Journal entries – 10 to 13 September 2020

Thursday September 10th 2020

Today I have found the desire to pick this pen up again and bleed. You might think it’s easy to write for someone like me, to document my thoughts and emotions. But it’s not. Especially when I can find nothing but negative inside of me, all around me, with no light in sight. But today I have decided to write two or three things that I am thankful for. When you live in a cage, it can be difficult to find thing for which to be grateful, so I go back to the basics.

I am grateful for being able to fall asleep. Last night, the first time I lied down at midnight and slept until 8 am. That counts for a minor miracle in this dump. These devils continually wake us up. A good night’s rest helps me get up out of bed and begin my day searching for the new beginning that I need and want. Each morning carries the possibility, the promise of a new beginning, so there is always that and I believe in myself, no matter the setback, the betrayal, the misplaced trust. I will bounce back. I am grateful for the start of our American NFL pro football season tonight. Football helps my mind leave this hell even if it’s for a few hours. This weekend will give us Saturday filled with College/University football games and Sunday and Monday night filled with NFL pro games. I need the release. And I am grateful for my faithful old “classic” radio that helps me listen to all the games, news and music. That helps me stay alive. So there it is. A start.

Friday September 11th 2020

So Sheree asked me to write about my daily life, so I will try. We’ve been locked in our cells since June and no opportunity to get out for anything. No recreation, no visitation, so I am in this 9 X 12 feet cage for months in a row. The new normal post Covid-19 is we might get one or two hours recreation period per week. There is no pattern or schedule on our recreation any more. Up until June we had recreation 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. Now? It’s whenever these devils show up and ask if we’re going for recreation. Maybe tomorrow I will get recreation and a few hours out of this cage. Recreation or time out of your cage is a big deal when that is all you get. They just passed out mail and I got some photos from a friend and I am grateful for that. I am grateful she understands I see nothing except 4 walls in this hell hole, so she shows me things I want to see. I like Instagram posts, comments, and friends and family too. So that piece of love and light illuminated my little world, forcing the darkness back some. And I am grateful. So what you witness is my resilience and my fighting back once again because I told you Mothertrucker, I would bounce back from this too. Now watch me! The weekend is here and I’ll write plenty of letters and maybe I can find some inspiration to write a new essay. We’ll see!

Saturday September 12th 2020

Another day locked in this cell. I was wrong in thinking/hoping I might get recreation today. To run showers, the rocket scientist who runs this dump for two night shifts guards to work four more hours to have three guards on the pod. Tat makes for a 16 hours day for those two lucky individuals. I’d laugh at them if it didn’t mean I get no rec!

Saturdays are wash days for me and I do my sheets in my sink. Meaning I wash them by hand, which is a real pain. I think that when I finally get a washer and a dryer I will not know what to do with myself then!

I am doing my best at trying to keep my focus and talk myself into doing what I need do. Having a bit of difficulty with that but it’s like that sometimes. I’ve been thinking about what I’m grateful for today and there’s not a lot of options! Haha! I am grateful for the sports page in the Dallas Morning newspaper. It’s NFL season and I have been able to read the pre-season training camp reports and learn what my team is looking like. Reading and informing myself is something I appreciate. So there is that. The main focus is being on and looking forward to the NFL season which begins tomorrow. One day at a time and maybe we’ll reach our destination. If we keep on pushing.

Sunday September 13th 2020

I was up early this morning to shower and finish up some cleaning and washing. Back in this cage for the day and I have listened to the morning sports talk programs on the games to be played today. Looking forward to that. As I sit and listen to the afternoon games I have been finishing up a few origami figures to use in a couple of mobiles. I thought about trying to do some art work and finish a card I have had started for a month now, but that’s a far as I have got. I have a couple of cards to write and send out. Our best effort changes from day to day. When we are at full strength, we are capable of much. When we are not doing so well, our best is not so great. Today, this is my best effort and it has to be enough. I am very grateful for the NFL Sunday night football game where the Cowboys will play the Rams. It’s been 6 months since we’ve had any real football games that count. Who knows if we’ll get an entire season but we’ll get one tonight and I’m ready and excited. So that is what will get me through to the next day. So today is good, better than yesterday and that is something for which to be grateful too. I am also grateful for a book I am re-reading, titled : “Things no one else can teach us” by Humble the Poet. When I re-read good stuff, it helps me remember the light when darkness abounds. Go Cowboys!

Journal entries – 20 to 31 July 2020


20th July_

Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 small apple; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small piece of foodloaf.

Lunch: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small beef sausage; 2 pieces of bread; 3 slices of canned pears.

Dinner: 1 piece bologna+cheese; 1 piece corn bread; 3 baby carrots.

21st July_

Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 piece coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich.

Lunch: 1 small beef sausage; 1 small bundle cauliflower; 1 small bundle brocoli; 1 piece of bread.

Dinner: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 salami sandwich.

22nd July_

Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich,; 3 oz oatmeal in a cup; 6 prunes.

Lunch: 1 chicken patty; 1 biscuit; 6 baby carrots; 1 peanut butter sandwich.

Dinner: 1 corn dog; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 4 prunes.

23rd July_

Breakfast:1/2 pint of milk; 1 small piece foodloaf; 1 peanut butter sandwich

Lunch: 1 bologna +cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small orange.

