Friday, February 29, 2008

about A
to: J

I hate the nights I drink myself sober
rather feel sting of hangover
than pain you cause
in the end I keep my deal with God

drunk or sober I feel the same
- is that the right line JT?
enter a new Muse

this story ends with a grand homecoming
I say forget book – think tragic comedy

the year I die
I win
Best Actress
for starring in
my life
you said

you said
tell me about yourself


i prefer

whiskey to wine
rain to sun
God to devil

favorite color green
magic number 3

heart palpitations
& panic attacks

during the awards i watched cartoons

abandoned cars on the hwy make me nervous

enjoy me
today because
tomorrow another

The first time I encountered a burning building was next door to my house. Opened their door & yelled upstairs to my friend. He already knew ‘cause he started the fire. The smell was delirious. So intoxicating. Second time – Ponderosa in Chicago. Near Colette’s grandmother’s house. Out walking with Melissa (her sister). Black smoke & silence. Ran right in. Wall. Knocked me on my ass. Heard yelling like “Get out of there. Everyone’s gone”. I crawled back out amazed at the force. How did smoke build a wall? & why did I run in? Well the thought of someone trapped & the idea of confronting that sight overwhelmed. The third time – I created by accident in basement of our house in Bayview. I refinished furniture & was doing a small cupboard. I had the top covered with stripper. Well it was taking forever. I had just borrowed a heating element from my painting boss. It’s like the coils from an electric stove – heats up paint/gunk & you scrape off. Well needless to say – Poof! Instant crazy fire that proceeded to jump across my work space covered with cans filled with denatured alcohol, steel wool & tons & tons of saw dust – cobwebs, junk. So within like 2 seconds I was deep within a fire. So I yelled up to Colette “Basement on fire. Give me a few minutes & call fire department”. At this point the fire created sound & rafters were starting to burn. So I grabbed this fantastic thick brand new cotton rug, got it soppy wet, unplugged all tools & slapped that baby on the cupboard then proceeded to swing that run & knock out the flames. Over in seconds. The basement was black. I was beat. Yelled upstairs, “it’s out”. Broke out a window & cleared the air. I realized I made the right decision. If we would have called the fire department we might have damaged our lives. If I had never confronted fire before I might have backed down. I looked at those flames the same as thugs in an alley. I’ll be damned if I was going to back down. The next morning when the boys woke up – 2 floors up – Colette noticed that they had black snot. Unsettling. What’s the point? Know your enemy? Know & confront your fear? Act first think second? Perhaps. For me it was the fight. Actually wrestling – feeling every inch of me struggle – fight – succeed. Today I am 50. In some other blog I’ll talk about electricity. The times I’ve been hit by cars – jumping thru a plate glass window. Count my 9 lives. But this is about prison. The newest chapter.

