"No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child." Abraham Lincoln

Subtitle

PRISON POETRY

The following poetry has been found online, having been written by inmates. If anybody recognizes any of the work and knows the poet, please let me know and I will be sure to ask for permission to use it and give credit to it's creator. And also if any of the authors of this poetry would like it removed from the site please let me know and it will be taken off . (It was all found on the internet and nothing said about copyright on any of them).

 

The Prison of the Lost
a califronia prisoner, September 2006

Aimlessly drifting on this sea of wrath
Barely afloat in humanity's mass
So easy to capsize into this sea of sorrow
Living each day with no thought of tomorrow

Speakers scream throughout prisoners' lair
Shouting orders in a confounding blair
Words are destroyed when given so loud,
Enter our sunshine causing minds to cloud.

Trash of others thrown unto the grounds,
Treasure quickly collected for not much abounds
One day is like another, a sister or brother,
An endless time with little choice of finding other

Love departs in shortest moment of trial
Peace and joy flee too in its denial
This steel cage is now your proper place
The demon of self alone to face

What is this hate? What is this quaking fear?
Does one see another or view in a mirror?
Walls of deception surround every head
Are we still alive or already dead?

Buried like unwanted trash of yesterday
Into stone crypt we are loathingly thrown away.
What will we be if we ever depart
But that part of death served a la carte?

Rot
By a California prisoner, June 2006

Lavish nights
In your cell
While you rot
And die in hell?

Heartless pigs
Who carry the keys,
Who will quickly beat you
To your knees?.

It's a game of life and death,
Even your soul is under arrest?

It's a fight
Few will win,
But a fight
One must begin!

Intellectual Soldier
a California prisoner, 2004

An intellectual soldier is what I desire to become now that I'm older,
Now that the world is on my shoulders which only makes me stronger,
I just try to take the struggle and pain for what it's worth,
Make it work instead of making it hurt even worse,
So I build myself everyday to become an intellectual soldier,
Now that the injustices of the system has become bolder,
Colder in their method of punishment,
Mostly aimed at the less fortunate,
I desire to save myself since I can't save everybody else,
Maybe I'll become a model of excellence,
A living testament of what can be done,
Overriding the odds with a passion to overcome
To all my people follow me as I lay down the foundation for our new culture,
No one can stop or lock an intellectual soldier,
Now that you see the Catch 22 of the old way,
Now that you see the hatred and greed of the oppressor that doesn't stray,
Doesn't show compassion or love but suffers the oppressed ones,
I can see their plan of destruction clear now that I'm older,
This is why I desire to become an intellectual soldier.

Imagine
by a California prisoner, May 2006

Imagine a world where time stands still
Where nothing you do is of your own free will
Stripped of your freedom, your hopes, your pride
Surrounded by strangers with no place to hide
Imagine a place where you're told what to wear
A place where no one is allowed to grow hair
You are told each day you're not to talk
And where and when you can and cannot walk
A world where you sleep, surrounded by hate
Where all you can do is just sit and wait
Imagine a world where you have no choice
Where you can?t even think because of the noise
A world where you work but get no pay
And made to feel worthless each and every day
A world where days crawl like a snail
Where all you have hope for is a piece of mail
A world where you have to eat real quick
Does this sound like a world that would make you sick?
Imagine a world surrounded by wire
Able to walk from this place is my greatest desire
A world like this is hard to conceive
Yet here I am and cannot leave

Untitled
by a California prisoner, April 2006
Harvesting hate,
Formed from gregarious seeds that germinate.
Planted by few, spawned from many,
breeding fast and with minimal light,
to duplicate darkness of epitomy?s night.
In a distraught propelled thought its transferred,
Stronger than a virus and a notch below cancer.
Extreme malice, poured forth of horn or chalice.
Accelerated actions from a once naked seed,
unconscious violence erupting to stead.
Fetid breath of legions, marching to all regions,
Gathering with a well trained eye,
Those who've chosen a hate filled life.

