30 Jun 08

Japanese Style Wedding

Picture 1: Stalking the nine eligible Japanese women

Picture 2: Making progress with Fumiko

“You’re a gay magnet,” Mum said to Greg, the groom’s mother’s boyfriend, on the train to Manchester.
“It’s true,” Greg said. “Wherever I go in the world men come on to me. I’ve just got one of those faces. Sadly, I don’t have the same effect on women.”
Detailing to Greg how Xena had removed a testicle provoked one of the universal signals to shut up from Mum: she kicked me in the shin.

It was noon when we arrived at the Midland Hotel, whose bomb proofing and architecture – red brick and brown terracotta adorned with Burmantofts and polished granite – are rumoured to have contributed to Hitler’s plan to headquarter the Nazi Party there upon conquering England.
The grand piano lay silent in the plush lobby where Yoko was under siege from a strobe light of camera flashes as she posed in a heavily-embroidered ivory wedding dress with a long elegant train. The groom, Kieran, a man known to have spent the bulk of his teenhood and some of his early adult years in a worn-out purple sweater, didn’t look too shabby either in a suit and a pink tie. But our hopes he had acquired some dress sense were soon dashed when Yoko divulged she had primped him for the occasion.
In the foyer to the Chester Suite my hands survived a nutcracker of a shake from Shunzo (Yoko’s father) and found their way to the nearest circular tray of champagne flutes doing the rounds thanks to an apathetic waitress with the name Peewee emblazoned on her blouse.
Lurking in the corner of the foyer, I drained the contents of my flute and waited patiently for the arrival of sufficient champagne courage to chat up at least one of the nine single Japanese women. It didn’t take long. I jumped right in, addressing three of them at a time to cover as much ground as possible, and within ten minutes I’d figured out which one I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with: Fumiko.
Other than her long velvety black hair, warm eyes and smile fit for a toothpaste commercial, I was particularly charmed by Fumiko’s bubble-blowing skills. On each dining table in the suite were numerous small plastic bottles labelled: CHAMPAGNE BUBBLES. I discovered a latent talent for blowing bubbles and was soon encircled by Japanese aiming video cameras at me. They were either under the impression that proficiency in bubble blowing comes with a fantastic repertoire of social talents, or I was crazy. Reading into their giggles, it had to be the latter – which was confirmed later on when Mari, the tiniest of the women, said, “Look. Crazy,” while holding up a digital photo of me grinning in a sinister manner at my bubble production.

The wedding speeches were delivered before the food and Fumiko translated after every few sentences.
Other than Kieran’s clothing, Yoko also organised the meal. Chargrilled vegetable terrine served with fennel and chicory salad drizzled with gazpacho dressing. Carrot, honey and ginger soup. Spinach tortillas with asparagus, oyster mushrooms, tomato petals, herb sauce, seasonal vegetables and potatoes. Vanilla, lemon or carrot wedding cake. Coffee and chocolates. I devoured my meal, then half of Mum’s vegetables, leaving only the mushrooms, which have frightened me since childhood.
Yoko’s brother produced a guitar and sang two Japanese love songs. A band played. Sliding a beer bottle along his strings, the guitarist played a tune similar to Ry Cooder’s theme to Paris Texas. It triggered my gooseflesh and captivated everyone. Then he played “Budweiser Blues.”

At 3pm, Yoko rustled by in a pink wedding dress followed by cameras flashing at rates only seen at the entrance to the Oscars.

“Do you like England?” I asked a Japanese woman with sozzled eyes.
“I like beer,” she said and ate a fish stick you could smell from a hundred feet away.
“Beer?” I said.
“Last night, we went to a pub. I tried Fosters. I like it but not as good as Sapporo or Kerin.” She flashed the smile of the professional partier and devoured another fish stick.
“How does the beer make you feel?”
“Like I have to say the same things.”
“You repeat yourself. In beer circles, that’s quite an achievment.”
“Yoko told me to drink today until I don’t care.”
“How much have you drunk so far?”
“Five beer, six champagne, white wine, cider. Here, try these,” she said, tilting the canister of fish sticks toward my nose.

After bonding over more bubble blowing, Fumiko regaled me with tales of Japan and when she had worked for a year at Disney World in Florida. She disclosed she was in the unfortunate situation of being single for one year.
Leaving the party, Shunzo and his son gifted us fans, origami and Japanese candy.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

27 Jun 08

Question Time With A Blood (Part 2)

Bones of the South Side Posse Bloods is serving sixteen years for leading a gang, assisting a crime syndicate, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Lizzy said...Can't believe these guys really exist. Great to read, but you are making some scary friends Jon take care.
Lizzy, you better believe guys like me and worse exist! Like I got a homeboy from the hood I used to kick it with from time to time. His name is Madman. I remember the last time I saw him on the streets. He told me, “Dogg, I’m going to shoot and kill more people than you have.” A few months go by and the next thing I know he’s locked up for murder. He ended up getting 106 years for the murder. The reason he got so much time is because they called his murder overkill. He killed some guy for disrespecting him. The guy was dead but he kept putting more and more and more bullets in him. So yeah, Lizzy, you better believe guys like us exist. Now that shit is gangster. B-up Dogg. Much love.

Ossie said...Question for Bones, couldn't all that energy and organisation be used for less negative activities?

Well, I guess knowing what I know now it could of. But you must remember our organisation had no one leader. Our hood is so big that you had a bunch of different groups of people that hung out every day with each other and on or towards the weekend one group would go and see what was happening with the other group. I guess you could say each group had a shot caller, the one person of the group that the others kind of looked up to. Usually the craziest and downest one of the group. But there never was that one leader to lead all of us.
Ossie, I might go a little off track here, but this has to be said. Back from 1987 all the way to about 1995, other gangs didn’t want to start beefs with us because if you came to our hood and took a few shots at us, in return you would receive at least a hundred back. Back in those days, if you messed with one of the groups from the hood, or anyone from the hood, all the groups would come together and plan some revenge.
One guy from one group had beef with another guy from a different group in the hood. They handled it by fighting. Usually that was the end of it. And when shit went down with another hood, you’d see those two fighting side by side against the other hood. Back then that’s the way it was. It didn’t matter what group you hung out with, you were all from your Posse! That’s why back then other hoods didn’t like to go to war with us because if you mess with one you mess with all of us.
It’s not like that nowadays where you got groups fighting other groups, 10th Street Posse fighting 7th Ave Posse, or 35th Ave Posse fighting 7th Street Posse. So these youngsters need to open their eyes and see that Posse is Posse! Stay together and stay strong.
As for less negative activities, Ossie, I don’t know where you grew up at, but being from a gang has very little less negative activities.
Once you join a gang it’s all about not letting anyone disrespect you or the hood you are from. And if you’re a gang member and a real gangster you will have to put in work, which basically means you have to hurt other people who disrespect you or the hood, and even kill them sometimes.
I think even if your hood tries to do something positive like start your own business for the hood, another hood will probably hear about it and maybe get jealous and say that we are all busters, then try to test us, and that’s when the violence will happen again.
Gangs are just violent, so I really don’t see no way of using all that energy and organisation for less negative activities. Maybe before me and a few of my homeboys joined the hood we could of. But hey, it is what it is, we joined a gang. Posse forever but smarter as I get older.

