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THE BEAT WiTHiN ' JK WEi
^irmmmimi/mf/ j^ . /// * ////#/
AilOthei" Vlfeelf, another Beat... another Ed.
Note... We've been feeling kind of down lately, and so we
wanted to avoid spilling the mood onto you, our writer/
te9kAer%n But we think it's better to speak (or write) honestly
and to expose our moods to the view of others, just ^% we
ask you to write honestly and expose yourselves to the
views of others. No question about it, writing makes you
vulnerable, and vulnerability can feel m^t^ threatening,
even %^^t^. But feeling vulnerable and %^^t^ is exactly what
The Beat is all about, so we must do what we ask you to do,
to explain and try to understand what has put our recent
mood into the toilet. So, here goes...
Sometimes, we all get so discouraged we want to give
up. That's true not only of those of you struggling through
incarceration; it's true of all of us. Last week was like that
for us. Bad things were happening to someone we love, and
we could see no way out for him, no way forward — and
that made u% feel like giving up, too. Those wte the times
when we fall back on our own From The Beat responses —
words from us not just to you, but to ourselves 9k% well. The
response we're thinking of here is this: how we feel at ^n^
given moment in our lives represents only a snapshot in
what is really a moving picture, and that what the picture
looks like today virill be Mer^ different from ivhat it looks
like tomorrow — or a month from tomorrow. And, that it's
iMforth remembering that if ive can only get through the
depression of today, we won't feel this way tomorrow.
Our friend has suffered through many difficulties
in his young life, ^% have you all. He grew up without a
father, virith a mother ivho often viras more interested in
her own life (and the men in it) than the lives of her sons.
He committed crimes that cwtt^ heavy penalties, including
juvenile hall and the California Youth Authority. Recently,
he suffered one of the greatest traumas of all: his younger
brother fell victim to the mean streets, ^% so many of your
homies have done. His murder pushed our friend over skn
emotional cliff, and he fell hard. Resorting to old patterns
(that can provide temporary relief, but only at the expense
of long-term grief), our friend turned to drugs — mostly
alcohol, one of the most damaging drugs around — to
numb his pain, to get through another day without going
Unfortunately, ^% is so often the case, while he was able
to forget the reality of his loss, of his pain, while drunk
and stoned, he also forgot his responsibilities to friends,
to iMfork, to family. As ive often ivrite (in From The Beat),
everything we do — and everything we don't do — carries
consequences. There is no life without consequences, even
though all of us wish there were, from time to time, in
this case, the consequences included losing his job, one
that he loved, one that all who worked with him loved him
for. indeed, there wte few, if 9kn^, we know who do the job
better than he. And yet, those who employ him could not
justify keeping him employed when he failed to produce,
failed to live up to the te^%on% that make him so good at
what he does.
So, where ^te we going with this? We're not really
sure. We know our feelings for this dear friend, despite
his disappointing fall, have not changed in an^ way at all
— except to fear for his future. We still love him. We still
know that he is far more than the sum of his screw-ups (and
we hope that we, too, wte judged by more than our bad
deeds). We still believe that he is capable of most anything
he sets his mind to, and more.
And yet, we ^te at a loss to "do something for him."
And that is another of our regular From The Beat messages,
which is that only you (only we) can make the choices that
affect our futures. No one can do it for you and no one can
do it for us. Some of us have more support than others —
loving families, true friends, brains that work well, goals
that we want to achieve — but none of this guarantees
that 9kn^ one of us will succeed. The terrible truth is that
each of us must make choices eyiet^ minute of eMet^ day,
and in those choices lies our futures, in that %en%e, we all
stand alone and naked in the world, and that %^^te% us, not
just for our friend, but also for ourselves.
This is the great challenge that each of you, like each
of us, faces. We can point the finger at so many external
forces — our upbringing, our environments, the system
— but in the end, we have to take responsibility for our
own decisions because we have to live the consequences
of those decisions. Our friend knows that he needs help,
but doesn't want to give up the crutches that he's relied on
for so long. (Addiction is a disease, whether to drugs, to
sex, or to the excitement of crime and the streets. But even
worse, addiction is a disease that leads us to seek a cure in
the Met^ things that we ^te addicted to, a downward spiral
that can lead to nothing good, nothing positive.)
So, all we can do is hope. Our friend recognizes that
he needs help, and so we hope that he will also recognize
that the self-medications he's relied on for far too long ^te
not really helping, and that he — like eyier^ adult and eyet^
child in the world — must, at times, reach out for the hand
that reaches back. The stakes wte so high in his life, in
your lives, in our lives. The Beat Within is one of those
hands that reaches out. All we can do is hope and pray that
you reach back.
Last week, 9k% our friend's world crashed around him
and left us feeling ^% low ^% we've felt for a long while, the
skies turned dark, the weather grew cold; the r9\n% came
pouring down. Today, the sun is shining and we 9kre feeling
Tomorrow is another day.
This week's topics that were addressed in our workshops
and ^te featured in this issue ^te "Complainin'" - We know
our fair share of complainers, from our peers in the hall, to
the neighbor across the street, to family members, to those
who can't find anything to be happy about - at times that
may be us. in truth, we all complain. We complain about
our lives, conditions - pain/illness, to somebody doing
wrong to u% or our community. This week we want to hear
you respectfully complain. Tell u% about something worth
complaining about that needs to change, and then tell us
how it can be better/cured. (Can you make this complaint
The second topic, "Rescue Me" - All of u% have been in
sticky predicaments, from a bad scene at home, to being
put on the spot in school, to a life or death situation in
the community, to being targeted in juvenile hall and,
obviously, in the courtroom for the alleged crime you wte
in jail for. This week we want you to write about a time
when things could have been much worse, but you were
saved from the worst consequences because someone or
something intervened for you. Create the picture on how
you were saved, or saved someone from a bad scene.
The third topic, 'Talk is Dead..." - We knoiv that ivhen
incarcerated it's real e^%^ for talk to be dead — meaning
don't talk. And most of the time when talk is dead, we have
the incredible urge to talk ^n^^N9^%, Why is communication
so important? When have their been times ivhen you really
had something intelligent to %9^, but couldn't because talk
was dead? Or when have you wished talk was dead so you
didn't have to hear what someone else was saying?
And try to think outside the box and recall times on the
outside when your parents/teacher/boss didn't want you
to talk... Did you have anything good to %9^ then? if talk
wasn't dead, but instead was alive, what would you %9^1
How would you convince us that you really have something
meaningful to %9^1
Last but not least, "Love Stories..." - This week, we want
to hear your stories about love, but without all the sexual
details. So tell us a memory of love. Roses wte red, violets
^te blue, if you make it x-rated. The Beat won't publish
All right editorial note te^Aet%, we hope you enjoy
this issue, probably our most challenging one yet, given
we ^te understaffed, yet we bring you amazing heat from
you mighty thoughtful contributors. This issue is for you
writers, thanks for reading and believing. See you next
iveek in issue 1 3.09!
The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of writing and art b
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service.
At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappn
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough ten:
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's inte
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another.
ishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants
lis is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you
ly reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights
are reserved. Nothing 1
To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words havt
consequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate youi
feelings and viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition foi
those who might use your words against you.
Senior Editors: Da
Assistant Editors: Micl
ford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva T
Eric Lee, Andrew Barba, Estella Cis
Zabanal, Charles Labanowski, Kolby
Alfred Dersidan and Neela Baneriee
Kroll, Will Roy
ion, Allan Tinker, Amanda Abies, Omar Turcio;
Brittany Bernard, Perry Jones, Tal Ariel, Brend
5on, Michaela Levin, Griffin Jones,
\llen Huang, Nic Reiner, Angelica
n, Chelsea Sprick, Akima Edwards,
The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C.,
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Tammie Utter, Shannon Lech-
ner, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Director.
Bernalillio County, New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment" Juvenile
Probation Department Beat Staff: Steve Serna
Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week.
Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua
Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini
Book Donor: Marisela Norte
Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup-
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund,
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun-
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun-
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil-
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation,
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan-
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors.
Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis-
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415)
503-4170 or check us out at:
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Facing The Real And Life
What's up Beat? I'ln still locked up in the halls. My mind
going crazy thinking and thinking about how I'm going to
change my life. It's time to stop all the bull and the stupid
things. Damn Beat, when you stuck in this hall, yo' mind
go wild. I got hella stuff on my mind to think about. I'm
not talking about doing wrong. I mean the good, the new
life fo' me.
It's time to be a new man, go home to the one you love
and show them you change. People run they mouth but
don't act. When you doing wrong, people open and speak.
But when you doing good, yo' friends tell you that you
And what you doing for kids out there? Tell them it's
time to put down the guns and stop with the drugs. No
more killing. Stop the black-on-black. To everyone out
there, it's time stop coming to jail, juvenile, prison. Yo'
life is not meant to be in a place like this.
I got a woman at home that I love and care about.
She's my life, my world, everything that I'll die for and
more. I stress 'cause she's on my mind 24/7. I'm not going
to lie, I worry and worry if she's ok. But you know, I pray
and have faith she is.
It's time fo' me to get out this place. For everyone, it's
time to change yo' life and go back home to the one you
love the most
-Lir Jao, San Francisco
From The Beat: What a wonderful piece of writing this is, Lif Jao. We
all mature at different rates — and some of us never mature at all. So
we love to read a piece that shows that growth of the writer, from child
to adult. You are standing at the door to a new life, one with adult
responsibilities and adult judgments to make. What you have written
here tells us that, even though it won't be easy, you are ready to walk
through that door. Do it! We're behind you all the way!
What's up with it Beat and all those Beaters? How it
been? Well, I hope all is well and everybody is in the best
Well, today I am going to write about complaining.
You see since I've been in this place, I've heard so much
complaining it makes my ears hurt. I hear how people go
through this and how the White Man is the cause of their
problems. They swear that it's always someone else.
I've been hurt all my life. Violence is everywhere. These
guys are disrespectful. He's not supposed to be slangin'
on the blocks. All buUshhh. If you've been through so
many things in your life and lots of years hurting, that's
your lesson. Learn from it. Get out of the hole that you're
in and do something right. Stop running from those lies.
I've been through a lot of stuff in my life from violence,
drugs, jail - also sex. I drowned myself in alcohol and
smoked all my problems away. But they were all still
there. You've just got to tease your demons. Start taking
care of those who are always there for you. Start being a
man about your problems. There are men in prison who
regret everything. There are those that deny - hold it
inside until it drives them crazy. Or they are just too crazy
to confess to what they've done, or too embarrassed.
Life can be so wonderful, if you make it that way. Trust
me, you'll see once you get there. Be a man not a coward,
don't blame people for your own actions. That's all I've
got to say. Just writing about this makes me heated -
until next time. Beat.
-Sexy Veto, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a lot of powerful advice. Our favorite line that
you write has to be: "Life can be so wonderful, if you make it that way."
it seems like you really believe in redemption and taking responsibility.
Thank you for being a leader.
Spooked Dot of My Miod
I remember when I was a little kid, about seven.
I was at my cousin's house, chilling with his older
brother too. We was in the garage playing four square.
Then the ball had went up the garage. It was one of them
My cousin had climbed up the garage (it was open),
and then his little brother told me "I bet you won't press
the button to make the garage go up."
So I pressed it.
Then I heard my cousin that was up the garage
screaming. He fell down the floor from on top of the
garage. I thought everything was ok. But then I seen
my cousin's hand bleeding. His veins was squirting out
blood. I could see his blood. I brought out bandages and
put it on him, but it wouldn't work. So I called my mom,
then my mom called the ambulance.
I heard my cousin was gonna die because he was
losing hella blood. When I went back to my house, I
was spooked out my mind. I wish I was somewhere else
besides earth. I flnally heard my cousin was gonna be
When he came over my house, I gave him all my
Pokemon cards. Then he told me everything is ok.
From The Beat: That must have been truly terrifying for both you and
your cousin, and what a relief that it all turned out. Did you get in
trouble with your family for it? Do you and your cousin still get along
today, and do you ever talk about that moment?
Talk Is Dead
Talk is dead when on one's around
While a mother's face is upside down
Who would talk to a crazed young boy?
With the touch of death upon his hand?
Realize the heart of a teenage boy
Who'll be turned, like a baby toy
Guide me toward the heaven gates
When I lose all the hate
Now tell me when, when talk is dead
Who will realize this world is fake?
From The Beat: You have a true gift of thought and word, Bruce. You
understand the world you've been handed, and that is rare, in our
experience. Do not let your past, however much you think it stains your
soul and hands, to determine your future! Believe us when we say that
the community we all live in is desperate for young people of vision and
insight to lead us out of the hole we've all dug for ourselves. You have
the qualities of that leadership. Can you live up to that potential?
What's It Mean to Be Locked Up?
What's it mean to be locked up?
It means your soul can't roam
Your heart can't love
Your feelings can't feel
And that don't just go for you that's locked up
But also for everybody that loves you
'Cause your heart sends a signal to everybody you love
That makes their heart hurt
'Cause they can't see you or hear you.
Their feelings turn cold 'cause their heart hurts
They love will not show
'Cause they heart can't feel its happiness
'Cause the person they love so much is locked up.
From The Beat: Your really touched on the true meaning of loclcdoivn:
it^ not about the food or the county clothes; it's about the way everyone
hurts from the isolation of being cut off from family. You don't do your
time on your own, you do it with everyone who loves you and suffers
because they want you bade with them!
Talk Is Dead
Talk is dead, talk is cheap.
People who run they mouth let me know they weak.
Ninjas talking the block to make them look cool.
But when it comes down it, he the dumbest one at
How you the man on yo' block, but all you do is run yo'
And when the beef pop off, you the first one to say,
"I got go in the house."
They say actions speak louder then words.
You say, "Mom, Fm at school," when you really posted
on the curb.
Why the big homie always sayin', "I sold this and don't
smoke that?" When really he ain't sold nothing 'cause
he the one smokin' crack. People be like, "I'm living for
my block and I'm living to get paid."
But it's the one who go to school that's gone really have
But like I said talk is dead, talk is cheap.
Talk shhh to the wrong person, I bet you don't make it
to see next week.
-Frontline, San Francisco
From The Beat: We almost took out that last line because it comes
very close to being a threat. But we truly admire all the rest of this
tight flow. When we feel the weakest is when we run our mouths the
strongest. When we feel guilty is when we point the finger at someone
else. When we're at the bottom, we pretend we're at the top. We hope
you believe what you've written about going to school. That's the key
to your future, and especially for one as smart as you!
I Loved You So Much...
Watching and waiting,
these days just go by
everyday I wake up
and just wish I would die.
My body so numb,
my soul in so much pain,
there's nothing to gain
from living another day.
The days are so plain
the world has no view.
I can't even think
without remembering you.
Your face is so clear.
You voice barely clear
as though you were whispering
in my ear.
I loved you so much
and loved you so long.
Now I fear that you have been
Gone from my mind
and gone from my soul.
Gone to a place
where you will never
You promised to stay,
but decided to leave.
Now I sit day by day
not wanting to breathe.
I loved you so much
and I loved you too long.
-Lil' Sapita, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Miss Sapita, your poetry has graced the pages of The
Beat Within for months and during that time we've enjoyed the soul-
searching that you've done. We wish you the best on your life journey
and hope that you will keep writing and stay in touch. You have found
power in your voice - use it wisely!
The reason the world is messed us because they can't
strategize. They got generals and all their shot-callers
starting these wars that they don't know how to handle.
You can't learn nothin' from books. All these rich white
boys who have never had to survive or struggle for nothing
cannot properly use violence. They don't know nothin'
about it, they've never witnessed it. You don't know nothing
about the unexpected. They think that because they got
little diplomas that they're masters of war or something.
They go into war completely unprepared and get shocked
when they got whooped, especially in Iraq. They thought
that they were going to fight a civilized military, but
became overwhelmed by their guerrilla warfare. But
guerrilla warfare is just an educated way of sayin' "street
fightin'" — that's why they keep gettin' whooped, 'cause in
the streets there aren't any flanks, fronts or none of that
army buUshhh. It's the only unorganized organization.
Everyone stands together for their one united cause, but
everyone cares more about themselves than anything
else — that's why you might see a couple of people pass,
but at the end, we're still there.
That's why the US is baffled at why we're here. That's
why Iraq is still fighting. The US doesn't know what
they're doin'. If they put someone like me, someone with
street credentials, survivors of these streets (into Iraq),
we would win. Put me in there. I would've destroyed Iraq
about five years ago, and Afghanistan, too, and I would've
moved on to the next.
But I wouldn't do it, because the US is corrupt and
don't wanna see someone of color succeed in the white
man's land. That's why revolutionaries strike fear in the
US's heart. (Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Napoleon, Hitler,
Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Osama, and all of them.)
-Birdman, San Francisco
From The Beat: You may know a lot more about how to street fight than
many of the young men and women who signed up to go as soldiers
and Marines into Iraq and Afghanistan, but how do you feel about the
righteousness of those wars, themselves? If you felt the US was not
corrupt at heart, would you want to be a soldier for the United States?
Do you feel that American revolutionaries, who are or were people of
color, were right in trying to fight for their human rights in the US?
Maybe Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Caesar Chavez? Hoiw could
you use and teach all the street knowledge you have gained, in positive
Black And Complaining
My complaint isn't a complaint
it's an every day problem I'm facing
Why so many people in the world got to be racist
My complaint is why is it so hard for a black man
Everything we do, we say we hope,
but we never say we can
Wonder why we hustle too hard to get a job
Everybody else eating good,
but we living off corn on the cob, pretty much
Everywhere, even the ghetto we are the most hated
It seems like everyone in the good movie,
but we are x-rated
Best known for rapping, and sports
We became big time celebrities when we go to court
I love being black
but I'm complaining because it's too hard
The sad thing about it is no one can change it
Not even the Lord.
- Reggie, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Always keep in mind, and this goes for any race. There
is a saying, "If one act^ like a thug they will be treated like a thug." You
are wrong about making a change, you can make a change. Your actions
alone can make a change. Worry less about everyone around you, and
concentrate on yourself and your loved ones.
Silence Of The Beaters
Imagine, readers, an issue of The Beat without any
pieces; it couldn't work. All of us who contribute our
writing are the very pillars that hold up this organization.
(Much respect to the staff, so please don't take this the
So, I would ask al of you to consider carefully what
you write. As they say, "The pen is mightier than the
sword," so now, bow that so many people will read what
you write, now that your voice extends o the multitude,
consider the power your words carry.
We have the power to entertain (something sorely
needed), the power to spread wisdom, and the power to
give hope. I have heard that the right words at the right
time can even change lives. The Beat Within offers us a
certain measure of power that we would not otherwise
have. I ask you o seize it.
-Monk, Santa Clara
From The Beat: How could we take this "the wrong way"? Every word,
every thought, every idea is so right on the money, that all we can do is
wonder how you got where you are, and to recognize what power you
already possess. You are more than pillars; you are the very foundation
that The Beat is built on. We are indebted to all of in general, but to
you in particular for being the teacher we wish all Beat writers could
Talk Is Dead
Talk is dead! Staff always wanna say talk dead because
they might see us having fun or a little excited and they
want to ruin that. Communication is so important in here
because it's like, what else is there to do? Can't go to the
store, mess with a girls, etc. so you chop it up with the
homies. They wanna see you stressed out and miserable;
basically, they wanna break you.
Me, I don't let them. Talk can be dead all it want, but
in mind, it's still alive. Forget what they talking about.
When "talk is dead" they wanna see you talk so they can
tax you quick to ruin yo' day and have you complaining so
they give you more. But it's all good, though. It's still alive
to me, because when my words are dead, my mind is dead
because my words come from my mind. And if my mind is
dead then I'm dead, and that ain't until another 50 years.
-Monyea, San Francisco
From The Beat: We love how you put these thoughts together, recognizing
that words and thought move together, and that as long as you're alive,
talk will never be dead. But why sell yourself short? 50 years? We hope
you're around for at least 75 more!
My Love For My Mother
The love I have for my mom, it's to die for. The love I have
for my mom, it's 'til eternity. The love for my mom, I want
to show, not by telling her, because the way I'm going, I'm
killing her. She tells me right from wrong and I listen, but
don't show it. By telling her, it's just words; to show her,
I want her to visit me, but I know if she does, I will see
her eyes getting watery, and I don't want to see that.
For all you people who don't get visits from your
mom, it's not that she don't care or love you, it's because
they're coming for you, but you're not leaving with her.
I love my mom. I will try to do anything to make her
happy, by starting now.
-Lil' Sneaky, San Francisco
From The Beat: Bravo, Lil' Snealcy. To us, this sounds liice a turning point,
a step away from childhood into adulthood. By committing yourself to
start now, you have shown that you understand the change you want
comes from inside, and that putting it off is just another way of never
making it happen. We hope you show this to your mom. Her eyes will
get watery when she reads it, but they will be tears of happiness.
I start showing my love in the morning to my lil' sister,
who can't get up and ready for school in the morning —
making her breakfast, packing her lunch, getting her
dressed, and taking her to school. I got to make sure she
don't look nappy when she go to school.
I will show my love to any fellow person that would
show me the respect that I show them. Like my father,
whom I love dearly, always says, "Do to others that you
want done to you."
I feel like no matter how bad these streets are, I take
the respect I have for my fellows and project it in any way
I can to everybody I see, a bum, someone on the bus. I
try to help out all these people as much as I can, mainly
trying to make a person happy.
Showing a person love and respect will get you far.
People could get you back with the love and respect that
you showed them.
This is how I met the girl who loves me right now. I
helped her out with some problems at home, and have
been on each other ever since. I got a lot to say about this
girl, but I'ma leave it as I love her and hope that she has
the same love for me when I get out of here.
-Eric, San Francisco
From The Beat: If you live by your father^ advice (called The Golden
Rule — do to others as you want others to do to you), your life will be
so much better. In fact, if we all lived by this rule, the world would be
a much better place. What we can't understand is how you could trade
this loving family for a place in juvenile hall. Whatever it was that led
you here and away from your little sister, your dad, and everything else
Time! Time is all you have here in the hall so why not
make it a good time. You could sit here and think and
think and if you start thinking the way you should you'll
realize something. That something is that each and every
one of us is an intellectual. A smart one at that because
we as criminals know a lot more than the average man/
womam due to the circumstances we're been put in. So
Sometimes I think but don't say, for it is dead talk.
Life! Life is virtuous and has lots of offers. We as
men do not understand that because we block it and
never speak on it. There are exclusions such as the great
Nelson Mendela and the great Martin Luther King Junior,
also the great Julio Cesar Chavez. These men spoke what
I do not consider myself great, not at all. In fact, I
consider myself just above nothing for we are seen as
nothing but I know I am not a lot more but a little more
We as human beings could solve the world's problems
if we just get peace and tranquility to think. I myself have
had many great thoughts and ideas in my four concrete
walls and that I could only get here because of the silence
and the tranquility here.
I believe that Tookie Williams reached what he
reached which is tranquility with himself due to this, and
therefore became the man he became before his untimely
death, or should I say murder.
From The Beat: Nice words of knowledge. We're very impressed with
your words of wisdom. You make an excellent point on trying to make
people realize that we need to really stop and think. We need to stop
and think before we do anything. We need to stop and thinic on what
we want to do in life. We need peace and tranquility in our lives. We
all have the wisdom to do great things but yet we get distracted by the
littlest things in our lives. We all need to realize what^ important. But
you guys are the future of America. How can you get your peers to look
at their lives a little differently?
Some of you may have heard of the four-year-old San
Jose boy who died at the wave pool at Great America.
Well, this year I was working as a lifeguard there. (It's a
great job, fun as shhh.) I start my shift at 2:00 p.m. on the
week day, and go straight to the wave pool.
Now, when I came in, I talked to my supe, and she told
me to take a lunch, then hit the wave pool. So I did. But
when I came back, the scene was all messed up. There
were EMTs, firefighters, cops everywhere. I found my
supe and asked what I could do to help.
Later on, I found out what happened that day. I wish
I was there. I know I could have done something to help
that boy. Why I say that is because not even a week before
I had saved an older woman! (I don't think she would have
died, but you never know.) So I know I was capable of
helping that kid.
It's funny when something like that is not happening,
you think you could never do something like what the
lifeguards told me that kid did, or like me with the
woman. You don't think, you just do! You jump and help
that person like you're trained.
I wish I could have helped that kid. But now it's put
me one more step closer to where I want to be and what I
want to do.
-Slow Cooker, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Even though you weren't there to try to save this poor
kid, we are still inspired by your words. You have a clear head on
your shoulders, and the desire to do good, which is all we can ask of
ourselves or anyone. Now is the time to focus on saving yourself. Think
of yourself as a kid treading water and needing a boost up and out.
Jump in and save yourself... and then you can save so many other kids.
Tell us what it is you want to do when you get out of here, and tell us
your plan for doing it. We have great expectations for you!
/ /c^oiv I could have
done sometklHg to
help that hoif.
M) Grandmitlier Rescue Me
My grandmother rescued me this week. I feared that the
judge would choose to believe my mother's word over
mine about my ankle monitor situation.
My mother is angry about her and my father's divorce
and she decides to take it out on me. I don't know why,
because that situation affects me, but I can't control that
situation. My mother's constant anger towards me only
makes me bitter and build up rage inside of me that I
sometimes unleash on people who have nothing to do
with my anger.
In the end I'm going home on ankle monitor to my
grandmother's house where the situation is more stable.
It isn't that I don't love my parents I just made the
decision that I have a better chance to succeed there.
From The Beat: Well whatever it takes for you to succeed then we're
1 00% with you. We're sorry to hear about your problems at home. We
know it's hard dealing with your anger, but don't keep it bottled up
man, that^ not healthy. Talk to someone, write it down, but don't keep
it inside. We wish you the best on your new program. You sound very
determined and don't let nobody stop you from succeeding.
My dad, when he was fighting for Ho Chi Minh, was
stationed in the countryside (in North Vietnam.) He's
Chinese and he fought for the North Vietnamese in the
Vietnam War, and his own people from Vietnam called him
a "Chink." When he got sick, the NVA (North Vietnamese
Army) sent him back to Hanoi (the capital of North
Vietnam.) Then, two years went by and he got sent back
to China when the Vietnamese were expelling Chinese
from Vietnam, so he got deported to near Hong Kong. He
moved to Montreal, Canada, and moved back to near Hong
He grew up in Hanoi, but his family got dispersed to
Montreal, Canada, China, and some stayed in Viet Nam.
When he got over to China, he was doing illegal stuff —
selling ration cards, which you needed to buy clothes,
shoes; and rice ration cards, which you needed to buy
food. He had one friend he sold tickets to. My dad got
rich off of selling those tickets. But the Chinese people in
Hong Kong called him "Gook," because he didn't speak
no Cantonese, he only spoke Vietnamese, but he learned
the language, Cantonese, by teaching himself.
My dad lived with four people in a room in China. He
told me one time the men he lived with gambled the whole
day. One day my dad won. He wanted to go to sleep. While
he was asleep, somebody jacked his money, so when he
woke up, he was mad. The other guys who lived with him
lied on him and said he didn't have no money.
My father got to the US because he got picked out of
bunch of Asians because the guy who brought the Chinese
to the US thought my dad was a big time gangsta, because
he was kinda stocky and he looked like a big boss. In my
language, he looked like a "die-low," which means "big
He was struggling when he first came to this country.
He has a necklace with his own zodiac, which is the sign
of a boss. He started working for $3 an hour, working at
McDonald's and the DPW (Department of Public Works),
cleaning up the city. He didn't speak no English. He had
to learn. He started getting better jobs — he got a license
to drive trucks and later on, he was a taxi driver, and then
he drove eigh teen-wheelers.
My dad told me that he was chasing a lot of girls. Later on
he told me my mom was lucky to have him, but my mom
told me they met through their buddies. They got married
in '85 and had my sister, then they had me in '89 and my
brother in '90.
When my sister started going "die ga-jai," which
literally mans "big sister," but it also means, "lady boss."
She chilled with kids and got hella respect, but she wasn't
really in a gang.
I went out and I don't know if I have a name in the
street. His name was Roger, Jr., who called me Kangaroo
Jack from Tekken — a videogame made my Namco, who
invented Pac Man.
My younger brother is funny. He's tall like me. He's
good at the piano. He inspired me to play piano. I play up
here (at Log Cabin Ranch) He's been in YGC (the Youth
Guidance Center— juvy hall in San Francisco,) too. He's
been in a gang but now he's out.
Now my dad's a Muni driver and he got cheddar, but
he's a workaholic still.
-Kangaroo, San Francisco
From The Beat: Great story about your father. He^ been through a lot
in his life. Has he ever returned to Hanoi, now that the war is long
over? Hong Kong? What has he tried to teach you? How does he feel
about how you're living your life? Do your mom and dad, and brother
and sister come down to the Ranch to visit? What dreams does your dad
have for you? What do you want/plan for your own future?
Who Am I?
My name is James. Fm 15. 1 live in Morgan Hill and go to
Sobrato High School. I enjoy writing, a lot! Every time I
get an inspiration from someone, I feel inspired to write
about it. I also liked talking on the phone with friends.
I've been in a lot of trouble in the past - grand theft,
and grand theft auto.
Most people think I'm just a thief. I don't always steal.
Yeah I may be a thief but I want to change. I really do want
to get help for my stealing problems. But there are many
more good qualities I have. I honestly think the good
qualities outweigh the bad.
I believe in honesty, respect, strength, courage,
forgiveness. I am honest with everybody except for my
mom; all of the above qualities apply except for my mom.
I don't know why. I really am a good person, and most
people in my family believe I'm a bad person. But I know
in my heart that I'm a good person and I want to succeed
in life. I love my family very much; family means more to
me than anything.
When I get older, I want to go to San Jose State
(University) as an environmentalist. The earth means a
lot to me. I wish people didn't take the Earth for granted.
Many people litter, pollute the air, and pollute the water.
People just don't respect the Earth, but what they don't
realize is that the Earth is the only thing we have. I wish
people respected the Earth.
I honestly know the difference between right and
wrong. When I get put in a position where I have to do
something wrong, my conscious always tells me not to do
it but I act compulsively. I don't know why I do the things
I do. But I do realize that I do have a problem and want
help for the problems that I have. I just don't know how
to get help for these problems.
I'm now in Juvenile Hall and I greatly regret the
things I've done. I know I've done many bad things, and I
just hope the courts and my family can forgive me for the
things I've done. I honestly want to succeed in life and
do good. I enjoy doing good and really feel good about
myself when I make the right choices. I know that I can
do anything I want as long as I set my mind to it.
When I get out of here I plan to get a job so I can pay
my restitution that I owe ($7,000). To do this I'm going
to go to school so I can get my work permit. And when I
go home I'm going to help my mom around the house as
much as I can, and I'm going to be a better person. This
experience has really showed me a lot about myself. And
it's made me realize that I don't want to live the lifestyle
I've been recently living. I am going to succeed in life and
do the best of my ability to kick ass and live the best life
I can live, while making the right choices for myself.
- James, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Happy to see that you have such confidence in your self,
and that you are honest in sharing your shortcomings and struggles. Be
patient, and eventually that inner confidence will shine through so that
others will know who you truly are. That process will probably start
with your mom. Share with her your struggles and successes, and she
will be a source of strength to you. We can't do it alone in this tough
world, but if we can find just a few family members and friends who will
have our back, we'll go a long way.
„, / have a lot of support a^d
caring people aromd me, and I'm
reallif happif I have those people
In mif life,
Caring People Rescued Me
The last time I got locked up, I thought I was screwed.
I thought I was going to go out of home placement. I was
very depressed and worried. I realized that I have a lot
of support and caring people around me, and I'm really
happy I have those people in my life.
Then come my court day. I thought I was just going
to go to court and not get out. During my court, my mom
said a lot of good things about me. My case managers said
I was improving and other good things. Then my lawyer
argued, and the judge gave me another chance.
The situation could've been much worse, but I got a
lot of help and I appreciate it. I hope I get the help I got
last time, and I hope I get another chance.
-Ramon, San Francisco
From The Beat: You are very luclcy to have the support system that came
to your rescue. But what did you do with that chance the judge gave
you? If you have so many people in your corner, don't you think you
owe them the respect of living up to their expectations? We believe you
when you say you appreciate all the help you got, but the true measure
of that appreciation is not to let those people — or yourself — down
I grew up in San Jose and was born in Mountain View.
My father was a very angry man. My dad was also a
very controlling man. I remember I used to get beat at
home from him all the time for every little thing. I hated
my dad so did my mom. Man!
My mom got hit all the time - sexually and emotionally
abused. I protected my mom every time my dad put his
hands on her - that's why I got hit all the time. I hated
being at home.
During my teen years when I started high school
that's what got me into drugs because it helped me heal
my pain at the moment.
It went too far - it took me into smoking weed and
drinking and then I ran away so many times I tried to stay
away and hide out the best way I knew, so they couldn't
find me. I even had suicide thoughts at times, but my
mother always managed to find me. Seeing more and more
violence and watching my sister die on Halloween - all my
thoughts and anger to myself got me in this hell hole and
now I'm looking for help in trying to rescue myself from
my violent life.
-Angel, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Wow, this is such a painful story and we applaud
your courage for sharing it. It seems that even though you have had
such a hard time with your dad and your sister passing - that you are
recognizing it and trying to turn your life around, if you believe you can
rescue yourself, you will be able to change your life.
rm having nightmares of all the shhh that I've seen
Yellow tapes surrounding bodies through out all of my
Bloody walls closing in as I became paranoid
Everything is getting quiet, where the hell is the noise?
I feel the anger and frustration building up in my body
So I'm spitting out my life like shells spit out of a
I need freedom in my life like the fishes need water
As I struggle to survive it seems like life getting harder
All these people laugh and smile like what we living is
While we hungry on the streets tryna get us some money
I was told I was stupid 'cause the point I was missing
Now I see why people say that I'm gonna end up in
But yet it's too late, my dreams are telling me something
It's time to get my shhh together
and quit doing the dumb thing
I do what I done so I'm gonna keep it in motion
I'm gonna try to stay alive 'cause living life's my devotion
From The Beat: We're proud of you Gumby. We're starting to see you
write down some positive things. You wanna live life. It's not that hard.
Life itself is a challenge, but you just have to find the strength inside
yourself to conquer all obstacles. We know you can do it. Just stay
That Place Called Home
This place people call home. Where is that? What is it
People tell me all the time, Home is where you make
it. In that case, where is mine? I have no house to call
mine, I have no family to cal mine. I have nothing but
a dream and a plan. My home would I guess have to be
California. I have been to the North and the South. I have
no place to clal home. I hate when people ask me where
I'm from, because I answer with the name of my block.
But I've only lived there for three years of my life. Then I
got shipped to San Diego, where I hated it.
My brother got jumped into a gang. And then I was in
numerous homes after that. All I know is that I'm tired of
moving. I'm tired of the same old shhh. It pisses me off
when all my stuff is mobile. I'm so used to moving, I'll be
ready before they tell me I'm moving! After the first two
homes, you know not to get attached.
I would die to have a place I can call home
I guess that someday I'll find myself my own home.
Welcome to my home.
From The Beat: That must have been real stress, bouncing around
from place to place, and without parents either. Who were the family
members you ended up being the closest to, the ones you could depend
on? Your brother? Aunties? Grandparents? And when you do make your
own home, where will you want it to be? What is your favorite place
that you've seen (or dreamed of) so far?
I prayed to God every night for one chance, then the
gavel slammed... Three years in YA; time to do some time
with the men...
I asked God why. Why would you send me some place
where you do the talking with your hands. A place where
you can catch new charges so easily and keep you in the
system 'til days on end.
I waited for days for an answer from You, Lord. I
thought You had forsaken me; I thought prison is where
You are sending me to be condemned. Then I realized You
were speaking to me the whole time telling me that even
if it leaves my friends and family in sorrow and despair,
even though it leaves my mother streaming with tears,
even though it leaves my father feeling even more guilty
for not being there for me to raise me right, that is where I
belong. This is where I obtain my spiritual strength. This
is where I become a man.
Heavenly Father, this is not my damnation, but my
salvation. So I thank You Lord, that you for showing me
that this was just all a part of Your plan...
-Viet Tiger, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Wow! What could we possibly add to this? We cannot
know what has led you to this revelation, but we do know that it is a
revelation, and that in that revelation is your entire future. You are a
HeciveHlif father, this Is not mtf
dafPtmtloH, h^t mif salvation, So
I thanK ioi4 Lord, that ifOM for
showing me that this wasjt^st
all a part of ionrplan, , , H
I'm Tired Of This Stuff
I'm tired of being locked up all the time I don't
understand it though
My friends being murdered in the streets like animals
Death in no way is understandable
I'm tired of not knowing where I'm gonna end up in life
I'm tired of not being able to touch my family
When I get to the glass window it snaps me back to
For them to baby sit us they get a big salary
I'm tired of getting just ten minute phone calls
Stay in the same area only two times a week we get to
walk the hall
Fm tired of being in maximum security
I'm so tired of being told what to do like Pm a little kid
I've been here so many times I'm learning how to live
I'm tired of all this stuff.
