Alcatraz Revisited

May 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

On the boat from pier 33, the people were quiet, contemplative, almost reliving the thoughts of those who had made the journey decades ago for a longer visit, while the rock in the distance loomed as it had done countless times before ...

We were rounded up, spoken to, while one or two distracted or distracting, did what they would do ...

And then we were free to roam, for the island is a self-contained, safe space, the roads lead up and down, the same roads in and out, the unchanging views of the water, a boundless sense of confinement...

From north, south, east or west ...

Everything so near and yet so far, the familiar just beyond the liquid boundaries...

The decrepit civil war structures remind you that this place if an old habitation, prudent, spare, lacking luxury, comfort and ease ...

Only the birds are really free, for the open spaces are coveted, guarded, enclosed and vacant...

The walls are thick, secure, a fortress built not to keep out but to restrain within ...

The cells are small, fit perhaps for 2 byzantine monks, perfect for men of leisure to renounce a life of ease ...

Where sleep is the price for active indiscretion ...

Operations here are mundane affairs, necessities to uphold the laws of the state...

And recuperation the envy of every inmate and warden, full of sloth and hope...

Fame and notoriety are all the same here, and sometimes twisted brains can sublimate in confinement...

But in the end we are alone, gazed upon by others, wrapped in our thoughts, , while the cold finality of extinction overtakes us...

And we depart, returning the way we came, unsure if we have been cured, freed, forgiven or abandoned.


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