“Move to Phoenix”
“So, we’ve been under threat that we’re moving to Phoenix for quite a while now. For various reasons I’m not looking forward to it. Of course, its not like we’re moving from a great situation to a bad one, we’re not. Prison sucks everywhere, all the time. Anyway, we’re slated to move, once again, Monday… or not. I’m treading water here in some ways. I work for the Mural Arts and things are at a standstill for now. There’s said to be “miles of walls” for us to paint at Phoenix and, no doubt, I’ll be painting over a lot of the gloom once there. I have mixed feelings about that. I mean, I do want to make the building, at least seem, less oppressive but I don’t want to contribute to the problem in any way. I’m against prisons in general and “new prisons” all the more. WTF? A while back, we were tasked with painting mural for the lobby of Phoenix and I didn’t want to do it and no one did either. I believe I could have finagled my way out of it too. (My finagling skills are well-honed.) But what then? So rather than leave it to other guys, (Possibly with less finagling skills?) a few of us divided the work and did the deed. We actually did a good job too and the bird looks good. (My understanding is that its on the doc website.) And while I do realize that all prisoner jobs are both exploitive and coercive and its just a painting and maybe I’m over thinking it and– I still feel complicit somehow. (BTW, whenever I can shoehorn in a word like finagle, I’m going for it!) Aside from that nonsense, I’m more hopeful than I’ve been in many years. Its mind-blowing that we have a progressive like Krasner in Philly and maybe I’ll get some relief there–I’ll need help. Then, there are positive legislative moves being made which may help as well. I’m also near two years into the commutation process and while its a crap shoot, I’m actually a good candidate, so why not? Finally, I am lifted up and sustained by everyone fighting against DBI–I can feel it, we all can.”
writing by Thomas Schilk
Come over here Inmate and turn around,
Produce your I.D.,
It’s time to shake it down.
So drop your browns,
Your socks and briefs,
Show me the dirty soles Of both your feet,
Open up your mouth,
Stick out your tongue,
Shake out your hair and Let’s have some fun. Hey!
Cut the crying, Like it’s some big attack,
Just lift ‘em up And skin it back.
Okay, turn around Don’t dare ask why,
Just bend on over, Yeah, spread ‘em wide.
Now, put your clothes Back on and don’t act tough, ‘Cause if you want to, I can play this rough.
Just follow orders, And don’t complain,
Yeah, feel real lucky There’s some restraints.
So, get back inside Your shiny cell, Where life’s too easy
‘Though it could be hell.
writing by Thomas Schilk
Art by Thomas Schilk