Dinner: meat patty + cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich

24th July_

Breakfast: 1 biscuit; 4 oz oatmeal; 1 peanut butter sandwich

Lunch: chicken patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes.

Dinner: 6 oz ground beef; 2 corn tortillas; 1 peanut butter sandwich

25th July_

Breakfast: 1 small piece spice cake; ½ pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 3 oz oatmeal

Lunch: Barbecue beef sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes.

Dinner: pork patty, cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich.

26th July_

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs; 1 spoiled pint of milk; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins.

Lunch: 1 meat sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins

Dinner: 6 oz potato meat mix; 1 tortilla flour; 1 biscuit; 1 peanut butter sandwich

27th July_

Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 biscuit; 4 oz rice; 1 piece coffee cake

Lunch: 2 biscuits; 1 chicken patty; 1 peanut butter sandwich

Dinner: 1 corn dog; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 handful raisins

28th July_

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg; ½ pint of milk; 1 serving breakfast cereals; 1 penut butter sandwich.

Lunch: 1 tuna fish sandwich; 1 boiled egg; 1 peanut butter sandwich

Dinner: Salami + cheese sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 hanful raisins.

29th July_

Breakfast: 1 foodloaf; 2 biscuits; ½ pint of milk

Lunch: 1 barbecue sandwich; 1 peanut sandwich; 6 prunes; 4 oz chocolate pudding

Dinner: 1 fish patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 miniature cookies.

30th July_

Breakfast: 1 slice coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 6 prunes

Lunch: 1 meat patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small apple.

Dinner: 1 fish patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 biscuit.

31st July_

Breakfast: 2 pancakes; 1 peanut butter sandwich; ½ pint of milk; 1 serving breakfast cereals.

Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich, 4 baby carrots.

Dinner: 3 oz ground beef; 2 pieces of bread; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 4 baby carrots.

Journal entries from 6th to 9th August 2020

Journals from 6th to 9th August 2020

Thursday 6th August 2020_

We have been on medical quarantine lockdown for a month straight. A friend here mentioned that this lockdown has felt very long. I think that this is because of the absolute isolation we are enduring. I am really feeling it and I have grown disgusted with the attorneys who represent each death row prisoner. They seem to find it very acceptable to not have to spend more time visiting and communicating with their clients. Understand these devils are still actively trying to murder us all. That is very frustrating for me. The Court judge, prosecutors and appeal attorneys have gotten used to “chilling at home”, doing their work via Zoom, etc. And we are held “excommunicado” in this “New normal”. The tunnel is long and dark with no light to be seen and all anyone can do is continue to move forward. The number one danger are the people who work here, and who leave the unit daily to who knows where, then come back possibly infecting me with Covid-19. Many are unwilling to properly wear their masks, and they are the most dangerous devils of them all. Common sense tells us they do not wear a mask when not at work, seeing they are so reluctant to wear one when they are at work. That means they will be getting infected and in turn become super spreaders on Texas death row. Chilling to think of, but so real and true here.

Friday 7th August 2020

I have realized I need to write more about the day to day life and death row situation in my life on Texas death row now. No one knows who might get sick, who will live or who will die in this situation. So if something should happen to me, others will know how I was sacrificed. This morning, the commanding officer began showers, then at 8 am, they got the order to run recreation. I went to recreation in the day-room for the first time in a month. I wore my mask the entire 2 hours period. Apparently, they are only doing a 25% of the pod population recreation at a time. Instead of allowing all 6 sections (14 men per section) to get out of their cages and have recreation. Only 2 sections were given the opportunity for recreation. In 4 hours, the commanding officers were done with recreation and no one else went out. This does not make any sense we all are solitary single men, alone recreation, so why allow just 25% of death row prisoners to get out of their cells for recreation? We were given a regular “hot” meal this evening for dinner, which was much better than 2 sandwiches. At this point, the quantity of food we get is more important than quality of it. So we got a full tray of food and everyone was happy about that.

Saturday 8th August 2020.

Another Saturday and now it appears as if we are moving into a new phase of reality in life on Texas death row. I woke up to the guards running showers early this morning. But no recreation. We have learned that all of the prisoners who work on the building, in the kitchen and on the clean up crew etc. But they have been allowed back to work.

So it looks like we are having a rush to “open the unit”, selectively, meaning showers daily but absolutely no recreation 7 days a week.

We got a sack lunch breakfast but 2 regular hot tray meals for lunch and dinner. The prisoner kitchen workers are back. For your information, it costs less to give us regular meals than  all them awful sandwich meals, so it works for them.

We have learned that “ecomm” is being allowed to be ordered by friends, family in the free world, again. We have been told that the next opportunity to get commissary will be a full spend, not limited to 15$. this means these people in charge are declaring that no new Covid-19 positive tests have come up. Interesting, when you think about the fact that no new testing has been done since the last go round, when 800 positives were found. Is it possible they are putting out alternative facts on the above?

Sunday 9th August 2020.

