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^if m/W splMs and spl^s when I laif alom 

looking at the sf:^ from mtf cell window, 

Thinking all the crazif wat/s I'm gonna make It 

In this world, going solo, 

Losing over and over again, 

It Jnst pisses me off, 

read the rest of Tweettf's TOW on page 15 


wlfGlCOIIIC to the latest edition of The Beat Within. 
Plenty of great writing in this issue if we might say so ourselves. 
The young writers step up big. Many truly felt our topics, given 
the majority of the POWs (Pieces Of the Week) were on topic. 
From where we sit, all four topics stemmed conversation and 
priceless insight. 

Our first topic, "Being Responsible, Being irresponsible"- So 
many of our "From The Beat" responses encourage you to "take 
responsibly," that you must be sick of reading those words. But 
it occurs to us that we may not all share the same ideas about 
what it means to be responsible. What does "take responsibility" 
mean to you? This week, we'd like you to tell us of a time when 
you stepped up to the plate and acted responsibly, even though 
you might have been tempted by those around you to be 
irresponsible. At the same time, we'd also like to see examples 
of when you acted irresponsibly, especially if you knew you 
were being irresponsible, but you did it anyway. So, tell us of 
a time when you acted responsibly, as well as a time when you 

Our second topic, 'The Patns Of Life"- We all experience 
pain in our lives, some more than others. For some, the worst 
pain is watching their mother get a beating from a man when 
you're too small to intervene. For others, it is the beatings they 
themselves have endured, or the pain of injuries they have 
received at the hands of others. For many, it is not physical 
pain that hurts the most, but mental pain. As you're reading 
this topic, what comes to mind? What hurt you the most when 
you were growing up, and what hurts you the most now? 

The third topic, "Same-Sex Marriage"- Whether you agree 
with the decision or not, the California Supreme Court has 
ruled that gay couples can no longer be prevented from getting 
married in California. Already, hundreds of gay couples have 
tied the knot, and thousands more will certainly follow. So, 
what do you think? Should gay or lesbian couples have the same 
right to get married as heterosexual couples? is your emotional 
reaction about these marriages the same as your intellectual 
reaction? (Are your feelings the same as your thinking?) And, 
finally, what do you think this newly-declared right means to 
those gay couples who have waited so long, and are finally 
able to marry? Please be Beat appropriate in your response. 

Our fourth topic, "Once Upon A Time..." 
if you haven't written on these topics, or, you have more to say 
on these topics, we encourage you to share your wisdom with 
us readers, the floor is yours!!! 

OiC, we expect a productive couple of weeks when it comes 
to Beat workshops. Tonight we venture into two monumental 
and very important places, Sart Francisco and Alameda County 
Juvenile Hall. The one-two punch, when it comes to where it ( 
The Beat) began. First was Sart Francisco, and within months 
the door to Alameda County was open, and there was no 
looking back. Back then we were thrilled to connect the East 
Bay writers with the young San Francisco writers. At the time 
that was enough for us editors, we didn't think there was need 
to go down to the south bay, north bay, or anywhere else, but 
in due time we saw the urgency and necessity to having our 
program expand into San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin and Santa 
Cruz County. Plus, mforkshops in Arizona and Nemr Mexico. 

Now here we are in the summer of 2008, returning to Solano 
County Juvenile Hall to begin our second week workshops with 
the young people, and last week we kicked off workshops in 
Monterey County! 

Next week, this editor will be back on plane to Washington 
DC - the east coast - to commence the legendary Beat workshops, 
us many readers and writers have come to know and love, that 
is those of you who have participated in our writing workshops 
in juvenile hall over the years. 

You ask what goes on in a Beat workshop, ok, here's the 
lowdown, a sort of condensed version, right out of The Beat 
guidelines, before we start apologies to you Beat workshop 
veterans, bear with us... 

A Beat workshop is usually one hour long. With the first 
minutes it is important to go around the room and personally 
check in with each participant - handshakes and hellos. The 
Beat Within's success is due to relationships and giving respect 
to each and every serious participant, while seeing every single 
writers as individuals and not simply by the neighborhood they 
are from or the alleged crime one has come in for. We can't 
stress this enough that you the facilitator should leave your 
baggage/politics at the door and go into each workshop with 
an open-mind. Try being a student, while keeping control of 
the workshop! The workshop is not about us getting up on 
our soapbox. Of course there will be times where we have to 
take control and lecture, but it is best to challenge the young 
people, with questions, to think, to share, to teach, from what 
they have seen/experienced. Remind the young people that 
they have the answers and that their opinions matter! 

We then provide each young person with a copy of the 

weekly topics, two pieces of paper and a pencil. Remember, 
to keep track of how many pencils are in use. 

