INSIGHTS FROM TEXAS DEATH ROW
“Our hands imbibe like roots, so I place them on what is beautiful in this world.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Well-Well-Well!—Happy Birthday to me/Happy Birthday to me/Happy-Happy-Happy-Happy Birthday to Me! Yesterday was the best birthday I’ve had since I’ve been locked up. I went to a legal visit and did an immense amount of legal work, which is a very good thing. Then I came back and immersed myself in the lovely little stacks of envelopes I received for my birthday that were filled with all sorts of love, inspiration and solidarity. This means very much to me—words can just never begin to properly express how much so. I was feeling so very good and relaxed after reading everything that I fell asleep and had some nice rest (an absolute luxury in this environment).
Now I’m up and the spirit of artistic creation has captured me and I must…create. Before I delve off into the realm of Art, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who have shown me/us support and solidarity and continue to do so. You are part of a very important and very powerful movement. Yes, it is my struggle, but it is also our struggle and all we do is part of the overall struggle, the Struggle to make society better. I do important work here and you are a part of that. When I’m released I’ll be doing the same type of very important work Anthony Graves is doing right now on the outside. You are going to help me make that happen. This is indeed a very powerful and profound thing…And here are a few poems dedicated to you—and yes, I mean you. I actually have the nice stack of cards and letters and e-mails I received in my left hand right now and they feel like little shields against oppression, small but powerful bursts of inspiration and energy!…
Spring, overall. But inside us
there’s another unity.
Behind each eye here,
one glowing weather.
Every forest moves differently
in the breeze, but as they sway
they connect at the roots.
Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi
* * *
Our hands imbibe like roots,
so I place them on what is beautiful in this world
And I fold them in prayer, and they
draw from the heavens
St. Francis of Assisi
We are all indeed connected in a very powerful way, and with that thought in mind I’ll sign off in the spirit of unity and progress with…
Much Love & Respect
…Later on…6:50 p.m. The SWAT team just stormed on the pod. I was working on some art and someone just screamed out “The Team is on the pod!” Now I’m at my door, looking out of my little metal screen-covered door slits. A gang of officers is over by the outside rec cage about 20-30 feet from my cell. They have gas masks on, as well as all of their other riot gear; someone obviously isn’t coming out of the rec cage. Do you see how chaotic this environment is? How it can be relatively calm and then suddenly a split second later utter chaos can ensue? 7:20 p.m. A burst from a riot control weapon just erupted, an LE-10 canister I think, if it were an OC gas grenade everyone on the entire pod would be knocked back on our bunks from the gas cloud.
OK, someone said X. is out there—a young guy who hasn’t been here that long and he’s never been gassed before. Damn, I spoke too soon, they did deploy the OC tear gas grenade. I can feel it coming. I’ll only be able to write for a few more seconds, maybe a minute…The SWAT team is taking X. off the yard now, they didn’t beat him…Eyes burning, chest convulsing, can’t see…can’t breathe, can’t write.