Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Being locked up makes me feel like doing stupid things. Like making this bitch rhyme see, every sentence sings, see I’m doing it all the time since they held me by the arm and they grabbed me by the hair there’s shit across my door and death breathes in my air and the words come pumping out like there’s never any end to the tap of time that drips and I’m coming round the bend and oh yes I see you there and you’re smiling at the sun and I’m fucking begging fucking crying you’re the fucking one and oh yes you put me here and I don’t blame you at all and there’s nothing that has pleased me more since that first fucking fall, but one day I’m coming out, no I’m never going free I’m dying in this cell how much longer will it be damn this rhythm never breaks it’s the beat that I can’t stand it punches at my head and it fills my throat with sand, once I lived beside a beach yes I grew up by the sea I would love each grain of sand if it wasn’t choking me but now I’m clear.

There’s no way of sounding less like a dumb Harlem rapper. Except by going slower and slower and slower. And still the words fall out of him, looser, less insistent, but still there. He sinks lower. In his bed, the mattress stings with sweat. The air. The air. He can still smell yesterday’s breath on it, and tomorrow’s. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. The only Shakespeare he ever learnt, except sing sorrow sorrow. But good win out in the end – no, that was Greek. Some thousand years have passed since then. This week, the counselor talked of parole. That’s all they talk about in this strange hole. How small the chance of getting out is if you break a warder’s arm, an inmate’s nose, a rule. You’re never leaving then – so play it cool. No fags. No speed. No sex. No talking! Eat the words. Gag on them. Retch. Keep walking, keep walking, just look straight and keep walking. That’s enough out of you, Hickin. Maloney quit. And keep your dick in. You, keep walking.

Every day the walls but then the walls draw closer every day. I can remember they were three feet apart last year, the year before that five. Unless this year it falls – the ceiling – it’ll have to be the walls. The wall, the walls will have me by September. This is the worst, the silence. Clots of sound burst in my head and bleed into the brain. There are no thoughts, and far too little time to separate sound, echo, syllable, rhyme -- all you feel is thought, think only pain. The walls will have it all, crush, flatten, grind the blind and groping fingers of the mind – right now, they’ve made a box around my head. This cell is used to fitting round the dead. My brain will be preserved in peeling plaster. Enduring fossil. Let the rest die faster.

Aparna Chaudhuri

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