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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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HS Dropout, College Grad?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Q: Do you need a HS diploma to enter college?



A: Not anymore


April Pointer, a part-time telemarketer who never completed high school, attends Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y.

But many colleges--public and private, two-year and four-year--will accept students who have not graduated from high school or earned equivalency degrees.

And in an era of stubbornly elevated high school dropout rates, the chance to enter college through the back door is attracting growing interest among students without high school diplomas.

That growth is fueling a debate over whether the students should be in college at all and whether state financial aid should pay their way. In New York, the issue flared in a budget battle this spring.

They are students like April Pointer, 23, of New City, N.Y., a part-time telemarketer who majors in psychology at Rockland Community College, whose main campus is in Suffern, N.Y. Ms. Pointer failed science her senior year of high school and did not finish summer school.

But to her father's amazement, last year she was accepted at Rockland, part of the State University of New York.

"He asked, 'Don't you have to have a high school diploma to go to college?' " she said. "I was like, 'No, not anymore.' " (more...)




What do you guys think about this?




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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 3:47 PM 6 comments

Summer Bounce

Friday, May 26, 2006

Summer Bounce



It's Friday y'all! Thank God we made it through another week. Those of us Stateside will be enjoying a long weekend. My uncle is having a BBQ on Saturday (can't wait to taste those links!) & I need to clean, do some organizing, pay some bills, and round up all the little one's clothes he can't fit anymore & donate them to charity. That's my weekend. Somewhere in the mix we'll get out to the park or the pier or somewhere warm, sunny & interesting.

What are y'all getting into this weekend?

Because I am a wanna be DJ, I have another song for y'all. This is just in time for summer. The Billionare Boy & The Louis Vuitton Don have teamed up to create something akin to Michael Jackson circa his Off The Wall days. Enjoy!

Pharrell ft. Kanye West--Number 1

Be safe & blessed this weekend fam.




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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:35 AM 3 comments

Are You Too Short for Prison?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Are You Too Short for Prison?

Hello again, I know I like to keep Thursdays light with my "Throwback Thursday" posts, but this just made me so upset. A Judge in Nebraska sentenced a convicted child molester to 10 years probation, instead of jail time because he was "too short" for prison (Story Below).


SIDNEY, Neb. - A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."
(source: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12969163/?GT1=8199)


Are you kidding me? What is wrong with this woman? So does this mean any short person can get out of prison time because they are not fit to be there? Because they will be taken advantaged of (isn't everyone?)?

With my beloved awaiting trial & facing prison time, this just continues to illustrate how unfair our justice system really is. Not only are you privileged if you are wealthy, but now you are also at an advantage if you are short.


Craziness!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:19 AM 3 comments
Throwback Thursdays: 29-inch Pythons




In my neighborhood in the '80s a few things made you a star. A fly haircut (or an especially curly jeri curl), a rag-top mustang with gold daytons, an ill crack game, the latest jordans, and a snake wrapped precariously around your neck.

I never understood the obsession with dudes and deadly snakes around their necks, but whenever a guy would walk down the block with his gold and black python on his shoulders, we'd all run up to see it. It was like being at the circus, but better. It was so close. And at any moment this snake could strangle the life out of dude or jump up and choke the neighborhood bully, who you hated anyway. We wanted to see some tricks. Would the snake dance to music like they did on tv? Somebody blasted a song from a boombox, but the snake didn't move. Tongues slithered. And our nine year old selves were amazed.

On the way to work this morning I saw two guys with snakes around their necks. I was shocked. I thought this practice had died out with Cube's curl, but there they were. Strutting down Fig with two big yellow and black pythons around their neck. And despite being 26 and very grown and late for work...I wanted to run up and touch it. Just to see.




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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:25 AM 1 comments

born day

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

born day


happy birthday to meeeeeeee.

today is my born day. the beginning of my new fiscal year. i am 26. thanks to my mother, i don't dread aging. she has always embraced her age & has never tried to lie about it. she loves growing older because that means she has been blessed. i have also been blessed. this year has been both very painful and very amazing. my first child, my son made his way into the world in the absence of my beloved, his father, who has been incarcerated (and simply waiting for trial) for the past 7 months. but it is what it is. a blessing. each day, whether filled with joy or painfully difficult, is a blessing. i don't have to be here. i don't have to have the most beautiful baby in the world (sorry mommies! lol). i could have gone though life without ever finding my beloved. so i am grateful. so blessed. i am eager at what is to come & i am open to experience what God has in store for us. i know he hasn't brought us this far to leave us now.

