A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I remember standing in a long line being processed into jail. Guy behind me is furious: they’ve handcuffed him to a transvestite who is smiling at his discomfort. They put me in the tank: it is about 15 x 15 with concrete benches against the wall and about 20 people in it. There is a stainless steel toilet next to a stainless steel drinking fountain against the right wall. The drinking fountain is full of puke. There’s a guy passed out on the floor with two other prisoners stealing his shoes. There are about six Yaqui Indians sitting directly across from me. The guy passed out on the floor, I would learn later, chased his wife into the bathroom whence she locked him out. He then emptied six 357 magnum rounds into the door while she cowered in the bathtub. The rest of my cell mates are homeless who’ve been picked up in the parks.They are regulars and have access to all the jail gossip, know what is going on. It is Friday night, which means I’ll have to wait till Monday to be arraigned. What fun. I’m going to be there with these guys for three days. I had quit smoking the previous week but asked one of the homeless guys if he had a smoke. Perfect time for a relapse. He stares at me and shakes his head, like, don’t I know anything? But he gives me a smoke. What am I in there for? I don’t remember. I should have quit something else. And all these guys, well, they’re my brothers.
Copyright 2015 Doug Anderson