This is Mr Guero Dog Lokon from the BiG SouthSide Posse. I went to the pinta and the homies knew I was from the Posse, some tripped on me but never did anyone disrespect me like bones said. Shit my celly was from SS happy homes too. I was a little vato to and he gave me all the respect. Mr Madman Lokon the OG from Posse was there and Nobody fucked with him either. Some of our homies did go the EME route and much respect to them. Mr. Guero Dog LokonOG SSPG

To Mr Guero Dog Lokon from the Big South Side Posse. I knew two Gueros from the hood. One was big and had a red ’64 Impala or maybe it was a ’63. And the other one was a short vato with blue eyes and he made a rap song for the hood using the instrumental beat from the West Side Connection song Bow Down. It was tight. If this is you, you know who I am. You used to come kick it at my house from time to time. I even gave you a ride because you had to go and drop a UA for your PO back in the day. Hey, homie, I don’t know how your time in the pinta [prison] was, but I do know one thing which is that I never bowed down to them vatos and I never will. To them vatos who put a green light on our hood. You know what I’m talking about. You know there was a time when the green light was on that if you were from Posse there was a free pass to get us. And if you had the hood tattoo on you, they told you to either cover it up or put hx after it so it would read S.S.Phx. Well homeboy, I still got my S.S.P. on strong! And you know other vatos from the hood bowed down and covered it or put S.S.Phx. You don’t want me start naming names now do you? I’m sorry, homeboy, but I can’t give respect to vatos from our hood that went the EME [Mexican Mafia] route. I just can’t see how homie could go that route when those vatos put a green light on our hood. I’m from South Side Posse Blood Gang and nothing else and never will be.


Snyper1, I don’t know you but I’ve heard your name is tagged up on walls out in the hood. So you did three years and you know then that the EME didn’t like us. I had just gotten out in ’93 from the pinta. I did three years at Winslow and fought a few fools because of the hood. Second time in ’95 at Perryville I got sweated and they tried to jump me because I would wear my red rag on my head when I worked out in my cell. I guess they felt it was disrespectful. I felt it was none of their business how I worked out in my cell. Then in ’96 and ’97 I got jumped at South Unit for representing the hood. I guess the reason I have problems is because they told me to cover the hood up as in my tattoo S.S.P. and I said it ain’t happening.
I would like to tell them vatos from South Side 9th Street and Glendale that were there, thank you for someone finally having my back. Much love and respect to you vatos. At least you vatos know that shit wasn’t right.
Well, stay bleeding Snyper1 and don’t forget about your homeboys in lock-up. Shoot them a letter and never flip. Remember you’re from click-click-bang-bang it’s the South Side Posse Gang. I feel for all Posse members that take the EME route because once the EME are done using you for what they need you for they’re probably going to put a bullet in your head.

Anonymous said…Man I'm left speechless...Yeah I knew Lazaro & Flaco.... the whole city of Phoenix, all gangbangaz included know that the Posse was one of the most hated and still the most hated gang in the eyes of all hoods, Happy Homes, W.S.CITY, 10th ave Lindo Park Crip Gang, LCM all sides, the list goes one, shit rival hoods would squash a beef for a quick minute cause the hatred for the Posse was unfounded....The EME hated the fact that the Posse was all Mexicans but said they were bloods which everyone knows is a considered a black gang thang....This Bones dude is a clown....I never in my life heard of such a character, not to say he's not in the pen for the stuff they said he did but come on the Posse has no history in this city...Everyone who knows anything about gangs in PHX, knows the Milpas & the DUB are the 2 most work put in hoods and the 2 closest hoods to which mirror LA gangs.....IF you ask me, the biggest baddest gang in the PHX is the PPD....

To the vato who said he knew Lazero and Flaco, you’re right, Posse was and probably still is the most hated gang in the eyes of all hoods. Yeah, we haven’t been out as long as Happy Homes or L.C.M. or other gangs that have been out for a long time. But our hood is making history in a short amount of time. Posse is the reason why cruising Central Avenue got shut down because fools were getting shot up and killed on Central. Posse is the reason why the car show got shut down in 1987 at the Civic Plaza, because a riot started with Posse against the West Side Chicanos and West Side City Crips and the Car Club Spirit. I never heard of any other hoods in Phoenix shutting down a whole car show. You said it yourself (rival hoods would squash a beef for a quick minute because of the hatred for the Posse was unfounded).
Yeah, the EME hated the fact that Posse was all mostly Mexicans and that we represented Bloods. But it is what it is.
B-up to all down-ass Bloods, whether you’re black, brown, white…It’s the change of times.
So you think I’m a clown. It’s all good, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But I ain’t the one trying to mirror my hood to L.A. gangs. You forget, homeboy, this is Arizona, the home of the biggest Mexican Blood gang, South Side Posse. But you’re right, the biggest baddest gang is the police.
P.S. What hood do you represent?

Click here for Question Time With A Blood (Part 1)

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
24 Jun 08

Tent City (Part 2)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City is probably one of the most brutal jails in the world.

“Tell me about the gangs and the rules they enforced on you?” I asked.
“The gangs go from tent to tent threatening everyone,” said Jay, my ex fiancée’s youngest brother, who recently served a short sentence at Tent City.
“Gangs like who, the Aryan Brotherhood?”
“Yeah, the Aryan Brotherhood dudes do meetings with your whole tent. Four of them walk in and tell you their rules.”
“Like what?”
“You can’t piss in the shitters or shit in the pissers. You must clean up after everyone eats. You can’t get the tent locked down. You can’t use the phone for too long. If you have an issue with someone, you have to report to the Aryan Brothers, then they decide whether you need to fight that person. They set the fight up where the guards can’t see, so everyone doesn’t get locked down.”
“Sounds like a gladiator school.”
“There’s like five or six fights every night.”
“What happens if you violate these rules?”
“A gang of them will smash you.”
“What do these Aryan Brothers look like?”
“Huge muscular dudes or fat dudes. Dudes who would easily beat you up.”
“It sounds like the gangs, not the guards, are running things in Tent City.”
“Definitely the gangs. There’s no guards visible during the day. They’re hiding out in air-conditioned rooms.”
“So a prisoner needs to be more aware of the gang rules than the jail rules?”
“Totally, if you don’t want to get smashed. If the guards want you to do something they announce it over the loudspeaker, then it’s up to the head gang members in the tent to make that happen.”
“There’s been murder after murder at Tent City, yet Joe Arpaio continues to deny it’s an unsafe place. How easy is it for violence and murder to happen there?”
“Very easy. The fights and attacks are mostly in a blackout spot in a far corner. The guards can’t see there. The gangs smash you over there.”
“So the gangs can do whatever they want to you without the guards seeing?”
“Yeah. They have a watchtower, so they can say someone’s watching over the whole Tent City, but there’s never anyone in there. The watchtower is like a motorized one. I never saw it motorized to the ground. I don’t think it works. They just have it there so they can say they have one.”
“So if you’re attacked in the blackout spot, you could be dead by the time the guards
find out?”
“Yeah. Even if the guards find out you’re being attacked, they have to go through the crowds to get all the way to the corner, and by then the gangs have had plenty of time to do whatever they want to do to you and to get way and hide their weapons.”
“Why would someone get killed in Tent City?”
“People are crazy in there. You can get killed just for shit talking. A lot of them are fucked up on drugs and looking for trouble.”
“How much drugs are in there?”
“It’s flooded with heroin, meth, coke and tobacco.”
“If the guards are hiding out in air-conditioned rooms, drugs must be going on everywhere.”
“They mostly do it in the tents and the blackout area.”
“How are the drugs getting in to Tent City?”
“Tent City is next to a parking lot and a canal. People just walk up to the fence and throw things over – drugs, guns, knives, cell phones, anything. It’s only like fifteen feet high. The last week I was there, I watched them throwing stuff over. It all comes over and hits the ground. The guy throwing it over makes chirping noises. The receiver chirps back to let the thrower know he’s aware it’s coming, then he throws it over, and the guy gets it real quick.”
“So if an inmate wants a gun or a knife to kill someone with, he simply gets it thrown over the fence to him?”
“What are the guards armed with?”
“The guards are just DO’s [Detention Officers]. They have no guns or anything. They’re not equipped to deal with armed gang members. All they have are Tasers.”
“What kind of things will get you tased?”
“I saw people get tased just for being a smart-ass. The DO’s like to mess with your head. They wake you up every two hours in the middle of the night to do ID checks. If you don’t wake up right away they poke you with clipboards and shit like that.”
“Did you get poked?”
“Yeah. You’re not allowed pillows. You can’t use anything, even a blanket under your head, or else they take all of your stuff away. The guards nicknamed me Small Fry. They even called me that over the intercom.”
“How hot is it?”
“It was 109 for a couple of days. My tent read 112.”
“How can you tell the temperature?”
“From alarm clocks with temperature gauges. The first time I went to Tent City it was 118 outside and 120’s in the tent. Water goes fast when you’re that hot.”

