WordWoven Creative Writing Sample: "Cellblock" [Poem]


*Originally published by James F. O’Connor in his 2015 authorial debut, entitled “His Heart the Crucible“*

He is his choice and his lack of choice, him

Together, they began

In one cell intravenous, clung to gland

Deliriums of escape from tyrannical, binding alleles

Thought to be freeing, yet weaving his bastille

No havens in this Hell–just pain he’s endured

Helices spindling iron bars from which he can’t emerge

He strives to be different, and in doing so, is diligent

No message in the bottle he cast to sea, thrashed in waters opaque-d by genetic filament

Neither a thought his own remains, nor does penitence

Drowning, bearing this unknown sentence

He is his cell and his cell, him; it’s bars manifold, preventing a bond, an embrace

Veiling the figure of his vitreous heart, his no-name face

Heart somber and swaying, soul inveighing

Enmity vivifies consigned sentience, ballasted by ailing marrow

Once invisible, spindles beams of porous light, which narrow

In this cell, he sees the key to release

Outside the cell no longer inside him — with hope ceased

Feet planted far from the lock, roots running too deep, he is not freed

Outside his blood cell is his key

And in that cellblock, he’s left to never be

Praise for His Heart the Crucible

"This book introduces an important new voice in young men's fiction. O'Connor writes with a crystalline rigor, as if his heart is pouring out on the page."
"A wonderful collection of thought provoking and insightful short stories rarely seen in the writing world today. Will give this as a gift for others to enjoy."
"This book is just an incredible read. Emotional, philosophical, inspiring and painful, this book takes a dive into the ideology and reality of this talented author."