A Message to the Young Soldiers


A message to the young soldiers trying to maintain their existence in these dungeons:

Keep it real, not because the realness in you and the realness in all that you do will certainly shine through and will be embraced, felt and recognized by all that’s true and will come back and shine on you in a good light – which is all true – but be real, because that’s who and what you are and because that’s the only way to be!

Be true to yourself and to all those who are true to you. Keep your head on straight, listen and learn. Soak up knowledge, try to apply it when you can, and
always strive to heighten your awareness on all things significant. Keep that love for life beating strongly in your unbreakable heart and always strive to reach greater heights.

Purge fear and embrace experience, because it’s through our experiences in life that we gain insight. Learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, from the mistakes of others. Cultivate yourself by recognizing your flaws and striving to turn them into strengths, and by rooting out your insecurities. Stay sharp like the razor-wire that contains you; like a samurai’s sword. Remember that everything isn’t always what it appears to be (actions speak louder than words), so be an avid seeker of truth and consciousness. Be open, but reserved. Be ready, but restrained. Be observant, but silent (loose lips sink ships). Don’t whine, cry or complain about your unfortunate situations, but have fortitude instead. Be considerate. Be mindful. Always be respectful of the comrades who have been putting it down way before you ever came on to the scene.

Stay focused, goal orientated and be bold (but not stupid). Keep your heart set on trueness, and your mind on things that are realistic and on things that matter. Use this time as an opportunity to grow and learn. Come to know yourself, your enemy, pain, struggle, love and hate and learn from all these things.
Life is real, never forget that!

But the most important message I want to tell you is this:
When you can find self-gratification and satisfaction in your own achievements and within yourself, you don’t need to look for it in others. You don’t need other people to assure you that you’re hard, or that you’re real, or any of that. You have
to set standards for yourself and try to achieve them (whether you fail or succeed, the only person who needs to know, is you), never being satisfied, always raising the bar higher and higher. That’s how you grow, excel and become stronger and more self-aware. If you’re just doing shit to show others what you’re made of, then you’re not real homie.

Until it’s time to step onto “the battlefield’, the only person who needs to know that you’re a “H.C.M.F.” (Hard Core Mutha Fucka!) is you!!!

Solidarity and respects,
Coyote

From Coyote´s latest Zine: High Risk Potential (2010)

In this Wretched World


In this wretched world of darkness and despair it’s the codes that we live by that separate the real from the fake, and it’s the actions we carry out and the good deeds we do that define us and solidify our respect to that code.

Those who work against us and against the solidarity of what we believe, especially when working in cooperation with those who keep us captive and oppressed, are not only considered to be fakes, but are also counter-productive to the survival of our comradery and are therefore unworthy of our recognition.

“Solidarity”, not only the word, but also the idea is nothing but a dwindling memory of something that used to be, once upon a time, long ago. And we who hold on so tightly to the integrity of what once was, are of a dying breed. In this wretched world of foulness and deterioration we will surely find ourselves outnumbered and surrounded and persecuted by the foul and the fake, and because we hold on so vigorously to what we believe, taking direct action against all that is counterproductive and detrimental to the realness of our lives, we will do most of our time on “lock down”, enduring all kinds of torment, suffer and psychological oppression, striving daily to be strong enough to prevail and overcome these potentially drastic circumstances. Because we hold on so firmly to the codes we live by and to what we feel and know to be real to us, we will have to learn the ways of fortitude in order to survive loneliness and long hours of isolation and solitary confinement.

And it is in these hours of confinement that we must use this time to study, learn, cultivate and know ourselves. True soldiers, under these circumstances, always find ways to take this time in solitary and treat it as an opportunity to educate and elevate themselves, and to keep their bodies combat-ready and their minds as sharp as hatori hanzo swords. It is known, without saying, that this time on “lock down”, is the time and place to get our minds right and our game tight.

And that’s exactly why you will always find me reaching out to a real soldier, passing him literature of his desire, which without a doubt beholds real gems of truth and knowledge so that he can use it to cultivate himself and take his growth and development to higher realms of thought and action. This is one of the many things that I do to keep the level of consciousness raised around here, because conscious people are real people, and do real things, and because I’ve found in my own life and experiences that consciousness is a savior. And passing out literature to all these different comrades also preserves the integrity and the realness of the codes and the principles we live by.

