Friday, August 17, 2007


Sometimes I have a set idea. Sometimes like a wet paper bag it just falls out. Imagine the Mall of America but it’s just words, actions, lies & bullshit. But if you let it, you get dragged in. Watch. Listen & learn. I can’t say I’m lucky because I’m in prison but I’m alive & perhaps (a large percentage) that I won’t be considering my behavior – thoughts, poison. This is not home. It’s where I lay my head. One eye open – the other listens.

Sunday is one of contemplation. Kelly came for a visit. She looked great. Clear eyed full of joy. I mean she’s a happy, thoughtful person. Just really looked great. Had the opportunity to listen to the largest (huge piece of shit, literally & figuratively) prick C.O. in the world bitch me out. I moved us to another table & that guy had a huge freak out. Anyway, Kelly got a piece of the garbage here. I need to focus on that sky. We talked & laughed for two hours. Wonderful.

When I got back, Rick was waiting with a great piece on prison thru his eyes. Yesterday in walking with him I realized that as much as ‘they’ control, we make prison our own.
No bullshit. No lies. No fear. Let’s rock this nightmare.

So enjoy & please comment on Rick’s & George’s contributions. This is not a free ride. Give just a little back. Understand?

what comes around goes around

back in high school
father brought home
3 ex-cons, 2 brothers
1 odd ball, bank robbers.
brothers left after a few weeks
odd ball stayed, raped our dog.
we survived.
some 30 yrs later
i’m in the joint
bank robbers. murderers.
some guys in for fuckin road kill.
my father’s



The Bashar Teg (from Frank Herbert’s Dune Series)

- The writing of history is largely a process of diversion. Most historical accounts distract attention from the secret influences behind great events.

Talked to my Uncle today. It’s hard. A lot of my family is unaware of my religion and them being strong upright Christians, it would be sad to hear of my change. I fight my depression through meditation…Which is also hard to do because of all the noise. My cell is flanked by idiots, desk banging, door slamming, radio blasting, loud talking @ 11p.m. Moron5. I don’t mind it during the day but at 11pm?

Anyway I imagine a glowing pea-green colored ball (on the rare occasion of depression) and turn the color to blue then place it in my window or in the ground. My window faces east so I can see the moon & sun. It also faces the rec field. Our windows are about 2 ½ feet by 2 ¾ feet with the luxury of 3 big bars. My cell is about 12 or 13 feet long by about 6 feet. We have 2 bunks on one wall and a desk & 2 lockers on the other. The wall with the bunks has a cork board. Our doors are wooden. We have keys and they only lock from the outside. It also has a window. Each, well, most units, have 3 day rooms on my unit. People on the north can use the north day room & people on the east use the east. Me, in the center, uses the center. All three sides can use the center day room. The center day room doubles as a cafeteria with 24 tables & 96 chairs and the unit has 198 people. Sides of the unit eat somewhat separately. So it does get loud being above the main day room. So the noise…drowned out & Beethoven through my head phones.

My friend has been home for almost two weeks & I know he was a good friend because it messed my schedule up.

Well for now – “Eredim”

The journey never ends.
Roads and paths will
But life goes on
Even after death…

George Webb



A description of prison…well, have you ever heard the expression “Only the strong survive”? It is true in a sense. I say in a sense because it is not true in every circumstance. Although, prison is a place where the weak are prey. In many circumstances it is true. There should be the expression “Prison is where you prey on the weak”. It should be every bit as popular as “Only the strong survive”. No matter what you do or where you go…people make it what it is. It is never the place but its population. It is how people treat you and the way they talk to you. It’s about respect and in prison it is sometimes given, sometimes demanded and sometimes taken. The lack of respect is where there is always a contradiction. I sit here and look around and one thing is for sure – the fact that we all have something in common. It is the way we think. We all think like criminals. Some laid back and others are real live…One thing for sure…prison is stressful. You are taken away from everything you own, know and love. It is a very structured environment. Everything happens like clock work. The rules are clear but it is at the discretion of the correctional officer. If you have a major rule infraction you may go to the hole. The hole is not dark, but it is lonely. There is a serious lack of love in prison. A loving touch is very missed. My first incarceration was the worst. When that door closed and they cut the lights I sat by the windows in the door. There was light coming in from them. It felt a little better but sitting in that cell still eats your heart. It gets easier but it hurts a lot too.
It’s never pleasant but if you have been doing it a lot or for a long time, it’s not so bad.
Things could be worse………………

Prison…well…like I said, prison is where you prey on the weak. The thing is…you must choose your prey wisely. I have been in and out of incarceration for more than a decade. I have fought and I have seen fights, although I have fought a lot more than I have seen. I guess it’s how you choose to live your life. The path I chose was a very violent one. Just recently I saw an inmate get punched in the nose. He did not fight back. I can not imagine getting punched in the face and not sticking up for myself. The guy that was on the receiving end did not have a snowball’s chance in hell. I couldn’t help but to think if I was that helpless and I knew I could not win…I would just have to wait ‘til he went to sleep and put a pen in his throat. I am not sure where this stems from but it’s that kind of thinking that makes prison dangerous at times. There are many others who are equally dangerous. I guess it’s the situation. Fights are usually over petty things. Although there is usually a hatred that builds over time. Tension grows and something petty comes up. It’s just a good reason to get it all over and done with.