Here I am again listening to the news. The world continues to lose its mind. Today, 2 more sections went to recreation. Friday A and F sections had recreation. Today, B and E sections had recreation. It looks like they will skip a day or two, then let another two sections go to recreation. It will amount to us having a chance to recreate one time in a week. Am I supposed to be happy these devils let me out of my cage once a week? Forgive me if I am not! I know the trick when they take your meager privileges then give you half of them back, and you are supposed to be grateful. What they need give us back are our visits. If we have zero positive Covid-19 cases, then we should get visitation. Shouldn’t their alternative facts apply in our favor here as well? Haha. That is insanity. Today is cooler here and I am grateful. The allergy/ hay fever mess has gotten a lot better an I am super grateful for that. I can think a little better and I am trying to write as much as I can. I throw myself into that and I free myself in the process, because I am not here when I write letters to friends. I am there and right now, that is a very attractive place to be. Anywhere but in this hell hole, so I cannot wait to get back to it and in the process leave here!

Journals from 22nd to 27th July 2020

July 22nd 2020

Breakfast : ½ pint milk, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 3 oz oatmeal, 6 prunes. Lunch: 1 chicken patty, 1 biscuit, 6 baby carrots, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Dinner: 1 corndog, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 4 prunes.

Here I am again pen in hand, trying to find a meaning in the insanity that swirls around us all. I am grateful for getting 9 hours or mostly uninterrupted sleep last night, which sets me up for a lot of work getting done. There is much to complain about and be unhappy about, and I do my best not to let that take control over me. Remember , when you cannot change the situation, treat it like small stuff and work with it, not against it. I got my brother Jim Ulrich on my visitors list and after 2 months I called him Monday night at 9 pm. I had been thinking of him and not heart from him so I rang , with 4 guards around me listening, so I guess we called. He needed that call and I am grateful I was able to do it. We get 2 “trys”, if the number you call is not answering, that is your first try. Gotta make it count and not crap out with my calls. I was grateful for that, no doubt. With 800 or more positive cases of Covid 19 at Polunsky, I do not think we will get visits for years. I think there devils will get accustomed to holding us all in complete isolation. So I do believe I will think about adding friends to my visitors list I can call instead of visit. Maybe that will be positive consistent occurrence in my life. Think is I cannot make it happen. But you can. Damn anyone who says complaining makes it worse. You think it is outrageous we are being starved (one corn dog! Really!), that we go months without any communication and no visit? Complain. Message Sheree on instagram at “FreeCharlesFlores” and ask her how and what to do!

July 23rd

Breakfast: ½ pint of milk, 1 piece foodloaf, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Lunch: 1 bologna/cheese sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 small orange. Dinner : 1 meat patty, cheese sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich.

July 24th

Breakfast: 1 biscuit, 4 oz oatmeal, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich. Lunch: 1 chicken patty sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 6 prunes. Dinner: 6 oz groundbeef, 2 corn tortillas, 1 peanut butter sandwich.

So here I am again living day to day, more than ever. Today was shower day. I have decided I will go to shower because they clean them with bleach, and I hope my neighbor does not have Covid 19 and breathes some out to get me after he comes out and I go in. I make sure not to touch anything and my face with showering.

We were told that we’d get to submit our 15,00 $ commissary list and receive our purchases today but then they said it was canceled. Why? These jokers are doing nothing but sitting around and walking through the pod once an hour, maybe. No recreation. Meals are a paper-sack, they pass that mess out in 30 minutes and that’s it. The medical quarantine is on the 3 week we are allowed 15,00 $ commissary food purchases. They are starving us, an extra ramen noodle pack will help right now. Rumor is that last Friday or Saturday, the quarantine period started over when new Covid 19 tests were found. Like the month lockdown is not something I have just been tortured with! So, I have a request. Please call # 936-967-80-87 (00.1 prefix from France) wardens Dickens, Jackson, Perez and ask them why are we not allowed to buy food? We’re being starved, what’s going on? When am I/ We (Death row + AG-Seg) prisoners not allowed to call loved ones? General Population inmates get two 20 minutes calls FREE, every week. They get recreation Dayroom time, every other hour, why have I not had recreation in a month?

July 26th 2020

Breakfast: ½ pint stale milk, 3 oz oatmeal, 2 boiled eggs, 1 handful of raisins. Lunch: 1 meat sandwich, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 handful of raisins. Dinner: 6 oz meat/potato mix, 1 biscuit, 1 peanut butter sandwich.

Sometimes the week-end seems very long. A friend here mentioned this and it feels that way. I think the absolute isolation with no end in sight cause the seemingly never ending “night time” we endure. Before, there was a visit to look forward to, a meeting with my legal team in the weeks or months ahead. Now, there is nothing but darkness and that is not easy to deal with. So the unknown has a new and improved form to terrorize in. That is when we must develop and maintain tunnel vision. Keep healthy and as fit as possible through some kind of physical exercise. Then set that daily goal and work towards it. When you reach it you feel good. And do all you can to be a positive and good person. Helping others when you can, not allowing cynical, negative thoughts to overwhelm us. Meditate, pray and work towards manifesting what is right and good in your life. This is my plan. This is where faith comes in, where the absolute Good shall prevail over evil in your life and in the world. Hope is manufactured every day. Every day I get out of this bed and I gather myself and get to the business of creating hope. Setting goals and using the mindset of focusing on the immediate goal to create the reliable satisfaction. Even if we at this point in time cannot see light at the end of the tunnel, but we must have faith and know light exists. We just have get to it! Keep moving forward and never give up!

July 27th

Breakfast: ½ pint milk, 1 biscuit, 4 oz rice, 1 piece of coffee cake. Lunch: 2 biscuits, 1 chicken patty, 1 peanut butter sandwich. Dinner: 1 corn-do, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 handful raisins.