Once settled, it is important to stress (be a broken record) 
what the program is about and set the tone. The program is 
NOT about making any contributor journalist/writers. Remind 
the young people, what to expect the next hour. Tell them what 
is going to happen (topics, writing then reading). Tell them 
lAfhat you knoiAf of The Beat Within. Remind them that they 
are teachers, that their stories, their poems and raps matter. 
That what they write will be read by their peers and those who 
are invested in the well being of young people in the system. 
Remind them that hateful pieces towards specific people will 
not go into the paper. That self-incriminating pieces will be 
left out too. Stress respect for the program and those who 
are writing. That this is not rec. time a.k.a. a time to talk and 
tell war stories, and that we are here to express ourselves on 
paper through writing and art. it is also important to remind 
the young people that writing for The Beat is not only in the 
allocated hour, that writing for The Beat Within can happen at 
any time. We encourage the young people to write during the 
week. We encourage them to write multiple pieces, and they 
do. We also stress that once they leave the hall, that they can 
continue to correspond with The Beat Within, but it is on them 
to take the initiative, and thousands do, as you BWO writers 

Then the next 10-15 minutes are spent discussing the 
weekly topics. The facilitator should ask a youth to volunteer 
to read each topic, and then lead a short discussion of the 
topic after the reading. The goal of the discussion is to help 
the youth think about how many different ways there are to 
write about any given topic, and also to generate interesting 
conversation in the unit/classroom. After the topic discussions, 
we remind the young people that these topics are to get the 
wheels spinning and that they do not have to write on these 
specific topics, they could write about whatever is on their 
minds, as long as it is respectful. Maybe a young writer wants 
to write about court today, the visit he/she had, their plan 
upon getting out of juvenile hall or a memory. 

Allow about 30 minutes for quiet writing time. During 
the writing period, the facilitator(s) should walk around the 
room and help writers get started writing, make encouraging 
comments or just engage in conversation with individuals. While 
some comments about grammar/spelling are ok this should not 
be the focus. The point of The Beat is self-expression. 

Once most writers are done writing, the facilitator should 
ask if anyone wants to read their piece out loud to the group. 
Facilitators should usually scan the piece before the youth reads 
it, to make sure no one reads aloud a piece that's inappropriate. 
This portion can be a real highlight of the lAforkshop for the 
participants, facilitators and staff. While young people are 
reading, or the facilitator is reading a piece, encourage quiet 
and the last writers to finish up their thoughts. Remind them 
to put their name or a penname on their papers (no last names), 
and if they want the magazine sent to their home or wherever 
to also write down their mailing address on their paper and 
lAfe'll do our best to folloiAf through and send their mrork home. 

Once this is all done, walk around the room to collect all 
pencils and written pieces. Once you get the pieces and all 
your pencils back then make some closure/final comments and 
hand out the recent issue of The Beat Within magazine. TV-ust 
us, you do not want to hand out The Beat Within at the top of 
the session, or you will get very little writing because everyone 
will be busy reading! Upon leaving we like to go around the 
room one more time and shake hands, encourage good weeks 
and say good-byes. 

in a nutshell! OiC, props to the Beat facilitators and you 
writers for all you do! 

This week's issue goes out to the amazing Home Run 
Derby hitter. Josh Hamilton, lAfho didn't even lAfin the Home 
Run Derby the other night at Yankee Stadium, but he put on a 
powerful home run hitting display that will never be forgotten. 
Hamilton hit 28 homers in the first round off of his 71 -year old 
pitcher Claybon Counsil that he flew up from his home state 
of North Carolina. Hamilton had promised him years ago if he 
ever was in the derby that he would have Clay pitch to him. 

We are sure you know the fairytale. Josh was the first 
overall pick in the MLB draft several years ago by the Tampa 
Bay Devil Rays. He got addicted to drugs and alcohol and was 
even suspended from the game for three years. But in 2006 
while still away from the game he had a dream that became 
a reality on Monday night, if you don't know the dream, ask 
around! Lets just say in his dream he states being interviewed 
afterward on ESPN, and describing how he'd gotten to this 
miraculous point, through the power and the grace of God. 

Another amazing chapter was written by Texas Ranger 
Josh Hamilton the other night at Yankee Stadium in a story 
that feels too good and too unbelievable to actually be true. 

Chase your dreams writers, chase your dreams!! Never give 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of wri 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor ii 
scual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enou^ 
r commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat 
Dmote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

shes the opinions and 
is is simply the pure 
V reflect those of the 

vs expressed by the participants 
;e of the youth. The views you 
lisher, editor or staff. All rights 

are reserved. Nothing 1 

To our writers: What > 
consequences, and coul 
feelings and viewpoints 
those who might use yoi 

hazardous to you. Your words have 
iminate you. Try to illuminate your 
he risk of providing ammunition for 


Senior Editors: 

Assistant Editors: Micl 

Graphics/Layout Editor: 

Kroll, Omar^ 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia 
Johnson, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clarke, Brit- 
tany Bernard, Alex Moe, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Samantha Navarro, Vic- 
tor Peterson, Laura Vitaro, Justine Palefsky, Karla Serrano, Alissa Blackman, 
Will Roy, Angel Ryono, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva 
Mortenson, Andrew Barba, Estella Cisneros, Allen Huang, Nic Reiner, An- 
gelica Zabanal, Charles Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea Sprick, Akima 
Edwards, Alfred Dersidan, Oscar Pena Jr., Julia Scheinbeim, Ava Benezra and 
Neela Baneriee. 

