Mind is Panopticon

Matthew Oldridge
2 min readNov 13, 2023

**A poem a day project, poem 2**

“Panopticon of the Mind With One Person Inside”. Oldridge x Dall-E

One is in the Panopticon, where all things are seen, from all sides, at all times.

  • one is in despair
  • one sees into another-vicarious instant
  • one has writer’s block
  • one leaps, one falls
  • one-
  1. 1.


The all-knowing eye on all sides of the panopticon takes in information from inside the panopticon walls. Reflections of one reality in the all-seeing eye. The eye/I has known me, will know me.

  • it won’t let me, you won’t let me.
  • stock market in real-time ticker
  • a meal on a tin plate, lukewarm water speckled with dust
  • remains of a robe, a black cloak, tattered, moth-ridden
  • 13 rats that hide in corners, away from the spotlight light beam

One remembers a lighthouse, craggy shores and rocky skree-

and seagulls-skree skree skree. One remembers driftwood & debris washing to shore. One remembers the stairs twisting to the top & halogen bulb guiding ship to shore, shore to ship.

One remembers falling, top-first, from a rock face, pinch grip failed, skin scraped open all the way down to the bottom (but when one hits the bottom, one starts falling again).

One sees an image of the Controller reflected on the inside glass of the panopticon- prismatic distortion but yet: a face. Not an ancient face, not a baby’s face, but a face.

One remembers rocky ground, sand, sandals, feet torn by shrubs, face parched by sun.

One remembers this world torn open by time, bearing witness.

One remembers “I”. One picks up fragments of mind as if picking up broken pieces of plates.

In a sunny kitchen, looking out on trees, One drops a plate. 314 pieces.

Facing outward, mirrored glass reflects my face back- I can’t see the whites of my eyes. The beacon rotates at an interval of 3.14 seconds. Every 3.14 seconds I am illuminated.

There are other Is, many Is. All are I, all are One.

A hand, wrinkled by time & tide, holds the panopticon to an Eye.



Matthew Oldridge

Writing about creativity, books, productivity, education, particularly mathematics, music, and whatever else “catches my mind”. ~Thinking about things~