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Full text of "The Beat Within 13.15"

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lllf ClCOinC editorial note resk^ersX We have for you 
our latest issue of writing and art from the inside. Given 
we took last week off from workshops, we have pushed 
ourselves yet another week behind in our pursuit of being 
a somewhat timely weekly. Anyway, this week we want 
to hand over the computer keyboard to our go to editor, 
colleague and friend, Omar T^rcios, who has so kindly 
stepped up to type the following words for you loyal ed. 
note re9k€ier%n Omar! 

What's up with all The Beat Readers? For us it's just 
another week of grinding and trying to print out The Beat 
Within for all you to read. As I'm sitting in the office here 
in ^^n Francisco, CA, I'm reclining in my chair, thinking 
'bout the old days. I'm sitting here writing this editor's note 
bumping the old school classic 2Pac "All Eyes On Me" disk 
2. 

You know, 1 first learned about The Beat when 1 was 
locked up in one of these shady county juvenile halls. When 
my time was getting close, 1 asked our Beat facilitator if 
there might be a place for me. He told me to check in when 
1 touched down. 1 did. I've been here ever since — newtX^ 
five "^e^rti 

There's nothing to do but to reminisce on how the old 
days were. Remembering people that done passed away, 
reminiscing on high school days. And, ^% I'm getting older, 
I'm starting to realize how hard life is. And it's only gonna 
get harder. Rent is rising like the body count total for the 
war in Iraq. Everything is expensive now. Fast money is 
starting to look sweet right now, but 1 can't afford to go 
back to jail. Most of you cats that's reading this ^re worried 
about your pairs of shoes, a pair of Girbauds, and hustling 
for a scraper with 22's on it, all the tight fits and chains, 
and hats, and trying to pop at females or dudes (if you a 
female). 

Some of y'all might be complaining right now that you 
in the hall, or ranch, etc. because you're eating nsksty food, 
and wearing the next person's drawe's. if you don't like jail 
then why you gonna put yourself in a position to get in 
trouble ivith the laiv? Why do all the hot things you doing? 
Just for a car with rims, watches, jewelry, and all the rest 
of the materialistic things you can buy. 

We all need to take the time to appreciate this day. 
All those things can wait. Those cars, clothes, etc. are still 
gonna be there whether you're dead or in jail. Life goes 
on with or without us. The world continuously spins, and 
doesn't stop for anybody. So whether you in the State Pen, 
J-hall, Or scott free, take a moment to appreciate this day. 
it might not be going the way you want it to be going, but 
it's another day of life. Regardless of what your situation 
is you put yourself where you're at today in life. And even 
if you're not happy with the outcome of your actions, or 
your current situation, you should be appreciating the day. 
Period! 

if you want to see a bright future, you gotta have 
something to look forward to. Call your mama, (or guardian 
or a loved one) and tell them you love them and miss them. 
Call your brother, your sister, your auntie, yo' potna, yo girl/ 
boyfriend whoever, if you can't call, write them. They will 
be happy to hear from you and in return so will you. And if 
you don't have nobody to call or write to, write a letter to 
yo' potna, roommate, or maybe even one of the counselors 
you're cool with. When we're locked up, we always think 
about the people that show us love and care for us. But 
when we're on the outs, we don't think of them that much. 
Obviously, because we're too busy with our lives getting 
into trouble or whatever you may be doing. So take the 
time to show some love back. 

Me myself, I'm over here at The Beat Within. I've been 
here for four '^ewt%, going on five at the end of this year. 
And i have had the privilege to read all your life stories, 
and poems. I've %een writers for The Beat Within come in 
and out of the halls and some even graduate to the pen, 
CYA, or county jail, i sit in this office eMet^ week editing 
y'all pieces, but at the same time I'm reading them, and 
i feel y'all. i wouldn't v^^nnsk be locked up eating county 
food being away from all my loved ones, i see y'all writing 
down stories about your life and the mistakes you've made. 



i learn from them also, i learn from all you young 
people's mistakes because I'm still learning. 1 don't know 
it all. I'm still a youngsta myself. 1 haven't lived that long. 
I'm 22 'yewt% old. And 1 make mistakes also, but it's about 
learning from them. 1 been to the hall, 1 been to county 
jail, and that's nothing to be proud of. What you should be 
proud of is staying the hell out of jail, and the negativity 
that comes with that lifestyle. 

But at the end of the day, 1 take a look at what 1 go 
through and realize that it ain't shhh. There's other people 
that live their lives with bigger struggles than me and you. 
There ^te people in other countries that really don't have 
anything to eat. They don't have no ICFC, Mickey D's, Burger 
King, Popeye's, all the shhh we have out here in America so 
we can indulge our chunky stomachs. 

1 read The Beat Within, 1 am a product of The Beat 
Within because I'm still here at it today, not only working, 
but still writing, still striving and living life exactly how 1 
was living it before. Except this time, I'm trying to make 
it better for myself. I'm trying to live the good life. 1 want 
to be successful. I'm trying to get it just like all of you. 1 
-w^nnsk ball out and have things too, and give everything 
1 can to my twin daughters. But I'm not gonna risk my 
freedom for none of that, if I'm in jail i won't be able to 
feed my daughters or even be a father for them by sitting 
behind them bricks. So forget that. I'm not gonna throw 
away my freedom over some chump change. My freedom is 
worth more than a car, more than some expensive fits, more 
than 22's or 24 inch rims, it's my life and I'm in control. I'm 
in the driver's seat. Y'all should be too. 

This week our topics discussed in our workshops prior 
to the writing that is featured in this awesome issue is, 
'The Stranger" - Write about a time when a %tt^n^et (not 
related to you, nor your friend) was kind to you and/or 
helped you in your time of need. How did you happen to 
meet this person? Why do you suppose this person helped 
you out? Did you two become friends after? This week tell 
us in detail of a time a %tt^n%et helped you out, or when 
you did the same for someone else. 

Our second topic, "The days when I don't want to go 
home..." - There ^te times when we find that it is hard to 
go home to face our parents or family members. Sometimes 
it is because we've gotten into trouble at school or got into 
a fight and don't want to deal with our parents yelling at 
us or not understanding our feelings. Or we don't want to 
go home, 'cause there is a lot of pain and %9kAne%% in the 
house. This week share a time when it was hard for you to 
go home. Why was it difficult? Where did you go instead 
and was there someone else who was able to listen to you 
and understand your feelings? Or when did you know it 
was cool to go home? 

Lastly, "Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness" - How does it feel 
when you lose someone close to you? One father who lost 
his only son to murder, described it ^% a nuclear bomb going 
off inside his heart. How would you describe it? How does 
it feel to take revenge when someone has done wrong to 
you? Does it make you feel powerful? Does revenge take 
away the feeling of loss inside of you? How did you learn 
about revenge and forgiveness? Did someone teach you? 
Who? Did you learn from something that happened to you? 
Have you ever forgiven someone for something shady that 
they did? How did it feel to forgive? When you hang on to 
hate, what happens to you inside? How can you deal with 
pain and loss without killing pieces of yourself by taking 
revenge? What do you think your neighborhood and your 
family would look like if we had a chain of forgiveness, 
a cycle of forgiveness, instead of a chain and cycle of 
revenge and violence? How would your neighborhood and 
community be different? is this realistic or even possible? 
Why or ivhy not? 

All right this issue goes out to all the young typist 
in our office who step up tremendously each week, after 
school, in helping us put out the cleanest weekly possible. 
Thanks for your great work. 

Oii, see you all next week! Best! 

End of CD2 of 2Pac's "All Eyes On Me"... What to put on 
next? Any suggestions? 



mam ffff/rr/frs 



The BeStt Within, a weekly newsletter of writing am 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor i 
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enou 
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Bea 
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 



1 He Beat Wittim publisHes ttie opmions and views expressed by ttie participants 
in our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you 
read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights 
are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our writ- 



To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words have 
consequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate your 
feelings and viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition for 
those who might use your words against you. 



Co-founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Will Roy 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Jill Wolfson, Allan Tinker, Patricia Johnson, Amanda 
Abies, Omar Turcios, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clark, Brittany 
Bernard, Perry Jones, Tal Ariel, Margo Ariel Brockman, Catalina Hayes-Bau- 
tista, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, Neela Ba- 
nerjee and Caitlin Urie. 

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: 

www.thebeatwithin.org 




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Time To Make A Change 



It's time to make a change. Life's gone go on, and I rather 
make the best of my situations and downfalls than keep it 
going. 

It's a shame it took me to have to be in here and look at 
my age and be like, "16 three months away, and then that two 
years gone go by fast!" I'm ready to get my shhh together. 
In the end, it's me that feels this pain and this hurt and I'm 
ready to overcome those things and make a change. 

I'm ready to leave these ninjas out here that's 'bout one 
thing. Already don't got time for these rackets females and 
messy business. When you hear Miesha, I want it to be like 
that part of the song in "Independent" — "She stay on her 
shhh. She got her own shhh." 

It's a reason for everything in life and I've been woken 
up with my expectations for myself, the ones that's in my 
life telling me what to do and how to do. If anybody doing 
anything for me and my life it's me. Ain't nobody really 
staying by my side through it all. They make it worse, so I've 
gotta overcome this by myself. That's why it's time to make 
my change in life. 

I'ma leave this system with a good bang. I'ma be known, 
but by time I'm out, it's gone be in a good way. My change 
starts with my emotions and knowing what's good for me, 
and I know that already. 

So, I'm starting with those that's negative and not 'bout 
shhh don't get no part of Miesha's time. I'm not gone talk 
about what my change is gone be. I'ma show the system. 

-Spongebob, San Francisco 
From The Beat: This reads like a Declaration of Independence — 
independence from a way of thinking, independence from negative 
influences, and independence from a county/state system of control 
that makes your decisions for you. Congratulations, Miesha. You've 
taken the hardest step in a journey of life, and that step is the one in 
your head, a new way of thinking. From that, all else will follow. Never 
mind showing the system. You are showing yourself, and that's much 
more important! Now, put the actions you know you must behind these 
wonderful words, and watch what happens. 



Just Forgive 



Revenge is a powerful thing 

Some people run on revenge 

People act upon revenge without thinking 

Forgiveness would make life so much safer 

Just lose the hatred and let your heart run off happiness 

Instead of beatin' an ass or bustin' a cap, just walk away 

Break that cycle of hate 

Try to forgive just one person and see how it makes you 

feel, and see what happens... 

bet the end result will be good. 

Just forgive. 

-Bailey, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: We are sure that your ideas would be the proper once 
to resolve these issues and bring peace to all. What did it take you to 
know this? What made you say this? Have you forgiven someone who 
has done something wrong to you? If so, is esksyl What does it take to 
do so? Please, tell u% we are anxious to learn and be able to forgive. 



Hard To Go Home 



It seems like it's always hard to go home for me because in 
my dad's home all there is, is madness and arguing. 

My dad has always put me and my brothers down by just 
saying stupid things like "your worthless" and "Your not 
going to amount to anything." 

I always have wanted to tell my dad off, but I get too 
scared. I hate to face the music, but my dad will never change 
and so maybe this is just how it's going to have to be? 

- Christine, Land Of Enchantment 
From The Beat: No it does not have to be like that. Yes, it maybe hard to 
deal with problems at home, but they are only minor problems, problems 
that can be worked out. There are professionals out there that can help. 
Ask your father if he would be willing to do family counseling? Some 
times our children have to be the adult, so we sk% a parent can refocus 
on what we are doing wrong. We, sk% parents, are human and do make 
mistakes. We hope and pray your father is open to change. 



Thank Yoo 



What it is with The Beat? Or, should I say, what ain't. 
Today, I really don't have nothing to write about, so I wanna 
give thanks. The Beat is a great magazine that always told 
me I could do it even when I said I can't. People (including 
myself) always want to fit in or be a part of something. In 
here I've had a lot to think about, such as what I'm going 
to pursue upon my release date. I've been strategically 
thinking about how I can accomplish my five-year goals I 
came up with. 

First and foremost, I'm going to start by changing 
my attitude, and the people I hang around. I know a lot 
of people probably say that every week, but I've pondered 
really hard, and the best way to stay away from trouble is 
to be by yourself. Some people think that's hard, but I'm 
becoming a man and men can stand alone. I know there 
is a lot of peer pressure with people and their friends. So 
I know it's going to be hard for me to just walk away from 
my friends, because they might call me names like I'm a 
square and everything else. But I rather be a square and 
stay sharp on all corners than to be a circle and roll with 
any and everything. 

Thank you. See ya next week. 

-Young Mari, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The thanks go in both directions, Mari. One of the 
most satisfying things about doing The Beat (which can bring a lot of 
%siAne%% and disappointments) is watching young minds expand, seeing 
boys turn into men. It gives u% hope, and hope is what we all need to 
move ahead. If we disagree with anything you've said, it's this: No man 
(or woman) stands alone. You may need to change the people you want 
around you, but don't fall for the belief that you (or anybody) can do 
it alone. We all need help. We all need a community. And we all depend 
on others. About four hundred years ago, the English poet John Donne 
wrote, "No man is sktt island, entire of itself/Every man is a piece of the 
continent, a part of the main/.. .Any man's death diminishes me, because 
I am involved in mankind..." It vtsk% true then, it is still true noiv. So, let 
u% end where we began: Thank you, Omari. 



What Is Mooey Worth? 



What's up with The Beat? This Drew once again comin' 
at ya from the Max Unit. What I want to talk about today 
is money, and how much it's worth. 

To many people, money is worth a lot. But in reality, 
it's just a piece of paper. Yeah, I know everyone hears that 
word a lot, "paper." To many people it's a thing to have. 
But is paper worth ya life? Would you really put paper on 
one of ya ninjas books, or do you forget about them when 
they locked down? How many people do you know that's 
selfish with they paper? Me, I know a lot of people that 
are. 

Me, myself, I care less about that shhh. I know if it 
came down to it, for my family or my folks, I'll throw that 
shhh away with the quickness. For me, can't no amount 
of paper stop me from loving my family or my folks. 

Nowadays, there's ninjas out here that forget about 
they family and will do anything for a couple of dollars. 
Don't get me wrong I get my money, but that shhh ain't 
worth my loved ones having to suffer. If I could have all 
the money in the world, I would give it to the women in my 
family because they deserve to be taken care of. I feel like 
the women in my family shouldn't have to worry about 
anything. The males should have to work for them. But 
the girls out here running around trying to do anything 
for a dollar. Ya gets nothing from me. 

-Drewski, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's funn^ hoiv our love of money can take over our lives, 
making us forget some of the real treasures we have for nothing, like 
family, like freedom. Yes, money is important to live, but like you, we 
know far too many people willing to risk living for money. Maybe that's 
why the Bible says the love of money (not money itself) is the root 
of all evil (1 Timothy, 6:10). It seems like in this country, if you have 
money you're considered successful, even if you had to cheat to get it. 
And that's sk% true for the President of the country or the CEO of huge 
corporations sk% it is for the lowest prisoner in the hall. 



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The Harsh Reality Of Life 

The harsh reality of life 

Watch how it unfolds 

Mother nature you just 

can't control 

Separated by the system 

Made us into victims 

Conquered by design 

Wish my people could 

elevate their minds 

Realize that your 

government doesn't care 

about poor people 

Separated by class 

'Cause we are not equal 

Begging for food and water 

Polluting the air 

Children separated 

'Cause their parents not 

there 

Ended up with nothing 

That's why I stand for 

something 

I'm definitely not running 



'Cause Bush and them 

are not coming 

Flood waters raging 

It's just freaking amazing 

Who's a survivor? 

'Cause I'm not a looter 

Who got the guns and the 

Hired sharp shooter 

We got to get a higher 

ground 

Elevate my people with the 

sound 

On the microphone 

You know how I get down 

Want more out of life, 

But Black people 

We always gotta fight 

Put my fist in the air 

'Cause the world is not fair 

Dedicated to the victims of 

Hurricane Katrina 

-Bra bra, Alameda 
From The Beat: This is such a 
powerful poem. Bra bra. Keep on 
writing. 



Loss Of My Beloved Aoot 



When I lost my aunt I felt real bad. I was very hurt. She was 
my favorite aunt and I had a really good relationship with her. 
When I attended her wake, it felt like a dream and I wanted to 
wake up. At the funeral I was a little more sane. 

I was locked up when I found out she was sick. When I 
got out and went to the group home, she died four days later. 
My mom didn't want to tell me. My aunt daughter, which is 
my cousin, end up telling me. My heart felt like it stopped at 
that point. 

I always used to dream about her. Then it stopped. Just 
the other night I had a dream about her. I was happy. Well, 
this is how I felt when I lost someone close to me. 

-Ebbie-W, San Francisco 
From The Beat: You've done a fine job of explaining how devastating it 
is when someone you love sk% much sk% you loved your aunt fbSk%%e%. }Ne're 
sorry for your loss, and hope you live a long (and free) life so that you 
can keep her memory alive with you. We know she didn't want you to be 
doing the things that have led you here, so we hope you can honor her 
memory by getting out of here and staying out of here. 



That Special SoDieooe 



Man, I got to stay up. My mind's been going left and right, 
between what's right and what's wrong. I been trying to keep 
myself stable, but it's hard when half of your mind wants the best 
for another yet these people only care about killing a ninja. 

What the hell is wrong with us kids? We need to open our 
eyes and see the world for all that it's worth, not just aiming to 
one goal of being a 'hood star. If that's what you want, go ahead. I 
ain't stopping you. I just want what's best for all the generations 
to come. 

My mind's caught between all these topics and doesn't have 
a clue about what it takes to make a change. I can change myself, 
yet inspiring one to change their mentality takes a special 
person's words. I just hope I can be that special someone to help 
my generation succeed. 

-Bakgwai, San Francisco 
From The Beat: You already are a special someone, Bakgwai, even if 
you may never know who you've inspired. All you can do, as you say, is 
change yourself and hope through that change — expressed in words 
and in deeds — that you will help to change others who are lost and 
confused. We don't knoiv "what's wrong" with those who have killing 
on their minds and in their hearts, but we can guess that the fact that 
the bigger society we all share, which is killing people left and right 
around the world, and spending our national fortune to do it (while the 
communities that produce the killing at home go begging for resources) 
has something to do with it. One thing that^ very hard to accept when 
you have the desire to inspire and to change is that you cannot save the 
world. But you can try, and we admire you tremendously for that. 



Wheo Pops Didfl't Listeo To His Soo 

It was time when my daddy didn't listen to me when I 
was trying to let him know 'bout one of his ninjas. His 
friend was doing something that we wouldn't never think 
he would do. We all was brought up together, and that 
ninja went bad. 

This was the time I really needed my daddy to listen 
to me for the better. My daddy always told me to talk to 
him before I did anything, but this time he didn't listen 
because his friend was all he had. 

Now I'm locked up because his friend couldn't stop 
talkin'. I'm not mad at my daddy for not listenin', but 
when is he going to start? I love ma daddy till the day I 
die, but when I needed him, he wasn't there for me, and 
that hit me hard, right in the heart. But that a lesson to 
be learnt. Love you daddy till I die. 

Part 2 

That was a lesson to be learnt, but would he listen next 
time? I hope he do. It's so hard to forgive somebody when 
they did something wrong 'cause it was too much pain 
and loss. And revenge is always not a good 'cause what 
you give out you get back. And nine times at of ten, it's 
worse. When you hang on to hate, you become a ugly 
person and people like that don't get on well in life. 
Love always, your son. 

-Jr. Rocket, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though there are things in this piece that we 
can't agree with, we think you've done a fine job of putting down your 
feelings about a number of important things. (The part we don't agree 
with is that you are locked up because your pop's friend talked too 
much. You are locked up because you did things that allowed someone 
to talk about... If you didn't do those things, you wouldn't be here. 
There will always be snitches, sometimes even within the family, so 
the only way to escape is to give them nothing to snitch about...) But 
we admire you for trying to talk to your daddy, even if he wasn't ready 
to listen. And we also admire even more how you see that revenge 
and hate corrupt your soul and make you ugly inside. It takes a strong 
person to recognize that, and to write about it. We look forward to you 
sharing more of your knowledge with us. 



ChaogesOf MyWroogsToRights 

What if... If I turn my negatives into positives, will I still be 
in here? But you know what? I would change to my negative 
acts. Instead of robbing this person, I would actually go find 
a job and use the money to support my family. 

What if... If I was the son you always thought he was — 
good and you trusted him 100% — but next thing you know 
he is in the hall? Well, I'm sorry Mom and Dad. When I come 
out, I would be the son you always want me to be instead of 
lying to you all the time. 

I'm sorry for what I've done. Being in the hall really got 
my mind cleared up. When I get out, I would change into 
a whole new person. Instead of robbing, I would work, and 
instead of lying to my parents, I would speak the truth and to 
try my best to gain the trust you had for me back. Tomorrow 
(3/19/08) is one of the chances I would have to change to a 
whole new man. And I am willing to change with the support 
of my family and friends. But even without the support, I still 
willing to change. 

But I know there wont be the word "without" because my 

family and friends will always be there. 

-Cai, San Francisco 
From The Beat: One thing we can see is that you are determined to be 
the son your parents raised you to be and know that you can be. You 
can turn all the "would" in this ivonderful piece into "will" and never 
come back to a place like this. Our only word of advice is that change is 
a process, not a product. In other words, take it one step at a time. Move 
away from the things that have led you to this unfortunate holding 
station in your life, but don't expect everything to change overnight. 
Life is a journey of discovery that never ends, and is begun by putting 
one foot in front of the other. There is no doubt that you can do it. 
Now, do it! 



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Thinking 



Damn!!! 

Thinking 'bout my moms 

Thinking 'bout if my pops is thinking bout me 

Thinking 'bout Lil' Teddy, free that man 

Thinking 'bout if I should handle his funk 

Thinking 'bout when I get out what am I going to do with myself 

Thinking 'bout my haters 

Thinking 'bout when Fma see God or the Devil 

Thinking 'bout all the enemies that's been knock 

down... hello... 

Thinking 'bout why I'm thinking so much 

Thinking 'bout the money that's stacked 

Thinking 'bout who is gonna read this 

Thinking 'bout who is gonna dismiss this 

Thinking 'bout who speaking 

Damn we miss you Teddy, 

Thinking 'bout what Judge K thinking 'bout me 

Thinking 'bout all the females I snatched 

Thinking 'bout what God want from me 

Thinking if he turn his back on me and just going to let 

me be man Free Lil Teddy 

Thinking 'bout why my life is so corrupted 

Thinking 'bout why my past is so destructive 

Thinking to put the game of chess as my life 

Thinking 'bout hittin' that lick 

Or busting that character or even lettin' 'em go... na, 

can't do that... 

Thinking if God died for our sins why do we still sin? 

My brain hurts from all this thinking 

Free me and Lil Teddy the streets is missing us 

It's not even me thinking it's the devil speaking out of 

them walls Thinkin' bout how much blood has been 

shed 

Thinking' bout how many people want revenge 

Thinkin' 'bout who died today 

I can't think about nothing cause in reality you're doing 

the Thinking and you're a dead man that going to be put 

in that box or In that cell ...if you ask the statistics 

-Lil' two-one, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thinkin' 'bout how many of our most talented young 
people waste their lives in jail/Thinlcin' 'bout how you have potential 
to succeed instead of fail/Thinkin' 'bout how much life you deserve/ 
Thinkin' 'bout how the road ahead has a feiv curves/Thinkin' about how 
you could do whatever you want. 



Jnst Tn Deal Witli Tlie Rain 

As a little kid, I went off to school with my lunchbox. My 
uncle used to pick me up and take me home everyday. I 
used to absorb every little thing he did. I loved all of the 
stories he used to tell me. I took all of his advice. 

Then one day he never showed up. My mom came 
crying. I couldn't believe he was in the grave. 

As I got older, I started hanging out with his friends. 
They used to tell me all of the crazy stuff he once did. 
It was like history to me. Soon I fell in love with the life 
of crime - partying all night, hanging out at the beach 
listening to the wind. Sometimes I felt like I needed to 
come home drunker than usual just to deal with the rain 
that day. 

I had a dream about him the other night. I was 
wondering where dreams come from? Rest in peace, Tio 
Marcos. 

-Oscar, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: This is a very beautiful piece Oscar, and very sad. In 
just a few words it lets the reader know a lot about you. From what we 
understand, although dreams have been studied for a long time, there's 
much yet to be learned about why we dream and how. We'll try to get 
some information to you about dreams and dreaming. 



Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness 

In my life, I've been through a lot of times where I've 
wanted revenge. There has also been times where I've 
been in the position of forgiving people. 

It's hard to avoid a situation where you just going to 
get revenge. It may not be able to fix the situation, but it'll 
make you feel better for the moment. But still that is the 
wrong solution to it. But a lot of people don't realize it. 

Forgiving someone is hard to do because sometimes 
you won't feel good forgiving someone for the things 
they've done. Me, I've forgiven people, and I've also held 
grudges to some people. But I'm mostly forgiving people 
than the other way around. 

When it comes to revenge, I would want it if the 
incident just happen or around there. But as time pass 
by, I've forgave people that I've hold grudges for a while 
and I've also avoid getting revenge. 

-Ramon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We admire how well you explained your feelings about 
revenge and forgiveness. We're interested in how you describe what 
happens when you let a little time pass between whatever it is that 
makes you want to take revenge and the feeling that comes around 
later. Is there something between revenge and forgiveness, something 
that might make our communities safer if we let it develop? 



I Never Want Tn Go Home 



This topic is the best one that relates to me, sad to 
say. I never want to go home because of all the pain and 
sadness. I really don't have anything in this world but my 
mom, brothers and sister. 

My dad is a hardworking man, but an alcoholic, so he 
is always arguing, he left my mom two times but this time 
he didn't come back. I would see him at his place but he 
kicked me out, drunk he was of course. 

I live in an old mobile home park, in a small mobile 
home, two rooms, one bathroom. No carpeting, the house 
is pretty trashy. I never want to bring friends over because 
of how embarrassing it looks. I would love to take girls to 
my house, but I don't because of the same reason. 

I wish I had a better life but I didn't choose it, I was 
born into it. 

I stay the night with my homeboys, party all day and 
night and wake up at one of my boys' houses. 

It's sad to see those whose parents give them 
everything in life but don't take advantage of it. 

It's not ever because I'm in trouble or on drugs that I 
don't want to go home, it's just that I don't want to look at 
that place all messed up. I am thankful though that I have 
a roof over my head and somewhat food in the fridge. 

My dad stopped bringing groceries and my mom 
doesn't work because she is an immigrant. So you know 
how that goes. She tries hard to find one (a job) though. 
That is why I started to sell drugs to help out some way, 
but I got caught too soon to even progress. She has some 
checks from her old job that she saved, but it isn't enough. 
No one understands how I feel or why I do the things I do, 
so those who don't know now you do. 

I'm getting too into my life so I'll cut it short. If you 
guys want to hear more, put this story in The Beat, so I'll 
know if you do. I hope you guys do me this favor. And to 
those who got it made, don't mess it up. Listen to your 
parents. Well, 'til next week Beat I'm out. Peace. 

-Alex, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You are such a good writer Alex! Your honest piece on 
yourself touches our hearts. We do hope things get better for you and 
that you see that selling drugs is not going to make things stn^ easier, 
only more hardships. To help your mom and yourself, you have to have 
patience and take the long road, go to school, maybe get a part time 
after school job, and get off probation. Take it one day at a time! 



/EZ=2 



jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 



Ignorant Minds 



Wha's up Beat? It's Bakgwai. :) Ha ha. Can't wait to get out 
this place. Another month till court, >_<. I thought I was 
'bout to get out two months ago, shhh, but I guess that's the 
way the cookie crumbles, ^^. 

Anyways, I'ma pick up where I left off last week since I 
couldn't finish. 

You can't be dismayed by these ignorant minds. 

Let them say what they want 'cause you'll continue to find 

That ahead of you waits the most cracking of times. 

Full of so many challenges and so many crimes. 

Do not be afraid to be who you are 

'Cause your own special talents will carry you far. 

And do not be alarmed to what you might hear. 

By the world that's weakened by hesitant fear. 

Too often uniqueness is wrongly suppressed. 

The ignorant minds keep the great ones repressed. 

They are too quick to point out the thorn of a rose 

Not seeing its beauty and gift to the nose. 

Always know that you're special, and do what you will. 

Don't listen to comments that make your soul ill. 

To be rich is a blessing that costs not a cent. 

It's about seeing the beauty of everyday spent. 

Always remember that time travels only one way. 

That is touched by the things that we do and we say. 

So when I sit in my cell I make myself whole 

Bettering myself body mind and soul. 

-Bakgwai, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Ignorance is not a disease limited to those in the hall/ 
We like to "know what we know" even when it makes our lives stall/ 
But your mind is aflame, eager to learn all that will be/Not afraid of 
experience, not afraid to be free/We don't know what path has led you, 
at so young skn age/To understand truths that come from a sage/But 
however you got here, from valleys to mounts/The past is prologue, it^ 
the future that counts/So travel your path with care and respect/And 
recognize that what you give is what you'll get 



Loss, Revenge, Forgivneness 

Today they ask you to talk about losses. I lost my mother 
when I was four. She got stabbed to death on our living 
room couch. I remember that night like it was yesterday. 
My auntie Liz carrying me through the living room past 
the couch with a bloody white sheet on it and those small 
yellow boxes like the ones you see on T-V all over the 
floor. 

They caught the man who did it and my whole family went 
to his trial. His lawyer said he was crazy and he was found 
not guilty. 

Over the years I used to think about hunting him down 
and get revenge for taking my mother away. Then I would 
think about my mother and anyone who ever knew her 
said she was a very peaceful woman. I think would she 
want me thinking like that, and how would that make her 
feel? I am not going to lie and say I forgive him because I 
don't. And I honestly don't know what I would do if I ever 
seen him. 

If I ever got the chance to talk to my mom I would be 
kind of embarrassed because I have been messing up for 
a long time and I haven't done that much for anyone to be 
proud of me. 

People ask me how do you live with that. You can't 
really get over something like that, because a mother is 
one of the most important thing s in a child's life. 

-Jeremiah, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your mother. But you do bring 
up a good point, you said if you ever got the chance to talk with your 
mom you would be embarrassed because you have been messing up for 
a long time. It^ time to stop that trend. Time to make her proud of you. 
She's still watching down on you. She's still inside of you. You're still her 
son. She gave birth to a strong young intelligent man that^ gonna do 
something positive with himself. Make yourself and your momma proud! 
We're pulling for you! 



Struggle 



Man, payin' the bills is a major struggle. Always have 
extra money to recoup so you can maintain your hustle. 
Always watch you're back so no one pops your bubble. 

Every day in life you have to struggle and strive. 
I always find away to pull through it. That's why I'm still 

alive. 

When will struggles stop? To me there will never be an 

answer. 

I got a solid mom, but she's stuck at the house with 

cancer. 

It's a struggle watchin' her in pain having to fight it all 

by herself. No matter how hard I try, that's a disease I 

can't do nothin' to help. 

I got my older brother graduating from the penitentiary. 

He did five years so you know he's ready to come home. 

My family struggles so much; 

I have to provide the money to buy his clothes. 

Man, another struggle is always gettin' locked up. 

But Lil' Bra kept runnin' his mouth; therefore he had to 

get socked up. 

It's a struggle when the crime scene investigators 

Are holdin' your block up. 

Watchin' my sister have a baby - that was something I 

can't ignore. 

Ever since she made that baby boy, he's been my pride 

and joy. 

But she goes and parties like its nothin'. 

Every time I ask her about it, she's frontin' 

So therefore, I struggle for my sanity. 

Now, she is partying with hella dudes. 

I ask her to tell the truth, but she refuses. 

So therefore, I get pissed. 

She looks at it like it just another dude, 

but I look at it like it's another name on my list. 

I struggle to keep my mom happy in life. 

Together we go through the struggle and strive. 

Can't stop how I'm livin' without thinkin' thrice 

Losin' my father to the pen — drug deal gone bad. 

Bet he did what he did and didn't think about me. 

Now I'm always in the hall with a pen mentality. 

It was a drug deal he didn't have to win, but couldn't 

help himself. Left my mom stranded with five kids with 

no type of help. 

-Lil' Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: You've lived the life of a thousand soldiers/you're just 
in your teens but you feel so much older/and now it's time to straighten 
your shoulders/you gonna live a better life than your pops? Or just 
harder and colder? 



My Loss 



I felt lost, when my cousin Anabelle died, because she 
did a lot for me. I can remember, when she took me out to 
her house. When I was like seven or eight years of age she 
bought me a Rhino bike it was gold and silver. 

Man that was the best day of my seven year old life. I 
miss her to death when she died. I really wanted to cry, 
but I knew she would not have wanted me to. 

If I could bring back her I would bring her back, but 
that cannot happen. So I have to live with the heartbreak. 
The only thing I can really do is help raise my little 
cousin. 

-Correy, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your cousin. She sounds like 
she was a real special person in your life. But like you said she wouldn't 
have wanted you crying for her. But she probably wouldn't have liked 
it either if you were coming in and out of the halls. So make her proud 
and stay out the system and help raise your little cousin. 



i^i^r^ 



7 nn 





What Do You Do? 



What do you do 

When all you know 

Is Pyrex stirs 

And raging anger 

Leads to vision blurs 

And you know nothing 

About the constitution 

But can lead 

A conversation about prostitution 

Or drug distribution 

Which leads to your 

Being locked in an institution 

What do you do 

When you're not even 18 

And your past haunts you 

And only way to run 

Is to drink, pop and light a few 

Seriously, stop and be true 

Tell me, what do you do? 

-T-Rex, Alameda 

From The Beat: Terrific rhyme.. .So we put the question bade on you - 
when temptation hits, what do YOU do? 



Mooey Over Everything 



\ 



I'm trying get to the riches 

That's why it's money over beezies 

I gotta manipulate her mind 

And never let her waste my time 

I gotta get my dough yeah you all ready know 

She got me riding on four's 

Yeah it's all on a roll me a fat purple blunt 

And let her know it's time to stunt 

I grabbed the Remy and start to sippin' 

I give a damn if she tripping 

Nacho do it for the streets 

This purple game is too deep 

I'm just trying let ya'k now 

And I'mma do it till I d.i.e 

She say she really love me she calls me her daddy 

I'm all about my money she thought she really had me 

-Nacho, Alameda 

From The Beat: You do it for the streets. Why don't you just do things 
for yourself? Why everybody vtsknnsk do things for everyone else but 
themselves? When you're locked up the streets aint writing you skn^ 
letters or even thinking about you. Don't be a sucker, we have too many 
already locked up thinking the same we you think. 



Noiij ind Scoib) 



X 



I have two sides of me. Novoj is the good side of me, 
Scooby is the bad side. 

When I'm at school, I'm Novoj. When I'm on the 
streets, I'm Scooby. Sometimes when I'm at school, 
Scooby is there, but not most of the time. 

When I'm with my family, I'm both. Sometimes my 
friends call me "Double" because I live the double life. 

When I'm at home, I take care of my sister, chill with 
my mom and help her out. When I'm at school, I pay 
attention and do my work. When I'm on the streets, I 
take care of business. If you are my friend, you will see 
the both of me. If you are my enemy, you see a bad and 
disrespectful side of me. That's Novoj and Scooby. 

-Scoob, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: TtutVt is, depending on the situation, we can seem to be 
lots of different folks. But we know that's just what it seems. In reality, 
each of u% is a uniquely singular person with the potential to behave 
in various ways. What's important is that we learn to not let any one 
aspect of our personality get out of hand. 



Foroiveness 



\ 



Forgiveness is hard to get, hard to receive. 

For the fact people always hold grieves. 

Why is it that people always hold back? 

Try to forget it by building up money stacks. 

Haven't they heard forgive and forget? 

Trust me, it will take away a lot of debt. 

See, I had to learn this the hard way 

Asking for my forgiveness Monday through Sunday 

Now his doors are closed for me. 

All because I was trying to be all I can be 

In good, but more for the worse 

Now the friendship we could've had burst 

For my mistake to take his apology 

To make it worse, I see him every day in biology 

I guess we'll remain enemies forever 

It went on for too long. . . people say "One day, I say "Never" 

Why I don't know. I guess it's the history 

Will we ever reunite? I don't know, that's a mystery 

I just wanted to let y'all know 

It ain't always about dough 

'Cause, see, two homies riding together 

Always makes life that much better 

-Lefty, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If we understand this correctly. Lefty, you refused to 
accept someone's apology, and sk% a result, you see no way to mend a 
fractured relationship. Is that it? If so, we can only say that "forever" 
and "never" are things we just can't know. What seems like forever may 
not be. Change is the one certainty in life, so don't count it out. You're 
right, though, it is difficult both to forgive and to accept forgiveness. 
But you're even more right that friendship makes life that much easier 
to maneuver. So, if there^ a way, you may want to make that extra 



effort. 



Forgive Your Eoemies 



When God made us he made us with a choice 

to do the right thing, 

and make the right choice. 

Now think how God feels at how we kill and rob, 

doing all this with gangs and some of us in mobs. 

Now think about God and if he doesn't forgive. 

And think about if he gives a damn if we live. 

Think about it 

Now think aren't you happy for our God, 

And are you happy? 

He gave us another chance not to kill and rob 

Now put yourself in his place. 

Can't you forgive? Forgive your enemies. 

Man, that's only God's wish. 
It's not hard. It's not easy, but it's right. 

-Joshua, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: The Bible says turn the other cheek, but some think if 
you do that you'll appear weak, have you followed these words in your 
own lifetime, forgiven someone for their crime? You're the teacher tell 
u% what you did, and maybe inspire some other kid. 



How to Reach Me 



\ 



bi 



I remember one of my previous masters had instructed 
me on how to clear my mind and let my body think. By 
the time I understood what he said, the sparring match 
was over and my fellow student lay defeated. All that was 
left to do was bow to my opponent, 

then to my sensi, and take on my next challenger in 
the next lesson. I guess when I'm fighting it is a good 
time for me. 

-Wolverine, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Do you think you could VL%e your powers of concentration 
and focus to avoid situations like the one that resulted in your 
incarceration? Your sensi would surely approve. 



t 



i^MTc 



7 nn 





\ 



Day In, Day Out 

My ways are vital 

Something like the Bible 

Ride to my own beat 

Unlike most foo's I see 

Always imitated 
Pero nunca duplicated 

It's in my nature 

So I don't gotta fake it 

Vatos claim to be down 

I'm like, "Dang, homie, aren't we all?" 

I seen the sickest barrios rise 

And the weakest ones fall 

In the calles I roam 

Ain't no mercy shown 

Cuetasos to your dome 

Will make a cemetery your home 

My crazy life ain't nothing nice 

Nobody makes it out without a price 

-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We can't tell if you're celebrating that crazy life where 
nothing is nice, or lamenting it. When you get out, do you plan to go back 
to doing what got you here, or will there be some major changes? Your 
future (and your freedom) depend on the answer to that question. 



Hate 



\ 



When I lose someone close to me, it feels like an atomic 
bomb has erupted in my heart. Now, mourning over a loss 
is just the kick-start to revenge. No, revenge does not 
take away your loss, but it's a damn good substitute, a 
damn good one. 

Who taught me about revenge is irrelevant, but I got 
my ways to busting power moves, ya dig. I learned about 
revenge when my big bra was killed and I've been full of 
hate ever since. Hanging on to hate doesn't do nothing 
but mold you into what you feel, and that's hate. A ninja 
full of hate ain't nothing but a beast. Me, I'm a goon and 
I'm FED UP with this shhh. So I'ma go beast till I'm put 
down six feet. 

-Fed-Up Gloss, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The honesty you bring to what you write gives it a 
power beyond just your words. We wish we could wave a magic wand 
to take away some of that hate, fueled by pain, that you're carrying 

I around, but there is no such magic. What is the shhh you're so fed up 
with? is it the system that keeps you a prisoner, a modern-day slave? 
Or is it your own choices that lead you to this situation? Being six-feet 
under will take away your pain, but at what cost to others who love 
you? And death may not be the worst of it... How you die and how long 
it takes can be worse than that final rest. 



Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness 

To tell you the truth, losing someone that you love or 
know hurts like hell! I can't really explain the feeling, 
but it's just a feeling that you would wish you never 
felt before! It's sad to lose a loved one. especially if that 
person whom you love died of a murder. Then you feel the 
need of revenge against that person! 

Revenge... Man, feeling the need of revenge ain't 
cool at all because you be mad and just ready to bust 
somebody' melon off! But you could handle the situation 
differently. It ain't easy to forgive someone, but eventually 
you will in the long run. 

I'm out! 

-Lil' Nicoya, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We knoiw through our own experience that forgiveness 
is very hard to accomplish. But by that same experience, we also know 
that when it happens, it's like a great weight lifted off one's shoulders. 
Thank you for expressing, sk% best you can, how much it hurts to lose 
someone you love. Sometimes, words are just not up to the task of 
expressing what our emotions make u% feel. And thank you for the 
advice about time easing the pain, and the desire to get even. 



How I Feel 



It seems like I always take a loss 

That's what happens when ninjas hatin' when you shine 

like a New Gloss 

Listen to me, it ain't good to take a loss 

'Specially when you at home living like a boss 

I keep my ears to the streets and keep my mouth closed. 

Stay on my toes, under pressure I done watched how 

y'all froze 

Man that's the life y'all chose 

People talk this and that, about how they did this and that, 

But don't know that revenge comes right back 

Me, I just learned how to react, sit back and watch my 

chips stack 

I know I don't did a lot in my short life and I can't take 

nothin' back 

I'm just relentless. 

