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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

She’s sitting at home writing and this man comes in. She doesn't know how he got in the house, she thinks he came from the back door without knocking. He’s looking at what she’s writing and asks if she writes a lot of political poetry. She covers the sheets of paper with hand then realizes he must be from the Prisons Department.

She’s going to have to appear in court on the 19th, apparently because of a poem she wrote attacking IBM. Despite all the other news poetry around, it’s just this one big corporation which is prosecuting and all these people will be going to jail.

She gets talking with the prisons guy and says she’s heard of rapes in prison, so please please please send her somewhere where she’s safe. She’s saying she has nothing against IBM, she even just bought this little IBM computer. She’s suddenly worried about the computer and if she'll be attacked because she’s a rich kid with this computer. Maybe she should just leave the computer home.

She goes to Starbucks with her lover and she’s telling him she knows that she’s going to have to go to jail until July 17th. She’s trying to explain to him that this could be problematic, she doesn't know if she can handle this. Will they put her in a prison hospital because she’s just had surgery? Is she going to be able to take all these headache medications without having seizures? She wishes she'd been nicer to the guy who came over to investigate.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.