Jan. 26, 2018

My Prayer

From Heart Talk by Jack Branch


My Prayer

I kneel down before you, O' Lord
O' Lord lean over the clouds of heaven
and have mercy on dying sinners
Which seem they love distance well.

O' Lord, make my words shine in darkness
For the lost souls of our children
O' Lord help me bring them out of the lonesome valley
Of sin and the brokenhearted.

O' Lord remove our children from everlasting darkness
And from the gates of hell.
O' Lord shine your love on our children
So they will always shine on you. Amen.

By: Jack M. Branch #R17203
Century Correctional Institution
400 Tedder Road
Century, Floria 32535-3659


Replies (48) Replies feed

amazingsweetsound Posted 4 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
Your poetry is beautiful. I love reading religious poetry and hearing about other people's views on religion. I look forward to reading more of your poetry. As a fellow poet, I hope you keep writing poetry.
Thank you for responding to my comment by the way! That made me super happy! I hope you have a nice day.

Jack Branch Posted 4 years, 3 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Jack Branch Posted 4 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 4 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
Hello, Jack!
1. I am from America! Illinois, specifically.
2. I honestly don't read religious poetry often. I love poetry in general, but not specifically religious. I myself am Pagan and I try to appreciate all sorts of religions.
3. Yes! I absolutely love poetry. I write it very often. My notebooks are full of poetry. I mainly write free verse, but I like syllabic poetry as well. I don't often rhyme my poems, however.
I hope you have a good day. You are in my prayers as well.

Jack Branch Posted 4 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 4 years, 1 month ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
Hello, Jack!
1) I have thought of publishing my own poetry before. I've been thinking of compiling some of my poems about darker things in my life from the past (such as abuse, violence, etc.) and making them into a poetry book. I think that art of any kind is the best way to not feel alone. Through poetry, I've found all kinds of people, some of them who've had similar experiences to me.
2) Over here in Illinois is pretty boring, haha! It's warming up for the spring so it's around 40-55 degrees Fahrenheit on average in the afternoon. Still not very warm. I do a theatre group up here, so that can exciting sometimes. I'm often stressed out with stuff like preparing for theatrical productions and also trying to keep up with school at the same time, but it's a good kind of stress for the most part.

Alright! I have some questions for you, then. I know you said I can ask you any question, but if any of these questions make you uncomfortable at all, you totally don't have to answer them at all, you can partially answer them if you want, you can give a vague answer... Really, whatever you're comfortable with.
1) How old are you?
2) What other themes in poetry interest you? I've only read some of your religious ones so far (but I'm going to read more of your poetry soon), but I'm curious what else you like to read about or write about.
3) Have you read much poetry? If so, what's your favorite poem/poet?

That's all the questions I'll give you for now because this letter is beginning to get very long, haha... But you can always ask me questions too! You can ask me any question at all. Of course, I may not necessarily answer every question, but you are always free to ask any question.

Have a wonderful day!

Jack Branch Posted 4 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 4 years ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
First of all, awesome! You share my sister's birthday and that's really cool!
1) I'm sixteen.
2) I'm still in high school and I do online-school.
3) I really like certain TV shows which make me super happy! I love theatre, journaling and writing which makes me happy. As for what makes me sad, I don't have a lot of friends because I'm online-schooled so I get lonely a lot which sucks. Also, I have a pretty low self esteem so ya know, there's that.
4) I mentioned above that I like theatre, journaling and writing! I journal at least once a week to capture what's happening in my life. It's really nice and therapeutic. Sometimes I don't write about emotions, though. Sometimes I just write fun facts or just things I want to talk about but feel like I'd annoy people with.
5) I love all sorts of things, which I know is a vague answer. I like David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen a lot, and a bit of Jimmy Buffet and Neil Diamond. I also like The Cure, though. I'm not super into new bands, to be honest. Pete Seeger is by far my favorite musician.
6) I honestly don't read much at all! I read fan fiction a lot though, if you know what that is. It's basically like fans of a certain TV show, video game, book, movie, anything, will create their own stories using those characters.