But every night I ask God for forgiveness 

-Full Of Envy Bud, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There are two lines in this tight poem that caught our 
eye. The first is that you're sitting back watching your chips stack. We 
don't know how you're making those chips, but what are you risking? 
Are the lessons you've learned worth more or less than those chips? The 
second is your asking God for forgiveness. What actions do you believe 
have to accompany your prayers to be forgiven? in other words, what 
is God praying to you? 



Kyle's Vampire Story - Prologue \ 

The year is 2008 and I'm writing this while hiding from 
human civilization because my species is what they call 
vampires. Yes, we drink blood, but very rarely do we 
accidentally kill human partners while doing it. We do 
have better-than-human senses, agility and strength. We 
live in wilderness areas outside of the more populated 
areas. We live in big houses so that we can live with our 
human partners. 

My clan's name is Kint. The human partners and 
vampires are part of it. The clan's town is made up of 
20 adult female vampires, 10 adult male vampires, 20 
juvenile male vampires, 40 juvenile female vampires, 
360 adult male humans, 360 adult female humans, 540 
juvenile female humans and 540 juvenile male humans. 
The total amount of people is 3070. 

In my house there is my father; his two wives, one of 
which is my birthmother; my two sisters; their human 
partners. That's 48 human adults in the house. Half are 
male, and half are female. There are 72 kids. So just in my 
family house there are 125 people! 

Ok. So, I'm the youngest vampire in my family. I'm 
60 years old, and we vampires live to be 700 years old. 
My sisters are 65 and 70, which is pretty closely stacked 

I together. 
Oh, I almost forgot, my name is Lark. My dad's name 
is Shark, and my sisters are CC and Rica. My mom's 
are Julia and Daana. My human partners are all female. 
Their names are J J, Laura, Chelsea, Rita, Jessica, Robin, 
Christina and Michelle. 

I'm an experiment. I'm the only vampire who can go 
out during the day. Although I do get bad sunburn, it 
helps to wear and I love sunglasses. Other vampires can't 
even stay awake during the day, but I can. 

Our religion is Wicca, which is witchcraft. We are 
the ones who started it. Not I per say, but vampires did. 
However, I don't get to practice or even read witchcraft 

I books, let alone do spell. 
-Kyle, Alameda 

From the Beat: We've got the bacicground set and now we're ready for 
Chapter One. A few questions: Are you on the side of Good or Evil? Do 
you have stny connection with Dracuia? Is it true about the garlic? And . 
what about silver bullets? Keep this story flowing! I 



\ 



^ 



i^MTc 



7 nn 




//// // 




\ 



Who am I? 

Who am I? 

Does anybody know, 

because I don't know. 

Fm me every day but who am I? 

I wake up every morning, see the same face and hear the 

same voice. 

But I don't know who I am. 

Is it because all of the stress is pulling me away from 

who I am? 

Or is it all of the problems? 

Maybe I'm just another person in this world of hate and 

violence. 

Or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough to find me. 

Or am I just a rolling ball of bad memories, trying to 

find a hole of fire to roll into. 
I just don't know. So can anybody tell me who I am? 

-Keenan , Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Perhaps you are all of the above and a whole lot more. 
You might be a writer, for instance. We bet you are a good friend, to 
someone, maybe to more than 'someone'. You are probably a loving son. 
You're no doubt a curious fellow. Yes, we're sure of it - you are more than 
you can possibly now know. We're quite sure you'll get to know yourself 
better, sk% the years roll on. 



Loss, Revenge, Foroiveness 

What's up Beat? How all you doing out there? This week 
I wanted to share this with those who think life is bad. 
Could you imagine not having your mom by your side all 
the time in childhood but yet knowing she's still alive? 
Well that's me, and a lot of people out there. 

I lost my mom when I was less than a year old but I 
didn't let that hold me back. Most people asked if I wanted 
revenge for her leaving me, I said no 'cause I know she 
loved me just like I loved her and then I got the chance to 
meet her at the age of 15, I am now 16 and all I could do 
was forgive her for not being there. 

-Harry Potter, Alameda 

From The Beat: You're absolutely right. All you can do is forgiver her for 
not being there, and move on and try to strengthen your relationship 
with her. You can't make up for the lost time, but just put it behind 
and start a new bright future. You're a smart, stop wasting your time 
coming here. 



Pain Went Thrnugh My Heart 



X 



Pain went thru my heart when I lost one of my close 

homies 

I sit here and ask myself, why couldn't that bullet be for 

me? Maybe it just wasn't time for me to leave. 

But I have to smoke some blunts of weed 

In order for that stress and pain to leave. 

One day I'll meet him again but for now in my heart 

I keep my very close loving dead friend. 

I remember it like it was yesterday 

I'ma be a father and husband, and my homie would say 

But little did he know that death for him was only a few 

days away. 

He took two to the head 

And at the scene unfortunately he was pronounced dead. 

A couple of weeks later a funeral he had 

Of course I was there for the homie that was always 

there for me And my back he had. 

Losing him was very sad, 

I felt a lot of pain and because he was very close to me 

...it made and makes me feel mad and bad. 

-Mac, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're so sorry you lost your friend. But with these words 
you bring him back to life for a minute: We feel both the loss and the 
love you had for him. Thanks for sharing this powerful piece with The 



U 



Mis Dns Amions 



\ 



Me acuerdo la vez que sali de Honduras. Sali con unos 
amigos y en el camino despues de estar acompafiado 
12 dias, quede solo por unos cuantos dias. Al siguiente 
dia, me enferme y no pude caminar mas. Espere a que 
me encontrara una muchacho que viviera en mi mismo 
barrio. Encontre a uno pero no lo conocia. El fue el quien 
me ayudo para seguie adelante. 

Gracias a Dios y a el, estoy aqui. Los dos son mis 
grandes amigos y se los agradezco toda mi vida. Por el 
estoy vivo y tengo lo que tengo. Hemos trabajado por ser 
algo. 

From The Beat:Ese si fue una gran persona. Le debes la vida a e%sk persona. 
Esperamos que algun dia cuando Mesk% a un necesitado, lo ayudes como 
te ayudaron a ti. La vida y tu Dios te han dado otra oportunidad que 
hagas de tu vida algo bueno. Recuerda que a tite dieron vida, no para 
que quites vidas con lo que vendes. 



My Best Two Friends 



1 



I remember the time I left Honduras. I left with two 
friends. After being with them for 12 days, we separated 
and I spent a few days alone. The next days after those 
days, I got sick and I couldn't walk anymore. I waited for 
someone from the same 'hood to find me, but I didn't find 
one. I meet another, but I didn't know him. He was the 
one who helped me to continue with my journey. 

Thank to God and him I'm here. They are my best 
friends and I thank them with all my life. Because of his 
help, I'm alive and I have what I have. We have worked to 
be someone. 

-Luis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: He is a good person. You owe him your life. We hope you 
some day do return the favor to skn^one who'll be in need, and help them 
the same way you were helped. Life and God has given you another 
opportunity to make something good out of your life. Remember that 
you were helped to keep your life, not to take life away by selling what 
you sell. 



lat I 
lat I 



When Did It Start? 



When did it start? It all started in temple when I was 13. 
I used to go to temple every Sunday to pray to Buddha. 
On this certain week there was this new guy that started 
going. My cousin introduced me to him. 

We got to know each other and I found out he was 
a gangbanger. It wasn't like I wanted to be one. But we 
started hanging out outside of temple. I still remember 
the first time we hung out. He called me and said "I'ma 
come over with some of my friends to hang out." 

I said "OK, let's meet halfway" 

Me and my brother end up riding bikes to meet him 
halfway. When we finally met up with him I was dazed... 
to me they really looked older but really they were the 
same age as me. They had bandanas hanging from their 
left pockets, and they were eight deep. I was introduced 
to all of them. We ended up going to the movies too. Later 
that day I called my Dad and told him that I was spending 
a night at a friend's house with my brother. 

We ended up staying out the whole night throwing 
rocks at windows, and cruising the streets on bikes. I 
got to know them and started hanging out with them a 
lot. I got introduced to weed, cigarettes, alcohol, sex, and 
much more. 

I hope it started off differently. 

-Insane Viet, Alameda 

From The Beat: You can't control how your story started, because that 
was all in the past. But you can control how it ends, you can control 
what you do with it. You can control whether you go back to that 
lifestyle once you get out. What do you think, ln%sine Viet, is it time to 
let some sanity back in? 



t 



i^i^r^ 



7 nn 




Fear 



I " 



Sometimes I fear to walk the block with my homies. 

Never know when Fma come across a rival that might 

know me. 

I struggle and strive to keep my sanity, hustle on and off 

the block to provide for my family. 

I fear 'cause I never know when I'ma get hit, scared, 

spooked like a PC'd up prisoner known as a snitch. 

I guess you could say I fear of change, never seeing 

myself graduate or do good. All I ever know is my rag 

hangin' out, my pocket always standin' solid to the 

hood. 

Never been a punk, but I get fear in my lungs when it's 

time to dump. 

All it takes is one buck to hit the pen. I'd volunteer 

myself in a war that we ain't guaranteed to win. 

I have fear to lose my life. When I'm thinkin' of change, 

I always think twice. I don't know why. Do you know 

why? 

I stay solid to my culture, my people and my pride. 

For those who had no fear ended up losing their lives. 

All the hatred, mistreatment-that's something that just 

can't pass by. 

Another great big fear in my life is losing my mother. 

Always kept it real, stood solid like no other. What can I 

say? I love her. 

She's my pride and joy. 
Everyone in my family knows me as her Mijo, her little boy. 



As you can see on the left side of my neck, I got her 

name. 

I guess you can say my ultimate fear is seeing her watch 

me lose my life to the gang. 
I also fear to grow up livin' life by myself. I need a wifey 

at that: 

Someone to always stand by my side. 

Someone to always have my back. 

Someone with pretty hair and a pretty smile. 

Someone to settle me down even though it might take a 

while. 

I fear not to love or have no one to love me. 

I want a wife, kids, people who are close to me. 

A happy successful life, something life's supposed to be. 

-Lil' Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: Mousie, this time we're not even going to try to flow 
bade at you. You've said everything there is to %x^ in this piece. The life 
you've caught up in, the love you feel inside, your hopes and dreams 
for the future. You already icnow what it will taice to honor the love you 
feel for your mom, and you icnow, we hope that the boy she loves and 
the man she expects you to be are the REAL you. Are you going to get 
past all the BS and find your way to him? 



Facing Your Troubles At Home 



X 



There were times I was outside and I didn't want to go 
home to deal with the drama. So instead of dealing with 
it, I just ran away from it, hoping that it was forgot about. 
So I went home the next day, finding out that it only made 
the trouble worse. 

So pretty much what I'm trying to say is if you know 
you're in trouble, go home and deal with it instead of 
waiting three or more days later, because it could be two 
times worse then it already is 

-Clay, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is some excellent advice, it's not the easiest advice 
to follow {sk% you know), but facing things squarely instead of running 
from them is one sign of maturity. Children run from their problems. 
Responsible adults don't. 




I I 



bi 



Anoer 



\ 



Anger is somthin' that loves to come to me. 

Anger is dcingerous, vicious - something it's known to be. 

But it's all a mind statement. 

It's about how you handle it. 

Half the world is filled with anger and that's no doubt. 

It's got me circlin' the block lookin' for rivals 

just to get my anger out. 

To me anger is uncontrollable. It gets my body all tight 

in knots. 
I always act on how I'm feeling whether I think about my 

options or not. 

Most people get mad because of the way they live their life. 

Just flashin' on people taking flight without thinking 

twice. 

People know money goes round and round. 

But every direction they go, it ain't been found. 

So they get mad and they let anger get to them. 

So they load that extra clip, carrying that heavy metal on 

their hip. 

Either way you choose to grind, Lil' Bra, 

the government walks away with the most clips. 

Anger gets to you so quick, you can't do you. 

Anger knows where it wants to be so it does what it 

choose. 

It's up to you: Think about the war. 

So many people lost their kids and wives. 

They put in work for their country, ended up losing their lives. 

Man, don't that get you heated inside. 

They were men puttin' it down with so much pride. 

Think about the people in the pen. 

They once were on the street, slippin' and slidin' and 

grindin'. 

Now they in the pen 'cause anger made them make 

mistakes. 

Now they do hard time with hella different fools eatin' 

off their plate. 
Now anger got you filled with pain, sorrow and mostly 

hate. 
And that's something, Lil Bra, I ain't going to take. 

-Lir Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: Now that you see behind the scenes, can you beat it? 
The food they're offering you is poisoned, you still gonna eat it? The 
system is hungry, you gonna feed it? Or can you step up, look at your 
old life, man up and delete it. 



Luss 



What's up Beat? This is Lil' Bj writing about loss and 

revenge. 
I lost a sister and a lot of friends and I have to say it is 

not cool. 

The pain people go through when they lose a love one. 

Sometimes they need revenge so they can feel the same 

pain you feel 

or sometimes they be so mad that they don't think 

before they do it. 

Maybe sometimes you just don't care anymore now 

you're ready to do anything. 

It's a shame when you with someone one day, and the 

next day or month they're gone. Rest in Peace: Doobie, 

Stevie, Rob-bin, Jae, Grashanda. 

-Lil' Bj, Alameda 

From The Beat: Losing a loved one, whether it be to violence on the 
streets or to whatever cause maybe is very difficult to deal with. It's part 
of life but it shouldn't have to be that way. And you're right sometimes 
we might not care and start acting without thinking. But we need to 
catch ourselves and value our lives a lot more. Our folks pass away and 
we need to be strong and hold it down for them in this life. Rest in 
Peace to everyone that has passed. We can't use the loss of a loved one 
sk% skn excuse to sabotage our oiAfn lives. 



t 



i^MTc 



7 nn 




//// // 




\ 



100% 

Y'all ain't 100% 

When I was out with y'all 

Y'all was 100% 

When I had funk 

Y'all was 100% 

When I needed some money 

Y'all was 100% 

When I go to jail 

Y'all aint 100% 

When I need mail 

Y'all ain't 100% 

When I said put money on the phone 

Y'all ain't 100% 

When I said send pictures 

Y'all ain't 100% 

But if y'all was me 

I'd be 100% 

Now all I see 

Who was 100% 

Y'all still my dogs 

But y'all ain't 100% 

-Herzog, Alameda 

From The Beat: The only ones that can be 1 00% is your family that loves 
you and cares about you no matter what. And the only other person 
you can depend is yourself. You need to not get into skn^ trouble. So 
you won't have to depend on anyone. Only you can look out for you 
and nobody else. 



I hope I get out tomorrow wkeM I go 
to court, 'cause /'m sIcK and tired of 
this food, /'m sicK and tired of this 
fake water and soap, and I'm sick 
and tired of these four walls. 

I I I 

X 



Sick ind Tired i! leiig Sicii and Tired 

I am soooo ready to go home. I'm sick and tired of being 
here! 

Y'all don't understand how bad I want some Popeye's! 
Sometimes I think I should be a spokesperson for them, 
considering how many chicken strips I've purchased and 
BBQ sauce I've bought. Two bbq's and one ranch and one 
honey for my biscuit, unless I get two or three with my 
Raspberry Iced Tea. 

Anyways I miss my baby (my lil' sister) Niyah, but I 
call her Craflyah 'cause when she was a baby she use to 
always cry. She still does, a big 'ole baby and she's five 
and a half. 

I'm tired of being here. I could be doing cool things 
right now. I really need a 'port and I don't even smoke! 
That show you how stressed to the game I am! 

I miss my queen size bed! It's really a full size but 
right now it would feel like a queen size bed. 

I hope I get out tomorrow when I go to court, 'cause 
I'm sick and tired of this food, I'm sick and tired of this 
fake water and soap, and I'm sick and tired of these four 
walls. 

-Don'Janae, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope you get out too, but we also hope that you 
don't end up back in jail. Clearly, you can't stand it in here, but is that 
enough of a motivation to keep you from doing anything illegal when 
you are on the outs? We hope so. 



Alabama 



\ 



I knew this guy they called Alabama. He's an older guy 
about forty. He was always hanging in front near my 
house. He was a drug addict and sold drugs too. 

I went outside and talked to him for a while. I never 
went to school so I would be outside hiding from the 
police and, selling drugs. He told me he was going in for 
life because he killed someone. I was laughing, but he 
was serious. He told me it was because someone touched 
his daughter. Me and him were selling and he showed me 
all the good spots to go because he knew people. 

He went with me to sign up for school and always 
told me I should try to do something. He asked me if he 
should go to court and fight the case on his court date or 
stay out til they get him. I didn't know what to say. 

It was fun sometimes hanging out with him but 
other times were bad. Lots of fights he was in because 
of other drug addicts. But it all came to an end when 
we were in an abandoned house downtown. I guess the 
police raided it the day before. A guy tried to stab him 
because he wouldn't let him in to smoke. And another 
guy that he was with told them to fight one on one and 
when they were fighting the cops came and surrounded 
the whole house. I ran through the back of the house with 
some other guy and got away. I turned around behind the 
bushes and seen blood on him with handcuffs on. Ever 
since that day I always appreciate life and, when I get out 
of here, I'm going to stay out. 

-Trey, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We do hope this near fatal incident is your wake up 
call. There is nothing glamorous about the life that Alabama led. What 
is your plan to staying out of jail? 



t 



L 



It's Ridiculous 



\ 



1 1 



bi 



did a burglary when I was fifteen. I did my time and 
passed my programs. Then out of nowhere my mom leaves 
the country. The punk judge fails me from community 
service because my mom was no longer my guardian. 

It's ridiculous how I get sent to Ohio to live with my 
Dad. It's ridiculous how while I was in Ohio, they had 
court out here giving me a bench warrant. 

It's ridiculous out in Ohio, so I took a Greyhound 
back to California. It's ridiculous how I got set up after 7 
months of living on my own. 

It's the most ridiculous how they want to send me 
to Y-A alternative for 12 months for not doing shhh! All 
these punks wanna test me because I'm the only white 
boy down for my kind. But it's only shhh talkers behind 
my back. These unprofessional system people funkin' 
with us like they're hard. So condescending, patronizing. 
I'm the youngest thirty year old you'll ever meet. And the 
reality of the matter is I'd be off probation right now if 
my mom was here, and if I did get in trouble, I'd be back 
on house arrest. Instead they say they might send me to 
Nevada. Damn this shhh is too ridiculous. 

-D, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Sounds messy. So your mom bolts, the system then sends 
you to Ohio, and then has a court proceeding out here in California while 
you're in Ohio and then issues a bench warrant? How did you find out 
about this? Did they contact your dad? And what did your dad do when 
you came back to California? Did he report to your probation officer or 
notify the courts? Sounds to us like right now what's best for you is to 
get thru your program, and get out of the system. Not sure how old you 
are, but you might want to look into getting emancipated, so you can 
live on your own, without further problems. Take responsibility, don't 
get careless, the system will beat you at that game! 



i 



i^MTc 



7 nn 




//// // 




My Loss 



\ 



Damn! Fm going to talk about two people. Well, the first 
one is my grandpa. My family lost him in 1998 a few days 
after Christmas. It was a lost cause. I was very close to 
him and he treated me like I was his hija, that's how close 
we were. 

Now, that I'm a little older, I feel a big emptiness 
inside me and I had make a big promise that I was going 
to get a tat and its been a month already that I've had it 
and all I have to say is that I love him and R.I.P. Jose Avila, 
12-28-98. 

The second person that I lost is my unborn child. 
It was a few months ago. I was about 3 and a 1/2 to 4 
months pregnant. That loss was very painful and stressful 
because it was going to be a very good thing in my life. I 
was really happy to bring this baby in this world. So those 
are the things I have lost in my life, so thanks for having 
a min to read this. To all in here keep your heads up. 

-Kelia, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We all take losses and like the %un rise and fall everyday 
- so do we. It's all about your understanding and drive to continue on 
that gives you real closer from that what has been lost to you. Nothing 
lasts forever unfortunately. 




BecDHiiiglMan.... 



X 



Its not always easy becoming a man, you can always say 
you're a man 'cause it's much easier said than done. A 
man isn't someone who runs from responsibility, a man 
isn't someone who's not able to be depended on, a man 
isn't someone who has no job, who depends on the next 
person to provide their needs, well I've broken down the 
steps of what's isn't a man now let me explain to you in 
my eyes what's a man. 

To me a man is someone who's always owning up and 
taking responsibility for his actions, a man is someone 
who provides, not get provided for, a man is someone who 
works hard for a living, a man is someone who depends 
on no one but himself, a man is someone who listens 
more than he talks because he knows he doesn't know 
everything. He can always be taught something, and last 
but not least, a man never cries when he's corrected, 
when he knows he's in the wrong, he just takes it and 
rolls. In my eyes this is what it's about. 

-Lil' New Orleans, Alameda 

From The Beat: You have a good head on your shoulders. You're right 
about everything you said we couldn't have said it better ourselves. 
Being a man is accepting the consequences for your actions, and taking 
responsibility. You are a very special person because you're so young and 
yet you have all this knowledge. Most people go through their whole 
lives not knowing what a real man is or at least what the characteristics 
are to define what a man is. And you have hit the head on the nail with 
a hammer and we hope you don't let your brilliant mind go to waste. 
Educate your peers! 



bi 



La Seiiora De Mexico 



\ 



Esto me paso en Mexico. Cuando venia en el camino 
desde Hondura, una sefiora sin conocerme me dejo vivir 
unos meses en su casa. Gracias a Dios, por ella no sufri. 
Me daba comida y gracias a ella me consiguio trabajo. Asi 
pude ganar un poco de dinero para seguir adelante hacia 
aca. 

Logre Uegar a los Estados Unidos, y ahora gracias 
a Dios estoy donde estoy. Voya ala casa de mi abuela, 
a quien le cuento mis problemas. Ella es la quien me 
aconseja y me dice que busque a Dios que haga lo bueno y 
que tenga fe en Dios porque El es lo mejor en esta vida. 

Se siente sofocado y triste y como que hace falta algo 
en nuestro corazones cuando uno toma venganza en 
alguien. 

Se siente furioso cuando le han hecho algo y lo 
maltratan a uno. Ese odio adentro y tienes ganas de 
quitarle la vida alguien. 

From The Beat: Que bien que Y%«yskn gente sk%\ con un gran corazon. 
Acuerdate de e%sk persona quien te tendio la mano. Nunca olvides lo 
que ella hizo por ti. Acuerdate siempre de e%sk ayuda porque seria una 
pena que olvidara lo que ella hizo por ti. A lo mejor no tienes idea de 
lo que ella hizo por ayudarte. Dale a tu abuela la atencion que ella se 
merece. "Aveces uno no sabe lo que tiene hasta que lo pierdes," siempre 
recuerda este dicho. 



The Lady From Mexico 



This happened to me in Mexico. When I was coming from 
Honduras, a lady who didn't know me let me live in her 
house for a few months. Thank God because of her I 
didn't suffer. She would feed me and thank to her I found 
a job. That how I gained some money to continue with my 
journey. 

I made it to the US, and thanks to God I'm here. I'm 
going to live at my grandmother's house. She is the one 
who I share my problems with. She's the one who advise 
me to do good things, and tells me to have faith in God 
because He is the best in this life. 

It feels suffocated, very sad, and an emptiness in our 
heart when you take revenge against someone. 

It make you feel furious when someone has done 
something to someone you care and when they mistreated 
you. That hate stores inside and you feel like taking a life 
way. 

-Francisco, San Francisco 

From The Beat: it^ to know that there are people who have a big heart. 
Don't about that person who extended her hands to help you. Don't 
forget what she did for you. Always remember that help because it 
would be unfair if you forget her effort. You may not have an idea of 
what she must have gone through to help you. Give your grandmother 
the attention she deserves. "Sometimes you don't know what you got 
until you loose it." Always remember that saying. 



Rather Be Stoned 



|ot I 

\ 



The days I don't wanna go home 

Are the days I wanna get stoned 

Just sittin' smoking and jokin' 

The grapes is what I be tokin' 

So high in the sky I don't know why 

But all this buUshhh brings a tear to my mom's eye 

To see her cry makes me feel bad 

She did the same with my dad 

He was never there when I was young 

But now those days are all done 

So why can't I be good and choose the right path 

It's hard to do but one day I hope my wish comes true. 

-Sg, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Your wish can come true! It is so on you. You make the 
choice to better your life and joy will come over your mom and we bet 
even you! 



h 



i^MTc 



7 nn 




//// // 




?olicesatfaiftanon the street stepped 
in front of fftif grandfather's car, and 
when nttf grandfather stopped kis car, 
the man walked np to the side of his 
car and shot him in the head. 



I ■ ■ ■ 



Lr 



Ike Da) I lost M) Grandfatler 

The day I lost my grandpa was a very hard time. He died 
three years ago yesterday. Police say a man on the street 
stepped in front of my grandfather's car, and when my 
grandfather stopped his car, the man walked up to the 
side of his car and shot him in the head. The police say he 
then threw my grandpa out of the car and took his money 
and droveS off in my grandpa's car. 

This lady that was a witness went over to my grandpa's 
side and called the police. When the police identified 
my grandpa, they called our house and told us that had 
happened. My whole family broke down for weeks. They 
eventually found my grandpa's car, but they didn't find 
my grandfather's killer. But they did have a picture of his 
murderer, and I look a good look at it, and swore to myself 
I would avenge his death. 

I will try and find my grandfather's murderer, and ever 
since, I wanted to get revenge. But I've never found him, 
and that was that. 

Well, that's all I got to say for today's piece. 

-Niko, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a very sad but well-written description of a 
tragedy that should never have happened. We are so sorry that you 
experienced this loss, and especially in the way your grandfather died. 
Too many people only think of themselves — their wants, their needs, 
their desires — and never about what they do to the people left behind. 
Even though what this man did is a terrible and unforgivable crime, 
we're glad you never found him, because if you took your own revenge, 
there's a good chance that your family would also have to deal with 
losing you to the system. Your responsibility now is to live a long life so 
that you can carry your grandpa's memory for many years to come. 



The Game 



In the cuts in the 

Street, drug dealers, gangsters 

Pimp, players, and hustlers. 

Being a savage trying 

To survive with out 

Knowing they are the 

Killers. Without good 

Guidelines they can not 

Learn to move forward. 

Hustling, stealing chips. 

And killing will not set 

You free. 

Many are falling into this game because of the 

temptation for money, power, 

or respect. Many claim 

a gang or crew, in order to gain it faster. Not 

knowing the fast lane is 

a horrifying disaster. 

In order to move on 

You have to sit down and think 

Willing hoping if you got it 

Within. Knowing you need to 

Stop, after a while you fall in your spot. 

-Blaze, Alameda 

From The Beat: "After a while you fall in your spot". You said it. ... you 
drop real wisdom in this poem... are these things you've witnessed or 
gone through yourself? 



The Life I Lived 



Do you really understand the life that I live? 

Where a ninja fast to take but so slow to give 

Mama working overtime but no food in the fridge 

This is the life I've lived 

Pops not around moms doing it on her own 

Doing everything she can to keep her kids at home 

But you love her cause she tries even though she all 

alone 

This is the life I've lived 

With dad not around it was like he didn't care 

No money in our pockets and food was barely there 

When he did come around it was nothing but a stare 

This is the life I lived 
Gave my life to the streets and started to sell drugs 

Started getting older and we all became thugs 

I couldn't leave the streets that's where I felt loved 

This is the life lived 

My family got better but I became worse 

Only coming home to put money in moms purse 

Out committing crimes while others are at church 

This is not the life to live. 

-Jake, Alameda 

From The Beat: You said it yourself this is not the life to live. That 
lifestyle is only gonna guarantee you a couple things for sure, and that^ 
jail time, and talcing more losses. We don't want you to lose your life to 
this game cause in reality it^ not a game. There are other things you can 
do for money and legit ways to hustle to make some do. But don't risk 
your freedom or your life for some dirty money. 



"J 





/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm //// // 



^//. 




I Could've Helped Out 



X 



The days I didn't want to go home 

Was when I was mobbin' in the streets, 

Nickel and dimin', puttin' jewels around my wrist, 

And fresh kicks on my feet. 

But where I messed up 

Was not makin' sure the household had something to eat. 

Even though mama had three jobs, I could've helped out. 

At least gave her a call instead of her being left out. 

And because of that, those were the days I didn't want to 

go home. 

-Lil' Dee 

From The Beat: The thing is, your family doesn't just need the money 
you bring in, your family needs you out of jail and being successful in 
life so that you can eventually get out of the ghetto and into a better 



life. 



Falsely Accused 



\ 



Yo, "Judge" 

Excuse me, judge 

This is a bunch of bull 

I don't know this witness 

And every day I stay in school 

Backpack on my shoulders 

And books in my hand 

3.8 GPA 

Just look at me, man 

I stay to myself 

And don't worry 'bout nobody else 

Plus, I got check stubs 

Just to prove I got legal wealth 

And if anybody has been 

Falsely accused 

It's me. . . 

four-walls entertainment 

Free the "CEO" (me) 

-T-Rex 

From The Beat: We don't know the details of your case, but we do know 
it's time to add sktt open door to those four walls, so you can get back 
to rhyming for real - plus that 3.8 could have you UC-Berkeley bound. 
Have you thought about your future? Where do you plan to end up? 



Ever since we moved out I spend tffore 
time with mif famiiif. i'm not mad he- 
canse I moved out of the kood. 



The Day I Get Out 



When I get out, I'm gonna stay out. 

I don't want to come back to the Hall because it be 
hella boring. We be stuck in our rooms doing shhh. When 
I get out I'ma be with my family all the time. I'ma go with 
the homies, but only once in a while, 'cause I live kind of 
far from the hood. Ever since I moved out from the hood 
my life has changed. 

Where I live now is not the same as Oakland. There 
is not a lot of violence, and you never hear of somebody 
getting killed. Ever since we moved out I spend more time 
with my family. I'm not mad because I moved out of the 
hood. 

-A new me 

From The Beat: Do you feel like moving out of the hood has made it 
easier for you to stay out of trouble? What happened this time to bring 
you to The Hall? What kind of difference does it make in your mindset, 
having less violence and killings around you? 



U 



Revenge Does Make Me Feel Better 

To me revenge does make me feel better. 

Well, it doesn't actually make me feel better, but it 
does relieve a bit of stress. So I think you can take revenge 
a lot of ways. Yea, most likely it's gonna be wrong, but 
nowadays a lot of people make wrong decisions. 

Well honestly, if someone did something to me or 
my family, I wouldn't feel right if I wouldn't react to it. I 
wouldn't be able to hold through knowing the person that 
did something to my family is walking the street, having 
their fun — and I did nothing. 



From The Beat: Was there a time in life where revenge took some of 
your pain away? Or was there anyone you ever lost in your life because 
someone else was seeking revenge? Do you believe that there is also a 
place for forgiveness? 



-J 

) of 
use 

"J 



I The Most Hirtfil Paii \ 

' Losing someone close to you is the most hurtful pain 
you could ever feel. I have lost people who were very 
close to me and the only thing that ran through my head 
afterwards was revenge. 

It's hard to forgive in some cases, and in others I 
sometimes do forgive the person if it's nothing serious. 
But with the person that shot me, revenge is all I think 

I when I think about him. So I know I don't forgive him, and 
I don't think I will any time soon. 
-Teddy 

From The Beat: We hope you don't get caught up in a desire for revenge, 
because the best revenge you could ever have would be to end up having 
a successful life. Leave the haters behind! And the hate! 



Problems With My Parents 



The times when I don't want to go home are when I'm 
having problems with my parents. Like when I'm out 
having fun and I don't want to go home. But if I don't, 
I will have to hear my mom's mouth, or she won't say 
anything. She will just call my pa. 

So when I don't come home depends on how my mom 
feels: If she don't feel like yelling at me for not coming 
home, or she won't say anything, that means she already 
called my pa. I 

-Nasty Boy Rick I 

From The Beat: Why do you think your parents get mad at you for not 
going home? Does seeing so many young people without parents to 
worry about them change how you feel at all? Do you feel luclcy to have 
both a mother and a father, both of them worrying about your safety? 



still In Boilaie 



\ 



I'm just another 

Black man bonded in spiritual chains 

Been to hell and back in this life 

And nothin' ever seems to change 

My whole life has been hell 

And it don't get no betta 

I did the block thang 

I did the glock thang 

Did the drug thang 

And it seems everything 

I thought would set me free 

Just keeps me in bondage 

So it ain't worth it 

-Jamil 

From The Beat: Once you take a hard honest look at "the life" none of it 
seems worth it. You did the block thang, the clock thang, and now the 
someone-else's-clock thing, it's time to seize control of your own life. But 
how lAfill you do it? 



fa 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm //// // 



^//. 




Secret Admirer 



It's this boy I know, who's so sweet. 

I'm really feeling his lovely eyes and his sexy smile. 

His tone is divine, the way he walks, and talks, 

the boy is not just cute but he's fine. 

I wonder if we were making love 

would his touch send shivers down my spine? 

Have I found him, the one that's truly mine? 

I want to grow old with him -me as your woman, 

you as my man- maybe were moving to fast. . . 

lets start as friends, 

'cause I wouldn't want this good thing to end. 

We got to rise above all high tides baby 

don't trip we go be set for life. 

Inspired by my ex or maybe boo D. 

-Bg 

From The Beat: We are intrigued by the end of your poem — you describe 
the sweetness of love, but not the hardship, and yet you dedicate the 
poem to your ex? Why is he your ex? What are the challenges of being 
with someone, even if they are so sweet? 



Iirget Irienls 



X 



I'm getting tired of ninjas keep saying I snitched. I don't 
give a damn what ninjas saying. None of them ninjas 
won't do nothing, especially my co partner. Other than 
that I'm not gone let none of them get in my head. 

When I get out I'm just gone watch who I kick it with. 
I can't surround myself with the same people because 
everyone I used to kick it with aint the type of people I 
wanna be with. They always doing some thing stupid like 
robbing people. But I'm try to get my GED so when I get 
out I'm gonna go to college and try to get a good job. 

My whole life is going to change because I rather be 
out with my family instead of being locked up. I'm gonna 
go support my family when I get out. I been in here for so 
long that I realize that you don't need friends. The only 
people you really need in your life is your family because 
they are gone be with you though the good and the bad 
times. So like I always say forget friends, family first. 

-Lil' Kev 

From The Beat: We hope that you really mean it when you %x^ you're 
gonna change your whole life around. It's not gonna be easy but we're 
confident you can do it. You just need to believe in yourself. Go help out 
your family, because it's true they're the only ones that's gonna be there 
for you through thick and thin. 



Lost Ones 



X 



I wish I could see you. God knows I miss you. Just to 
see your face, hopefully erased all the things left undone. 
I miss you lost one. 

I remember the times we shared, just to know you 
were always there. Than all of a sudden you are gone. 
I've been down for so long. And hurt for so long. There 
were times I thought I never seen the break of day. All the 
while I knew you would make it through. I wish things 
never turned out this way. I miss you so much my sweet 
loved one. Just to hear your voice would make me want 
to shout in rejoice. I would be so happy if I found that one 
soldier left out. My world would be complete, if only we 
could meet in a better place one day. 

Always missing you my loved ones. RIP Baby Bryon, 
Tario, G.O., Mellia, Raymond, Mario, Arthor, Pourger, Son, 
Ernest. 

-Bg 

From The Beat: This is a heartbreaking piece. So many tragic deaths... 
Although you may not be able to see your loved ones again, you DO 
have the power to help make sure that others you love don't suffer the 
same fate. Do you have it in you to start promoting a message of peace 
and non-violence? What are your thoughts on that? 



I I 



I I 



U 



Being In Lnve By Ynurself 



\ 



Letters and pictures to keep a smile on my face... but 
nothing but you could really take my pain away. I know 
we'll be back together when I get on the outs but I still 
can't help but feel like I'm in love by myself. 

-Missin' My Man 

From The Beat: Tell u% more about this young man. What% he like? How 
do you think this time in jail will affect your relationship? 



Stupidity And Ignorance 



\ 



Stupidity and ignorance is something that I refer to as 
H.A.T.E. Apparently some people think the things that 
come out of their mouth are making sense, but in reality 
they sounds like a bunch of "Hooplah, Hooplah" in the 
words of Spongebob. But really to me it stupidity and 
ignorance. I've heard lot of girls say some ignorant things 
and I'm tired of it. 

-M Bossy 

From the Beat: We can feel your frustration through these pages, but we 
want to know more. How do you see stupidity and ignorance manifest 
in the actions and words of people you know? Have you even been 
stupid or ignorant yourself? What is the connection between stupidity, 
ignorance, and hate? 



Loss 



I never really lost a family member really close to me, 
besides my great grandparents. But even that didn't hurt 
me as much as this past year has. 

I had a boyfriend that I wasn't in love with, but had 
just 'cause at tiie time I felt I was crushing on him. Then 
he hurt someone, and I kicked him to the curb, so he laid 
his hands on me (choking me) and then I fell deeply in 
love with someone else, who is so perfect and close to 
me. So now I'm in here for my ex-boyfriend's crime, 
even though I didn't commit anything. Now my love has 
moved, and I'm stuck in here 'til my trial. It really hurts 
to lose someone I just basically met two months ago. 

I feel like my life and heart feels incomplete. I miss 
him and my family. I've been in here for three weeks and 
I have one more week 'til my trial for my first offense that 
I didn't do. Being in here isn't that bad but I'm losing my 
family, true love and education over something that isn't 
worth it. 

-White Snow Bunny 

From The Beat: Even though you probably don't feel very lucky while 
you sit here in jail, you are. Your ex-boyfriend could have really hurt 
you, even killed you. It's a very good thing that you got away from him. 
After being in stn abusive relationship like that, perhaps you can use I 
some alone time, to think through what YOU need to do for you. I 



Mj lint's House 



\ 



When I don't want to go home I go to my aunt's house. 

If I get in a fight with my granny and don't want to be 
around her and need to cool off I go to my aunt's house. 
My aunt lives across the street from me so when I need 
to get away it is a quick escape. My aunt is always helpful 
when I feel troubled. 

Once I got in trouble for stealing and the police came 
and I was scared to go home so I went to my aunt's house 
and she was very understanding. Yes she was mad but 
she never reacts like my granny. My aunt is always calm 
and understanding. When I'm in trouble or I don't want to 
go home my aunt is always there for me. 

-Amber 

From The Beat: Thanks so much for sharing this with u%. Tell u% more 
about your aunt. Why do you think she is more calm and understanding 
than your other relatives? What was she like when she was young? 



fa 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm //// // 






Off The Hook \ 

The weekend before I had come in here I heard about 
some parties and they was supposed to be thick and 
hecka females there. The day of the party my mom said 
I could go so I waited until my brother got ready to leave 
and left with him to the party. We meet up with my friends 
we was going to the party with and didn't even know what 
party we was going to because it was two of them. 

And the buses didn't run to one of them so we went 
to the only one we could go to and left. We got to the party 
and only ma cousin was on the guest list but I used my 
other cousin's name that didn't go and they let all of us 
in and it was like eight of us. The party was cool, and it 
kinda had a lot of females and I had a lil' bit of fun until 
the police came. 

We left and I was scared to go home because my mom 
said I couldn't go and I went any way. On our way home we 
decided we was going to my sister's house. I went home 
in the morning because it was my grandma's birthday and 
we was going to her house fo' a lil' party. 

I was scared so when I got home I got my clothes out 
and jump in the shower. When I got out she didn't even 
say nothing 'bout it the whole day and I was off the hook 
and I was happy. 

But the next day my PO came and picked me up and 
took me to jail ...now I'm in here telling y'all my story. 

-Daray 

From The Beat: Thanks for telling u% your story! it sounds like the fun 
wasn't quite worth the drama that came after it. Did your PO now what 
you'd been doing? 




Ready To Go Home \ 

I'm about ready to go home I'm so sick and tired and 
tired of being sick of being here. I miss my mommy so 
much, I don't know how I can live without her. Being here 
makes my mind spin, and brings tears to my eyes at the 
thought of my loves ones. 

-Charnequoia 

From The Beat: We don't want to sound uncaring, but you are in jail 
after all. What actions can you take in your own life to ensure that you J 
won't be stuck in this place again? 1 










1 


Helpino Hand From A Stranoer \ 

Over the summer my lil' white scrapper got towed by 
the police. I had to catch bus to the police station and 
pay money for a release form. Then back on the bus to 
the A&B tow yard. Waited several hours for them to bring 
me my car... on E! They told me I had to get some gas to 
hurry up and move my car. They gave me a gas can and 
told me to get on my way on foot to the gas station. 

While I was walking out the gate a Native American 
man leaving at the same time offered me ride to the gas 
station. He took me there and brought me back in less 
then five minutes. I respect him for that even though he 
was a complete stranger. My potna Marcus was with me 
the whole way there and back too. So I guess I got help 
from my potna and a stranger. 

-Mackin' Nam 

helped out! Did you thank him? Have you ever helped out a stranger? 
Help yourself and get out of the system and stay off the drugs - E! 



Being Withoot Him 



I love this boy with all my heart and felt it was real from 
the start. We've been apart for a while, but I'd never forget 
his sexy smile, or how he'd put together his thuggish 
style. He took my soul to different places, and made my 
heart pace at different races. I know he's the one I'd spend 
my life with, being in here is hard to do, because I'm able 
to spend my days with you. When we unite our life will be 
more than right, because the love we have is more than 
tight. Regardless of our age difference, we were meant for 
this... kissing, hugging and only we know what else, God 
I miss that feeling I felt... free us fast! 

