.

Letter from a DC Prison

We’d seen the evidence, the ballots dropped
In loads of boxes trundled in late-night
With ballot counting claimed to have been stopped;
The windows blocked to hide observers’ sight,

Suitcases dragged from under tables; more—
The laptop filled with the Bidens’ dirty dealing
Dismissed as “Russian hacks;” then Big Tech whores
Would cancel anyone who mentioned “stealing.”

We had to march, you see: We had no choice;
Like in those midday old-time tv shows
Wherein your son’s a bully to other boys,
Or your wife is drunk since noon, right under your nose,

They made the theft so obvious, so clear
—Biden even bragged about it live!—
And said so casual, as if with no fear
That anyone who’d hear would not connive

With what they’d planned, we had to act; to vent
If nothing else, or lose our honor, our right
To be Americans, somehow. We went
To the courts, we did it right, made known our plight

And they just laughed and tossed the lawsuits out—
“No standing,” said the briefs; our lying eyes
Were no match for the Democrats’ political clout.
Our proof? Buried beneath an avalanche of lies.

And so we marched. We sang along the way.
I’d brought along Old Glory, held her high,
Her colors bright against the sky’s dark gray.
Voice raised in song, I felt like I could fly.

The crowd stopped out in front to mill around,
Until the cops began to lob down flash-bangs
Right into the kids and grannies on the ground.
What did they think would happen? We bared our fangs

And the cops just opened up the barricade
And waved us right on through the Capitol’s door.
How could we know that welcome was a charade?
Like the cop who gave that horned-hat goof a tour

Of the Senate chambers, then he got four years?
That they’d fake courtesy to lure and goad us?
Entrapment’s not a word a judge wants to hear,
Or that feds played dirty, purely to railroad us.

They say we trespassed on their sacred lawn:
But that Ray Epps dude, complete with breaching crew’d
Made sure all barring gates and signs were gone.
He never got arrested. Us? We’re screwed.

And, too, that megaphone guy atop the tower;
He yelled and yelled, he didn’t stop to breathe or
Clear his throat: “Go in, go in! Seize power!”
The feds don’t seem to care to find him either.

We know by now the fix is in, our rights
To speedy trials, impartial juries, a joke.
The left wants blood, their jackal press delights
In our ruin, while their cities go up in smoke.

Six months in lockdown, before they mentioned trials
—In isolation all but an hour a day.
No evidence, not even charges filed.
Only in prison did I learn to pray.

The guards—most black—make sure we know we’re dirt;
They don’t even bother to hide their glee
At knowing they’ve got free rein to make you hurt
For only saying “hey, I gotta pee.”

We’re maced routinely, beaten and ignored;
They call us “redneck,” “cracker terrorist,”
And say they’ve fucked our wives when they get bored.
Our pleas for food, for help, just get dismissed.

I asked my cellmate—we call him “The Professor”—
Just why he marched. He did it for his grandsons,
He said, that they could call him a transgressor
As long as the nation was saved for his “little ones.”

I got my dander up that he was here at all;
he should be home, not rotting in a cell.
I told the guards it was “cruel and unusual,”
Our punishment. Maybe I started to yell,

(He’d taught me a bit of law since I got nabbed)
and said our rights were being violated.
That night a gang of guards rushed in: They grabbed
My Constitution, and left, I thought: Instead

———————[REDACTED]———————-
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———————[REDACTED]———————-
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———————[REDACTED]———————-
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I thought they’d had their fill with me, but then
———————[REDACTED]———————-
————————————————————
————————————————————

———————[REDACTED]———————-
————————————————————
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————————————————————

———————[REDACTED]———————–
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———————-[REDACTED]———————-
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———————-[REDACTED]———————
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———————-[REDACTED]———————
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I don’t piss blood so much no more, although
I’m told the eye will never focus right.
I could protest, just wail my tale of woe,
Then think of the Founders, how some lost more than sight.

And it’s hard to handle sun; months in the hole—
It puts a certain fear of freedom in you,
A fear of hope, does something to your soul:
Cuts faith to the bone, right through the flesh and sinew.

Locked away in filth and mired in sludge
I’d lost all track of how much time had passed
Until they brought my case before a judge
To justify my deeds in court at last.

“Do you feel like a patriot?” He asked,
To mock, I know. But even in my youth
I’d something in me takes it straight to task
To turn their mocking right side out with truth.

