Daryll

There is a man who smells awful, and his name is Daryll. I know how to spell his name because he taught me one day. I tried to teach him how to spell my name, but he never remembers. He wanders around the suburbs lugging trash bags. He likes to carry as many as possible. Families try to stay away for fear of his rottenness He can be smelled from many feet away. He told me how he loves to eat. He keeps old food in his bags. I asked him what his favorite kind of food was, and he told me it was cookies. I asked him what kind of cookie and he said chocolate chip. Then he smiled. I told him how I like to dip my chocolate chip cookies in cold milk until they get soggy and melt in my mouth when I bite into them. I asked him if he likes to dip his cookies in milk and this is how he answered:

I dip my chocolate chip cookies in root beer.

I smiled back at him for once. Then I asked if the combination tastes good together. His lips opened up with his gums showing as he hummed:

mmmhhhmmm

The Platform

forced into the middle yet again

when I’m waiting for the train

my sarcophagus is burning

I think about throwing myself at it

the cuticles are cut out of the nails

I’m still waiting for the train

light-headedly listing the listless

a few feet away the urge flows through

now I’m void of nervousness

stabbing insides for everlasting microseconds

why the immolation?

the beckoning is irresistible it is time for mental preparedness

I’ve been suffocating in this tomb my whole life

my eyes open once more

sacrificial arbitrariness

now it’s too late, like always

nothing to live for

the vehicle has come to a full stop

my brain took the blame

I walk on

tortured by the artificial light

look around

wondering who has ever even thought the same

it never ends

A Portion of Automatic and a Dash of Anger

let the grease drip from jaw to collarbone

wish that nothing ever happened in the ways that they did

unopened cereal boxes are on the front lawn for the infants to eat and then curl up and die in

humans developed this concept for the sole purpose of being self-absorbed

the tendencies can be either self-deploring or narcissistic in nature, the intent is always the same

my fingers tasted like bloody grass

on the outside, on the inside

the paper cuts made thin incisions into my lungs

I don’t know when it’s gonna’ happen but when it does

I’m gonna’ be buried in the sand with geese flying sideways overhead

there were more bars in the town we grew up in than trashcans out in the street

three identical corpses of my former nemesis lay in the same road

I don’t know what any of it means

left the hinges bare the paper trailed thin

hold the death-cake to the ear of the incompetent

I gave my brain radiation for you

when I look up

smelling a different scent

I want it now more than ever

another costly ride

the photographs on the wall

are ominously yellow with time

I’ll come to never see you again in black peace

Regret, Recalcitrance

How long does it take for you to bleed from your fingertips?

Medicine does not help dissimilar apes.

The television is right for once.

I am sorry, dad, I know you smell the smoke.

I know I let you down, I let myself down too.

I cried my eyes out so I could not see my mother anymore.

There was this metal plate pushing down on my head.

My second grade teacher did not care.

We were punished for not knowing how to spell “because”.

She did not teach us, it was ingrained.

Hey, little girl, I know that your insides hurt.

It makes me so sad to know that something could have been done.

My stomach hurts as well.

I felt your face in no one ever.

Pulled myself to touch,

held it for a grasp,

lost it all in passing.

Casting the First Stone

An article I wrote for my high school newspaper a few years ago responding to a student published piece advocating capital punishment. The hypocrisy of a Catholic high school endorsing the death penalty while the church they belonged to condemned it bothered me so, and since the newspaper published the pro-capital punishment article and not mine it was apparent that this was the case.

“An Incontrovertible Reality”: a response to “A Controversial Topic”

“If the man who murdered my grandmother was executed, it wouldn’t bring justice for her murder, nor would it bring her back.”. These are the words of Joanne Lynch, whose grandmother, Marion Carr, was murdered in Philadelphia in 1980.

Jesus, an innocent victim of institutional capital punishment, openly and profusely opposed the justification of human beings having the right to take each others lives. Jesus clearly stated this in the Gospel of Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil doer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also”.

Being politically right-wing and a genuine Christian is a paradox, because there is a contradiction between the morally conservative support of capital punishment and the teachings of Christianity. The quintessential example of this is when Jesus defends a woman condemned to death by proclaiming in Gospel of John 8:7“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to [execute] throw a stone at her.”

Capital punishment is a social injustice because it puts society on the level of the criminal(a more percipient version of the banality “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”). A cliché argument is that capital punishment is necessary as a deterrent, but it is psychologically absurd to assume a criminal would take into account the death penalty as a consequence of their actions.

Even if the deterrent argument was valid it would not justify the horrifying reality of when the judicial system is at fault in the prosecution of a person and the accused face the consequence of innocently being put to death. In 1985 a Texan minor named Ruben Cantu was put on trial for murder and sentenced to death without any physical evidence supporting the case. After his execution by lethal injection in 1993, it was found out that even the circumstantial evidence of the prosecution was false and the lone witness of the murder lied. A friend stated “Texas murdered an innocent person”(Houston Chronicle).

The argument that lethal injection is painless, which therefore makes it not in violation of the right against cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed by the Eighth Amendment, is only a one-dimensional view of the words. Such an argument only attempts to nullify the physical cruelty of lethal injection, which is a preposterous assumption because no one has ever lived to tell how it felt. The “painless” argument is wrong because there is a cornucopia of unusual emotional cruelties inflicted upon not only the person being put to death, but on their friends and family also.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (p.605) states that “…executing a person is only necessary if there is absolutely no way to make sure the offender could do any more harm, the cases of which(because of modern imprisonment technology), “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”(Pope John Paul II, 1995).

The misguided notion that capital punishment saves money for taxpayers is wrong because according to a Californian death-penalty commission, “Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year.”(Death Penalty Information Center) The commission found that the alternative of life in prison without parole was substantially cheaper mostly because of less court costs. “The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year.”(Death Penalty Information Center)

With these arguments, and compassion for all human life, a complex issue such as capital punishment can be simplified into four words. “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. The Fifth Commandment is so simple, yet the issue of capital punishment is deemed controversial by so-called Christians who cannot understand four words given to them by their own God.

Sources

The Holy Bible John 8:7 Matthew 5:38
Catechism of the Catholic Church (pg. 605)
Lise Olsen- Houston Chronicle “The Cantu Case: Death and Doubt” http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3472872.html
Priests For Life Organization
Death Penalty Information Center