Brothers in Solidarity

Published date01 May 2022
Date01 May 2022
AuthorCharles Tooker
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2022, Vol. 38(2) 187
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/10439862221096721
Brothers in Solidarity
By Charles Tooker
Taps knocks buzz-whirs
Traps locks curse-words
Fuck my reaction!
Regain Neuro traction
Control breathing & placate seething
In through the nose, out through the mouth—
that shits for the birds; send it south
Step away, count to 10, then back to 1
Oh, it’s a lifestyle, my friend, you’re never done
Merely existing yet hoping to live, & to beg that we forgive
Or, at least, beg your pardon as I sow my garden
Meanwhile weedin’ & weedin’, cultivating
my addled vision of Eden
Alas forever tortured by but a pindrop
A quick start, a sudden stop
While you simply thwart pain by knowing
reds on yellas kill fellas,
I limply shun sidewalks in the rain
terrified by umbrellas
Ration and reason are so last season
The new black is passion & mental treason
Ripe to scratch out my eyes from phantom sorrow,
But recall I just used them today and’ll likely
need them again tomorrow
So, you think you can tell heaven from hell
Blue skies from rain?
Can you tell a green field from a barren plain?
Do you think you can tell?
Taps from knocks, buzzes from whirs;
Traps from locks, curses from words?
I can’t—Fuck!
*spoken word-poetry inspired by incessant, relentless PTSD triggers in prison, elicit-
ing knee-jerk mental, physical, &, all-too-often, vocal, reactions.
1096721CCJXXX10.1177/10439862221096721Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

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