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
23 June 08

Released Today: Weird Al

Weird Al - The most unlikely bank robber you are ever likely to meet. His true story of suicide by cop gives new meaning to the power of unchecked depression. His cutting wit would make a stoic monk giggle.

Weird Al wrote:

June 10, 2008

Dear Bloke,

Two cannibals were having dinner. They were eating a clown.
One of the cannibals suddenly stopped eating, put down his fork, and said to his flesh-eating buddy, “Does this taste funny to you?”

Just a quick note to say hello, and let you know that the State of Arizona, in a rare yet colossal and epileptic fit of unbridled wisdom, has graciously decided to unleash me on the unsuspecting public on June 23, 2008.

Almost immediately following my release from this fart-filled cancerous cave, I will begin hurling insults across the North Atlantic at a speed of approximately 250 megahertz via my newly-installed high-speed Internet connection.
Put on your verbal body armor. Forewarned is forearmed.

In the meanwhile, to keep myself pleasantly amused, I have begun to give all the staff here, as well as many of the prisoners, my unique version of what I like to call the “stink eye.”
It generally goes something like this:
They say, “Why are you staring at me like that?”
“I’m giving you the stink eye,” I reply.
“Why are ya doing that?” they ask.
“I usually ignore the question and say, “How does the stink eye make you feel?”
“Uncomfortable,” they say.
“Then my work here is finished,” I reply, and leave to find my next victim.
As you may recall, I’m easily amused.

Take care,

Weird Al

p.s. Say hi to your parents for me and also to Aunt Lily if you see or talk to her.


You can congratulate or slander Weird Al on his release by leaving a comment here. He has Internet access and shall be reading all of your comments.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
21 Jun 08

Xena On Prison Rape (Part 3)

Xena - A transsexual giant and Wiccan priest. The charismatic leader of Cult Of Xena (COX). Tattoos include a wasp on his penis and ant trails running up his legs. Recently cut off a testicle, and almost bled to death.
Xena wrote the following (note, like many prisoners Xena uses “she” and “her” to describe male prison transsexuals):
Most people who I talk to who ask about coming out of the closet in prison, want to know if it is any easier to do so. I always say yes, that is, for peace of mind. But no because of all the assholes who may want to rape you.

Most men in prison have desires for relationships. Yet when they are sent here their desires are held in check. When a man sees me, tall, clean, breasts, their sexual desires are awakened but they are also sickened by their own fantasies. This leads to them wanting to fuck me and hurt me, and most of the time they just want to rape someone. Rape serves them two purposes – they release their sexual tension and rid themselves of their anger.

I have seen it many times. An angry young man who is serving 10+ years rape a homosexual, and afterward he becomes pleasant and placid. All I can do is lend my shoulder for her tears and keep all my emotions in check, so no one here sees weakness in me. I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been raped several times in here. I have also seen others raped and could do nothing about it because I was too afraid to even move. Their screams are permanent memories in me.

Thirteen years ago my friend Smoothy was raped and murdered. The ones who did it were never prosecuted because DOC did not find enough evidence on them. Yet DOC never checked the body for DNA properly because they had stabbed her over a hundred times and cut her head off. Homosexuals in prison aren’t treated as people therefore it is acceptable that we die.

I know another who had her head cut off. Out of the three who killed her, only one is doing life for her murder because the other two were already in for life.

I had a friend who was beaten raped and had a light bulb shoved in her ass. Their game was to try and bust the bulb while it was in her body. She killed herself afterward.

They always shove things into us after they rape us. When I had been raped, they always shoved something in me before they were done. It’s finality, relief in a fucked up way for all of us!

To read Xena On Prison Rape (Part 1) in which Xena describes being raped and then violated with a broomstick click on: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2005/07/20-july-05-xena-on-being-raped-what.html

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

Copyright © 2008-2009 Shaun P. Attwood
20 Jun 08

Question Time

Sue (AKA Joannie) sent these questions. After her son was arrested for third-degree murder, Sue wrote to me at Tucson prison and our pen-pal relationship blossomed. Her son was sentenced to 6 to 12 years.

It was funny to find out that you began to love and appreciate finer literature in prison, and Don Quixote was a favorite first read. That was a huge leap from stockbroker and party guy. Was there a moment you could point to and say you knew you could be a writer, or the thought entered your head? Were you surprised about your subsequent successes?

Are you saying Don Quixote wasn’t a party guy? It was such a good read because I related to his misbehaviour.
I never set out to be a writer. I blogged to expose the jail conditions to my family and friends. Then I became addicted to writing.
Back in late 2004, when literary agents who had read the blog got in touch suggesting I write a book, I started giving the possibility of becoming an author some serious thought.
Getting a book published is a long process. Although I am far along in that process, I am still a would-be writer/author until I have a book in the book stores.
I was and still am surprised by the success of the blog in terms of readership, feedback and support for myself and the prisoners I write about. It’s a blessing.

We both more or less shared minor delusions of grandeur writing about our career goals. While our compliments to each other were effusive and full of certainty, have your experiences trying to become a writer while out of prison met with expectations inside? Here's an excerpt from a letter you wrote to me on August 20, 2007, “We must break away from the pack. Look at how Kierkegaard and Nietzsche despised herd mentality. And don’t expect people, including those closest to you, to understand that your inner being is calling you to a life of creative adventure. It is your passion that should enable you to transcend any fears and doubts.” A quote you included in the same letter, “To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great. G.W.F. Hegel."

In prison, I knew I had a long hard journey ahead of me when I got out. I knew that attempting to become an author would involve certain sacrifices. Right now I could get a job and have more of a social life, but I’ve got a shot at making a career out of something I love, so I’m going for it.
I’m motivated by what I read inside about the struggles of other authors. A few times I’ve mentioned what Solzhenitsyn went through after getting out of the gulags. And look at Faulkner. It took him years to succed. He worked from 6pm to 6am at a power station shovelling coal. From midnight to 4am there was no coal to shovel so he wrote. Pondering the odds they overcame, I feel mollycoddled in comparison.
This attempt at becoming an author is the culmination of six years of hard work. In prison I built the base. Where else can you read 268 books in one year? I certainly can’t now. Now I am drawing on everything I learned in order to break through as a published author.
I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can write all day. I’m satisfied with the progress thus far. What I’m experiencing isn’t matching my delusions of grandeur but is on a par with the realistic expectations I formulated while in prison. Now if only I could realise my delusions of grandeur.

Are your goals outside still the same or have you made adjustments and changes? From a letter dated September 22, 2007, “…I still feel that certain immaturities of mine are holding me back from having the full ability to penetrate the human soul - which emanates from the stories written by the likes of Tolstoy and Chekhov. At least I’m confident that my direction will be increasingly guided as I continue to mature.”

The long-range goals I formulated while in prison are intact. Every day I am working toward those goals. The writer’s life is not one of wanton idleness as I had hoped, but one of staring at a computer screen until your vision goes blurry and your head aches and you can’t take it any more. I’m lucky to be in an environment conducive to the achievement of my goals – and that’s mostly thanks to the support and roof over my head provided by my parents.
Progress on my immaturities moves ahead at a slow pace. I’m doomed to be immature in certain ways. But at least I have an endless source of amusement if the form of what a fool I am.

