Category Archives: Sentenced to Death

Found Faith

Locked in a cell with nothing but pain,
Thoughts of injustice running through my brain.
Sitting on Texas Death Row, waiting to die
For a crime I’ve not done, you might ask why…

How did it start, where will it end?
Why did this horrible nightmare begin?
Why did she lie and condemn me to death?
I’ll ask this question with my last breath.

I understand she was scared and alone,
But to blame it on me was wrong.
So, now I lay behind these walls of concrete and steel,
Waiting for justice on my appeal.

Kept in solitary confinement in this man made hell,
Empty inside, no longer a man, only a shell.
Missing my children all these years,
Shattered dreams, lost hopes, silent tears.

Angry for all the years I’ve lost,
Found faith for that man on the cross.
If not for the lord to help ease the pain,
The cruelness of this place would drive me insane.

When my day comes and it’s my turn to go,
There’s something I want everyone to know.
Life is short and often tragic,
Find the Lord, you’ll find life’s magic.

God bless you and me!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  It’s eighteen years later…
I’ve lost the faith.

Troy J. Clark #999351
Polunsky Unit D.R.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351

Death Row – A Double Edged Sword

When you first arrive off the transport van, you are interviewed by the ‘Death Row Classification Committee’, handed a rule book and told that you are expected to follow the rules and policies.  Just a few days before, you were condemned to die by lethal injection because they believe you can’t be rehabilitated and are incapable of following any rules.

You spend the next twenty years being a model prisoner.  It won’t help you on appeal.  They don’t want to know if you could have been rehabilitated.  They don’t want to know the person you’ve become is not the man they labeled as ‘incapable of following rules or functioning in society’.

If you were to violate every rule, they would want to know.  I ask myself over and over – Is it possible to disagree with my confinement, yet accept the rules placed on me by it?  What does it mean to be in agreement with your incarceration?

Regardless of how much I ponder this, I know it’s not about what they say or do with me but what I see in myself, the dignity I live with, and the behavior I expect and look for from myself.  What kind of growth can I reflect upon myself, what is it I believe I am capable of living like?  Regardless of what the courts or prison officials tell me, I have to maintain a certain level of respect and accountability for my behavior and actions.  It’s a reflection of who I am, and nothing beyond that matters.

The sword may have two edges, but I have no worries of either cutting me, for my actions are my armor of protection…

Travis Runnels, is a published author, and is currently working on his second novel.  He lives on Death Row.

Travis Runnels #999505
3872 FM 350
Livingston, TX 77351

Letters From Home

BANG! BANG! BANG! “Mail call!  What’s your number?” yelled the obese guard as he finished beating on my rickety cell door with his pale, meaty fist, as though he was trying to wake the dead.

Startled out of my blank stare at the off-white, filthy, concrete wall across the cell, with its peeling chunks of paint, I drone a response, in a voice devoid of feeling, “Nine, nine, nine, three, seven, seven.”

I was lying on my ‘mattress’, another word for a hard, plastic sleeve, stuffed with what feels like a bunch of golf balls.  Lying on a bed of dirt would be more comfortable.  I was wearing the dingy white Death row uniform, basically a jumpsuit made of a denim-like material, the letters “DR” painted boldly on the back and on one of the legs, with thin, grey socks on my feet, attempting to keep my feet warm. My head was propped up on the thread-bare blanket I was issued, something a homeless person would balk at.

“Here!” barked the police academy reject in a voice that let me know he was disgusted with me before he slid two letters under my cell door, just past the doorway.

It took my depressed mind a second to register the mail on the floor. Once realization hit, I leapt off my bed as if it were on fire, took three steps to the doorway, and snatched my mail from the cold concrete. From the evening light struggling to squeeze through the tiny window in the back wall of my cell, I read the front of each envelope – one from mom and dad, one from Sara, the mother of my son.

