Post Probation and Poetry
"Post-probation and poetry:
Short adventures through Transformative Justice, Convict Criminology, activism, and Poet Laureate" by Lucas Alan Dietsche
many poems sound awfully narrow, like a blog within a coffin of margins, a irking Facebook post, the magnetic crunching tape on a staring soulless soundtrack now, I will show you something non-homogenous and controversial, with my brain bending in the wind, with my pen, this syringe which stirs plasma rhetoric. these bright colored incantations making deaf, ears percolating pink. block me, call me, cancel me, draw x's on my grimace when i unplug that sedentary fire from scalp grains. nothing more vigorous than the aesthetic of a burning cigarette. my poetry both masculine, natural,
is poetry in screaming bleached eyes! ----"My mind attacks"
unpublished poem by Lucas Alan Dietsche
Finding Transformative Justice from Post-Probation 2015-2019
In 2006, I talked on a chat room to a minor that actually was part of an Ashland County, Wisconsin police sting. These stings are used to create strawmen and boogey men in a history of sex panics to create social control. I would service nine years in jail, prison for revocation, and treatment till 2015. When finished with probation was continually diagnosed with chronic depression, anxiety, and psychotypal personality disorder. My poetry and activism would horizontally be part of mental health activist work.
Post-probation would mean trying to deal with identity regarding family, friends, and re-socializing myself. I had to create, adapt, and struggle always on how to navigate through life mostly on my own, through non-cognitive therapy, socialization, and research. When 2020, COVID, and George Floyd happened, circumstances would arise making me blacklisted away from friends I knew for many years. Using Transformative Justice, I will present my transformative experience from probation to present.
2015-2020 These years were through great leaps and stops through the transformative process. Transformative Justice differs from the ambiguous and reformist Restorative Justice, because RJ does not take consideration of class, race, gender,sexuality, ableism, mental health, and incarceration stigmators as systematic forms of active imperialist oppression.
As per the Transformative Justice Journal, Transformative Justice is " a decolonizing and anti-oppression approach, however, views conflict not from the lens of the criminal justice system, but from the community; as such, those involved in the conflict are seen as individuals rather than victims or offenders. Moreover, transformative justice works to dismantle oppression by systems of domination, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, elitism, statism, classism, transphobia, ecocide, speciesism, and ableism within all domestic, interpersonal, global, and community conflicts that foster theories such as, but not limited to eugenics, capitalism, and colonialism. In short, transformative justice is restorative justice plus social justice. Transformative justice expands the social justice model, which challenges and identifies injustices, in order to create organized processes of addressing and ending those injustices and providing space and place for marginalized voices(Transformative Justice Journal,2020 https://transformativejusticejournal.org/volume-3-issue-1-2021/)
To make this process real through outreach, I became an active member of the Ex-Prisoners Organization, and other abolitionist movements. I became a part of Socialist Action, but was not allowed full membership,because of my backstory. I moved back to Superior, WI and Duluth, MN to be with friends and comrades. I would engage in activist work as a formerly incarcerated person in abolitionist, criminal justice reformist, and socialist groups. My post- probation revolved around yet through activism, to have a social penance to overturn labeling and stigma. I would go to national conferences with the Division of Convict Criminology, Wisdom Behind the Walls, and Save the Kids. In Duluth and Superior, I tried to tread very carefully in participating in spaces. I would be part of Homeless Bill of Rights, Climate Justice, Feminist,labor, socialist, and criminal justice spaces. Sometimes I would have to disengage from work due to the atmosphere to not "trigger" victims/survivors of domestic violence. I have studied carceral feminism and how my backstory should not define my contemporary self. I continue to research Call out culture, ostracization, formerly incarcerated disempowerment and published "On Carceral Feminism, Safety, and Transformative Justice) .https://transformativejusticejournal.org/volume-1-issue-4-2019/ I joined the Letters to Prisoners Project of Save the Kids. It was great to be a formerly incarcerated person writing letters from the outside and then in solidarity on the outside. I later became National Organizer for Save the Kids-Letter to Prisoner project, national co-facilitator of National Reintegration, and to take part in poetic groups.