The events leading up to your release were so filled with tension and explosive moments of fear and joy. How have your feelings changed from that moment of finally being free after so long, to now adjusting a bit? How are your relationships with family and friends after settling in? Do you feel any disillusion, disappointment? Unexpected joys or fears that never really materialized? From a letter written in August, 2007, on the time before release and feelings of mania, “It’s as if I’m possessed by a whirlwind, a whirlwind that just comes on and devastates common sense and reason. So, perhaps I need to go through these things, as a final test of my character. I am learning more about myself. It’s like a mirror is being held up to me just before my release.”

I’ve gone through the adjustment process. The torrent of mixed feelings associated with returning home after almost two decades tapered off months ago. I’m ready for my next adventure.
The mental whirlwinds still come and go. One month I wanted to throw myself under a train, and the next I was in the living room dancing to an electronica Irish jig and videotaping myself as evidence of the mood swing. I am mostly happy hypomanic though - some times I am so happy I feel as if I'm losing my mind.
My relationship with my family is as good as ever. I opt not to have much of a social life so I can stay on the computer all day and keep writing. It’s not easy and I do get lonely.
The longer I’ve been out the less fearful I’ve become. After being in prison, the world feels like a playground. It’s almost as if I’m seeing it once again through the eyes I had as a child.
Although confident of success, I am aware that moments of great stress often arise before major breakthroughs, and I’ve certainly had some of those moments.
In terms of disillusionment and disappointment, I sometimes have to stop my mind from dwelling on everything I had and lost. I didn’t get released back to my fiancee and our place in Scottsdale. Back then I had transportation and savings and I could do whatever I wanted. Now I’m a displaced person rebuilding from scratch. I am restricted by virtue of my limited resources. But rebuilding is an enjoyable challenge and puts meaning into my life.

You had huge fears about your own sexuality upon leaving prison-that you would not be able to perform or that women would reject you. Obviously we know that is not the case, but have your expectations changed in the relationship department? What are you looking for now? From a letter dated April 5, 2007, in answer to a question about being married before, “…my immaturity was such that I just did them for fun without telling my parents. I don’t consider myself ever married in a serious invite-the-family sense….the nihilism in me meant that I didn’t recognize the institution of marriage. They were all larks.”

My previous marriages involved agreements for green cards. Fortunately none of them lasted long enough for me to acquire U.S. citizenship or else I would still be in prison.
I never considered being in love a lark. I miss not having someone to give my heart to. But considering where I am at in life perhaps now is not the optimal time for that to happen.
Oh, to meet a lively intelligent woman, to fall in love, to become lifelong partners and best friends! That would be ideal. But I’m concentrating so hard on writing, seeking someone isn’t a priority right now. As usual, something will probably happen when I’m least expecting it. That’s part of the fun of life.

In my opinion you have been able to strike an amazing balance in befriending many types of people, especially inmates who are notoriously private and hard to know. Do you feel like this has been an asset in learning to deal with people outside? Why do inmates trust you so much? From a letter dated May 15, 2007, one of my favorite letters, “I think the artistic temperament is an empathogenic temperament. I also believe that a positive effect of doing Ecstasy that I experienced was the group empathy. We are walking a parallel road via different means, and I feel for your struggle against yourself. We’re helping each other mend. Most people, sadly, don’t spend time thinking about such things, getting to know themselves and others properly.”

Dealing with the spectrum of character types in America’s prisons has certainly improved my people-handling skills.
Building up trust with the prisoners took many years. Being a harmless goofy Brit who the prisoners would often find stood on his head probably helped. I was also uniquely placed to offer my friends in prison a bridge to the outside world via the blog.

Did your time in prison leave you with less hope for humanity or more? From the same May 15 letter, on inmate’s reaction to the Ironman workout results, “The workouts have caused my appetite to soar to that of a wild beast, and the prison rations just don’t cut it…Black Nine is yelling through our adjoined ventilation system at me, ‘Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie’, and now singing, ‘Whattaya gonna do with all that junk…all that junk…up in your trunk. I am so very gay...’ Not as homoerotic as my downstairs neighbour - a hefty wood - earlier dancing on the run with his penis and balls out, thrusting and wiggling, singing, “Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me.’” (This bit had me crying laughing.)

Prisoner mistreatment, especially by the Arpaio regime, revealed whole new levels of inhumanity.
The pockets of humanity among the prisoners raised my hope for humanity.
And I experienced a wave of humanity from family, friends and blog readers.
So on the whole, my hope for humanity was raised.

Sue is a talented artist. Here’s the link to her site: http://obazart.com/gallery.htm

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
Rapist on the Yard (by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Raised by a family heavily involved in drug commerce.

“Yo, Warrior! Come over here, homeboy!” said Cane, who was my age, eighteen at the time.
Cane was at a bench with three other guys: Flaco, Gordo, and G.
“G wants to holler atchoo!” Cane said.

G was short for Gilbert, a heavily-tattooed prisoner in his early forties. A man who’d been in the system for a while – what you call an “older number” or a “con.” About average height but his confidence made him seem larger than he was. The typical Mexican stereotype: a thick overgrown mustache past the lips, a bull neck, and long hair slicked back in a braided ponytail. I’d said “Wassup!” to him once or twice.
Everyone knew that G ran the yard for the prison gang that ran the Mexicans. The EME (Mexican Mafia). Nobody wanted to know any more than that. Nobody liked to talk to G either, because if he called you it was for one of two reasons: you messed up real good or did real good in some area. If it was bad, it was usually too late to do anything about it because by the time you realized you messed up, you were usually laying in your own blood from a beat down or a stabbing. So I was nervous as I walked to where they were.

“Wassup, G!” I asked, shaking his hand, then everyone else’s on the bench.
“Hey now. You on the work crew wit Cane and Flaco, que no [right]?” G said.
“Cane says you a real good vato [guy] and his road dog. I wanted to get atchoo about a coupla theengz if you don’t mind.”
“Nah. It’s cool, man.”
“Orale, have a seat then.”
Everyone gathered round closer, so no one could hear the conversation except those in the immediate circle.
“How do you feel about helping us out with a problem we got wit a vato?” G had a slow way of talking, yet forceful. He raised a subconscious fear that made you want to say yes to whatever he asked – immediately.
“Sure. No problem. What’s the deal?”
G nodded his head in approval and gave Gordo a look to fill me in on the details.
“A rapist has touched down on the yard, and it needs to be handled,” Gordo said.

Many guards can’t stand rapists as much as inmates, so they’ll tell an inmate, knowing the gossip will climb up the yard chain of command from the lower inmates trying to earn brownie points. Flaco was screwing around with a counselor who had access to a staff computer containing all the information of every prisoner on the yard. She confirmed the gossip.

“I say let me and Warrior stick the fucker, ese [homey],” said Cane who just wanted to stab anyone, he didn’t care who, just to say he’d shanked someone in prison.
At first I was hesitant, but as I thought about my sister, mother, and aunts and the possibility of rape, my reasoning to follow through became clear.
“Nah. We don’t know the details to the case,” Gordo said. “What if it’s some old fucked-up jacket on the vato, like a ruca [woman] that was seventeen and him eighteen and the ruca’s parents pressed charges? I’ve seen that go down.”
“Fuck ‘im. Let’s peel his cap, G,” Flaco said. “His sex score on file is high, loco. It ain’t no seventeen or eighteen jale [work] thing. I seen it.”
Cane looked at me to chime in.
“Hey, whatever you vatos decide, I’ll roll with it,” I said.
G had the final say. He looked in deep thought with his hands clasped together below his nose, yet above his chin. He had a way of revealing a crease in his forehead between his brows when he came to a decision. Everyone was silent, yet listened intently as G was about to make his decision.
“Stick ’im. Flaco, take these two witchoo and make sure the jale gets done.” G was referring to me and Cane.
Flaco and Gordo were older numbers too. They respected G’s call and didn’t question it. Cane was all smiles. He had that sadistic smile only a sociopath can give off.
Yet to develop a conscience, I was OK with the decision. I believed I was doing society a service.
Flaco was to plan everything, but Cane and I wouldn’t know when or who until the day it was to occur. Plans were always kept vague until the day, just in case someone got cold feet and wanted to chicken out by warning a captain or other staff member.

