When the Incarcerated
Incarcerate Eachother
— a poem by Joseph Osel

Double confinement poem "When the Incarcerated Incarcerate Eachother" -- excerpt from Catastrophe-In-Miniature: Poetry In Fatal Tense (2016) by Joseph Osel -- apropos a photo 📷 of Jack Daws' "Pickled Flag", from his Inconvenient Truths series.

"Pickled Flag" / Jack Daws
(2001, U.S. flag, vinegar solution, jar)

When the Incarcerated
Incarcerate Eachother

When systems dissuade themselves
Bodies coalesce and thrash about
Absorbed in energy of their opposites
Vengeance is confined to special effect
Revolutions to equilibrium
Devolving forward
Death unravels itself
In exquisite seduction
Dead hands reach backward
For the ellipsis
As carcasses collapse
Confused and convulsing
Caught flat-footed
On the crumbling
Foundation of things

Joseph Osel is a critical theorist, poet and Editor of Imperative Papers. He is the founding Literary Editor of The Commonline Journal, the archivist for Radical Critique and a Contributing Editor for its international auxiliary journal.

Jack Daws is an artist from Washington state.