Who would think of theſe Cells / ſo
conſtructed / as tolerable?
What means what poſſibility
has the Priſoner / of eſcaping
diſappointment? Would a phial of
aqua fortis be a ſatisfactory corſe?
For the Keeper who ſubordinates /
his humanity to this / rigid ſphere?
One might almoſt ſay / can rage
againſt the poor be ſo indulged
without / oppreſſion of the moſt
political / the conſcientious?
Who would think of ſuch ſolly ſuch
diſcipline ſuch / neglect? Who would
preſent this Priſon as an anſwer / to
the queſtion of cruelty? Is there no liberty
in this crowded ſpace but by
beating / the head of the malefactor
againſt the Keeper’s / face?
(a found/treated poem sourced from: Bentham, Jeremy. Panopticon; or, The Inspection-House. Dublin: 1791. 29-38. Archive.org. Web. 20 April 2015.)
Sarah B. Boyle is a poet, mother, activist, and high school teacher. She is the author of the chapbook What's pink & shiny/what's dark & hard (Porkbelly Press), and her poems and essays have appeared in Lunch Ticket, Menacing Hedge, Entropy, and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of the Pittsburgh Poetry Houses. Find her online at impolitelines.com and on twitter @pyrrhicspondee.
Sarah B. Boyle
Before You Look at the Plan,
The Poet’s Ancient Cursor
from Good Horse
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Politics, Like Sardines