-Young Mari, Alameda
From The Beat: We get the picture. We understand that you're getting
tired of being trapped in the system. But you gotta face the consequences
of your actions. Next time you get an opportunity at freedom don't
waste it. Remember how bad it is being stripped from all your privileges.
It could be worse. Listen to our writers in prison, doing SHU terms. This
is a very important lesson. 'Cause after you get your time over with all
this will just be part of your memories.
Q-vote. Well, about the topic 'love story', I have a real
love story to talk about. In my first love experience, bad
things and good things happened.
I experienced violence in my relationship and he's the
father of my one and a half year old daughter. I love her to
death and I just had to let him go, so I did, and now I am
happy. I depend on myself and I care about my daughter.
But I experienced really bad violence. I was almost killed
in front of my daughter by her father. I never called the
cops on him because I was scared and didn't want things
to get worse. So Beat, I'm out.
- A young mom, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You made the right choice about leaving that situation.
There is no excuse for violence. Stay safe. And in the future, if you have
reason to fear for your safety, or the safety of your daughter, call for
Ooe Day lo My 'Hood!
The house of the Latin ghetto
Cholos, low-lows, grills
Much other things
The murals in my 'hood.
They say so much
Well, so sick
How my people get so much
Dope, game, yellow, tapes
5/Os rolling throughhhh
The 'hood is hot
Getting married to this Mission District life
Ain't no joke
Two months later
Waking up in a cell
Looking at four walls
Each day of my crazy life
Looking through my window
Getting on my knees
And thank the man
Asking for mercy in the game
Homies been gone every holiday
Now somebody' mom
Gotta wear a black dress again
But like I said before
"Revenge is sweet
But not great, my brada"
And that's how one more day
In my 'hood goes away
-Shadow, San Francisco
From The Beat: When you get on your knees to pray to God, what is
it that you asic Him for? Are you asking to be safe while doing things
that you icnow are shady? Are you asking for His protection while
you're unwilling to protect His teachings? Or, are you truly asking to be
changed, to stop contributing to the negativity and start building your
community? If you are not willing to try to live your life according to His
, how do you think He will answer your prayers?
Last Of A Dying Breed
What's up Beat? Thanks for providing us with this
wonderful program to discover some of my hidden talents
I never knew I could be a poet, especially a good one.
Thanks for asking me questions and I'm always honored
to answer them.
Until next time signing off Lil' Mang.
-Lil' Mang, Alameda
From The Beat: We appreciate the compliment, but of course the best
thing you could ever do to make it real would be to keep writing poetry,
and putting your thoughts to paper. Live up to these words and bring
you the heat/that^ the best way you can thank The Beat!
Que onda Beater readers? Tonight I'm going to write on
the love stories topic, because yes - everyone knows that
nothing can stop this tall vato from smiling or keeping
me below these shallow waters, but what's really gotten
to me lately was that I had this flrme hyena on the outs
that was writing me for almost two years and I opened up
my heart for her and had hecka love for her and put some
other honeys to the side because of my loyalty to her
and that's what a true man does for someone he loves,
que no? Yeah that's me, but all of the a sudden she quit
writing, so I wrote her a letter about how I felt, that's bad
for her but I had to let her know how I felt because I'm
done with little kid games.
She was talking about having my beautiful kids, but
I'm not really sure if she worth all that. I don't know if
she deserves another chance! But anyways I'm out, to the
all the hynas out there: Don't lead your man in the wrong
direction if you're not ready for it, because it adds up, you
feel me? Be true about yours!
Well all right, until the pen meets the paper again.
-Smiley, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a truly powerful and honest piece, and we
applaud you for sharing it. But you have to also think about things
from her point of view - it is hard to be young and have your man be
gone. Perhaps she does care about you but isn't ready to have babies
yet. Either way, it sounds like you shared your emotions with her and
that's the most important thing you could do.
About two years ago, I went camping with my lady my
lady and her family.
One time, we came back from swimming in the lake
and we sat down to take a break. But then my girl's mom
told us that these black people took our rafts and swam
out into the middle of the lake, so we went after them. I
got to one of them and he said he couldn't swim, so I told
them to float it back.
Then my lady said she was going to swim and get the
other one and I said ok. So she started to swim and I
looked back and she was under water. So I dove under
£md grabbed her. She was tired so I put her on my back
and took her to shore. Her mom told me how brave I was
and, at the end of the day, she told me that she loved me.
-Wright, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Of all the stories in The Beat, this is one of the first
we've heard of a real rescue. The best part of the story is that your girl
told you she loved you at the end of the day.
Hoping and praying for an angel to rescue me from the
from the hole that grows deeper inside me everyday.
Each day passes and still waiting... there's no angel...
there will never be an angel.
I lose hope.
-Mona, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Maybe you need to be your own angel. Maybe you'll
come to realize that you can rescue yourself from the dark. Consider
this: in the dark, light is pretty easy to spot. If you spot a dot of
brightness, check it out. Maybe it's the real thing, maybe not, but you
won't know until you've walked up to it and found out for yourself. In
the process, you will have explored the darkness, and come to know it
better. What you know better will scare you less. Keep looking for the
light. Don't give up. Ask yourself what all the darkness is. Imagine that
you're writing a book about it. Instead of thinicing of the darkness sk%
your enemy, make it your subject, a subject you are studying. The light
will come. And when it does - don't study it. Just enjoy it.
Why is this world the way it is? Why did God have to take
my cousin Slim Thugga and my brother Lil' Dre? Why
did the beef get so out of hand? Why do drugs have to
take so many lives? Why do gang members kill innocent
The reason that I am asking this question is because
I want to wonder why people do what they do. They do
not care what will happen. People just want the best
for themselves. That's why people die over every and
Why... Why... Why... Why...
-Davey-D, San Francisco
From The Beat: All the great religions of the world try to address
the selfishness of the human animal, try to teach that until we see
ourselves in others, there will always be violence and inequality. But
the beginning of wisdom is questions, so we want to encourage you to
keep asking and keep searching, even if you never find the answers.
Change comes from within, so we want you to think hard about the
questions you asked regarding the death of those you loved who were
way too young to die. Think of the changes they might have brought
about in their own lives to make what happened less likely, and then
examine your own life. You have more control of your future than you
know. Thank you for this thoughtful piece.
Don't know what I'm going to do when I get out.
Hopefully I get off the bad and I get on a good route.
Ninjas just don't know what they talking 'bout.
They say the first thing that comes out they mouth,
Trying to keep it real ...which these young ninjas don't
know nothing about
Trying to stay straight.
Ninjas can see the outs
If I go bad then a ninja just gon' see a drought
.... street dope and money that's the only thing I know
Trying to educate my mind, so I'm in for the
I'm constantly leaving the house early,
'Cause I don't want to hear my mama's mouth.
I love my life, that's why I'm trying to do good.
But it's hard to do good when you still tuck in the hood.
Ninjas staring with a mug, but it only take one slug
To get a ninja drugged up in a hospital.
With IV's and needles, wires all in his body.
That's the effect of a twelve gauge shot.
No remorse for dude.
In the streets he hard with the heat.
But he don't know he still can get knocked off his feet.
RIP Jazz, RIP Stuce, we know you in a better place.
But we still miss yo' face.
God if you got anybody on yo' list take me.
'Cause I'm tired right here with these phonies.
I miss my bra, but I know he be locked up forever.
We gone get out and shine through the worse weather
This right here is something to listen to get off yo' grind
Use yo' mind, stop wasting time
And go to school
And all the shhh I just said...
I'm still confused.
From The Beat: The confusion seems to come from all these different
impulses you face. There's a side of you that speaks so eloquently about
the horrors of street life, and the need to do something better - go to
school, stop wasting time - but then it seems like you like parts of it sk%
well. What is it about the street life that keeps drawing you - and why
is it that being at home is hard for you? Maybe if you start to answer
these questions, it will be easier to "unconfuse" yourself and find your
This Ain't Hollpood
I don't know where "talk is dead" comes from.
I don't know why they say "talk is dead," because we
gon' talk anyway. That's just how it is. The staff just know
that they have the higher power, but when we start not
listening they start to abuse it and treat us hella bad.
But I don't care, because talk ain't never gone be dead.
I would understand why talking would be dead sometimes
because some of the dudes be talking hella nonsense,
always talking about what they got....
"I got this, I got that, I got gas (guns)," but if they
come at me with that I'm gonna put them on blast 'cause
most of them be high power faking.
Fake like fiction. Never want to talk about going to
school, changing your life around. They say they can't
get gassed up thinking they untouchable but in reality
('cause this is the real world) if they keep going the way
they going they gone end up dead.
And this ain't Hollywood... if you get hit in the head,
you ain't gon' see them a month later on the red carpet.
From The Beat: Hearing you come at life with this kind of knowledge
and truth makes us really hope you make it in life. What is your plan
for going to school and turning YOUR life around? Do you have plans
for work, apprenticeship, college? How are you taking steps to meet
\i\\ is Dead
"Talk is dead" meant to me just another way of just
saying "shut up." When I first heard the saying of it, I
didn't know what it meant, so I just asked around and
I found out. So every time they'd say it, I would just be
quiet. I imagined when they said it that there was a talk
symbol in a thought bubble that died. So all the time they
say it, I follow it.
-Dijon, San Francisco
From The Beat: We love your thought bubble cartoon of "talk" six feet
under! Sometimes, especially in large groups (and in court), it's important
to know when to speak up and when not to. Sounds like you've learned
that lesson well.
What's up Beat? It's me, Pabb, again!
Well, the only way that could be is me and my family
are in love so much in my heart forever 'till everlasting life.
But while I'm in juvenile hall thinking about my family a
lot, I feel sad because I always be seeing my mother cry
while I'm still locked up until I'm finish all my business
and take care of myself.
Juvenile hall is pretty strict and hard little bit. But
nobody won't take me down because I'm trying to be good
and stay out of trouble. I'm in a room by myself. That's
how I want it because I don't want anybody that try to
make me in trouble or trying to get in a fight with me. I
just be good and stay away from them. But sometimes it
hard because I'm trying my best to cool.
I'm in a room myself praying every night for me and
my family. Hopefully I'll make the change better to make
my family happy.
Well Beat, that's all. I gotta stop for now. I'll talk to
you later on next time. Take care Beat. Much love and
-Pabb, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We admire you for seeing that you have to change if you
want to stop bringing pain to your family that you love so much. You
are trying very hard in here to do the right thing. Now, you have to take
that same attitude back outside with you so that you have the courage
to say "no" to those things you were doing before, when you know that
saying "yes" will only bring your mom more tears. Good luck.
Rescue me, because Fm lost and need help finding the
way to get out. My target is to not get lost again, and be
good. I will make sure to respect my mom, do good in
school, and be proud of my family.
When someone rescue me, I'm gonna be pleased,
and the only one that could save me is myself. I still
don't know how to rescue myself, but someday I will be
-Lil' A, San Francisco
From The Beat: We admire you for setting your goals to change, to go
to school and be successful, to respect your mom (who has sacrificed
so much for you). But don't think you have to make this journey alone.
There are many people and programs willing to help you, if you reach
out and ask. No one gets to the top without help, and no one gets to
the bottom without help. Seek and you shall find.
Nine months of torture and pain
It hurts so much, but she didn't complain
I'm sorry for making you drop tears for the pass years
I'm sorry for putting you and the family in fear
Screw the world, ain't nobody really care
Can't nobody come between the love that we share
Your baby boy growing up so mama don't worry
Mama I want to take this time to say sorry
Valentines Day coming up so this poem is for you
Mama I know you love me and I love you too
From The Beat: Your mom is going to be really happy to read this piece,
because all your talent and heart show in it. Also - she will have a
chance to see that you are facing your challenges with heart, that you
are holding onto the things that will keep you strong and solid no
matter what else happens.
I know I done a lot of bad thing to people, like my mom,
dad, grandma, sister, and my whole family. This is why
I'm sorry I'm always leaving the house, don't listen to
my mom, do what I want, like hurting people, tagging,
stealing, and I regret it, because I got locked up for a very
long time, and I always think about what I did.
Now I hope I could make things better by not doing
the wrong thing I did in the past. I'm sorry for what I did
-Lil' T, San Francisco
From The Beat: Your words of apology and regret are important. But
even more important are the actions that have to accompany these
words. You can't change the things you've done in the past, but you
can change the direction you travel in the future. What you do, and not
what you say, will be the true measure of your regret.
To My Pops
Well really I ain't got nothing to say to my pops, but I do
not like him or love him.
He ain't nothing to me no more. I mean like before my
mama wasn't gone he was a father to me, now that she's
gone (RIP MAMA) he been like a b— .
I just don't wanna see his face no more. I hate him
with all my soul. I just wanna take all my anger out on
him. I wish he was dead. I don't wanna say no more. I'm
out, screw my dad.
From The Beat: We know this piece wasn't easy to write, but we also
know that you can't hate what you didn't once love. It sounds like
you're dad fell apart in his own way after your mom died, and it's heart
breaking to think that you lost him just when you needed him most.
Have you talked to him again since that last conversation in jail that
hurt you so much? We hope you know that his mistakes are his fault,
not yours... you didn't deserve to be left.
Sbbh In M) lead
What's good wit' da Beat? It that ninja Meez holdin' it
down in this weak-ass maximum security. But I'ma write
what's on my mind, 'cause these topics ain't doin' it for
But the shhh that's on my mind right now is my court
date on the 31st 'cause on that day I'ma see if they let
me go back to my county or they gone keep me here so
they can finish my 707 and try and find me guilty of some
shhh. The last time I went to court they was talkin' 'bout
some real serious shhh, so I pray that they let me go back
to my county.
Some other stuff on my mind is when I'ma get out. I
been down since September and I done missed a whole
lot of stuff.
Some other things that's on my mind is my goons,
'cause every time I talk to them, it seem like ninjas
trying to get at 'em, and I'm like, "Damn, I wish I was out
there to get back at them ninjas!" But I'm also thinkin',
"Damn! I could be six feet under 'cause bullets don't got
My mom is on my mind 'cause I'm the youngest but
I'm hurtin' her the most.
I can't finish 'cause these counselors want the pencils
back. But I'ma get at The Beat later.
-Meez, San Francisco
From The Beat: You definitely have a lot on your mind, and there^
nothing wrong with that. We really appreciate you laying out sk% many
of your thoughts sk% you can. All we can tell you is to listen to your
own heart and your own head. Don't be twisted by what others say. Of
course you want to be back with your boys doing what you do, but at
the same time, do you want to keep putting those tears in your mother's
cyesl These are things to think seriously about, because you know you
can't have one without the other. Who has sacrificed more for you in
your life, your "goons" or your mother? Who do you owe more? And
what do you owe to yourself, and to your future? Yes, you've missed
whole lot... How much more do you want to miss?
Sitting at home, chillin', smokin',
partying with my people
I got so messed up, felt like no man was my equal
I heard a noise
Couple shots rang threw my home
Too little to understand,
I wish my brother and sisters weren't home
Shots keep coming, everybody's in a panic mode.
Until my homie grabbed his gun
out of his dark robe
Worried about my brother and sisters,
too scared to shoot.
And my adrenalin's pumping
My homie peeks outside the door,
then he got to dumping
I still hear shots
I see my homie go on the attack,
a couple of shots and a few seconds later,
I saw him fall right back
"Close the door he's trying to come in the house"
He said it with a bullet hole in his stomach
Blood coming from his mouth
I feel like my homie saved my family and saved my life
He didn't let that man get in, thank God.
My homie's alright.
- Reggie, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Do you think that "smoking and partying" are useful
to your family sk% their lives are being threatened? It^ unfortunate that
you're family^ exposed to these dangerous encounters. Maybe you
should think about what you expose yourself to so you can avoid these
dangerous situations. Stop thinking about yourself and start thinking
about those around you.
Rescue me from this world of hate
Where love was torn and raised
Help me stop this slaughter
Of people killing one another
Take me to destiny's road
For I know he taunts me
In bed where it haunts me
The lives of many glued to my mind
No matter how hard I tiy
The fatal memories never die
Murder, a word that makes me shiver
But always seems like an answer
A boy who took the lives of may
With nothing but love, revenge and hate
Rescue me, who will rescue me from the realms of fate?
-Bruce, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Explain how murder can ever be the answer to anything?
We (and you) icnow that this pattern of "love, revenge and hate" only
perpetuates the destruction of entire communities, leaving young boys
dead and their mothers to weep to their graves. Who can rescue you
from this fate? You! By rescuing yourself, you rescue your world sk% well,
if you were not so intelligent, we wouldn't be urging this change on
you. But it^ clear from this poem that you have a deep insight. Use it to
move beyond the spot you find yourself.
It's A Trap!
He told me "shut up, and to get in the shower." I got
mad, like so mad I didn't know what to do.
I'm walking back to my room and he yells "Walk
straight." He doesn't understand that my thighs hurt
because of the exercising my group was doing in the gym.
When I tried to tell him he replied with, "Go to your ef-ing
room, now." That just got me mad and with all that anger
I had inside, I got in a fight and got OP (Off Privileges).
I see it as a trap, a trap to get you deeper and deeper
in the system. That's why I hate the law and don't
understand it at all. It's a TRAP!!!!
- Tevin, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: it's understandable the hate you feel, but you must
remember it^ not the Police, DA, Lawyers, or even Probation that put
you in the "system". It was you and your action alone that got you put
in detention, not every one else. Remember for every action there will
be a reaction, whether it's a good one or a bad reaction that can and will
only depend on you and your actions.
That's Who I Am
I heard great things from a few people... but two people
who stuck out to me were two people who told me I don't
have to prove anything to anyone. It hit me, 'cause it was
And another thing that I heard was you can't stress
while you're in here and it's true too. Because the stress
just brings you down and makes you more paranoid, and
want to go crazy and it will just give you room time.
I still stress while I'm in here, because I'm not with
my loved ones, but I got to tell everyone in here even
though I get no your nerves, or I talk too much -- 1 got to
say who I am and I am going through so much right now.
And I ain't afraid to apologize for what I did. But that's
who I am and thanks to those inspiring words those two
dudes gave me and they know who I am. And I know I
don't have to prove anything to no one. So that's who I
From The Beat: Don't stress and be yourself. Those are two incredibly
lAfise lessons, and ive thank you for sharing both of them ivith. We
would guess that if everyone in jail tooic these words to heart, they
might not do the things that get them locked up, and they might be
able to stay free on the outs. What do you think? Do you think you can
apply what you learned in here to your life outside?
Love Behifld bars
What's up Beat!
It's so damn hard to be in a relationship while you're
in the hall and your partner isn't. In this situation the
whole trust issue goes out the window. All the negative
things come rushing through my mind. Is he/she at home
with someone else? Is he/she gonna wait for me to get out
or are they just gonna move on? When theses thoughts
come to my mind they bring more stress other than the
stress I have about my court dates, my time in the hall,
trying be on my best behavior and things like that. So my
solution to this problem is just don't come back to the
hall!! Period. Point blank. Ha!
Now I've been in this situation before. It put so much
extra stress on me to be worrying about him running
around messing with this girl and that girl. Now of course
I was faithful to him 'cause duh, I was on lockdown! But
him on the other hand, I can't be too sure of. I know he
missed me and all that, because everywhere we went he
was showing me off saying things like "I told you she was
coming home soon" and everyone told me how much he
missed me by how much he talked about me!
Well, like I said, he undoubtedly missed me but the
feeling of insecurity was still inside. I had never heard
anything negative about him doing me wrong while I
was away but you never know. So in the end I decided I
shouldn't put my insecurities behind me and trust him.
Because I loved him and was sure he loved me.
From The Beat: Dominique, you have beautifully described the difficulty
of being in jail while in a relationship. It's not easy! But we are glad to
hear you determined to stay out of jail, and also impressed to see you
put your fears of betrayal to the side, and try to trust someone you love.
We know it's not skn easy thing to do.
I was dating a girl for about two years, we were doing
We got into a little argument and I grabbed her arm,
never hitting her or any of that.
I left here house and burned out, mom called the cops.
I got arrested for domestic violence and the court
ordered a restraining order.
I didn't want it and neither did she.
Now I am faced not being able to see the person I love.
She's the only person I've ever loved and the court broke
up our relationship.
Now it's all over.
-Eric, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Thanks for sharing this unfortunate tale of love gone
amiss. It is tempting to blame the court or the parents or the system in
general, but how would you have acted differently if you could have
another go in that situation? It has to be tough inside, but if you really
love each other, there will be some light at the end of your path. Stay
To My Unborn Child
I wish I could have had the chance to truly feel you in
my womb, but I couldn't handle two. I was all alone in the
abortion room, crying to myself.
I wish I could have talked to you, to tell you why I
had to make that decision. No matter what I will feel you
From The Beat: The part about how 'Time heals all wounds is really true,
and we promise that sk% the months turn to years, this loss and sorrow
will fade. It will always be there, but it sounds sk% if you made a decision
you knew you had to in your heart. Good luck, and please please please:
From now on, practice safe sex!
When I go to my room, all I think about is him and him
and him only.
Damn, what is this guy doing to me?
This guy is really getting to me.
I read his letters over and over.
I think about when we first met on the bus.
I think about when we first talked on the phone.
I think about when we first kissed.
Can you believe I even dream about him?
The way I can tell this guy is nice and really cares for me
is because he would always tell me to do good and not
to mess up.
I remember what he told me: "What's more important -
your friends or your freedom?" Damn, I wish I could go
back and listen to him.
He was right all the time and I was wrong.
I would always get mad when he would tell me
what I was doing was wrong and was only going to get
me back here,
but this guy writes me and that's the only thing that
makes me happy in here.
Hopefully Jonathan will wait for me 'till I complete my
-Loostera, Santa Clara
From The Beat: It sounds like Jonathan is a good guy who is looicing out
for you. Sometimes it is hard to be with someone who is not getting into
trouble but - in the long run - they are better boyfriends.
Thank God I Wasn't Paralyzed
Me I been a sticky predicament, 'cause of when me and
my ninjas got into a serious predicament. It started out
when we out all night, and we about to go home. We seen
our potnas and we picked them up . . .
We was deep, and we was going down MLK hittin' 80
mph. We was scrapin', goin' stupid, and the car spinned
out and the breaks locked and we ran over a pole. We
backed into a gate and then my patnas fiew out the car.
I was the only one still in it. I fractured my pelvis bone
and Mat had a concussion. I was almost dead, because I
was still in the car. My big potnas got me out and I couldn't
walk, so I called my mom and she called the ambulance.
All I remember was that I was at the children's hospital,
and that's how I almost was paralyzed and I couldn't walk
But I got back and I was walkin' again. Thank God
that I wasn't paralyzed.
From the Beat: It^ a blessing that you got through that ordeal. Now are
you more careful when you drive? Because a car, driven recklessly, is
just sk% dangerous sk% a loaded gun, both for the people inside and other
people on the road.
Rescued Frnm Gning Tn The Pinta
When I was about nine years old, I lived with my dad
and my dad does and sells dope. Now one night, my dad
started running to the back of the house with a lil' plastic
grocery bag with dope in it saying that the cops were at
the house, so I took the bag and went to the restroom
and fiushed the dope down the toilet, so when the cops
searched the house all they found was a scale and two
pipes with dope left in them. So my dad got charged with
under-the-influence and violation of probation and I saved
my dad from a couple of years in prison.
-Lil' Sapita, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Thanks for sharing this memory even though you felt
sk% though it wasn't a good story about rescuing someone, since you
were so young and didn't understand what was going on. It is detailed
moments like this that make The Beat so powerful.
Damn, Beat I Was Just thinking to myself.
I was thinking, like, why couldn't I have the mind
frame I had five years ago before I came to the hall?
Why can't I live a normal square life?
Why couldn't I be a normal kid?
And why I couldn't have the chance to go to High
School, and get my education?
And why I got to live the way I do?
I just be overwhelming myself with these crazy
questions I don't know why but I'm thinking I'ma try to
leave this street life alone and go back and try to get some
type of knowledge in my head so I could be something
in life. But it all starts with me wanting to change, not
words, so I'm gonna show y'all better than I could tell
y'all so I'll holler when I'm finished reading.
-Shady Bo, Alameda
From The Beat: You can't go back to your days of innocence, but these
five years have given you sk% much sk% they took - they've given you
wisdom. What have you learned, about where this path would take
you, about how it feels to lose your chances, about what it's like to be
deprived of freedom? We think you DO want to change. The question
do you want it enough to step into your right destiny in this world?
It's Hard in My Hood
The hard thing about returning home is -- how is your
parents gonna think now that you been to jail? Also
it's gonna be harder to get a job. Now people see you
as a criminal or a gangbanger. I am from Hayward and
everybody is cool with me, but now they might see me
different, they might see me as trouble.
I saw my mom cry for me at visit and maybe its gonna
be different when I get out
It's hard in my hood. I didn't know it till my cousin
died. He was shot over a girl. He was the one that taught
me everything about this game. Now that she gone it's
hard. I cried for him and I still do. RIP Arturo, gone but
-Lir Los, Alameda
From the Beat: This is what they mean when they talk about getting
caught in the system. Like you said, after being locked up you've fallen
behind, and everyone is more suspicious. But the good news is that you
gain something by being locked up, which is the knowledge of how
much you DONT like being locked up. That can influence you to do the
right thing. As for Arturo, let his death be the greatest lesson that he
teaches you - which is that you must focus on finding a way out of the
hood, so you can live on in his honor.
Talk Is Head, It's Kiiliog Me
Most of the time on the outs I get to voice my expressions
and feelings. But being incarcerated I barely get to ever
express my feelings. Especially the most important
time — in "the court room,"
My last two courts dates have been waive time, each
one. And I haven't been able to express how I felt about
that either times, and it hurts! That's basically a month
that I've been in here serving time and it doesn't count as
I don't know who to talk to about this situation. I
believe my attorney is doing for my best interest, but I
feel it is unfair, they never give me time to disagree with
the waive time, it feels like I'm stuck in a trap and I'm
yelling for help, and people keep walking by as if they
don't hear me and I don't exist, it's killing me.
From The Beat: If you barely get to express your feelings then, we
encourage you to do so when every opportunity comes your way, just
do it respectfully. You should talk to the people in your corner including
your attorney, let him/her know what's up! We hope this experience is
enough for you to never throiAf your freedom aiAfay again!
Rescued By Mom
One time I was on the spot chilling wit some ninjas I know and
we had just finished smoking some purple.
A few minutes later my mom came around the corner and I
got out the car and slapped the shhh out of me and dragged me
in the car. I was at home on punishment.
The next day I found out that right after I left, my potna got
shot four times, two in the chest and one in the hand. One in the
head but he is still alive and getting better but if my mom would
of never took me home I would have been the one shot. My mom
From The Beat: Your mom did %skMe your life. She icnows that hanging
around on them corners is only gonna lead you to jail, or getting shot.
She's not lying to you, and you would be lying to yourself if you wouldn't
admit that either. You need to realize what's important. Hanging around
smoking purple or staying the hell out of trouble.
I Seen It
I seen dope fiends going crazy
I stay on my hustle so you can't call me lazy
I seen my cousin dead over who sales the most crack
I seen girls beat and kicked
I seen dogs fighting
I seen a friend shot and fiy in the air for several seconds
I seen the pole before we crashed
I seen people in their scrapers
Gas break dip gas
I seen a person get they teeth kicked out of they mouth
I remember seeing when we was going dumb in Hayward with
them girls from the south
I seen m potna get hit with a bottle by his daddy
I seen my cousin Kev dipped in the old school caddy
I seen people pass out off too much liquor
I seen Kev and Jesse before I came in here and I miss them.
-Young Mari, Alameda
From The Beat: You've definitely %een it. As you can probably see the
outcomes of a person^ life whether they're living a negative or positive
lifestyle, in life we all see a lot. We see other people make mistakes. And
we should learn from other peopled mistakes sk% well sk% ours. Where do
you see yourself in life five years from now? What do you see?
What's up Beat, my name is Maniee and I want to take you back
in the day when I got my first kiss. I was 8 years old. I was at
home and this girl came up to me and ask did I want to play spin
the bottle and I said yes.
So we walked down the street to her house and she had two
of her friends were there so I spun the bottle and It landed on
this girl and she asked for a kiss and I was shy but I didn't want
to just walk away so I close my eyes and moved my mouth to her
mouth and we kissed. That was the best day of my life.
From The Beat: That's a memory you won't be able to forget. What
happened after that? Did you ever see that girl again? Nice piece of
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
They say my name is heartbreak,
A boy who cries in the street.
They think I hide in the shadows unable to accept defeat.
But what do they know about fighting when they're not part of the war?
How can they see the dying.
When they've never been at death's door?
I think my name is danger
Because I know what it means to bleed, I've pulled the trigger
and held the blade
And wrestled the violent need.
Don't talk about teaching me lessons
'Cause there ain't no more to learn
So walk away and watch your step
And let my little rage burn...
-Lir Shadow, Alameda
From The Beat: Do not waste this rage on your violence towards other
people who are also named heartbreak and anger - instead direct it
towards more poems, more ambition, more of a desire to shout your
name to the world so others can see what you are going through. You
have a message the world needs to hear.
My Love Stories
First off, my name is Mark. I am a seventeen year old; I
have a son and three step-daughters that are my children,
because their dad can't do anything for them.
I have been in love for about three to four years. I
moved out of my mom's house because her and my step-
dad always got in to a fight. I moved in with my girl and
now we are having a baby of our own.
I have been taking care of myself for about a year and
I had a job doing everything I can for myself and my girl.
I love them so much they mean the world to me, I will do
anything to go back home to them. She has been through
a lot with me and my family problems. She has been
through the up's and down's with me.
The love we have for each other is unbreakable. I mean
if you can see from my eyes I have been on my own and
she is the only one who's been there for me. She means
the world to me, so I say put your self in my shoes.
- Mark, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: \tt good that you have stepped up to the plate and
took responsibility for your child sk% well sk% the responsibility for three
children that are not yours. What you did and are doing not many would
do. Now that you know your priorities, get focused finish probation and
continued doing what you have to do to stay out of detention for you
and your children.
Even Thoogh I Never Knew Yon
Hey Mom, you know you probably don't know who I
am but your last-born son. I'm writing you mow because
I finally found you.
I have some questions for you. Where were you when I
was born? Did you know that I was born? Did you bother
to pick me up from the hospital? Did you wonder where I
was? Did you wonder what I was doing?
\ used to dream about you all the time. I would
wonder what it would be like when I met you. What is
your favorite color? I used to wonder what footsteps I
would follow when I got older. Dream was the love. Ma. I
guess I have to create the track from dirt and make a high
way to walk from.
Well, I love you, ma. Love, Momo, your last son.... even
though I never knew you.
From The Beat: This is a beautiful piece, Momo, full of heart and love,
it might sound crazy to say that, given that it's a sad story you tell, but
then you come back from it, saying you need to make a "high way to
walk from." That shows courage and strength - and though your mother
may have had some terrible burdens to keep her from being there for
you the way you'd like, she carried you for 9 months and gave you
and we promise you she loves you from the bottom of her broken
At night all day alone in my room.
It sucks it's boring nothing to do.
All I do is read and look out the window.
Time goes by like a snail crawling.
Nothing to do in my room.
I have come to treasure the small things
like cold water, nice mattress, and walking to the cafe in
the open air.
I've been here almost three months but feels like three
-Andy, Santa Clara
From The Beat: it's not a fun experience being locked up and stripped
away from your privileges. But now you know how valuable your
freedom is. We hope you learn from this experience. When you get out
remember that getting in trouble is only gonna bring you right back to
places like this.
^mammmmmmF ^/// "
has a chance to be a success.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
What's good with The Beat? It's Monique again. Man.
Yup, I'm still here unfortunately, waiting to see when
I can receive another court date. 'Cause this just ain't
gonna work. It really sucks. I should've been out like two
weeks ago. But it's good because I'm waiting patiently
even though I don't want to but I have to. I can't wait until
I do get out though because being in here just ain't coo'.
When I'm up in my room it's hecka boring of course,
it's been a month one week and fove days. Man, when
I get out I really need to change for real 'cause bangin'
ain't gonna get me know where but in here or Santa Rita
'cause I'm about to be 18.
I need to focus on a career. I want to become a
pharmacy technician or nurse and get it together, feel me.
I'm gonna cut it short— all stay up and stay out! One love,
gone do it big for 2008.
From The Beat: It^ great to hear you thinking of the future Monique! You
have the smarts to do it — and you can develop the focus and discipline.
We hope 2008 is a year of change for you!
What's up Beat this is the homie Reyes from San Jose.
And I'm about to tell you about a love story. J
I was in 7th grade and I met this girl named Jessica.
She was hella pretty, and then when we met, I got her
number and she got mine. So we started talking, and
then one year later we got together, we were together for
Then she went to another school. And a couple of
months later she tells me that she's talking to another
guy. And me I got mad and hung up on her. She calls me
back a couple weeks later telling me that the other guy
cheated on her and all this other stuff.
And I turned around and told her like this, don't leave
the one you love for the one you like because the one you
love will leave you for the one they like. And when she
asked for me back I told her I was with someone else, and
we left it at that.
And now the girl I'm talking to is hella coo'. And we are
still together. Well that was my love story. But whatever.
From The Beat: That's some deep wisdom. On the one hand, it's good
that she appreciated you in the end. On the other hand, no one liices to
feel like a yoyo. What is this new relationship like? And do you think
either of you would ever do something like that to the other?
To Show That We're Not All Failures X [
Being here means much more than just looking tough
for your crimes.
To be in here in my view teaches me to value my
outside life, and learn to wake up.
Think how much your parents go through to raise
you and look out for you, why disrespect that by ending
up in here? Being here has taught me the value of family,
and that don't want to disappoint my loved ones anymore.
Because at times you can commit the worst crime, but in
the end only family will always be there for you.
So much time to think, but a lesson as well. Learn and
make up, that's how I feel from this experience, and it's
not only words but also to show we all are not failures.
From The Beat: Right - it's not a failure unless you refuse to try again.
The only thing we'd add to this is that there are some detainees whose
families haven't been there for them, and that's part of why they don't
try to change. We would just add that even if someone's family - aunt,
mother, father, grandmother - made terrible mistakes, everyone in here
What it do Beat? This is Jacqueline, just letting y'all
know that I'm leaving on March 12. But they said they
don't know if I am going home or group home cause they
want me to come home.
But all I want to do is tell y'all that this time I am
staying out of jail 'cause it's not the thing for me at all.
From The Beat: We are glad to hear it! But we want to know more, sk%
in - what concrete changes will you have to make in your life to keep
this promise you are making to yourself? Break it down!
My Life Story
Here I go. Well shhh... it all started at age 6 when I
witnessed my step dad hating on my mother. I tried to fight
him, but he was too big for me. I've been on medication
I ever since age 7.
When I was 8 years old I snorted angel dust, and then
when I was 11 years old I drunk a Mickey. Man, I can't
lie that shhh was nasty. At ages 7, 9, 11, 14 I was sent to
mental hospitals because I had threaten to kill my self....
For all I know I'm still labeled as 5150 that's just what
they said then.
At, that I gotta stay away just around the corner from
my house you tell me is that stupid or not? Well shhh I
was born and raised in Oakland, and shhh ain't been the
same for me since then.
I don't wont to dwell on my life so much. Catch me on
the rebound and I'll see y'all in 2009 peace!!
From The Beat: We wouldn't want you to have to dwell too much on
your life, for sure. But we have to say, you have experienced so much
that you have a lot to say, to teach, and to share. You know how they
%xy "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Do you think that%
I I I I I
■ ■ ■ '
Wbi I Ran
My best friend got killed. I had ran from camp because of
that but I'm back up here and I'm about to get out...
So to all y'all that's getting out, be cool. My brother
got hit up, but beside that, be cool and stay safe.
From The Beat: We're sorry about your loss, and very proud of yourself
for turning yourself in! Good luck on the outs, and stay in touch.
What's up Beat, this your boy Crazy from Oakland
writing you once again. The time when I was like "damn,
someone got to save me was when I got caught for my
case attempted murder."
At that time I needed someone to rescue me
.... Or the time when I got stabbed in my stomach. I
was bleeding like a water fountain.
Or the time when I got shot.'
I got a lot of things that I can't write on this paper but
there was a lot of rescue me stories.
The other one I want to say is when I cussed out 5.0
and they dropped me off in a gang related spot and beat
Well Beat, I'm out but not for long.
From The Beat: It's like each one of these instances could in itself be
made into a movie. You've %een more by your teens than most of u% go
through in a whole lifetime. It builds up to such high levels of stress
and fear and rage - do you ever wonder what your life would have been
like if you'd been born to another time, another country, another place?
We are looking forward to reading your life story, so we can learn more
about lAfho made you the person you are today.
^mammmmmmF ^/^/ //
Smart Homie Girl
What's up Beat Within? This is your girlie Melissa
coming at you from Hay ward. Well, I'm in juvenile hall for
my third time.
I go to San Lorenzo high, I'm a smart home girl, but I
just made a mistake. And I learned my lesson. I won't do
I'm sorry mom for the pain. To my little sister, mija, te
amo (girl I love you a lot). To baby Johnathan, baby I love
you more than anything. Forever and ever me and you.