I was out walking with a buddy today. Great guy – not really talked about him before. Smart & honest. When he was 22-23 he had sex with a 14 year old a number of times. He had been in trouble before. Bottom line – he received 2 in & 6 out. I chat with a 14 year old & have no contact even though a meeting was arranged & I get 2 ½ in & 5 out & yes I broke my bail by being on internet. So no question I broke the law. So I ask him did we get the similar sentence because of my age. He replies “No. To them it’s all the same.” I reply “so talking & even arranging to meet is the same as sex”. “yes”. I was stunned not shocked. But I understand. Now if I contact you & offer you money to kill someone am I charged with killing that person? No. It’s conspiracy. If I plan out a bank robbery am I charged with bank robbery? Now if I ask these questions here in group they’ll jump all over me saying I’m a denier. I’m not a denier. I gave the cops the keys to my apartment. I signed a confession. I’m open & honest to this whole “thing”. He said he was gay & had no one to talk with. He said he was 14. He asked for me to talk about sex. I did. He said I did it well. I said I like to write. It’s not hard. It was a few days we chatted. I talked of losing Colette – death of Evan- hard to talk to friends. He said he didn’t know what he would do if he lost his mother or sister. I said you’re either a cop or an old man jerking off or you’re who you are & I’m fucked. Said he wasn’t a cop. Said that was fucked up. Wasn’t until he sent a picture that I freaked. Said you’re so young. This is wrong. He was hurt. Thought I was turning my back. Asked me to talk dirty again. Said we should meet. I was on the fence. Said he lived on the south side. Said I could send a cab. I did. Cops came & this began. I ask myself over & over again – What was I doing? I didn’t & still not sure. What I remember is vague. I want to be honest. I want to tear off scab & look at wound. I pick & pick. Sometimes I’m embarrassed. Then I ask myself “do I desire children?” & I ask myself how was a 14 year old so smart – so considerate- so together. I relax. I do not desire. I was & still kind of lost. Not just what I had been through. I was tired. I was giving up. A few days before my 2nd arrest I chased a guy out my apartment with a hammer. I was going to split open his head but I had no shoes on. I forget what he did. But there was a lot of things going on. First, I feel I need to be clear about my crime. I thought by now some one out there would have asked me. No one did. Perhaps it’s not important to you. But it is to me. Justice is not blind & it is not true that 10 guilty men go free rather than 1 innocent man is found guilty. It’s about plea bargains & getting elected & keeping this system working. Taxpayers are charged $40,000 - $75,000 a year for us. Do the math. Wisconsin has moved from dairy state to a prison state. When the cop told me there was an actual victim I freaked. I asked to write an apology to him. His mother. Everything collapsed. “What have I become?” How could I, after everything, turn around & create such devastation. I was broken. The cop was satisfied. He knew everything I had gone thru. & now this collapse. The devastation. The torture. Don’t ever wonder why men commit suicide in jail. I was too numb to think. The next week a blur. I was stuck in holding for nearly 2 days. My blood pressure was to high. Why I didn’t have a heart attack or stroke with arrest was/is beyond my comprehension. Some how people found me – my sister – Colette – my boss. They hired a lawyer. He appeared out of no where. All would be okay. He asked why the confession – the letters of apology? Because I couldn’t live with myself if I created any more hurt. I truly had/have no idea where I was. Who I was/am. Everything became a blur. “John, there was no kid. You were chatting with a cop”. At that moment everything froze. I was totally fucked up. First he was this, then this & back again. Everything was twisted. The agony. Why did he have to lie? I was so clear. So repetitive. It’s like it was never enough. We believe what we want. I was grateful my actions didn’t include a kid. Though I broke all the hearts who surround me.

Why did I start with fire? Those were not metaphors. They were/are my life. Even in chaos I was clear thinking. Even with limited knowledge I knew what to expect. What to accept. Fire is living breathing entity. It’s incapable of lying. It’s agenda is simple – to consume. That cop, this system is hypocrisy. Inconsistent. Consistent inconsistent.

My mother-in-law always said difference between cops & cons were they (cops) had the right to always carry a gun. They are basically the same. True but right now after all this, I’d rather be with the cons. Within all there is a level of loyality/brother/sisterhood that is quite amazing. I’m reading Executioner’s Song. A profound book – amazing author. Norman Mailer & Gary Gilmore, quite the men. I guess they right now are helping me thru. Though I’m not on death row soon to be executed & even though I’ve not taken a life, I’m a lot closer to seeing out of Gary Gilmore’s eyes.

Kelly seems concerned when I bring up my crime. Maybe it’s because it seems like I’m trying to explain too much. I need to experience. I need to be honest. I need to transcend. If I were the only one to be going thru this I would shut my mouth. But believe there are monsters in here & there are those with questionable behavior. There’s drugs & drink & in time they’ll arrest for your thoughts. How does that go “First they came for the gypsies & I did nothing ‘cause I am not a gypsy. Then they came for the fags & I did nothing ‘cause I’m not a fag, & on & on ‘til finally they came for me”. I think you got the idea. Before you can stand up & fight for your rights, you need to be standing.

Enough already. I now spell it Amerika!


