In a pendant past, still waiting to become, my dreams were ever wandering in a lifeless land: the high night of suburbia, where the homes were anthracite compressed from smoke, and the streets all ran with bitumen, flowing over aeons to Nocturnia.
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 Respondent’s names have been replaced by pseudonyms to preserve inmate anonymity.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.
Microscopic particles of time
rain upon our lives.
Paper promises grow brittle,
mapped forgiveness folds, unfolds,
frays and tears along the creases.
Our memories refract through prisms
until the brightest day is lost
in anesthetic runes.
I heard a motor revving in the carport,
and from my gate,
I watched my Kia Starfish drive away,
with the spindly legged carport
A small symbolic light above the planar world,
the curveless planetary horizon
and yapping dogs on the wind,
run I walk I queue I
grow tired, eyes close and flicker,
yet every photon tells a tale
of a restless luminous voyage.
After midnight I wander under
sodium doublet illumination
to the very end of the street.
There is a place where all imagination ends.
There is a frontier beyond which
nothing is comprehensible.
Who will tell me what lies in between?
Diurnal hours on planet earth
It’s as if I’m alive, I’m almost sure.
Strangers know me at the supermarket,
even family knock and peer through windows,
ask me why I wasn’t where I should have been
by rote and custom.
Yet I know when I awaken every day,
I’m here for the very first time.