Saturday, December 29, 2007


Yes, this depression is consumptive. It’s not surrender. It’s I really don’t care any more. Before I’m fired I quit. Tired of society. Tired of judgments. Tired of voices. Those who know better.
Of mistakes. Faulted.


My poetry becomes single words spread out like box cars. Early 20th century subdivisions. Reality here is such. If I didn’t appreciate Buster Keaton I fear I would have swung from sheet attached to some make-shift gallows a long time ago. In fear of redundancy & laughter there is truly nothing to write about. The comparisons, the explanations are pointless. There is & there will be no way for me to give you any perspective. Any reality. Any anything of what prison is but I’ll try to tell you what it isn’t/doesn’t.

It doesn’t taste like chicken. It isn’t a circus. It isn’t like sitting in a closet all day to get the “idea” of. It isn’t just flat. It doesn’t inspire. It isn’t insipid. Though it’s full of such Americans. It just isn’t. It doesn’t. It isn’t terror & it doesn’t move fast enough. If boredom was a basketball – the hoop exists between breath that you could only visualize when your mind was totally blank. Play one on one with yourself. Intrinsic self-flagellation. Well that’s my opinion. As Lewis & Clark tired & some what succeeded, I will attempt to document this wilderness. This urban jungle. This stepped on bag of chips. This shut the fuck up.

A dear co-worker from back in the 90’s at Citizen Action was gunned down & few weeks back. Chris Roberson, father of three. My time & experiences with him was really positive. A solid guy. My prayers & heart goes out to his friends & family, to his mother, Cassandra, a truly wonderful person.


There’s no question that prison is a “heavy” place. It’s rather ridiculous to even say it. It’s so obvious. But between the silence & the constant din of hostility you go blank. You allow yourself your death. Removal from this world for you have been removed. Isolated. Deemed criminal & shipped away. Not quite as scenic as Australia. We have a landfill in our back yard. The constant nothing. An empty nightmare. You only know it’s a nightmare because it ain’t a dream & it ain’t reality. It’s what’s been brushed off the table. Crumbs. Broken shattered dust bits of a once life. The remains of . Hibernation.

Just finished The Irreversible Declining of Eddie Socket. A solid book. Sometimes choppy but a great read. In here, salt in the wound. AIDs & the lives withing. It tells the story of one thru his & the lives of his lovers, friends & family. Heartbreaking. A must to read. This is how I spend my time. Digging a hole in society’s cancer & hunkering down. Society’s failure. i.e. that means us - all of us. America is dying slowly.

Near Wild Heaven – a tremendous subtle REM song. Mike Mills lead singer. Michael, Berry & Buck back up. A solid mansion Beach Boys happy American. Just a sweet song. Always had/have fond memories of. Some times you reach into snow & find a lost toy.

“Pee in the sink she said.
There dishes in the sink.
The have to be washed anyway.
But I found it difficult to pee in the sink because the idea excited me”

Kafka Was The Rage, Anatole Broyard.
“There was a sentence, for example, in a book or surrealism that stuck in my mind: “Beauty is the chance meeting, or an operating table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”

As Mallarme said, “if a person of average intelligence and insufficient literary preparation opens one my books and pretends to enjoy it, there has been a mistake. Things must be returned to their places.”

“The lonely poet, great wheel barrow of the swamps”. Tristan Tzara

It’s not that I have to. Rather want to. Believe piano as instrument of Sundays. Naughty. Angelic. Serious & quite light. The piano for me is mystery. An abandoned isle, hope. Something so large so profound. Confusing. Daunting & yes, overwhelming. I’ve always wanted a lover who could play the piano. Sit upon a stool & gaze. Befuddled. I guess that’s why they’re dreams. They exist in our quiet. Our true lonely. Our/that inward. A piano guts me as did my heart surgeon. After my surgery I couldn’t/wouldn’t come of my delirium. Everything was white light & so so slow moving. I couldn’t comprehend if I was dead or living. I truly didn’t care. So beautiful & their voices. The morphine drip straddling two worlds. Content with both. Either or.

A few tributes to John Lennon today & yesterday. How he came into how he left our/this world. A true artist. Magician. Strange how someone so far away, so distant, can & did take such a place with me. I know he struggled/worked/loved every day he was alive. Hero.

Reading a wonderful bio of Allen Ginsberg. Bill Morgan, author, begins chatting of Allen as a hero & yes, without question, he was a hero & like John, could transcend & change so much of this rather petty, corrupt world. Both not just strong believers of, but practitioners of love.