I can’t tell, it’s not that I won’t, I will, what was/is about Ted Berrigan. Either I never met or when I did I had already read the poet. Ted was the first & as far as I recall the poet who I met first & as far as I recall, the poet who I met with no true “introduction”. No one I knew either knew nothing of his work or just never mentioned him to me. So when I first saw him, heard him, I was knocked on my ass. No question. Here was the large solid buck of a man commanding everyone’s eyes/ears. Rapture. I assume thoughts in the most comforting engaging way. As if we’re a vaudeville magician – comedian-m.c. It’s like when you go to a museum exhibit & they have this huge ancient sculpture or tomb in a room that’s all wrong but somehow after a second or so, it’s perfect. & it was perfect. I hitch-hiked to Naropa with a buddy, Kevin. We were such dorks. I had just fallen in love & my whole life was climbing out & I ran. Ran to see Ginsberg & to get to the bottom of this poetry thing. Well we had some time to spare & if I remember right, Berrigan was doing a class & Kevin & I split up. The class was basically Ted talking non-stop. A few questions. A word-statement-something, would set off this avalanche. I was so confused. So fucking amazing. I remember stealing Red Wagon & On the Range. Later getting them signed at which he told me that On the Range was a strange book. Yes it is. Needless to say between love & Ted & a tremendous amount of very cheap tequila, I ended up chasing Kevin down some main street in Boulder with my knife threatening to cut his head off. I woke at the door step of a Dr. No glasses. No shirt. As I stumbled my way back to our camp I found my glasses & Kevin asleep. I would compare all my energy & emotion to the sensation of being electrocuted. But it was better than that. Electricity mellows you out. I was dazzled. I remember that Ted died the same month/year that Noah was born & I clipped his obit from either Time or Newsweek. Either way he is to me probably the greatest. He took everything, whether working class intellect Asian poetry Trisian Tzara – Frank O’Hara to baseball-pills-love & slapstick. A true descendant of Whitman – Ginsberg’s cousin. Pound’s nephew. I can’t stop from being amazed. Here are a few of my faves:


She is always two blue eyes
She is never lost in sleep
All her dreams are light & air
They sometimes melt the sun
She makes me smile, or
She makes me cry, she
Makes me laugh, and I talk to her
With really nothing particularly to say

Something to Remember

Caesar’s ghost must be above suspicion.

Radio just played Misfits. Now the Ramones. Again I forgot where I lay my head. I would put Ted alongside Li Po without question.

I would be insane not to add 2 poems from Frank O’Hara:

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.Why? I think I would rather be a painter, but I am not. Well, for instance, Mike Goldbergis starting a painting. I drop in."Sit down and have a drink" he says. I drink; we drink. I lookup. "You have SARDINES in it." "Yes, it needed something there.""Oh." I go and the days go byand I drop in again. The paintingis going on, and I go, and the daysgo by. I drop in. The painting is finished. "Where's SARDINES?"All that's left is just letters, "It was too much," Mike says.
But me? One day I am thinking of a color: orange. I write a line about orange. Pretty soon it is a whole page of words, not lines.Then another page. There should be so much more, not of orange, of words, of how terrible orange is and life. Days go by. It is even in prose, I am a real poet. My poem is finished and I haven't mentioned orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

The Day Lady Died
It is 12:20 in New York a Friday three days after Bastille Day, yes it is 1959, and I go get a shoeshine because I will get off the 4:19 in East Hampton at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner and I don't know the people who will feed me I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun and have a hamburger and a malted and buy an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets in Ghana are doing these days I go on to the bank and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard) doesn't even look up my balance for once in her life and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or Brendan Behan's new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres of Genet, but I don't, I stick with Verlaine after practically going to sleep with quandariness and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega, and then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatere and casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a cartonof Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT while she whispered a song along the keyboard to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing.

As much as this prison wears me down & separation breaks my heart, I feel as if this amazing, though sad, parade has just passed by & the streets are silent with no one but myself & some idea of others though so far away. I stand in the middle of the street staring into that space where only a short time before it was glorious. & now Social Distortion on radio. Lopez seconds the motion that Mike Ness is a God. So again I ask myself “what is prison & who defines?” Thanks, Joel.

So this morning it was 9 below & wind chill around -20. Work wasn’t called off so I go in & start breaking my pallets & this guy asks me “how cold is it?” I tell him & he goes “what does the weather have to be not to work?” Well I’m not sure, but I know where this is going so I go “Look, we’re in prison. It’s their rules now.” I mean how clear does it have to be? If you can’t vote you have no power. It’s 1+1. Basic political math. It wasn’t that cold. My boss told me I might get yelled at for not wearing my coat (wearing sweatshirts). I explained you can’t tear things apart wearing a jacket & it was for like 20 minutes. Reality check. Did Bright Eyes get a Grammy?

