Thursday, September 22, 2022

From the Prison Writing Project


I am from lusty, drunken, addled strangers eager to share their bodies but not their lives.

I am from William, Alma, Peggy, Gene, Charles, Gary, Della, and La Juana.

I am from Southern Gospel ministers, molesters, musicians, addict and abusers.

I am from fishermen, hunters, cooks, carpenters, gardeners, raisers of livestock, painters and masonry men.

I am from people who all loved me in their own way and the addictions that helped me through them.

I am from the state with one star and a stop 6 battle line between colors of blue, red, and black.

I am from The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and Saturday morning wrestling.

I am from Southern plains, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans.

I am from cane poles and high end rods and reels as well as tying flies and the best money can buy.

I am from knives, swords, slingshots, blowguns, and bows, rifles, shotguns, black-powder and cutting edge.

I am from technology, gaming, and computers.

I am from the land of beef, gravy, biscuits, fresh food, and everything cooked in lard or Crisco.

I am from a place where an open fire is better than a stove or an oven.

I am from Jesus and Wakantanka, usurper and indigenous, white and red.

I am from dancing and living in the circle and from pushing against it when it is not convenient.

I am from promiscuity and marriage, fatherhood and forced absence.

I am from education and advocacy, rhetorical strategy and debate.

I am from parchment and ink, thought and action, action without thought.

I am from state-sanctioned slavery and punishment from fear of my words.

I am from the enactment of government bureaucracy producing a never-ending supply of 

human excrement with no plans of improving.

I come from a place where education is used to give hope and to punish to keep people sedated and then crush their spirits.

I am from bars and locked doors, concrete rooms and sheet metal beds.

I am from life and death joy and depression.

I dance this celebration of existence with my siblings inside and outside my own personal hell.

I am from the journey of life, the adventure of what is next, and the fear of what remains mysterious despite serious thought and research.

I am from a place called earth and from a beautiful, horrible, noble, and evil mess we have

labeled humanity.