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: Carissa Allen, Antoinette 
Flores, Mr. B., Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clini- 
cal Director, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 
Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup- 
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs 
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, 
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation 
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun- 
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun- 
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil- 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement 
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 

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My Love 

When I first met my love 

She was cold, lonely 

I had heard to stay away from her 

To keep my head in the books 

But I fell more in love upon each gaze and look 

Sneakin' out just to see her at night 

Fell in love with her struggle and her life 

She taught me how to hustle, she showed me how to fight 

And if you're wondering' who my love is. 

It's the streets and it's crime 

I didn't realize 'till recently all I need is her and me 

I've trusted these so-called "homies" and these girls 

But my love is my heart and soul 

One minute she's warm, the next she's cold 

When I'm feelin' like dirt she'll make me feel like gold 

I love the streets 

I know I'm not her only love 

See the streets seduced me 

But also my homies 

-J@keup, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Great piece J@l€eup! You're not the first or the last to 
be seduced by the streets. Keep giving u% writings iiice this, and iceep 
iooicing at the pros and cons of each choice you must maice in order to 
get your life bade! 




As a child growing up in a trailer park, I experienced a 
lot of pain. My mom was an alcoholic and a drug addict. 
I grew up watching her waste her life away smoking 
marijuana and drinking. 

This got to be too much for my dad. So he left me and 
my other three sisters. 

My mom was never at the house, so my oldest sister 
Amanda would take care of us. She taught my sisters and 
I how to take a bath, brush our hair and teeth. 

My mom never had a job so my sisters and I wore the 
same handed-down clothes. My dad called me one 
day and told me he was getting married to someone, who 
would soon become my evil stepmother. My dad wanted 
custody of us because my mom got locked up. So at age 
eight, I went to live with my dad and step-mom. 

The first few years were great. Then at age 11, the 
abuse started. It started verbally, my step-mom calling me 
foul names and telling me I wasn't my dad's child because 
I had blonde hair and blue eyes, and my mom and dad 
have brown hair and brown eyes. 

Then the abuse got worst. She started hitting me and 
my sisters, kicking us. One day it got so bad that when 
she pushed me I fell and broke my arm. I still have the 
scars today so I'll remember that day 'till I die. 

My sister would tell her teacher that she was locked 
in the closet and the teacher would call CPS, but then my 
step-mom would put on an act. She would tell her three 
biological kids not to tell CPS so it made us look like a 
bunch of liars. 

After they left, my sister would get beaten for 

As I grew older, instead of growing stronger, I grew 
weaker, until I got into the system. I was glad to go to 
juvenile hall because I thought it would be better than 
living there. That's my story. 

-Petrille, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thanics for being open and sharing your story with The 
Beat. Your story touched u%\ It is sad to thinic some young people would 
rather be stuck in the hall than at home, but it^ true. Life at home can 
be crazy and chaotic. Your strength is an example to others who may be 
facing the same struggle you faced. Keep writing, sk% well sk% examining 
who you are and what you want out of life! 

No Sin is Greater Tiian Mine 

No sin is greater than mine 

So many more secrets left to find 

So many skeletons in my closet left unknown 

So many nights crying all alone 

No daddy and mama when I was growing up 

Always decided I'd rather not give a shhh 

I decided I'd rather hide all my fears 

I waited 'till I was alone to shed my sacred tears 

Scars on my arm are the only proof of pain 

Yayo was the only thing keeping me sane 

Welts and bruises show traces of him 

He's saying he loves me as my vision starts to dim 

Pregnant by thirteen, knowing abortion is the only 


Trying not to get beat so I learn not to make noise 

Knowing if I turned the wrong trick, I could be no more 

My papa was right when he said I'd grow up to be a 


Turned to girls because I got messed over by dudes 

Selling my body for money, drugs and food 

Brothers and sisters are split up all alone 

I know every night they cry wanting a home 

I go crazy alone, wanting the cocaine they say I abused 

What they don't know was that I was the one being used 

My brain thinking of chaos and suicide I know I'm going 

Crazy and can't hide 

I wonder if there is a God to fear 

Is it angels, demons or both whispering in my ear 

One's saying I should give up and shouldn't even try 

The other one's telling me if I give up I'll die 

I'm having this war between my brain and my heart 

All I know is I'm alone and it's tearing me apart 

-Grinder, Fresno 

From The Beat: WOW! Everyone should read this poem. It is so powerful, 
thank you for writing and sharing it. You speak fluidly to the struggles 
that many young people are facing today. Don't stop writing, keep the 
pencil going... 

This Pain Hnrt 

The pain that I seen in my life was very hurtful, to see in 
my eyes, I saw my mom get beat up while I was growing 
up. Everything started when I was three, that's when I 
started to realize everything in the world hurts one way. 

At the age of five, my mom always told me to go to 
my room when my step-dad and her got in an argument. 
Since then, I knew what she was talking about. 

My life growing up was hard. Then I turned twelve- 
years-old, then my step-dad realized that I was not young 
no more. Since that time came everything changed, my 
mom even started to come to me when my step-dad and 
her got into it, because she knew the one to help her was 
always on her side. 

Then you started to see me beating up on my step-dad 
every time he touched my mama, we got into it too. 

