Ben (Cincere) Wilson is a writer, advocate and
Program Assistant at the
Center for New York City Affairs
In a room filled with computer stations,
students attempt to out philosophize the philosophers
with well placed commas and participial phrases.
These are not ordinary students; they are prisoners.
They know that every idea takes them
that much further from a cell.
Their thoughts explode like grenades
and send neuron shrapnel across the cerebral cortex
to the printer in the corner of the room.
Gray, White, and a little bigger than a breadbox,
it whines as each page ignites an intellectual spark.
It whines because its friends have abandoned it.
No longer do students hover near
while it delivers their missions of academia.
No longer does it listen to students argue their point
and strengthen their arguments.
No longer is it as free as the thoughts it used to print.
The printer is locked in a cage.
Not because it printed every thought that came its way,
but to be used as a tool to prevent the thoughts that come its way
from being as free as they can be.
People say, “They can lock up your body but not your mind.”
One glance at the printer in a cage reminds me that
not everyone believes that.