Shower day today, I went to shave but I thought about in regards to possible Covid 19 exposure. I noticed some guys who would never miss a shower nor leave their cells. I understand but wonder where the line needs be drawn on possible exposure? Allergies are really acting upon me and have been during the past week. It seems like it’s very bad and I am not the only person who’s being affected. Not long ago, I heard about African Sahara dust and wonder if this dust has arrived in Texas late, like Covid 19? It’s not easy to write when I have a head full of wool but I will do my best. We were told that we “might” be allowed to go to commissary this coming Thursday, and spend an entire 15 $. That was supposed to have happened last week, but it didn’t. I hope you called and asked why not! I am in a cage, one of 500 cages they have here and I see no one to ask about such things. Not for days. I do believe the situations is out of control and they just got started with trying to deal with it. I remember when my friends would laugh at me here when I told them to buy extra coffee, ramen noodles, beans and rice because we’re going to get locked down! Nobody’s laughing anymore. So the wild roller coaster ride continues.

Journal entries – 18 to 21 July 2020

Journal_ Saturday 18th July 2020

Today the results of Covid 19 retesting began to come back and it is not good at all. The results are not yet in but so far, 400 or even more positive test have been found in the general population of Polunsky. I have a bad feeling about it this time. We have been on medical lockdown for 12 days days but the 14 periods starts over every time a positive test comes back. We’re screwed. There are units that have been on medical lockdown since March 2020, and I fear we have joined that number. I remain fairly certain that we will not have massive positive Covid 19 testing results on building 12 because we all in solitary confinement. There are 504 solitary confinement cells on building 12 and about 200 are used to house Texas death row. We’ve all been locked in our cells for 3 weeks now, so if there are positive cases among us, how is it happening?

Time will tell. I was hoping they could put out the flare up of Covid in the general population, but 400 or more cases and counting tells me that it’s out of control and really no way these devils can get it back under control. Everyone in general population will end up getting it, how will they prevent it? The question is : will we have it run through our numbers on building 12? All we can do is watch the slow motion train wreck and shake our heads in disbelief.

Sunday July 19th 2020

This morning I woke up to the guards walking around in full PPE gear (Personal protection Equipment): gown, face shield, goggles, N95 masks and gloves. The results are coming back from the Covid 19 tests on building 12 and the commanding officer on duty told us there were/are three positive tests on this pod. Everyone is going crazy, because there are more than a few positive Covid 19 test results on building 12.

Now they say there are 600 or more positive cases of Covid 19 in the general population and they have not yet gotten all the results from the test yet. The wheels have come off this thing here and who knows what will happen? It’s ironic, I expected this in March but it never came. I was 4 months early in my feeling that Covid 19 would get us. Just now, the commanding officer told 3 death row prisoners to pack their stuff and that they were moving. Today is Sunday, you never move on Sunday, unless something very unusual is happening. They are the guys who tested positive for Covid 19. The commanding officer just said it was 3 guys on this pod and now these 3 are being moved to quarantine.

One of the guys is downstairs from me. He never comes out of his cell though. The other two guys are in the next section, they are neighbors. How are these guys positive? They are not sick, so it is impossible to tell who is sick/positive and who is not when they show no obvious symptoms.

Monday 20th July 2020


Breakfast: ½ pint of milk; 1 small apple; 1 peanut butter sandwich; 1 small piece of food loaf.

Lunch: 1 peanut butter sandwich; 2 slices of bread; 1 small beef sausage; 3 slices of canned pears.

Dinner: 1 Piece of bologna and cheese; 1 piece of corn bread; 3 baby carrots.

Here I am and it’s evening time. We got showers today and at noon time I went to attorney phone call and had a good call with Gretchen. It’s ironic that when I got to phone call, I get stuck out at the visit room for an hour or two, like it used to be when we had visits. I’ve learned that had 5 positive Covid 19 tests on death row and over 40 in ag/seg, which is general population in solitary confinement, on about 50 total. That seems like a lot for 500 prisoners who are in complete isolation in single man cells. The guys who are positive on death row are now on pod A, section A, which is death watch. As soon as the trio was moved from my pod, the guard removed PPE and things went back to “normal”. I don’t feel normal though. I feel like we have crossed over into a new reality that might be around for a long time. We’re supposed to go to commissary and be allowed to spend 15$. That is an issue now because they are not providing an over abundance of food for us. It is still food in a paper sack and I have decided to keep a menu so other will know what we are being given to eat. Not sure when we’ll be given this opportunity, to buy a bit of extra food. In the meantime, I do my best to make it here.

Tuesday 21st July 2020


Breakfast: ½ pint milk; 1 piece of coffee cake; 1 peanut butter sandwich

Lunch: 1 small beef sausage; 1 slice of bread; 1 small bundle cauliflower; 1 small bundle brocoli.

Dinner : 1 salami sandwich; 1 peanut butter sandwich.

Last night, these devils were running phone calls. They were on Row 1, moving away from us so I have no idea when they might give me my opportunity to call someone. It’s 8 pm now and I do not see anyone going to phone call. The last time we were allowed to make a call was 22nd May, two months ago. I’m feeling pretty isolated right now. No calls, no visits, nothing, and no relief in sight, I don’t think. I have spent a good part of my day making origami. I have a few new figures I have learned how to make : a dolphin and a sea turtle. It felt good getting the hang of these new animals and now I have a different origami mobile to share. Sometimes I need something like that to keep my mind off the stress that swirls around me.

