Excerpts From The Prison Ashram Project’s Journal, Inside Out
It’s a pleasure to offer these excerpts from Inside Out, the journal of the Hanuman Foundation’s prison-ashram project.
I wonder how I should begin. Should I say I am happy or sorry to see you all here? Certainly I am not happy to see you in prison. At the same time I am happy to see you interested in Yoga and in making your lives more beautiful.
Cain’s later history was not recorded. We know a few facts, that he was cursed from the ground because of his brother’s blood, that he was doomed to be an outcast and a wanderer, that he bore a mark from God. He fled society and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
... and not a drop to drink ...
Coy Armstrong moved to Cane Creek from Wilkes County in 1922, when he was eight years old. He has walked his land thousands of times, and probably knows Cane Creek better than anyone.
Distillate of Rainbow is an ancient and natural remedy for the relief of tension and nagging worries.
“But it all sounds the same.”
Several years ago I was asked by an instructor in the English Department of a local university to give a lecture on the work of a recent American poet. At first I thought that would be a difficult task, given the diversity of the past century, but then, scanning my library, my eyes alit upon a book of poems by a poet so peculiarly Southern that he had been ostracized by critics and other poets for being overly provincial and at times a bigot. Here was a man, given all his supposed violence, racism and provincialism, who expressed more of the South than any other poet — and as a poet, its soul — and surely within him, I thought, there would be those footnotes to Southernness: sin, redemption, and guilt. I was not disappointed, and I found in James Dickey not only these allegedly “Southern” themes but also something else — that universal struggle betweeen the spirit and the flesh. However grotesque his imagination was, this man, I felt, had more to say about the matter than any other living poet.
When I was ten years old I passed through a period when I could not sleep. Probably the first sleepless night was an accident, or perhaps the first two, but I began to worry about them, and soon I couldn’t sleep at all. Long before bedtime I would start feeling anxious, and however tired I might have been all evening, by the time I was ready for bed I was awake and alert. In my anxiety I would go to my parents, trying to laugh, make light of it all, and they would laugh with me, aware of my worries and wanting not to add to them. We would laugh at my comic arrival in their bedroom, at ten o’clock, eleven, eleven-thirty, at twelve; when it got that late they would say, “Oh David, are you still awake?” and I could see the concern behind their smiles, and perhaps a trace of annoyance, as they let me come with them into their bed, and promised that if I were too tired the next day, I would not have to go to school.
Fletcher E. Driscoll felt the day getting warmer. He was in the back seat of a Land Rover, blindfolded. It must be noon, he thought, bouncing along what seemed to be a crude jungle road. Every so often he felt the vehicle dig into soft ground, and heard the splashing of water. Streams were being crossed, thought Driscoll. He began counting them, but lost his place between 17 and 18. Driscoll felt hungry and took several fresh donuts he had brought with him for the journey out of the pocket of his J. Press tropical seersucker. The intense heat had melted one chocolate donut. Driscoll felt the chocolate in his pocket. He saved what he could with his fingers.
The life insurance salesman will be here soon. He will put it to him bluntly: he has responsibilities. In his case, there are photographs of the funeral. He is a handsome corpse. He feels flattered. There is a picture of his wife and daughter, dining in an expensive restaurant. They are dressed in mourning, but they look satisfied when the waiter arrives with the check. The waiter is affectionate. He pats the daughter’s head, slips his hand under the wife’s skirt. She squirms. He draws out a golden hatchet. There is a close-up of the hatchet. His name is engraved on the handle. The spelling is wrong. “NO SALE,” he bellows, hurling the photograph at the salesman’s head. It flutters to the floor like a lady’s handkerchief, damp with tears.
I’ve been corresponding with Carl Harp for more than a year. He’s serving a 95-year-min…