SpeakOut! Spring 2013 1
Writing JournalSpring 2013“All these words come back to youA refracted image of me” Benjamin K.
TABLE OF CONTENTSSpecial Thanks 3Introduction, “The Answer Lies Within the Words”. . 4Writers and ArtistsAlan J . 7Alicia R . 11Allie T 12Alonzo A . 17Amanda N . 18Ant . 18Anthony H . 20Antidote . 21April G . 23Ben C . 25Benjamin K 27Blue 31Bob K . 33Bonnie R . 43Bridget C . 48Broox . 48Collaborative 5CrazyKaity . 51Dante L . 52David S . 53Dino C 55Donna S 56Elisabeth W 56Fabrizio . 57Faith M . 58Felicia C 59Felicia W . 60Jessica M . 61Joe H . 62Jonica 62Juztice . 63Katie W 41Krista T . 64L.A. Hwy (Papa) . 65Lil C . 69Lil Savage One . 72Linda G . 74M.B . 75Mikey’s Girl 84Monique . 100Natty the Lion . 85Nikki W . 91Poison Ivy 93R. Raven Lee .93R.L . 101Reece N 101Renevatio 103Ricky B . 109Robert L 116Rosie . 116Ryan 118Samsara 119Sara D 120Shaggy . 122Shawn M . 122Sky 970 . 124SnowBunny 126Stephanie M . 128Steph D . 130Thomas A 134Victoria G 135WatsHerName 136WhiteKnight . 73, 144SpeakOut! Spring 2013 3
SpeakOut! Writing WorkshopJanuary through May, 2013Every Wednesday and Thursday night for the past 14 weeks, a group of men and agroup of women at the Larimer County Detention Center spent an hour and a halfof their time participating in a writing workshop facilitated by Tobi Jacobi, LaurenAlessi, Emma Steward, Liz, Elise, and Jim. Adding to this diverse chorus are twoyouth writing groups from Turning Point’s Boys House and Girls House, facilitatedby Talisha Haltiwanger, Edward Wells, Steph B., Elliott, Tricia, Alex, and Katie.Throughout the semester, creative energy poured through the fingertips of theseprolific writers and onto the page. Male, female, youth and adult, each writerbrought a unique style and voice to the works within.All four groups explored a variety of creative writing forms: fiction, nonfiction,form, freestyle, and experimental poetry. Also contained within these pages areartwork pieces created by residents at the Larimer County Detention Center andparticipants at Turning Point. This is a collection of their work, a unified voice thatreaches out into the future and tells us all that perhaps, through the power ofcreativity, they give us access to what’s inside their minds and their hearts.A very special thanks to Dianne Bacorn, the Larimer County Detention Center andthe CSU Center for Community Literacy for providing staff and material support.Thanks to the Turning Point Center for Youth and Family Development. Wewould also like to give heartfelt thanks to the Duncan Charitable Trust, the ErionFoundation, and the Gannett Foundation for their grant support. We give specialthanks to Gorham Publishers for their unconditional and much valued assistancein bringing this journal to the level of publication that our writers deserve.Winning Cover Art Artist: Ricky B.Back Cover Writers: Fabrizio, Juztice, Little Savage One, Reece N., Poison Ivy, SaraD., Thomas A., WatsHerNameAttention SpeakOut! Writers!For writers involved in the SpeakOut! Writing Workshop, you may continue tosubmit and publish your work through the SpeakOut! 2.0 website:http://speakoutclc.wordpress.com4 SpeakOut! Spring 2013
“The Answer Lies Within the Words”Within these words lie answers to questions we haven't yet asked. Questionsabout how incarceration contributes to a better world. Questions about family and loss andthe pain of reconciliation or a lack thereof. Questions about hope and how to find it.Questions about love and lost love and reclaimed love. One must always make time forintrospection. Often the answers lie within the words that are spilled out on paper and mostof our writers find release and understanding through the act of writing. Understanding that"The Answer Lies Within the Words" may be a step toward a powerful peace.The words that come together from these four writing workshops are strongertogether than they would be apart. They house a treasure trove of insight about what itmeans to live and fail and thrive and grow in the spring of 2013. They reveal somethingimportant about why words and their circulation speak to the very core of who we are ashuman beings, as citizens of a shared planet. In a time when national and international newsrarely delivers stories of human kindness and success, we look to our own narratives to findsolace, to find humor, joy, and the restoration that the imagination and creativity cansometimes deliver The answer lies within the words. These words. This issue. This spring.For 14 weeks this spring, writers from all backgrounds came together through the SpeakOut!Writing Workshops. Writers came with their own set of experiences, motivated by the will toarticulate their thoughts, lives, dreams, and passions. Once a week, we wrote and sharedpoetry (from freeform to experimental), short stories, plays, and other pieces of writinginspired by our life struggles, joy, and by