Untitled
by a California prisoner, May 2006

Outside my window
Outside my window, a new day I see,
And only I can determine what kind of
Day it will be.
It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,
Or barren and cold, unhappy and gray.
My own state of mind is the determine key
For I am only the person I let myself be
I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun
Or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone
But have faith in my self and believe what I say
And personally I intend to make the best of each day

My Patience Strong
by a NY Prisoner

Who's thoughts are these that..
Cloud my mind
and give me thoughts of
Su-I-cide
These chains that bind
no one can see- I only know
I must break free

Mistake me not!
For one that's tamed
A captive- yes! But not a slave!!
My Patience Strong
Not known to yield
I've suffered many wrongs and ills!

Disinherited
My Shield like that Dark Knight
Sustains me in my endless fight.
Not all can know the pain I feel
for:
These chains that bind
not all can feel!

This cycle- full of Misery-Pain
Conflicting thoughts
Drive me Insane!!

To live, to die or just exist.
To right past wrongs or be a misfit
to
Live a lie or suffer wrongs
a negro
or one Warrior Born

Hao! Inolunda
A man indeed
These chains that bind on one can see.

E-c-h-o-s
from the distant past
with links like steel
from the very first to the very last!

My people
are a nation strong!
who've suffered may ills and wrongs!
What was done to them
is still...
Done to me!!

I only know
I must break free!!

The following four poems are all by the same California prisoner locked up in the SHU, August 2005


Prison Sounds

Jingle of keys
A turning lock
The slamming gate
Footfalls abate

Skeleton Bay

Beyond the threshold
Beneath the lies
Underworld otherness
Minds unmade
Inside out
Dark days
Black nights
Granite graves
Last rights

Dungeon Dreams

Falling, Falling
Without a catcher
Into darkness
The horror! The horror!
Where pandemonium reigns

Prison Abyss

Fallen angels
Crash and burn
Ashes to ashes
No return
Charred and tattered
Broken then crushed
Beyond recognition
Dust to dust

Racist Minos
By slowpoke, August 2005, Corcoran SHU

So much time wasted behind these prison walls
Where a comrade only has his word and his balls
A product of imperialism yes that's what we are
The revolutionaries, gangsters and ghetto movie stars
Enslaved to the system by being incarcerated
Living life without a future but never penetrated
Society has chose to pay for these prisons
With hopes of reform for republican visions
Not knowing that rehabilitation is really just a myth
The ones who never come back are less than a fifth
Stuck in these ad-segs and locked away in SHUs
Where the racist minds flourish and there's continual abuse
Hog tied to a toilet for almost three days
Is what the C/Os do to us saying "crime doesn't pay"
Beaten with their billy clubs and sometimes getting shot
Fed experimental drugs so now we can talk
Withholding our mail should be a federal crime
It's another form of torture affecting our mind
Some walk around like zombies because they've been forgotten
Others will be de-sensitized until their bodies rotten
Bottom line and on my mind is really I'm a slave
Will I catch a beating if I'm trying to just be brave
If I ask for what I got coming will I be ignored
Or will they crack these cell doors and our fighting be scored
Time will only tell within this concrete block
Until then our only hope is that the torture will stop!

From the eyes of a non-violent 3rd Striker, sentenced to 25 to life for possession of a half a gram of cocaine and drug paraphernalia (a smoking device)
this is what I see

by a California prisoner

Everyday I analyze, my surroundings are filled with troubled minds
there’s so much hate, behind blindless stares, that when tensions rise, it’s like the 4th of July
the element of surprise, the only rule that ever applies, never compromise
I have seen guys try to negotiate with fate and straight lose their lives
and I can still hear their cries, see the tears in their eyes, it’s like déjà vu
dudes who front like they can’t be touched, be the same dudes who get knocked out their shoes
scarred up and bruised, ignorant fools, always get surprised
because behind penitentiary walls, there are rules that determine whether one lives or whether one dies
and if you could look through my eyes, you would probably squinch, at the horrors I’ve seen
things bring bad dreams, from a dream state, back to reality
demons be stalking me, recording my deeds
never will I freeze, for them that freeze be those that get froze
tag-toed, permanent posed, carted out the back door
and I ain’t ready to go, so I stay on point, even watch those I know
because, if you really don’t know your friends you can best believe, that they are really your foes
and it shows in their actions, their motives, their deeds
then there’s these rogue C.O.s, who be out of control, abusing their authority
their conduct be disorderly, oppressive in nature, and they’re protected by the “C.C.P.O.A.”
and I’ve filed grievance after grievance, and still no one in “Sacramento” has anything to say

