Jail Time

Me in jail is America fighting
The War On Terror
Never sentenced by any judge to serve time

On June 4 right after the primary ended
I was in court to face
An iffy harassment charge
And a bogus court order violation charge
Offense taken at my getting offended
By Hillary's Bobby Kenney remark, Hillary was venting

NYPD said we think
You are a threat to Charlie Rangel
Revolutionaries like MLK, Barack and me
We create new space
People like Rangel fill up that space
Over decades

By the way
Hillary can call me a Bobby Kennedy
Any day
The guy who got into a mess
In "June"
That was me

On June 4 I was
Completely surprised
To see the immigration peItisople

I did for Nepal, a country of 27 million
For no money
What Bush has not been able to do for Iraq
A country of 27 million
For a trillion dollars
But America has had me in jail for four months now
They got the wrong guy

Bush was spending money he did not have
Wall Street was lending money it did not have
It is called leadership by example

They jailed me, but they never tortured me
Coming from where I come from, I have been surprised

While in jail I have received two death threats
By two black guys, black like Rangel
One guy in for shooting a cop
Threatened to smash my head with the telephone
Another guy threatened to "snuff" me
I watched several fights, many shouting matches
I cooled down a few potential figts
I had a bunch of badasses gravitate to me
Seeking belonging in my leadership
Leadership comes naturally to me
Robin Hood, King Of Thieves
A German journalist did once call me
Robin Hood Of The Internet

I saw guys taken to the box

Somebody recommend my name
For the Nobel Peace Prize
Get me on Charlie Rose

But Queen Elizabeth was also in jail
Right before she became queen
And ruled for half a century
I read her biography while in Alabama

HRC put 18 million cracks
Into that glass ceiling for ERC
I got in the mess, oops

Being a Barack supporter has been
Harder for me after the primary
Than before

After the five Pandavas defeated the 100 Kauravas
The eldest Pandava Yudhistir went to see Dhritarashtra, his uncle
Father to the 100, Dhritarashtra said let me embrace you
Krishna arranged for Dhritarashtra to embrace a wax statue instead
Blind Dhritarashtra, the power of his eyes in his body
Crushed the statue, a Yudhistir replica
And the fight had long been over

The Tomb in downtown Manhattan where they first kept me
Single cell, a half dozen hard core criminals in the dorm
One said "Gandhi" and "Idi Amin"
Felt like being underground
Though a tall building
In the urban Amazon

The Rikers Island dorm weeded out of eight gang members
Right before they moved me in
They started showing two, three movies per day
I felt like a VIP political prisoner, paid attention to

Half dozen murderers in the dorm of 50
Awaiting trial, I coundted 10 Hoses

Inmates, detainees so look forward to commissary
I wonder if the whole world feels like a jail to women
That they enjoy shopping so much

Ramen soups are all the rage

My sister paid the $2 bail to the city
Upon the Nepali immigration attorney advice
Someone who once sat with me
On the Board of the Nepali Mandir in Queens
They made my sister wait seven hours

Second lawyer, a Harvard Law grad
Just like Barack

The Varick facility from where they sent me off
To Alabama, handcuffed, feetcuffed, waistcuffed
20 plus hours in the bus along familiar roads
I wondered how anyone drove those 18-wheelers

They sent me off after they realized
Maybe they ca't deport me
Right before I left for Alabama
My sister said my attorney said
The harassment charge has been dropped

Milk fresh from the cow in Alabama
Two stations on the radio, one Christian, another country
At one point sandwiched between two passing hurricanes

Back to Varick on a plane
Four detainees, four officers
12 years in America I had never been on a plane

Two days later at Varick they said pack up
At the last minute they said
Sorry, your flight has been cancelled
I watched my left hand shake like
It were someone else's hand
I was surprised, I was not feeling conscious fear
For the first time in life my hand shook like that
But I thought my deportation order of May 13 had been stayed
By my fancy Sri Lankan lawyer Rudra
Fearing a MLK style death for me in Nepal

Then they kept my money
Down to $81 from $860
Sorry your check from Alabama has not been cashed yet
And sent me off to Hackensack, New Jersey

I saw grey in my beard
For the first time in jail
I must be getting old
I have had grey in my hair
Since high school

Meta floor, metal ceiling, metal walls
Metal commode, metal washbasin, metal mirror
Metal beds, two, one above the other, screwed to the wall
Metal door, metal window
Metal table, metal stool, heavy metal
The inside of a submarine

My submarine cellmate, a construction worker
A black Muslim from Trinidad
Doing his Ramadan fast
He has heard of Rastafari, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism
But never Buddhism
Buddha was a Madhesi like me

America fighting, this is Guantanamo, yo
A country of immigrants hostile to
Immigration from the Global South

Getting called the Nelson Mandela of immigration
By an Albanian on his way to getting deported, at Varick
Also the next Karl Rove

I saw people who had been in America 45 years
Getting deported, people wo will end up homeless, getting deported
People married to US citizens for 39 years
Getting deported
I met a decent Mexican, no criminal record
Citizen father, citizen son, permanent resident wife
Getting deported

