Poetry Anthology 25: Melancholy, Love, and Lessons by Kimberly V

Do you ever wonder what incarcerated individuals think about? Those mysterious thoughts are what I’ve been able to observe while constructing the 25th Poetry Anthology for Prisoner Express.

When your day-to-day life is so controlled and mostly void of freedom and autonomy, you would expect it to be quite difficult to come up with creative and unique ideas. However, I’ve realized that through these poems, prisoners are able to express themselves in innovative and original ways that transport them mentally and metaphysically. Whether it be through the recollection of past memories, or writing about lives they never had the fortune of living, these ill-fated writers are able to inspire new perspectives in themselves and in their readers. 

They write about their dreams and desires, but also of heartbreak and loneliness. They write about wanting to break free from the system, but also what they’ve learned from their experiences in it.

Those various themes form the 6 sections of this anthology:

​​​​I. Atmospheric
II. Kaleidoscopic
III. Melancholy
IV. Love
V. Race
VI. Hope & Lessons

I feel that this anthology really highlights the human experience. The stories and feelings these selected poems evoke are ones that everyone has experienced, as they are part of the human condition. We often want to separate ourselves from people who we think are “bad” or “different” from us. But I think projects like this just emphasize that we are all human beings who feel sadness, happiness, heartbreak, and love. 

I really encourage you to read this edition of the poetry anthology. I’ve had a wonderful time curating the last two anthologies, and I think this one might be the best one yet.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a fragment of what you can expect to see inside:

I Dream of Houses by Bradley Porter
I dream, of houses
On water’s edge
At the moment of balance
Between this day and the next

Of roadtrips rolling
Through unseen worlds of New
The miracle
Scrolling past my passive God’s eye

I dream of free breath
Labored
In some treasured exercise all of my own
Making

I dream of a sense of leaving
An endless origami unfolding in my open hand
A packing and unpacking of myself

A Refused Breaking by Brandon Rushing
I have heard.
But my heart,
in its pale cave
does not listen.

It is a poor
dumb creature that
can never know
more than what it
feels.

Write On by James Newman
I write like dinosaurus
Using Mr. Webster’s Dictionary
And ol’ Roget’s Thesaurus, a
Sharp Ticonderoga, #2
The only yellow pencil
This poet will use
Pink Pearl eraser just in case
Yes, I’m prone to a few mistakes
Lastly a ream of Mead College Rule
Round out my prehistoric tools
Write on man, write on