Throughout the “California Department of Corruption,”
There is no more “Correction,” just Degradation
“Rehabilitation,” has become a joke, through these quotes I wrote,
You can note my Frustrations

Click this out dude, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me, but I know what’s going to happen to you
the truth is you got to watch your speaking around and be careful who you talk to
because you’ll always have fools, with nothing to lose, thinking that they’re real tough
that’s only until they get stuck, cut up, they shouldn’t have been doing too much
now they’re straight out of luck, stuck in a hospital bed all stabbed up
hooked up to the “EKG,” heart still pumping but the brain ain’t saying nothing
“Oh well,” unplug the life support and call the chaplain in
and once the last rites have been observed, then notify their next of kin
that’s way, I always play to win, because I fear a loss might put me on the bench,
I’ve seen missions, up in these trenches, and my mind ain’t been right since
every day I wake up tense and the only peace I get is when I’m sleep
“Peace,” to the angels “God” has sent to watch over me
the scars of confined men and women run deep, as penitentiaries bulge beyond capacity
while “Felonious Politicians” prey on societies insecurities
then there’s the great “Lawmakers,” always out for gain, playing with the taxpayer’s fears
every day brings a different struggle, so “I” prepare for war. “Revolution IS Here”

In the Ghetto of My Soul
by a NY Prisoner, July 2005

In the Ghetto of My Soul...
My cell walls are nothing more than
MIRRORS OF MISERY
Mimicking my unhappiness with hopeless despair
As I sit here in silence staring off into space
Desperately trying to save face.
In the eyes of individuals whose lives have become
As predictable as rivals and so entangled with lies
that their only sense of truth hides...
Inside the grimy interior of their disguise
and see...

All I really know are these...
Unforgiving iron bars and blood red brick walls
upon which reality has scrawled
the names of those helpless souls who have
Succumbed to defeat
letting the rigorous pressures of prison life
beat them senseless with its relentless
conditions of indifference towards brutality
and death
THIS PRISON SHIT IS MERCILESS!!

Late at night, as I lay here in this...
Shadow shrouded tomb of anticipation...
My anxiety seems to overwhelm me while
My hopes seem to disappear into thin air
Like... Ghost...
leaving me feeling lost and confused
As to what the hell any of this really means
If anything...

And it's like,
This prison shit has stolen my pride
And stripped me of my dignity. leaving my
heart and soul stained with disgust as I
STAND HERE ALL ALONE
Facing accusations of immorality for having
Compromised my morals & principles by
Associating with individuals who never had
Any morals & principles to begin with.
Individuals wouldn't even have acknowledged
Under Ordinary Circumstances.

And see,
This decade done left me feeling
dirty & degraded & ultimately humiliated, I
guess because I've been inevitably forced into
the compromising position that I find myself
in today.

And I detest these stinking Pigs!
For all the shit they done did to the kid
during this bid. Along with all the pain and
frustration & aggravation i done endured.
Not to mention the agonizing sense of
loneliness I have suffered...

In the Ghetto of My Soul
My heart is colder than the water in the toilet bowl
in which I wash my clothes, and harder than
the solid slab of [unlegible] steel upon which I
sleep at night. And my misery runs deeper
than the "Blood in My Eyes & the Ice in My Veins"
And yet, I'm becoming numb to pain as I'm not
the one for silly games!
CAN'T YOU FEEL IT!
In my vibe and hear it in the words that I say
In this poignantly depicted picture of sadness
I've conveyed?

I mean, at times I feel as though I'm the
Epitome of humanities anguish as I've not only
been persecuted for but stigmatized by the crimes
I've been accused of committing. And at times...
I feel as though I've also become the victim
of a system in which, no one is exempt from
the ill-fated master plan of indoctrination
through out the social, political & economic
means of incarceration.

