8 May 07

Odds & Ends

As temperatures stretch into the nineties, speculation continues to mount as to whether the transsexual with the breast implants on Yard 2 will go topless.

Piggie (who helped clean up the blood in my cell when I moved to Yard 1) may have set a new record for the shortest length of time out of captivity. Sixteen hours after being released, he was arrested for violating parole. “I reported in to my parole officer wasted on Mickey’s Ice, and he busted me for being drunk,” Piggie said.

Frankie is looking for someone to live with in England in 2008. Any takers? His only requirement is that your home is well stocked with lube. Depending on the state of relations between Frankie’s faction of the Mexican Mafia and the rival faction that tried to kill him at the Madison Street jail, you may end up with a burro’s head in your bed.

The short-timer madness I discussed with Dr. T. is over. My attitude is now along the lines of, Bloody Hell! I’m getting out in a matter of months.

I've been doing burpies with Iron Man, a martial-arts expert and fitness powerhouse, serving a nine-and-three-quarter-year sentence for various crimes including smashing down a door to collect a debt: “I didn’t hurt anyone. I just wanted my fuckin’ money.” After working out with him, I limp home barely able to smile or utter a greeting to my amused neighbours.

To size up the short-story market, I’ve sent subscriptions in to several literary journals including The Chattahoochee Review, The Paris Review, and Zoetrope. For book reviews, I’ve sent a subscription in to the New York Review of Books. Being new to this field, I welcome advice from anyone who has had short stories published.

Royo Girl wrote that she wouldn’t be visiting for a while. It seems she has taken a lover. I don’t blame her. Maybe I should do likewise. I wonder if Kat’s available. I should have known something was up when Royo Girl said, “I’m going off British accents, and moving onto Australian ones.”

For mental sustenance, I’m reading Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo: “The saying of yea to life, and even in its weirdest and most difficult problems: the will to life rejoicing at its own infinite vitality in the sacrifice of its highest types…”

More questions answered here

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

5th May


Over chow I asked Grit, “Do you mind if I ask how long you’ve been down?
“Sixteen years on this sentence. And I was locked up in Folsom before that.”
“Grit’s no joke,” Iron Man said. “He was known for stabbin’ folks. He always had two shanks on him back in the day in the chow hall. He’d raise his shirt, show his two pieces of steel, and say, ‘I’m strapped. I’m ready for anythin’.”
“Yeah. When I’m on the shit, I’m nuts, I’m crazy. Back then, I was the kinda guy who’d stab you fulla holes, then sit on your body and eat a sandwich while you bleed out.” Grit raised his right hand and improvised chewing a sandwich.
“Do you think you’ll make it on the streets here soon?”
“Yeah. I’m done with that lifestyle. I’ve changed my ways. I’m a whole different guy than I used to be. As long as I stay off the shit, and keep my eyes on God things are gonna be alright.”
“Where are you gonna stay?”
“I got a letter out of the blue from my ex-wife. She wants me back. I’m gonna be livin’ with her and my sons in Prescott Valley.”
“Is your mind prepared for the outs after all these years?”
“Yeah. I’m off the shit. I’ve been clean for several years. I don’t want any problems. I’m gonna be released to my wife’s house. That’s a real blessin’.”


A few days before his release, Grit received some bad news.
“It was,” Grit said, “all arranged for me to go to my wife’s house in Prescott Valley. Now DOC is sayin’ no, I hafta go to a halfway house in Sunnyslope for ninety days. That place is run by ex-cons who actually sell dope right outta the joint. This is fucked-up, man. They’re sendin’ me right into the middle of a bad situation. Man, I don’t wanna get high. I don’t wanna do dope no more. But if it’s right in front of me - I’m an ex-addict - how am I gonna stare at dope all day and not do any?”

Iron Man’s face, usually stoic, was steeped in concern for Grit when he said, “You can only go from where you are. When you start at square one, it’s bad enough. But when you send a guy who wants to do good into a pit of snakes like that howthafucks he possibly gonna do any good with his life?”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
03 May 07

If only I knew of an organisation that could facilitate Slingblade’s long overdue release to a mental-health unit that would cater to his needs.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
30 April 07

Psychotherapy with Dr. T (2)

“So what’s stressing you out?” Dr. T asked.
“My release,” I said. “I keep thinking that I’m not going to get released come this November.”
“Anxiety is normal in this situation. I would expect your symptoms to increase as you get closer to the date. Have you not been using your cognitive techniques?”
“Yes. I’ve been reading more Aurelius and Epictetus. And last night I posted to my wall something I read in my latest Siddha Yoga lesson: concentrating on any problem only serves to intensify it. I even laugh at how ridiculous I am for worrying but then later on I convince myself I’m not getting out again. Do I have short-termer madness?”
“That’s not how I’d describe it. This anxiety is a normal thing.”
“Even if it keeps me awake at night with racing thoughts? So many strange things have happened with my legal case it almost seems as if the law of averages indicates that my release will get botched somehow.”
“Staying up at nights is not a good thing. You need to sleep. Concentrate on your breathing. Are you aware of how rapidly you’re breathing now?”
“I wasn’t, but now I am. I felt so excited when this year began. But now my thoughts have shifted into another direction.”
“Freedom equals the realisation of your hopes and fears. You must use your cognitive techniques or else your symptoms will get much worse. Is there anything else bothering you?”
“No. We’ve covered my main concern.”
“Then put in a HNR if you need to see me again.”
“OK. Thanks.”
Feeling stressed out, I walked home wishing a lengthy session with Dr. O were available. Then I realised how spoiled I was by Dr. O.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
27 April 07

Update on Joe Arpaio's Cockroaches

One of my neighbours, Hound, recently stayed at the Maricopa County jail.
“How bad was it?” I asked.
Towers has that same funk smell they can’t get rid of.” Hound said. “It permeates the walls. It’s like Arpaio had 'em take some of the rotten meat they serve us, and use it as wallpaper.”
“Are they still serving red death?”
“How did you deal with it?”
“I didn’t deal well. I was on the toilet a lot of the time I was there.”
“What was the cockroach factor?”
“Out of control. I spent one day at Madison St jail. I can’t even explain or tell you how many cockroaches there were. It’s like it’s their turf. You get a sense of intruding on their environment. We walked in, and they’re sitting on old rotten apples just looking at us with what-do-you-think-you’re-doing? kinda expressions. Everyone starting asking for TP. I’m thinking, Did the shitter peanut butter go through them that quick? Then I see them making little balls out of the paper. I’m wondering what they’re doing. I notice them sticking the paper in their ears and noses, and then vying for positions to lie down on the floor. The TP was to protect themselves from the cockroaches.”
“The cockroaches I lived with loved earwax.”
“They bunged their ears up. Then, when they would lie on a spot on the floor the cockroaches would literally move out in, like waves to give room to the inmate. But the cockroaches got pissed off that an inmate had taken their spot. So the war was on. It started with the cockroaches that had moved out with the wave. They grouped up in regiments to figure out how they were gonna handle the invasion. Some crawled up the walls. Now, I’m sitting on a picnic bench, sick of listening to people go on about how they were wrongly accused and how they were gonna beat their cases; so, I turn to the cockroaches for entertainment. I figured they’re crawling up the walls just to find a crack to return to their houses, but that wasn’t the case. I saw a huge one, maybe an inch long, crawling up the wall looking behind him, trying to set himself up for the right angle of descent.”
“He was a jumper?”
“Yes. You knew it from the way he kept looking behind himself. The guy lying on the floor below the cockroach was a snorer with his mouth wide open. I knew what was coming. At the perfect moment the cockroach lined himself up. I swear I heard it scream banzai! as it released itself from the wall and did an Olympic diver back flip. It missed his mouth by inches, and landed on his cheek. With the big roach on his face, and the ground troops crawling up the inside of his pants legs, I knew it was time to wake the guy up and let him know he was being infested. Then there was the mouse.”
“A mouse?”
“Yes. At Towers, despite the lack of food – the rotten meat and two slices of bread to last us all day – a mouse came in every night as soon as the lights went off like she had a reservation at a restaurant. She would stare at me in the dark looking for scraps I may have left. As starving as I was I figured I’d rather feed her, and have her leave than to have her company all night long.”
“That was good lookin’ out.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
24 April 07

Note From Frankie

I got a message from Frankie:

Hey now!
What’s up, Englandman? And how’s the wet spot? I hope nice and wet 'cause that would tell me that your booty is puckering for me.
Bad news my friend. It was New Year’s and me and the crew were having a little fun bringing in the year 2007 but the guards got crazy and started rushing my house and only took me out of ten of us. I will tell you a lot more once this heat cools off.
Don’t forget you promised to fly me to England so we can get together. Remember to have my plane ticket ready to leave when I get out on 5-19-2008. That’s not long after you get out. You’d better be thinking about me 'cause I don’t want to send my dogs over there to rough you up. Don’t be shy my lover, be ready for me.

Much love and respect, =Frankie=
p.s. Forget me not!

Two Tonys reveals what happened to Charlie "the Batts" Battaglia

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

21 April 07

Recruited By Iron Man and Grit

Shaped like bricks, Iron Man and Grit sit at the same table as me in the chow hall.

“How come you guys are always jacked up?” I asked.
“’Cause,” Grit said, “we just did twelve-hundred pushups, one-and-a-half hours of burpies.”
“What’s a burpie?”
“If you really wanna know,” Iron Man said, “show up at the rec room when our doors open and we’ll give you a crash course.”
Grit chuckled and said, “By the time you walk out of the rec room - ”
“If you can still stand,” Iron Man said.
“ – you won’t have any doubts in your mind what burpies are.”
“I’d like to try what you guys are doing. Do you think you could increase my definition and maybe help me put on five pounds or so of muscle mass?”
“Look, if you’re interested in gettin’ in shape,” Iron Man said, “I know how to do it. If you learn my routines and put one-hundred percent fuckin’ effort into them, I’ll have you in the best fuckin’ shape of your life – guaranteed.”
“I heard you guys have knowledge of martial arts.”
“Yeah,” Iron Man said,” I’ve had some trainin’.”
“Which types?”
“Look,” Iron Man said, “this is the deal: I don’t like talkin’ about this shit 'cause it tips my hand. When people know what skills you have it’s possible for them to come up with a defence against them. But if you’re gonna be workin’ out with us, I’ll tell you what’s up.”
“Yeah. It’ll be great to work out with you guys.”
“OK. All through high school I trained in judo and karate, and then I did years of kung fu after I graduated. My kung fu master was a class-four special forces badass whose job in Nam was to go out in the night before the Marines and kill every sentry within a mile-wide area usin’ only silent killin’ techniques – garrotes and edged weapons. He was a fourth-degree black belt in a style that was a combination of the tiger, horse, and mantis.”
“Can you show me some of that?”
“We’ll see,” Iron Man said.
“And you’ll only be workin’ out with me for a few weeks 'cause I’m gettin’ out at the end of this month,” Grit said.
“That’s alright. When do we start?”
“Tomorrow night,” Iron Man said.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
18 April 07

Xena V Bones (2)