Monday, February 25, 2008

anything else

brutus & I watch lunar eclipse from window
think about tomorrow’s quiet 50

unexpected developments confuse

explain why one in OCI
and Papa goes to Ireland

The talk seems to be of weather and murder. 24 people shot lately through out the country - what’s with that? Is there any reality left? This will be my first election since ’76 that I can’t participate in. But it’s also one of the few that the choices aren’t all that bad. Frankly it’s the first time I’d even consider a Republican. I see McCain as definitely as a person of compromise. A politician in the true sense. Drawing opposites together. The 2 Democrats are alright. Either way we seem to be moving away from Bush. The ragged broken scrub Bush. The lying bastard of embarrassment. Now perhaps – get out of Iraq – health care reform & solid environmental reforms.

We’re still working on Barren. I threw in a wrench & gave Kelly a strange little broadside to enclose. She sent me a proof & except that it’s rather large it looks great. It’s slowly coming together. We’re still moving ahead on Flagrant (remember from a # of months ago). Well we need some poetry & sometimes getting poetry is like pulling teeth. Some are ready some you tear & tear ‘til you get what you need. Richard Lopez is helping edit along with Kelly & I . Cover done & got some poems in. Then I need to re-type Killing Time and get that to Kelly. I think my favorite part of this new broadside is this great pansy dried out on the page & the last line I stole from Faulkner – “You sweet son of a bitch”.

Reading an amazing must have book in order to have any true decent understanding of this/our world – our America. Everything from tales of Mose Tolliver to d.a. levy. The name is The Outlaw Bible of American Essays. Fantastic. When I received 3 books in property this book was glanced at. Put aside. I received the other 2. She walks over to the “Forbidden” list. Like a dog waiting for a bone all you could hear was my tail banging on the ground. The anticipate was exquisite. It passed. I believe the word “outlaw” set off an alarm. I wonder if Thomas Paine’s tracts would have gotten same response or Sam Adams. Carrie Nation. Emma Goldman. Bobby Seale. I’m addicted to chaos but I think my real trip is tension. It’s not totally a getting away with. It’s that silence. That land of distinction. Like a fraction before a fight. A kiss. A birth. The rain. Where you can taste. Hear. That dizzy tension. Watching another’s pupils dilate. The lip curl. Eyebrows steady. Well this book is a must. I read their Outlaw Bible of American Poetry on the outs & I guess there’s one of American Literature. So I wrote the publisher – Thunder’s Mouth Press. State my joy & of course asked for the other 2 parts of this amazing trilogy. I’m waiting. So go out now & buy these books. Tell me or a friend, enemy of what you think. It only takes a spark to ignite a prairie fire. Yeah the 60’s are dead & the 80’s fade into dust. Every day should be our revolt. Our joy. Our statements. Our reality checks. Our respect. Of each other of the Earth we tred. Of the universe we sleep. Of the time & culture. Of our/each other’s words. Paint cement stone. Rocks that become this America.

My celly, Rick, lost his sister this past Friday. Please send out your thoughts and prayers. Good love & blessings for a truly wonderful woman, her son, husband, mother & father. Rick & brother. For all the joy she brought. All the hearts she touched. I believe the main reason I’m close to Rick is his honesty. His devotion to family, friends. His sister had a fear of being forgotten & this morning at breakfast I told Rick he brought her into all our lives & for all that I will never forget. And please send all that good to that wonderful woman who Rick placed his heart, his girl, S.

Remember we’re in prison not hell. We made mistakes & for the most part alright guys. So we feel good & oh so bad. We help each other when we can & remind the idiots that this is oh not so cool. I take this experience as another turn on the road. A place to lay my head & get back to that city where my heart deserves to reside. Until then I remain a slightly broken thought still an alright solid kind of man. & thank you Julie-Wild-Lopez-Reed-Stacy for all your fantastic words. Julie for music, we wait. Crazed. & Kelly, Kelly for all this, this!



melt you in extraneous fashion. candle. chaos forsaken.
compose, stand upon avenue. pilgrim disguised. ignorant.
of failure. stiffen subtle. branch reason. delightful couches.
forget that yes