Thinking this weekend of what I truly miss. Of everything, what would or do I want. Frankly it’s so simple. Just those few – family, friends – without question. I wrestle every day what is prison. What is it to me? Truly digging down deep. Looking thru my eyes & attempting thru others. Prison is simply the attempt of removing love. Removing the individual practice. The belief of. Guys just babble here. Words are spewed worse than the exorcist. Words are rocks against windows. Against the walls. Society. Everything. Words are puke here. Wasted. Stupid & full of self-pity. Bitterness. It gets very frustrating. So in sorting out I have to dig thru all this bile. Stupidity. Bravado. Just to find or attempt to find some truth. A truth. & it comes down to love. Being forgotten. Forgetting. A surrender not to hatred but to hope. To love. Here, prison is a lie. Perpetuated by our & by our I mean the inmates, giving up. Rolling over. An un dignified surrender. This is not a judgment. It’s my observation. My judgment frankly, only matters to me of me. I will not give up on love or hope. On the light that exists. Has & will continue to exist. I know you are out there & to some extent that’s good. Alright. But frankly I’m talking to myself. Not to hear myself talk, never. But it’s out of responsibility. Out of my purpose. My beliefs. I grew up with some “odd” truisms. “Never say never” to this day, the word/thought never freaks me out. The other one was “never put it down on paper ‘cause people can hold it against you”. It is feelings, thoughts, observations. But I don’t want to know what it is, though I do. It is the “now we shall judge your stupid thoughts, your sad comments”. Your truth. This blog is not to educate. Entertain you. It’s my “fuck you”. My failures. My sadness. My humanity. My humility. My weakness. My joy. My love. When I emerge from this cell I don’t blink. Everything & I mean everything, has potential for disaster. For humiliation. For stupidity. All of life is such as this. It’s a trade off. I understand so much now it’s scary. I straddle that line between sanity & insanity every moment. I think I straddle it. Truly it doesn’t & it’s never existed. I talk to men who have raped their own children. & they talk of what the weather might be or of the fuckin Packers. They talk as if I care they are alive. That they matter. & I study how their eyes register & their mouths move & their fingers settle. & my wandering gets the best, the worse of me. I wonder & add my 2¢. Walk away & pray.

Prison is a remarkable experiment. One that will never work as such. Too many variables. Control subjects? Prison is stone soup. A shell game. A never saying never. A very fucked up situation. I watch myself change my face. My chest. My belly. My heart. My mind. What shall I give up. Give away. Hide away. I watched 2 friends talking today. The angle of their arms. The cloth that wrapped. The floor tile. The walls. The lights. A great photo. Reminded me of an asylum. Nursing home. A warehouse. Wander from one moment to next. Voices rumble as traffic. Shuffling of cards echo foot steps. Banter. Occasionally announcement. One might judge. Boredom. And at first, second glance, yes. But no. Within those mechanisms is a dance. A subtle ballet. Movement without question. Painfully reactive. Pure survival. No one looks like they know what’s going on. Everyone rigid. Ready to explode. To laugh. To cry. The convict’s drama. Concerted.


Friday, December 21, 2007


“Can music save your mortal soul?” Yeah, no question. Snow lingers in the wings. I wait for the fall as we all did as children. No school. No church. No stinky grandparent kisses. Big hunks of ham. Snow = silence. Helter skelter of the sweetest kind. An undressing of the universe dropping her sweet white bits of linen. Cotton. Butterfly flesh. Snow what a Godsend. What a tickle. “Cause fire is the devil’s only friend”. So we launch our love with snow cones & balls & forts. Ice skating. Prison is neither bleak or excited. Now it’s muffled. Sound travels a short distance. For that I thank the cold, snow, wind. Slip into the day. Co-conspirator & whistle “this will be the day that I die”. Ha! Yesterday the winds brought snow, snakes, as we were upon the desert. Perfect undulations. Hypnotic flat ground belly dancing. A magician. Fragrance. Nice remembrance. I was there. Totally. You know the scents. A slight closet off the side. Just big enough to slip in – out – before anyone notices. A perfect moist kiss & glimmer of eye, “hi”. I’m not an escapist. More explorer. Never a room I won’t enter. Exit stage left. Not much to read in Details.

Flat. Nice looking but at a distance. “That’s a nice animal” back to my world. DNA is a mixed bag. Tons of men in underwear. What’s with that fetish” My God. Either white briefs or nothing. Cotton. Remember to keep clean in case of an accident. Which is odd in this book Brutal. The author beats the hell out of a guy & interesting he totally evacuates. So much for mother’s advice. But in DNA they review a fantastic movie by a master, Querelle by Jean Genet. Rainer Fassbinder directed. Watched with Colette probably 20 yrs ago. She felt it “so depressing”. I was, “yeah”, kind of like when I was talking to my mother about True West by Sam Shepard. I thought that was a great play. My mother hated. Oh well. To each it’s own. Querelle is an adventure some consider it Fassbinder’s best. Either way see it. Brad Davis, casualty of AIDS is main character. Genet can do no wrong. Few more articles pretty good. But all this underwear. Like a Victoria Secret’s catalog with some great text. Kelly sent me a photo of Ezra Pound by Richard Avedon. Way cool. This weekend I’ll read. Catch up on letters. Wash clothes & yes, shower. I’m cutting back 2-3 a week now. Not that every day crap. Don’t really stink. More relaxed. Way relaxed.


Depression hits here like a retarded bat attempting to exist a closet. I’m stuck on a city bus from hell going backwards into time. Imagine if Jules Verne took that one toke too many. I’m that odd Frenchman in Hogan’s Heroes glued to radio. Though I can only accept messages on mine. No outgoing. Received an important message from Radiohead – “just like an angel, your skin makes me cry”. If I were you & you know me, perhaps you might not want to reveal yr present location. Just kidding. I’d be stuck on a street corner babbling, “they’re eating people, soylent green!” or perhaps I’ll tell all of thing 1 thing 2. Either way Dr. Doolittle my patron saint.

