Notes from the Land of Oz

Being a Prisoner is Like Being a Ghost - Waiting to die, we haunt our loved ones.

I still remember that moment six years ago when I became a ward of the state—a federal inmate. Shackled hand and foot, I arrived by bus at the penitentiary and was ordered to send my clothing and other personal effects home in a cardboard box. I had to fill out a form telling my jailers whether I wished to be resuscitated and what to do with my body and whom to notify in the event of my death. It was one of the first shocks of being in prison, the first loss of self.


At 18 years old I was playing with a handgun and I accident shot and killed my friend. I lost my friend and as far as I was concerned my life was over.

Servant Song

Servant Song

Brother, let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you.

Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.

It was the first Sunday in September, 1999, and I needed a confessor. But I was an Evangelical. I attended an Evangelical church. We did not believe in auricular confession and absolution. True believers confessed their sins to God in secret and were forgiven in secret.

Full Disclosure

 photo disclosure_2.gifI knocked on the steel door to Ron’s office, then fidgeted in the windowless concrete hall outside. Behind me, sounds of the one o’clock inmate movement echoed through Hancock Building: electric locks snapped open, prisoners’ state issue boots clomped on metal stairs, a guard yelled something through shatter-proof glass. I waited alone, uneasy in this empty stub of a hallway, unsure how long I should stand here.

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