I thought about it some, and then avowed
I did; those times when just before lights out
The whole cellblock would start to sing, so loud
We’d drown those shouting asshole guards right out.

We’d sing “America the Beautiful.”
I’d sing till my voice failed, failed like the light,
And then I’d listen, blind and mute, but full
Of joy, that echoed, echoed, through the night.

.

.

Adam Wasem is a writer living in Utah.


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34 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    What’s with the redactions? Are they just too horrible in their descriptions to be published, or are the scum in our illegitimate government now censoring the SCP?

    We now have concentration camps in the United States, run by sadistic D.C. guards who torture and beat prisoners — political prisoners with indefinite sentences. Is this Red China? Is this Nazi Germany?

    And our gutless ACLU has not yet breathed a syllable.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Hi Joseph, no, the [REDACTED} portions were part of my original piece, the conceit being that it is an actual letter from the prison, and I thought it a clever way to imply the violence rather than explicitly depict it, since, as horror writers and movie directors know, often the imagined horror is much more effective and frightening than the actual monster. I used [REDACTED] instead of [Censored] because, as we’ve all learned in recent years, whether we wanted to or not, government agencies use [REDACTED] to conceal their “sources and methods.’ I’m deeply gratified you found the conceit and my execution of it sufficiently convincing to be suspicious, however.

      And yes, now that the entire media, academic, government, and, apparently, legal complexes seem determined to forget our New American Gulag, I realized it was up to me to speak for these prisoners, that virtually no one else was going to. I don’t know how others can live with this unspeakable crime against human rights–a crime that is still being perpetrated 2 years later–against American citizens, other than literally not speaking about it, but I had to say something, or I felt that somehow I would lose the right to call myself an American.

      Reply
      • Amer Ican

        A musician needs to pick this up. It could be the new “Thick As A Brick” (Jethro Tull) for modern times.

      • Monika Cooper

        “I had to say something, or I felt that somehow I would lose the right to call myself an American.”

        Yes. Thank you for speaking. I wish the January 6th prisoners all the joy of your final stanza’s vision and speedy liberation. It’s such an honor to be living this moment of history with them.

  2. Margaret Coats

    Very well done, Adam. Everything that needs to be here is here, in our colloquial American terms, with the dignity and pride and forthrightness that befits Americans, both poet and those for whom he writes. I don’t think you, Adam, could have done better than leave some of this poem “REDACTED.” Only the prisoners themselves can tell the full story, and God willing, they will be free to do so soon. Still, I can imagine they will be offered release on the basis of remaining shackled in their accounts of the truth. You speak quite effectively of the condition in which a man feels afraid of freedom and indeed afraid of hope.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, Margaret. I felt it was important to speak from a typical prisoner’s perspective, as much as I was able, and not my own, to try to see it from their point of view as much as possible. And I’m glad you picked up on the colloquial American idiom, as I feel the events both leading up to and on January 6th were an American Everyman time in our history, and it was important to speak in as common an American idiom as possible. Never in my lifetime have I seen an Everyman vs. Elite encounter so clearly and starkly defined, barring possibly Reagan’s election in 1980, and it was important the poem reflect this.

      I sadly fear you’re right in your prediction about the terms of their release (if any): The lies and gaslighting and criminal injustice will just be swept under the rug, as it seems they all are these days. But before the great American experiment ends, I’m going to see if I can’t shed a little light on the causes of the collapse first, for the sake of my children if for no one else.

      Reply
  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Adam, you have done an amazing job of giving those who have been wronged by their own government a voice… a loud, stark, heartfelt, poetic one. For me, this stanza says exactly why we should all be extremely concerned:

    Six months in lockdown, before they mentioned trials
    —In isolation all but an hour a day.
    No evidence, not even charges filed.
    Only in prison did I learn to pray.

    “Justice”? – I think not. I am sickened when I hear the propaganda pushed by the mockingbird media on the lips of many all too ready to label these political prisoners “insurrectionists” without access to any facts. Adam – thank you for shedding light on the dark underbelly of the tyrannical governance many are all too willing to support. The truth matters.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, Susan. By turns I have been so heartsick and outraged for so long about so many disgusting crimes perpetrated against our lives and liberty by virtually our entire government–with the exception of only a very select few–and the tech, media, academic and banking cabal in cahoots with them, that this poem–stark and loud as you mentioned–seemingly became the only vehicle by which I could purge myself of some of the poison. This situation in particular seemed to crystallize so many of the horrifically evil things the elites are perpetrating that I felt my soul was at risk if I ignored it. I kept on trying, no doubt for far too long, but it just kept welling up inside me. Adjectives and invective couldn’t do it justice. “Injustice” couldn’t do it justice. I feel like stone cold killers are gleefully murdering Lady Liberty right in front of me, all the while insisting I not only do nothing, but approve of their abominable crime.

