This courthouse is a theater house.
For me, at least.
But I’m not trying to make a mockery of justice
or a farce of these proceedings,
though it may be a small tragedy
with some comedic bits thrown in for effect
Last time around I was all Giacomo Casanova in front of the judge,
daring him to put me away,
because I’d just cover my cell walls in paintings of saints
or poems written on Sailor Jerry rum labels
and burrow the fuck out of there
And then I was all Galileo,
taking the sentence but refusing to change
even if I am to be confined
“I tell you, verily, your honor, that you may be very wrong about this entire affair.”
But this ain’t 1611
and I ain’t no astronomer
and I couldn’t care less about the center of the universe
at this particular point in time
because I’m far more concerned about the Center of Justice
the adjoining Center of Detainment.
So I decided to pull punches like Picasso,
who smiled and nodded and consented
when the Nazi philistines occupying his beloved Paris
told him that he was no longer permitted to paint,
under penalty of imprisonment
But Pablo didn’t care
because he had already decided to try his hand at writing plays instead.
no bad injustice can keep a good artist down
unless they be no true artist to begin with.
I have had extensive experience with lengthy sentences just not of this sort so forgive me if I’m a little out of character here because I’ve got more time
Rip Van Winkle.
Always a mockery of justice or a tragedy of justice
but never a comedy of justice.
And why is that?
Because there’s absolutely nothing funny about it
and a gavel crack is not a laugh track,
especially when you have a track record of recidivism
that might get you drafted into the big leagues,
so to speak.
Well, I heard Folsom has a fantastic debate team.
Just the tip of the iceberg and you don’t even see it until it’s too late and the band’s playing
“Nearer, My God, To Thee,”
except you ain’t near to anything more divine save perhaps
membership in the prison choir,
the group doing the rendition of the aforementioned
Con Swan Song.
You can confiscate my fountain pen,
break all my guitar strings,
cut out my vocal chords
and snap my strumming hand,
torch all my journals and notebooks and
erase from existence every last note I ever dragged into this world,
but I’d still just smile and nod
because I decided to give up painting for plays
long before you told me to