I was up until 3 am last night, listening to the radio and preparing some envelopes I want to mail out through the property officer, because I was hoping she would come through today, but no go. They put her on pod A, so who knows when might pick up property for mail out. That late night has me feeling slugging so I cam calling it a night early to be ready for the morning to hit it hard.

Journal entries – July 8-12th, 2020

July 8, 2020 (« We gotta get out of here » by The Animals)

“Everything is going to be alright”

How should I not be glad to contemplate

The clouds beyond the dormer window

And a high tide reflected on the ceiling

There will be dying there will be dying

But there is no need to go into that

The poems flow from the hand unbidden

And the hidden source is the watchful heart

The sun rises in spite of everything

And the far cities are beautiful and bright

I lie here in a riot of sunlight

Watching the day break and the clouds flying

Everything is going to be alright

Derek Mahon

Today, Billy Wardlow was executed. Much is said about all the guys on death row but I’ll say this. None of us are the worst thing we have ever done. Innocent or guilty we are not the worst thing we have done in life. Are you?

Rest in peace and power Billy Joe Wardlow. You were the best of the best around this death camp. I’ll miss you brother.

July 10, 2020 (“Heavy metal” by Sammy Hagar)

“The depth of your struggle will determine the height of your success” Unknown

I had an attorney phone call today and while I was in the visitation room waiting for the appointed hour, I got to talking to someone out there. I learned that Willy Wardlow’s last wishes were for Dani to video the entire process of what these devils do with the murdered person’s body after they’ve achieved their evil deed. And I was with that 100%.

The reason why I want everybody in the USA and the world to SEE this unholy act – they murder you then put you in the Good Lord’s Church – is because they need to know what is being done in their name. I never want another legal revenge murder that is carried out to be nice and neat again. What is being done in the name of every citizen of this country needs to be brought to light. You need to witness your murderous government in action every time it happens.

This is why Billy Wardlow’s last request was to have this sacrilegious spectacle video recorded and posted so the whole world would see. He used this murder to shed light on what is happening to us – Texas Death row prisoners.

Times are changing, whether these devils like it or not, and I am part of that change.

July 11, 2020 (“I don’t know why” by Angela Streeny)

“We are all tramps, just some of us see stars” Oscar Wilde

Sometimes this building gets so quiet I can hear the metal doors opening and closing on the other side of the pod. When we’re on lockdown, it’s quiet like this and I enjoy it. Much better than mindless noise.

Today a different trio of CO’s (Correctional officers) worked in our pod and one guy has been on 11 building where general population prisoners are locked up temporarily. He said there are 13 prisoners over there with Covid-19. Very sick, fever, coughing, trouble breathing – all of that. Without a doubt it is here. This is a reality check for one like me sitting in this cage seeing nothing but these walls for months and years on end.

Then yesterday the CO working in the evening – 2nd shift said new positive cases of Covid-19 were found in GP. The 14 days began anew then. Each time we have a positive test result, we start the 14 day quarantine period anew.

More importantly these idiots brought Covid-19 in and now the situation intensifies. So far so good for me in my cage next week we’ll be allowed to buy correspondence and hygiene items from commissary. I’m grateful, I need postage.

The mantra is “Focused, fortified and forward marching” no matter what. Gotta make it out of this place.

July 12, 2020 (“3 lock-box” by Sammy Hagar)

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” – Nelson Mandela

Another Sunday evening and I think about the situation we now find ourselves in on Polunsky Unit. This is a very large prison, 2,200+ persons are confined here. The vast majority is general population (GP) as Texas death row is about 190 prisoners on 12 building. For the past 2-3 weeks we have consistently had positive Covid-19 test results among the CO’s that come and go on a daily basis. 2 weeks ago they did not have enough COs to run DR recreation but 2 days. This past Monday we were told that the staff shortage is so bad they were putting the entire unit on medical lockdown for 14 days.

Then we hear the guards who work in the GP kitchen were all on quarantine. They were positive with Covid 19. And they infected the prisoner kitchen workers. Now these prisoners are sick, very sick. More and more GP prisoners are coming down sick and it is very serious. These guys are living on top of each other and are on quarantine but can’t social distance. So what do they do? And these are the prisoners who come back and do the slave labor in TDCJ, cleaning and physical labor, while a CO “supervises” them. So now we have 2 possible Covid-19 infection dangers. The COs who come and go and the GP prisoners who got infected by guards in GP because they work with COs. Not sure what will happen but the goal is to stay safe and healthy!

Journal entries – June 25-July 5, 2020

June 25, 2020 (“So into you” by Fabulous) “If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory” William Hazlitt

This morning I had an attorney phone call.

I suppose I am expected to feel relief and be grateful. And I think I do when I think of the relief my family and friends have. For me personally? Not so much. I think I can’t get past the fact that I, the brown-skinned person who’s maintained his innocence from the start, have to deal with this. And the white skinned confessed murderer who committed the crime I’m on Texas death row for is FREE on parole.

Being a victim of a criminal justice system that intentionally has institutional racism built into it for 22 years and counting has affected me in ways that I am unable to comprehend. And these traumas have changed me in ways that I can never undo.

That’s just the fact of the situation.

