Since I finally located the mini (5″ x 8″) legal pad containing pages 340 through 360 of the journal I kept while behind bars, I suppose it’s time for another installment of my “Incarceration Chronicles” series.  Bear in mind that though this was only my 11th day in the state prison, I’d actually been locked up for four months by this point, most of it at the county jail awaiting transfer to Lorain Correctional Institution.  The county jail portion of my diary (handwritten pages 1 to 310) is not online – but will be eventually.

My diary, presented here without editing, was not originally intended for public consumption.  But as I write my memoirs I find it useful to post the old pages here on my blog, as your comments and questions help to dust off my memory (where necessary) and catalyze my writing.  Bear in mind that to save paper and time, I tended not to repeat in my diary things I had already written in letters (and I saved carbon copies of every letter I wrote).  So a lot of things that aren’t here will be in my book.

For your convenience and a bit more context, here are links to previous Incarceration Chronicles installments:

Part 1: 17-21 February 1994
Part 2: 21 February 1994 (continued)
Part 3: 22-23 February 1994
Part 4: 24 February 1994
Part 5: 25 February 1994
Part 6: 26 February 1994

Now let’s resume where we left off:


Sun. 27 Feb. 1994
c. 12:30 p.m.


I spent the morning trying to sleep, then reading from Gita.  I told Mom yesterday that I’d probably get to use the phone this evening.  However, it seems the c.o. is changing the program and will have us call this afternoon.  That means I will probably miss Pam again.  Damn it!  Oh well… I can do nothing but accept what ever comes.

* * *

post 3 p.m.

I am disappointed that I was unable to reach anybody by phone this afternoon.  I wish the guards would have stuck with the schedule.  But at least – I hope – I’ll be able to see somebody this Wednesday.

* * *

4 p.m.

I just finished reading Bhagavad-gita again.  I keep dwelling on my need to talk to Pam.  This makes fifteen days since I’ve seen her.  Wednesday will be the fourteenth day since our last phone conversation.  It’s the longest I’ve ever gone without talking to her.  With this changed address, I haven’t even gotten a letter from her (or anybody else).  Man, I hope I get to commissary soon.  I found and read an inmate manual today while waiting to use the phone.  If I understand correctly, I am allowed to receive books and magazines by mail, if they come directly from a distributor or publisher.  Now I return to the Our Daily Bread, lacking anything else to read.

* * *

6:30 p.m.

One more instance where the Bible seems to affirm the deity of Jesus is in the book of John (14:9).  “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (New King James Version).  John seemed to be more confident of this than Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Perhaps he was senile when he wrote his contribution to the “Word.”  I know he was pretty old.

* * *

8 p.m.

I just finished reading the March/April/May issue of Our Daily Bread.  I need books!  I need books!  I’d rather have good books than good looks.

* * *

Mon. 28 Feb. 1994
7:40 a.m.

The other day, I gave that cigarette to some pathetic, friendless guy.  Today, my generosity was returned eight-fold.  While leaving chow, I passed Jerry Y[epko] coming in.  When the guard wasn’t looking, he tossed me a package with eight cigarettes in it.  Now I’ll certainly be able to get a book.

* * *

10:30 a.m.

I just added to Aunt Marlene’s letter and was notified that I will be moved today.  I know not where yet.

* * *

2 p.m.

Most of our group was sent to regular housing today.  Six of us at the end of the list had to wait until another day, probably tomorrow.  For now, I’ve been moved next door, to Unit 3B, #301, top bunk.  The 300’s are not in cells but on the floor.  Fortunately, I was able to buy an almost-full mini (5″ x 8″) legal pad for two smokes before I moved.  Still no luck in getting a book.

* * *

2:50 p.m.

Stay off of my sidewalk
Don’t come to my door
I don’t want your postcards
Don’t call me no more
You broke my heart one time
Won’t break it again
You once were my whole life
Let my new life begin.

* * *

3:05 p.m.

Sacrificial imbeciles
Fools on a limb
Birds without a place to fly
Prospects are grim
Watch the light of youthfulness
Fade in their eyes
As the smoke of sad regret
Darkens their skies

* * *

[Editorial note: I wrote everything above in tiny print on the back of a prison visiting schedule (and called it journal page 339). 
Everything below (comprising pages 340-342) was written on the aforementioned mini legal pad.]

4 p.m.

I just wrote to S [Geri].  I hate being stuck out here all day long with no privacy.

* * *

4:55 p.m.

This pencil sharpener is murdering mine.

* * *

5:55 p.m.

Desperation move:  I gave a guy three of the Buglar cigarettes for a piece of a KJV Bible.  It goes from the beginning of Genesis to about chapter thirty-three of Job.  Another guy had pity on me and let me use his complete NAB.  The New American Bible is Catholic.  I used to have one when I was in high school.  I’m going to read the apocryphal books first.  I have to return this one in the morning.  Then I’ll start the KJV; my cellie’s using it now.

* * *

6:30 p.

A guy saw me with the Bible and struck up a conversation with my cellie and me.  He had some interesting stories to tell about healers and whatever else.  I dislike a lot about Christianity; but I’d much rather talk to him than most of the people here.  At least we can have a semi-intelligent conversation.
    I was extremely glad to receive cards from Mom and Pam today.

* * *

6:45 p.m.

I just read a tract entitled “Transformed” by Paul J. Levin.

* * *

7:05 p.m.

I wish I could do something to take away Pam’s (and Mom’s) sadness.
    I began reading Wisdom.

“Love justice, you who judge the earth….” – author of Wisdom 1:1 (c. 100 BC) in the Apocrypha

* * *

8:15 p.m.

“…he who despises wisdom and instruction is doomed.  Vain is their hope, fruitless are their laborss, and
worthless are their works.” – Wisdom 3:11

* * *

9:05 p.m.

I’m finding it extremely difficult to write with all these people babbling.

* * *

9:50 p.m.

“…if riches be a desirable possession in life, what is more rich than Wisdom, who produces all things.” – Wisdom 8:5

“…moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude, and nothing in life is more useful than these.” – Wisdom 8:7

* * *

11:10 p.m.

“No man succeeds in fashioning a god like himself; being mortal, he makes a dead thing with his lawless hands.  For he is better than the things he worships; he at least lives, but never they.” – Wisdom 15:16-17



[Click here to read Incarceration Chronicles Part VIII, Day 13 at Lorain C.I., from 1 March 1994]

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