Reading Brutal. Relating to gangsters. Oh the joy of cracking heads. Wiping the world of fuckwads. Why isn’t there a movement against square people. Where do they come from? Too dull for circumstances. Not everyone needs to be out there. Some contrast. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s here. If it’s not on tv it doesn’t exist. I’m back in high school. So I will tuck my bat under mother’s hats & wait ‘til dawn to howl. Or dinner. “Ding dong bell pussy’s in the well. Who put her there?” Your skin does make me cry & just knowing we’ve touched…I do actually enjoy smashing pallets. Yuk. Now bad music. Oh well. I’m off to la-la land.


Thursday, December 20, 2007


Broke apart 4 pallets this morning. Took less than an hour. Ate 8 hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. Toast, coffee, oatmeal. Finished The Member of the Wedding last night. Slim was sleeping. The last delicate pages wrapped a truly wonderful book. Of course without question tore what was left of my liver out. Why am I reading such melancholic books? So heartful & crafted. Yet I try to respond to all that is given. I guess my luxury is the indulgence. The unquestionable losing of one’s self. McCuller’s writing is quite unique. A southern Nietzsche. “The show is over & the monkey’s dead”. John Henry quoted as he settle himself in the next to the last bus seat beside her father. “Now we go home & go to bed.” Much earlier in a fragment of a thought Frankie asks, “Doesn’t it strike you as strange that I am I & you are you?” Amazing conversations thru out this book. A twelve yr old girl, her black housekeeper & her little cousin John Henry which in my world ironic cause John Henry means Evan Henry. Any more & perhaps I might spoil this book. Just finished The Old Man & the Sea. Hemingway. I got one word for/of Ernest – Dignity. A profound writer. Maybe in this day & age hokey. Fuck that. He’s brilliant. So is this book. Never saw the movie with Spencer Tracy. Don’t need to guess Ernest wasn’t too pleased. The dignity of Ernest.
New Graham Parson’s I believe re-released. Can’t wait to hear that. What a musician. Poet. Legend. American. Rebel with a clue.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My good brother Reed asks me, is it better to love and lose or never love at all? Well I think you know my answer – yes. Eat at that table. Eat everything. Eat the fuckin table. Eat the chair. The chairs. Eat the air that surrounds & do not go gently. Love is the true – the only way/reason/decision. Fate. Destiny. It is THE. So yes, my friend. Where I separate is do we lose? How can you? It’s eating that fabulous table everything surrounding love. Sure you’ll shit it all out. Process. It’s the trip not the destination. Love ‘til you can’t then you better find a way to love again. Colette ate my heart, veins, Arteries dangled from her teeth. Her chin wet glistening with my blood. Our blood. I love her for that. That woman had balls. Stood up said “no more”. We move forward. Me slower. Retarded. Limping. Love & love again my dear brother. Hell, look what we’ve been thru. Would you want not have to have gone on this trip? Connected. 20+ years apart. 2 peas in a pod. Growing in that garden fueled/fed with beer. Rock & as much love as we can dig. A fuckin watermelon eating festival. Evan was correct when he backed up Mr. Thomas – Do not go gently. It’s ball to the floor.

Reed is a genius. He’s telling me about these stamps, of which are covering this letter & why is Barbara Streisand on them & her name. Well, I’m lost. Somehow he and his buddy mistakes a lion & the words “presorted standard” for “Barbara Streisand”. I lost it. Reed’s perfect. Had a great show @ Club Timbuk2. He & the son’s Highlonesome. Very nice. Reed carries an overabundance of pain. I feel bad at some point but I understand he’s a poet. A true bluesman. Carries the weight of the world in all her fucked broken horrid circumstances. Foot to teeth. Broken boned reality. My brother. More a son. Good man better than most. Hope you can hear his music. His vision. His beauty. You’ll be lucky. Luckier than most. This unsettled cruel existence. Sucked life from the roots. Roots trampled stomped nurtured loved in our-your truly distinctive way.

Got dizzy today. Way sick. Ready to pass out tearing apart pallets. Kept pushing forward ‘til that wall was like “settle down big guy”. I did. My boss called hsu. C.O. drove me there so fast. Was seen really quickly. Ran tests. Tons of questions. Not sure. Need more tests. I’m wiped out. Not my heart. Some sugar thing. Not diabetes. We’ll see. Point here is with so much going on with prisons/jails/hoc, here I got no complaints. They take this seriously. I’m grateful. Professionals. Over crowding is the problem but here there’s nothing that can be done. Again, look at the laws, solutions. You, the taxpayers, the true bosses. Don’t play the politicians game. Shell game. Get my drift?

Cool outside. Feels great. Got 2 more Hemingways from library. So much to do in 24 hours. You got same problem?
Guilty pleasure: that song, new song by Pink. Most of anything off new Wilco album. New Radiohead. What strange memories torment reality when I get out. Just don’t freak if when Radiohead plays and I ask in a polite “queer” tone: “mind if I sleep in your closet? Small empty room?”. Yes, my barrel is sailing over the falls. “Niagra”.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

For me the perfect story. The perfect writing.
It has it all – good vrs evil, a villain, a hero, religion, rich vrs poor, history, fiction, ghosts, horror, love, romance, humor, fantasy, memories, happiness, sadness, forgiveness, redemption, human nature. Hope & love. Makes quite the social statement.