Then mama never wanted me home then that's when 
gang banging came in and took my life to hell. Every day 
I be fighting enemies, then I started to smoke weed and 
do coke, then after a while I started to steal cars, break 
into people's houses and do bad, and bad things started 
to happen, I lost my homies and lost my mom's love. So 
that's what my painful crazy life is. 

-Juan, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing your story Juan. How sad that you 
have been "punished" for trying to protect your mom. That is so unfair. 
We hope you can find a way out of the gang life and into peace. Gangs 
do provide a certain kind of protection, at first, but there is so much 
violence and pain that comes with it — ^you know all to well. Don't be 
afraid to ask for help! 


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

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To: Carlos, RIP 

I look up in the sky to see if I can see you, but can't. 
When it rains it feels like you're kissing me. When the 
sun comes up, it feels like you're hugging me. I love you. 
I want to believe you're not gone, that you're alive, living 
and waiting for me to get out of this place. Baby I miss you 
so much that I just don't know what to do anymore. When 
I go to sleep I feel like you're holding me. I get this feeling 
like when you're with me and now that you're gone I still 
once in a while get that feeling. 

A family is life. A gang is streets. God is everything. 
JJC is lock down. Me just a person. People take things 
for granted. They make up lies to get other people mad 
at them. Girls need to know that God will take your life 
like that if you don't follow or listen to him. I know life is 
hard but you just have to try to make it better. If you're 
having a bad day try to make it a better day. If you can't 
have a good day try to think of something good. Don't let 
anybody mess up your good day. Sometimes life can be 
awful that you really don't care about living your life. You 
wish for everything you want but you aren't happy when 
life goes wrong. You think it's your fault all the time but 
it is really not your fault at all. 

I met a man in my life. He cared a lot about me. We 
were together for nine months. He was so mad at me for 
doing drugs. Carlos didn't like drugs at all. When I met 
him I was walking down the street to a homeboy's house 
who knew my girl Sweetie. I thought Carlos was sent to 
save me from the streets, drugs, and the gangs. We were 
to get married but he got killed right in front of my eyes. 
No matter what he's alive in my heart. I'll always cry for 
him to come back. RIP Carlos 4-4-86 to 2-17-07. 

-Candice, Fresno 

From The Beat: Candice, you're a talented writer. Your words flow like 
poetry, and reading this piece, we felt your pain. Losing someone you 
love is a horrible feeling, yet your words inspire u% to remember that we 
should keep the memory of those people alive in our hearts, especially 
on our bad days. 

Prostitution Is The Pain Of Life 

The pain of life starts with prostitution. I'm 16 years old 
and I'm a prostitute. I started when I was a young teen, 
while living in San Francisco. 

I started because I thought it was a good way to get 
real, fast, and big money. I used to sell "D", but that 
wasn't for me. 

I think the only reason why I do this is to get away 
from my pain. To release it by holding big money, going 
shopping and smoking weed. But while I'm bustin these 
jons, I feel really dirty, then it just feels like I'm letting go 
of myself. 

But honestly I bet I'm not ready to change, and I have 
a year and a half 'till I turn eighteen. Soon the time will 
come when I'm an adult, and that's when I'll stop. But 
until then I'm still going to be living in Oakland, and 
traveling around the world and busting these jons. 

For all the boys and girls out there, you don't have to 
turn to this, and if you're in it you can get out. There's a 
program in L.A for boys and girls who are prostitutes, that 
want to change. It's called the Children of the Night, I've 
been there before, but I messed up my chance to change 
'cause I left. Remember you don't have to be like me and 
still do it. You can change. 

-Fresno's Finest, Fresno 

From The Beat: You are brave, thanks for your sharing your story. 
You give great advice to others, but you should realize you still have 
the opportunity to change sk% well, right now! There are many people 
and organizations out there ready to help you, just like the one you 
mentioned. Don't give up on yourself. 

The Pains Of Life 

The pain that I'm feeling right now is being without 
my family. The pain that I used to feel before was being 
without my mom and being alone. I was alone and didn't 
have nobody. When I was 10, my mom used to always leave 
me alone and my five-year-old sister and my newborn lil' 

I still remember when my lil' brother used to call me 
daddy because he didn't have no one else to look up to. 
It was hard for me, but I made it through. It lasted three 
years, but it only made me stronger and taught me to be a 
good father when I grow up. 

But I'm cool now... sort of. I'll get out soon. I ain't 
really tripping that much anymore, but it still hurts me 
being so far away from my mom. But I'll see her some 

-Inka, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's hard to imagine what you had to do at age ten to take 
care of your younger siblings. They are very lucky to have you. Now, you 
have to find a way to be back out there with them, because you can't 
help sknyone as long as you're here. We hope the hard lessons you've 
learned about what it means to take care of small children will make 
you that rare male who takes his responsibilities as a father seriously. 
And we also hope that you're not faced with that heavy responsibility 
for years. You deserve time to yourself to be a kid! 

Tiie Pains Of Life 

The pains of life for me started when I was a young thug. 
Times was hard for moms being a single parent, so me 
and lil' bra had to grow up fast. Moms wasn't doing well, 
watching her struggle to keep a job. She had to struggle 
to keep food on the table and clothes on our backs. 