Robert Pollack on the Island
Half white, half black, a huge tech talent
Had worked several Wall Street jobs without a college degree
In for an assault charge
Pointed to me a friend on the outside
Another tech talent who has always been financially free
Possibly my second big catch for my company
Someone I went looking for but did not find
During my several trips to Columbia University
In the weeks prior

Badass Conales they brought to Varick
From some federal facility after his seven and a half years
On a drug charge. To be sent to Alabama on the same bus
At Varick he banged against the glass window
And yelled at the guard. I will kill you, he said
They had him and me sitting at the back of the bus, together
He became my number one buddy in Alabama
A mighty proud Hispanic

Lee left China after being tortured by the Chinese police years ago
The best chess player of all I met in four months
I never was able to beat him
During the Olympics he would say, I love China and the Chinese people
But I hate the Chinese Communist Party
He fought without a lawyer all the way to the Second Circuit and won
And they would still not release him
They were trying to transfer him to New Jersey with me
Last I saw he was banging against the door in protest
So they kept him back at Varick
I am fighting for my freedom, he said

Badass Anderson said
He has been to the box
Every jail he has been to
My faith is the only thing that keeps me going
He said

The biggest fight that erupted in Alabama was over TV
The Hispanics wanted to watch Spanish
The Blacks wanted to watch English
I personally saw nine guys handcuffed
And taken away to the box
There must have been more
Fellow Nepali Rig, Anderson reported
Was asleep. He went from bed
Straight into the fight

One guy Italian
He was two weeks old when his parents
Brought him to America
He was past 70
And they still
Deported him
Makes no sense
America was the only country
He ever knew

Globalization asks for
A new definition of immigration
The emphasis should be on
Documenting everybody
The law will have to adapt
To the new reality
Of immense mobility
The economic wheels will churn
And that is the way it should be

A total spread of democracy
Is America's responsibility
The public, private, NGO and informal sectors
Will all have to pitch in
Immigrants who come to America believe in
America, they are all entrepreneurs
It takes much initiative to
Come to America
They believe in democracy, they believe in the market
They are the frontline soldiers for democracy
For political, social and economic reform
In their countries of origin
They come, they work like crazy
All the petty jobs at the bottom rungs
Of the American economy
A steady flow of immigration is fundamental to
America staying the number one economy
The bottom layer of water is fundamental to
Boiling the whole pot of water
There is a strong case to be made
For the dignity of immigrants
In America, and everywhere else
Like there is a Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
There is a need for a charter
For immigrant rights
Universally applicable

Johnny wrote to a Christian radio station with my help
The Bible says stay true to your wife
But America wants to break up my marriage
Of more than 30 years, he said

Lakhi Manjit, diabetic, a Punjabi from India, in Alabama
Owns two restaurants in Queens, spends $1000 a month in jail
I am diabetic, deport me or release me, he said over months
They will do neither, the drama has gone on for over a year

The jail in America has been constructed
For the Minority Male
12% of the national population
60% of the jail population
Shame on America

Rap is insame, crazy insane
A lot of insane energy, too much venting

Upendra Yadav is now foreign minister of Nepal
He will create a Madhesh state in a federal Nepal

Residency not citizenship requirement for voting
Citizens, permanent residents, temporary residents, documented workers
All city residents, documented and otherwise, for city elections
Would be America fighting
The War On Terror
Voting rights like for the Boston Irish 150 years ago
Also for immigrants from the Global South

Racism will have to end
It has gone on for too long

Jail time, a near death experience
For me and for my very young company

I have worked out
I had a 600 pushups day
I had a 600 crunches day
I had a 600 situps day
I have played chess, I have written, I have read some
Coming to jail, a strange way to get offline
Strange rehab from too much time spent online
Of too much Web 2.o, too little Web 5.0

"Mother thinks you run this country, and look at you!"
My sister said when coming to see me on Rikers Island
10 days after June 4
I could not remember a single phone number
When they got me
I did not go to court
Expecting to be detained
Tears in her eyes she said
"People in this part of the world are strange!"

Internet access, voting right for this 21st century
Let there be light, connect every human mind to the web
Perhaps the only office I want for me is
Chair of my tech company
There is not any political office for me
Like there never was for MLK
I want to invent an office for me, and I mean invent
Intense 2.0, intense 5.0
Post-ISMs individual group dynamics in my personal space

In jail they take away your freedom
They take away your privacy

Barack is my cousin by way of Maya
Maya is an Indian name
They found out in New Hampshire
Barack is cousins with Dick Cheney
And we lost
In 2012 emphasize my name
In New Hampshire
McCain-Palin, lipstick on a pig

After 500 years
Finally Barack

I am the un-Bin Laden, yo
You shut a country down completely for three weeks
To force a dictator out
The day all Arab countries have been turned into democracies
Is the day the War On Terror ends
I got the formula
Release me if you want to fight
The War On Terror

My Deportation Officer point blank lied to me
He said your 90 day review for
Possible release from custody
Is up on October 8, you will be released
On October 9
Not true
On October 6 I got told by ICE
You got an open case
You don't got no court date yet

October 6, 2008


Anonymous said…
who wrote this?