-Taco and Bouzle 

From The Beat: As you know there's a lot more to a relationship than the 
physical aspects. Is he a good man to you? Is he supporting you to do 
the right thing for your own life and stay out of trouble? If the answer 
is ^e%, than we wish you both the best. If the answer is no, then this 
poem needs a second half. As for love letters and poems to The Beat 
this will be the last, 'cause it doesn't teach much to any other readers. 



Scared Of Chaoge 



\ 



The Straoger My Friend 



The stranger was a boy, 

seventeen and a fine young thing. 

This boy had manners and knew how to treat a lady 

like a queen. 

This stranger didn't seem like a stranger to me. 

It seemed like I knew him every since the first day 

I was out of pampers. 

It seemed like I really knew this young man 

and he really knew me, 

so we kicked it 

exchanged numbers, and started communicating. 

This stranger became real close to me, 

and we started dating. 

I didn't know where this stranger was from 

so I asked and when he told me, that let me know 

that this stranger wasn't really a stranger to me. 

This stranger could only be my friend. 

-Lady Alameda 

From The Beat: Tell us the next chapter. Lady Alameda. What happened 
next? 



It would feel so sweet to hold him, to touch him, to kiss 
him, to rub him. 

My favorite part of the day was when night came and 
I lay my head on his belly. It's a comfort. It's a feeling of 
home. I feel more at home with him then anybody. It's a 
feeling I've been having since I laid my eyes on him. In the 
back of my mind I wonder if this feeling will ever go away. 
It's been a year and I feel stronger for him then ever. 

I have a scared feeling that one day it will fade or he 
won't be there. What scares me most is that one day it will 
change. I don't want change but maybe chang.... Maybe! 

-Gabriel 

From The Beat: Change is a complicated thing — it often brings about 
good things, but the process is difficult and painful. What changes 
do you want to make, either with this young man, or with your life in 
general? 



I I 



Life Is lio Stort 



\ 



u 



Hopefully this time around it's different, and I can make 
this one chance a change. I've been trying to break this 
cycle for so long and it's so hard. I've been coming to 
Juvenile Hall since I was a very young teen and I'm going 
on 18. I've spent my childhood in and out of jail. It seems 
like I had to grow up to finally realize that life is too short. 
Too short for games, for mess ups. All I want is to settle 
and be comfortable. 

-Maline 

From The Beat: Do you have any specific ideas on hoiw you are going to 
make this happen? What will be your very first step towards having the 
comfortable life you deserve? 



fa 




agnnnnnE wmwmim 



^mmmm^mmim ^/// " 



^//. 




Losing My Cousin 



One time about several years ago I lost my favorite 
cousin in a shoot out after a party we went to. He got shot 
numerous times in the chest and died in my arms. That 
was really hard for me because I also went to jail that 
night because I couldn't handle the fact that he was gone, 
token away from me that fast with one blink of an eye. 

There he was lying, a soul in the sky gone forever but 
never forgotten. I never knew who shot my cousin but 
some body did pay for what had happen and I will never 
forgive the person who did. RIP lil' Bam Bam Sept 17, 
2005 gone but never forgotten. 

M 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your cousin passing away. But 
he^ gone now and the only thing you can do to honor his name is to 
stay away from a negative lifestyle. Yo' cousin looking down on you and 
you should make him proud by staying of jails, and out of trouble. 



Loss 



^ 



Have you ever lost a family member 

You can't ever regain they 're lost forever 

It's hard to lose 

So what you choose 

To pop that pill 

Or cry till you have no more tears 

Have you lost a homeboy to the streets 

'Cause he was caught slipping at midnight when his 

moms wanted him asleep 

She prayed and prayed for him to be with her again 

Her baby's lost she can't maintain. 

-Big Rig 

From The Beat: We all make decisions that will affect our future whether 
it may be tomorrow, three hours later, maybe a week later. But how can 
you deal with the losses you take? It's up to you whether you think that 
popping a pill is gonna make you feel better, or bring skn^one back from 
the dead. Cause the pain is still gone be there. You need to be strong 
and proceed to live life just like the person that passed away would 
have wanted it. 



i Remember Wiien.... 



X 



Tlie Days Wlien i Don't Want To Go Dome 

A few weeks ago it was very hard for me to go home. 
I was kicked out of my house from my grandparents 
for disrespecting the family. It was very difficult for me 
emotionally. Instead I stayed at my friend's house that 
I've known since I was three. I was there for about two 
weeks. 

My friend's mom knew what I was going through and 
understood my feelings. I didn't know when it was a good 
time to go back home, because I hadn't talked to them 
since the day I was kicked out. I was violated and brought 
back to the hall. 

-Solomon 

From The Beat: It's good that you were able to talk to your friend^ mom. 
Have you had a chance to talk to your grandparents yet and make peace 
with them? Because their love for you is real. 



Tiie Days Wlien i Stay Away From Dome 

I don't like to come home when I'm at my main thang's 
house. Man it's hard to leave, but dam when pops come 
home I'm to 60 out the door like zoom poof! And I'm 
gone for real. 

-Mackin' Nam 

From The Beat: You better be out the house way before pops even near 
the front door, cause if he catches you it's a wrap! How would you like 
to come home and catch your daughter with a dude?! You wouldn't like 
it, huh? 



I remember I use to sneak out the house and go spend 
the night with some female or maybe even a couple you 
feel me. But knowing that the next day when I get home I 
was gone be on punishment 'cause you know how mama's , . 
be hella worried about you. But I wasn't tripping while I'm | I 
out I might as well have as much fun as possible. ' 

M 

From The Beat: Damn homie you could at least call your mom and let her 
know you are all right. Do your thang but be careful and let your mom 
know you good so she won't be worried. Don't be stressing her out. 



Loss, Devenge, Forgiveness -Devenge-^\ 

Revenge feels good when someone has harmed you 

That means the opposite of out charmed you 

Revenge feels wrong when it's talked about all the time 

But you don't think about it when yo' enemy is dying. 

Revenge is a seven, letter, word 

The actions behind it is someone getting hurt 

If you get caught you would call it a curse 
But when the sentence come things get worse. 

-Jamarco 

From The Beat: If the outcome of revenge is so bad why do you think 
people still do it? If you get revenge and get caught, if you think about 
that's three lives going to waste. The person killed, the person revenged 
so the killer got killed, and the person committing the revenge gets 
caught and gets life in prison. Now out of one life you got two lives 



U 



dead and one in jail for life. 



Let Me Do Yonrs 



res I 

\ 



Let me be yours. 

The one who will provide for you 

The one who would die for you 

I'm gonna wipe away your tears 

Hold you near when you in fear 

Never let you go because you're my dear 

You make my heart beat fast like its in third gear 

As long as I have you I'ma be happy even if it rains and 

pours 
But I still forgot to ask you-- will you let me be yours 

-Maniac 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful love poem, now you have to get 
yourself out in the free world so you can prove you're for real to your 
girl! 



1 



Fear 



\ 



Worst feeling in the world it lasts longer than any other 
feeling in the world. It will freeze you in your tracks and 
mess with your instincts some times those instincts 
are in need to survive. Some times maybe move out of 
the way of a home less bullet but that fear will have you 
standing there. It will consume you make you feel brain 
dead. That's why it's the greatest sign of weakness if your 
enemy sees you fear them. They have taken complete 
control of you. 

I don't feel it. They say every one fears but I just worry 
fear for what? That's the question I ask. The only thing I 
can truly fear is the fear of burying another loved one, but 
other than that it rarely crosses my mind. Straight up. 
They tell me stop trying too act. Ain't no one acting, it's 
real life, fear no man but God because He will judge you 
at them pearly gates. 

-Berg 

From The Beat: You're right, but fear lightweight keeps u% in check. For 
instance, if you weren't afraid to jump off bridge would you still do it? 
You wouldn't cause you scared. Would you rob a bank? We're not saying 
you're scared to do it but you're scared of the consequences it might 
bring. Would you punch your teacher in the face? Come now be a little 
realistic you have to have fear. It's nature dog. Everyone got their fears, 
a real man owns up to them. 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm //// // 



^//. 




Interview About My Stay 

TBW: How long have you been here? 

Devin: Since December 30th 

TBW: How long do you expect to stay? 

D: Until Thursday, It's also my birthday. 

TBW: Happy Birthday! How old are you now? Will you 

have a b-day party? 

D: Thanks. I'm turning 16 and I'll have some friends over, 

but not a party. 

TBW: Very cool. Are you planning on going back to 

school? 

D: Yes, I was getting good grades before I came in here. 

TBW: Good for you. What grade are you in? 

D: I am in 10th grade. 

TBW: Who is waiting for you at home? Your mom? Sisters? 

Brothers? 

D: My mom, step dad, older brother, and younger 

brother. 

TBW: Are you the only one that's been locked up? 

D: No. I don't want to write anything about my family. 

TBW: Good call. 

-Devin 

From The Beat: It was good to learn more about you in this interview, 
and we hope that you get out soon so you can get back to what was 
positive in your life! 



\f 



The Days 



The days when I don't want to go home is when I'm high 
with blood shot eyes, or too drunk to keep myself up and 
I know my mom is going to be there at the house waiting 
for me. I would just go out with my homeboy and kick it, 
or go to parties and things like that. 

My mom would always worry about me because she 
never knew where I was therefore I would only go to 
places that I'm familiar with, so if something did happen, 
then I would know how to get back home safely. 

Another reason I wouldn't go home is if I'm having 
family problems and I don't want to talk with anybody at 
my house. So then again I would turn to my homeboys 
again and go get drunk, or high, or both just to feel better 
and forget about everything. I would usually go home 
sometime the next day 

-Richard 

From The Beat: Man, you too young to be drinking and smoicing 
everyday just to try to escape reality. Your problems are still gonna 
be there when you sober up. That^ just a temporary solution to your 
problems that^ just gonna cause you more problems. Cause when you're 
drink or high you can't think straight therefore, it might make you make 
bad decisions. Then you land in here and you have no drugs or alcohol. 
But your sober and now you can find real solutions to your problems 
that you have to face. 



Stranger On The Greyhnund 

There was one day I got into it with my mom I think we 
was at Reno. We went for vacation for a month and when 
I got there I wasn't filling it I don't know why but me and 
my mom just fight and it happened so fast that I left and 
I caught the greyhound. 

I had money and when I was riding there was an old G. 
I didn't know him, but he was in the bus and when we got 
to the first stop for a break (because the trip was 8 hours 
I think) all of the sudden we started talking and I see he 
didn't have any money so I got him something. 

We start talking, laughing, and I felt that the ride was 
less than 8 hours. 

-C-Los 

From The Beat: Great story - what kinds of wisdom did he drop on you, 
what did you learn from the ride? And what were you and your mom 
fighting about? This could be the beginning of a movie! 



' I 



U 



Lnss, Revenge, Fnrgiveness 



\ 



Somebody killed my lil' girl potna Tanika. And I'm still 
mad at how it all went down. But she in a better place 
now. Her Teddy gone be with her too. 

-Mackin' Nam 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your home girl. All that 
%en%e\e%% killing needs to stop. Why are so many young people quick to 
resolve their problems with violence? Do you have the guts to speak out 
against the violence that's plaguing your community? Speak out to usi 



The Stranger 



»ut I 

ij 

\ 



One day a female stranger was about to drive pass me 
and my car had overheated. I had a warrant and was dirty 
with some other stuff so I was nervous. I fiagged her down 
and I gamed her up to give me a ride and her number. 

-Keith 

From The Beat: Did you become friends after that? Have you ever helped 
a stranger out? 



When I Dnn't Want Tn Gn Hnme 



x 



It was this one time when I was at my girl house and we 
had went to the movies and had a good time. When we 
was done watching the movie and cup caking we went to 
her house and her mom was gone for a day in Las Vegas 
and she ask me did I want to spend a night, and I said 
hell yeah. 

I called my dad and told him I wouldn't be coming 
in tonight. So when we was at her house first I took a 
shower and then I think you know what was next. That 
was the day when I didn't want to go home. 

-Magnificent 

From The Beat: Sounds like you had fun. That's good that you called yo' 
pops to let him know so he wouldn't be worried about you. 



The Days When I Didn't Want To Go Hnme 

The day when I didn't want to go home is when the 
police was looking for me and they had homicide looking 
for me. I didn't want to go because I thought they were 
watching me. So I had to have people go to my house and 
pick up things for me after about two weeks I got set up 
by some people and now I'm in here. 

-Marcus 

From The Beat: Why did you have homicide looking for you homie? is 
that how you want to live your life? Wouldn't you rather be kicking back 
at the pad not worrying about police coming to get you? 



IS I 
ick I 



Best Frieod 



Dear Taco 

You're a rising star and I love you for that 

You wake up my every day 

With the thought of you 

You are the one I need in my life 

You've been there when you didn't need to 

And my heart smiles 

When you show those sexy seductive braces 

That gleam like platinum sets 

And Momma J is my mother for life 

Even if we part 

So don't forget it 

Or me when we make it to the top 

Love ya 

-Sydy Bo 

From The Beat: The key part of this piece is the phrase "When we make 
it to the top," because making it to the top is a dream of yours that is 
real, and it will take all your heart and talent to get yourself there. 
What% the first step? 



\ 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




My Goals 



When I get out Fm gonna be balling like usual, but this 
time I'm gone do it right, without the police being on my 
tip. You know cause I tried it the hot way and that didn't 
work so I'm gonna put my grow man on feel me? So that 
way I could have my own money and get my own things 
when I want to, you know? 

And when I do that I'm gonna stack my money up 
till a coo amount. Then I'm gonna get me an apartment 
'cause I'm gonna be 18 before I get out, and live my life 
with my girl. And if my little brothers or sisters want to 
come over they can play the 360 or the PS3. While I'm 
doing that I'm gonna get in college and finish. And when I 
get like 20 or 21 I'm gonna have a family and do my thang 
like that you know? 

-Magnificent 

From The Beat: You need to get your grown man on and get grown man 
job. All that illegal business is only gonna land right back in county jail 
and possibly the pen. And then you aint gone have no more apartment, 
and no PS3, or Xbox 360. We're proud to hear you say that you want to 
go to college but you need to do something else for money. 



I Wist 



X 



I wish I had some wings so I can fly to heaven 

This is a hard life that I'm living 

I miss the days when me and my family be fishing 

I wish I had a perfect life 

And when I'm gone have everlasting life 

I don't see why people fight 

They don't see that they messing up someone's life 

It hurts they family like stabbing someone neck with a 

knife 
If someone try to punk me we gone have to fight 

The only thing I can do is pray every night 

So I can go home to my family and live a good life. 

One love. 

-Magnificent 

From The Beat: We wish you could realize that there's more to life besides 
getting in trouble and coming to jail. We wish that all you young people 
would wake up and fight for a better life. There's more you can do than 
just pray you have the opportunity to change your life for the better. 
But it's all on you. 



Striiikt Ip! 



\ 



Man I'm gone tell you straight up! The way I been raised, 
I go by don't get mad, just get even! I know some people 
think it's wrong because it's just a continuing circle of 
violence. Just like two wrongs don't make a right... 

-KChill 

From The Beat: You're saying it yourself two wrongs don't make a right. 
Then why do you keep buying into the circle of violence? You know that 
circle is gonna come right back around and you're gonna get caught up 
in it. 



Ibe Straiier 



X 



It was real late at night and me and some friends were 
coming from the movies. It was a whole lot of people at 
the Bart station waiting for buses. The bus was taking a 
long time to load people up. 

Then finally the bus started loading people. This old 
lady with a lot of groceries was trying to get on the bus. Me 
and some friends helped the old lady load her groceries 
on the bus. She was very grateful for what we did for her. 

-Looking out 

From The Beat: That was very kind of you and your friends to help the 
old lady out with her groceries. That^ good karma. One day you will 
be old and maybe some youngsters will help you out. Or not even old 
maybe one day you might need help and somebody you don't know 
might just help you out. 



' I 



loss 



\ 



I remember when I lost my brother Trell. I was trying 
to leave and get in the car with him but he wouldn't let 
me. So he left and I was still outside smoking when I 
heard gun shots. Some ninjas shot my brother a couple 
of blocks away and I didn't know 'till two days later. That 
was a great loss. RIP Trell. 

-Trell's brother 

From The Beat: Hoiw are you not gonna know when your oivn brother 
gets shot for two whole days? You guys weren't close or what? Give u% 
more insight! 



Interview With liajet 



TBW: So how much longer do you expect to be locked 

in here? 

Gajet: Well my PO just told me on Monday that I'm 

supposed to get interviewed this week by a group home 

in Fremont. 

TBW: That would be cool, no? To be that close to home? 

G: Yes, it would. I stay in Hay ward right now, but when I 

get out I might go live with my ruca in Oakland. 

TBW: How'd you meet your girlfriend? 

G: When I got locked up, I went straight to max and met 

a homegirl from Hayward in here. We started talkin' but 

then she got out & her older sister ended up writing me & 

we end up bonding like Bonnie & Clyde. Gajet & Shygirl. 

TBW: That's beautiful. Don't go out like Bonnie and Clyde 

though. How old is she? 

G: Ma ruca about to be 20. I kinda feel weird 'cause that's 

the oldest female I've dated. I am currently 17. 

TBW: Is she your first real "ruca"? Or have you been "in 

love" before? 

G: Na, I've only taken one female serious before in the 

past and I never regret being with her. 

TBW: Will you be living with her in your own place or with 

her family? 

G: She rents a room out of her uncle's house. But when 

I get a job I'ma ask her if she would like to get our own 

place and even hopefully move back to my hometown 

with her. 

-Gajet 

From The Beat: Does your girl want to be a part of the new positive life 
you've been dreaming about - learning to be a mechanic and u%e youi 
natural genius with automobiles to make a living? 



1 



Trylno To Do Riglit 



ire 
»ur I 



\ 



What's up Beat? Man this shhh is hella weak. I'm ready 
to go home. I hate being in here, yet I keep coming back. 
It seem like I want to do right, but I can't because I'm 
so use to living this hood life. 

-Nm Jr. 

From The Beat: You have to folloiv your heart lil' homie. If you vtsknnsk 
do right you have to have the inner strength and will to do right. That 
hood life is only gonna keep getting you caught up. You have to realize 
what you -wsknnsk get out of life. 



Dofl't Go Home 



u 



Most times I didn't go home cause I was to drunk to 
drive home or I was on the run. Or I was trying to chill 
with a young female or I just didn't feel like being at home 
some nights. 

-Keith 

From The Beat: What was wrong with your home that you didn't want to 
go to it. What were you running from? Did you think you could escape 
reality by drinicing? We aint trying to knock whatever you doing but 
if it's gonna be bringing you to jail, you need to stop doing what you 
doing, unless, you like coming here. 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm //// // 



^//. 




The Stranger 



Walking, pacing looking for my next stranger 

And the second I meet him 

Is the second he meet the banger. 

Pockets on empty so I'm Anna empty the chamber 

Walking, pacing looking for my next stranger. 

-Dante 

From The Beat: There might be a stranger looking for you too — a 
stranger carrying a bullet with your name on it, especially if you let 
yourself get trapped in negativity! 



I'm From 



Fm from the concrete jungle where the violence 

happens 

Where you can hear loud noises from the cars that's 

slappin' 

The cops always jackin' stuffing us in they car 

And the dope fiends creepin' off of crack and tar 

They be on one hard, they be lovin' that shhh 

So they go out on mission tryin' to get them a fix 

I'm on a mission for scratch I stay on top of the game 

I do my thang for the block and I ain't trippin' off fame 

Don't ask me what do I claim, most people already know 

That's why they tell me to stop because I already go 

You know my answer is no if you ever ask for a front 

And all I'm doing is real not a publicity stunt 

I kick it off like a punt so ya'll ain't close to my level 

Although God's on my side at times I act like a devil 

On earth we living in hell so we immune to the fire 

And I don't even like talkin' cause sucka ninjas wear 

wires. 

-Gumby 

From The Beat: You have tight flows, but you always talking about the 
same topics. Snitches, the block, suckas, the game, the fame. We know 
you got talent but why don't you show us some versatility in your flows 
and try to stick to a topic or at least come with something different. 
Challenge yourself. 



I I I I I I I I I I 



TT 



Rules 



X 



I have to get revenge on anybody because you feel so 
hurt when you loose someone you love to somebody 
you never in your life have met. You would want to have 
revenge if they shot someone you love or someone who 
snitch on you. 

I have to get revenge. That's the only way you could 
feel better because you would want them to pay the price. 
Because that's the way of life and all you can do is respect 
it because those are the rules. 

-Samuel 

From The Beat: What rules are you talking about? Who makes these 
rules? And is there stnyone going around making sure that nobody 
breaks the rules? Revenge doesn't bring back your loved ones from the 
dead. 



To Keep It Real 



X 



This is your girl Melissa. I'm not feeling these topics. 
But this is my fourth time in the Alameda County 
Juvenile Hall, and my charges is for battery and assault 
with deadly weapon. 

But in two years, I'll be 18 and this will be my last 
time. I'm going to a group home for a year. But in the 
mean time, I'm gonna wait for my babydaddy Ernesto to 
get outtajail. 

-Melissa 

From The Beat: You talk so much, and so eloquently, about your love 
for your man, but what about your love for yourself, young Melissa? 
What are you going to do for your own life while you're waiting for 
your babydaddy? 



J I 



\ I 



U 



\ 



The Days... 

What's up Beat Within? 

I just wanted to let you know 

There was a time when I didn't go home 

Because I was afraid of my mother like when I get in 

trouble at school 

All she would say is, "your such a fool" 

I always looked down on myself 

Never asked my mother for help 

But there was one day when I got help from God 

And got closer to the squad 

But when I was away from home I missed everything 

I left behind my little brother my little sister but I did 

what I chose 

I made my own decision I'm getting grown 

But I always love her from the bottom of my heart 

Even when it's dark 

And the days I don't want to go home or I should say I 

didn't go home 

I wish I never made that choice because it messed up my 

whole life 

And it wasn't nothing nice 

On the corner shootin' dice 

Wouldn't leave 'till I made the right price 

But it's all right I love my family 

And I wouldn't leave this world without making them 

proud 

Oh yeah one more thing 

I love my grandmother too. Thank you Beat Within. 

-Rameal 

From The Beat: There are days where you think that going home is not a 
good idea but there aint nothing like going home. No matter hoiv much 
trouble you think you got yourself into you will be a lot safer when you 
your home at night then being out on them streets at night. 



-\ 



1 



After A Fioiit 



The times when I don't want to go home are usually after 
I get into a fight or argument with my Mom or Dad and I 
just bounce. When I leave I usually go over to a friends 
house to hang out and get my frustration and anger off. 

I usually go back after I calm down and try to work 
out the problems I have with my parents. But sometimes 
they're not calm so I just wait for them to calm down and 
we usually work everything out. 

-Kramer 

From The Beat: That's cool that you decide to leave before the problems 
you have with your parents erupt to some even given bigger problems. 
Sometimes you have to just walk away and cool off first. That's a smart 
idea. And that's great that your able to communicate with your parents 
like that. You're luclcy because a lot of people don't have that great 
communication with their parents. 



Missin' My Fam 



\ 



Hope I can go home soon cause I'm missin' my family 
everybody. That's all I'm thinking of in my room. I want to 
kick it with my homies in front of the liquor store. I miss 
being with them more and more when I'm here. Cause my 
family means everything to me. I'd do anything so they 
can be with me. 

Every night and day hopefully I can go home and 
give my family hugs and kisses. Love them more than 
anything, my friends are really close to me they're just 
like my family love them more than anything. 

-Memo 

From The Beat: We can feel your pain. We see that you really love your 
family and your close friends. We hope that you also stop doing what 
you were doing that got you here in the first place. If you love your 
family that much, you should value your freedom more. That way you 
wont find yourself in these facilities writing pieces like this. 



fa 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




Not Going Home 



X f 



When I don't want to go home sometimes I go to the block 

With my trouble on my side and mouth full mess 

Wit my ninjas on the side 

Holding it down with them chops 

When I don't wanna go home that's where I be on the spot 

I might be on the run or moms stressing my mind 

So I go out, not thinking, and do a lot of crimes 

5-0 blurp me now I'm doing a lot of time 

Thinking to myself I should have followed my first mind 

Now I want to go home 

Always asking staff can I use the phone 

'Cause I wanna go home. 

-Lil' Quis 

From The Beat: So when you don't go home is when you usually get 
into trouble, huh? So when you're out on the street you don't want to 
go home, but when you're in jail you do? Why don't you try going home 
whenever you don't feel like going home so you can at least stay outta 
of trouble and jail? 



What's Up Beat? 

It's yo' boy young Monibo. I'm back again for a stolen car. 
They dropped my case to a misdemeanor. They caught me 
five miles away from Arizona. They pulled a lot of guns on 
us like we murdered somebody. 

-Monibo 

From The Beat: What were you doing all the way by Arizona? If you 
vtsknnsk keep stealing you're only gonna come back to jail, and they're 
not gonna keep dropping your offenses 
waste this opportunity. 



to misdemeanors. So don't 



I i \ 



Tlie Days Wiieo I Doo't Want To Go Home ^ 

When me and my dad really fight like when there's blood 
and after I cant go home because I am too mad. So I just 
go to my girl's house and stay with her just to cool off or 
I go to my mom's house in Pittsburg and she makes me 
something to eat. And when I try to go home me and my 
dad end up fighting again. 

-Calvin 

From The Beat: Why are you and your dad fighting so much? Y'all can't 
talk it out? Why does it have to come down to fist fights? 



\ 



Tlie Days I Didn't Want Tn Gn Dnme 

The times that I didn't want to go home was when I ran 
away. I use to run away from home a lot. The reason I 
use to run away a lot is because my parents don't let me 
out a lot and because I be staying out so late that I say to 
myself, "I might as well just stay out the whole night." 

Afta I stay out the whole night the next morning I'm 
scared to go home or call my mom and dad. I sometimes 
call my brothers and sisters to see if my parents are mad. 
Most of the times they are. I just hang out with my patna's 
and smoke, drink, sniff a line or two. 

I sleep over my patna's house till Sunday night when I 
have to go to school. My parents know that my routine is 
always going out from Friday - Sunday night. I be scared 
to go home because my parents won't let me back in. 

But nowadays I always go home. I learned that my 
parents would rather me go home every night so they 
know that I am safe. I love going home now, I get to use 
my own shower, eat my own food, and I know that my 
parents know that I'm safe. 

-Insane Viet 

From The Beat: You're in skn interesting position, because you learned a 
lot about what you want while you were in camp, right? But now when 
you get out, all those "patnas" will still be smoking, drinking, doing 
lines, partying... what will you do? Will you go out and stay away from 
home all night? Or do you have other plans? 



Not Dunning Again 



\ 



1 1 



Today is a good day. I'm gonna leave next week to a group 
home for 9-12 month. I'm bout to do my time and get it 
over wit. I'm not gone run from my last group home like I 
did from my last four group homes. I'm gonna just wait to 
get out. This is my last time. I hope this gets in The Beat. 
I'll be gone, so peace out Beat. 

-Unknown 

From The Beat: We glad to hear you say that you're not gonna run from 
your group homes anymore. Just do your time and you'll be home before 
you know it. Good luck! 



I I I I I I i I i i i I I I I I t i i I i i r 



Never a day 

There was never a day when I didn't want to go home 
To deal with my parent's 'cause I did something wrong 
Because that's the only place I feel safe when I'm alone 
Now I'm locked up and they telling me I gotta be strong 
I know my mamma going crazy that I'm gone 

I be stressing sittin' there in that cell 

Don't smile much 'cause my lips dry as hell 

And I hate how the nasty deodorant smell 

Hella mad juveniles can't get no bail 

But I met some cool people 

One think he got girls but they'll tell you I'm finer 

Met another dude who just got released 

Hope he don't do nothing stupid and have to deal with 

the police 

Then we got a car thief 

He might steal my daddy shhh and we gone have some 

beef 

-Kwame 

From The Beat: We know that Juvenile Hall ain't the place where you or 
your parents wanna see you at. But at the same time the laws are the 
laws. You have to do what you need to do to stay out of these facilities. 
And you know what you need to do, but it's up to you to do it. 



Gniiome... 



There are some days I don't want to go home. Like right 
now I'm kinda nervous to go home because I'm in jail for 
robbery. I don't know how they are going to react when I 
go home. 

I don't know if they are going to try and kick me out 
the house and say that they don't allow criminals in the 
house or are they just going to just let me be and just not 
trust me. Whatever they do, I can't blame them. 

-Donald 

From The Beat: Well we hope that they cut you some slack. Regardless of 
what you did, we also hope that you learned from this serious mistake, 
and show them that they made the right decision to have you return 
home. It's mistakes like these that really affect your life. Going out there 
robbing people on the street is gonna get you either hurt, or in jail for 
a long time. 



! I 



\ 






i'm Not Gning Hnme 

There be times when I don't wanna come home, not 
because I'm gonna get in trouble, but because my momma 
drunk and high. I come home with an empty stomach 
thinking my mom cooked some food, but instead she 
cooked up some powder. I ask her if I can get some money 
so I can get something from the store. 

But instead she asked me where my money at? Why I 
ain't got it. Then she yells at me to get out the apartment 
and go find some money. That's why I don't like coming 
home. 

-Edward 

From The Beat: Man that sounds like skn awful situation to be coming 
home to. You don't have another relative, uncle, auntie or grandma 
house you can go to? 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




Days I Don't Go Dome 



X 



It is because Fm in a trouble and when I'm in a trouble. 
In my school, I got a lot of problems because I don't want 
to do what the teachers say. Then they send me outside 
of the classroom. And they still think I'm doing things 
that I am not suppose to do like keep talking, laughing. 

Then them send me to the office and call my mom and 
that is why I don't want to go my home. Then I go home 
and my mom tell me don't do it again. When I go to the 
school I'm still doing it and I still get in trouble and it is 
the same thing. 

-Victor 

From The Beat: Why do you keep acting up at school? You're suppose 
to be at school getting skn education so you can better yourself and 
improve your future, if you can't stand still at school maybe you should 
consider getting your GED so you can get a job and at least make some 
legit money. 



The Deal Within 



^ 



What's good Beat? It's ya' boy Lil' Dave again, back for 
the sixth time with some real shhh, and once again they 
don't understand me mayne. I just wanna do the right 
thing and ride. 

Yeah I read the Bible and I know about the Lord and 
why he puts us her on earth, so I know the differences 
in nature and being ungodly to our father who art in 
heaven. 

Man I just wanna do right and survive and live a good 
life with my wifey on the side. Yea they tried to send me 
away, but I bet that and I'm to camp back in the block or 
in the schoolhouse somewhere. 

-Lil' Dave 

From The Beat: It's not just about where they send you but also about 
where you send yourself after you do this next bit of time, right? Where 
are you going to be next, so that the sixth time can be the last time? 



Pot IVIy Stoff Dn 



\ 



What's up Beat? Why don you ever want to put my stuff 
in the book just always want to hate. 

-Nacho Cheese 

From The Beat: Aint nobody hating lil' homie you're the one that% 
hating ,which we took out of this piece. You already know that we can't 
publish certain things you say. And if we don't publish your piece it% 
because it wasn't appropriate. Not because we don't want to. Look at 
your piece that you just wrote, you talking about the people around 
you are wannabes, etc. Why don't you write something positive? Quit 
worrying about everyone else, worry about your self! You ain't never 
gonna get anywhere in life if you worry about the people around you 
more than you worry about yourself. 



\ 



Days I didn't 

Days I didn't want to go home I remember when I didn't 
want to go home. I didn't want to go home because my 
mom called and told me not to come home because 
there were police at my house looking for me. They were 
accusing me robbing a store four times. 

They said some one told them it was me. They said 
that the person that did rob the store had a bunch of cuts 
because they found blood at the place that was robbed. 
And I had cuts on me so I didn't want to go home because 
I told my grandparents I wasn't going to do no more bad 
things, and the next couple of days there are cops looking 
for me talking about I robbed a store. 

-Lil' Pork 

From The Beat: Why are they saying that you were the one that robbed 
the store? If you didn't do it, then you have nothing to stress off of. 
And don't just tell your grandparents that you're not gonna get into 
skny trouble, actually do it. Stop getting into trouble. We know you aint 
trying to make a career out of coming in and out of jail. 



U 



Tiie Straoger 



\ 



A time someone helped me when I was in need was when 
I was stranded in Oakland at 1:30 in the morning. I ran 
from a group home and needed money for BART to get 
back to my house. I asked a random person for money 
and he gave me twenty dollars and a ride to BART. This 
was a time a stranger helped me out. 

-Travis 

From The Beat: That wasn't such a smart idea to run from your group 
home but that was sure nice of the person to help you out. Have you 
ever helped a stranger out? 



Jost Want Tn Do Dut 



X 



There are some days I don't want to go home for some 
reason or another. There usually isn't anything negative 
going on at my house but a lot of times I still prefer to 
stay out at a friends house or a Hotel and just chill with 
my friends and party or do whatever just to be away from 
home sometimes. 

-Anti-home 

From The Beat: As long sk% you're not on the streets then do what you 
do. But try to stay in doors. There's too much drama going on in the 
streets for you to get caught up in it. 



I Went Tn See My Son 



The days when I don't want to go home it was one time 
when I ran from my group home. I was like damn I cut 
from my group home to see my lady and my son. So when 
I ran I cut to my dad house. 

When I got home my dad was like why did you run. I 
told him why cause I want to see my son and my lady. So 
I ask him if I can sleep here he said yes. So I went to bed 
like at 11:30pm. Hay ward PD where at my door like at 6 
in the morning. So I am trying to say if you got to go to a 
group home stay with it don't run. 

-Dominion 

From The Beat: You're right. There's no u%e in running unless you vtsknnsk 
be hiding out for the rest of your life. Eventually you'll end up getting 
caught. Just do your program and get over it so you can move on with 
your life. 



Never Wanted To Go Dome 

Mostly everyday I never wanted to go home cause I 
never want to school. Even when I went to school I was 
getting suspended or ex-spelled for getting into fights or 
threatening people. 

So I just went to the block to kick it with the homies. 
The only thing I probably went to my house was for 
changing clothes or to take a shower. 

-Michael 

From The Beat: Why can't you behave while you're at school? School is 
very important for your future. Education is what's going get you some 
real paper, later down the road in life. You can't hustle forever. And you 
can't keep running around getting into fights and threatening people. 
You might threaten the wrong person. 



Keep Coming Daoii 



It's my fifth time coming to the hall. I said it was my last 
time coming here my second time. Apparently three, four, 
five times comes, and here I am again writing to The Beat 
- again. This is going to be my last time here though. Fm 
getting released on home supervision. 

-Lil' James 

From The Beat: We hope this is the last time. You've been back one too 
many times. It's time you appreciate your freedom a little more. Do what 
you need to do. Follow all your probation rules, and home supervision 
rules so you can get probation and you can get out the system. 



fa 



1 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




Mad! 



X f 



What's up Beat? Well Fm back to the hall. Fm hella mad, 
but I can't do nothing about it just wait till I get sent to 
my other group home. 

Well what happened was that I got sent to a group 
home in Chino Hills (in Southern California) and I ran 
from there and came to Oakland and started doing stupid 
stuff. That's why I got caught faster. 

Well I got a new charge it is auto theft. I got picked up 
and came back. I only stayed there for two days because 
I didn't like it but when I came back I didn't wanna come 
out. But I still did that's why I got caught faster. Now I 
must see what's gonna happen. 

-Ernesto 

From The Beat: You should be mad at yourself from running from your 
group home just to come back and get caught for stealing cars and 
doing stupid shhh. Wake up Ernesto!! Why did you run away just to go 
keep committing more crimes? Why couldn't you stay out of trouble? 



The Group Home 



The day I went into a group home suckers I switched to a 
house in the program. I was away from my family for one 
year and 2 1/2 months but when I go back I will continue 
my program in a group home. 

It's all right, but I don't like to be away from my family. 
It is a two-year program and I failed it and got pulled out 
and went to the hall. I have been here for two weeks and 
a couple of days. I might go back this Thursday, but if I 
don't go, I will go back in the middle of April. 

-Thomas 

From The Beat: We know that it's hard being aivay from your family for 
too long. But think about them when you're at the group and try to 
complete the program so you can move on with your life and be reunited 
with your family. 



Playiog Chess 



I Like to play chess on my spare time. Now that Fm in 
jail I play it a liF more. I played a few people in here but its 
one person in particular that I play a lot. Bryan aka B, he 
is like a rival when we play next, time we play Fm GONE 
WHOOP HIS ASS!!!!! 

-John Doe 

From The Beat: In chess you are more likely to win if you can think a lot 
of moves ahead. Plan long term instead of looking for the immediate 
play. Can you learn to do that in real life too? 



loss, Roenge, Firgineness 



X 



I had my first loss in life when I was around three to 
five years old, because my pops wanted to help the next 
person-it was really my uncle--but he took the loss trying 
to help him and it went bad on his side. 

So I lost my pops, but I won't kill anybody because 
I did try to play his part. I can't play captain to save a 
dad, but at the same time if I can do something about it, I 
will. 

I still know inside that I love him and he will always 
be there for me, even though I can't see him. But the thing 
I most want to bring back if I could is his voice and a face 
to the person because I never remember seeing him. 

That's all I care for, not killing the next man. It can't 
do anything for him really, but pops probably knows this 
where he is now. 

-Marquill 

From The Beat: "Living ivell is the best revenge." Do you think this is 
true. Imagine the love your dad had for you, and how proud he will 
be if you get your life together. When you do well in life or do/write 
something that makes you proud, do you think on him and how proud 
he would be? 



I Don't Care 



\ 



Hey what's up The Beat this yo' boy LiF Snoopy from 
Oakland. But the reason I don't care is because a lot of 
hot shhh been going on, and yesterday I got a write up 
for saggin...yeah saggin'! Damn I was tryin' to do good 
'cause I haven't gotten a write-up in three days... but staff 
be hatin. 

And the other reason is 'cause my brother is doing 
2 years for some dumb shhh. He in Rita right now, but 
I just hope he keep his head up and stay solid. And the 
last reason is 'cause my mom got a boyfriend and I DON'T 
KNOW him and I don't like that. But yeah, I'm just tryna 
get out so I can be with my boys and family in the outs 
'cause this ain't koo'! I just don't care anymore more 
'cause this is making me mad. 

But I'm gonna keep it solid only time would tell what's 
gonna go down, feel me? 

But yeah I'm gonna just pimp this. I'm out. 

-Lir Snoopy 

From The Beat: We admire the way you are holding up under all the 
stress. Between your brother suffering, your family siwitching up with 
a new boyfriend and all the drama at camp, you should be proud of 
yourself for the way you focus on trying to do well and avoid write-ups. 
Keep it up - it's called keeping your eyes on that prize: Freedom, 



Helped By A Stranoer 



of I 

\ 



A stranger that once helped me when I went to the 
hospital because I overdose off of alcohol. I didn't meet 
him but I heard that he helped me. I suppose this program 
help me out because I overdose. Like I said I didn't meet 
him but if I did I would like to be his friend. 

-Kao 

From The Beat: You're luclcy that a complete stranger was compassionate 
I enough to look out for you. We hope that you learned your listen and . 
I won't over dose again. I 



\ I- 



Moit), Piwer, lespect 



Money everybody after money and money is a goal 
everybody in the world want to get without holding back. 

Power is something everybody want and needs to take 
over and to have power you gotta have leadership and 
don't take no B-S 

Respect is the main everybody needs and gotta have. 

-Chill 

From The Beat: We already know that money makes the world go 'round. 
You need it to survive, eat, pay for a home to stay at. But who says you 
need power? Why can't someone just be about getting their chips, live 
a good life, and stay away from all the negativity. 



It M) Frieils Hiist 



i I 



u 



The reason I don't go home because I got in trouble in 
school, or else me and my daddy get into it at home. I use 
to stay at my friend's house and I always lie to my friend's 
mom. She never used to know. The way I sneak in is by 
the back of his window. His window is always open. 

One day I was trying to sneak in the window but it was 
closed. So that meant that she went to my friends room 
and my friend doesn't like his mom going to his room 
because we always use to have parties all the time. His 
friends use to smoke weed all the time. 

-Francisco 

From The Beat: That's not a valid reason not to go home. If you're 
getting into it with your pops it's 'cause y'all both obviously disagree on 
something. But running xwsk^ from your problems ain't the solution. We 
can understand if you want to sleep over your friends house for a party 
or something, but don't think that's the solution the problems you're 
having at home. You have to own up and accept skny consequences for 
your actions. 



fa 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




Rest in Peace, Stranger 



^ 



TTT 



I I I I I I rTT 



I Want Revenoe 



X 



The first time I met a stranger was when I was out on the 
streets kicking it. His name was Brian Keith Y. 

He was putting money in my pockets when I didn't 
have no money. After a few months later he passed away 
when he was off coke. Somebody shot him in the head. 

Rest In Peace Brian. 

-Derrick 

From The Beat: It's good to think that si% messed up si% his life was, he 
managed to help someone who was struggling. Like, he did a good deed 
by helping you - and noiv iwe hope you iwill do a good deed for others _ 
in his memory I 



If I could get revenge on someone I would get revenge on 
this boy that jumped me and my brother Joe. Because me 
and my brother did not do anything , and they was way 
older and bigger than us too. 

But we still we put up a fight even though we got 
beat up bad that day. The only thing that count is that as 
brothers we had each other's back and that is all I care 
about but as for revenge I want that. 

-Correy 

From The Beat: That's messed up that some older fools jumped you and 
your brother. But forget about it man, you already put up your fight and 
lost. Accept it. Don't go looking for trouble 'cause it might come to you 
1,000 times worse. Just be glad nothing more serious happened. 