“Is Bones an undercover Cult Of Xena member?” I asked Xena.
“Look,” Bones said, flipping me off. “You’ve got two of these fingers. Why dontcha shove 'em up your ass, and walk on your elbows.”
“The main reason I can’t do that,” I said, “is because I don’t have an ass. I have an arse.”
“When it comes to COX membership, “Xena said, “the closest thing Bones gets to COX recognition is when he rubs Jell-O all over himself and dances naked in front of his mirror, which is too small for him to see his penis in – not that a bigger mirror would help him in that department. Then he gets all sad 'cause he used to boogie on down like that for his squirrel, and his old hairy celly.”
Bones was speechless.
Slope said to Bones, “Red’s consortin’ with the enemy.” Because I was sat with Red at the picnic table by Yard 4.
Red grabbed my Bic rendering me unable to document the dialogue.
“Throw his tea in the river, Red,” Slope said. “Those fuckin’ Limeys have been manipulatin’ our politics for years. The only war they didn’t drag us into was Korea.”
“Xena,” I said. “How does Bones feel about all of this?”
“Bones is sad,” Xena said, “’cause he doesn’t have a squirrel except for the one between his legs.”
“Don’t shoot one across the bows. Shoot him in the bowels,” Slope said to Red, and left with Bones.
“How’s Slingblade?” I asked Xena.
“Slingblade’s latest,” Xena said, “is he walked up to a CO with his chow tray, and his arms started shakin’ as if he were gonna bash the guy’s head in with his tray, and the CO freaked out, and nearly called an IMS 'cause he thought Slingblade was gonna kill him.”
“I heard Frankie got busted with dope and sent to SMU?” (Supermax.)
“Yeah,” Xena said. “He got busted while doin’ a UA with dope in his boxers. At the strip search, he couldn’t remember which one was the sack – the one between his legs or the dope sack – so he pulled 'em both out, and lo and behold he got in trouble for both of 'em.”
“I heard Ogre got moved to maximum for having too many tickets?”
“Yeah. His membership in COX ran out, so they rolled him up.”
“Rec’s almost over, I have to go now,” I said.
“Do you know how to keep your dog from humpin’ on your leg?”
“You pick him up and suck his dick.”
“Gross! Do you have any final words of wisdom for COX members?”
“Yes. This: to open your mind you must stop thinkin’ like an American.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
14 April 07

Visited by T-Bone

Sitting at my desk writing, I heard someone yell,"England, get your ass to the fence. Some big dude wants to speak to you."

“How big are your arms these days?” I asked T-Bone.
“Twenty-one-and-a-half inches.” T-Bone punched the wall he was sat on and said, “And they’re hard like this.”
Thank goodness, I thought, I’m out of reach of his punches.
“Are you working out as much as you used to?” I asked.
“Every day, practically. I’ve been doin’ little isometric exercises.”
“I hope you’re not using those muscles on anyone.”
“Someone disrespected me, so I had to give him a little short one. He was actin’ like he was a real badass.”
“Has he disrespected you since?”
“No. For the rest of his life he will never do that again.”
“What are you weighing?”
“I’m down to three-hundred-and-five pounds.”
“That’s skinny for you.”
T-Bone laughed and called a passer-by an, "ugly lizard-back joker."
“What are you eating?”
“Kosher food.”
“Where are you at spiritually?”
“I’m at where I was supposed to be. I was fluctuatin’ up and down. I’m gettin’ back on track.”
We were joined by Gambeezy, a Chicano who said to T-Bone, “Wassup, my neezy!”
“Wassup, Gambeezy!” T-Bone said.
“Is my homey aiiight?” Gambeezy said.
“Homey’s aiiight,” T-Bone said. “You must be real short?”
“Yeah,” Gambeezy said. “A few months to the gate. How short are you?”
“November 2009,” T-Bone said. “When I get out, I’m gonna show up in your hood, and steal your money.”
“That’s aiiight,” Gambeezy said. “I’ll throw you a bone and say, ‘God bless you, I’ll see you around.’ That’s the love I’m gonna show you. If I throw you in the car, you’re gonna be my downfall.”
“You’ll fall down yourself. You have a big belly, and a big 'ol head.”
“Like that, cabrone. Izzat right? I hope you didn’t bite your tongue on that one. Give Uncle Two Tonys my love down there,” Gambeezy said and left.
T-Bone stood up, and said, “L’n’ R, Jon.”
“L’n’ R, T-Bone. Give Two Tonys my love.”
“Aiiight,” T-Bone said and power-walked away.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
11 April 07

