Justice Mills

Some Warm Fuzzys

“Set a course for the simple and good and your struggle will be supported by the greatest powers in creation.”
– His Holiness , Bo Lozoff

Does it not drive you insane when you can’t find your pen? For the 5 seconds it takes me to locate it, it makes me crap out kittens, swear. I have one pen, & it’s a “flex pen” (which means it’s just got the plastic ink cartridge) so I’ve had to wrap it in layers of paper & toothpaste to sturdy it. Even on the outside, though, even with my machines, I’m still a paper & pen & longhand kind of human. My hand connected to the pen to the ink to the paper – it has this – it’s like painting with a brush & oils as opposed to using Photoshop.

The lost art of letter writing. We communicate via email, but emails just don’t have the sweet beauty, the simple heart of seeing the words scrawled in your friend’s unique scribble, does it?

Is it not sweet to get a “letter” as opposed to a computer-printed statement, &c? I’m going to write a letter to someone today, why don’t we all do it?! Do it quickly, cause gosh, things change & people go away.

I love this quote, ad mention Bo Lozoff, & I’m going to put it in my letter today & maybe you can too – it will make someone who needs to know how much you appreciate them feel it. It goes like this:

“May I truly cherish you today, knowing that this may be our last day together.”
– Bo Lozoff

Amen, Amen. Is that sweet or what? Gonna send a letter? Good for you, Jack!

So, this is an unorganized (kind of) blog entry (is “blog entry” the term? Isn’t there a hipper word like… “bloggy-doo” or “blog hat”? Lemme know), but, I’d started to write one and – gosh – I just wanted, instead, to toss out some gratitude, some warm fuzzys, as it were, instead of my normal old-testament-prophet-of-doom stuff. ‘Cause, if I’m in jail, using a pen wrapped in paper & toothpaste, and I have some peace of mind happenin’, well, shucks, partner, I reckon you can too. Yes?

So, some of this is gratitude & other stuff is just… other stuff. Like this – here at York County, they don’t let you sleep under a blanket after breakfast. Well some guards will let you, but not a lot. This month there’s a non-blanket CO running the day shift, Officer Anderson (oh – and this little old man sidekick CO, who is against using toilet paper for roses – “if i can’t wipe my ass with it, I’m confiscating it.”) But my cellie, Pee-Wee, is always getting under cover & Gosh – I keep throwing a blanket over me too. So every morning, Officer Anderson, walks in & says: “Well, I can see we have a situation here, boys! Don’t make me take those blankets, now! I’ve got people getting on my ass about this blanket situation! I’m takin’ heat, boys! This is a situation!” Crazy, right? Like, I’m this middle-aged guy, with Pee-Wee in the cell above me (Pee Wee, the slick 25-year old little bastard hardly ever gets caught) and I’m scrambling out from under the blanket (never quick enough). Like the powers that be are saying – “Well, we haven’t been able to find the source of weed floating ’round the pods, but at least we’re getting a handle on the blanket situation.” (oh, then the little old man says, “And I’m trying my hardest to stamp out this paper rose nazi, crap!”)

“We got a situation here, boys!”

No, I mean, the guards here, at Windham, at KCCF have all been pretty good, for the most part. At KCCF most of the guards I spoke with will even pray for you or your loved one if you ask. That’s righteous – There probably is someone at teh top who hates us being under blankets after breakfast. Although –  I’ve found that most un-jailed citizens seem to comment the most about prisoners having cable TV. Like it’s to die for! “The bastards have cable for god’s sake! We got a situation here!”

“Jebus? I don’t even believe in Jebus! Help, me Jebus!!”
– Homer Simpson

I am a Jesus freak. You might not see it that way, with all the crazy shit I write, or that I justed used the word “shit” (God made shit! I mean, “poopys”), but I am. And I come down hard on peeps sometimes in here (I come down, what? on peeps?) or make fun of them, but I do regret, or over think a lot of it later.

Like CODC, I’m not even sure if I craped on CODC at all… I know I told you the piece about Justice Mills telling me to learn to be humble if I wanted to graduate, but that’s just what happened… in truth, without CODC I wouldn’t have a mission today, I wouldn’t be who I am today. If Nancy & Everett hadn’t let me into CODC – I don’t know what I’d be up to, but it certainly wouldn’t have anything to do with public service! Hah! I sit in the back row stoned & make fun of such things – or I used to. My Secret God put me in CODC to prepare me for the big mission, the Holsitic Vision – promoting a good life for those of us with illness, addiction, poverty & criminal tendencies. The Court may see me (& my brother, True-Dogg) as a failure to the program, but I truly am a successful CODC graduate. So to Nancy and her greek chorus – thank you! Hell, if they hadn’t called me uppity and arrogant, I might have become a house servant, a “gray coat.” Holy! I could have become a sobert snort like Carla!