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

The warning of ignorance & want has always stuck with me. It just speaks volumes.

The first time I actually realized what Scrooge meant when he said –

“If they would rather die they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

I was floored. Decrease the surplus population. I still think that is such an evil statement and it makes me angry to hear it to this day.

This story- book – is a short, easy read. So if you have only seen the movie versions of it I encourage you to actually read it. Read it this holiday season and then read it again later on in the year.

Now for something unrelated -
I found this on the web and it made me laugh. It’s a quote from Bono – a small glimpse into the Irish attitude-

“Well in Ireland they have an interesting attitude to success. In America, you look up at the house on the hill, the mansion and say “One day that could be me”. In Ireland they look up at the mansion and go “One day I’m gonna get that bastard”.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving.
Didn’t steal any land or screw over my neighbors. Steal ideas that would end a certain starvation. But what the hell – my history is of an America quite unsettling quite vile. But it’s ours. It’s what we got, baby. No. John Brown leads that brigade. Emma Goldman master of arms & with isn’t that Gertrude Stein. Hurray America of her blessed past. John Reed pass me a cigarette cause Mark Rudd ain’t old enough back then. Future. America our crazy uncle emerges from the laundry closet. Beautiful as a spring chicken. “Oh” mother cries. “He is so odd”. Between Agnew and Cheney who truly insane? Whose fence shall you perch. Ah, I ramble. Home on the range. Shelter from this storm.

Kelly just visited. Just left. Time so quickly. So spastic. So funny. “Oh, Virginia, leave those monkeys alone”. “I have the worst feeling”. Kelly, I’m sorry I digressed of certain people. Those questions of why & why because. I forgot. I need to “be here” (meaning present. – not I’m a horrid fish & need prison) I filled too much with complaint confusion. Forget that bs. Wonderful to see you. To share alone. Isn’t it strange how much fun we have in the midst of all that. “that” I couldn’t breathe. It was terrific. Thanks. I scream uncle & Tracy, shall we follow in Hamilton’s & Burr’s insanity? I will concede to vp only if you give me my Haig moment. ‘I’m in charge”. I digress. Ate too much turkey. Beautiful snow & a tight breeze. These are kind of letters from camp. (now creepy music) camp from hell. Northern WI hell. Not really. But a friend told me yesterday that these birds aren’t finches but snow buntings. Isn’t that sweet. Big clouds of buntings.

Out walking after lunch a number of guys I know have the same idea. Thanksgiving as a child sucked. Best one ever – my little brother gets drunk. He’s about 10, stands on his chair, “a toast to ham Lincoln”. Doesn’t get any better. Fast forward to my/our family. Colette worked like a scullery maid always an amazing dinner. Stress, yes, but rather silly. The boys & I gave her a hard time. Something she needed to do. Pizza & a movie. Perfect. After separation I agreed to let her have the holidays. The boys & I would get pizza & that movie. Our last Thanksgiving we made amazing hamburgers. Drank some beer & jack. Found a leather jacket for Noah which he later traded to Evan for a hat. It’s now mine. For me the holidays a day off. More craziness. Here it’s alright. It’s what you call a prison day. You know you’re here. I only mind the time not the holiday. When you start to live as every day the first & last. Perspective reigns. I feel bad for these guys though. Some very lost.

Stacy again reminds. Super. Hart Crane was a convict. French prison. So terribly delicious. Popped a cop. Oh how I envy. Instead I get a lecture from my brother of decency. Of demons. I’ve strangled all my demons. & look who America chooses to govern. Wake up.

I say goodbye as Hemingway, “I think Big Harry figured oblivion was some sort of a suburb. Probably an Irish neighborhood.”


