Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Am I Hollow"

Well, nothing prepared me for a day like today
And nothing ever scared me like the pain of heartbreak
I told you every secret...I gave you everything
And I only wanted one moment,
I only wanted to say,

I'd sell my soul for you if it would make any difference
I'd shed my blood for you if my heart wasn't so constricted
Your eyes are daggers,
Your head games are twisted,
And I only needed a moment,
I only needed you to witness
All the nights I spent down on my knees begging for you
And no one else scars me the way you do
I choked on every word,
I suffered every look,
But you only broke me
the way you forsook...

Am I empty?
Am I a tool,
for telling you the truth?

Am I hollow?
Am I a fool,
for ever loving you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"A Day In The Life...(Part 4)


Another meal. Best one of the day. Everything is edible and after I finish eating, I am actually satisfied. Here's the thing though, I didn't get satisfied by "legal" means.

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions, let me explain. Our portions are typically small. Tonight we have Hot Dogs (2), baked beans (1 cup), potato wedges (3), and cookies (2 Duplex). The food tastes good, but the portions are like something off a kid's menu.

It used to be, if you wanted extras, you waiting till they finished feeding, then went back for seconds. They stopped allowing for that in order to save money. Now the leftovers are thrown in the trash, give to the c/os, or eaten by the kitchen workers.

When they stopped "seconds", guys started "beating the device". This means sneaking back in line and getting another tray, or take two trays out of the slot. The officers are scattered around the chow hall in an effort to catch these transgressors. Some guys make it, some don't.

About a year ago they set up a scanner and gave us new I.D. cards. These cards are swiped when one goes through the line to get a tray. If your card is swiped more than once during a mean, it registers on a list and you are fined for stealing. This means the c/os are less vigilant. Now, I can't reveal all the secrets, but I assure you it is easy to beat the machine. Since the c/os pay less attention, thinking the scanner will catch the "thieves", more guys get back in line, sometimes several times. The scanner has made it easier to "beat the device". Sorry taxpayers. I was hungry.


For the next two and a half hours I hang out with a friend of mine, J. We generally watch a little TV, talk, and wait for mail call. Tonight he gets a stack of mail from his dad, print-outs from various websites he's interested in. I blanked today, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

At 7:30 we watch Jeopardy, and compete against one another. It's fun and exercises the mind a bit. Plus it spawns some good discussion topics.

At 8:00 they lock down for another count. I head for my cell.


We will be locked down for an hour, during which time I watch PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, one of my favorite shows right now. When the doors open, I am back over at J's to watch BEING HUMAN on Sy-Fy at 9:00.

From 10:00-11:00 I kill time by hanging out in the pod area talking to a few guys in here. The conversation is light and really has no direction. We are all just passing the last hour of the day away, with nothing better to do.

At 11:00 I head back to my cell and prepare for lock down, this time for the night.


Following lock down, I relax. This is my study time. The cell block is quiet. People are going to sleep. I can actually focus and digest the information I am taking in.

This study time allows me to wind down after a long day. By 12:30 I am growing tired. I watch a bit of Sportscenter, then mark another day off the calendar. Hopefully, sleep will bring good dreams. It is my favorite part of the day. For the next five hours...give or take...I'm a free man.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"American Psycho"

Like a shock to the system
I lay my convictions
At the feet of Liberty
This social destruction
My only instruction
On the road to Anarchy
We bleed out the sickness
This sickest existence
In the sands of yesterday
And with lovely rebellion
Inspired by Hellions
Spark the fires of jealousy

My bloody confession
Plants the seeds of possession
By the demons that like within
Fill your plates with addiction
And violent attention
Find a path paved in sin
Sell your illusions
Beautiful delusions
To keep me blind to truth
With a head full of lies
I'll look to the skies
And disregard the proof

Another moment of war
So who's keeping score
In those political games
Kill for defiance
Reward the reliant
And call it democracy

I'm an American Psycho
Just a product of the media

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"A Day In The Life...(Part 3)


After a quick stop by the cell to drop off my books, I go down to the main area of the cell block. Once again I am waiting, this time for lunch. It is not a long wait though. They call us to eat at about 11:15. Lunch today is: Pinto Beans, rice, cornbread, cabbage and an orange. The beans are bland, the rice undercooked, the cornbread tastes like gritty cardboard. I don't even dare the cabbage. The orange is pretty good, but I suppose it is hard to mess that up. By the end of the week I will be sick of oranges, since they will give them to us once a day for the rest of the week. After about 3 days they will be freezer-burned and not as good.

Lunch is more filling than breakfast, but no more nourishing. The food sits like a warm lump in my belly, taking up space but doing little else.


Returning from chow, I proceed to carry out my duties as a Housman. That is a job title within the pod. We are not required to work, but if we wish to earn money, it is the legal method. My job is to scrub the showers. It is disgusting, unfulfilling work that pays $0.35 an hour. I'm lucky to have it.

The job takes me about 30 minutes to complete, which I follow with a quick shower. It is then time to lock down for another count. My cell partner will stay at work maintenance shop, so I will have some time alone during this lock down.


