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With Robin Rage on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Justin Rowell-Savage on lead and backing vocals (ie, Hannibal Lector,) Matt Moscillo on drums and backing vocals (“I’m not that hungry, Mrs. Steele!”) Tim “Quiet Thunder” Hawkins on bass.  Produced and recorded by Jim Svensen and Guitardoors.org, a non-profit which records incarcerated musicians.

Thanks, Jim.

Rage

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It’s Friday & hot with plenty of humidity to go around too. I’ve got some mental issues going on at the moment, that idiot Dr. Shubert called me down yesterday to tell me that he was shutting off my meds. My six – tramadol a day pain – pills I’d been on for awhile. He suggested that I under go a series of three – shots, 1 a week for 3 – weeks, as a nerve – blocker for knee – pain in my right knee. He’ll probably do something to seriously fuck me up. Paralyzed for life or something else… Anyway it’s supposed to kill my pain, and those synthetic tramadols – crushed are ruining my esophagus, so I told him I’d do it. I’ll let you know how it turns out. If I’m able to still write…

Sitting here I have to towel off my forearms every 3 or 4 – minutes to keep this page from really getting soaked. I can’t believe how nasty it is in here today. 103 degrees out on the fire – escape & humid as hell.

Yesterday the fat bitch in charge made me a level – 3. Instantly I was forced to do another job, just for that one day though. I’m in charge of folding all of the laundry, about 12 – loads a days, supposedly ironing all of the striped shirts & blue pants, I’m now the C.L.  Journalism assistant, & then I have a bunch of little things to do every morning too. It’s annoying as hell, and everything keeps changing, so as soon as it starts to make sense, it doesn’t anymore. It’s very hard for me to get anything of my own done, unless I do them at night, when I really need to be sleeping.

They’ve moved me into a room with a real piece of shit crackhead. A bag of java used to last me a week, now I open a bag + 2 – days later it’s empty. He never ask for, buys, or borrows any, but always has some in his locker. While I went downstairs to the commissary today about a third of a bag disappeared. If he’d have asked I would have let him have some. So being in this unit I had to tell the guard that he needs to move to another hole. He’s in serious danger in this one, they’ll move him. These cells are the same as the security building, but 2 – inmates to a cell. We’re locked in from 10:00 pm. To 5:30 am. 5 – days a week, weekends are 11:30, holidays 1:30, too tired to ever even care though.

I guess they’ve been working on the security building longer than I’d thought. Today I mentioned it & was told it’s all done already. We saw a huge air conditioning unit go in on a tractor trailer this am. 2 – days ago the temp on the floor in a – pod was 105 degrees + the hobo’s were screaming bloody murder. So they got a new unit. I guess last month the women center got one, expensive, they’re really huge.

I keep seeing my friend Vinny, Fred Huntley, Matt Moscillo, and they holler to me across the courtyard or whatever, but all I can do is wave. Can’t say a word to them. These ass holes are really getting testy about that too. Shit – bags. Maybe if I get motivated enough I’ll write Fred and let you relay it if you’re willing to. The one letter I sent him said a lot but there are some other things I really wanted to mention. Like his health, which he’d told me was getting worse. He’d said that he didn’t think he would make it back to the streets alive. Says he has no will power. I know he does.

With constant rhythmatic voices always playing tricks on my subconscious, not to leave out the cell of what is to be called my room and board for another fourteen months. I sit idle, sometimes, and ask myself questions like: what will I do with myself tomorrow? Is all this really behind me? What did I take and keep with me so far and will continue to do when the time comes for me to go? I’ve participated in multiple programs and classes. But, for me, as one who is very musically inclined, I concur to myself “the 12-Bar Blues Project” was the one thing that sticks to my soul the most.

“The 12-Bar Blues Project” is one that lets the incarcerated inmates, who are really into music of any kind (unlike the name of it, anyways) a chance to show, give and release how they feel emotionally at the present time, or in the past through playing music, whether it’s writing songs, playing guitar or bss in one, or singing one as well. It’s also a blast to hear and learn other people’s styles of playing or ideas. The songs don’t have to be emotional at all, either, but can be comical for a good laugh or right-out-there too.

What did the program mean to me? Well…

The program meant to me, not only an opportunity to see where I stood next to really good musicians, but also, if my music was liked by not just me. Plus the fact that I got to experience the real act of recording a real CD was astonishing, to be part of something positive, some learning and therapeautic on top of FREE was and still is, to me, one of my life’s personally proud moments. For once I was sober and clean, playing my own as well as contributing to other’s music. I can honestly say that didn’t only make me happy, and lose focus on my surroundings, but also my family’s approval and respect. And not just theirs, but the staff at MCC too, noticed the changes I’ve made since I first started my bid. And the full come-around I’ve done.

For me to finally be able to say I wrote a song without being drunk or high, or for that matter to remember what I wrote and how I played it was a huge thing for me. I was homeless for three years on and off, with my family always trying to help me out but I took everything for granted and never saw the whole picture, prior to my incarceration. Since then (2008) I’ve come to understand the true meaning of trust and respect. Also that even the smallest thing out of the ordinary every day, every week, every month redundancy is a gift and not to be taken for granted. This program and the people in it and involved behind the inside of it have my most utmost respect and thanks for allowing me to participate in it and for their guidance and corrective criticism and suggestions.

Thank you all.

Special thanks to Grendal and Rage and to #1 (Lyssarian), also to my imperfections that help make me who I am as I yet continue or to change myself for a better person I know I can be.

– Matt Moscillo, AKA “Irish”
MDOC# 82613

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Political Prisoners

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