This very odd question occurred to me after Terry Messman, the editor of Street Spirit, suggested I write something for the paper in conjunction with the publication of my book, Doodling on the Titanic: the Making of Art in a World on the Brink.
Creating multiple inconveniences was one of many strategies for interfering with James Michaelson’s inconvenient, daily activities. He was opening a can of tomatoes, and my prompt instructed me to speak into the microphone.
The United States misappropriates resources (including the human ones) in a business-as-usual profit over people custom. For decades, the U.S. prison industrial complex has embraced tough-on-crime legislation to branch its growth through the incarceration of its citizens. One of the many downsides of this policy is the increase in people living in squalor while others are “sheltered” in the name of public safety.
On November 5, 2018, I was released from prison after serving 38 continuous years behind bars. Upon my return to freedom, a parole agent drove me to an area of San Jose that was dotted with cheap hotels. He dropped me off on The Alameda, a boulevard in San Jose, with everything I owned stuffed in a backpack and a small duffle bag.