Lies to solicit
Just one more attentive Moment
of a soft perfumed woman

Drugs, sleep or suicide our
Only means of escape from
this other-wordly reality

The sounds of knives being
made from various materials and being
sharpened on concrete floors perceived
slights real or imagined disrespect,
anger paranoia and rage
all in a day’s existence

The smell of a shit-permeated
pod after one of us checks
out by hanging himself from
a ventilation grill or light fixture

The outline of a dead
body prone on a coroners
gurney covered in the flat
black plastic of deaths embrace

Just another wasted life
one of many who came before
and of the many more to come

Most here are barren hearted
Souls like cracked and dusty
Wastelands where occasionally
it rains love or some
who then flourish
to a lush beauty only to
be abandoned yet again
to dry up like death valley

Then there are those few
who are strong and willing
to survive the destructive nature
of incarceration and suffer
gladly for Loves Sake

Food steamed, fried and baked so
Savagely that week old road kill
would be a welcomed alternative
eaten in numb silence

Toilet paper so inconsistent from
sheet to sheet, Roll to Roll that
one wonders what its purpose really is
it either rips and stick to your hole
or browns your finger
luckily the sink is mere inches away

Library books riddled with
graffiti or torn pages leaving one
as clueless to the conclusion
of the story as he is to life

Calendars of bikini-clad
Beauties or cars and trucks
decked out and polished to shine
motorcycles with more bikini
clad women to tell you that
another day, another week
month or endless year
has painfully crept by

Favorite TV show cancelled
tonight instantly inducing a fit
of rage for we depend on
things remaining consistent from
day to day we live by chiseled
routines of sameness

Eating canteen bought stale
cookies, Ramen soup or other food
Packed with MSG mostly to avoid
the suffocating boredom and prison meals

Washing laundry in a sink
the size of a salad bowl because
cloths returning from laundry
are full of pubic hair and lint from
every one else and as yet
unidentifiable stains one does
not want to know about

Telephone calls to loved ones
twenty minutes to communicate
weeks of information trying
to squeeze in a thousand i Love yous
hoping your still loved
and not forgotten

Letters written and received
if you’re lucky enough to have
Some to write to
more going out than coming in
filled with yet more i
love yous and dwindling hopes
that love will last
praying that the one coming
in isn’t the one full
of the news we dread

Beds made of concrete and
steel narrow and short
mattresses so hard and thin
they aren’t worth a shit
pillows made of the same cracked
and hard plastic a flat
Rock would be an equivalent

Woolen and synthetic blankets
that aren’t fit for the backs of
horses or the beds of dogs
and exceptionally good at letting
the bite of cold air creep in
and eat at ones bones

The site of a bird or a rabbit
or some other animal out the window
is an honestly welcome
and almost holy experience in here
only for those lucky enough to
be able to see out their windows

Of course there are those whose
Windows are covered by steel blinds
or clouded with gang graffiti
and defiant scratches made in
bitter hatred and fits of rage
against the world outside

A heater that almost never
seems to work when there is
a foot of snow outside and the
temperature is ten degrees
that same heater works like
a loyal soldier in august

And let’s not forget the confused
air conditioner that seems to think
a foot of snow and tendegrees
is the only time to work

The clanging of countless
steel doors rattling open and
slamming shut with deafening
bangs twenty four hours a day

The shining of flashlights
pointed directly in one’s eyes
every hour on the hour and
of course the sinister smiles behind
the flashlight as one
Jerks away and temporarily blinded

Guards voices and radios screaming
needlessly and senselessly echoing
off concrete and steel crypts

The constant flushing of turbo
toilets and the earsplitting screams
of vacuum starved push button
sinks twenty four-seven

Using so called safety ink
pens barely bigger in diameter
than a sewing needle and
a bit longer than ones finger to
write with seems inherently childish
but its for security
yours mine and theirs

Leaving your cell for any
Reason a visit, a trip to medical
or some other venture
will result in some man staring
at your dick and leaning over
slightly to look up your
asshole as you cough loudly
and all the while you can’t shake
the feeling he might just
very well be aroused and
Yes you get visually fucked
when you  return from your venture
and of course its for security
yours, mine and theirs

Privacy is like some ancient
myth that one can’t prove the
existence of. You smell your
neighbors shit hear him piss
fart or burp Just as he hears
you and all your bodily functions
and he can smell you too
courtesy flush please

You call the cops when
some asshole breaks into your
house and trashes it
can we call you when
the guards trash our cells
oh right safety yours, mine
and theirs

Administration doesn’t care about
us as long as they make
Fat paychecks and have plausible
Deniability when one of
them abuses one of us
out of site out of mind
yours and theirs

Administrative segregation a fancy
term for slow execution of the brain
and the body to follow
the human equivalent of a
pig farm feed ‘em shit, let ‘em
sleep let ‘em shit and repeat cycle
day after day for years on end
until they let us out or
we die…

Just some thought.


Filed under Brents' writings

2 responses to “Just some thought

  1. pez

    first, i appreciate your efforts to change yourself and i think you are sincere about that. after reading this “poem” though, i can’t help but think, please gimme a fucking break man. all of the degradation, brutality and inconveniences of prison life are a small fraction of the pain and suffering you have caused others. karma-look it up. it will help you.

  2. Natasha

    Haunting poem. No one should have to live like this. No one.

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