They’ve got us confined to these cells, where we are intellectually suffocating, in desperate need of literature, books, love, compassion and support. Being in this graveyard is like walking down an endless, dark tunnel, with no end, no light, no hope in sight, trapped in a box with no visible exit. We have to be soldiers in these circumstances where the means of survival go beyond guerrilla warfare: this is a battlefield for the mind.
Looking at my situation, I see myself confined, locked down in the darkest layers of a dungeon cell, surrounded by animals: human animals. Animals who were once human, but who have been stripped of their sanity, and who have no control over their own mental capacity. These beasts have lost their souls and there’s nothing nobody can do about it, and they try to inflict their insanity upon me so that I can be miserable like them. Call it paranoia, but I feel like the administration has intentionally put these sick motherfuckers next to me, above me and around me, just so they can show me what type of ‘weirdo’ they want me to be; what type of sick monster they want me to become.
But on the contrary, the more I’m subjected to these miserable “mind-torturers”, the more love I have for myself, and the more I love myself the more I hate these pigs, ‘cuz I see what they’re trying to do to me. I strive to be stronger, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. The harder I strive, whether it be for strength, for unity, for solidarity, or even self-education, it seems, or feels like the more these pigs are trying to knock me to my knees. They try to knock me down and tear me apart, they try to tear my soul apart, my mind, they try to tear me apart from friends, family, comrades and fellow convicts. This is how I feel as these walls seem to close in on me, I feel like these pigs are trying to destroy me, I feel like they’re trying to bury me alive in this graveyard.
We sit here and rot in these chambers of torture, designed to murder our wills, break our hearts, devour our spirits and bury us in our own agony, in attempts of transforming us into animals like the weirdoes who are caged in the cells next to us, above us, and all around us.
So many youngsters get locked up in this foul ass system, and it seems like consciousness has died in the hearts and minds and spirits of many of the incarcerated youth. There’s no inspiration, no direction, no worthy cause to believe in, no reason for them to come together and settle their disputes, no reason to put their guards down and unite. I don’t see it, I don’t feel it, except in my own heart. People around here are lost, confused, mislead, and it’s a tragedy.
I want to encourage the prisoners at Ely State Prison who read this to start studying the law and find ways to buck the system, beat and cheat the system that’s beating and cheating you. Study anything you can study, whatever interests you. I want to encourage prisoners to start taking true strides to pick themselves up, to move forward, to better themselves, and to buck the system that contains you and holds you captive to this ongoing madness. I want to encourage prisoners to start turning their televisions off at least twice a week and spend the day reading, studying and writing. Do something to benefit and strengthen your mind. Do something to benefit and strengthen your position in life. Just ‘cuz they’ve got our bodies held captive, doesn’t mean we should let them hold our minds captive. Once we start taking serious strides to improve ourselves and improve our conditions, once we start doing something real with our time, then we can start doing something real with our lives.
Because they’re trying to bury us alive in these graveyards, leaving us to sit alone in these suffocating cells until our mind goes crazy, deteriorates, or until we are so messed up that all we can think about is murder, violence and revenge, because that’s what this long-term isolation does to us, if we let it.
I’m still alive, in good spirits and my mind is intact, so I must be doing something right. They try to knock me down, but I’m still standing. I have one mind, one heart and they can’t strip me of my soul, I’m too strong for that. The more they try to break my will, the stronger I have to be. It’s all about resistance, it’s all about keeping the mind, body and spirit in good shape. I’m sitting here doing things, elevating and educating myself, engaging others, talking and listening and there are people in here like me, just trying to maintain their existence. We’re living it the only way we know how. I live in struggle and I struggle to live, and this all I know! They want to bury me alive, but I’m plotting on ways to take that shovel out of their hands and beat them over the head with it! That’s what’s happening.
From the depths of this darkness,
Ely State Prison, Nevada
For letters of encouragement, please send letters to Coyote:
Coyote Sheff #55671
P.O. Box 1989 Ely,