At San Quentin State Prison, I checked out all the books I could get from the prison library and education department. Dismantling the machine of oppression is our goal!  Sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter here. Why a Man Should Pursue a Career That Will Make Himself HappyFor years, he did what society told him a husband and father should do to support his family. PhasingFather Time is a weekly column dedicated to the concept of time in a parent’s life, particularly a father’s life. The Value of Doing the Dirty WorkLouise Thayer digs into the meaning of work we don’t enjoy. The Success FadeWhen you fall and you will, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to pay the rent of success. Mental Health Lessons: Call for SubmissionsWe want to hear about what you have learned from your mental illness, how it is making you a better man.
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In the months when I was still in the county jail, I sat stunned by all the words the district attorney used during my trial.
I learned a few new words each day, and each new word brought forth a geyser erupting inside my mind and soul.
I had no idea what these words meant, and I told myself then that I would not let unknown words trap me.
I had two books published in 2010 “Longer Ago Poems by Spoon Jackson” and “By Heart Poetry, Prison, And Two Lives”, a double memoir by Judith Tannenbaum and me. I began to awaken the sleeping student inside me, and thus took my first steps on my journey. I said certain words aloud numerous times, and pondered a word in the way I pondered the garden in front of the prison chapel or a sparrow singing in a tree. I could see, taste, feel and touch the growth taking shape inside me, and understood things I had never understood before.

It was like I walked down an endless hallway full of dark rooms and, with each room I passed, a light came on and I learned something new. I have also discovered that the secrets to break down prison walls are inside each person and I treasure sharing this realness with people. All of these programs stressed taking responsibility for your actions, forgiveness, growth, love and peace. I keep my light glowing through expressing my inner thoughts, vibes and feelings in my poetry and prose writing.

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