Listening to those who have made or tried to make formal complaints about abuses of power within institutions is teaching me about institutional mechanics; how institutions work; how different parts fit together. The testimonies I have gathered zoom in on processes that are usually obscure, if perceived only dimly perceived, because of how institutions work. The accounts I have heard have helped me to make sense of the concrete ways we are directed along institutional paths, those well-traveled paths that are assumed to lead to better or happier outcomes, as well as how we are directed away from other paths.

Complaints are “other paths.”

In this post I consider the implications of how those who are considering whether to make a complaint are often warned about the consequences of complaining.  I will share with you some examples of the different kinds of warnings received by would-be-complainers.  By evoking…

View original post 6,900 more words


The Rising Tide of Wrongful Convictions

The Rising Tide of Wrongful Convictions

A really interesting piece, showing how science often works in service of the prison-industrial complex.


Lara Bazelon | an excerpt adapted from Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction | Beacon Press | 24 minutes (6,738 words)

The National Registry of Exonerations is a small, nonprofit research project founded in 2012. What the project lacks in manpower it makes up in zeal, documenting every known exoneration dating back to 1989, the first year that DNA exonerations were recorded in the United States. Staff members collect detailed information about each case from court documents and news reports, provide a comprehensive narrative about the case, and break down the data into numerous categories, including gender, race, geography, crime of conviction, factors that contributed to the wrongful conviction, and whether the case involved DNA. The registry’s website provides detailed graphs that set out the cause or causes of the wrongful convictions and chart their frequency over time.

On March 7, 2017, the registry released a report…

View original post 7,010 more words

Modern American Questions, or ‘a poplar tree as seen from the mob’

How does the our ocean eat these

bodies every morning?


When is indigestion resistance &

wave-vomit revolution?


Where did tree reach that it

burned a country in the night?


Is the fruit still strange to the crowds

who made it such?


Are cages an appropriate

house for our consumed bodies?


Can one abolish any god

that says yes?


Can your mind?


Who stood in the summer

breeze and watched?


Whose eyes [on the fruits] or

heads [literally in the ground] were filling

with dirt & animal shit, or are they now?


Are yours?






survival instinct

survival instinct

Painting by Egon Schiele.


I am brain-blockaded animal, hand-trap springtime from unkempt body,/ unkempt circuitry ticking ticking ticking inside the flower walls, the murder-garden inside me is just the history, unstopped watches and sundials & we made those too, another trap for ourselves & my history tortures me in linear, the slow tick of the root-cage bars under the trees, I am there in the dark hovels, there in small corners and the gathered realms of my childhood bedroom-woods, the trees blossoming from floorboard and forestry touching ceiling like jumanji, the world cornered me in & curled me into arms, and it is silent

and it tortures me, I alight with innerness and flaming unsafe sanctum-head, boiling inside rivers like the frothing mouth-blood, snapping myself into blankets I, the rigid curl upon bed-grasses have no light in canopies, the corners are haunted and reaching for me, I
cannot stand the structure without the open but the vastness precludes me from walking into it, myself I
will lose it, myself I will conjure it, myself is vapor and these are winds and cages and neither can I
fit, myself is choking into the back of Mormon temples, unfit for world but fit for robes and I
could have chose their ring of invisibility, all wraiths of adulthood disappearing from sight there it was choose the right or nothing, god closing in and providing steps for suffering & I
walked out, donut-instinct in hand, I led into temptation by father and cookies into screaming over thumb-pain on church entrance floor to a confirmation, at which I
smelled the root-bars and ran again, smelled the clean air and new god & wandered back into similar-aged towers of worship & worn out stairways like tread-down paths in imagination-wilds, tread-down clock hands in cloud-time, tread-down animals in human form, beaten into boxes by fear of wilderness inside & out & I
is there/ room for a wraith in this mind-nook / is it a room-room and will I come to fear it too / is / is it a canyon and will I hide in it until suddenly wide is narrow and bottom closes in and / I cannot / breathe anymore here / I / I / came up for air / middle of a life-ocean / amphibian-pain still phantom & haunting / how the earth is just like oxygen-cage/ maybe / I could remain if instinct allows