But me and lil' bra didn't like how we grew up 'cause 
we rarely had dough, and we got sick and tired of being 
sick and tired. So we hit the block and did what we had to 
do in order to put some money in our pockets. Eventually 
it got to the point where we could put money in mom's 
pockets. And even though it wasn't legitimate money, it 
was ends meet. 

But I don't plan on doing it my whole life. I'm in the 
process of gettin' on my shhh, but I can only take it one 
day at a time. 

-Cal, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It is a disgrace that in this, the richest country in the 
world, children are forced to commit crimes in order to eat! We can't 
blame you for the choices you felt you had to make when you were a 
child. But we also strongly endorse your adult decision to make some 
changes. Making those changes one day at a time seems exactly the 
right thing to do. Can you spell out some of what you're doing to make 
sure that this is your last lock up? 


Life... I love life. I've always loved life. There weren't any 
times I experienced pain growing up. 

The real excruciating pain came when I was about 
fourteen. That was when I started making bad choices 
and mistakes. That was when I failed to see what I really 
had, what opportunities I really was given, what privileges 
I could've taken. But just like any fourteen year old, I 
didn't really think much of it. 

My life is filled with a lot of sorrow because of how 
I chose to live now. Every night I run through all my 
memories and wonder... do I have a good life? Then I tell 
myself, life is only good if you choose to live it that way. 
I miss my life, but I haven't lost it. I'll have it back, I just 
wish I had it now. 

-Ramon, Fresno 

From The Beat: You will have your life back soon, and you can take 
advantage of all the privileges. Don't get too caught up in sorry, live 
for tomorroiAf. 


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

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Responsibility is a lot of different things. It means to 
do your job and handle your business. Do what you need 
to do when you need to do it. It means to be true to your 
word. If you got a kid be there for your kid. If you got 
a mama, take care of her like she took care of you for 
the last eighteen years of your life. If you got a job, go to 

If you got a lot of people depending on you then stay 
yo ass outta jail. That's the most important thing. Straight 

And being irresponsible is never being where you're 
supposed to and doing the wrong things. Leading bad 
examples for your siblings and younger friends that look 
up to you. It's also being a dead beat dad. Because as a 
person that brings life into the world you are in a way 
obligated to raise the child and show him right. A lot of 
people don't live up to that role but wanna play the role. 
That's irresponsibility at its worst. 

-Mackin' Nam, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a great piece. We iiice your thinicing and you are 
being really clear about your perspective on right and wrong. Do you 
think you'd be in the hall now if you'd been following these principles in 
the past? What about when you get out? if you choose to adopt the first 
section of this piece and try to follow your "Responsibility" guidelines, 
where do you think you might have a tough time? What could help 
you when you're tempted to stray down into the second paragraph of 
"irresponsible" behavior? 

Letter To My Son's Fatlier 

I know you can't read this, but I wanted you to know 
this. Just because a bullet took your life don't mean I 
still don't love you! You already know that you was my 
first love ever since I was in the fifth grade! Ain't nothin' 
in this world ever gone change that! 

I still remember when I was in fifth grade, you was a 
freshmen and everyone made fun of us but we didn't care 
because what we had is true love! I gave everything up to 

As these lonely days of mine go by without you, I don't 
shed a tear, but my heart does every second of the day. 

I just wanted to also thank you for the beautiful son 
we have together. It kills me how he ain't gone have you 
around. We have too many memories together. I just wish 
I could forget it all, because you're not here. Man, I just 
can't get over the fact you're GONE! I know I'm gonna see 
you soon though! Just how you died with that tattoo on 
you that look like "Angel". I'm gonna die with also mine 
that says your name. 

-Angel, Alameda 

From The Beat: Angel, it worries u% when you write that you're going to 
see him soon. We want you to stay here on earth and live your life to the 
fullest, for yourself and for your son, for many years to come! You have 
suffered a huge loss at a young age. Is there a counselor or therapist 
you can talk to? The grieving process takes time and sometimes it is so 
helpful to talk to someone who can help u% through it. 


As I stand on this lonely street corner, wondering when 
daddy says I could come inside, I pray to the Lord that the 
next man that I "date" isn't the police, or even worse, a 
murderer. Just the thought of it makes me hold my razor in 
my hand a little tighter. I look at my phone. It's 12:38 PM, 
Friday night, and I'm freezing my ass off. 

My feet feel like they're on fire and I keep pulling my 
dress down to keep my privates from showing. I see a car 
slowing down. The man waves for me to meet him around 
the corner. I pray a little more and hold my razor a little 
tighter. As I walk up to the car, I notice he is a Caucasian 
man. (I'm happy, his dick may be small.) His hair is a little 
gray and he has what we call the "police haircut," but I'm 
so anxious to get my next trick, I take my chances. 

I smile and say, "Hey baby, lookin' for me?" even though 
I'm thinking "this perverted horny bastard, he knows I'm 
underage, he better pay me well or I'ma rob his sick ass." 

I hop in, happy I'm out of the cold, wet weather even 
though I don't feel like being bothered with any man 
touching me at all... but the faster the money come, the 
faster I'm goin'. I look outside. The streets are dry, meaning 
there's no one in sight. I get a little nervous... this guy 
hasn't said anything to me since I got in. I look over to him 
and his eyes are glued to the road. Weirdo, I think 

My heart tells me to get out so I tell him to pull over. 
Nothing. No answer, no gestures, just silence. My heart 
begins to race and my body temperature rises, "pull OVER 
PLEASE" ... 