Friday, December 14, 2007


Well here we are again. Got some great letters yesterday. Lopez you’re a champ. Thanks. Will get back to you later. Kelly, thanks for the books. Mick is sold out. Typical luck of the Irish but just knowing you’re in my corner. Hell, I think you have your own corner. & letter from younger brother. Suffice to say thank you for the $$. Glad you got “whatever” off you chest.
Now let’s get crazy. “It started with a kiss how did it end up like this?” perfect summation of life. Of life’s rich pageant. Definitely mine, yours? They were stone steps. Placed mid-late 19th century. Later at night, perhaps 9? She was my “boss” instructing me in the fine art of printing. Offset. We had finished work. We lived in the same dorm. Bennett. Coed. We sat outside & leaned together. A kiss. Then the multitudes. Does love ever leave? Like a growth an extra limb. chop & move on. Ha! We talk of hate. We, meaning us: humans, citizens, society. Like if I hate you I purge you. Puke! Nope. No pukey for this mister. We don’t want hurt/pain. Oh the suffering. I disagree. We never to glance upon, speak to, of. What happened that evening? Was something planted. A collusion of comets. A rain to drought struck earth? It was joy. Bliss. & like Campbell suggests, we followed. Nearly 30 years. Not a yesterday. A yesterday left in a drawer- a pocket to be reached, held & examined. “oh, yes”. A warmth as full as harvest moon. As perfect as tomorrow promises. It started out as a kiss. Evan, Noah, Evan Henry. Results. Direct results of our limbs. How many as friends? Count sand baby. Our poetry. Collective success. So how & why does hate rear it’s horned head. I don’t know. She has fallen again & he seems to be a good guy. My happiness complete. I want my to dissolve. To resolve. To never turn back on & to pull those up from the ditch. Evan intimidated me. Even as a child he had no fear. None. Freaky. His love unconditional. Complete and refreshingly insane. I would not, nor never, be the man I am without him & his brother. Noah, the definition of solid. Firmly rooted & totally natural gifted musician. Poet. My lessons of love those 3. My masters. Sure I had wonderful ideas. Jacob another. My grandmother Vera. Books. Words strung as trains. Locomotives that brought word. Words of others. Love. The idea of the simplest things seem the most compacted. So complex. Here is my heart. My trust. My me. Total of what/who I am/can be. Please don’t leave in the rain or on that table at the post office. If you shall I will hurt. I will stand & I will walk backwards. How far depends on who/what we are to each other. It’s easy to write of love from prison. To pontificate. Fuck that. Remember not only am I a pirate but I know how to dig up treasures. For me to deny life’s bounty I would be a liar. A fraud. I am grateful for these vast & varied lessons. Humbled by the presence of.

I do have a good/odd habit of oversharing. I try to tolerate & mellow my opinion. Lopez writes these dense thinking letters of poetry & family. It’s a tight line to meander. He does it quite well. He makes me think. Of poetry. Of this. Life’s responsibility. Stacy also Joel. It’s a cozy room. I would like to throttle poetry. I resent the term. Some definitions. Some ideas of. But my mistake - I let Ginsberg & Berrigan have their say & fuck, before I knew it I was waging my ideas of. The beauty of self, self taught for me was that it came out of loss. Job wife husband limb mind. Not always. So to remain either in society as someone who produces either as selling or giving it away, people would visit/notice you. The intent at first was I need to produce something. I’m still here. I am. I am on the call. Well some amazing pieces were/are produced. It became very commercial. Very negative. But many did survive. Many did affect. It’s a long story and I’m not doing it justice. My point is, deep within, is our need not want to create. These people were forced(?) compelled. Poetry should - must – compel. Must not compromise. Must smash & must conjour. Must kiss & with fangs devour. I understand the perspective of the academy. But simply, for me, poetry is walking. Fucking. Spellmaking & human sacrifice. Splat we land from a fall. In our falls we strive to redeem. To sing. To love & do die, alone. Remembered. Honored.

I do struggle with definition of honor amongst thieves. Yes, I’ve encountered. Both here & there. Actually I could and probably am referring to you. But that’s okay cause it’s something good. Something very good. Not unlike wearing pajamas under suit pants or a very smart Chanel skirt. God I love a woman in a great tailored skirt. Women truly are the graceful beasts. Men angles. Sometimes a sharp sometimes not. We understand honor right? Think Michael Collins. Think Sam Adams. Just think tremendous scruples. An understanding beyond. A truly, truly profound “honesty”. A subjective. Now add thieves. For me Genet is that flower. That thief. I was disappointed cause so much behavior in here is rather ridiculous. The demands, expectations by cons – the inmates – Hello! We broke the law. This is the rug we weave. Keep your business to yourself & everyone else’s just doesn’t exist. These are the standards. The rules. The reality. You break and you deal with. This snitching is quite bizarre. Unbecoming. But in all honesty we all have our belief system. Some jive with current society. Some obviously not. Bear in mind. Choose your battles but stand complete in tracks you laid. Enough said. Do not go gently.

Stacy sent a new(ish) manuscript. God, it’s wonderful. Everyone seems to carry a bag of treasures. Hart Crane occupies big space in Stacy’s. She reminds of his genius total heart-break brilliant fuck the night. A wonderful little collection soon to be published. Everytime I read Stacy I get a nasty itch. I don’t want to sit still. I want to run or go for a walk. Write. Or steal a kiss. Rather difficult in here. My choice is rather evident, oui? I read Orizaba: A Voyage with Hart Crane, a number of years ago. Perfect. The problem is hear in my brain “more more”. We need these gentle nudges. I will write of th
is later when published.

So, I’m working in leather in a petite way. My friends don’t worry. For those either new or interested I’m making a few little trinkets for gifts. Free. Kind of sweet. Little odd. Not tremendously gay. Not gay-homo, gay- happy. What you need to do is drop me a line and request one. I’ll get asap. No strings. No worry about some crazy letter writing maniac. Just thought this might be fun. Again, not a lot. Way under 10. Ok?

Tomorrow Thanksgiving. Wish family & friends the best. Holidays are nice. A time out. I always think of John Prine going up to some homeless. Lost. Broken citizen. A pat on the back. A meal. A hello there. a little more


Thursday, December 13, 2007


Week comes to a close. Figured I’m finished with Killing Time. Will type & get ready for finished product. Then wrap up the first part, Strike Hard Old Diamond. Then I’ll get going on the third and final part of this whole sleep walk. Been getting some fantastic letters. Julie R. brings is all home for me. We lost each other & now we’re found. She has a huge loving heart. Smart as all get out. Solid political mama. Her words tender my breast. Reflect again. Kelly found my older brother Mark. Again uncle Kelly solves the mystery. I’m so deep within this well. Should I be grateful for this imprisonment? If not could/would I ever understand blood of love, or would I forever wallow in self-pity. I do respond quickly to desperate situations. Not much of a toad.
Finished Mysterious Island by Verne. Perfect read for prison. Again, would I have had time to read outside. I’m a child again within that candy store. Now it’s O Pioneers by Willa Cather. I read My Antonia in Dodge. Fell in love with her there. Such a direct perfectly chosen document of America of true grandeur. Her people. Ours. Their courageous struggle. Subtle though oh so profound victories. I, like Capote, adore her. He though had the honor of meeting her, alas, I missed that boat with both. I have my own pocket of riches. Speaking of which, got a sweet delicious letter from Stacy. So I’m returning my thoughts. Mid-sentence announced Tom Waits on radio. Oh fuck. That monster in the closet. Sure enough, Time, by him. I’m trying to convey this/that pain that struggle wrestle with memories. Yikes. I turn off light & let that bitch out. I howl and tear my heart out. Everything falls out. I mean I’m sobbing. Sobbing like the bottom just fell out. It was great. Quite simply my river. Time begins ends with melody. With warble of chords. Stammer of aggression. At a very early, older brother & sister point me in that direction. Dance motherfucker dance. My release. I can’t sing so I spaz. Can’t quite spaz in prison so yes sometimes I howl. Caught last night by neighbor. “yeah, I have a horrible voice” “yep”. Life is a shoe make that little shit fit. It was/is great to have a dormant volcano within one’s chest. Except for a little steam, not a lot of warning before we blow. My addictions: chaos & emotion. That tight tight rope. Pull ‘til almost snap then just hold it. Thank you all for yr thoughts, words. Human contact.



I wish all a Happy Thanksgiving. Please scratch below that surface & surprise one with your thought, word or gentle nudge. For today all we have. Need. Always.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I even have to ask myself, “what’s the point”. Point being large nature of complaint. Bottom line – accountability. Look, if you got in the bathtub dude, you got a problem. Selling rock on the street corner without question laws broken. Yes society weighs in. Tolerate weed, yes it’s moving in that direction. Rock smack selling pics of yr kids… you know what I mean, never. Should drunks be in prison, I mean there are guys who were busted car off parked in some lot. Questionable. The bottom line it’s your texture. Your stink. We all got it. In here everyone seems to be searching for that stank. How bad are you or how stupid. I call it a remote part of Mexico but it’s also another man’s house. “the man” a lot of these guys have no clue. Tickets for missing count in here is like not hearing a fire truck. Fire alarm. I thought I could blank out things. Well that’s a huge frustration. & then it’s the guard out to get me. No good old paranoia. Dardar paranoia. Like dud you’re an idiot. The best way of thinking life is a path on a damp beach. Everyone can see yr tracks and you think just because you’re walking away & can’t see behind you we can’t. as much as you might fall in the back ground you truly can’t. My ramble is simply do what you do realizing we all got to pay the piper. A day can’t go by without kicking myself. It’s just not me missing you it’s you missing me. It’s fucked. What brought this to the surface is yesterday I was called to property. Kelly had ordered some books from Hamilton for me; I thought “that was quick”. No. Stacy had sent me Alice Notley’s new book, In The Pines. I was so happy. Context: graham crackers are a treat in here. I just got a huge steak & a big ole cake. Case of PBR. Got it.
Thank you Stacy. Alice is a champ. A true amazing poet. A poet. Just a mountain. Her dedication is: for my sons and their friends. Now you understand? Poetry is not words. Words are rugs. Walk all over them. Shake it out and start all over again. Alice is a frontier blues traveling medicine boogie lover. They’re words from the peak. From birth. Teeth of death. Laughter of an intimate. She is quite frankly it. She’s it. She’s the kind of poet when I was younger I’d stop writing when I read her. Thankfully in an odd way I already had the addiction. Alice, I get so scared when I read you. I forget. You remind me. You teach me. I’m so happy to have this in my life. I believe my cell is comforted. Protected.

Years ago when as a family we traveled to the South looking, collecting art (mainly self-taught African American art). We were in this gallery. Conversation gets around to David Butler. A genius. Wife dies and he decorates everything in sight – his yard, windows – everything. Whirligigs – bright solid colors. So intimate yet a vast happy playground. I mean he had to put his love some where. So this gallery guy says, “yeah, David is alive living in a nursing home.” We find it. Go to visit. He’s over 80 – maybe close to 90. No teeth. No hair. The sweetest face ever surrounded by stuffed animals. I mean surrounded. The boys are like “what are we doing?” David remembers nothing of his house –his yard masterpiece. I’ll be damned if we leave there without some recognition. Finally after ½ hour or so his eyes glaze with a subtle joy, an almost “wait, something clicking”. His eyes just light up & tear forms. He goes “I remember”. We were knocked out. Can you imagine Picasso forgetting his Blue Period? Or Ginsberg forgetting Howl? It was our duty.

