Who is Taking Care Of My Broken Heart? Music video

 

This is my newest music video. I hope you enjoy it. This music piece has quickly become one of my fastest rising improvisations currently playing on 3 streaming sites, as well as a variety of other social media sites. When someone likes my music it is the best feeling for me.

My recordings are all home recordings. It’s been awhile since I made a recording in a music studio  and since I am not an engineer, and my knowledge of sound mixing is nonexistent, there are at times obvious mistakes I’m not sure how to fix.

This recording of, Who is Taking Care of My Broken Heart, mentions Jamie’s son, the man who is the main character in my book, Inside The Forbidden Outside.

Jamie has not been able to have any kind of face to face relationship with his son while he has been incarcerated because no one but myself has taken him to see his father. I live far away and can’t easily get to Texas. No one else has done much of anything to help and support him. You find it who really loves you and who only say the words

That is why his heart is broken

This is my main website – Sonni Quick 

You can also stream my music at Reverbnation

And SoundCloud

 

The Long Journey Begins – Chapter in Jamie’s Book

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The Long Journey Begins

Jamie’s son was born on July 7th, 2006. He was given his name, James. He might be in a bad place right now being locked up, but the day he found out his son was born was the happiest day he ever had.
      Morgan called the prison and they got the message to him. He was a father! That caused a smile to spread over his entire face. He gave a little laugh. He couldn’t help himself. He wouldn’t know what his son looked like until Morgan sent him a picture, but he knew he was beautiful, because Morgan was beautiful. He wouldn’t be able to be a father, not like he wanted to. He tried not to think about that. Not today. He was going to be happy today.
      A lot of the dudes were grinning and there were quite a few congratulations going around for him. Even a few of the guards said it. That surprised him. He guessed hearing about a new baby allowed them to let their “guard” down a little and act human for a change.
      Jamie told everyone he came in contact with. This day would never come again and he wanted to make the most of it. It was the first time in more than seven months he had something, anything, to be happy about. Good things didn’t happen too often when you were locked up. Any reason you had to smile was a big deal.
      He thought about his family. He missed them. He was gone for so long when he was in juvy. He wasn’t out long. They won’t even know him when he gets out this time. Everyone goes on with their lives. His son won’t really know him, either.
      Families are a big deal when you’re locked up. It was often the most important thing to know family was there, caring and all. He needed his family to help him so he could get hygiene and stamps and things. He’s not able to get any kind of job yet to make some money. They don’t have jobs at the jails. All you do there is wait. But maybe when he gets settled he could get one. He didn’t care what the job was, He didn’t want to be a burden on anyone.
      Some dudes had no family at all and some had families that had never been there for them even when they were kids. He heard a lot of stories, and most of them had hard times. Many said they weren’t guilty. He could understand that.
      A few of those he talked to came from foster care. They’d been on their own a long time. And sometimes they had families where bridges had been burnt and their family had had enough. Tbey got tired when their son or husband kept getting in trouble or couldn’t get off drugs. Everyone had a story, even him.
    Some had issues with their baby mamas and they couldn’t see their kids. Jamie was glad it wasn’t like that for him. His older brother had been good about writing him and he sent some money on occasion if he needed it. His mom never answered his letters, but he kept trying. He knew Morgan would never keep Jamie from him. She would never do that to him.
      Living through a prison sentence, no matter how long if was, it was ten times harder when you didn’t have family who cared. Today, him being a new father gave some of the other men a reason to pull out pictures of their own kids and show him how proud they were to be fathers. That was the normal part of their life. The part they wanted to get back to.
      A couple men said they were going to be better fathers when got out because they knew it was hurting their kids when they weren’t around. They wanted to be better fathers.
      That was all Jamie thought about, being a dad. He daydreamed about it for hours. Not just a baby, but learning things a father would teach his son. How to ride a bike and throw a ball. Later they would go see sports games. They would do things together he never got a chance to do with his own father. There is just a big, empty hole there where memories of his father should be.
      He tried to convince himself maybe he’d get out early and be there for him. All he could do was try. Stay to himself. Hopefully go to school and get his GED and train for a skill after that.
      But why did they move him so far away. He couldn’t do anything about it, but they knew he had family. Morgan was down as his wife, even though they weren’t really married. They knew he had a mama and brothers and a sister. It made him feel alone.
Jamie had been moved out of solitary a while back, but he was still waiting to find out when he’d be moved to a prison. He was told it wouldn’t be long now. Since he was back in a dorm with other inmates he was able to make a phone call to Morgan.
She told him all about little Jamie. He stood there with the biggest grin on his face hearing all the details about his son. He wasn’t happy, though, hearing how hard it was for her in the delivery room.
      “It wasn’t easy, Jamie. I had to have a c-section at the last minute. The doctor found the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. They didn’t know that until they tried to take him out. That’s why he wouldn’t go down the birth canal. His vitals were dropping. The doctor had never seen that before. Without the surgery he would have died. He was lucky. We were lucky”
      Morgan sounded tired. He wished he could’ve been there with her. She must have been scared. Healing from surgery, taking care of a newborn by herself, as well as the other kids, would wear her out. He was glad she was with her mom so she could help her. Now more than ever he realized how much he screwed up by going out that night.
“I’m sorry I’m not there to help you,” he spoke quietly. Jamie’s regrets would become a pain that never went away.
      “More than anything,” he said, “I wish I could be there with you right now. Hold you in my arms with little Jamie between us. I want to protect both of you, and I can’t.”
A fifteen minute jail call goes by too fast. There was never enough time to say all you wanted to say. The sadness in his heart after he hung up the phone overshadowed the happiness he felt when he dialed her number.
      Reality hit hard. He didn’t want to think he wouldn’t be able to raise his son. He would miss every first – first laugh, first step, first tooth, first birthday, second birthday and more after that. He would miss it all. And little Jamie would miss having his daddy.

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Jamie found out he was being moved. They couldn’t have sent him any farther away from home. Was it on purpose? There were a hundred prisons they could have sent him to. They had to choose the one that was farthest away? It was clear across the state. East Texas, where he was from, was mostly pine trees and red dirt. West Texas was mostly desert.
      There was no way now that his family could come and see him. No one could take off four days from work for a visit that was only a couple hours long. Making the drive in one day would be too hard. It looked like he was on his own.
      Texas was a huge state to travel across. He had never been any farther west than Huntsville when he was on probation. He lived with his uncle during tenth grade. Now he was being to sent to the Smith Unit in La Mesa. By car it took about eighteen. By prison bus it would probably take four days. They didn’t take a direct route. They zigzagged to different prisons, picking up inmates and dropping others off. It was a trip to hell.
      It was summer and scorching hot. Even though there was air conditioning it wasn’t strong enough to cool down the heat from the sun scorching the metal of the bus. Too many bodies inside didn’t help, either. Some of them stank pretty bad and that made it worse. They’d all end up stinking by the time they got where they were going.
      Jamie wore the same white shirt and baggy elastic waist pants he put on the day they loaded up the men being transferred. He wouldn’t be able to take a shower until the bus arrived at Smith Unit, after be was processed. That could take awhile. No one cared if any of the inmates missed a shower, and no one cared how they felt about their travel experience. Suffering was part of their sentence. They deserved it, right?
      After all the red tape was taken care of and he was assigned somewhere, he should be able to make a phone call to Morgan and see how she and little Jamie were doing.
In the bus the inmates were separated from the guard and the driver who were up front, but the guard in the back had to deal with the stink – and stay alert. They changed guards and drivers a few times when when they stopped at different prisons to exchange prisoners for others.
      The men had to sit there silently waiting for the bus to start. The driver wasn’t allowed to let the engine idle when both guards weren’t onboard. They were standing outside having a smoke. The AC wouldn’t go on until the engine kicked over again. Jamie felt sweat drip down the side of his face. It was going to be a long, uncomfortable trip.
The seats on the bus were hard and uncomfortable like a city bus, not a Greyhound bus. There was no padding anywhere. They made sure they would be miserable. It was impossible for Jamie to stretch out his legs, so circulation was bad. He knew his ankles and feet would swell. The heat made it worse.
      The guards were never amused by complaining. It was pointless anyway. There was nothing they could do. He knew it was gong to get worse the farther west they went when it became a drier heat. It sucked all the moisture out of his mouth and throat. He felt dehydrated. He craved water. They didn’t give them enough water. Less bathroom breaks that way, he guessed. But if anyone asked for water they just might make them wait even longer, just to make them feel worse.
      It was impossible to do more than doze off for a few minutes of light sleep. The whirling sound of the tires as they turned on a road hot enough to melt the tires, was enough to lull the men into a stupor. Problem was, if they started falling to one side, the person next to them would give them a shove with their shoulder to tell them to straighten up.
      Jamie was cuffed to another man, through rings on the seats. “I gotta piss. We gotta get up.” the man next to him said after they had been on the road for about an hour. “Guard, we need to go to the back of the bus.”
      If one man needed to use the john, they both had to go. Peeing was one thing, but it wasn’t much fun if you needed to sit and take a shit. Sooner or later they all had to take a turn. The guard came and unlocked them from the seat, but not from each other. It was hard for two connected people to do anything that took co- ordination.
      A guard stood near the door-less restroom. Jamie and the other inmate made their way to it by walking sideways past the other seats. He stood looking away with his arm inside the door, trying to give him a little privacy.
      “Damn, it stinks.” Jamie muttered under his breath. Since they were cuffed they couldn’t easily clean up after themselves. There was pee on the floor and anywhere else it splashed. The toilet seat was kept up out of respect for those who needed to sit. After a couple days the smell was overwhelming. The men in the back had it the roughest.
      Jamie desperately wanted to wash up. Splash water on his face and neck. He didn’t have any of his property. That would arrives in a later bus, so no one had deodorant, either.
      The only good thing about traveling was being able to see outside. There wasn’t much to look at; west Texas was mostly desert. But the high point was being outside the walls and watching the day go from morning to night. Once he gets to his new home he is on the inside, and the outside becomes forbidden territory. The free world. A place he wouldn’t be able to go for a long time.
      “Hey, you got any family?” Jamie asked the dude next to him.
      “Shut up. No talking,” came from somewhere behind him.
      After a minute or so he heard a whisper, “Two girls. Three and five. You?”
      “Baby boy,” he whispered back. “Two months.” He glance to the right and saw him nod okay. “Too bad.”
      They weren’t allowed off the bus for any reason because of security. Food was bought and passed out. It felt to Jamie as though they were never going to get to the other side. It was like an old Twilight Zone TV show where a scene was supposed to be real life but you found out at the end it wasn’t. It didn’t get anymore unreal than this.

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New YouTube Music Video and Chapters For ITFO

I recently posted the chapter, poetry and music for the title, “Can Anybody Hear Me?” , one of the chapters in the book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.” Last night I uploaded the music video. Little by little I work through finishing all the parts.  I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel ( way down at the end and around a corner.)

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I have posted some chapters over time of the rewrite, but I haven’t given links to be able to read them with any continuity. I’m going to post them so anyone who wants to can read the early part of the book, to hopefully create enough interest to want the finished product when it is completed.  You can subscribe to my mailing list at Sonni Quick  and get info on other chapters and music published as it goes along.  I will be depending on followers to help share what they like. With the sake of the book, 50% of the profits go to Jamie so when he gets out of prison he will have a cushion to help get his life started and also to help write sequel to this book. I also to have merchandise for sale that relates to the book. I have released partial info at many places ahead of it being done to help it’s success. My growing followers here are big part of That. It is appreciated.

This book will end before he is released. The sequel will about the process of getting, and the difficulties, mentally, emotionally and actually living in a society who has already prejudged him as a person.  Our society is not very welcoming. There is often so little we can do to help the people who have been abused in our prisons.

But the one thing people can is to support the efforts being made to help them be able to stand up when they get out.  If I thought for one minute that he was a threat to society in any way I would not be doing this.

These chapters do not start at the beginning, and don’t entail what happened to put him in Juvenile detention from late 16’s through 21.

Waiting . . . too long

Looking Into The Crystal Ball

How Much More Can I Take?

The Falling Rain

The Smith Unit – Prison #1

Can Anybody Hear Me?  ( The post before this one )

Remembering My Life – YouTube Music Video

REMEMBERING MY LIFE

Remember your life
When nothing could defeat you?
Nothing came between your dreams
to make you think you won’t succeed.
All the world is yours
if you believe with all your heart
All your hope of things to come
will push away the doubt of some
who want to see
if you will fall
from up above the sky so high.
Spread your wings and ride … the wind
Soar through the air like life depends
on every dream you ever had
You can’t lose
the power of your dreams
to anyone who can’t believe in you
If you cry
from deep within
Never let the fear begin
to hold you down
it’s strength you need
to make every dream be real
Don’t let it in and keep you down
Become the man you found
Through all the years
you only had yourself to hear you
Now the time
has come to show… the world
that you are more than anyone
took the time to know

 

Latest music video uploaded to YouTube to go with a chapter for my  book “Inside The Forbidden Outside” about the life of Jamie Cummings currently in Allred Prison in Iowa Park, Texas.

What started out as only a book, now in the second draft, became a book with music, a soundtrack with music for each chapter with the same title.  Since all of my music is improvised, that is a pretty big project to work on.

The music business is different than when I was a working musician back in the 70’s and 80’s.  There was no internet! We could not share our music with anyone except at a live gig. Most musicians barely had enough money to record a so-so demo at a recording studio and have 2″ tape reels run off into 1/4″ tapes and then run off on cassette tapes. We didn’t give them out to people.  If they were good enough we sold them at gigs. We also sent them to record producers and had no way of knowing if they went straight into the trash. If we had a gig somewhere that let us play original music we staples notices on electric poles near the club announcing we’d be playing. Sometimes we had a booking agent who booked bands into clubs that wanted top 40 music.

Everything is so different now. People hear my music more now through the internet than I’m sure heard me at gigs. Playing live is fun, but it is a lot of work unless you have someone carting your equipment around for you. I used to have that, but it was a different era. I don’t have near the energy or muscle tone to do that anymore.  Although I’d love to play live again, and I’m sure I will when this is done, in the meantime I have to conform to what people need to hear and see.

That means music videos. At first I thought, “how?” I’m not playing live, until I found software programs that help you make videos. Now this was fun! But still it takes quite a bit of time, and I’m still learning and getting ready to try a new software program.

There are quite a number of places to submit your music profile – radio programs, magazines and much more. When they pull up your profile they want to see videos and every self respecting musician has at least one. The more the better.  Having a YouTube channel with subscribers can make or break their interest in you.

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So now I am making videos for my chapters for the book. I can only do one thing at a time. Everything progresses, but at 1/3 the speed. If you like what I’m doing, the best thing you can do for me is to click on the YouTube icon on the video and go there and like, comment or subscribe. You can’t like a video if you don’t actually go to YouTube, but it will record a play. I need stats until it gets far enough along to multiply on it’s own. The channel is only 2 1/2 months old, with a new video made about every 2 weeks. When I have 20 videos and they are being promoted, especially when the book is published, then I can use other media outlets for promotion.  Right now I need you guys – unless you really don’t like it.

It is very important to me that this effort be successful.  Another life depends on it – and someday in this latter part of my life I’ll just get too old.  Until then, I’ll pretend I’m 36 instead of 63.

My main website that has music and videos in one place is simply Sonni Quick

You can sign up on my mailing list for when I put out the next new music or videos, (which I promise not to abuse!)

Thanks so much.

Looking Into The Crystal Ball – YouTube video

This is the latest music video for the book I am writing, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. The description at YouTube for this video explains in more detail what this video is about. I am writing a soundtrack for the book with a piece of improvised piano for each chapter that has the same title.  I am also making music videos as another way to promote what I am doing while I am doing it. They will be uploaded to You Tube as they are finished. There is another one there – “Waiting too Long”. Another one will be posted a week from Saturday. If you like what I have begun, please subscribe and share.  We all know that it is the stats that brings other people in to see what we are doing. The hardest stat is #1.

This has been a major labor of love.  I am on the second draft of the book.  I had no idea what I was doing having no experience writing a book.  Writing blog posts is not the same.  I have had to go back to the drawing board over and over, and take online classes. Gradually, I am getting better.

The reason this is so important to me is because it is a true story, taken from letters between me and a prison inmate over 12 years.  He is the father of one of my grandsons. He has 5 years to go, so it is s story still in the making. I started writing it because I knew, when he was released in 2023 he would be encountering an unfriendly world. He would not have the life experiences needed to navigate life as an uneducated black man with no job experience or tech experience of any kind. There was no “windows” in his life before. I am determined this book will open doors for him to be able to use his story and make money to survive.  Without your support it can’t be possible.  Only the power of sharing can make it possible. Below I have listed various sites were you can find him and my music.

 

My Name is Jamie – wordpress blog on Jamie’s life and info on prisons and the criminal injustice system

Sonni Quicks Piano Improv – YouTube videos of the music soundtrack for Inside The Forbidden Outside. New videos released as they are made. When you subscribe and share, other people have the opportunity to learn about the book being written which will help Jamie start a life when he is released. He needs your help. If you have read his story on the blog you understand why. Thank you.

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Skunk Radio – Indie radio out of London. My personal page

Soundcloud – all of my music can be found here plus music I have personally liked from other musicians. You can also play my album “Stories without Words”

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the worldS

Improv Piano music of Sonni Quick – at Facebook . . . music news and other musicians

Twitter – My Name is Jamie

Picking up Broken Pieces – Poetry

Broken glass

Picking up Broken Pieces

Pieces falling one by one
Scattered at my feet
I bend and try to pick them up
but I couldn’t reach beneath
the bottom of the lowest stair
where broken dreams did sleep

I see flashes of my deepest dreams
Too late to make them true
Time has passed I can’t go back
I don’t know what to do
Pieces crumble into dust
when connecting even two

They cut my fingers if I try
Blood seeps between my fingers
When I try to hold my broken dreams
the scent of memories linger
The pain, the loss of years gone by
The echo of no answer.

 

This poem is on the newest music video I’m making. It should be ready in a couple days – hopefully. The rewriting of my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside”  has taken quite awhile since I began writing.  Because I write piano music I began recording a soundtrack for each chapter. A month ago I started making videos and adding poetry, so it is a four part project. What began as a book on Jamie Cummings life in prison has become much more. Time intensive it certainly is.

I decided to publish the poetry so you can read it at one time. In the video you’ll see it one line at a time throughout the video. The poetry has the same title as the music, which is also the title of a chapter in the book, which is in the 2nd draft stage.

I have posted a few chapters I have written but I haven’t posted this one. You will find them on many other blog. If you do a search on the title of the book it will even pull up the first draft chapters.

The title of this poem correlates to the time during Jamie’s prison term when he finally has to mentally deal with, and accept, loss. In the beginning he had an unrealistic hope that if he was good he could get out soon. The 17 year sentence hadn’t really sunk in. I think that is most likely common thing with most people if it is their first time in prison. How did anyone deal with the ride to prison, go through the red tape – alone – and face a prison for the first time with men you had to present the right face to. Taking care of yourself now had a new meaning,

Losing a woman he loved, losing the role of being a father, quickly losing the support of his family, who no longer came to see him enough to pretend it counted. Three to five years between visits – maybe. He lost any type of meaningful communication with anyone in his family, and he never had any friends who mattered.  No one answered his letters. On rare occasions his grandmother wrote and told him some things that happened, long after they happened, but they weren’t the type of letters where he could write back and forth about what he was going through.

He came to the point of realizing he had to accept it and let it go. He knew that to keep waiting for someone to write, and making excuses for them in his head, had to stop. He didn’t want to think about why they were too busy to answer even one of his letters.  He had to make it okay or it ripped him apart. He didn’t want to think he didn’t matter. It was painful and he was lonely, but he had to get it right in his head.

People in the free world could never imagine life in a small cell completely a-l-o-n-e without anyone who gave a damn. Many of the men he met inside had no one who cared. And no one who helped get the small necessities that made their existence tolerable.

I got angry. I was angry at his mother for saying she didn’t write to Jamie because it hurt HER too much. 12 years, and it hurt HER. Damn, it makes me angry when I write these words. She said them to me and she also said them to Jamie during one of her rare visits. He lost everything and everyone and it hurt to think he was never a priority in his family’s lives. So he had to put it away. He couldn’t change it. It was these feelings of loss he couldn’t change that prompted this poem, “Picking up Broken Pieces”. The music is sad and melancholy. For me it tells the story. You can hear it here.

When I started writing to Jamie in 2007 how could I stop? How could I justify abandoning him, too. It was a commitment. I looked forward too his letters. We’ve sent over 800 by now. It is a diary of his life. It needed too become a book.

He is the father of one of my grandsons. That made him family. Okay, my daughter moved on. She wanted to leave him behind. She had to. 17 years when you are only in your mid twenties is too much separation – unless you had no choice, like Jamie. She later resented me for writing to him. She was trying to forget him and I wouldn’t let her. I’m sorry if it was painful for her, but I want going to stop writing fot that reason.  If he wasn’t able to have anyone in his life then there was no way I would abandon him, too. He needed me. Our letters were deep and thought provoking, making him think beyond what had happened and realize why it happened. If you spend a lot of time in a solitary cell and don’t have the right things to think about, you go nuts. Many do. It was important to me to teach him ideas about life and how to change direction. Him being okay and being through this was important to me. Out of 17 years has had only 5 to go. Only 5. A long time still, but time is passing.

Several years ago I started his blog: My Name is Jamie.  Many off the posts are portions off his letters. Then came the idea of writing his story. I did a tremendous amount of research and reading to understand our prison system. I also started the monthly  newsletter – ITFO News. (I’d publish more often but I don’t have the time unless I can get some – free – help from someone who believes I what I do.

This second blog, Watch and Whirl and trying to keep up with social media is all day ( night) project. In my off hours I write and record music.

This is what Jamie has done for me. He gave me a life – a profession that is much enhanced from what it was. We have been there for each other. There is much more to the story. If you haven’t yet, go to the other blog and start with the white pages at the top,

Enjoy, Learn and Understand. Become a penpal with an inmate who would cherish your letters about a life he can’t live behind walls. Most inmates are not what the media portrays.

Sonni

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ITFO News

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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison – blog on Jamie’s life and other articles on our prison. Educate yourself to reality, not what mainstream media tells you.

Waiting . . . too long – The Poem

book writing

WAITING . . . TOO LONG

Waiting . . . too long
Days that never seem to end
Hours that pass, am I that strong
I watch them curve around the bend
Many weeks, months and years
I watch the sky beyond the bars
Eyes slowly close to keep the tears
From falling down my face like stars
That light my life and keep me sane
While days that never seem to end
And wonder why I live at all
The only life I can pretend
Knees on the ground so I can crawl
Through these years that no one sees
Or cares to sooth this broken heart
I beg no more, I can’t say please
One more time or hope will start
I can’t beg to wait again
As minutes tick and days go by
Days that never seem to end
Beyond the bars I watch the sky.

By Sonni Quick copyright 2018

This is the poem that goes with the chapter in my book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”, with the same name. I recently posted that chapter as I continue to work on the book. A little father down the posts is also the music video made for this chapter. The other chapters also have piano music recorded and videos in the making. It’s the major reason why it has taken so long as I attempt to keep up my blogs and newsletter and the infernal social media. It takes tremendous time. So with patience I continue to work out the intricate puzzle pieces as I try to write a book work reading. In my imagination I see it as a movie worth making. Because Jamie’s life is width saving since no one in his life gives a damn but me.