Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

This house tells a story
Through creaks and cracks,
A foundation built of kin,
Brick and mortar,
Mixed with bone.
The walls insulated with cadavers:
Peeled and stretched skin,
Sewn together,
Painted crimson,
Bloodstained wood,
A carpet made from scalps,
Chandeliers crafted of teeth.
They glisten in the gaslight lamps,
Old paintings of men,
Sinister looks upon their faces.
I can feel this place.
It breathes,
It whispers to me.
Eyes and ears fixed in dark halls,
I want to become one with it,
An addition much needed.
That’s what it’s telling me:
I’ll be the carpet,
The walls,
The foundation.
A human blueprint.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw is a writer of morbid/horror poetry and short stories and is currently working on self-publishing a collection of his writings. He is incarcerated at California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, Calif., and is publishing under a pen name because he feels that his incarceration hurts his chances of being a successful writer.