I am

so like, good-bye, Johnny
all hair, silver.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Happy Birthday John!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

on the eve 2-5-8

another winter storm warning
20 inches this time
stocked up on Mexican food, pizza
water, bread, vodka, juice
read letter from you

it’s a night of election results, purring Max
Jail, The Last King of Scotland

this storm better produce ‘cuz I just got really really drunk

snow-you-me falling


Another month. Winter as strong as ever. Walking today I followed sound of crunch. Echoed with voices. Distant traffic. For moments my eyes glared at the dull calligraphy. Everything reinforced panic. The prison moment. So glad no one spoke to me. I sailed that yard for an hour then back to cell. Nothing to look forward to and only memories behind. Indulgence just doesn’t jive. Turning 50 in a few weeks. 49, 50, 51. My years in prison. I think this will be one of my last rambles. Masturbation. Anger is teaching me Zen lately. Taste is of Tao. Fucked existence. Oh yes it can get worse & yes is not bad. But what’s the point. My tiptoes thru fences barb wire redundant babble of fucking hos & getting over again & again & again. No I choose solitude without tongue. Pen.

You know that joy when you do your taxes and find an additional $200 - $300. Then the blow to the gut when it’s you owe. Friday I realized after a year that my additional subtraction was off. Way off in terms of my release. I need to serve 85% of my sentence not the 75% I thought. So when I thought I could apply in November it’s really not until March. So that was a relief knowing I get to hang out here for another 3 months or so. & I know it could be worse. That record is on auto-pilot.

Seriously I want & need to thank those of you who have not only stood by but have done so much to make this better. I never forget that. Frankly I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

I received a wonderful letter & a Columbia Law Review from Martha Grace Duncan. The review published a work of hers & I’d like to hit on a part of it & give my slight perspective. Part of it deals with teenagers convicted of crimes & how their lack – seemingly lack of remorse is held against them in a huge way. Now I’m just skating over the depth of this article because I want only to address my perspective. In it these “kids” are judged hard because for one they can sleep after their arrest. They make odd jokes & the aren’t running around crying & begging for mercy. Strange. When I get stressed – heavy stressed – I fall asleep. I pass out. The few days in booking I was driving everyone crazy cause I could not stay awake. With my bologna sandwich pillow or sitting backwards I slept probably 18 out of 24 hours if not 20. & emotion. I gather you figured out that I allow my emotions full reign. But as Kelly as my witness another John took over at sentencing & that John seems to be driving this truck. True for a few rare moments. First seeing Stacy or Kelly or relating stories of Evan’s death or how I miss Noah – I’m straight & yes there are a few decades between me & these teenage killers. But call it what you want – something takes over. You don’t yell fire in a crowded theater. Perhaps it’s a survival instinct. Perhaps it’s understanding the bad ass. Perhaps it’s shock. The beginning of the sleep walk. Perhaps it’s because they themselves are dead. You have to be dead in here. No matter how soft the prison I suggest if you ever venture in this area – kill your heart. Do not allow anything to reveal that you feel. Kill it. Stomp out that fire. I walk that tightrope & I’m exhausted. Tired of dreaming of remembering. & this is only 1 year for me. So I’ve elected anger as my governor. Let’s see some new laws. & speaking of such, this past summer 1 & 2 other poet buds were approached by a poet/publisher to do a book of ours. When he found out my crime he dropped it. No nothing. Over. Not only does he know nothing of me or what got me here but to me he represents that new American. Actually I call them pussies. Judgment holier than thou & think with facial hair & new beer or adopted child, that they’re cutting edge – hip- outlaw. No discussion. Believe the government is never wrong & put all bad things in a box under their bed.
My point is not to bitch but to thank those of you – my friends-family-strangers that even I with the new title of convicted sex offender isn’t the new disease – pariah. & I thank you for your words, support, thoughts. I deal with it myself in here men who have raped their children, neighbors. Men who have slaughtered their families. Ate next to them. Slept in the same cell. It confuses me. But right now I have to shut off the switch & listen & understand there has to be a reason. Right? Doesn’t there? & thank you Martha Duncan for all your work, kind words & opening my mind.

Saw Julian Schnabel on tv Sunday. What an amazing artist – director. Can’t wait to read The Diving Bell & Butterfly. You all should go see it. I’d love to get your opinions on.

