Off Center Reaches Out – And In

When I heard that Off Center was planning an exhibit entitled “Trust the Hand That Makes It Round,” I decided to use the concept as a prompt at a creative writing workshop I lead at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center way on Albuquerque’s West Side. What’s round at the jail could be round anywhere:

Round face, round table, round circle, round thoughts, round the bed, roundabout, round the block, round and round, anything that’s round. If you were to pick one thing round, what would you be? As for me, I think I would be a round circle, perfect, flawless, never-ending but yet never beginning. One continuous flowing creation formed in natural surroundings. Because all things formed in nature are perfect to a certain degree. To be a natural perfect circle, that’s for me. – Kimberly M.

My butt is round, nice and round. It sticks out. It makes all the men shout. How round it is and big too. it’s nice to have. If you work out, maybe you can have one too. – Catrina D.

Meat we eat
It’s on our lunch tray
We have it every day
Yes! Bologna –- Catrina D.

Round and round we go
We stop in jail and most
Go round and round
Again . . . . — Catrina D.

Everything round is the path I seem to be taking and endless circle back to the same old sad senseless situation. The drugs, depression, desolation. As I look to the sky and see the roundness of the sun rise I realize how nice it would be to see it and be free from within these walls. As I lay on my bunk with these walls I catch a glimmer of the roundness of a full moon. “A falling star,” “I make a wish.” Let the same old circle come to an end so I can walk a straight line. – Lisa Y.

Everything round is like time on a clock
Everything round is like my world is handing upside down
Everything round are smiles turned into frowns
I sure wish my world was the same as a child playing round and round
But now as I’ve grown I see the heavens and clouds moving to infinite domains as we all go in circles round and round. — Cheri B.