A few days later, I noticed Cane and Flaco walking my way. We’d all just got let out for work detail and I had about twenty minutes to report to my assigned area. I knew it was time by the sadistic smile Cane once again wore so well.
“Wattup, Warrior!” Cane said, shaking my hand.
“Que onda [wassup!], Warrior. Listo [ready]?” Flaco said.
“Simon [yeah]. Let’s do this,” I said.
“Peep this, change of plans,” Flaco said. “G said we ain’t gonna stick the vato. We just gonna beat ’im instead.”
Life has a weird way of changing up on you, or putting up road blocks to keep you safe. If it wasn’t for the change of plan, I would have carried through what I was supposed to do.
“We do this jale all stealth mode,” Flaco said. “His dorm goes to breakfast in a few. The vato stays back to wash up and get ready when everyone’s gone. The chota [guard] will pass the perimeter at that time. We’ll have fifteen minutes, in and out. The fool is Kenny G. I’m gonna keep point [be the lookout] for you two vatos. Got it? Handle that shit right.”
“Got it,” Cane and I answered.

We waited for Kenny G’s dorm to go to chow. The day was humid from the monsoons. My heart was beating fast, my mind racing, my palms sweaty. Flaco stayed outside as we made our move. Cane and I went to Kenny G’s bunk location. He wasn’t there. We went to the community restroom for the dorm. There were four sinks and three toilet stalls. One stall was occupied. Cane turned on one of the sinks as though he were washing up. Then he jumped on a urinal to peek into the occupied stall. He looked down and his sadistic smile said it was Kenny G. He jumped off the stall, motioned to get ready, went to an empty stall, and came out with a wad of toilet paper. He wet it in the sink, jumped back on the urinal and chucked it on Kenny G. I couldn’t help but laugh at his ingenuity.
“Who just did that?” Kenny G said.
As yelling and swearing came from inside the stall, we posted ourselves beside the urinal ready to pounce.
A figure emerged.
Immediately I heard a grotesque crack and Kenny G went down.
I followed through with a punch.
Cane was determined to hurt Kenny G with a combination lock in a sock knotted at one end.
We pummelled Kenny G.
“You need to roll yer shit up, rapo [rapist],” I said.
We left him bloody. We were in and out in less than five and on our way.

The guards found Kenny G, whisked him away to Medical never to return to the yard.
I didn’t feel guilty. He deserved every consequence that comes with being a rapist. I was commended by G and others on the yard for doing a noble service.

Years later, I was in maximum security watching the news on TV. Recognizing a face on the screen, my attention focussed on what was being said. It was Kenny G. Arrested for the rape and murder of a woman. Caught through DNA evidence.
I couldn’t help think, we should have stabbed him that day. Life is weird like that. That’s one moment forever scorched on my memory. Along with the face of the woman he killed.

Is Warrior justified in thinking he should have stabbed Kenny G to death that day?

Click here for Warrior's Epic Fight Story Central Unit

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
15 Jun 08

Tent City (Part 1)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City is probably one of the most brutal jails in the world.

“You got out of Tent City when?” I asked.
“Two weeks ago,” said Jay (my ex fiancée’s youngest brother).
“Why were you there?”
“My second DUI.”
“Let’s start with the food. Is it still red death?”
“Oh yeah. Every night. First of all, the red death covers a mushed-up rice that’s no longer rice. You can spread the rice like butter.”
“What did the red death look like?”
“It’s like a gravy with chunks of mystery meat sticking out of it. It comes in various reds and oranges, but it seems to be going more orange this year. The meat is cubed or shredded. It's more like pet-food meat than meat people can eat. You get two little things of butter on wax paper with it. The packages are hidden in the red death. The butter melts, so the first thing you have to do is fish the wax paper out of the slop. There’s usually a piece of fruit. It’s chopped-up fruit. I tried to eat it twice and there’s no possible way you can eat it because it’s too hard and not fruit consistency. The side salad’s on the other side of the tray. It’s some little shreds of cabbage. It’s not lettuce, it just looks like lettuce. It’s all wilted and nasty.”
“The only other meal of the day is the Ladmo bag in the morning right?”
“Yeah. You get consistently bad breakfast bread. It’s either mouldy or insanely hard and stale. If you eat the bread it dries your whole body out, and you can never get enough to drink, it’s that dry. The breakfast meat is all ham now. I couldn’t eat it. You get two different types of ham in the same package. Some of it looks almost like deli ham – like you may be able to eat it. The other is the same type but with huge sections of hard brown spots. You just don’t eat anything those spots have touched including the good ham. You get expired cookies from Mexico – like expired over a year ago. The package has all Spanish writing on it. You get two oranges. For the last ten days I was there, they were all mouldy – it was a black mould on the oranges – which sucked ’cause it was the only thing I wanted to eat. To drink, you get children’s milk like they hand out at lunch lines. That’s it. Two meals a day of crap you can’t eat. There’s people in there so hungry, you have to be ready to fight to protect your commissary. Also, I had a friend who worked in the kitchen. He said every single thing he saw in the kitchen was expired by at least one year. They put the food in freezers, so you can’t tell when they expired, so they can say they were in there the whole time. He said Safeway donates all kinds of good food – cakes, Gatorade – but it all goes to the people who work for the jail. The inmates never get it.”
“How about the bugs?”
“A kid got bit in the face by a brown recluse spider, right on the jaw. It was eating his face away.”
“Is the jail’s policy still not to treat insect bites?”
“They wouldn’t treat it. They don’t care. He went home looking like that. I had lots of other visitors.”
“What kind?”
“Rats. The rats visit you every night. There’s a slab of concrete where the tent pole goes in. They make holes under the concrete. They kinda live down there. At night they come by and run around.”
“Did they jump on you while you tried to sleep?”
“No. I was on the top bunk. They get the guys on the bottom bunks and they jump in their drawers and eat all of their food.”
“So if the prisoners don’t take your food, the rats will?”
“Yeah. On the top bunk you get all the flying bugs and spiders. I constantly got bit by a whole bunch of shit. I’d wake up with bites all over my arms and head and anywhere I didn’t put a blanket over. Sometimes it itches as they’re nibbling on you. It wakes you up and you kinda sweep them off.”
“When you wake up like that, what do the bugs look like?”
“Bright florescent coloured bugs with wings. I even got bit on the knee by a spider while playing cards.”
“Tell me about the gangs and the rules they enforced on you?”

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

T-Bone v Scooter (by T-Bone)

T-Bone - Radiating power and strength, this deeply-spiritual massively-built African-American towers over most inmates. He is a prison gladiator with more stab wounds than Julius Caesar. A good man to have on your side.

In 1998, I was in the joint up north and there was a guy they called Scooter. When I got on the yard, in a very condescending tone, he called me, “Big Boy.”
“Big Boy, carry my bag for me,” he said.
I was in a position of do or be punked considering there were no other black men there. I stepped back from him and tried to kick him upside his head. He blocked it even though it knocked him down. He rolled on the ground and came up in a crouch like a Greco Roman wrestler and said he's a cage fighter.

The cops ran over saying they saw it and they wanted to handcuff me. I said I’d walk to wherever I had to go. One cop pepper-sprayed me and Scooter hit me and the sergeant and lieutenant ran over saying that I’d just got there today and I was trying to cause trouble already. So they took me to C.D.U. (Complex Detention Unit) and I stayed there for seven days until the D.H.O. (Disciplinary Hearing Officer) came. I got released back to the yard with a major ticket for fighting. But this time when I came through the gate there were several black men there. They said they heard what happened and they had my back.