I wrote the above earlier today. Stuck in the muck that makes me me. Even I need to get away from self. Walk & sleep. Try to forget. To remember Spring. Pizza. What a kiss sounds like. A magician I do best to conjure realize muck too thick & time stops. As evening moved to 9:00 pm turned off distractions. Supped on “Little Steven’s Underground Garage”. Said fuck you to the universe & stop dumping tons of bad karma at my feet. As I turned on radio prone for attack Johnny River’s Secret Agent Man. Who needs pizza.


Friday morning it’s been nearly 2 weeks since move to front yard. Rick, friend from back yard new celly. I sit at a desk window to left Aerosmith on radio way too much coffee within. If I had my glasses on I could see those on way to work, but I don’t. Hammett might have said it best, in The Dain Curse, “Put enough people in jail, and cities wouldn’t have traffic problems”. Could it be better said? In college and slightly before discovered Cain, Hammett, felt better than Columbus. Some knob in gay ass column dropped statement that this weekend he’ll be reading H Miller in some bookstore. Dude, that’s like letting your loved ones know how many times you shake it, off. This world kind of sucks. Never use H Miller as some prop as some jack off in mirror. Why, first you sound major dar-dar, then as if dignity remains by some one else’s accomplishments. Never use Henry’s name in vain. So anyway finished Capote. Found out dear James never met, but got as close to Edmund White, which is double-barreled. Letter from my mother brings everything home, drifting towards death our words the blanket we grasp. Father still hanging in there though. Sounds he’s truly a trooper. I wish we could eliminate the capacity to think. Just imitation. No question heavy deliberations. I see my name on envelope, her handwriting brings me right into the room sitting next to or across from & we talk & all “this” evaporates. Mom writes nice letters, a Polaroid. Instant, though she wrote over 2 days. She works so hard. My mother & I have a strange but I think great relationship. In one moment I can hate her with all my blood & then next seeing the world thru her eyes or an attempt to. Without question I got my hang up about honesty from her. Well, both my parents. Dad worked a lot anyways. They grew up rough & we grew up less rough therefore our children less er. Eventually our family genes will create bliss. Until now, just honesty. You could and can ask my mother anything, anything and expect not just that she’d answer but answer completely. We grew up Catholic. Upper middle & lots & lots of booze. Anxiety. We were cats in brown paper bags. Frankly Dylan Thomas could have sat at our table. When I first saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? I was so happy. I guess we weren’t so strange. The best and fairest assessment is we embraced, ate and wrestled passion & we were taught how to pin & possess that hot little demon. So my point I guess is nothing doesn’t or can’t make sense to me with the exception of mowing the grass. I was, to I’m sure your surprise, a rowdy child. Rowdy is an understatement. So I would escort my parents at a very early age to antique stores auction houses. Dust dirt grime are major turn-ons I love ancient wood, brass and crystal
chandeliers. Love funky barns & basements. So either I’d deal with antiques or become a serial killer. The verdict is still out. Ha! Anyway this is a long way of saying fuck is it cold outside. Like grab that frigid monster and put all bad memories on hold. Wander eyes out the window & relish your skin. Lap your coffee kitten & remember your existence matters. Seal all you love as envelopes mail carbon copy to self and spend morning sockless. I dreamt last night of Colette. Woke up 10yrs younger. Remember the first time she laughed & drank state coffee, alone. I’m blessed. Terrific friends, the most perfect family & memories that make me laugh at birds as peers. I don’t like it that my father is dying. I don’t like it that I’m here & can’t hold him. I don’t like it that I’m weak. That I give into stupidity. That with all “this” knowledge & experience I still fall down the stairs. Like a bug on my back. Squirm in the darkness & Kafka says, “Stop your belly aching” ha!

I wish the press & public would let people grieve & I wish that they’d realize that perhaps it’s better to leave some things alone & sometimes not. I’m saddened by such another young death. I’m saddened by the paper time newscasts to broadcast & knit-pick every detail. As an artist you are given a certain fame in life & this country seems to drag endlessly way beyond. At the end of the day we need to honor we need to allow a certain process to exist. Are we?

I started this ramble petty. Let the guy with strange glasses proclaim his plan to read Tropic of Cancer at local bookstore. Not only who am I, but anyway to get Henry’s work into another’s hand is cool. Sorry.

