July 25, 2022

Cory Lambing


Some men live for others
and make their presence known.
Some men live in isolation
and choose to live alone.
Some men live for justice
and walk inside the law.
But of these men, the group I’m in
is the men behind the wall.
We’ve given up our freedom.
We’ve sacrificed our rights.
By day we walk in darkness,
while sorrow fills our nights.
We’ve learned to hide our teardrops,
but still these teardrops fall.
We walk alone, lost in our past,
the men behind the wall.
Some have lost our family.
Most have lost our friends.
Today will bring a heartbreak
that only time can mend.
When letters are not answered,
and no one takes our calls.
We count the cost, when all is lost,
the men behind the wall.
Our past forever hidden.
Our futures far away.
Our story has been written,
with nothing left to say.
No one to stand behind us,
and catch us when we fall.
The debts we make are never paid
for us behind the wall.
If there’s one left who’s righteous,
then let him cast the stone.
And if you know perfecting,
then let it die alone.
The one man who was perfect
was judged in Pilate’s Hall.
He knows our sins, and loves us yet—
these men behind the wall.

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022
Tribute to Prisoner Express


Cory Lambing: “I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and have been writing poetry since I was eight years old. I enjoy art, satire, and studying legal ethics. In 2015 I was incarcerated for 10 years for robbery of a bank as an artistic political statement against the value people place on debt notes. I am doing better now. I still write daily and like platypuses. I am pursuing a law degree to fight injustice and end mass incarceration.”

Rattle Logo

May 30, 2022

Tribute to Prisoner Express

Conversation with
Gary Fine

The Summer 2022 issue of Rattle features a Tribute to Prisoner Express, a non-profit program based in Ithaca, New York, which sends books into prisons, allowing prisoners to communicate with each other creatively through a newsletter. Last year, Elizabeth S. Wolf donated her Rattle Chapbook Prize-winning collect, Did You Know?, to the program, and encouraged participants to write chapbooks of their own. The resulting poems were so powerful we had to share. The issue includes an introduction by Elizabeth, and a conversation with the program’s director, Gary Fine, where we discuss the profound role expressive writing can play in rehabilitation.

The open section features the usual wide range of poetry from 24 poets.


Prisoner Express

Elizabeth S. Wolf Introduction
Robert Andrew Bartlett Sr. Pamela’s Query
Shaun Duane Blake The Walk
Jorge Luis Corella Nana
Matthew Feeney Phone Sox
Cesar Hernandez from Nobody Cares
Cory Lambing Behind the Wall
Scott Madoulet Burnt
Frank Olms Miss Miranda
Is That a Bug in My Drink?
Keith Pertusio Pratikriyasana
Rolf Rathmann Through New Year’s Eve
Doon Saetern Gaps in Résumé
James Stevahn A Time to Heal
Andre D. Underwood Kalifornia

Open Poetry

Nicelle Davis Honey Pot
William Virgil Davis Overheard
Audio Available Kristina Erny Bad Friday
Mark Fitzpatrick Under the Bo Tree
David Galloway Thought, on Viewing Zinaida Serebriakova’s …
Audio Available Lola Haskins The Very Fortunate Girl
Audio Available Emily Ruth Hazel Out There
Audio Available Alexis V. Jackson What We Carry off the Sea …
Audio Available Shawn Jones Soprano from the Junior Choir at the Protest
Laura Judge Speculation at 50
Audio Available Lynne Knight The Warm Bed
Audio Available Milica Mijatovič Pedestrian Bridge over the Train Tracks …
Abby E. Murray A Note from Your Friendly Poetry Instructor
Audio Available Valerie Nies He Asks About My Kinks
Eri Okoye My Mother’s Son
Audio Available Kathryn Paulson Coal Smoke
Audio Available Erin Redfern Crosswalk
Mather Schneider Uncle Neto
Audio Available George J. Searles The First Annual AHS Wipeout 5K Run
Audio Available Maia Siegel Elites
Audio Available Elizabeth Spenst Poem for Myself
Audio Available Susan Vespoli Orange
Audio Available Wendy Videlock On the Practice of Opine
Audio Available Arhm Choi Wild One Good Memory


Gary Fine

Cover Art

Neena Sethia