The journal of Dustin Clark


Dear Friend,

Start: This is my first time ever writing in a journal, but I need to learn how to write better and express myself more. Plus this is a good way to focus the energy of my mind.

Right now it is hard to focus because the cellblock is kind of chaotic, a lot of hooping and hollering. It's usually like this all day and some of the night, it starts to get quiet around 8:30 pm-9:30pm after the "Boss" (guard) passes out mail. "Mail call" is probably the most important moment of the day - we con's jokingly call it: "stress call." Every inmate is at their cell door hoping for one letter, something to let them know they are not forgotten about, someone cares. When the "Boss" passes by their cell without stopping some con's get mad, some get frustrated and some just shrug their big weary shoulders, let out a soft sigh of exasperation. They go sit back down on their bunk and think of something else to get their mind's off of the "stress call" and back to doing time. I got a letter tonight from the "Alternatives Library" informing me about their journal writing program, I am glad to share...I need to learn to share more of myself. It's hard to be a sharing person in here, I'm in the Lion's Den and sharing can be considered meekness and meekness=Lamb Chops for the kings of this chaotic concrete jungle. Ever since my mother and father passed away and I've been down here I have strained and struggled to become a better man. In this jungle I do not want to be one of the lions. I will be one of the giant unmovable wise old tree's of life reaching for the skies, my branches waving in the cool breeze, peace to my neighbors. It is a true struggle to keep this positive mind-set, I am yet a young sapling, still growing, still learning...END


Dear Friend,

Start: I wonder who I would be today if I had not gotten locked up at the age of fifteen. I came in at fifteen and I'm twenty five now...who am I? Sometimes I feel as there are two or three people in me fighting each other. I guess getting put on lock at such an early age never allowed me to grow as other young boys. What does a lovers hand feel like reaching out in the night? What does it feel like to wake up when you want, to go to bed when you want? What do the stars look like...I forgot. I forgot what grass feels like on your bare feet. I have forgotten so many feelings and have missed out on so many things. They tell me I will not get out of prison until I am forty one or forty two, I hope I live that long. If so I want to live by the beach in a quiet place, I want to watch movies and eat buttery popcorn and snuggle on the couch with someone who loves me. I wonder if I've been loved? I don't really think so, maybe as a baby...END


Dear Friend,

Start: It is cold outside, but the heat is blowing through the vent's making the cells really hot and stuffy. The "Boss" (guard) did cell shake-downs just now and threw away my neighbor's magazines and now my neighbor is mad, up in arms and ready to strike. The Boss did not have to do that, she only did it to make my neighbor mad because she is in a bad mood because some other con down the row was disrespecting the bosses talking trash. Now the boss wants to take it out on everyone. I hate when the bosses do that, but it's a common practice for them, get mad at one, screws us all. So that breeds hate in the heart's of the cons, which festers into an explosive situation - inmates ready to riot, which is all they can do. The hunter has backed the lion into a corner only to find the lion has a whole tribe with him. The lion's voice is the roar of a riot. It is the only way to be heard, nothing else seems to penetrate these thick walls of oppression and isolation named the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). I try to calm my neighbor and I prevail, no row today. End


Dear Friend,

Start: Inner Demons - sometimes I look back at my wasted youth and think upon all of what I could have been...If only I would have cared a little more, tried a little harder a gone a little farther...But every time that I seemed posed on the edge to achieve a little more I gave in to inner demons, fell victim to their nonstop waged wars and now I look back and think what was it all for??? Now that I feel too old, my youth all gone slipped through sticky fingers too quick to thievery, a nose now too long and ears gone deaf to any new song, the inner demon's war is over, yet still I deal with my past wrong....End


Dear Friend,

Start: Today I read, "Home can be anywhere, for it is a part of one's self." Then why do I often times feel homeless? This place could never be a home because it's goal is to break down a man's self(self worth, self pride, self respect. Etc.) End

15 February 2009

These prison guards, "Bosses," have got to be some kind of crazy. I mean everyday, four days a week, 16 hours a day, they walk vol*untarily into this Hell. Don't they know how easy it is to get burnt in this land of Fire & Devils? And they think we are crazy, I am here because I have to be- you're here because you want to be! I always tell them...


16 February 2009

It's crazy- I have been in this place (prison) since I was 15!!! I've pra*ctically grown up in the shadow of Hell (prison). I wonder what type of p*sychological stuff thats been done to me. I wonder who, what type of man, I would be today if would have had the chance to live a more normal life. Only in TEXA$ would they lock a kid up for 20 years for robbery. They focus on punishment when they should focus on Rehabilitation: give that kid a job, teach him Education. Don't send him to prison for the rest of his life! And they call us inmates "Evil." At 15 the State of Texas stole my life because I stole a few pieces of property from someone else. They killed my "Life" & condemned my 15 year old soul to "Hell" (prison). But people think I am a bad man... I did wrong, but I never had a chance to do right.


18 February 2009

I got a book about Edgar A. Poe the other day. Man what a classical & great poet! He only got paid $1 for one of the greatest poems in American Classical Literature: "The Raven." Sad... but that's the way of 'Man', to sleep on 'Beauty' & only embrace 'ugly' till the ugly consumes their souls & then when it's too late they recognize the 'Beauty'. It doesn't do Mr. Poe any good to now recognize him as one of "The Greats."


19 February 2009

I wonder why do 90% of the prison guards see us in prison as subhuman. To them are we not people? Do we not feel? Do we not think? Does it even matter to them that we have families, we have kids of our own, that we love, we have mothers & fathers, lovers & sisters & brothers? We dream & we hope & we fear & we love just as they, the guards, do. We once had normal lives just as they do. We once upon a time had jobs & woke up at 4 A.M. to get ready for work. Got our kids ready for school & liked warm baths... Do I not believe in God? Does God not believe in me? I think, therefore I am! I am more than a number, I am more than a white prison jumper. I am more than Inmate Clark, more than a 'con', more than a crook, I am a brother to Cory & Chad, I am a friend to Stephan & Monica, I am an uncle to two beautiful little girls, Harly 5 & Nadia 1... I am Human...


25 May 2009

Dear Journal:

Sorry I have not wrote in some months. Been kind of dazed out & just drifting along the slow flow of isolation. I turn 25 in July, can't believe it's already been 10 years that I've been in prison. Seeing parole soon, don't look good...