Professionally, I received my Peer support specialist training and got a job part time as an after night cleaner. I could never get a job with the plethora of experience in any non-profit advocacy groups working with other formerly incarcerated persons. I also got my Masters Degree in Criminology and thesis on "Poetic Justice: Juvenile Justice alternatives and the road to a Poetic Criminology. '' From this work, I continue to work on research on Poetic Inquiry Criminology, zineology, Marxist Femnist abolition, and carceral feminism. For the last 20 years, I have written thousands of poems. I never received a mainstream formal education in poetry building. I have been heavily influenced by imagism, Dada, surrealism, expressionism, Soviet realism, free verse, Russian, British, and American modernism. My literary heroes are Mina Loy, Sylvia Plath, Edger Allan Poe, Emily Dickenson, e.e. cummings, Audre Lorde, Anna Akhmatova, Segei Essen, Ann Sexton, Hugo Ball, h.d, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Vladimir Makovsky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Lewis Carrol, Dr. Suess, to name a few. I believe that poets should read all the time, keep a journal, and find their own voice. I have written and described myself going through transformative change using unedited atoms. Poetry through my research of Poetic Justice and Poetic Inquiry Criminology is about the pedagogy of bibliotherapy, aesthetics, and total institutionalized poetry building within probation, jail, and prison.
During probation and after, I have been published in journals, and in my own collections to gain my own social-capital, self-efficacy, and bibliotherapy through poetry. My works are called "Word Out:Poems Under the Big Top of Dodge and Stanley Correctional Institutions''.“Commies and Zombies”, “Since the Oregon Trail”,“Moods are Like Wisconsin Weather”,and “Kapshida:The North Korean Video Game", which are all available on Amazon.com. I am Three volumes of The Nemadji Review as well in the Transformative Justice Journal. My Masters degree from University of Wisconsin-Platteville with my thesis on "Poetic Justice:Juvenile Justice Alternatives and the road to a Poetic Criminology", discusses Poetic Justice programs for Justice-Involved persons. I also published an article called " Poetry, prisoners and transformative justice.
I was also proud to have started the Superior Poet Laureate Committee and was voted by that body to be Superior, Wisconsin's first Co-Poet Laureate. Because of people defining my one thing in my life, I had to leave that position. Since then, there has been no action to create another Poet Laureate of Superior, WI. I then became Taconite Harbor's first Poet Laureate. I try to take part in any poetry reading or group that welcomes me regarding my work and voice. Doing Transformative Justice again, from 2020 to now .
Between the years 2018 I was Called out of from Climate Justice, Twin Ports Action Alliance, Feminist Justice League, and being Poet Laureate of Superior, Wisconsin. In many instances, I told these groups about my background, but others had a problem with a formerly incarcerated person with a victimless crime in activist spaces. For all their progressive and radical outlets, my experiences with activism in Duluth and Superior activist groups is that much struggling with the use of carceral feminism or the reliance of ostracization, incarceration, and disempowerment of convicted and formerly incarcerated persons. For all the non-profit therapeutic groups, feminist groups, and appartatus of healing, there is no transformative justice circles that can create alternatives to the binary of domestic violence. This is the epitome of Transformative Justice and I had to again reconfigure another chapter in my life.
Moving on into the future
In June, 2020, I was finally called out of all activist organizations due to both having a backstory that much of the activist community knew about as well as allegations of misconduct. I never got to defend myself or discuss stigma, disempowerment, Labeling theory, of people with a criminal background. Many people's trauma, triggers, and unsafety, results in projection of their victimization onto me. Especially when I do not have a victim due to a police sting operation. Researching and realizing Marxist Feminist Abolition, carceral feminism, call out and cancel culture, like Transformative Justice is extremely messy. To break away from ostracization takes through understanding of the analysis of imperialism. We should be calling in,rather than calling out. Calling out has been a term parraling social "othering", that has been co-opted by both Democratic and Republican parties-the twin wings of imperialism as use of social control over the people.
