Things That I’ve Learned in Prison

The Wild Word magazine
3 min readMar 27, 2020


Don’t Gamble. Don’t Borrow.

I like sonnets — especially Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 and Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus

It’s okay to Hate the decisions I’ve made as long as I still Love myself.

Life inside is dangerous and fragile.

How to fix a broken radio with wax, solder, and a nail file.

Trust no one, even my “friends”.

I don’t like being hit by redneck correctional officers.

If I’m walking to chow at dawn and look up at the sky I may see a shooting star.

A man can adapt to anything.

My biggest fear is losing a parent and not seeing them again.

Dirty basketball on a chain gang court.

I like classical music — especially Dvořák’s Symphony №9 ‘From the New World’.

If I look up at dawn at see a shooting star it can remind me of the beauty in life.

How to fix sneakers with glue, packing tape, and shower slides.

Gangbangers die.

Never give up.

It’s possible to put all of my worldly possessions in a 2'x3'x2' metal footlocker.

I don’t like prison food.

My next biggest fear is getting killed in prison.

Sometimes I become an animal to survive.

I like reading personal essays — especially ones that deal with mistakes and rebirth.

How to cook with Ramen noodles, cheese squeeze, and stolen vegetables.

I’m not a good parent.

Street Spanish/Kitchen Espanola.

I don’t like seeing a man get stabbed for his sneakers.

Everyone needs a friends, even if you can’t trust them.

My next biggest fear is killing a man in self-defense.

I can change.

How to fight in a small area using elbows, knees, and my forehead.

I like art — especially Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ (because he painted it in a mental institution).

The Wild Word magazine