My Poetic Paragraph

April 12th, 2015 by George Martorano

“Yesternights” …. Always, my thoughts fight not to travel, not to tramp on, to find the very first-hate of man. You see, caged so long I can even hear the bang from a drop of a tear. This handcuffed-course shows the very worst to the human eye. For I exist under love’s heel, leaving a print of human-mud. Even if I were bound upon a new road, never could I shuck new sorrow; it comes each day. Then, there’s the late hour, bringing dark colors like hurricane, painting my soul. I, long ago a fool, created such a storm to destroy my own ship, named heart…. So, the black and white prison-stripes of pain I’ve relayed….And Heaven above ! With time…. I have become attractive. Imagine that, “yesternights”, imagine that.

By: George Martorano

Stories of Old

April 12th, 2015 by George Martorano

I kneel like saint, night for night,
I hear my prayer, deep, sincere
At words-end, I just sit to floor,
….wondering tis this, thee only script
A show to repeat….my God!
How it rips


Years ago, the, then, prosecutor of my case falsified a document of violence. Of which once seen by the BOP I was labeled maximum-security prisoner. So for years I was kept in solitary until a judge finally straightened the lie out. These are some past happenings from maximum-security.

His give aka name within the state and federal prison machine, was, Chicken-Lips. A thin man not so tall, very ugly, with drooping lips….Chicken-Lips had been in prison since youth….He was, killer. If put in a cell with him, he’d kill you in some way usually with a knife. Usually prisoners were put in with him for a reason….To die. Die most likely for a violent offense against an undeserving staff….Since I was max security in transit I was always kept alone….Somewhere in America’s heartland decades ago. Chicken-Lips was also in transit from a courthouse no less for stabbing somebody or worse….In transit numbered-dash men are cattle. Things can mishap. Chicken-Lips who I did not know nor saw before was shoved into the holding pen with I alone. Immediately, he began scanning the holding pen for something….I watched….I did not know. I knew he was ugly, eyes crazed. Yet, I quiet, him silent he kept searching with his eyes….Easing himself around the holding pen, but never getting close to me….We did not talk….A lieutenant happened to walk by….Froze! Began yelling orders! Quickly a squad of guards were there. Yelled for me to back up against the fall wall….They cuffed and removed Chicken-Lips….Then, it was explained to me. Who the killer Chicken-Lips was….You see, why he searched the holding pen, was looking for a prison made shank that usually was hidden in spots Chicken-Lips knew. I guess Chicken-Lips thought he was put in there to kill me….But no weapon placed where his familiar eyes could find….The monster, Chicken-Lips.

It was in Lewisburg Penitentiary back then. Again, alone in transit heading unjustly for the worst prison in America, Marion, Max security prison….It was late. I slept. I woke….There, was a huge man in the dim cell light sitting upon cast-iron toilet….Staring I saw the scars from the top and sides of his head meet his brow meet the left corner of one eye. Clearly, a head that received many blows….He stared past me as if I wasn’t there….They put him in with me in the wee hour of night.
I sat up slowly….I had some food stored, sweets, a nice size piece of cake with vanilla toppling. I offered it to him. Still sitting on the toilet, he ate quickly yet with moans. When he finally spoke, he only asked for, more. I had none. So, he went to sleep on the top bunk. He did not remove his clothes nor boots. The black, scuffed-up prison boots got my attention. For in transit all prisoner’s get cheap slip-ons….This huge prisoner since it was a holiday weekend was with me for three days…. We did not talk much. I read for all transit, hold cells have old books lying about….Something told me to give him my deserts, maybe it is the way he moaned when he ate sweets. You see, you get desert with lunch and dinner. Back then, I guess we were on cake cycle….A friend of mine, a hole orderly saw to it that I got extra food which meant extra desert….God was looking out for me. Because come Tuesday morning….Panic! Many guards and high-up staff came and removed me….Fast! Seems the huge guy was at pre-trial status; that’s why the boots; he was going back and forth from court. His criminal-count, murder. He killed his celly over desert. He jammed a pencil into his celly’s Adams apple; ate the desert….Kept a course blanket over the dead celly until the stink brought attention….I cannot remember his name….I just call him, Desert.

Now, I change direction….His name was Mack. Mack was quiet always worked in the office part of the prison factory. Mack had that bookworm look. Worked all week and read all weekend….Well, lo and behold after many years, Mack made parole… They tell me he it was a super load trailer that brought the enormous wooden crate up to the very entrance of Leavenworth Penitentiary….I mean big! When the prison officials fought out what was in the enormous crate. They did not want it. Yet, not to take it meant more of an expense to drive it the long distance from where it came from. So, they got a crane and off loaded it….It, being a battleship anchor. Seems the last that Mack did at his desk was order an anchor. His job being, in ordering….Well, they put poor Mack in the hole of course, he did not get more time. For Mack swore it was a simple mistake….Where Mack is today if he’s still alive. Most likely giving off a small smile from time to time….Visioning….An anchor.


By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973


April 12th, 2015 by George Martorano

There, clear as water flows, be life,
There, remember memories of sunset glow.
There, trouble, like rain, it befalls,
There, always a road traveled to what’s dear.
There, shall be an end, kiss thee endure,
Fear no more

Last eve with a folder under my arm full of certificates for my graduates…..I caught some out in the rec yard.
Students at ball. Students at craft. Students at gamble…. Just students sat and talk…..
Yet, I “alone”… wandering… giving a hard earned gift.
And after 32 plus years….I wonder why?

I subscribe myself,
George Martorano

For Few and Certain Those.. Can Make Magic, Caged

April 12th, 2015 by George Martorano

By the still of cell night,it all begins…. You see,there is a steel door that has a strip of thick glass upon it. High up, a single, light bulb reflects a yellow tint down to the door’s narrow glass. I then go to stand before it…. Lean into it the glass so and breath forms a tiny cloud ….Mercy… The yellowing glow becomes a mask to my very face….I continue to stand cell-still .. looking deeply …. seeing of what was, is now….For I am, soul of prison dawn.. Thee only way of me…..

I seek harder for the magical place..To get there…. I stare and stare and stare; all the more into ‘nothing’…. In time ,my mind transcends… and I cross over…. There, at last, there, at last ….

‘ Behold ! The path of soft, deep, purple glass; the golden rock, with bold specks of diamond glitter for me to sit, rest; and I do…. On one side of the narrow path with in huge sky; tis an immense ‘sunset’ ! Brushed all in a sleepy-warm, rich, orange as if a moving-canvas… But wait ! On thee other side..even more to touch my heart… A silver-blue sky, married to a sweet, cool breeze.. Thus, granting a splendid, metallic ‘sunrise ‘…. And both!…. Being the very most and such beautiful place… ever ever to be.

Yet, to go there, I must suffer…. Each and every night; a forever of nights. Till, soul of prison dawn comes….To I… Mercy, to I.

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973

Ginger O’Neal, TSS [Part III]

April 1st, 2015 by George Martorano

“My bedroom was small and had the old furniture of the very poor. The dark wood would make the room darker.

“That morning with the room having only one window, I laid there watching the heavy snowfall….It had begun to fall early in the evening of last night. Yet, all through the night my sleep was awakin’ by thoughts of falling snowflakes, tomorrow and him, my Yonnie. My teen sweetheart; a boy I’ve known all my life here in Fishtown of backstreets.

“The city that we then lived in was Philadelphia, in the second year of World War I.” Joan stopped, became silent, looked at Ginger again and realizing the age of this woman and the history to the story she was reading, then began again.

