other reasons


If none of (a) to (f) apply, please explain your reasons in writing in the space labelled “Other.” Inmates are not permitted additional pages. 

[A selection of “Other” responses follows. Respondent’s names have been replaced by pseudonyms to preserve inmate anonymity. Comments scratched into the wall and/or with rows of indecipherable symbols were excluded.]

“Anonímia de Tal”

I measured my expectancies—
mantras, books, and pills in quantized repetition,
overtime and undertime spent flickering from pillow to post,
leaping with the pendulous clock,
though in a temporary lapse,
I once considered skin mites, so fearsome microscopically,
and the sparrows pecking hair lying fallen at my feet.

If their nests were wide enough, I might recline in one,
although they’ve shown no gratitude for my attention.

“Barra Mundi”

Once a fisher of the real, casting nets in corridors,
seeking manufactured secrets, symmetry in revelation.
But now my remnant clothing’s dry-clean only,
the facts I used to wear have frayed and tattered in the wash
and I cannot bend my thinking to my own,
it’s flown to the inflamed horizon.

First a step and then another, through the gallery of organic mirrors.
In a fatuous moment, I’ll reflect a stranger’s shadow,
but I won’t speak of cyanoacrylate adhesive:
the insufficient bonding of my mind.

“Cifra Circadiana”

If I could skip through time long past,
a pebble poorly aimed at childhood swans,
I’d wind the dial backwards to when the world was still entire,
not left without a mystic skerrick by the pixel pixies,
to when foretellings skimmed the combinatrix of infinity,
and I would revel in the beauty of the mythical tomato.

The moon’s prismatic glow would yield Fraunhofer’s secrets,
and I’d imbibe each sunshot dawn with reverential visions:
glorious adornments of the wondrous fruit.

I’d shoot the breeze with stalwart market vendors,
pass comment on the epicyclic motions of the planets,
but without the merest mention of the sun’s obsequious orbit
around galactic central: the sombre well of gravity
whence only Hawking’s luminous vibrations might escape.

Such futuristic truths are best left in abeyance,
or else a holier-than-thou inquisitorial vacation
might be in the offing.


  • According to Vegetable Facts, in Italy, tomatoes were used solely for decorative purposes until the 18th Century.
  • prisms and Fraunhofer lines
  • A galactic year is 225 million earth years or so, but no need to wait for the end-of-year celebrations. One centi-arcsecond of rotation is called a Galactic Tick, a GT happens every 633.7 days, and the next GT Day is March 21, 2020. I’ll be lighting candles on a cake. Hope the Milky Way makes a wish.
  • the galactic center and Hawking radiation emitted by black holes

cloud control (part above), from VEE, the visual evolution engine, with EMMA, an entropy min-max add-on. VEE and TIM (EEG, the illustrated mind) artworks are now at Artxio, a global online art market based in Sydney.

31 thoughts on “other reasons

    • Thank you, Sobhana. Now that you say it, and I read it again, I think you’re right: mixed emotions. I tell myself that it is better to have ups and downs than to be a zombie.

      I was also very obscure even by my standards, and I’ve corrected that at least to some extent by adding a clarification at the start. I like the idea of different voices, more freedom of expression.


  1. I understand very little of this, but it doesn’t detract from my appreciation. The art work is beautiful, its explanation too complicated for my miniscule brain! Keep going Steve you are a rare and mysterious artist, throughout history artists have been complex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed, Margaret, and liked the artwork.

      It doesn’t have to do with you: it’s partly my own life experiences, various fields I’ve worked in for many years. I am possibly rare in some way, and I know I am not as clear as I should be, but with this piece, on reading again, I realized it was well beyond the bounds of sanity, even by my standards, so I added a clarification at the top.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can only see A to C… where are D to F? I must be missing something.
    Nobody could convince me to look at skin mites under a microscope. What’s seen cannot be unseen!
    The notion of organic mirrors sounds like the stuff of horror movies.
    I wonder if tomatoes were thrown at actors in Italy; that would qualify as a decorative purpose, wouldn’t it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You didn’t miss anything, Magarisa: you would need to read my mind, and trust me, you don’t want to do that. Prompted by your comment (thank you) I reread, thought the piece was too obscure even for me, and added a clarification at the top.

      The organic mirrors — that one is going to stay in the mystery department. 🙂 With throwing tomatoes, I’m not sure. I would say it’s decorative, but I expect they weren’t cheap back then. It kind of fascinates me, I might try setting up a pile of mixed small tomato varieties and take a few pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First a step and then another, through the gallery of organic mirrors.
    In a fatuous moment, I’ll reflect a stranger’s shadow,
    but I won’t speak of cyanoacrylate adhesive:
    the insufficient bonding of my mind.

    This is sticking with me… I think I might see me there somewhere… I am good at reflecting stranger’s shadows. Maybe someone will send me a cake with a file. this is wonderful Steve, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Especially love this: If I could skip through time long past, a pebble poorly aimed at childhood swans, I’d wind the dial backwards to when the world was still entire… If only we knew back then, but if we knew, that would spoil it all, wouldn’t it. We can only appreciate the innocence “the entirety” in hindsight. Lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think so, BG. I can look back at my innocence, lack of understanding of anything and anyone, especially myself, tragicomedy, the unexpected, all the mistakes that somehow turned out not to be – can’t change it, wouldn’t change it. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Physics is the one and only area where I am not an imposter, although that has its positives and negatives. Needing everything in equations is probably not a good feature. 🤓 You have the physics you need for your wonderful works.

      I came to the topic because I wondered what those early idealogues would have thought if they knew that, not only does the earth circle the sun, but the sun circles a supermassive black hole. Thank you, Clarissa.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.