My heart beat so hard and fast, it felt like it was going to explode right out of my chest. My hands were trembling and my breath struggling, as if I just sprinted a mile. The sheer desperation emanating from my being blurred out everything but those two letters. Someone could have opened my cell door and hit me over the head, and I would have been oblivious. I was starved beyond words for communication from outside the steel and concrete walls – especially from my family.

I read the letter from Sara first. Even though our relationship was on the rocks, I missed her terribly. Just holding her letter brought me comfort – the softness of the paper she handled and the scent she left on it. I soaked in her words like a dry sponge touching water for the very first time. Her loving words made me ache for her even more. I did not realize she was experiencing as much pain and suffering from being apart, as I was. I read her letter so fast, I had to read it again, a bit slower, to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I read it a third time, slower still, because I needed the reprieve from the darkness that had plagued me since my arrival on Death Row nearly a month earlier. I clung to her words like a drowning man clings to a life preserver in the middle of the ocean.

Reluctantly, I placed her letter on my bare desk, which is nothing more than a thick sheet of metal welded to the wall, right next to my metal bunk.  The desk and bunk are dingy and rusted in several spots.

I took a deep breath and opened mom and dad’s letter. I say ‘mom and dad’, but my dad isn’t much of a writer, so mom writes for both of them. Their letters are always so full of love, comfort, encouragement…things I need to hear in order to keep from being swallowed by the darkness and going insane. It would be too easy to just let go. Like I did with Sara’s letter, I read my parents’ letter a second and third time, basking in the comfort with each pass. God, I miss them so much. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what they were going through. Children are not supposed to die before their parents…

I placed their letter next to Sara’s, and sat on my bed.  My cell was cold, which told me it was still cold outside. The heaters don’t work here. No surprise, nothing seems to work right here. To operate my steel-encased wall light which resides above the sink/toilet combo, you have to beat the front of it – one or two hard hits turn it on, four of five hard hits turn it off. I’m surprised the light bulbs haven’t shattered yet.  The toilet is probably the only thing that works properly. It’s a stainless steel sink/toilet combo bolted to a stainless steel wall. It’s quite the beast! In fact, it works so damn good, when you sit on it and flush, it feels like it’s going to suck you right down the drain! I have to be careful, as I only weigh a buck thirty. When it rains, water trickles through all the cracks in the walls, which is probably why my cell smells like a moldy, wet dog.

Sitting on my bed, the pain and horror of my situation begin to creep back in, like watching a horror movie in slow motion. I am soon filled with despair. The jury foreman’s words haunt me: “We the jury, find the Defendant, Kenneth Vodochodsky, Guilty of Capital Murder of a Peace Officer….” And then there’s the voice of the Judge: “….I hereby sentence you to Death.”  What a nightmare! When will I wake up?! Murder…Guilty…Death…All for a crime I did not commit!

“How the hell did this happen?!” I wonder aloud for the thousandth time.  I squeeze my eyes shut as tight as I can, trying to block out the memories. Tears begin to stream down my face, hot and accusing, puddling on my lap. My eyes red, puffy, and hurt to the touch. I no longer bother to wipe the tears away. When will they stop?! My nose is red and on fire from attempting to wipe away all the snot that seems to be trying to keep pace with all the tears running down my face.

It’s times like this I’m grateful to at least be in a cell by myself.

The sight of a grown man breaking down and crying is disturbing. In prison, it’s also a sign of weakness. If you’re perceived as weak, the predators will come after you. Hence, being surrounded by a pack of convicted killers is another reason to be grateful for a cell to myself. I contemplate if any of them are planning to come after me. What about the guards? Their looks of disgust and hatred are overwhelming.  I shiver from the fear, the unknown.

I pull my knees up to my chest, tightly wrap my arms around them, and rest my chin on top. I take a deep, shuttering breath. The tears are now down to a trickle. I think to myself for the umpteenth time, “What am I gonna do now? Am I going to die here?”