Incarceration is good for that. To know that is you have problems you are going to have to man-up and handle your business or get punked-out. Either way you know you are in a situation where you can’t win. You have to live with others that you might not get along with. You also have to live by an unwritten criminal code. In this code snitches are looked down on. We are all criminals but a lot of these fools carry double standards. They talk a lot about child molesters as if they are righteous and have a good set of morals. What they don’t realize is that they are contradicting themselves. You cannot side with the Wisconsin State Statutes and also be this serious criminal. Besides, just is being done and they are doing their time. For some…that just not enough…

Prison…In prison there is pressure. Pressure is everywhere you turn. Sure there is pressure on the streets but there is different pressure here. It can be overwhelming and it can be dangerous. It can be a minor rule violation and it can also be as serious as your choice of who you talk to. I like John because there is no pressure. He accepts everyone He sticks up for the weak. He even hangs out with the oddballs and because he does…so do I. A friend of John is a friend of mine. There are a lot of reasons why someone would pressure you. They might want your dessert that you are not going to eat at a meal. Of course you are not supposed to trade food from table to table. You don’t want to because it is against the rules. One would say to you “Why are you scared? You weren’t scared when you did your crime. Or it can even be one of your friends telling you not to hang out with someone who is suspect for being a snitch or even gay. So there is pressure every where. It is more serious than your first day in high school and you don’t know who you want to sit with. Kids go home sick from school because of the fear/anxiety and pressure. Although there is no comfort of going home, not only are you stripped of everything you love but you are forced to live with us. So throw up if you need to but sooner or later… you have to find some where to sit for lunch…

Prison… There are no words that can describe prison in one sitting. It’s going to be part 56 when I think I have described it all. Even then I believe that only some who read this will understand. Like I said it is structured and hard to adjust at first. Every where you go you will have a place like X Bldg. Here at Oshkosh it is X Bldg. It’s where all the new jacks go until they are classified and know how things go. They are hard on you when you don’t know what you are doing and in time you will learn when you can do what. You will also learn when and who can get away with shit with. There are the correctional officers who wear blue and white shirts who supervise. You don’t want to befriend the police because people talk. This is the D.O.C. – Department of Corrections – and the code is the three-o-three. They have a book of almost laws and you can get tickets and even get arrested and taken to the hole. It’s kind of crazy. I don’t befriend the police but I try to stay in their good graces so to speak. I don’t cause trouble and they don’t fuck with me. If you do end up having problems they will fuck with you and nail you to the wall over petty shit. They fuck up at times but it’s useless to file complaints. It’s useless to even fight the state in court. You have jury duty right? And all you know is the boring script they run on you in court. I mean…12 joe schmos off the streets who know nothing about law. They decide your fate. It really is a hell of a way to run a country. I don’t exactly agree with caning in other countries but c’mon – there has to be a better way.

Prison…well…prison, like I say is all about the people that populate and work there. You can imagine what kinds of people populate this place. A lot of thugs, goons, villains, gangbangers, hustlers, rapists and child molesters. There is also the occasional dead beat dad as well as drunk driver. Then there is the correctional officers who you must deal with according to their own personalities. A lot of them abuse their authority and are just as corrupt, if not worse than the inmates. The thing that gets me is my mentality. Some guys are still young at heart and think this is some kiddie camp where the main mission is to befriend others. I am not here to make friends but I am here to do my time. Granted I may get close to a friend here or there, but not often. A lot of guys do that but yet the feeling is not mutual. To tell you the truth I don’t want to befriend or even see any of these guys ever again – with a few exceptions. The ones I hate are the hustlers. Always trying to get over on you. They might get you for seven cents but they make it painfully obvious that you are getting ripped off. This really pisses me off but I know for one, that they are petty as hell, and for two, they need it a lot worse than I do. So they will be and stay petty but it’s different for me. I hate to get personal on this thing but I guess I already am by giving my perspective on living in prison.

I am on “building confinement” right now because when I came in from the yard I forgot to sign in. This is serious because I am not in the area that they think I am. So they gave me five days to be confined to this building. No library. No yard. No recreation. No commissary and pretty much, no movement, which sucks ass. I think that is a little over doing it but what do you do? ya know? I am not mad and I am not going to whine about it because I am getting a lot of shit done that I would have never gotten done before.

Another thing about prison is that it gets kind of boring at times. I try to stay busy so I don’t think about it as much. The only thing that I am missing is my solitude. I live in a barracks at the moment for intake purposes. Now call me institutionalized, but sometimes I need to be alone. I like my cell.

For a lot of guys attitude is important. No matter what the circumstance…your attitude is important to how you are going to do your time. Support from loved ones on the outside affects your attitude. Another factor is how much time you have left. I like to think I have a pretty good attitude but that’s because I have less that 5 years left of incarceration. I have a close release date so I’m not stressed. For guys that have a lot of time left…it’s a lot different. They are no going to care about shit as much as they would, and they would
definitely not take too much shit from anyone. When you’ve got nothin’ to lose you’ve got nothin’ to lose. It’s really sad to think about it like that but it is what it is. I’m not sure if I’m answering any questions of what prison is like but I’ll see if there are any questions or comments about what I write.

Rick Wasley

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Thank you for posting Rick's words. I'm Rick's gf and it's great to this blog and all the insights and stories.