Why it takes an hour and a half to count is beyond me. They go through the block in about 5 minutes and there are enough officers to cover each block. The entire count should only take about 20 minutes and probably does. Every other count is cleared in under an hour. I am fairly certain it is cleared a lot faster, but they keep us locked down so we are out of their way. (The C/Os I mean.)

I use this time for writing. It is peaceful, few distractions. I can actually think clearly and transmit my thoughts to paper. Sometimes I wish they would leave me locked in a cell by myself. If I have to be in prison I would prefer not to deal with the ignorance that surrounds me.


This tends to be a lazy part of the day, unless you are scheduled for school, a program or work. Otherwise, the next 2 hours are "down-time". For me, it is a good time to get a little reading in or maybe a nap.

At 3:00 my cell partner comes in from work and the prison is again locked down for count. I'm a little tired, so I take a nape while my cell partner watches CNN on his TV. I might be watching my own TV but the cheaply made, piece of junk died about 3 months ago. I've been saving to get it replaced ever since. Maybe it is a good thing. I could use the rest.

Count clears at about 4:15, but they don't open the doors for another 10 or 15 mintues. The sound of my door clicking open wakes me up. Over the years I have developed an aversion to sleeping with my door open. Not that anything has ever happened, but it is just safer to always stay alert. So I get up, wash the sleep from my eyes, and once again I am waiting. This time for dinner...

To Be Concluded...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"A Day In The Life...(Part 2)


For the next hour and a half I kill time by reading. I'm waiting for my scheduled library time. A lot of time in here is spent waiting. Waiting for mail, waiting for visits, waiting for something good to come on TV, waiting for meals, waiting for release...It seems that whatever I do in those intermittent periods is just a way to kill time. Even reading, something I once took great pleasure in, has lost a lot of its enjoyment.

Today I'm finishing up Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. A great book! One of the few I've read recently that was really though-provoking. Unfortunately I can't lose myself in the story as much as I would like. In a cell block that has 120 cells and 200 other inmates living there, distractions are plentiful. It is loud. An argument has just broken out with one guy claiming Buddhism was the first religion. The other claims it was Islam. I think both of them are idiots, but I'll keep my opinions to myself...and the facts. What good would it do to argue with rocks?

I fight through the distractions and finish the book. It occurs to me that perhaps I am like Ender and this is all a test, one big game. Maybe the world is just screwing with me to get me pointed in the right direction. Or maybe people are just stupid...I go to the library.


Trying to find a good book amidst the dust-covered shelves is like an Easter egg hunt. One must keep his eyes open, look in the least likely places, and rely on a little luck. Sometimes you find what you are searching for with ease and sometimes it surprises you...Maybe you have even looked in that very spot several times and just overlooked the prize.

There are a lot of books in the library, but most are hack novels found on dime-store racks. There are popular authors, but rarely can you find all of an author's catalogue and "new-releases" are not shelved until years after their release. Many of the books are stolen or misplaced.

To make matters worse, the library is extremely disorganized. For some reason they split the books up into a number of sections and subsections. There are shelves for Westerns, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, and General Fiction. These are further divided into three sections: Hardback, paperback, and trade paperbacks. What this means is that if you are searching for books by a particular author, they may be in any number of locations. Take Dean Koontz, for example, some of his books are in Horror, some in Fantasy, some in General Fiction. Some are hardback. Some paperback. Some Trade paperback. To find a book by Koontz, you may have to check six different shelves...If they were even shelved properly. Even books from the same series (i.e. Koontz's 'Odd Thomas' series)are split up and scattered about.

This is compounded by the fact that the inmate workers and the head librarian don't seem to care. They are extremely lazy and selfish. As long as their own "wish-lists" are fulfilled, to Hell with everyone else. The workers are so busy reading magazines and typing on their computers, that asking for help is treated as a burden to them.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal, as we are lucky to have a library at all, but here is my dilemma: I find it hard to get entertaining and intelligent novels. I enjoy all types of genres, as long as the material is enjoyable. When I read, I want to take something away from the book. Science Fiction and Fantasy are favorites of mine, but often those genres are filled with trilogies, epic series, and universal-scoped settings. What I find more often than not, is that there are books missing from the series, and usually it is the first or second book.

Returning Ender's Game, I am eagerly anticipating reading more of the series...Book 2, Speaker for The Dead, they have, but all the other books in the series are missing up to book 6. I'll get Speaker...but who knows when I'll get to read any further. This dampens the pleasure I'll take from reading Book 2.

I am only supposed to stay for 30 minutes, but they are not overly concerned with running us out on time, so I continue searching the shelves for "eggs". We can check out three at a time. I end up deciding on Albert Camus' The Rebel and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones.

Across the hall from the main library is a small office with a wide selection of non-fiction. In addition to the three books I check out from the main library, I am permitted to check out one from this office. It is as disorganized as the main, if not more, so I can't walk around and search the shelves here. Instead, they have a catalogue on the desk. There is no logical order to this catalogue, and many books listed are missing. Also, there are many books on the shelves not listed. It takes another 15 minutes before I pick out a bit of political philosophy in the form of J.S. Mill's On Liberty. With that done, I leave.

To Be Continued...