each other. We also utilized examples of publishedworks by writers both foreign and domestic, classic and modern: Fort Collins Poet Laureate,Jason Hardung, Sandra Cisneros, Sonya Sanchez, Raphael Casal, Jamaica Kinkaid, FranClimato (DJ Groove Cereal), Langston Hughes, Def Jam poets Black Ice, and Gemineye toname a few. Each session opened with writers reading their work and closed with writerssubmitting work for feedback and publication in the spring 2013 Journal.The primary philosophy of the SpeakOut! writing program is that every person has astory to tell; each has words that are valuable and necessary. We encourage each writer totell his/her own story and represent personal experiences on paper. This work takes theform of individual and collaborative writings. The SpeakOut! Writing Workshops focus onenacting change through writing experiences and the circulation of this journal alongColorado's Northern Front Range.Writers worked across four sites to title this issue, “The Answer Lies Within theWords,” which speaks to the power of narrative. The volume explores many issues such asrecovery, love won and lost, anguish, strength, justice and hope. Through the sharing ofwork, participants demonstrated an incredibly proficient and sophisticated grasp oftechnique and craft. Furthermore, these artists allowed us, the facilitators, into their world,showing us all that a barrier of bars isn't an accurate indicator of identity. The work itselfexhibits a level of humanity frequently overlooked and ignored, work that often reflects thecrucial moments and decisions that ultimately altered the course of these writers' lives.This book is dedicated to writers past and present at the Larimer County DetentionCenter and Turning Point and to women and men across our globe who struggle againstoppression, poverty, abuse, and gender discrimination by creating and publishing theirstories, poems, essays, and artwork.Want to Contribute to the SpeakOut! Writing Program?Please visit our website for more akOut! Spring 2013 5
CollaborativeTo Be ManLCDC Men’s GroupI am an animal, gentleman, scholar.I am a songwriter, vagabond, minstrel.I am a husband, father, provider.I am a father, son, brother, husband, uncle and friend.I am a delicate flower inside a machine, a force, an encyclopedia of useless sportsinformation.To be a man is primal, cunning brave, caring, strong a testament of endurance.It is not ADHD, its multi-capable.To be a man is hard, never ending work.To be a man is true, strong, dependable, loving, kind, caring, trusting, loyal, and forgiving.To be a man is a constant game of king of the hill.To be a man is dirty fingernails, knowing what animal makes the best jerky, and having a tiefor every occasion.To be a man in love is awkwardly dumbstruck, carelessly vulnerable, recklessly naïve.To be a man in love is every man’s dream. But you have to be confident, manly, strong, butmostly you are confused to the point you ask yourself what did I get myself into.To be a man in love is to be ruled by passion that’s inconsistent with logic and reason.To be a man in love is joyful, never ending miracle, a test.To be a man in love is to be willing to love 100% unconditionally, give to get yet doing it allunselfishly and above all to give the respect you wish to receive.To be a man in love is to open my heart, to care to listen. Always being by his side throughthick and thin. Knowing when to shut my mouth and allow the barrage of his day to takeme like a tidal wave, to then turn around and hold him and know that he is loved. To watcha friend walk away and go to a place I’d rather not be.To be a man in love is putting her first, not having cereal for dinner, learning what aisle“feminine products” are on.To be a man in love is terrifying, will she break my heart? Am I good enough? Will I grow oldalone? You never listen to me! I am confidently lost. I have a huge heart wanting to beloved. To be in love is to be on fire. Don’t cry. I am tough outside, I am strong physically butnot emotionally. You can crush me with 5 little words, “I don’t love you anymore.”A man in love is a Neolithic charcoal cave painting depicting the epic hunt for a mastodon. Itis a tale told around tribal fires.To have a woman feels incomparable; divine.To be a man in love is.what’s love? I’m young.To be an incarcerated man is a disappointment to others, introspective, impaired, infinitelymelancholy.To be an incarcerated man is to be emasculated by a feministic propaganda purported bythe judicial system.To be an incarcerated man is lonely nights, realizing that women are irreplaceable,abandoning loved ones.6 SpeakOut! Spring 2013