so today is a great day. not really sure what i will do. i am not working today, made sure to take the day off. i am high off tax refund money. perhaps i will treat myself to a mani & pedi, or a pair of new shoes. or i might take the little one out to lunch (i want some jerk chicken!). we are just going to chill & have a good ol mommy and baby day. beloved "bought" extra phone calls today. he is so sweet. he says he will surprise me throughout the day. so i'm just going to chill and enjoy the sun, my son, and my beloved.

be blessed y'all

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:06 AM 13 comments

stray shots

Saturday, May 20, 2006

stray shots



tonight a dj saved my life. his name: garth trinidad. can i tell you how DOPE chocolate city is? (J, take notice. you wanted good music for your son?). i am beat. i spent 5 hours this afternoon/evening in a classroom in LBC taking a teaching test. i have NO idea how i did. i killed the essays, i know...but the linguistic section...ehhhhhhhh, who knows. so driving home i was in no mood to play mommy or wifey, but it had to be done. thankfully that brotha garth stay burning up saturday evenings. right now i'm listening (again) to his tribute show to dilla. considering how fly it was, i thought i'd share with y'all (u can thank me later).

enjoy
(ps, you need RealPlayer to listen).

what is the look of....it got something to do with uhhhh....


be easy.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:35 PM 8 comments

New ISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH

Friday, May 19, 2006

New ISSSSH



In keeping with the music theme, I surfed on over to OkayPlayer to get the scoop on last night's Roots concert at Radio City music hall. While there I heard a couple of new Talib Kweli tracks called "Listen" & a really dope jawn called, "New York Shit" Ft. Jean Grae. Both songs are very summertime fresh.

Although I love Kweli ("2000 Seasons" is my all time favorite), I long for the day of Black Star. I heard Kwa & Mos are supposed to team up real soon for a follow-up to 1998's "Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star." Let's pray y'all, so we can make it happen.

What are y'all feeling right now?

Yesterday I asked about the throwback joints, today I'm talking current music. And remember kids, sharing is caring.

peace

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 1:03 PM 10 comments

Throwback Thursdays: It's Party Time

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Throwback Thursdays: It's Party Time

Let's party y'all. Let's go back to the days when hip hop was about throwing parties (sans Moet), chillin with your crew, whylin out (in a good way), and just having a good time. When it was ok to go to a party and dance until your press was a distant, kinky memory. I'm talking Roger Rabbit, Running Man, Cabage Patch, Troop, all of that. This goes out to all the hip hop party joints banging out the jeeps from Compton to Brooklyn.

The Liks: Make Room


It's the Liks baby, It's the Liks. Cali stand up! I couldn't drink a thing but juice when this album dropped, but it continues to be a party favorite. You can't help but have fun (and sip a little something) when you hear this joint. Tash is crazy on the mic.



Pete Rock & CL Smooth: TROY

My cousin used to "house" to this song all the time. You can't escape the horns. Everytime I hear this song, it is so haunting. The Chocolate Boy Wonder does it again (and again). Get we get another reunion?



Chub Rock: Tream 'Em Right

Dance, suckas. You can't help but get up and move when you hear this joint, it's so infectious. This song makes me think of Hale in Strictly Business (don't say you've never seen it). Don't know if that's good or bad, but everytime it comes on I feel compelled to start dancing.



LLCoolJ: Around the Way Girl

LL gave some love to the girls around the way. This song made you proud to be a no-shorts taking girl from the 'hood. Classic.



Black Sheep: Strobelight Honey

I gotta go...Where the hell is Black Sheep? This was the joint. "This or That" gets more play, but this will always be my favorite.


~*~*~
This is but a mere sampling of what I'm feeling now. There are way too many joints to pull out the crate, but I am just reminiscing. I am compiling a list of early 90s joints for my iPod & a sista needs suggestions.

What are your favorite party joints?
Share!






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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 2:57 PM 10 comments

Bush Speaks On Immigration

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bush Speaks On Immigration




Sounding more like a moderate, than a hard-nosed conservative, Pres. Bush addressed the nation last night. Although I cannot stand the man, I did find myself nodding to a few key points, notably reforming the current system. I did however, disagree with his idea of not allowing illegal immigrants, who are already here & are productive members of our country a pathway to citizenship.

Missed the speech? Here is the quick & dirty version of Bush's proposed 5-point plan to reform immigration.

