Prison Radio
Spoon Jackson

Okay this is called a, “One Foot In Darkness.”

Over the years I have pondered how intoxicating would have been to come across some liquid or pills that would do the deed in an instant. And in harmony with my nature, for it has seemed like all of my life the Gods have never blessed me or shed light on my path. And have instead taken me from one prison to another.

For what is an existence opposite, when you’re only perceived as, or allowed to be in one spear. Evil with no good. Yet even in darkness, there is light. I think evil and good exist inside all of us. One foot in darkness, one foot in light.

Like Socrates, I was sentenced to death, not at the height of my wisdom and awareness, but at the age of 20. I was tried for the death penalty 42 years ago, and given the other death penalty, of life without parole. A slower death, more hideous because I do suffer death. Sometimes daily. And it’s a living death.

To keep my opposites alive, I decided to live my life as a long journey of death inspired by Socrates. Once I realized I was on a journey, know thyself, in an unexamined life is not worth living, gave me creeds to live by in prison.

Not to examine one’s life and self would be like being caught up motionless inside a vertex, not living or dying, not hearing, feeling, seeing, thinking, and not touching the inner or outer self. Not anything. Perception would be suspended. I live inside my journey and philosophy as a poet writer and create my freedom through transcending. Not only the physical walls, but also the walls of hatred and judgment, social, racial, sexual, and injustice laws that heard Black man to slaughterhouses like cattle that don’t know until too late that they will be shot in the head.

I spend my time lost in the mine of memories, moving up and down high rocky cliffs on legs that dance on stones. Something is happening to me. And what is it? A story, a play, a poem. I know I must write and talk [inaudible] yet something’s making me not know where to begin. I am not burnt out on writing because I am what I write and I’m not what write.

This moment I am nothing. I am the chopped off tail of a lizard. I’m the Amazon river with many tributaries. A paradox. A hoard of contradictions. One moment awaken and the next moment, it’s not existing. I am not a God, monk, Shaman or Saint. So do not expect miracles but look for them. I do not know why I’m on this planet as opposed to another. And no one else does either. Although many has boasted as much, speculating that they know to the stars and to the ground below.

One moment I am a proud lion. One moment I’m so full of myself I must stick a pin in my ego to set it free. I am a poet though. Once again, I do not know why, how, or what makes sense, it makes to be a poet. A board in this land and time of plastic and metal. And these days, of little visions, and unimaginative dreams with a kiss of wonder and awe sits on the windowsill like a lone pigeon.

In the past, when my visions wane, I still wrote poems. There’s no such thing as writers block, because the heart, spirit, and soul are always singing, even on muddy days. Perhaps it is my age. Why write anything when, for colorful reasons, it gets nowhere. Even in my letter writing, it seems I write, and I write, yet nobody hears the sunsets, its sparrows sip water droplets from a leaky faucet. The lack of feeling and knowing is pitted inside me beyond the dichotomy of being human and having my own shade tree.

I ponder why I suffer death’s deeds. I pounder why I make ripples in any pun. I pounder what is the meaning of life. All life. My life. It cannot be this feeble, black top, bars, preachers, chain link, razor fencing, and soap dying grass against the dark night. The sweet water bubbles like roads stuff in treetops of dirt, stink and [inaudible].

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.