Saturday, October 23, 2010

ESP Book Drive

You can help change someone’s life! There is nothing more invigorating, nothing more liberating than knowledge! Books can definitely change people’s lives, and who needs help with changing their lives more than the people in prison? It has already been proven that education is the most powerful tool against recidivism, yet prisoners sit in their cells going mentally numb, getting more aggressive and deteriorating intellectually, spiritually and physically, just wasting away behind steel and stone, until the day they are released and returned back into our communities!

This is a chance to make a difference; to have an impact on someone’s life. This is a chance for people out there to really get involved in something significant. We need you to help us bring meaning and productivity to these prisoners lives! Please, help us do something positive; something that will definitely make a difference. Help us give these prisoners something important to think about, help us raise their level of consciousness and break them from the shackles of the gangster, pimp and criminal mentalities that confine them to self-destruction and perpetual misery.

Help us get books together for these men who sit in their cells staring at the walls all day. People throw books away every day. We need those books. We want you to help us donate those books to the Ely State Prison library; we want you to help us help these people who will be returning back to society. We want you to help us help these people who deserve a second chance. Help them realize they deserve a second chance! We can do that by bringing hope, meaning, and knowledge into their lives through books. we need you to help us with this possible life-changing project!

Any book you can donate will be appreciated, and put to good use, no matter what kind of book it is. Our mission here, however, is to turn the E.S.P. library into a real library. The E.S.P. library already has lots and lots of horror novels, sci-fi novels, fantasy and romance, but lacks anything of real educational value. So, we want you to help us provide any type of book that will allow prisoners to think and comprehend things on a higher, or deeper level.

We want educational books; anything that has some type of educational value, or that will provide real intellectual stimulation. All books will be accepted and appreciated, and books that we are particularly looking for are basically any type of books on:

• History
• Any type of self-help book
• Dictionaries, thesaurus, encyclopedias, almanacs, vocabulary builders, etc.
• Philosophy
• Psychology and/or sociology
• Anthropology
• Text books of all kinds
• Non-fictional books, true stories, current events, etc.
• Books on business, economics, law, etc.
• Poetry, classics, literature, etc.
• Autobiographies, memoirs and biographies
• Books on science (any branch of science, from astronomy to palaeontology, whatever)
• Good fiction novels that could possibly have a life-changing impact on a prisoner’s mind
• Books about prison, or written by prisoners, who have changed their lives while in prison (these stories are always inspirational and helpful for those incarcerated)
• Any books on politics, revolutionary science, prominent figures and leaders
• Cultural studies: Latino, African American, Native American, Asian, The Celts, The Romans, The Greeks, The Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, etc.
• Political books (on anarchism, communism, socialism, etc.)
• Theology, Theosophy, etc.
• Books on different languages
• Geography
• Best sellers, Pulitzer prize winners, etc.
• Esoteric studies, masonic literature, symbolism, etc.
• Health, medical encyclopedia, physical fitness, etc.

Any book that you have, that you don’t want, or need any more, any book that you think would be uplifting, educational, or inspirational to prisoners, please send them to:

White Pine County School District
Mountain High School
1135 Avenue C
Ely, Nevada 89301
Attention: Ms. Thiel / E.S.P. Library Donations

Please make sure to go through all of your books, removing money, papers or anything that you may have left inside of your books, because the officers will thoroughly inspect each book before they are inducted into the E.S.P. Library.

Please talk to your friends, family, co-workers and classmates, ask them if they have any old books that they don’t want or need any more. We really want you to help us turn the E.S.P. library into a real library. Help us bring meaning and positive change to these prisoner’s lives.

There is no rehabilitation, no programs, no real educational/vocational opportunities for these guys incarcerated at Ely State Prison. We want you to help us give them that opportunity, we want you to help us help them. We want you to help us liberated these prisoners’ minds and transform their lives through knowledge, education and higher learning. Please get involved in this life-changing project. There’s nothing more empowering than knowledge! Thank you for your time and concern.

Solidarity and Respects
Coyote - ABC Nevada Prison Chapter

ps if you plan to send in any books, please if possible let Coyote know which books you donated.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Que Dia Tan Bello

To my dear friends who read these “few” humble words, I wish to extend my most sincere greetings of solidarity and respects, hoping you are in the best of health and in the brightest of spirits, with the joy for life going strong inside your beautiful, unbreakable hearts!

My dear friends, the beautiful and compassionate people out there in the “free” world, I wish I could give you the opportunity to meet and talk to some of these guys I’m locked down with. I wish you had the opportunity to contemplate the wise and poetic words of the warriors and radicals that I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with in these dregs of society.

Men who know pain, men who know strife, prisoners who have been beat down by life and who unfortunately had to survive by drastic means and desperate measures, but who still strive with determined passion to rise above the constant madness and degeneration, with the drive to come out of this situation as wiser and stronger men, with a true and healthy understanding of life. These prisoners are my comrades, they refuse to just sit and dwell in their cells, but instead, they make it a point to stay occupied and to stay focused and just like me they’re going through the same dilemmas and insane situations, just trying to stay strong and true through it all. We try to make the best out of a bad situation.

Straight up comrades. We may have different skin color, different cultures, different backgrounds, and therefore different ways of seeing and feeling about specific things, but we’ve all been put up in this same situation together, and we are all up in here doing time together, exchanging bits and pieces of conversation, head nods of acknowledgment as one walks past another’s cell on the way to the shower, we pass things to each other, share literature, share magazine, share pictures of beautiful women, we share books, we share music, and even though the administration here at Ely State Prison has made rules against sharing, we still do it, because we know that sharing is caring! We trade with one another, buy and sell from one another, and without really trying, we’ve basically turned each tier into a little community, just by being here, locked down like this and just trying to find ways to socialize and survive and to make it through this madness without losing our minds.

As we separate the real from the fake, the good from the foul, we’ve come to know of each other through a similar set of standards which convicts live by. After so much time and so much bullshit, while living around so much foulness under these locked down situations, some of us still try to keep the dying idea of solidarity alive.

A community that hates is one that perishes. A community that co-exists is one that thrives. If we can learn how to co-exist in these inhumane conditions of confinement, then we can definitely learn how to co-exist in a general population setting. It’s already known that the people who keep us here don’t want us to get along, they don’t want to see us sharing, borrowing, lending, and they especially don’t want to see us thriving and striving together, because they know that type of solidarity threatens and undermines the power they hold over us. Most of these oppressors would rather see us locked down and suffering, with nothing in our cells and no one to talk to. Which is why they try so hard to break us all the way down when they see how much we are trying to stay strong and to survive, and when they see how much we are willing to resist, they’re struck with fear and fascination! We are here, alive and stronger than ever, and we’re not going out like that. That’s why we strive so hard to learn new things, to exercise and to elevate! We strive to grow and develop and sharpen our intellects and strengthen our bodies and to search our souls. We dwell in a graveyard, but we are alive. Not only is this a political struggle, but it’s an intellectual struggle, a physical struggle and a spiritual struggle as well. Never are we to lay down and accept this shit, which is why we’ve made it our objectives to come out of this wiser, stronger and more refined.

You can see the pain in our poetry when you read our words and our writings. You can see how much time, effort and skill we’ve put into our creations when you look at our drawings and our art. You can see how we have taken tremendous strides to break through the chains that they try to use to keep our minds shackled to ignorance and stagnation. You can see the beauty in our struggle as it shines through. We refuse to lay down, we refuse to give up, we refuse to be buried alive in these steel and stone cemeteries.

With a dictionary, we are armed. With a book of our own history, we are armed. With philosophy books, we are armed. And with the fundamentals of true, radical thoughts of resistance, we are armed and dangerous. Ready for life, ready for death, ready for freedom, and for revolution. We see what’s happening, and we know what’s happening, and we’re ready to make things happen. We strive for change, we strive for a sense of direction, for purpose and for self and collective elevation. And everybody knows that I could sit here all day and write about all the misery, pain and suffer, but today, as I write this, I wish you could see – my dear and beautiful friends – how brightly the light shines in a world of darkness.

We could not be strong in here, without the support of the people on the outs. We could not be organized, educated or liberated without solid support from the people. We appreciate the help, we appreciate the love. We appreciate the books, the money, the letters. We appreciate all that you do to help us sustain and maintain. We’d have no lifeline if it wasn’t for all the beautiful people out there, showing us love, solidarity and support. Without people like you in this world, we’d be lost, we’d be through. Thank you.

Before I close this, I just want to leave you with one more thought. Life in prison is a tragedy, we all know that. But in all honesty, sometimes I wake up feeling good about myself, feeling good about life, feeling good about the camaraderie and the spirit of resistance in the hearts of the men around me, and I have to get up and come to the door and yell out to somebody, “It’s a beautiful day!”.

With love for the people,
Nevada Prison Chapter (A.B.C.)
Ely State Prison, 2009

“Crime belongs to the concept “revolt against the social order”. One does not “punish” a rebel. One suppresses him. A rebel can be a miserable and contemptible man; but there is nothing contemptible in a revolt as such – and to be a rebel in view of contemporary society does in itself lower the value of a man. There are even cases in which one might have to honor a rebel, because he finds something in our society against which war ought to be waged – he awakens us from slumber”
. – Friedrich Nietzsche


Abandoned as a youth, caged against my will, they tried to turn a tiger cub into a circus animal, but to no avail.

I’ve remained wild all through my days, criminal-minded, because no laws I’ve obeyed. Took the time in prison, refusing to be a slave. Society has no mercy for a strong muthafucka like me, but it doesn’t even matter, because my spirit remains untameable, and that’s the way it will always be.

Inflammable thoughts unite the imprisoned minds, liquefied like mercury, hot steel burns through our veins, as we struggle through the strife of life. Learning to endure the pain. I have no answers to a pig’s question asked; there’s nothing to say. Another day past is another lesson gained, anarchist to the core, hardcore to the brain.

December 2009
High Risk Potential

“Human laws are invalid, because they are contrary to the laws of nature.”
- Blackstone

The Pedagogy of the Existential Coyote

I have incorporated “socializing” into my daily routine, just like studying and writing and exercising, now I’ve made it basically mandatory that I get my dialogue, communication and study sessions in every day too. It’s good for me, and it’s good for all those whom I socialize with, and it has also become a good way for me to combat isolation and loneliness.

I’m particularly satisfied with the latest study sessions that I’ve been having with the comrades on my tier, because I’ve been able to exert some of my newly-acquired knowledge on “existentialism” and I was able to relay this knowledge to others in my study group in a way that they could not only grasp what I was saying, but also embrace it. And I guess that just made me feel good, you know? To not only see my own personal growth and development become actualized, but also to be able to pass these gems of knowledge onto others, to the effect that these gems that I pass on will always be with those that I’ve passed them on to. It’s just a beautiful thing and it makes me feel good about myself, about my study group and about what I’m learning, teaching and doing.

I mean what’s the point of studying and learning and acquiring new knowledge if you can’t, or don’t ever apply it? I’ve come to learn that the word “pedagogy” means the art or profession of teaching, but what I haven’t figured out yet is which I like more, learning or teaching, but I do know that they go hand in hand. I will always be a student, no matter how much I learn, or how old I grow, I could never know it all, and I’m always going to want to learn more, and the more I learn, the more I can share with others. Giving the gift of knowledge, is giving a real gift.

In his book, “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, Paulo Freire writes: “In fact, those who, in learning to read and write, come to a new awareness of selfhood and begin to look critically at the social situation in which they find themselves, often take the initiative in acting to transform the society that has denied them this opportunity of participation. Education is once again a subversive force.”

So, basically, once we learn, we become aware, once we become aware we start rejecting everything that’s wrong with the social order of things, and then after that we start taking initiative to make changes in our world, and that’s why knowledge is dangerous, and that’s why these pigs here in these prisons try to make it so hard for us to get books and literature in, that’s why they try to keep real radicals separated from one another, keeping us surrounded by crazies who bang and scream all day, making it difficult for us to find a peaceful moment to sit back, read and absorb new knowledge. Because these pigs understand how knowledge gives us new vitality, how it gives us strength and empowerment. They’d rather keep us crushed, dispirited and ignorant. That’s the way they do things.

I’ve come to believe that knowledge gives our lives meaning, because think about it; I mean without knowledge what meaning would our lives have? What would we be without knowledge? What would life be?

There’s nothing like learning something new and then passing it on to someone else. It’s a great feeling. Knowledge is a beautiful, powerful, subversive, dangerous thing! Get some!

August 2009

Several months after this essay was written, the administration moved Coyote to another unit in the hole that houses mostly psych patients who bang and scream all day, and they waited a couple of weeks to watch and see who all Coyote befriended on this new tier and then moved them all to other units in the hole, making sure to keep Coyote isolated. Coyote does not socialize with anybody, anymore, at the moment, but instead he uses this time to reflect, read, write and study. They’ve isolated him indeed, but his mind is still active and explosive and they have not shut him down!

Nothing Can Stop Us Now

From the dark ripples of thought, stem these words of sorrowful wisdom, where pain has turned into strength, and strength has turned into love.

There’s nothing powerful enough to break a heart that beats to the drum of resistance. There’s nothing strong enough to decimate a warrior’s will; a will that cannot be deterred. There’s nothing hard enough that can smash the spirit of a true rebel.

With the wind we ride, our backs against the crushing wave, our determination carries us through, nothing can stop us now. No razorwire can hold us, no concrete or steel. We are one with the strength of a tornado, ripping through the land, nothing can stop us now…

December 2009

Lost at Sea

Here I am again, all alone, the solitary confines on my mind remain largely unknown. Lost on the desolate seas of hopelessness, absently I drift with no awareness of which direction I go. With a pelican’s plumage and a vat of octopus ink, and after turning dried up palm leaves into paper, I sit here and write these words from the greatest depths of loneliness, as I’m faced with the choice of either swimming with sharks, or staying confined to my raft all day…

Anyway, I had a good thing going on the last ship that I was on. I was amongst many fellow pirates, and had good study sessions and plenty of people to talk to, with a multitude of things to talk about. It was a very productive environment, where the treasure chest was full of sparkling gems of knowledge.

But unfortunately, I had to walk the plank, and that’s how I ended up on this lonely raft, lost at sea, you see? Removed from all my fellow pirates, I now sit here, alone with my thoughts.

It’s my fault though, you know? For trying to start a riot. I couldn’t help it though. The swine called one of my fellow pirates a “punk”. Those are words you just don’t use on these treacherous, deadly seas. And everybody knows you don’t use those words. And even though the swine wasn’t addressing me with those derogatories, I felt well enough disrespected to even hear those words slip out of a swine’s filthy mouth, and naturally, I took it as an opportunity to vent out some of my own existing frustrations against my captors. And so, yes I got off, and it felt good to get off. And there were plenty of fellow pirates ready to tear down the ship with me, and it nearly ensued into a larger disruption, until the swine came back, bowed down, and apologized.

But eventually, I was removed from my fellow pirates and forced to walk the plank. And then on my 32nd birthday, December 15th, 2009, the captors came back to my new ship and was sure to remove all of my fellow pirates I had on this ship, some who I haven’t seen for years, and who I was waiting to meet up with again. I guess they thought we were planning some type of mutiny together, or something. So, they made me walk the plank, leaving me isolated on this lonely raft, drifting on these swaying seas of hopelessness. Me, a social butterfly, left with no one to socialize with…

And so, now I use this time of solitude to write, read and reflect. Never letting the waves of despair crush me, or take me under. And now that I have no one to talk to, I hear myself having long, drawn out conversations with myself, in my own mind. In my head, I mean. I wonder if I should worry? I don’t know? But at least I’m not talking to myself out loud. I guess if I do that, that’s when I should start to worry. But then again, a lot of people talk to themselves, and they say it’s normal. But maybe they’re just in denial. Maybe that’s just the way they rationalize and justify the fact that they’re losing their minds. Or maybe I’m the one in denial, projecting my delusion on them, trying to rationalize it by saying, “well at least I don’t talk to myself out loud, like others do”. Am I losing my mind, or am I doing everything I can to preserve my sanity? That’s the question.

Well, I’ll be damned! It appears that I’ve landed ashore a deserted island! And there’s even a coconut tree! So it looks like I’m gonna make it, as I realize that carrying on these conversations in my head is actually a good thing, ‘cuz it lets me know that my mind is working, it’s active and flowing. So that’s good. These are just the workings of a productive mind. There’s no problem, I’m gonna be alright. All I need now is a volley ball with a hand print on it, and I’ll make it through this journey. Wilson, where are you? Wilson!

No more am I lost at sea, my mind is active, so I am free. Creativity. Productivity. These are the signs of a healthy mind. I look up at the twilight, and let the North Star guide me. I’ve found my way back home. I have direction, I have purpose and my sails are up and blowing, I’m on my way back home. My loneliness has strengthened me, and fortitude has once again carried me through. My sails are high and mighty, my spirits are too. I’m gonna be alright, I’m gonna make it through. I’m on my way back home…

The ocean is my only higher power. I was born and raised on the beach, saltwater runs through my veins. I’ve found my way back to shore, and that’s where I’m going, for sure! Thank you, Dear Ocean, for your guidance and strength. I am forever grateful and always in awe of your greatness.

December 24th, 2009

Knowing Thyself

“The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle.” From this (super) maximum security cell it has become nearly impossible for me to pin down the name of the author who coined that phrase, but I recognize that this is a saying that I deeply resonate with. It’s very inspiring. Not only does it make me want to get down and do some “burpies”, but it also makes me want to get ready to face battle, ready for confrontation, ready for life.

There are many different kinds of battles in life. We battle to stay healthy, to stay sane, sober, to keep food on the table; to keep a roof over our heads, you name it. In these prisons and in these cells of isolation, we face battles nearly every day and for some of us, it’s these battles that help shape us into revolutionaries. We purge our fears and become guerrillas. We are engaged in a constant psychological battle; fighting off the long-term effects of sensory deprivation from being indeterminately isolated, while also fighting to maintain a sense of who we are and to keep a level of sanity as we are faced with constant madness and absurdity every day, trying to stay focused on greater goals!

Rather than just sitting here and eroding into the dust of nothingness, many of us use this time to train and prepare for the battles that await us – both the unseen and the foreseen – getting ready for whatever life has to throw at us, without fear or hesitation, because we have come to understand how conflict and struggle actually makes us stronger, gives us experience and helps us grow. So, we embrace these challenges, and we know that if everyday is a struggle, then everyday is a chance to gain strength, experience and insight.

For someone to sit in their cell and go on an endless search of truth and knowledge, as they study books and articles on things like philosophy, politics, strategy, psychology, science, religion, history and sociology, while taking a deep and analytical examination at their own life (past, present, future) and at life in general and at the universe, trying to figure things out for themselves, trying to find their place in this irrational universe and trying to know themselves; it’s definitely one of the realest things a person can do while being held as a prisoner in one of these cells.

A person who knows theirself is a real person. Having true knowledge of self is what distinguishes the real from the fake, and the determined souls from those who are just lost in the sauce, like dead fish: just going with the flow.

When we stop learning we stop growing and we stop living. We become stagnant, complacent and dead inside. Life becomes meaningless and mundane, and the mind goes blank and gets fuzzy, like static on a television screen.

So it’s important for our survival that we keep searching, keep training, keep learning, keep growing, keep living. Life is a beautiful thing, and the more we understand about ourselves and about life and the universe, the more we will appreciate, respect and enjoy life.

With a heart that’s solid and stout
And from someone who’s real,
October 15th, 2009

Here’s a quote that I would like to share with you:

“However, the oppressed, who have adapted to the structure of domination in which they are immersed, and have become resigned to it, are inhibited from waging the struggle for freedom, so long as they feel incapable of running the risks it requires. Moreover, their struggle for freedom threatens not only the oppressor, but also their own oppressed comrades who are fearful of still greater repression. When they discover within themselves the yearning to be free, they perceive that this yearning can be transformed into reality only when the same yearning is aroused in their comrades. But while dominated by the fear of freedom, they refuse to appeal to others, or listen to the appeal of others, or even the appeals of their own conscience. They prefer gregariousness to authentic comradeship; they prefer the security of conformity with their state of unfreedom to the creative communion produced by freedom and even the very pursuit of freedom.”

From the book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”
By Paulo Freire