      That all I had to do to achieve this impact was amalgamate a number of true accounts and simply recount them with minimal embellishment just proves the enormity of the crime. Thank you for saying the truth matters–I hope to God you’re right, and that someday a little of this truth permeates the minds of the masses, enough at least to prevent us all from someday waking up in “1984.”

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Adam, every word of your reply taps into exactly how I feel and explains why I am moved to write about the atrocities occurring before our very eyes – atrocities that are glossed over, “normalized”, lied about, or ignored. When you spoke of “stone cold killers gleefully murdering Lady Liberty”, it reminded me of an excellent poem I read on this site some time back. I am sure many feel the same as us and it’s about time we all spoke out. I think you’ll like appreciate these loud, stark words of sheer horror at the state of America today. Sadly, the whole of the Western world is crumbling, and many are enabling it:
        https://classicalpoets.org/2020/12/20/the-rape-of-lady-liberty-and-other-poetry-on-election-fraud/#/

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Adam, if it’s possible, how about putting up here the list of all the current political prisoners — their full names and the exact location of their incarceration. Just as the Roman Martyrology lists the names of all those who suffered for the faith, and where they died, such a list would be a solid slap in the face of the governmental criminals who are torturing them.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      I can’t find an easily postable list, but a cursory look at the case files here–https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases–I think is damning enough, especially as you go down the list and see how absurdly overcharged they all were and are for essentially wandering through a government building that had been opened for them and taking goofy selfies. That anyone has been charged at all when the whole thing was open-and-shut government entrapment shows you just how completely corrupt to the core the entire system is. In early October 2022 a group of them petitioned for a transfer to Guantanamo Bay in favor of where they’re still incarcerated. Anyone who knows that and still has doubts about the unconstitutionality of their treatment is likely a lost cause.

      Reply
    • Cynthia Erlandson

      There is a lot of information about these political prisoners on this site:
      wearegoodmen.com

      Reply
      • Adam Wasem

        What an excellent link! I wasn’t even aware of that site, thank you so much, Cynthia! I’m going to have to take a break from it, though, because I can feel my blood starting to boil again.

  5. Mary Gardner

    Adam, your work is vivid. I feel as though I am in the cell with the prisoner.
    Thank you for keeping this situation in the forefront.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, those were my aims. If I lack the courage to join Ashli Babbitt’s mother in a vigil, the least I can do is try to put myself in the prisoners’ shoes as much as I can. And if I’ve put one reader in those shoes as well, I’ve done my job. Thanks for the validation.

      Reply
  6. Adam Wasem

    I can’t find an easily postable list, but a cursory look at the case files here–https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases–I think is damning enough, especially as you go down the list and see how absurdly overcharged they all were and are for essentially wandering through a government building that had been opened for them and taking goofy selfies. That anyone has been charged at all when the whole thing was open-and-shut government entrapment shows you just how completely corrupt to the core the entire system is. In early October 2022 a group of them petitioned for a transfer to Guantanamo Bay in favor of where they’re still incarcerated. Anyone who knows that and still has doubts about the unconstitutionality of their treatment is likely a lost cause.

    Reply
  7. Joshua C. Frank

    Adam, this poem is truly heartbreaking! Well done. It illustrates so well how our government only offers liberty and justice to the woke and other criminals, while anyone who speaks up against it gets thrown in prison like in a dictatorship… and I think more and more that the United States is a dictatorship and has been so for a long time. I mostly get my news from poets here writing about it, so thank you for bringing this to the forefront. The redacted bit was a great touch.

    The killing of Ashli Babbitt also shows their true colors. If she had been black, assuming she would even have been shot, there would have been all kinds of outcry against the government. The message that sends, loud and clear, is, “White lives don’t matter.” Not that the liberals give a damn about black lives or any other color either, given that guy who got arrested for writing “Black Unborn Lives Matter” in chalk outside an abortion clinic. Liberals are no better than Nazis… and then they have the gall to say that about us!