It’s deeper than that though; it’s an act of love and an act of solidarity. We are being buried alive in these graveyards, drowning in pools of stagnation and filth. Minds are wasting away in these hellholes, our lives are considered to be worthless to the majority of the people in society. Nobody cares about us, and so sometimes we find it hard to even care about ourselves.

So therefore, I will do what I can to improve the quality of life amongst my peers. We are basically all in the same situation. But some of us are surviving, and others are breaking weak and falling off and have gotten to the point of no return. So I’ve definitely got some good literature to pass out and some real conversation for a person in here who keeps the joy for life beating strongly inside of their determined hearts.

With the help of a couple of beautiful and compassionate friends on the outs, I have been able to accumulate boxes and boxes of good, insightful and empowering literature on almost all and any subject, and for all kinds of different people in here. My good, loyal friends on the outs have made copies for me of all these different materials and mailed them back in to me so that I can pass copies of all this literature out to all who crave this knowledge and to those who appreciate these gems being handed to them. When I see that someone appreciates the love I’ve dropped on them, I’ll recognize it for what it’s. worth and I’ll keep dropping love on them.

In this wretched world of perversion and predation we’ve got to rise above the madness, look out for each other and be real with each other, working together to overcome the daily destruction and oppression. These are real struggles and we’ve got to stick together through hard times, real recognizing real and steel sharpening steel. We’ve got to become more organized and dedicated to taking control of our own lives and finding positive solutions to deal with the negative aspects of our everyday realities. We’ve got to strive for bigger and better things. It’s about solidarity. It’s about love. It’s about respect for the integrity of what’s real, in regards to the survival of our existence, in this cold, lonely, wretched world…

With revolutionary love,
Coyote ABC-Nevada Prison Chapter
Sept. 15th, 2009

quote: “The radical, committed to human liberation, does not become the prisoner of a “circle of certainty” within which reality is imprisoned. On the contrary, the more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can better transform it.

This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”

Paulo Freire, from his book: “The pedagogy of the oppressed

From Coyote´s new Zine High Risk Potential. Also published on his site.

It Ain’t Real No More, Homie


From: Coyote Calling, and published in his new Zine: High Risk Potential.

Nothing will change without bloodshed and sacrifices. We sit here wasting away in this wasteland, wondering how things got so bad, but nobody thinks about what we can do to make things better. It’s easy to put all the blame on the system and the pigs, but nobody wants to recognize their own role in this struggle, nobody wants to acknowledge that they are actually participating in this destruction, nobody wants to admit that they are actually contributing to the daily deterioration. I don’t see nobody standing up for what they have coming (their rights to be treated as a human being, with dignity, respect, fairness, justice, etc.), I don’t see anybody standing up for anything on a conscious or collective level. But I hear everybody always complaining about all the foulness that constantly goes on around here.

There are no George Jacksons around here, no Che Guevaras, no Bobby Sands around here. Everything I see out here in Nevada is fake, sorry and weak. Nobody wants to ride for a real cause, nobody wants to put their lives on the line or risk catching more time for this fakeness around here. Everybody wants to be a “gangster” but nobody wants to live by those codes, everybody wants to be “real” but they let fake and foul cats kick it, embracing these dudes knowing they’re no good and that they’re counter~productive to all that we are supposed to consider righteous and real.

Nobody wants to clean nothing up, taking care of the biz that needs to be taken care of. Nobody wants to fight the real fight, come together and take it to the real enemy. Everybody has all the excuses in the world, all the justifications for doing what they know in their hearts they ain’t supposed to be doing and then they want to go around trying to convince everybody that they’re real. Come on, man. Ain’t nothing real about none of this crap around here. Ain’t nobody dying for this, ain’t nobody in here killing for this, catching cases, making sacrifices, trying to push the envelope to make this better for “you and yours”, to preserve what’s real and reject all that’s not; the things that are hurting us and destroying us every day.

Things are foul ‘cuz we let it be foul. So if you let it get like this – or if you let it stay like this – then don’t complain about it, nobody respects that. The only thing people respect is action and the only thing that’s gonna change this is struggle and sacrifice, and people have to be wholeheartedly committed to seeking realistic solutions, going all the way, until we’ve got it right!
And so, until all of the so~called “real mothafuckas” start learning what “real” reallymeans, without trying to justify the bullshit, this is always gonna be sorry and weak, and all that you see, and everything you say you stand for is gonna be fake, until you start getting real for reals. Things won’t change if we sit back and do nothing. The oppression is real, the deterioration is real, the destruction and suffering and the atrocity are all real, but our response to it isn’t, our dedication and determination to changing it, is not real!!

Everybody needs to get their heads out their asses and get their priorities straight before we can do anything about this. We need to organize ourselves and our people (and each other) under real principles and do all that we can to uphold those principles to the fullest and with integrity. We need to uplift ourselves and others, school our younger comrades on some real concepts, educate our comrades, give them a revolutionary understanding too.

Show then how this is supposed to be, how things are supposed to be, how things are supposed to go down, lead by example and teach through actions, strive for real changes to make the quality of life better for “you and yours”, try to change the conditions of our confinement, bring our people out of their self, destructive and counter-productive mentalities and work to replace that with knowledge, understanding and amelioration. We need to stand up for what we have coming, for what’s right, respectable and real, not setting for no bullshit, and not letting our comrades get away with no bullshit, we have to be seriously committed in breaking them out of those weak, counter-productive mentalities, and we have to do what we can to help them help themselves.

Until we are ready to make real sacrifices, this will continue to be foul and it will keep getting worse. How can we call ourselves real when we’re allowing ourselves to live under all of this fakeness, accepting this foulness, man? There’s nothing real about this. That’s why I’m writing this piece, this is a wake’ up call! We need to wake up and get real.

Let’s strive for consciousness and truthful understanding, let’s take action and be committed to bringing significance and meaning to our lives. Let’s destroy all this old, watered down, weak stuff that we’ve been holding on to for so long, and that we thought was real and let’s build on top of a solid foundation and let’s organize around the fundamentals and principles of truth and betterment, full speed ahead with a revolutionary understanding, and let’s not falter from what we know is right. It’s gonna take a real level of struggle and sacrifice, doing whatever it takes as we strive for freedom, justice, respect and to be treated like we actually matter. This is about taking control of our own lives!

If you’re reading this and you’re feeling this, then get with the program. Don’t just sit back and say “Yeah, that’s real talk man, I feel that.” If you feel it, do it! Take direct action, take up this cause, start up your own cause, take up the struggle and organize people around this realness. Get it cracking, don’t wait for others to do it, but you must be the force that’s needed, the spark that ignites the fire as you try to burn this mothafucka down! Get it cracking, don’t wait comrade, do it now!!!

I’m just touching the surface, but everybody knows what I’m talking about. Everybody knows this ain’t real no more. So now it’s time to get real, it’s time to get it cracking on a serious note!

Coyote, 2010 Anarchist Black Cross Nevada Prison Chapter

Quote: “Organizing and teaching are the same. They both involve the question of how people learn things. They both involved dialogue. They both involve long-term commitment and perspective. They both involve people in changing their lives. And the teacher/organizer is always learning.” Mark Rudd, from his interview in Z Magazine, by Bill Nevins, entitled: “Fortunate Rebel Son”

Keep the Struggle Up

We have been slammed down, oppressed and confined to these prisons, ghettos and graveyards. Our stories and our lessons are manicured by the epidemics of pain, poverty, discrimination and struggle. We get poorer and the rich get richer as the story goes. There’s no justice, no rehabilitation, no freedom. We are taken to court on trumped up, bogus shit, given 20 charges for one incident, bullied into taking a ‘deal’, and then we are appointed a public defender ‘cuz we don’t have the money to acquire a more sufficient attorney, and one year the person who is supposed to be representing us is a public defender, and then the next year that same person is a district attorney! So how could we really trust these people? How could we trust them with our lives? How could we be so willing to put our freedom in their hands?

It doesn’t make sense to repetitively place our lives and our freedom into the malefic hands of people who actually despise us. Will there ever come a time when we can start taking control of our own lives? When we can stop depending on the same people that oppress us, to help us? Is there any legitimate, respectable way to get ourselves out of the deleterious grips of this death machine? Is there any way to end these sentences of perpetual suffering? All the questions that come to me while I marinate in this lonely world of darkness, reflecting on the many sorrows I’ve seen. So many questions, but hardly enough answers.

