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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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Friday, March 31, 2006


"Who jah bless, I say no man curse..."

I found this cool little program yesterday called Montage-a-google through a little blog surfing (aka, not working). it lets you make collages based on the images within google. I made a Bob Marley one & it came out looking so cool (it's sitting on my desk right now). This one is a Sizzla collage. I am going to send it to my beloved. Sizzla is his favorite musical artist, so i think he will get a kick out it. Hopefully he'll love it, because he needs something to smile at.

Lately my beloved has been feeling so down. He has stopped eating. He is still in the box (solitary). I try to keep his spirits up within my letters & our brief calls, but there is only so much cheerleading I can do from the sidelines. I pray that he gets through these last 20 days in the box. I pray that he gets through this whole ordeal & is able to come back to us whole, because we need him. I'm sure he will get a boost when the little one & I venture to NY to see him. I love visiting him, love kissing him, holding his hand, and looking into those beautifully intense eyes of his. But I hate leaving. Depending on what happens with his case, we might just have to pack up and return to Brooklyn, because this distance weighs heavily on both of us. We'll see. In the meantime I'm sending him good vibes straight from his August Town brethren, Sizzla.

Bless up!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:03 AM 5 comments

saving ourselves

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Saving Ourselves

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kenedy

There is not much I can offer to stem the tide of oppression a world away in Sudan. I am a poet, so I offer poems. And with those poems--awareness. If each of us contributes--whatever we can--to end the atrocities from occurring, maybe, just maybe we can force the world's hand.

Why does America, and other Western powers, act so slow when heinous acts are being commited against those in Africa? Because of colonialism, many of these countries are to blame the issues that have caused our brethren to spiral into crippling poverty, devastating disease, civil wars, and now genocide. It is time for each of us to stand and do our part. Read up. Inform others. Donate what you can, but this horrible atrocity must end. Now.

*for more info on how to get involved check out


Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:11 AM 5 comments

save the babies first

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Save the babies first

The "cool-pose culture" of young black men was simply too gratifying to give up. For these young men, it was almost like a drug, hanging out on the street after school, shopping and dressing sharply, sexual conquests, party drugs, hip-hop music and culture, the fact that almost all the superstar athletes and a great many of the nation's best entertainers were black. (more)

So what's going on with our sons? As a mother of a little boy, I am very concerned about his life. Not only will he have to deal with societal pressures and institutionalized racism, apparently he must overcome the frontin' of his peers and their "cool-pose" stance. While this article was interesting to read & made me do a bit of thinking, parts of it rubbed me the wrong way. The author's tone, for one, seemed a bit demeaning at first, virtually writing off previous studies of why Black men & boy are in the state they are in. So I read this with a grain of salt. But even with that in mind, I found myself nodding, and thinking that it might be something to the notion of the "cool-pose." I see plenty of men and boys trying to front to keep up appearances. As someone who has tutored extensively, I notice it's always the girls who are proud to be smart, while the boys try to downplay their intelligence and overemphasize their bravado. As an avid hip hop head, I am hesitant to point the finger at the music, but it is hard to overlook a culture that embraces and celebrates bravado & coolness (and bling), over all else. Who really knows what is the exact cause of this issue, but whatever it is, I pray my son (or any son) never falls victim to it. I pray we are able to mold him and teach him how to be a successful, honorable man, who isn't afraid of his intelligence and isn't scared to express himself. Say word.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 5:50 PM 5 comments

there are so many words

Monday, March 27, 2006

love poem # 22

there are some
poems made just
for you       wrapped in fresh
banana leaves tasting of sugar

at midnight my tongue
wanders the earth        searching
for your fingers and mouth
and i come        up empty

time is not on our side
it strangles words        catching
in my throat        causalities
of the space between us

i love
         you hard
brave and beautiful you
are an indian summer       burning
up my thighs

i haven't written this much since i finished my thesis last year. my muse has returned in the form of memories of my beloved. i would much rather see him than write poems, but this is the only way to touch him right now. i hope he feels me.

be blessed

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:39 AM 3 comments

sunday morning musings

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday Morning Musings

and me angel
i'm tryin to write this
in honor of your divinity
but i keep thinkin
'bout how lonely
it is to write 'bout
someone instead of
being with someone

and I miss your holiness
and all that
but i miss the man
you are and the man
i love

~from "angels get no maps" by Suheir Hammad

It's 11:40 am Sunday morning & I've already been to church. My little one is napping (thank you, Jesus!), so I'm sitting here reading Suheir Hammad's new collection of poetry, ZaatarDiva, remembering. Her words are full of anger and love and strength. It is a call to arms, for all those reading, to do something to end the brutality that is so prevalent throughout our world. I would definitely recommend picking up this book (and this one too).