Yesterday, the radio on, this song strikes a chord, “wait” I think. I know this. It’s Hole. Holy mother my heart breaks & I remember. God I love Courtney Love. Her beauty, talent, balls, pain. Walk in her shoes for 5 minutes. People have been such assholes to her. She doesn’t give up. She goes forward. It was a big YEAH. My soul hovers over the fence.

Today in the library I notice an old bunky. Going home. His smile was “this” big!
Mine, same size. “Never want to see you ever again, except way different circumstances.” Another survivor. Realized the bros I hang with all for the most part don’t have a ton of time – under 5 – 3 years. See I’m alright. Another beautiful day. Wrote to Evan Henry. Hope when he is older he treasures our early communication cause grandpa is in prison. What tales to weave.

I drive Kelly crazy – used to drive Stacy. I edit & re edit and re - edit big time. “you edited the joy out”. I’m a butcher woodcarver. Bring that baby down. Down to essence. Sometimes, “nah, that’s cool” so here’s one from 102007 entry.

free range convict
for Jacob

I recollect, even in our sleep we surrender.
Virginia Woolf found every pebble
on that beach to make stone soup
Alas, forgot to switch coat.

upon these 10 toes I stand
determined. question & never define.
a good man better than some/worse for wear.
hell, even remember purpose of confederacy.

between greed & one’s prison is 3 squares
never to stand upon yonder.
chair with rope necklace.
never sleep in anything

but good
ole thermal

What do you think? Yeah, free range is a reference to the yard & free range chickens.

Here’s a new poem –

(to continue the astronomic metaphor)

eloquence of silence
heady beer
distracted misconception
& we shall meet, again.

this prison rattles neither cage nor consequence
see before yr existence I staggered. roamed a
Spanish conquistador, of sorts
pirate? perhaps

point being everything was explained
complete & utter sense
it’s just taken nearly 50 yrs to regain.

now I do
& understand in a way to difficult to defend, so by way of
Jules Verne wasn’t just a tremendous author
& pigeons rarely have question of flight

a hand balled
becomes fist
open & extend(ed)

invitation. a greeting. perhaps, “there will never be a vast difference”
I leave with this thought, thought of space
coexists between here/there
negative space

we shall close
with silence
with love

Tootles – may all our joy be large. Large enough to share. Bring home to others.


Friday, December 7, 2007


I only have a few words about M.R.S.A. A number of news reports have discussed this. From my limited exposure I believe the state is on the right track. Like you all imagine there are some real pieces of work here. Some real pigs. Yes, there have been some instances of but keep clean, don’t share the body and it’s functions and you’ll be cool. Again, easier said than done.

Been reading some fantastic work. In Our Strange Gardens – Michael Quint. Simply breath taking. I loved the cover and the fact it’s bilingual. Beautiful production. That’s nothing compared to what’s inside. A tribute love story funny as fuck, sad as hell. Rip your guts and give you toast & honey. One sentence that stops your heart. A risk to read in prison. A must to be any kind of human.

Hunger by Knut Hamson. “Truth telling does not involve seeing both sides or objectivity; truth telling is unselfish inwardness”, Antonio Machado says, the writer should listen to himself and “ought to overtake by surprising some of the phrases of his inward conversations with himself, distinguishing the living voice from the dead echoes.” Tight, huh? Hamsun was diagnosed with terminal tuberculosis, 3 months to live. Friends raised money to ship him home to Norway to die. This guy takes a train to New York on top of the fuck’in locomotive the whole trip. His mouth open gulping air. HELLO! Dude, how big are your balls? So all this fresh fast speeding air on top of a locomotive – it’s not like his doctor goes “Knut, you’re a dead man. Go gulp some air on top of a speeding locomotive”. Who is this guy? Superman? The patient declares himself cured. Didn’t go back to Norway. Never a trouble with tuberculosis. So where did I discover him? Who else? – Henry Miller. Kate Millet’s boyfriend. Actually she dug him. Why go to college to write? Get a fatal disease come up with your own cure & write an amazing minute by second account of madness & starvation. Truly something not for the Paris Hilton crowd. Even in the weak library there are some sleepers. Also been catching up on Jules Verne Journey to the Center of…Around the World…. Fun. Solid storytelling. Got some Twain waiting in the wings. This Huck book was published in 1884. Cool.

So Kelly forwarded info about you guys. Not who you are but where. I’m impressed. We have some solid repeats. 75%. For me what’s so cool is the 2 from India. 3 from the Phillipines. Sweden. Turkey. Portugal. That’s so amazing. Small world. 6 from Germany & Italy. 11 from UK. I wish we’d get some from Ireland. Then a ton from here and Canada. Might I ask how you found this? As much as I live in a totally unsexy place I find this immensely sexy. Not sex sexy but kind of cool sexy. Like Rolling Stone sexy. Patti Smith sexy. Who are you from India? I have a dear friend from the North, Sandeep. A few dudes I knew from the Philippines. Oh, well. I’m sounding insane. Nah – just thank you. I’m really happy. Hope it’s working for you. Nice to know we’re not alone. That is the hard part of life. The silence. The “there’s no one here”, am I even alive?” “can any one hear me?” You get a lot of that here.
And here comes the big circle. Remember the first couple of entries? Write. Write a friend. A parent. A child. A prisoner. We’re losing contact. I know I just said we’re together & now I’m saying we’re losing contact. I mean personal contact. Letters. Phone calls. Knock at your door. I love human contact but hate stupidity. So I write. & you too. I get great letters. I give great letters. Now let’s be happy. To wrap it up – congrats Chris Martin on your book. (American Music rght? )
Thank you all for reading. If you’re in the Milwaukee area check out Highlonesome & Reed Avoided. 357 String Band, Holy Mary Motor Cycle Club & the Trusty Knives. Great music from a town that was made famous by a beer. A delicious beer. PBR. Even if you’re in Chicago come on over. & thanks again Kelly.


