Sayings From Alcatraz

by The Wordman Of Alcatraz


Please enjoy reading these Alcatrazisms.
Feel free to copy and paste or share.

Written here are some of my aphorisms from the past thirty five years.
Touring, sitting in cafe's, train stations, busses etc. around the world.
Some of you might notice a few that have made it onto my spoken word albums.

Every once in a while I grab a bunch of them and make a little mini book you can carry with you or read on the loo. I like making them myself. It's labour intensive but it gives me something to engage in and the pleasure of seeing thoughts become words then print and bound is of great reward for me.

I hope you enjoy them.

Life is for living
Not figuring out

In every
Silver lining
A cloud

He is too proud
Who must have answers

Practice letting go
You’re going to need it

Avoid those who
Create their own answers
And call it science

The more you tell me
What to do
The more you will have to
Tell me what to do

Do not be impatient
Or life will make you wait

At a certain point
You need to stop criticising
And start creating

If you have anonymity
You have much

Do not fill your mind
With many words
A few good ones will do

It is better to live
One principle
Than to know
Ten thousand things

Don’t do more
Than you know
Don’t know more
Than you do

Open your eyes
Squint with your heart

Experience teaches
A few things
Very well

Trouble only comes
To those it trusts
Or dislikes.

Look for a job
in the rain
No one else will

Keep in touch
But not too much

Exercise is like prayer
No one needs
To see you do it

Don’t argue with yourself
You’ll have better luck
With others

Escape is just
As bitter sweet as
Staying where you are

The only way
To lose is
To give up

I don’t know
Much about myself
It’s not a priority

We are not called
To be successful
Just faithful

Less is not more
That’s what is good about it

You don’t have to be cruel to be kind
You just have to be honest

If you want to learn
How to maximise
As a minimalist

Religion never did have
Much to do with God

Openly respect
Quietly rebel

He who loses learns
He who gives up
Is a loser

It is often said of murderers
‘He was quiet and kept to himself’
I suppose that is not without good reason

Pity the people
Who become less interesting
And more acceptable

There is a difference between
Individualism and individuality

Unity is not sameness

Democracy is not democratic

Euphemism is just another word
For another word

Poetry is about
Not using words

Art allows us to do
What we cannot do

It doesn’t take much
To live
And not a lot to
Stop you living

Perseverance is
Not strength

Love is
Though not
Without reason

The way I
Do the dishes
Is the kind of
Man I am

The body reveals
What the soul conceals

The invisible
Wears the visible

The best way to
Lose inspiration is
To wait for it

Do not suppose
The song can be sung
Without it’s knowing

You can’t hide by
Not looking

A true prophet
Would never say
I told you so

The song is
Never sung alone

There is more
Patience than time

It takes a long time
To learn from children

My work is
To observe
Others working

Never forget
That all things

Even nihilists
Make art

Second nature
Should be the first

Change is
Not growth

Trust without distance
Is as worrying as
Distance without trust

If you get off the path
You get an objective view
Of the road

A preacher should
Always work himself
Out of a job

If you make a vow
Make it never
To make a vow

There is really
Very little
One has to do

Free others
Free yourself

At a certain point
Learning is
Just an excuse

Hard times
Soft heart

I am not
I think

Heroes are more
Unheard than unsung

If you’ve got
Something to say
You’ve got
Something to do

A large ring only
Restricts access to
The pocket

If you said
Everything you thought
You’d never stop talking

The love of knowledge
Is not the
Knowledge of love

Religion is
What we do
Not who we
Do it for

The good thing about
Winter is that
It gets late
Really early

The dream dreams of
A dreamer who
Will dream

Dreams don’t mean anything
Until you wake up

Being alone
Can be good enough
To share

As God would say
One is enough

Moderation in all things
Except moderation

Real poverty is
Having time to worry about
What you don’t have

Practice hunger

If you didn’t get sick
Once in a while
You’d get really sick

The fastest way to
Grow is to
Take your time

Don’t take
Too literally

Unconditional love
Is conditional
You have to
Receive it

If at first
You do succeed
Try again

Look for a job
In the rain
No one else will

I’m not brave
You’re just afraid

Don’t argue with yourself
You’ll have better luck
With others

Good work comes
From good rest

Control is better
Than abstinence

There isn’t much
That isn’t art

I want I want
And so
I want

A sparrow gets by
By being a sparrow

By choosing we
Reveal ourselves

You can’t read
Everything you believe

You are
What you speak

Everything takes longer
When you’re in a hurry

If you don’t do
What makes you happy
You become unhappy

Consumerism is
Your fault

Advertising is
The most welcomed

Weird is only weird
If normal is really normal

Good writing
Speaks for itself
But you still
Have to read it

Everyone loves
A plain talker
Until it involves them

If you don’t see fame
As a problem
You’ve got troubles

A simile is
Like a euphemism
Only longer

Don’t swallow your pride
It will just come back

Resist complexity

Honesty will win
And lose you friends

Talent lets you do it
Skill lets you
Do it again

Fashion is not style

Master the basics
You’ll seldom need more

Life is a long
Slow beautiful death

It’s good that you can’t

Any good artist
Should be unnerved
By approval

There is reaction
Comparison and
Being yourself

If you want
To be radical
Be gentle

Global village
Global pillage

The problem is rarely
Where the pain is

The only people afraid
Of insanity are those
Who think they know
What it is

The better you get
The harder it is
To get better

Economy of speech
Is better

If it wasn’t for God
There would be
No atheists

You can’t teach an old dog
New tricks
Unless you have some food

Creativity often stems
From inadequacy

Going to college
To learn how
To think is a
Complete waste of time

Don’t think you can
Say anything to me
I haven’t already
Said to myself

The nail is better
Left in the tire

The loser
The quitter

A man
His pleasures

There is nothing
Deceptively simple
There is simplicity and
There is deception


released January 17, 2017



The Wordman Of Alcatraz Ontario

"The master has found his major. I am now of the opinion that this work is in a league of its own. Sui generis. Favorite track: Dojo".

Robbie Scott
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