No response. Suddenly he puts his foot on the gas, 
running all stoplights and signs. I am in shock. It kinda 
makes me laugh and cry with no tears out of fear. I raise 
my razor to his neck. I guess he was ready for that, because 
next thing I know the barrel of his gun is to my left ear. My 
heart skips a beat. As he slams on the break, my head hits 
the front windshield. 

Before I can make a move, his hand is around my 

throat. He gets on top of me and whispers in my ear, 
"Don't move or I'll shoot you. Give me what I want and 
I'll let you go." His disgusting tongue slides up the side of 
my face. 

I want to kill him with my bare hands. I knew today I 
was gonna die, so I pray for my family, I pray for my life. 
My heart is running out of air. My body is screaming for 
air, I began to squirm. Thank God, he lets me breathe. I 
whimper to him, too afraid to cry. 

I tell him, "Please. I'm only fifteen, let me live." He 
comes... I think to myself, only the devil would do such a 
thing. I look into his eyes trying to cut into his soul and 
leave a scar forever. The handle to his gun hits me upside 
my face. Everything is black when I hit the cement and 
then I wake up from the cold weather. I hear his car door 
slam. I try to get up but my legs feel loose and my head is 
spinning. I lean against the car, look into the car window 
and see hat my face is swollen and my eye is black. I thank 
God to be alive. 

I called "my ninja," and he asks me how much money I 
got. I say, "I just got raped" and he says, "Are you okay?" 

I say "Do you care?" and he says "Bitch..." 

I hang up in his face.... and I've been pimp free ever 

To all girls out there who prostitute, get out while 
you can. You are ruining your body and soul... eventually 
everything will catch up to you like it has to me. I'm 18 
now with sorrow in my heart and shame. I am bruised and 
scarred forever. If you do what you do, do it the right way, 
and the most safe way... praying for you. 

-Lauren, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you for the sad, infuriating, and beautifully written 
piece... We hope you know that you yourself have nothing to be ashamed 
of. \tt the men who hurt you who should feel the shame. You've come out 
the fire and now you're on the other side, stronger (we hope) and more 
compassionate (we icnow, we can see it from this piece.) You are a teacher 
- and the words you write here will comfort other girls who have been in 
your position, because they will learn what we hope you already know. 
They deserve better. And so do you. 


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

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

Life Lasting Pains 

The pains in life that stick with you are those that you 
aren't there for. My pains run deep, but I'm not the one to 
cry because I know that I'm not the first and won't be the 
last to grow up without a father. I mean I stress this so 
much because I don't want my daughter to ever be able to 
repeat the words that I have spoken to my father. 

Another pain I feel is knowing that life is going to go 
on with me being incarcerated. I was only months away 
from walking across the stage. I'ma still do what I need to 
do to accomplish my goal of getting my diploma, because 
when I get out, that will just place me one step closer to 
getting my life back on track. 

The first person I want to see when I get released is 
my daughter. She deserves a man that can provide for her 
both financially as well as emotionally. I know she feels 
neglected by me because I was there and then one day out 
of the blue I'm no longer there. I've been away from her 
for 151 days and counting. I just hope when I come back 
into her life, she doesn't see me as a stranger. She's my 
pride and joy. 

To Mrs. Be, baby I love you. Know that I'ma hold you 
down when I get out and I'ma stay by your side through 
thick and thin. Remember you make my heart skip a beat. 
That was when you fell asleep on my chest. This goes out 
to you to know when we have children I'ma always be 
there and I will never dip. 

To all those who are fiippin' brick, stackin' chips, 
and just real ninjas stay up, and know that ninjas always 
chit-chat, but true ninjas ain't really gotta say shhh. That 
separates boys from men. But to all those doin' time, stay 

-Young B, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We admire your determination to be a real father to 
your daughter - though we wish you had been that determined before 
you gave the system the power it needed to taice you from her. We don't 
thinic it's "taiic or no taiic" that separates the boys from the men. Men 
taice responsibility for their choices; boys never do. "Real ninjas" are 
there for their children. We admire you for making that your goal! 


This rage fills my mind as if under seduction 

Yearning to explode like a volcanic eruption 

Plus, the devil's touch equals total destruction 

Got a hunger for the sickest of madness 

As if possessed, I'm immune to the sadness 

Since day one, by all means always down 

So-called homies once were but no longer around 

Adding fuel to the fiame rage burning insane 

No need for a crowd still down for all rounds 

Bangin' my town till I'm six feet below ground 

Addicted to my ways labeled loc'd out and crazed 

It's how I was raised leaving foo's straight up dazed 

Through the silence the violence still rings 

My ears are permanently numb to the sting 

So cynical, satisfaction is the only thing it brings 

This arsenal rage burning wildly though my brain 

Mente gets to fiippin' an' skips all the trippin' 

This jaina ain't for play, this rage rises by the day 

Till in ashes it lays and the wind blows it away 

-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We really don't like giving you a POW for this because 
we hate the message... but you have skills we have to acknowledge. 
We only wish you would put those skills to a deeper analysis of life 
and your role in it. The tragic truth is this: you can be down for your 
'hood, your set, your block, your homies until you're underground — and 
then some other so-called soldier will step into your spot, and you'll 
quickly be forgotten. That's exactly the role that soldiers play. They are 
throw-away people for those at the top who never risk anything but get 
everything. We think you have too much to offer to throw it all away so 
easily. We wish you did too. 

