April 4, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Austin Ban photo



Jon Vreeland




Equity for the Wrong



I waited in the cage in court for my hearing

with a dozen and a half other “monsters.”

who go in and out of heavy doors that click when are shut.


“You should get off easy man, you’re the right color for the courts,”

said Flacco. “And listen, homie.

When you get out tonight can you swing by my pad and tell my old lady

I’m here in the county jail? Por favor?”


The man named Flacco was a kind man

who sadly lost his chance before he was born.

He is the wrong color, born under a Brown Spell


“Sorry Flacco, unfortunately, I got my White Card revoked.

I am the wrong kind of white; to them, I am white trash at best.

And according to the men who arrest me time and time again,

I am a White Trash ‘Junkie’ and to the deputies a White Trash ‘Faggot.’”


(probably because I have hair and they have a cul de sac at best

that’s right, just a Glossy dome).


They found me with my face smeared against the driver’s side window,

Ripened to an ambivalent shade of Sanguine Blue,

looking like Sloth from the Goonies

Lip curled and pressed on the dirty glass, and I smiled at myself

My eyes closed

Cooker in hand

Needle floppin’ like an epileptic fish;

a stripped out stickshift that dances like Chris Farley on my dead arm.


Now I wait in court in the cage with the others who remain captured,

the Black Sheep who await more than predictable sentences:

the guilty until proven innocent for having a disease as bad as cancer,

while Chester Molester does a year with half in the County Jail

for playing with Tommy next door.


The True Murderer.


The True Demon.


And I don’t know who I despise more? Chester?

Or the judges who let these twisted Soul Killers walk free?

So they can roam the local parks and schools while our cancer spreads to our brains.

And the endless growing units, CC’s, and abscess make nothing less than perfect sense.






Jon Vreeland

Jon Vreeland is a writer of prose, poetry, plays, essays and journalistic articles. His memoir “The Taste of Cigarettes: the memoir of a heroin addict” will publish May 22, 2018 on Vine Leaves Press, Australia. Vreeland lives in Santa Barbara and is married to artist Alycia Vreeland. He has two daughters, Mayzee and Scarlett. Vreeland has not touched heroin in almost 4 years. You can read more of Vreeland’s work on his website.

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