I went to Building 1 Able Pod and Scooter lived in Charlie Pod right next door.
“Scooter wants a piece of you in the gym. When we get let out for rec, go to the gym so you guys can get down,” said the head of the whites who was running the pod.
So I told the brothers what was up and some of the white guys in the pod said they were putting their money on me.

We went to chow, ate chow, and came back and went to the gym. The rec officer was on the payroll for the whites also or he was their punk. We met on the basketball court and there were between 85 and 90 guys in there. We started circling each other. He rushed my legs in a wrestling technique, and I pushed down on his shoulders and threw my legs back and got away from him. He got pissed off and pulled off his sweatshirt and this boy was ripped. I’d say he weighed 235 or 240 on a 6’3” frame and I was only 257 at that time.

We started throwing blows at one another and we both missed. I settled down and took my time and started to hit the guy. I hit him with my right hand over his left eye and it ripped him wide open, but he wouldn’t quit! I hit him in the sternum and his left lung. It slowed him down but someone threw him a shank. I looked over at the cop to see if he was going to break it up, but he just stayed in his office doorway.

I knew then that I was going to have to do something extremely serious to this guy in order to end this and make it stop. He stood there breathing with nothing but hate in his eyes. He rushed at me and tried to stab me in my head, but his own blood was on his hands and he didn’t have a good grip on his weapon. I sidestepped him and grabbed his right wrist with my right hand and hit him with my left elbow and stunned him good. I let go of his wrist, put my right foot behind him, grabbed him by the throat and slammed him to the ground. His head hit that cement with a crack and the whole place went quiet.

His homosexual lover or should I say his punk, rushed me and I hit him with a right square in the forehead and followed it with a kick in the nuts. Then I chopped him behind the neck when he bent over and that was all she wrote.

All the guys there put the homo on top of the dude and the cop got on the radio and called for backup, and people were trying to wake him up. For the minute or so it took the cops to get there, those two were holding on to each other because they were out of sorts.

The cops grabbed them, tackled them, handcuffed them, and took them to Medical. They started snitching. The captain and warden didn’t believe that I had anything to do with it and sent word to the yard that these two guys were no good! I gained my respect and ran my side of the yard.

Click here for T-Bone's letter - The Attack on T-Bone.

Click here for the Kindle ebook T-Bone. UK version. US version. Or download to your PC from Lulu.com. Proceeds going to help T-Bone.

Click here to join the T-Bone Appreciation Society

Shaun Attwood  
11 Jun 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 7)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Claims all his victims "had it coming."


Hi Shaun,

I received your letter and blogs. I enjoyed the excerpt of your book in progress. As I’ve always said, you hone those skills you possess. You’re doing good.

Hey! You sound as if you might be a little bit in stress mode. If this is so, then allow me to say with all due respect, Slow the fuck down! What’s with all this getting hammered bullshit and whirlwind romances? Where’s all this going to lead? You’ve got objectives in life. I realize you got to have a little R&R, but go in with eyes open. We discussed life throwing some shit in your path. Get a stick, clean it off your shoe and deal with it. Sorry about your friend and agent with the big C, but hey! That’s out there. I hope she’s OK and it all turns out good. Look! You’re a pal so I feel I can be upfront with you and not bullshit you. I say this: watch your friends, watch your partying, guard your emotions, stay on your toes and shoot for your goals. Don’t get weak. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. I might be wrong but I’m reading in your letters that perhaps the old Shaun might be lurking in the cobwebs of the new Shaun. You’re 3 X 7 so you don’t need me telling you how to act. But I just wanted to jerk your chain. Why? Because you’re my pal, and I want you to make it. Perhaps I’m wrong. Enough said.

Hey! I’m going to write you again and answer the reader’s questions from that last blog. Give me a week to heal up. I hurt myself at rec. My knee. So I’m in some pain.

Bro, I got a job in the library. I love it. 35c per hour. Hope it lasts.

Shaun, please email Richard K and let him know I received his letter, which I enjoyed. He mentioned sending me a few books. Let him know that the bookseller must send the book with receipt directly to the prison. If he goes through Amazon it should not be a problem. I intend to write to him as soon as I feel better.

Hey, bro, sorry about keeping this short, but I’ll make it up to you in the next letter.

Shout out to Frankie and your family.

Later bro,

Two Tonys

PS Shaun,

I got out once and was doing well, but then I started slipping and didn’t even realize it. You know the story. I fell. I fell hard. I don’t want you to stumble. So if I write you every now and then it’s from personal experience. So forgive me if I’m off track here. I know you’re smart and one of the most disciplined blokes I know. But the lure of fucking up is strong, real strong. Do not underestimate the opponent.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
09 Jun 08

From Iron Man (Letter 3)

Iron Man - A martial-arts expert and personal trainer whose crimes include smashing someone’s door down: "I didn’t hurt anyone. I just wanted my fuckin’ money." His workouts are brutal. "I’ll have you in the best shape of your life by the time you get out," he told me.

June 1st, 2008


Hello, brother. I hope that all is well with you and your family there across the pond.

It is 12:00 noon right now and I just woke up from a 2 hour nap. Had a massive chest workout this morning including 30 minutes of hardcore burpies, 10 sets of dips and an additional 500 pushups. It was divine.
We do our burpies at dawn now, 3 days a week minimum. There just isn’t anything quite like feeling your heart hammering inside your chest, and the sound of blood rushing in your ears as the sun breaks over the horizon. Downright fucking mystical.

Thanks for your recent letter. It was great to hear from you. I read your recent blog entries that you sent to Shannon as well. I’m sorry to hear about your literary agent. I pray that she wins her battle with cancer.
I can tell by the tone of your letter and recent blog entries that you are having a battle within yourself and are facing a lot of turmoil and frustration over your plans. Stay strong, my brother. Perseverance is the best evidence of sincerity, and things are always the hardest before a major breakthrough. Commitment and dedication to the achievement of your goals will result in the accomplishment of your goals. I know that you know this already, but sometimes it helps to hear it from those who believe in you.

I saw the pictures of you and Cat Eyes doing the flying bow. She looks and sounds like a lot of fun. I read the comment about how she wondered how easily or long I could hold her in a flying bow. The answer is as long as she wanted me to.
Hopefully you’ve cut all ties with Posh Bird by now because she sounds like a wily creature indeed. Remember, a good smart warrior never picks a battle he cannot win.

My medical issue seems to be straightening itself out. Must have been the food. They’ve since changed the menu to a new “Heart Healthy” menu. Basically they’ve done away with all the special diets except the vegetarian diet, and cut the portion sizes in half. They’ve also raised all the prices in the commissary, and cut everybody’s job hours. Less food, less money to buy food in the commissary, and higher prices for food in the store. There are a lot of hungry, angry men walking around here.

Life in my side of the dorm is a lot better than it used to be. The noise level has gone way down since I lost my cool about a month ago. I’d had my fill of noisy, disrespectful assholes in here yelling and fucking around all the time, so I waited until after the 8:30 pm count, and threw down the gauntlet – in a big way. You know how it is, brother: what you are willing to put up with is exactly what you will have. Well, now everyone here knows what I am willing to put up with, and things are going along smoothly and quietly.

I got to meet my newest grandson last week for the first time. He is 6 months old and just the happiest little guy you’d ever meet. Holding him really helped to put things in perspective for me.

Shaun, my brother, I know that things can get discouraging sometimes out there. I also know that you have great strength and spirit within you. You do have what it takes to make for yourself whatever it is you want.

Reach inside yourself and seize that power within yourself. Seize the fucking day!

Love and Respect,

Iron Man

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
06 Jun 08

Zucchini (Part 4)

This series came about because many of you requested I divulge what prisoners get up to sexually. If you take offense to sexual content you may not want to read on.