One thing for sure I am not satisfied with just having the pressure removed. I will not be satisfied until I am forever free and far away from here.

June 26, 2020 (“You’re no good” by Linda Rondstadt.) “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” John Lennon

I’ve been pushing myself hard these past few weeks as I have developed tunnel vision keeping my eyes on my goal and not letting anyone or anything to knock me off track.

Today I was up at 5:30 am for my turn at recreation. At 6 am I am put in the day room and I’m not in there 15 minutes when the guard gets a call saying No rec! Showers only. The whole time I’m thinking I could be asleep right now. So I get my shower and get right back in bed. It’s pretty quiet so I go right back to sleep. I sleep for a few hours and it’s funny I have this thought, “You’re going to get an attorney phone call”, about FOUR times. And sure enough, at 12:30pm, the guards are at my door, “Attorney phone call!” I’m waiting on the “message”, “You’re going home, wake up!” to come on any day now! Ha ha!

Anyway, it’s who I knew it would be and it seems that for the foreseeable future we have made it through the storm and are sailing in calmer waters and I’m grateful and now, back to my grind and tunnel vision. Got a lot to do and that’s a good thing and today I started my day twice and am on that right now. Doing what I need to do not what I want to do. It feels good and there’s some sun shining through the clouds on me.

June 27, 2020 (“Damn’ Good”, by David Lee Roth)

“The only thing that is worse than not being free is not remembering when you were free. That would be the saddest thing of all.” – Leonard Peltier

I have a love-hate relationship with the memories of when I was once free. I hate them so much that I have for years intentionally not thought of them. I love them so much that when I do take them out of the box I keep them locked up in they hurt. They make me want to cry. So my way of dealing with them is to not think of them.

Today I was moved to write an essay about my memories of being free. I talked about my friend named Justin Cody Prather. He was a good dude and was always down for whatever and was not a snitch. For better or worse, he learnt that from me. Folks can say whatever about Cody – but he was down and wouldn’t tell it! We were best friends for years until incarceration began to separate us. First him, then me and here I sit. I remember Cody telling me about his dad who rode a Harley-Davidson and was from West-Virginia, I think! It’s been more than 30 years. His dad died young in his 40’s and had passed when we became friends.

In 2016, I learnt that my friend Cody had passed away in his sleep. Like his father he was gone way too young. I remember when “Damn’ Good” was released, me and Cody would jam to it in that El Camino. I loved that song the first time I heard it. Who knew me and Cody were living those Damn’ Good Times then.

June 28, 2020 (“Long long time” by Linda Ronstadt)

“Not where I breathe but where I love, I live.” St Robert Southwell

Another Sunday morning and I listen to “Blues Brunch with Nuri Nuri” and man, that brotha knows his blues. Got the tunes rocking, had a full nite’s sleep and I am hitting this thing at 100% I hit my floor and got 30 minutes of exercise (non-stop) in. And a lit bit of meditation in before my turn for shower. Someone I know told me to stop biting people and I said Okay.  To keep from allowing my “Battle Mode” from bleeding other relationships, I gotta exercise-burn that mess up and out of me. I can get it down about half way and then I am able to control it. But it’s NOT easy. Not by a long shot but I manage and you already know – I was built for this.

That sad cloud that I had following me around for a year has finally gone away. That feels sooo good. I was wondering how long it would last… And I am grateful I am back to 100% again. At full strength I am capable of manifesting all my dreams into reality. Don’t believe me? Just watch.

It’s pretty crazy here lack of staff means no recreation, the past couple of days rumors of positive Covid-19 case on the unit abound, some are true. No more phone calls as the TDCJ emergency order has expired. So no visits, no calls, no meetings/visits with my legal team and I am supposed to be happy about it. Looks like I need to exercise some more cause here it comes again!

July 2nd 2020 (“Little by Little” by Robert Plant)

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Teddy Roosevelt

I was once told that the reason I am so organized and obsessive about having my things in their proper place is because I have so little control over my live so I am really serious about what I can control here. I plan tomorrow’s activities today. When I want to go to recreation in the morning, I will be in bed by 11PM so I can be up at 5 am and feel rested. Every other day, 5 days a week I go out to rec’ at about 6AM – or I am part of the “1st round” of rec’s the guards put out in the 6 day rooms and 4 outside rec yards. The guards begin 1st shift at 5:30 am, come through asking everyone if they are going to rec? By 6am we are in the day room. I like going out early, when I plan it right, I get rec, a shower and a day’s worth of writing or whatever work I need to do.

Last night I was in bed by 11PM and up at 5AM this morning. Early bird gets the worm and all of that. When the guard comes through she asks me, “Are you showering?” I reply, “Yes after I go to rec!” She then says no rec’s, showers only, not enough guards showed up. I think prison guards are like roofers! They don’t like to work and on pay day they give it hell drinking beer and partying then won’t show up for work the next day. Hell they’re still drunk the next morning. Guess what yesterday was for these devils? Payday! So I exercised in my cell and here I sit wishing I could get out of it.

July 3, 2020 (“Mercury” by The Steve Miller Band)

“Love and Trust, in the space between what’s said and what’s heard in our life, can make all the difference in the world.” Fred Rogers

Today, I’ve done something I enjoy very much. That is to take a day to catch up and read the different magazines and newspapers I receive here. Often times during the week, especially Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I focus hard on my correspondence and get lots of reply letters written. This is Independence Day week-end-4th of July. I’m sure we’ll have a mail holiday – just what we need! Probably not get any mail Monday. We’ll see.

