Penal Code by Gary Beck


Barring the unusual,
riot, hunger strike,
inmate insurrection,
the warden goes home
after a days work
like other employees
to a comfortable home,
a nice family,
supported by
a generous salary
courtesy of
federal, state, city taxes
paid by we the people
to contain the animals.

The semi-educated zookeeper
is a long term custodian
of incarcerated bodies
even though men and women
are not designed by Nature
for confinement,
our prison population
larger than small countries,
because the owners of America
demand we lock up
innocent and guilty alike.

© 2019 Gary Beck


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Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. His poetry collections include Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press), Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order (Winter Goose Publishing). Conditioned Response (Nazar Look), Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications), Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His novels include Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pig Productions), Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance (Wordcatcher Publishing). His short story collections include A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications), Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). Feast or Famine and other one act-plays will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of magazines. He lives in New York City.


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