—-To be continued—-

Written by
Kenneth-Conrad Vodochodsky
#01362329 – Diboll Unit
1604 South First Street
Diboll, Texas 75941

Mending Fences

One of the most difficult aspects of spending sixteen years on death row is the societal disconnect of being stowed away from the outside world.  Unlike other facilities, death row implements a measure of isolation that wedges a gap in the mental evolution of its denizens. Though outlets are provided as a source of information – like TVs, newspapers, and visits – the basic cable viewing and local coverage lacks the exposure to stave off the inevitable.

In June of 2016 telephones were installed on death row. This avenue for communication was an enormous leap from the single ten minute phone call that we had previously been allowed annually. The holiday phone calls, as the process was known, were administered under strict procedures and they often found their targets at work or unavailable, and if they were available, there was not enough time to speak with all those who were available and eagerly waiting. Not to undermine the value of those precious moments and the tender voices of our loved ones, but ten minutes a year is insufficient time to fully sense that you’ve spoken with someone. Today, things are different. The atmosphere on death row is alive with the promise for potential amendment. With the telephone installments, I am a notion and a few clicks away from breaching society.

The first call I made was to my mother, who relocated to be nearby after I was sentenced.  My mother has visited me weekly and provided for me in such a way that I am seldom in need.  She and I have sang, prayed, and cried together throughout the years to lessen the pain in each other’s eyes.  Just being able to talk with my mother by phone was an honor.

The second person I called was my Aunt Patsy.  Much like my mom, Aunt Patsy has been essential to my endurance with her continuous faith and optimism. She has visited, written, and sent funds, dutifully, as if I was her own son. Aunt Patsy has been a friend that I could confide in, and, right or wrong, she believes in supporting her family in every way she can – I admire that the most about Aunt Patsy.

After those two calls, I got around to making the most anticipated call that had been seventeen years in waiting. A call that came with hesitancy and doubt, and would either offer an incredibly wonderful experience or sizzle with awkwardness and discomfort. With jittery fingers, I punched in the digits. The phone rang once, then twice. Each clatter of the ringing that thrummed in my ear made the dissonance in my head more evident: desperately hoping someone answered, on one hand, while, on the other, praying to God that they didn’t.

Suddenly, the automated recording sprang to life as I resisted the impulse to hang up. What was I to say?  Where would I begin?  I was completely unaware that my breathing had stalled, until a sigh of relief escaped me.

“…Thank you for using Global Tel Link.”

Then I heard her voice, “Heyyy, Duck!”

And everything hit me at once, a plethora of memories and emotions from a life I once knew. A tear slipped out of my eye before words left my mouth as I realized why the moment was so endearing.  It was because nothing will ever be more important than family.  I’ve always stood by that philosophy, and I’ll die by it. I smiled as my worries morphed into joy.

“Hey, Aunt Pudding. It’s good to hear your voice.”

Aunt Brenda, whom everyone in our family called Pudding, was my mother’s older sister by one year. As kids, the two were best friends.  My mom looked up to Aunt Pudding and wanted to be just like her. Then, at 16 years of age, Aunt Pudding married and moved away from home to start a family, which left my mom to feel abandoned. Their relationship hardly suffered, instead, it strengthened as they grew. The dynamics of family closeness was similar with all my aunts and uncles. Whether a bill needed paid or someone needed a place to stay, they’d always provide for each other. This closeness was the inheritance for us children of the family. Aunt Pudding, herself, was the mother of six, though my brother and I made seven and eight. I spent countless Saturday mornings on her living room sofa watching Bugs Bunny cartoons and Soul Train.  In the backyard was an old pecan tree I’d climb while Aunt Pudding hung clothes out to dry.  Her house was a staple in the community for many of the neighborhood kids, and the lesson that our closeness reinforced most was that nothing was more important than family.