And nowadays it seems like all I really hear
is people politicking & philosophizing on the gate
deliberation upon the so called 'Game of Life'
And it's like their entire self of self meaning
& self being is twisted with these asinine
ideologies & concepts being contemplated upon
such as 'The Art of War' which is really
nothing more than the 'Art of Image' as
it's nothing but a fad to those of Us who
haven't any idea of what the Art of Self-
Preservation is really all about.
This prison shit is obscene & ultimately absurd
And everybody seems to want to be seen and
heard. And see...

The scheme runs as deep as the clothes
which we wear & the shoes on our feet. As well
As the music which we listen to, which has
A lot to do with the climate on the street you
see. the government done took & programmed
the People through their "Social Political Entities"
we perceive as necessities. Such as all these
video games of virtual reality.
The ghetto done become commercial see.
"Negroes" done took & sold themselves to the
streets. As if the value of life were obsolete!
Considering how dramatically it done depreciated
within the reality of their mainstream scheme of
Deceit.

In the Ghetto of My Soul
there's a lonely young manchild who wanders
aimlessly though the hood of my everyday thoughts
searching desperately for someone to talk to and
confide in. Yet, finding nothing but ice cold
eyes & hostile stares, which seem so very
cruel and unfair

The ultimate gangster
By a CA prisoner, July 2005

Of lies and deceit that pitiful
Demand that lies at our feet
He tried to deceive us with
Power and when all that he had was a
Fatal disease he promised he'd give
Us the power to cope when all that
He had, was a small bag of dope
Well the ultimate gangster will need
A new plan. There's a spirit that lives
In me that makes me a man a
Spirit that gives me both power
And hope a spirit that gives me
A life without dope

Broken Homes
By a Prisoner in Oregon

Broken homes in an hour glass after dark sing and dance, watching the
sands of my sanity slowly pass

Laying on make believe grass, listening to homes knocking on doors where there's no homes

From the inside the voices don't hide as they're calling out my name, I go insane

The names on the wall don't talk back at all, the stories they could tell have broken free from this IMU cell

Soon I'll be free if I make it mentally in a world that will not accept me

Walking the endless streets, tripping over where I stand in this so called
promised land with no shoes on my feet, hungry for new friends and
something to eat

Homes might sing and dance yet never sleep and their feet are made of
concrete

Down For Mine
By a California prisoner, December 2004

For all the time lost
I’ve paid the cost
Many years lost
Can never be brought back
Lost many things – besides just family – friends
All of them gone
For riding and believing in mine
When I die – will people drop tears?
Will I become a fallen peer?
The life I still live – grants me a short route
Being out there is my way of life
For lost time – won’t burn dimes
Lose the “nine” and be down for mine
Just hold onto that line – and I’ll be fine

Who’s to Blame?
By a California prisoner

Finding a way to keep myself at bay
From all the things they say
Forgotten love and faithful memories is all I have
But what do I really have?
Everything I gained I lost
Why is it?
What can’t I gain?
Why must I lose?
I have the game put in work
Game fame – Do some dirt
Feel the shame – But how is to blame?
Don’t sound lame and not follow your word 17 all sounds the same on a
different day
But I just play and now I’m sinking deeper each day
I go on but it’s time to head on to my life and forgets the game
That is for fame when all you gain
Is shame and look lame and for what?
The game
It all sound the same
So who’s to blame?
For wanting to play.

Three Strikes you're out By a political prisoner in California, July 2005

In the state of California
They say 3 strikes you're out
If you don't know what that means
Let me explain what the game's about
Now strikes are known as felonies
And they could cause some strife
With 2 you're going to prison
With 3 you're going for life
This law will break up families
And uncover society's fears
The streets will fill with blood
And little children's tears
I say the streets will fill with blood
With this law you choose
A two strike criminal facing life
Has nothing to lose
And what about all the children
And all the parents they have lost
Suicide and welfare lines
Are just a fragment of the cost
And what about all the prisons
Filled beyond their max
It's those that voted for this law
The government will tax
This law was passed in ignorance
By the people of this state
I pray to God that it is corrected
Before it is too late

Casualties of War
By a Washington prisoner

From the tower shots ring out,
From the eyes tears cry out,
From the heart blood flows out,
and as the body hits the ground
life dies out.

Killed by a police sniper for a
fist fight, never had a chance in
America's Penal vortex.
Government and Correctional
corruption at its highest level.
Civilians and convicts, brain-washed in
chaos with no unity.

Plutocracy, and stolen presidential
elections go hand and hand.
It's time for the third world nations,
urban ghettos, indigenous natives,
proletarians, lumpens to make a stand.

A Global class war is on the
horizon. The struggle for human
emancipation continues.

Pendulum
By a Washington prisoner
This is dedicated to the two unarmed prisoners that were shot dead at Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) in 2002, by tower prison guards, and to all the other innocent victims of police homicide.

As the pendulum swings,
time closes in on correctional
corruption and penal fascism.
Modern industrial slavery extracts
the human ore from millions of souls;
decimating communities. The
multitude of voices go unheard
because justice has become deaf,
to the cries of the innocent and
unfortunate!

Poetry by a prisoner in California, February, 2005
I live within stone walls surrounded by tall towers.
Guns aim down but I'll never be tamed.
I was grown in cages so I am full of hate.
This rage ticks with time...chains bind my body but not my mind or soul, I am in control.
My mind is sharp as the razor wire.
With time to burn here in solitary I learn revolutionary study.
Revolution is the solution to wipe out capitalist pollution and
imperialist institutions.
Like many I was born in poverty, from the slums to prison living
conditions created a time bomb that ticks-soon to be released and unleash
the wrath on the dysfunctional capitalist society who confined me and
tried to blind me by hiding history and keeping us minorities in poverty
and in prison.
The sun is rising.
It's a new day - time for uprising, we are no longer the minority but the
majority.
The rich are few but the poor many.
The sun is demanding retribution -the blood of the rich.
We must remember our ancestor's the Cuauhtemoc.
The Mexican honored the sun god, Huitzilopochtli.
With the capitalist Spanish blood we must follow the path of armed
struggle.
Zapata refused to live on his knees but choose to die on his feet
fighting.
When the rich give us nothing but poverty or a prison cell, we should give
them hell!

Walls of Mass Destruction
Take a look and see why these walls were made,
To reach in our minds and start to invade
To strip our minds of hope and dreams
With loneliness which this place brings
Sometimes you wonder who you can run to when you're full of anger,
But a rec yard full of strangers
Strangers who could care weather you're here or there,
Who don't speak much, but just stare
Now once you've realized that who, whats, whens and whys,
You'll start to see through your eyes
That these are walls of destruction,
Which need reconstruction
Now only you can reconstruct the walls with your mind
By putting the mistakes behind
Educating, and setting goals, so that you may achieve
A better world that will set you free
So know that for every problem has a solution
And the solution is: Revolution.
--A California prisoner, July 2004

Take off the Chains
As the blood drips from the side of my mouth.
With a handful of my hair,
he pulls as his coworkers edge him on.
Shut the fuck up is all I hear,
as the flurries of punches and kicks become one with my face.
This is rehabilitation in the land of the free,
and they say they don't torture konvicts like me.
But what the fuck is chaining us to a wall and them pretending they're
Rocky or confining us to the darkness of a kage under lock and key?
Take off the chains...
Do they live in a fantasy, to say they don't torture people like me,
then why do the beatings still happen after the chains are locked on me?
And yes the visions and thoughts will last forever within me...
My screams and krys are unheard to the world,
But if heard...
My screams and krys would break down these walls.
And I am only one, could you imagine us all,
standing strong as one mass on top of these walls?
One body and one mind is how we must fight,
cause just think about the brother or sister that will get a beating
tonight.
Take off the chains...
It is time to unite,
cause now our screams must be heard.
And this is why that I write.
For I "the Fallen Angel" speak nothing but the "T.R.U.T.H."
We must break away the chains to make a change for our youth...
--May 2004


Mirror of Deception
A future with dreams of peace
The inner man in perpetual warfare
Political saviors on the increase
Dead economics sprouting everywhere
Promises to stabilize state loyalty
Another scandal of reducing the mind
Honoring the founding fathers as royalty
In a nation still enslaving mankind

--CA prisoner, February 2004

BLIND JUSTICE
Bring me to court, let the guilty go free,
Lie to the Jury, and persecute me.
I once believed that Justice prevailed,
Now I have seen that the whole system's failed.
Don't need a reason for handing out time,
Just need a victim accused of a crime,
Under false pretense they lock men away.
Society don't see the game they play,
Two hundred years they've been telling a lie.
Innocent men have been sentenced to die,
Convicted for crimes they didn't commit,
Examples of Justice that murders for profit.