Since June of 2020, I have to engage in internal transformation to parallel the transformation impetus in radicalization of oppressed people. I continue to work on a paper from auto-ethnographic perception of Call out culture, Transformative Justice, and carceral feminism. I organize nationally through the National Reintegration Group through Utah Reintegration Group, Letters to Prisoners-Save the Kids, Black Justice Resource Group, and the Mass Party Organizing Project for Love and Rage. I also have blogs called Schizotypal Poetry and Writing Group, United Friends for Oumuamua, and a Patreon/Blog called "Pilot of Oumuamua.
Since last year, I have had the first healthy and long term partner-relationship in my whole life. We can create poetry as well as social justice and activism. I also have my first paid position as an adjunct professor teaching through a Prison College. I continue to be a part of a great collection of peers in the Division of Convict Criminology, and presenting papers with them. I have taken part in anti-carceral abolitionist feminist conferences,presenting on incarcerated person poetry, stigma, disempowerment, as well as taken part in the book "How to Be Accountable:Take Responsitiblity to Change your Behavior, Boundaries, and Relationships"(Microcosm, 2020). I also am the Editor-in-chief of Transformative Justice Journal, organizer of Wisdom Behind the Walls, and doing outreach for the End MSOP campaign. I continue to learn to grow and to write on those unedited atoms, I call poems.
without their sky watching let my eyes enter images breathe in others spent oxides I am allowed to walk the desert as an unhinged person. I have been removed as a degenerate malignant tumor from the collective brain I will detox amongst sand dunes think on my own legs. in desert, i have burned these friends down to the root. time to clean time to slash time to take my fire elsewhere. I need to do a living dance around a bonfire on the sand beach. ---"without their sky watching"unpublished poem by Lucas Alan Dietsche
Other Works mentioned and published Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters 2021 : Book Review: Book Review: Classic Writings in Anarchist Criminology: A Historical Dismantling of Punishment and Domination: Volume 3, Issue 1. https://transformativejusticejournal.org/volume-3-issue-1-2021/ 2020: "Lucas's Story", Biel, J, Harper,FG.Ed. How to Be Accountable: Take Responsibility to Change Your Behavior, Boundaries, and Relationships (5-Minute Therapy) 2nd ed. Edition. Microcosm. 2019: On Carceral Feminism, Safety, and Transformative Justice, Transformative Justice Journal, Volume 1, issue 4, 2019.https://transformativejusticejournal.org/volume-1-issue-4-2019/ 2020: Poetry, Prisoners, and Transformative Justice, Crime Talk, https://www.crimetalk.org.uk/index.php/library/articles/1009-poetry-prisoners-transformative-jus tice 2021: Cited: Coyle, M. J., & Scott, D. (Eds.)The routledge international handbook of penal abolition. Routledge. 2020: Museletter, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Poem. 2020: Socialist Resurgence website article: How socialists view cops and prisons. translated Chinese. 2019: Poetry, Nemadji Review, Journal of the University of Wisconsin-Superior 2019: Poetry, Ariel Anthology, Journal of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets 2019: Poetry, Transformative Justice Journal, Issue 1, Volume 3 2018: Poetry, Nemadji Review, Journal of the University of Wisconsin-Superior 2016: Article, Under Lock and Key."What I did as a communist and on probation." 2017: Article, Under Lock and Key."Released Sex Offender Struggling to be a Feminist on the Streets. 2016: blog, Xennial Poetry Notes. Retrieved from https://xennialpoetrynotes.wordpress.com/ 2004: Poetry, Night Watchman, Journal of the University of Wisconsin-Superior Groups mentioned: https://www.concrim.org www.savethekidsgroups.org https://www.patreon.com/oumuamua?fan_landing=true