Poetry Instead of Prozac

(Photo: Benyei.com)

How difficult it is to screw up the courage to quit a job when you hate the one you’re in but you don’t have another one lined up!

What about the hassle, expense and hardship of leaving one home for another after the hard work of deciding to move, looking for a new place, going through the expense of the move and finally settling in? Don’t even start on finding the library or a decent Chinese take-out place.

Then there are really big things like having a family member diagnosed with a serious illness, accusations of incest and losing everything, maybe including a pet, in a house fire.

Under all those circumstances, family, friends and the community give understanding and support, even patience as we work through the tangle of stuff tied to difficult life experiences. We might even be given a journal or paintbrushes and paints as a means for venting or expressing our thoughts — frustration, grief, joy, relief.

The opportunity for self-expression is recognized as helpful, even essential and therapeutic. Beyond self-expression, the arts teach critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal communication and other life-skills.

I was born near the equator.
I was born in a big city with no remembrance,
on a crazy highway called 275

Raised as a gypsy,
saying hello, then goodbye.
The world I lived in was big and scary.

I can still hear the breaking of glass.
What I don’t remember is blood.
I remember all the bad but when will I remember some good?

I had a father up until the age of six
and then he went right to prison.
The pain is still fresh, as first-cut flowers
No matter how old I am, I’m still daddy’s girl.

Inject loss, inject pain.
I remember when I was not an addict
I had a thirst.
That was my first time meeting death.

Wait, this is my life! I want it back!
I don’t know what my life is supposed to bring.
I held onto the past when I should have let go.
I slept for too long.
Life begins by awakening.

— An excerpt from “Curriculum Vitae”

This is part of a longer poem by Paulette Hansel of the Inside/Outside Prison Project, compiled from the writings of the residents at the River City Correctional Center’s Chrysalis Pod in fall 2006.

The Inside/Outside Prison Project supports people overcoming addiction and criminal activity by teaching them art.

— Margo Pierce

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Porkopolis

3 Comments on “Poetry Instead of Prozac”

  1. Natasha Says:

    …”Under all those circumstances, family, friends and the community give understanding and support, even patience as we work through the tangle of stuff tied to difficult life experiences.”

    Sometimes this is true, Margo. Sometimes it’s not.

    This is not to undermine The Inside/Outside Prison Project, but just a realistic look at my own life experience.

  2. RhettWilson Says:

    Hey,
    Great stuff here!
    I’ll definitely bookmark this place and come back soon.

    Rhett


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: