lockdown mouse

Today people shared that the word of the year for Collin’s dictionary is lockdown, and I wonder what other dictionaries will pick. It seems like a reasonable choice even though lockdown will always mean something entirely different to me. In California state prisons, lockdown refers to the time when the prison effectively closes, and all […]

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podcast: forgiveness, etc

 Hi best beloveds, This is just a quick note to let you know you can listen to me chat with Britt about forgiveness, blogging, prison, and life.  (Search for “Love Your Enthusiasm on Google, Apple, or Spotify. Or click the image above to be taken to the site.) If you have time to listen, I’d […]

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just come home

They say liberty is sweet soI licked her before I left her for shackles,hoping her honey would crystallize on my tongueand my lipswould only ever speak with the memory of her. Inside the jailhouse they spray you clean ofall that freedom sugar, cold water raining downto drown the liceand hopesyou might have dragged through the […]

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ch1\ i make the bed

I had been in the loop for two days. A cold concrete place with no bedding, mostly used as a drunk tank. I was wearing a soft purple sweater from REI and blue jeans, but they had taken my shoes and underwear. They stripped me down entirely in a hallway and then pushed me into […]

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spades

November 2018 His voice is comfortable with itself, the kind of calm authority you develop when people count on you to say the right thing. He is a reverend, and the food has just been set down, and we are new friends so he looks up from across the table and asks, “I’d like to […]

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rainbow enough

As time happens, I encounter more and more people who think prison is a metaphor I fold into my writing. In a way, this makes sense. It was hard for people to imagine me in prison, even when I was there. And everyone knows, I love a good metaphor.  Metaphors are my first language, the […]

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a little step

This was written November 27th, 2014 from the California Institute for Women, from room 136– the cell without a mirror or light, or doorknob, where I spent my Thanksgiving.  I had a window, though, and the room to myself– and it was a lovely place to write. Some of you may remember this, as it […]

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the floor is

When I was a kid, I was ready for lava. I would leap from chair to table, rescuing my home from its ashen fate in the heated unstoppable ooze.  It was a game, I suppose, but to me, it was preparation. When I was a kid, I was afraid of the substances that could kill you […]

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