Where we went in and wrote with prisoners

Many of whom were immensely talented

Their only defect – being caught

We noted how they learned criminality

By the living example of inmates and wardens

Who taught that a world of laws

Cannot stop crime,  or even prevent recidivism

Giving only lip service to rehabilitation

More boredom and passive punishment random

To break the spirit of anyone dissenting

The politics of prisons is well known –

How they are America’s growth industry

Keeping young blacks under lock and key

And killing off some innocents regularly

Prisons do not change – only by degree

Writers inside are witnesses to this

They carry the seeds of stories like birds

Plant them on pages when the moon is right

And sing for the release of all of Light

Eye met mainly the uneducated behind bars

The rich can always afford more lawyers

Jails are de facto social welfare

It is a crime to be poor

When the rich own the law.


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