American Gulag – From the Archive – 2015

A concrete room seven by twelve
measured by feet
placed one in front of the other
in a straight line I have walked for decades.

Concrete furniture permanently arranged
table, chair, bed
I have no right
to move furniture anymore.

Red metal door with opaque window
Just a slot to pass the food
I will always eat alone
I have no right to conversation or company.

Dark and light, cameras watch me
even on the low water toilet
lest I try to escape to the next world
low water lest I drown myself.

I used to get off
while they watched
but not anymore.
It’s no fun when you can no longer imagine.

My room is sound proof;
No window to the outside; there is no outside
twenty three hours a day with nothing to do
save Penance.

I hear no one
I see no one
nothing to fill the void
but the sounds of my breathing and heart beat.

I am exercised one hour a day
under a tiny piece of sky
surrounded by concrete walls
No birds fly over this place.

I don’t know where I am
I am kept in a room at this hotel
I’ve never seen the other guests
though I am kept alive by someone.

If I don’t eat
the tube goes up my nose to keep me healthy
prolong my living;
Why do they want me to live?

I can no longer remember my mother’s face
or the love of a woman; or green grass.
I can no longer remember the color green
There is only the electronic zoo; and there is no green.

Stalin would have been more merciful
He might have simply worked me to death
under a forest canopy in Siberia
I might have died in Spring

in the arms of others
still with the memory of my mother’s face
the love of a woman
the color green.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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2 Responses to American Gulag – From the Archive – 2015

  1. toritto says:

    This is for those who believe that solitary confinement for extended periods or life is cruel and unusual punishment and is in violation of the U. S. Constitution.

    Further, the American penal system has reinvented slavery by the back door. No society in history has imprisoned more of it citizens.

    The U.S. forbids importation into the country of anything currently manufactured here with prison labor. Fully 100% of all military uniforms, helmets, vests etc are made with prison labor – as is 93% of all domestically manufactured paint, 36% of appliances and 21% of furniture.

    And you thought it was just license plates.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    A powerful re-post, Frank. People need to know about such things.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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