It’s no surprise that the roofers – I mean the guards did not show up so no recreation again for us. I am not happy about it but there’s nothing we can do about it. I said that to a friend today – the only thing that will happen is we’ll end up in trouble and on Level III. So I’d rather exercise in my cell and get that frustration out like that. So far so good! When things in our life occur that we have no control over we have to accept it and run with it. No matter how much we want to make THEM feel our pain. All that will do is land you in a cell with nothing in it covered in Gas. So I’ll pass!

I’ll enjoy the day instead. We got old school music vs. new school all weekend on the Box Radio Station so I’ll jam instead. For your information, I’m always team old school!

July 4th 2020 (“If trouble was money” by Albert Collins)

“It does not require many words to speak the truth” Chief Joseph

So today is our Independence Day and on Texas death row we celebrated with being denied recreation – AGAIN. I am grateful for my being able to shower. You have to be thankful for something. We were given baked chicken for lunch and I took my leg and thigh and used it in making some chicken/rice/beans tacos. That’s how a Latino celebrates the 4th of July!

Somewhere right now, some of my kinsmen are in a backyard; music going and cold beer in hand as the Barbecue is cooking. The 4th is always a day off from work and this is how they will spend the day. Mexicano/Tejano musica going, children running around chasing the dogs around the yard. Family and friends coming and going, as they drink plenty of beer. Budweiser, Bud Lite, or Miller Lite are the favs, ice cold out of a cooler. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, steaks, all kinds of food is being cooked.

I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about what my life was like before Texas death row now but I have! I notice it isn’t as painful as it used to be. Not sure but it’s been on my mind a lot especially during the holidays. I continue to do my part trying to get back to the free world I left so long ago. I might be on the long way back – as long as on my way!

July 5, 2020 (“Blues Power-live” by Albert King)

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Sundays always find me listening to “Blues Brunch with Nuri Nuri” on He is amazing like usual sharing so many great blues songs. I slept late till 9AM after realizing when I don’t get enough sleep I am not at my best. It’s 8 hours for me and I am in top form like today. It only took me 50 years to figure that out! Got my exercise and spiritual practice done and here I am with pen in my hand. I have come to really love the blues. I had a friend names Bill Dillworth who was a mechanic and once, many moons ago had a shop next to my dad’s roofing and construction business. Bill was a Mopar guy – he owned Chrysler/Dodges and he had some nice rides. We became friends. I was 20-something and Bill was 40 something and Bill loved the blues. I knew nothing about it but one week he invited me and my girl to go out with him and his girl to a live blues club. And we went. I only remember it was in east Dallas and Bill drove. We got there in the early evening and we had drinks and the music began. It was amazing. That was one of my best live music experiences ever.

Only now do I understand how wonderful the blues is and enjoy it every weekend. When I am out of this dump I’ll be sure to see a lot more blues played live!

Journal – June 8, 2020 @ 3PM

June 8, 2020 @ 3PM

So have you ever had a day start where you thought it would be a good productive one then in the middle of it, have it go haywire and you have no idea when the chaos might end?

We have been confined to our cells since June 6, 2020, when the prison system came through and took mouth swabs for Covid-19 testing. Yesterday morning they arrived where I was housed and it was a mouth swab. No big deal. I was in the middle of my usual day listening to music and writing letters when the guards began showers. My neighbor almost always goes to shower but this time he does not and I grab my shower stuff and go.

The guards put me in the shower and when they come back around, they try to open my door… And it will not open. Ooooh – No! The way they open the doors is the guard in the control picket presses a button and it unlocks allowing the guards to “roll” the door open.

I am taken out of the shower and put in the dayroom. The supervisor arrives and they open the door manually and I make it back to my cell. I know the problem is likely the button in the picket is 35 years old, and they go out. I figure they will get the maintenance guy out here and change the switch out.

Five minutes later the guard tells me to pack my property – I am moving. DAMN IT! I hate moving you have no idea how much. And the thing about this hell hole, you have no say in the matter.

The easy way – packing your property and go voluntarily; or the hard way. Five devils in riot gear will gas your ass then come in your cell, beat on you then handcuff you and drag you covered in burning tear gas, ass beat, and thrown into your new cage. You know how you saw the police beating, gassing and arresting protesters on the news? Like that! That’s how they’ve been assaulting prisoners forever now. But I digress.

I choose to move the easy way. At 4PM they move me to another cell on this pod. All is well for me I can make it wherever I am incarcerated so it’s cool. The night passes and I have a good time talking to guys I am just getting to know.

At 6PM the guards are back. They say I’m moving again. They move a prisoner who’s in general population out of his cell, move me onto his cell and leave an empty cell between me and the general population guys. I am in that cell for 5 minutes when they say I am moving again! I am not kidding. So, they take me and my property from C-pod to A-pod and put me in 14 cell – death watch. I am serious as a heart attack!

Now I am done with being a good little Bear. I am NOT staying in a cell with a CCTV in it. But while I’m in the day room, the supervisor comes to talk to me and says they will repair my old cell’s door and I will move back to C pod before he leaves work today at 5:30pm.

So, into 14 cell I go. They always have a way to make you go a little further than you want to go.

