Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poetry by Aaron Stewart

I’m Just a Man
By Aaron Stewart

I am just a man!
A handsome black one
A spirited dark soul
Brightly lit!
Burning like the sun
My spirit is majestic and free
Even though they wrongfully confine me
Captivated by four walls, it seems obscene
For me to be in this dark place
Between and within walls so silent!
Exiled from the human race
I endure discontent in this wicked place
I try to keep it real
I submerge deep frustrations I feel!
I ache with desire and need
Good old fashioned – female – passion fire!
Waiting with heated passion
For my beloved…full of love and compassion

Basic Necessity
By Aaron Stewart

It’s very necessary that you understand!
Female companionship is….
A basic necessity for every good man!
When I say, it would be an honor
And privilege to become acquainted
Cause, I’m currently uninvolved….
It’s a very distressing problem
I’m trying to solve
I would love to explore
The possibility of a “you and me”!
Is a basic necessity!
If you’re alone, and so am I
Come on let’s give love a try

A Good Thing
By Aaron Stewart

Sometimes in life a good thing comes along
Some of us grab it, and then we move on
Some of us do, and some of us don’t
Some of us will and some of us won’t
I’m a good thing, with serious need
To find a good woman, to get a grip on me!
I’m into romance, love, dedication
Devotion and true commitment
Real hard work and always paying the rent
I love the simple pleasures of life
I could be very happy with a domesticated wife
I would appreciate an opportunity
To open up and explore uncertain possibilities
I am not ever giving you the business
Every word is real and very very serious
I’m a real good man with a workable plan
Please give me a chance!
Maybe it might turn out to be

A real romance

Uncertain Possibilities
By Aaron Stewart

There´s something so intriguing about meeting someone new.
I hope it´s the beginning of something meaningful relationship between me and you.
I´m sick and tired of living by myself.
Let me tell you baby,
I sure could use some help.
It´s hard as hell!
Trying to meet someone locked in a cell.
But, I´m optimistic that it can be done.
And if I´m really lucky, you could be the one.

Sit yourself down and send me some lines.
Let´s get an understanding and have a meeting of the minds.
Let´s explore the uncertain possibilities of a you and I,

Who knows, you could be my girl, and I could be your guy

By Aaron Stewart

Moving faster than the speed of light,
Positive thoughts take flight.
Negative ones take root.
Negativity takes control.
Planting holes in my soul.
Amassing and permeating dark energy,
Like a leech it feeds on me.
Darkening my path so I can´t see.
Blinded I go about to and fro
Will it ever stop?
I just don´t know.
My spirit and soul needs reconstruction,

So I can disengage self-destruction.

If God Showed Up
By Aaron Stewart

If God showed up, what would you do?
If He came down to pass judgement on me and you?
Would you be able to hold up your head?
Or would you be ashamed instead?
If you looked back down over your life
Would you be able to say your tried to do right?
If God showed up, would you be happy or sad?
How would you judge your life, good or bad?
If God showed up would you try to run and hide?
Or wish at birth you would have died?
If you showed up and you were practicing genocide,
Would your actions be justified?
In God´s great eyes!
If God showed up and you were an oppressor of His people.
Do you think He would forgive such malicious evil?
If God showed up, I, the kept would be very glad,

And very, very proud to have such a great Dad.

By Aaron Stewart

Hate is the dark matter that pollutes the souls.
Hate is an evil that doesn´t like to be controlled.
Hate is a monster in all of us,
That likes to run amuck.

Hate is alien to all sound reason,
It´s always in full bloom in all seasons.
Hate is vicious and malicious, monstrous,
Insidious and invidious.
Hate is a driving force in most people´s lives,
Intentional evil, hatred is a thing I despise.
I hate the hatred that hate has wrought.
I simply wanted to state my position,
On the hate interpositions.
I hate everything that does not promote love and respect,
For our Heavenly Father I AM THAT I AM.

I´m just a simple, God-fearing man.

Caramel Sweet
By Aaron Stewart

You´re caramel sweet, and delicious eye candy
Brown and lovely is what I see.
Woman you move me, you do me.
´Ya know what I mean?
Your face and your smile,
Makes my heart cold, stupid and wild.
It´s so pure, so sweet!
It mingles in my heart like pure jubilee!
Hair so soft and smooth,
No chemical required, “It´s so damn cool!”
Mentally equal, yet challenging to me.
So sassy-frassy, classy, brilliant antagonistic, but measured
My true pleasure.
A special and very strong kind of a woman.
Caramel sweet
Thighs that curve into voluptuous hips
And such lovely, so lovely kiss me lips
Between your mind and thighs,
Is where I want to be, just you and just me.
Oh fine lady with the lovely face,

Keep spilling love and grace all over this ugly place.

Can't Wait
By Aaron Stewart

Free me, loose me, release me.
I can´t wait until I´m free.
So I can come and go as I please.
Lift this encumbered burden
Lord give me peace.
Let me do all the things dear to me
Like the things I long to see.

I can´t wait to see you again,
To let you know how bad it´s been.
I just want to celebrate
My brand new life without the state.
Oh, if I could hold you close!
I long for your embrace the most.
I can´t wait!
To get out of here

To love you, my sweet and sexy darling dear.

The Cage
By Aaron Stewart

A cage is a terrible place of
Many evil thing
Where every imaginable wrong,
Is visited upon human being.

It’s fraught with woes and calamities
Full to the hilt with doom and gloom

It’s like a never-ending nightmare
Most vicious, cruel and mean
Where decaying hopes and dreams
Flow like endless streams.

Days merge into years,
And nothing seems to change.
But there you will remain
And the cage just stays the same.

It just stays the same.

Beyond Measure
By Aaron Stewart

What I feel for you is beyond measure.
Because you’re far greater than any found treasure!
To love you, and know you’re mine
Is all I’ve ever wanted, or, ever hoped to find.

You’re far more valuable than any pot of gold
More precious than any jewels ever bought or sold
Neither diamonds, or pearls, could ever compare
Nor anything that sparkles, shines, or even gleams.

None of it can compare to you
The woman of my dreams@
The fires of my desires will burn forever!
My love will not end. No, not ever!

Caught Up
By Aaron Stewart

I thought when I first met you
You wouldn’t be around for long
Until your tight grip
Made my love grow strong.

I’ll comfort you in times of sickness.
And lay my life down for you with a quickness.

Through health and wealth
Till death do we part
I’ll gladly give up my life, and donate my heart
Everyday I’ll pray and ask God to preserve
Your life!
So I can keep you as my loving wife!

These are pledges from my soul to you!
I’m so caught up by the simple, beauty of you.
My love will grow and grow! And
Never stop
Please understand me!
I’m loving you with everything I’ve got!

Your Smile
By Aaron Stewart

Look at you!
Your smile is so divine
It lights up my heart!
Like a ray of sunshine
It’s just so radiant, pure uniqueness!
It promises something terrible!
So wonderful! Oh, my goodness!

Words could never begin to describe
The incredible love I feel inside
Each and every time I see you smile.
It´s just so precious in every possible way
Please believe me when I say?

Your smile is beautiful and pleasing
Pure work of art
It´s very strange magic!
Never stop smiling
It would simply be tragic.

Unquenchable Desire
By Aaron Stewart

I would be the happiest man alive!
If I could dive between those thighs
A swim inside you ocean
With your waves in full motion!

Oh! If would be such a delight!
If we could sail together til the early
Morming light!

Until our energy is spent in full
Woman you don’t know how bad
I wish I could

You see I’m caught up
With this unquenchable desire
To light up all of your passion fire!
I need to feel it pour out of your soul
Until it burns like madness
Out of control

By Aaron Stewart

I´m committed to the proposition of you and I
I will keep all my commitments until the day I die
I´m committed to making our a more perfect union
I pray I´ll always live up to my duties

I´m committed to the pursuit of prosperity:
Happiness, joy and peace
To keep a good-understanding
Going on between you and me

I´m committed to promoting mutual respect
And trust
By keeping information open
And flowing between us
Know for a surety!
Everything in this world I do!
Is dedicated to commitments

Made between me and you.

Understanding and the 55c Stamp!
By Aaron Stewart

So, you started to write him, time and time again,
Except you could never seem to find a pen.
After all, didn’t he write all the time?
And tell you about the things on his mind.

Then one day, you sat right down and wrote him a letter.
You told him you hoped it made him feel much better,
Plus, you decided to send him a few pennies.
‘Cause you knew, for a fact, he didn’t receive many.
There you said, “I finally got the job done”.

Except, for a stamp, you didn’t have one.
So, you laid the letter on the dresser by the lamp.
Never once did you look for a stamp.

There the letter sat; there the letter stayed.
For weeks, then months, there the letter laid.
Those precious few words that said you cared.
The words never sent; the words never shared.

Then, one day, you looked up and said,
“Damn! I don’t know what’s going on inside my head”.
So, you went to the store and bought a stamp.
You put it on the letter laying by the lamp…

Finally, the letter was on the way.
But, as fate would dictate,
The letter you sent arrived too late.

Old boy died in the steel-tomb camp!
With the full knowledge, your love
And understanding,
Wasn’t even worth a 55-cent stamp!

Penitentiary Life
By Aaron Stewart

Penitentiary life is a quagmire
Of redundant and frivolous trivia,
Where blood-letting is ever prevalent,
And it flows, just like a river.

It’s where you can always find
Hate and turmoil in many men’s minds;
Of pent-up frustrations and
Hate-filled hostilities;
Where the threat of death
Is a great possibility…

It’s a place of the strong, the gentle,
And the meek.
A real-life nightmare 
For the mentally weak.

It’s invidious, insidious, 
Dark, draconian, and sad.
A place of nothingness 
Where people go mad.

It’s a very evil thing!
To cage a human being,
And take his humanity.
It’s not a place anyone should be.

It’s a very bitter harvest;
And, after all these years,
It’s taking its toll on me.
Intelligent man, intelligent mind,
Slowly drifting away, slowly dying!

By Aaron Stewart

The prismatic vibrancy of your being
Is an enchanting and wonderful thing.
Hypnotic, and fresh, and very inviting;
Your womanly charms are magnetic and exciting!

A kiss from your succulent lips
Would send me reeling
Into a state of bliss!
Oh, what a beautiful work of art!

You’ve captured my mind,
And moved on my heart!
You fuse my bloodstream
With heat and passion.
You move me tremendously
In a pleasant fashion.

I don’t know what it is you got!
But I love it, lady!
I love it, a lot!

Just me – 

By Aaron Stewart

Loyalty is something that don’t grow on trees.
It’s never for sale, or bought with money.
It’s a deep-rooted bonding;
A certain trust one must always keep!
It ties relationships together,
Always and forever!

Loyalty never, ever goes away.
It’s like the sun;
It always shines, every day.

Loyalty will always remain the same.
Just like gold, it never changes.
Loyalty builds lasting bridges,
Through the cracks and crevices
Of life’s many valleys and ridges.
Loyalty should always be rewarded.
And, for those whom possess it,
Highly regarded!

I hold you in the highest esteem,
For being so true and loyal to me!

Passionate Jubilee
By Aaron Stewart

When I woke up, I thought it was a dream.
I saw four walls, and started to scream.
I pondered the melodies, the music we made.
When we kissed, and when we touched!

And, oh!
The majestical passion, that flowed between us.
It was way beyond sweet.
It was exceptional and divine.
The love. Oh, the love!
Yours and mine.

I was caught-up in passion’s revelry.
And locked-down in pure ecstasy. 
It was fantastic and bombastic!
Pure joy, and so erotic!
The love spasms, and imploding, orgasms.
Oh, my passionate jubilee!

If only you were real, and not a dream…

Keeping It Real
By Aaron Stewart

Who am I,
In this vast and mysterious universe? 
What is life and its purpose?
I am a spiritual being, living a human experience,
Engaged in a constant struggle!
To maintain existence, “peacefully”.
Living and hoping, struggling and coping.
Learning and yearning.
Loving and trying to be loved.
Seeking security and posterity,
To ensure longevity.
In space and time.
Using the tools of my mind.
Steering this ship in turbulent streams,
To foment my hopes and dreams;
Forging them into reality.
Sharpening, and honing my skills.
Staying focused, and keeping it real.

Aaron Stewart A71724
Western Illinois Correctional Center
2500 Route 99 South
Mt. Sterling, IL 62535

I am Aaron Stewart, a 57 year old prisoner. A native of Chicago, Illinois. I am wrongfully imprisoned “Actually Innocent' as the term goes, This is book II of “Ruminations From The Well Of A Caged Soul.” With these ruminations I hope it will allow you a peek at a mind imprisoned, but not brain chained.

I let the spirit within speak of events, mental impressions, and this ongoing rolling, moving picture show. Of life behind these cold, gray, ugly walls. Penitentiary news emanates and reeks of suffrage, and longing, commiserating forgotten human souls.

With these few collections of thoughts, I hope I can put a human face on this wretched place. To enlighten the world from one man perspective on time, spaces, and places. The mind roams in these unnatural and caged lifestyles. We are pretty much like everyone else. Except some of us are truly criminals, some of us are not. Some are malcontent, and some are not. All want to be free to do what human beings do. (Live, thrive, work, hope, cope, love, to build a better future.) Most of us are misunderstood, mistreated neglected, disrespected, and mislabeled. 

With these thoughts in my head I decided to out them down. You know. spread them around see what John Q. Public thinks about human beings wasting away; paying for crimes they didn’t commit everyday. Turn the page please.

I’m single, never married.  No children, I’m just hoping and coping and waiting on Ms. Right to come in to this fractured life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Art by Miguel Morales

Are you liking what you see? Well, to give you a little background on these paintings, everything that you´ll be seeing from this point forward are post-surgery paintings that I've been working on since late 2017.  After brain surgery to remove a tumor, it threw off my vision and balance completely.  But thankfully, everything is slowly coming back.  I was worrying hard about being able to paint again, but I guess when something´s meant to be, it'll be. I´ve learned that strength, faith, and patience are everything.

There are flaws all throughout these recent paintings.  If you can correctly point out all these flaws, I'll paint a picture for you and have it mailed to you. (A picture in the category of your choosing: portrait, landscape, animals, pop culture, etc.)

Good Luck!

More Practice

Wet Seduction Part II

Tattoo'd Inspiration

Her Sweet Tooth

Portrait Practice

Solitary Road

Day of the Dead #1

Day of the Dead #2

Ashy to Classy

Night Watch



Anger management

Double Trouble

The Call

Miguel Morales K-61352
Stateville Correctional Center
P.O. Box 112
Joliet, IL 60434
Miguel can send and receive emails through

Post comments.  Make suggestions.  Or even write or email me directly.  In prison for almost 16 years now, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share my work with the world and have this avenue open to anyone interested in actually reaching out and communicating.  Enjoy what you see.  I’ve been oil painting since 2014 and discovered a talent I didn’t even know I had.  Now I push the limits to see what I can/can’t do.  Hopefully I’ll be posting more of my work soon.  And maybe hopefully hearing from you too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Art by Milo Rose (One Eagle)

Milo Rose 090411
Union Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Raiford, FL 32083

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Art by Mike Mendoza

Mike Mendoza Jr. 1223739
Huges Unit
Route 2, Box 4400
Gatesville, Texas  76597

My name is Mike Mendoza Jr. I was born in Galveston County, Baytown, Texas. I consider myself a prisoner of war- war on crime. If our criminal justice system wasn't so corrupt legally and factually, I wouldn't be serving a life sentence for a murder I never committed. I know it's heard by all on how we are all not guilty.

As the great Geronimo once stated," I think I am a good man, but all the papers in the world say I am a bad man, but it is a bad thing to say about me. I NEVER do wrong without a CAUSE.

What is really wrong when a person pulls a gun and threatens your life and somehow he dies or a parent that hurts a child is set free?

I draw to set my mind free - I used tp draw for my self but I've opened my eyes and now draw for you.  Follow me on Facebook/

I am pro-life. I am pro-American. I love my country as one can see through my work. I once had a dream as a child, to become a U.S. Marine- to make my loving momma proud of me and to wear the dress blue.

I am single. My wife divorced me for another man. I have one biological daughter( who was allegedly aborted.) When I entered TDCJ in 1996, for the first time, I was a 9th grade drop-out. I was supposed to be in the 11th grade, with a 5th grade reading level. I was a Special Education student. I was taking GED classes at Lee College so that I could join the U.S. Marines, only to learn that the Marines do not accept GED'S. While in prison, I have learned to read and write better. I have learned to read and write and speak Spanish. On this life sentence, I have become a writer. I have educated myself in Criminal Law. I have legally, factually obtained my 2 year diploma in Criminal Justice. I also help those that do not have the funds to afford an honest appeal attorney. If I ever make it home, I hope to find a job working for an attorney. I am educated on both sides of the law. I spend my time reading. My favorite book is Harry Potter. I am locked up 23 hours a day in a cage. The only human contact I have is a hand shake or when i am escorted. I hear a lot of Country-Tejano or classical. My day is spent hearing politics while I draw. My art work is mostly inkwhich I paint with human hair. i do some map color-mixed with water color. Drawing also supports me. The only help I receive is from my Grandmother. I try not to complain because ther is some that have nothing, and that includes their minds.

Art by Shane Saunders

Growing up, we lived in different part of the country. Including the mid-west and east coast. My first drawing was an expression of anxiety for my parents leaving me to go on Vacation. It included a plane crash. After that any time inspiration came, art was an escape. My mother used to do ceramics so maybe my interest came from her. Later on experimentation with drugs sort of became my identity. Now after having some recovery time, I would like to use the craft as an establishment of my identity with the world. Since the start of my prison sentence the chance to give someone something from the heart is all I would like to do. Currently, I am an undergraduate in a Community college.

Shane Saunders1245054
Coffield Unit
2661 FM 2054
Tenn Colony 75884

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to Go to Level 3 for Dummies – Part II (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Living Minimally)

(Admin Note: Part 1 of this series can be read HERE)

I am told by reliable sources that first impressions are important. If this adage is true, then I must say that F-Pod (sometimes referred to hereafter as simple “Level”) made a very poor initial showing for itself. After His Royal Sliminess (Lt. Tolly) deprived me of his dripping, caustic smugness, I attempted to right the foundering vessel that was F-68cell. How to sum up the cages of F-Pod in as few words as possible? Let’s start with: burnt. I mean, “I-left-the-fryer-on-during-my-nap, carbon-is-good-for-you, extra-crispy” It looked like someone had scrawled some arcane astrological sigils all over the walls with charcoal and it smelled like a burning pile of refuse. In seg, when you have a problem, your first avenue of recourse is to speak with the officers working the pod. If they can’t help you, they are supposed to kick the problem up to the sergeants. Some do, and some, of course, do not. Lighting a fire is therefore a pretty good means of simultaneously showcasing your displeasure, as well as an almost guaranteed means of making a ranking officer deal with you. I’ve seen plenty of FIRES ON OTHER PODS of course, though F-Pod is certainly more flame-scarred than anywhere else on 12-Building. More than that, these burn marked were inside the cells; every fire I had ever seen up to this point was set on the run. I must admit I fail to see how giving oneself smoke-inhalation-induced respiratory problems teaches TDC any lessons, but maybe I am just being dense. In any case, it didn’t take me long to give up on the idea of ridding my cell of the stench; I was just going to have to get used to it.

Alvin Kelly (murdered by the state of Texas on 10.14.08) once wrote this about F-Pod:

F-pod is a disciplinary pod totally Level 2 and Level 3. Level 2 is property restriction, i.e. radio, fan typewriter, all electrical, no commissary except 10 dollars postage materials (stamps, pen, legal pads, envelopes etc.) every 2 weeks.

Level 2 can also buy hygiene supplies once every 30 days, i.e. shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant. We are not allowed anything else from the unit commissary. We’re only allowed rec one hour a day Monday – Thursday, 4 days a week. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we are locked down 24/7. We were not even allowed our thermal underwear this winter even when it was down to 30 degrees outside. We are only allowed 2 regular visits a month. Level 1 is allowed 1 visit per week each month.

Level 3 is not allowed any hygiene supplies at all, only postage every 2 weeks. So the atmosphere down here is filled with animosity. The people back here are denied anything beyond the meager necessities to survive in any sort of dignity or humanity. It is an evil and vile place. The atmosphere is filled with cussing, beating and banging and floods, fires, feces and urine being chunked on people, gas being sprayed in peoples’ cells or the day room where everyone has to breathe it in. Visitation being denied some just because they live on F-pod, and it just goes on and on.

That’s a bit dramatic, perhaps, but not factually inaccurate. I believe that you don’t really see life as it is, but rather as you are. Maybe that is why my 90 days on Level were not miserable. I’ve come to understand that I pretty much stick around this place solely for the purpose of observing my personal evolutions during the inevitable disappointments of the coming years. My theory is that suffering comes not from what happens to us, but from the hidden thought train that immediately leaps into our consciousness to convince us that certain things are horrible, that we never thought such things could happen to us; indeed, that negative turns shouldn’t happen to us. The mind pulls this trick all of the time, and if you aren’t watching for it, you are really just a passenger - a back seat one – in the vehicle of your own life. Even if you didn’t buy any of that, surely we can agree that periods of turbulence are generally the times in life when we grow the most? Happiness might be preferable for some people, but if that is all you experience while on this little blue rock, you are going to be pretty one-dimensional. More, you will be boring.

Whatever the case, I never really felt punished while living on Level. I wrote the following on Facebook on April 14th:

To All of the People Totally Freaking Out About My Downgrade of Levels:

Stop. Seriously. Deep Breath....hold, release.

I love you all, but I'm fine, really. I may eventually get into the nuts and bolts of what happened last month, provided I can do so without adding any further complications to my life.

At the heart of the issue is Kevin's journal, which tells me he is doing everything right. I've never gotten them this pissed off before...I'm actually a little envious. If any of you write to Kevin, tell him not to worry about me, and to stay strong. I've got kites on the way on some additional legal avenues worth pursuing.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when getting clubbed across the head (figuratively, I was not hit!) for helping a friend would have produced a few perfect gems of cynicism from yours truly, but I feel those days are gone.

I feel good. Great, even. Why? I'll get more into that at a later date, too, but for now I will say only that I found out I'm not completely full of shite. The things I tell myself that I believe in, well, I really believe them. More, I live them, without delay or deliberation. That is a very rewarding thing for someone who has searched all his life for stable ideological ground to dwell upon. It really is up to us to determine whether the fluctuations of fortune are "good" or "bad"; the labels are ours, and ours alone. We really do allow things to harm us. It really is all in the head. Will really is everything.

That Grand Indifference I have been flirting with for about a year? Contact. Turns out, losing all that stuff we think we own is a pretty good way to gain control over the only real possession we have: our minds.

And now, you will never, ever be able to hurt me again.

I'm out. Keep writing your letters for Kevin. Send him my love.

The Infamously Incorrigible Level 3 Denizen Thomas (wretch, gag)

"Let's go to work so that one day, perhaps, a passerby might see in the lines ripening at this moment, as I too have my net in the pond of useless days, some traces of a reassuring sky that I cannot see there."

Victor Serge
"On the Ural River"
Orenberg Camp, 1935

That is also a bit dramatic, but factually accurate. Maybe writings from F-Pod take on an added layer of emotion, given the starkness of the place? I think the major difference between level 1 and F-Pod is the doors: on Level 2 & 3, the doors are sealed up with Plexiglas shields and metal fittings. On Level 3, even the tiny gap between the floor and the bottom of the door is sealed by a heavy rubber attachment. Level 1 doors are also mostly closed off, but those tiny gaps leave open the possibility of commerce and conversation, necessities totally deprived on inmates in the draconian confines of Level. These cells are appropriately labeled as “management cells”, an apt title for more than one reason.

One of the positives about F-Pod is that it is fairly quiet. I think I value silence more than most; some of the pods I’ve lived on here sounded like a jungle scene at night, which can pretty much wreck any attempts at productivity. You do have to keep one wary eye on your own behavior, though. Humans are not made to live in total isolation, and certain systematic breakdowns are inevitable, and well-documented. Solitude and isolation are not necessarily equivalent concepts, but the former does melt into the latter very softly, and once it does, it is a devil to get out. I am not even sure that a man who has completely disconnected from the world should still be called “human” to be honest with you.

I have written several entries on SHU Syndrome already, so I will not belabor the point here, save to say that I basically manifested three different symptoms during my time on F-Pod. (Or, I should note, I noticed three symptoms; it is entirely possible that I missed some.) The first was a form of “benign” vertigo that would come and go at random intervals. Sometimes it would last for minutes, sometimes hours. It was only strong enough on a few occasions to make me vomit, but even at its weakest, it made writing impossible. These effects lasted until April 17th, two days after I made my upgrade from level 3 to Level 2 (HERE, you can see the paperwork confirming my upgrade from D3 to D2. Take note of a few additional items: in the middle of the page, you can see the stamp from the Death Row Classification Committee, noting that the work program has been “suspended”. The program has been suspended since DR was moved to Polunsky Unit more than a decade ago, but they keep it officially on the books so as to skirt the issue of the unconstitutionality of our living conditions. After all, a law is only “broken” when someone cares to notice that fact. You will also see how we are not allowed nail clippers, even though they sell “anti-shank” style clippers to GP inmates. This is just one in a long string of conditioning exercises devised by the system to control weaker minds: they pass out clippers once every two months or so, and only after a sufficient number of people beg for them. This places them in a position of power as the “caregiver”, a curious position that actually engenders positive feelings from the men, even though it was the system which withheld the original commodity. Real men simply tell them where they can stick the clippers when they are passed out, and use a razor blade to trim their nails. Finally, way down in the bottom right-hand corner of the page is a scrawled comment which reads “Mon Ext/Int” and is followed by a signature of some sort. I had never seen this on any other paperwork I had received from the DRCC in the past, so I sent it around to a few of my neighbors. The only thing we could come up with was “monitor external/internet”, which made a lot of sense, once it was suggested to me. (I just wish I could read the signature….sort of looks like “PR” maybe?)

The second manifestation of SHU that I experienced was an increased sense of weariness and a desire for sleep. I wrote about this, also, while on Level, and you can read this entry HERE, complete with a graph of the average increase in hours of sleep experienced by twenty of the men on F-Pod.

The final pathology I noted in myself is somewhat common to a certain subset of convict, namely those of us who pride ourselves on our independence. On Level, this desire for self-reliance gets very, very strong, almost insane it its demands. Since they have taken my visits, my property, my rec, even my toothbrush, you reason, I may as well be a crash dummy and test the limits. This is a bad idea, completely unethical but it whispers in your ear constantly. I found other ways to vent the pressure, such as refusing to eat the trays that I deemed to be truly heinous. I have always done this, but the tactic is not one usually employed on F-Pod, where one has no access to food from the commissary. Me and a good friend Richard “Psycho” Cobb, eventually expanded this minimalist campaign into other parts of life. When a ranking officer threatened to take away our mattresses of we didn’t come forward with some information, I made a point o rolling mine up every night for a month and placed it in the corner, where he could both see it and me sleeping on the concrete floor. Eventually I wasn’t even using the sheets anymore. I think he got the message: you can’t threaten a man who isn’t afraid to lose everything. If all of that sounds a little crazy, that is exactly my point: isolation changes you.

Another of the few positives about F-Pod is that the officers tend to be “convict bosses”, and are less likely to mess with you over the little stuff. The men on F-Pod are generally prone to misbehave, so it is usually just not worth the trouble to treat these men the way the book suggests. This almost makes the trip to F-Pod worth it, all by itself. Sometimes an officer would forget himself, and we would set him right, an activity I usually do not participate in. I can only say that my ascetic daemons were pushing me to see just how much I could lose and survive. They didn’t leave me alone until I returned to Level 1.

I guess the only other major event of note during my time on Level involved my so-called disciplinary hearing. This took place on March 24th 2010, and lasted 13 minutes, though most of that the time wasted waiting for the officer who wrote the disciplinary case to show up. You can see the paperwork from this hearing HERE. I was “represented” at this hearing by an employee of TDC. The “judge” was one of the DR Captains. Based on those facts, it is not really a mystery why no one in white ever wins a disciplinary case hearing, is it? My rep spent the majority of her time complimenting the Captain on the new paint job in his office. (Curiously enough, all of DR was painted recently, just after some DR scum published PHOTOS of that offensive blue line that used to run down the main 12-Building hallway, evoking images of a heart monitor flat-lining. You’re welcome.)

The officer who wrote the case against me was adamant that he never, ever makes errors on important issues. This testimony was particularly amusing because in 90 seconds, he made exactly three major errors. (I’m trying to get the tapes from this hearing using a FOIA request; if I have success, I will put the recording up here so you can hear him say he got the pills out of 55 cell… which was empty at the time of the shakedown.) Even Captain Price was shaking his head by the end of Officer Mann’s testimony.

When it became my turn to put on evidence, I explained what “V” had seen and heard while waiting for his insulin. Captain Price became somewhat agitated about this, and finally threw his hands up in the air, saying he was going to “stipulate” “V’s” testimony. (You can see this on the form about halfway down the page.) In case that sounds fishy to you – it is. The whole point of witness testimony is that it gives the judge a chance to gauge the credibility o the witness. Stipulating a witness’s statement basically means that he already knew what “V” was going to say – and he didn’t care. If it seems off or unjust that the system was allowed to call witnesses and I wasn’t, well, you are right again. My representative merely nodded at all of this, thus giving sufficient evidence as to whom she was truly there to represent.

Punishment was quickly assessed at 30 days commissary restriction (no commissary, which is on top of the already stringent restrictions on what Level 2 and 3 inmates are allowed to purchase: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and a very limited amount of stamps) and 15 days cell restriction (no rec privileges, which is also on top of the already curtailed rec opportunities one is allowed on Level). I was sentenced to 30 days on Level 3, to be followed by 60 days on Level 2, which is the maximum allowed by state law. I was again told that my information concerning prescription drug misuse being a Lvl 1 or 2 offense was incorrect (see HERE for official TDC paperwork which proves their lie). This hearing basically violated every facet of the concept of Due Process that exists on the books, and some still waiting to be invented. Ah well: “fall seven times, stand up eight”, or something. Pretty much Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” for the attention deficit, is it not?

Let’s say you don’t buy my story. Fair enough. I would like to point out just one final bit of information which I think rather proves that my trip to Level had nothing to do with some fabricated pills, and everything to do with Kevin’s journal (which would, you know, be illegal to punish me over, in case anyone cares). Remember how the day before I caught my case, there was a stabbing on A-Pod? That guy’s punishment was exactly the same as mine. Even if I had been busted with a ton of cocaine in my house, I would note have spent one extra minute on Level 2 or 3 than I did for those pills. They wanted me absent from the picture during Kevin’s last months, plain and simple. If anyone has a better explanation, I’d like to hear it.

On June 15th, I made my Level 1 again. Some of my property was “missing” (mostly hygiene items, which were stolen by the guards who bagged up my property in March). It was good to be able to start studying for my classes again, though I am still not sure why hardback books are not allowed on F-Pod. (I made an “A” on my ENG 203 course, in case anyone is keeping score. More on that later.) All in all, I am thankful for my time on Level. I learned quite a bit about myself, which is never a bad thing. If I am supposed to get cowed or intimidated, I’m afraid I’m just a bit too hardheaded for that. I would come up with some way to let them know this, but, hey, they are already reading, Right “PR”?

To see how they run a disciplinary case in California, HERE is a copy of a case that a friend of mine on California’s Death Row caught in March. He apparently tried to give some food to an inmate on commissary restriction, which was deemed a “violation that jeopardizes the safety and security of the institution.” I guess Texas doesn’t have a monopoly on cruelty, after all. Interesting logic, though, is it not? “You have no empathy, so you must die; try to display some feelings for others, and we will punish you for it.” Makes sense to me!

“Deterrent effect? We don’t need no stinkin’ DETERRENT effect!”

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Brief Note on Missing Correspondence

Over the past few weeks I have mailed five additional “Letters to a Future DR Inmate” to Tracey. These were written by some of the men on Level 2, as I thought it might be interesting to see how other men here considered giving advice to an imaginary new arrival. Obviously, none of these made it past the mail room (at the time of this writing, anyway). I have also been informed that a greater percentage of my correspondence has been vanishing than is the norm, so I want to set some ground rules for everyone who writes me, as I am really bloody sick of losing people over misplaced mail. If you are in the U.S. and you send me a letter or an email and have not heard back from me in four weeks, assume I never received your communiqué. Just reprint and re-mail it. Add two weeks for anyone outside of the U.S. There. Simple. No more confusion, right? One can hope. (One can also hope that this gets out, too…)

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Chuck Rienhardt (AZ) Art and Poetry

(from the book: Dead Behind The Eyes...The Awakening)
By Chuck Rienhardt

If you have ever known the worlds in my mind, 
my sympathy goes out to you, - for your troubles.
Madness is a demon that lives in a world of helpless need,
a thousand desires unanswered,  - a world without resolution.

Beyond the realms of death, 
I try to escape into me.
Torn fragments float through my mind, 
as I hold tight to my own sanity.

I feel like I'm lost within, 
as if I've drifted too far away.
What began in shadows and a dark distance, 
has drawn ever so close.

I thought this was a final nightmare before the end, 
my last vision of life before the abyss.
But I'm remembering memories that aren't my own, 
I'm drowning within my soul.

You can take away these broken memories, 
but the visions never die.
There's a simple path that I can see, 
and emptiness...Takes hold of me.

The Child of a Deadseed
The Child Of A Deadseed
(from the book: Dead Behind The Eyes...The Awakening)
By Chuck Rienhardt

In the cage of your imagination blissfully immune to all this is really
dominating your deepest sleep...My nightmares you will feel.
I'm the echoes creeping through your dreams
Washed away by blood soaked screams

Down through the ages I've been called many things, 
but my true identity is something you could never comprehend.
Born into darkness by the silent suffering of unwanted souls, 
I am the child of a deadseed...And mankind is my prey.

I have fed on the defiled sacraments left upon blackened alters, 
and bathed in the rancid corps blood of Kings.
It is the sickly sweet stench of life that fills me with the need to hunt, 
and your humanity that draws me to you like flies upon rotting flesh.

When you're alone in the liquid stillness of the night, 
I am the unseasonable chill that bleeds from the shadows.
The distorted visions behind your infected, bloodshot eyes, 
and like warts that grow upon leperous flesh I will feed upon your very soul.

Leaving you with ruins of insane dreams casting shadows of life you'll never find,
Chaining you to a moment...Where nothing...Ceases to exist.
For it is far beyond the realms of death that lies a world of everlasting pain, 
and in your dreams I will take you there...For that is where I reign. 

The Slaughtering of My Soul
The Slaughtering of My Soul  
(from the book “Dead Behind the Eyes…The Awakening”)
By Chuck Reinhardt

We have surely scratched the surface of our mental and spiritual capabilities,
In an effort to comprehend and convey the human meaning of struggle and suffering.
I cannot see the future…And I cannot rewrite the past,
I´m lost within this struggle and it´s fading all too fast.

Hope is an illusion masking the reality of despair
This sacred truth I carry like a stone.
A secret, hidden from the eyes of man,
Like a stream of consciousness flowing into a river of blood.

Nightmares bring me face to face with versions of myself,
Some grotesque and distorted…others pure beings of light.
They speak in tongues not my own with companions unseen,
While sitting on a throne of clammy flesh…cast only by shadows.

“Find the gate and nudge it open”, they say, “What leaks out is yours to shape,
Open yourself to the entity that finds you and draw forth its power.
Consume of it as much as your body and soul are capable of containing,
But remember…when they body fails…the gate closes.”

But what seeps forth from this gate are many things, cold, hard, and unholy,
That hide in the deepest recesses of my mind…and watch.
No contemplation, no judgement, just icy, clinical observation,
Waiting for the precise moment…to slaughter…and feed upon my soul.

A Slipping Mask of Sanity
A Slipping Mask of Sanity 
(from the book “Dead Behind the Eyes…The Awakening”)
By Chuck Reinhardt

Looking in the mirror,
At a stranger´s sullen face
I see a mask of sanity,
That´s slipping out of place.

I can see around the edges,
At all the twisted thoughts and dreams.
And hear the ringing in my ears,
Of softly spoken screams.

The softly spoken screams I hear,
Are only in my mind.
This I know…But still I turn,
And take a look behind.

Once again…there´s nothing there,
At least nothing I can see.
But this does not mean that they´re not real,
Screaming silently at me.

So I look back at the mirror,
And see a desperate, frightened face,
The slipping mask of Sanity,
Is gone…without a trace.

Luciferia Corvidae - A Mouthful of Poison
A Feeding Frenzy
By Chuck Reinhardt

Dead behind the eyes…Deep into darkness I have awakened,
silently waiting for the rings of hell to be unsealed. 
Only then will the seeds of nothing begin to break through the soil,
as images that exist outside of time uprise as the demons of earth and air.

For out of the ground we were taken from the dust we are,
and to the ground we shall return as the dust we have become.
Blessed be this cursed ground that I walk upon,
for I walk on soil that nightmares are made of.

Imprisoned in a world of darkness,
just a shadow of the past cast forward in time, I move through me.
All these illusions are but reflections brought to life before my eyes,
of a corroding, chemical, wretched spawn of a beast that I see.

For centuries, I´ve traveled through the nine levels of damnation,
searching for flesh to taste upon my tongue.
For it is eternal the kiss I breathe as I siphon your blood to me,
I smell of death…I reek of hate…I warp reality.

Shrouded in sensation…bleeding from my eyes,
deception is my gift, to the cinobitz standing at my side.
Enticing it closer, from hunted to hunter I will rise,
for I am a demon…behind an angel´s disguise.

From the book  “Dead Behind the Eyes…the Awakening”
By Arizona Death Row Inmate Chuck Reinhardt

Those Whom the Gods Detest

A Requiem of Death

Poetry of the Condemned
By Chuck Reinhardt

I could never begin to explain the complexities
Of the dimensions in which I live in.
But I attempt to separate substance from illusion, and in doing so,
I begin to feel at home in the echoing corridors of my mind.

I once glimpsed the man who occupied this fortress before his fall from sanity,
Stretched around his face was a mask of clever disguise.
Bitter things appeared and fled, dreams perhaps, or fragments from the past,
While a drool of bloody darkness spilled from his eyes.

So pure, so absolute, the hope of salvation in its depths,
More fragile than in any darkness I have ever seen.
His facial features began to run together like the slow melting of a wax max,
And the features of a hundred faces rose and fell like suppurating sores.

I watched, entranced by the way they grew and multiplied,
The world of his thoughts appearing and flickering before my eyes.
And just as suddenly, gone, were they all…only darkness,
As relentless as ever pressed upon me from all sides.

The sense I felt was as if I was trespassing here,
In a world hovering beyond or behind the façade of reality.
A stream of consciousness that one could never begin to understand,
Because no world could ever hope to compare with such sublime darkness.

I am the Shade
I am the Shade
By Chuck Reinhardt

At a time both brutal and bleak lingering between realms of reality,
I stood before an unopened door that reeked of sickness.
A presence seeped forth from the stench that lurked at the very fringes of perception,
Devoid of shape, starving for sustenance…I was no longer alone.

Chaotic memories filtered through my mind suspended on threads of mist,
Of an elaborately structured realm populated by entities known as “Shades”.
Bodiless souls consumed by hatred of heaven and hell,
A sickness breeding sickness…trapped between life and death.

Here all hesitation must be left behind…seek and ye shall find.
For I am the guardian of the gate…I am the eyes of death.
I am the stench feeding upon itself simmering beneath festering scabs, I don´t belong to this world…this world belongs to me.

Do you not understand what is coming? Nor what I do for you?
I am the Shade…set free to bring wrath upon all mankind.
I am your resurrection, your abomination, your path to salvation,
You, who have been forsaken by destiny…I will remove your skin.

O, willful ignoranto, do you see the future?
Do you not grasp the splendor of my creation? The necessity?

Judge NOT…lest you be judged yourself!

From the book – “Dead Behind the eyes…The Awakening”
By Arizona Death Row Inmate: Chuck Rienhardt.

A Corridor From Hell

A Corridor From Hell
By Chuck Reinhardt

I wake and hear something crawl under the door.
I watch – as if dreaming – as it crosses the floor.
The coldness it brings chills me clear to the bone,
What´s left of my soul…has finally come home.

With its hideous face and sulfurous smell,
The thing slithers back from its trip down to hell.
It screams to me things I cannot understand,
I scream at it back, “I´m only a man!”

I look in the mirror and all that I see,
Is a thing with no skin staring straight back at me.
Confusion and fear are at war in my mind,
As I look over my shoulder and see nothing´s behind.

Now my constant companion wherever I go,
This thing with no skin will not leave me alone.
In every reflection it´s all that I see,
A skinless perversion of what was once me.

It´s alive – but not living – in a bottomless well,
And I´m dead – but not dying – in this desolate cell.
This isn´t the end, only the start,
Together forever…*till death do us part.

Cetera Desunt

Shadows In My Blood
Shadows in my Blood
By Chuck Reinhardt

Someone opened a door in my mind,
To a place where time itself dissolves into confusion.
Even in my desperation…I walked as cold as a ghost,
Doomed to repeat a lifetime´s path of failures.

When I came across a man standing before me,
He wore violence like a fur cloak riding his shoulders.
His cult was written in spilled blood,
Disfigurement and the virtue of destruction.

His black pitted eyeholes haunted me,
While speaking to me in eloquent silence.
“I am death” they said “I am your fate,
And the fate of all living things…I am what is left behind.

Today I am this man, tomorrow I am another
See the truth of me…not one is tethered.
I am bound to no single self,
But unleashed to a multitude of selves.”

Only then did I recognize this man standing before me,
For it was me that I refused to see,
Standing so self-possessed and content,
Inside my own inner world´s visions.

From the Book: “Dead Behind the Eyes…the Awakening”

DeathMask Divine
Death Mask Divine
By Chuck Reinhardt

The past is not simply the past,
But a prism through which the subject
Filters his own changing self-image.
Hiding the purity that flows from the roots in which we rose.

We long for the possibilities of the impossible existence,
To create the fabric and destiny of all mankind.
But what we are left with is a corrupt system feeding off itself,
Reality is distorted when your force fed your mind.

I am dying, but self-righteous to the end,
A lynchpin…war within…a means to my end.
To be reborn of a demon sky, purgatory unleashed,
And angel of genocide with stitches sewn in my eyes.

Like an exotic beast of human nature,
This god that you worship…the demon I breathe.
Together we are a cult of chaos…flesh adorned with thorns,
Bleeding tears of hatred and pain.

Can´t you see that we are one…
You can´t tear us apart. NO, you can´t tear us apart!

From the Book: “Dead Behind the Eyes…the Awakening

Chuck Rienhardt 084033
Arizona State Prison Complex - Eyman
SMU #2 Browning Wing 3-G-16
P.O. Box 3400
Florence, AZ 85132

Hi. My name is Chuck Reinhardt and I am an Arizona Death Row inmate.  All the artwork and poetry you have seen and read come from the book “Dead Behind the Eyes…the Awakening”.   This is an unpublished book that I have written and illustrated including the cover in which you see.  Hopefully you are a publisher and want to help me give this kickass book to the world. I´m sitting here in this cage waiting to hear from all of you. Have a good one today.

Respect Always,