Yeah, I know y'all thinking "wow, three full months of a
relationship." But it feels longer then that. I love you. The
day I get out of here I'm gonna go see my knight shining
armor. Mi amor con todo mi codazon. (My love with all my
All I want to say is to all y'all in juvnile hall, let time
go as it is. Keep y'all head up high and stay strong. To
all my people that died, RIP to Arturo Romero, Jimmy
Romeriz, Rip to all my home boys. Y'all be missed.
To my homegirls I got mad love for the both of y'all. I
know that you'll stay by my side. Always and forever we'll
be together me and my familia (family) I love you all I miss
Mom sorry for the pain I did to you. Sorry I hit you.
Nobody can take your place. Sorry mommy. You my one
an only mom, my main reason why I'm here on earth. Te
queiro mi mama. To my little sister Christina, I'll be home
soon. Stay in school and DON'T fall into my foot steps. I
know I should be setting a good example, but it's mom
that called the 5.0 on me. Maybe I should start thinking
before doing my camera act, feel me. To my first love, Lil'
E, your name is everywhere I go on my heart.
Ok later to all my young ones. One love.
From The Beat: You talk about wanting to set a good example for your
little sister, but then it sounds like you are blaming your mother for
putting you in jail. Do you think it's time to take responsibility for your
own actions? Why do you think your mother felt she had to finally call
the police? Maybe that% what you need to explain to your sister.
Phone Problems Or Is It Love Problems
When you told me you were living your dream making
music, and you were in the studio, I respected your goals
When I first heard your voice I knew you was heaven
sent because you touched my heart. When I got in to your
sexy caddie I immediately felt comfortable....
Now you don't even pick up your phone or answer
my texts anymore. The last words were 1 hate you' and
mines were too.
Somehow so quickly I loved you. Not because you're
a rapper, but because I really- really do have feelings for
you. Man, it's the God honest truth how did I feel those
feeling so fast? I don't even know.
I'm a Virgo, you a Leo. I love you boy, I know you
couldn't have forgot about me that quick. All the texts
the voice mails the missed calls... I know you busy but I
know you feel for me too because our situation is kind of
scary. When you said you hated me I knew it really meant
something else. I'm not sure but I hope you be a super
star. I hope the best for you...
Pick up the phone because I'm gonna keep calling
you until you pick up and talk to me. Be with me and love
me. I'll be calling you soon.
From The Beat: Tori, you're talking about a complicated-sounding
situation, and we don't have advice to give you about your love life, but
we hope that like your friend, you start living your own dream. What
are YOUR goals and dreams Tori?
Di Whit I Can
What am I going to do
When I hit the streets again
Go to school
Follow the rules
And do what I can.
A ninja's trying to get this money
But I can go legit.
And do the same thang
And stack the same chips.
From The Beat: Hoiw do you intend to go legit, Kevin? What is your
plan? Do you have a good-paying job waiting for you on the outs?
Talk Is Alive!
Talk is dead, talk is dead, those words replying in my
We can't laugh, to me county rules all go in the trash.
I hate this place, talk is dead,
no laughing, don't smile, don't blink, don't think.
They want to think they control me but doing that is like
getting bit by a bumble bee,
how is talk dead when we have a mouth? They think we
hey 're the only people I can't talk to.
They might think we're animals 'cause they lock us
behind them doors....
but to me talk is alive.
- The Bossy B
From The Beat: And the written word is alive too. Bossy B. While we
empathize with the frustration you and many other writers have written
about "talk is dead" we truly hope you are able to avoid the situation
altogether by staying out of jail. Using your talk and your written word
to better your future on the outside.
Hated B) Mil)
There are a lot of haters out
Out there speaking on me
Most of them is people that
Say they know me but really
Don't but all I got to say is that
I not mad I never mad I love hater
So keep hating
From The Beat: There will always be "haters" out there - people who
have no faith in u%, or want to fight, or put you down. But the secret
to overcoming is right here in this poem: If you love yourself, the hate
can't touch you!
What Is Love?
What is love? Is something you want or have?
And once you have it what to you do with it?
Do you throw it away like it was never there?
And act as if you never cared?
All of us hurt, you're just afraid to say it!
Don't let it go it's your turn to save it!
Try like you never tried before in your life
Until you finally get it to perfect or right.
Do it for you, especially your girl
'Cause you know she deserves everything in the world.
You only get one chance when it comes
So really ask yourself homie.
What is this thing called love?
From The Beat: We love the question you ask, and the skilled poetics
of how you ask it, but now you've got u% itching for the answer! What
is the answer? What does love mean to you? That could be a topic for
your next poem...
^mammmmmmF ^/// "
Talking is dead to me means to stop talking and stay
People still talk, but I stay quiet because I don't want
to get in trouble. I came to camp so I can get better and
I was messing up when I was on the outs so they gave
me a camp commitment to come to camp. People told
me to run on the first day, but I didn't because I said to
myself I wanted to do a good program.
I stayed here for about two weeks now and it's been
kind of fun because it's a easy ass program. I have about
a week and a half till I get my home pass, and then I'm
going to go out and eat then visit my family and stuff.
The second thing I'm going to do is to call some of
the homeboys up and go kick it and go out to eat again.
After all that I'm going to shower and come back to camp
and do another good program and continue to do a good
program and go home again and eat and shower and sleep.
(Most of my friends are positive but some aren't. But it's
good no one's bringing me down)
From The Beat: You seem to have the right mind-frame to get through
camp in a good "way. Are you learning things in camp that will help you
get your life together after your release? Do you plan to go to college,
for example? And have you talked to your PO about help finding a
I'm complaining about staff. I know they say life is what
you make it, and I know I made a bad decision. That's why
I'm here. I know that I must pay the consequences. But I
think that sometimes the staff takes it too far.
They say staff is here for custody, care, and control,
but I think sometimes certain staff members like to hear
themselves talk. I think that having us under their control
makes them feel important. I'm not saying I don't mess
up sometimes and deserve to be told what's right, but to
go on and on about the same thing is pointless.
I also don't like how we have to take a five minute
shower that really only seem like two and then put on the
same clothes we just had on in PE.
I also don't like that talk is always dead. When did
it die? It seems like we can never get a word out. When
exactly can we talk?
From The Beat: We think you know the answer to your last question.
You are paying the consequences for your decision now, but you are one
of the lucky ones. You WILL get another chance and see freedom! So we
hope you make good u%e of it, so you never have to change into siweaty
Anory Piece... What Can We do? X
We can't talk
We can't have fun
We can't do what we want to do
We can't break a rule
So what the heck you expect us to do?
We can't strike
We can't refuse
'Cause if we do they'll pop a scan on you,
I am feed up with this,
But you say don't come to jail
Matter fact don't come to work see if I give a heck
-Sexy and Sophisticated
From The Beat: The reality is, you are in jail right now. If you could
have fun and do what you wanted in jail, would skn^one be deterred
from coming again? If you had the power to design a juvenile hall
facility, how would you do it?
So many youngsters straight die every year
So many mother have so many tears
So many brothers go to jail with no bail
So many brothers doing life straight going through hell
And that leaves me with a question....
Will my people prevail or will we fail and become extinct
Or we link up and work together against the man.
But for now I gotta go, so talk....
From The Beat: We see examples of success every day - from Baron
Davis getting out of the ghetto to shoot hoops (and movies) to Barack
Obama running for president, to some of the staff in the Hall who really
care about their young people because they remember what the streets
are like, to people like you... who raise the difficult questions when
they could just be complaining about county food. So our answer is that
yes - you can prevail, but you know what they %«y^ "BE the change you
wish to see",
Love is sweet like the tootsie rolls.
The brown sugar in a sister, it makes me curl my feet.
Her long hair and pretty eyes is more than a speech.
Lingerie and pumps make me want to lick her from her
head to her feet.
The words more and yes is all I can teach.
We fantasy everyday about us on the beach.
Love is passion so listen to the heart as it skips its
This is my fantasy . . .
In my room as I read this speech.
From The Beat: Once you get out, you can start making all your fantasy's
come true. Not just your dreams about girls, but also about your life
and where you want to go with it. What do you want from your life?
A Message About Camp
This Lil' Twone from camp ... I'm just letting y'all know
what's up. I'm trying do this program to you ninjas in
the hall. Keep ya' head up and stay solid and to the staff
what's up, Ms. Taylor off the tops.
Camp is a easy ass program, you feel me. You stay
out mostly all day, no room just a dorm. You can talk
whenever you want and when you get a visit, your mom
could bring you anything... unlike the hall. Just letting
you know Twone out.
From The Beat: We hope that this message gives some hope to the
young people in the hall waiting for their turn. How is school at camp
compared with school in the hall? Harder? Easier?
lalk Xii't Deil
How is talk dead if it was never alive?
If you look in the dictionary it say talk is to express
To utter words. It doesn't say talk is dead
Talking, i.e. the freedom of speech is in the constitution
So why should I get room time for exercising my rights?
Well I say talk is never dead because one always has
something to say! So why should I have to bite my tongue
when everyone in this institution can't keep theirs' still?
So I am going to keep talking as long as I have a tongue,
beautiful lips and mackin' words to speak.
-Sexy and Sophisticated
From The Beat: Glad to read you alive and well on these pages. We hope
you keep using your tongue and your smarts when you get out of here!
You have a lot of intelligence and spunk and if you could just focus
that, there is so much you could do in this life!
^mammmmmmF ^/// //
stop Bangin ASAP
What's good with The Beat? This is Tweety again, well
rm about to tell you something. First of all, I'm going to
start off by saying I have to stop gang bangin' 'cause that
doesn't get me anywhere but in here, you feel me?
And man, you just don't know how I feel, so I'm gonna
tell you since you don't know. I feel hecka anxious 'cause
I should be out soon, yeeee. I just can't wait. I finally get
to see my boyfriend Carlos and most of all my family I
haven't seen them all in two months. As soon as they tell
me I got a release I'm about to throw everything out my
room. Well, you should know now but I'm hecka excited
I don't know what else to say. So Beat I gotta cut this
From The Beat: We are glad to hear that you are getting out soon, and
that you want to stop gang banging, but the question is, HOW you
are going to stop. You need a plan. Have you started thinicing about
Today is My Birthday
iVJy Lii' Baiiy
I'm gonna let The Beat in on a lil' love story ...I'm gonna
get it poppin'.
My most recent lil' so-called love story was on
Veteran's Day of last year. I woke up early, thinking it was
a school day ...but we had a day off. I still did my normal
routine, ironed my clothes, then ate my breakfast and
almost left the house, but I called my lil' baby Riah and
found out there was no school that day.
I told her to come through and spend the day with
me. It took her about five minutes to convince her, but
she finally said yes and when she finally got through, I
was happier than a seven year old on Christmas.
So we got down to the nitty gritty ... plus she was
extra pretty. The whole time we just sat on the bed and
cupcaked, talked about a lot of things important to keep
a solid relationship together. That's why she staying solid
by my side, and we been together for several plus months.
I been in here three months, so what do that tell you? I
miss my lil' boo baby 'cause she is my world. Give it all
up for her 'cause she is just what I need.
Keep it solid... just me and you know I love and miss
you Christian and Riah always and forever.
From The Beat: It sounds iiice you got iucicy, and met a girl who has
beauty on the inside and on the outs. Do you thinic these feelings will
help you overcome the dark things you've %een and the loss you've
faced? Like you say "A Soien year old on Christmas." You've suffered
enough, and you deserve some happiness. What will you need to do to
stay out of jail so you can be happy and enjoy your freedom without
needing those 5 Pis? (Or the S)
Today is my 16th birthday and I'm in Camp Sweeney.
I hate this shhh. I wanna be at home celebrating my
birthday instead of being here ...I hope next year I can be
Rest in peace Grashanda, Jaee, Stevie.
Last year I got drunk and high on my birthday.
I'm feeling real bad today and no one knows how bad
I feel. Every birthday someone would bring me money and
From The Beat: Ugh - that's terrible. We are sorry you have to have such
an "unsweet" 1 6. The only thing we do hope is that you remember this
feeling, really try to hold onto it, so that you can commit to promising
yourself that you will never let this happen again, and you'll never let
yourself spend your birthday in a lonely place. Happy Birthday with all
our hearts, from The Beat.
I Ca't Wiit
I can't wait until my baby is due, because I know that I
will be a good mother to my son and I go through a lot of
feelings when my baby moves. Every time I say this boy's
name (Tony) the baby turns and starts kicking, and every
time I say a few girls' names my baby also turns, even
with the staff.
I know my baby can't wait to see his mommy, and
every time, I can also feel him when he don't like some of
the food I eat 'cause he is mad. He starts to do the kicking
and giving me pain. But I can't wait to leave 'cause I have
been here for too long. I have to say when I first came to
jail I was three months now I am six months pregnant.
I can't wait until my baby is due, because I know he
is going to be a strong young man who is going to stay
out of trouble and not do what I did. Well Beat I get to you
when paper and pencil meet again.
-Lir A One Jr
From The Beat: Becoming a mother is a huge step, yes! It's good to hear
you being so confident that you will raise him to be a "strong young
man." Noiv tell us how you ivill do it? Do you have help from your
family? Is the baby daddy in the picture? Do you have a job waiting for
you? Tell us about your plans for the success of your new family.
Keep it Coo'
What's up Beat, this is Lil' Capy from camp. I'm just up
here with the homies just doing my time. I should be out
by late April. I should have been out in a couple of weeks,
but I ran ...but I ain't tripping.
I'm gonna start getting home passes, so I'm gonna
be out in the touch doing my thang like always. When
I'm gonna get my first home pass I'm gonna go home eat,
then smoke a Newport, then go outside and ride around
Oakland 'till I got to go back to camp.
I will go to my friend's shop and kick it for a coo'
minute, then cut back to the hood and post and kick it
with the homies. I'm just gonna keep it coo' out there
don't get caught doing any hot shhh out there. I'm just
gonna be with my older homies, drink a little and just
kick back on the spot.
They'll tell me do my time and to keep it solid up
From The Beat: Reading things like this stresses us out - because we
don't want to see you back in here, or hurting somewhere out there.
There's really only one way not to get caught up, and that's to stay away
from criminal friends and associates for a while. Once you get your life
together, you can go back to the loved ones you care about and try to
help them with their lives, but first, when are you going to take control
of your own future?
Wheo I'm Ifl Jail
When I'm in jail, that's when I start to think about what
When I'm in jail, that's when I don't want to be grown
and I just want to go home
with my dad and grandma.
When I'm on the outs I don't think about consequences
or about whether my family is worried about me.
I just worry about being grown.
When I'm in jail that's when I cry and want to go home.
But now when I get out its going to be different
— I'm going to stay out where I don't have to worry about
when I'm in jail.
From The Beat: We hope you don't come back to jail, but we also hope
that you do start doing some of the things you do when you are in
jail- like thinking about consequences of your actions and the pain you
cause your family. Is there a way you can do this on the outside? If you
don't do it, we are afraid that you will end up back on the inside.
When you're in jail it makes you feel like you're crazy
because all you're doing is sitting in a room with a built-
in bathroom and that gets to you after a while. When I'm
in my room all I do is read and sleep, that's all. When
you're out of your room it feels the same because you
can't talk to the girls in here so you're just looking at
When I'm not in jail I don't feel crazy, I feel like a
regular person so that gives me an idea to stay the heck
out of jail. So do not, I repeat do not come to jail unless
you're already crazy.
From The Beat: The whole purpose of jail is for you to hate it and
hopefully wake up. The idea is that you hate it so much, you'll never
Rescue Me: A Puddle uf Bluud
I was out on the spot all night, shooting dice, and this
gray Regal kept riding by. Then I told my big bro', so he
pulled out the forty-five... so I'm thinking we safe, but hen
I saw somebody creeping in the alleyway.
I called big bro', but before my bro could shoot I seen
them pull out a Mac 11. I told my bro to run, and they
started spraying ...'bout that time I looked back and one
of the dudes who was shooting dice was hit.
That's the first time I saw someone got shot with a
puddle of blood around them.
I just thank God that me and my bro' got out of
From The Beat: Wow, did this near death experience terrify you? It must
have. Did it also make you and your brother more careful? The majority
of Oakland shootings take place after ten o'clock at night - so if you
really want to respect this 'second chance' you got, try to remember not
to be on the street when all the killings happen. Guns don't make you
safer, just more reckless.
I have a friend who is nice and is going through a hard
period of time. I don't know how he might feel, but I am
having a feeling that he feels bad.
I advise him to behave to solve his problem and be
happy like before, so he can do what a happy person does
when being happy.
I hope he resolve his problem.
From The Beat: You must be a good friend, to be thinking about another
person's feeling this way. if you were in his position, what do you think
you would most need in order to make yourself feel better?
Time At Camp
The time I spent at camp is only been a little while.
I only been here about 25 days, and I am getting ready
this weekend to go on my first home pass. I can't wait. I'm
trying my best to stay out of trouble, but the closer I get,
the more problems I am running into.
It's only so much that a person can do not to lose it
and right now I'm at that point of time... But I am gon' try
to keep my head up and do me, and not let nobody get to
me its gone be hard but I got to try. The people in camp
love to run their mouth and make me mad, but I always
tell myself I'm going home in a couple of days.
From The Beat: It's good that you wrote off your stress instead of acting
on it, and it's good that you have been keeping yourself in check by
remembering the long term goals that are truly important to you!
I'm complaining about everything.
I'm tired of my girl tripping.
I'm tired of being locked up.
I'm tired of the system.
I'm tired of the staff here.
I'm tired of my mom tripping.
I'm tired people treating me like a kid cause age ain't
nothing but a number, and I know I'm a man.
I'm tired of these j-cats who be running their mouth
and ain't bout to do nothing. I'm tired of the bull jacking
these punks got these people thinking ...get off me and
leave me to my business!
From The Beat: What makes u% glad is that the more you complain on
paper, meaning the more stress you put on paper and express, the less
likely you are to snap or suddenly flash and do something that hurts
you in the long run. Complaining is actually a good thing, because it^
a way of blowing off steam, and behaving like skn adult... Like you say, ■
it^ about maturity, not years. I
The streets are ugly.
The girls are lovely.
The plans are deadly.
The wars are bloody.
Don't act like I never told ya'.
Best of luck like a four-leaf clover.
My mind is focused so I only look forward
too many killing
That's why it's a cold world
eighteen in the game,
I'm Cambodian, don't play me for a fool,
I can fix things up like I'm a tool.
Yeah my name is Big Head and I'm a beast.
Crazy and wild from the leash.
Think before you sleep,
I live by the street.
From The Beat: You're smart enough that the only person who could
every play you for a fool would be yourself - IF you don't give up that
street life. We know you could - you get closer to freedom by the day.
Will you hold on to that freedom once you win it, or throw it away?
I'm so cold when I cry
My tears freeze and shatter as they fly
Hit the floor corrupt, I erupt ready to destruct
Fists moving like motors, I demolish free loaders
Far too wise, its gold diggers I despise
'Cause I'ma king, you see, even poverty couldn't stop me
Now look you'd think I hit the lottery
Although I still contemplate
An escape from reality, escape from this facility
My body pushes-up, my minds had enough
Inside I erupt, nonstop push ups
Now my body so cut, solid as rocks
I told her these are boulders on my shoulders
But I want some freedom, to make money
And see the sky sunny
No lie, a glimpse of the sky could get me high
-No Hesitation Money's Motivation
From The Beat: We heard you, you want to get money, but what's gonna
be the u%e of all that money if it's gonna bring you back here. There's
plenty of ways to get money in a legit way. Plenty ways you just gotta
be creative. Don't fall for those quick cheap licics man that^ just gonna
get you into more trouble. Don't risk your life either because it^ not
worth it. You just have to realize it. You can still ball by having a legit
job, and side hustles.
^mammmmmmF ^/// //
Adam's Advice From Camp
What's up with it Beat, this is Adam from camp.
What I want to say is if you come up here, do the
program and don't run. What other placement do you
know that is close to home and go home every weekend?
This shhh is hella easy, so if you come do your program,
mind your business and don't run.
I been here three months and I don't plan on running.
It's too easy to do just listen to staff and won't worry
about any problems in camp. I'm telling you, don't run.
From The Beat: This is great advice - but we'd also add that at camp they
can hooic you up with GRE class, extra reading training, counseling,
mentorship, and a lot of programs that can make it easier to do well on
the outs... so while you're at camp, find something you're interested in
and stick to it!
Something that happened to me that was in the moment
is this: My girlfriend was out of town, she wasn't the
best looking but she had a great personality. While she
was away I had met one of the most beautiful girl I had
ever seen. A few days went by and we had been fooling
Her personality was pretty good but not really the
best. When my girlfriend came back I told her what
happened and we broke up. The girl I fooled around with
went back to Pennsylvania and over time for no reason
stopped talking to me and my friend. My ex-girlfriend is
still my friend to this day.
From The Beat: It's good that you were honest with your girlfriend, and
that you stayed friends. Do you ever wonder if you'll get back together?
Because when you get along with someone and really like them, they
Lget more beautiful each day. And beauty doesn't last long if a girl has
a lAfeak personality.
Sometime I like to think about all
The little thing we use to do
Some time I thing about all
All the late night we be on the
Me listen to your smile and laugh
When I joke with you
When you use to yell at me about
How stupid I be for making dumb
I miss the late night when we use
To stay up all night hugging
Sometime I just sit down and think
About how much I miss you Ericka
From The Beat: You had a relationship that brought out the good in you.
This is a great thing to search for and hold onto. It sounds like this was
a person you could be yourself with. There's no greater gift.
Love is blind
It will take over your mind
If you think it's love
It's truly nothing
It will aggravate your mind
From The Beat: Love is whatever you make of it. Love is great. Love is
a wonderful feeling. Love is not suppose to aggravate your mind. That's
not love. Maybe you're confused. Love itself is not blind but maybe the
person himself is blind, it's truly great.
Dear Lil' Brother And Sisters
I just want to let y'all know that I really miss y'all.
I think about y'all when I'm behind these closed
doors. I know it been a minute since we was all together. I
know I ain't a good role model, but I'm just doing what I'm
doing. Just keep y'all head up until I get out. I just wish
I could really make up all the shhh I been missing. I just
can't believe dad really did this to us.
But oh well I really ain't nothing to say so I'm gonna
stop this. I love y'all and miss y'all. See y'all when I get
From The Beat: You know there is only one way to "make up" what
you've missed, and that is to STOP doing what you've been doing, and
get off those dirty streets that are stealing your time, your soul, your
love, your future. Can you do that? To take care of your family, to live
up to lAfhat you have inside, to earn your iway back into your baby's life? _
We believe you can. What would it take? I
They Ain't Comin' Back
Yeah, my ninjas gone, but they really ain't because they
in my blood. Yah, I'm back in the hall for a gun, almost
went to the Y but I'm going to camp for six months. I'm
gon' pimp that shhh 'cause I can't keep going to jail. My
baby needs me with her right now.
So I am gon' change when I get out and say fight the
dumb shhh and get my life together. But I'm always gon'
gang and get active for my ninjas who need me.
From The Beat: As you know from what you've %een, all that getting
active makes you inactive - sk% in can't move, or dead or locked in a cell.
If you really and truly do believe that you want to get your life together,
you need to give up gang living and set your sites on school and a job.
Can you do that? Like you said, there are people out there who need
you right now.
Well let me tell you about my world. My world is living
just to live another day. Most people ask me "What do
you care about most" My answer is me. And they tell me
why are you so greedy. I tell them, if I were to see you
two weeks from now, you wouldn't remember my name. I
would remember yours.
So the answer to why I am so greedy is right there.
See people cry about growing up without a dad or a
mom, and they cry about living in the ghetto. Well, try
doing both at the same time. No mom, no pops, no place
to call home. The only thing worth living is trying to stay
alive and get an education.
Well, welcome to my world!
From The Beat: We would love to see you get greedy - sk% in, long term
greedy, where you spend your time fighting for stn education, for good
work, for help finding a place to live that isn't in the ghetto. Are you
greedy enough for that?
I have a big fear, my big fear is going to trial I'm scared of
going to trial. Why? I got people snitching on me. I have
statements and everything. They already been to court on
me it's looking bad. So right now my biggest fear is going
to trial and losing my case.
From The Beat: That's a very hard position to be in and facing years. All
we can say is now you have the opportunity to look at your life and see
what you want to get out of it. You have to stop maicing decisions that's
gonna put your life or your freedom in jeopardy. Be strong about the
situation, and whatever happens we hope you take this time to reflect
on your life, from a prison cell or the free world.
What's Up Beat?
It's your homie Smokey from Hayward. I got 120 days
left till I get released. These are the responsibilities for
me. On the real this is my plan:
Get out live with my mom for a while. Go to adult
school and get my GED. Go to a junior or community
college for a ten month program for automotives or
mechanics. I still smoke oh yeah for sure but I'll work.
Then there's the homies. Oh God the homies what
about them? I'll still kick it you know, drink, smoke, but
I won't let them influence me. I am my own person no one
can make me do anything. I can make choices for myself
I got to be a man.
For all those locked down or incarcerated or just a
little down... keep your head up you can do anything.
From The Beat: Sounds like you have a tight game plan. Just be careful
lAfhen you're out kicking it with your homies 'cause anything can
happen. We know you said nobody can't make you do anything, but
what's gonna happen if you have a little too much to drink and smoke?
You're not gonna be in the right mind state to make good decisions.
Watch it!! So think about important things like that. All it takes is one
mistake and it can land you right back here, or in the adult system.
My Dauohter's Eyes
I love my daughter. She is the most beautiful little girl.
My daughter has eyes that can make a cold blooded killa
want to turn and change his life to good. My daughter has
a smile that can light up the darkest place in the world.
I want to get out and give my daughter everything in
this world that she needs to make her a very important
and successful person in this world, and I wish to dedicate
my life to her. To be continued.
From The Beat: To be continued is right! Because this is your big chance
to move on with your life in a new and beautiful way, to be re-awakened
by love for your little girl. We are looking forward to the next chapter.
Well for me I complain when things don't go my way and
I get blamed for something that don't go my way I start to
Well for me I been in a position when I was going to
get killed and I got in trouble with some OG's getting set
up over some money but I kept it moving going my way
From The Beat: We all complain when things don't go our vtsk^. But
what are you doing getting yourself involved in some serious life
threatening shhh? You were about to get killed? You need to stay away
from situations like that. Once you're dead, you're dead. You need to be
a little smarter with the choices you make.
Time -- ain't nothin' like it
It move slow, it move fast
But ain't nothing like it.
Don't waste it on nonsense, use it wise.
Don't cheat yourself treat yourself to a book
Or a test, see how smart you are, don't get hooked
On some dumb shhh it ain't gon' be forever
That you have time it will blow you away like a feather
You better believe me on what I say in this rhyme
Take heed to some knowledge where you still got time.
From The Beat: This is a beautiful, wise, poem. It^ also a poem that
shows the smartest side of you, and the side you should be listening to
when you are next tempted to take that wrong path!
My Thoughts in 2008: Music and Lyric Junl(ie
I know you readers miss me (I know you do).
If I was a music and lyric junkie I'll miss me too.
So Beat what it do, I'm back in here
for scraping a high speed foot chase, a broken ankle a'
Is all I got for kicking one on the crooked cop.
All I wanted to do was go bust me a knock and chill on
And live my life to max but instead I got locked up and
put in m£ix now.
It's time for me to re-examine the facts.
What I could of, should of, would of done not to come
Matter of fact II was doing going to school for my G.E.D.
I had a job but came to jail for a high-speed chase.
The number one contender of this unit, yeah the champ.
This my last time writing, 'cause I'm going to camp
From The Beat: Don't waste your skills on a street that kills/The fear
gives u% chills but we're waitin' on thrills/'Cause you've got a talent that
can pay the bills/in the studio, at legit work, or a PhD from Mills! See
you at camp.
Love is good
Love is great
One day you will find your perfect mate
It can be challenging at times
Good through your heart to yo' spine
It's not a crime
Love is good love is great
From The Beat: Love is great. There needs to be a lot more love going
around instead of hatred.
liniig Ine Day At A Tine
Sheerly (The Beat) gave me this topic to write because
I didn't have anything to write about. I look at this topic
and I say damn, ten years. I don't even know where I'm
going to be at in five years! I live day by day, hour after
hour. All I know now is that I'm a stay bangin'.
Keep yo' heads up.
From The Beat: The secret to having a future is believing you deserve
one. Dopey. What if we reframed the question: Where do you want to be
in ten years? If you weren't trapped in this game, what would be your
dream? To start a family? Oivn a home? Finish school? What wfould your .
life be like if you could take the violence out of it? I
People say that to me all the time - Just be normal. I'll
ask you this one. Are you normal? And describe a normal
life. After you do that I'd ask you. If I were to say I'm
going to protest for Tongan rights, you would think I'm
So then you would be talking MLK or Barack Obama.
Those are two people who are doing things un "normal."
Then I would tell you, "nobody in this world is normal! If
you say you are, I'm telling you straight up you a liar!"
Because there is no such thing as a normal person.
From The Beat: There^ no perfect average to conform to, except maybe
on T^^ and we all, in our hearts sometimes feel liice the only one in the
world who really knows iwhat iwe've been through. Who is asking you to
be normal? It's good to see you have set yourself high goals - to fight
for the rights of your people. What are some steps you need to take to
achieve those goals?
Yeah Fm still doing this weak ass time. Fm good I just
got my shh dropped to something else so Fm good but
I still I got to do like a few years in the Y. I just want to
hurry up and go so I could do this weak time you know
me they can't hold a real ninja down for too long.
They just killed my ninja Nate in a fake drive by.
Ninjas don't do drive bys no more.
Yeah when I get out the Y Fm gone do my thang. I got
my female game up, dough game up, and my gas game up
so Fm good.
From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your friend. But why is there
so much %en%e\e%% acts of violence going on in the street? Don't you
I young people have skn^ value for life? We hope that you u%e your time
in "Y" wisely and wise up. All that female game, dough game, and gas
game ain't gonna matter to anybody in the "Y." You have nobody to
impress but yourself.
I want to complain about me being in here because I
didn't do anything but I was hanging with stupid people.
I hate being in here because I have to ask permission to
do things or get things. I hate being in my room because
it's small and I like moving around. I also hate being in
my room because I get to thinking and I go crazy. We need
better food. ,
From The Beat: You didn't do anything? You mean you did. You made the
mistake of hanging with stupid people. This is a lesson to be learned.
Next time don't hang around people that are doing stupid shh, so you
won't get into stn^ trouble.
I know one time I was rescued. I was walking down the
street, and ninja's started pulling things out talking bout
empty yo' pockets. They were tryin' to rob my Asian potna.
But when I told them I was from the hood they told me
it was good. And started making dude dance. They were
shootin' at the ground while he was dodging 'em. Then
my folks came walking down the street from a party and
started bussin' so the other guys broke (ran) and my life
was saved, well maybe not my life but my Asian potna's
life end of short autobiography.
From The Beat: That was a close call. Why do people rob other people
for no reason? Why do you think that everybody thinks it's cool to play
with guns but then they get upset when one of their friends, relatives,
etc. gets shot?
Always Showing Love
There is a person that showed me love.
My pops show love. Let me tell you how. My family
has been through a lot right now. My three older brothers
are in jail and me. But I'm not going to follow their
direction, hopefully they snap out of it. But anyway my
dad is showing all of us love by coming up to see all of us,
and bring us stuff.
On the outs my dad be getting mad at me because I
bring girls in the house and he kick me out. But every
time I go back he let me in and talks to me for like an
hour. This happened a lot of times. Anyways he always
has open arms to his kids.
From The Beat: That^ love right there. Even though you disrespect him
and get in trouble he still comes to see you and brings you things. You
should really show the love and appreciation back once you get out.
Stop disrespecting him and his house and most importantly stop getting
in trouble. Your pops doesn't want to see you or stny of your brothers
in jail anymore.
I walk by her everyday, she smiles at everything I say, I
gave her presents, she gave me her love.
From The Beat: That^ a wonderful thing.
WiiyCaii Him A Detainee If Yoo Don't
Treat Him Lii(e Dne?
Shhh, the only thing I have to complain about is the
unfair treatment between people in the juvenile detention
center. Basically how people who have been here more
then eighteen months get special treatment, good food,
because they can't eat county beans? Shhh, county
beans make everyone shhh. Basically I don't understand
why someone should be able to leave his room anytime
he wants to or why they can get hella extras and work
everyday, twice a day.
Fm not a hater I just don't understand there's thirty
detainees. Not one of them is any special then the next.
We're all detainees. We should all get the same treatment!
Why should one person get to sit on the computer every
class while everyone else has work. Basically, I just
believe in fair treatment, which in the Juvenile Hall, is
not happening. There's no special detainee. He's just a
detainee treat him like one.
From The Beat: We do understand where you're coming from. But at
the same time we are sensing a little jealousy. Cause what if it was the
other way around. What if you were getting all the special treatment?
Would you still be complaining? Remember, no matter where you go,
there's always a person who in one's eyes gets what you call "special
Ill I I I I 1^
I have a love story about my family and my girl. The story
is I love my family I love my sisters, mom, dad and my
brother. FU do anything for them. Even though sometimes
it does not show but I love them. And my love for my girl
is a lot. I love her so much I want to get married early. I
love her and my daughter Jazmine. When I get out I'm
going to give my babies everything. I love them both.
From The Beat: We're glad to hear you be in love. We hope that you
realize ivhat's more important in life right now. You have a daughter.
She needs her dad around. Stop getting in trouble and coming to jail,
because you're missing out on watching your daughter grow. You need I
to be there for your family. I
They're a lot of people that are in the hall that complain
too much. For every little thing they complain like for
room time, people start crying and bitching about it when
it was them that did something wrong in the first place,
man up. If you cant handle the time, don't do the crime.
When I get room time, I don't even be trippin' about it,
cause we locked up and we suppose to be in our rooms.
So for all them people in here, in the hall, stop
complaining and man up, specially if your going to do time
an head to a bigger facility. You can't start complaining
in the "pen" 'cause everybody is going to take you as a
From The Beat: Everybody loves to complain about things, especially
when they're not going their way. We all need to own up and face the
consequences of the decisions we make. People complain about county
food but why did you come here in the first place. Point is we all need to
make better decisions and instead of complaining every time we make a
mistake we need to learn how to correct it and not repeat again.
What's good wit' ya'U Beat? I'm doing lightweight cool,
just keeping my head up over here in this unit. They
trying to send me to ROP or Boys Republic.
I'm probably gonna do it moving on they ass at the
airport or something. They got me messed up, on the
From The Beat: If you do it moving and you get caught again it's just
gonna be more time for you. You can either go do your program right
noiAf, get your time over with and move on with your life. Or you can
iceep going on the run and iceep catching more time. You can run but
you can't hide. How many people do you actually icnow that get away?
Eventually, you'll get caught.
Missini In Ictiin
I sit and wonder how long will I be sitting in a jail
We go to church to go to heaven, but I'm living in hell
The white man got parole, so we can come back and get
They think the years we do just ain't enough
They play mind games just to get to us
They try to give a young ninja forty years for a murder
Judge so scandalous he don't care that he just took a
ninjas child hood away
Even though he can be rehabilitated
I think about the things I did in my past
Running and hitting gates when I see Task
It's a crazy life when the ladies want you for your bread
I rather be M-I-A then D-O-A instead
Being locked up is killing me
If you was made of steel you gon' have to feel me
Life ain't a game I been found that out
I read books so like a tree my brain can sprout
At school I never did listen
They tried to tell me George Washington was the
When it was really a black man named Henson
Washington was nine after him
I'm never a follower, so you can call me the captain.
From The Beat: Missing in what kind of action are you talking about?
We hope you talking about some positive action. We know you miss
having your freedom. It's hard being told what to do and when to do it.
But we hope that when you finally get your freedom back you realize
how precious it really is and don't take it for granted.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I l—E
I Brought Myself Here
When I am in juvenile hall I complain, but what's wrong
is I'm the one who brought myself into this position.
In juvenile hall there is a lot of things to complain
about. The food is nasty, the rooms are cold, fights. T
he thing I hate is that I'm the one who brought myself
into this position. I need to stop coming to juvenile hall
for little mistakes that I made. Sometimes I regret coming
in and out of jail but if I want to grow older then I have to
start being good and stay out of jail. Juvenile hall is not a
good place. It is for those who commit bad crimes.
The thing I don't like is when my parents call my PO
for no reason and say I'm acting up, then I get arrested
and brought to jail.
The only complaint I have is when am I gonna get
From The Beat: You shouldn't be acting out with your parents. If your
parents %x^ something to you that you don't like then just ignore
'em, yet follow the rules of their house! Also, follow the rules of your
probation and also of your house at least for now that your living with
them. When you get older and get your own house then you can make
your oiAfn rules.
About two years ago I woke up like it was a regular Friday
I went to school and during brunch I bought some pills
off of my cousin.