Max - A car-jacking Chukchansi Indian who entered prison as a teenager and went home to Las Vegas in 2007. While in prison, he traded his semen to an old pervert for commissary items.

Part three left off with Cindy the transsexual asking Max not only to remove the shampoo bottle from his anus but to “work it” while pulling it out.

“What did you do? Surely you ran for the hills at this point, Max?” I asked.
“I didn’t run for the hills, dude,” Max said.
“A shemale is pointing at the massive shampoo bottle lodged in his arse and asking you to work it and you didn’t run for the hills?”
“No. I just grab the bottle top and start pullin’, dude.”
“Wow! Did you at least hesitate? Did you consider any other options?”
“No hesitation whatsoever, dude. In these situations, you try to just pinch the bottle top and not make contact with the skin.”
After laughing at length, I said, “Perhaps you do in those situations. I’ll have to remember that. But what I’d really like to know is: did you work it?”
“Not intentionally. I get a hold of the bottle top and my fingers slip ’cause of the Royal Crown Hair Dressing that had been used as lube. I finally start easin’ it out.”
“What was going through your mind?”
“I don’t know, dude. Maybe I was just caught up in the moment.”
“Like turned on?”
“No. More like a morbid fascination with how such a little dude could handle such a big thing as that. He could stand up, sit down, and walk around, like havin’ a butt-plug of that size was nothin’. But I realise, I’m in a cell pullin’ on a shampoo bottle stuck outta some dude’s ass. I’m startin’ to get worried now.”
“Only now?”
“Yeah. There was a certain level of peer pressure involved, dude. Log’s my buddy and he’s countin’ on me. It’s like when you’re a teenager and you come across a nympho who wants you and your homies to pull a train on her. You’ve gotta do it whether you want to or not ’cause it’s like an initiation thing.”
“So you didn’t want to let Log down?”
“Yeah. It’s just sex, dude. It doesn’t matter. And guess what Log does next?”
“I can’t imagine.”
“Log’s lookin’ at me. I’ve got half the bottle out now. And Cindy commences to blow Log off. Cindy was probably gettin’ stimulated from the bottle bein’ moved.”
“So you were working it?”
“No, dude! I’m plannin’ my escape at this time. So I yank the bottle out, and there’s a pop – a suction sound. There’s a pungent smell – and it didn’t even smell like shit to tell you the truth. It was the smell of rubber and grease with a hint of some kinda flowery thing from the Royal Crown Hair Dressing. When I pulled the bottle, it disconnected from the O-ring. So I’ve got the bottle in my hand now. What do I do with it? I realise I’m in a situation I don’t need to be in. And out of luck, I hear ’em on the loudspeaker, not callin’ me, but I use it as an excuse to say they’re callin’ me.
I tell Log, ‘I gotta go back, man.’
He says, ‘Dude, they didn’t call you.’
It’s like he’s thwartin’ my every means of escape. So I try to hand the bottle back to Cindy. It’s danglin’ from my fingertips, but Cindy’s still bobbin’ on Log’s thing.”
“Is there mess on the shampoo bottle?”
“No. It’s just greasy lookin’. Maybe he douched or somethin’ before he put it in. Log doesn’t want me to leave. I can tell maybe he’s getting’ off on me bein’ there.
Then Log says, ‘I’ll be done in a minute and you can go next.’”

Does Max succumb to the will of Log and go even further with Cindy? What would you do in this situation if you were Max? Have we seen the last of the shampoo bottle or will it come back into play?

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
04 Jun 08

Mum and Dad’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary

Charging into our house six hours before the party was scheduled to begin, Aunty Lily seized control of the kitchen and set about hustling up a buffet. Beef pies. Cheese-and-onion pies. Butter-potato-and-onion pies. White and brown salmon and egg rolls. Chicken-and-stuffing sandwiches. Mushroom pasta. Mini pizzas. Chicken goujons. Savoury rice. Prawn rice. Mini tartlets. Coconut macaroon cakes.

Some of the first people to arrive were Mum’s teacher friend, Kath, who brought her son, Kieran, and his new bride, Yoko, who if let loose on a catwalk would easily put Anne Watanabe to shame.
“You’re invited to our wedding party in Manchester on the twenty-eighth,” Kieran said.
“I am looking forward to it,” I said.
“Yoko’s bringing ten single Japanese women just like her,” Kieran said. They may be looking for husbands.”
“What?” I said. “Ten more of her!”
“Not ten. I think about nine,” Yoko said. “One is engaged. They’re all about my age, twenty-nine.”
“Are you going to introduce me to all nine?”
“Of course. There are many many opportunities with them for you. But they’re only here for a few days, so you’ll have to be quick-quick-quick,” Yoko said, snapping her fingers. “They’re staying at the Midland hotel. You should stay at the hotel with us.”
“It sounds like paradise,” I said.
“Just wait till you meet her father,” Kieran said. “He looks like Odd Job and he has a voice like Lee Marvin – the furniture rattles when he speaks. You should see him do karaoke in the Lee Marvin voice.”
“Kieran’s terrified of him,” Kath said.
“He’s a judo master who crushes walnuts in his bare hands,” Kieran said. “He showed me the swords in his samurai room.”
“Is he a member of the yakuza?” I asked.
“No, but he owns his own construction company, so when the yakuza gangsters come and ask him for money, he throws them around with Japanese techniques,” Yoko said, demonstrating by throwing an air person. “Then they say, ‘I’m sorry.’ One guy he threw had to have an operation.”

Among the neighbours to attend were Posh Bird and her parents, John and Julie.

Arriving with an envelope, my aunt Sue said, "You must open it now."
Dad opened it, and said, "My God. Look at this. It's tickets for Queen with Paul Rogers at the Manchester Evening News' stadium."

In a packed house, Dad commenced his speech:
“Thanks everybody for coming along and helping Barbara and I to celebrate this special day. Thank you for the cards and gifts, and a big thank you to Lily for the marvellous buffet. It’s also very special to have Shaun joining in the celebrations with us.
We’re a bit jetlagged at the moment as yesterday we came back from a week in New York. Barbara managed to drag me to Tiffany’s on 5th Ave, but as luck would have it they were stocktaking on that day.
1968 seems such a long time ago now. Beer was six pence a pint. Petrol was five bob a gallon. And you could buy a house for two-thousand quid or less.
Louis Armstrong had the best selling single of the year. Can anyone guess the song?”
“‘What a Wonderful World!”
“That’s right,” Dad said. “Lots of momentous things happened that year. Riots and revolution in France. President Johnson signed the civil rights bill. The first astronauts orbited the moon. And Barbara and I got married at St Bede’s church on the first of June.
At the time, many people said it wouldn’t last – we were barely out of our teens and basically still kids. But here we are forty years on and still very much together.
Couples are often asked when they’ve been married for a long time, ‘What’s the secret? How come you have managed it?’ and so on. Replies are often along the lines of, ‘Give and take,’ ‘Working it through,’ ‘Ups and downs.’ Well that’s all true, but my answer would be is that we still love each other very much. Barbara is still the same big-eyed beautiful girl that I married that hot June day back in 1968."
Mum started to cry.
"Please raise your glasses to my wife Barbara.”
The champagne flutes took to the air.
“I was going to make a speech, but I’m too emotional,” Mum said, drying her eyes with a napkin. She then did the rounds showing off her new one-carat-diamond white-gold ring.
“It’s gorgeous,” Posh Bird said.
“Don’t do any house work with that on,” Julie said.

Posh Bird and I chatted. I managed to spill champagne on her mum, Julie’s, leg. Later on, Julie reciprocated by spilling beer on mine. Julie was so charming – she proposed I should be her ballroom-dancing partner, and invited me over for Christmas dinner.
“We don’t cater for vegetarians,” Posh Bird yelled.
“Bugger her. I’m inviting you,” Julie said.