-- a Pennsylvania prisoner

HATE FACTORYS
How many believe that two wrongs make a right?
Authorities who think so, you know aren't too bright.
Their system of Justice has serious flaws,
Eroded by Judges who break their own laws.
For every prisoner the system mistreats
Another bitter man returns to the streets,
Consumed with a hatred for whoever supports
Their brutal humyn warehouses and corrupted courts.
Overcrowded cages and deplorable conditions,
Rage so intense to cause homicidal visions,
Year upon year of harassment and pain
Serves only to drive almost any man insane!

-- a Pennsylvania prisoner

I am
I represent the forsaken, the destitute, the impoverished
The hopelessly ignorant, the soot in your eye, your shame.
I am a product of the ghetto, skid row, your slums, places
You shun. Those whom you must raise your chin and look
Down your nose to see. I am a scavenger of high society,
Your outcast, your criminal, your convict. The public enemy.

I am the consequence of your greed, the result of your
Manifest destiny, the flaw in your reasoning, the imperfection
Of your morality, the contradiction of your religion
And the hypocrisy of your laws.

Though I am your standard, your measures. Because of me
You are confident, certain, self assured. I am that percentage
Of the population history must always subdue, always suppress,
The backs on which society must stand to feel exhaulted,
Distinguished, self righteous.

But know as in all influential societies there comes a time
When the proletariat become enlighten, when they look
beyond the OHS and AWS of their own lives, beyond what is
seen to what is unseen, they are filled with hope and
their desires coalesce with determination and they throw
off the yokes of the status quo and take the reins of the
future. This I know…I am.

-- a political prisoner, Corcoran CA, January 2004


The Defining Moment
Utterly stunned, I was shocked and taken by surprise
Swept from under the soles of my feed, I fought to restore my focus and see thru clear eyes
With my body knocked down and arms shielding a fade of horror worn
The ax was swung down with a force meant to inflict pain, and suffering, and leave my flesh and spirit torn
The impact hit me like that of a falling meteor striking the earth's vulnerable surface
Leaving a brutal destruction to all that dared face it by standing in its way
Rising above ready to strike like that of a king cobra, its bite came swift and deadly
And without mercy or care their only mission was to oppress and destroy the remains of me
I should have known by their littered trail left with rotting flesh and wandering souls
A constant reminder that you never forget their presence with every spirit crushing blow
They've attempted to stitch my mouth shut wanting me never to be heard again, unable to form words
They have forced me to see life in fast forward, leaving everything to me a total blur
But resistance is my lion of heart that defiantly roars back
Challenging and slapping the ax away and standing up straight ready to defend and attack
Stripping off the fear, oppression, and stress, and degradation like tattered clothing
I don in it's place strength as my rode, courage as my shield, and intelligence and heart as my choice of weapon
Damn the ax wielding fiends who are out to torture and persecute me
I am the beholder of the light that is my destiny, and with my mind, body and soul I am the definition of what is free.
- a California prisoner, October 2003


The next two poems are from a manuscript called "The Dance" which dealt with the Rodney King situation.

Stealing Away
At the entrance of this dance, the edge of reality,
Nervous people voiced together when the blindfold was pulled off,
Smoke came up, and a wooden shack shop buckled,
The colors of liberty picked up with a bicycle and a basket,
Making a straight line passed it.

