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"the mightiest meditations of mankind are cancelled by merely one opening leaf" ~ e.e. cummings
1969 1975 1990 1999 Jon in 2019
1969 1975 1990 1999 2019
A site dedicated to supporting Jonathan Andreas during his incarceration.
Maintained by his family and friends.
The latest from Jon:

12 April 2020 • Overcast Easter Sunday morning

Oh, that we all might arise from our tombs today! These are strange days—all of us imprisoned. Perhaps pressing the pause button on globalized capitalism will help us to rethink our destructive ways. But at such a terrible price.

If you need something to read, I have suggestions, as usual. For lovers of nature, a majestic work of fiction: Richard Powers, The Overstory. For lovers of trees: Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees. For a powerful look into contemporary Native American life: Kent Nerburn, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo. And for lovers of classical music who enjoy a twist of magical realism: John Michael Greer, The Shoggoth Concerto and The Nyogtha Variations. I'm currently reading Martha Ackmann's beautiful new biography of Emily Dickenson, These Fevered Days. I've always had a crush on Emily; here's a poem I wrote in her style trying to capture these dark (fevered) days:

The world holds its breath—
Afraid of inhaling—
Afraid of death
By crown of thorns impaling.

Distancing, dancing,
A masked ball—
Gloved hands not quite touching—
Eventually someone will fall.

Coughing up statistics,
The scoreboard goes viral.
The next to wear the crown
Is up to the die roll.

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5 March 2020 • Cool Thursday evening

Fell off my upper bunk in my sleep this past weekend. Landed on my head and shoulder on the concrete floor. Apparently I walked to the medical clinic and returned an hour later, but I have no memory of any of it—or of going to breakfast later that morning. I had trouble concentrating and was very tired for a few days but am better now.

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7 January 2020 • Warm Tuesday morning

2019 was a year of extremes. The highs included being able to play a cello all year, the prelimary exams for my PhD in April—which were successful—and caroling in a men's quartet over three days around Christmas in the Visiting Room. The low—very low—was stretched out over six or more months. I have found myself increasingly sensitive to the noise all around me and am having difficulty concentrating on my studies. The radios, the shouting (I am now against all professional sports), the blaring loudspeakers: am I becoming a grumpy old man? I have several years of this left and seriously worry about my sanity.

Even so, there are blessings. Two drug-users in my immediate bunk area have paroled (so much for "rehabilitation") so things are a little less chaotic. I had a skin cancer spot removed from my left cheek in December; my new nickname is "Scarface" (just kidding). I also received a wall full of Christmas cards and an armload of Ursula K. Le Guin books as presents—thanks to so many of you! And 2020 has begun with a barrel of love: a visit from my brother, three of his daughters, and my mom. I am a proud and thankful uncle! http://www.ecodreamer.net/pictures32.html

scarface

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Cool & foggy Tuesday morning • 15 October 2019

I was awakened this morning by a loud voice: "A nigga has t'get a rock to go after a nigga in a wheelchair!" Apparently my neighbor two bunks down, a young black man in a wheelchair (the second "nigga" above), had upset a big white guy (the first "nigga" above), and the latter was chasing him with a rock in hand. The wheelchair-bound guy was loudly proclaiming the fact that he was so intimidating that the big white guy needed a weapon to face him. It turns out the wheelchair guy had accused the other of sucking someone's dick.

Another neighbor, across the walkway from me, just a few feet away, is a tweaker, a meth-head. I've heard of such people; now I've witnessed it up close and personal. A middle-aged white guy with a pockmarked face, he's been up for three days straight now, picking at his face or ears or neck or back, rocking back and forth barefoot on the cement floor, staring into his empty locker, and talking to himself for hours and hours and hours on end. The guards know; they do nothing.

This is my new neighborhood. I recently moved from my previous spot because of the drugs, alcohol, profanity, and noise. Especially the noise. Where I am now is quieter—relatively speaking.

 

Visit the archived messages of Jon from 2011 - 2019