Thursday, December 6, 2007


I started this yesterday in my heart after hearing Social D’s Story of My Life. I write first in my head then if/when I remember, paper. Evan & Noah with some friends took me to their show a number of years ago. Fantastic. While sharing a beer Mike Ness walks by. Evan pointed him out. I was impressed. True artist.
Yesterday drug ugly. I was tired, beat, depressed. A buddy told me of his brother’s arrest. Same as mine but in Florida & she approached him in an instant message. His celly was like “you come from a family of pervs”. I was more like, “my God the pain your parents are going thru. Your brother, his wife, you. I’m so sorry”. Why this response? Why not same as celly? First, I believe my friend. Am I gullible? – yes. Stupid? No. Second, his brother has never been in trouble. Third, who has been alone – lonely, displaced seeking a friend? Sometimes the grey area is larger than black or white, and yes, I know it’s hard to believe some truly innocent people are in prison. Yes, you never have to remind me to hurt a child is far from reason, but entrapment? I will be done with this shortly. My true concern was for my friend & his family. I’m not attaching self pity to this but I would be expressing a whole lot more anger if I wasn’t here. Perhaps this is the direction I need to go in when I’m thru here. Not just prison reform but the big picture. How crime is tied so closely to politics. The numbers aren’t getting any better because civil liberties are being swallowed whole. Believe me if I had some issue with children I’d be the first in line to correct. I hate going off in this direction because of the whole Shakespeare bit “"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Any way, our talk beat me. It took a while to figure out. Did like this inventory & I realized his pain became mine. I will be a friend he may lean on. I will not make it mine. Make sense?

I adore Kelly’s 2 entries. She is so terrific. It’s beyond everything she does with/for me. Her heart is so pure from my perspective. Everyone here who knows me asks about her because of the stories I relate about her. Like in this last letter – she knows my celly, Slim, draws/makes cards and she sent a bunch of printout illustrations of Christmas stuff. Ok now some perspective here – these are basic pieces of paper with goofy cartoon stuff on them. My celly is over 50, ok? I would have to buy you a bag of groceries, booze or music to illicit the same response. This guy becomes a child at his first Christmas. I kind of get embarrassed. – “Dude, it’s paper”. Wrong response. This is not an unusual response. Frankly & sad in the Kerouac universal way, everyone freaks. It breaks my heart. It’s not just the paper or what’s on it. It’s the fact that someone cares to take the time/energy/expense to do it & it’s not even their friend. It’s John’s Kelly. The untouchable Kelly. No one ever fucks with my friends in here. No one would ever think of referring to Kelly in some piggish way. Not just me but the minions of adorers would come with the wrath of Zeus. & no one is jealous (& everyone is jealous in here) because Kelly is someone who knows. Someone who doesn’t have to, but does care. “John, could I write Kelly?” “Are you insane?” Enough to say no doubt about it, I’m more than lucky. I’m loved. I’m loved without money. Without anything but my loyality. My love. Devotion. Kelly asks me about one I loved truly – Will I ever get over her? You don’t get over love. You surrender for it is the true conqueror. We surrender because it’s right. It frees and delivers. You don’t go backwards. Believe me I’ve taken extensive lessons on love. Evan, like his mother, was a master. & Noah, well, I can’t think of a greater way of spending one’s life. To be honest I was blessed at a very early age. My parents really wanted me, though it became too much & when that happened I had a grandmother who took over. She died suddenly when I was 6 & through a rather strange twist of fate I was introduced to John Lennon (not literally). I don’t want to go there now but perhaps some day. Some how thru all the pain I witnessed , experienced and delivered, the redeemer has always been love. That’s it. All you need is. Easier said than done. Kelly is an example of. Stacy another love & Lopez a man I’ve never met physically though communicates as a true brother, and dear James - Poet extraordinaire from Milwaukee. Dear dear Matt. & Julie from Baltimore & Julie, my surrogate daughter. Kim. Reed, a truly profound brother. Conroy. Jesse. It’s what we’re here for. My dear Amanda. A woman whose strength, beauty, courage & brilliance allows tears of joy to cascade when I think perhaps we are witnessing the same sun, sons, grandson.

So prison is a fence. Bars. A locked exit. There are rules. Serious rules. Real fuck’in serious rules. They’re not always the state’s rules. There is a code. And there is honor. And there are brothers. The guards are not always wrong. Frankly, respect is the word. Word to live by. Survive by.