22 Apr 04


My brain is feeding from literature at rates faster than the jailhouse booklice. I've read twenty-nine books in three months, some over 1,000 pages long. I read for over twelve hours a day, and depending upon the size of the print I can manage over two-hundred pages.

Bookworms face two difficulties in here. Bleeding bedsores - I have one on my left buttock. And dealing with the mail staff, who periodically frustrate my book deliveries.

Last year, the mail officer rejected Security Analysis, a thick hardback book. The Mail Rejection Notification stated the book was not a book, but "a weapon." Last autumn, I was initially denied The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. The Mail Rejection Notification stated I was "jeopardizing the safety of the jail operation." Last week, I was denied three books my aunt Ann ordered from www.traderspress.com. The Mail Rejection Notification stated "books must be delivered directly from the publisher or on-line dist [sic]." As www.traderspress.com is both a publisher and online distributor, I lodged a complaint, using an Inmate Grievance Form. I was visited by a friendly hearing officer who stated that the mail officer had made an error and that the jail would accept redelivery. I reordered the books at the cost of an additional redelivery fee and I thought that would be the end of the matter. Unfortunately the mail officer had been offended by my complaint and I received a threatening note taped to my Wall St Journal. The note stated, "You need to contact the Wall St. Journal and advise them of your new facility /bunk No. All papers from now on will be thrown away...Mail Officer."

Upon analysing all of my Mail Rejection Notifications, it's obvious the mail officer has determined I am a weapon-seeking revolutionary. The threat to throw away my newspapers seems to be a call to arms. I never imagined that an affinity for books could be so dangerous. Hopefully, my newspapers will not be thrown away and the three financial books will be successfully redelivered this week. Without something to read, I would be reduced to playing with las cucarachas, which can be hazardous to one's mental health - not that I've ever been well-stocked in that department.

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