Every Empire Has its Day in the Sun

“All y’all Limeys,” Slope said, “are one bottle away from France. You tip the bottle and your ass goes up. Who hasn’t occupied France?”
“Good day to you too, Slope,” I said. “And you Bones.”
“Bones loves me today,” Xena said.
“Limey!” Slope said. “We oughta make you wipe your royal ass with a piece of jumpin’ cactus. Even your dogs are fucked up. The British bulldog can’t breath properly and it’s got an underbite. If you Limeys had took baths, you never woulda got the bubonic plague. Your women’s armpits are so hairy they look like they’ve got motherfuckers in headlocks.”
“What’s with all the Brit-bashing?”
“They’re just expressing their love,” Xena said.
“Are you gonna be here for the Fourth of July?” Slope asked.
“Yeah. Why?”
“’Cause Short Dog’s gotcha more bread and water.”
“Good one,” I said.
An announcement came over the peakers: “If it’s not your cell, don’t be in it!”
“Y’all,” Slope said, “can’t drink no coffee, or do no dry tobacco. It’s all tea and crumpets.”
“Are you gonna back me up, Xena?” I said.
“No,” Xena said. “I’m gonna go play D&D.”
“Great,” I said.
“No big daddy is gonna come save your ass,” Slope said. “We’ll keep kickin’ your butt just like we kicked the goddamn Limeys’ butts at Bunker Hill.”
“I thought the Brits won the Battle of Bunker Hill?”
“Bowlshit. A buncha old sodbusters put it on the Englishes' asses, causin’ your Limey cousins to evacuate Boston.”
“I see, and what are sodbusters?”
“Hillbilly farmboy motherfuckers,” Slope said. “I think we should tat the Declaration of Independence on your back and send you on back home. That way we can read it while we tag-team your ass. What’s that I hear? The redcoats are comin’! They didn’t even get to come. They just got chased out. They got their manhood pulled out of their assholes. The weak-kneed fuckin’ fairies.”
“What about the UK pulling some troops out of Iraq?” I said.
“Tony Blair’s a yella-belly. The only thang he’s capable of colonisin’ is France - in order to take over that fine French tradition.”
“Which is?”
“Givin’ the keys to the city away to anyone who shows up with a gun.”
“You wouldn’t say that if Napoleon was here.”
“He wasn’t French. He was Corsican.”
“He gave you guys a deal on the western part of the Mississippi Valley though, with the Louisiana Purchase.”
“And if he’d of stayed at home, he wouldn’t have lost all his soil.”
“Every empire has its day in the sun, and yours is being destroyed from within,” I said.
“You’re a goddam pond-skipper, but I couldn’t agree with you more.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
08 April 07

The Distaste Harboured By Two Tonys For Modern America

I asked Two Tonys what he meant when he said “the world is slowly becoming an insane asylum.”
“My point,” Two Tonys said, “ – to anyone who gives a flyin’ fuck – is that people have gotta start livin’ their own lives, and to quit wonderin’ whether Britney Spears or Paris Hilton are wearin’ panties or not. Motherfuckers seekin’ escapism oughta grab a good book, and they can start by readin’ the two Toms: Wolfe and Sharpe. People’s brains aren’t rollin’ right these days. They’re too plugged into shit like Entertainment Tonight, to see if Paris has her underwear on. It wasn’t always so fucked up as this. There was a time when families ate together, fathers worked, and mothers stayed at home. The milkman brought the milk right to your fuckin’ door and set it on the porch and nobody stole it. The newspaper boy put the newspaper on the doorstep and nobody stole it. Those were the good ol’ days – and they’re long gone now. It ain’t the same place.
Now we’ve got fuckin’ havoc. Everyone up on Capitol Hill is lyin’. Some of 'em are pokin’ page boys or coverin’ up for their chomo buddies who are fuckin’ around with page boys.
The good ol’ days of Harry Truman are gone, bro. The world is becomin’ an insane-asylum planet. And if by some chance we’re an experiment by aliens who planted us here to see howthafuck we’d turn out, the aliens have got endless shits and giggles lookin’ at us motherfuckers. It’s gonna get even worse if we bomb North Korea or Iran or anywhere else in Bush’s Axis of Evil. And we’ve got shithead congressmen like Tom Tancredo sayin’ we should bomb Mecca if al-Qaeda hits us again. Come on now!”
“So how do you keep your mind off the madness?”
“By takin’ responsibility for my fuckin’ life. Look, I’m a sixty-six-year-old motherfucker who doesn’t get out until the twenty-third century, but at least I have a fuckin’ life. I’m into what I’m doin’. Tonight, I’m gonna play a casino card game with Frankie. I’m gonna have me some pasta with marinara sauce. I’m gonna sit down and watch Michigan kick the shit outta USC at the Rosebowl. I’m gonna eat some chocolate-covered peanuts watchin’ Detroit play Dallas. The last thing on my fuckin’ mind is what kinda car Jay Leno is drivin’ or if Britney and Paris are wearin’ fuckin’ panties.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
05 April 07