As my chances of dating Julie now seem to be considerably higher than my chances of dating her daughter, when Posh Bird’s dad takes his next work trip to Norway, I am going to see if her mum will elope with me.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
2 Jun 08

Women in Prison: From Lifer Renee (Letter 1)

As a teenager, Renee received a sixty-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. Fourteen years into her sentence, she is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona.
The voices of women prisoners are seldom heard, and I am unaware of any blog posts by females inside. I’m hoping Renee will continue to provide insight into her own life and the lives of women prisoners by becoming a regular contributor to Jon’s Jail Journal.

Dear Shaun,

Hello. How are you doing? I hope all is well for you. I have thought about writing for your blog for a while. I was/am shocked and a little scared. I have attempted several letters to you, but I felt I didn’t know what to say. It felt planned. Not natural. So instead of trying I am just writing. With time, maybe I will feel a little more comfortable.

Yes, the woman prisoners are in orange. I’ve been down a while. 14 years. I’ve seen and experienced a lot. I feel as though I have been prison raised. I was 18 when I hit the yard.

You want to know what it’s like in a women’s prison? A dog eat dog world and you’re wearing milk bone underwear, and either going to eat or get eaten. The women are different from the men. The men are more physically violent, whereas the women are more mentally, emotionally and verbally vicious. While there are the few who will duke it out, the majority will just talk badly about you and try to turn the masses against you. I know because I live this on a daily basis. Even the officers get caught up in the ebb and flow of the never-ending drama.

When I speak of individuals that are legends in their own minds, I speak of individuals who believe they are “the ones,” the leaders of the people, the ones you should bow down to, run or fetch for, do this, do that. The ones that proclaim everyone fear them. They run the weak by playing on weakness, claiming to bring them up, but when their ass is in a sling you’re the first person to get thrown under the bus. The ones that will not fight their own battles when called out, but will slither around filling people’s minds, recruiting others to fight their battles, all the while claiming deeds they never really did. All just to feel like they are someone. When in reality no one can stand them. They are only legends in their own minds.
Most of the women suffer from something I call “princess syndrome.” They feel they should be catered to and everything is all about them.

The medical here is a joke. A couple of days ago I was at work (I have worked maintenance for 8 or 9 years now) and we were trying to repair the showers on 26 Yard (that is the close custody yard). We were replacing the moldy/mildewy shower tiles with stainless steel. We had three showers to do. Things were running fairly smoothly. We completed one shower and I was getting ready to cut the steel for the second shower.
Our boss came around the corner of the control room, yelling, “Wrap it up. Someone broke something on 30 Yard.” 30 Yard is supermaximum custody.
So we were rushing to put everything up. We loaded up my ten-foot sheet of steel. I saw the copper pipe lying under the truck, so I bent down to retrieve it. I came up and I ran right into the corner of the sheet of steel. My hand went to my forehead. The blood was running down my face. I called for Cletis my friend and coworker. I removed my hand. She saw the blood running down my face and started screaming.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! Somebody help her!”
My boss led me to the shower bleeding all over the place.
Somebody gave me some rags and paper towels for the gaping wound on my forehead.
My boss said, “Let me see how bad it is.”
So I removed the rag.
“Oh, you need stitches. Let’s go,” he said. He got on the radio, notified the sergeant and medical.
I went to medical with paper towels pressed to my forehead. The nurses cleaned the blood off, slapped a big piece of gauze on my head and taped it on. They asked me if my head hurt and sent me on my way. No instructions on how to take care of it. No tetanus shot. They did not even butterfly it with a bandaid. Mind you, I still hadn’t seen it.
I got back to my room and removed the gauze from my head. My stomach turned. I almost threw up. The gash was about two inches long and about a quarter of an inch wide.
I showed the yard officer.
“You need at least butterfly bandaids,” he said, and called his LT.
The LT called medical.
Medical’s response was they had done all they were going to do for me.
I was traumatized – this is my face.
A friend came over and taped my forehead together and told me the best way to take care of it.
It is healing now but without the help of someone off the yard I would not have known what to do.
Everyone was freaking out, but medical didn’t care.
I picked a piece of aloe vera from the U-gate to apply to it to help it heal.
All I could think of was, I have so many scars that run so deep. Now I have one that people can see.

Thank you for the pictures and the biography. It is so tempting and easy to get caught up in the drug world but the price that is paid at the end is not worth it – but we never see that tollbooth coming.
I am really glad you are not a perv looking for a hottie. That is so old and worn out. I can tell you after 14 years, I am tired, drained, beat. Yet I get up every day and try and start a new day. I continue to educate myself. I want to learn as much as possible. I try to grow from my mistakes. I try to be a better person. I lost my life but not my will to live. Although I feel beaten and battered I am not quite broken yet. The sad part is the fact I may never get to prove I have changed and have learned from my mistakes. I never really had a chance.

I love yoga. When I first came down I still did drugs to numb the pain. Then I started corresponding with the Siddha Yoga Foundation. I quit drugs and realized I really needed to take a good look at myself. I did not know who I was, who I wanted to be or what I was about. I couldn’t figure it out. I meditated on it for a while. I couldn’t figure out what it was I wanted, but I knew for sure what I did not want and that’s what I started with. The pose I am trying to master right now is the peacock. I love yoga. It feels as though it saved my soul. With yoga I am humble, centred and aware. I am thoughtful in my words and actions.

I hope to hear from you soon. Take care.



As this is Renee’s first contribution to Jon's Jail Journal, your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated and shall be forwarded to her. If you would like to write to Renee email me your name, address, and a few sentences about who you are.

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
01 Jun 08

From Frankie (Letter 5)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me applying antifungal ointment to the bedsores on my buttocks at the Madison Street jail, where he was held on murder charges he subsequently beat. He’s now locked-down in a supermaximum prison.


What’s up my friend?

I received your letter in which it’s always nice to hear from you.

The pod I live in has six Mexicans, one cheeto and one white dude. I also have a partner here serving 35 to life for killing 3 people and he’s only 27 years old. We call him Negro cuz he’s a dark Mexican.
Yes, we all disrespect the guards almost every day to pass the time. The guards talk stuff too, so it’s a two way thing.
The food really sucks. They changed the menu on us. No lunch on the weekends and sack lunch Monday through Friday.
Yes, I do have access to talking dirty to the cheeto in the cell next to me. I do it in the vent all day long with her. I tell her if we were on an open yard I would be having her suck me off. I tell her to finger her ass while I jack off and talk dirty to her. She moans and tells me she wishes it was my dick inside her. I do this until I get off.

You must be doing something wrong with those women. You need to know how to use your hands. Foreplay is good for a woman. You’re probably just sticking it in and getting off.
Next time before they dump you at least take some naked pictures for me. You need to take care of business with your friend Frankie cuz the women may leave you but I’ll still be here for you.
I’ve been wondering why them girls keep cutting you off, maybe they are sensing the gayness in you. Deep down in your heart you know that you’re gay but you’re in deep
denial. Get over it and come out now.

My friend do not use Mexican Mafia in your letters. I can get in a lot of trouble by the system. When you refer to that use 26 cuz the thirteenth letter in the alphabet is M and 13 plus 13 is 26. Remember these things cuz I don’t need the heat. I’m in enough trouble as it is.
Yes, there’s a lot of number 26 around this place. It’s full of them.

Also, if you can’t handle them women turn queer and I’ll bone you down.

Englandman, you need to get a job so you can help me out.

Next time you write to Two Tonys tell him I send him my love and hopefully I’ll see him soon.

Englandman, today is May 18 2008. By May 25 2008 you should get this letter. By June 1st I should hear from you. Don’t keep me waiting.

I’m going to close for now. Take care and forget me not.

Much love,

Mr Frankie

ps) send me pictures of naked women from your home town

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

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood