The fence outside the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre. Photo by Jen Parenteau.

Process of depression

In September 2016, Nicholas Dinardo was arrested and sent to remand at the Regina Correctional Centre. He was moved into segregation after hitting another prisoner with a broom. For most of the last year he has remained in segregation, spending 23 hours a day in his cell, alone. Nick has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and has attempted suicide many times since being imprisoned. Nick said that these words flowed out of him on day five of his most recent spiritual fast.

Process of depression

Some of us don’t want to
talk about depression
for systemic oppression.
For, if we do, we’re stripped
of intention,
thrown in a dress, then left
with the tension.

Not to mention, the other
dimension of the lens:
when two of their
henchmen come
and search the hems of the dress
then tell me to undress
so they can examine what’s
left.

What’s left is a soul in
distress, a man depressed, a
body in stress, and the spirit oppressed.

Nicholas Dinardo lives in Regina, Treaty 4 territory.

Tags:   abolition mental health poetry prison prisons

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