boredbutnotbroken, continued

november 3 2012 - today is my one month left celebration!  that means candy, and a strange, as yet to be determined concoction involving a melted chocolate bar. 

it also means my time here is running out, so i need to get my shit together and assess what i can realistically get done in the few weeks i have left.  what am i going to have to set aside for later?  where am i just going to be forced to admit defeat?

i've been thinking a lot lately about how i'll be able to contribute to prisoner justice work from the outside.  one thing i'd really like to do is keep this blog going.  the people who run and work in jails are aware that people on the outside don't really know what goes on in the inside, and have very limited contact with prisoners.  they benefit from this and to some extent they rely on it at the same time prisoners want to share their stories – that became obvious when we put together the peak special issue on ontario prisons over the summer. 

so in the new year this blog will hopefully morph into something that is no longer about me, but instead is open to contributions from anyone who is or has been in the prison system.  i'm not quite sure how all the logistics will work yet, so stay tuned.  for now there's an email address up and running:, and there's a mailing address:


po box 183

guelph on

N1H 6J6

i'll be checking both as of dec. 10th

if you have questions, suggestions, or a post to contribute, get in touch.  and if you know people who are currently in prison it would be great if you could help me spread the word.  thank you!

to get the ball rolling, here is a short statement from a woman i met on unit 4, and a poem written by a cellie back on 2F.

 statement – jail. . . .

 When you're alone in your 7 x 10 concrete jail cell, that's when it hits you.  This isn't summer camp, or anything like a fancy get away retreat.  You are in jail, and there is no way out of it.  Your memories of the past, the people in your life, your career and future plans all seem to haunt you, because there is no going back in time and you can't fast forward to the future.  You're stuck.  Life may still be going on outside these walls, but for now, ours has stopped.  All you can do is ache for the day that you'll be lucky enough to say goodbye to all the friends you've made here and promise that you’ll never come back.  ~Blondie

editors note: the cells are actually closer to 5 x 8.

poem. . .


Unmistakable screams

I’ve chosen not to hear

The lies I tell myself at night

So these dreams will not appear

In hours that pass I’m late to see

What time has done to me

This mourning, this denial

I’m regretting this hour

And how it blinds me of my ways.

I’m a child amongst these animals

An adult without a say.

My heart is screaming at my brain to let me love

In every pore I reek of fury and a child within, she hides.

I beg, I plead though I do not bleed

But I’m broken from side to side

Honesty has no value

So my truth is made of lies

I myself cannot compare and I will not compete

I have lived a thousand ways of yours

And I’d rather die in self-defeat.

Hung in on a temptress desire to kill and a weaker way of dealing

My bones are almost broke right through

And I can no longer continue on kneeling

What’s chained me down for decades now

I’ve chosen not to fight.

A monster awaits, a reflection of me is bidding on my sight

I’ve trained myself not to bleed

Beyond what I consider safe.

I’ve peeled away this uncertainty

I pushed away my plate.

Samantha Miller

July 2012