It’s Justice Time

  It’s Justice Time Rahsaan “New York” Thomas   Floating along the waves of Clear Lake on this fishing boat feels like a meditative massage to my weary soul and body. Looking at Kam, my 16-year-old grandson, relaxing next to me, I can’t help but smile. I watch him swallow from a glass bottle of […]

My Black Conscience

  My Black Conscience Torrey R. Thomas II   I can’t stand to understand a man that thinks it’s okay to kill me because skittles is my favorite candy to eat No, it’s not sweet to leave my body on the street because I protest laws that are obsolete My country defines me saying, “All […]

Outside / Inside Power

  Outside/Inside Power Adamu Chan   I work in the Education Department here at San Quentin as a tutor for people who are working to attain their GEDs. Three days a week, there are students who come from UC Berkeley to help tutor in the classroom I work in. They are mostly young, 18 to […]

the box

  The Box Wesley Williams   You try to Box me in like Ali. So what Box do I check? There’s no box for me. I guess I’m free or am I just in a bigger, box. From the projects to the pen Boxes stacked on top. You Box me in because I check Other. […]

Two Poems by April Harris

  Two Poems April Harris   How Long Has it Been? How long has it been? How long has it been since I was lost in the world wrapped up in sin? How long has it been since I left my kids wondering, where’s their mother hen? How long has it been since the chains […]


  Invacuation-191 Tony deTrinidad For all who fell to COVID-19 incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison   The electric buzz smacks my consciousness Shocking me from a languid television trance Its ear-piercing hum bombards my senses Invades my cell Floods the air Oscillating from red surprise to gray anxiety “Alarm in the unit!” Like a […]

Zelda Metzger

  Zelda Metzger Ivan Skrblinski   Zelda Metzger drove her 1996 Volvo in the far right lane, 1 mile per hour under the speed limit. It was 5:30pm. The traffic was unusually light for a Friday night. She was on her way to teach a creative writing class in the most unusual place—a zoo-like building […]

Spic and Span

  Spic and Span James Terry II   Dear Friends; To tell the truth, surrealism. Well, figuring out this Pine-Sol rhetoric of convoluted pipe dreams, enraptured in my REM sleep, rapid eye movement, unconscious, scandalous, auditory and precipitous cliff hanging heights of paranoia. This truth remains true. Magic Shave awakened my lust for Zoom visitations. […]

Laugh to Keep from Crying

  Laugh to Keep from Crying Olethus Hill Jr.   Here we go again, I thought to myself as I followed directions and shuffled into one of the two single-file lines of chow hall workers forming along the metal and concrete kitchen wall. I’d been a cook in the prison’s kitchen for a little over […]

The Art of Having Nothing

  The Art of Having Nothing Ryan M. Moser “…But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn’t welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends. We carry them from place […]