I would like to, but my mother isn't super comfortable with the idea of sharing an address, which I have to respect. Also, I don't have a P.O. box. However, when you get closer to getting out (which I'm super happy is in a year!), I can give you my email address so we can keep messaging each other.

So here are more questions for you. Again, you don't have to answer all these questions if you don't feel comfortable.
1) What's your favorite animal? A kind of silly question, I know.
2) Where were you born?
3) I don't know if this is really rude to ask, but how long have you been in prison?
4) Do you have a family? A significant other/spouse?
5) What kind of music do you like? (I'm throwing that question back at you!)
6) What's a TV show you remember from your childhood?

That's all I'm going to write for today. I hope to hear from you soon!

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 11 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Hello jack my name is kyla. Ive recently been studying criminal justice. I wanted to just thank you for sbaring your story and your wonderful poetry. I aspire to work in the judical system in the next few years so i can help. Because ive been raised around in the streets i think that inmates who can connect and have a professional relationship between inmate and staff is important. What is your idea on the topic? I would like some insight before continuing with making career choices

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 11 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Hello jack its kyla again, i was looking into being a counsler in a prison. I love helping people and veing someone that is easy to talk to. My friends come to me for advice or to vent about anything. And one day i got to thinking about inmates and how you have all the time in the world to sit in your thoughts. People shouldnt have to bottle things in. I am the person to bottle my emotions up until i burst, but for me if i were to at least help one person or have the oppurtunity to impact someone elses i would be entirley grateful. And you dont have to worry about the time. I have plenty of patience. But what i had written you for was to see how i could be a good counsler. What kind of stuff would make you trust a counsler with helping you on a bad day? Would i be more effective if i went above and beyond my work and did daily check ups? I really do appreciate you for taking the time to write to me. I hopw you are having a wonderful day

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 10 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Hey Jack, its kyla again. Sorry i am writing to you so late. My dad was put in the hospital for a really bad seizure. But i really do hope you are having a good day.i just wanted to say thank you for writing me. I really do appreciate it, more than you probably think. I haven't really told anyone what i want to do for my career choice because of 2 main reasons. 1 being that noone ever really ever thought i was smart enough in school, but that's because the teachers made me feel really insecure about how i learned or when I didn't understand things. 2 because not everyome is optimistic about a female working in a prison, but as i get older I have realized that what other negative opinions don't matter. But i have some more questions for you.
Have you done any school programs while you have been incarcerated? And imagine seeing yourself out of prison and your charges what career path were you looking into? What kind of music do you Like? What do most of your days consist of? Do you write alot, or draw?
Well i hope to hear from you again. And like you said last time, keep your head up and stay strong

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 9 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 8 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I'm so sorry I haven't written to you in over two months. I've been incredibly busy and it slipped my mind. I'm sorry.
To answer your previous response to me:
I love AC/DC too. I haven't listened to much Lady Antebellum, but what I've listened to by her, I've liked.
Now to your questions for me:
1) My favorite animal... I don't know if I have a favorite animal. I have two cats and I really like them, so maybe cats are my favorite animal.
2) I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I still live in Illinois and have never moved from Illinois.
3) My favorite TV show is a show called That 70s Show. It's a sitcom set in the 1970s about a group of teenage friends. It mainly just makes a lot of references to the 70s.
4) I have one brother and one sister. I live with my mom, too. My dad is not around. He left when I was thirteen, and I'm glad that he left.
5) My favorite food is probably enchiladas. I don't watch movies a whole lot, but Forrest Gump is my favorite. My favorite color is lemon-lime, specifically the color of Mountain Dew. I don't know why, I've just always liked that color.
6) I don't watch movies a whole lot, so I don't have a kind that I like the most. I like kind of inspirational movies, though. The Blind Side is one of my favorite movies as well.
7) Currently I'm studying for my GED. In Illinois, I have to be 17 to take the tests. I turn seventeen in a few months, so I'm going to take those tests as soon as possible. I dropped out of high school because due to mental illness, I couldn't continue school with my peers. After I get my GED, I plan to take classes at a community college in January. I'm still working on my driver's license, though.
Again, I am incredibly sorry about not responding for so long. I feel really bad about it.
I hope your day is nice!

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 8 months ago   Favorite
Hey Jack its kyla, i would like to consider writing your personally but i think i should get to know you a little bit more. Plus I'm waiting for new address to get all of my mail without getting lost everywhere. I'm from Arizona, i have lived all over the state so i guess you can say I'm native. I listen to all sorts of music, like I'm opened minded to any kind of music. My day usually consists of waking up and either going to work or on my days off I'm catching up on school. Things that make me happy is when others have a positive mindset Things that don't make me happy are, negativity, lying, and betrayal. It's really my biggest pet peeves. Once I get my address all figured I would be glad to write you.

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 8 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 8 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 7 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I'm glad you're getting closer to getting out. I hope you're excited to get out, too. Is there at least a vague estimation of your release date? Do you have any plans for when you get out?
As for community college classes, I'm going to take it really slow. I have pretty bad social anxiety and I dropped out of high school because of mental illness and physical chronic illness, so I'll probably just start with one or two classes. I really want to take an American Sign Language (ASL) class. I already know some ASL, but I want to know it fluently. I don't know anybody who uses it, but I just kind of feel like... There's a whole culture of people in America that use a beautiful language that I at least want to be able to understand. Also, I never know when sign language might come in handy, you know? No pun intended.
I've been really productive and studying for the GED tests a lot, which is nice! I've also even been lifting weights and working out, which I pretty much never do. It's funny because my world is kind of collapsing around me (my parents are getting divorced and my mom is really not taking it well, and my sister has been kind of self destructive), but I'm really thriving. I almost feel kind of guilty, honestly.
What's with the PREA for sexual harassment? I don't mean to pry for details and I won't judge you either way, but were you the sexual harasser or the one that was sexually harassed? Again, I won't judge, I'm just concerned for you.
A lot is changing in the world, in both of our worlds at least. I think they're for better, too. As always, I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful month (or however long it will take until I can get your response).

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 7 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 7 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
Hello Jack, I'm sorry I'm writing back to you so late, I went on a vacation for my birthday and I was visiting with family from another state. How have you been? Thank you for respecting my choice. I'm sorry things have been crazy. I hope it gets better. If there is anything I can do to help let me know. Sexual harrassment is not okay. And it should be dealt with accordingly. I hope to hear from you soon

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 7 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 6 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
It's wonderful to hear back from you. I'm excited for July for your sake. I can only imagine how overwhelming, both good but maybe nerve-wracking, it would be to get out of prison after being there for so long, so please make sure to take care of your mental health to the best of your ability as you get closer to July.
And yeah, sign language is very helpful! Another reason I'm learning it is because I have a lisp. Although I'm still understandable, it's enough to be pretty frustrating during speech. But with sign language, I don't have to speak. I'm also very sound-sensitive and I'm often overwhelmed by loud sounds and people's voices. When I have a conversation with a non-speaking deaf person, I don't have to hear anybody's voice, even my own. It's really nice. Do you speak any other languages?
I'm currently in the process of scheduling my GED tests. I just turned 17, which means that I can legally take the tests now. Hopefully by the next time I send you a letter, I will have my GED.
I'm really sorry about the sexual harassment you experienced. I can't say at all I've been in your shoes, but I've had my fair share of sexual harassment and threats. I hope you're okay.
I was wondering... What were you like when you were my age? I mean, what was going on and what were your goals for life?
Also, are you allowed to keep the letters I send you? I'd like to give you my email before you're released. There's many reasons I can't give you my snail mail address, but I would still like to keep in touch with you.
Does the prison do anything for Halloween? I'm going to hang out with some of my friends the weekend before Halloween and watch Halloween Disney films we used to watch as kids. We're not really an exciting or cool-kid kind of bunch, but we do have fun.
I can't wait to hear from you again!

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 6 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 6 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
Jack hello I am so sorry I've been so busy with work and helping my family pay there Bill's. To answer your question I'm working at a food chain restaurant called culvers. It's not like regular McDonalds or Burger King. All the food is actually fresh made after you order it. I've been doing good out here. It's just been hectic with work I've been going like 2 weeks without having a day off. It gets stressful at times but at the same time it's adult life. I'm glad to here that the sexual harrassment has stopped. I hope all is well you have a great day I look forward to hearing from you soon

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I've been better, but I'm surviving. I've been generally depressed but not really about anything specific. I haven't taken tests for my GED yet, and I don't know when I will. I haven't scheduled any tests.
I'm glad you're trying to take care of your mental health. I'm also glad that you're doing a bit better after going back on meds. I'm kind of in the same boat right now, trying to get psych meds sorted out.
As for spoken languages, I only speak English. I kind of want to learn Klingon though, if you know what that is. Klingon is a fake alien language from Star Trek, but a lot of Star Trek fans (Trekkies) learn Klingon for fun. I might try to learn a few words and phrases.
And thank you! I didn't do much for my birthday. It was pretty casual, which is nice. I just played a few board games with my family and went out for frozen yogurt that night. It was nice!
I'm sorry, it sounds like your teenagehood was pretty rough for you. It sounds like it was a very angry and stressful adolescence.
I don't have many plans for the future, honestly. I want to get my GED. As for careers, I'm interested in civil rights law and anthropology/sociology. I think that I'd be happy as a teacher, too. I'm not sure. Right now I'm kind of "floating" in life without much of an idea of what I want to do.
My teenagehood is pretty boring, I guess. I have a few friends, I don't go to high school, I don't have a job and I spend most of my days inside and watching TV or writing scripts that will never be performed. I suppose though, that an eventful day can be a whole lot worse than a boring day. Boring isn't necessarily bad.
It sucks that the prison doesn't do anything for Halloween or Thanksgiving. I hope that you took some time to at least think about things that you're grateful for, in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Even when life seems pretty bad, there are always things to be thankful for.
My December is always eventful. My sister is Jewish and Hanukkah starts on December 2nd, so we'll be celebrating that. Then I'm pagan, so I'll be celebrating Yule starting the 20th. Then of course, there's Christmas. I know in your poetry you've mentioned God before. Do you celebrate Christmas?
I've read some of your more recent poetry. I read the poem "Dreams" and I think it's absolutely beautiful. I love how you described that dreams are things we hold in our hands and protect from other people. The imagery of holding something in a hand specifically is fascinating to me. The way you described it, I envisioned a dream to look like a smooth stone. Is the poem Dreams about anybody? What was your inspiration for that poem?
Speaking of poetry, I think I promised that I'd send you some of my poetry a long time ago. So here, I'll send you one of my short poems.

Title: Mephistopheles
She deserves the moon and
stars but instead you gave
her a burnt blistered soul.

I hope you have a good day. I look forward to hearing from you again! :)

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Hello jack, I tried looking up her name but there was no one with that description do have any other family member names that I can try to get ahold of to get in contact with your sister? Or even maybe a phone number. I hope you have a good day I hope to hear from you soon

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 4 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
Merry Christmas! It's the 20th as I write this, the first day of Yuletide (Pagan winter holiday), but it might be Christmas by the time you get it! Let me know how your Christmas went!
I haven't been studying for my GED recently. I keep telling myself that I should, but I don't. My depression is lifting, slowly but surely. My parents divorce will be finalized tomorrow, and that comes with a lot of mixed emotions. Funny thing is though, I feel like my world is crashing around me and yet, I'm still standing. In fact, I feel like I'm grounded. I'm certainly not great, but I'm really stable right now. I hope I'm making sense.
I can't begin to imagine the evil you've seen in prison. I'm glad you're taking the time to be grateful for the things that you have. We all have things to be grateful for.
So I found a list online of "deep questions" to ask to get to know people better. So here we go, I'll ask you a few! And then maybe you can ask me some stuff if you want to, too.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?What's one thing you would change about yourself? What kind of parent do you think you would be? What are some of your favorite songs? That's all I have for now of questions!
I love that poem you wrote. The word choice reminds me of old poetry, like early 1900s poetry. You've mentioned a woman in other poems before, I think. Do you have a girlfriend or is a woman a metaphor for something?
Thank you for telling me about the publishing site, CreateSpace! I've actually been looking for a self-publishing site/company. I want to write a poetry book. I'm thinking it'll be a compilation of poetic letters to people I used to know, and no longer know (whether that be because they died, moved away, etc). Part of me thinks I could actually do something with my poetry, but part of me thinks that it's a stupid ambition. I don't know.
I realized by the way, that I was going to give you my email in my last letter and I totally forgot to. So my email is graciealcott@gmail.com The name associated with it on Google is Marsha. That's because its a nickname I go by with a lot of people I know, and it's less confusing to just put Marsha as my name on Google.
Here's an untitled poem from a few months ago. It's kinda dark and about my relationship with my dad.

I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds me
so instead I find myself groveling
and licking the New Balance sneakers
of an elderly debauchee
who holds one dollar bills
in the back pocket
of his corduroy pants.
I feed the hand that bites me.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! You're strong, you're important and you're cared about.

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 4 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 3 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I hope you get this letter by the time you're released.
I listened to the first sixteen songs, but I haven't got around to the others yet! I put all 64 of them in a playlist on my phone, so I'm working on listening to them when I get the chance. I've never listened to much country but the more I listen to, I like. Thank you for recommending me these songs, it helps me get into new genres!
I started studying for my GED again. I think by now, it's just a matter of me overcoming my anxiety and just scheduling the first test.
I haven't posted seven poems on Facebook yet, but I will! I'm deciding which seven I want to post. It's hard to find seven that I like enough to feel comfortable posting. A lot of my friends on Facebook are artsy people from theatre, and I don't want to look like I'm that bad of a poet.
My Facebook is Marsha Anderson (I'm the one with curly brown hair and glasses, I'll link you once you get out and email me). I know that sounds strange, because you know me as Grace. My birth name is Grace, but I don't normally go by it anymore. When we first started talking, I did go by Grace.
I'm so happy to hear that you're getting out in a week or less! I couldn't stop smiling when I read that.
To answer your questions:
1. I describe myself as an extrovert with social anxiety. I love talking and being around people, and I get lonely without frequent social interaction, but I'm also pretty anxious around people sometimes.
2. I hope I'd be a good parent, and a very accepting one. I think in the generation I've grown up in, I've learned a lot about the LGBT community, mental illness, racial issues, etc. I would like to think that I'm very accepting, and my children wouldn't be afraid that I'd judge them.
3. Where do I want to be in a year? God, a year seems so far away. For the past two years I've done nothing at all, just sitting at home. I'd like to get my GED, but I also don't. I'm too afraid of the future. I'd at least like to be able to drive.
4. One thing I like about myself. I'm really good at comforting people. I think it's easier to comfort people in person, though.
5. My favorite song of all time is Going to California by Led Zeppelin. Anything from Led Zeppelin is good, honestly. Manic-Depression by Jimi Hendrix is really good too, though, and I think I relate to it a lot. I love Hendrix. I also like Fast Car by Tracey Chapman. I relate to Fast Car a lot.
Some more questions for you!
1. What's a hobby/interest you've always wanted to try, but never have?
2. What's one (or many) interest/subject that you are very knowledgeable of? Even if it's kind of obscure and not something taught in schools!
3. Have you ever ridden a roller coaster, and what was it like?
4. What's a movie that makes you cry (or at least a very powerful movie that you like)?
5. What's the nicest compliment you've ever received?
Have a wonderful day! I'm so excited for you. You're a good person and you deserve great things, Jack.

Kylajohnson_81 Posted 3 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Hello jack I’m sorry I’m writing to you so late. Don’t worry I didn’t forget about you or anything. But how are you doing? Any word on getting contact with your brother? If you need any help let me know I am willing to help you

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I really like the music that you've suggested so far! T-Shirt by Thomas Rhett is one my favorites that you've told me about. Do you know Whoever Broke Your Heart by Murphy Elmore? It's a country song, and it's one of my favorite songs in general.
Thanks for letting me know about the website, I'll keep track of when your release date is! And trust me, your picture didn't scare me away, don't worry. Everybody has had awful days before. I can't imagine the day it was taken was a good one.
Oh, good news! A guy from my theatre and I are kind of flirting. He's nineteen and I'm seventeen, though. I don't personally think the age gap is that big of a deal, especially because I'm not in highschool, he's in community college & lives with his parents, and he's certainly not controlling. We have a lot of similar interests and a similar sense of humor. Wish me luck with this guy. :)
You said you've always wanted to start your own business and never have. What kind of business would you start, if you did?
Alright, I'll answer your questions and ask you more!
1. I can make decent stir fry, pretty good vegetarian curry, and really good cheese sauce. Generally, I'm not that great at cooking, though.
2. One thing I would never try... Cigarettes, because I have bad lungs. Also, the idea of getting drunk on purpose freaks me out. I generally like to avoid alcohol. I don't think I'd try any hard drugs, either.
3. The closest thing to a nice dinner I've been taken out to, was to Olive Garden. So, no.
4. The nicest gift I ever received was a set of rune stones for divination. Two years ago, my Pagan friend moved away, so she blessed one of her rune sets and gave it to me. I still have them in my room.
5. I've always wanted to sell crafts on Etsy, like jewelry or pin back buttons. Unfortunately, it's a pretty expensive thing to start.
6. I'm pretty knowledgeable of special effects makeup. I'm most interested in alien makeup designs (like Star Trek stuff). I'm also knowledgeable of modern history in general, but especially the relationship between war and media/culture.
7. The nicest compliment I've ever received. Somebody told me that I'm the bravest woman they know. I think about it a lot.
8. Roller coasters terrify me. I think I'd be able to enjoy them, except for the fact I have a phobia of vomit, and I'm always scared on roller coasters that somebody next to me will throw up.
9. I've never cried at a movie before, but I've cried at a musical before. About a week ago, I went to see a musical called Dear Evan Hansen with my mom. It's a wonderful musical.
Questions for you:
1. Have you ever seen a musical or play in person? When and which one?
2. What's your favorite song lyric of all time?
3. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
4. What animal do you think you're most like?
I wish I could ask more right now, but they give me a character limit.
Keep being strong. I believe in you. You deserve good things.

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years, 1 month ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
No, you didn't do anything to upset me! I'm sorry if it seemed like I was upset with you, because I'm not!
I've been very depressed lately, if I'm completely honest. I keep going to therapy every week though, and taking my meds. I'm not really okay, though. I'm surviving, though.
My chronic illness isn't too bad. In fact, I'm physically doing pretty well.
I haven't been working on my GED. I think I'll wait until I turn 18 in October, so I can graduate around the same time the rest of my age peers do. I don't think I want that kind of pressure right now.
I did post seven of my poems on Facebook! In fact, I just posted them a few minutes ago. I'll let you know how it goes when I get some responses! I really do want to write a poetry book, but I don't know if people will like what I write. Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me, I really do appreciate it. If you ever have any specific poems you want me to read, write them in your letters. I love your poetry.
Alright, I'll answer the questions now!
1) Where do I want to be in life? That's a pretty big question, honestly. I guess I just want to have friends. I only have two that I know in person, and I'm not very close with them.
2) To be able to have more friends and be closer to people, I have to get out more and meet more people. It's hard though, because I feel like most people my age meet people through school, and I don't go to school.
3) What could stop me? I guess again, the fact I don't go to school. That, and the fact I really don't trust people easily. I'm also pretty socially awkward, and tend to either be way too shy or talk too much. I used to make friends very easily, but nowadays I have major trouble making friends.
4) One thing in life I want to change is the fact I don't get out of the house enough. I just sit around all day and write. Not that writing is a bad thing, but I wish I did something else, like work or go to school. I wish I had responsibilities. Maybe most people wouldn't sa that.
5) I'm not sure. To be honest, I've wasted the last two years of my life. I've done nothing at all but sit around the house. I'll probably spend the next year doing that exact same thing, too. I might look into summer activities, though. Normally I do theatre over the summer, but I know all those people already. I want to meet new people.
I have questions for you now.
1) What's your goal for this month? How will you achieve it?
2) What's your goal for this year? How will you achieve it?
3) What's the most meaningful relationship you've ever had, and why? Was it a sibling, significant other, etc.?
4) What was one moment or day that really changed your life, and why?
5) Do you believe that there are people in this world that are inherently evil?

Goodbye for now. I can't wait for June, I'm really excited for you. You're a good person, never forget that. Stay strong, and take care of yourself. Bye for now.

Jack Branch Posted 3 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 3 years ago. ✓ Mailed 2 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
It's always great to hear from you!
I've been okay. My family is doing okay. My sister got her GED! She dropped out of high school, too, also because of mental illness. I come from a long line of bipolar people. We get it from my dad. I also get the PTSD from my dad, in a different sort of way. I haven't talked to him in a while, but I've been meaning to.
I've been talking to some friends more. I haven't talked to that guy from theatre in a while, though. He's kind of old for me, I think. He just turned twenty, and I think maybe that's too old for me. I don't know. He's really cute, though.
Ohhh, a jewelry business! What kind of jewelry would you want to sell/make? I've always wanted to make jewelry, but I never have.
I looked up that website, but it seems like there's a few different websites by similar names, and none of them matched that description. The only one that's a dating website, I'd need to make a full profile and it's a messaging website. I'm really sorry. I'll keep searching for the website, though. Is there another website you'd like me to place an ad on for you instead, maybe?
In your last letter, you answered my questioned by saying the animal you think you're most like is birds and cats. Why is that?
Oh, I posted seven poems to Facebook. I got some really great feedback, and I'm glad I did it. Thank you for encouraging me to post them!
To answer your questions:
1) I'm going to act in a play early this summer, and maybe take a class for sign language. In the fall, I'm hoping to get a play I wrote produced.
2) What animal am I most like? Maybe a bunny. Introverted and a little shaky a lot of times, but can be playful and have fun.
3) I'd like to have the super power to reverse time by just a few minutes, to redo a situation that just happened. I think it'd be pretty helpful, especially in awkward social situations.

More questions for you!
1) Have you ever been interested in history? If so, what's your favorite time era?
2) Who's your favorite celebrity?
3) Do you prefer cold temperatures or hot temperatures?
4) What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
5) Do you read often? If so, what's your favorite book?

That's all for now! Have a great day, and take care of yourself. You're doing great, and as always, I wish the best for you.

Jack Branch Posted 3 years ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 2 years, 12 months ago. ✓ Mailed 2 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I'm so sorry I haven't sent anything in so long! I thought I did, but turns out I didn't. I'm so sorry.
I'm okay right now. I'm getting ready for theatre season this summer. I auditioned for two plays three days ago. I'll find out this week what roles I'll have, so wish me luck!
My mom just got a job. She's going to be teaching choir to kids over the summer, and she's a big music lover, so I'm really happy for her.
I've been kind of flirting with this one guy off and on, and I don't know. I'll see him more this summer. I hope it goes well.
How have you been lately? Have any big changes happened in your life recently?
I haven't written poetry in a while. I've been really focused on writing stories and scripts lately, instead. I should write more poetry again, though.
I love those poems you sent me! 'The Inside' is my favorite. Feel free to send me more, even if they're religious. I love art of all kind, and I think all religious art is beautiful.
To answer your questions:
1) I believe in reincarnation and past lives. I think that after we die, our soul gets transferred to another creature's.
2) How do I see life? That's hard to say exactly. I guess I see it as a huge variety of opportunities. I never know what's coming next!
3) My mother has influenced my life so much. I love her a lot, and she means so much to me.
4) I hope not. I'd like to think that the world is actually going to get a lot better after this phase of hostility and controversy passes, but I'm not sure.
5) I think, we live in a world of abundance. It's not always easy to gain access to the things we need, but it is possible.
6) I've briefly mentioned to my mom and sister the concept of this website, and that I do write to somebody on here. They don't know about you specifically, though. I don't really talk to my mom or sister about most of my online friends, regardless of how I met them or who they are.

Questions for you! As always, if any of these are too personal, you don't have to answer them.
1) Have you told anybody in your life about me?
2) Do you consider yourself more of an optimist or a pessimist? (You seem like an optimist to me, but I'm curious as to what you think.)
3) What are/were your parents like?
4) Do you have any phobias?
5) What are some of your favorite words?
6) What were you like as a child?

That's all for now. Have a great day, and take care of yourself. You're an amazing, wonderful person. Be strong, keep going, don't stop smiling.

Jack Branch Posted 2 years, 11 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

amazingsweetsound Posted 2 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 2 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Dear Jack,
I hope you get this in time before you're released, but if not, that's okay. I gave you my email earlier, but just in case you don't have it anymore, it's graciealcott@gmail.com
I'm so excited for you. I keep checking your release info on the website you told me about. Two days!
I just realized that we've been sending notes to each other for nearly a year and a half now (a year and four months, actually)! Isn't that awesome?
I posted your poem on Facebook just a few hours ago, so there's no responses yet. When you email me (which I know you'll be able to do soon), I'll tell you all about the comments!
Ah, so you also have bipolar disorder (we're bipolar buddies). I'm glad it's under control. Mine is mostly under control. I am medicated, but because I have PTSD and my sleep schedule is really screwy, it contributes to both mania and depression.
It's cool that you read often! I don't, honestly. The last time I finished a book was about a year ago, and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that. I've always had issues with reading. I'm actually thinking of getting assessed for dyslexia before I go to college (I still have to get my GED. Soon!)
This month has been rough in some ways for me, but pretty good in others. I did a play, which was a lot of fun, and now I'm in another. The person who I've been flirting with for months now (I've mentioned them before, I think) and I have been hanging out a lot, and that's so much fun. My mom's having a lot of fun at her new job, and it's always great to see her happy. Life's generally been good, except for a few bumps in the road involving my dad. Turns out my dad remarried like, three days after my parent's divorce in December, and I'm just now finding out. My dad is going to divorce his new wife though, so their marriage has been very short. So that's interesting. But no, life has been generally good.
I'm very excited for you to get out. You're a blessing, too. Take care of yourself, and keep being as wonderfully optimistic and motivated as your poem is. You're doing great.

Jack Branch Posted 2 years, 10 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

Other posts by this author


Get notifications when new letters or replies are posted!

Posts by Jack Branch: RSS email me
Comments on “My Prayer”: RSS email me
Featured posts: RSS email me
All Between the Bars posts: RSS