All that changed, May 17th, 1999, when our closeness went awry.  Aunt Pudding’s eldest son learned of my interest in a murder and covertly alerted the authorities.  After meeting with the detectives and detailing the crime, he was given an ultimatum: testify as to my involvement in open court or be criminally charged himself.  This act caused a rift in my family from which there would be no healing.

I never blamed Aunt Pudding for standing by her son.  It was indicative to how my grandmother raised her children.  It’s why my mom stood by me.  It was because, regardless of our children’s shortcomings, they are our greatest responsibility.  Still, the ordeal took a toll on my mother and Aunt Pudding’s relationship.  The sisters spoke occasionally, though careful to avoid mentioning their two sons. Other family members differed in opinions and ultimately chose sides.  Some doubted that the cousin would lie about something as serious as murder, while others were persuaded by the testimony of DNA findings.  It was an explosive circumstance that fragmented our family’s closeness with few whom I wondered if I’d ever hear from again.

Then about five years ago, while visiting with my mother, Aunt Pudding took ill and was hospitalized. Initially, the diagnosis looked bleak, but she slowly began to pull through. Many in our family gathered at her bedside to offer support and prayers. It was the closest we’d been in fifteen years.

Though I was unable to share in the experience, I agonized in seclusion.  I’d lost my grandmother and an aunt already; I couldn’t bear to lose Aunt Pudding.  There is no greater pain than the hurt I’ve felt in not being able to say goodbye. If I ever had the chance, I’d find a way to make things right.

With the telephone installments on death row, I was given that chance.  I expressed my eagerness to reconnect with Aunt Pudding, and my mom made it happen.  Aunt Pudding and I were in such high spirits that all the messiness seemed forgotten. Our conversation flowed like cool spring waters over the jagged stones of past controversy. It reminded me of more pleasant times, back in the days when Aunt Pudding’s doors were open to me, even in the wee hours of the night, or when I would raid her fridge to sate my appetite while she encouraged me to eat more. Back in the days when our love was unconditional and the only sides to be chosen had long been determined by blood. I will always love my Aunt Pudding, though amidst the chaos, I’d forgotten what that felt like, until now. And yet, nothing will ever be more important than family – the proof is in the pudding, just listen to her voice…

“Heyyy, Duck!”

“Hey, Aunt Pudding.”

What could be more important than that?

©Chanton

 

New Year’s Eve

Prison lines, prison rhymes,
There has to be better times.

Every day a grind, so hard to shine
In a 9×12 all my time.

A king with no crown,
That has a permanent frown.

Surrounded by music,
Without any sound.

The void filled with brown,
Same color as the ground.

Nothing around, hidden above ground,
Left so alone, within cells made of stone.

 

Travis Runnels, is a published author, and is currently working on his second novel.  He lives on Death Row.  He prepared the above poem for submission on New Year’s Eve, 2017.

Travis Runnels #999505
3872 FM 350
Livingston, TX 77351

You Have No Idea

You have no idea what it’s like to be me – to have a father who delivers empty promises, to have dreams that are so far out of reach, attainability mocks you.

You have no idea what welfare tastes like or how the lump in the throat of a proud woman feels as her child gleefully laces up his used shoes.

You don’t know what it’s like – what early morning yard sales and a three mile trek to a fucked up job can do to your psyche or what it’s like to watch your hero bested by a villainous street drug, that special something in their eyes, forever gone.

You can’t know what that’s like because you’re not me, and you have no idea what it’s like to accept that everything you’ve done good was never really good enough; no idea what it’s like to have avoided near tragedy, only to have it claim your spirit, or what it’s like to, twice, be a victim of injustice because classism was instituted just for you.

You, seriously, have no idea what it feels like to believe in a country that doesn’t believe in you, one that has deemed you hopeless and washed its hands of your filthy soul – what it’s like to watch your brother’s lifeless body hanging from a bed sheet as an alternative to the daily cruelty he has suffered – no idea what it’s like to see your loved ones perish beyond a glass partition, to have that emptiness in your chest, and stillness on your tongue – no idea, the embarrassment of having to face your children, knowing that your shortcomings have victimized them, also.