If any of you are near Oshkosh hit up the college radio station with some requests. Nice station. Not enough true punk though they are doing some sweet new wave. No Belle & Sebastian. I know that’s a strange stretch. But.

So my celly is great & it’s cold as hell.


Monday, February 4, 2008


conversation with Evan Henry

they complain
when it’s freezing
& again as it snows
when they come
to prison &
when they’re released

i’m bugged

now i get
Tom Petty
Pink Floyd
ramen noodles

the old minister
got a point
why MLK day on his birth?
why not murder. assassination?
we sweep too much
we owe that man

After count, prison is like dumping a lb of sugar on an ant hill, pure chaos. Imagine alphabetizing yr mother’s underwear. Pure strange. It’s freezing here and I’m reading Capote by Gerald Clarke. What a brilliant writer/life. Capote that is. Clarke writes a solid book but Truman is a gas. Can you imagine he & Tennessee Williams sitting around and drinking or just traveling the high seas with “that” crowd. Anyway, that life read in here is so dreamy such a marvelous escape. When I was reading the Ginsberg bio I was dragging my feet. It’s as if I didn’t come to the end he wouldn’t be dead but not it’s alright. Just another fact of.

I got moved Monday. Why don’t know about 20 +. I was as you might remember across from program 3 which are the guys straight from seg. But Slim didn’t want to move and I didn’t care so we stayed & got moved anyway. I’m in the front yard. Major adjustment. No toilet in my cell. I kept getting up and peeing in the corner. ( just kidding). This more of ½ house/crazy bin. Very low-key. Quiet as hell. Guys are cool. Remember Rick from way back? He’s here so we asked to cell up, perhaps Tuesday. Rick is the reason, like Aaron, why I get pissed in here. They both are aware of their actions, both considerate, looking out while so many of these inmates can’t see the forest thru the trees. So I’m here with Rick, Mike & ole Frankenstein. Cool, cool. I get to see Aaron at leather and when we bead. Bittersweet. The great thing is that we actually get along. Don’t look that gift horse in the mouth. Got a desk in here & window that opens. When I saw Kelly last Saturday I mentioned a guy cutting himself with a soda can & she was like, “you can have soda?”. Yeah, this ain’t medieval England. It’s prison not the dark ages. In here they want you to be accountable. Work on identifying & hopefully “changing” your “bad/anti-social” behavior. First day here Rick introduces me to a bud. We talk and I blahh my crime. We talk, laugh at my stupidness. Today Rick tells me another bud asked about my crime. He knew. Word gets around. It’s what I want. Use the system that’s in place. Less introductions. Be blunt. Lay it out. Lay it down. Brother. So it goes. So we go.

Got my first issue of Vogue. Yep, here I am reading Vogue. Is that queer or what? Smells great & reminds what it was what it can be…the torture. Got some letters. Need to catch up. Don’t panic. We’re getting out some poetry, BARREN, poise swill. A SERIES OF # LITTLE POEMS. Kelly will get them all run. You can get a copy for postage $$, ok? Probably $3. I’ll leave it all up to K, ok.

Turning 50 next month. My brother Mark wants to visit with his sons. I think it’s great but I don’t want them to feel bad. Mark suggests bringing Noah. I’m not so sure. It would be amazing but only if…I learned a while back with all my hospital bs that it’s harder for the visitor than the patient. Only once was I truly dying but I had no clue, so in here I’m kind of broken in. Used to it. But if something good can come out of it, sure. A song , a story, a reunion. But no heartbreak. At least not for me. Relatively speaking I have no time. There’s guys in here that watch their children become adults and bring their kids. That sucks. I’m not in that boat.

Getting some books shipped in. Very excited. Want to read The Diving Bell & Butterfly. Julian Schnabel is a God. Love Love his work. His mind. Now there’s someone to piss in your fireplace! & I ant to get, Other Voices, Other Rooms. Capote’s first. I adore his words. My mother always said “Only a fag could write a book like In Cold Blood. Such pain such beauty”. Is true.

Well we lost a few great ones, Mike Goldberg, painter friend of the poets. Sweet guy & Ettore Sottsass. Amazing designer. You might remember my orange typewriter earlier. He designed that. A true sword.