This weekend is the first weekend I've taken some "me" time. I'm usually running around doing laundry, buying 200-packs of Huggies from Costco, or vegging out with my son, but this weekend (ok, just yesterday) I actually hung out with my friends. A friend of mine is moving to ATL & we all got together and went out to lunch. I took the little one along because many haven't seen him yet. Of course the whole time they said how beautiful he is & how much he looks like me & how much hair he has. A few asked about my beloved and I just gave my standard, "he's doing alright. He's in New York now though." No one seemed to ask why he was in New York, so I didn't tell them.

These types of gatherings always make me nervous. I haven't "come out" to most of my friends or family about where my beloved is. I'm not good at dealing with things. The way I "deal" is to usually ignore it all together or just act like nothing is going on. I would rather ignore things than face them head on. But it's hard to ignore his absence. We were pretty much always together, so now that he hasn't been seen, people ask, and I tell them he's in NY. Which is perfectly logical since that is where we lived before coming to Cali, so nobody thinks anything about it. I know I will have to tell the truth one day (probably soon). The weight of not being forthcoming weighs heavily on me. I suppose this blog is my effort to build up the strength. Because in all truth & honesty, there is nothing wrong with us. Everyone, I don't care who you are, knows someone who is or has been locked up. So no, there is nothing wrong with us. We are still a family. We are very much in love. He didn't run out on me & our son, yet he still is not here. I am not single, yet I find myself being a single parent. It is a hard concept to explain to some. And I would rather not deal with the judgmental looks of those who may think differently, about me or him, if they knew the truth. I don't want to see the, "oh-why-are-you-still-with-him" look. None of that. So I choose to move slowly & not reveal anything until I am ready. Am I contributing to the stigma I am trying to escape? Probably. But one day, I will break through and shatter it completely. One day.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:23 PM 4 comments

From Jail to Retail

Friday, March 24, 2006

From Jail to Retail

this disturbs me.

i used to pass this building each time we took a cab back from manhattan to our apartment in bed-stuy. i didn't even pay it much attention. the surrounding neighborhood is definitely being worked on (read: gentrified), as is all of brooklyn (but that's another story, another post). but i can't imagine shopping at home depot or grabbing a coffee from starbucks or having a meal while someone above me is locked up, trying to barter with his cellie for toilet paper or a can of soup. can you imagine them building a residential space? condos on top of the jail? that is insanity. i don't even have the words to describe how disgusted this makes me feel.

(shout out to Hysterical Blackness for the heads up)

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:19 AM 7 comments


Thursday, March 23, 2006

untitled poem # 23

the warehouse heaves
two million bodies       stored efficiently
   head to toe to head
bunks stacked high     holding     families

are collateral damage
searched and questioned and branded
guilty for maintaining some semblance
of togetherness      a patchwork
of relationships carved out amid surveillance
privacy is a luxury     not sold
in the commissary

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:01 AM 6 comments

mis libros son sus libros

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

mis libros son sus libros

"So like most ghetto girls who haven't yet been turned into money-hungry heartless bitches by a godless money-centered world, I have a problem: I love hard. Maybe too hard"

~Sister Souljah from No Disrespect

i recently purchased a copy of No Disrespect by Sister Souljah with the intention to send it to my beloved. i send him lots of books, mostly fiction, but i wanted to send him something that would make him cock his head to the side & think. he's in the box (solitary) right now, and he has nothing to do but read. so, on a recent trip to B&N i picked up The Autobiography of Malcolm X & No Disrespect. i sent him Brother Malcolm's book. he was surprised to get it, but i am excited for him to read it. i wanted to him to see that being locked up isn't the end. this time can be used as a period of reflection & improvement. Brother Malcolm turned his time behind the walls into something so positive and productive, we are all reaping the benefits of it today. my beloved has so much passion and energy and wit and the ability to connect with others, i just pray that this experience does not break his spirit. i hope he keeps his swagger, but realizes how rash decisions can easily change your life (and the lives of those who love you). he knows now. i wish God let us have just one (ok, 3) rewinds in life. but with that rewind we would still have the lesson that that experience taught us. i would certainly rewind this experience & we would do some things differently. but i digress. i was talking about books! i might also pick up something by Marcus Garvey for my beloved, considering they are both Jamaican, but i will take it one book at a time (suggestions?).

anyway, i am re-reading Souljah's book and it certainly has a different spin to it now. being a mother has definitely changed my perception. things that i may have nodded my head at before are much more crucial now. this book makes me ask myself several questions. how do I raise a black child, a man-child, in a world that does not value his life? how do I protect him, yet teach him how to navigate life in a way that is both beneficial & respectful to himself and those around him? how can we help him to be an honorable man?