At lunch I heard there was someone new at my school
that claimed the rival gang that I hate. I went up to him
wit' my potnas and tried to stab him. He ran until his
shoes was off. What a sucka. I didn't get him 'cause he
ran too fast. So I went to class after that happen because
I didn't think he would snitch. Five O came to my class
and got me and locked me up.
The next morning I called my brother and asked him
how's everything? He told me my cousin died the night
before, the one I bought the pills off of. If I wasn't locked
up I would have been there fighting the battle with him. It
could have been me gone. Rest In Paradise my cousin N.
I'm gonna see you on the other side. I'm gonna do what I
gotta do for you.
From The Beat: Now let u% ask you something. Do you want to die just
like your cousin? Why you want to live a life full of pain, funerals,
momma's crying? Don't you want to get away from all that? Don't you
want to live a life? You only get one life man, you ain't coming back
after this one is over. Do you think your cousin that^ resting in paradise
is anxious to see you up there with him? Don't you think he'd rather
see you live a life away from all the negativity that comes from all that
Tilk Is Deal
I like it when talk is dead 'cause most of the people
are always saying something stupid. Then only time
I like it when we talk is when we are having a serious
When I was on the outs there was plenty of times
when they were mad at me, or they just arguing over
From The Beat: We know sometimes we strike up conversations with
nothing but non%en%e. But what do you like to talk about? What do you
consider a serious conversation?
Sometimes people be complaining about everything
bout being in the hall doing shhh that they know was
wrong and want to complain bout it. That's something a
fake ninja would do because me I'm solid, and a ninja be
acting like they hard and complaining.
From The Beat: What does complaining have to do with being a fake?
That doesn't make any %en%e. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion
but you're gonna tell u% that you've never complained about anything?
There's a difference between whining and complaining. Right noiv
you're complaining about other people complaining, so who's the fake
Rescued My Cousin
I remember one time I saved my cousin's life because
I went to her house one day and he was really loaded.
Then I was just posted there eating and shhh, and my
cousin kept going outside for some reason but I didn't
know. So then the next time he went outside I saw him
rolling a blunt but he could barely roll it 'cause his neck
was leaning back. So I took the blunt from him and took
him inside and told him to eat, so then I saved him from
From The Beat: Good job on saving your cousin from overdosing. Maybe
you should give him some advice on drinking too much. Tell him to cool
down. What would have happened if you weren't there to %x>ie him? He
would have got seriously ill and possibly could have lost his life.
Rest in Paradise Jordan
On August 4, 2007, we lost a soldier. Rest in Paradise
Jordan, a real ridah for the set. Never backed down when
it came down, always at the spot with the older brah's
He had a baby mama and his baby mama was due on
September 2007. Now his baby gotta grow up without
no daddy. I remember when you used to rap. Remember
when you used to always post at the spot.
We shouldn't have went to that party. We should of
just stayed at the spot. Why?
Only God Knows, and gotta respect His call. Till my
casket drop, you in my heart.
From The Beat: One more soldier down, yes, but not just for your set ...
Jordan died in a war against the death style of the streets, which claims
lives from every set, every race, every color. If your faith in God means
something to you, then respect His call for peace, for morality, and for
putting skn end to all these sense\e%% killing.
Meior) Of lilt ^
The first time I looked into her eyes I was honestly 1
speechless. I didn't think I could fall in love at such a
young age, but that first look she gave me I instantly got
butterfiies in my stomach, and I wanted to hold her hand j
and never let go. She made me feel like I was special for I
the first time. I love her. |
From The Beat: That's very sweet. Where is this girl now? When you get
out stop wasting your time getting in trouble, and spend more time
with your girl and those who truly care for you.
I complain about me being in jail and can't go to my girl
I can't see my family,
I can't drive my car, and go to clubs,
can't talk to my potna, and can't sleep in my bed.
I need to shave, and I want to make it to the NBA.
Have a wife and two kids.
From The Beat: We all got wants and we all have needs. But you're
here missing out on all those things that you mentioned because of a
few mistakes that you've made. You can achieve all your goals. What%
stopping you? If you really want it, stop procrastinating and go get it.
First stop, the school house!!
What's up to all = out there doing time?
Keep your heads up and be on your toes at all times!
Don let this shhh get to you.
They can't lock us up all our life.
Don let the program do you
be on top of all your shhh!
If you in a group home or in camp
finish your shhh and be Charlie!
Go back in the outs and get your money
because you know we need that green.
This the homie...
From The Beat: You offer some advice to everybody but you say that
they can't locic you up for the rest of your life, but you're wrong.
There are plenty of dudes doing life in the pen that can tell you you're
absolutely wrong. If you keep doing what everybody else in the streets
is doing then there's only a few outcomes to that. You're either gonna
come back here, or to some other facility, or get hurt, or possibly lose
your life. And over what? What could possibly mean more than your
own life itself?
When I was sixteen me and my cousins were celebrating
the Fourth of July at a park. Just after a couple of beers,
my cousin started letting off his firecrackers. A couple
of folks were across the street because his little teenage
brother was with us. When he walked back it seem like
everything was all right but after a couple of minutes we
heard the gunshots again but this time they were directed
at us. My cousin threw me and his little brother behind a
table and got shot two times while he was trying to cover
us he ended up being ok, but if he hadn't pushed us we
might have been the ones that got shot.
From The Beat: Damn, you're cousin is a very brave person. He really
displayed courage and love for you and his little brother. You need to be
careful when you're out there on those streets.
What's up Beat? This is yo boy Turk the boss. Yeah, I'm
on my way CYA. I can't wait till they come and get me
'cause this hall shhh getting hella old.
I just hope they free my ninja Weezy and Lil E, oh
yeah and Stunna Tay. We will all be home soon, and when
they do, we coming like Jesus did. That's real.
But yeah I love y'all and do it big and stand tall. Don't
let them haters see y'all fall. See me when they free me. I
know these haters want to be me.
From The Beat: Free everybody for crying out loud! We don't want to
see you or skn^ of your potnas in jail especially if you are willing to turn
your lives around! But why do you wannabe free if you only gonna go
back and do the same thing you were doing and get locked up again,
The complaints I got living in my project
from neighbors to the fiends even the landlords.
Everybody complains even us.
We complain 'cause our projects always have blackouts.
I mean serious real blackouts were you couldn't see
If I got a dollar for every time my neighbors would
complain I'd be rich.
From The Beat: If we'd get a dollar for each Beat writers that complained
we'd have enough money to print out The Beat Within magazine in
color! What does complaining do? How come you can't sue the landlord
for being irresponsible about the whole "light" situation? What else can
you do besides complain so you can fix the problem?
I always have dreams of my unknown lover
I wake up every time I'm about to touch her
Her skin shines like gold
Her smell is of the sweetest cherries and berries
I can't say always see the beauty mark above her upper lip
Her hair is long to the middle of her back
When I see her in my dreams it's hard to get close
'Cause I get blinded by her beauty
Her mouth moves but I can't hear
'Cause her voice is too precious for my ears
She's always in my dreams
So I know she was made for me
Next time I'm gone tell you who she might be
From The Beat: Dreams really aren't that far from reality. You could find
the girl of your dreams. But you aint gone find her in juvenile hall. So
first get your stuff together, stop getting in trouble, and stay out of
these facilities. Then you can find yourself the girl of your dreams.
What it does Beat?
Another day in my barrio
I remember the time I got shot in the leg wit' a .38...
I went to my varrio con los (with the) homies
they were like, "Hey let's go get some booze."
I told the, "I ain't trippin,
pero yo no tengo feria (but I don't have any money)."
My homie was all like don't trip I got you.
So we got some Hennessey and got torn up.
So, later on that night they cut out
pero (but) they told me,
don't be stupid and walk up and down the barrio (hood).
I told 'em don't trip, nothing going to happen
so they cut out.
It was about 1:00am and a car pulled up
so I went to get my strap
'cause I didn't ever see this car before.
When I came back all I heard was someone yelling
something at me then... boom, boom, boom, boom,
I started running
then I felt a bullet fly by my cabeza(head)
and one hit me in the thigh
I fell and felt a bullet brush past my back.
That's the day I got shot,
but to me it was another day in my barrio.
From The Beat: That sounds like sktt action paciced movie. But the only
thing about this movie is that there is no super hero. And another thing
is that once you die there ain't no coming bade. We are not trying to
disrespect your way of life but is that the way you want to live? Of
Why I Am lo Here?
I'm in here because Hayward Task pulled the car over
I was in. I jumped out with a gun in my hand and ran.
Task force seen the gun and they was going to shoot me,
so then I threw it in some bushes as far as I could and
continued to run and hop fences. Then as I was hopping
into a backyard the officer shot his tazor at me and
missed. Then I was later surrounded and got beat up by
The point of the story is the driver should of high
speeded, then I would not be in here.
From The Beat: Point of the story is you shouldn't be riding around with
the gun in the first place. Why you putting the driver in the hot seat
for? You need to take responsibility for your own actions. You're here
because you brought yourself here, it's nobody's fault but your own.
One Day ^
One day I was walking around my neighborhood like any
other day. When I seen this beautiful young lady walking
the opposite direction as me. I pulled next to her and
asked her what's her name. But she was being a stuck
up female and she kept walking. So I got mad and cussed
I kept walking down the street when I seen the enemy
I threw up my hood. They pulled out a gun and started
dumping. My homie walking in back of me called my name
and I feel like that saved my ass from getting popped.
From The Beat: You know what would really %«>ie your sk%% is if you
would stop gangbanging, period, if you're gonna keep gangbanging
and throwing up your set you better expect rivals to be coming to take
your head. That's just the reality of this life, if you're involved with
gangs you're gonna come to jail, you're gonna get physically hurt, or
you can lose your life! So you choose.
Love Is Deadly
Well I'm gone write a deadly love story to young men.
The reason because once you truly start messing with
a girl that you get your heart broke! That's why guys do
girls bad because of what happen to them in the past with
Like the time I first starting dating this fine girl, she
really like got into my head then she broke me down. But
after a while she started liking me again but by then I was
a player! The reason we broke up is because I saw her
with other ninja! So it made me mad so I start messing
with her best friend!
From The Beat: Well that's not real love if both of you are gonna be
cheating on each other like that. She had bad intentions by cheating on
you but that doesn't mean that every girl is the same. You just gotta be
more careful next time.
Sober Or High
I'm going insane holding conversations by my lonely
I never feel alone because the demons take a hold of me
Slowly, derailing me off of my train of thoughts
So I pop a pill and sip something so I can clear my
Cause it seems like I'm only sober when I'm high
So I stay loaded searching for answers stuck in the sky
All inside, so I look forward to the day when I'm normal
That's when I die.
From The Beat: What are you running from so much that you can't be
sober to face this world. Is it too painful? What are you feeling? How do
you deal with your problems when you're in jail 'cause there's no pills
or drank in there. You're more than welcome to always write down your
feelings on paper. But we hope that you can find other alternatives to
clear your thoughts besides popping pills and drinking.
I was chilling at home
I heard a knock
it was the police.
I put on my shoes and I was out on these fools.
You know what they said
freeze or we will shoot you dead.
I said hell naw
I was not about to go back to the hall.
I ran out the back and slipped on a baseball.
My world turn black
I woke up and I was in the back of the cop car.
From The Beat: What did you do for the police to come knocking down
your door? The best way to stay out the halls is by not breaking the
law. How about trying that, and then you might not be waking up and
finding yourself in the backseat of a cop car.
The Streets Are Crazy!
Welcome to San Francisco the streets are going crazy.
I'm going through Pier 39 wondering, wondering what's
on the next person's mind. What they looking at? Keep
looking at me. I'm gonna hit them with a bat. That fat boy
right there with the curly hair. If you are me look at the
other way because remember what they say look longer
then ten seconds ain't coo'. Thanks for listening.
From The Beat: The streets are crazy. But instead of walking wondering
what other people are thinking maybe you should worry about what you
gonna do with yourself. You shouldn't be worried about other people
smY^ss^. You got your oivn personal life to ivorry about.
Love Is Strong
Love is the heart of the ocean
But hate is the roughness of sand
But love is like the palm of your hand
Waiting to grip your love by the hand shining like the
Over and over again saying I love you again.
Dedicated to Neanea
From The Beat: Love is strong and can conquer all. That's very nice of
you to write a poem for the person that you love. You should let her
read it. That way she can see how you feel about her.
Fm tired of these ninjas in here, all they do is whine
about that they wont get out in a couple of months.
I wish I could get out in a couple of months. I'm going
to do seven months but that's not the point. The point is
that you don't have life (in prison), so don't trip, ninjas.
You did the crime so do the time. And if you did not do the
crime your time will come to show it.
From The Beat: We too get tired of all the complaining. But that's what
people do. Some people complain or some actually do something about
it. Everybody should stop complaining and instead figure out a game
plan lAfhich won't bring them back into the hands of the system.
I don't like love because love gets you hurt.
The last person I loved they hurt me.
That is why I say don't love no one, but my family is a
I love my family because they take good care of me
From The Beat: Love is painful sometimes but we live and we learn. So,
how can you show your family how much you love them? How can you
show your appreciation?
Was up Beat this Chikillo from Oakland. Well I remember
when I used to be with my girlfriend everyday I remember
all them good things we did together. All them good stuff
we did when I was out there and now I'm lock up and I
I remember when we used to buy her stuff and I just
hope I could get out so I could be with her and tell her
that I love her hella much well this vato is out Alrato I
love you Roxana.
From The Beat: Think about your girl next time you're about get yourself
into some trouble. Don't think about her when you're here now. Think
about how much you're gonna miss her if you keep getting in trouble.
On top of that do you think she's gonna want to be with a person that
keeps getting locked up?
You'll never hear me complaining. I don't complain like
a lot of other people who talk out side of their mouth and
talk a lot of shhh.
So when you hear someone complaining stop them
for me. So good bye Beat I'm leaving in two days so I'll
write to you.
From The Beat: Why don't you complain? And what's wrong with
complaining? What about complaining and standing up for your rights?
There are things to complain about, you've never complained about
anything? Anyhow, best to you friend!
I have a baby mother that I love. Her name is Francine
she is 16 and I been with her for about three years. She is
seven months pregnant and we are having a baby boy. His
name is going to be Devonte Jr. I love my baby mom and
my baby more than anything in the world and I will kill or
die or do what ever to keep them taken care of.
From The Beat: If you love your baby mama and your baby more than
anything then maybe you should stay outta jail. That^ one of the most
important things right there. You're baby mama is gonna need you and
so is your baby. You're not gonna let your baby grow up without a father
are you? Obviously you've made some bad decisions that got you in the
halls, but don't let that discourage you. When you get out stay out and i
help support your family. I
Loviog My Family
I never love anybody because when you let your guard
down who ever you have beef with will try and hurt the
person you love to get you. I love my family of course
because they're there for me when I need them and put a
roof over my head when I need a place to stay.
I love my Auntie Damina because she had a lot going
on in the 21 years she been here. I love her because she
takes care of my two little cousins, me, and my uncle.
From The Beat: Who's gonna try to hurt your loved ones? Why would you
have beef with somebody like that? Are people just seriously filled with
so much hatred? That's ridiculous. Why do people hurt innocent people
for no reason? What do they get out of that?
Man, I hate waking up early in the morning with people
yelling at me telling me what to do. Telling me to go
outside my room and put on my shoes. Line up, look
straight, don't talk, don't move until I tell you to walk.
Going in to the classroom with people talking out loud,
staff come in the room telling people to shut their mouth.
Going back to the unit with barely enough food to eat,
that's the end of my day, so then we go to sleep.
-A young detainee
From The Beat: Sounds like a hard day. You have to put up with the
staff, nasty food, on top of that barely enough. Why do you come here
then? it's not a wonderful place to be. Stay your butt out of jail.
Hear Me Complain
When I complain I feel like nobody hears me. Maybe all
y'all that read the Beat will.
My first complaint is how some, not all staff but most
of them treat us like when we wrong or right they still say
we wrong and how they talk to us. The reason why staff
do that is because they don't got no control of they own
kids. So they come to work and try to boss us around
and treat us like criminals because we made some little
mistake. Then they look at our parents like it's they fault
and like they did raise us right. Most of the time we come
here for little stuff.
From The Beat: We know some of the staff in the system are hard heads
and probably do talk down on many because one is locked up. We know
that isn't coo', but the best thing you can do is ignore it. Don't argue
even if you know you right let them believe that they are. 'Cause you're
not gonna win skn argument with them. And keep that in the back of
your mind next time you're out there on the street and about to do
something that might bring you back here.
I'm here writing you this thing about rescuing.
The first time I'd been rescued was when one day
I was at the park, I was chilling with my potna and his
girlfriend and couple of other girls. Then somebody came
to the park and tried to get at the female that was with
me. Then he tried to cupcake or whatever, then when they
finish talking he got mad, I think because she rejected
him or didn't give the dude her number.
So he walked back to his car and came back, his hand
was inside of his pocket and he pulled out a duce five and
said to the girl and our group, "this is the wrong day to
screw with me!"
I ran down the street and saw my cousin with a lot of
his friends and called him to come to the park.
Two minutes later my cousin went to the park with all
of his friends and they all had weapons. Nothing but big
thangs. I think the stranger got hit and fell and
that's the end of the story.
From The Beat: So is that how you resolve problems? Guns don't solve
anything all it does is take peopled lives in a split second and put
youngsters in jail for life. Once you're dead you can't come back. Why
does a gun have to be the solution to every problem?
Staying Out OF Trouble
Well most of the time I get in a whole shhh load of
arguments, they mainly are the people I care about like
my homies, fam, and even my girlfriends but all this
shhh is normal just like wanting to fight someone after
an argument. I know what I get out of an argument, is
usually I end up in a fight, smoking a blunt or a cigarette,
or just go play some b-ball or something to get my mind
Since I'm on probation I don't smoke that shhh no
more, 'cause of pee tests. And if I get into a fight someone
might call the police.
So y'all other people doing this shhh don't do it or
get resent to jail.
From The Beat: You know you can't be fighting every time you get into
skn argument. You are not gone last long at a job, you are not gon' have
a steady relationship and nobody is going to vtsknnsk be your friend.
People get into arguments all the time but that doesn't mean that they
have to resort to violence to resolve their problems. We're glad to hear
that you're thinking more clear headed now and have realized that you
are not trying to ivaste your time in jail.
I be complaining. Like, when I first came here people
was getting on my nerves I kept on yelling in my room
because I want to go home because this is not the place
I really do not like juvenile hall because I'm not home
with my family. My mom is away from me and I really miss
her. The food here is nasty the rooms are cold.
I miss my father. My uncle is dead R.I.P Reg and big
I just want to be with my family and most of all I am
going to try my best not to come back to the hall it's a
nasty place to be.
From The Beat: We all complain about the things we don't like. But if
people are gonna sit there and complain about Juvenile hall, then why
do they come here? We're glad to hear you say that you're gonna try
your best and not come back. What's your plan?
I remember my girlfriend and all the things we did I miss
going to the movies with my girl and being able to hold
her. I really love her and it's crazy the way I feel about
We got together on September 24, 2007. We've been
since. It's really hard to be away from her. Her name is
Gabby. I love you baby always and forever.
From The Beat: Congratulations on hopefully a wonderful relationship
with your girl when you get out! You should be with her right now
instead of wasting your time being locked. How do you think she's
feeling right now? You should stay out of trouble, at least do
€ she's I
it for I
I don't complain I just go 'bout mine, I keep to myself,
don't worry bout nobody else. Same people be complaining
too much. I'm just being honest. They complaining and
crying 'bout why they in jail. I keep my comments to
myself and just don't worry bout nobody else. I can't
complain 'cause I got myself here. I just thank God to see
another day. I can't complain 'cause God got me here to
say what I say. I can't complain.
From The Beat: Like you said you can't be listening to everybody else
complain. All you can do is worry about your own program and what
you're gonna do so you can stay out of places like these. We can find
anything to complain about, why do you think people aren't that
grateful for the things they already have?
.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff
straight To The Top
I started selling nuggets
Now my rocks are the size of buckets
No money, man, forget it
Go my own way
Out here all day
Fm gonna do my own thang
Let it all hang
Mission District's finest
My quality is the highest
No cuts, nothing added
You want it; I already had it
Not Ricky Ross or Escobar
Won't let down my guard
I can never fail
I got straight shots, your shots sail
I stand strong, you will fiail
You let it rain, I make it hail
I won't stop
I'm on a one-way street
Straight to the top
From The Beat: Who cares how bad you are, especially given your game
failed, and now you sit in the county camp selling us a b-s flow about
how bad you are. So you are waiting to return home to live the street
life one more time. This next go round ivill you be lucky, or will you
most likely get caught up one more time, if not taken out entirely. Good
luck in capturing a ridiculous dream.
Dofl't Forget Who Was Showiog Yoo Love
What's Good, Beat? This the ninja. Smoke, up at this
weak ass Ranch. I'm gon' to do big thangs wit' my life
when I touch down.
But a word to all y'all locked down doing y'all time —
man, don't forget who was showing you love while you
was down and out, constantly writing or visiting you.
Show them the same love when you get out. Don't believe
all these lying ass people, talking 'bout they was too busy
to write to you or some other damn excuse they tell yo'
That's how you separate your real homies from the
fake, that's real talk, but that's all for today, y'all. To all up
in the halls, much love from me to you! Do y'all time and
hurry up and get out! One love.
From The Beat: Who has been there for you, the whole time you've
been in juvy and the Ranch? What do you wish people had done for
you while you were locked up? When you're free again, how will you
remember your homies who are still locked up and feeling forgotten?
I'm writing to you about the response you gave me on
my last piece. It is nonsense about them turning to God
to escape their problems. They shouldn't have to turn to
a fictional character to do that. You should want to do
it on your free will or for someone in your life that you
truly love. And no, I can't leave them alone about their
religious beliefs. I'm gonna argue my belief wit' them to
see how strong their belief is and to see if they could
argue it with me. I know I sound ignorant, but that's just
me, man, so hate it or live it, but that's what it's gon' be.
From The Beat: You don't sound ignorant at all. You have a perfect
right to challenge anybody^ ideas, even those about God. But, maybe
there's no final resolution to the questions that philosophers have been
arguing over for centuries — whether there^ a god or not, and if there
is, what is his nature, his design for mankind, if any? You've thought
the question way through for yourself, and deciding that there's no
god is fine, and maybe you're right. But can you also respect those who
disagree ivith you and believe in and love god?
I late The Hell
I hate being in jail.
I hate the food, the way it looks like brains or waste.
I hate the way it tastes.
It tastes like nothing.
You just get full on nothing.
I think its diabetic.
I hate the staff.
I hate being locked up, wasting my time.
I'd rather be having a job, making money.
Being with my girl and having fun.
From The Beat: If you hate it so much, why are you here?/Do you plan
to make skn^ chances in order to steer clear?/Unless you start playing a
different game/You can count on more of the same
She got the body of a goddess, everybody knows that
Stupid cute face, and her booty's so fat
She's a good girl and never a brat
Got a ninja ready to drop 24 stacks
Damn, I gotta put her on my team
'Cause she's every man's dream
She's god's gift to earth.
Aloha money, that's what she worth
-The Chosen One
From The Beat: Who is this angel that is waiting behind because you
allowed yourself to get locked up? if you're in and she's out, you'll never
get past the "dream" stage.
1 » II n
My First Love Netta Boo
My love story is about my ex girlfriend Johnetta. I loved
this girl hella much until she broke my heart. But our
good times was when we went to take hella pics and had
our times by ourselves. When she stop messing with me,
I didn't know what to do.
-Afraid To Sign
From The Beat: Don't be lazy! You could write so much more. What
did you like about her? Why did she stop messing with you? Where is
she now? What do you look for in a girlfriend? Three sentences is not
enough to ssk^ much of anything!
When I Go To Walden Hoose
When I go to the Walden House, I'm going to be in the
program for a minute, then I'm going to see my girlfriend.
Then I'm going to the 'hood to chill for a minute. But I
don't know. I really don't care. She phony, but it's coo'.
From The Beat: What do you mean you'll be in the program "for a
minute?" How long is a minute? What do you hope to get out of the
program? If all you're thinking about is getting back to the 'hood to
continue your life sk% before, then expect the same consequences sk%
before. We hope Walden House gives you some skills for how to live and
stay safe and free.
What's up? What's cracking? I'm complaining about not
being able to lift weights in here. I'm getting tired of going
to bed at nine O'clock. If I had a cell phone in my room,
I wouldn't mind going to bed early, feel me. That's it till
From The Beat: Why complain about what a lock-up is? It won't change
a thing. If you have a complaint, it should be that you gave the system
power to put you in a place without cell phones, without weights,
without girls, without home cooked food, and without the ability to
make choices for yourself. Next time you have those choices to make,
we advise you to use that freedom to keep yourself free.
Facin' The Truth
When I was a lil' kid, you was my hero, always there
holdin' me down in my time of need. When I fell, you
helped me up ta dust myself off. When I was hurt or cryin',
you were there with open arms takin' the pain away.
I always thought you would live forever. But then I
grew up. In and out the halls, foster homes, group homes.
I just stayed on the run aka in the system. I worried and
worried you, but I never really knew all the pain an' tears
I caused you. I never thought you would worry so much
that it will infect ya health... 'til I come to the halls fa my
last time and you told me that you're dyin' slowly.
The doctor told you that if you have a stroke, then
you're six feet, goin' ta the promised land. Those words
hurt me more then anything I ever faced. I love you, but
dad I guess I had ta face the truth... I messed up, an' no
one lives foreva.
From The Beat: It's true, of course, that no one lives forever, which is
lAfhy it is so important to do the right thing noiv, while this hero of yours
is still in the world. Admitting that you messed up is important, but it's
only a beginning. We hope you try to balance the scales, to make up for
lost time, by committing yourself to stop messing up and to start doing
the things that truly show what you value in life. If you want to honor
the person who was always there for you, making sacrifices for you, it%
time to begin making sacrifices in return... before it% too late. We hope
your dad lives a long, long time, and that you are there for him.
Besciiel Bj II Bis Briier
"Talk Sboild llwijs Be Beil"
What the deal with YGC? This ya boy lil' Don in unit
6, feel me, I'm on a topic about how talk is dead. I feel
like talk should always be dead... in other words NO
SNITCHING! People live to run they lip a lot, but it proves
nothing. I'd rather observe than talk, soak up game.
But the game done changed. Everywhere you look,
some one running they lip snitching. It ain't cool. Ratting
is at an all-time high. People need to learn to keep they
mouth closed and mind they own business, then they'll
be all right. People to nosey. But to keep it real, talk
should always be dead. No snitching.
From The Beat: We've got news for you, Lil' Don. Things haven't changed
as much sks you believe they have. It's only because you're young that
you think this is different from the past. It's not. The entire criminal
justice system, from juvenile hall to death row, is built on a foundation
of snitches telling on each other for better treatment. It's always been
that way; it aliways will be that way. There's only one way to make sure
this doesn't happen, and that is to stop giving those snitches anything
to snitch about.
What's good wit The Beat? It's ya boy Mike writing out
of unit 6. I'm 'bout to write up on this topic. I been in a
life-or-death situation with my ninjas. We was on the bus,
and my ninja was tryin' to get with this female. I told him
to lay low so nobody would see us, but he didn't.
The bus left out and I got up and looked back, and I
seen some ninjas in the car following us. The bus stopped
in front of the post office and some dudes hopped out the
van with guns and was tryin' to get on the bus. But the
bus driver closed the door and drove off. The bus driver
let us off and we ran up the street. They was chasing us j r
the whole way, but we got away. We all thought we was I |
gone die, but they couldn't catch us. That day was hella
From The Beat: First, we're glad you escaped. But we had to take much
out of this piece, and you should understand why. No turf names; no
street names. And, in a piece that tells about a bus driver who saved
your lives, no nonsense like, "We all we got!" If that bus driver had not
been so quick to act, you wouldn't have anything at all!
I'll Keei Vour Secrets
Can we get a breath of positivity
We hear the relevance of your words
But I ask with a heart of empathy
Please explain with a little less hostility
I've matured past jumping on the defense
So you don't have to sugar coat or remix
Count on me to keep the essence of your secrets
Tell me what's on your chest, I won't repeat this
I gotta get it on my own while I'm well aware of my own
I know complaining is a vent of its own kind
And please excuse my words 'cause all of them might
I got a lot up on my mind
I can't explain it all right now 'cause it's almost bedtime.
From The Beat: This is a mysterious and intriguing poem, LaRhonda,
one that makes us want to know much more... like, who are you writing
to? What has happened in the past between you that makes you feel
the need to reassure that you will keep his/her secrets? What are some
of the things you have on your mind? Next time...
Someone rescued me in court when I had to fight a case
when I was in juvenile hall. The one who saved me was
my lawyer, and if she didn't stop me from cursing at the
victim, the judge and my PO, I would have never got out of
this problem. So I owe it to my lawyer because she stop
me and said calm down. I could imagine it right now —
probably get cuffed and never be able to get out. Now of
real, I wouldn't be able to get all y'all, feel me dog! I really
owe my lawyer one!
From The Beat: It's nice to read a piece appreciating what your lawyer
has done for you. We're curious, though. At the time she told you to
calm down, were you grateful to her then, or did you want to cuss
her out along with all the others? Sometimes, the experience a lawyer
brings into that situation is exactly what you need to rescue you
Wusup wit' da Beat? Chea, it's ya boi Lil' Rob still in here
trying to cope wit' all this b.s. I'm going to talk about how
people have thought of me while I've been incarcerated.
First person I'm going to talk about is my PO. She
always think negative about me. She thinks that Glen
Mills or the Ranch is the best thing for me to do as for
out-of-home placement. Also, she thinks that I cannot
do better for my family, community, and for myself. But
she doesn't know about what I can do better with my life,
if she had a little more understanding, of what I can do
Also, the DA constantly pushes this negative line to
the judge about me saying I'm a menace to society and
shhh... But all he has to say about me is negative. There
is nothing positive he has to say about me.
Well Beat, that all I got for you today. Peace and One
From The Beat: Unfortunately, the DA thinks it's his or her job to tell
the judge only the negative, so don't look for any change there. As to
your PO, nobody (including you) can be sure that she is wrong about
Glen Mills. In other words, it's possible that is a good placement for you,
but you'll never know until you experience it. If the DA is quoting you
describing yourself as "a menace to society," that tells you that in the
world of court, words are very powerful things. They mean something.
So, what is the positive you want the PO to focus on? What is the
positive you want the DA to tell the judge about? What is the positive
that will lead you away from where you've been and the life of lock-ups?
We'd love to read a piece that focuses only on those positives, and how
you plan to use them sts a foundation to build a better life.
Rescue me from this hellhole
Rescue me from my life
Rescue me from poverty
Rescue me, Rescue me, Rescue me!
Rescue me from the ghetto life
Rescue me from pain
Rescue me from my discomfort
Rescue me from the guns
Rescue me from the fear I have of getting shot every day
Please my lord Rescue Me!
From The Beat: We hope your prayer is answered, but we also believe
in the old saying that God helps those that help themselves. Besides
praying, what else are you doing to rescue yourself from this life of
poverty, pain, guns and incarceration? When you're out, do you go to
school? Do you set goals for yourself beyond what is happening on the
street, goals for a future in the adult world of freedom? Can you tell us
what those plans are and what you are doing to achieve them?
Lots Of Plans
What's good wit' The Beat? It's yo' boy V-Guttah, and yell
I'm still in here doin' me, you dig. Damn, now I got to wait
until Glen Mills come and get me after my court day. But
I aint trippin' 'cause all I need to know is that I'm getting
out, I hope all my ninjas gets out when I'm out 'cause I
have a lots of plans to do and a lots of money to get, you
From The Beat: We sure hope that Glen Mills changes your focus so that
those plans you are so hot about include improving your mind, learning
about the world beyond the block, and generally preparing yourself to
put childish things behind you and become a man. Write us when you
get there, and good luck.
Yo, what's up with The Beat, man? Ah, it's 2008 and talk
is dead man, fo' real. Like I got a lot of close friends that
live kind of close from me in that mob and they be mostly
barkin' and now bitin', especially on the phone. It's time
for me to stop talking so much because that ain't Anna
get you nowhere.
Me, I'm a quiet person, no talking at all, mostly bitin'.
But mostly them dudes across the street be doing a lot of
yapping and it's time for talk to be dead. I'm out of here.
I'ma holla at you next weak.
From The Beat: if you're talking about the dirt you do or plan to do while
you're on the phone, then your brain hasn't started working yet! The
only advice worth giving (even though you're not yet ready to recognize
its worth) is to stop doing the things that people can talk about. Talk
will never be dead. You can wish it. You can order it. You can threaten
it. But 9S long as you give people information that they can use against
you, it^ like money in the bank for them. We hope you learn that truth
before you make one mistake too many.
Yo, this yo' boy Co Banga hit you with the no braina.
They finally talking about letting da kid out. I'm finna go
to Napa some time soon. I got an interview yesterday, and
he said they will accept me in to the program or what
I don't know if I should run or not yet, but I'ma see
once I get there. But yeah, I'ma see y'all when I see y'all.
Until then, stay up.
From The Beat: First, congratulations on getting out of here and into a
group home. But second, we sure hope that when you say you'll see us
when you see us, it won't be back in here. That^ where running will lead
you. Time for Lil' Curt to become Big Curt. Stop running. That% what
Ready To Get Out
What's good wit' The Beat, dawg? This yo boy Mook
keeping it so-so, ready to get out of this thang, ya heard
me dawg? Right now I'm missing my BM and my family
and goons. I'm 'bout to go to this group home and knock
out this time for the good, ya dig.
Today, I don't got nothing to say big dawg. My words
getting short so I'm out. I love you lil' bro. Stay up.
From The Beat: Tell us more about knocking out your time in a group
home "for good." Does that mean you never plan to allow yourself to
get locked up again? We hope so, but what's your plan to achieve that
goal? It has to include some real changes in how you've been living, so
we're all ears. You are capable of writing much, much more than these
The System Sets Us Up Tn Fail!
I got court tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get out of here.
I'm guessin' though, that I'ma get sent to another group
home. I hope the judge doesn't send me to another one,
'cause I know I might fail. This shhh hella wack 'cause
the system set us up to for failure. They know that ain't
no juvenile in they right mind is finna stay at some wack-
I'm hoping that my PO just let me stay here till I turn
eighteen 'cause that's only around the corna in April. I
just hope dat I would have neva bounced from the first
groupie. That shhh was easy as fudge, but I AWOL too
many times and got (T'eed). Damn mayne, I shoulda just
stuck to that shhh.
It's all good dough, 'cause God got better plans for me.
As long as I stay faithful to him, God will come through
for me in the best way. I'm just tryin' to get out of the
system, keep my rap sheet clean, and get myself a job and
help my fam.
From The Beat: Of course you might fail at another group home. But
"might fail" is just the other side of "might succeed." Why not go
wherever you go with the attitude that you will make it, that you will
gain some knowledge that you don't yet have, that you will learn to
do things in a different and more positive way. The difference between
success and failure may be nothing more than the attitude you bring
to whatever situation you face. If turning 1 8 is just around the corner
for you, then it's really time to start thinking like an adult. That means
facing your responsibilities and doing your best to meet them, even
when they are disagreeable to you. Children run. Adults sticic it out.
Your plans to get out, get a job and help your fam tell us that you are
growing up. Don't screw that up by falling back on the ways that little
boys handle their problems.
My Life And The Conditions I Am In
Right now I see things s whole 'nother way. Ninjas on
the streets ain't real no mo'. Most ninjas is snitchin'
nowadays. This shhh ain't right. I had a change in my eye
since I been incarcerated that every ninja you see ain't
real or about shhh.
My conditions in this shhh will make the hardest
ninja go straight because everybody came to the game a
different way. Life is too good to die young, but I'm going
bang out till I get out, and when I get out that when I
check out. And that's a long time from now.
Don't let this jail shhh be a life. For all my real, get
at and on y'all feet had get this shhh poppin'. I love my
ninjas till the day I die ya heard.
From The Beat: Well, thanks for setting us straight. We had thought
that great thinkers and great doers like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm
X, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois — and even Barack
Obama and Condoleeza Rice — were truly something! But now we see
that they're nothing and you and your boys are the real thing!
I Speak My Mind
What's up Beat? This Gucci Mane, and to me
communication is important because it is how you and
another person get along. That is how communication is
I have never been in that situation when someone
said talk is dead and I could say something, because
when talk is dead it's dead in the halls. Yes, I did wish
to say something when they told me not to, and I did say
something to my parents, to my principal and teacher. I
am the kind of person to speak my mind.
From The Beat: We admire people who can speak their minds, but we
also icnow there are times when even you have to bite your tongue
when you wish you could say something. For example, we Icnow you're
smart not to talk back to a judge who has power over your life. So, how
do you feel at those times?