You have no idea what it’s like to be drowned in struggle, encumbered by misery, yet still keep fighting because it’s all you have left.

What a life… you have no idea.

©Chanton

The Smell Of Rain On Death Row

My earliest memories are from when I was five or six, maybe younger.  We had a side porch and when it was raining outside, my brother, cousins, and I would sing out at the rain, “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”  There is a smell that rain gives off, and I can’t name it, but it is the same scent I can smell when it rains where I am now.

I carry a scar with me from back then, too.  When I was little, I fell asleep on the couch, which had a shelf over it, holding a mini stereo.  The cord was hanging down, and I was such a wild sleeper that I got tangled in the cord and pulled the stereo down on my head, splitting my ear open.   I don’t remember that part, but I remember how they had to hold me down at the hospital to stitch my ear up because I was terrified of needles.

My heart feels sorrow when I think back to those memories now, knowing that most of the people from that life are gone.  I wish I could go back there, to the side porch.

Sitting on death row, you think about a lot of things.  Having a death sentence is just that – having it – until the time comes when there is a very real possibility an execution date could be given.  That’s when the term ‘the shit hits the fan’ becomes part of the equation.  That’s when the wondering starts working on you, the thinking and trying to figure out what’s what in this life you have lived so far.

Sometimes I want to know what’s to come, but other times I don’t.  There are times when I think about death so much that it becomes like a physical being, filling the space around me and pressing down on my soul.  It’s then that the nervousness threatens to consume me.  When I lay down at night I close my eyes and slow my breathing and try to feel it, the nothingness, a sleep from which I will never wake up.

But, I still have to shake it off.  Consciousness is all I’ve ever known.  Smelling the rain is what I know.

Travis Runnels, is a published author, who is currently working on his second novel.

Travis Runnels #999505
3872 FM 350
Livingston, TX 77351

I Love You

I am still your dad, and I love you so,
More today than years ago.
Blame no one else… I am the one,
Forgive me now, for the wrong I’ve done.

So blind I was, I just couldn’t see,
How much you meant to me.
Now the chance I had is gone,
I’m a broken man, choices none.

Each passing night when I should sleep,
I see your faces, for you I weep.
Your trusting smiles of innocent charm,
I hold no more within my arms.

Within the eve of every day,
I bend my knees and heavenly pray.
Heavenly Father, guide them well,
Don’t let them suffer this living hell.

If I could undo the hurt from the past,
I’d give you love, smiles and laughs.
If I had one wish here today,
I’d wish these words for you to say,

“Daddy, I love you…”

Troy J. Clark #999351
Polunsky Unit D.R.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351

Salvation

The day I walked onto death row, I felt like an alien, my mind a haze of confusion and disbelief I’d never felt before. I wore sadness on my shoulders and disaster behind my eyes. The thud in my chest was of condemnation.

With leaden steps, I walked into a warped capsule that was desolate, though filled with men.  Men with empty gazes and dejected postures, like forgotten relics tarnished by the cruelties of incarceration. I had never seen a walking dead man before, I was now cast amongst the lot of them. I dragged what was left of my mother’s son and my state-issued property into a dim 6×10 single cell, collapsed onto the folds of a mattress, and cried. As sleep reached up to cradle me, I prayed that I would not wake up again.

The next morning was better than expected. Some guys woke me to see if I wanted breakfast. A part of me viewed the gesture as thoughtful, another part, suspicious. I arose, stiff and exhausted, yet feeling more like myself. My survival instincts kicked in, I had to get it together. I studied the cell which was to become my permanent residence. Along the back wall was a vertical window of thick Plexiglas, shielded by a steel plate. Each wall, scarred with graffiti and chipped paint, with globs of toilet paper plastered over a cooling vent, and a toilet that was crude, steel, and indecent. Worst of all was the place upon where I was to lay each night, a thin metal slab bolted to the wall beneath a tatty mattress darkened with stains. I inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with the putrid smell of my reality, and found acceptance.

