Wordcount: 10 by 100
Note: Looks like it's becoming a series.
An island of one.
The Panopticon leaves you an island of one.
Even after you leave it, there are bars. That’s the point. Conditioned to watch the watcher and rhyme in riddles, you no longer know whether you are subverting or being subverted.
You are free! You have escaped! You have victory! Rejoice and be happy.
Is it victory?
Your mind is caged. You cannot speak. Warily you glance over your shoulder, your eyes scan everything for signs of the watchers.
People think you’re paranoid.
The Panopticon no longer watches you from the outside.
It stares at you from within.
Nowadays there are programs meant to help former convicts reintegrate themselves into society. This is necessary. The rules of normal society and prison are different.
What is it they say? You can take a person out of prison, but you can’t take the prison out of a person.
Some former convicts commit crimes to keep their survival skills sharp. They don’t want to go back. And they do. Prison is familiar. You acclimate yourself to its rules.
They commit crimes and end up back in prison. A self fulfilling necessity.
Freedom is so easy to give, so hard to receive.
Gathering and gathering and gathering information, like ants swarming.
Excruciatingly aware that everyone and no one is examining you through bar codes and tracking cookies. To say the least.
If they were to compile it all. If they were to have your email search history sites visited videos watched porn downloaded network passwords banking accounts all in one place.
While you watch passerbys and note that the wallet is in their back pocket, phone in their coat, if you walk past them just so they’d never know what was missing, they’d never be able to describe you.
Commodity. Price. Information.
There’s no need to steal. Prisonless people give away information without knowing they’re giving it away.
You against them, you against them, don’t want to go back but it’s you against them.
You’re playing a game and they don’t even know it exists.
Your advantage, their loss.
You won’t go back to prison but if they make that first move, if they get too close, if it looks like a threat—
You take that advantage. Go for the kill.
Ignore the disbelief on their faces that you, masquerading as free and just, fight so dirty.
It’s all in your mind.
The Panopticon isolates you. The Panopticon divides you.
Resistance is only effective in groups. One person can’t take down a system.
Meeting is problematic. The Panopticon divides everyone.
Establishing patterns is dangerous. The Panopticon watches and gathers data. If you want to beat it, you have to make sure you aren’t too random, aren’t too predictable. Either way is dangerous.
Learn to pretend to be human. Mix. Mingle. Speak in code. Some people like the Panopticon and they will fucking sell you out. Don’t avoid them. It’s suspicious.
A double life, a double face, duplicity and paranoia.
A smoke screen.
Characters provide deniability.
Cultivate a character in thought, word, deed. Watch the watcher without them knowing you are watching.
Underneath the relentlessness of it all, you must find a way to escape. If you do not escape their gaze, there are two options:
Accept it and bow your head.
Die in futile resistance.
If you cling to the hope that one day you’ll be free, there is no choice but to survive without accepting, to capitulate without submitting.
Create some part of you that’s free and pure, that they cannot touch.
Cultivate a character in thought, word, deed.
What I’m trying to say is.
This is a huge metaphor. This is the sprawling labyrinth. This is mindspace.
I’m not talking about—
I am talking about—
I can’t tell you.
Cut the corpse into fourteen pieces and scatter Osiris across all of Egypt. A person who loved less would never be able to find him.
Can you imagine the chunks of grey rotting flesh floating in the papyrus marshes? Desert carrion feasting on a foot?
Though Isis gathered his remains and put them together for the burial, the body could never be whole.
He became god of the Underworld.
Panopticon you see I’m on
the side of every side
The trap you set spreads wide a net
that’s mirrored in my mind
Translucent walls your gaze withdraws
to watch the watcher watching
And you show me with clarity
I’m fucked the fucker fucking
Eye laugh—“Admit my eye and quit
your fight your fighter fighting
Eye see it all no rise no call
can free your freedom fraught”
I stand and bow but stand and bow
allow defeat defeating
I stand and bow but stand and bow
and smile a fighter fucking.
Are you tired of this yet? I am.
Get over yourself. Get over yourself. Get over yourself.
What is so hard to tell? What is so hard to embrace about the world outside?
Reality. Live in reality. Forget prison and words, forget advantages and gathering data. Find strength in numbers, reach out and risk yourself. Freedom lets you give parts of yourself and minimizes the chance of betrayal. It’s another system. Learn it.
This isolation is all in your head. It’s all in your head, and by giving it power you’re allowing it to control you.
But life saving skills—
I am the poet.
I write because my words are my only weapon in the realm of the real. I create visions, I draw upon the vast power of the unreal to shape the world around me. I do battle through ideas.
I am not entirely sure what I am battling against.
I am the warrior.
More years must pass before we can free ourselves. The poet has become our jail keeper. Once the strangling grasp is loosed, we may breathe again. More than that, we may speak freely, give generously.
We are characters, and we may forget our purpose.