I get into 14 cell and all my stuff is in bags and it’s 6:30AM. I am next to Ruben Gutierrez and a few cells is Carlos Trevino and down at the end is Billy Wardlow. I’ve known all these guys for 20 years now and we all take time to talk and greet each other. They laugh at my unbelievable situation and how I just had to make it to death watch for a visit. All I can do is shake my head and sit down on the metal bunk.

As I sit there, I can’t help but ask myself why? Why is all of this once-in-a- lifetime stuff happening all at once? More importantly why is the enemy trying so hard to make me quit? What is right around the corner that he wants to fall short? What blessing, what miracle is right before me that he will go to such lengths to see I do not get it?

Because that’s how the rules go – you go through hardships, lose faith and hope and the miracle you needed fall just short. Thing is, I know the rules to the game of life so there is no giving up in me. No breaking and losing faith. That damn devil better give up if he thinks I’m going to give up. Cause it’s just not gunna happen. Now is when I pay close attention and try to expect the unexpected. Now is when I sit still and listen, mediate and pray, making sure nothing steals my cool.

Noon time comes and Ruben goes out for an attorney phone call. He is a week away from his scheduled execution date. When he comes back he breaks down his attorney’s strategy and in my humble opinion there is some meat on them bones, so we’ll see if he wins a stay of execution.

I pull out my radio and listen to the news and continue to turn my situation over on my head and every now and then laugh to myself at the insanity of the situation.

I go back to the door and Trevino tells me he wishes me luck on getting moved today. The last guy this happened to was stuck there for a week!

And of course he laughs! Haha!

By 3PM I start to worry and when the guard comes by I ask him to call the supervisor and see what’s going on. He agrees and about an hour later, he tells me they are here to move me. This is a minor miracle and I laugh at Trevino as I stand outside the cell and watch them load my stuff back on the move cart. I wish all the guys good luck and we exit the pod and back to C pod. 24 hours later after being moved 4 times in that period, I am put back into my old cell and it’s 4PM. It’s not over yet – I have to set up my world all over again! What a day – what an adventure.


Journal May (continued)

May 13th 2020

Song: “Silver blue and gold” by Bad Company

“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit” _ Jennifer Garner

Time flies for me and that feels good to me. When I can focus on this morning, this hour, this moment in time, then I excel. I block out the distractions and get on with doing what needs be done. I have gotten a lot of messages of love and support in the past week and I am grateful. I have gotten renewed pledges of friendship and that is great. It’s the foundation of my fight and where it all comes from. I am deeply moved by such friends. They are the opposite of self-centered fair weathered friends who are with you when it’s all happy and fun and positive. But let it get hard, they’re gone with the wind. Did you ever noticed that? But like the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I ought to be ten feet tall and made of steel then. Haha!

It feels good planting the seeds that I hope to harvest in the future. My mantra is “keep on pushing!”. When I’ve done all I can in that moment I let up, take a break and do something else. Maybe write letters, listen to radio programs, whatever. Then back at it. I know as long as I do my part and trust the Universe to do her part, sooner or later I’ll be able to harvest and eat the fruit! That thought makes me smile and keeps me going.

May 15th 2020

Song: “3rd degree” by Eric Clapton

“No matter how you feel. Get up, dress up, show up and never give up.” Addiction prevention coalition.

In case you don’t know it’s difficult to sleep well in prison or on Texas death row. Guards come through, opening and shutting doors, they shine flashlights in on you when you are asleep, it’s never ending. Then you have prisoners who choose to sleep during the day so they yell and make noise all through the night. Breakfast is served at 3 am, most days, probably 2 hours after I have passed out from a full days work here, back awake you are if you want your breakfast.

So, oftentimes you can sleep during that for 6 hours and wake up feeling exhausted. I’ve never been able to stay up all night and sleep during the day. Some people can, but not me. I sleep when I’m supposed to sleep. At night. This affect what my best effort is. At times, it’s not all the way to the top, but it’s still my best. And on those days I make myself get up. I square away my cell, I put my trainers on and commissary bought clothing: white T-shirt and white gym shorts and I show up. For me, there is no other way to do it. I really feel the quote I share today and you know that’s when we have to do what we need do, whether you are on Texas death row or at home on lockdown because of covid-19. We gotta show up and never give up!

Journal 10th May 2020

song: “Grandma’s hands” by Bill Withers

“God could not be everywhere and so he made mothers”_ Jewish proverb.

Today is mothers day in the USA and I find myself thinking about my mother and my grandmother as well. Nobody will ever love you like your mother will love you. I remember my mother telling me how much she loved me and that no one would ever love me like she loved me. I knew it then and I really know it now. I was blessed to have my beloved mother for 49 years of my life and though she’s been gone for a little longer than a year now, I love her more than ever. I can still hear her voice in my head, how she said my name, how she would always remind me that she loved me. The love of a mother is precious indeed. I hope this mothers day is going as well as possible and all mothers feel special and are treated with extra love and respect on this special day. I would give anything to be able to have my mother here again and remind her how much I love, need and appreciate her.

I just thank God I was able to try and express that while I still had my Mum here with us. Mum used to tell me at visits, and in her letters that when she was gone, she wanted me to always remember that she loved me very much. I do. I know and will always remember that, and what a blessing it is to feel your mother’s love.

Happy Mothers day to everyone.