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.