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, Joshua. [REDACTED] was a true bolt from the blue. I agree, the government and media gaslighting and hypocrisy is so brazen and unjust that it continually beggars belief. Or at least it seems like hypocrisy until you realize that the media-academic-government complex’ purpose is no longer to fulfil the Founders’ intentions of protecting liberty, but to safeguard the interests of the Deep State and elites. Then the disparity in treatment between the two group of “rioters” comes clear. The George Floyd rioters in 2020 were useful to the Deep State, in that they served to terrorize and shame the middle-class for their supposed racism and keep them timid and afraid, while also helping to advance the left-wing Statist agenda in growing the welfare client class, breaking down local law and order, further disarming the population, etc., all of which increases the power and control of the federal government and bureaucracy. The Capitol protestors, on the other hand, came dangerously close to the truth of the election theft in 2020, and under no circumstances can the Deep State have that.

      The trick for truthseekers is to maintain our convictions in the face of the continuous and ubiquitous barrage of lying, prevarication, gaslighting, misinformation, disinformation, etc., coming from the Deep State mouthpieces. The difficulty in that is the appearance of legitimacy all these Deep State mouthpieces are able to maintain, broadcasting as they all do from clean, well-appointed tv studios and well-edited and well-maintained websites and print outlets. Or academics tenured at “prestigious” universities and think-tanks, all supporting the same narrative. They all appear so well-appointed and prosperous, and there are so many of them, surely they have an audience of millions, surely they must be speaking the truth, surely the Deep State narrative is supported by everyone, is the implication the public is meant to pick up on. What is masked so well from the public is that in fact they have virtually no audience beyond the radical left echo chamber they inhabit, that all their “prosperity” is a mirage maintained by literally hundreds of billions of dollars every year in counterfeit “money” continually generated by the Fed and distributed by the Deep State to their propaganda organs. When you hear about multiple trillions of dollars in budget deficits every year, that’s where a mammoth chunk of that deficit spending is going, to support Deep State propaganda. They have no real popular support, which is why they’re so terrified by a populist like Trump leading a populist uprising against them.

      Reply
  8. Cheryl Corey

    A good source for stories/letters, etc. about and from J6 prisoners is The Gateway Pundit. Also a good site for learning about all the vax injuries/”died suddenly” cases.
    sample here: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/01/treated-poorly-harassed-physically-abused-j6er-todd-gardner-writes-open-letter-dc-courts-delay-hearings-seven-months/
    Adam, I get what you were doing with the redactions. My only comment is that I think it would have been just as effective if you used only one or two “stanzas” of such redaction for effect.

    Reply
    • Adam R Swinford-Wasem

      Thank you, Cheryl, for the link. Every link helps to disseminate the truth that much more. And your approach could be valid with the redactions–one or two stanzas is certainly enough to indicate to the reader that crucial information is being withheld. My use of it for so many stanzas was to indicate the extent of the withholding on the “sources and methods,” and to emphasize the gratuitous and outrageously excessive nature of the abuse. I also wanted to give a nod to the farcical government hearings we’ve been treated to over the past few years about so many things, where in response to FOIA requests we get page after page after page where everything in the document except the title header has been completely blacked out.

      Reply
  9. Patricia Allred

    An exquisite piece of poetry that deeply moved my soul. Thank you for your talent and your love for this country.
    Patricia Allred

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, Patricia, for those very kind words. As the Good Book says, “whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” And as the leftists say, “Silence equals violence,” and that has never been more true than in the case of the January 6th political prisoners.

      Reply
  10. BDW

    I am thankful that writers, like Mr. Wasem in “Letter from a DC Prison” and Ms. Cooper in “A Poem Commemorating January 6th…”, continue to remind readers of the great injustice that occurred on Jaunary 6th, 2021. One poem I wrote about that important topic in the Spring of 2021, “Among the Myriads”, was never able to see the light of day, perhaps because of its untimeliness, its structure, its format (a listing), its content, etc. so I am thankful SCP published these two works now in 2023.

    Reply
  11. Adam Wasem

    Thank you BDW, I’m happy to do it. What’s the point of writing if you don’t feel like it’s making the world a better place? And you know, re: your Jan. 6th poem, you can always rework it. Personally, I don’t believe any poem is ever finished, I believe we just weary of chipping away to get to the perfect poem already extant underneath.

    Reply
  12. BDW

    “re: Jan. 6th poem”: It was a stripped down catalogue of the names, as in the manner of Homer’s catalogue of the ships. Apparently it doesn’t work in the early NewMillennium. It will have to wait for a future date.