The frustration leads me to sit up on my bunk and start strategizing on different ways that I can possibly try to encourage my comrades in here to start taking the initiative to study and learn the law. I have a Xerox copy of Mumia Abu Jamal’s new book, Jailhouse Lawyers and I pass it out to others, trying to use it as a tool to inspire prisoners to learn how to become attorneys for the poor and oppressed. I sit here and wonder, “What else can I do? What clever ways are there to inspire people to study, to get them to learn?”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could become our own attorneys, or would it even matter?

I’ve held study groups and had many one-on-one study sessions with comrades in here, where we’ve sat around for hours talking and debating, searching for tangible ways to represent ourselves and to learn how to bring ourselves out of this state of oppression, and to eliminate oppression and poverty altogether. To break through the barriers, to rise above the tragedies. Right now it’s just talk, but later who knows what it will be? Everything starts in the mind, one things leads to another.

In this graveyard, it’s so hard to get books sent in and literature, because the administration has deliberately set so many obstacles and put so many restrictions and limits on things when it comes to receiving books that so many people in here have become discouraged and ended up giving up on trying to get books sent in. But I’ve been on an adamant missions for years to acquire all the literature I can get sent in to me, and to pass it out to as many people as I can, trying to turn this graveyard into a revolutionary university, so people in here can take all this time they have on their hands and use it to elevate their minds, reaching for higher degrees of learning, finding liberation through books. I love to be involved in all of these various acts of raising consciousness, I feel it’s so necessary in these times and situations. Not to mention that I’ve seen the lengths these pigs will go to make sure they’re keeping us confined to ignorance and stagnation. Books and reading materials are so important for us here, we who dwell in this gloomy world of degeneration.

I pass out literature on philosophy, politics, psychology, science, spirituality and I’m always passing out revolutionary materials too, and whatever else I can get, having study sessions when I can, discussing things with my neighbors for long hours into the night, all the way until my breakfast tray arrives, and sometimes, if the conversation is really good, I’ll eat and talk at the same time, every once in a while setting the tray down to pick up a book, or an article, so that I can read a passage, sentence, or paragraph out loud to my neighbor, to reinforce the stance I’m taking on certain subjects, or to help get my point across more clearly. I love to learn, I love to teach and I love to engage others. I crave the intellectual stimulation, and I can tell they crave it too.

We are here, confined to these cells, but we’ve found ways to communicate and express ourselves, to soak up knowledge and pass it on to others who we’ve deemed worthy of receiving such valuable gems. It’s miserable and depressing in here, so much atrocity and deterioration, but we’ve found ways to make the best out of a bad situation. We understand that we should never just lay down and accept this. We understand that we have to keep the spirit of resistance going strong inside of us, seeking solutions, striving for freedom, making sacrifices when the situation requires us to do so, and never giving up, never breaking down. Everybody that I consider a comrade understands this, and with this understanding we try to reach those that don’t understand, but who really need to understand. With understanding things are made clear, and when that happens, change happens.

You’ll find some of the most brilliant, most creative, most intelligent, most resourceful and most innovative individuals right here, confined to these hellholes. That’s what happens when we have all this time on our hands, with the fire of resistance burning in our hearts. We’ve been discarded by society and caged like animals, left to rot and decay, to deteriorate and fade away into a black abyss, to disintegrate into tiny fragments of nothingness. But we are here, alive and fighting to maintain our existence, going strong, with love beating in our chests. Revolutionary love. We keep that warrior spirit alive, and these pigs fear it, they hate it, and they envy it and that’s why they’re always trying everything they can to try to crush it, break it, tame it and destroy it, but no matter how hard they try, or what they do, there’s not much they can do to take that away from us.

Books and knowledge give us breath, it pumps life into our veins and activate our brains. With knowledge we are invigorated, rejuvenated and made worthy. Knowledge gets us going, knowledge is what sets us free. We use these books to quench our thirst and to feed our hunger.

Through these trials and painful situations I’ve come to learn the lessons of struggle and the importance of a revolutionary, underground education. I’ve learned how vital it is to my survival to be able to keep the fire of resistance burning in my heart. I’ve come to learn about sacrifice, solidarity and fortitude. I’ve got little baby cousins, nephews and nieces that I haven’t even met yet, I’ve fucked off my release date many times already, catching more time on my prison sentence for taking stands against these pigs and their injustices done to us. It’s hard for me to turn my back on the struggle. I’ve recently participated in a brutal riot here on my unit and I’ve got 2 years left before I go home, and now I’ve getting letters from my moms and my brother, asking me what the hell am I doing, don’t I want to come home? They’ve made sacrifices for me, to help get me out of here, spending money on attorneys for me and everything, and yet I’m still in here caught up in the struggle and I’m conflicted, I want to go home, but I just can’t sit back as my fellow comrades stand up and make sacrifices to make important changes for everybody else. My family doesn’t understand my commitment to the struggle and it breaks my heart just as I know it breaks their heart to watch me do things that will jeopardize my release date.

But now I realize that the struggle is going to continue whether I’m in here or out there, and after all that I’ve been through and all that I’ve done, I am so lucky to still have the chance to get out of here. And now it’s time to go home. It’s for me to get out of here and do this from the other side of the razor wire.

I’m gonna do what I can to plant seeds and raise awareness while I´m still here because it´s impossible to overlook all the atrocity that’s going on around me every day. I see all these youngsters coming to prison now, little dudes as young as 14 years old! There’s no true leadership or anything meaningful in here for them to latch onto and it kills me. I see all the fakeness and foulness around here, and I’m always railing against it, trying to raise consciousness to these real issues we’re faced with. The mentality of some of these cats around here is hard for me to grasp and seems “suspect” in my eyes. The way they think, the way they act, I’m not feeling it. If you’re not striving for change or seeking solutions, or trying to elevate yourself,. then what are you doing?

All I can say is that I got love for the real cats in here, I feel for them, especially the ones that have to stay here, I feel for them and will always keep them in my heart, recognizing them as kindred spirits.

I’ve done all can to stock up all the comrades in here with good literature and to raise consciousness around here. I’ve been going at it so hard that I ended up losing 2. good friends out there who acted as my main benefactors: Gina and Katy. They couldn’t do it anymore, couldn’t afford to keep making copies of books and literature for me, they couldn’t afford to keep buying books for my comrades in here, and it got to the point where they would dread getting a letter from me because I was always asking them to support me with this project or that project, on a mission to try to flood this prison with as much literature and educational materials as I can. They just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel bad that I won´t be receiving letters from these beautiful, compassionate warrioresses anymore, I feel bad that I’ve become so obsessed with my mission to raise awareness that I failed to take into consideration their needs and limitations. I really miss them.

So as one- door closes, I guess it´s time to look on to new things and start focusing on my release date. I have to figure what I’m gonna do when I get out of here, how can I keep the struggle up from the other side of the fence, and things like that. I don’t have no plans on getting rich or anything like that, I don’t care about none of that. I´ve been in solitary long enough to know that I don’t need lots of money to survive, so that’s one lesson I´ll be taking to the streets. I just want to be real and live right, helping when I can. I have a lot to figure out and a lot to think about, 2 years to go, so close, yet so far away…

Until then, I will continue writing these essays, articles and zines, and things like that. This is my contribution to the struggle., I’m gonna let people know what’s going on, what we´re going through in these hellholes, I’m gonna keep spreading the truth whether these pigs like it or not, because the truth is dangerous! The truth is revolutionary! The revolution starts in our minds, so let’s get free, one mind at a time! My love goes out to all the people out there who have committed themselves to our struggles in here. Keep doing what you do, keep the struggle alive, keep it up.

If you want to be hard, you gotta go hard!

Coyote, 2010

Quote: “Our expressive powers were strong and vibrant. if this could be nurtured, if the language skills could be developed on top of this, we could learn to break through any communication barrier. We needed to obtain victories in language built on infrastructure of self-worth.”
Luis Rodriguez (from his book: Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.) Good book, read it!

Greetings from The Graveyard, Part II


This is the second zine of a 3 part series. This zine is designed to display articles and memos about some of the things going on in Ely State Prison in NV.

I hope that readers will pay attention to what Lorraine Memory has to say in her declaration because more people really need to understand the atrocities that we face in these prisons at the hands of our oppressors.

This zine is designed to raise awareness and to seek support from people on the outside. We can’t get anything good going on for ourselves without support from the comrades and friends on the outs. We need people to get involved in our struggles, to help us build a support group on the outside that will network on our behalf. We need people to send us literature and books so that we can study, educate and elevate ourselves while living under these stagnant conditions. We need people to get in touch with us, to give meaning and purpose to our lives, to help us grow and cultivate ourselves and to give us something positive to look forward to. We need help to become assets to our communities when we are released.

Ely State Prison is a cold, desolate place where lives are destroyed and where we are left to suffer; with no love, no light, just isolation and injustice. There are a lot of foul things going on in this graveyard but my other comrades and I are constantly at work trying to turn that around. We are trying to get good things going for the prisoners here; trying to turn this place into a place of education and growth while planting the seeds of resistance and liberation.

Please help us; please get involved. You can contact me at;

Coyote Sheff # 55671
PO Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301-1989

There´s no love here


In the depths of these dregs where our souls dwell in darkness as our minds dwindle like dust in the wind, we sit here with sad looks on our faces, waiting for a letter in the mail or a hot meal to be served. Waiting, waiting, waiting, always waiting for something, but it seems like nothing ever comes. Nothing good, anyways.

There’s no love here. Not in this artificial world of concrete and steel, surrounded by razor wire, and gun towers, which are enclosed by mountains on all sides. There’s no love in these confinements, just a lot of hate, anger. agony, hopelessness, loneliness and despair. The closest thing you’ll find to love in here, is pain.

There’s no love here, no sunshine, no fresh air. But if you open your eyes long enough to see, you will find that there is plenty of destruction, depression, aggression, torment, suffering, and death. The coldness that permeates the atmosphere seeps through our skin to our bones and chills our soul. We’ve been discarded by society, separated from our families, left to sit, suffer, rot, and die. They don’t care, so we don’t care. There’s no love here.

Coyote, 2008
Anarchist Black Cross,
Nevada Prison Chapter E.S.P.

The Thoughts of an Exile


While I sit, stand, lay here in this cell, exiled from American society and confined to 4 gruesome walls that were intentionally designed to break me all the way down, my heart beats furiously, yet proudly with resistance and I try to keep my mind open, heart open and eyes open, reaching out for truthful knowledge and for deeper understandings of self, love and life. I read, I study, I write, I contemplate and reflect, I hold discussions, I have conversations and try to engage others.

In these dungeons we are cut off from family, cut off from the world and cut off from a real education, but the people in here who linger, lurk and fester in these graveyards seem to love to learn all they can about their own history, culture, heritage and traditions, even though they’re usually considered lower than dirt in the eyes and minds of society, they still carry their pride of who they are and they hang on to that very tightly. I really dig that.

There are definitely some powerful and dangerous minds lurking in some of these cells, people who have taken true means to let the shackles, chains, cuffs and restraints from their minds. I feel blessed to have been able to come in contact with people in this clandestine world who could be so intelligent, artistic and resourceful, even while confined to a cold, hateful, primitive place like this. It’s because of these experiences and because of meeting these people that it feels good to be lower than dirt, it fee Is good to be so close to the earth. I appreciate the blessings and the lessons of being an exile.

While I write this, I’m on the second day of a 4-day fast with a native comrade of mine. He told me he was going to go on a fast tor a few days, to set things in order with himself and that he’d holler at me in a few days. I said, “Hey, wait a minute! I´ll do it with you.” So, here I am on the second day of this fast, trying to stay strong and focused, no talking, no eating and no masturbating; and trying to keep negative thoughts out of my head. My native comrade Xemo has his reasons for going on his fast, which are mostly spiritual, and I have my reasons and objectives.