Revenge 

Let me talk about this topic: Revenge. 

Well I'll tell you that it's the only thing that fixes shhh 
because when people think that it's cool to mess with the 
family or homies, and ain't nothing going to happen -- 
they got another thing coming. 

-D 

From The Beat: Tough talk, but how many funerals have you dealt from 
this mentality? Revenge just leads to more revenge and more deaths 
and more tears. Why not protect your loved ones by keeping them 
AWAY from situations that could put them in harm's iway? 



Pain in My Heart: I Didn't Want Tn Gn Hnme 

Three weeks ago, I went on a home pass. But it wasn't 
a home pass at all, it was a battlefield. You see, I guess 
the week before, that's when my mom dropped me off 
at camp. I guess she had got into my phone when I was 
in the shower at the house, but she called my girl --you 
know the one with the smooth chocolate skin. 

Yeah, well she called her talking hella shhh, talking 
'bout leave me alone or she gonna call the boys! So I 
come home, I text my girl, and she blow up, talkin' bout 
she aint messin' with me no more and din hangs up in 
my face. That set me off, OK. Next me and my moms is 
funkin' but I'm at my brother's tournament so I got to lay 
low, so I asked my pops to take me home. I got home and 
I cut. 

I cut to the streets and got hella drunk. I don't even 
drink, but my heart was hurtin'. Then I got into a couple 
fights with some dudes talking shhh And den I messed 
up and smoked some weed and passed out. Got kicked to 
camp the next day and caught a dirty. Well that's that, and 
I'm goin' home this week. 

-Spwaru 

From The Beat: The big thing that hurts on this is that you went crazy 
because you were in pain. Bad things are going to keep happening in 
your life, the way they happen to all of u%... but it's about what you DO 
with them. What do you think made you need to add more hurt to your 
hurt by drinking? Are there other things you could do the next time 
you stress? 



* I 



U 



Lost Someone I Love 



\ 



I just lost my best friend two days ago to some stupid 
stuff. 'Cause he was messing with these suckas. I guest 
they caught him slippin' and shot him in the leg. 

He was running back to his turf and I guest he lost 
too much blood and died on the spot. 

-Lil' Cone Head 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your loved one passing away. 
Remember, revenge is not going to bring him back. We know you're 
feeling a lot of pain, but yo' potna looking down on you trying to tell 
you not to get into any trouble. 



I Been Waiting Nine Montlis 

It's your boy Looney, still up here at camp keeping it 
solid feel me. I seen my son this weekend, it was cool. I 
already miss him... he's already changing. He peed on me. 
LOL! All on my leg too. It's cool though... I wasn't mad 
or nothing. I changed his diapers the whole time I was 
home this weekend. I'm gonna get his feet tatted on my 
chest with his name over it. You know I think that would 
be cool. 

Man I'm so glad I got a baby. . . I've been waitin for nine 
months, then finally, bam he's here. That's pretty crazy. 
But Beat I'll get back at you. Laters. 

-Looney 

From The Beat: Again, Looney, congratulations. It's great to see you 
stepping into this fatherhood role with so much love. Does knowing 
your little boy is waiting for you make it easier to avoid camp drama, 
and easier to plan for your future? 



I I I I a i i a B i t b b \ T 



Wlien I Ran, An Interview 



TBW: So when did you run from Camp? 

LS: I ran from camp like a few plus months ago. 

TBW: Where'd you run to and how'd you get there? 

LS: I went straight to BayFair mall and hopped on The 

BART all dirty from hopping the Fence and going down 

the hills, but yeah I had some money and then I went to 

Dublin Pleasanton with my other two homies. 

TBW: Did you get caught up in any drama while you were 

out? 

LS: Yeah as soon as we got to Bayfair, we were 'bout to get 

into it with some rival gang members, but they ran. Then 

another day I got chased by some rival gang members 

with weapons. I had to run... run for my life. 

TBW: Did your parents know where you were? 

LS: No my mom knew I was with my boys but she was 

mad and didn't care 'cause she was tired of me being bad. 

But yeah, she didn't even know. 

TBW: How did you come back? Did you turn yourself in? 

LS: It was hella fun! I was having so much fun 'cause I was 

out and doing it big with my cousin and patnas and I was 

ridin' around in my patna's car just smashin' and going 

hella fast on the freeway, getting' hella lit feel me... And it 

wasn't coo' I wanted to turn myself in like two years later, 

feel me? Just go to Rita and be with some patnas but 

everything happens for a reason right? 

TBW: So what was the reason do you think? 

LS: Probly 'cause God had a better thing for me, feel me? 

Probably I was gonna die or 'cause some more problem 

in the outs and gotten me a bigger charge or something. . . 

but yeah probly just another chance. 

God works in mysterious ways, feel me? 

And for that, I thank him! 

-Lir Snoopy 

From The Beat: We're happy that you got this second chance, because 
on the run is exactly how a lot of people get in the deep trouble. But 
if God, sk% you %«y, has given you the second chance, isn't it on you to 
show Him (and yourself) respect and take that chance? What are you 
doing to take that chance and show you are thankful for real? 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 



^mmmmMummimMm ////// 




One day... 



X f 



One day I was in middle school and I was going to 
Elmhurst and I was always messing up so when we getting 
report cards and the parents suppose to come and get 
them but I didn't think my mama was gone come. 

But next thing you know she popped up and went to 
all my classes. I had straight D's and F's. I didn't want to 
go home but when I end up going, I got punished. I was 
hella mad, I still kept messin' up but I ain't get no more 
punishments. 

-Ouch 

From The Beat: We understand that school is not for everyone, but at 
least give it a shot. It is very important that you at least try because you 
might think you're not built for school but with time stnyone can adjust 
to the schedule. School is important for your future. School is where you 
figure out what you want to do in life so you can get major paid in a 
legit way. That blocic shhh is only gonna take you so far, and it might 
take you way too far deep into the system. 



M) Irip To tke lall 



X 



Well this is my second time in the hall. The first time is 
when I got caught in a stolo but they let me go in the first 
day, but I got bars. But now I got four weeks. 

The second time was 'cause I was in a stolo but that 
day I had a gun on me. I busted a left, I see a police car 
then the car busted a U-turn. Then I stepped on the gas 
but when I was two blocks away I seen another cop car, 
but he tried to block me and then I smashed off. 

Then I came to a stop and got off to run and dump my 
gun, but I fell and the dog bit me on my ass. That's how I 
got caught. 

-Raul 

From The Beat: What do you get out of stealing cars and going on high 
speed chases with the police? Nothing but jail time homie. You put your 
life endanger and your freedom in jeopardy and for what? Is that what 
you want do for the rest of your life? Or do you have any other goals? 






The Stranger 

I once gave a stranger my last money when I was going 
to get a high. But how he asked, it sounded like he was 
hungry. 

So, if I was gone, giving it already, I can't take it back. 
Even though I know I can, you can't take back what was 
given. Even when he said he was going to use the money 
for getting something. 

-Marquill 

From The Beat: You answered the part of you that cares about other 
human beings, so even though you way he used the money isn't what 
you wanted, are you still proud of yourself for Doing the Right Thing? 



Who Am I? 



Who am I? I'm a thug angel. 

You can see two sides of me from different angle 

My bad side help me with my struggle. 

My good side helps me with all of my trouble. 

Sometime the dark side taking over me. 

Screw everybody and that's the only way to be 

Getting money that's all on my mind. 

I'm not joking my ninja, I stay on my grind. 

I stick with my ninja, aye dawg I try to shine. 

But as I grow older, I knew I was blind. 

Now 90% of me, is my good side 

10% of the bullshhh I just let it slide. 

All this fake ninja talking I just let it fiy 

-Fake or Real 

From The Beat: Hoiv will you feed and groiv this neiw 90 percent? Where 
will you find the positive peers to reinforce it? It's time to put the thug 
away and listen to the angel! 



Hall Business 



\ 



What's up Beat? This is your homeboy Chikillo. Well 
tonight I'm gonna write about what's going on in here in 
the hall. Well aint nothing good going with me 'cause I 
think I'm gonna go to R.O.P to do my time. 

But I'm not tripping because I did the crime. So I gotta 
do my time. Even though it's far away I still must finish 
my program to get back out there in the streets kicking it 
and smoking and specially to be with my homeboys. Well 
beat this vato is out. Alratos. 

-ChikiUo 

From The Beat: Is all that you are thinking about? Kicking it with your 
homies and smoking and drinking? How about your son? Don't you wish 
you can go home to be with your son? You got your priorities all messed 
up friend, we know it's . You must like being locked up! 



A Better Person Inside 

I need to get money but I really need to get free. It's 
my responsibility to help prevent younger people from 
making mistakes like I did in the past! If I could help out 
the people in my community I would feel like a better 
person on the inside. A lot of times I have to stop myself 
from letting out my negative energy on people. 

When I get out, I want a lot of my people to have 
accomplished positive things. I'm talking about goals in 

I life that will help out them as well as their people. 
We need to look out for people. 

-Ice-Mayne 

From The Beat: Once you know your own mind, you will be able to do 
- more for your loved ones and community. So how will you learn your J 
I own mind? What are your goals, specifically? I=| 



Can't Walt 

I'm 'bouts to complete camp, keep my life movin' and try 
to stay positive. I just started to do my program but time 
be fiyin'. 

I hope it goes good for me. This camp hella weak. 
Hopefully, this time helps me out and that god gives me 
the patience I need to get by. It's all good though, you 
gotta keep your eyes on the prize and I'm really focused. 
I'm tired of the system and can't wait to get out. For all 
who are locked up keep your head up. Be a player about 
yours and pimp the situation. Everything happens for 
a reason, just make something outta nothing. My main 

I focus is getting OFF probation, the prize is my freedom. 
-Mousie 



L 



From The Beat: The prize is freedom, you're right. But getting it is a lot 
easier than keeping it. What do you think makes people give up that 
prize so quickly after their release, while being on lockdown makes 
them miss it more than ever? 



I Miss My Moms 



V 



u 



I miss my moms 

She been there since day one 

Moms been in and out of court for me 

Word can't express how I feel 

Never kept a secret always stayed real 

All I can say is I love you 

And miss you 

My plan is to success and show you I understand. 

I know you want me to finish school go to college 

I love you mom. 

-Big Mike 

From The Beat: Your mom %ee% the good in you and the smart in you - 
that's why she has faith in you. Do you have faith in yourself? Can you 
see yourself in college? TV-y to imagine it, try to imagine how good that 
would feel... that's the first step towards making it happen! 



fa 








fjffff // 



What I Wish I Could Say To My Homies Who Have Died 



Please Read Downward: 



\ 



1 



I 

would 

let 

them 

know 

that 

I 

always 

got 

them 

on 

my 

mind. 

They 

were 

like 

big 

brothers 

to 

me — 

Mono 

Fino 

Chino 

and 

Jokin' 

Man, 

-Young Menace 

From The Beat: Very clever! Yes, we got rid of your gang/good name too! If you could talk to any or all of your homies who have died, just you and each 
homie, what would you tell them? What would you ask them? Was doing whatever they did that got themselves killed worth their lives? What would 
they do now, if they had the same choice? Can you imaginatively talk to them and from what you know about them, answer yourself sk% best you can 
from their points of view, and then listen to their lessons about what death is like? Maybe you will feel more precious about your own life and protect 
it with all your might. 

Thiogs I Dofl't Care Aboot 

What's up with The Beat? Hopefully all of y'all at The Beat 
doin' cool. Hopefully y'all financial problems are taken care 
of themselves. 

Today I'm 'bout to write about things I don't care about. 
Beat, y'all know I had to switch up the topic just a little bit. 
I don't care about anything but protecting my family and 
taking care of my family. I don't care about the law or the 
justice system. Beat, I'm up, out, so if y'all print it, y'all do. 
If y'all don', don't. One love. 

-The Dude 
From The Beat: Well, that must be real, it's admirable that your family 
has your heart. Tell us more about your family! Do you have brothers 
and sisters? What are your parents like? How do you influence your 
family? Teach them? Help them? Who are you in relation to all of your 
family? 



Today 


about 


Fm 


who 


writing 


would 


about 


you 


the 


call 


homies 


that 


that 


passed 


passed, 


away 


because 


and 


lately 


my 


Fve 


answer 


been 


to 


feelin' 


that 


down. 


would 


I 


be 


remember 


the 


about 


homies, 


two 


just 


years 


to 


ago 


let 


that 


them 


you 


know 


guys 


I'll 


had 


Always 


a 


love 


topic 


them 



shhh 


streets 


I 


ain't 


and 


look 


been 


i 


fat 


the 


my 


it 


same 


time 


like 


without 


comes. 


how 


them 


then 


MacDre 


here, 


I'll 


put 


but 


die 


it 


I'm 


happy 


"Life's 


a 


'cause 


a 


young 


I 


witch 


man. 


know 


and 


so 


I 


then 


it's 


got 


you 


my 


them 


die." 


turn 


waitin' 


Much 


to 


for 


love 


step 


me 


to 


up 


up 


The 


and 


in 


Beat. 


do 


the 


Fm 


my 


Mansion 


up. 


thang 


ha! 


Love, 


on 


ha! 




them 


man 









Waitiog To Touch Down 



BaGi( In The Haiis 



What's up Beat? I back here in the halls for the 17th time. Man, 
they supposed to just let me go home, but they tryin' to send 
me to another group. I just did nine months in a group home in 
Chino Hills in South CaH near LA. All I did was tell my PO I didn't 
want to be there no more, and he said OK, I can go to the halls 
then for 10 days at the most. 

Now he trying to send me to another group home and I'm 
18 already. I tried to tell him send me to 850, but he on some 
buUshhh. If I go to 850 I would probably get out faster or just get 
bailed out. I just hope I get out soon! 

-Kizzer One 
From The Beat: If you've already been here 1 7 times and in other groupers, 
why do you want to get out soon? Seems liice you're determined to be a 
prisoner, one way or another. The only evidence we can see from this is 
not that your PO is trying to play you, but that you are trying to play 
the system, and in the end, you're playing yourself. What will it take? 



i I 



u 



What's up. Beat? This is G Enano chilling at the Ranch, 
waiting for that day to touch down. I got a few more months 
and I'm back to the spot. I been gone for a minute. This 
system has had me down for a minute. I'm eighteen, so the 
next step is 850 (Bryant — San Francisco County Jail.) I know 
if I keep doing what I do, I'm going there, but one thing I 
know is I don't want to stop. I might go to 850, so if you 
ain't gonna stop doing what you do, you coming back to jail. 
So if you want to be thuggin' like I do, we gonna live a thug 
lifestyle. This is G Enano and I'm out. 

-G Enano 
From The Beat: Please read what you've just written. You already know 
what^ probably going to happen to you if you keep doing whatever it is 
you do that brings you into juvy, then the Ranch. You can stop yourself! 
Haven't you already spent enough of your young life incarcerated? 
What do the streets, the gang, the 'hood, juvy, jail have to teach you 
that you don't already know? Why don't you challenge yourself and try 
something else? Become the electrician your father trained! You've got 
skills, talent, but it sounds like you have no hope! Why not? 



fa 



1 




/^y.-/rA/v#>^ MmWM 




jmmmm^mimm ^^^/^^ 



^ 



stressing 

This shhh here got a ninja stressing in here! Fm 
stressing 'cause I can't wait until I get out! I never worry 
'bout the ninjas in here 'cause they don't pump no fear 
in me. But I worry about my ninjas on the outs! Whether 
they're dead or not. I worry about my family, how they're 
doing, whether they're alive or not. I can't wait until I get 
out so I could get back! We all we got! 

-Wink 

From The Beat: Okay, you will get out, that's for sure. And then what? 
Will you just keep doing the things that take you away from your family 
and homies, the things that lead to the box, or are there changes in 
your future? 



i t I i I I i i 1 ! i i ! t i i ! I i i I i { I I t 



When I Don't Want To Go Home... \ 

There are the days when the night is simply too fun to 
go home. So I stay out all night till the morning, stay at a 
homie's house, rent out a room at a little hotel. 

There are the days when I am not speaking to my 
mother and that why I don't go home. 

There are days that just don't feel right going home. 
I Now my reason will be because I live too far and it's too 
late to get home in a safe way. 

-Vanessa 

From The Beat: We can understand your reasons for not wanting to go 
home, sometimes, but we wonder whether stny of these reasons (having 
too much fun, staying out all night, fighting with your mother) are 
connected to losing your freedom, and not being allowed to go home? 
How has being locked up changed your ideas about home? 



RIP T-Weez 



Damn, I just lost my cousin. I really miss my ninja 
for real, an' I'm really mad 'cause I can't even go to the 
funeral. I go to court a day after, but I don't know what 
I'ma do when I get out 'cause I ain't neutral about what 
happened. 

I ain't talked to none of my family except my mom 
and my sister, and I know they don't think like I think or 
go through, let alone know about what happens when I'm 
not home. And I just got off probation two months ago. 
But my pain is gone be felt. That my blood line an I'ma 
miss my ninja. 

-Young Dunny 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, another senseless death of 
someone who should have had a long life ahead. We can understand 
the pain of losing a family member, but before you think about revenge, 
think about the pain your mother and sister would feel for you if you 
were the one that someone else was writing about. The cycle of a life 
for a life leads to more and more pain, for more and more people. Of 
course you're not neutral about your cousin's death, but there are many 
ways to remember him without putting another mother into permanent 
grief. 



Reieige Feels Eoel 



\ 



How does it feel to take revenge when someone has 
done wrong to you? Man, I'm tell you ninjas straight like 
this, Leroy! Revenge feel real good when you go do what 
you do, but in the long run, you still can't replace yo' 
homie or whoever you lost. But you still feel good inside 
because you know you just rocked for ya homie, and you 
know what he expects from you when he die. So revenge 
feel real good, dog! 

-Young Ice 

From The Beat: Sometimes, things that feel good aren't really good. 
Shooting heroin can make you feel good, too, but it will bring you 
doiAfn real fast. We wonder how long the feeling that revenge brings 
you lasts. The government executes killers, but what is the lesson this 
teachers, except that killing is a way to solve problems? When you take 
the revenge you're talking about, you continue a cycle of death for 
death which can only lead to more death. Who will have the courage to 
break that cycle? 



Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness 



\ 



It would be dreadful for me to lose anyone close to me. 
I know for a fact I will have change in my life. But if it's a 
matter of something that needs to be handled. 

It's a must... no exceptions when it comes to fam. 

-Vanessa 

From The Beat: We're not sure what you need to handle, but if you're 
talking revenge for something that's gone doivn, then you're ivriting 
your own ticket back to the box. it^ a must... No exceptions! 



RlPChino 



What up with The Beat? It your boy Grimy. I'm over 
here talking about the day I lost the homie that mean 
hella much to the 'hood. RIP Chino and the other fallen 
warriors. But anyway, the homies died for the cause. 

When it happen, I was at home sick. I was talking to 
the homie and they said the homie died and I was shocked 
because I was just kicking it with the homie and it only 
took ten seconds for the whole thing to happen. 

But that day I would never forget, the day you passed 
away (07/4/84 to 03/25/06). RIP Chino. You will never be 
forgotten. 

-Grimy 

From The Beat: So many "warriors" lost to the cause, and always a 
different cause. (We send them to Iraq for one cause; you have another 
cause; your enemies have yet a third cause.) And all we see are young 
men killing other young men leaving broken families behind, mothers 
who will never get over the needless loss of their sons. We're sorry 
about your loss, but is any cause worth it? 



ng 
pry I 



I Love My Faoiily 



I learned a lot about the streets. I learned that there was 
a lot of people dying in the Mission. I learned mostly the 
'hood is sick, and I really call them my family. They watch 
my back and I watch their backs. 

There are a lot of vodka drink around my neighborhood. 
I mostly protect my mom dad sister, teddy and my cousins. 
I love them with my whole heart. I will die for my family. If 
you mess with my family or 'hood, there will be problems 
or worse. 

I miss my family. Stay up, my sister told me. I love my 
family with my whole heart. 

-Lir Jon 

From the Beat: Your family doesn't need you to die for them. How could 
that help them or make them happy? They want you to live, to be free, 
to be able to stay with them and not end up in a box being told what to 
do by strangers. Don't you know that all those people dying out there 
had someone watching their backs, and it didn't keep them alive. Love 
requires some sacrifices, so if you want to show your love, you have to i 
sacrifice the things that let the system take you away from them. I 



Ask For A Hug 



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Everyone is stuck in the game 

They trying to get up their fame 

Ninjas trying to go hard and start popping 

They be always rocking and there ain't no stopping 

Always be on their blocks 

Holding up their gun stocks 

They shooting down the other elites 

Tryna be a gangsta in the streets 

Ain't no point in being a thug 

If you a gangster just ask yourself 

Did you ever have a hug? 

-Ct 

From The Beat: We think you're pointing out something important, 
which is the game can often be a substitute for the lack of love in 
children's lives. Are you stuck in the game? We hope not, because you 
have some skills and some knowledge to teach. Keep writing. 







////// 



Days When I Don't Want To Go Dome ^^ 

Its been a few time when I didn't want to go home. Not 
because of what my parents would do, but what the boys 
would. When I'm on the run, them peoples come to the 
spot messing with me constantly to the point where I 
moved out the way to the honey comb hide out. Shhh 
cold like that, but what can I do? Cold game. 

-Joe Dirt 

From The Beat: They say if you can't stand the heat, get out of the 
kitchen. We could reverse that in your case and ssty that if things are 
cold in the game, get out of the game! 



Moiei Is mi 



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Man, the days when I didn't want to go home was because 
the spot was booming like hell. Ninjas was outside 
zoomin', just doing shhh real ninjas do. Sometimes I just 
be wanting to go mess with my female fo' couple of days. 
My main reason is money 'cause without that, it ain't 
shhh. A ninja really be tryin' to hit fat house licks. Where 
I come from, a ninja gone always go fo the money or licks. 
But chu know how I feel, money over females. 

-Lil' Junk 

From The Beat: On this day, forty years ago, the great Civil Rights' 
leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. So, when we read 
pieces like this, talking about what "real ninjas" do, it just makes us 
angry. What was his sacrifice all about? We'll leave it at that. 



My Lil' Story 



X 



holding it down. Well, today I'm talking about revenge. 
Man, I want revenge on the judge and the DA. To hell with 
both of them. I hope I catch them on the come around, 
you dig. 

I'm like ha, ha, ha, ha laughing at them haters. Keep 
y'all heads up. Remember we do the time, time don't do 
us. 

-V-G 

From The Beat: When are you going to write us something that is 
meaningful, that teaches something, that is more than just nonsense. 
Threatening the judge and the DA is the worst kind of nonsense because 
you've given them all the power they need to control your life. Why 
would you promise to hand over even more control? Have you started 
thinking yet (using the time instead of losing the time)? We'd like to see 
some evidence of that. 



Well, I'm going to write about the days when I don't want 
to go home. I remember when I was in the 7th grade at 
Benjamin Franklin, and I remember I used to cut school 
and go meet with my boyfriend that I thought I was so in 
love with. But I was wrong. I was too young to know what 
love was, 

I was supposed to be home at 5:30 and I would get 
home late like around 7:30 or 8:00. My mom wasn't home. 
She would be at work. But when she got home, I knew I 
had one coming, I remember I used to be on the bus going 
home, and I would be thinking, like, "Damn, what lie do 
I make up now?" Now I just reminisce, like, "Damn, that 
was crazy!" 

But yeah, guess this will be my last time in here 
writing in The Beat. But when I get out, I definitely will 
holla back to y'all. I like this program. All right, this my 
lil' story. Late. 

-Monstrita 

From The Beat: We like this story, Monstrita, because it reminds us of 
the little lies we used to have to tell when we didn't come home when 
we were supposed to. We'll miss you in The Beat, but we're pulling for 
you to stay out of here, and not to do anything that threatens your 
freedom. And ive'll look forward to hearing from you on the outs. 



Revenoe ^. 

What's good with The Beat? This yo' boy V-Guttah, 1 



! I 



I I 



i I 



J L 



I Had To Forgive 



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Yeah, in '07 1 lost my big cousin, Mitch, you know, hatin', 
man. But the worst thing to see was my aunty when she 
saw her only son lying in the casket. It made me so angry 
and sad at the same time. 

I'ma beast. I had to forgive. Can't beef forever. He ain't 
here no more. 

-Ray 

From The Beat: We wish you had written more details about how you 
forgive, and how you leave the beef behind. We admire what you've 
written, but it makes us want to know more. 



We Ain't Gonna Come Baci( 



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Boy, we're so close to each other 

But I barely see you, not able to talk to you 

Every time I see you, you got a smile on your face 

And you always put a smile on my face 

Baby, I love the way you kiss me, the way you hold me 

The way you make me feel so good 

I hope the both of us get up outta here ASAP 

It's been a long time since we talked 

I want to talk to the real you 

It's just too much that happened 

Once the both of us get up outta here 

We ain't gonna come back here 

We just go to school do good, whatever we could 

And just do our time so we could both graduate from 

high school 

Have a great time together, enjoy ourself 

Boo, I miss you so much you're running through my 

mind 24/7 

You my best friend, boyfriend, baby that I always care for 

Boy, I love you so; it's forever you and I. 

-Pamela 

From The Beat: The most important thing you've written in this love poem 
is the promise to "just go to school" when you get out, and graduate 
from high school. We hope the object of your love does the same, but 
our concern is for you, so whether he understands the importance of I 
what you've written or not, we hope you see that as your first priority. I 



Yoong Soidier 



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I'ma soldier... Y'all may say that people can't change, but 
don't get twisted 'cause I'm a strong individual. But the 
boys training to run up in our familia... Abuses, excuses, 
and the game is getting colder. 

And yeah, we say tripping dumb stupid bs got me 
messed, but we don't do it for free no more. We come 
ready, and y'all know we don't trip about the money. We 
spend. All eyes on us like Machiavelli. I know how the 
game. 

I'ma put y'all in some true or wherever y'all call it. 
I'ma young soldier and I'ma be about it, melting all this 
haters till the day that I die. Y'all know ninjas don't like 
us 'cause we come sick. 

That's I got y'all ninjas, but I'ma little thug locked 
up in juvie. All I think about is creaking all them haters, 
trust me. We know we been here and done that, but I'm in 
some other stuff now. I Anna bounce back. 

-Shadow 

From The Beat: If you insist on writing things that are not appropriate 
for The Beat, we will just keep cutting those things from what you 
write. The most important thing you told us is that you are a "little 
thug locked up in juvie." The rest of this piece is like an announcement 
that you plan to be a big thug locked up in the pen. We hope that 
doesn't happen to you, because if it does, you'll look back at this little 
experience with regrets and tears, wishing you were back here. We hope 
you don't wait until then to make some changes, but thatls up to you. 



fa 







//// // 



The Snitch 



^' f 



What pissed me off was my ninja turned out to be fake. 
The ninja said he was my dog but was a vicious snake. 
I knew he wasn't shhh when the beef finally came. He 
bought a gun to try an' get a name. The ninja got shot, but 
he scared to bust his shhh. Every time we got rapped, the 
ninja snitched. He the type of ninja that steal yo' bundle 
and help you find it, knowin' goddamn well the shhh up 
in his pocket. 

-Frontline Dni 

From The Beat: We can't tell which one of you is the bigger fool, him 
for snitching or you for hanging with a snitch and giving him the 
ammunition he needed to save himself. The entire system is built on a 
foundation of snitches, from the hall to death row; trading information 
for their own safety, so if you keep giving it to them, you'll keep getting 
wrapped. Up to you! 



Ready To Get Own 

Yeah, what's up with The Beat? I'm ready to ge 
for real, man. This jail shhh ain't cool. I'm tryna beat this 
case and touch down. A ninja be going to Omega and they 
be saying some real shhh that I be soaking up. 

I got my mind right and I think I'm ready to bounce 
and don't come back like most. 

I'm outta here Mike. Betta put my shhh in there, or 
you don't he lookin' like Albert Einstein. I'm out. 

-Bb 

From The Beat: We like what you've written, but we wish you would 
put in more details. For example, what do you hear at Omega that is 
reaching you, changing the way you think? What are you soaking up? 
And what does it mean to you to get your mind right? Do you have a 
plan for when you walk out of here? It doesn't have to be elaborate, 
but you better think about the steps you want to take, and then try 
to follow those steps. Otherwise, someone else will be making those 
plans for you. 



^et down | 



My Rap ^ 

What's up with The Beat? This ya boy Chris holding 

shhh down in this so-called m£iximum security. They 

should change this unit name to M£iximum Day Care. All 

these ninjas in here is soft like marshmellows, ya dig? 

I'ma spit a quick fiow fo y'all. Ain't nothing special 

though. 

15 years old going hard at a young age 

You ain't even on my level, I'm on a further page 

I'm that vicious lion locked up in this cage 

This beef shhh ain't no game 
Thuggin' shhh out runs in my family vein 

-Lir Canon 

From The Beat: We're sorry, but we had to clean up your rap/No threats 
of gunplay, no bustin' a cap/We're not about killing, no not in the least/ 
We're more about love, about taming the beast/You may think that 
your harder than others in here/But all that will get you is prison and 
tears/You're locked in a cell with cement for a bed/But you're right, it is 
daycare, compared to what lies ahead! 



Forgive And Forget? 



Just found out my boyfriend is having a baby. A whole 
lot of he-say-she-say. I went to jail on his b-day and he 
basically forgot all about me. I'm supposed to be the love 
of his life. Should I forgive and forget? 

-Nenee 

From The Beat: This is such an old story, Nenee. It happens every day 
because children are being raised by children and thinking they're 
adults. We can't tell you whether to forgive and forget or not, but we 
can encourage you to wait before you bring a new life into this world 
because the fact that you're here says you're not ready (and, at your age, 
you shouldn't be ready). You have to remember that by doing whatever 
it was that gave the system the power to take you from her, you showed 
that you weren't really thinking of him, either. 



U 



Hurry Up! 



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What's good with The Beat? This Ulala! Waitin' ta get 
the heck up outta here! Mayne, yo I'm just wondering 
what they gonna do with the young uce... Is it Seattle or 
straight to the Ranch wit' my big ass? Heh heh heh! 

Keep yo' head up, and be smooth. And screw the 
system... 

And to The Beat, try ta say something stupid... I'll 
break yo'... (To be continued...) 

-Ulala 

From The Beat: Well, if you can say something stupid, why can't we? 



Wliat Make Siiadow Mad 

What makes shadow mad is that Shadow is still locked 
up. I got charged three months ago. I've been locked up 
for three months for nothing. It's cool though. My co- 
partners been got out. My home girls got out. Another 
thing that's makes Shadow mad is I can't have Payasa 
'cause I'm locked up. 

Shadow also gets mad when Shadow gets room time. 
Shadow got mad when Shadow got DRB for dive days for 
taking off on a rival after the little ceremony because 
Shadow didn't want to stop fighting. Them wack-ass 
wannabes tried to jump Shadow, so Shadow took off first. 
Shadow's enemy couldn't hang, and them other suckas 
didn't want to see me, ha. 

But Shadow learned his lesson. No mas drama 
because Shadow 'bout to get out soon to Sacramento or 
Vasilia by Tulare. Shadow 'bout to be 18 soon. 

But all right then, this boriqua is gone. Much love and 
respecto. I'ma be home soon so see me when you see me, 
carnal. 

-G Shadow 

From The Beat: We will miss you in the workshops, GS, because you 
always write — and sometimes what you write blows us away. But at 
other times, we can't escape the feeling that Shadow is his own worst 
enemy, and that until Shadow learns to control the way he^ been living, 
he may be in for some rough roads ahead. We want to be proven wrong 

I about this, and yve hope yve are. When you get to your group home, 
write us. I 



Tattoos 



What's good with The Beat? When I get out I'm gone get 
a tat on my arm of my mama because that's my best friend 
and the only one I can trust. My second tat is gone be on 
my chest saying "fear no man but god trust no female and 
stay loyal to family." I 

-Lano I 

From The Beat: Let's get this straight. Your mama is your best friend but 
you're going to get a tat that says "trust no female." Hmmm. Sounds 
like a contradiction to us. Plus, you must have a hella big chest to get 
all that tatted there! 



Lite Wkei I Get lut 



U 
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When I get out, I have to do better. No more JJC. If 
anything, I'm going to the big house and I'm good. I'm 
not trying to go to the big house. What I'm going to do is 
finish school, get a job, go and travel to hella places. 

I just want to do better and make my family happy for 
what I do, and also myself. I'm out this hole. Late. 

-Eb 

From The Beat: We hope you are able to follow through on your plans to 
finish school, because that could be the key to everything else good you 
want to happen in your life. Where would you like to travel to? What 
would you like to see. We think that traveling outside this country is 
one of the most valuable educational experiences anyone can have, so 
we encourage you to keep that dream in your sights. 



1 








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Forgiveness Is Not Easy 

What's up with The Beat? This ya boy Young Dave 
holding it down in the ni£ix unit. 

But yeah, Fma tell y'all about a person I lost that was 
real close to me. He was shot and killed two years ago for 
some dumb shhh. But yeah, at that time I wanted revenge 
on everybody that got in my way. But a few years later, I 
tried to give forgiveness but it was not that easy. 

But yeah, I'm gone right now. Holla at me later. 

-Dave 

From The Beat: Every time we read of another young man shot to death 
on these violent streets, we icnow it was for "some dumb shhh." What 
could ever be "smart" about killing of our children? We would love for 
you to spend a little more time telling us about your effort to forgive, 
even if you were never able to succeed. Yes, forgiveness is difficult, 
but it may be the only way back to community health. Give us your 
thoughts. (P.S. No RIPs, unless you write an entire piece about the 
person you're paying tribute to.) 



~\ [ Loss, Revenge, And Forgiveness \ 



Never The Same 



X 



It feels like shhh to lose someone close to you. It feels 
like being killed yourself. It feels so bad. It really a feeling 
you can't explain until a lot of time goes by and then you 
can try to explain your pain. But it will never feel the 
same. 

-Tory 

From The Beat: We agree with the way you've described losing someone 
as a feeling that words can't explain. All we can say is that time helps to 
reduce the pain, though it never takes it away completely. 



The Stranger 



X 



I was walking down the street. It was raining outside and 
I didn't have an umbrella. Then this boy walked up and he 
let me use his umbrella. I met him and I actually started 
to like him. 

He called me every day, and he became my boyfriend. 
We talked for two years, and he said he wanted to be with 
me forever. Even though I haven't seen him in almost 
four months, I know that he still loves me and would do 
anything for me. 

-Baby Kay 

From The Beat: This is a sweet story. Baby Kay. But if you have someone 
so nice in your life, why would you do the things that let the system 
take you away from him? If he would do anything for you, maybe it's 
time for you to do something for yourself, which is to make smarter 
choices, the kind that preserve your freedom and allow a relationship 
like this to mature into something more. 



Moist Li(in|: Gtapter #1 



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It was a bright and sunny day in the hard-core streets of 
San Francisco. The ladies was out today, and man was I - 
feeling like I was in a tip-drill video. I'm a mansion, a well I 
known thug ninja around these streets. But it all started 
when it was a party when I met this lil chick named 
Cheeks. The reason why they call her Cheeks is because 
mammy had an ass like a caddy truck. I mean if she walk 
backward, her ass might start beeping. 

So me being me, I had to speak. I made my way toward 
her and said, "A bay bay! Wha' 'sup wit' chu. ma?" in a 
tough but loving manner. She looked at me as if I was 
stupid, but I paid no mind to that. I started to speak 
again, but said nothing. I was getting ready to walk away 
when she stopped me and said, "I am sorry. I'm just going 
through some things wit' my ninja. He cheatin' on me." 

-T-House 

From The Beat: Well, since it^ only chapter one, we don't want to be too 
hard on you. But, if we heard your come-on line (and knew that it was 
motivated by nothing more than her big butt), then we might look at 
you as if you were stupid, too. We're hoping this story goes somewhere 
deeper than where it starts... 
I I 



What's good Beat? This that solo cholo Gangsta Shadow. 
That young boriqua. 

A loss I felt was the passing of the homie Chino 
(7/4/84-3/25/06). I was locked up when it happened, and 
I called my homie, and he told me. I went off. I got DRB, 
and when I got my 30 minutes of rec, I took off on this 
one kid when he went to the bathroom. When I was in my 
room, I cried. I swore to get revenge. 

He was a good homie too. He had flows on the mic 
kids, he loved hella stuff going for him. I got four different 
RIP shirts of him. I got all the CDs where he was on them. 
His anniversary is next week, so hopefully I'm out to 
crack one of them Hennesseys open without any chaser. 
Gone but not forgotten. 

-G Shadow 

From The Beat: This is the second RIP to Chino in this unit. But there 
are so many losses, that we can't keep count, and that's like a plague, a 
disease that is wiping out a generation. You wanted to cry, so you went 
off on some kid who had nothing to do with your loss or your pain. And 
so it continues. The path you've taken hasn't worked well for you, and 
it didn't work well for Chino. You are smart, but are you smart enough 
to see that life is worth much more than this endless cycle of kill and 
be killed, one for them and one for you? Sometimes we think that the 
human brain is an evolutionary dead-end, and that we won't stop until 
the entire species is wiped out! 



Not Without A Fioht 



Yeah, what's up Beat? Me, well I'm still fighting this can- 
ass CYA recommendation. I'm not trying to go up there. 
I'm not saying I can't do it 'cause I can do my time. It's 
just I'm not going down without a fight! Feel me! 

-Angel 

From The Beat: This is almost not worth printing. Angel, because it says 
very little except that you plan to fight the recommendation to CYA. 
Why not educate us a little bit with the opportunity The Beat gives 
you. Why are they recommending CYA? How much are you (not them) 
responsible for this? How do you plan to fight it, and how do you plan 
to use whatever time you may get, here or there or somewhere else, 
to take back control of your life? Have you learned anything in this 
process? if so, can you share some of that with us? 



Liviog For Tlie Moment 



What's poppin' with The Beat, dawg? Yeah, man, once 
again this be that young ninja Yesay aka Iggus, ya heard 
me. But check it out, dawg, a ninja just went to court 
today and they hollerin' 'bout some out-of-range shhh 
like Wyoming. Ha ha! They got this young ninja messed 
up, dawg. 

I'ma shake back to my section where it's gully, ya 
heard me, and just live for the moment, dawg. Y'all betta 

I come see about this young ninja, dawg. I ain't no lyrical 
ninja, I just tell y'all what's going wit' me. Check out. 
-Iggus 

From The Beat: Shake back to your section, and you'll soon be shaking 
back to this section. It follows as the night follows the day. But when 
I you live for the moment, being locked up comes with the territory. 



Always In My Heart 



What's good with The Beat? This yo' boy KickR. WeU... 

I remember the old days. I remember the day I met 
you. I met you at the park. Since that day, we got closer 
and closer. I remember when we used to play fight, hug 
you, be with you mostly at the park every day. 

Then we both disappeared for a minute. I missed you. 
I thought about you, but when I seen that face again, you 
made my day. You will always be in my heart, Payasa! 

-KickR 

From The Beat: Remembering is fine, but even better is getting out of 
here and staying free so that you can make some new memories. 



fa 








//// // 



Dear Baby, I'm Sorry 



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Dear Baby, Fm sorry I made you cry. 

Dear Baby, Fm sorry I hurt your little heart. 

Dear Baby, Fm sorry I couldn't be there for you. 

Dear Baby, now Fm here. 

So Baby, don't cry no more. 

-Ronnie 

From The Beat: Don't be sorry. Make it up to that person to show that 
person you really do mean ivhat you ssty. 



Dedicated To a Special Someooe \ [ 

I pull over and let the fool have it, 
see when it comes to the G life you gotta live it like a savage, 
creeping through these streets ready to wreak some havoc, 

devil's living in my heart and I got demons in the attic. 

With passion, I simultaneously represent where Fm from 

and stay smashing, different fashion. 

When Fm passing, homie, ain't never laggin ... 

Girl, Fm chilling with your brother 

and Fd like to know the answer 

to the question that Fm asking: What it do? 

You don't know me and I don't know you. 

I know your name. 

My name's Joseph, but you could call me Smiley. 

Fm interested in meeting you. 

I like my game to be blatant, but I guess you could call y 

this a clue. 

Locked up for robbing a store 

you locked up for hurting another in your way, 

but this is the game we play. 

I like to experience how Bonnie and Clyde felt, 

so what you say? 

Daffy looks like Capitan M 

and I think its hella funny hella white girls 

be jocking this tall flrme vato, 

but I need a chola, 

so forget them snow bunnies they're still nobodies. 

I know you feel me on this cause you're not that far away, 

been locked up for a long ass minute but I still got shhh to say. 

But anyways, even though I hear staff calling 

"M" every morning, I still get shhh my way, 

'cause Fm on supply and it's just another day. 

To leave fools in a daze 

living in the fast lane: 

Hypnotic, Fm on it like robotic economic 

my words are anonymous 

got these folks hooked on phonics 

exorbitant chronic, a binding ball that's bionic 

don't drink water that's tonic, 

somebody call the doctor 

Fm a bilingual talker 

a nuisance to society, but I keep it proper 

keeping these other fools looking softer 

drinking martinis and eating lobster 

laughing at these weenies that try to act like mobsters, 

I keep it coming like clockwork, 

got these folks needing expert guidance 

to figure out why my looks are darker. 

I kinda result to violence when I notice these stalkers. 

This is dedicated to someone special and I hope it stops her. 

Keep your head up suaveita, smile now, smile later. 

Don't let nothing get you down. Fm out. 

