Posted on by Eli Hastings | in Uncategorized · 1 Comment






For Pongo Teen Writing mentors and youth, 2011-2012


There are funhouse mirrors arranged in these cell blocks that we do not see; maybe it’s a trick of how the light falls through plexi-glass or just the angle at which they are positioned but only the youth catch glimpses of themselves in them and feel the implicit instruction not to mention the existence of these mirrors or maybe merely sense the futility of doing so and instead they begin to talk:


of older boyfriends who close their fists, of mothers who turn their backs, of childhood friends who have turned to enemies, of dead little sisters’ siren songs from beyond and yet newborn sons that need a man in their lives, of the boyfriends of moms who give merely a whipping or take as much as a soul, of tokes and shots and slugs and pops that serve as concussion grenades in lives where clarity has seemed a liability and blur a virtue but


also they speak of collecting the gravel of wishes, of shaking awake hope like a pill and booze fallen homie up off the rug, they speak of kicking in the spokes of the cycle and taking an eraser to the dark plans issued them, they speak of bubble gum ice cream and homemade tortilla soup, they speak of days before the pain and lay claim to more to come, they see choices and changes as plainly as scars and convictions and gravestones, they believe in worlds they’ve never visited, in visions more than memories because they are children and can still imagine and because they know that the funhouse mirrors arranged in this place are tricks and traps and each in his own way turns his face away, to the window, and dreams.

One Response to REFLECTIONS

  1. Ann Teplick says:

    Eli ~ beautiful, sharp, poignant. You tell it like it is. Thank you!


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