I Turned Out Just Like Him 

What's up Beat. Well, two days ago was Father's Day and 
I was in this mutha.... 

I never really knew my dad for who he was. He wasn't 
there for me when I needed him the most. He could have 
brought me up in a different way, but he did his own 
thing, but still he is my father, he's the one who brought 
me into this world. 

I want to be there for my son, so he don't grow up 
to be a mess-up, but it seems like I'm following in my 
dad's footsteps, everybody says. Things he used to do, I 
do now. I've always told myself I'd never be like that, all 
my life my father was the one I hated the most, but loved 
even more. 

And look, I turned out just like him. I always wondered 
why he was never spending time with us, and why he hit 
us, but now I know and it was just he needed his next fix 
or drink. He will have a seizure and get really sick and 
he needs his pills that he got addicted to because he had 
to stop using heroin or he would have died ...and that is 
what I didn't want. 

I love him, just he is human and has problems like 
everyone. I never did heroin, that is one thing I did not 
take ever on his part to make things clear. 

-Big Hungry, Alameda 

From The Beat: You %«y "I turned out just like him." But your story isn't 
over yet. You have something he doesn't, which is maturity, wisdom, 
awareness. It sounds like he was a slave to his addictions, and didn't 
really understand them, but reread this piece and look how much 
insight you have... into his troubles, your troubles, into the complexity 
of love. You are already way ahead of him, but now you have to believe 
in yourself, and act on it! 

Thuo Fur Oiiama 

I'm eighteen, I'm going for Obama. It just got brought 
to my attention that Sunny can vote, so I'ma Thug For 

Let's stop black on black killin' and let's get a black 
president. We need more black top hats and not black 
bums. I'm tired of losin' my brothas to the chain gang people is always at the bottom. We live in the 
ghetto, we are the ones flUin' up the rooms in jail. We are 
the ones killin' each other, we are slaves to our own will. 
We just don't care, we don't even care about who is going 
to be the next president... but I'm thuggin' for Obama. 

-Sunny-D, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's true, when American minorities get more involved 
in voting, campaigning, paying attention to politics, then American 
minorities iwill have more poiver, and it won't always be rich white 
people who don't care about the ghetto running the show. Hey, in 
twenty years, maybe you'll be telling people to vote for Sunny D! 

Being Resiionsibie, Being Irresponsibie 

Being responsible is really hard has hell, but in today's 
society you have to be responsible for your actins. Being 
responsible doesn't always mean owning up. Being 
responsible is everything from paying bills or being 

But if you are responsible, you don't blame your 
problems on other people. You do what you have to do for 
yourself. When you are in the wrong or not you do what 
you have to do. Even when the times are hard, stay up and 
stay responsible. Don't be irresponsible. 

-Fred, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Responsibility is hard for everyone, but it^ particularly 
hard for young men of color without skills and without jobs to stay 
responsible. Yes, we absolutely agree with your definition that a 
responsible person does not blame others. And this definition works 
for everyone. Have you always been a responsible person? If not, how 
did you learn to be? 


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

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


The Pains Of Life 

My pains in life really get me sad, depressed and 
sometimes I wish the baddest for me. Years ago, my 
parents separated and it was really hard for me because 
I was missing daddy. Yeah, I was Daddy's girl. So, after 
like one year past, my parents got back together. But I 
knew everything wasn't gonna be the same. Yeah, my dad 
had another kid with a different girl. That was painful for 
my mom. We accepted my step-brother. I love him and 
everything, but my dad is over-protective with him. 

Now I'm 15 about to be 16 years old and I'm locked 

The year 2008 has been really painful, sad and bad 
for me because a couple of months back I was pregnant 
from my first love and I was very happy. I kind of had what 
I wanted: my future baby and the guy I loved. My parents 
were mad at me, but they supported me. My dad kept me 
in the house he didn't kick me out as how I thought he 
would. He talked to my boyfriend. Everything was going 

I was four months when I started having pains. I went 
to the doctor he said that everything was alright. But 
three days after, I went to the emergency room because I 
started bleeding. My baby was gone. I had lost my baby. 

Days after I thought I would always be sad. I didn't 
want to try harder in life. I thought that everything was 
gone in my life. 

Also, my baby's daddy has been acting weird. He 
ignored me for days. After I told him that I was sorry that 
I couldn't give him his baby, he knew that I needed him 
closer to me but each time he would go further. Well, I 
still love him - even though he ignores me and wouldn't 
want to listen to me anymore. I understood that he wanted 
space. I gave it to him. 