- Smiley 

From The Beat: There^ nothing liice skn old-fashioned love letter to 
get a girl's attention, and the level of skill you are showing here will 
definitely turn some heads. The best thing about writing, is that it 
might be inspired by a special someone but the power of words outlasts 
all of u%. Keep writing. Sorry we had to cut a part of your piece, but we 
at The Beat have rules to follow too. 



Problems At Hooie 



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What's up Beat? Today topic that Fm writing about is 
the days when I don't want go home! The day that I didn't 
want to go home was when I was living in the shelter and 
there was nothing but problems with my mom and dad. 
They didn't get along. So I stayed at my homie house 
for a couple of days, and then I went home and I got 
some clothes and money. Then I went back to my homie 
house. 

So that it until next time. 

-Rod 

From The Beat: It's hard on the children when parents can't get along 
and forget that their first responsibility is not to themselves, but to 
their kids. We're sorry you had to stay in a shelter because home was 
too difficult. What's the situation now? Are your parents still together? 
When you get out, who will you live with? (We can't publish your last 
name, so we shortened it for you.) 



1 



Stay Ifl My Life 



The very thought of you leaving my life 

Broke me down tears 

I took for granted all the love that you gave me 

I know that's what I feared 

Every heartbeat, every moment, everything I see is you 

Please forgive me, Fm so sorry 

Don't say were through 

Girl I need you, to open up my eyes 

Girl I need you, to be by my side 

'Cause without you, where would I be 

Yes, I need you, come back to me 

A kiss is not a kiss without your lips kissing mine 

You bring me paradise 

I can't live if you took your love away from me. 

Without you I would die 

Every second, every minute, every time I close my eyes 

I could feel you, so I want you to stay in my life. 

-Ly 

From The Beat: There is real power in these words of love, and we hope 
their power finds their mark in her heart. But if they don't — if she does 
not come back to you because you did whatever it was that put your 
love for her second — then you will have to live with this consequence. 
It is what we often %x^, that some consequences are permanent, and 
that unless steps are taken in time, you may be left with nothing more 
than "If only..." Nearly a thousand years ago, a Persian poet (now Iran) 
named Omar Khayyam, wrote: 'The moving finger writes, and having 
writ, moves on: Nor al they piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half ■ 
a line. Nor all they tears wash out a word of it." I 



1 



5 li B i 1 



Death is 



Death is kind to he who is in pain, 

but cruel to those who mourn him. 

Death is kind because it does not 

discriminate young or old, 

black or white, 

rich or poor. 

When mankind wages war 

death smiles 

knowing that he gains new subjects 

under his power. 

The greatest healer of all is 

Death. 

When all others fail 

it is to Him that we go. 

Death is the great equalizer. 

We should not fear death 

but respect Him 

and know that He waits for us 

with open arms. 

-Wolverine 

From The Beat: We may not agree with you, but we admire your facility 
lAfith the language. 



\ 







//// // 



starting Young 



I started smoking weed when I was in elementary School. 
The first time I got high was out of a coca cola can. I was in 
4th grade. I started drinking in the 7th grade. I remember 
taking a shot of some 100% Tequila from Mexico. It was 
the morning before school. I never made it to school. 

I remember I was at my homeboy's pad. He wanted me 
to try thizz pill. I just wanted to try it. so I took it. I was 
kicking back at the house, listening to oldies. Then it hit 
me like a earthquake. My eyes were rolling to the back of 
my head. I was on one. I looked in the mirror; my pupils 
were hella big. 

Since then, I've popped like at least one time a day. In 
truth I am a beer drinker, especially Tecate. 

_Johnny 

From The Beat: We appreciate the details in this piece, Johnny, but 
we are sad that you are still hooked on habits you began sk% a small 
child. While your body is growing, you're still acting like the elementary 
school kid who was led into drugs and alcohol, and keeps his mind from 
growing by not examining where these habits are taking him, and what 
effect they are having on his growth and development. In truth, you are 
killing your future. None of this is good for you, and the alcohol may 
be the worst of all. It's one of those drugs that seems so harmless that 
you can sink, little by little, into a deep hole that, when you recognize 
how deep you've fallen, becomes almost impossible to dig yourself out 
again. If you examine your life sk% honestly sk% you've done in this piece, 
do you see a link between your drinking and drug u%e and the fact that 
you have handed away your freedom? Is that what you want for your 



future? 



^ 



Anger 

When I get angry I blow up and want to fight. The person 
I always want to fight gets scared. That makes me more 
angry and I start to hit the walls. 

-Chris 

From The Beat: We bet those walls aren't afraid of you, at all. So, 
shouldn't that calm you down, by your logic? 



I I 



Sweet Reienge 

Revenge is sweet 



First you lose, now you wanna beat 

Your blood is on heat 

Sometimes lives is what you want to keep 

Knock them off their feet 

They thought it was done 

But the funk has just begun 

They see you, they run 

But they're gonna get caught 

With one that's hot 

Revenge is fiying through your mind 

That's what leaves you blind 

Let all your rage out 

Just to show him what you're all about 

Cops' sirens, you run 

Get to kick back to have fun 

You're chillin' 

While the victim is thinking about killin' 

He hits the corner buckin' 

You're duckin' 

As he keeps popping 

You start dropping 

Damn! He got you 

Now what do you do 

You know what get that foul 

Revenge don't stop 

Until your death box drop 

-Cisco 

From The Beat: Revenge may be sweet, but it leaves behind even more 
grieving mothers and children and lovers. The dead are out of their 
pain, but the living... What do they deserve? 



U 



True Life 



\ 



Well, I guess I can say I'm not happy to be here. But 
at the same time I look for the good in the bad. My dad 
always tells me, "What doesn't kill you will make you 
stronger". I can honestly say that I believe that... and then 
there are the things that do kill you and that instill fear 
in us. Within yourself, if you're not dead, you're getting 
stronger. 

-W 

From The Beat: You're alive and kicking, so, if what you believe is true, 
you must be getting stroner. We hope so. 



The Dream 



I never forget the day I saw my angel come to save me 
from heaven. All my cries froze in time and my soul 
seemed to be free. Then I woke from my dream and it 
seemed to be hell. It was real and heaven couldn't save 
me from me. 

-Scy 

From The Beat: At times it seems sk% if our dreams are the only place we 
find real peace. What make this world so cruel at times that we can't 
wait to go to sleep just to escape it fire of pain? The test is for you to 
pull your dreams out of your reality. 



What Goes Around Conies Around 

I am going to write about my homeboys Lefty and 
Speedy, RIR They passed away. They were close friends. I 
was kicking it with them and all of a sudden they're gone. 
And I felt hella bad but I couldn't do nothing about it right 
there because when Lefty died, I was at the Ranch and 
when Speedy died, I was in here. Alrato. 

-Lil' IVIan 

From The Beat: It seems like one of the hardest things to be away from 
your friends and community when someone dies. You have to deal with 
it alone, instead of celebrating the life of your friend with others who 
knew them. But one way to continue to celebrate them is to write about 
why you cared about them. A bad way to memorialize them is to try to 
take revenge. 



Doino My Thing 



I'm getting out the day after my birthday and I'm 'bout to 
be 18. Damn... It's a trip. I feel so old. 

Well I'm getting out with almost nothing but hope. I 
did it on my own for a long time and now it's time to get 
on it and get mine. Mama's going to be working single, 
and legal. Damn sounds good to me. 

I graduate this month and I'm college bound so it's 
time to make my way up to the top. I'll be out before this 
comes out so stay up. 

-Top Notch 

From The Beat: It always feel like heaven when it's time to get out and 
a person can sometimes think he/she got it all figured out but when 
temptation arise there^ not many that withstand the test. Watch out for 
the roadblocks because they will try to take you down. 



Me - Here's Who I Am 



I am a martial artist, no self-defense, only actual hand- 
to-hand fighting. I am devoted to my honor code and 
view the world through unbiased eyes. 

I say what is true. I am always looking for more wisdom 
and strength through meditation and by pushing my body 
to new limits. I am a shadow, an eroded memory, an 
enigma. I am behind my own understanding, so now I 
must meditate more on both myself and where I belong. 

-Wolverine 

From The Beat: Are you sure you aren't a small, furry animal with a hair- 
trigger temper? 







^ />4i 




//// // 



Why? 



Why do I have so much hatred? 

I look at people with a mean mug. Why? 

I find the need to sell drugs 

so my baby can feed on something. 

Don't want him to starve like a bum on crack. Why? 

Hooked on drugs: marijuana and cocaine. 

Once I have it, I look for it and need it 

like a stray dog lookin for a peace of meat. Why? 

Lord, tell me why you give us life 

but you take my dawgs like the wind. Why? 

I take for granted another day, 

knowing that tomorrow isn't promised. 

Lord, tell me why? 

Hatred, death, murder, drugs. 

Lord, I don't want to be a victim 

of these streets. 

Please, tell me why. 

- Schitzo ''The Boss" 

From The Beat: This piece reads iiice a prayer someone would be saying 
before they go to sleep, it has that honesty and rawness that comes in 
a personal moment ivith God. Thank you so much for sharing it. Anyone 
lAfho has had a "why" moment ivill relate. 



\f 



Baby, I'm For Real 



"It's been too long, and I'm lost without you. 

What am I gonna do? 

Said I'm needing you, wanting you. 

Wondering if you're the same 

And who's been with you?... 

Is your heart still mine? 

I wanna hold you tight... I miss you" - Aalijah Lyrics 

Baby I want you to know that I love you and I miss you 
so much. I think about you every day. Even though you 
and I aren't together at the time, you will always be in my 
heart. Baby, I'm for real about you and our relationship. I 
want you to know that I care for you deeply. You have my 
heart... always have, always will. I don't want anybody but 
you. You are my one and only love Sephina. I want you to 
trust me girl. I want you to realize that I truly want to be 
with you. Whatever I have to do to make this work, I will 
do. I will bend over backwards for you in the name of love. 
As long as I can help it, I will never hurt you. I love you 
with all my heart! Nothing or no one could stand in my 
way of loving you. I want you so bad right now, you have 
no idea. I just wish you were here with me so I could tell 
you how much you mean to me. Together or not baby, I 
will be right here holding it down for you, off top. That's 
my word. You are not replaceable and I will never make an 
attempt to find someone new. 

"You should let me love you 

let me be the one to 

Give you everything you want & need 

Baby good love and protection 

Make me your selection 

Show you the way love suppose to be 

Let me love you." - Mario Lyrics 

So that's all I got to say Beat. That I love and miss my ex 
Sephina. I'll holler another time. I'm ghost. 

-Cupcake 

From The Beat: Change is never easy to accept. Sometimes we want 
things to stay the same and never change. Hardly that ever happens 
in this life ive live in. We hope you'll once reconcile iwith your ex but if 
not the world is full of different flavors ready to put a rainbow smile 
on your face. 



U 



Boring Day 



\ 



Damn Beat. I had a boring day. I'm chillin' with my home 
girl Ronnie. We are in the classroom cracking each other. 
I said to her there was boogers in her nose. She picked 
it and wiped it on me! How sick! Anyways, I'm bored! my 
girl is waiting for me. I miss her smile already. Her sexy 
kisses, makes me feel all tingly. I'm out. 

- No Name 

From The Beat: You can say love can sometimes be nasty. There's nothing 
like goofing off with a friend on a boring day. 



Lost A Home Boy 



\ 



I found out while I've been locked up that my homeboy 
got shot up and he died. I found that he got shot three 
times, twice in the chest and once in the head. I guess 
the people came from around the corner hit him up and 
got him. My other homie ran and left my homeboy, ... 
them fools. Why didn't they get shot? But I know that 
my homeboy is in a better place with that struggle off his 
face. Me and him we're like brothers. Rest in peace Lil' 
Yg. 

-Chino 

From The Beat: Hearing about a situation like this when you are locked 
up is especially hard because you can only imagine the situation that 
happened to your friend and how you might have reacted if you were 
there. Don't be too hard on your other friends, though, they are probably 
feeling especially bad. 



The Straoger 



The stranger that tried to help me was on the light rail 
one day. At first he just started preaching to me and I was 
hella high. So I looked at him and I was like "Ay man, 
no disrespect or nothing but I am hella high." He said, 
"I know. That's why I am preaching to you." Then I said, 
"Right, but you got to slow down because you're talking 
too fast." Then out of the cuts that foo' asked for my 
number. I was like "Naw, I don't have one." That shhh trip 
me out because then that foo' was hella looking at me 
from the corner of his eye. But yea that was it. Then I was 
just hoping my cell phone didn't ring. 

-Polecat 

From The Beat: This is a funny scene that you really bring to life in just 
these few sentences. It seems like he might not have wanted to help 
you in the long run. 



Love Will Always Stay 



Baby, I'm your ride or die 

for so many reasons why. 

The things we do at nighttime, 

what we cannot say, 

the things we do 

in a clandestine way. 

I'll be the guy you can lean on 

when you cry 

because you always told the truth 

and not a lie. 

Always loyal by my side 

that's some of the reason why 

and even though we're miles away 

my love for you will always stay. 

- Chris 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful poem, especially the lines: 'The things 
we do at nighttime/ what we cannot say / the things we do / in a 
clandestine way." You have a great way of expressing your emotions 
with words. This will get you far in life, both with the ladies and 
professionally. 



1 







//// // 



II Hell toi Stall Pa) 



X 



"In Hell you shall pay" 

Ha, but that's my way 

rm feeling different, not the same 

It hit my lungs and my brain 

Two more hits to reload 

This stuff has me on silent mode 

Trying to get life's code 

Soon I'll figure it out 

Doing it alive is what I doubt 

Well, until my paper has sex with the lead 

I'll see you later or should I say write you later instead 

-Cisco 

From The Beat: Maybe there^ nothing to figure out... Maybe living 
because you're alive is all there is to figure. Or, maybe there are great 
mysteries to be solved. We don't know the answer to that question 
("Life% Meaning") any more than you. But one thing we do Icnoiw: We 
look forward to the next time your paper has sex with the lead. 



Back Again 



\ 



I guess things can change like that. I thought I was doing 
good. Well, I was doing good and then I decided to not go 
home. I kept putting it off and putting it off. And then 
my friend's aunt had came home and I guess she didn't 
want us to be there because she was hella mad. She was 
screaming and yelling at us. I didn't know she didn't want 
me there. She called the cops and sent them to my house 
and I was on house arrest, so I knew I was screwed. I had 
to sneak home because I had things on me that I didn't 
want to get new charges for. So the cops came and said 
we were messing up her house and throwing up in her 
backyard, which wasn't true. And now I'm doing three 
months in rehab. It was either that or the Ranch. 

-Eddie 

From The Beat: Sometimes parties can get totally out of control and it 
is so hard to go home. How do you judge situations that you are in and 
decide to get out of there before you get into trouble? Figuring that out 
will solidify your plans to "do good." 



Time For Me To Move Oo 



X 



It's always been natural for me to lie to people that 
everything's OK, when I'm really going through hard 
times. Times only get harder when I start believing my 
own lies and come to the realization that things are really 
messed up. This happened to me with my man. 

I finally am coming to the realization that it's time 
to grow up and move on to bigger and better things. He 
played his games and told his lies. His true colors were 
sadly shown to me after almost a year. And I'm not going 
to lie. I played my games too and shed my tears with him. 
It's not worth it. Maybe if he cared it would be a different 
story. But he only cares about himself. 

So ladies: Do your own thing, make your money, and 
don't shed no tears for no dude. I'm out. 

-No IVIore Tears 

From The Beat: \tt aiways about you first. Never let that simple reality 
be the reason you harvest negative activity towards the other gender 
and persuade other girls to allow thorns to grow in their backyard when 
their grounds are cut out for a rose. 



Happy Birtiiday To Me 



Freedom's just around the corner and so is my 40 oz. 
of Mickey s and my Patron. Damn, I can't wait. I'm thirsty 
already. 

-Birthday Girl 

From The Beat: Being intoxicated has always been a man/woman's 
downfall. How do you succeed if your vision is always blurry? 



! I 



Delicated Ii Tie One I live 



\ 



As time races by, I'm still longing 

to look in your big brown beautiful eyes. 

What I would do to just hold you 

in my arms. 

But all I can do is 

just pray that your out of harms way. 

Baby Boy I love you and that 

ain't no lie 

We're together 'til the end 

and I hope your feelings are the same as mine. 

I reminisce on the good 'n' bad we had together and all I 

can do is cry cause this feeling in me hurts 

and I feel like I'm about to die. 

My baby ain't here wit me, 

especially through these hard times 

And I can't be there for him 

to hold you in my arms 'n' say 

"Baby, everything's going to be alright. I'm here for you 

always 'n' forever 

but it's a two way street I'm going to hold it down for 
you 'n be there to support you in every thing. You are my 
everything, and my love is devoted to you my one and 
only. 

I love you even if I do have to express my love to you 
through The Beat Within. 

I love you monkey and I'm for real and I haven't hidden 
any secrets and have nothing to hide. 

-Lil' Slick's Baby Mama 

From The Beat: We hope your love will one day have a chance to 
blossom with this special one. It seems like your words is sincere and 
your actions have a chance of following its path. 



^ 



Stranger 



nd I 

\ 



I'm in here for a gun charge, but a homeboy like me 
ain't trippin off time. It's part of the life I chose! But back 
on topic, one time I was hella drunk and the bus driver 
gave me a free ride. It was greatly appreciated because I 
could've got a "drunk in public." 

Well, I'm gonna go for now. To all in this juvi and in 
other cities, stay up, this ain't shhh compared to those 
doing life in the pen. To that bus driver, thank you, and 
to The Beat thanks because your program gives me extra 
time out of my cell. "Late!" 

-Tiny 

From The Beat: Sometimes the kindness of strangers is the most 
beautiful thing that can happen in this world. Do you think one day 
you'll remember that bus driver and do a similar act of kindness? 



A song 



Finally somebody let me out of my cage. 

Now time for me is nothing 

'cause I'm counting no age. 

Now, I couldn't be there. 

Now, you shouldn't. 

I'm good at repairs 

and I'm under each snare. 

I bet you didn't think so 

but I command you to 

pick and chose 

sit and loose 

all you different crews. 

chicks and dudes- 

Who do you think 

is really kicken tunes? 

From The Beat: We give up - who? 



\ 



1 



-Ags 







//// // 



The Latino Strangers! 



X f 



I remember when I was driving my 82 I-Roc Camaro 
by Silver Creek High School. When my car started to 
overheat, the engine got so hot I had to pull over. 

After about five minutes of cussing at the car, some 
Latinos came up to me and asked me if I needed any 
help. So, I asked if they could help me push my car to 
my cousin's house. So, we started to push my car. After 
we were done, I said thanks and they left. A couple of 
days later, I found out they were my brother's boys! So, 
strangers can be generous! 

-Green Eyes . 

From The Beat: If they had been in position, would you have helped | 
them the same way they helped you? In life in order to receive, you \ 
have to give. So don't forget to return the favor to anybody who needs 
it. You were lucky! 



ne I 



A Night At Las Animas 

One day, I didn't want to go home was when my pops 
was tweeking with his homies. I didn't want to go home 
because I didn't want to see my pops getting jacked. 
Instead, I jacked a bottle and walked to the park with 
my homies. I got so faded that I don't remember what J 
happened. All I remember is telling my homies I was 
gonna walk home. 

I woke up to the sound of my homie telling me "ay get 
up homeboy what happened? You got rushed." I stumbled 
to my feet. I only got from one side of the park to the 
other and I passed out. My brother carried me to my other 
brother's pad. I will always remember that, who knows 
what would've happened if he didn't find me. 

-King D 

From The Beat: Who knows! We understand you, we also wouldn't like 
to be witness of a horrible scene created by the influence of drugs. Now, 
you need to stop worrying about your father and worry about yourself. 
You are very young and have a whole life to live and to enjoy. Some 
people start messing up their lives by drinking and end up shooting up i 
drugs through their neck veins. You don't want to belong from that list. I 
Do you? Get out and try to help him. If you can't ignore what's around 
you, and do your best moving getting a job, moving out from there 
and start your own life. There are many who have been in your same 
situation and have made it. You can make it sk% well. TVust us\ 



II 11 I I a I 



Eyes of a Killer 



\ 



-Rio 

From The Beat: After giving it some thought, in the best interest of 
our program, we are going to hold back your poem. We would have 
considered publishing your work if there was a moral, a lesson to teach 
VL% readers. We know oh too well the violence that plagues many writers, 
we now need you to step up and teach while creating! 



life...2 



\ I 



\ I 

Like how I said in my last piece, how life's a hell, not 
to trust anyone, not to let love blind you, and that if the 
risk's worth it, take it. All this I think applies to everyone 
in this world. 

All we got is our balls, our word and we shouldn't 
break them for anyone. Stay true, live life, don't let it live 
you. 

For me, what I learned is that you gotta do it for 
yourself and to never give up. Keep your head up always. 
Do what you gotta do to maintain. The best thing you can 
do is to move forward with a purpose, appreciate every 
day as much as you can. Keep your heads up, late. 

-Celoso 

From The Beat: Great! You've gave u% good advice! But they are not 
specific enough to give u% ideas of what we should really do to make 
it happen in life. What can we do? What exactly are you recommending 
u% to do? To go to school? Get a good education? Get a job? You said 
something about to do what we gotta do to maintain? Maintain what? 



U 



To Scrwed lip To Go Hooie 



\ 



Q-Vole! Well the days I didn't want to go home was when 
I was hella screwed up, drunk, high, bein' crazy off that 
devil's drug if you know what I mean. Sometime I would 
get so screwed up, I would forget what they called me. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: Sounds more like you become a zombie, given how 
messed up you become. You cannot afford to pollute your body with 
drugs and drink skn^ longer, the system has a hold of you and will make 
sure your life remains miserable, if you continue to put the devil's drug 
into your spirit and mind. 



Home IsTlie Hall 



ug I 

\ 



To The Beat: There was a time when I didn't want to go 
home. It was when I got locked up. I have a good family, 
but it was hard to see the pain in my loved one. The 
environment wasn't that good, the only time I went home 
was to help and protected my loved one. 

The cops are shady and they don't care about anyone. 
When the cops would try to mess with my family, I would 
come home. All I care about is my family. I failed all my 
programs for them and their safety. 

Now I want to go home but I did some messed up 
thangs so this might be my home for now. So for all you 
lil ones, go home before it's too late and this becomes 
your home. Late. 

-Lil' Man 

From The Beat: This pain that make you feel bad was created by you. 
Do you know that? If you really care for them, show it with good action 
and not just words. We can understand that you wanted to be there 
when things get complicated at home, but the way you are handling 
things is not proper way to look for solutions. If you really want to be 
there for them, do your program, be a different person, and be at home 
where you belong and where they need you. That's the best ^N«y to 
make things better. 



\ 



I Waitlno For Revenpe 

Time in here goes by so slow. I'm waiting to go to another 
unit, but it's taking so long. My homie just got out of the 
hospital. He was in critical condition. 

When I get out, I'm gonna get revenge but in the good 
I way like living it up that my homie lived. There's no one 
to get revenge on 'cause it's both their fault. Well gotta go 
see you later keep your head up. 

-Froggy 

From The Beat: Are you trying to say that your revenge will consist 
in living a good and normal life? Just remember what really revenge 
brings. All it brings is more blood spreading, and tear shedding. Do the 
right thing using your brain. 



Tlie Very Kind Stranger 



"J 
\ 



On January 28, 2008, was the day I got arrested. I was 
locked up for about a month when a staff who works at 
the visiting place, let my sisters and aunts to come in and 
gave me a hug when they weren't supposed to. 

That man was very kind to my family and I, because he 
could see in my face the expression how much I miss my 
sisters. So he was kind enough to let them pass through 
the doors and give me hugs even though it was for less 
than a couple min. I really appreciated that, because he 
put his job on the line for me. I will always remember this 
staff even though I don't remember his name. Well that's 
about it The Beat. 

-Popeye 

From The Beat: Damn sure he did a good thing! What do you think made 
him do that? If you had been him, would you have done the same thing 
to someone in the same position? Why? We would appreciate it if for 
the next time, you can write about the questions before this sentence. 
Can you? 








//// // 



Sitting, Tiiinidn' 



Once again, what's up Beat? I've been good. What good 
Beat? I'm thinking about what to say. I've been locked up 
in downtown San Jose. 

In my first time in a cell, I wasn't feeling too well. My 
life hasn't changed, making mistake over and over. I just 
want to get out, leave the drugs and try to be sober. I want 
to live my live not the way I'm going. 

I'm sitting in my cell not knowing what to do. Thinking 
of my homies and how they're doing too. 

When I get out, I'm gonna try to turn my life around, 
and look up to the Big Man that created the sky and the 
ground to help me make the right choices and do the same 
to the homies I love. I pray their lives will be accepted up 
above. Until till the end, this is my beat within. 

-Lil' L 

From The Beat: This is what's called, "reflection." You're on the right 
track. You should help yourself out first and then think about helping 
others. Think about positive things and don't worry about what your 
homies are doing or not doing. Worry about what can you do to have 
a better future, how to maintain yourself free, about how to help 
those who really need you. There are many other things you should 
be thinking about. Ignore thinking about your homies for a min and 
think about your life and the way it's going. Can you do that for your 
own good? 



Ali Bad 



What up Beat, it's Young Outlaw coming from this unit! 
Well I ain't feeling any topics because I got some bad 
news today! 

Well like thirty- minutes ago my PO wants to send me 
to county when I turn 19! Well I'm 18 years old stuck in 
Juvi for violations. My PO is trying to give me six months 
and I get sentenced on the 25tli so that means I won't get 
out 'till September! And my b-day is in July so ima have 
to do two months in county! Which I ain't really tripping 
but I don't want to get my adult career started! Damn, and 
my girl tripping off my baby's momma, so I ain't doing too 
good! 

-Young Outlaw 

From The Beat: The Outlaw life is not paying off. Change the name, do 
your time, get out and stay out of the system, and retire from a life of 
pain. Work on you, take care of your child and your family! 

... - III 



If I Get In A Fight 



What up Beat, it's your boy! 
well when I get in a fight 
I came home 
my mom and dad find out I got in a fight. 

They don't care 

It's like they don't care if I get in a fight, 

they don't care I guess. 

-I care 

From The Beat: Why do you suppose they don't care? Do you care? How 
much do you care about bettering yourself? Tell vls\ 



Just Sayino 



X 



I represent that dime in my neighborhood mind. 

Why is it a crime 

to say what's on your mind? 

Telling them cops the truth about how shady they are, 

not to sound crazy but it's the hard life that made me. 

You can hate if you want, just give respect and that all 

get back. 

- Scy 

From The Beat: The freedom of speech is just something written down 
under our 1st amendment but is punish more often for be exercised. 
Freedom of speech is something of the past and is being murdered every 
day by this neiv ivorld order. 



U 



Tiie Cage 



\ 



The cage is where I live, sleep, and eat in and not by 

choice. 

It's cold, lonely and no human should have to suffer 

that. 

Time goes by slow, real slow, 

so all you do is sit and think about what you could have 

done different to not get caught up. You think about 
everything, your family, your friends, brothers, sisters, 

girlfriend... 
what could they be doing right now (something you're 

not) 
but who knows 'cause you're in your cage. 

-Bailey 

From The Beat: After all this time thinking, have you gotten to a 
conclusion? Do you like being in this cage? Can you think about all this 
when being free? What's the key to be release from this cage? Can you 



Victims of Pain 



You speak of nothing but lies. 
Nor felt the anger, vengeance, violence and hatred I've 

felt. 

This life has penetrated but still few face many. 

For in my heart lied glory because of the life I've lived. 

Darkness is my friend, my dying angel will bring harm, 

but I am comfortable. 

To me it's a charm. 

I continue to contradict myself between purity and evil. 

The words I speak to the world will always stay lethal. 

I'm a weapon and my life is a war, so walk with me if you 

want to win. 

In my kingdom I can't explain, only these words - 

victims of pain. 

If you shoot me in a dream you better wake up and 

apologize. 

The only thing I'm looking for is the death in your eyes. 

Yeah, I got to breath, but it's my last one left. 

-Jesse 

From The Beat: Who are you talking to in this dark angry piece? Who 
doesn't understand what you have been through? Break it down 



till 



I I I I 



I I I I I VTT 



It's III GlOl 



^ 



People say I am no good, 
because I am always in my hood, 

trying to stay out of trouble, 

but no matter what it just doubles. 

I got to keep my mind straight, 

make sure everything's ok, it's all good, it's understood, 

I'm keeping it strong, I know I could, got no problems or 

no worries my focus never gets blurry. 

-TriUo 

From The Beat: So trouble you find in the hood, regardless, what 
must you do to stay clean of problems? You got it, stay away from 
the negatives in hood, unless you thrive for trouble, incarceration and 



Ike Bis Stop 



\ 



The only time I met a stranger is at a bus stop. When I 
was at tiie bus stop, I didn't even have a bus pass so he 
was cool enough to let me use his day pass just to let a 
mack get his way through. So that is the only time I met 
a stranger. 

-Tongan 

From The Beat: Would you do the same for a stranded person at the 
bus stop? Hope so. 







//// // 



Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness 



X 



I never lost someone close to me, but growing up in 
Oakland I seen plenty of lives taken. I witnessed plenty 
of murders and it ain't a pretty sight. It stank. The bodies 
get dumb ass deformed fast. And the family be coming out 
screaming. But the worst thing to see is someone being 
stabbed to death and the family is the ones who suffering 
the most. So it heavyweight sucks. 

It's also good in the hood cause that's how life goes, 
but it's up to you to stay safe and watch your surroundings. 
But my visit took up most times, and now The Beat is out 
of here. So I gotta cutt. So peace out. 

-Young Sha T 

From The Beat: We apologize you had to live such a troubled life 
experiencing things you simply maybe would have not experienced in 
the suburbs. Let this experience be your 3rd eye and give you all the 
insight you need to stand whatever crosses your path. 



The Stranger 



X 



I been with my stranger going on 8 months. I remember 
when I first seen him I walked in the San Jose Community 
(School) and it was my first day. I seen someone sitting 
in there looking hella mad and mean. He was getting 
suspended for that day. 

When I get my schedule, I started to walk to my class 
and the lil homeboy says, "Damn. You have hella white 
teeth", and I just laughed and the mean guy told him: 
"Come on Ninja you don't say that." I just left and little 
did I know me and my mean guy have been in love for 
eight months going on 'til the end. I love you baby and I'm 
devoted to you. 

- Stranger's girl 

From The Beat: A mean guy is only cool when he's gentle to his woman. 
The flip side is a man and his attitude paints his picture for the world 
to see. Would you say your mean guy is a good look? 



Triple Life Sentence 



I never wanted to go home because my mom always 
looked sad. She was always talking about how her brother, 
"my uncle," got a triple life sentence. She has recently 
overcome and got used to my uncle's sentence. Now I go 
home a lot and we have a really good bond! So that is why 
I never went home. 

-Green Eyes 

From The Beat: Maybe the fact that you weren't home made her days 
more depressive. How do you think she feels knowing that you are 
going to the same direction your uncle went? It's time you start thinking 
about her feelings. She's your mother and she doesn't deserve this. You 
should be support to her in all ways not another problem. She needs 
your help and your presence. 



Git « Bide 



\ 



What up Beat! It's your homeboy Nino. How you guys 
holding up? I ran from the Ranch last December, and I 
really didn't know how to get back to my city, Sunnyvale. 
So I asked a stranger for money. He was a homeboy and I 
used the money to use a pay phone. 

My homeboy called his mom and her boyfriend picked 
us up from one side of San Jose. So my homeboy's step- 
dad gave me a ride to Santa Clara and I took the bus. 

Yeah she was happy to see me and knew I ran. Yet she 
let me stay the night at her house, I played, and I ate a lot. 
Well I'm out, late. 

-Nino 

From The Beat: Likely, you got to your destination safe, but was it 
worth running from your program? What did you get in return? If you 
hadn't run from your program, would you be here or out? 



\ I 



\ I 



U 



My Family 



\ 



I've been locked up for about two months. I always 
wonder how my family is doing and if anything is 
happening to them right now. That's why it sucks to be in 
here, because I hate thinking and wondering if anything 
bad is happening to them right now. 

-Sh 

From The Beat: If it sucks to be here, why are you here? Please help u% 
understand this question. Why? 



A Stranger Girl 



What's cracking Beat? I got to tell you one time I met 
a stranger. I was downtown in St. James Park. I was 
supposed to get picked up from my mom, but my cell 
phone was dead. 

I was hella mad just when it started to sprinkle. So 
I see this one white girl, she was texting so I ask her if 
can borrow her phone. I thought she would be hating. So 
I called my mom, then my mom said that she was on her 
way. 

I So, I'm bored, so I get into my LL Cool J Cupcake 

mode. Her name was Marissa. Man I spit vicious game on 
her easy. Next thing you know, she finds me on Myspace. 
She leaves comments, and then we swap digits. After that, 
I'm thinking to myself, that's bad business. So she used 
to stay texting me and e-mailing me. 

Then we got drunk at her pad once, and we were 
buzzing. When I sobered up, I checked my phone. My boy 
wanted to hit this lick, so I dip and left, then got caught. 
But out of the cuts, she writes me. She be talking about 
those love fairy tails, so I don't know Beat! 

-Gadsden 

From The Beat: Maybe she's part of your destiny. Write her back. Maybe 
she can be the person that can make you change and keep you out 



trouble. Get out and give yourself a better life! 



Grandma 



\ 



When my grandma pasted away, I felt lost and sad. She 
was like my second mom. She understood everything I 
went through. Or at least, I think she did. 

She was on my side through good and bad times. She 
was always giving me good advice on what to do now and 
in the future. I miss going to church on Sundays even 
though I didn't want to, but she always made it fun. 

I think part of the reason I do the things I do or did 
is because I lost part of my mind when she pasted. But 
I don't use that as an excuse because I know that she 
doesn't want me to be locked up. RIP. Lillian Ligon(Nana) 
see you when I get there. Shhh if I do. 

-Cravin 

From The Beat: We're sorry for your loss. Like you said, don't take this 
loss sk% excuse to mess up your life. Wherever she might be, she might 
be wishing you the best hating to see you here. It^ time to wake up 
and stop acting like a child. You are growing up and becoming a man. 
Start acting like one, like the one your grandmother would have loved 



Randnm 



I wonder what is going on with my family. I have been 
away for so long I barely remember anything. It has been 
a year now. 

They are planning to send me to a group home for 
another year. I can't do that. What do you think Beat? 

-AnonymousOne 

From The Beat: Whether you like it or not, you are not in the hands 
of the system, and the only way to step off from it is by doing your 
programs. There's nothing you can do, but to agreed and follow their 
rules until you accomplish your program. 



fa 







fJS/ // 



Those Days 



X f 



Walking through the hood slowly tryna' clear my mind, 

Flag raised high so if rivals cross the border I won't be 

hard to find, 

Some say I'm looking for trouble 

But the truth is I have nowhere to go, 

Too much drama at the pad 

So the calles is all I came to know. 

I'm not running from my problems 

Just trying to release my frustration. 

Sometimes I need to feel alive 

So that can explain all the chances that I'm taking. 

My life I be risking at times 

Just to take my mind off the shhh. 

But after all these altercations 

I still can't take my mind off of it. 

Catch me walking down the block 

all alone. 

This is what we do on 

"The days we don't want to go home," 

They say we're looking for trouble 

But we have nowhere to go. 

They label us menaces to society. 

But about us, how much do they know? 

-Shotgun 

From The Beat: It doesn't help when you reinforce what they "the 
system" labels you. Put down the guns. Leave the lifestyle and the labels 
disappear. It's on you! Get your act together go to school and see what 
they say about the new man you have become. It takes courage. Forget 
blaming the pad and the hood, now it% time to take responsibility. 



Always Runnino 



One time, I was flending for the clavo (dope) and this one 
guy gave me some. We were peaking, then we seen some 
rivals and we always run, so we ran. We were so messed 
up on drugs, we were running so fast, it was crazy. Our 
homies say we look like sucked up rodents. We all look 
the same, tall, skinny, short, sometimes even fat, but 
always looking gacked. Speaking Spanish hella fast, and 
we always think we're hard, but when it comes down to it, 
the rivals always see us run. Anyways, we were running 
for our lives, and barely got away, 'cause this stranger let 
us get in his car, and drove off. We became cool after that 
and always chilled. 

-Lil' D' 

From The Beat: Sounds pretty serious. If this is not a joke piece, you 
need serious help for a drug problem that will kill you. As for the gang, 
sounds like it^ best to turn in your belt and start a new life. What fun 
is running? What fun is worrying about getting beat and having to 
always look over your shoulder? In the best interest of the program we 
have also taken out all the names in this piece sk% well sk% yours! 



ired 



X 



I'm tired of having to take a crap up on the steel toilet. 
I'm tired of having to buzz in just to ask for something 
and pushing this damn button. I can't wait to get out of 
this facility and grow up to be a man. Yes, that I should 
be. I wanna graduate high school, and become somebody. 
I don't have to be anybody's counselee. 

I want to grow up just like my destiny. She's my world 
and she's my everything. She's almost 18. 1 want to her to 
give me her eyes, so I can see what I'm doing wrong in my 
life. I can't wait to get out, get in a new school, and earn 
some points for completing a sudoku. 

-P-nut 

From The Beat: Do you know the meaning of being man? What do you 
think it takes to become one? But you know what, graduating could be 
the first step. What's the next after high school? You got a lot to prove, 
what are you waiting for? You don't need another person's eyes, in order 
to vieiAf the things you are doing ivrong. Stop denying the reality! 



I'd Rather Kick It Than Go Home 



\ 



There are days that I don't want to go home. Most of the 
time I'm kickin it with my home boys from my block or 
posted in the park, you know. We all kick it at that park, 
drink, smoke, pop pills, but never smoke shhh. It's hella 
cool over there, we post, start a bonfire, hella chill. 

Sometimes I be going to different cities like to San 
Jose, Redwood City, San Francisco, stay there all night 
drunk or high, sometimes even thizzin'. 

But being locked up sucks and that's a fact so I'm 
gonna lay low on the drugs and just kick back, chill with 
my boys and smoke some cigarettes. 

When I get out of the Ranch, I got a plan to go to 
school and do good so I can stay out, 'cause if you think 
'bout it, in the long term, you make more money the right 
way. That's it for now.... 

-Carlos 

From The Beat: How do you define doing good? Can you stay away 
from drinking and poppin' pills? Hope so, if not, you do need help! If 

I your boys are true friends they will support yoru effort to doing good, 
otherwise, you definitely have your wrork cut out. 



Ji 



Descaoceo Eo Paz (Rest lo Peace] 

Q-vole Beat what's cracking? Well this is Stomper back 
again to write about two important people in my life that 
passed away. 

One of those two people was my little sister. She 
passed away about years ago, at a very young age and 
since that day it just hasn't been the same for me. It is 
hard to know that she is gone. That same day I got to play 
with her, was the last time. 

The other person is my homie. He passed away in the 
year '07. What makes it hard is that I didn't get to see 
him, but I did get to talk to him about a week before he 
passed. 

I was here in the hall when it happened and I just 
couldn't believe it. That day my tia (auntie) came to visit 
me, she broke down crying and gave me the bad news. 
Until this day, I still can't believe he's gone and I don't 

I know if I can accept that they are gone. 
In loving memory of Delia A. Rdz & Juan Carlos M. 

-Stomper 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your losses. It must have been very 
hard and sad for you and for your family to loose a child at this age. 
You need to find a way to realize that they are gone and in maybe in 
a better place than here. Would your life have been a different one if 
any or both were alive? What would be different? Whether you like it 
or not, they are no longer here, and you need to accept that. Now, you 
got a life to live and the ivay you life will be your choice. Hoiv do you 
I want to live yours? 



\\ 



Retaliation 



How do I feel when I lose a homeboy? l-j 

I feel anger rushin' through my veins. 

And at the same time, it's sad to lose that homeboy. 

My first thought is retaliation, getting back a life for a life, 

that's what I've been brought up to know, 

not thinking if I end up in death row. 

Did that punk have the right to do this, to take my 

homeboy's life? 

I guess he did, I mean we're all in the same game. 

Is this the path that my homeboy chose? 

-H'man 

From The Beat: Do you have the right to take another life because he 
took another life? What does that make you? What's your path? Every 
action has a consequence. We are sure that if you were in the shoes of 
any of those who are doing life in a cell, you wouldn't think the way you 
do. It's esk%y to %«y it, but hard to live it. 







pjifff // 



Uititlel 



^ 



One time me my brother and all my friends were 
practicing for my cousin's Quinseanera at my pad and we 
decided to get drunk. After my brother and my friend went 
and stole two bottles. My brother went all crazy trying to 
find it and his dumb-ass asked my mom if she took it so 
she found out we were drinking. I got mad and started 
telling him shhh and cussing him out, because my mom 
was all mad at us. 

-Angry drunk 

From The Beat: When drinking people do things that may not seem 
right, but it appears to u% that it was a blessing that your mom found 
out. What did she do? Not sure if the drinking has slowed down, but, 
look where you sit tonight! 



1 i i i 8 



i I 



The Stranger 



X 



I remember when I went to Milpitas and when it was time 
to come back I found out that the bus wasn't running 
so I had to walk all the way to the great mall and on the 
way some one pulled over and gave me a ride, that's my 
stranger story. 

-Nomac 

From The Beat: So, some stranger pulls over and says, "hop on in"? What 
made you trust this person? 



J I 



The D))s Wbei I Dii't Want Ii Go lone \ 

What's cracking Beat? This is Troubles. I'm going to tell you 
a story about when I didn't want to go home. See, there was 
this one time when I ran from the James' Boys Ranch back in 
January of 2007. 