Together Royally
Leap with me wet tears in my eyes,
Don't oppose even judge a crime,
Complete songs we sing, let them ring,
Leap with me wet tears in my eyes,
Sacrifice, fight, make war a job,
Helps worthless for people who rob
Leap with me wet tears in my eyes,
Don't oppose even judge a crime.
- a California prisoner

Too much of Nothing
Too many prisoners, too much time to relax
Too many direct orders in a place of disorder
Too many psych pills, too much state tax
Too many knuckle heads competing to be porter
Too much fiction, too much petty conniving
Too much vain talk, too much senseless jiving
Too much stale air, too much empty sadness
Too much junk food, too much sound madness
Too much of too many affecting all
Too much of nothing behind this wall
- a California prisoner, November 2003


Just another day
Boom! Get down! Boom!
Code Adam! Code Adam!
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Seven inmates in combat!
Sssss... Sssss... Sssss...
Bam! Clank! Bup! Clank!
On your stomach damit! Bam!
Put your hands behind your back!
Watch out! Another hostile!
Bang! Sssss... Sssss... Bang!
Next time you're history buddy!
Tell medical to hurry! Three looks dead!
Apply more pressure! Stop the bleeding!
Weapon Check! No weapons involved!
How can we explain three stiffs?
Very easy! We saw what appeared to be weapons!
Do you think that would work?
Ask the jury that convicted these poor fools!
- a California prisoner, December 2003

Void           by Gilbert M. Davila

My body and I are locked in a cage;
I can feel my sanity slip, slip, slipping
Away, devoured by a dark cloud of solitude.
There's a never-ending pain in my head,
Like so many demons chewing on my brain.
There's voices laughing, screaming, whispering:
Insane! Insane! Insane!
But I'm saying! I'm saying! I'm saying
That I. Must. Surface.
I must surface for a breath, of reality.
But the weight on mind is holding me down.
I can't seem to find a shoulder to lean on--
Presently, no one's around.
I swear that I can hear the distinct sound
The pieces of my fractured sanity make
As they hit the floor of my mind and break
Into even smaller pieces.
I find myself on my knees, crying:
Tears streaming down my face, blinding
Me as I desperately try to gather
The pieces of my fragmented life.
I wipe the tears from my eyes,
Wondering how I can feel so cold and dead inside.
And how long can I survive as
The resounding tick-tock of the clock
Of confusion determines my time?
And how much more must I endure before
The wave of madness--that is sure to follow--
Comes crashing down upon me, flooding
The hollowness of my very existence?
Then, I ask myself: Does it matter? Because
What it means to me will ultimately be a memory.
And even memories, like the paint on an old car
That's being exposed to the sun's rays year after year,
Will start to slowly fade away.
So here I sit--cage--exposed to the rays
Of insanity, year after year after year.
Just me, my fading memories and broken dreams,
Staring at the blank, white wall that seems
To perfectly represent the emptiness that is--
My life.

Benjamin Luttrell

Cracked Out, Punishment of the Unmerciful Drug

There are no dreams to dream about, no desires to be fulfilled,
it's just a self-inflicted torture from another bad cocaine deal…
She looks scared, running down a dark and deceptive street,
paranoid from her own footsteps and the sound of her heartbeat…
She doesn't know where she is going, or what she will do when she gets there…
no longer are there doubts or fears in her mind
because this monstrous addiction has left them far behind…
She feels that there is no need to take a bath, or fresh food to eat,
and with the thought of doing more drugs, she won't even find time to sleep…
Now she's selling her body, just to get another hit,
never thinking about AIDS or DEATH, she says that she is way too slick;
that her only concern is who would be her next trick.
She says that she wants to stop, or at least she lies and plays like she do, but as
soon as there are more drugs around, she proves thart she is not really through.
I feel guilty; no, I feel ridiculous and ashamed, because I was one of the ones who
helped her toss her beautiful life away… I feel as if I was the
one who opened the trapdoor from underneath her feet,
poisoning her with that man-made poison from the ghetto streets,
and then sat back and watched her as she agressively slipped
over and over into that deadly darkness… Now her heart is beating way too fast,
she's overdosing on that poison, and she doesn't even realize
that the next beat of her heart will be her last…
But finally society's problem is almost over, because
this beautiful African queen lay dead in the middle of our ghetto streets…
She never knew the joys of this world, only the cruelty and destruction
of the cocaine drug overlords…
Death is only what death alllows death to be; Death is dead.
The June 16, 1994 newspaper read,
"AN UNIDENTIFIED 16 YEAR OLD DOPE-FIEND DIES ON THE CORNER
OF 27TH AND BURLEIGH STREET;
ALL CRACKED OUT!!!!!

© Benjamin Luttrell

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