Pisces

by Javier Martinez

*Author’s name withheld A fish born into a world like porn it’s an open sea I swim daily to escape the hook’s fee surrounded, wanted by every crab school to rise above is to also break away from their pull humans not only cast out their hook even love, followed by money, has lies that turns one into a crook A fish born into a world like porn it’s an open sea I swim daily to escape the hook’s fee I once was hooked – intoxicated, addicted to drugs jails, prison, mental institutions I was lying at the bottom of the shore screwed too many times, left like a sea whore A fish born into a world like porn it’s an open sea I swim daily to escape the hook’s fee Each hook fought differently, I’ve been able to escape I am a survivor – I no longer see myself as … Continue reading

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Me

Self-love

*Author’s name withheld Caring Loving Intelligent, strong, cute and sharing Notice how I have written from caring to sharing – how the words are sittin’ one word next line, one word next line, five words (115 – my weight, I know I’m a nerd) My sins have been washed, Jesus tossed. Notice the outlay again? Just another silly way my friend (5’2″ – telling of my height) I know now you’re beginning to think, how tight I have a point I’ll keep this small or even short It is another silly way of me to report Not my height nor my weight life giving to all how any day the Lord could take me.

Lock Down

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*Author’s name withheld Is where I be surrounded in steel, they captivate me behind these doors a system’s hidden way to ignore you, me – has no limits to anyone Some old, others young I’ve come across many new faces all playing the same game races Once these words to me were wisely said – (at that time these words were too wise for my head) “A money maker winner never gets caught” I’d choose a different game I’ve now finally got the message in that if you don’t get it, you’ll be back yelling out these same cell cages all built up, surrounded with different rages It’s never too late to change – no doubt I’m so sick of this same prison route If changes aren’t made then I am bound to continue to see where I am now lock down

Another Day

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*Class participant’s poetry submission – author’s name withheld To live another day to live a different way I’ve learned so much I am grateful for God’s touch I have been humbled as well as my mouth from rumbled rumbling on about life’s sad songs no matter where I may be it is my God who will set me free I can stand alone in me He will make Himself known I can smile and still love obviously my higher power I serve is above I’ve learned how to be still within within me Jesus is in I do not have to live – it is my God who chose me to give another day

My weekend as a workshop volunteer/coordinator/go-to-go-fer girl

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Everybody else got started on Friday. I helped out on Saturday and Sunday by running errands and generally making myself available for the actors’ and directors’ various needs. KLRU filmed every minute! And Jada documented everything with her skilled photographic eye. The hours that follow only signify actually being there at the theatre. Kat and Michelle boggled the mind by cranking out new and improved script revisions nightly – well into the wee-morning hours. Volunteers, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, designers, strangers, facilitators and sponsors and one of the best damn babysitters in town, all worked around the clock to make Performing Possibilites run like a dream! 8 am Whole Foods generously donated breakfast tacos all weekend for the actors, facilitators, documentarians and volunteers. 9 am Ate breakfast, chatted, woke up with a cup of coffee. Group expressed hopes to meet every week – it’s important to maintain a connection, and that’s … Continue reading

Lauren Johnson writes about Performing Possibilities

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Cast Aways?! Performing Possibilities is a vision that has been a long time in coming. A vision that was realized last night! I remember Kat telling me about her inspiration for it. And the full dream of creating an ensemble created from group of formerly incarcerated women – those that society often deems disposable. We hope that our performance will start to change that perception. At first I imagined it would be a huge production. I couldn’t picture how it was going to be pulled together. The bigger vision, is this will be a long running show. And provide an employment opportunity for the participants to make it easier to participate. The population of ex-offenders is often too busy trying to make ends meet and face their own demons of stigma to devote their free time to extracurricular activities. Even more so for women who are often coming home to care for children and … Continue reading

Another poetry submission from class participant!

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*Author’s name withheld SLICE I’m spinning my wheels… Racking my brain… The word ‘slice’ only has me think of meals…yet That be expected and a challenge is my game… Have you ever thought of life this way… How if we weren’t given bits at a time… As from a second to a full 24 hour day… How confusing the world would combine… Just imagine all of us awake… Awake at the same hour… I believe not even God could take… Take us all at once – shoot – even I’d give up that power… So there’s that peice… What if we all lived alike… To all be the President with the same feast… What an awful sight… Thank goodness we are divided on that… What about sports – to all play on the same team… What good is a trophy, along with the same hug and pat… what would even a … Continue reading

Do-Si-Do

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Lauren Johnson takes another spin in the legislative process and learns these dangerous moves can knock you down – but you have to keep getting up and try again! It often feels like one step forward, two steps back, lather, rinse, repeat. This past year I’ve been working behind the scenes, and it’s been more than a little frustrating. The day after I went to the Capitol to testify about bills that were filed – that would’ve changed the struggle for those who come behind me on this journey – I woke up to an Internet headline that read, “Texas House passes bill on drug testing for welfare benefits”. That took the wind out of my sails. I was exhilarated the night before. I thought we’d been making progress, changing the perspective of the system and people! I was crestfallen. I used to think, people have to pass drug tests every day to get … Continue reading

Positive Reinforcement

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We got a super sweet and encouraging letter from a class participant; here’s an excerpt: It’s so neat for Conspire Theatre to come into a facility full of criminals, full of what society clearly sees as trouble, a number, no chance – yet your class brings us out to be free, inside the walls. Thank you. For that, you made me feel like a person. You even put back hope in the only love I’ve truly loved since an early age – which was my writing. That’s why I so wanted to share it with Conspire Theatre. Thank you and your class…for giving me a future. It’s always nice to hear that your work is appreciated. Check out the Events tab to find out more about Performing Possibilities next month!

Untitled poetry submission

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Conspire received an untitled piece to share on the blog from a former class participant – we’re happy to oblige:   As I grieve a life whose time has passed, a life full of family and lovers I thought would last. A place in my heart has a huge void, but the scales lifted from my eyes tell the true story of the lies I’ve been told. How many more lives will this game take? All in search of a love and family. All things Satan is so willing to fake. He lies, cheats and promises you the world. All the while damaging our eternal souls. Truth be told there is only one true way, but to yield to that voice seems a high price to pay. We think we’re defined by the life that we’ve led. But choices dear friend are the reason so many of us are dead. So sit and … Continue reading