Well, I knew that the Mountain View cops would be looking 
for me 'cause they hate me with a passion. So a few weeks passed 
and I was in the 'hood almost daily during those weeks. 

One day I was with my sister and my homeboy, when I get a 
call from my other homeboy saying he had weed. The thing was 
that he was in my apartment, so I was like, "well, I've been out 
for a minute, they ain't looking for me anymore." 

When I get there, this fool had a little ass nug not even a 
dime. We start walking out the apartments and we barely get 
across the street when an undercover pulls up and starts chasing 
me. I ran for a cool minute, but they ended up catching me. I 
went to alternative and got failed, so now I'm gonna get out in 
August 27th, my birthday. I'm 'bout to be 19 when I get out and 
you know it's gonna be popping. Well stay up and stay solid. 

-Troubles 
From The Beat: When you said, "it's gonna be popping," in your last 
sentence, what exactly do you mean? Are you saying that you will 
continue ivallcing through your old paths? You know damn iwell iwhere 
that will lead you. Do you? Peep this: Life is only one, and when you 
loose it, it's over. You can't be running away from your problems. You 
create your own problems and you should get rid of the, but not 
running aiway from them. They iwill aliways hunt you, if you run aiway 
from them. 



Confusion about growino up 



\ 



It's hard growing up, ya know. 

Taking the right path, but which is the right? Which is 

the wrong? 

Peer pressure, 

bad neighborhood, and bad thoughts. 

Parents try their hardest to do 

what they pray and hope will help, 

but that is not everything. 

You need the support form every one around you. 

-Desiree 

From The Beat: You are right Desiree, you do need the help of every one 
around you. You are old enough to Icnoiv right from ivrong, if it^ against 
the law it^ wrong, period. As a parent, that's all we can do is pray and 
hope for the best for our children. 



/ M^'t talk, to a^tfhodif or see 
afftf of mif fa ml I If me miners for 
like a whole if ear 

What A Turu Aruuud \ 

Ugh! Every time I mess up I don't want to go home and 
face my family, P.O. or the Judge. Yeah it's my fault for 
messing up, but it's the hardest thing to do, you know 
face the truth, face the consequences. 

That's the main reason I never turn myself in, until 
this weekend. What a turn around. I messed up on drug 
court, I know it took me four days to gain the courage to 
turn myself in, but I did it. Yeah I have to accept and deal 
with the consequences, but it's all good, it's all working 
out for me now. 

-Desiree 

From The Beat: Running from your problems only makes them ivorse. 
Facing your problems will help you deal, solve and better under stand 
them. You have just taken the first step in getting the help you need, 
put your faith in the Drug Court Team and let them help you. In the end 
you lAfill be grateful for the help you received. 



This Loss 



ji 



When I lost my aunt Rose I felt like I was lost in a desert 
with nothing of mine, she meant the world to me. Did she 
have to go? She was only 28 when she passed away. 

I didn't talk to anybody or see any of my family 
members for like a whole year. 

To this day it hurts to think of her even just to look 
at her pictures. RIP Rose, missing my aunt day and night. 
Love you lots. 

Never give up on your own life! 

-Christine 

From The Beat: We at the Beat are not sure if your last comment is from 
your aunt or from you, but either way it is a correct one. Don't ever give 
up on your own life. Learn from your mistakes to better your life. 



\ 



+ I 



I Cau ChanoG 

Sitting here locked up 
Not knowing what to do 

I shouldn't run 
Can't believe this is true 

Thinking of my daughter 

As days passing by 

"Where's mommy at?" 

She's wondering why 

Waiting to go to court 

What's the judge gonna say? 

Don't want to stay here 

Can't spend another day 



Tired of doing bad 

Want to do what's right 

I can change 

But I'll have to fight 

-Amber 

From The Beat: You can change, but first you must want that change, 
if you don't want it no matter how much counseling or therapy you 
get nothing will help until you want the help. One main thing to think 
about is your daughter; it% not just about you anymore. 



_■■■■■■»« 




SMnnnnnE mswMMMim^ i^ if / 




^ntwiumnm/Mi^i/inimF.^^ //// // 



Never leave the one ifOM love for 
the one ifoi4 like hecai4se the one 
ifot4 IlKe might leave if on for the 
one the If like, 



I I I I I III 



I I I I I I 



Wondering 



Every hour I think and wonder, 

hoping that I could go home, 

hoping my mom won't shed that tear. 

No space for me to be free, 

wishing I could just walk out that door. 

Looking at the four corners in my room 

gots me wondering if I'll be a ghost soon. 

gots my eyes closed tight, 

thinking about the history of my 

childhood life. 

-Robert 

From The Beat: No, you will not be a 'ghost' soon. You'll get another 
chance and when you do, make sure that flesh and blood and those 
bones and brain of yours do the right thing. We know you don't want to 
return to juvy, no matter how good the food is. 



On What I'm Afraid of 



I fear the cops. They harass you if they know you are on 
probation. They harass me every time they see me and 
they give me a hard time. 

They always talk shhh to me and put me down. That's 
what I'm afraid of. 

-Aaron 

From The Beat: We're sorry for the frustration and anger that situation 
csku%e% you. Many people find themselves in trouble by simply being 
"in the wrong place at the wrong time". You can avoid having to deal 
with misguided harassment by staying completely clear from that 
environment. Given enough time without trouble, this will no longer 
be a fearful conflict. 



In Wtat I'm Ifriid i! 



\ 



I fear losing my family because they are always there for 
me. If I lose my mom or dad, I will go crazy because I love 
my mom with all of my heart. My dad tells me to do good, 
but I don't do it. I feel bad about that. When I get out, I'm 
going to do good. 

-mom and dad's child 

From The Beat: You are so fortunate to have a family that loves you and 
expects good things from you. Use that regret that you feel for your 
past actions to change your future. Your family will be on your side and 
proud again when you show them that you have really changed. You 
can do it. 



Help, Piease... 



I need God's help for this one. 

Today I got some really bad news from my attorney. 
She said that I was being charged with a crime that I 
didn't even do. 

I'm going to leave it in God's hands. I'm going to pray 
to God that they drop the charge so I can go home and be 
with my family and friends. Please help me, God. 

-Osvaldo 

From The Beat: We don't know what kind of help you can count on from 
higher sources, but you can help yourself by providing your attorney 
with all the information you have - and by understanding your case 
inside and out. Good luck. 



[ On How I'm Going to Cliange Wlien I Get Out of Here 

I'm going to change by having a part time job. I have to 
apply somewhere. I'm going to keep showing up at school 
everyday and stay after school to do work. I will probably 
go to the Evening Center. I will go home early. I'm going 
to stop possessing illegal things. I will stop smoking 
marijuana and have a clean test. I will check in with my 
P.O. weekly. 

-Fernando 

From The Beat: it sounds like you are on the right track. You knoiv 
exactly what you have to do to get your life in order. Good for youl 
Now put this plan into action and don't look back. 



U 



live As It.... 



I I 



Well, I see people always thinking that they are going 
to die; that they are not going to live the next day. So 
I always say: live your life like it's your last and always 
live your life to the fullest with no regrets. Why regret 
something you have already done- just live on with your 
life. 

Also, don't be thinking you're better than anyone 
else- just be yourself. Never leave the one you love for 
the one you like because the one you like might leave you 
for the one they like. 

-Jason 

From The Beat: Living each day to the fullest is good advice, however 
looking at the regret that we feel for mistakes that we have made can 
be useful. Regret can teach u% important lessons so we don't make the 
same mistakes again. You can u%e these lessons to move ahead and 
reach important goals. Yes, make the most of each day and appreciate 
the special people in your life, but don't forget to plan for a long, 
healthy life. 









//// // 



Good News 



Los Dias Que No Quiero Ir A Casa \ 

No quiero ir a mi casa porque todos los dias fumo mariguana 
y no quiero que me vea mi jefita. Luego no quiero verla 
llorar. 

Cuando no voy a casa, me quedo a dormir en las casas 
de los homies, pero me siento diferente. No es como estar en 
tu casa con tu jefita. Ella es la linica persona en quien confio 
todos mis problemas. Por eso, la extrano un chingo. A lo 
mejor en esta semana salgo. 

From The Beat: £0 %esk que prefiere que tu madre derrame mas lagrimas 
que ir a tu casa? Te aseguramos que tu madre prefierieras que llegaras 
como llegaras, pero que durmieras en tu casa. Tu no sabes como sufren 
al no saber donde estan sus hijos. No %esk% cruel con tu madre por algo 
que no te llebara a nada bueno. 

The Days I Doo'tWaotToGoHooie 

I don't want to go home because I smoke weed every day and 
I don't want my mother to see me. I don't want to see her 
cry. 

When I don't go home, I stay in my friend's house where 
I feel different. It's not like being at home with your mother. 
She's the only one who I share all my problems with. That's 
why I miss her a lot. Maybe I get out this week. 

-Cn, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: So, you prefer that your mother shed more tears than 
going home? We are sure that your mother wishes you to come home 
at any state of influence, than not coming at all. You don't know how 
much they suffer not to know where their kids are. Don't be cruel with 
your mother for something that won't take you to anything good. 



Boeoa Notioia 

Por primera vez, me paso hoy una buena cosa y fue que hoy 
vino alguien a darme una buena notioia. Ademas de eso, me trato 
bien. Me alegro mucho. 

Tambien he ayudado a personas que no conozco porque 
la palabra de Dios dice, "haz el bien, hazlo sin recibir nada a 
cambio." 

La verdad es que cuando no quiero ir a mi casa, es cuando 
tengo problemas. Me voy donde mis amigos a la casa de ellos. 

Me han sacado de la escuela por peliar porque no me gusta 
dejarme de nadie. No me gusta que me regafien porque soy muy 
resentido. Cuando eso pasa, me quedo con ese resentimiento que 
me pone triste y muy mal. Aunque uno quiera, no puede hacer 
nada. Aunque uno quiera hacer algo, uno se siente sofocado 
porque quiere tomar venganza de la persona que lastima a 
nuestros amigos y a mi. 

From The Beat: Por lo menos, sabes como controlar tus sentimientos 
negativos cuando otros no lo pueden hacer. Eso es algo bueno. Lo mejor 
que uno puede hacer es buscar la forma como evitar problemas y buscar 
la forma como solucionar los conflictos de la mejor y segura manera que 
no afecten a otros ni a ti mismo. Tienes la solucion perfecta para idear 
con tus emosiones. Siempre usalos. Hey, se te olvido decirnos cual era 
essk noticia. 



For the first time, a good thing happened to me today, and it was 
that someone came to give me one good new. Besides that, he 
treated me well, and it made me happy. 

I've also helped people I don't know because the Word of God 
says, "do what's good, without expecting to receive something 
back." 

The truth is that when I don't want to go back home is when I 
have many problems with my family. I stay at my friend's house. 

I've been kicked out of school for fighting because I don't like 
anyone to fool me. I also don't like to be yelled at because I am 
very resentful. When that happens, I feel a period of resentment 
that makes me feel sad. Even If I try to avoid, I can't avoid it. In 
those cases, I feel so suffocated that makes me want to take 
revenge against the person who hurt friends and I. 

-Juan, San Francisco 
From The Beat: At least, you have control over your negative feelings 
when others don't. That's a good thing. The best thing you can do is to 
avoid getting into more trouble and the find the best and safe way to 
deal with conflicts that won't affect others or even yourself. You have 
the perfect solution to deal with your emotions. Keep like that always. 
Hey, you forgot to share with us about your news. 



Peosaoiieotos De Los Temas 



\ 



Cuando Llegue a en Portland, Oregon USA, conoci a 
varia gente que se porto bien conmigo. 

Cuando yo no tenia nada aqui, yo creo que esas 
personas me ayudaron con mi comportamiento. Le daba 
mi confianza y pues somos buenos amigos. Yo he ayudado 
algunas veces a personas que llegan, de donde yo soy, 
dondeles alguna camisa, pan talon, o cualquier cosa. 

Hablando de querer ir a mi casa, a mi me gustaria 
regresar a casa porque todos ellos se portan bien conmigo. 
Si salgo de aqui, si Dios lo quiere, mis problemas se 
aliviaran. 

Me imagino que perder a alguien es muy doloroso, 
especialmente a alguien a quien yo quiero. Gracias a Dios 
yo no he perdido a ningiin familiar. 

Cuando quiero vengarme aveces de algunas personas 
que se han pasado conmigo, lo pienso y me arrepiento 
antes de hacer algo, porque la palabra de Dios dice que 
hay que perdonar a nuestros enemigos. Si me vengo de 
esa persona, despues me arrepiento. Creo que vengarse 
no te quita el dolor de perder a alguien. 

Una vez perdone a mi primo quien me queria hacer 
algo terrible y despues me pidio perdon. Cuando paso eso 
me senti muy furioso. 

From The Beat: Esperamos que hagas lo posible para volver al lugar 
donde perteneces. Haber pensado antes de actuar fue lo mejor que 
hubieses hecho La venganza no trae nada mas que mas desgracias 
y sangre derramada. Hay que saber perdonar a como a nosotros nos 
gustaria que nos perdonen. Se nota que tienes una gran facilidad en 
como expresar tus ideas. Tienes ese don, usalo para tu convenciencia. 
Gracias por tu tiempo. 

Thooghts Aboot The Topics 

When I came to Portland, Oregon, I met a lot of people 
who treated me well. When I didn't have anything, they 
helped me with my behavior. I gave them my trust and we 
became good friends. I also help those who come here, 
those who are from where I am from, by giving them shirts 
and pants, or anything. 

Talking going home, I would love to go back home 
because there everyone treats me very well. If I get out 
from here, if God wants, my problems will disappear. 

I imagine that losing someone must be painful, 
especially someone I love. I Thank God I haven't lost any 
family member. 

When I want to take revenge from someone who has 
fooled me, I think about it and regret it before doing 
something because the word of God states that we have 
to forgive our enemies. If I take revenge on that person, 
I'll regret it later. I think revenge doesn't take the pain of 
losing someone. 

One time, I wanted to take revenge on a cousin 
who did something horrible to me and he asked me for 
forgiveness. When that happened, I felt furious. 

-Luis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope you do your best in returning where you belong. 
Thinking before acting is the best thing you could have done. Revenge 
doesn't bring nothing else but more disgrace and more blood spills. You 
have to learn to forgive like we would love to be forgiven. It's noticeable 
that you have skills in expressing your ideas easily. You have that gift. 
Use it for your convenience. Thanks for your time. _ 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 

The truth is that when I don't want 



to go hack home is when ihave manif 
prohients with mtf famiiif. i 








//// // 



El Dia Que Sail de Honduras 



X f 



Bueno, yo les voy a contar de el dia que sali de Honduras. 
Recuerdo que mi mama me decia que me cuidara porque 
el camino hacia la USA era muy diflcil. 

Yo con lagrimas en mis ojos la abrace y me despedi de 
ella. Le dije, "te prometo que te cuidare." Luego tambien 
le dije, "pidale a Dios que llegue con bien para poderte 
ayudar a ti y a mi papa,quien no puede caminar." 

Dios me ayudo y miren lo que vine a hacer, a vender 
drogas. Mire donde estoy, encerrado sin salida, pidiendole 
a Dios que me ayude para salir de aqui y poder hacer una 
vida nueva. 

Por eso les digo que trabajen para que no vengan a 
este lugar sin salida. 

From the Beat: La verdad es que es una gran lastima lo te paso.Nunca 
debistes haber hecho un promesa que no ibas a cumplir. Ahora tienes 
que aceptar que cometistes un error y tenes que aprender de el. Usa esta 
experiencia para darte cuenta de lo que realmente vale la pena peliar en 
la vida. £Que aprendistes de todo esto? 

The Day I Left Honduras 

Well, I'm going to share something about the day I left 
Honduras. I remember that my mom would tell me to take 
care of myself because the journey to the US was very 
hard. 

With tears coming out of my eyes, I hugged her and 
said good-bye to her. I told her, "I promise that I will take 
care of myself." Later, I said to her, "ask God to help me 
get there safe, so I can help you and my dad, who can't 
walk." 

God helped me and look at what I came to do, to sell 
drugs. Look at where I am, locked up, asking God to help 
me get out and be able to live a new life. 

That's why I ask you to work hard, so you won't end 
up in places like this one without way out. 

-Roberis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's a shame that things ended up like this. You should 
have never promised something if you knew you weren't going to keep. 
Now you have to accept that you made a mistake and learn from it. Use 
this experience to realize what's worth fighting for in life. What did you 
learn from all this? 



Los Dias Oue No Ouiero Ir A Casa 



X 



Bueno, los dias que no quiero ir a al canton es porque 
ando bajo la influencia de las drogas o alcohol. 

No quiero ir a casa porque no quiero que me miren mis 
familiares y mis hermanos. No es que me reganen,pero 
no em gustaria que mis hermanas hicieran lo mismo. 

Les quiero pedir perdon por las cosas que hago. 

From The Beat: Aunque tu no lo creas, te M^skn o no te M^skn, estan 
aprendiendo algo negativo de ti. Al no verte en casa, ellos aprenderan 
que esta bien no estar en casa. Si quieres que ellos MSk^skn por el buen 
camino, tienes que dar el ejempio del buen camino. Tienes que buscar la 
forma como dejar las drogas y el alcohol. Pide ayuda ahorita que puedes 
no despues cuando %esk tardes. 

The Days I Duo't Want Tu Home 

Well, the days I don't want to go home are when I am 
under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

I don't like to go home because I don't want my family 
and brothers to see me like that. Is not the fact that my 
parents would scold me but I wouldn't like my siblings to 
do the same things I do. 

I want to ask them for forgiveness for the things I do. 

-Os, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Believe it or not, whether they see you getting high and 
drunk, they are learning something negative from you. Not seeing you 
at home, they are learning that is OK not to be home. If you want them 
to walk a good road, you need to set a good example. You need to fins 
the way to leave drugs and alcohol alone. Ask for help now that you can 
and not later when it's too late. 



El MuGhachu Del Basurero 



\ 



Habia una vez un muchacho que vivia en el basurero, 
reciclando botes de sodas. Un dia se encontro una bolsa 
negra. Esa bolsa negra era un milagro de Dios porque estaba 
llena de dinero. 

El muchacho fue y la entrego al policia del apartamento. 
Haber hecho esto, le ayudo mucho porque lo ayudaron a el 
en muchas maneras. Le dieron un apartamento, un chofer, 
y una vivienda. El les dio muchas gracias por todo, porque o 
sino, quien sabe donde estubiera. A lo mejor estubiera en la 
perdicion, usando droga. 

Por eso hice lo que hice. Le doy gracias a Dios por todo. 
Por eso hay que ser honesto porque asi te va mejor. Eso es 
todo lo que tengo que decir. 

From The Beat: £Eres tu este muchacho? £Si si, que fue lo que te hizo 
tomar e%si decision de devolverlo? Si fuistes el, hicistes bien. No hay 
otra cosa que la honestidad. Gracias por tu tiempo. 

The Guy From The Garbage Douip 

There was a guy who lived in a garbage dump. He lived in 
a garbage dump recycling soda's cans. One day, he found a 
block bag. That black bag was a God's miracle because it was 
full of money. 

The guy returned it to the police from the apartment. By 
doing this, he was helped in many different ways. They gave 
him an apartment, a chauffer, or else who would know what 
could have been of his destiny. Maybe he would have ended 
in perdition, using drugs. 

That's why I did what I had to do. I thank God for 
everything. That's why you have to be honest because things 
go better to you. That's all I have to say. 

-Erivano, Santa Cruz 
From The Beat: Are you that guy? If so, what made you make that 
decision? If you were him, you did the right thing. There isn't such a 
thing than honesty. Thank you for your time. 



A Todos Los Que Estan AquI 

Hechemosles ganas a todos los que estamos en la carcel. 
No renieguen porque estan atrapados al igual que yo. 

Lo unico que les digo es que Dios nos ama y El no nos 
va a desamparar. Tengamos fe que muy pronto salgamos de 
aqui y nunca regresar. 

Es muy triste estar encerrado mayormente sin tu familia. 
Que Dios nos bendiga y pidanle mucho a mi Dios porque 
para El no hay nada imposible. 

De tal manera amo a Dios, al mundo que ha dado, a su 
hijo Unigento para que todo aquel que en El crea, no se 
pierda, sino tenga vida eternal. 

"Clama a mi y yo te ensefiare cosas grande y ocultas que 
tu no conoces dice" mi Dios. 

From The Beat: Que bien que te hayas enfocado en algo bien positivo. 
Esperamos que por lo menos mas de algunos lean tu mensaje y cambia 
la forma de %u% pensar. Sigue pensando! Te esta ayudando! 



To All Who Are Here 



u 



Let's keep ourselves active to all who are here. Don't deny 
that you are trapped like I am. 

The only thing I'm going to say to you is that God loves 
you and he will never abandon us. Let's have faith that very 
soon we will get out from here and never come back. 

It's sad to be locked without your family. God bless us 
and ask him anything because nothing is impossible for 
him. 

From all, I love God, the world he has given us. His son 
who was sent, and so we would all believe in him to have 
eternal life. 

"Climb up to me, and I will show you things that are 
hidden that you don't know," says God. 

-Anonimo, Marin 
From The Beat: It's good to know you are focusing in something positive. 
We hope that at least one of many get your message and change the 
^tsk^ they think. Keep believing! It's helping you! 




^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA 



z,„.„„jii!iimimiMn 



mirmrm^m^rt/ > #/// 






Your Choices Will Deteroilfle Yoop Future \ 

They say it takes a village to raise a child 

But how can you raise a child if they're out on the 

streets, runnin' wild? 

It's hard for us to grow up, not doing wrong 

'Cause everything we do wrong 

We learn from listenin' to a song 

But the media can't be blamed for all out negative thoughts 

And not only drugs can be blamed for why our minds rot 

Growin' up, we had no money in our pockets 

Had to make a quick dollah, slangin' dope and poppin' rockets 

Gotta keep it moving, puUin' licks or pushin' weight 

Starts off good, but in the end, it's not so great 

Livin' in the streets, this is only h£df of what we go through 

But this is not the life for me, it is not the life I choose 

I'ma get my education and I'ma do it big 

I'll be livin' that good life, while you strugglin' to live 

So you better think twice and make the best decision 

'Cause whichever you choose depends of whether you'll be livin' 

-Joseph 

From The Beat: How right you are, Joseph, about what you choose now. 
It's easy to choose the fast over the safe, but the old saying is true, "You 
reap what you sew." We also admire the fact that in this tight poem, you 
allocate responsibility among yourselves and the system for failing you 
for why so many young people end up sk% prisoners (or worse). We agree. 
Government has failed to do what is promised in the Constitution, "to 
provide for the general welfare." But their failure cannot be used sk% stn 
excuse for not talcing responsibility for one's own decisions. That may 
not be fair, but that's the way it is. So keep the promises you make here, 
and you won't disappoint yourself again. 



UvIm'Im the streets, this Is ottlif 

half of what we go through 

But this Is not the life for me, It 

Is not the life I choose 

100 Years 

It's shady in this juvenile hall shhh. We stay gettin' played 
in here. I can't wait until the day that they let me out. I 
know I gotta do better in life when I get out. I also have 
to do better by my family. I haven't really been showin' 
my moms the respect she deserves. She die queen in my 
life and she come first before anybody. Family is the best 
thing to have when you're down and out. 

When I get out I'ma show my mom how much I really 
care. I'ma get a job and see what's up with college. I'm not 
trying to be another statistic in the 'hood. I'm also not 
trying to have my mom crying over my body at an early 
age. Just by saying that, I start thinking about my bra 
CJ, RIP. I know his moms goin' through it right now. I'm 
hot, because I couldn't go to the funeral, but. Bra know I 
would have been there if I could. I stay shootin' dice with 
bra, and we used to stay slap boxin', but we goin' ride for 
bra, and keep the money comin' in. 

-Mookie 

From The Beat: We admire everything you say in this piece... until the 
very end. When you %«y you're going to ride for your dead homie, it's 
another way of putting something ahead of the love you have for your 
mother. Sometimes, you can't have it both ways, Mookie. Just don't stop 
thinking about what you oive the woman who brought you into this 
world and who stands by you through it all. When you put other things 
in front of that, whether it's revenge for CJ or chasing after money, 
you're risking everything. And all the words of love in the world can't 
undo what it means not to be there for your mom. Finish school; go to 
college. And don't risk being taken from your mom again! 



Time Waits Fur Nu Man 



\ 



Power owns all 

and respect is what we earn from the streets. 

Or to what you deserve. 

You look around and think of what you've done 

And when you're willing to do all. 

Then it seems you have the power of everything. 

But with the pistol in your pocket. 

People say, "Drop it," 

But you can only drop it once you feel the power when 

you pop it. 

Hesitation isn't a problem — the streets got you 

convinced. 

But don't get fooled by the tricks... 

they could catch you in one 

One day you will notice what you've done 

There's only time to watch your fame fade to the 'hood 

to the drugs 

Everything you had is now gone 

Slangin', bangin', shhh ain't easy 

You now stuck in the pen. 

Trying to have God forgive your sin. 

But you only had control of yourself 

When you decided to take a life of another. 

Be ready to remember the pain... 

Ain't easy an' there's no med to cure. 

Fear is no longer there. 
You only got yourself through time. 
There's no one to prove yourself to. 

-Raquel 

From The Beat: You've left us with some powerful images in this reverie 
about consequences. The one that will stick with u% — and we hope with 
everyone who reads what you've written — is the line: "You only got 
yourself through time." We're trying to imagine what that would be like, 
and it makes u% shudder to think about it. To be alone with ourselves 
for all time. We hope this chilling but accurate description reaches those 
who are moving toward that end without giving it a second thoughtl 



(rief 



rj 
\ 



u 



Some things you can't believe. 

Some grief will make you scream. 

Make others cry if you caused it. 

Only you know why 

You can relieve someone of grief by doing simple things 

It can change the whole scene 

Life's full of emotions. Grief is one that could be strong, 

But it could be overcome. 

It could be temporary or long. 

Depending on how strong your heart and mind is 

Grief made me shed tears 

And announce my fears to others — 

My mother and brothers. 

Grief could be felt amongst lovers 

Anybody 

You could stop it; you could start it 

It's up to you 

What part of it do you want? 

Everybody, just be strong. 

Twin... I'm gone. 

-Twin Two 

From The Beat: We really like this poem, and especially that you were 
able to put it together in your mind and then on paper in the space of 
one workshop. We would love to read a longer explanation of how grief 
caused you to sknnounce your fears to your family, always difficult to 
do, and always a sign of maturity and responsibility. What can you tell 
us about that? 



\ 




^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA 



z,„.„„jii!iimimiMn 



mirmrm^m^rt/ > #/// 






Dear My Family 



I would like to start this piece by saying that family is the 
most precious thing in my life. I love my family with all my 
heart. Even though I have messed up some of my relationships 
with my family members, I plan on wasting no more time. I 
don't regret what I've done, only because it has taught me to 
be a better person and a better part of my family. 

I have always loved my family, I just never knew how to 
express my feelings because of the rough times I had growing 
up, having only moms to raise me. But now, all my intentions 
are good. I love my lil' sister and mom with all my heart. 
They're my queens, and only pray to God that everything 
turns out well. 

-Cesar 

From The Beat: We admire this piece so much, Cesar, because it taices 
strength and humility to taice responsibility for how you've messed up 
some of the past family relationships. But we want to emphasize the 
word "past" because your future is what really counts, and it is very clear 
that you already understand this. Having only good intentions is the 
necessary beginning. After that, comes the hard work of relationship 
building, and determination not to go back to old ways that didn't work 
in the past. We know you're up to it, so now go out and do it! 



My Life 



I was born in the US, raised up in Mexico. I came back at 
the time when I was six years young. I started going to Fair 
Oaks School in the middle of second grade. It was hard for 
me because I didn't know the language, English. I also didn't 
know anybody at the school. I felt alone, 'cause I didn't 
have no one to talk to or someone that could talk to me at 
school. 

Then one day I asked my mom, "Why did we come to the 
U.S.? I don't like it here. I want to go back to Mexico where all 
my family is." Then my mom answered, "The reason why we 
came here to the U.S. is because I want you to have a better 
life." 

So time passed fast and I learned how to speak English. So 
now that I learned the language English, I had lots of friends 
that I could never imagine I was doing good in school, getting 
high grades — until one day I decided to smoke a blunt with 
my homeboys. That's when my whole life changed, because 
instead of getting good grades, I went with my homeboys and 
got really high by smoking weed. That's when I got caught up 
in drugs, and I also started to gangbang. 

Now look at me. I am locked up, but it's nothing, because 
I know I'ma get out. I got one thing in mind and that's that 
I'm not gonna get locked up again. That's for sure. Why? 
Well, I'ma tell you why. I'm not gonna get locked up because 
this is my first and last time that I ever get locked up. When 
I had court, the judge said, "You violated your probation, and 
for that you are going to get locked up." 

So they locked me up, but that's not why. Now I'ma tell 
you the real thing, why I am not going to get locked up ever 
again. That is because my mom came and visited me, and 
when I got to the table, she got up and hugged me and started 
to cry because she didn't want to see me in here. I felt really 
bad when I saw her crying, so I told my mother, "You know 
what. Mom? You're going to see a different son of yours." 
That made her feel better and she stopped crying. So that's 
why I'm never gonna end up in here, because I don't want to 
see my mom in pain, like how I saw her that day. 

-Osvaldo 

From The Beat: First, we want to tell you what stn accomplishment it 
is that you have mastered English, always a difficult language, even 
for those who spoke it at home. The fact that you have learned this 
second language so well, and can express yourself in ways that should 
make most Americans (who can only speak one language) envious 
of your skills. That already tells u% that you have a fine brain that is 
working for you. But then, when we got to the end of this declaration 
of independence from a life of pain and incarceration, we also could see 
wfhat a big and loving heart you have. Never forget the powerful love 
and warmth your mother's hug represents, and all that you owe her 
for what she's given you, so that you keep your promise to give back 
to her the son she wants to see grow into a responsible man. We see it 
happening. Keep it going. 



My Baby Sister's Eyes 



\ 



I'm hurtin' inside 

As I'm writing this, tears are coming out my eyes 

It's hard for me to say this, but my mom was right 

I took advantage of my life 

Thinking every day is guaranteed 

But what hurts the most is 'cause this all dawned on me 

It hurts to know that you can't see your family for a whole year 

And to live with regret 

I put the homies over my family 

And at the end the only ones who stayed with me was my family 

My stupidity led me in here 

Now I'm going to outta-state placement for a year 

It's hard to see my mom cry 

To say good-bye 

I've held so much anger and frustrations inside 

I keep thinking to myself: "Everything's gonna be all right" 

I've smiled now and cried later way too many times 

I don't care if anyone sees me cry 

I don't want mota 

I don't want rocks 

I don't want coke 

Nor do I want alcohol 

All I want is to look in my baby sister's eyes 

To hug my mom and tell her how much I'm sorry 

To see my other two lil' sisters, see them smile 

I don't want my old ways back 

I want my family 

My mom used to say that at the end all you have is your family 

But to me, at one point, the homies were my family 

No matter what I do 

My mom's always there 

No matter what I put her through 

She's always waiting for me in open arms 

Every visit I get she tells me she loves me 

Why did I run? 

It wasn't even worth all of this 

I'd rather be home right now watchin' TV with my lil' sis 

But I did the crime so I'm gonna do the time 

But I just wanted to say I'm sorry. Mom 

And I love you 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: Regret and remorse and only useful emotions sk% 
guideposts to a different and better future. We all make mistakes, 
but we don't all learn from them. You are fortunate because you have 
learned from yours some extremely valuable lessons. Yes, there are 
consequences for what you've done in the past. But don't let those 
consequences beat you down. Keep the promises you make in this very 
strong declaration of independence. Here you stand, no longer a little 
girl lured into the life by the promises and visions of children. Here you 
stand, a responsible young woman. Good for youl 



1 



ou I 



J L 



Climbing Up 

It hurts to hear that I am a failure. 

All the work I've done in the last year 

The G.I.R.L.S. program wasn't for me 

I didn't get to finish it while being free 

My PO thinks I have a bad attitude 

She thinks I didn't show enough gratitude 

Nothing I did was good enough 

But the threats of getting locked up were not a bluff 

I wish I could have been a success story 

But soon enough, you will see me in my glory 

I'm getting off probation in a few weeks 

Ready to continue my life up toward the peaks 

I'll come back to the judge some day to show her 

That I'm not just a failure 

Although it's easy for me to say it 

I hope one day I can believe it 

-Gina 
From The Beat: Remember those peaks to which you aspire/ Can never 
be reached, you can always reach higher/ The story of your life is yet 
to be written/ Don't judge it a failure from where you are sittin'/ Pull 
yourself up, one step at a time/ The peaks that you'll conquer count less 
than the climb! 



1 



\ 




^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA 



z,„.,„^ip^n^mnin 



WMFmam^mi/ r / n/ e s 






The Truth Ahout Love 



In my cell all alone 

Singing love songs 

Wondering who's the next man in my life 

Wondering will he last 

I used to do anything for my men 

'Cause they promised me love 

But love became just sex at the end 

And left me feeling dumb 

There's always another man out there 

Who will try and spit his game 

Tell you how pretty you are 

And how he thinks about you throughout this day 

He pushes every compliment in your heart 

And makes you feel like a queen 

But then you really find out what's up with him 

How do you know when your man really cares about you? 

He will give up and risk everything he has for you 

He will be the one to wipe those tears from your eyes 

He will be the one to tell you what's wrong or right 

He will look in your eyes 

And not just look at your thighs 

He will learn the true beauty of your insides and never regret to be in your life 

This is what love is 

Will I find it one day? 

But for now I'ma wait for love 

Until it finds me 

And, hopefully, the next man that comes along 

Will love me 

For me 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: You were a child in love with children, and with the 
notion of being in love. Boys are taught, too often, that girls are worth 
less than them, that they aren't to be respected sk% they demand to 
be respected (and, ironically, sk% they demand that their mothers be 
respected). So, in the end, it is you who must love yourself, and love 
means to respect all of you, what^ inside sk% well sk% what^ outside. 
When you demand respect, you will get it. Looking for love is a very old 
story, and seldom ends well. So we are behind you all the way when you 
say you're going to wait for love to find you. it will. Be patient. 



My Last Words Before I Go To Wyoming 

I wanna look in your eyes all night 

But we both know that that can't happen tonight 

I wanna listen to all your stories 

But I'm sorry I can't, 'cause I'm locked up 

I wanna hold you and feel your chest on mine 

Feel both our heartbeats become as one 

I wanna be there for you when you need me 

I wanna be the one to help pick you up from your knees 

I want you to know that I won't ever judge you 

I want you to know that when everyone leaves 

I'll still be there 

I wanna go to sleep then wake up to your beautiful smile 

I wanna be with you 'cause my love for you goes on for miles 

I wanna be with you 'cause one look gots my body going wild 

I wanna be with you, Mijo, and I'm not lyin' 

I'm taking chances for you 

So please say I do 

I promise, Mijo, I'm all you want in a girl 

And I'm ready to show you all my love for you 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: You're torn between the emerging woman who recognizes 
that feelings of love can be like dope, blurring the line between reality 
and fantasy, and the child you were looking and wanting love to be 
like a fairytale. You are not "all" your mijo might want in a girl, because 
nobody is "all" anything for another person. We know that euphoric 
feeling you're trying to preserve through feelings of love, but guard 
your heart against inevitable disappointment when reality intrudes on 
fantasy. Human relationships are not movies. They skte often difficult. 
Love yourself, and allow yourself to grow before declaring your undying 
love. And good luck in Wyoming. 



M 



I Miss Yaww 



I am sorry, mom and dad, for everything I made you go through — all the pain 
and tears and struggle. I never wanted to make you cry, but I did anyways, and 
regret that because, mom and dad, I love you to death. 

But, mom and dad I'm going to continue doing what I do. I know it hurts 
you, but that's the way I was raised to be. I know it hurts you coming here to 
see me locked up behind these walls. It's my fault and nobody else's, but I have 
to say one more thing — I miss yaww. 

-Lil' Pako 
From The Beat: You're going to have to do more to explain to u% the 
paradox in this piece. You claim to love your mom and dad, but then you 
promise to continue doing the things that you know hurt them. Hoiw 
can that be love? You also say you were raised to be like that, but then, 
who raised you? If your parents raised you, did they raise you to hurt 
them? Those are the paradoxes we cannot understand. Please explain. 



■^ 



U 



Siiiig "Ni" 



\ 



It's hard saying no, but sometime you got to say no because you might end up 
at the wrong place at the wrong place at the wrong time. Like I told my homies, 
one day, "No," about something they wanted to do. And now one of them in jail 
for murder and the other one in jail, lookin' at ten years for something they 
could've thought about and did something else. 

But even though they did what they did, I still love them and they always 
go' be my homies, no matter what they did. But I had the balls to say, "No," and 
they respect me for that. If a person can't say no if you don't want to go, then 
you ain't no real man. You can do what you want to do. You don't have to do 
something with your friends. 

-Tb 
From The Beat: You're right, TB, it takes some cajones to be able to 
stand up to friends and not go along with what they want you to. it is 
a sign of responsibility and maturity. As far sk% loving your homies even 
though they went down for something they could have avoided but 
didn't, we think that maices you stn honorable person. As many people 
who call themselves Christians like to %xy, "\ can love the sinner, but 
hate the sin." 



I I 



(rief 



>le . 
»ut I 

\ 



I have grieved over someone I lost. When you first find out you are shocked, 
but when you realize it's fo' real, you get a weird feeling in your body. I lost a 
close friend, and to me, it was a physical pain through my body. I would never 
get over the loss, but I'm always going to know that he is in a better place. My 
advice is to everyone who lost someone is that he is always watching over you 
every second. 

-Tito 
From The Beat: We think this is a good strategy for dealing with the 
pain of loss. We're sorry about your close friend. 



To Willow 



This is to someone who I cared about a lot. Me and him were like best friends 
and now that he's gone, it's so hard for me, 'cause he was my everything. He 
was there when I didn't care about life no more. He was there singing to me 
love songs. He was there when I just broke up with my vato. After that he was 
holding me in his muscular arms all night. 

I was there to help him escape from the cops when he had a warrant out for 
him. I was the one backing him up in fights. He became my best friend. He knew 
my ins and outs and I knew his. And now that he's in jail, my life is triste. 

I want him back to tell him what's been going on. I want to hold him tight 
all night and never to let go. We both had a warrant out for us and now that we're 
apart, life's going too slow. I just hope that in five years, when he gets out, he 
still knows how much I missed him. 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: The theme of love is like a poiverful river that runs 
through almost everything you write. This tells u% what a big and caring 
heart you have. We already know, from your writing skills, that you 
have a big and working head. Those dual qualities — head and heart — 
are gifts that not everyone is so blessed with. Use them to build a better 
future so that, instead of helping someone you care about escape from 
the cops or backing him up in fights, you can help him and yourself stay 
out of situations which can lead to running from cops or engaging in 
beef. Use your skills to think about your past sk% a way to light a path 
to a new tomorrow. 



r 



You Wiii Eveotually Do What Your Peopie Do 

When my friends did hard drugs, such as crystal meth or heroin, I would 
always refuse an offer that they always made. Eventually I tried it and I liked it, 
but the lesson learned to me is the more you hang around a person who does 
something you don't like, you will eventually do it, too. 

But I have a strong overall view on it now. I will never pick up my next hit 
because I know what to expect now, and it just doesn't feel right to me. 



From The Beat: We're sorry you caved in to peer pressure, but we're glad 
that you've %een where that kind of weakness can lead, it takes inner 
strength to say no, but in the end, that strength will prepare you for 
future of freedom. Don't forget! 



You Know Yoo Care 



.er I 

J 
\ 



It hurts so much here sitting in my room, thinking what I put you through. I 
know I done so many things, like hurt you, cheat on you, but it doesn't mean 
you don't have to write me back. After two years of being together and showing 
you that I love you, you sit in your room acting like you don't care. But the truth, 
you know you do, so there is no point of acting like we never had nothing. 

-Sapo 
From The Beat: What can we say, Sapo? You admit to cheating on her. 
You admit to hurting her. And it's clear that when you gave the system 
power to take you away, you weren't really thinking of her. So, what 
does she owe you? What is the appropriate response? Some consequences 
can't be undone. 




^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA 



z,„.,„^ip^n^mnin 



WMFmam^mi/ r / n/ e s 






Two Step 



What's good, everybody? Me? Nothin', just chillin', tryin' to get out in six 
months by bein' a 2-step my whole stay. If I slip one time, doin' one whole year. 
Things that I do to stay out of trouble is keep my mouth shut, go alone with the 
program, and do my time, nobody else's. 

-Italiano 
From The Beat: All good strategies, young italiano. Now, can you 
exercise the same amount of self-control when you get out of here so 
that you never have to come back? 



xr 



It's Time For Me To Be Who I Really Am 

I wanna be in the outs 

Can't wait to be in my house 

I have court Monday 

I'm praying to be out 

It's hard to think positive 

But that's my only hope 

Dear God, 

I can't go to camp. I need to go home. I could do good, and I know it's hard, 
but I'ma do my best. Everybody wants me to do good, and I understand, because 
this place ain't for me or for anybody in here. But we all make mistakes and it's 
time we should take responsibility for our actions. It's hard to learn from my 
mistakes, because in the end I end up doing the same. But it's time. It's time for 
me to stop being the same. It's time to be who I really am, and that's me! 