Later that day, I was informed by staff to pack up my property, and move to another block. There were two co-defendants expected to arrive and they had to be housed separately. I walked onto another pod, identical to the one I’d left, except this one seemed smaller and cramped. Metal-framed bunks furnished a day room area that resembled a military barracks more than a prison block. Stashed away in the far reaches of a darkened corner was a tiny cavity – the shower. Single-man cells spanned an upper and lower tier as inmates meandered from room to room. Some inmates loitered around the day room tables, while others sat wide-eyed before a blurred TV screen. There was one particular table designated as the gambling spot, where several men smoked stogies and drank coffee over a card game. The entire dorm was veiled in clouds of tobacco smoke, the air stale and suffocating.

I received several glances, though no one paid me much attention.  They carried on as if to make me feel less uncomfortable.  A tall, lanky guy sauntered over and indicated which bunk was mine. His accent was West Indian. I felt obliged though I couldn’t help but wonder what he was up to. We made brief introductions as I put my things away. He said that we’d chat later when I was done.

Suddenly, a balding, middle-aged white guy launched himself up from the card game, his face twisted and steaming. He slammed his palm down on the table, puffed his chest, and roared, “This muthafucka ain’t got a god damn thang! He’s just calling to be calling! I’ll tell ya what… call me one more time, sum-bitch, I’mma give you sumptin to call about!”

The threat permeated throughout the room in search of its victim.  I froze.  The West Indian guy assured me that everything was fine, and that the uproar was deliberate and quite common. I asked what were they playing and he answered, “Penny poker.”  Penny poker?  I had never seen anyone make such a ruckus over pennies.  Apparently, neither had the pudgy blond-haired guy who was being yelled at.  With his fingers interlaced and shoulders scrunched, his eyes roamed as low as the floor would allow. I felt sorry for him. I made a promise to myself not to gamble.

Several minutes passed before another guy approached me and introduced himself.  His face was mostly hidden under the bill of a cap and tinted shade, and he grinned as though he knew something no one else did. I was immediately suspicious, and nervous. His upper teeth were crowned with gold fronts and he talked with the exaggerated swagger of an old-school pimp. He was strange and mysterious; the type of guy that whispers for no reason.  In no time at all he was whispering to me.

“Aye, yo.  I’ve gotta way outta here.  You wanna get outta here, don’t cha?” Hell yeah, I wanted out of there, more than anything.  A longing for my family erupted inside me and bubbled over like fizzled cola. I didn’t know the guy, nor trust him, but if he had a way to break out of death row, I wasn’t going to pass it up.  He turned and headed for his room as I followed closely on his heels, cautious yet optimistic.  The guy entered first.  I checked behind me to be sure no one followed.  From the doorway, I observed a room that was well kept, with books lined neatly inside a wall locker and cosmetics situated atop a steel countertop. In the middle of the floor was an Islamic prayer rug. I was scared as shit when I entered.

The guy reached for a book, opened it, and began speaking to me about something he called the Pan African movement.  He said that we needed to elevate the conscience of black people to break loose the mental shackles of our oppressors.  What the hell?  I kept waiting for him to peel back the prayer rug to reveal an underground passage, one that he had tunneled out with a spoon.  He didn’t.  I was disappointed to learn that there would be no path back to my family. I began feeling smothered under the dense layers of captivity.

Later that night, while most inmates were locked in their cells, there were a few of us assigned to the day room bunks due to overcrowding.  I considered this a privilege since we were allowed to move around after lights out, stay up all night and talk.  The arrangement was similar to the county jail, so the transition was smoother than I imagined.  Around midnight, the door to the pod squealed open and in walked a clean-cut baby face young’un.  There were tattoos on his arms and a bob in his step, yet his eyes held a certain unexpectedness.  I was laid back on the bunk thumbing through an African book for my freedom.  The young guy put his things away, turned, and offered me a cigarette.  His courtesy compelled me to open up to him.  He and I talked the remainder of the night about nothing.

