by Ann Bogle
All rights reserved.
The original version of this story, written as an email letter to the Buffalo Poetics Listserv, is archived at:
The 180-page version might include:
1. Paul Wellstone's plane crash in October 2002 shortly before the election, Norm Coleman's win.
2. My mother an election judge.
3. My absentee ballot misrouted and not counted in 2008.
4. My correspondence with the alcohol-beat reporter in Toledo, Ohio, a woman, the only reporter in the nation to cover ankle bracelet.
5. Inmates in the jail longer than nine days required to test for TB, not allowed to test if there for less than nine days. Tine test at my doctor.
6. Three-story barbed wire fence outside the window.
7. Hay mattress.
8. Inmates in line three times a day to get medications and see the nurse.
9. The nude, calisthenic, rectal search (and roadside ballet in sueded French black lace bell bottoms).
10. Prison blues and grays.
11. The volunteer woman chaplain who asked, "Did you go to college, Ann?" during a board game about life choices. "I finished three times," I said.
12. The beautiful and proud-of-breadwinning prostitute who asked to eat at my table.
13. Weak coffee in the morning, strong coffee at night.
14. The dirty night guard: the infrared light in the eye.
15. Sugar packets smuggled and stashed.
16. Milk for no one, pregnant women.
17. Blue ink on the ham.
18. The T.V. booming.
19. The withdrawal from nicotine.
20. Gum in the hourglass. Clock hand not moving.
21. The woman who asked, "Are you mixed?" in a room big with laughter. Scottish, English, Swedish.
22. Downturned hands and dialect: m'fuh.
23. Cornrowing and pink curlers.
24. Treatment programs cancelled due to budget cuts, so the women could not serve time and get treatment concurrently.
25. I had been arrested twice, taken three times to a police station in my hometown for drinking one beer more than the legal limit. The first time I was 15 and had returned from a school trip to Germany. I had walked out to the park with a can of beer to read Marco Popp's and Robert Raithel's love letters.
26. It was a clinical mistake to be on an SSRI (it caused haircutting).
27. The FBI report returned inconclusive when I fingerprint tested at Girls Write Now in New York in 2008.
28. One of the two charges on my record might have been dropped but the law suddenly changed.
29. Charges: petty misdemeanor for the football player with marijuana in his car who had pushed the woman meter reader half a block on the hood of his Lexus.
30. My lawyer, the former prosecutor with political ambition.
32. Vanguard Group.
33. Clay Brown's list.
34. Rollicking Irish happy hour across from the probation office.
35. "Whiskey" plates.
36. Bar soap, Bible, toothbrush in brown paper bag.
37. Stubby pencil.
38. Library shelf hour.
39. Naming the woman judges. (Judges stand election.)
40. Arrest scenes and detailed reports.