to me, this book validates my choice of sticking by my beloved, preserving our family and raising our son together. besides, I am not not superwoman (she's dead, by the way). i can't do it all by myself. and there is nothing wrong with admitting that. perhaps i will discuss this book further, the deeper i delve into it (what do you say? you down?). but that quote jumped out at me. i love very hard. and i'm proud of it. it is what will keep us all going.
be blessed.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 1:20 PM 5 comments


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

there is a post brewing, i promise. i am just too physically & emotionally drained right now to hash it out. these past few days have been especially hard. i haven't really gotten the chance to speak to my beloved in the manner in which i would have liked. today he went to court for some motion hearings. apparently nothing major, but when we spoke he sounded so sad. i know this whole situation is getting to him. it is getting to me also, but i try to remain sane (at least on the phone). somebody has to be the strong one, right? but of course today, like most days, he was the one holding me up, while i fought like hell to dam the tears threatening to jet down my face. *sigh* i am tired. sometimes this is all too much. i wonder, how will we make it? but then i look at my son, our son. and he reminds me that we are fighting not only for ourselves, but for our little one. he deserves everything we can give (and then some).

we will not let him down.
we will not let each other down.


Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:12 PM 1 comments

"no wicked heart can test me"

Monday, March 20, 2006

".....no matter how dem try"

listen: jah jah bless me

i needed that.


Posted by the prisoner's wife On 3:32 PM 0 comments
i am always inspired by music, it is my muse. i wrote my grad school admissions essay about how Nas' Illmatic changed my life. so today when i was having a less-than-happy monday morning, i needed something. some strength. something to keep me from turning my car around, picking up my son, and going back home to hide out w/ some lean pockets and Daytime tv. i found it in Hezekiah Walker's choir. i attended his church when i lived in brooklyn. i loved it. i loved his down-to-earth sermons, the soul-stirring music, everything. it was such a blessing, i didn't even notice church lasted 4 hours. and no, i'm not a holy roller. i'm just a woman who believes. in God. in music. in love.

i needed this song in the worst way. after my phone call with my beloved was cut short (we only spoke for 2 minutes) by a faulty phone, and i spoke to his lawyer who is less than reassuring, i needed to be reminded that everything happens for a reason. and that despite what may come, we are survivors. i wish i could post the audio. if i find it i will. but if you're going through some things, take comfort in these words.


We made it, we survived
When the enemy came in to take our life
God lifted a standard
Devine protection
No weapon formed
Shall prosper against us
I made it this far, by faith
My future's brighter than my today
I'm holding on to my praise,
I made it
I survived

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:19 AM 3 comments

babylon release the cure

Friday, March 17, 2006

you must stop and listen to this.

this my redemption song Jah Cure's voice is so beautifully painful, like a shower that stings, steam seeping into your pores. i imagine him sitting in his cell composing this. i imagine my beloved writing letters to this riddim. we used to listen to this song all the time in our apartment in brooklyn. before he got lock up. before our life changed. my beloved is jamaican. the fire in his voice is so undeniable, so sexy. you can't deny the longing, the wanting. it is how i feel each and every time i hear this song. each time i put pen to paper and pour out words of wanting, of waiting and faithfulness, i listen to this song.

and i remember

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:57 AM 4 comments


Thursday, March 16, 2006

so. i have searched high & low for blogs of family members (wives, husbands, sons, daughters, etc) of inmates and so far i have found little. you would think with over 2 million people in prison there would be more people speaking about their experiences (where are you?).

please comment, please share. your voices (and you're support) is needed. we will make it, all of us.

things that make you go hmmm: the prison industrial complex
for the fam:
Family Arrested
have a question, email me:

bless up.

by the way: for those asking, feel free to link me. thanks for your support.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 1:21 PM 3 comments


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

pieces of this poem came to me as i was visiting my beloved, but as with most things i write, i didn't actually put pen to paper until much later. i'm going to send this to my beloved tomorrow. perhaps it will help someone., speak to someone, or maybe it is your story. i am composing another poem (it's in pieces inside my head) about my visits to Rikers.

every since talking to my friend, i am seriously thinking about what i can do with this blog. sure, it's good to write out/sweat out/cry out all of your emotions. there is something so gratifying about coming here & writing. it is confession. i feel reborn & powerful. but there are so many like me, with lovers, fathers, sons, wives, daughters, friends behind the wall. and so many times we are afraid to speak up and say just how much we love. how hard we love. we are sometimes afraid because people may view us or view our loved one a little differently if they knew. well, i am opening this space up to everyone. at least for now. share your thoughts & stories. please comment. you are not alone. you are loved. and it is ok to love the ones you do, in the manner in which you do. peace.


pressing palm to glass hoping
to touch flesh and fingers feels
like a bad movie

fifteen minutes are not enough
we could sit for months
& laugh at nothing but the color of the sky

funny how time flies
when it’s being rationed out
like rice and potatoes

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 4:51 PM 0 comments