CollaborativeTo be incarcerated is to be a wizard without a hat.To be an incarcerated man is painful, sad, full of hopelessness.To be an incarcerated man is to be lonely sharing that pain with all those who love and carefor you; a lack of respect for your family and to yourself.To be in jail is life in suspension. Anguish. Don’t wait for me. It’s too hard on us both, moveon.To be an incarcerated man is to lose out on all the joys in life. The marriages and the birthsof the nieces and nephews. To experience a loss so profound that it rips the hearts out ofall those that loves you. It is knowing that whatever I did, I did for my own benefit and tolose all that was given to me.To be an incarcerated man is hella boring.Being a father is hardest when you are not allowed to be a father.Sacred FeminineBy the collective (The LCDC Women’s Group)I am a mother, a daughter, a sister.I am a leader, a protector, and a believer.I have been through many heartaches and losses, but at the end of the day, I am a survivor,a listener, and a friend.To be a complicated woman is exhausting and an everyday challenge, but the end result isyour mother, sister, daughter, me and you.To be a woman in love is one hot mess headaches, acne, pulling out my hair fatigue,confusion, one night of bliss To be a woman in love felt like walking on clouds and no one or nothing could bring bedown. It was an unforgettable high.Heart beating rapidly then again left with no beat at all. Feeling like you’re on top of theworld then again feeling like dirt that’s swept under the rug.To be a woman in love is the sound of that first cry, that red face, forgetting the 12 hours ofhard labor, counting all ten toes and fingers. Holding a miracle for the first time. Watchingyou sleeping, growing up, school days.To be a happy woman is to see all the good in your kid’s eyes and all the love you giveeveryone.My mother is a wonderful and wise woman. She gave me her knowledge to raise mychildren.To have my mother made my life complete. I felt whole, I was happy, I was content.The day I lost my mom, I asked God: Is it okay to cry?God replied: yes, my daughter, let them tears fall.When I was at my worst, he still was there. When I was at my best, he was still by my side.God says yes to me. Yes. You are following the Path of Enlightenment. Yes. You can t! Spring 2013 7
CollaborativeTo be an incarcerated woman is to be locked up, tied up. Found then lost. Captured, notset free. Lost, never remembered. Died then brought back to life A broken heart but rich in soul.I have let my son down by being here. I think letting him down is worse than letting myselfdown. I don’t feel bad for me. I feel bad for him. I did something to deserve a sentence injail and he did not, but it’s like he is being punished, too.To be an incarcerated woman is to swallow your pride, be humbled, be stripped ofmodesty, have time to think of what I have done, be forgotten, can be maddening, is a giftof time for reflection, is the way I had to have it.I first have to want to be saved, and sometimes that’s a loaded question. Too many waysbeing pulled, too many obstacles in the way, too many voices crying out.The only life I can save is the one that I haven’t lived yet – my own.Alan J.Sad IsSad is, being the friend that you want to have, sharing the love that you want to feel, anwatching the dreams and desires of your heart get crushed with the nightmare of someoneelse’s selfishness.Sad is, seeing the tears that fall from the loving eyes of your wife as she sees all of your socalled friends testify against you so they can get or keep their deal.Sad is, having all the respect in the world, for the world and giving that respect where it isdeserved, while being disrespected by all those closest to your heart.Sad is, to know what a kind and wonderful loving person you are. One that gives withoutexpecting to get. Then to hear all these hurtful lies that could never be true and anyonewho knew you wouldn’t believe them if they saw them with their own eyes.Sad is, having the best reputation, the most trust, and the biggest heart of all those aroundyou as you get stepped on time and time again.Sad is, seeing everything you love slipping through your fingers and there is nothing youcan do about it but watch it fall.Sad is my reality but I will accept it like a man and somehow still find forgiveness for somany that don’t deserve it, from the bottom of my heart.Sad is, Me, I am sad!Can you see why?8 SpeakOut! Spring 2013