    Reply
  13. Mitchell Lencioni

    Lying eyes indeed. It took less than five minutes to find footage of the rioters smashing windows and doors and pushing the barricades out of the way. Other than the content being patently false, I really liked your verse and style and really felt the emotions that I believe you were trying to evoke. I agree with Cheryl that there were too many stanzas of redaction. I feel that the length of the redaction interrupted the flow of how I read your poem unnecessarily. The same effect could be accomplished with two stanzas of redaction.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      “Patently false”–riiight. The flow of events and the reactions they caused are clearly traced in my poem. It is a fact that the protesters were continually antagonized by the police with flash-bangs on the lawn, it is a fact that a number of provocateurs, including Ray Epps, continually egged the protesters on, and did in fact tear down fencing and signs around the Capitol lawn, and remain mysteriously unaccounted for. It is a fact that there is video of police pulling aside barricades, and it is a fact that it is impossible to open the Capitol doors from the outside, they have to be opened from the inside. It is a fact that prisoners were put in the hole for months on end, with no evidence, not even any charges, a disgusting violation of Habeas Corpus, and an abomination no one can countenance and call themselves American. No one said the protesters were angels, but I dare you to read just one account posted at wearegoodmen.com and not come to the conclusion that an abomination of justice is ongoing.

      And you missed the point of the Redactions–they were supposed to interrupt the flow, to indicate a gaping presence of absence, in this case the presence of government abuse of helpless prisoners, absented by government BS [Redactions]. However, I hope you liking my style leads you to take a second read of the poem and understand just what is being swept under the rug here, and the enormity of the issues at stake.

      Reply
  14. Adam Sedia

    This stirred a number of emotions in me. It was painful to read because it is true (I thought your “redactions” were a nice touch, especially when followed by a description of the effects of the speaker’s torture). Yet on the other hand it was encouraging, to see the repression so perfectly captured in verse and know that I’m not the one who’s crazy to draw the same conclusions from the evidence. I especially like the ending, narrated in the tone of a martyr. Thank you for this at once epic and intimate — and very important — work.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Thank you, Adam. High praise indeed. I’m gratified you appreciated it–yes, the truth hurts, especially when it’s an ugly truth. But much better an ugly truth than a soothing and pretty lie. And that’s the Deep State/Media/Academic gaslighting for you. As I hinted in my reply to Joshua Frank above, the government long ago metastasized beyond any useful purpose besides perpetuating its own growth and overreach. And the globalists are firmly in control–anything smacking of a populist American sovereignty movement is a mortal threat to them, which they will combat with all the resources–propagandist and otherwise–their hundreds and hundreds of billions of Fed funny money can buy. The only solution to maintain one’s sanity is eternal hypervigilance. People attribute the quote to Jefferson: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” And I would also add, that the only sure defense against government tyranny is, at the very least, a credible threat to refresh the Tree of Liberty from time to time.

      Reply
  15. Mike Bryant

    Release the 14,000 Hours of Video from Jan 6…

    Let’s find out who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.

    Get the best videographers, the best programmers, the best facilities and equipment to combine, to clean, to synchronize the images, the video, the sound… to document in a 3D computer representation of the day, the scene, the players, the patriots, the traitors, the innocent, the guilty… we can do it… AND WE MUST…

    Let the truth be known.

    Reply
    • Adam Wasem

      Mike! I’ve been waiting for you to comment; I submitted this with you and your wife, along with a few others like Dr. Salemi and Adam Sedia, in mind as likely to appreciate it. And I heartily agree–Elon Musk could shine the light on the cockroaches and aired out all the dirty laundry within weeks of taking over Twitter, why can’t our own damn government? Every day in delay for perfectly reasonable requests like releasing the video just makes the injustice that much more damning. And I agree, we certainly MUST–because, let’s be frank, every lie, every rank injustice, every FBI plot, every COVID-type scam perpetrated on an unsuspecting public brings us one step closer to a real insurrection, not the phony garbage the Deep State has tried to gin up out of January 6th, which was little more than a pack of baby boomers sightseeing in the Capitol and taking goofy selfies. No, they’re going to get a real insurrection, an insurrection that is a lot closer than anyone wants to think.

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Absolutely on target, Adam. And the closer the real insurrection gets, the more obvious will be the gutlessness of the faux conservatives in the Republican Party and others like them, who merely serve as a cosmetic emergency brake on anyone or anything that might SERIOUSLY threaten left-liberal hegemony.

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