Likewise, I have questions about the Augusta Girl song I wrote, or how angry I came across at Carol Caruthers and the NAMI machine. But, Hell, Carol! (No – I won’t start.)

But – you see, I don’t have a chance to edit myself, which is good. I just send this stuff off to Lyssarian & Twank. I’m not entering any of this onto the websphere myself – no computers here! And holy – I hope I’m not getting edited! Fuck, fuckitty, fuck-fuck-fuck. There – we’ll see if that makes it!

So, if anybody is responding to any of my egg blogs, reservoir blogs, landon blogs – I never get to read them. So for those of you ranting about how rage is a “Lysterine-swilling, donkey-fucking, cult leader who uses Holsitic soldiers to shoplift everready batteries for re-sale in Canada, that cock-sucker! It’s a Cult!” Well – all that may be true, I just don’t get to read it in order to agree with it.

“Rejoice, evermore!”
– First letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians

How can I be here, again, on the cment floor (stained red from the fruit punch Pee Wee & I dye our roses pedals with) against the wall & be grateful? With depression, even? It’s simple, really. If you’re mindful of everything, you’ll be grateful, by default. Journaling (writing in my diary, right?) has always been helpful. I was raised, trained to look for mistakes, leaks in the dam, so to speak. It’s easy to notice what went wrong, what didn’t get done. When I write it all down, though, I can see more clearly what is right and good. What did get done. What I have as opposed to what I don’t. Y’all know this story –

A long time ago, when we all lived in the forest, Rage walked down along through downtown Augusta. It was a beautiful sunny day, he was free, healthy, had money in his pocket, smoking a ciggie. And he was thinking, “God! Life sucks!” Well, not a week later, and Rage was in jail. And he thought about that beautiful day less than week previous and he couldn’t even recall why life had sucked, then. From his jail perspective – it was paradise! Why hadn’t he appreciated it?

I really try, not to take anything for granted today. Things change – in the blink of an eye. People go. You never know. I practice mindfulness as much as possible, really looking around (funny – to be truly mindful, I have to try to stay out of my circus mind!), really appreciating all of it. A few years ago when I was in jail (pre-CODC), I hated myself so much I cut my wrists. My supporters were few. Today, I sit on this beautiful floor in perfect health – Hell – if being forced to quit smoking for this long saves my life it was worth it! A recent exam – no STDs! Yee hee! We have spiritual seasons in our lives, just as there are seasons outside this facility, and spiritually, I have found my set & I am riding some sweet waves through this powerful season. And the people in my life – dig this quote:

“We are ever & always part of each other. We either walk into Heaven arm in arm, or we don’t enter at all.”

Again – ad mention, Sancti Bo.

I am surrounded by love & support & understanding (all the same thing, really), surrounded by the good energy that you send my way – and if I begin to list all of you (actually, I did try, & it just goes on & on… like an Oscar acceptance speech. Horrid!), my dear Tribal Family, the list would never end.

The list never does end.

I love you all, and especially you.

“What do you have that God hasn’t given you?”
– St Paul’s first letter to the  Corinthians, 4:7

Nothing. It’s all from God. What about the bad? Yes, even that. And in the light of where I am today, spiritually, was “the bad” really bad? Well, at times this suck factor has been pretty high up there, but in a sense, it’s all been perfect. Thank you, dear God.

So, let me end this feel-good bloggle, with some… I don’t know… extra. What am I reading? I’m done with “Deep & Simple” by Bo Lozoff (obviously), and the Human Kindness Foundation sent me a free copy of “Doing Time,” so I’ll start that tomorrow. What a great NPO they are (non-profit organization) – giving free books to prisoners & shit. (I would love for Holistix to be an uber-great NPO as well, but, I am on my 5th month waiting for “someone” to send me instructions & tips for completing the mission narrative. If this has to wait until I’m free, I will be fucking PISSED, similar to Ulyses when he got home… ah… sorry. I degress.) And I’m reading Numbers (ch1) and Romans (ch7) in the Bible, and… I finished this Anne Rice, “Lasher” novel which was great, but couldn’t really groove on her “Servant of the Bones.” And – oh… I’m reading, “Tribulation Force” one of this end-of-the-world books I used to devour when I was 14.

