Peter Collins

Two poems from prison

“System Collapse” (Insurgents Greed)

No bullet, no sword, nor anything formed,
nothing short of a category 4 storm,
Could ever kill an Indian that’s immortal,
If apocalypse hit today, I’ll be alive tomorrow,
I’ll out-live Love, I’ll out-live sorrow,
Might die before God, but never the devil. 



If I had an ally                   in every alley
And an enemy                   on every street
I’d face my fears              in the valley
And laugh at defeat       on the peaks.


Author’s note on “Untitled”:
You can read this poem in more than one way. It’s like a Rubik’s cube. I was in a really dark place when I wrote this poem. I spent six months in solitary confinement up in Stony Mountain Max for smashing a toaster right by a correctional officer’s head. During my time in the hole, serving a 22-hour-a-day lock-up, I went insane. I smashed my television, I lit my cell on fire, I broke off my fire sprinkler, I assaulted another correctional officer. And I inflicted multiple lacerations upon my forearms and upper right arm that resulted in over 100 stitches. But this beautiful poem came forth from out of all the darkness that I was hiding in.

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