Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Death Row Journal

My Death Row correspondent has asked me to post this entry from the journal he tries to keep. I think he writes brilliantly. I'd love to know what you think. Every word and all the punctuation are as he wrote them.

The Row I've Hoed Bears Bitter Death

Sometimes the rain falls and I'm never aware of it. I'm sound-proofed from the world. Cursed to witness but not participate. Sometimes the sound of thunder is lost in the cacophony of shouting men screaming their grievances to apathetic guards; their prayers to an indifferent deity.

The only time I hear rain is when it leaks through the cracks in the ceiling. It's not the melodic symphony of water dancing off of the leaves or earth or man-made edifices. No, this sound has more of a dull metronomic quality as it slaps the stone floor. Each drop is a tiny defibrillator that shocks me back to reality; the needle that pierces all my dreams.

After the rain has fallen I plug up the concrete sky, shut off the light that became my fluorescent moon and stars and finally sleep.

This is where my life's journey has taken me and dropped me off, like a child on the first day of school...kicking and screaming. A ten by six cell where I play at being god. Creating, destroying, rearranging and likewise becoming indifferent to the world.

Irving Davis

Recently, he had to be transported elsewhere. He was returned late, and couldn't understand what all the little lights were in the sky. He finally realised that they were stars. He hadn't seen stars for eleven years. He never received the book I sent him; a harmless book he had asked for. It was refused him because of one sentence. I shall never know which.

15 comments:

  1. He writes very well. He has the power to move.

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  3. Replies
    1. I think he has a very good mind, Frances.

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  4. That's really powerful, perceptive and descriptive writing. How terrible that the gift of a book was denied.

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    1. I'm furious about the book, Rosemary, They seem to use any excuse to deny the inmates anything that might give them any pleasure.

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  5. Very moving Frances.
    I never did get round to completing ?application form to correspond with prisoners on death row.
    This post tells me I made a mistake. Can you please re-direct me to where I need to be again?
    Cheers
    Anna :o]

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    1. Anna, Lifelines (the organisation that organises writing to inmates) can be found at www.LifeLines-uk.org.uk Good luck with that. They desperately need new people as there's a long waiting list for pen friends.

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    1. Thank you, L. I shall pass all the comments on to him.

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  7. Such writing certainly gives a lie to the possible perception that prisoners on death row are unable adequately to express themselves beautifully.

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  8. You would be surprised by the writing of many of Mr. Davis' cellmates on Texas Death Row. Thomas Whitaker has some brilliant pieces on www.minutesbeforesix.com where Mr. Davis also has some poetry posted.

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