Malloy – Writing Samples

Raindrops sparkle like diamonds

Raindrops sparkle like diamonds
Atop the Buttercream curlicue
Razor wire.
Tatted and tattered
The men walk the asphalt track
Counter clockwise
Beneath towers and green guards with guns.
Hardened by life experiences,
Twisted by drugs ingested to forget
They get high to remember
The person they are,
When they’re not the person they are.
Outer physiques made taut and strong
With burpees and crunches,
Inwardly inert,
Resistant to the discomfort of vulnerability-
Afraid of exposure.
Their souls were not tended.
Like all living things,
People can be stunted
If they don’t receive
The proper nutrients.

Marshmallow Eaters

Scientists just moved the hands of the Doomsday clock
Closer to midnight
Will the Earth breathe a sigh of relief
to be free of humans?
With our individualistic bravado,
Lone hero, Egotistical ideas
We march across lands
Claiming all as our own.
Where was our ‘AHA’ moment?
Where were we when they sent the memo of Understanding
Explaining Our Divine Interconnectness?
Our foresight is not pure,
Our hindsight is not guilt free.
Impulse control be damned.
The Marshmallow Eaters
See no further than their wallets.
Some think their money will save them.
But when the clock strikes midnight
The shattering vibration
will deafen us all.


If I Had It To Do All Over Again

The handcuffed, shackled inmate shuffles by me – head down. Escorted, he has a correctional officer on either side. Maybe he’s considering what happened to create this consequence….maybe he’s not.

I work in a men’s prison teaching convicts (soon to be living in a neighborhood near you) to see how their thinking is inextricably linked with their behavior and consequences.

In many cases do-overs or shoulda-coulda-woulda- thinking is a waste of time. We cannot change the past. But if we don’t learn from the past….well that’s insane. I see this pattern time and again in prison. Men who believe they have no choice in their actions. Men whose internalized rage and hopelessness control their lives. Many of them are incarcerated because they ‘re-do’ the same thing over and over again. They are tried, convicted and flung together in dorms and cells, left to their own devices…left to teach one another the only things they know. It’s a fast track Phd in Anti-Social Behaviors.

Some people believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. They believe that it is a waste of money to have programs in the prisons. At almost every family gathering one of my brothers questions my job, and the fact that so much money is wasted on the inmates in our prison system. He believes, like many, that prisons should be punitive. I choose to use my time helping these men look at their thoughts and how they can make better choices in the future.

All we know is all we’ve been taught. Some of these men see the world through a lens of need and hunger and hopelessness. – They choose what they know, what they’ve grown up with – it’s comfortable for a while- until they come to prison where top ramen is the local currency, they live in a toilet with another man, and their personal belongings can be “tossed” at will. And into this hostile, fracas of community we ask them to sit together in a group of strangers and take a closer look at their lives and re-examine how they think.

Change is hard for most people. Being out of our comfort zones makes many uneasy, even though we also know that change is constant and inevitable. Yet sometimes we all function on autopilot. WE develop a routine way of doing and being. When was the last time you made a major change in your life? Or re-examined a long held belief?

If I Had It To Do All Over Again

I’ve tried to think hard about  what I’ve done in my past life, about the choices that I’ve made that have cost me so much.

From the beginning it was a fight. So much was stacked against me. An abusive and alcoholic father, a gang and drug infested neighborhood, peer pressure, bullies, violence. It all existed in my environment. And like everyone else, I accepted it. I kept quiet about the abuse from my father. I joined the gang in my neighborhood, I became a drug dealer and drug user, I fell prey to the peer pressure, I became a bully, and I participated in a lot of violence.

So much of what I became was not me. I wanted so much more for myself but I wasn’t brave enough to say it. So now I will.

If I had it to do all over again, I would start at age 11. I would start by staying in school and applying myself. I would tell my teacher Mr. __________ that my father was beating me, my brother and my mother. I would stay away from the older kids that were influencing me into joining a gang. I would stand up to the peer pressure I faced at school and in my neighborhood. I would say no to drugs and never use.

As I write this now, I make it sound so easy, but for a child at age 11, it wasn’t. There was a weight on my shoulders that I thought I couldn’t lift. But I was wrong. I could of made better choices, I could of fought through the adversities I faced. I made it easy to just give up on myself.

But I’m not mad, because I’m a better person because of my passed experiences. I’m stronger, I’m wiser, and I have a desire to do better that never existed before.

I know my situation is extreme, but I can handle it. As long as I have my sanity and continue to grow, I’m free. Free where it matters, up here!

So, if I had it to do all over again, as crazy as it sounds, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because my experiences have made me who I am today, and at some point saved my life.

C.R. – Serving 3 life sentences + 85

What Shall We Teach Them?

Give a man a thought and he’s got your thought in his head for a day- teach a man to think and he can think for himself, for a lifetime…..

If I had it to do all over again? I would choose the same profession, and be grateful that with each new day we are all given an opportunity to begin again, learning to be better.