Love can be expressed in so many ways
It's an amazing feeling
And once you found that special someone
You think about that person day after day
Being with him makes you so happy
And him telling you he loves you constantly
It's hard to be away from your other half
Because it's hard to find someone that makes you smile
Makes you laugh
Makes you feel wanted
That truly cares
And completes you
From The Beat: Yes, love does fill you with the feeling you describe,
especially when it is new and wonderful. On the other hand, we think
you are already complete as you are. The problem with thinking that
someone else completes us is that if — for any reason — the relationship
doesn't last, we suddenly feel incomplete, when in fact we have
everything that makes us whole within us. We hope this one lasts
When I Find That One
I'm lookin' for that one, but I really can't find her, who?
Thro win' up my 'hood every time I walk by
I need a shawdy that's gonna stick by my side
And put in work when it's time to ride.
When its time to get money, put on your game face.
When we get that nice house money, goin' all over the
I need a shawdy that's willing to take care of me.
I'ma take care of you, so do the same for me.
I stay fitted every day, plus the diamonds in my teeth.
I do bad things 'cause I'm addicted to these streets.
With you on my side, we are goin' to run these streets.
We gone be riding on them dubs and females gone hate
If they take it to a new level, I'ma slide that weapon to
It ain't never been a problem 'cause I stay in that
gangs ta shhh.
When I find you, be ready for me 'cause we gone be with
You my shawdy and you know that.
Don't worry, shawdy, come with me and our relationship
will be on the map.
From The Beat: if you find a girl who nnsv/ers this call/You'll have to
ride fast, 'cause you're both gonna fall/'Course, you don't believe we
know what we're say in'/But the prisons are stuffed with those who were
playin'/The females they run with are all in their mind/'Cause when they
look for relief, it's just other males they find/They all thought they'd be
on the map to stay/And they are — from San Quentin to Pelican Bay!
This An to giving it to you raw and uncut! I'm complaining
because being in here is stressful as hell. Basically, I'm
mad because it's modern-day slavery! I'm complaining
because phony-ass people do wrong to you and then
smile in yo' face like it's sweet!
I'm complainin' because ninjas play with guns on the
outs, but when you step to them in here and they don't
got their guns, they soft as cotton! I'm complainin' about
people popping at the mouth, talking about shhh that
they ain't about, until they catch it to the mouth!
I'm complainin'... Damn! Y'all know why I'm
From The Beat: Well, you've got a lot to complain about! We'd love for
you to expand on your theme that guns make people believe they are
strong even when they're "soft 9S cotton." On the other hand, maybe
the fact that people don't react they way you think a "strong" person
should (in here or out there) is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. ■
Things to think about. I
Wkat's Up With Ike Beat
Yeah dis ya boy Drew man. I'm still up in here and we
were looking at the topics. The topic "complainin"' caught
my eye. I was thinking about all these people around me,
and sometimes they need to just shut up. That goes for
the kids, the staff, and all these people crying that don't
need to be.
These people be cryin', talking 'bout they got 90 days
in a group home and shhh. I just be feeling like slappin'
some of these people.
The staff be up in here complainin' like they work
hella hard all day. These staff be whining about nothing
when all they got to do is push a button all day. The staff
don't even have to serve our food. They just push the
button to our door and have us serve the food.
These probations officers be whining, talking like
ninjas did something bad. People be in here for AWOL
and be getting sent up the river. Man, I been on probation
for five years now, and they keep violating me on some cat
shhh, so they be cryin' about nothing.
But I'm gonna try to do my time and go back to the
block so I ain't got to deal with this shhh.
From The Beat: You sure do a lot of complaining about people who do
a lot of complaining... What^ up with that? If you think going back to
the block will free you from all this, you need to open your eyes a little
wider. Doing the same as what led you here before is a prescription for
more of the same. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll have a lot
more time to complain about the whiners, the complainers, the staff, _
the kids, the probation officers... everyone but yourself. I
Yeah Beat, this the Anto ninja, still in m£ix keeping it
solid like always! Love is a crazy thang! I'm dedicating
this to the wife — love, at first sight.
I thought it was just puppy love, until I got locked up.
Now every day, I'm wishing I was out doing it nonstop,
or chilling with my girl, yeah, smoking on a chop...
Wit' a case like mine, all I ask for is love and support.
I couldn't imagine breaking her heart having her beg for
And how good it feel when I see them dimples while she
smiling, when I'm in court!
Yeah boo-thang, ya husband love ya!
From The Beat: Was she there for you before you did what you did?/To
risk all of that... sounds just like a kid!/lf you get back to this love of
your life/What will you change to hold onto your wife?
mnnnME Mswmmm^4 ^ ^ / s ^ ^
Let Me Go
Something that I complain about is getting out of this
place. Something else is not being able to do what I want
I want when I want to. I think that the judge should just
let me go so I can just be with the fam bam. I would like to
go home 'cause I think I did too much time, and it's time
to let a young homie go
From The Beat: But if the judge let you go home, and you messed up,
what would all the other judges and lawyers and POs say to the judge
that took that chance? Besides the time you have already done, tell us
why the judge should take a chance on you? What changes do you plan
to make so that you won't be facing any more judges?
What I Itink Aliiut Liie
In my eyes, the way I feel about love is... strong,
respectful, loyal, honest, trust, responsibilities, honest,
and caring. I think love is taking care of another person
and you care about and respect. And you both know you
guys want to spend the rest of your lives with them.
From The Beat: What about taking care of yourself so that you're in a
position to take care of someone else? If you love someone, can you
continue to do the things that separate you from the one(s) you love,
or do the things you do to take you away mean more to you than they
I feel I've given up on life.
I've been messed with, heartbroken.
Stepped on, and lied to.
I really feel like I don't know what to do.
I'm locked up and I've lost my sense of control.
Just hope I get on a right role.
From the Beat: We hope you get on that right role, too, Ashley. There^
no question that you've lost control while in here. Everyone here is
under the control of a system that can't care about you si% much sk% you
must care about yourself. Use this time to think about how you lost
control of your life on the outs, so that you will know what steps to
take to regain that control, and never give it up again.
He Toik A Billet For Me
What's good wit' tha Beat? Dis dat ninja Na-Na an' I'm
'bout to talk about when my big homie rescued me. We
was on the block an' them ninjas slid through. They start
doin' they thang, and we start doin our thang. I almost got
hit, but tha big homie took one for lil' bra. Ah love bra for
that . . . Ah always show bra love fa dat. He ma favorite big
homie. We always together. Dat's like ma role model.
LFrom The Beat: It sounds like your role model came very close to being
no one's role model, just another dead and forgotten little boy. We wish
you could see and appreciate how much bigger the world is than your
tiny little square block of reality. But nobody can make anybody else
grow. That comes from within. All we can do is hope...
Where You At?
We in JJC, nothing to do. We all waiting to get out, be
with our family, but stuck in this hellhole. They tell you
what to do an' you have no control over nothing. Gotta
watch every corner in eyesight. If you don't, you'll be
trapped around somebody you beefln' wit', so watch ya
back. Don't trust nobody you don't know. I'm out.
From The Beat: Well, you've described life inside this juvenile jail. But
what about life outside? If you don't like it here, why are you doing the
things that lead you here? Maybe you shouldn't even trust yourself if
you can't rely on yourself to stay free.
When I was wit' my family, I used to have good times.
When I used to play with my little nephews an' my little
brother and little sisters, I used to have fun. I used to play
P.S. 2, and my nephew used to win, and basketball. My
sisters and I would play fighting games — pro girl boxing,
and sometimes my sister will win. Me, my nephew and
brother used to ride dirt bikes with my uncle.
From The Beat: Why would you give up all that fun to hand your life
over to a bunch of strangers in a place iwhere fun is hard to find? Think
twice next time when you're tempted to do the things that take you
away from your family and your fun.
I complain about being in the Juvenile Justice Center
because I'm in here for something I did not do. I hope I
can go home because I was just at the wrong time and
wrong place, so they got me.
From The Beat: The system makes mistakes, like all of u%. We hope that
this mistake gets rectified. Maybe the lesson you should take from this
is, don't be in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong
On The Outs
Man, when I get out, the first thing I'm going to do is
going to hug my mom real hard and tell her I love her. And
I'm going to smoke some weed with my bro. And play with
my little bro.
From The Beat: Okay, then tell vl% what the second and third thing
you're going to do. Even more important, tell u% what you're NOT going
to do, so that you can avoid coming back to this place.
LoGk-Up Saved Me
Sometime I think it's good that me and ma lil' sis are
locked up. Why? Because since I been locked up, ma
people have been getting shot. Knowing me, I would have
been at them places at them times with them. If I was not
locked up, I would either be dead or killed someone.
From The Beat: Well, Mercedes, if being locked up has kept you alive,
or kept someone else alive that you might have killed, then we're glad
you're here. But you won't be locked up forever. So, how will you avoid
the terrible fates you worry about once you're back out on the streets.
The time to think about this problem is now; ivhile you have the time
and freedom to think. Don't waste that opportunity.
Poem Or Rap
What's good wit' da Beat, like I never left
I'm room up all night, I ain't never slept
Dis for dem cats on DRB
Up in unit 4, 6, 7, 2 or 3
Staff on my jock; leave me alone, dog
Only give da kid three-minute phone calls
And no gym time.
Gettin' kick out of class every day
So I'm walking a thin line
No medical, I got the best of health
Through The Beat Within is how I express myself
And da young dude strike like a panther
I know the answer
From The Beat: Well, if you knoiv the answer, you knoiw more than all
the great thinkers of the world who have spent their lives trying to find
"the answer." Since you know, don't keep it to yourself. Tell! Tell!
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Can't Be Rescued
Born a thoroughbred, so I know how to eat.
I will never say I need some rescuing 'cause I was raised
on these streets
Stayin' true to the game, I'm always holdin' my own.
Even though at times hurts to hear my mom sayin',
"Mijo, come home..."
Strivin' my whole life, it's no wonder this system can't
So the only hope for me they said would be best held up
Tomorrow ain't promised to me so I try to find some way
But I don't seem to find one because these streets keep
calling my name.
So now you could say I'm living to die.
'Cause I ain't beggin' for my life an' you can tell that
ain't no lie.
From The Beat: Even though we believe that you are very sincere in
your determination that you won't change, we are just sk% sincere when
we see you can't icnow the future. Change will come. The only question
is, will you maice it or will it be forced on you? When your mother^
tears hurt you sk% much sk% they hurt her, you will suddenly see the true
treasure you are walking away from. We hope that happens while you
can still do something about it.
Baby you know I love you to the fullest of my extent
and I will never quit.
Your love is like a sickness, with no cure, like a love
I love you girl, and there is no other answer.
Thinking about the things that we can do, things only
involving me and you.
Thinking about where we can go, where we can talk.
Thinking about you makes my heart stop.
And for a split second I thought I was able.
Who would have thought that I'd find an angel...
an angel for me, the one who completes me,
the one who filled the empty spaces that was up in me.
It's crazy, I never would have dreamed this girl would be
on my side and on my team.
I love her.
From The Beat: We hope you can find a way to send her your poem, is
she sk% smitten sk% you?
In Love With Two Girls
I'm in love with two girls and their sisters. The older one
wants me back and the younger one just wants to go out
for one year and have sex. She just likes messing with
But the older one wants a long relationship. I've been
with the both of them. I talk on the phone with the both
of them. But the older one gets mad when I talk to her
sister. But 9 '11 see what happens when I get out.
The older sister wants me back and she wants to have
my kid. She moves hella quick. But I guess you can't stop
or slow down love. But I love the both of them. That's just
how I feel about 'em.
From The Beat: We can't tell you what to do, but we can say that girls
who tie their futures to boys who are locked up aren't ready to be
mothers! And boys who allow themselves to be controlled by a cold
system instead of remaining free with those they love are not ready to
be fathers! Whatever you do, we urge you not to bring another child
into this world until you are a responsible man. Work on that!
My natural high is being with my Lady.
She gets yo boy going.
Every time I kiss her it's like an addiction I can't get
enough of it.
From The Beat: What a nice addiction to have! What is it about your
Lady that "gets you going"?
'S'up e'reybody? Hope everyone I doing ok. Well...
One of the topics caught my attention. I got love for
a lot of people. But I think I'm losin' the love I got for my
ex-girlfriend, which I don't want to.
I remember when I was sprung off this girl. She felt
the same way about me, too. But I messed it up for myself.
I started fiirtin' with one of her friends, and one thing led
to another. One of my patnas knew about me and my girl,
but he also knew I was getting' at her friend. He asked
me if he could holla at my girl, and I said it was coo' with
me. But he hated on me and told her I was talkin' to her
Well, they started talkin' and I was hella mad and
broken-hearted. Guess you neva know what you got 'til
you lose it. Now I'm tryna get back with her. When all this
happened, we were in 8th grade. Now I'm 18 years old and
we still talk. I really like her, and the fact that she is in
college now turns me on hella much.
I'm on my way to doing something, though. We gone
be all right.
From The Beat: You're right, too many of u% don't know what we
have until we lose it. We hope you get back what you had, but we
also hope you know that your anger at your friend is misdirected. It's
you who hated on yourself by not respecting the treasure you had.
That's a hard lesson to learn, but it's such an important one in so many
Ifleotal Health, A State Of Miod
Mental health is a state of mind. That's what I think.
If you have no worries then your mental health is good.
If you are stressing then your mental health is probably
bad. You might try to kill yourself or go into a state of
depression. But if you control what you think then your
state of mind (aka mental health) should be good and
From The Beat: Sometimes we underestimate how much control we have
over ourselves. Life can throw so much at u% that we often time feel that
our emotions and reactions to others are out of our hands. Keep up the
positive attitude C.
It sucks begin locked up again. I had a lot of stuff
going for me. I had a lot of good things on the outs and
I was having fun, too. I got locked up for my homies and
sometimes it sucks. I got locked up while my friends got
to go home. It's all good though, because my boys are
my boys. But a counselor told me that life has its ways -
getting out and in is like a circle of life. You get out until
you make a change and stay out.
I'm 17 years old and 18 is not that far away? But I got
to go. And, oh yeah, I would like to make shout outs to
the boys doing time. Much love to my friends.
From The Beat: That's a good way to look at life in general, that it goes
in certain cycles. But how can we break that cycle? How can you break
that cycle yourself?
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Last time I wrote in The Beat it was about my girlfriend
getting released. So yeah let me tell you the outcome. So
she had court January 28, 2008. Well she didn't get her
early release she had to stay in the hall until her regular
release date which is April 28, 2008. This week was
messed up. First my best friend got released ,rm happy
for her but I don't have her with me anymore. Then my
cousin, and my other best friend left to tiie ranch.
So then it was me and my girl, and my two patnas.
So on Wednesday the both my girl got failed because
someone told on her for something she did that wasn't
even serious. So she came to my room and told me she
was getting failed and the look on her face made tears
run down my face. Then she walked away and got into a
tangle with staff and she got restrained, and I saw it all.
Now its me and my two patnas and we keeping it solid
up in here.
Well I'm out and I am very depressed.
From The Beat: Sounds to u% like surrounding yourself with friends is
more important that doing a good program. We appreciate the update,
but in truth, if you could only focus on you, you would have such sat
easier time doing your program and possibly you wouldn't be depressed
either. Best to you with the next chapter!
Beat Within Interview Witli Justin \
TBW: What's up? "
J: Nothin', just chillin'.
TBW: How long you been here?
J: Five months.
TBW: You been charged yet?
TBW: Adult or juvenile?
TBW: Lookin' at ranch or the Y, or goin' home or a group
J: CYA alternative.
TBW: How long will you be there?
J: One year.
TBW: When you heard that, was it good news or bad
TBW: What was good about it?
J: That I'm leaving the halls.
TBW: Yeah, this place gets old. What's the bad part?
J: That I'm getting out in a year.
TBW: Who do you miss the most on the outs?
J: Sisters and cousins, and two girls I talk to.
TBW: Who are the two girls?
J: Just some girls I hella talk to when I'm hella mad at
TBW: Yeah, I know what you mean. I have friends like
that. Did you know them before getting here?
J: Yes I did. I knew them for about two years.
TBW: Some of my best friends are guys. As a girl it's
sometimes easier to talk to guys than girls. Do you think
there's a difference between friends who are girls and
fiends who are boys?
TBW: I think we need both kinds of friends. They give us
different things at different times. Why do think you get
along so well with them?
J: Because we're friends with benefits.
From The Beat: Although Beat interviews are okay, we really want you
to lAfrite lAfhat is on your mind, and not what is on the mind of The
Beat... Next time, give vl% something out of your own head. Thanks.
My topic is love story. I was with this one girl named G.
I was with her for a while. I was starting to love her but I
guess someone told her that I was cheating on her. That
wasn't true. I told her hella times, but she didn't believe
me. But it's right - beezees come and go. I started talking
to this one girl name A. She's cool. She's into me I was
just about to get with her, but I got locked up a couple of
days after talking with her.
My pops be telling me she calls for me, but he told
her I was locked up. I got court soon. I wanna get out
before Valentines Day. She could be my valentine. Well
yeah Beat, that's all. I hope Angelica's mine at the end of
From The Beat: Not so fast Juan. Get to know her, slowly, it's best to be
patient in matters of the heart. If you think you'd like to be with her for
a long time, then there's no hurry.
Help Ofl The Way
There was this time when I was walking to my aunt's pad.
As I was close to getting to the apartment, I seen a car full
of guys I didn't get along with. They jumped out the car
and began to run towards me. I was walking fast when I
saw that I was cornered and couldn't go anywhere.
But for some strange reason, I looked behind me, and
the guys were no longer behind me. I thought that was
odd. So I began to walk back to my aunt's house when I
seen another group of guys I didn't get along with. You
can say it wasn't my day.
This time I was like, "Screw it," and stayed put. As
they walked to me, they just started saying I was on the
wrong side of town. I ignored them and kept walking. I
seen them behind me. I knew they were trying to pull
a quick one, so I got on my cell phone and called some
homies. Luckily, they were close by, picked me up and
went to where I got stopped by those taggers.
We jumped out the car. They were on a corner house
five deep and we walked towards them. One of my little
homies started telling them to let's go five on five at
a park nearby, but they didn't want to go, so the little
homie cracked one of them and we jumped towards them.
But the four of them said to let it go one on one. While
this was happening, my little homie was smashing on a
tagger. After all this, we hopped and left to chill. So all
this, who says homeboys aren't there for you?
From The Beat: You know. Lefty, we were feeling your side of things
at the beginning of this piece — the outrage of little boys telling you
where you could and could not walk. But you flipped the script on u%,
and by the end, you lost our sympathy by jumping some taggers who
clearly did not want to beef. In our minds, that put you in the same
category sk% those little boys. If you keep putting yourself in the hands
of the law, if you keep thinking your freedom is unimportant, you will
end up in a place where it won't matter if your homeboys are there for
you or not...
I went to the hospital for a separated shoulder and I had
road rash and I insisted that they didn't scrub the dirt
and rocks out of my road rash. They said OK and told me
to lay down so I did, then they scrubbed it. It hurt so bad
now I hate going there.
From The Beat: Damn that must have stung! The docs could have done
better than lie to your face, but remember, some pain up front is better
than Sin amputated arm down the road. In the meantime, do your best
to stay on your vehicle.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
I just get really get depressed for so long,
that lacks of emotions makes happiness and sadness
go straight to anger.
But no matter how low I go,
I never find my way back up emotionally.
And that's why I get high.
From The Beat: And ivhat does being high do for you? Does it maice
you forget about your depression and your anger, or does it supply the
emotions you've been iacicing. Perhaps finding your way bade up starts
with trying to stay present, which is very hard when you are sad. But
the fact that you icnow yourself and know why you get high, that's a
What's good with The Beat? This ya boy Packman, back
from the group home. I cut out because the group home
was whack. I was only there for a minute, then I got
caught on the block. The cop ran my name and I came
up as I missing person with a warrant. I'm just trying to
get out the system but instead I'm locked up and can't do
anything about it.
From The Beat: You must know that you can't get out of the system
by running from group homes and not completing programs. What you
can do about it is just put your head down, finish your time and then
Every time I try, it seems like my game goes back
Try to make it through this hectic life in the dark with
my window cracked
When I sit back, reminisce about ol' times
It seems like rappin' and sellin' dope was a goldmine
You can say that I developed a cold mind
My heart was never there.
The Oakland life it wasn't fair
Had to fend for myself from the rain to summertime
Since I was young, I was addicted to the grind
Money was the only thing I understood
Trying to get it whether it was bad or good
I'm from the 'hood where we will rob you for riches
And rats get stitches
But I will be sittin' in the dark counting my riches
From The Beat: All we can hope. Young Cash, is that you open your eyes
and truly see the dark! The riches you're counting are all going into the
pockets of your keepers — the lawyers, DAs, POs, judges, counselors,
jailers of all kinds. They are grateful to you for those riches you think
you're counting. In the Bible (I Cor. xiii. 1 1) it says: "When I was a child
1 spoke sk% a child I understood sk% a child I thought sk% a child; but when
1 became a man I put away childish things." It's time to put away childish
What it do. Beat? I'm gonna talk about when I saved my
homies from getting caught up. He crashed, I got caught
and took to jail - so, now I'm waiting for court and I hope
I get out with life skills not the ranch, just because I got
caught and took to jail. Now, I learned my lesson of not
getting caught and not to drink, just in case the judge
sees this. Ha-ha!
From The Beat: We wish you would have shared more of the story of
what happened the night you got caught up. Did you tell your homie to
run and you saved him, or were you just the one that got caught and
didn't give up his name? Either way, it takes a lot of courage to protect
your friends - but how do you know they would do the same for you?
Q-onda Beat? To tell you the truth, I really don't have
any love stories to tell you because I never been in love,
pues esaodo por ara alrato.
From The Beat: You have many lifetimes to fall in love, iwe iwish for you
to find love soon.
late In M) Ejes
I came back wit' hate in my eyes
lil' did you know that this boss was gonna rise
I came back wit' hate in my eyes
showin' no emotion but cryin' on the inside
I came back wit' hate in my eyes
here to settle all the hate that made millions cry
that made good presidents die
that made you and I
Naw this ain't a test of yo' unity
It's me exposin' the cruelty
that made a community
Want to sit there and puke on me
They want to make speeches 'bout stoppin' the violence
but when a boy gets popped in the 'hood all you hear is
That's pretty much how it goes, ain't nothin' else in life
but young brothers killin' each other wit' guns and
So look in my face and tell me when it's all gonna stop
didn't y'all learn a damn thang when it happened to
It's sad we live in a world that'll kill a great man
Just 'cause when the world corrupt he the first to stand.
From The Beat: City officials often cite the increase in violence sk% a
reason to hire more police officers. What good does that do when all
this violence has more to do with poverty and social injustice? What
can we do sk% community members to give a voice to all those lost on the
street. How can we make them heard, to make a positive change?
I Miss The Homies
What's good. This is Barbie and I just wanted to say a
few things. First, I just want to say I miss my homegirl
and I want her to come up to this unit asap, and also I
want to tell her I have an OT soon, and I'm so tempted
to run because the streets keep calling me, but I'm not
going to. So - you better not run either.
From The Beat: Hey, this is your opportunity to communicate with
hundreds of folks. So please, write something for all of us, not just a
few of u%. We appreciate that you will resist the temptation to run on
the 4th. That^ wise.
I think that drugs should be legal. I don't agree with
people using all drugs, but I believe that if people want to
ruin their lives, let them. I believe weed is not a bad drug.
I'm not tryin' to say everyone should smoke it or that
it's good for everyone but it should be the individual's
-Choice Is Yours
From The Beat: Legalizing marijuana is one of the most debated topics
around the country. You make a good point about personal responsibility
lying with the individual rather than the government. However, is it
possible that one person's drug abuse can lead to consequences for
other people? Maybe there should only be penalties for drug u%e if they
lead to harming others. Hit u% back with a response.
r/r A/^/#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
ion. Talk I
neonle tell "
Words Alone Mean Nothing
Complaining is fine, so long as it provokes action. Talk
without action is dead talk. I've heard so many people tell
me that they want to change their lives for the better, as
soon as... (insert ay one of millions of excuses here).
But really, there is no perfect moment to change
except right now. If you wait, you may wait forever. So
yes, go ahead and complain, but remember: words alone
-Monk, Santa Clara
From The Beat: There is not one word in this fine piece that we can
disagree with. Sometimes words mean something. These words you've
written, for example.
Mental Health Evaluation
Q-vo Beat? Well, I think that evaluation for mental health
is unnecessary. If a person can function without incident
in his/her daily life then there is no reason he/she should
Anything else they try to do is just to judge people.
They want to have us like animals and classify us, but
I ain't with that, ya dig? They need to let people be and
stop trying to control our lives. They too concentrated on
small stuff and missed the big picture.
Stuff like that crazy kid at Virginia Tech. They
overlook the people that really need help and let time
bomb's run loose and have incidents like Virginia Tech
From The Beat: Mental disorders are difficult to diagnose. Unlike a
physical disease, there is no certain way to test for them, it^ true that
mental health professionals often get it wrong, but does that mean
they shouldn't try? If these professionals are missing the "big picture",
what signs should they be looking for instead?
A memory of love with my ex-girlfriend: It was love at
first sight. One morning, it was the first day of school, I
was walking to class and saw this beautiful girl. Once I
laid my eyes on her on her, she turned around and looked
into my eyes. I was kind of shy but we both said hi. I asked
her name she said: Justine, and I told her my name. We
sat right next to each other and we began to talk about
being in a relationship. It was my game - that's why I sat
next to her. I think it was my looks that got her.
From The Beat: It is nice that you still remember this moment with
your ex-girl so nicely. Oftentimes, people will let the way a relationship
ended with someone color their memories. It sounds like you jumped
into things quick with this girl.
Well Beat, hate to break it to you but these topics didn't
really appeal to me, sorry.
I will write about something that people should do is
stop putting the image of something they are not. Most of
these inmates have far more than what tiiey tend to show
to people and that always tends to corrupt the minds of
our youth. Most of the guys have potential to become
more than they show. And it hurts when I see these guys
From The Beat: In any new situation, it can be easier to pretend to fit
in than to show strangers who you really are. To all those who feel this
way, "B" is right. Don't forget all your gifts and potential. It's easy to
lose sight of these qualities in your current situation, but don't let your
current situation corrupt what% best in you.
Vanessa, Me, and Lacey... I Love Them
Well, there was these two times where I met these two
girls - both at the Great Mall in Milpitas - but at separate
Well, let me tell you how I met Vanessa. I met her at
the buses because I was at the Light Rail, and I saw her
walking. So I walked down stairs and she stopped me and
I got her number and we got hooked up together and I fell
in love with her. That's how I met Vanessa, then she got
I met Lacey at McDonald's. She and her homegirls
stopped me because they said I had beautiful eyes. And
so she gave me her number and then the next day I
got locked up, because I was on the run. I ran from my
program, but I still got her number.
Then I met a girl named Brenda and I got her address
too, and she writes me. Well, got to go Beat. Late.
From The Beat: Chris, you have some serious business to take care of,
with Mskne%%sk, don't you. Bringing a new life into the world is about
sk% serious sk% it gets. And you can't do the right thing, whatever that
turns out to be, while you're locked up. Get your act together, man. You
have some heavy duty responsibilities to deal with. And number one is
to take care of your own problems. You can't help others until you've
dealt with your own difficult situation. If we understand your piece,
you have a child waiting to be born. Time to get real, sk% scary as it must
feel. Once you've committed to doing what^ right, you'll feel a lot better
about your life. We're not saying you have to be with the mother of your
child. We're saying that you have to find a way to help her, and your
child. That^ what being a man is about.
I once was in love with a very special person. She
was eight years older than me, which meant that I had
someone very smart and up on game.
I was with her for two years. I opened my heart and
let her touch me the way no other women were able to
touch me. In my heart, we were good together and I let her
live with me for a while until we got our own place.
I thought everything was good because I took care of
her and got her anything she wanted, but I was wrong.
Once I got locked up she stayed loyal for about two
months, until I found out she cheated on me. I figured
that out once she stopped writing me. I got over it after a
while, but now it's hard for me to let another girl into my
life and heart. So, now I just keep friends with benefits.
From The Beat: Eight years older is a pretty big age gap between a
young man and a woman, but you say that you took care of her. Being
hurt makes the heart close up, but you will probably find true love
again if you are open.
Love Ain't Siiiiii
What's up Beat. It's the Lil' One just here waiting to get
out. Only got a few more days and I'm out of here for
good. I ain't coming back I know for sure.
Well, I'm sick and tired of these guys now days.
There's no such thing as love, and now I know I only
need myself through thick and thin. I need no help.
You always said that you'll be by my side but now I
know you lied. The feelings I had for you were strong but
now I know its time to move on, focus in school, and be a
success. Life is too short for regrets.
Well - to those doing hella time - be coo'. Much love
From The Beat: You're wrong about love, though, it exists, and it's good
stuff. You haven't found the right partner. Be patient and careful. There
are plenty of good folks out there. Don't rush it.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
I hate this food.
I hate the clothes here.
I hate this place and it almost makes me hate my life,
From The Beat: Don't get carried away, now. We're glad you don't hate
us, because we like you.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm so deeply in love
and so could be you.
Well, what's up Beat. One thing I can say is that I'm in
love with my boyfriend. He's my everything. We have a
great relationship. We respect each other and understand
each other. Unfortunately, not all relationships are great.
Well, good luck with love. Beaters! Be coo'.
From The Beat: Who could disagree with you on this. We're glad you're
pleased with your relationship.
The Love Stories
Well, I'm still in love with my baby mama. I stopped
talking to her when I got out in 2005. She was pregnant
and I thought it was with her ex-boyfriend. To really find
out if it was mine, I got a blood test done and found out it
was mine, so now I'm back with her and still in love with
her. Well, I don't have anything else to say so I'm gone. I'll
end with love and respect.
From The Beat: Sometimes when we mistrust someone and then realize
we were wrong, our relationship is even stronger. We wish you luck with
life and love.
My Love Story
What's up Beat. Well, my love story starts with me
kicking it with my brother Browny. We were at his house.
I called my man Lucky, he told me that he was coming
to San Jose from Central Valley - Modesto. I was kind of
scared to see him because I hadn't seen him in a long
time and I was being really shy.
He got to my brothers house with these other guys.
My man's friends wanted to leave but he wanted to stay
with me and my brother. He told his friends to come back
later to pick him up. So his friends said to call them
when he wanted to go back to Modesto. They left and my
brother went walking to Mike's Pizza. So I stayed at my
brother's house with my man.
We started walking around the hood. We were holding
hands and just talking about a lot of different things.
Then we walked by a house with a bush of roses and he
cut one off and gave it to me. That was hella sweet. Then
we got back to my brother's house and were sitting on his
porch and talking when all of a sudden we see his friends
drive by. Then they gave me a ride home and he left for
home after, and we were talking while he was on his way
home. Keep your head up.
From The Beat: Sounds like a pretty good beginning. A slow walk and
good talk and a beautiful flower (though we must say that it isn't cool
to take someone else^ roses). Have you been in touch with your new/
old friend since then?
What's up Beat. It's me, Luis, still in here.
I'm going to write a story about when I almost died. It
was years ago. It was at my house before I came here. I was
in the garage. My brother came up behind me. We always
play wrestling, like headlock or twisting our arms back,
until one of us taps for 'out'. So, he came from behind me
and put his arm around my neck. He was choking me. I
couldn't breathe. He didn't know I tried to pull his arm
out. I couldn't, so my heart stopped, and my breathing,
and my eyes closed. I could hear nothing.
To be continued
From The Beat: That^ a scary story Luis. We're glad you made it through,
We bet your brother felt pretty bad about the accident. We hope you'
stopped playing that game. Sounds too dangerous, to u%.
Thoughts From A First Timer
This is my first time being in here.
Never been locked up.
Never been in trouble with the law.
My first time here.
I'm alright now, but I'm waiting to hear what the Judge
is going to say.
I messed up, and these are the consequences that I have
I'm hoping to get house arrest, but if I have to go to the
ranch, I'll do my time.
I messed up and I'm ready to take my punishment.
From The Beat: That's a very mature outlook for someone so young.
Whatever the outcome, it must be reassuring that you'll be ready for
anything. Keep your head up and hope that the legal system shows you
the same respect that you have shown it.
I feel every man has their own brain, so no man should
be judged the same. What I'm trying to say is sometimes
men and women turn to drugs to feel something better
than they feel. Drugs should be legalized and let the
women and men mess up their own brains.
Alright then Beat, stay up.
-A IVIan Who Stays High as a Bird
From The Beat: Every person is unique and should be treated si% such.
Mental health evaluation needs to be objective and be treated on a
case-by-case basis, staying sk% fskt ways from stereotyping sk% possible.
With this in mind, do you believe there is a benefit to diagnosing and
treating those who are truly ill? If people turn to drugs to feel better,
is it possible that the reality of their situation needs to be dealt with
rather than avoided?
Well, what's cracking? This is your homegirl Athina
coming out of this unit. Well, today I'm going to talk
about the drama in the unit - because there are different
cliques starting drama with each other and its just all
shhh talking. The girls say they gonna do this they gonna
do that but I don't see no action. I'ts just all talk. They
talk so much shhh but they don't back it up. And first of
all, damn, they all lucky that they are here 'cause on the
outs it's all different. You just get smash on, yup yup.
Well, I'm out. Late.
From The Beat: We suggest you don't let them get you in a tizzy. Spend
your time learning and reading and having conversations with those
who are mature enough to know how to u%e their time constructively -
that would be folks like you.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Well, I am complaining about me being in juvenile hall. I
think that we were tricked and lied to and disrespected.
My sister got into a fight with a gang banger. I pulled
the hyna off my sister then she pulled out a knife and the
janitor grabbed her and she threw the knife.
Me and my sister got picked up by my mom because
we did not want to go to Barnes - the principal - because
he don't and never liked me or my sister.
Next morning, the principal called saying for us to
come down to the principles office just to talk and get our
side of the story, but when we got there they arrested us
and the cops disrespected my mom and had no sympathy
for her. The two principals lied and said we would go to
juvenile for most likely just a day and go home. One of the
principals also said that the other girl would get arrested
but all she got was a slap on the hand. I think that this
whole situation is unfair to me, my sister, and my mom.
From The Beat: We appreciated that both you and your sister participated
in The Beat Within while you were in the hail. It is really interesting to
hear the story from both of you. Hopefully, you managed to work things
When Brady takes the field
the Giants will fold and soon yield
Moss will take off deep
Three Giants on his heels
And the ball will fiy from Brady's hand
Two feet in the zone Moss'll land
That's six fo' the Pats
An' another six will follow fast
Till Eli Manning will start to get mad
Wishing he was the favorite son of his dad
But all that's too bad
'Cause the Pats scored two point in his pads
Now he wipin' the green off his ass
See why the Pats are better
And I'll write you another letter
-Old Man Time
From the Beat: The saying "hindsight is 20/20" just seems to fit here
doesn't it? The Pats in all their glory, couldn't finish the ultimate story.
The Giants came to the desert, their defense on alert. And for all his
zigs and zags and touchdown grabs. Moss had little else to show. Our
heart goes out to all you Pats fans!
I Sad Loie Sini
What's up Beat? Today I'm gonna write about love.
Love is something I used to have
I was so deep in it I was about to be a dad
But then it all went wrong
Now I'm writing this sad love song
I was gonna have a baby
But then I broke up with my lady,
We used to talk about our marriage
But then my girl had a miscarriage
When I heard about it I just went crazy
'Cause I lost my future baby
Well that's all I got to say
Some facts for love
Just don't mess around with love cause its something
From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about you and your girl and her
miscarriage. Things happen in life for a reason. It's nobody's fault. There
are some things that are just beyond your control. Love is a good thing
but that doesn't mean that you're gonna find it right away. You live and
Tie leal Witkin
What up Beat, it your homeboy Nino coming from
Sunnyvale. So how you guys holding up. Well my ex lady
is the best girl. She is always there for me. She always
writing me all the time I am locked up. And she tells me
to go to school and I do. And she calls me all the time. We
always kick it on the outs. She lives around the corner
and I kick it. I love her.
From The Beat: How are you holding up? You should be going to school
and staying out of trouble. We hope that that girl you talking about can i
keep you out of trouble when you return home. I
I don't deserve to be in juvenile. These are bigger
problems in the world, other than something that could
have been solved without me being here. This is not fair
for me and my sister to have to be locked up because of
what that girl said.
They gave her a chance to talk and to have a witness
talk for her but me and my sister didn't get that chance.
We were able to talk but it wasn't worth helping because
we still ended up here. It went through one ear and out
thee other as the pig laughed and ridiculed us. He was
disrespectful and rude about the situation. He should
have spoke to me, my mom and my sister like human
beings, not animals.
Plus we never got a chance to have a witness, they
said we don't have any but we told them we do and they
don't want to hear it. Unfair justice!
They gave the wet back a chance to say what she
had to say and let her witness speak but not me and my
sister. They took her side and felt sorry for her. She is
just jealous of me and my sister and wanted to make up
lies. We have graduation to lose, she's a freshman so she
had nothing to worry about. She deserves to be in here,
not my sister and me!!!
From The Beat: You and your sister are both really defensive and talk
about injustice, but the way you are badmouthing the girl you got into
a fight with makes it seem like you would want to beef with her again
when you got out. Perhaps, you should try to let your anger go before
it gets you in trouble again.