We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We're also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways. These are not contradictory goals. America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time. We will fix the problems created by illegal immigration, and we will deliver a system that is secure, orderly, and fair. So I support comprehensive immigration reform that will accomplish five clear objectives.

First, the United States must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security. Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration, and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists.

[hmm...grouping illegals with Bush's favorite buzz word "terrorists"]

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life.

Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof.

Fourth, we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here already. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it. Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration.

Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record. I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law...to pay their taxes...to learn English...and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.


[Isn't this a pathway to citizenship? I think by reiterating that he isn't agreeing to amnesty, but offering this solution...he is still proposing a pathway to citizenship. Which, I feel, is totally necessary to those immigrants who are already here and contributing to America's growth.]

Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples. The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America. English allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening a grocery...from cleaning offices to running offices...from a life of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of their own. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams...they renew our spirit...and they add to the unity of America.

[and in closing...he says...]

America needs to conduct this debate on immigration in a reasoned and respectful tone. Feelings run deep on this issue and as we work it out, all of us need to keep some things in mind. We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone’s fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain.

[Amen to that Bushie. Although I am not a fan of his politics, I do agree that we must continue to debate and work through the issues of immigration. This is just one of many issues that we MUST talk about if we are able to proceed as a unified country. So here we are again. What are your thoughts on this issues, Bush's ideas, or any proposed ideas of your own. Let's talk about it...]




Missed the press confrence. Read it here.




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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:02 AM 3 comments
Throwback Thursdays: Remembering Brooklyn





brooklyn sounds clash
a cadillac calabash
of rude bwoy noise
bang out bed-stuy blocks

nostrand is alive in summer

beef patties & ting
sing out hungry babies
black skin white tees
meet humid corners
to hustle poland springs

click clack the soundtrack
above the ave plays loudly
rumbling past nodding rastas
rocking redblack headwraps
proudly speaking to the babies

maybe this is the future
bruk-up color canvases spill
red on black on white on yellow
on the ave
everything looks new again


~*~

it's official. i miss it.

(on another note...anybody up for a cypher? i need to get my creativity flowing again. poetry or rhymes. feel free to post them in the comments & we can get it going)

peace.



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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:55 AM 11 comments

where do baby daddies come from?

Monday, May 08, 2006

where do baby daddies come from?



(Preface: I was reading Slate.com & they had an article on the origins of "baby daddies")



Every time I hear someone say, "that's my baby daddy," I cringe. When I found out I was pregnant early last year, I swore that those words, "baby daddy," would NEVER come out my mouth. I quickly told my beloved that he could never refer to me as his "baby mother" even though his Jamaican accent makes it sounds more like "babimadda" and I would hear him refer to his brother's girlfriend (and other women in his family) as such. But still. That ain't me.

When I hear that phrase "baby daddy" I instantly think...(God help me)...uneducated woman with three children, by three different men. Somehow this phrase has become common place and cool, and with all things black (and "cool"), it has been co-opted by the mainstream (read: white folks).

Baby daddy has now taken it's (rightful?) place along side Bootylicious in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is defined as, "the father of a woman's child, who is not her husband or (in most cases) her current or exclusive partner."

Why people?

Why does this phrase need to be in a dictionary? This makes me wonder what the prerequisites are for new additions to the dictionary? Wasn't "Jiggy" enough?

What do y'all think?





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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:48 AM 14 comments

worst person in the world

Friday, May 05, 2006

worst person in the world






i couldn't agree more. can't stand the man either? then you'll love this




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

Throwback Thursdays: Remembering Us

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Throwback Thursdays: Remembering Us


three months since
lashes kissed corners
eyes wide smile
sun breaking sky

riddim beneath city
speak secrets
lovers talk     rock
ready ears
     cadence
metal meets tracks
heart mash up reason
and

love is like
the break beat
of your favorite song
wild
           scratch
astounding
           scratch
repeat

all walls break

between us
there is no silence      here
dancing is breathing


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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:41 AM 2 comments

slow motion is better than no motion

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

slow motion is better than no motion

Arrows on tarrot cards pointing to the grind
Po' livin in more prisons, pointing to my mind, shine the light up
Clench my fists tight, holding the right up
Freedom fight in dark gear for the years to get brighter

~Common "The Food"


If I have learned anything at all throughout this whole process of jail and visits and collect calls and lawyers is that patience is a priceless weapon. Nothing happens when it's supposed to happen. My beloved's trial was scheduled to begin this week, but it was postponed because the DA isn't ready. Now he has another court date, scheduled nearly two months from now, just so they can set another trial date, in which case the DA may or may not be ready then either. We try to take this as a good sign, but it's so hard to really tell. The court system is so congested, that you are forced to simply wait.

