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An Apology… and a Reply

An Apology… and a Reply

You have a lot of time to think in prison. Lord knows I do my best to stay positive and to keep my head focused on the future. But it is becoming harder and harder to not let my thoughts stray into the past to fester, copulate with pity and breed regret. Not so much regret for what I’ve done – which is a given – but regret for what I didn’t do. Regret for what I could have done. Regret for what I could have been.

I could have been a better father.

I could have been a better son. I could have been a better friend. A better lover. A better student. A better teacher. I could have been a better man. The ‘could have’ that has grown louder since I’ve been here, the one that makes me shudder with shame, is “I could have been a better brother.”

I was the eldest of three boys, and I could have run better blocks. That’s what big brothers do, they protect the younger ones. They teach them lessons from their own mistakes so that their younger brothers don’t have to make them. I don’t think I did as good a job with that as I could have. In fact, I know that more often than not, I was a complete dick. I’m thinking that part of it was the fact that I had a different dad then them. There were times growing up where I’d catch “Odd Man Out” syndrome. I was the self-proclaimed “black sheep” and used the resulting fear of being different to justify being an asshole to two dudes who looked to me to be more.

There is no excuse. They deserved better. And so, to Jovi & Camillo, I extend a humble apology. I could have been a better big brother. I should have been a better big brother.

Camillo, the youngest, has been sending me these drawings of circles since I’ve been in. Sometimes, no letter, no words… just pages and pages of circles. Camillo views the world through a different set of goggles, and I now realize that his art, these circles, may be his way of trying to communicate with me. The art of this post – our first ever collab – is my reply. I hope it makes sense.

Be Good to each other,

- D

Aside from being my mental lifeline to the outside, this blog is an effort to help provide my beautiful son, Orion, with a little support while I am away. Any profit generated by the Ads on this blog get split between him and a charity that builds wheelchair accessible playgrounds for disabled children.

Aside from that, my spirit pretty much survives on sincere correspondence from the outside world. Letters sent by anyone are more valuable to me than clean socks. Write me, and I'll write you back.

Dante Orpilla #49007-112

feel free to use my art, but please
consider a small donation
towards my situation.


On June 16th, 2010, I was sentenced to serve 28 months in a Federal Penitentiary, for possessing with intent to distribute a Class A narcotic. This blog is a visual representation of that experience. Please enjoy responsibly.


For the better part of my life I have operated under the beautiful assumption that mans greatest gift is his ability to create. And so I do. My name is Dante. I am an artist, a musician, a writer and, above all, a very proud father.

Please note that messages are sent in writing to Blackmarket Arts and due to his situation he will not be able to respond. If you would like to begin a correspondence, please write to him.

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