I’m still making roses, but it’s been a hard sell. Studying Spanish (“Bueno!”). Writing songs. Meditating (my breaths are SO slow & deep now – I’m like a giant sea turtle, swear.)

Okay. That’s all the time we have this week. I haven’t received any drug & alcohol counseling in 5 months and I’m still waiting on a psychiatrist. Let’s end with a  quote:

“Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.”
– V. Raymond Edman

Vive L’Anarchy!

Love & riots,

– Rage

P.S. Was there any point to the blanket story? If you liked it, leave a message on the Heartline. That’s 215-0565!

Advertisements

One

It’s Thursday night, 4-22-10, at York County Jail; sorry I’m late. I always have so, so much to say, so much spinning about inside my black box, and of course I think that it’s all so important that of course you’ll wanna hear it / read it too! So, I wasn’t sure what to let spill out first – me, or the Revolution. Let’s start with the Revolution & then maybe I’ll let some Rage spill out.

Y’all know I love quotes & here’s one that’s quite apprypos. It’s the first line of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” (something we should all read, at least once), a poem touching upon the themes of both addiction and mental illenss.

This first line reminds me of all of us, those of us still here, & those of us long, long gone:

“I saw the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix.”

We have always been the lowest of the low, the last chosen, the last considered. We are truly seen as “children of a lesser God,” for whatever other situation might be seen as limiting a person, be that race or religion, sexual preference or physical deformity, add mental illness or addiction to that person’s “limiting situation,” and they become beyond the limit, the underclass of an underclass.

Long before Adolph Hitler began murdering Jews, he was ordering the mass executions of the mentally ill – an even easier target than the ever-persecuted Jews. The attempted extermination of our spiritual ancentors with mental illness receives little attention by historians. In a footnote, they may call it “unfortunate,” but not “tragic” in the way it was for the Jews, Gypsies, the J-Witnesses or the Queers – after all, they were mentally ill. Anyway, but the Holocaust of our people began long before the third Reich, & has not ended. We don’t have a descriptive word such as “Holocaust” to describe the age-old socially sanctioned degradation, neglect, rape & murder of our people, although in the bible, our people were seen as demon-possessed. Even in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, founder Bill Wilson in “Bill’s Story” speaks of one of us: “a poor chap committed suicide in our home. He could not or would not accept our way of life.”

Today, They know what we’ve always known – that “poor chap” was one of us, mentally ill. With no alcohol & no proper medication to take its place, his symptons returned with a ferocity he could not live with.

Dual Recovery Anonymous states that we have “two no-fault illnesses,” meaning that we did nothing to intentionally cause our illness, or our addiction, or the situations which follow, from poverty to criminal recividism. Since the advent of the Betty Ford Clinic, & the public recovery of the rich & famous, & then the Big Sur “feel good” recovery surge of the 80s & 90s, addiction has become more understood and, if recovered from successfully, even tolerated. Mental illness, though, from the strictly psychological to the outright behavioral, is still considered by Them, even the most liberal, to be an excuse, a personal weakness and a line on the sand between the worthy humans, & the flawed subhumans.

What follows is the tale of my own big “moment of clarity,” as a person living with both mental illness and addiction, trying to work my way to respectability.

From April of 1997 to December of 1998, I was a participant in the Kennebec County Co-Occurring Disorders Court Program. CODC, of course, is a wonderful alternative to jail time for those of us in the system with the co-occurring disorders of mental illness and chemical addiction. If the money spent on housing our people in the states correctional facilities (the latest I’d heard was $39,000 a year per inmate) was instead channelled into appropriate programs such as CODC, our state would indeed be a healthier (both socially & fiscally) safer place to live.

The standard time int he program, the baseline, so to speak, was one year. I had been in the program for around a year and 1/2. During that time, I had passed every urine screen, every breath test. I had complied with all of the strict conditions of release normally imposed upon CODC clients, and more. I ran two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I had taken over Dual Recovery Anonymous in the area & was so successful that we now had more DRA meetings than any other part of the state. I had co-founded a new recovery practice, the Holistic Recovery Project (http://holistix.atspace.com), Recovery-Through-Wholeness, which had grown to such an extent that we were holding board meetings & working on the paperwork to become a non-profit corporation. Thanks to the rigid structure of the COPC Program, my accomplishments seem to have no end.

