Ok 2001 July : EddyZheng.com

Uno

Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Uno Dos
Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Tres Cuatro

Cadence in unison
Bounces off
Walls & razor wire
From the
Adjustment Center
Where

Murderers, fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, grandfathers & human beings

Are
Isolated
In single
Animal
Cages
Exercising
Their
Bodies-spirits-solidarity
Fighting against
Authority
Fighting for
Life

I sit in the
Library
Surrounded by
Thousands
Of Books on

General Works-Philosophy-Religion-Social Sciences-
Language-Science-Useful Arts-The Arts-Literature-History

By people
Who are

Dead, alive…
Black, white, brown, yellow, red, green, orange…
Tall, short, fat, skinny, young, old…
Gay, straight, women, men…
Reformers, revolutionaries…

Sharing & expressing
Their

Knowledge, experiences, thoughts, theories, praxis,
Creativity, artistry, humanity

As my eyes
Glued to
Asha Bandele’s
“Poem 4 the students at the city university of new york who questioned why we need 2 struggle”
Instinctively
My thoughts
Lead me to the
Slaves slash prisoners
Who are
Enrolled in the
College program at the
Prison Industry Complex of San Quentin University
The one & only
In the State of California
Volunteer
Professors, scholars, students
From universities near & far
Flock
To the
Plantation
To
Educate & cultivate
The minds
Of
Society’s outcast

Slaves slash prisoners
Young & old
Embraced
The opportunity
To learn how
To
Read & write & pursue
An Associate of Arts Degree
An education
Often not
Afforded to us
In society

Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Cinco Seis
Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Siete

Yet
I wonder
How many
Slaves slash prisoners
Have asked, “What kind of education are we getting?”
Will the education
We are receiving
Enable us
To overcome
Ethnic, religious backgrounds & color lines
Will the education
Enable us
To conquer
Classism, Racism, Sexism, Hatred, Prejudice & Institutions of violence
That have been
Indoctrinated
In us
Will the education
Enable us
To pull ourselves
Out of this environment
Of oppression & dehumanization

Is it
Enough
That we can
Read & write
But can’t
Think critically
About
Our lives
Is it
Enough
For us
To get
An education
Get out of this
Physical enslavement
Go get
A job, cower in gated communities, drive fancy cars, wear designer clothes, rear children
Reduce
Recidivism
Become
Poster boys, puppets, statistics
For the
Prison industry complex

Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Ocho Nuevo
Uno, Dos, Tres… Uno, Dos, Tres…
Diez Cuatro

Still
I wonder
How many
Slaves slash prisoners
Are asking, “Why do we need to struggle?”
Maybe
It’s because
We
Refuse
To hear
The invisible chains
That are rattling
Around our necks
Refuse
To feel
The shackles
That are weighting
Us down
Refuse
To realize
The apathy
That is sucking
Our lives away

Maybe
It’s because
We have
Conformed & accepted & allowed
The authorities
To dehumanize us
By trashing
Our property
During cell searches
Making
Hundreds of men
Shower in a
Segregated stall
Confining
Us in cages
Smaller than
A regular size
Bathroom
Forcing
Us to work
For pennies, less than a dollar or no pay in exchange for privileges
So they
Can profit in
Millions
Ordering
Us to

Strip naked, open our mouths, stick out our tongues, lift up our testicles,
bend over, spread our cheeks, cough & lift up our feet

Each time
We finish
Visiting with our
Loved ones

And so I wonder

If we don’t think critically about our conditions, who will?
If we don’t raise awareness about our lives, who will?
If we don’t fight for our lives, who will?
If we don’t do it now, when?
If we don’t use what we’ve learned to liberate ourselves and others from this physical and mental enslavement, why do we need an education?

So
Think…  Be critical
Take action…  Together

Uno, Dos, Tres…

Uno…

Uno, Dos, Tres…

Dos…

Uno, Dos, Tres…

Tres…

Uno, Dos, Tres…

Cuatro…