I got a girl that I put in a messed up situation. She just
got out of Elmwood, and now she's back in 'cause of me.
Me and her were at the wrong place at the wrong time and
now we facing the consequences. I just want to apologize,
'cause I know she shouldn't be in jail but I do wanna say
I love her. Baby, I do and when it's all over, I'm coming
home to you. So yeah, I love you suga lips.
-Yung Sha T
From The Beat: Getting someone you care about in trouble is really hard,
but it sounds like you two have a strong relationship so hopefully she'll I
Q-vo Beat? This is vato again talking about complaining.
I'm complaining because you guys always changing my
shhh. Q-vo with that Beat? How you go from vato to ninja?
That's all I have to complain about.
From The Beat: What can we say Lil' Psycho, we're speechless. We
try to stay true to your writings, but help us in the future by being
more specific about all these changes. If things are changing, is that
necessarily a bad thing?
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
;n I ■
Love In My Life - My Addiction To Cigarettes
Some people think they love someone but they really
don't, but that ain't me. I know I love someone when
would do next to anything for that person. There's one
person in my life that I'm in love with. Her name is Kailin.
I know I'm in love with her because I'm always there for
her and we are always together.
When I'm locked up it breaks my heart because I
know she wants to be with me but she can't. She doesn't
even know that I'm in here and she's wondering where I
am. I can't get a hold of her because she doesn't have a
house phone. Before I got in here I used to smoke stoges
Some of my friends say I should stop smoking. Others
say, need a light? When I smoke it makes me feel good
and when I'm in here it make me crazy because there's no
way to get them. When I'm in here I don't feel the same as
I do on the outs. It sucks but I got to deal with it.
From The Beat: Smoking is bad for your health. It is proven that smoking
csku%e% lung cancer. So if you're planning on living a long life you might
want to think about quitting. Also if you're planning on trying to be
with that girl you love, you need to stay out of jail. You need to find a
Want To Go liome
I don't know what to say on these topics, so I'm just
going to write how I feel. I just had court and didn't go
home. My P.O. recommended Ranch. Now, I'm just waiting
for APA. and JTC to come interview me.
Man, just want to go home. I miss my family and my
From The Beat: Don't be down though, you seem like you are doing well
in here and keeping your head up and doing good. You'll be out soon
and seem like you are ready to turn your life around.
My \i\\ With Tiie Devil
Me: Hello, I'm going to do it dog. I'm tired but I want to
let you know what's on my mind before I fire a.
Devil: Hey homie what you tripping on?
Me: That's it dog I'm through I'm not fit to take this shh
this is all that I can do.
Devil: A homie you all right dog?
Me: I'm sick of all this pedo. (problems)
Devil: Don't do nothing stupid.
Me: I love you homie. I lived that flrme life que no(right?)
I kick it like I had to you always had you.
Devil: Why you cocking back your cuete(gun) this ain't
cool homie, your tripping homie Don't do this freaking
Me: It's hard for me to do this dog. To think of my familia,
my lil homies, my lil carnalita but the truth is I'm a
burden, I no longer want to suffer forget the world and
forget my life, I am sick of all this. I realize that if there
were ever a God, He never look into my eyes dog. All I
needed a jefe(dad) to control me. Tell my hyna that I love
her. Don't tell her I was crying. Make her think I wasn't
tripping even though she know your lying. Tell my parents
that I'm sorry for all the pain and sorrow they won't see
me back tomorrow. Pues sabes que(Well you know what)
I'm finished talking.
From The Beat: Wow what a conversation with the devil. We know this
is not how you're feeling, given we spoke to you. Yet on paper you're
lAfilling to leave your girl and family that love you a lot? We know in
real life that situations can get stressful, and you want to find quick
solutions to your problems. But remember you can you talk to those
who love you! You can always talk to us.
Communication is important and crucial for youth. To
communicate is key to life and to some or even most
I have been known to talk or chatter a little too much.
That's understandable because I know I talk a lot and
that's cool but if you were to actually come up to me and
ask me something, I would listen and give the truth.
Growing up all I heard was lies and I told myself that
I would not grow up to mislead people and I ain't done it
since. So with that said, I decided to stay talking and if
you don't like it then do something about it. Please.
From The Beat: Speaking out too loudly can be dangerous, but it also
comes with self-confidence. Continue to further the truth, whatever it
may be for you Brian, but be careful not too cross too far over that
Why am I in this place when I could be at home? Why
does it seem like the world is trying to separate me from
my family? I try to do the best I can by providing for my
son and mom. But yet everyday that goes by I feel like
as if I've taken five steps forward and ten steps back. I
love my baby's daddy with all my heart, but yet I don't
understand how I can love someone who can't seem to
love me back. Each day that goes by, I can't seem to think
about anyone else.
Why is it that sometimes I feel like I wasn't meant to
be on tiiis earth? What is it that I've done to deserve all
this pain in my heart? I try to live my life to the fullest
and live by the moment, but how is that I can live my life
by being in here when my mom is at home disabled and
alone how can I go on knowing my baby is three months
old and with a person I don't know? What is my purpose
here on earth and how can I fulfill it when everybody is
hating on me and bringing me down?
But oh well shhh happens -just have to try to get my
life together and find someone who can except me and my
son and just take me as I am.
From The Beat: We know that you were going through a lot iwhen you
wrote this, but you really seemed to express yourself sk% a writer. Often,
people are so messed up that they can't write, but you have really made
your situation clear and shown that you are trying to keep your head
up. We wish you the best with your problems and that you find someone
I to love you and care for you.
My Lnvely Stnry
One time I was on the run and my homie let me stay at
his pad. He's been my homie for years. So we were chilling
with our other homies and I seen this girl. She was pretty
fine. Anyways I kept on starring at her and I think she
knew that I liked her.
Then the next day I heard that she did like me. That
same day I got with her.
Later on I had a cigarette and she told me that she
didn't want me to smoke no more. That how I knew she
really cared and loved me and that moment I loved her
too. Five days later I got caught by the police and she
don't know I'm in here and when I get out I'm going to
show all my love to her and hopefully she'll love me and
That's all Beat I'll catch y'all later.
From The Beat: Sounds like this girl really cares for you. We hope she
does forgive you. You need to keep yourself out of trouble. Or how do
you plan on keeping a girl friend if you're gonna keep bringing yourself
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
This is Candygirl, just here showing some love to The
Beat Within. Well, I have a little story of love.
Love to me is not forever. It might be there, but then
it will go away. I've been in love but I don't know if it
was really love. Anyway, I'm still looking for love, and for
a daddy for my baby, not yet born. But yeah, my baby's
daddy is a piece of work. Well, I'm out. Late.
From The Beat: Thanks. We love the love. We love to provide you iwith
skn outlet for your feelings and opinions. And we're not sure we know
any more about love than anyone else. Some of it does come and go,
and the going hurts. We know that much. And we know that it's wise
to learn from our experiences. We wish you good fortune on the way to
finding a love that lasts.
Rescue My Brother And I
I wish somebody could rescue me, or me and my brother.
I feel terrible because me and him were doing so good and
now we are both here.
As for me, being older, I could have prevented this.
We are both being charged with strong-armed robbery
because my brother and his friend robbed a gas station
with a gun, and I was something like the driver, so we are
both looking at CYA. So bro, if you are reading this, I'm
sorry and I love you. But yeah, I hope we beat this case
and return home fast.
And to my mama: you need to come see us more so
you can make my day. I love you.
-Yung Sha T
From The Beat: The fact that you are not mad at your brother and that
you feel responsible proves that you are down for your family and
a great big sister. Good luck with your case and good luck with the
My Love, My Sister
My love story is when I started bonding with my sister
Shatel. We used to hate each other and argue, then we
started smoking and drinking. We got hella closer, then
I got caught up for a 211 charge with my sister since she
was the driver.
I love my sister a lot and I'm sad that we're both in
here. I think every night that we shouldn't have went to
Bulldogs. So all I gotta say is I love you sis and take care,
and we will see mom soon by.
From The Beat: It is no accident that those that we care most deeply
about are the ones we want to do the most for. Not a day may goes by
where you wouldn't bail Shatel out if you could. When you both get out,
how will you live differently to make sure she's kept safe?
Rescoed By My Bro
Well I remember when I was in a bad situation when I was
walking down the street and out of the cuts these punks
just took flight on me and I was by myself. So all I can
do was throw swings everywhere and I was on the floor
bleeding and so good thing my brother was coming home
from his lady's pad. He ran up to those punks and then
started smashing on those punks and then my brother
helped me up. When they ran I thought to myself what
would've I done if my bro would've stayed at his lady's pad
damn... So that's a time when I got rescued. That's it for
this week Bea,t alrato.
From The Beat: Damn that is a bad situation to be caught in. We're glad
that you had your older brother there to help you out. Be careful when
you're out there in the streets because the streets are not safe especially
living on the edge. We advise you to stay off the streets sk% much sk%
possible to try and avoid the most trouble. Get back to school!
Love is gay,
love is not true,
'cause the love you have for me is not the love I have for
From The Beat: Sometimes disappointment and sorrow can make a
wrong turn into bitterness. In a situation like this, here^ a question you
could consider asicing yourself: why would you want to spend time with
someone who didn't want to spend time with you? What joy would that
bring? You deserve better than that, don't you?
Do what you do,
but think before you act,
know the consequences and know what could happen in
so you don't have to be the person to have regrets and
have to look back,
but just know the past catches up to you,
and it's all a game with this life of hate and pain,
but know most people have the same problems,
but everybody ain't the same,
it's a reality check,
so look up to the Lord and ask Him to be your daily
but this ain't no lecture,
I do sin every day,
but once the day is over I clear my sins,
while I lay and pray,
keep your head up and stay safe, your boy
From The Beat: We can tell that you've learned a lot about your
experiences, and are now a more educated person. And it's wonderful
that you've found a source of redemption in your God, and that you've
chosen to share these things. Thanks for offering your advice to
readers, and keep on being a blessing to others!
Q-onda? Pues, I got locked up and I left five girls over
there; they all write to me in here. But there is one that
wrote to me telling me that I was cheating on her when I
was out. She doesn't write to me but I don't trip because
when I got out I know that she's wanna get with this vato
I am out until paper meets pencil, Alrato.
- Lil' One
From The Beat: You're fortunate to have a girl who may still want to be
with you even though you've cheated on her, but is this really the best
way to let a relationship grow well? Think about how you would like
to be treated in a relationship, and what kind of loyalty you would like
from your friends.
This week one of the topics was complaining. I was
complaining today because I went to court and I thought
I was getting out. That's what my PO told me but turns
out that the "homie" pointed the finger at me so I have
to wait until the 1st of February to see what they're going
to sentence me to. So I was complaining all day because
I was pissed off.
So that's one of the times when I was complaining
until then Beat stay tuned until then, alrato.
From The Beat: If you don't like being locked up then why do you keep
getting into trouble? What's the plan so you never return?
^mammmmmmF ^/^/ //
Trying To Be A Rebel
Stuck on the street
Still on the run
Not trying to listen
Trying to be a rebel
No one can get to my level
Fm gonna get to the top
But stuck in here
I went straight to the bottom
I'm gonna stay strong
Be a woman
Not let boys get in my way
'Cause all they do is cause drama
Always talk too late
Tired of lil' kid games
He needs to grow up
'Cause Queen Bee's on the way
Of moving up
From The Beat: You may be stuck on the street on the outs, but right
now you're stuck in juvy. What are you rebelling against? What are you
running toward? Maybe if you have a destination or ambition in mind,
it would be better if you didn't count on this guy to grow up so he can
accompany you, but just build your life the way you want it on your
own, sk% soon sk% you're free again.
I I I I
Love Is Blind
Love is blind
The love you never see from behind
Love can hurt
Love can burn
Love's torn me into thirds
Love's been here, love's been there
My tears have been pouring
No sleep, no never snoring
Can't eat, 'cause I'm in love
Love is blind
Love makes me shine
'Cause I'm in love
From The Beat: You describe your symptoms very accurately. Sounds like
love. As tempting sk% it may be for you to want to surrender completely
to this guy you love, can you make sure your own personal life is
stable, growing, something you're proud of? it will give you security
and independence, whether or not the life you dream of with this guy
evolves the way you hope. You'll have your own life to go back to and
Slilini In The Bain
One rainy morning me, my girlfriend, my friend, Tyler,
and one of my girlfriend's friends, we were all at my
My girl friend was getting ready. We were about to go
to the mall. She was taking long to get ready.
Me and my friend, Tyler, decide to take my car and
try to slide it in the rain. We were going 75 in a 25-mile-
an-hour speed limit. The car started sliding. We crash
into my neighbors' bushes and their fence. The neighbor
called the cops.
Me and my friend, we ditch the car and started
running. As soon as we got around the corner, the cops
were there. We pretended, like, we weren't running. I got
two tickets and my car got towed back to my house.
From The Beat: What you probably intend to be a funny story has a
really scary element in it. What could have happened while you were
going 75 miles skn hour in a 25 mph zone? Visk% it a residential area?
What if a child had been crossing the street in the rain and hadn't %eet\
your car plowing down the street? The child would be dead and your life
lAfOuld be ruined, because you'd never ever forget it.
Heart is racing like a NASCAR
Don't know what to do, or what to say
Heart just stopped for five minutes
Saw his face and I just froze
From The Beat: Can you just concentrate on your freedom, getting out
of juvy, and planning on how you're going to get your own life the way
you want it on the outs, and let your relationship with this guy just
take its own natural course?
Love Is A Game I Never Win
Love is a game that I never win
Because I find myself torn up at the end
Guys like playin' with my head
They like hurting me
I give everything I got
But I still get hurt at the end
I'm sick and tired of pain
So I don't mess with little boys any more
I only mess with real men
From The Beat: What does winning at love mean to you? Having a
guy you love, love you, too? That's real. But do you know that every
young man, no matter how old he is, already has his own life, problems,
dreams, before he meets you? He^ not just a needy young man who's
waiting for you or any young lady to come into his life. So when you
meet any young or "real" man, can you just get to know each other,
enjoy each other, find out who he is, before you get your heart into him ■
so deeply that you get hurt? I
Mi Jefa's Compiaining
Hey, q-vole. Beat? Today's subject is complainin'. I'm
going to write about mi jefa's complaining.
Damn, my mom sure knows how to complain. She
complains about everything. She does have the right
reasons to be complaining, though. Let me write down
some palabras (words) 'bout mi jeflta's complaining.
The reason why mi jefa complains is because I'm never
home. Usually I'll be at home during the day. Around 1-5
pm, I'll start talking to people on the phone 'bout kicking
it. I'll start making plans to see what's up for later that
night. Once I finally find out, it will be around seven or
eight. I usually start shaving my head with a razor, hop in
the shower, get dressed, and everything else I need to do
to get ready. Once I'm ready and done with everything, I'll
call one of my homeboys or homegurls.
When I call my homies to come pick me up, they get
to my house around nine or 9:30 pm. When I get picked
up, we usually go to 7-11 or any other liquor store. We start
buying a whole bunch of liquor. We either start buying
Mickey's (40 oz. malt liquor) or OEs (Old English malt
liquor.) Sometimes we'll have to buy some sparks (energy
drinks with a low level of alcohol), too, for the ladies.
Also, sometimes we buy hard liquor. Actually, every time.
But, yeah, anyways, once we got the perk, we go to a telly
(motel party) or a house and kick it all night 'til, like, the
When it's, like, eleven in the morning, or even twelve in
the afternoon, I get a ride from a homie. Once I get home,
my mom always locks the door so mi carnal is always the
one that opens the house door. To be continued...
From The Beat: Sounds like you pretty much party 24/7, and every night
is like a weekend night, right? What about school? A job? Who pays
for all of your illegal liquor? Your mom is right and you even ivrite that
you know that — that she should complain about how you're living your
life. You have partying down, down, but what are you building for your
^mammmmmmF ^/^/ /^
Old E, My Cold Love
What's up? What's going on?
I miss you right now because you're gone
You were the one who took away my hurt and pain
You filled me up with forty ounces of game
My mom forbid you from coming to my crib
She didn't approve of your ways or the way you live
When you acted cold, it was the best
You and I would act, like, forget the rest
I loved it when there was more of you around
There were no problems or worries to get me down
You were my only one
Remember we were on the run?
That's when we fell in love
I spill a little for the homeboys above
I love you a lot; you'd never find me with another
I can't believe we ended up being lovers
But no longer can we be
I'm sorry. Old E
From The Beat: Very imaginative poem! So you fell in love ivith your
beer! No matter that she loves everyone who drinics her in, right? You
must miss her every time you're thirsty! Now that you're in juvy, have
you fallen in love wfith water?
Out of all the fish in the sea
I knew you were the one for me
All the dudes were jockeying
But I did the talking
Started sucking neck
Knowing you'd be gone in a sec
I hold you in my hand
Then I smash the can
Red, black and gold
You make me so bold
I like you better when you're cold
I love you. King Cobra
From The Beat: Funny poem. You u%e a lot of ambiguous images that
could apply to amore for a young lady, and only reveal at the end that
you're in love with your beer. Put the beer down and handle your
What's up. Beat? So, today I'm going to tell something.
Well, I am so confused because there is a boy I like, but j
he makes me cry and he tells me that he likes me and
he tells this other girl that he like her. So I am confused.
Why do guys have to play with my head? I need a real
From The Beat: it really hurts when you find out some guy you like,
likes you but also likes another girl. All you can really do to defend
yourself against this guy^ kind of deceit is to watch him, get to know
him sk% a friend, and see where he takes it from here.
In Juvy With My Sister
I'm back again for my fifth time. This time I only got a
week, so it's all good, but the judge said next time would
be placement for sure, and I'm in here with my sister, so
I don't know how my mom feels.
From The Beat: You're lucky because you're already home free, so
please take the judge's warning seriously and protect your liberty! It's
wonderful that you have a good heart for your mother. Now that you're
home, can you help her out, especially since your sister's still in juvy?
Don't call me baby
Don't call me boo
Don't call me princess
Don't be a fool
I'm not your girl
You're not my world
Just me, that's all I need
Boy, right now, stop your lyin'
'Cause in a month
I don't want to be cryin'
I know you're just a shady guy
Nothin' close to bein' fly
So don't call me baby
Don't call me boo
I'm not your princess
So don't be a fool
From The Beat: Even if you're right about this guy, it hurts that he's
pretending to want to get close to you, doesn't it? Keep your cool, your
independence. You've already learned a lot of valuable lessons about
life, about young men. Stay strong.
We're Both Locked Up
When I'm in my cell
I hear ocean waves crashing
And wishing I was in my car, mashing
'Cause I feel like flashing
So angry that it's driving me insane
I have pain
Running through my vein
Why is my baby locked up?
Now I can't even say, "What's up?"
Lusting to hear him spit
And wanting to see him in his fresh fit
I remember saying
"We'll be together forever"
Now we're both locked up
So it will be a never
You might think I'm a fool
But that's cool
'Cause I love my boo
From The Beat: Since you're both in juvy, who has been thinking lately
for the two of you, anybody? You may be missing him, but how about
missing your own freedom? What kind of life are you creating for
yourself on the outs, with or without this guy? Does he encourage you
to finish high school? Get a real job? Build a career? What do you inspire
in him? He's probably in his juvy clothes just like you are, and not i
any fresh fits.
Tears rolling down my cheek
My room's full of heat
Can't eat, can't sleep
Tired of life
'Cause all I do is cheat
Never been beat
But love's beat me down
Just thinking of him
Makes me go wild
It's a natural high
He's got me on
But at the time
Tears just roll down
From The Beat: Something's deeply wrong if you're crying over this guy.
It's natural that love can make you feel high, but if you also feel beat
down because of your love for him, is your heart trying to warn you not
to trust him? You may not know the answer yet, but it^ always wise to
listen to your heart.
A cold breeze blows voices through the mist.
Desperate cries shatter the placid surface
of a sea of presumptions.
I'm screaming for you to please see me for what
I truly am. I am a talented individual.
I hold knowledge unknown to you,
gifts that make me who I am.
I am not composed solely of my mistakes,
so forget that ignorant opinion.
Imagine the good I can do.
Help me to do it.
You say that's what you want to do.
Prove your intentions true.
From The Beat: How would you suggest that people prove their good j
intentions, re: you? If you were wearing the judge's robe and a young,
talented fellow like yourself appeared before you, with a record
exactly like yours, what would you do to help this young man move
constructively down the path?
Why I cannot remember great ideas, I will never know.
Why great things get thrown away, people will not
Why do bad things happen to good people? We'll never
have an answer.
Why this, why that? Why who, or why where? Why....
From The Beat: Good poem Nathan. And just for the record, we don't
have the answers you're looking for. If you find them, please let us
I remember a scary situation I was in at one time.
This situation put a ton of adrenaline and rage into my
nervous system. I was accused of confronting a man with
a samurai sword, with the intent to carve a keyhole in his
abdomen. It wasn't true. Anyway, my lawyer saved my butt
in court and the case was dropped. To think I would be
brave enough to at it with swords, like a samurai warrior.
From The Beat: We're glad it wasn't you.
I I I I I I I I I
The One Who's Always There
This is about the love of my life.
Ever since we met, we have had a special connection.
When we had our first kiss, the sparks were flying.
It was at the beach, by a bonfire.
It was very romantic.
We've been together about 9 months, officially,
but we have gone in and out of this relationship.
Though we fight a lot about the way I live, she's always
I know she cares because she's always telling me I need
to straighten up.
Even though we fight, she has stuck with me through
thick and thin.
She's still with me now and she'll always have a place in
I'll always love her, no matter what's happening.
From The Beat: Considering where you're writing from, maybe your girl
has a pretty good point about your life style. If she can't get you to
change, what will it take?
There's a kid in here that I always beat in ping pong, and
every time I do, he starts whining like a dog. It's better
to be a good sport than a poor sport. He also lies all the
time, selling wolf items. I wonder why some people want
to be something they're not. Just be yourself, feel me?
Well Beat, I'm leaving in a couple of days, so, late.
From The Beat: Kevin, at one time or another, most of u% have ivanted
to be someone we're not. But your advice is good. We'd best be just
ourselves. We can't be anyone else, anyway. The trick is to be the best
self we can be. Some say that^ where happiness is. Have you heard
this one? To thine own self be true. Thou cannot then be false to any
man. A fellow named Shakespeare wrote those words, for one of the
characters in his play.
A secret consumed my soul.
So many ears. Who could I trust.
I stare into space. I see now. I have a friend.
No more sitting on the couch.
The fog in my mind has cleared.
I have a train to catch.
I won't stay behind again.
I have dreams to pursue.
I embrace the mistake.
I release the secret.
From The Beat: Where can we get a ticket for that train?
III I I I I I III I I I I I I I I III
A Feeling Fur A Girl
This feeling about a girl I know is a trip to me.
Blinded by her beauty that's so strong
it just may drop me to my knees.
These feelings of mine cannot be shown by words,
but by actions. But for some odd reason
this feeling of mine is scared to be shown.
A heart that was once stone melted like ice
when I laid my eyes on hers.
This feeling for her will forever burn.
From The Beat: When you rise from your knees, the ivork begins. How
will you transform your behavior so you can enjoy your new friend's
company? Does she motivate you to make the changes? What will those
changes be? What's your plan?
.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^
I I I I I
I I I I
Confio En Los Doctores
Yo si confio en los doctores porque son personas
que salvan vidas. Nos mantienen al tan to de nuestra
salud, ellos ven que estemos bien y tengamos una vida
En mi vida he visto varios doctores de los cuales tengo
una buena opinion de ellos. Aqui los doctores en Estados
Unidos son muy capacitados al igual que los doctores en
From The Beat: Pues es unsk buena profesion. £Ya que te gustan muchos
los doctores, has pensado algun dia volverte uno de ellos? Tu tambien
pudieras %sklMSk% muchas vidas.
I Trust The Doctors
I trust them because they save lives. They keep us inform
of our health, their job is to keep us well, and to have a
In my life, I've known many doctors who I have a good
concept from them. The doctors in the United States are
very reliable so as the ones in Honduras.
-Josue, San Francisco
From The Beat: Well, it^ a good profession. Since you like doctor so
much, have you thought in becoming one in the future? You can also
%«ve many lives.
Es Importaote Lochar Por To Vida \
Cuando me aleje de mi madre tenia que luchar por mi
mismo. Cuando uno se separa de ellos, uno tiene que
pasar por muchos conflictos para poder vivir.
Cuando sali de Honduras rumbo a Estados Unidos
cruce Mexico por 30 dias y tres dias en el desierto de
Arizona. Todos ese trayecto me ensefiaro saber lo diflcil
que es alejarse de las personas que mas quieres. Al estar
seis meses sin poder trabajar, me senti mui desesperado
por que estoy no poder seguir adelante.
Vine a San Francisco a vender droga y eso me ayudo
un poco. Al tiempo cahi preso y todo volvio a ser igual.
Ahora que saiga luchare por mi vida. Nunca es tarde
para seguir luchando. Recuerden que con Dios todo se
From The Beat: Se nota que has luchado mucho por venir a este lugar,
pero tambien se nota que no duro mucho todo el efuerzo que hicistes.
Tomastes la decision incorrecta y ahora estas suf riendo las consecuencias.
Todo llegue a %u fin de la misma manera como comienza. Si te dan otra
oportunidad, u%9\si. Siempre piensa en las consecuencias que traen las
cosas negativa y busca lo mejor para tu y tu familia.
It's Very Important To Fight For Yoor Life
When went away from my mother, I knew I had to fight
for myself. When you separate from them, you have to go
through a lot of conflicts in order to live.
When I left Honduras to the U.S, I crossed Mexico over
30 days and a few days in the desert of Arizona. Those
movements made me realize how important is to be away
from those you love. Being here for six months, has made
me depressed because I'm stuck and not succeeding.
I came to San Francisco to sell drugs and that helped
me a little bit. After a while, I got locked up and everything
went back to the same. Now when I get out, I'm going to
fight for my life. It's never too late to start fighting. Keep
in mind that with God everything is possible.
-Pana, San Francisco
From The Beat: It's noticeable that you have fought very hard to come
here, but your effort didn't last too long. You took the wrong choice
and now you are suffering the consequences. Everything gets to stn end
the same way it started. If you get another chance, use it. Always think
about the consequences that negative things bring and think about the
best for you and your family.
Mira que loquera
Estando preso y pensando en ti
Como yo me senti, sabiendo que estas aqui
Y los dos viviendonos
Los dos queriendo besarnos y acariciarnos
No se que deeir, yo te veo y me recuerdo
De todo lo que hemos pasado
Y me pongo a reir y a Uorar
Pero asi es la vida, asi corre el agua que no para de correr
Que pedo yo sufro mucho
Y pienso en ti mucho
Papy no vayas a correr
Yo voy a hacer el grupo pa' que tu tambien lo hagas
Yo te voy a escribir y te voy a Uamar
Te amo, no te aguites
Ok aqui estoy para ti y tii para mi
Por favor no me vayas a olvidar. Te amo.
Esta ruca te dice soy tuya.
From The Beat: Que bonito poema, pero para la otra prefirimos que nos
escribas algo que nosotros podamos aprender o saber de ti. Esta carta se
la hubieses escrito directo a el. Por esta vez, la publicaremos pero para
la proxima vez, no lo haremos. Preguntale a alguien que hable Espanol
sobre lo que puedes poner en el Beat. Gracias por tus palabras. £Que tal
si nos escribes un poema sobre tu vida?
What A Mess
Look at this mess
Locked up and thinking of you
I felt weird knowing that you are here
And we both looking at each other
We both with the desires of kissing and caressing
I don't know what to say, I see you
And I remember all we have gone through in the past
And I start smiling and then I cry
But that's how life is,
That's how the water runs and it doesn't stop running
I love you.
What a shame, I suffer so much
Papy, don't you run away
I'm going to do my group-home and I'll call you
I love you. Don't get down
Ok, here I am for you, and you're for me
Please, don't forget me. I love you.
This girl is saying that she's yours.
-Negra, San Francisco
From The Beat: This is a beautiful poem, but for the next time, we would
prefer a poem about your life or something that others can learn from.
You should have sent this letter straight to him. For this time, we will
publish it, but for the next time, we won't. Ask a Beat member or a
Beat writer about the purpose of our work. What about a poem about
li lue Oiieri
Yo espero regresar a la casa en unas cuantas semanas
para estar con la familia y no volver a estos lugares.
Quiero terminar la escuela la me falta poco y despues
quiero un trabajo.
From The Beat: Esperamos que llegues a cumplir con tus palabras. Todo
es posible cuando se desea con mucho deseos del corazon.
What I Want
I hope to come back home in a few weeks to be with my
family and never come back to these places. I want to
finish school, which won't be too long and then I want to
look for a job.
-Plans, San Francisco
From The Beat: We are hoping that you hold on to your words. Everything
is possible when the desire comes from the heart.
.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^
No no se escribir pero pongo a unos de mis amigos
para que escriban por mi. Desde que Uegue aqui me han
ensefiado a muchas cosas. Le agradezco a Dios que me
haya traido aqui por las cosas malas que hago. Gracias a
Dios aqui estoy aprendiendo a leer y a escribir.
From The Beat: Por unsk parte nos da alegria saber que estas
aprovechando tu tiempo en cosas que te ayudaran en la vida. Sigue
adelante aprendiendo que el conocimiento es muy importante en
nuestras vida. £No crees que seria genial aprender en una escuela fuera
de este lugar? Seria lo mejor!
I Am Learnino
I don't know how to write, but one of my friends in here
is doing it for me.
Ever since I came in here, I've been learning a lot of
things. I thank God for being in here because of the bad
things I do. Thank God I'm learning to read and write.
-Sebastian, San Francisco
From The Beat: in one side, we are happy to know that you are using
this time for something that will help your life. Keep learning, because
it lAfill help you to make things easier in your life. But, don't you think
that it would be better if you learn from a school and not from here? it
would be much better.
Bueno ahora que estoy aqui preso, he necesitado mucha
ayuda y se que me han cerrado las puertas. He recibido
una gran ayuda ya que le he pedido ayuda a Dios. Le he
rezado para que me ayude en las cortes. Yo siento que El
ha estado ahi conmigo y por eso me ha ido bien.
Siento que desde que le pedi ayuda a Dios con todo
el corazon. El me ha oido y me ayudado. Gracias a El, en
esta semana quedo libre.
Hoy comprendo que la ayuda que necesitaba la
encontre en Dios. El es quien me rescato. Me gustaria
que cuando necesites ayuda se las pidas a Dios y veras
que El te escuchara y todo saldra bien, si confias en El.
Ojala que esta historia se publique para que otros
en esta misma situacion mia, busquen ayuda de Dios. Y
cuando la obtengan, no se olviden dar las gracias.
From The Beat: Claro que vamos a publicar esta historia. Todo lo que
venga de ustedes, sera bienvenidos para nuestra publicacion. Yesperamos
que muchos sigan tus palabras que nos has dicho. Esperamos que tu fe
en Dios te ayude en tus necesidades y que te ayude a convertirte en
unsi persona mejor. ^Cuales son tus planes cuando saigas de este lugar?
£Que haras, aparte de tu fe en Dios?
Well now that I'm locked up, I've needed a lot of help and I
know that they have closed all doors to help me. But, I've
been granted with help I ask God for. I've prayed so much
to Him so he can help me. I feel He's with me and that's
why everything has gone well for me.
I feel that ever since I ask God for help with all my
heart. He has heard me and helped me. Thank to Him I'll
be free this week.
Now I understand that the help I needed I founded in
God. He rescued me. I wish that whenever you need help,
and ask God for it and you'll see that he will listen to you.
Everything will be fine for you if you have faith in Him.
I hope this story gets publish so others who find in
the same situation can find the help of God.
-Josue, San Francisco
From The Beat: Of course we are going to publish this story. Everything
that comes from you is very welcome to our publication. We hope many
of them to fallow your words. We also hope God help you in your needs
and to help you become a better person. What are your plans upon your
release? What will you do, besides your faith in God?
Hola yo les voy a contar sobre una historia de amor que
tube antes de llegar aqui. Antes de Uegar aqui, tenia mi
novia afuera. Iba a la escuela por ella y la acompafiaba a
su casa. Ella me decia que me saliera de todas las cosas
malas que estaba haciendo y que me enmendara a Dios
para poder salir de las cosas que andaba haciendo.
Cuando me trajeron aqui, dice mi familia que de los
amigos que tenia afuera, que no se preocupan por mi, y
que diario una muchacha Uamaba preguntando por mi.
Ella fue la linica que me esta apoyando para salir y
todavia me esta esperando. Diario me dice que me ama
y que nunca la olvide. Eso es amor real. Ojala todas las
personas tubiera una novia como la mia que apoya y nos
dice que adelante.
From The Beat: Se nota que ella ha sido unsk bueva novia quien ha
querido ayudarte en muchas cosas. Deberias de seguir %u consejo, ya
que lo unico que ella quiere es ayudarte en todo lo que pueda porque te
quiere. Muchachas como estas son muy dificiles de encontrar. Nosotros
de ti buscamos la forma como no perderla. Recuerda que uno nunca sabe
hasta que lo pierde o lo tiene perdido.
Hi, I am going to share a story about the love I had before
I came here. Before I got here, I had a girl on the outs. I
would go to school for her and I would walk her home.
She would advice me to avoid the things I was doing on
the outs and to accept God to get rid of the things I was
When I came here, my family told me that the friends
from the outs didn't care about me, and that only a girl
would call me.
She is the only one who is supporting me upon my
release and she's still waiting for me. She tells me that
she loves me everyday and to never forget that. That is
real love. I wish all men had a girl like mine who can be
supportive and help them success.
-Edgar, San Francisco
From The Beat: It's obvious that she has been a good girl who has tried
to help you in many things. You should fallow her advice giving the
fact that all she wants is for your own good. Girl like that one are hard
to find, if lAfe iwere you, ive would fight hard in keeping her. Remember
that you never know what you have until you loose it.
Extraiio A Mi Madre
Hola, yo les quiero decir que extrafio a mi madre porque
con ella yo siempre vivia muy feliz. Ella a mi siempre
me platicaba cosas buenas y yo las mias. Siempre ella
me decia que fuera precavido. Me aconsejaba de que no
hiciera cosas malas. Por eso yo la extrafio porque me falta
el calor de ella y su carifio. Siempre ibamos a almorzar
juntos todos en familia.
From The Beat: Lastimosamente no escuchastes lo que tu madre te decia
y la consecuencias ya la estas enfrentando. ^Crees que despues de esto
le llegues a poner atencion a lo que te aconseja? Recuerda que ella solo
quiere lo mejor para ti.
I Miss My Motiier
Hi, I want to tell you that I miss my mother because I live
very happy by her side. She talks to me about her things
and vice-versa. She would tell me to be careful and not
to do bad things. That's why I miss her because I miss
her warmth and love. We would have lunch together very
-Saul, San Francisco
From The Beat: Sadly you didn't listen to what you mother told you and
now you are facing the taste of consequences. Do you think this lesson
will help you to pay attention to what she advice you? Remember that
all she wants is the best for you.
^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm
imifMmMs^oiJS^r ^ / * #///
Sometimes I wonder why my parents brought me to this
world. I wonder if they never brought me into this world,
would they be happier than they are now? I wonder why
they waste their time in coming to visit me, when I'm
notiiing. I just make them cry and stress so many times,
and yet they still come. It just feels like I don't deserve
everything I have, like their love, for example.
I wonder how would the world be if I die soon?
Sometimes I just wish I was never brought in this world,
because if I die, I would feel no more pain...
I wonder why did I have to grow up so fast? Why can't I
go back when I played soccer? I wonder, "What happened
to that kid?" I wonder why I live in a messed up world? I
wonder why I have so much pain inside of me? I wonder
From The Beat: Growing up can be very difficult, and pain is a very
difficult emotion to deal with at any age. But can we ask you something?
Do you respect your parents? If you do, then don't you have to respect
their love for you? Even if you can't understand why they love you, don't
you think they se something in you that is worth loving? And if you
worry about making them cry and causing them pain, then don't even
think about ending your life. That is a prescription to give them life-
long pain and tears, and we know you don't want to do that. T^ust u%
that the pain you're feeling today will not always be there. Sometimes,
you just have to have faith that tomorrow will be different from today.
Thinking New ^
Being in here changed my life. Before I was locked up,
I stole, I drank, and I smoked every day. And now, since
I've been locked up, I changed my life from being bad to
good. Being in here made me think about so much — my
family, my friends and the people I love. Now that I been in
here, I thought about all the dumb things I have done and
all the many things I have did and all the wrong choices I
had made in my life. So being in here changed my life so
much. And, in a way, I am thankful for that.
From The Beat: Yes, you should be thankful if this place has caused
you to think about where your life was leading you, and where you
truly want to go. Of course, it's easier to make promises in here than
to keep them out there, so we hope you have the courage to keep the
wonderful promises you're making when you are free again to choose
your own course.
Oui Custodiet Ipos Custndes?
Who shall guard the guardians?
These pinnacles of power
Who shall guard the guardians?
Before which armies cower
Who shall guard the guardians
In their failing hour?
Who shall guard the guardians
When the guardians' graves flower?
Who will guard us?
From The Beat: It is rare enough in the so-called "free world" to find
anyone familiar with this quotation by the Roman poet Juvenal (and
almost unheard of in one imprisoned who, unlike Juvenal, is a juvenile),
and this ongoing concern of the Greek philosopher Plato. Who shall
guard the guards? It is a question is old sk% these men and sk% current sk%
today's news. Who investigates the investigators? Who investigates the
lawmakers when they are lawbreakers? Who investigates a president
who steals stn election? One of the worst aspects of our prison system
(including juvenile halls) is that those in charge resist outside and
independent observers, telling us to trust them to guard themselves —
a prescription for all manner of abuse and rot. But by adding that final
question, you turn it into a profound conundrum, one of those puzzles
where two mirrors face each other, each reflecting the other back and
back towards infinity. You're amazing!
Dnn't Be Lii(e My Uncles
One day me and my uncle was talkin' when I went to his
house. He asked me if I like juvy and I said, "No." He was
like, "Okay, that's good." He started preaching to me for
thirty minutes. He told me, "It's not worth bangin' and goin'
My uncle was locked up in Pelican Bay for twelve years,
and he said, "Aye, Uce, to tell you the truth, I regret being bad
and I want you to change your life, 'cause I don't want you
goin' to jail or prison. It's not worth it. It's not worth it, Uce.
I don't want you ending up like me and your uncles. Make a
big change for the family. Be the first to make a change! It
really hurted me when got locked up. I got much alofaz (love)
for you, nephew. So be the first one in the family to change,
Uce. I love you, nephew."
That's how my uncle told me and now I'm locked up again.
When I get out I'ma prove to him and my family that I'm finna
be the first in the family to finish school and change my life
From The Beat: We hope you keep this promise, Looney — not for your
uncle or your family, but for yourself. Your uncle is trying to tell you
that being in the hall is pretty easy compared to time in Pelican Bay. He
is hoping — sk% we are hoping — that you don't have to learn this painful
I lesson first hand.
What shall we do
Us fabulous few?
Stuck in this war
"Get on the floor!"
The whistling death
Makes me guess,
"Who will be next?
I don't wanna die, " I confess
"Let it be someone else
I'm too young, myself!"
Ah, what a horrible chance
As up I glance
And hear the drone
Of engines that are flown.
The sergeant shouts.
As the night becomes day
In fear I lay.
Praying to God
On this wet sod
Drenching my form
'Til I wish I was never born...
"Ahhh!" goes the war cry
Now to fight or fly.
As I turn around to fight
My enemy comes into sight. . .
We stare at each other.
I realize it's my Brother!
"Oh, God, what a choice."
My eyes become moist.
"Brother, what shall we do?"
"I'm sorry," he says "I have to kill you."
This poem was inspired by Catch-22...
From The Beat: A betrayal sk% old sk% Cain and Abel/iCiller and victim
in the Bible's fable/As current sk% this morning's neivs/Where boys kill
boys in loyalty to their crews/Where Presidents who give lip-service to
"respect for life"/Wage war on foreign lands bringing death and endless
strife/A country built with sweat and tears of human slaves/Calling
itself "the land of the free and the home of the brave"/Where slogans
substitute for reality ("Equal Justice Under Law")/As if, by merely saying
it, we could make gold out of straw/And yet there is hope in those
whose minds are freed/A goal so hard to achieve, a Cath-22, indeed!
^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA
fMMmgmj^m^r / / * #///
So far my life has been pain, tears and struggles
To the point where I lost my balance cind started to stumble
I know deep down inside my heart was not weak, but too
strong to ever crumble
I was taught at a very young age: never give up the fight
and always rumble
Because the day you do, surely is nothing but trouble
Life is like football, there's always fumbles
I learned from the unpleasantness of my struggles
I leaned to be strong
I know the weaker you become, the faster you're gone
I once was blinded from the truth
Now I see, but why this realization took so long
That's when my heart ticked and blew like a bomb
Because I knew my creation and my status
Was meaningless like an unwritten song
By the grace of God He presented me himself with the
Book of Psalms (118:8)
That's when I acknowledged life wasn't completely wrong
To survive you have the have the heart of a lion, and to
be mentally and emotionally strong
I have a great destiny that awaits for me down the road,
but I'm still stuck in the fog
Half way out, but it's still not completely gone
I will prevail and ultimately achieve my destiny, I won't
stop until it rests in my palm
I have some attending to do, so I'm gone
From The Beat: It is clear from this inspiring poem that you have turned
a major corner in your life, and your destiny stretches out before you to
grasp. Even though you end your poem with the words, "I'm gone," it^
sk% obvious sk% the day is long that you are far from gone! You are here
in the ivorld, in the moment, and your future is going to be so much
better than your past. You say that God's grace gave you the wisdom
and strength found in Psalms, but we're still curious to know what you
did to let God know you were ready for that grace.
FEW Fir Mini
The darkness is coming
All the signs are clear
We can only stop it by loving
Insanity is near. . .
Fear shall reign
Law and order lost
Prevailed by sadness and pain
This is the cost
Of living a life so vain...
Maybe you'll believe
Or maybe you will not
But I have planted a seed
Deep within your thought. . .
The choice is yours, of course
But when it's time to act
I pray that you use force
And join to form a past...
The world is going to end
Even though I don't know when
This message that I send
To all descendents of men.
Fight the End of the World
From The Beat: Our prayer is that this profound seed you have planted
is fertile, and grows into full floiver in the minds of all those with open
and eager minds, the necessary ingredients for ideas to take root and
grow. You have strengths (of character, of honesty, of self-expression)
that let u% look to you for leadership and decency in a world desperate
for decent leaders.
It's Hirl Beiig Briwn
For a hot minute, I've been in an' out of these walls and
locked doors. Always telling myself, "It's my last time here,"
but eventually end up back for the pettiest shhh. At least this
time I know it's my last, because being a gangsta, it's hard.
It's hard being brown. I cannot lie. Puttin' in work when
it's not even necessary, hurting my family when I sure don't
want to, but I did it anyways, without thinking about the
consequences. Livin' a lifestyle that I love but can't ignore.
It's hard being brown. Walking down the calle, not knowin'
if the cops or the enemies hop out the corner, looking for
pleito (a fight.) I always watch my espalda (back,) no matter
where I'm at.
I'm just brown and proud to be what I am today,
recognizing my mistakes and not knowing what I'm going to
It's hard being brown. When police judge you as a good-
for-nothing individual, just because I'm walking to da store
with creased up Bens and fresh new NYKs, get pulled over,
'cause I'm bald an' brown, Gots to go through da struggle
even though I'm on probation, can't live freely until I get off
It's coo', though. I'll be free one day, and maybe one day
it won't be as hard being brown. Doin' time at any place is
hard. Just thinking about the one main fact that you know
that you can't do what you feel like or can't have no privacy
'cause you always being watched. But, ey, it's my fault and
nobody else's. At least I know dat as well as everybody in
YSC dat is reading dis one one time knows what I'm talking
One day, homies, one day! It's hard being brown.
From The Beat: You have been with u% for a while, Scarface, and we
have watched you grow from a child struggling towards adulthood. We
admire your honesty so much, your ability to see that the path you've
been on has hurt you and hurt your family (and your raza), but is still
something hard to give up — not even knowing if you want to or can
give it up. That kind of honesty leads to new insights. In fact, nobody
can tell for sure where it leads. But we can see that you are not the
same youngster who began writing in these pages so long ago, and so
we look forward to how your unfolding mind will play out in your life.
Yes, it is hard to be brown in a society controlled by others, but it is also
hard to be a young person of skn^ color, including white. Adulthood is
not easy, either, but maybe, sk% you grow, it will be easier than what you
have already endured. So much is in your own beautiful brown hands,
Freedom Of Mind
My mind has a certain velocity
For this wild thought of philosophy
Where we're neither here nor there
Maybe not anywhere...
Reality comes to being
By us perceiving what is seen
Although this is constantly
Disputed with such ferocity
For we all see different
This may be significant. . .
For we as a whole
Cannot agree on a sole
Such a possibility is certainly microscopic
My, what a quandary
Maybe I'll do my laundry
For we'll never come to agree
After all, speech is free...
Even though freeDOM isn't
From The Beat: Hoiw iwe will miss your mind's iwonderings/Your honesty,
your wit, the subjects of your ponderings/As you move from the
safety of this jail into which you've been hurled/Out into freedom's
responsibilities — and stn often frightening world/You have consistently
raised the standard of thought and word on what is and what has been/
^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm
WM/MMmr/^mi/ r / ^ ^ s
Why Should I Smile?
Why should I smile? Give me two good reasons why I should smile. Let's see if
you got something that could make me smile, because every time I try to smile,
there's really nothing to smile for, unless you want me to smile for the pain I
have in my soul.
My PO comes and visits me and every time he comes, he's all happy and
stuff, and he tells me, why ain't I smiling? And I tell him, "Are you here to give
me good news?" He says, " No, but you have to live your life." I tell him, "What
life? I have no life here in da hall." He tells me that I'll be out soon. Well, soon
It seems like every day that passes by takes a hundred years, just so the
other day can come. The days go by so slow that a snail is faster than the days.
The staff in my unit tells me the same thing, that why am I always mad. I say
mad because I'm mad at myself for making my parents cry.
They tell me that I should smile because my court is coming up. But
there's nothing to smile about my court. The only thing that would make me
smile is if the judge tells me I can go home. Until then...
From The Beat: We can't make you smile, but we know you can smile.
I And we know you can make yourself smile in the future by not putting
I yourself in the hands of the system again. We could tell you a funny
I joke, but we know that^ not the kind of smiling you're talking about, it
I may seem like time moves slowly, but time moves the same for all of u%.
I It's how we use that time that matters.
Well, right now my life is pretty messed up, 'cause I'm locked up like an animal
in a cage. I can't see my Lil' Tiger, Fernando. I miss him so much. I haven't seen
him for two months and it's killing me. My PO wanted to send me to camp for
eight months for some stupid crime I committed. My PO said that if I behave
and don't get into trouble, she is going to let me out on EMP (an ankle bracelet)
for three months.
I been doing real good and my PO is really happy with me. I'm about to
get out in thirty-six days. I'm so happy, 'cause I will be with my Lil' Tiger again!
When I get out I will never come back to this place ever again. I don't want to
be separated from my baby. I'm happy that I'm going to be wit' my baby for his
birthday. He is going to be five years old. I can't believe he is growing up so
fast. It feels like if it was just yesterday when he was born. For my Lil' Tiger,
From The Beat: We're glad you're getting out, too Speedy. Your baby
needs you, and you know he does. We hope when you %xy you're here
for a "stupid crime," you mean it was stupid to do whatever it was that
led to your being taken away from your Lil' Tiger. Since you know what
stupid thing got you here, you're smart enough to know what smart
things will keep you out of here.
Mike Ite Piin to Iw))
It's like I'm killin' myself
The things that I do
Is bad for my heath
I listen to what the people that wanna help me say
But then I still end up smokin' and drinkin'
To make the pain go away
From The Beat: Do you really drink and smoke to make the pain go
away, or because everybody else you know is drinking and smoking?
The real danger with drinking to medicate your pain is that soon you'll
find you're addicted to the stuff, and looking for excuses (like pain) in
order to drink. In the end, you will only add another layer of pain to the
one you're already finding difficult to deal with.
It's been one month dat passed without seeing my mom. I neva thought dat
when you lose someone, dat's when you care. I can't imagine all da pain an'
suffering ma mom has felt because of me...
Now dat I'm locked up, I see how much I miss her an' she misses me.
Because of ma dumb actions, I'm payin' for dem in da hall. I neva felt like dis
in my life. I think of her an' mi carnalito every day an' night. Thinkin', "Do dey
think of me at all? Will ma mom eva forgive me through all da pain I caused her?
Will mi carnalito think what I'm doin' is okay? Will dey eva understand why I do
an' think of dis?" Dat's a question I ask myself every day...
Do I know why I do what I do? Do I think it's a good idea, comin' in and out
of the hall? Dat's a question I will only know...
From The Beat: You begin by thinking of the pain you are causing your
mom, but you end by asking yourself if it's worth it or not. How can you
decide that hurting your mom is ever worth it? Of course she thinks of
you, all the time (just sk% you think of her all the time). And, of course
she will forgive you, because a mother's love is unconditional. As long
sk% you do the things that lead you away from her, you are only thinking
of yourself and what you want, and not what she wants (and deserves).
Time to stop thinking like the child you were, and begin acting like the
adult your mom needs in her life.
Growing Up In Da Bay
Growing up in da Bay ain't no joke
Growing up in da Bay you see people get smoked
Growing up in da Bay we like to blaze
Over there in EPA
We got nothing but that purple haze
From The Beat: If all you're thinking about is blazing that bud, then
you're letting this time do you instead of the other way around. What
else are you thinking about that might keep you free in the future? I
A Letter From My Mooi
This is a letter from my mom. It made me cry. I hella love my mom more than
There are lots of things I meant to tell you before you grew up and
journeyed out into the world. I suppose by now you've learned some of them
for yourself. But there are things you need to know and words you'll only hear
from someone who's known you from the start... someone who heard your first
heartbeat, who held you and looked into your eyes with amazement, someone
who relives the wonder ad special meaning of this day every year... I want you
to know that you're as deeply loved now as you were in my heart back then. And
wherever life takes you, that love will forever go with you."
From The Beat: Wow, Looney. This letter also made u% cry. Do you know
what a precious gift you have in a mother that loves you like this? Do
you know what it truly means to leave her in tears because you chose
to do things you wanted to do, and by doing them, let the system take
you from her warm embrace? Don't take this love for granted. Return
her love by sacrificing some of what you like doing sk% she has sacrificed
so much for you — from that very first look into your eyes right up
Here I am trapped between fo' walls wit' nothing to do, having a lot on ma
mind, not knowing who to talk to but maself. Thinkin', "Why did I mess up?"
Dis ain't fo' me. No one belongs trapped like an animal. Got caught up with
da game, knowing lo que eva paser (what will happen), not listenin' to da people
dat care 'bout me, jus' bein' una loca (a crazy" wit' los cholos (gangstas), sayin'
I deserve betta dan dis...
People sayin', "Oh, now you think you da shhh 'cause you got caught up."
But to me dis is a shame, fo' me and mi raza (my family). Thinkin' I didn't give
a damn, which I knew I did... Sayin' "I ain't turning back," which I wish I took
the right path.
From The Beat: Wishing you took the right path means nothing if you
don't take the right path. It sounds like you want to continue down the
path you're on, even knowing what it has already cost you and your
family, but at the same time you want to pretend that there's no going
back. We want to quote a great English writer called Aldous Huxley. He
wrote: "If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can
and address yourself too the task of behaving better next time. On no
account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the much is not the
best way of getting clean."
Never again will I be dishonored
And never again will I be reminded
Of living within the world of the jaded
They kill inspiration
It's my obligation
To never again allow this to happen
Where do I begin?
The choices are endless
Denying the sin
That you have created
The thing I treasure most in life
Cannot be taken away
I will make the greatest sacrifice
You can't predict where the outcome lies
You'll never take me alive
Change again cannot be considered
I rage again
From The Beat: Like a lot of good poetry, Nick, there are things here
that we just can't understand. What do you mean, for example, that
"change again cannot be considered"? And what are you raging at? If
the "sin" you are denying is not of your making, whose sin is it? What
are some of the "endless" choices before you, and which one(s) do you
plan to make? All these questions beg for answers. We hope you can
^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm
WM/MMmr/^mi/ r / ^ ^ s
When you are locked up, you pray every night for God's blessing. When we're
on the outs, we don't even bother to pray for him. When I'm in here, I pray every
night for him and ask him to bless me and forget all my sins. I also tell him
that I'm going to still pray when I get out. I probably won't do it, but I will try
to do it.
What I'm trying to say is that when we're on the outs, we're to busy
drinking with the homies, going to parties, and not doing what we are supposed
to do. When we go back to the hall, we're getting stupid and complainin' about
why does God do this to us. But the truth is that we do it to ourselves. So stop
complainin' and stop all the buUshhh, because you're not going to have a life if
you keep coming back to the halls. Think before you act!
From The Beat: Our prayer is that you read and re-read what you've
written here, and that you taice the excellent advice you offer to others.
Prayers to God to forget or forgive your sins can only be granted if
you, yourself, are committed to stop doing the things you're asking
forgiveness for. That doesn't' mean you want fall (we all do). But it
means you want to stand tall, and live according to what you know
to be right, and avoid what you know to be wrong. This is a life-long
effort, so keep striving to be a better person. That is advice we all need
I Wish Iilk Wis Deal
When I'm in my room, sometimes I wish talk was dead.
When my roommate keeps on yapping, I wish talk was dead.
When I'm in a bad mood and he's yapping, I wish talk was dead.
When I'm reading and he keeps yapping, I wish talk was dead.
Being in here makes me mad and I just want to think
But my roommate keeps yapping, then I wish talk was dead.
He just keeps talking and talking and I wish talk was dead.
When I'm thinking about my family, friends, and my girl.
And he just keeps yapping, I wish talk was dead.
Just being in this extremely boring place makes me wish talk was dead.
From The Beat: We wonder if they put you in room by yourself, how
long would it be before you were wishing for that talkative roommate?
What happens if you ask him to give you a little time to yourself for
reflection? is he ever quiet?
Day After Day, The Same Doutine
I just want to say how bad juvenile hall is. You don't
have the freedom you have on the outs. When you are in
here, you are told when you eat, sleep, wake up, take a
shower. If it was any stricter, they would probably tell you
when you have to take a shhh. You are locked up in your
room most of the day.
During the weekdays, you wake up, get ready for
breakfast. Then you only have five minutes to eat, if even
that. Then we go back to the unit. You go back to your
room for two minutes, then you go straight to school. You
go to school for a bit, then you go to lunch and, again,
you only have about five minutes to eat. You go back to
the unit for twenty minutes, then back to school. After
school, you go back to your room for two and a half hours.
Then you go to dinner, come back and take a shower and
get ready for program.
If you are a zero step, you get thirty minutes of program.
If you are a one step, you get one hour of program. Two
steps get two hours. KPs are lucky, they get to be out all
day if the unit staff is here. There is a three-step that has
privileges of a KP, but they don't have to clean and pass
out snacks and such.
All of this happens in one day. Everyone goes through
the same thing five days a week. On the weekends we are
in our rooms all day and we only come out to do LM (large
muscle activity) to eat, to shower, and to go to program.
From The Beat: You've done a very good job of describing the monotonous
life you repeat day after day in this place. These are good reasons never
to come back to this place. But we're curious to know what you thought
juvenile hall would be like before you ever came? How is it different
from what you expected? What can you say to youngsters who haven't
been here yet, but who are doing the things that will certainly land
them here, unless they make some changes?
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread and a needle
Everything I do is stitched together
Our separation each day
Urgently leads into da night
Like a rose unopened , blackened by da cold
Because we ain't together all things get worse
Everything doesn't improve including da weather
Our daily meat and our bread taste bitter
Trees get less green and rain is wetter
From The Beat: Whoever you are writing to is someone you clearly love.
But just 9S clearly, you were willing to risk losing this love by giving
power to strangers to take you away. Which do you love more, the
things you do that lead here, or the person you wish you were with
right now? Your words say it is the person; your actions say it is the
things you do.
i I i I 1
1 1 I I I I I
From Me To Yoo
Here I am, viviendo la vida loca con los homies (living the crazy life with my
homies). Not thinkin' of ma actions 'til I get locked up. Thinkin', "I ain't gonna
get caught." Going to kickbacks, doing all the stupid shhh. Thinkin' it's coo' —
smokin' an' sniffin' pookey an' yara. Drinkin' vodka, Hennessy, Patron like da
shhh... Not knowing what could happen to me, sayin' dat ma homies are wit' me
'til da end. Until you get into una problema and dey nowhere to be found.
Orale, pues. Alratos
From The Beat: We want you to read again what you wrote about how
your actions are affecting your mother. Your homies will not be with you
when your bacic is up against the wall (or when you're facing real time
in a real jail). That^ when you'll truly appreciate your mother, because
she is the one who will be there, just as she^ always been there. To
be an adult means to put your own (selfish) needs and desires second
sometimes. We know your mom is waiting for that transition to happen,
We hope it happens soon.
Tilk Is Dial
Talk is dead when you're locked up. They take so much from you when you're
in jail. The only thing you have is talking in here, and they try to take that away,
too. Sometimes I feel like going crazy, but what can I do but sit in my room,
thinking to myself, "Why do I mess up?"
From The Beat: We would hate to be told when we could and when we
couldn't open our mouths, so we know that you must hate it too. We're
very interested to read what ansv/ers you have come up with when you
ask yourself that question about wfhy you mess up. Can you enlighten
I I I I I
i i I I I I i^
Complainin' ain't payin'
Doesn't take away the pain
Wasn't part of the game
So don't complain
It ain't about the fame
Pain comes hard
And goes far
Starin' at the star
Wishin' I had a cigar
Stuck in the system
I never shed a tear
Ain't got no fears
Nothin' to lose
And nothin' to gain
So I ain't complainin'
'Bout the pain
Doin' couple years
For some beers
I seen my mother in tears
Because her boy
Livin' in a metal tier
'Cause I'm livin' the life
Strive to survive
Livin' in a town
Put it down
Always with upside-down
From The Beat: We can tell from this poem that you still have plenty to
gain — maturity, responsibility, humility, and a sense of reality. "Nothin'
to lose?" If you believe that, your eyes are glued shut and your brain
is in neutral. Time to engage that capacity for sense and reason that
separates you from the rest of the animal kingdom.
T/^TFI ^^^^^^^^^'^^ ^ [ , :AIJJJ£J.
I had a dream the other night....
I was walking down the street when I came upon this
"youngster" with "Stacy Adam's" on his feet. He was
standing on this corner and staring at this store. I could
see it in his eyes that his was going to score.
I casually strolled up to him and so intent was he, his
mind was on his objective he didn't notice me. I tapped him
on the shoulder and said, "what's in the mix?"
He said, "pues ya tu sabes, I got to have that fix."
He was startled at the sight of me standing there next to
I said "Don't sweat me, I've been out on that limb. I
used to chase that dog food all seven days a week. I'd wake
up in the morning with cigarette burns on my cheeks. I'd
run in connections and rob the fools blind and if they were
on there toe's I'd take them from behind. I played straight
drag on geeks and lops and played them out of pocket and if
they got hip to my spiel, I'd take them out of socket. I ended
up in Quilmas, and now I'm on parole. I did six years most
of it was in the hole. The bottom line is this, I really know
what time it is and what your going to do but the store that
you've been plottin on ain't quite what it seems. The store's
a front, and pistoleros work in the back, and in teams, so
forget that store and take a walk with me, we'll split this
We welcome to The BWO pages Robert Ramirez, who writes the
following nightmare of a piece from the Alameda County Jail aka
Sskntsk Rita, which is located in Dublin, CA. We are honored to feature
Roberta work. We definitely look forward to reading more down the
bag and celebrate that I am free.
The youngster said "chale veterano, one big bag won't
hold me tight. I'll take this freakin store off and then we'll
go fix right."
The youngster then got in the wind and disappeared
I'll never forget what happened on that strange cold
night. I heard shots ring out from within the lil' store as I
seen the youngster stagger out the front door, he stumbled
to the street and fell down on his knees.
He yells, "Mr. help me please."
I ran to his side and seen death in his eyes, as he
reached heaven's gates.
I woke up in the morning with teardrops in my eyes, as
the man yelled, "count time..."
This is a dream, actually a nightmare of what happens
and why we sometimes get locked up again. There's no
excuse, but experiences do happen that scar us for life
no one knows our good intentions or acts of heroism but
ourselves and God let alone our true selves.
''LTMMZE Bf7ffL, LXTTLBS'
We welcome to our pages Limmie Littles from Wasco State Prison
in Wasco, CA. We icnow very little about Limmie, but we are anxious
to getting to icnow him. We do hope he will be inspired to educate u%
many readers and we look forward to his reply. Thanks for taking the
time to write The Beat Limmie!
Who I Am
My name is Limmie Earl Littles. I am a 28 years old
African American male currently incarcerated in a
California Sate Prison for the 4th and final time.
The reason why I say final time is because I don't
plan on coming back to this place. I really hate
being here stuck in a cell 24 to 23 hours a day, bored
out my mind, with absolutely nothing to do.
The reason for me writing to you is because I love to
and write just about anything. But I know one thing
I've been reading and writing about myself since I was
thirteen from to California Youth Authority to State
and I think I should've been nominated for about 8
Academy Awards with my roles as starring actor in my
own movies, ha,ha,ha,.
I know that this program is probably about telling
stories and drama
because believe me a lot of people throw it on thick in
their stories and they don't keep it real ,which is why I'm
not gonna bore you with any drama.
As you can see I'm a straight forward get to the point
guy because I've been living in this movie forever. So if
you're interested in hearing and maybe one day seeing
my autobiography then feel free to ask me any question
and I'll be open and as honest and real as I can be.
/ heard shots ring oi4t from within
the III' store as I seen the tfomgster
stagger oi4t the front door, he stffm-
hled to the street and fell down on
his ^nees. j
We welcome Tyrone Robinson to the pages of The Beat Within.
Tyrone delivers a touching poem for u% all. He writes the truth
from Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran CA. Until the next one, here's
"Beautiful Black Baby!"
"Beautiful Black Baby"
"Beautiful Black Baby"
Wrapped in innocent love,
"Beautiful Black Baby"
Knows not of an unjust world
"Beautiful Black Baby"
Your daddy has gone to war,
"Beautiful Black Baby"
He's fighting and here we are.
"Beautiful Black Baby"
Daddy loves us so,
"Beautiful Black Baby"
He had no choice... but to go.
"Beautiful Black Baby"
There's news- pigs killed your dad.
Freedom and peace we never had...
"Beautiful Black Baby"
amam// • #//////
'CU/PTTS nnn/< u/?.'
A dream is virtual reality in the unconscious stage
Exploring realities that are impossible for any human to
An array of dreams stimulates the mind, body and soul
Having tremendous effect on life weather you be young
Though time to time sweet dreams are accompanied by
Producing sleepless nights becoming the signature of
A dream is a beautiful thing
After all dreams are the original escape from reality
Floating on clouds and as surreal as it seems
Don't wake me just let me dream
Crucifixion Of A Poem
Crucifixion of a poem.
Sadden me to the point
That it inspired me to write more.
Sharing my gift that some even adore
To explore, and exploring the great vision.
The ability to receive life's' perfect forecast
To use my head for more than a hat rack
Casting great detail
Better known as meditation
My poetry shows metaphor, and deep dedication
My work is colossal, and comes in many forms
There will be no crucifixion of a poem.
A storm is raging in everyone's life
Some of us are experiencing heartache
Others just the sting of life
Problems effects us all on every level
The rich feel that they are in charge
Only to find themselves a slave to money
The poor are waiting on a miracle
Only to find that the miracle never comes
The wise, and prudent aim to the sky
But are soon shutdown by their wisdom
The uneducated give up early in life
Only to find they had what it takes to succeed
Life is a giant ball that we must stay on
There are constant forces, making life hard
Like all the drugs, health problems, and wars
What ever happened to rich, healthy, and ordinary lives?
Shouldn't life be more than sex, money, cars and
Does man make the clothes, or do clothes make the
It seems that materialistic items take over peoples' lives
Exchanging fleshly hearts for technology
Have we really grown this mad as mankind?
The eagle, the raven, or the hawk would never do such
So why is this a problem for the most intelligent beings
Is instinct better than thoughts of reason?
Let these thoughts be in you and you in them
Learn to listen with speaking, learn something for a
We welcome back our new friend Curtis Cooic Jr. This poet has
plenty of poetry and wisdom to share this weeic and we are honored
he can u%e us to express himself so loud and clear. The talented Curtis
Cook Jr. writes us from a correctional facility in Selma, Alabama.
Life's' Mysteries Revealed
The end is coming
No one knows the time or date
What will be your eternal fate?
The world's carnal without care
Many stiff necks, life's unfair
When my problem becomes my only solution
What happened when a man's good deeds go unnoticed?
Am I to suffer evil to encounter good?
I'll challenge my life with poetic words daily
A little metaphor, a little free verse maybe
With lyric and meter poetry I paint this picture
Stop, take a minute to look in the mirror
Are you satisfied by what you see?
What would you change if you could?
How would friends and family view your transformation?
Will this change bring dissatisfaction to those who care?
Or will it release your inner beauty, causing many to
You must start with the inside out to obtain beauty
For within you will find all the elements beauty is made
It's not all about high definitions, and perfect cheek
It's about the love that flows through all of us, that
keeps us strong
You wanted words on paper, words on paper can heal
Well this is it. Welcome to "Life's' Mysteries Revealed."
A wise man chooses not to play prison games
Nor does he seek for his mind spiritual chains
But the fool seeks to play the prison game
Only to become a slave to slaver and much pain
His eyes invisionalize for the sight of the dead
His greed snatch the crumbs from the unfed
His words are hateful tornadoes on a great city
His lies is a deadly cancer that kills many
Don't think for once that only God is in his nature
His victims are found either dead or in prison many
A prudent man chooses not to play Satan's' game
Nor does he become a worshiper of worldly things
But the carnel seek to play Satan's game
Only to be casted into unquenchable flames
His mouth is a river of sin, that deceives souls
His heart is a frozen land mass, ice cold
His ears are wings, sinful evil things
His imagination is nightmares, even evil dreams
Don't think for once, that any good He can possess
His victims are found blood oozing from their chest
A godly man chooses to be a worshiper of God
His house is in order, and He is spiritually smart
His spiritual eyes are always on God, because spiritual
eyes don't blink
He thinks of God, because with his spiritual thoughts
He does think
His entire world is centered around God
For we all were created to Praise God.
amam// • #//////
'CU/PTXS cnn/< >^/e
For the most part in my life
It's been mystic days
Also there's also been cold days
Darkness that, shatters any hope of daylight
Strongly, I've come to love
the touch of darkness
She doesn't talk much
But I came to know her presents
Not just her physical darkness
But the darkness of being alone
The sun shines brightly
But I see nothing but darkness
Darkness that grips me
like a giant glove
Helpless, against her might
God, bless the lonely heart
That sits alone at night
Out Of Time
Little is known about me I'll say I'm strange to all
There's no telling what I'm capable of
I can demonstrate hate
But can I ever show love
Lost in this two tone world.
We call life
I'm nearly eighty years old.
And never have I had a wife
My mind twisted like a braid
I'm at war with time
And time has the upper hand
Once young and strong now an old man
Should I pray to God to renew my strength
I know my faUier can fix me in just one wink
Or could it be that I'm running out of time
Many years has scourged my mind
Old age is not treating me right
I guess it's time to lay down my life
'ffff¥ SMnnHB^ uff.'
To Whom It May Concern
I met someone the other day, a young lady who came
across my name at a pen-pal web site. We wrote for a few
months, discussing theology mostly, and some of the social
problems she faced.
Coming from a fairly well-to-do background, her issues
seemed, well, trivial me. She thinks I put her priorities in
perspective. We met at a visit and I suppose I didn't fit into
her preconceptions of me. There sat a wafer thin, delicate
looking blonde in what I suppose she thought was "urban"
clothing: pink and white Air Forces and Baby Phat. And there
I sat, a tattooed, goateed, corn rowed Mexican in creased up
prison blues. She expected a clean cut, reborn Christian. It
never occurred to her that life does not fit our preconceived
notions. It is not perfect and organized. It is not black and
white. I am not clean cut, nor reborn, I have not seen the
light and squared up. I am an ex-gang banger, dope dealer,
dope fiend, drunk, and I'm a convict serving a life sentence.
But, does that mean that what I say is any less heartfelt?
Are my intentions any less pure? Is my message any less
She was spooked at first. The whole scene was
completely alien to her and I know I frightened her at first.
I begged ten minutes of her time before she left in a fluster
of self doubt and fear, and told her the truth- not that I ever
lied to her about anything- and described my life. I told her
about my family and my upbringing. I told her about the
gang violence, drugs, my crappy attitude towards women. I
told her about my wifey, Chris, and our beautiful daughter,
Selena Angelique. I told her about the love I shared, and
felt, and all the joys of being a father. I told her about here.
How I got out of a gang my whole fam' claimed. How my life
changed and my outlook took on a bigger view.
It was just then that she pointed out that it was the
first time we ever really spoke about me. She blushed and
apologized for being self-absorbed. It was kind of funny
seeing her feel so ashamed of bothering me with her
worries about weight, self-image issues, and why mommy
and daddy don't seem to pay attention to her.
Two hours had passed since I first asked her to sit.
She stayed two more before leaving and promising to visit
Our good friend and colleague Ray Sanchez Jr. delivers a super
commentary for u% readers this week. Without going into details,
give Ray a few minutes of your time. Ray Sanchez Jr. writes us from
Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA.
We are all sentient, rational beings. And being rational,
we have a choice. We can choose to be more, to change.
And it is the intent behind those choices that define our
You can be charitable because your faith demands it
and be thought a good person. But, if you behave so for
the soul purpose of gaining brownie points with God, then
you selfish intentions taint your good deeds. For only by
being charitable for the simple sake of the act itself can
you fill your heart with a virtue that speaks to other souls.
To me, virtue is the celebration of life, love and the desire
to grow towards goodness. It is selfless and without pride
or ambition. It is above justification and is a truth that
transcends race, social standing, nationality, or economic
Each of us can buUspit to others and ourselves. We can
glorify our sexual conquests or violent deeds. We can lie to
ourselves and say that the dope game, hoe game, gang life,
is all we know. We can lie so good, we believe our own shhh
to the fullest.
But there is a place within us where virtue sits as judge,
and we can no longer hide behind lies. To admit the truth
of our actions is to go before that court where good and evil
are intents, and it intent is without excuse. It is a painfully
naked place that forces us to remove our masks and look
into the mirror.
I constantly second guess myself because I often visit
that place so that I can write to you without hidden agendas
or pride. I did so at that visit, too. I made no excuses. I
feely admitted to my past, my crooked, greedy desires. I did
not attempt to make myself look good. I just shared who
I was with someone who was insecure and unsure of who
she was. In the end, by exposing my true self, she saw the
intent of my soul and was unafraid. And I had made a new
amam// • #//////
Searching for decades
It has been a very long time
I have found you
Through spirits and desperate souls
Spirits that have left me drunk
Souls seeking blood transfusions
Staring into the isolated darkness
Of a well filled with my mother's blood
Burned alive as a Phoenix
I have risen through the ashes
Now I stand on solid ground
Searching for decades
To find the light end of my shadow
And the dark end of my refiection
This being that I call me
I have found you
I know I need to put the coffee down and slow my roll,
but I'm sorry, I just can't stop. The writing bug just won't
die and it's become quite contagious.
I recently ran into one of my homeboys that I knew
since Juvenile Hall. His name is Jason (aka Jay Jona).
He was raised in Sacramento, but born in Oakland. He's
heard of The Beat, but he just never got the chance to
write it. I told him to write something and I would send
it for him, and he did (check out Jay Jona in this issue).
His handwriting was crazy small so I re-wrote the pieces
for him, but everything is the same. This was not a group
effort, all I did was write the "Intro". Everything else
is all Jay Jona. I was kind of reminiscent of my Poetic
Mindz days. I'd give anything to check out those pieces
I sent by PMF (Poetic Mindz Family) members ; Mystery,
Mark Miami, Dark Lion, Black Dragon, Mr. Brown mind,
Malcolm Luther Tubman, and even some guy named
Poetic Blackmind (who? Ha! ).
My favorite was Mystery (young white kid from
Oakland), we were the only Northern California boys out
there at the LA boys home. Anyway, PMF is done with but
I just can't stop bringing people to The Beat. When you
have something good it tastes better when you share it.
I know it's crazy, but I still haven't sent you all of
my NEW pieces. I got numerous to send you, on top of
some pieces I wrote with a fellow inmate in here, he
goes by Mr. Speedy. He is a writer, poet and a very good
artist. We formed a Poetic Mindz-like collective called The
Brethren (like the Grisham book). We're writing pieces
that are aimed at the youngster who are in and out of
Juvenile Hall. We talk about how living the gangster
lifestyle will eventually lead them to where we're at now.
The Brethren is kind of a "Scared Straight" program on
paper. I've already finished my part of the project, I'm just
waiting for Speedy to finish writing and drawing his part.
Unlike Poetic Mindz, The Brethren is going to be a one
time coUabo, I just want to try and make an impact on the
young people and hopefully Speedy will make a name for
himself in The Beat, as a writer and graphic artist.
Anyway, now that I've gotten way off the subject.
This letter is not about me or Speedy, this is all about
Jay Jona. I hope you can give him a shot, it'll truly be a
blessing. Thank you, for everything. I send this with my
love and gratitude. I know you're busy. Peace.