-Care Bear 
From The Beat: We always think of prayer sk% a two-way street. God 
hears your prayers, but answers them with prayers of his own to you. 
Do you hear His prayers? Can you answer them? You know what He 
wants from you, and you know He's waiting to see if you can deliver. 
Can you? Start with a plan for your future, not just a hope. You need 
more than words, even true words like "it's time to take responsibility." 
You need to write down a brief list of things you're going to do, like: 1) 
go to school every day; 2) stay home at night and do my homework; 3) 
listen to what my mother tells me, and don't fight with her; 4) don't risk 
my freedom by doing the things that have led to lock-up in the past. 
If you follow those simple steps, you'll be walking away from here and 
not coming back. 



My Homie 



X 



Always Somethiog To Do io The 'Hood ^ 

The only thing that I miss about being on the outs is kicking it in the 'hood 
with the homeboys and drinking. I don't really care about anyone or anything 
else, 'cause my homeboys are the only ones that I can really depend on to have 
my back and stop me from getting caught when I'm doing whatever I do. 

Every time I go to the 'hood, there's always something to do that can make 
me feel good. I love my 'hood and my homeboys, no matter what happens, 
'cause I am who I am and I do what I do. 

-Lil' Enemy 
From The Beat: Yeah, you are who you are and you do what you do — 
lAfhich, at the moment, is taking orders from strangers telling you when 
to get up, when and what to eat, when to talk and when to be silent, 
what to wear, etc. If that's what you mean by doing what you do, then 
prepare for a whole lot more of it, only the next stop won't be nearly sk% 
nice sk% where you are right now. If you're depending on homies to "stop 
you from getting caught," then you're depending on people that have 
already failed you. Or, are we missing something? 



I was chilling in the field in Fair Oaks School. It was around 9:00 pm. A bunch 
of people were sittin' down in the middle of the apartments, so I went inside 
my home and suddenly I saw a stranger running down the alley with bottles of 
Coronas in his hands. He was running away from gangstas. So the one of the 
gangsters told his friend to go get the heat. So he went and got the heat from 
the spot and ran after the victim and shot once. Luckily, the victim moved to 
the side and the shot missed him and hit the door of the car. So the cops came, 
eventually, like around 6:00 pm. 

The next day the gangster who pulled the trigger got caught and he snitched 
on his own "homie." The gangster that pulled the trigger not only said names, 
he also said that the scene where this happened was a gang territory. So now 
you got gang task force passing through a young neighborhood every Monday, 
Wednesday, Friday after 6:00 pm. Now, after this incident, a lot of people from 
that area getting locked up! That includes me. So now I have to do time in the 
hall and at home. Thanks to "my homie." 

-Lil' Stewie 
From The Beat: Oh no, Stewie. You aren't doing time because of your 
"homie." You're doing time because you gave the cops some reason 
to pull you out of your neighborhood. You can't blame what you are 
responsible for on someone else, not even a snitch. Be prepared for 
snitches all up and down the system, from the littlest crime all the 
way up to murder. (Death row is filled with people who were snitched 
on by the real triggerman.) The only way to escape the system is not 
to do whatever it is that gives the system power over your life. And 
what kind of madness is it to shoot someone stealing beer? Fools or 
children... which is it? How much worse the consequences for everyone 
if any of those bullets had found their mark! 



U 



Ml) 27, 2101 



My best day is going to be on May 27, '08. That's the day I get released. All day, 
all I'm gonna do is chill. I'm going to open my eyes to people who are trying to 
help me. I'm going to go to school. 

-Luis 
From The Beat: This is a little too short to explain very much, Luis, but 
the few things you've told us are important. School is the key to the 
cage they've put you in, and accepting help is a sign of strength, not 
of weakness! 



To My Baby Sister 



You mean the world to me 

I love you so much 

And it hurts me to think that you're gone 

I know it hurts that your big sis is gone 

But one more year, Mija, and I'll be back home 

I want you to be strong 

And to always know that I love you 

It's hard, 'cause I don't know when's the next time I'ma see you 

You're getting so big now 

It makes me cry 

'Cause I'm missing so much in your life 

I've made so many bad mistakes 

But please, don't make them, too 

Don't listen to the people who you know is a bad influence on you 

I cry when mom says you want me home 

And I cry when I hear you're doing wrong 

I've promised you so many times that I'ma do good 

But I always end up kickin' it 

Which gets me screwed 

I've turned myself in 'cause of you 

Mom told me that you were crying every day for me 

When I was gone 

I'm sorry, lil' one 

For not being home 

The only tears that come out 

These ocean blue eyes 

Is the ones I shed for you 

'Cause you're my everything 

You are my life 

And I love you so much 

And please do good 

This is for my six-year-old sister 

Baby Blue Eyes 

-B Byes 
From The Beat: This is one of the hardest lessons of all — to recognize 
how our actions affect those who see us si% their models, who look up to 
us. Children learn by what they see, not by what you tell them. So, you 
are right to feel sorry for the pain you've caused your little sister, even 
though you are suffering great pain yourself. The moral is simple (to 
state, not to do), which is this: If there are things you don't want your 
little sister to do, then don't do them yourself! If there are things you do 
that would make you ashamed if your little sister learned of them, then 
stop doing them! We know you agree with these morals, and when you 
come home, you can't put your knowledge into practice. 



Thiflklfl' Dot Load! 



Sittin' in this class thinkin' 'bout my mom 

Tryna figure out why the law is so wrong 

Got me in here 'cause violation of program 

They say because I ran, but, really, it was vacation 

Got a week more to go 

Then I'll be terminated off probation 

-Booby/Tati 
From The Beat: Well, you've paid a price for that little vacation. If that 
was a price you were willing to pay, then you got what you wanted. Now 
comes the hard part, though. Don't give the system any more reasons to 
take away what god gave you — your freedom! 



1 



Trost 



Somethin' I lost is trust. I wish I could have someone to trust, but I have no 
one. I think everyone who has somethin' to say to me is a lie. I don't know why 
I have no trust for no one. I feel like everyone is out to get me. 

If someone does somethin' nice for me, in my mind it's so that they can 
play me. Paranoid is how I always seem to be, always ready for that person or 
thing out to get me. Having no trust ain't cool, making myself feel alone day- 
by-day, because I have no trust for no one. But got none but love for my loved 
ones. 

-Creeper 
From The Beat: Where do you think your paranoia came from? Have you 
been betrayed by people or family? If you know that this feeling leaves 
you feeling alone, is there any way you can try to overcome it? You can't 
go through life entirely alone, depending on no one, so how can you 
find people who are trustworthy? Or, to put it another way, can people 
trust you? If so, why do you think you're different from others? If not, 
maybe that% why you don't trust others. 



fa 




^//////// ///////, sjijr .if/M/mmmmwA 



z,„.,„^ip^n^mnin 



WMFmam^mi/ r / n/ e s 



mm 




When I Look At Yoo 



When I look at you I feel good 

'Cause I know that you're my boo 

A smile so big 

A twinkle in my eyes 

Knowing that if we last 

You're always gonna be my guy 

Since you asked me out 

My eyes go to you 

I don't look at nobody besides you 

'Cause I'm happy to be yours 

You're taking risks to save this relationship 

And so am I 

But when I come back to Cali 

Our relationship is gonna be stronger 

And I'm hoping that no matter what 

You're still gonna be in my life 

But before I leave Cali 

I'm gonna tell you 

That I'm happy that you're gonna stick with me 

And when I come back 

Trust me, it's all gonna be worth it, Mijo 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: Love relationships are strange things. At the time they 
are blooming, it's impossible to think that they will ever end. Forever 
seems too short. But then, sk% things develop, you begin to see how hard 
they are to maintain, how much work and compromise is required, and 
sometimes they develop and sometimes they don't. All we're saying is 
that you have a long life a head of you and, while we hope this is the 
love of your life, if it turns out otherwise, well... we've all been there. 



Ei-Hiiies 



X 



You tell them something and they tell other people after you told them not to 
say anything, so those kinds of people you have to try to avoid. Don't talk to 
them or look at them because they're fake, like pops. They try to set you up 
with other people for you can fight homies. 

Homies are the ones that get you out of funk, not the ones that get you 
into funk. But family will always come through for you, no matter what, so be 
careful who you kick it with or who you trust. 

-Kool Aid 
From The Beat: Good advice. The problem is, of course, sometimes you 
don't know the person you're kicking it with is untrustworthy until it's 
too late... 



There's No Way It Used To Be 



X 



Once I fell in love with someone and he fell in love, too. But my love for him 
became too much, 'cause I've never felt like this before. I went on the run and 
said that I would never go back home and tried to forget about him. But every 
time I would kiss my new vato, for some reason I saw my first love. I drank and 
smoked to help heal my broken heart, but every time I was drunk or high, I 
would decide to call him. His love for me was way too strong, so he couldn't talk 
to me, 'cause he knew that it was over between us, but we both inside wanted 
life the way it used to be. 

I find every reason to get away from him, 'cause he still tells me he loves 
me. I'm more mature now than back then, but it's strong, 'cause I don't love 
him. I'm willing to love another time and not run or hide, but not love him, 
love another guy. I look at my first love like a brother now and nothing more, 
but I know that my Romeo is out there somewhere, or maybe my first love 
was him. All I know is that I'm sorry for all the wrong I did. You will always be 
remembered, and I'm sorry about your loss. 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: This only underscores our response to your other 
declaration of undying love. Things change, and you should feel no 
remorse about that. Yes, you are more mature than you were then, 
and you will be even more mature is you gain more experiences in the 
world. 



Cili Mentilit) 



X 



When I came here, I thought it was gonna be hard to control myself, but I seen 
a lot of the homies in my unit. Then I tried to find every way to see how to be 
calm in my cell by reading or writing, talking to your roommate, school, and 
program. Don't mess up and get an hour. 

I tried not to remember how it used to be when I was home or with my 
mom, but I couldn't stop thinking about my mom and family and homies. 

Try to stay out of jail. Think before you act. I wanted to fight people here, 
but I was thinking about the hours that I would get. Late. 

-Kool Aid 
From The Beat: The lessons you've learned in here about self-control can 
also be applied when you're on the outs. It's understandable that you 
might want to go off on people in here sometimes, and it's admirable 
that you're able to think about the consequences and prevent yourself 
from acting. Self-control is like a habit; the more you exercise it, the 
easier it is to do. 



PsalDi 23 For Me 



\ 



The Lord is my shepherd: 

Safety 

I shall not want: 

Supply 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 

Peace 

He leadeth me beside the still waters: 

Harmony 

He restoreth my soul: 

Healing 

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness: 

Guidance 

For His name's sake: 

Purpose 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: 

Darkness 

I will fear no evil: 

Confidence 

For Thou art with me: 

Protection 

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me: 

Instruction 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 

Provision 

Thou anointest my head with oil: 

Consecration 

My cup runneth over: 

Abundance 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 

Loving care 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever: 

Eternal home 

-Antoine 
From The Beat: What a beautifully crafted explanation for the 
enveloping and warming words of the 23rd Psalm. 



I 



Grief 



I wanna start off by saying that while I've been here I've seen nothing but grief 
and beef between young men and staff here in the hall. Grief is all over. It's a 
everyday thing. It's all over. I deal with it on a regular basis. I even have grief 
with my family. 

It's hard to deal with, but I rather deal with family grief than to deal with 
everybody else's grief. I rather keep it cool and get back to my family to work on 
some of the grief that we have. I even worked on that while I'm here, but there's 
always something new. We just gotta keep praying and keep it moving with life. 
Period. 

-Cesar 
From The Beat: Even though you end this heart-felt piece with the 
word, "Period," it's really not the end, is it Cesar? Praying and keeping it 
moving with life is a process that has no period, no end. Keep working 
on the pain that grief cmA%e%. T^y to stay out of the daily grief that you 
see here because, in the end, it is the strength of your family ties that 
will keep you strong, and moving forward. 



To SoDieooe Special lo My Life 

I'm missin' you so much 



lat I 

\ 



U 



A tear down my cheek 

Your last words were to me 

"Do good, Mija, make me proud" 

Now look at me screwing around 

I stopped banging and claiming for you 

But it's hurtin', 'cause at one point in my life 

All I had was you 

I miss you so much 

Sometimes you're in my dreams 

Just you and me 

I'm sorry, but it's hard for me 

It's like I lost you just yesterday 

'Cause every day I feel the pain 

I'm triste 

Remember that song we used to sing 

When we are drunk 

Well, that's the song that's always in my head 

"Remember when I die, girl, don't you cry 

Just dry your eyes 

I never meant for me to say good-bye 

But remember when I die" 

That was the song that you sang to me once 

And, even though you're dead 

You're always in my head 

Well, much love and respect, Chino 

Alrato 

-B Eyes 
From The Beat: What a sad but loving tribute to yet another victim of a 
meaningless war! We're sorry for your loss, and all the losses that pile 
up in these pages. Now your responsibility is to live long and free so 
that you can keep alive Chino's memory... and avoid his fate. 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^T^^WT^mmMsmffm a r 'f//'JJJJ_ 



'SH^wn L,^' Munr D^wxs ^/p.' 




Pain From A Poet 



The pain in pleasure for a poet is unknown to someone 
who not knows but, poetry, makes nothing happen 'cause 
it survives by it's own sayings. Life has no meaning for 
poetry 'cause you have to hear with your eyes, hearing 
has no meaning 'cause you see with your eyes, hearing 
has no meaning 'cause you see with your ears. Love? 
Love doesn't look for a reason, love is beyond reason... 
first sight, anonymous, passion, soul mate... the wall... 
from a broke heart... synchronizing... nearing the end 
of life, without a human friend... what must it be like? 
Visible silhouette's, also blurry but lingering as it 
vanishes. Something quite different, emptiness, from 
another perspective but, also from a stranger's feelings, 
leaving a trail of tears... this ecstasy of love; no fear in 
love, but to secure your love, whose violent property fore 
doe's itself, is the undertaking of. . . pain from a poet 



Ideal Relationships with God, Self, and Others \ 

The scriptures, either by specific statement or by 
implication, presents us with certain ideals concerning 
our relationships with God, self, and others. Victimization 
disrupts these relationships. 

The ideal relationships with God means that a person is a 
new and growing creature, united with the Lord, one with 
him and living as close to the father as Jesus did. 

The ideal relationship with oneself involves loving 
yourself as God does, accepting and forgiving oneself. 
Each person is to see him or herself as a fuU-fiedged child 
of God; who can hold her or his head high as a prince 
or princess. Such a person is free to accept and forgive 
those who have hurt him or her. 

The ideal relationship with others involves loving 
them as God loves them and as one (Ideally) loves oneself. 
We are to follow Jesus' example and serve others, relating 
to them as members of the same family, the same body 
with Christ as the head. 



Our Surrender To God 



Faith is always a surrender. Faith is the eye that sees the 
invisible. When I look at something, I surrender myself 
to the impression that it makes upon me. Faith is the ear 
that hearkens to the voice of God. 

When I believe a message I surrender myself to the 
infiuence, whether cheering or saddening, that the words 
exercise on me. When I believe in Jesus, I surrender 
myself to him, in refiection, in desire, in expectation, in 
order that he may be in me and do n me that for which he 
has been given to me by God. 



It's The Porest Love 



To catch laughter, bond; is friendship. 
Even when there are clouds in your sky and rain... 
we'll get soaked together. 
A special one remains unchanged, by time, or distance. 

It's the purest love... unconditional and true, 

it's the understanding of any situation, forgiving, of any 

mistake. 

To create a support that is constant, while everything 

else changes. 

It's a friendship of mutual genuine liking. 

To possess love is a treasure that makes life more 

valuable. 



Shawn La' Mont Davis Jr. aica Contrite is writing u% from a the CDC 
in S^n Bernardino, CA. Shawn is not a new writer, but we haven't 
heard from him in a while. We're glad that you've reached out to us 
again Shawn. Keep in touch and the thoughtful pieces coming our 
way! 



"We're" 

Dismissed with prejudice? 
All of us (criminal per. Say) are the future, 
but we bring ignominy to ourselves! 
But, we try to be discrete, freestanding, 

depriving our own youthfulness. 

Discrimination? We do it to ourselves 

when we discount the importance of being... living... 

changing... why? 

Every time we put ourselves in a jam, 

we say, basis, individual martinet. 

It's us... We lock up the future... dreams... 

Talents and gifted, not the judge, DA, police, witness, or 

lawyer... 

us, you and me, 

'cause once we commit wrong... all of thee above... is 

gone... 

it's a waste. 

We have to live life with realism 

'cause if we keep being impractical or visionary. . . we 

won't make it. 



Well, Tha^k ^om for the pnh- 
llsked worl^, and froifinow oh I'll 
seHdnilHes (poems) to hopeft^llif 
encourage o^r readers a fid writ- 
ers IH evertf aspect 



Hey! 



Thanks for having a young brother, and blessing me to 
be able to see my verses (poems) in The Beat. Sorry that I 
haven't been able to enlighten our readers for a while, but 
never the less, I'm here. Things have turned around since 
my last report to you all, it is truly a blessing. I'm just 
about ready to go home, but I'mgonna keep that under my 
hat until I'm free and I'll share -promise- 
Well. Thank you for the published work, and from 
now on I'll send mines (poems) to hopefully encourage our 
readers and writers in every aspect. So I'll just send you a 
whole lot, so expect more. Oh yeah, I would appreciate a 
weekly magazine. PLEASE! 
Sincerely. . . 



Moltiforo) 



The image of ones self, 

which I try to create in his own mind, 

in order that I may love thyself 

is very different from the image which he tries to create 

in the minds of others 

in order that you love me. 



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'HffUTHf^ ^nnxM' 




A Week In The Life of Arizona 

Early morning brings with it the constant rumbling sound 
of feet headed towards the chow hall to eat before being 
sent out on one of the gun-gangs to perform menial labor. 
The gun-gang consist of hundreds of prisoners dressed in 
carrot-colored jumpsuits, transported all over the state to 
perform labor for the state, counties, etc. Such task as road 
cleanup, digging ditches, state and federal forestry work. 
My dreams, not unlike my waking moments are shattered 
with the paralyzing-realization that I am being held hostage 
against my will under threat of death by parasitic, people- 
keepers, the lowest of the lowest of humanity. 

My motivation to get up out of bed timely this morning 
depends upon whether or not a mindless guard is working 
the dorm who will enforce the idiotic rules that beds are 
suppose to be made by 8 am. My every action is calculated, 
premised on whether or not a prison guard is both qualified 
and willing to make me comply with the rules or policies. It 
is called passive resistance, utilizing the Law of Attribution, 
no different than a POW. Is honored bound to employ when 
captured and held captive by enemy forces. 

To exist, I must resist at every opportunity. As it was 
said many-many years ago, if a man isn't free and he isn't 
fighting for his freedom, he does not deserve to live. Hearing 
the jungles of keys and their loud walkie-talkies, I force 
myself to get up and grudgingly begin to make my bed, 
cursing my fascist captors, their parents, their children, 
their dogs and their Gods. I literally have to force myself to 
get up and begin to comply with their childish rules to avoid 
having to hear these welfare-bums knocking on my door, 
ordering me to make my bed. Just the sound of their voice 
is nauseously sickening, causing me grievous pain; making 
me livid with renewed hatred and contempt for these sub 
humanoids leaches, who are slavers, living off oppression 
and misery. 

Here comes the goon-squad with their mangy drug- 
sniffing dogs; so this will be a drug shakedown. Four dogs 
so far and ten idiots and a clown in civilian clothes and a 
semi-decent female 

hmmm! No time for that now, I have to put on the harden, 
mad-dog expression on my face. Both sides play this 
intimidation game. I really would like to slap one of their 
dogs (laughter), of course I would be bitten and beaten down 
by the goon squad and most likely street beefed (charged 
with an assault upon an officer) imagine that? 

So, I'll suppress that impulse (as I am similarly forced to 
suppress the rest of the aspects of my humanity) and await 
the assault (search) upon my persons (strip-searched) and 
violation of my property. After a couple of hours the assault 
hasn't materialize and these storm troopers move on to 
another dorm to cause more physical and psychological 
havoc upon the property and minds of other defenseless 
prisoners. Apparently today's raid was targeted towards a 
select few sunder rude of a random search. While there is 
a sigh of relief amongst guys that their contraband won't 
be discovered and that they won't be put on report. Every 
prisoner knows all too well, that these momentary reprieves 
from increased punishment and loss of privileges is short 
lived. For tomorrow our lives will once again be placed in 
cruel anxiety and jeopardy, by these slave keepers. 

After my dorm is cleared to move around I went over 
to brotha Sam's room to kill a few minutes and check 
whether or not he was victimized and to discuss the 
terrorist psychological ramification of this assault. I hate 
these racist mad dogs with every fiber of my being. Brotha 
Sam considers me this mentor as does many other awake. 



Brotha Achim is currently locked up in CDC in Southern California. 
Brotha Achim is not new to The Beat Within he^ stn O.G! Brotha 
Achim always comes with clean detailed writing of what's going down 
in his life. There's no glory or glamour, he gives it to u% raw and uncut 
...=*^ =_* — *= *_ _= -. — ._ _* — = .=*_,^ ^i^j believe 

him not u%, it ain't nothing nice! So listen to the game Brotha Achim is 
spitting. It^ more than just words, it's reality. 



progressive prisoners that I counsel and teach "Intellectual 
Self Defense", counter Terrorist Tactics to imply upon the 
guards. The key to understanding is to either observe or 
experience the subject. 

The main objective of the guards is to install fear and 
guilt in their minds, to deny them peace and security 
within their persons and property as a means of control. To 
dehumanize and then to animalize prisoners by stripping 
them of the decency and dignity that engenders their sense 
or self-worth and self-esteem. It's about chow-time and 
Brotha Sam and I are directed by the Gestapo to proceed in 
groups over to the chow-hall since the prison yard is still 
on lockdown status. The menu for the day is the regular 
starch, dog-food and soybean filler, another survival meal. 
Arizona is a right to work state and thus capitalists-pig 
privatization of the prison food services. 

You should see all of these homeless-shelter, welfare 
recipients the private food service company hires at 
minimum wages. One poor old lady looks as if she is one 
day shy of her eightieth birthday. It is pathetic that this is 
as far as America has come, when hard times hit, return 
to slavery of the poor, minorities and disadvantaged; this 
is neo-slavery revisited. Prisoners are searched leaving the 
chow-hall to prevent them from taking a morsel of food out; 
today, one prisoner is busted passing over a gram of dope 
to another prisoner. 

After eating we were all marched back to be restricted to 
the dorm. My head is killing me, the day-to-day continued 
stress of being held captive living in a cage - mounts to 
an unbearable level. I take (6) extra-strength Tylenol and 
lay my body down to take a nap. Forever wishing that by 
some miracle that a foreign army would come fiying over 
the razor-barb wire fences to rescue and Liberate me; or 
at least this place of nothingness on the backside of hell 
would disappear or be destroyed by the time I wake up. Not 
unlike the wind blowing and the sun shining, when awaken 
by the increase activities outside of my room about two 
hours later, this place is still intact and so am I. Prisoners 
are moving around, it is apparent that the lockdown has 
been lifted. I get almost happy and then I stop myself with 
remembrance. 

I am once again in this never-ending cruel psychological 
roller coaster of lockdown and then unlock downs. As we 
are once again free to move around in the inner circle of 
the prison like a trained animal. It has been said: to break 
up an individual, simply take away from him what he or 
she has taken for granted and then parcel it back to them 
in teasing dribbles - then all of his psychological energies 
will be diverted and invested into obtaining what was once 
his. A heinous form of psychological torture. Like a dog 
chasing his tail. I fear neither God, man nor death only the 
continued living as a slave in this racist cemetery called a 
prison/plantation . 

The next day locked down is lifted. Brotha Sam goes 
over to the phones to call one of his girlfriends and check 
to hear if she had sent him some money. Part of the survival 
ritual of a prisoner is using the telephone, begging, cajoling 
and reasoning with loved ones and friends to send you 
money of which will allow you to buy decent food to eat. 
Prison work assignment pay, assuming that you even have 
a prison work assignment is eight cent, a dime and maybe a 



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'H/PHTH^ f^HHTM canr. ' 




quarter an hour. It is nearly impossible to survive at any level 
of minimum human standards solely on prison allowance. 
Brotha' Sam allows me to talk to his girlfriends; that was 
a treat to speak to a friendly female voice, to get some 
attention. I make a few stiff tired jokes and surprisingly 
get a laugh, then moving on to the case in point: Was she 
gonna fix me up with one of her girlfriends to write etc? She 
laughs again, promising she'd do her best. 

After our goodbyes are said, Brotha Sam and I resume 
our daily constitutional walk around the track in this 
infamous circle. Walking seems to be the prisoners' 
greatest therapeutic means of relieving stress and dealing 
with the extreme "unbearable" and "ugliness" of our most 
unfortunate predicament. Walking further symbolizes a 
prisoners' conscious and unconscious search for freedom. 
It is only a short time before we are once again restricted to 
"our" individual rooms with permission and access only to 
visit the restrooms and return. Brotha Sam and I compare 
notes and discuss whether or not his girlfriend will send 
him money; our conclusion, it was dubious. Receiving 
money is a constant stress point to augment the dog food 
being served at the chow-hall. 

Having left Brotha Sam to turn in, then making a pit 
stop at the restroom, washing my hands; I am left with my 
own unsettling thoughts. For some reason or another my 
hands never seem to be clean. 



I look in my barren locker for a snack and it is 
empty; then I turn on my television hoping the prison 
staff censors are feeling charitable and have rented a 
steamy rated "R" video from the inmate A&R funds for our 
viewing. I was in luck. Late at night it's usually the most 
reinvigorating and relaxing, when all is quiet. I've turned 
in nearly every body position possible, attempting to find a 
comfortable sleeping position on this sliver of cotton called 
a mattress; while cursing my captors with the most vile 
racial and sexual epithet I can think of. I smile to myself 
and I am off hopefully to an erotic, exciting dream as a free 
man in a free country. 

Some time during the night I was awaken by the most 
piercing noise I have ever heard. It's a fire alarm. The dorm 
are ten-fifteen year old wood trailers with rotten plywood, 
once fully engulfed, it would burn down in less than three 
minutes: as explained by the fire marshal who had told us 
prisoners, that when we heard the alarm, we had better get 
our behinds out.... We didn't dare to take the chance that 
this was a false alarm (we were also told that we would not 
be rescued) I nosily staggered outside to stand in the cold 
morning air. It's a false alarm and once again I return to my 
worn-harden, one inch mattress to try and get some sleep 
to calm my stressful-anxiety, to gather enough strength to 
face another challenging day (either violent or unbearable 
boredom) in this Abandoned place of NOTHINGNESS. 



Lockdown! 



About several-hundred combatants faced each other to 
engage in a race riot! At the ASPC-Douglas, Gila-yard prison 
at about 1830 hundred hours (6-20-96). It became obvious 
that this wasn't to be just another RACE RIOT DRILL! Prison 
guards began a panicky voice, repeatedly screaming over 
the RA. system: LOCKDOWN! LOCKDOWN! RETURN TO 
YOUR HOUSING! The prisoners were not moving. Assigned 
to work in the Chapel Office as a clerk, I was alone as I 
began to gather my belongings to take to my room next 
door. 

Not having a shank (knife or weapon), I tapped two ink 
pens together and tripled socked my padlock and tied it 
off. My housing is next door to my work assignment. My 
thinking was to stand guard next to the Chapel to prevent 
any of the rioters from entering, by running inside and lock 
the door. Admitted, my ulterior motive was purely selfish 
and self-serving. If my place of work was burned (a common 
tactic, burning down buildings - like these dogs won't 
rebuild) down or tore up, I would be out of a job and more 
pointedly: out of a hustle. A job I had admittedly learn to 
tolerate. 

The riot was happening on the opposite side of the yard 
from where I was standing. Unlike probably many of the 
human herd of prisoners who had assembled to engage in 
rioting, I knew exactly what I would do if attacked; I was 
going to stab, beat and kill (at least ONE) whomever put 
their hands on me in an act of violence. 
I saw about fifty black prisoners at the far end of my "L" 
shaped housing, yelling out "O.G." (a name given to most all 
older black prisoners) "Come over here!" Not being one into 
groups, either for shelter or protection, I hesitated. Then 
realization that I'd be best suited to lead them if they were 
attacked. My adrenaline was pumping and my testosterone 
was at a thunderous peak, I was feeling it ... so I elected 
to join them. 

As soon as I reached the black's position, I could smell 
and see fear in most their faces. It is both heartrending and 
nauseously revolting to see fear and terror on the face of 



another human being. 

I began to calmly speak to the guys and I could sense 
that these guys were all potential victims in a trance like 
state awaiting an accident without a clue as to what they 
should or would do if attacked. 

The Mexicans had a seemingly larger number than the 
whites and they were the aggressors, by jumping on the 
old wooden bleachers, ripping off rotted planks to be used 
as weapons. Having acquired substantial weapons, they 
began to charge into one of the three separate groups of 
whites. Interesting, that the whites had chosen such an 
indefensible strategy as to deploy themselves or to allow 
themselves to be separated into three separate groups; 
Unless, this division was based on the lines of gang 
affiliation. The group of whites being charged began to 
retreat from the Mexicans who were at least three-times 
their numbers. In what had to be a comical bewildered look 
the other two groups of whites just watched. In fairness to 
those whites who didn't come to the aid of their race (other 
white prisoners being assaulted), the average sane person's 
psychology is simply not conditioned to readily volunteer 
to engage in possible life-threatening mass acts of violence. 
The retreating groups of whites, retreated to the buildings 
and to the fences. 

Fortunately for the retreating whites and everyone 
concerned, here comes - finally in numbers, the Gestapo, 
with riot guns on foot, and the gates open and in files 
several highway patrol cars with lights and sirens blasting 
jumping out with shotguns and automatic (truly a sight to 
see) rifies. Prisoners' weapons are hastily dropped as the 
front line rioters are being herded off to a holding area, to 
be transported to prisoners all over the state. Of course the 
yard is on lockdown status. 

In parting - 1 need tell you, those of you out in the not 
so free world, these are the combat, mind altering events 
we are forced to endure in these man made forgotten 
places of nothingness (sewer disposal). Too many of these 
daily traumas are permanent, no different than a soldier 
experiences in combat, battle fatigue; POST-TRAUMATIC 
STRESS. 



mcontinued^oTi'^nexUpagem 



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mcontinued:frorrL'>previoustpagem 



Peanut 



On 6.24.95, death overcame the life of a black prisoner 
known to me only as "Peanut". While playing basketball in 
a tournament game/s/ in what had to be the hottest day of 
the year. Peanut suffered what was initially and unofficially 
called a massive heart attack. It was later reported that he 
suffered a heat stroke. After word reached the yard that 
Peanut had died after having passed out on the basketball 
court, black prisoners began to congregate in large numbers. 
It appeared as if blacks were grouping up for a riot, anxious 
whites and Mexicans were hanging out of the windows and 
doors watching-with tense faces. 

Then I noticed three high-ranking prison guards as 
my two students and I approached. We were told that we 
[the entire group assembled] would be allowed to remain 
on the yard during count [of which was fifteen minutes 
away] and be allowed to view the body before the coroner 
took Peanut away. While there were low-leveled murmuring 
that guards and medical staff had allowed Peanut to lay on 
the ground had provided negligent to inadequate medical 
treatment; the majority of the group seemed to be calm. In 
my entire tenure as a captive (POW) never have I witnessed 
such compassion demonstrated by prison officials over 
the death of a prisoner, black or white. Obviously, the staff 



feared a riot. The Chaplain came along and attempted 
to get this large group [close to 80% of the black prison 
population] to interact with him, to say something. 

After the first hour of standing under the blazing 
Arizona sun, the solemn mood of the men began to turn 
restless and irritable, a potential for violence. I recall as 
a child hearing older blacks accuse white [doctors and 
nursed] of deliberately allowing a black person in their care 
to unnecessarily die, due to negligence and maltreatment. 
While the body was being brought out, the Chaplain was 
saying whatever it is religious people say when they walk 
in front of a procession carrying a dead body. When a 
prisoner stopped the proceeding along with half of the guys 
and began to kneel down and pray out loud. The Chaplain, 
visibly caught off guard, stopped talking, watched and 
listened and so did my group. 

After the praying was over and the body was put in 
the coroner's little car, the Chaplain advised us that the 
Warden had authorized a special service at the chapel. More 
than a few prisoners had something to say, I spoke a few 
philosophical words, but I was well aware that this group of 
tearful guys wanted comfort and not unempathetic words 
of cold truth. Amazing, even in prison among hardened, 
abandoned human beings, the advent of death is still a 
commanding performance. 




'SHMU/n MnnTnnMB/7¥' 



Shawn Montgomery is writing u% from Union Correctional 
Institution in Raiford, FL. Shawn has been a writing great pieces for 
The Beat Within for a long time now. His topics range from domestic 
violence to other social issues that plague our communities today. 
His writing really gets readers to think and also educates them about 
something they might not know. In this issue he talks about the prison 
system being nothing but a modern day slavery, dating back to the days 
when the plantations were still around. He also has a great piece on 
"Black on black" murder. Read his pieces because he comes with some 
real knowledge and truth that we hope will challenge you to take a 
look at yourself, or pick up a pencil and write your own thoughts for 
our pages. 



It Ain't Pretty 



Slavery in America was a big business. Slave masters knew 
that as well as those who were responsible for its success- 
both in the Americas as well as those in African Republic 
who sold their countrymen into bondage. 

When we really make an honest attempt to imagine how 
thousands of Africans were boarded onto slave ships that 
were headed to the North American continent, shouldn't we 
have a deeper respect for one another? When we configure 
how they were "packed like sardines" and forced to lye, sit 
and sleep in their own feces in the lowest and darkest areas 
of those ships, shouldn't we place a greater price on our 
freedom? When we conclude how their journey must have 
seemed like an eternity to them, not knowing where they 
were going or for what reason, we should understand the 
phrase, "jumping ship." 

When we think of the sacrifices of pain, life and limb, 
shouldn't we have more humanity than we do? Oh yes, we 
sit around the tree, on our telephones, in the beauty and 
barber shops and "mouth off about the condition(s) of 
Black America - we are really living up to the former slave 
master's dream of a ready, willing and able servant? 

"People expect us to be a certain way because we are 
Black. They expect ghetto mentalities, drugs, and thievery. 
Both Blacks and Whites think that this is the only way the 



Black male is. I'm myself. I like to read, speak standard 
English, and I'm not into basketball, so the kids in school 
thought I "acted white", said a student. 

It's a sad day when all our children have to hope for is 
to become the prototype of a different race than their own. 
Why is that, in this country, when we achieve, we are labeled 
the Black counterpart of the white race? You know what I'm 
talking about! But alas, maybe you don't. Achievers like 
Muhammad Ali, Lorraine Hansberry, Madame C.J Walker, 
W.E.B. Dubois and countless others attest to "blazing" 
one's own trail. Each of their records in history speaks for 
themselves. However, with the exception of "The Greatest," 
do our children recognize the rest of these infiuential Black 
historians? 

"Black men have the status of an endangered species. 
We have no protection in society. Even money doesn't give 
Black people the power like it does for others." Kuratidisha 
X. Ali Rashid. 

Oh come on, don't act like you don't know! When we 
understand, we know that for the sake of honor and trust 
the Black American man is a "diamond in the rough" and 
no other stone created by God matches its brilliance, fire 
and/or character. Some of us have dared to look under that 
proverbial rug and it ain't pretty - same ol' dirt, different 
broom. Peace Be Unto You. 



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^I^I^^^^ ^^?f{t i J , 'i.^^lLii / 



'SH^wn MnnTnnMB/?¥ canr. ' 




Don't Be His Punchino Bag 

They say that every minute another woman becomes a victim of 
domestic violence. That means that somewhere right now, there 
is a mown reading this who's either been abused, is currently 
being abused, is currently being abused or is anticipating 
becoming abused in the next sixty seconds. I've always been 
aware of this type of activity, I was touched personally by it 
when I was 11 years old. My mother paid the ultimate price for 
continuing her involvement in an abusive relationship. 

Those close to her said that she and her ex-boyfriend had 
frequent alterations. Police were often called to our residence 
to resolve late-night disputes. But no one believed that it would 
eventually end with him taking her life. 

That episode had a long lasting affect on my thinking. It 
made me realize that a person who makes threats of death, 
can't be taken lightly. It also left me with a low tolerance and 
a lack of respect for individuals who choose to treat their 
significant others in such a violent fashion. 

Last week I was reminded of my severe distaste for such 
behavior when I read a story in the newspaper about a mother 
of four who was killed by an abusive ex-lover. According to the 
story, his inability to deal with her rejection compelled him 
to kidnap and beat her to death. Her ordeal, while tragic and 
horrific, is a textbook example of how ugly things can become 
when violence is allowed to flourish. 

The saddest part about most cases like these is that they 
can be avoided. Every woman can put off being victimized by 
paying attention to the details of a man's behavior from the 
very beginning of their acquaintance. For those woman who 
don't know what to look for while attempting to figure out their 
new fling has the propensity to cause severe bodily harm, here 
are a few red-flags that should concern you. 

1. He comes off as a control freak. Most abusive stems 
from individuals who attempt to impose their will on their 
victims. When a woman doesn't act according to his demands, 
the situation often becomes physical. 

2. His peers don't respect him. This is one of those 
things that almost always gets overlooked. Men who seem to 
be looked down upon by other men, often try to make up for 
their lowly stature by demeaning someone they feel is inferior. 



That someone, is often his girlfriend or wife. His abuse is 
usually verbal, but it can escalate. 

3. He's a coward. A man who won't stand up to another 
man is dangerous for a woman. He'll usually take out his wimpy 
frustration on someone weak and vulnerable. Once again that 
would be. Number 2 and 3 could be the same guy. 

4. His past will tell the story. If at all possible check his 
background. Usually, an abusive person has a history of violent 
behavior toward women. Talk with some of his ex-girlfriends. 
They'll tell you everything you need to know. 

5. Watch for tears. If a man frequently cries, there is 
something wrong. These guys are usually emotionally unstable. 
This is the kind of guy that will knock your head off then beat 
you to the Kleenex box. 

6. Too much of a good thing could be deadly. Every woman 
that I've ever known, loves a man to shower her with attention. 
This could be a double-edged sword. It sounds good to receive 
your man's undivided attention, but when it begins to become 
too much, be careful. Guys that dote that much on a woman 
have the potential to become serious stalkers. When the 
relationship ends, the nightmare begins. 

7. Size does matter. This applies to both height and sexual 
endowment. Men who come up short (no pun intended) in one 
of these areas tend to be more aggressive than the average 
male. They can easily offend and that offense can translate 
into violence. 

8. You're smarter than him. Some men just can't take a 
woman being more intelligent or more successful. This doesn't 
automatically mean he'll try to hurt you, but if a guy constantly 
makes an issue or it, his jealousy can easily turn into rage and/ 
or contempt. 

9. He's possessive. This could be one of the biggest red- 
flags. Every woman is already familiar with this type. He tends 
to cherish anything he feels he owns, including you. You'll 
know him by this statement, "If I can't have you, nobody will." 

10. He strikes you. This should be a no-brainer, but some 
woman seem to always miss it. The first time a man places 
his hands on you should be the last. The number one mistake 
woman make is allowing a man to hit them and then going 
back. Once you return, it's like you're giving him consent to do 
it again. And most likely he will. 



Black-Dn-Black Crime 



I know Blacks are being denied justice in the courtrooms 
across America. I am aware that we, as a race of people, 
are still the victims of racial prejudice, inferior education, 
limited opportunities, poor healthcare and economic 
stability, among other things. We must continue to fight 
these injustices on every front. We must work to change 
these conditions as well as diligently work to overcome 
these conditions and lift our race to a higher level. But let 
us take a break from these very important Black issues to 
look at another issue that is greatly affecting our race. That 
is the issue of "Black-on-Black murder". 

More and more, the number of Blacks murdering Blacks 
continues to grow. In spite of this growing number of Blacks 
killing Blacks, no one seems to care. No organizations seem 
to care. There is no organization or a movement against 
Blacks killing Blacks. 

We have an organization or movement to advocate for 
every issue that affects African American, except Black- 
on-Black murder. Why is that? Isn't Blacks killing Blacks 
important? Do we care about African Americans killing 
African Americans? 

If you want to see Black rage, let a policeman or a white 



person kill a Black. We are ready to march on the 
courthouse, Washington and the television station. Let 
a Black kill a Black and you hardly get a blip on the radar 
screen from anybody except the murder victim's family. 
Why is that the case? 

Ask yourself, is it the fact that a Black has been killed 
that upsets and disturbs us or is it who killed a Black that 
upsets and motivates us to action? In reality, we should be 
upset whenever a Black is killed, regardless of who did the 
killing. Not even our Black elected officials seem concerned 
about Black-on-Black murder. At least not enough to speak 
out against it; not enough to lead rallies to rebuke these 
killings and certainly not enough to make it an important 
issue on legislative agendas across America. 

We must learn, understand and believe that if it is 
disturbing and upsetting when some other race kills 
a Black, it is just as wrong and upsetting when a Black 
murders a Black. It makes me want to ask, are we saying it 
is okay for Blacks to kill Blacks by our silence. 

This growing epidemic of Black-on-Black murders is 
just as important in the lives of Blacks as all the other 
issues that we are so vocal. Read and listen. The news is 
filled with items of Black-on-Black murder, but no news of 
any outcry. 



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^I^I^^^^^^^ ^WLU., l£LU/JJ. 