One day, young’un was upset with a mutual friend of ours, and wanted me to decide between the two. When I didn’t, young’un was upset with me.  The situation carried on for weeks, in which time we both learned things about each other that we didn’t like – young’un was stubborn, and I was frustrated.  Our friendship became strenuous after that.

A few years would pass, and I hardly recognized young’un. He grew troubled in a way that even his smile seemed to ache.  I know why he was hurting, the same as I.  It was the difficulty of living without his family.  I reached out to the young’un several times, but he shut me out.  The shadows of his transgressions were upon him and there would be no defeating his inner demons.  On August 5th 2007, young’un hung himself with a bed sheet.  He was 28.

Afterwards, death row changed for me.  Before, I had hoped for a reversal and acquittal. Suddenly, the chaos was real; the likelihood that I would not leave death row alive.  An anger inside me stirred for the executions past.  I thought about my legacy and how I’d be remembered.  I didn’t want the pain that I’d caused to be the end of my chapter.  I didn’t want my voice stifled away in a pine box. I didn’t want my children to wonder the kind of father I would’ve been, nor my accusers to determine the man I was.  I didn’t want my life to be a blemish on history.

What I wanted was to have a say in how I am remembered.  I wanted the people I loved to know that I tried to be a better man.  I’d seen how regrets could consume a man’s spirit, I wanted my regrets to be a tool for a change.  And if it should be that I would perish on death row, then I wanted nothing more than to be at peace with myself.  That is why I write.

© Chanton

 

Texas Death Row Suicide

I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself.
I look to my left and right,
I look to my left and right.
I make sure the run is clear,
Before I take this flight.
I’m not crazy, maybe insane,
But I’ll be damned if they stick that needle in my vein.
We pop pills to avoid the last meal,
Like kids eating candy,
The medical pills become handy.
I’m not a scary man,
But a dead man,
You don’t believe me, look at my appeals man.
I shed these tears out of fear man,
So, I pop these pills to forget the van.
Several years I studied the plan,
I know Texas history,
I know the Klan.
I seen Lil Jack get in that van.
I seen Big Buck get in that van.
I seen Thread get in that van.
I seen Smoke get in that van.
I seen Chester get in that van.
I seen Ross get in that van.
I seen Tick get in that van.
I seen Savage get in that van.
I seen Bones get in that van.
I seen Diaz get in that van.
They won’t get me, ‘cause I have a plan.
I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself.
I am not looking for the lethal injection,
No sir, brotha.
I don’t fit that selection,
I’m 6’4” in height,
They know my cell is too tight.
Did you know pressure burst pipes?
I have a camera in my cell playing games of show and tell,
I am not a porno star, so what you looking for?
My walls are closing in, and I can’t sleep at night,
Fighting off demons left and right.
Lord have mercy,
I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself.
I look to the left and right,
I look to the left and right.
The devil in my sight,
I grip and hold tight.
I’m being harassed every day my officer night
I pace the floor at night with a shot of hot coffee,
Trying to find a way to get this date up off me.
Authorities on my brain, and my mind is locked up.
I believe tonight will be my final cup,
I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself.
Some of you may not take my side,
But I’m trying to avoid that ride.
It’s not about pride, truth be told,
We’re just tired.
I don’t care about a date, I have a plan that can’t wait.
When they find me it will be too late,
Sitting in front of a big dinner eating steak.
I don’t want to kill myself,
I don’t want to kill myself.

The above poem was written by Pete Russell, and shared with me by Travis Runnels.

Pete Russell #999443
3872 FM 350
Livingston, TX 77351