A Beat hall of famer is back on top, with his super thoughtful
writing, and that's Professor Blackmind. We love featuring his work,
if it's weekly, or once a month we are honored. We have known
Blackmind for years. We first met him when he was a juvenile in a
group home in Southern California. He even formed a writing squad
called Poetic Minds back in the day were in that group home. Today,
unfortunately, he writes us from the county correctional facility in
T-SEP UNIT aka Ad-SEG
24 hour lockdown
You get an hour out
Every 48 hours
You in a one-man cell
Nobody to chop it up
Or play dominoes with
The silence eats away at you
You hear someone calling you
But they're never there
You're losing your marbles
Am I going nuts?
Only the strong will stay sane
The weak will be devoured
And disintegrate in the belly of the belly
Only thing to keep you strong
Is mail and phone calls
But in T-SEP you only come out at midnight
They might not pick up the phone that late
You have nothing but time
You write your rhymes or poetry
You draw your art pieces
But your mind is still ill at ease
So you write The Beat
Wait for a reply
Watch the boring shows in TV
7 months in this cell
This is my life
In total separation
That's my motto
Penning a classic is like winning the lotto
These healing words
Is good for your health
Don't compromise your artistry
Be true to yourself
Don't try to be Shakespeare or Robert Frost
If you're from the hood and your soul is lost
Keep your eyes open
But your mouth close
Tell your story through this prose.
Write hard until your hand hurts
Take your art for what it's worth
Teach the young ones
To stay in school
Say no to drugs
Because dope ain't cool
Lead by example
Give them a sample of the power of this pen.
Beiind These Wells: De) One
12/30/07- When they built this jail, the built the pods so
close that you can hear or sometimes feel what's going on in
the next unit over.
Right now, I can hear two inmates in a cell beating the
crap out of each other. I don't know what started it or who's
involved, but I do know how it sounds when you're fighting
in these five by nine cells. The punches sound like loud slaps
and the grappling sound like and ape banging on the walls.
A vivid reminder of why I hate this place and the politics that
comes with it.
As the fighting continues, my conscience hits me. Damn!
What if somebody gets hurt bad? What if they get killed?
Somebody should stop them before it gets ugly. These
thoughts were running through my mind when my other
conscience said "Mine your own damn business!" Being in
jail, that would be the best policy. But something inside of
me told me that the fact that I knew what was going on made
it my business. So I weighed y options: talking to the Guards
was out of the question. It never even crossed my mind, no
matter how serious the situation was. I believe that inmate
affairs should be handled by inmates. Going to a cop for help
is a good as signing your own Death Certificate.
I had to think of away to tell them to stop fighting
before they hurt each other. These cells are small and the
bed-which are made hard steel- takes up most of the space.
It's impossible to fight or grapple without bumping into the
beds. If one of their heads hit the bed, they'll need a bunch
of staples and might even suffer brain damage. I've seen it
happen and it was an ugly. Blood was everywhere like a scene
in a horror flick.
The ability to think fast is a gift that the Lord has blessed
me with and it's never failed me.
I stood onto my stool so that my head would be leveled
with the air vent, then I pounded at the wall nearest to their
unit. I pounded two times, nothing happened. I pounded
three more times, still nothing. Then as I was stepping off
my stool. I could hear a voice through the vent. Somebody
I jumped back on the stool and started communicating
with an inmate in the next unit. I explained to him the
situation in a coded language that only us inmates know. He
thanked me for bringing it to his attention and he took care
of it. The fighting stopped shortly before the guards came in
to do their weekly "shakedown" cell searchers. They had no
idea of what was going on, which is a good thing for us. I'm
just glad nobody got hurt.
I Believe in God
I believe in God
Although I lose me faith
Have wicked thoughts before I pray
Fantasies of drugs and sex
Fancy cars and funny checks
Bathing apes and stunna shades
Super scraper on them blades
Candy paint and eye candy
Like Austin Powers, feelin' rrrandy
Out of it
Back in this cell
Pray everyday to keep me out of hell
None of those material things
No tailored suits or diamond rings
Just me and this bible
I believe in God
That can be trusted
Fatlier, I Need You
I don't know what it's like to have a Daddy
But I realized that I do have a father
Twenty-Two years of struggle
But my father has kept me alive
Lord have mercy on my soul
Guide me in the direction I need to
I'm so lost and awfully confused
I have no one to turn to but you
I'm tired of hearing preachers preach
I'm sick of politician's speech
My church is full of hypocrites
To tell the truth I'm one of them
Even when I try to do right
I give up easy in the fight
I'd close my eyes and hope to die
Don't even kiss this world goodbye
The next morning I open my eyes
I'm still alive it's no surprise
I still don't know what to do with myself
I turn to you and no one else
I'm nothing but a miserable dope addict loser
Lord why do you love me so much
Why do you pick me up when I fall
You catch my tears when I cry
You're by my side when I'm all alone
What do you need in return
The drug will kill me
I don't want to die
I've lost everything
Even lost some of my fake-butt friends
That's a plus
But this drug has taken so much
I've been stripped of everything
I stand here naked in this lonely world
As if I never existed
With a cold case of amnesia
How did I get here
What does it take to get out
I need a resolution
Eight years into new millennium
I wan sobriety
Lord I've been through so much
Five me this one thing
I will die without it
I am so sensitive
I need to heal
I want to get strong
I want a resolution
amam// • #//////
Me Against I
Before I self-destruct
I see the face of death
I give my soul to Satan
Because there's nothing lefty
Had dreams of going to college
To get my bachelor's degree
Got strung out on drugs
I couldn't see clearly
I tried so hard to rise above
While pulling myself back down
How can I put my faith in God
And turn my life around
I'm tired of blaming Satan
For the wicked things I've done
I look around for someone to blame
But I'm the only one
No gun was pointed to my head
When I took the first hit
I thought I didn't need the drug
But yet I couldn't quit
I'm 22 without a life
Or vision I can see
This year I would've graduated
With my bachelor's degree
The Blood Of a Child
How can you love me
When I hate you so much
I can never forgive you
Even if I wanted to
My heart will never change
Why did you beat me
Did you make me
For the pleasure of
How could you punish me
For the deeds of my father
A man I've never known
But yet we look so much
You cruel woman
How could you spill the
blood of a child
As punishment for your
Why did you bring me into
Then throw me into the
When you tell me you hate
When you rip into my
The blood pouring from
You don't want blood on
You force me out the
Then pull me back in
Just to hurt me once again
You say you know how it
It makes me hate you
How could you make a
If you were one yourself
I used to wish that I could
Like the other kids
But your sadistic ways
and cruel intentions
Made it necessary to make
It must feel good to beat
an eight year old child
With a lead pipe
I remember lying to the
"oh I fell off my bike"
Don't forget the broken
wrist, arm and tailbone
fiftteen years later
You got the audacity to
No excuses or
But I'm not really
How do you explain
Spilling the blood of a
I want to live
Me screaming as a fetus
In my mama's womb
She has to make a decision
Birth or abort
I want to live
She makes a decision
And almost died getting me here
Flash forward '96
We move from Chicago to Sacramento
To get away from gangs and drugs
Grandma got Cancer and died
Flash forward '98
Mama is sick in the head
I get involved with gangs and drugs
Expelled from several schools
In and out of Juvenile Hall
Placed on felony probabtion
Flash forward '04
Young teen sleeping in an abandoned car
Strung out on various drugs
With nothing to lose
Nothing to live for
No one to love
No one to lean on
Flash forward '08
Fresh new start
Brand new year
Many goals to accomplish
Gotta stay sober
Gotta stay strong
I want to live
Many people don't like or understand the Hyphy
movement. Mostly because they haven't took the time to
learn more about it.
I think it's wonderful when young black men can
rap, dance, and have a good time without resorting to
The media portray Hyphy as a drug-inspired, daredevil
car stunt type of following. They make it seem as if
sideshows are the worst thing to happen to America.
They said the same thing about Evil Knievel and his
death-defying motorcycle stunts, but eventually they
realized that he was entering and inspiring people. If it's
okay for Knievel to jump over canyons, then it's not so bad
for young folks to hop in their scraper and gas, brake, dip.
What's wrong with shaking your dreads? What's wrong
with doing whatever dance comes to mind with your thizz
face on? Huh?
I'm not saying that everything about the hyphy is
good. It's not cool to pop pills or any other drugs, and if
you want to stunt in your scaper, make sure you're safe,
like in an empty parking. You don't want to put yourself
or anybody else in danger just because you wanted to "go
dummy retarded" while driving.
Hyphy is a great way for young people in the urban
community to get together and enjoy themselves. If you
like Mac Dre, Keak da Sneak, E-40, then hyphy is the
thing for you. Go! Go! Go!
^T^^WT^mma^m / / .j // jfj ff /
Prince made a song called "Musicology"
But before that came "Purple Rain"
That dude is bad
He plays every instrument
And he got his own style
Prince is bad
But not badder then Mike
The king of pop
"Off The Wall"
"Bad and Dangerous"
Nobody sells records like Mike
Not even the Eagles
He's a smooth criminal
Like 2 pac
Mr. Thug like
He blew up in the Bay Area
From "2Pacalypse" to "Me Against the World"
Pac is the greatest of all time
"All Eyes On Me"
"Makaveli" is a classic
Even "Better Dayz" is multi-platinum
He still putting albums out
But let's not forget "Pied Piper"
"The R album" and "TP2.com"
He's the king of R&B
Marvin Gaye and The Isley Brothers
Paved the way
But R. Kelly took it to the next level
I Will Not Lose
I will not lose
He aims to be the best
He won't accept defeat
He's out to rule the world
To conquer every street
And every block
In every town
In every county
In every state
And all around
I will not lose
He shoots, he scores
They hit the floor
The crowd cheers
They beg for more
He's never played this game before
But he will not lose
The opposition takes a shot
He's well aware the shot is blocked
He grabs the ball
Then takes the shot
A buzzer beater that can't be stopped
And he wins again
The Ghost Writer
I first started writing poems and essays when I was a
young teen. I had gotten expelled from one school and
dropped out of another one. I got caught up in the streets
and eventually locked up in Juvenile Hall. From there I
ended up in the Boys Ranch, which is where I wrote my
I don't even remember what it was about, but I
do remember how proud I was and how good it felt to
express myself in a way I never knew was possible. But
there is a big difference between writing a rap and actually
Battle rapping was a big thing at the boys ranch.
The staff used to bet on whomever they felt had the best
The best rapper at the ranch was a lanky kid from Oak
Park named Perk. This kid had the sickest flows and the
most cleverest lyrics I'd ever heard. Nobody could beat
Perk in a battle. I went up against him and he devoured
me. But he also taught me a very good lesson. He said
"yo, you got the tightest lyrics I've ever heard, but your
flow is so whack, people can't even understand them. You
should stick to writing."
He was right, I was a much better writer than a
performer. So first I started selling verses to rappers so
they could use it in the battles. They would pay me with
stuff they brought back from their home passes.
There would be a time when about 90% of the lyrics
being spit in the Boy Ranch battles were either written
or co-written by me. The other 10% would be Perk's
and a few other rappers performing their own material.
Eventually I gained a reputation as a "Ghost Writer" and
they gave me names like "The Pen," "The Lyricist," and
more commonly "The Professor."
Eventually, I got bored with writing lyrics and moved
on to poetry. I can't remember the title or subject of my
very first poem, but I do remember thinking to myself,
"this is what I need to be doing."
When writing lyrics I used with and imagination to
come up with flamboyant table and clever punch lines.
But with poetry, I was able to dig deep down inside my
soul and write about my life and what's happening in the
I still credit Perk as the one who inspired me to keep
writing rhymes which eventually led me to write poetry.
But sadly Perk never got the chance to live out his dreams.
He was shot and killed by a gang member for reasons
It was at the Boys Ranch that I first seen a copy of the
Beat. About a year later "Professor Blackmind" was born.
To be continued...
EveHtnalltf, I got hored with writing
lifrlcs ayidmvedoM topoetrtf, Icm't
re w em her the title or suhject offfttf
verif pst poent, ht4t I do rewenther
thiMKlMg to Wifself, "this Is what I
need to he doing. " ^
amam// • #//////
My Mind Is Playino Tricks On Me
Let me start off by saying that I've been a mentally ill patient/
prisoner for over thirteen plus years. I've been hearing
voices since the day my mother died. Which has been since
1989. Even though I have been placed on these medications
that this prison as well as all of the prisons I've been in gave
to me. It just don't stop the voices. I try other things to stop
these voices from stressing me out, such as doing a lot of
writing... like now for instance. It just don't work.
Did I happen to mention that I'm also seeing things that
aren't there? I tell you this much, I'm all messed up.
What was that? I thought I just seen something run
across the floor. I might have been mistaken, I don't think
so-there it goes again. Crap, my minds playing tricks on
No I don't do drugs, at least not anymore. But that did
not mess up my mind- or did it? Oh well, let's move on shall
I really think all this mind playing tricks on me
started when my family stopped writing to me... so, if this
is something you look forward to becoming, then by all
means- come to prison. For you see- there it goes again... I
would call for the COs to come and help me to find out what
it is running around in my cell, but they'll only want to
move me to the prison hospital for a few days. Which won't
do me any good except for to have me hearing things and
seeing things sitting in the corner in the dark of the night,
which will have me shaking like a little girl.
Hell, I'm a man, weighting at 212 pounds. I should be
scared of nothing or no one. But when your mind's playing
tricks on you, there's nothing you or anybody else can do
These doctors tell me that I need to find myself a happy
place? Damn, Doc, I'm a black man in prison with only two
things on his mind? "Becoming free of this hell hole... And
being with the opposite sex if you know what I mean."
There my mind went again. The two things I really want
is, to stop hearing these voices and to stop seeing things!
Everything else can wait.
I'm a sick man and I need some help. I'm in a cell by
myself, and one night I could have swore up and down
that when I got up in the middle of the night to use the
bathroom, I thought there was somebody sleeping in the
empty bed right next to me? I almost screamed, and it was
around 3:30am, so I just about pissed in my drawers. But
then as always, my mind was playing tricks on me.
It's skn honor from the bottom of our hearts to have the thoughtful
and powerful Stephon Williams back in the pages of The Beat!
Stephon steps up huge from Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, CA. He
pulls no punches in this awesome piece of work ^% he speaks of the evils
of drugs, and what they can do to a person's brain. We hope you readers
enjoy this disturbing body of work from Stephon sk% much sk% we have.
I know that I'm way beyond help, why? Because I
hold conversations with myself... You might say that ain't
nothing. Ah, but here's the catch, not only do I talk, but I
also answers the questions that I ask. I do this a lot. So
much that my neighbor (Yogi) calls over to me and asks
me who am I talking to, or did I say something to him? I
just tell him "you know how it is, just talking to myself as
He says, "yes I know, you've been talking to yourself
for over an hour, so I had to ask if you were alright?"
I tell him that I'm cool, but really I'm not. My minds
playing tricks on me! I can't seem to escape this feeling
that I have that somebody's always watching me... I could/
would say that it's my mother watching over me everyday,
but I don't think that she could see me behind these walls
so thick? And if she did see me, can she see these other
things running around in this cell that I myself can't? Can
she tell me who or what they are? What is it that they want
from me? Why are they doing this to me in the first place?
I've done nothing that warrants this kind of mind games...
even if it's my own mind playing these tricks on me.
I know that I'm not all by myself in this matter, because
there are a lot of you out there who are in jail that are still
coming down from some kind of crazy drugs. I know that
you're either hearing voices or seeing things! Or maybe
you're just one of those sick kind of drug users... you know
who you are... the one's with things crawling all
over you that you just can't get off, nor can you shake it
off! Trust me, your mind is now playing big tricks on you
You might remember my name from one of my stories
I wrote to The Beat? "Confessions of a Crack Addict." I
smoked it so much, that I've not been right every since... So
my saying to you who reads this, and anything else I just so
might happen to write. Pay close attention to my words and
away from "all" drugs, and your mind won't play tricks on
Until next time, stay away from those who sell/ use
drugs! Damn, I've got to catch this thing that's running
around in my cell! Don't worry about me, my mind is always
going to play tricks on me!
Supposed To Be
There's only so much I can say when it comes to how things
are supposed to be. So I can only share my experience growing
up defying authority. Against grain, like a wild horse that
refuses to be tamed, in a society where I do right in all the
wrong things. I've convinced myself there is no possibility of
change. Only now have I realized that I create my own fate,
and it's never too late to find a new path to take.
Growing up in the system correcting repeated mistakes,
I've encountered everything from fake jakes to snakes.
Running, robbing and stealing everything short of killing. I
possess no compassion for others feelings. On a rampage
with no destination in sight. I'm in a battle when I don't even
know who it is I fight. In this penitentiary with a ten year wait
for robbing banks with a smile on my face. I can only say:
living the life of an outlaw isn't all that it supposed to be!
We welcome Brandon Burnett to The Beat Within. We are pleased
to include his voice in this week's powerful issue. Brandon writes u%
from the Washington State Penitentiary in Wallawalla, WA
Allow me to get in your mind
With these catchy lines
Designed to lead you from hard times
Regardless of what others say or do
It's up to you to think and choose
To make to proper moves
And decide whether you want to win or lose
All I can ask is that you absorb this truth
amasm// • r/r/et/
Here at Calipatria State Prison there are four yards. A, B,
C and D yard. D yard is the sensitive needs yard where they
send snitches, child molesters and rapist because the real
gangsters on A, B, and C yard will try and kill them. There
are only "two" law libraries shared by all four yards so B yard
inmates get escorted to the A yard law library and C yard
inmates get handcuffed and escorted to the D yard library. I'm
on C yard so I have to use D yard (The snitch yard library).
As we passed by the many protected custody rats I
noticed that the majority of them acted the same and looked
the same as the gangsters on the regular yards. I continued
searching the faces of theses dudes who didn't try and hide
their shame and some even stared back with frowns. I finally
found a familiar face in the group. A face I had never expected
or wanted to see ever again. A face I hadn't seen since I was
nine years old... My father!
I heard him calling my name and trying to get me to
acknowledge him, but I turned my head how the snitches
were suppose to turn there's out of shame.
I couldn't focus on my law work because I wondered about
what had he done and was it towards a family member and
how I could get in contact with him, acting compassionate
and understanding only so he would be vulnerable when I
attempted to kill him.
At that instant I was spiritually humbled because I
remembered the four topics that I read in The Beat Within
Volume 13.01 by author Brother Chan. I was also reminded
of a incident in my past that could have landed me on a
sensitive needs yard. Yes me! Peep game.
At age 16, I was tried as an adult and faced 25 years to
life because my crime partner was shot and killed by an
unexpected security guard in the second robbery that we
pulled that night.
My crime partner's sister, who was also my girlfriend,
was a law student. She didn't mind my age because she was
barely 19 and I told her I was 18. So when she found out
her heart was already involved. Since her brother, my crime
partner was 25 years old, there's a law called "Cohersion". A
statutory law where I was influenced by an adult. So that's
what my defense was and I received less time.
Not only that but my case was published in a book, which
is how the trouble came about. The shot caller of the gang
that I was in read the book and felt that I was out of pocket
because if I would say that about a dead man then I would
do it to somebody alive. I immediately reached for my shank
and charged after the shot caller. He blocked himself with his
arm and part of the blade broke into his bicep. Instead of the
shot caller coming after me, he and the two dudes that were
with him casually walked to the yard sink to clean his arm. I
was scared to death. I didn't know what to do. I have always
been taught by my father to pursue the threat so that's why
I charged after the shot caller, because he was the one doing
all of the talking. I was in such fear that I went and dug up my
other knife that I buried in the horseshoe pit and was ready
to use it also against whoever. But no one tried anything.
The next day the shot caller came and apologized to me
for not getting the facts straight. But what if the shot caller
never would have admitted he was wrong and what kind of
homies or friend would so easily determine to inflict harm
on their homies or what if I wouldn't have charged after the
shot caller the moment he made clear his decision about my
People in prison have a bad understanding and by the
time the story gets to the person who had no business
interpreting it you might end up on a yard like the one my
father is on.
It's great to have back the powerful and knowledgeable Geri Vance.
Geri steps up big this week from his cell in Calipatria State Prison
in Calipatria, CA. His "Peep Game" contribution speaks volumes. We
recommend the read. We thank Geri for thinking of u%, and we await
for his next commentary.
Afraid, and not knowing it is the fear of the unknown
Invited as a stranger for it appeared to be alone
But once inside the home it allies with truce...
And combines itself within so that it then becomes two
By then it has grew and is prepared to invade
By initiating it's weapon the dread of being afraid
What's left is in dismay, lay prey and deranged
For that friendly stranger left and fear itself remained.
On the first day of Christmas, the ghetto gave to me...
A tumble weed Christmas tree
On the second day of Christmas, the ghetto gave to me...
A bike without no seat.
On the third day of Christmas, the ghetto gave to me...
Three bath tub rings!
Three tub rings, bike with no seat
And a tumble weed Christmas tree
On the fourth day of Christmas, the ghetto gave to me...
Tennis shoes without no strings
On the fifth day of Christmas, the ghetto gave to me...
A piano with missing keys
Pi£ino missing keys, shoes with no strings, three tub rings,
bike with no seat and a tumble weed Christmas tree
On the sixth day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
A mattress without no sheets
On the seventh day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
A bowl full of pinto beans
On the eighth day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
A parakeet with broken wings!
Bird with broken wings, bowl full of beans, mattress no
piano missing keys, shoes with no strings, three tub
Bike with no seat... and a tumble weed Christmas tree
On the ninth day of Christmas the ghetto gave tom me...
Water from the faucet to drink
On the tenth day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
Hand me down holey jeans!
Hand me down jeans, water from the sink, bird with
Bowl full of beans, mattress no sheets, piano missing keys.
Shoes with no strings, three tub rings with no seat...
And a tumble weed Christmas tree
On the eleventh day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
Food stamps and EBT
On the twelveth day of Christmas the ghetto gave to me...
Roaches in heat!
Roaches in heat, EBT, Hand me down jeans, water from
Bird with broken wings, bowl full of beans, mattress no
Piano missing keys, shoes with no strings, three tub
rings, bike with no seat...
And a tumble weed Christmas tree
amasm// • #//////
Just because it looks fixed
That doesn't mean it is fixed
Women try hard to make themselves up
You can't use a compact on your heart
Just because you smell good today
That doesn't mean you do tomorrow
Focus on you inner strength
But still be kind
Don't be afraid of yourself
Save your fear for God
Or go home
And no one likes to lose
Be the best at everything you do
And keep your eyes on the prize
So it stays consistent
We are honored that Professor Blackmind has share The Beat with
this next poet, who goes by the name of Jay Jona. Jay writes u%
from the Sacramento County Jail RCCC in Sacramento, CA. We are sure
we'll hear from him again, very soon.
Too Maoy People
There is a huge price for you life
The cost is way too much
If you want to buy in
Just examine the cost
Pay very close attention
There is a price
For whatever life you want to live
And the prices you are willing to pay
To arrive at your destination
Nothing in life is free
Everything has a cost
So be ready to pay the cost
For the life you choose to live
Do whatever it takes
To live the best life you can live
To guarantee success
I hate living with so many people
People always in the way
People in the hallway
People in the stairs
People on the yard
People all around
Who are all these people
They act like they know you
Sticking to your side
But it's out of your control
The best thing to do is try to get along
Its different people everyday
They come and go
At any given time
Just respect everyone you meet
Don't be unapproachable
Make yourself available
And acknowledged by all
Even if there is too many people
Nothing iff life Is free
Everif thing has a cost
Introdociflo... Jay Jooa
This is Professor Blackmind and I would like to take
this opportunity to thank all you wonderful folks at The
Beat for giving me the privilege of introducing my good
friend and fellow inmate Jay Jona. He is originally from
the Bay Area and once I told him I was frequently writing
The Beat, he jumped at the chance to be down with this
life-changing movement. We are sending this from the
confines of Sacramento County Jail's RCCC Branch.
I only kick it with people who can relcix
They don't make me nervous
And they keep me sane
They take a second to think
About the decisions they make
They keep it all together
A fresh look
And tip top hygiene
They know how to kick back
Take it easy
I called them the relaxers
Relaxation keeps the mind healthy
It's good for the environment
Relaxers are smooth
Laid back people
Like Snoop Dogg
Dofl't Miss A Thing
When you come to jail
You miss so many things
The love of the touch
Hugs from those who care about you
Kisses from the girl who loves you so much
Locked up with a bunch of smelly dudes
No space for you to stretch
The food is a pile of cold garbage
You miss that taste of food warmed up
Your people come to visit you
But that hour goes by too fast
Here one minute
Gone the next
You can't control the time
'Cause you don't run nothing
The cops control everything
You get their permission
Just to take a dump
The days go by slow
And it hurts very much
You miss so many things
^T^^WT^^mmmmMAjir . ^/JJJ ff /
^I^^I^^ I^U^^^Ld^ rii/7Tf7n sf7L,of7nnj ^
The day finally arrived with many other inmates. We were
cuffed together, our wrists were cuffed tightly in front and
leg irons were secured to our ankles in pairs and then
loaded into a transportation bus with a gunner in the rear
of the bus in a cage.
In the two hour drive to the prison, I watched the passing
scenery with unseeing eyes. When the bus pulled up in
front of the gates, I stared at the huge walls surrounding
the penitentiary. I watched men in blue uniforms trimming
the grass and hedges in front of the prison. There were no
guards visible around them. I would learn later that these
were trustees at the ranch and knew it would be many
years before I would reach that status, but I wasn't really
worried about that. I was confronted with the problem of
making my mind accept the fact that I would be in this place
until my sentence was served. It is typical of man's nature
that he can adjust to almost any environment; prison life
is no different. The only problem was the absence of any
females. Some men even adjust to this. I met men who
had been sentenced to life and they had adapted to this
abnormal condition. Many of these men went so far as to
abstain from indulging in relationships with the she-males
who abounded in prison while others quickly accepted this
as the new way of life and fell in love.
During the receiving process we were stripped out of
our county jail clothes and waited to be examined, then put
back in a holding cell, of which they four, and crammed
twenty of us into one of them with one size fits all jumpsuits;
they were either too big or too small. After long hours of
waiting, we were finally escorted to a unit in which we were
all paired by race and put in two-man cells.
This section is used for quarantine. We were isolated
from the rest of the population. We were kept there for up
to ninety days, waiting in this unit which is five tiers. We're
there to find out if we're going to be transferred to some
Brian, your description of prison life is very vivid and your advice
for young people to "maice that change" is sound. Hopefully, you
will reach many readers through this writing. May the Greater Power
protect you and keep you ^% you do your time. Baby Buffalo writes u%
from a correctional facility in Woodland, CA.
other prison or be endorsed to the mainline here in San
Quentin State Prison.
In the cell I sat on the small bunk and thought about
everything and about the year I would be released. Since
there was no getting around it and I would have to serve the
time, I made my mind up at the moment that I wouldn't take
any shhh from anyone.
I knew there were only two kinds of people in prison,
either you were a man or a punk or too old to have to worry
Since I was young, I knew I would have to worry about
it, so I made up my mind to be one of the pushers and not
one of those that got pushed.
The first weeks in prison I spent receiving blood tests
and shots. After that we were given lectures on prison life
and constant warnings not to borrow anything from other
inmates. We were let out of our cells to eat at a chow hall
twice a day, for breakfast and dinner; lunch was given to us
in a paper bag. Showers are only done twice a week because
of the overcrowded population of inmates.
Besides all that, I have found out there are close to six
hundred inmates on death row. Months have gone by and
I come to find out from a guard that I have been endorsed
to do this time here at San Quentin State Prison, so I got
to go get my property together and wait for the escort to
the mainline unit. The whole point to this being written
is, think of what you have read. Is it something that you
would like to experience? I would like to speak with a
lot of youngsters some time in the future that are getting
themselves into, or are in a pattern of, crime, violence,
gangs and using drugs, and abusing alcohol. For those
who are, make that change.
Tonight I had a visitor; he walked right through the bars.
At first I thought he was a ghost or maybe a man from Mars.
He took a chair from the corner and placed it by my bed, he
leaned over to me and this is what he said.
Look at you lying there so lost and all alone. I expected
more from you, yet you call this place your home...
So many chances and you couldn't hold on, I felt your
pain sing to me like some played out country love song...
And, yeah, you're right when you told me this place gets
old, I've been here for you so many times even to me this
place feels like my home away from home...
And I know it hurt you when your mother died; I was
there, remember, I was your mirror, so I couldn't help but
notice the emptiness in your eyes...
But you didn't give up, no, you held on tight, suicide
not an option even though you fought like hell with it that
Now you're over 30 and what have you got to show,
dreaming of something, holding onto nothing, wishing you
had your family back to hold?
Gone like the wind, your own memories a ghost, you
weren't even out long enough, what, one year at the most...
But I'm not here to put you down, no, that isn't what you
need, I'm going to help you leave this place and show you
what it takes to succeed...
And as I was lying there I looked up to see and, boy, I was
shocked when I learned the visitor was me.
Ralph Offield writes from Western Missouri Correctional Center
with vivid descriptions and entrancing prose and poetry. Thank
you, Ralph, for giving us the opportunity to share your work. You
definitely have within you what it takes to leave that place.
I'm 32 years old but in so many ways I refuse to grow
up. Maybe that's why I've made the choices I've made and
come to a place I've lived in most of my life. But I'd like to
tell the youth of the world who have to deal with the loss
of a family member or friend at such a young age to live
through them because for every tear that falls holds truth
so real that the memory will have no choice but to live on.
I know this because I lost my best friend, my mother, on
August 7th, 2004. Mom's are awesome, so if you're the
lucky ones who still have that gift in your lives, tell them
what they mean to you.
Mom's are awesome, so if you're the Ii4cki ^^^^
who still have that gift in if our lives, tell them
what thetf mean to if on. A
amam// • #//////
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning- to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the second with tears,
But he said that what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth,
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash mid-range"!)
If we could just slow down enough to consider
What's true and what's real.
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And... be less quick to anger.
And show appreciation more
And love all the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect.
And more often wear a smile.
Remembering that his special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be pleased with the things they have to say
About how you've spent your dash?
Looks who's back, our buddy from the Midwest, Herbert Schweigert
, who writes u% from the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron,
Missouri. This spiritual man brings his love and thoughts to us, and we
are ^% aiways honored to share his words, his wonderful loving God.
And His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful, Isaiah 9:6 \
He's the One who paints the glory in the sunset.
He's the One who glides the eastern sky at dawn.
He's the One who puts the silver in the moonlight.
He's the One who giveth grace into the fawn.
He's the One who puts perfume in the lily.
He's the One who gives the rose its petals fair.
He's the One who giveth life to all the living.
He's the One who scattereth beauty everywhere.
He's the One who gives the stars their wondrous
He's the One who gives the bird its joyous song.
He's the One who spreads the dew upon the garden.
He's the One who rolls the mighty sea along.
He's the One who giveth to the field its fiowers.
He's the One in all the universe most fair.
He's the One who sends the sunshine and the showers.
He's the One who with whom none other can compare.
He's the One who made the valleys and the mountains.
He's the One who gives the fields of golden grain.
He's the One who made the crystal fiowing fountains.
He's the lamb of God who for my sins was slain.
He's the One who blends the colors in the rainbow.
He's the One who draws the snowfiake's fair design.
He's the One who cares for me thru' sun and shadow.
And the wonder of it all is- He is mine!
Sometimes when you're fighting battles.
And are tempted to give O'er
Here's a little thought to help you
To be brave and fight some more.
It will make a world of difference
When the enemy assails.
If you'll claim divine assistance.
Knowing Jesus never fails.
Jesus never lost one battle.
Thought temptations came His way.
Just a cruel and as subtle
As we're finding them today.
Now we have the glad assurance
That a conquering power prevails
In and through the constant presence
Of a love that never fails.
When you find a weaker brother.
Losing out where he could win.
Tell him that the blood will cover
All his failures... all his sin
From the wondrous cross on Calvary
Flows the stream that still avails.
Cleansing hearts and bringing victory
Through that love which never fails.
A Mother's Love
Long long ago: so I have been told.
Two angels once met on streets paved with gold.
"By the starts in your crown," said one to another,
I see that on earth you were a mother. "
"And by the blue-tinted halo you wear.
You have seen much sorrow and deep despair. "
"Ah, yes," she replied, "I once had a son
A sweet little lad, full of laughter and fun."
"But tell of your child." "Oh, I knew I was blessed
From the moment I first held him close to my breast.
And my heart almost burst with the joy of that day."
"Ah, yes," said the other, "I felt the same way."
The former continued, "The first steps he took.
So eager and breathless, the sweet startled look.
Which came over his face, he trusted me so,"
"Ah, yes," sighed the other, "How well do I know!"
"But soon he had grown to a tall handsome boy.
So stalwart and kind- and it gave me such joy.
To have him just walk down the street by my side,"
"Ah, yes," said the other, "I felt the same pride."
"How often I shielded, and spared him from pain."
And when he for others, was so cruelly slain."
"When they crucified him- and they spit in his face.
How gladly I would have, hung there in his place!"
A moment of silence- "Oh, then you are she.
The Mother of Christ," and she fell to one knee;
But the Blessed One raised her cup, drawing her near.
And kissed from the cheek of the woman, a tear.
"Tell me the name of the son you loved so.
That I may share with you your grief and your woe"
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other,
"He was Judas Iscariot. I am his mother."
amam// • #//////
'HB/?IIB/?T SCHU/BTUB/PT nanr. '
Lost But Found
Since I have been incarcerated in prison, I have lost just
about everything. My parents passed away. My girlfriend
dumped me and all my so called friends have moved on.
I couldn't seem to stop myself from dwelling on all the
things that I had lost... That is until I found God. Now
I realize I myself was what I lost. Now I have a totally
different outlook on things and I know now that God will
never put more on me than I could handle.
Anyone who hasn't found God, please do so. He was
truly my only answer and I know He will be yours too.
Let Jesus Talk For You
We must give up the urge to worry about our future,
let God control the outcome.
We must put our faith in Him 100% and when He thinks
we are ready to leave prison
He will release us.
His will be done.... Not ours.
Don't worry we have the best advocate lawyer in our
You Gave Me
You gave me my hands
to reach out and mend
To show them you love
and your perfect plan.
You gave me my ears,
I can hear your voice so clear
I can hear the cries of the people
but I can't wipe away the tears.
ioM are mder the inflMe^ce of the ghet-
to when tfoif somettmes wish that ifOM
were dead or had never heen horn..
The Fallacy of Fact
The gang myth, yea, it was just like I pictured it, with
bullets constantly flying past your head only to look up
and find an innocent baby lying dead, now everybody
is screaming for revenge so we end up doing the same
stupid shhh our rivals just did because in this life it's an
eye for an eye, but not one of us could vividly tell you the
reason why because we were trapped in a mythological
lie, taught to believe that we were each other's enemy
only to flnd out later that you are really biologically kin
to me and when I finally did wake up from my stupidity
it was like my vocabulary didn't even belong to me; I was
speaking words like "berious" instead of "serious" and
when I went to apply for a job the people thought I was
confused and delirious, so I left the place feeling kind
of dumb, realizing for the first time that being raised by
the gang was not at all fun and the myth that ultimately
became reality, well, it filled my life with nothing but
heartaches and tragedies.
Now (realize Iwifself
was what I lost.
Die Sweet Seleie Tkoeikt
One sweet solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er
I'm nearer home to-day;
Then I have been before.
Nearer my father's house
Where many mansions be.
Nearer the great white throne
Nearer the Crystal Sea.
Nearer the bound of life
Where burdens are laid down.
Nearer leaving the cross.
Nearer gaining the crown.
In the Presence of the Lord
I have finally found a way to live.
Just like I never did before.
And I know I don't have much to give.
But I can make it even more.
Everybody knows the secret.
Everybody knows the score,
I have finally found a way to live.
In the presence of the Lord.
Yes, in the presence of The Lord!
Terry Moses in a correctional facility in lone, CA has been busy with
his book project, but has taken time to contribute the following.
Great to have you back on board, Terry... you've got some pretty
Tales of Reality
You are under the infiuence of the ghetto when you have
a hangover from hunger and your stomach is growling
like thunder and when you wanted to go to school, but
you had no shoes, so you're missing your education
because poverty and hunger has taken reservations.
You are under the infiuence of the ghetto when you
become intoxicated on violence and the rage you feel is
no longer silent.
You are under the infiuence of the ghetto when you
sometimes wish that you were dead or had never been
born, but your little sister is hungry and holding onto
your arm and when she looks into your eyes the love you
see cannot be denied, so it is for her you know you must
As we passed hif the mafiif protected
cMstodifrats I noticed that the ntajorltif
of them acted the same and looked the
same as the gangsters on the regular
ifards. I con tinned searching the faces
of theses dndes who didn't trtf and hide
their shame and some even stared hack
with frowns, I fnalltf fonnd a familiar
face In the gronp, A face I had never ex-
pected or wanted to see ever again A
face I hadn't seen since I was nine if ears
old,, Mif father!
read the rest of ^eri Vance's 3W0 piece on page 59