Statement from Marius Mason for the Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity January 22nd 2016

j22Happy New Year, Family and Friends! Many, many thanks for so much support and care over this year from both long-standing friends and new pen pals. I feel very grateful and am always humbled by the encouragement and resources sent my way by folks who are doing so much already to increase our collective chances for survival. The news has been full of stories about someone winning the big money pool that has accumulated for the US Lotto – but the most important “win” has nothing to do with money. I am betting on the movement to win big this year: in getting more control over their communities and defending against police brutality and racial inequality, in winning more victories for animal and in the defense of wild spaces, in creating social relations based on respect, dignity and compassion for all people….irregardless of their race, orientation, creed or gender presentation.

Thank you for coming together today, to hold up those members of our community who struggle so hard behind walls to keep their sense of self intact. Sovereignty over our selves, our bodies is essential for any other kind of liberty to be possible. By reaching out to trans prisoners, you affirm their right to define themselves for themselves – and defend them against the overwhelming voices who claim that they do not exist, that they must allow others to define them. In the isolating environment of prison, this is toxic and intimidating, and amounts to the cruelest form of psychological torture. By offering your help and solidarity, you may just save a life. I know that for the last year and a half, as I have struggled to assert myself as a transman, as I have advocated for the relief of appropriate medical care for my gender dysphoria – it has been the gentle and loving reminders of my extended family of supporters who have given me strength and courage to continue. Please join me in offering this help to so many others who need it to keep going. Never underestimate the healing power of a letter, those letters have kept me going…and I want to pass that gift on, if you will help me.

Thank you again for coming together on this day, for connecting to those on the inside who truly need you, who need you to see them as they really are and striving to be. Until the prisons are gone, we need to work hard to support those of us inside – especially those of us who are not always as visible to the rest of the world. We are always stronger together.

Marius Mason
January 2016

Marius Mason: New Poetry

Support Marius Mason:

Give Me One Of Them

A dentist and his luggage arrive in Zimbabwe
Cash and carry-on, pushing the buttons of privilege and pardon
That his class feels heir to, a legacy
Of helmeted conquistadors in search of gold or something shiny
Those Roman envoys come for tribute from the territories
Legions come to kill, conquer or consume..like tourists
Greasing the palms of hired-hands – the Future’s traitors
Handing off their nation’s treasures to the clamoring idiots
“Give me one of them”, he roars, gesticulating wildly
The ugly American who can buy anything
It’s practically online shopping and no safari
When the trophy’s guaranteed (or your money back)
Swindled and stolen by subterfuge
An empty stomach so often a trap full of entanglements
And so another African will make a Middle Passage
As a corpse
The deed is done, and life converts to property
The ebony-tipped lion dubbed ‘Cecil’
Like an immigrant at Ellis Island changing names and nations all at once,
By bureaucrats who needed a familiar name in their own tongue
Unbecomes, falls into history
Ends his story and his line in blood
The collaborator, Honore`, will pay the price before the law,
But surely honor suffers even more
As the greedy foreign butcher slinks
Behind a sturdy Minnesota door
And we, the wild tribal Diaspora dispersed by birth
From Mother Africa, generations gone and
Scattered loose across the globe, like seeds
Will know ourselves one less


Marius just completed Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley.  Check back regularly for what Marius is reading and writing about!

“What’s more political than the question of expendability?” Barry Schwabsky
With clouds on the horizon spotted,
Have we decided yet?
Who will ride the ark with us,
Protected from our floods and pestilences
In valuable concubinage-
And who will sail instead into Eternity? These honeybees, so small
Among the lilies of the field,
That we might miss them altogether,k9267
Especially the rushing bipeds travelling through
A plastic, frantic world
Lives lived indoors, cramped and strangers to the sun.
But the bees make music working
through their quiet summer days, even if there is no one to hear
In fields and orchards, lawns and meadows
Tending their life’s work
And our own as well.
The tiny fuzzy fairies falling
Prey to a darker pall
That spreads a shadow everywhere
The approaching silent spring soon
Minus singing bees
Who, as it turns out,
Are much less expendable than we

 

Action Needed!

From Support Marius Mason:

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February 22nd Call-Out

From Support Marius Mason:

helloxfamily1Never too early for a call-out!  Marius and friends are organizing events to take place January 22nd to support queer and trans prisoners.  Support Marius by supporting others!  Let us know if you want to do an event and we’ll send you materials.

Marius Mason: New Poetry

From Support Marius Mason:

Untitled (The River Runs Yellow, August 2015)

The River ran Yellow in Colorado
When the river ran yellow past
The outfitter’s shack, kayaks lined up
Colorful, in Back
They could smell it coming first
Loaded with silt and clouds of poison
A heavy-hearted river full of sighs
Something rotten in the Animas
And coming downstream fast
The rainbow trout winking out like stars at dawn
And all the apocolyptic chemistry
Cascading and assailing invisibilia,
The magic microscopic lego-like pieces upon which
Everything is built
Begins a domino affect
A yellow light means caution, a warning
But Gold is King
So we careen through our intersection
With the world
Like a drunken teen in someone else’s car
Will we beat the light this time,
Or be hit by natural consequences?
Brace yourselves for impact

Untitled (August 2015)

Me, I’m Not
You , my friend, are a winner!
Ding, ding, ding
Happy happenstance in the living lottery
Genetically consistent maybe
Or just expected features
Yes, save that ticket, and no regrets
Watch local programming to see if
Circumstance graces your appropriate presentation,
and properly apportioned face
With its geranium kiss
At home in the temple of the soul
In fellowship, a member
Of the congregation at last
But me, I’m not
I’m just the beggar on the outside steps
Making everyone uncomfortable
So drop a coin in my bowl and meet my eye (I)
As you pass by
(and I do not)

Prison Ecology Project

From Support Marius Mason:

Some of Marius’ friends and supporters are working on this great project:

The Human Rights Defense Center’s Prison Ecology Project is creating tools to dismantle toxic prisons; focused on the intersection of environment degradation and mass incarceration.

Hooray! Marius Is Out of the SHU!

From Free Marius Mason:

We have good news! Marius was transferred out of the SHU (or Special Housing Unit) on Saturday, August 1st, after nearly a month and a half of solitary confinement.

At this time, we do not know how the alleged violation cited by prison officials as the basis for his punishment will affect Marius in the long term, but we do know that in addition to the time he spent in the SHU, more restrictions have been placed on him that further limit his already limited life in the Administration Unit at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.

While we are overjoyed that Marius is out of the terrible and dispiriting world of solitary confinement, we cannot forget where Marius is—prison. The Administration Unit at Carswell is gymnasium-sized, holds up to 20 prisoners, and is frequently and unpredictably locked down for hours on end due to violence and suicide attempts resulting from the claustrophobic and oppressive conditions.

We urge all of you to write Marius a letter or drop a line with a postcard. Your solidarity matters!

M Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127