A Fool Speaks to Power

in Opinion by

If you want real power, nuncle,
Bring back crime. Start by claiming
There’s a terrible crime wave, whatever.
Make poor migrants criminals
In hiding, unable to turn to the police.
Make up new crimes, enforce the obsolete.
Marijuana, nuncle – such a haze so
Fraught for paranoia – Lock them up!
To be king, you must have prisoners.
Disrupt whole communities,
Black, brown, white and liberal,
Spy on their habits and personal
Connections. Make them furtive,
Make them know they’re being watched.
Then charge and ruin them, one by one.
When they came for the marijuana smokers,
They pointed out, it’s against the law,
So I could do nothing.
A huge population in private prisons –
Did you know you can own a prison in America?
I heard last night of a guy
Who owns a chain of women’s prisons.
They can work for a dollar a day,
Pure profit on prison labor,
Exempt from the constitution’s ban on slavery.
They’re off the streets and cannot vote.
Their communities are yours, reduced.
That will keep them weak enough
To be subjects of a bitter fool, nuncle,
A mean and mighty king of mere losers.
Make a lot of them, make them your base,
A plinth for the statue of one superstar.
They can build it and pay you with their lives.



Police and prison guard groups fight marijuana legalization in California [The Intercept]
Sessions will end policy that allowed legalized marijuana to prosper [The Hill]
Session’s pot crackdown is great for South Florida’s giant private prison company [Miami New Times]

William Considine lives in Brooklyn and writes poems and plays. His collection of verse plays, The Furies, was published by The Operating System in 2017. Prior publications of poetry include a chapbook, Strange Coherence (2013, The Operating System), and a CD, An Early Spring (2013, Fast Speaking Music).