Submission Guidelines

Spoon-ful of Wisdom

Spoon-ful of Wisom welcomes questions from those who know someone in prison and wish to communicate with that person in the best way possible. Do you have questions about how incarceration is affecting your loved ones? What you might expect when you visit? Or anything else…ask Spoon Jackson by writing to popsvenice@gmail.com

To read more about Spoon, please visit his website and blog The Realness Network

Spoon:

Just recently I heard from a niece for the first time. She lives in Las Vegas. She had just turned 18. She said she had been reading my poetry online and loved it and longed to meet me before she goes off to college in the deep south. I would love to be there with my family and friends, doing all the things I long to do.

I helped raise and become family with more than one group of geese, and helped raise the goslings near the C-Yard at New Folsom. No gosling sat for the parent Canadian geese as they went off down the hill to the little pool I created. I saw the world through their eyes a1nd lives. Even when they flew away from the small yard for the last time. I was blessed. They are free, soaring, doing things I would like to do as a human.

At Night I Fly, the movie

Spoon recently sent a new poem to everyone at POPS the Club, and to all our friends.

BLESSED

Divine beyond superstition,
religion, race, creed, deed or words

Instead of heavy hating
be like rains on the sands
and replace each thought
with a blessing

Instead of being heavy handed
and procrastinating
be pro-active and
replace each heavy deed
with a loving seed

Instead of heavy hating
embrace your blessing
your story
and let your soul
keep radiating

Spoon Jackson 2016


Where I Am From, A Spoon Jackson Poem

Where I am from the dry river

bottom sands are speckled

with gold dust,

and the sun flows like

orange sherbet

and the moonlight warms

my path.

Where I am from cottontail rabbits

and jackrabbits play tag

and coyotes don’t always

eat the prairie dogs.

Where I am from Blacks

railroad bridge runs heavy

across the dry river

I lie under it at noon as

trains pass and watch shadows

merge into art.

Where I am from

I keep alive in my heart

and soul and I go

there

whenever I need hope

to keep going.

Letter to POPS the Club

You cannot make up for missed or lost time by trying to buy someone’s love and make up for not being around. It is like trying to bottle up a star or a sunset. But a letter, artwork, a phone call, a long conversation or even one word or a few words, spoken out of realness can be uplifting, life changing and inspiring.

POPS’ connection with family, youngers, friends and other loved ones can be invaluable. POPS is a creative force of dance, art, thinkers, singers, poets and writers. People who create and walk in their own shoes unmasked—dreamers and do-ers.

I think the POPS club is the start of something big, novel and real. POPS absolutely fills a void in the communities many of us come from. So many many people, young folks in particular, in so many many neighborhoods stricken with the disadvantage of having parents, other family and friends who are incarcerated—stuck on an unbending road.

Pain of the Prison System affects millions in California and millions across the USA and the world. By coming together as a realness community, POPS turns the disadvantage into an advantage of growth, art, truth, wisdom and understanding. POPS turns the negative around by creating realness, a deep flow and a road towards communication. It eases the pain of distance and also the pain of loved ones not in physical prison but bound by walls, bars and electric fences all the same—structures that keep family away from family, friends away from friends, indeed human beings away from human beings.

POPS fills that void in our communities by creating a way to stay in touch despite the bars and walls that seek to encase us spiritually, mentally and soulfully. We all make mistakes, and the key is to strive, stretch and grow from them in positive ways.

POPS is and can fill that void created by the prison system to break up and keep families apart with realness. A connection shining love, light, creativity, and intelligence beyond and through walls and fences that block us as kids, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. POPS can grow to bring millions together and make a lasting difference on so many levels—connecting students, teachers, artists and educators. We are all students and teachers in life.

POPS is here now, so don’t wait for a better day, a better time or a better moment because the moment is now and ripe for growth, for connections and for enlightenment. POPS’ realness breaks the shame and silences with support, wisdom and common ground.

What do I think about POPS? We will make the Pain of the Prison System less painful with POPS full of connections and wisdom—POPS full of love and vision. I am honored, humbled and proud of be part of POPS on the ground-breaking level.

QUESTIONS

If you knew the pain of being locked up, would you have done what you did?
What is the scariest thing you have ever had to face while being in prison?
What made you become a poet?
A three-part question: What is your daily routine? What time do you get up and what do ou have in mind when you get up? What do you think of when you go to sleep?
Do you have a family? If so, how do you keep in contact with them?
How does it feel to know that you can die in prison? And are you actually treated like an animal?
A three-part question: If you could change one thing you've done in our life, what would you change? If you could go back in time, would you? Do you feel this was your fate?
What makes you keep going through hard times?
How's prison? Because in high school everyone, I think, overthinks it.
What would be the first thing you'd do if you were no longer in prison?
Does being asked a lot of questions, like the ones we send to you, bother you?
What do you do to pass the time?
What is the worst thing about prison?
How often do you go outside?
What are your regrets now, and what were your hopes before you went to prison?
Are the people rude/rough in there?
Is it easy to make friends inside?
Is there a class that you take?
What's the worst thing you've experienced in prison?
Do you get emotional in there?
How do you cope with your feelings?
What is the food like in prison?
Do you have any regrets about the action that got you where you are?
Spoiler title
Did you finish high school? Can you tell me about your education?
What was your passion before you went to prison? What is it now?
Do you guys have a movie night or anything creative?
Are you able to exercise or play any sports or games?
Do you have any special privileges?
How does the trading system work among the inmates?
Will you share some words of wisdom?
Do you read a lot?
What sort of books do you recommend high school students read?
How did you get involved with POPS?
I am going to visit my dad in prison for the first time in eleven years. Is there anything I should know or specifically prepare for?
My godfather has been away in prison since I was three years old. I want to try to make his life better. Is there anything I can do?
If you could do anything in life, what would it be? What do you miss most?
Spoiler title
My brother is in jail and I haven't seen him in five months, and we were really close. I miss him a lot but when I see him in court I cry and scream for him to be free. I wonder how it feels to see your family after a long time.
What's on your mind?
How does it feel to be in prison? If you don't mind my asking, what did you do, and when will you get out. And when you do get out, what will you do with your life?

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