The Gatekeepers

Attending this evening’s church service was like being at Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The hosts were The Gatekeepers – a band of missionaries that includes eight siblings.
Initially, they performed with their eyes closed, and I feared we were too ugly an audience for them to behold. Then someone explained they were Holy Ghost dancing, shifting the glory of their mission to the Lord. The room filled with energy in no time at all. There was clapping, feet tapping, and hands in the air. With great difficulty, I held at bay the urge to jump on the JBL speakers and dance. Some of the band pulled off dance moves that would have stirred Justin Timberlake. Most intense was the saxophonist. It was obvious we were in for a treat when he strapped on the sax with the grim face of a Navy Seal arranging a weapon. His solo generated numerous rounds of applause – with the crowd at its loudest when he played in the limbo position. The women’s voices were angelic. Toward the end, the choir brought the house down with a song about the Walls of Jericho. Superb.

Kudos to The Gatekeepers of Ironwood Hills Church, Tucson, for sacrificing their Saturday evenings to save our sorry souls.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
02 April 07

Kat (Part 2)

Kat asked whether I had a crush on him.
“No,” I replied. “Although I can see how attractive you are, I know where I stand with my sexuality.”
“Well,” Kat said, “someone said, 'Jon thinks you’re very attractive.'”
“I can see you’re very attractive, but I never said that to anyone. Someone is trying to stir up a love interest between us.”
“Well, I’m sorry, but I already have a boyfriend.”
“Damn! I guess I won’t be crossing that line anytime soon then.”
We laughed.
“So what’s it like being a queen in prison?”
“When I first came in I knew queens were taken advantage of in prison. But guys were kinda afraid to approach me 'cause I have this attitude. I’m told I carry myself in a way that doesn’t make me a target. I’ve seen other queens act so very out there – like they were asking for it – and they were constantly picked on. In here, it’s almost like your attitude controls your surroundings. As time went on, people understood they’d rather have me as a friend than have a sexual relationship with me.”
“Has anyone tried to rape you?”
“In prison, gays are open to being raped, but I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
“Is prison easier for homosexuals or heterosexuals?”
“For gays because officers look at gays as being more trustworthy. Prisoners say, ‘How come gays get away with everything?’ It’s because we’re less threatening, and we tend to befriend the female COs.”
“Has prison been an education for you?”
“Yes. It’s been a very good experience in numerous ways.”
“Such as?”
“Gratitude. Now I know what gratitude is. When I was out there in the world, I took things for granted – including my parents. They were just two people in the world that I saw. Now I don’t see them, I miss them. I’m so grateful that I have these two people in my life. They’re my rock of unconditional love.”
“I can relate to that.”
“I have also realised that I can overcome anything no matter what the situation.”
“That’s good.”

Kat gave me his latest W magazine. I enjoyed pictures of Lindsay Lohan in Gucci, and Sienna Miller in a Zara skirt, knee-high gold python Devi Kroell boots, a bondage harness from Coco de Mer strapped across her chest, and silk chiffon briefs from agentprovocateur.com.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
28 Mar 07

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood