The Psycho Whisperer

“No. Hell no! This is bullshit! You can’t do this. You have to let me go. You can’t just deny me. It’s my right! Hey. Hey! Are you listening to me? You’re denying me my right. You know that? Hey! Do you hear me? Hey! Get back here and let me out!” Irate I was […]

Next Year

Junior had been locked up for twenty-three years. He began serving his time at age sixteen. Prison was what he knew, much more than the real world beyond these gates and walls. Good Guy Junior was a hospice volunteer, which meant that he sat with and cared for terminal patients in the healthcare unit. I […]


Weirdo Factor Feeding time in prison is always accompanied by the dividing up into factions as the line begins to wind its way to the chow hall. The most obvious criteria is the racial barrier, and to a large degree the blacks, whites, and Latinos all do tend to gravitate to their own kind. However, […]

Just Bitting

This excerpt is from Candy and Blood. Available for purchase on Amazon now. My world was turned upside down, and I wasn’t really sure how to navigate the strange new terrain in which I found myself. My buddy Kevin, a guy who I’d known for two years and who had been my cellie for nine months, […]

No Talk

This excerpt is from Candy and Blood, available on now. Standing just two and a half feet away, my new cellie began badmouthing me through the chuck hole in the door. “Yeah bro, they all lamers. Ain’t none of ‘em a convict. I’m sick of cellies who don’t know how to bit. His fat […]

Shorty and the Milk Man

This excerpt is from Candy and Blood, available on now. Since he always went by his street name, Shorty, I can’t for the life of me recall his actual name, even though he was my cellie for nearly half a year. This isn’t uncommon, especially since I only heard his government name a handful […]

An Indelible Impression

When I first met Mark, he wasn’t particularly impressive. He didn’t make a strong or indelible impression on me. He was like a lot of white guys in their late thirties and early forties who I’d come across: prematurely aged and showing signs that years of all different kinds of abuse—physical, mental, drug—had taken their […]

The Dirtbag

When I say that my cellie Ray was a shameless, filthy, unrepentant dirtbag, rest assured that I’m telling the truth. When you live in a tiny cell, everything is compounded, made exponentially more aggravating or disgusting thanks to the simple fact that two grown men are essentially inhabiting a closet with a toilet. I don’t […]

The Power of Taylor Swift

“Nah man, forget that. You on some bullshit.” “Whatchu say?” “You heard me.” “Man, I ain’t with all this woofing, so why don’t you do something?” “You don’t want none of this.” “Yeah, sounds good. Just step to me, and we’ll see who’s the vic.” “I ain’t no vic!” The machismo was palpable in the […]

Brady’s Birdcage Tale

My buddy Brady had both done time in The Birdcage, so when the topic came up, we began swapping stories in a strange and twisted competition to see who had witnessed the most disturbing thing during his tenure in the infamously violent maximum security cell house. Eventually I had to concede victory to him. When […]