'MXnHf^BL, Mn/<xnnB¥' 




It's Hard But It's Fair 



It's hard, but it's fair and God knows I care 
It's hard but it's fair, I have put up a struggle just to be there 

It's hard but it's fair, God is everywhere 

It's hard but it's fair. He had been with me through it all 

It's hard but it's fciir, God help me to see my wake up call 

It's h£ird but it's fair, I have learned from £dl my down f£dls 

It's hard but it's fair, being locked up behind these walls 

It's hard but it's fair when you don't have no one 

on the streets to call 

It's hard but it's fair, the suffering will always be there 

It's hard but it's fair, the pain I can always feel 

It's hard but it's fair, I been away from my mother for so 

many years 

It's hard but it's fair, I lost so many tears 

It's hard but it's fair, I been fighting for so many years 

It's hard but it's fair, at times no one seemed to want to 

be there 

It's hard but it's fair, I almost lost my mind 

It's hard but it's fair because God he was there 

It's hard but it's fair because I am living to see another day 

It's hard but it's fair because I have faith when I pray 

It's hard but it's fair because I believe in myself each day 

It's hard but it's fair because I search for the path 

that would lead me the right way 

It's hard but it's fair. 



Thank You 



Thank you for this moment 

Thank you for the sunshine 

Thank you for the fresh air 

Thank you for your care 

Thank you for the testing 

Thank you for the blessing 

Thank you for the meals 

Thank you for letting me live 

Thank you for each day 

Thank you for listening to me when I pray 

Thank you for not taking my breath away 

Thank you letting your word be guide to me each day 

Thank you for the water I drink 

Thank you for the positive thoughts I think. 



Fresh Start 

Well I am still living to see another day, which is a fresh start 

Each day that is blessed to me is used as a fresh start 

To renew my mind and soul 

A fresh start to gain control of my life 

A fresh start, to get my life right with God 

A fresh start to see all my past mistakes for what they worth 

A fresh start at being a better person 

A fresh start at being a leader 

A fresh start at loving my enemies as I love myself 

A fresh start at always respecting myself, so I would 

always have respect for others 

A fresh start at giving freely from the heart 

A fresh start at setting higher goals for myself 

A fresh start at getting an education 

A fresh start at keeping it real with myself, so I could 

always keep it real with others 

A fresh start at believing in myself, and being all I can be 

A fresh start at taking up my own responsibility and 

being responsible for my own action 

A fresh start with fresh opportunities. 



Michael McKinney is writing u% from the Union Correctional 
Institution in Raiford, Florida. Michael has been writing to the Beat 
Within for a while now. He's no stranger and his writing is immaculate. 
His writing really expresses how he feels and how he deals with the fact 
that he's locked up. It's a constant battle for anybody to stay positive in 
such a negative place. But Michael stays stronger than the bricics that 
contain him and keeps it positive with a will to survive and do better! 



Buildino A Relationship With God 

This has been a very hard task for me to do because every 
day I had to struggle with my sin. And I always had to 
struggle real hard with building me a lasting relationship 
with God. And when I say lasting relationship, I don't 
mean a relationship what would last one month with God, 
or one year with God, then turn my back on him and go 
back to my old ways. I wanted to be with God everyday. I 
wanted to walk with God everyday. I wanted to talk to God 
everyday. I wanted to pray with God everyday. I wanted 
to trust in God everyday. I wanted to have faith in God 
everyday. I wanted to love God everyday. And this is what 
having a lasting relationship with God was to me. 

And there have been times when I would have an 
ongoing relationship with God. By reading the bible 
everyday and praying everyday and by doing this would 
make faith in God grow. But tiie hardest thing for me to 
do was to keep my relationship with God. Because here 
in prison when most convicts who don't know any better 
see me on the path of having a good spiritual relationship 
with God, they think that is a weakness or they go to 
feeling like I done got weak. And I always had a big ego 
that was very hard for me to keep in check. Because my 
heart did not want to fall back into that old way of living, 
because this prison environment is filled with so much 
deception and temptation to do wrong. But no matter how 
many times I stumble along the way, I will always keep 
faith in God. 




///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^T^^WT^^mmfmmm a r . # / / / / / / 



'MXHH^BL, Mn/<XnnB¥ canr. ' 




My Will To Survive 



I do have a strong will to survive because my will has 
been put to the test so many times. So I do know for a fact, 
that I have a very strong will that has helped me survive 
through so many things. And my will has stood through 
tests of time and if it would have not been for my strong 
will to survive, I would have been lost my mind years ago. 
There have been times and situations that made me feel 
as if I did not want to live anymore. But my will to survive 
is what kept me alive, and on to strive for equality and 
justice. 

All of my life I have struggled against injustice, from 
a kid to a man, all my life I had to take a stand for my 
rights and the rights of others. And my stand was to gain 
respect, and to be treated like a human being, and my will 
to survive through prison trials and hardships. And it's 
really not about what we go through in life that counts. 
Having a strong will to survive is all what counts. And 
this locked down one-man cell situation that I have been 
trapped up in for years has made my will ever so strong to 
survive this and more. 



All of mif life I have struggled 
against Itjjustlce, from a Kid to 
a mapf, all mtf life I had to take 
a stand for mif rights and the 
rights of others, 



Concrete Walls 



I live within these concrete walls. They hold me in this 
four-walled cell with a locked steel door. These concrete 
walls are built as if they are not going to fall. They are 
hard, and these concrete walls are made to hold the 
hardest, the toughest, and the meanest of all kind. And 
these concrete walls are made to hold you for a great 
number of years, if you are always acting hard. But I had 
to learn the hard way behind these concrete walls. 

It was not always about being hard. It was also about 
learning how to be smart because these concrete walls 
was not going to break they was not going to fall. And 
these concrete walls was just not just made to hold you 
incarcerated. There was something else special about 
these concrete walls, there was more good to them then 
there was bad. When I first got locked up behind these 
concrete walls, I thought this situation was going to be 
all bad because I did not like the fact of being locked 
behind concrete walls 24 hours a day, just about every 
day because at that time I did not know the art of doing 
time and not let time do me. 

I had not yet learned how to use the time behind 
concrete walls to my advantage. And being behind these 
concrete walls gave me time to think about so much, time 
to think about things I never took into consideration when 
I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. 
And being behind these concrete walls taught me how to 
be alert and how to be aware of things that's around me. 
Being behind these concrete walls gave me time to learn 
how to use my mind to make sense out of my life and 
experience. 



My WIN To Do Better 



My will to do better is sometimes strong 

My will to do better at times breaks weak 

My will to do better is something I will always keep 

My will to do better is instilled in my mind 

My will to do better, will never be left behind 

My will to do better is a blessing from God 

My will to do better is a big start 

My will to do better keeps me fighting to see another day 

My will to do better makes me get on my knees to pray 

My will to do better has been one of my best friend 

My will to do better will never come to an end 

My will to do better helps to dig within myself 

To bring out all the best of what's left 

My will to do better is what I have much faith in 

My will to do better keeps me away from sin 

My will to do better makes me strive to win 

My will to do better 



As My Mind Torn 



As my mind turn, my thoughts are like a whirlpool. As 
my thinking keeps me in school learning all about how 
my minds is a valuable tool that should always be used. 
And the mind I have, I don't want to waste it. As my mind 
turns and my thoughts are saying if I only knew how 
much of my mind was a gift that can help my life come 
thorough and make all my dreams come true. And mind 
over matter has helped me too. 

I have struggles very hard in order to gain control over 
my mind because strong minds now days are hard to find. 
And a strong mind is what makes the best of mankind. 
As my mind turn, my thoughts become my main concern, 
with that I think about because we are what we think. 
Because if I think down of myself, then my life would be 
down, but if I think high of myself, then my life would be 
high. 

As my mind turns, I can't let my thoughts play tricks 
on me, my powerful mind is what I will always be. And I 
will always let my mind set good values for me. 



Never Give lip 



I will never give up 

It's not in my blood 

It's not what I love 

I will never give up, I will never give out 

I will never give in 

As long as I got God on my side as my friend 

My number one friend 

I will never give up because a hard situation is not the end 

It's only a moment of tests that will always be there 

I will never give up, that won't be fair because I do care 

I will not give up because everything I have been through 

has been a blessing to me 

It has helped me to be the strong spiritual warrior that I 

am right now today 

I will never give up because if I did give up in this 

struggle 

I would not just be giving up on myself 

I would also be giving up on £dl the one's who believe in me 

I will never give up because I cannot let people down. 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^^^^■HI^JHOKK/ / -JV///// 



'HU^TTS nnuH' 




A Grandmother's Love 



A grandmother's love 

Is a love sent from God above 

A grandmother's love is unconditional 

Because you love me no matter what anyone says 

I can talk to you about anything 

And for you I would do anything 

Whenever I'm down you know how to lift me up 

That's why I care about you 

That's why I love you so much 

Grandmother you're love has touched me in so m£iny ways 

So keep loving me in so many ways 

Now I know for certain your love is from above 

Nothing can replace a grandmother's love. 



Our friend Curtis Cooic is bade! Curits delivers his insights from a 
correctional facility in Selma, Alabama, and has become a reliable 
contributor to The Beat Within for the past several issues. He even has 
his brother writing for The Beat Within! Here's a few poems that Curtis 
would like to share with u% readers. 



In My Dreaoi 



I want you to think of me every night 

Just to focus on me I will direct your heart 

I will show you all the things love is made of 

Look for me when life has dealt you a bad hand 

Look for no other know in your heart that I'm your man 

My masculine arms will protect you from all danger 

Hidden, and unseen I'm truly in love with you 

We make love every night in my dream. 



Yoo're My Aogel 

Sometimes I just sit and think 

About all the love 

We made in the past 

I thought our love would last 

So what would it take to make 

Things right again 

You are my lover 

But you are also my best friend 

Nothing could separate 

Me from the power of your love 

We were made for each other 

You're my angel from above 



Never Lose Sight 



Come to me my lady 

Bring you sexy body, and irresistible charm 

Take me, hold me 

Be my shelter in time of storm 

Teach me to love 

And to never hate 

Hold me close to your breasts 

And keep me safe 

Tell me the truth 

With no lies attached 

Make my dreams come true 

Let you body relax 

Handle me as you will 

You can be rough if you like 

Look deep into my eyes 

And never lose sight 



Yoo Treat Me Like A Kiog 

The memory of you still occupies my mind 

All the intimate times we shared 

All the love, and joy I remember so well 

I'm love sick, and love crazy 

You are the one for me my one and only lady 

There are very bright days in our forecast 

A poetic vision of a love 

That will always last 

So let my words thrive in your heart 

Because nothing, I mean nothing 

Could ever pull our love apart 

Our love will flourish like dogwoods of the spring 

I'm proud to have such a woman like you 

Because you treat me like a king. 




Tiie End 



The mystery of the mind 

The time at hand 

Stands still for a while 

But the world keeps moving 

Everything's groovy when life begins 

But no one wants 

To face the end 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^i^i^^^^^^^^ ^ii {' f/^ f / Yl 



'n^Tsrniif^L, n^^^H' 




I For An Eye 

There's good and there's bad 

There's real and fad 

The inferior year 

Man why so queer 

Thee superior sneer, leer, 

So damn mad while the 

righteous just clap, snap, 

now let's cheer 

The blood in my veins 

These walls can't contain 

My body they hold it, but 

can't told it 
They scold it and throw it 

Yet to be slain 
So I reign while chained 



But man, I hold it 

I rein it 

I ain't it 

Eye for an eye 

I've shed them 

I've bled them 

I've fed them lies 

Why? Cause they feed 

them to me, see lies 

They come and they go, 

they flow, they don't die 

We multiply, millions and 

strong 

Long throngs continued 

doing time, but we will live 

on. 



Cristobal Bazan is writing u% from a correctional center in Amarillo, 
Texas. Cristobal is lociced up, but has hope and is still hanging on 
that he will see the free world. Cristobal %x^% he doesn't have many 
educational achievements, but he does have the greatest achievement 
of all, and that's the achievement of being free of the mind and spirit 
through his writings. 



Still Hanoin' On 



These walls are thick with the atmospheres cold 

We're lit with the sick and flt with the throwed 

When the winds all blow, we know, we've been snowed 

All these lies, the why's, these questions we throw 
They're blocked by the cops, they're covered by snow 
We must grow and show, cause these times are cold 

No mercy, nor passion, the hatred shows 

I freeze in this breeze, I'm sick with the throwed 

The climate will change, but this world's still cold 

I've been snowed by the highers 

I'm so throwed I conspire 

Cold and so bold, barely hanging on to the wire. 



,„we'd have a ma/or impact /ft re- 
gards to voter tifrffofft, hut all we'd 
he doing Is plotting the same Kind of 
folKs IM power again. 



Tn The Beat: An Update 



You know my greatest achievement was waking up this 
morning to live another day. It's so easy to go, especially 
this day and age when so many are dying daily. I have 
no G.E.D., no diplomas, no certificates-nothing! I've 
been in and outta the system since I was a child. I now 
find myself confined to a cell 24 hours a day, everyday, 
cause I can't seem to get along with others. I'm on what's 
called administrative segregation. So far me to get the 
upper hand on this psychological warfare is definitely an 
achievement. I've seen so many die in here and I refuse to 
let the system break me... 

You have to understand there's an American agenda. 
Now whoever is voted into office wont make much of a 
difference. Sure, colors and genders might differ, but not 
much will "change." Look at the Kennedy's, they went 
against the grain: assassinated. A very good example 
was set there. Politicians of the upper crust will not do 
much for us that are in the belly of the beast. We smell 
the stench; we feel the hunger; and we churn the belly. 
What's old is deep, and what's deep is strong: Racism is 
old, deep, and strong in this country. They aint ready for 
a Chicano or Black president. . . 

If we, the disenfranchised could vote, we wouldn't 
make a major difference; we'd have a major impact in 
regards to voter turnout, but all we'd be doing is putting 
the same kind of folks in power again. 

We the people have the power invested in us to make 
the difference, along with an impact. I slang and I bang, 
and I'm proud of who I am, but as long as we're divided, 
there's no way we can fight it with closed fists. 



'HU^TTS HBU/XLL' 



■Curtis Newiii is writing u% from a Correctional Facility in Camp 
Hill, Pennsylania. Kurtis Believes in himself and his bright future. He 





V 




also believes in venting out through his writing. It tooic u% a while to ■ 




Children At War X I 


publish your writing Kurtis but it^ here! Keep them coming. I 




I watch as 
Big government fight over ships and planes 








1 Believe \ 




Gangsters fight over whips and chains 






Make or take, rubber bands or dust 




Lord I'll never question why 




We trust politicians 




Please forgive me for getting by 




Troops meet with morticians 




Know in my heart I tried 




Everybody speaks of peace 




And form my soul I cried 




It seems the only peace 




I never moved mountains 




It seems the only peace 




But I threw pennies in the fountains 




They find is on the hip 




I can't escape my past 




Fighting over a title 




But I build the foundation 




A fiag or so rag 




For a future that will last 




Money makin' machines 




I need you in my life 




Street generals or politicians 




Like I need love 




Cronies, customers, or lobsters 




When push come to shove 




You get what you pay for 




I know you've got my back 




And we the people re-elected 




If I've got to rack and leave 




A crack smoking mayor 




Never will I grieve 




Guns, drugs, and money 




I know you never let me down 




Yet we arrest the graffiti sprayer. 




And I believe. 


M 




H 





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i^^wnimmm^mu r - ^^/ {£/ / / 



'^f7Df7ffTS nnuH' 




The Trapped Hell Intruder 

Angry and frustrated with my finger trembling on the 

trigger 

Thinking to myself, "Do I really want to become a 

killer?" 
Ten bullets in the chamber with a pair of confused 

looking eyes 
Wondering will I have enough time to flee before the 

cops arrive 

My arm is straight as an arrow and my gun is three 

inches above 

his ear 

His arms are still above his head and I can clearly smell 

his fear 

My conscience became overpowered by the demonic 

voices 

in my head 

I wonder where would I hide him, in his closet or 

beneath his bed? 

My ears are still distracted 

from the loud and disturbing house alarm 

They sound like grey vicious wolves, more like a tornado 

siren horn 

The sound of that annoying alarm didn't make it any 

better 

I could already hear the maggots and flies gathering 

together 

My mind is twisted like a cyclone 

and I no longer have any time to waste 

We both are nervous as can be and sweat is pouring 

down our face 

"Enough!" I made my decision, he will soon be deceased 

And I will soon be at home watching TV and relieved 

Slowly I tightened the trigger with my trembling and 

worn flnger 

This will be something that I will always remember 

I slowly pulled the trigger, waiting to hear a loud bang 

"Click, click, click," I didn't hear a thing 

Dammit, my gun was jammed; there wasn't a thing I 

could do now, 

I know I can make it out of this house, 

but I just wondered how suddenly I ran through the 

hallway, attempting to dash out the door 

All I remembered was him drawing from his pocket 

before I hit the floor 

Pain rushed down my spine and chills 

quickly rushed through my head 

And blood poured down my neck. 

It was a glossy and shiny color red 

Well, that's why I'm surrounded in flames, 

I knew I took the wrong route 

But I'm afraid it's too late because my soul will forever 

be trapped 



I slowltf pulled the trigger, waiting 
to Hear a loud hang 

"Click:, click , click, " 

I didff 't hear a thing 

Dammit, mtfgm was Jammed; there 

wasn 't a thing I could do now. 



Kadaris Cook, the 15 year old brother of Curtis, is writing from 
Wetumpica, Alabama. Kadaris is a talented writer and he's only 
fifteen years old. I know Curtis is very proud of Kadaris and from the 
looks of Kadaris' writing, he has reason to be! Welcome, Kadaris! 



If A Gun Could Talk 



Some say I'm very fatal because I took many down 

Usually my victims don't last after the flrst round 

I have many characteristics like my color and my size 

I just love to take them out with a great surprise 
I left many bloody sights and bodies scattered on the 

ground 

Enemy bodies are still missing and will never be found 

Some let me get the best of them and they commit 

suicide 

Because of me some went to court and testifled 

I am used worldwide and I am greatly respected 

I blast on the weak when I'm least expected 

You have to be very careful when you play this game 

I even had the most top-feared drug lords in pain 

I am used by criminals and also the police 

I don't care who uses me, I just want to blow your brains 

to pieces 

I left many unsolved mysteries and unsolved cases 

My victims are usually found in unusual places 

I love no one but the person who's pulling my trigger 

Staring down my barrel just makes people shiver 

Many that used me are either dead or in jail 

And some are burning right now in hell 

My mighty power is guaranteed to leave you 

underground 

I even annihilated kings and conquered their crowns 

If you disobey me you will be outlined in chalk 

And this is what I would say if a gun could talk. 



Dangerous Love 



The love we shared will never exist again 

It hurts so badly as if the world was coming to an end 

I take a moment with myself to think back in time 

I really wish that she were still mine 

I think about when she left me the hateful words she 

said 
Now demonic thoughts go in and out of my head 

I'm thinking things I never thought before 

Banging my head on the wall, not wanting to hear 

anymore 

My eyes are full of tears so I can't see 

It's like I'm turning into something I don't want to be 

Now I want her more than ever and I have no choice 

My conscience started to work, 

but the whisper says, "Ignore that voice." 

I close my eyes and I slowly count to flve 

I want her in my arms even if she is dead or alive 

She has no clue death will visit her soon 

I sneaked up behind her while she was asleep in the 

bedroom 

I silently put the barrel of my gun to her brain 

Finally the moment I have been waiting for has come 

Suddenly I heard a more mighty voice; it sounded like 

God 

And I turned the gun around to myself and committed 

suicide 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^^^MH^JHOKK / /^#////// 




Night's Pissiii 



I never notice your presence until you appear right 

before my eyes 

You let me know I'm not alone, you let me know you're 

by my side 

As a child I used to be afraid of you 

and never thought you would be a friend 

Because so many people say that night brings horrible 

monsters, but you only make me grin 
I only get about nine hours of your company each and 

every day 

You never failed to visit me, so in my heart is where you 

will stay 

I love when you take your fingers 

and calmly run them through my hair 

That lets me know, even while I'm asleep that you are 

still there 
She never talks very much, no more than letting out a 

low whistle 

And I love when stars shoot through your atmosphere 

like ultra speed missiles 

Sometimes I miss when you are gone, 

but then I remember you will be back soon 

But I keep my faith 

that you will come back and also bring back the moon 

I can't resist how you cuddle up with me and let me 

know everything is okay 

You said you would still remain with me, even after my 

body decays 

I love when you wrap your arms around me 

and slowly rock me to sleep 

I know I'm only human, but still my love for you runs 

deep 

As long as you care and promise me 

that you will be there every night 

'Cause I really feel that you are real and together we can 

destroy the light. 




Alone 



Alone for many years wandering the cemetery 

Wondering will she ever get a visit from relatives 

Her body has disintegrated, but in her mind she still 

lives 

Frightened by human kind when sighted glowing in the 

hills 
She glides through the grave site with an ultra bright 

glow 

Her dress dances from the force of a silent wind blow 

When midnight comes she rests her head upon a small 

stone 

Weeping in sadness because she's tired of being alone 

Her dress comes down over her feet with a vanilla white 

color 

And her beautiful eyes are bright and blue like ocean 

water 

I spotted her beauty when I was out wandering the night 

I couldn't resist her beauty as I got closer to her light 

She doesn't talk very much because she's very shy 

This is the lady whom I want to be with until I die 

She finally has a friend and a true friend forever 

And never will she be alone because we will always be 

together 



The Man On The Moon 



The man on the moon walks every night 

Never wish to meet him, he's a horrible sight 

Only once out of a century he will visit the earth 

Incapable of controlling his blood thirst 

It's only a dream, a myth, more like a Goosebumps story 

So there's nothing to be cifraid of and three's no need to worry 

But please flee away if you see a mysterious light 

Because the man on the moon walks every night 



Wishing Yoo Were Here 



Sometimes when you are gone I think about you 

There's not a night that goes by without me wishing you 

were here My mind won't let me believe the fact that you 

are gone 

But I believe and trust that one day, you will be back 

home 

My heart will be with you, wherever you go 

So when you think you are alone, I am right there with 

you 

I know in the past we had differences, 

but you are more than a friend 

So if you need any help, I will help you fight until the 

end 
And everything will be okay because God is right by your 

side 
It seems that we grew up so quick and I often miss the 

past 
Sometimes I have to let a tear drip down my dark shiny 

eyes 

Because for someone you really love, you are never too 

tough to cry And if I was in the same situation, I know 

you would cry for me 

You're never too grown up to cry and I'm not ashamed to 

say it. 

And everything will be okay if we're always there for 

each other 

Because there's nothing in the world like there is a big 

brother. 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



^I^I^^^^^^ ^^iLL'J^JJJIIJ. 



'MXHH^XL, Mf7ffHHf7SBi^' 




Hope 



Hope rains in a myriad of colors 

A rainbow in a kaleidoscope 

Most see their happiness in dollars, 

While others lose themselves in dope. 

Life catapults us with a scruffy hand 

Sometimes it's smooth as sand; 

At others, smothering until the end 

An end one cannot comprehend 

Yet forced to stand. 

It helps to have God as a friend 

The difference in life and death is just a hair's strand. 

I'm confident that "life in prison" saved me from certain death 
in the free world. My grandma often repeats the Russian 
proverb, "Only a casket will straighten out a hunchback", 
to which I'd like to add, "Or a long prison term". Then again, 
what do I know? 

Life is a battle to the finish, whether on this or that side 
of the barbed wire. Better men than I have done years in the 
joint, have had all the "right answers" completed al the nick- 
knack programs, courses, seminars, and then crashed head- 
first once they got a whiff of freedom. Life is a fiight to the 
finish, and it's an unpopular fact that for many of us prison 
is an asylum from our own destructive behavior. That's my 
story, and I'm sticking to it! 

Forgive me, but I don't expect you to live off someone 
else's bread. My experience differs from most people, and 
no matter how many "great" and "touching" stories we 
encounter on the pages of The Beat Within, when the 
magazine is closed, we all are forced to deal with our own 
particular reality, our own cases, sentences, pasts, presents, 
and the uncertainties attached to our future. And I'm not 
even touching the relational aspect of our lives - - the real 
quagmire for most of us: our inability to get along with others, 
to cope within our families, to be responsible in anything. 
God bless David Keeton for his "Cause and Effect, Mind 
Pollution" article in issue 13.10! In attempting to solve 
the prevalent "gang problem" he doesn't blame "Whitey," 
"The Man," or the government, but places the primary 
responsibility on the parents. 

What is unique about that (for those fortunate enough to 
have parents who are not in prison, strung out; or those who 
are not being groomed in group homes) is that it's not secret 
that a strong family is the best form of gang prevention! Yes, 
there are many exceptions, and we recognize that street 
gangs are more than a "social phenomena" or whatever. This 
is a social problem - - affecting the entire community in every 



Mikhail Marichasev is bade and to our iiicing! Miichaii has been a 

Beat favorite for years and having him deliver stellar contributions 

sk% a weekly contributor is a blessing to us all! In his latest piece, he 
_. ^ .=,_ ^ ^_^^._ ^_ ^.._ * ._._.. ._i| -J .^^ ^^ ^^ ^11 „j,|^g 

important choices everyday that will affect our future. Listen to Mikhail 
and his powerful words! Mikhail is writing u% from Corcoran State Prison 
in Corcoran, Ca. 



way - - but it is primarily a breakdown in the family. Anyone 
familiar with what happens in the ghetto (or anywhere tiiere 
are gangs) understands that gangs are a substitute for a 
family, an alter-reality that's been twisted and warped, but 
a REALITY nonetheless. It cannot be simply dismissed or 
swept under the rug... 

The police raids, which simply take the "exterminator" 
approach, and evict, dismantle, chase, and destroy - - as 
though gangs are nests of cockroaches, and not the most 
natural expressions of widespread social cancers - - fail to 
deal with the essential social issues which give births to 
gangs, drugs, violence, and every form of lawlessness. This 
is an extremely complex and troubling topic, so I'll step down 
to a more important question, albeit a simpler one. 

This is directed to David Keeton, but also to Ray Sanchez 
Jr. - - who I know is qualified to answer it because he lived 
through this question. All three of us are lifers, and have 
experienced both the perks of the juvenile justice system, 
and its adult counterpart. Look around. Prison yards are 
getting younger and younger, filling up with young adults 
outrageous and draconian sentences - - long enough to 
guarantee that our steel and concrete cities will be brimming 
"on full" for decades and decades to come. 

What do you do with these "kids"? Once "prevention" 
has gone down the drain, helped among by Prop. 21 and our 
human laws, what can (or should) be done with the youth 
teeming within the prison walls? Who are we to anyone 
other than their older homeboys (until it's too late), and 
don't really care until this becomes their own reality, or the 
scrubs all around us, who have thrown in the towel on life, 
and have settled for a "houseplant" existence of the typical 
institutional "bread and circus" sideshow? 

Well, I thought it was a single question, but I've managed 
to babble into an entire paragraph. Please bare with me. 
Anyone who wants to take a stab at it is welcome. By the 
way, the last thing I'm insinuating or recommending is for 
anyone to get on top of a soapbox in the middle of the yard, 
and begin with a "Hear ye! Hear ye! I have a plan, so follow 
me into the Promised Land!" Let's be realistic here without 
becoming a romantic. There's a place for romantics, and it's 
called State Mental Hospital at Atascadero. 

May the Lord, in His grace and power, keep everyone. 





So What?! \ 

Have you been there, done that? 

Lived with your pockets fat? 

Been to the top, conquered the world? 

Swimming in gold and stories untold? 

So what! At the end of that mirth 

There is only six feet of earth! 




Learoino The Troth \ 

Simple truth I have learned. 

Nothing that will amaze 

When I stand before God at the end of my days 

Only then will I know condemnation or praise. 

Another word I need to keep, 

To keep me from demise: 

My sin is not being a sheep. 

But trying to be wise... 








1 Want To See Beaoty \ 

Untarnished, pristine 

Though tempered by life, 

Though mangled, it's seen 

A forest once stood 

Where today is charred wood: 

Life and destruction, evil and good 

Locked in a death match, they battle in strife. 

But smoldering embers prophecy life... 








Thooght 1 Koew \ 

Youth was full of zeal and brief 

It faded like an autumn leaf 

I though I truly knew 

Of life a thing or two 

But none of it was true. 


M 









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^^y;gz^g^iiMM^ / / ^//JfJ / 



'MTHH^TL, M^/PHH^SBW canr. ' 




How I Started My Journey 

There's a proverb which says, "Even a fool is counted wise 
when he hold his peace" (Pro. 17:28). I need to heed it more 
often, rather than opening my mouth and "removing all 
doubt". In my previous BW piece I commented on some 
issues about which I should have remained silent; and so 
this time I hope to write about the only thing I'm qualified 
to write about: my own personal experience, and whatever 
may be drawn from it, for better or for worse. 

Lord, your ways are not those of men. 

You made us for an eternity's span. 

What we think we know and what we see 

Is less than what's known to the tiniest flee. 

I was born and raised in a country that no longer exists: 
the Soviet Union. The world and social structure, which I 
knew, has been wiped off the face of history in the early 
1990's, but that's not important. When, at the age of ten, I 
was told that we're packing our bags and shaking the spot 
for sunny America, I was angry and heartbroken. I hated 
the USA, and the entire "capitalist pigs" Western landscape, 
and was taught to hate by the prevalent Soviet propaganda, 
indoctrinated in school, through the media, books, and 
everything else that was made in the USSR. And so, when 
I found out that we're "defecting to the enemy" I cried and 
felt like a traitor. 

We left as refugees. Motherland stripped us of our Soviet 
citizenships, and I still held a grudge against that slimy 
Uncle Sam until... I walked into a "Ralph's" supermarket on 
Poinsettia and Sunset Blvd, in Los Angeles, and saw more 
food than my ten-year-old imagination could have conceived 
in a Soviet lifetime. But, that's more another story. 

Yeah, I became a "capitalist pig" myself, shaking loose 
my "Evil Empire" allegiance for a stack of food stamps and 
welfare benefits, along with MediCal. I couldn't figure out: 
Why in the world is Uncle Sam dishing out free money to 
people from an enemy state? My great-grandmother, Maria, 
who had survived a civil war, two World Wars, Joseph 
Stalin's reign of terror, and ended up outliving the mighty 
USSR, was suddenly receiving SSI benefits, though she 
hadn't worked a day in America... 

Well, I wasn't told about any of this in the Soviet 
propaganda movies, where the only things we saw were 
the labor strikes, fire hoses aimed at Black protestors in 
Alabama, and other forms of Western debauchery, like a 
young Vietnamese girl running down a dirt road, naked, with 



here skin burned off by a napalm bomb. To my shock, 
with time, I saw some of the same images on American 
T-V ! This has to be understood in the light of the fact that 
no Soviet channel showed the Siberian mass graves of old 
Stalinist "labor camps", that in the history books we, the 
communist state, were always the best, the most humane, 
the defenders of the little guys all over the world. 

It was very painful for me to accept the sad fact that 
most of what I was fed in my first ten years was a bunch 
of lies. I began to understand this even before we left the 
USSR, but my simple, idealistic heart couldn't fathom that 
we all had been living a lie. Thus was formed a void in my 
soul, a void that manifested itself in the land of milk and 
honey, on the streets of California, where during my teens 
I turned to gangs, drugs, and my own madness, in order to 
"get in where I fit in". 

As the structured society built on B.S. was crumbling 
across the Atlantic Ocean, and as people were splitting from 
the Soviet Union quicker than rats off a sinking ship, my 
own little world was preparing to experience an upheaval- - 
self-infiicted and other-wise - that would not only sink my 
"American Dream," but take others down with me. 

We landed in Los Angeles on August 17th, 1989, as I a 
scrawny square from Eastern Europe - beheld from above 
the endless sea of light which was to be my home for the 
next nine years. On August 17, 1998, I took my last ride 
on the county bus, from the Santa Monica Superior Court 
back to the Central Jail. We took the streets, listened to 
"Mega Oldies", and I said goodbye to Los Angeles after 
being sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of 
parole. Less than a week later I was in Ad-Seg, in Delano, 
with no clue as to where I would end up. 
Till next time 

History repeats itself 

Not that it matters 

We're born and live and die 

Time gives and takes and scatters 

Blessed are the blind 

To what is outside 

Who in themselves abide 

Who savor life's abating tide 

And other shores don't try to find 

But who find God 

And in Him hide 

Who is the truth and source of life 

Until the waves of life subside! 





Pure \ 

As the grace in the face of a newborn is seen 

So are the hearts that are pure, precious, and pristine 

Couldn't wait to grow up, now can't wait to return 

To the way that I was after being just born. 




A Fool Without Patleuce \ 

Patience didn't possess, but wanted to rule 
For the soul cared not, but had passion as fuel 
Galloped through will the zeal of a careless fool 
Till experience showed I'm no horse but a mule! 










Te Be a Fool \ 

It's hard to say how I got here: 

Was in my courage or my fear? 

Am I plain stupid or sublime? 

Or living on God's borrowed time? 

I never though that I'd get caught 

I stole and murdered — and for what? 

God wanted me to be a man. 

To be a fool is what I sought. . . 




1 Failed \ 

I failed to contemplate the cost 

I failed to see, although I tried 

I rolled the dice and sadly lost 

I yearned to live, yet somehow died 

I tried to navigate my soul 
I sought and fought without a goal 

I am no shepherd, but a sheep 
And so, O'Lord, my soul to keep! 


M 









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^I^I^^^^^^^^ ^M L '^/J/JJJ. 



'^nnn T^n^M^nTBS' 




'Tm Chillin' With That East Bay Feeling" 

"How are you all down there, good I hope? As for me 
rm sitting, in my cell in the belly of the beast aka Tracy 
prison, C.D.C. As I sit here in this cell alone on "New 
Years" which to me seem like just another day. I read 
these pieces of many individuals: Vincent, Brandi, Young 
Cato, HK, Drewski, Fireball, Lil' Jamar, and both Beezy 
baby's. These are names of several youngstas, as well as 
myself that I look forward to readin' in each issue. 

There's one thing I've realized out of many pieces 
most of these cats keep writing about. How they're 
acknowledging how they know they've done wrong, but 
what gets me is why do we forget this all when we hit the 
streets? As we're sittin' in bookin' waitin' to get processed 
we ask our self " what am I doin' back here?" 

The same faces, yet it's just a different day, same 
program. When the Holidays come around you don't have 
the Halloween or Christmas spirit or whatever the holiday 
may be it's just another day, for us but it comes with the 
Game. It's the rules of the Game that each and every one 
of us chose to play. I was once told " How can you hate 
something you chose to play?" Don't get mad when you 
put your hand over a flame and are burnin' with pain I 
constantly ask myself why?" 

Why do I continue to play this game if I know where 
I'm gonna end up in the long run? That's dead or where 
I'm at now. And I come up with the same answer each 
time, that is some of us were born in this game and some 
of us are just knuckleheads. But it's not the people or the 
environment. It's about the lifestyle we love to live. So ask 
yourself who's fault is it? Who got you in here? You did, 
whether it was yourself or your supposedly "best homie" 
ratted you out to "the boys". 

Eitiier way it was your fault, that's just how you got 
caught. Something I learned out of the times I've been in 
Juvenile Hall to Boys Ranches to Group homes County 
Jails to Branch to State Prison is that the only real friend 
you have or can count on is yourself. Now some of you 
may say that your homie's gonna always be there or that 
they're true. But how do you really know how far that 
person will go till he or she bounces on you? So to you 
who say you have a real friend how do you know when 
they're truly real? You don't. 

Well I'm out for now. I send mines to everyone in each 
correctional facility and all my people's from " Fremont" 
to "Newark" to "Hayward" to "The Town" to "Sac" I'm out 
you know who this be. 



Never 



Never say I Love you 

If you don't really care 

Never talk about feelings 

If they aren't really there 

Never hold my hand 

If you are going to break my heart 

Never say your going to 

If you don't plan to start 

Never look into my eyes 

If you plan to lie 

Never say Hello 

If you really mean goodbye 

Never say forever 
'Cause forever makes me cry 



John Tabamantes is writing to u% from a Deui Vocational Institution 
in T>acy, Ca. - - - - - - 

some pretty good advice for all you youngsters out there. He talks 
about his life, and asks a very important question that everyone should 
have skn answer for. "Why do you play the game if you know where 
you're gonna end up in the long run?" Why do people do the things they 
do knowing that they can end up in jail for a long time, or dead? It's 
all in the lifestyle you love to live, right? And we all talk about change 



we hit the streets. Well listen up to the homie John talk he has a few 
good points that y'all should listen to. 



Warped And Twisted 



Harsh words and violent blows 
Hidden secrets that nobody knows 

Eyes are open-hands are fisted 
Deep inside I'm warped and twisted 

So many tricks and so many lies 

To many when's and to many why's 

Nobody special and nobody gifted 

It's just me warped and twisted 

Sleepin' awake chokin' on a dream 

Listen loudly to a silent scream 

Call my mind though unlisted 

Last in someone so warped and twisted 

On my knees alive but dead 

Look at the invisible blood I've bled 

I'm not gone my mine just drifted 

Don't expect much cause I'm warped and twisted 

I'm burnt out, wasted, empty and hallow 

Today is just yesterday's tomorrow 

The sun has died, ashes shifted 

I'm still here warped and twisted. 







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^^^5aHI^JHOKIK//^#////// 



'MXnH^BL, nf7IIfff7L,' 




Untitled 



For every name 

Permanently etched onto your flesh 

Your loyalty to men 

Exists but in hell 

For every tear drop 

And drop of blood 

To ever moisten your cold, hard face 

I know that you 

Will never understand pain 

Not mine 

Not even your own 

I have felt your embrace 
And I reject you for it 

For you have let me in, 

Into your heart 
Only to keep me away. 
Away from your mind 

For every bit of better 

You have promised to make me 

I still carry this symptom: 

I cannot leave you 

My sickness 

Is that you will not leave me 

For all the green 

And all the beautiful colors 

Sown throughout your gardens 

You are a pollution unto this earth 

I despise you! 



When we read our young Beat writers telling u% that they will 
always "be down" for this or that cause, that they will "never" 
change, we remind them that change is a certainty in all our lives. The 
only question is whether you initiate it or some stranger forces it on 
you. Michael Cabral, writing from — and to — his Salinas Valley Prison 
Cell, maices the case far better than we in this woric titled "Untitled." 
Here, in unflinching and painful poetry, he addresses the reality of the 
prison he hates (despite its sometimes seductive embrace), describing 
the tattooed walls ^% if examining his own life's scars. And, in a way, 
he is. 



I despise you for your lies. 

For your truths, 

I despise you for "Life" 

For every secret 

You've ever kept for my sake 

Certainly you have never listened 

Not to my goals 

Nor to my needs 

Not even to my jokes 

All you have ever held 

Is what keeps me in sickness 

And I despise you for that, too 

For every gust of wind 

You have shielded me from 

I think that maybe 

The breeze came to rescue me 

Maybe the rain 

Which you kept from reaching my head 

Fell to wash away my pain... 

But you will never understand that 

Not in your selfishness 

Not in your fear 

Of losing me forever. 



before I get off this paper I want to give 
thayiKs a Md praise to all the HAKD WOKKIN 
emploi/ees there at The Beat, 



Goodbye 



Pure beautiful angel with the face of Mercury 

You lift my side many moons ago and still it's hurtin' me 

Raindrops, fall out the sky whenever I think of you 

Fallin' stars, to many to catch so what was I to do? 

I made a wish that never came true I wont do that again 

My first mistake was thinking that you could make me a 

better man. 

Homesick, lost and alone that's what I've become 

Alienated here on my own on the third rock from the 

sun 

Peaces of a broken heart that's what you left with me 

I guess it wasn't enough when I gave you galcixies 

Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars you wore as jewelry 

And still you cried out for more 

because you was using me 

And still I can't blame you at all for the hand that I was 

dealt 

I'm locked up for stealing star that sat on Orion's belt 

Now there will never be a I and you or a you and I 

And the hardest thing I ever had to do was say 

goodbye.... Goodbye. Thanks and God bless. 



'iT/?nn' SHT uf^c^snn' 



wmmmmmimmmmim^ 



Bron' L... . 

Represa, CA. Saying goodbye is a hard thing to do whether to your 
freedom, or to your wife, or friend after a visit is over. But saying 
goodbye is also the start of a new beginning and a new life. Check out 
Bron Shi's piece. 



Beat Within 



Thanks for my latest issues of The Beat. I'm almost done 
with volume 13.10 and I just got'em yesterday. Shout out 
to Mikhail welcome back homie and to the young homie 
P. Crooks that "Youngin With a Dream Like King's" was 
deep. There's a lot more, but those were the two I was 
really feeling and can remember off the top of my head. 

Before I get off this paper I want to give thanks and 
praise to all the HARD WORKIN employees there at 
The Beat. It's because of you all we can be heard. And 
to new Beat worker, Annie Wong- Good lookin' out on 
the volumes and the kind words. But to be real with you 
I don't think my ex will ever get to read that poem "in 
love". She moved on now and had a baby girl with her now 
boyfriend. I wish her the best and pray for her happiness. 
So with all that said I now give you part two to that poem, 
"In Love". 



It seems that we grew Mp so 0cK 

and I often miss the past 

Sometimes I have to let a tear drip down 

mif darK shin if etfes 

Because for someone if on realltf love, 

If on are never too tongh to crif 

And If I was In the same situation, 

I Know If on wonid crif for me 

read the rest of Kadarls Cook's 3W0 piece on page 59