First, I wanted to show him solidarity, as he is someone I feel connected to in meaningful ways, so I wanted to encourage him to keep going and to get his mind right, heart right, soul right. Prison isn’t the most positive or productive place, and we sit here amongst all this hate, madness, violence, gangsterisrn, materialism and corruption, it’s hard not to get caught up in it, it’s hard not to think like all those around you, it’s hard to rise above it. So, I knew if I were to go on this fast with my native comrade, it would inspire and motivate him to hold strong. Secondly, I felt the need to do this for myself, to back up oft the door, take my mind away from this place and tune in to myself and mostly to challenge myself.

To me, fasting is an act of enduring pain and coming out of it stronger, it’s an act of sacrifice. It calls for me to will myself to keep going under desperate situations, to keep fighting, to keep resisting, to keep holding on, to stay focused, to stay disciplined and to stay strong. Of course, there are deeper spiritual meanings attached to it. But 1’11 have to admit that this fast isn’t really tor spiritual purposes tor me, other than sacrificing my food, conversation, urges and desires to will myself to endure and overcome anguish, pain and torment, and I’m doing this to prepare myself for tutu re hardships. Those are my reasons tor taking up this fast.

Xemo tells me stories, sings me songs in Crow, sings me songs in Lakota, sings me songs in Shoshone. He sings songs about the eagle, he sings songs about the bear, he sings songs about the determination of the wolf. He taught me how to sing a healing song and he taught me how to sing a unity song. He tells me something good about the coyote, he says a coyote can adapt to any situation, you can take a coyote out ot the Nevada desert and put the coyote in Africa and the coyote will find a way to survive. I will always remember that.

I believe we become stronger through our pain, we become wiser, with a clearer outlook on life, a keener insight, and more compassionate and understanding after overcoming, or enduring struggles and painful situations. I believe we need to be challenged by life, every now and again, and it’s through these challenges that we grow (spiritually) and develop (mentally) and transform our thinking into higher states of consciousness.

It’s about the mind, body and soul. It’s about atonement. It’s spiritual, mental and physical, it’s not only about being a warrior, but it’s about being alive. This is not my first fast, but I’ve learned a lot from Xemo, ‘cuz he was kind enough to take the time to reach out to me and teach me things about his culture, which isn’t much different from the Yaquis, Aztecs and Mayas, and I am very appreciative for my friend’s time and kindness, and it felt good to hear him sing his songs, he sings from deep in his soul.

My appreciation of these gifts leads me to write this brief report on it and include it in this zine, to give people a small peak into the life and mind of an exile. We prisoners are exiles, because we’ve been exiled from life, exiled from society, exiled from real, human relationships, exiled from culture and traditions and customs and celebrations, but as long as we choose to keep the things that are most important to us in our hearts, then we are still thriving and surviving.

There’s a difference between living and maintaining, people in prison aren’t living, we’re maintaining and some of us aren’t even doing that. Times are hard in prison, this place can make your heart hard like cement and your soul cold like steel. This place breeds hate and anger. A lot of people are influenced by racism and prejudice ways of thinking. Some prisoners read and study their culture and history and use it as a tool to hate, hate and hate. They learn to hate other people and other races, ‘cuz they’re not like them. They don’t understand the true lessons, ways, teachings and understandings of their ancestors. They don’t understand that when you take things back to their roots and origins, you see that we all come from the same place, and in 50 many ways, we are all related. People who embrace the true understandings of their ancient cultures aren’t haters, but have a trued appreciation and respect for their own culture, as well as others.

I see all this hate around here, and to me it’s ignorance. It breaks my heart to see and experience all this madness every day. People who talk out of hate (in my opinion), usually speak with ignorance, people who talk out of love, usually speak with the intelligence of their hearts. If you’re someone who claims to love your people 50 much, then they take true strides to do real things for your people, instead of using all that energy to hate on the next man, or the next race, just because he ain’t like you.

I sit in my cell and do my fast, Xemo is in his cell, a few cells down from me, doing his fast. We are both locked down, but we are resourceful enough to find ways to communicate with each other and still keep people out of our business. I sit here in solitude, with no one or nothing to fear but myself and let these thoughts pour out of a heart that’s been broken a thousand times, but comes back and beats stronger and stronger each time. I feel the pain in my stomach, but I keep going, I don’t eat, I don’t have the desire to eat, only the desire to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do, I can endure the pain, I’m a warrior, I am ready for whatever challenges that await me …

From the depths of my restless heart,
Coyote
E.S.P. 2008