Our Books

Boian Books’ writers all have day jobs, and write what they know, just as we were taught.

Letters from the Pen

Book Cover - Letter from the Pen

We first published Dale McCurry’s thoughtful, humorous, unorthodox essays, Letters from the Pen, in February 2007. Written while he spent five years in federal prison for crimes he committed, McCurry became a newspaper editor within two years of his January 2005 release.

 

Excerpts from the Book

Quandary: How to explain this so it matters to you personally because it does whether you know it or not and I want you to know it. How best to not just sound like some whiny convict?
What if I start with this? I was guilty. Okay? I don't intend to beat myself up for it for the rest of my life because: A) I'm serving my time – doing my penance; and B) carrying around an excess of guilt does nothing toward getting my life back to where I want it to be.

But it's true: I committed a crime, proud or no. And my sentence was reasonable. Longer than I would have liked, perhaps. Longer than was necessary for me to have learned my lesson and be committed to never straying again. Still ... reasonable.

A fact hard to admit from where I sit is that rehabilitation is not the only (perhaps not even the major) purpose for incarceration. I truly believe that had I been put on probation after just being forced to admit what had happened, society would have been fine with me in it. Yet justice would not have been served. Society has a right, if not an obligation, to identify unacceptable behavior and to demand punitive consequences for it. All that said, just or not, it is counterproductive to lock folks up for as long as the feds often do.

I know many, many inmates serving 15, 20 or more years. The fact is, if they deserve that kind of time, society would be better served to literally throw away the key. If, however, their crime is such that they ever deserve a second chance, you deserve for them to have it while they're still worth a damn.

My sentence is of a length that can be done while focusing on becoming who I want to be when I am released. Doing 15-plus years requires another mindset. Prison has to become one's life. Not only is more criminal behavior learned with longer sentences, but inmates have to adapt in a way that convinces them this life isn't so bad, and the thought of returning loses its effect as a deterrent.

Listen. Decades of incarceration create convicts, not reformed criminals.

There is one thing I have to admit about this prison: it's full of men. Yeah ... sure is. Men ev-ery-where. Like a night out with the boys. Men around when you eat. Men around when you sleep. Men around when you ... well, anyway, men are around. All ... of ... the ... time. Cripes! Am I ever sick of men.

So, naturally, I've been thinking about women. I would love to send gifts to my lady friends. Maybe some flowers or chocolates. But it's just not possible. Instead, I have decided to offer the product of my observations. To my female reader(s), I give you:
Things you don't know about men (but perhaps suspect).

Adam made a pact with Satan that would allow men to rule the planet no matter how badly we screw it up because Eve would not eat one little apple. We get headaches, too; we just don't care. We could cough up a lung and we would still want to have sex.
There is a secret order of enforcers who will turn us into eunuchs if we ever answer a woman's question directly.

We are convinced that if God wanted us to watch commercials He (that's right: He. Can you offer any other explanation for world events, hmm?) would not have given us remote controls.

Yeah, we know you'd run things better; so beat us up. We are willing to agree that most of the problems in this world are our fault, but moon phases are not among them.

We really feel that we would understand the great mysteries of the universe if we could just solve the one big conundrum, what is the deal with shoes?

We don't disrespect you the next morning (though we're fairly sure our mothers would never make that one sound); we just don't think much about you one way or the other. We really do just want to be your friends sometimes. It's not our fault you have to look so damn good!

We are a quivering mass of insecurities because we cannot begin to imagine why any of you would ever want to be with any of us. We really don't understand why you're not all lesbians. That's why we think you will appreciate our tattoos of naked women.

Yes, we have to read on the toilet.

Dissipated Assets

Book Cover - Dissipated Assets

Our second book, Dissipated Assets, is pure poetry created by a man who, although harassed by life, recognizes its glamour and calamities. David Zimmermann’s poetry book is especially recommended for those who don’t like poetry, as his stirring love (and distaste) for life’s clutter pops off the page, Velcroes to the brain, awakens the heart and proves that although anyone can appreciate fine poetry, not just anyone can create it.

Excerpts from the Book

Park Avenue Apartment
In prison in reverse With guards to keep the thieves outside, Locked in a vault with all one's precious things.

Hanging Chad
So if you think you're rich enough, Go check in Washington, D.C., You may already own some congressmen. And when you have a special need, They'll see what they can do for you. Just drop a big donation in the slot.

Feast at Cana
Whenever you might think That women, blacks or queers Would do a better job Of caring for this world, Allow yourself To contemplate the spectacle Of Condoleezza Rice Announcing with aplomb The birth pangs of the new Mideast.