Alan J.The BoxUnder my steps I have a boxThat holds the secrets of my heartIn letters that I had wroteLast time my world was torn apartI saw them as I moved themYet still afraid of what I’d findIf I had looked inside “the Box”Or at those memories in my mindThose words I send with love and truthTo the ones, I shared my dreamsAs I look back on those shattered livesI pray my life’s not as it seems“The Box” it holds the mysteriesOf how to live life right(Sometimes) so lost within my twisted mindI barely see the lightDream of love and live the dreamAlways put the other firstLove with no conditionsFor better and for worst.Do what you say and give to getYou must always have respectOr lost will be your hopes and dreamsIn “the Box” under your steps.She’s ThereWhen I’m feeling sadAnd I can’t see your smileYou give me hope to carry onAnd love me all the whileWhen I want to give upYou put me in my placeYou help to set my mind at easeAnd put the smile back on my faceSometimes when I’m without youAnd the stars too far to reachYou help to find he cluesWhen it’s your turn to teachNow when I’m feeling lonelyAnd there’s nothing I can doI trust in Love faith and hopeAnd leave the rest to you.Thank you my love for always being there when I need a little reminder of why I love you sodamn much! P.S. I love you; You’re the best plus!!SpeakOut! Spring 2013 9
Alan J.Why I Love YouFor My Loving Wife SaraYou asked me why I loved youTo just see what I’d say“Where to begin” was my first thoughtCuz you know I feel this wayIt starts of course inside my heartBy the way your love makes me feelLike there’s nothing more important to youAnd that our love is very realYour pretty smile that lights up the roomThe tears of joy you just can’t hideYour humor that just warms my heartYour laughter sings a lullabyYour kind and loving temperamentThe forgiveness all can seeThe way you always have my backEven when you’re mad at meYour selfless needs, your wants and dreamsThe way you give you getYour openness, those things you’ll doThat you hardly get upsetI knew it the moment I had found youAnd yes our love is trueThis is only the beginningOf the reasons I love youIt’s Not GoodbyeThe tears are fallingAs her life slips awayThe wait won’t be very longPromises kept one dayThey’ll be there waitingJust you wait and seeTaking care of you, my loveWhile you wait for meAll of the time we lostOne second is way too muchHow I would give anythingFor only just one touchNow you’re in God’s handNo safer place to beMy love is forever10 SpeakOut! Spring 2013Just you wait and seeFinally I’ll get thereOur dreams finally come trueBut until that dayPlease know, I’ll be missing youThe tears are fallingThe love will never dieForever in my heartIt’s so long, it’s not goodbye
Alan J.We Pray“We pray” for joy and peace of mindAnd that all our dreams come true“We pray,” our hopes will be your willWith your help to see us through“We pray,” for wisdom, strength, and faithGood health may we be blessed“We pray” sometimes for patienceAnd help out of this mess“We pray,” that bad things pass us byAnd good fortune keeps us young“We pray,” the pain is overWhen we know it’s just begun“We pray,” we get forgivenessFor all the bad things we doSometimes we even pray for deathSo we can come home to youI AmI am every parent’s nightmareI am every school girl’s dreamI am the one they warned you aboutI’m sure you’ll see what I meanI am there when you need a friendI am the voice that can be heardI am always thinking positiveI’m the one with a kind wordI am looking for the brighter sideI am not filled with doubtI am trying to make the pieces fitI’m the one you can’t figure outI am laughter when you feel downI am the shoulder when you cryI am the hand if you need heldI’m sad to say goodbyeI am the one accepting fateI am in my heart still freeI am filled with love, faith, and hopeI’m a simple man, that’s meSpeakOut! Spring 2013 11
Alan J.One Last Chance (With David G.)There’s a lengthy list that I don’t knowOf the things in life that aren’t realAmong my favorites are the times I thoughtWith all the wounds that wouldn’t healAgainst my own best interestsI played this gave againTo discover all that I’ve becomeIn a game where no one winsYesterday, like a forgotten dreamTomorrow, like a distant visionLiving today can be a nightmareIn this life that I’ve been givenTell me, is this really my lifeOr has my mind deceived itselfHelp me, cuz it couldn’t beWith all the things that I have felt.One more “One last chance” at lifeTo be the man that I should beTo become the man I know I amThe list becomes reality.Alicia R.Ode the Broken things!!!Tell me I forgetShow me I RememberInvolve me I understandMaybe shatter my involvementsAnd the Broken desires that I’veAlways input! And allmy understanding can makea Big Book! To pick upthe small pieces I am leavingBehind little By little theywill Break off But By myinvolvement they all willBe put Back so please don’tleave out the course I’VEhad!12 SpeakOut! Spring 2013
Alicia R.February MemoryShe wore flowers in her hair! Oris it that they really were neverthere! We really can’t say whatwe see these days lock awayin these hidden walls, when wespend day by day seeing crazy thingseach and every way!
4 | SpeakOut! Spring 2013 SpeakOut! Writing Workshop January through May, V T U W Every Wednesday and Thursday night for the past U X weeks, a group of men and a group of women at the Larimer County Detention Center spent an hour and a half of their time participating in a writing workshop facilitated by Tobi Jacobi, Lauren