The thing that kills me is that while we are waiting, my beloved has to sit in jail, as if he has already been convicted of a crime (which, he never has). Considering our system is supposed to assume innocence, I find it mighty ironic that if you cannot make bail or aren't granted bail, you are basically sentenced to an indefinite jail term and thrown into a whole new world of people who are either 1)heading upstate to serve hard time, 2) cycling in and out of the system or 3) detainees, waiting on the system, just like you.

When this all began we were cautioned that this is an extremely slow process. Initially, we were told that it may take until mid 2007 before his case went to trial. Perhaps they try to prepare you for the worse, so you sell yourself out for a plea-bargain. Who knows. My beloved won't cop to anything, so we wait and leave it in the hands of God.

I try to imagine his world. When we he calls it is so loud--the clanging, the men, the CO's yelling for the count. Although my beloved is a pretty humble man, he is also very tough and won't allow anyone to take advantage of him. So there have been fights or near-fights (and a broken hand), because after all "you have to do what you have to do."

With men head to foot, clashing tempers, and building frustration it is so easy to catch another case while you are waiting for your day in court. This is what I am afraid of. So I pray nightly and during the day and while I'm driving or in the shower. And I ask God to sustains him. Help him to keep a level head, and keep him away from all negativity. Thank You God. Amen.



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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:07 PM 4 comments

the new civil rights movement?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the new civil rights movement?






let's talk about it.



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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:59 AM 17 comments

If you can huh, you can hear me

Monday, May 01, 2006

If you can huh, you can hear me

You have to have somebody to write for. You can't just open the window and make love to the world ~Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday I felt like a real poet. While my son took his afternoon nap, I read through my copy of "Poets & Writers Magazine" with Wole Soyinka on the cover. I never really buy writing magazines (this is strange I know), but I know that if I am to take myself seriously as a writer and get back into the business of writing, I must be up to speed on the goings on in the writing community. So there I was, flipping through the magazine when I ran across an article dealing with the disproportionate ratio of writers to readers.

I am a poet.

Even before I changed my undergraduate major from business to English, with an emphasis in poetry, I knew I was sentencing myself to a life of hustle. Poets don't make money just writing poetry. Unless you are some sort of poetry rock star or the second coming of Walt Whitman, you are going to hold at least 2 other jobs in addition to writing poetry. And even IF you manage to carve out a living writing, you are forced to teach, or freelance, or act or are always on the road trolling open mics and coffeehouses for gigs. That ain't me. Being a poet mommy means that I can't jump up and fly to DC or Atlanta or College Town USA to do a reading for a few bucks. Not without proper planning at least. So, my writing life means that while I am a poet to the core, I also have a day job. But this article made me think. When the planets do align and I release my debut collection will anyone care to read it?

In the piece, "The Law of Diminishing Readership," Joseph Bednarik discusses the troubling decline in the readership of poetry and prose, while MFA programs are blowing up and turning out writers by the pound. As he points out in his article, many people LOVE to write poetry, but don't like reading it. I confess, I'm guilty. When I was sitting in my MFA workshops, I was often asked who my influences were. I would quickly answer James Baldwin, Nas, Mos Def, Richard Wright--notice how they are not poets? But ask me if I want my book read and I will most-certainly say yes.

Reading this article made me rethink my approach. I know that in order to become a better writer, I must read more. Lately I have been enjoying the collections of Saul Williams, Suheir Hammad, and Wanda Coleman. Each of these leaving me inspired and eager to put pen to paper. But the question remains, if no one reads...why continue writing?

This article not only made me more conscious of the poetry market, but of the whole blogging game as well. Just as any other writers, we bloggers get here, craft our entries, and hope someone reads and better yet comments, but do we do the same for others? I have tried to go out and read and respond to as many blogs (that I find funny/interesting) that I can. Many of you have returned the favor (thank you), but there are many still that are silent and lurking. While I am thankful for EVERYONE'S readership, I am vain and in need of a little ego-stroking. I want your comments. Please share and discuss and argue or disagree. Let me know you are out there and have something to say. I promise you, I will do the same.

peace



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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:00 AM 9 comments