We were required to appear before the judge every Monday, although I had been in the program long enough that I was only required to appear every two weeks. I had just written two letters to the Judge & to the CODC team – one (which I’d been invited to submit) my ideas on improve the court program (many which, since my graduation, were in fact implemented). The other letter presented my case for graduating. I went before the Judge one Monday, supremely confident. I felt that I had absolutely exceeded the expectations of the program – I’d certainly exceeded my own. I asked Justice Mills when I would be graduating, and she told me:

“You need to learn some humility.”

Humility? Was that a requirement for graduating from the Program? I was later told by the CODC case manager that the team found me “arrogant.”

I realized at that moment, standing before Justice Mills that neither she, nor the establishment she representative would ever see me, no matter how far I progressed, as anything more than a drunk, an “iller” and a criminal. If it were the old South, she would have called me an “uppity nigger.” I was told later that certain members of teh Court thought that the program was “too easy” for me, that I would have been easier to take if I’d actually had a relapse or two.

So – the establishment found the shuffling, needy “Uncle Toms” of Co-Occurring Disorders easier to stomach than an empowered, “arrogant,” enlightened one.

The problem was, I “didn’t know my place.” I wasn’t acting helpless enough, troubled enough.

Uppity.

Now again – it was the Court Program that allowed me to grow to that level of potential, that re-parented me to success. As I said when I started, there should be more such courts, hospitals, out-patient programs, and community supports.

But – to be really offensive, let’s again use the analogy of the Old South & its treatment of African Americans. Right now in Maine, there’s a movement by the Powers that Be – the white coats (doctors, mental health workers, &c), the black coats (judgese, lawers, politicians, also referring to but not in this particular case undertakers), & the red coats (bleeding hearts) to empower our people. We were released from the tortures of the state hospitals some years back, but that never really worked out, of course due to the money They didn’t want to spend. Now, they want to teach us a pseudo-empowerment, to help us set up a sort of mirror-culture which satires their own. There are lots of consumer councils no one listens to, and the social clubs are peer centers – it’s all a sort of separate but equal.

Of course, you get the connection, true believers, to the Old South. Pseudo-empowered – but not in their neighborhoods, right? Some of us “field hands,” are actually selected to work in the “big house,” so to speak. They give us jobs on these councils or put us in front of TV cameras to show how well They take care of Their illers, &c. In my own case, I was always the kind of holistic soldier / iller-swiller-criminal easier for Them to stomach. I was well educated, well spoken, charming – much akin to the light-skinned black of the Old South. I allowed members of the establishment to be able to say, “Oh, I know one of THEM, he’s not like what you usually think of when you think of THEM. He’s quite enjoyable, actually.”

And when you work in the big house and become a gray-coat (which is the Uncle Tom or Flava Flav of the dually disordered), you can easily convince yourself, as I once did, that they accept you as one of them. That you’ve moved across special borders to become a real Citizen! Yee hee!

Don’t be fooled.

Begging for scraps at the master’s table will only get you scraps. That’s not what They eat.

We deserve more, but they’re not going to give it to us – the poor, the iller, the piller, the swiller.

I am more than just a drunk, the cutter.

More than just an iller, more than

just a criminal.

I AM a patriot, and I am a soldier.

I am worthy, & so are you.

And I could keep going, but Hell – I already have.

Let me leave you with one more thing to Grok on. At Windham – throughout corrections, none of us with mental illness are on our normal regimen of medications. But – most of us have jobs – in the kitchens, cutting lumber, doing upholstery, fixing computers – for just $0.75 an hour – if we’re lucky.

On the outside, we get lots of meds, and we’re told that we can’t work too much or we’ll lose our benefits. We’re taught to be happy getting a check for $700 a month, another $200 in food stamps, and a piece of shit one-bedroom apartment in the shittiest part of town. Thank god we have cable!

Does that make sense?

Okay, my next entry will be more personal – I’ll try to lighten up. I’ll focus on weight-lifting, and sodomy, and trying to bum teabags off of the wealthier inmates.

“Dear ones – it’s here now or it never comes. It’s here now.”
– Bo Lozoff

– Rage

Truedogg used to refer to it as the ” ‘Caust ” or simply, “The Cost.”
I’ll see if Lyssarian & Twanker can find the letters. Here’s the link: http://holistix.atspace.com/truedogg2.htm