“Fishtown is a section of North Philly, a poor section of small narrow streets, some so narrow only horse-drawn wagons can enter. To venture out onto any main street, would be only to shop for something the small open-air garages up the winding backstreets didn’t have. The poor knew everything small, small houses with small rooms. What existed inside was sparing. The children played in side streets where the sun never warmed. Small front steps in summer is where the grown-ups sat from morning to night, even slept on when the summer heat seeped from their tiny homes.

“Ah, but the winter and snow. The winter white would turn Fishtown, its veins of thin thoroughfares, into a white wonderland for the deprived.

“When I thought the morning hour right, I dressed. Was very polite to my parents, did my chores, then went out and about Fishtown by ten, my splarkling blue eyes searching. Searching along beautiful empty narrow streets of snow. Snow that passed my knees and at times my thighs…

“All my life, even as a child, when clean white snow pound those gray streets, life had meaning. And much more meaning when you’re young and in love.

“In time, longing of minutes….I’d find him. He’s there. At the turn of a red brick corner, he’s there, Yonnie, dressed warm as I. But we cannot run into each other’s arms, the snow slows our legs but not our racing hearts.

“Ginger!” he calls, oh, how I love to hear my name whence from his lips….In the middle of a barren Fishtown way. I am finally in his arms. Each kiss he gives is like the first. All warmth and softness come together….We stand there with lonely buildings and unclear empty windows looking, but we are alone. For on that particular street, no one lives. Only the warehouses of the struggling business men of the poor. It is our favorite way, the wide wooden doors of rag shops and smelly, small factories that make cheap soap and other wares that are sold for pennies and dimes. This particular street was the dirtiest narrow street most of the year. But when God sends his pure snow, it cleans all and becomes a small world for two young hearts in love.

“Now don’t fall,” my young Yonnie says to me….There before us is the dye shop’s alley. No wider that my arms can spread and the snow has filled it waist high. So with each passing year, we do not want our footprints to show. So he helps me climb up to the cement ledge that runs along with the alley. Oh, it’s only four or five feet from the ground, also above it, higher, runs a thin copper pipe. Our hands move along the rust pipe as our boots tip-toe along the ledge. And in time, we are there.
Alone in the small empty yard behind the dye factory. Where the snow is blanketed three feet high. And with no footprints, no one knows we are there. There’s an iron step heading up to a back door. It has an old roof slanting down above it. As I sit there watching, Yonnie starts digging around for the old bucket with holes. He’s found it by a tall weed….He pulls the coal out of his coat pockets and starts a fire in the corner of the iron step. In time, it’s warm there. In my pockets I’ve brought small sweet things to eat. We laugh and talk and kiss….In time, the very first time, our coats cushion the steel below. My young lover’s face is above me, and we look into each other’s eyes. I feel his warm hand upon my wanting flesh. The snow and wind speak softly as in a song….As the coals burn, I hear it pray. He enters me and all is anew, I am reborn, a woman child.

“Yes, here in the poor section of town and the angel’s winter snow. This private place, we love, make love. For it is right. It is a place we’ve been coming since we could roam. And now, his hips move against mine and I love him so. And I know the wide world is rich and fine. And I know there are other places more lovely. Yet, this fresh clean snow hugging down upon Fishtown, here, a patch of yard, is the most enchanting place in all the universe.

“Yonnie, will you always love me?”

“I love you as snow shall always fall…”and he kissed me so…”

As Joan’s eyes blinked with moisture. She saw, saw as in slow motion….The hand of Ginger rise and gently touched her cheek, to wipe away the tears.

“…my!” was all Joan said as she warmly squeezed Ginger’s hand.

Doing so, Joan felt a return…One finger of Ginger’s was moving, awkwardly pointing up to her own face, mouth, Ginger was trying to say something.

“What is it….?” Joan bent her ear down to the poor old woman’s lips.

Slowly and ever so softly, Joan heard the words, “The Shameless Snow.” TSS,’ it hit Joan all at once. TSS, mean, “The Shameless Snow,” and the winterly tale of young love.

The Finale

By: George Martorano
Copright: 12973