Months past and now I'm locked up. I really feel bad. 
A day after we started to talk again, I got locked up. And I 
think my life is unfair. Too many bad things had happen 
to me. Now my parent are getting divorce, I wrote to my 
mom and I told her that I loved her and to tell my dad 
that I loved him even though he didn't take care of me. A 
couple of days after, he came to visit me and told me that 
he loved me. I was crying a lot. My dad, for the first time 
in a long time, he had told me he loved me. 

-Brenda, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Brenda, thank you for being so honest and sharing your 
pains. This is a lot for a young woman to go through, but you should 
iceep your head up, and about your boyfriend ... maybe you should find 
someone who treats you better! 

Pain And Me 

Abandoned since the age of two, mom wasting all the 
money that was meant for food, and growing up knowing 
my own mother was a prostitute. 

Not knowing what to do, and now charged for murder 

My father looking at me, telling me I am no longer his 
son, and now I'm sentenced with 25 to life. 

Now that I am going to serve a lot of my life, I wonder 
who is going to miss me. Is it going to be the homies? Or 
the ones who really love me? 

From now on. I want to live my life to a better degree. 
Peace Beat. 

-Lil' Lonely, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: it's good that you want to live your life to a better 
degree, but sk% you face 25 to life, this change is going to have to be 
behind the walls of a prison cell. Continue writing to The Beat to let u% 
know how you are doing, and where you are doing your time, if in fact 
you do get the time you're expecting. 


At age eight, I had to take responsibilities. 

Imagine an eight year old taking care of a newborn. 

You might ask: Where were his parents? 

My mom was always working night times, cleaning schools. 

My dad worked mornings, got out around 5:00 p.m. 

But it seemed he wasn't really there. 

Some guys would always come and start smoking crystal 

with him. 

He would leave me with the newborn and not come until 

later on the night. 

I remember saying to myself, "I hate my life." 

I regret saying that because now I have a little brother who 

looks up to me. 
I remember he used to say I was more like his dad then our 

original dad. 
Now I have a kid and I'm not letting the same thing happen. 

-Browny, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: This is a powerful piece about how sometimes 
responsibilities are thrust upon u% by sheer accident, and we rise to the 
occasion. Perhaps having a child of your own will help you get your life 
back on the right path, just like you did sk% skn 8 year old. 

TIlis Pain 

Where do I start? Pain. What is pain? Physical hurt? 
Emotional hurt? For a lot of people it's a lot of things. For 
me it's being locked up. In the past when I was younger it 
was being poor, living in motels, watchin' my mom get beat 
like a rag doll for two years straight. My mom used a lot of 
drugs and so did her friends. Stuff we got for Christmas 
or birthdays would come up missing along with one of 
my mom's friends. Rent money seemed to grow legs and 
walk away too. 

I got put in a gang at twelve years old. I got locked 
up a year later. At first I was happy. I had food, clothes 
that were clean, a warm bed that a few other people didn't 
sleep in with me. But after a while I started to miss my 
brother. I started to miss my friends. I started to miss 
being free. 

I got sent to the group homes after about six-months 
in juvi. I stayed there for about three months and started 
using heavy drugs and getting further and further into 
the gang. After awhile, I ran and got locked up again. I got 
sent to boot camp at fourteen years old. It was easy, but 
it taught me a lot about respect and decision-making, but 
it didn't teach me enough. After boot camp I got sent to 
another group home. I stayed there for about ten months, 
then ran again. I got locked up again, and put into this 
new program and got released to my mom. 

Now let me remind you that I've been locked up this 
whole time and I've only gotten like three visits from her 
the whole time. I was happy to see her because I haven't 
seen her for two years. 

Well, it lasted about a month, and I'm locked up again. 
This time I get sent to a foster home. I didn't run and I got 
released to my Aunt. Now we're back to today. I stayed at 
my Aunt's for almost a year. My aunt and I got in a fight 
and I ran. Now I'm locked up again. I'm sixteen, turning 
s seven tee in a week. This will be my fourth birthday in a 
row being locked up. 

I'm going to trial to try and not get sent to CYA for a 
few plus years. So my biggest pain is looking out a fogged 
out window wishing I was on the other side. 

-Oscar, Fresno 

From The Beat: You've %een and felt a lot of pain in your young life. You 
are brave to write about it, and we know lots of readers will identify 
with you, sadly. Stay strong through your trial, and know that whatever 
your sentence is there are good things ahead for you. Keep faith in 
yourself, and keep writing. 


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

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


I Had A Father 

Hey Beat. What's crackin'? Me I'm just kicking back in here. 
Well here's my Beat. When I was growing up I had my father 
until I was around 10-11 years old. He got caught for drugs 
and he first did three years then the second time he did two 
(years) in prison. But when he got released I only saw him 
like three times because they did a deal with him. Either do 
ten years or go to Mexico. 

I know that him not being there did mess me up a little. 
But it's not his fault that I'm in here. He didn't put a gun in 
my head and told me to do the crime. I did it myself. At first 
I used to blame him but I realized he didn't have anything to 
do with me getting in trouble. 

I see and read in The Beat how others blame their 
parent,s but like I said, they didn't have a gun to our heads 
saying 'do it.' I'm not saying everyone because some parents 
do make you do stuff but that's not the kid's fault. 

My dad was a good person but obviously not good with 
the law. He was just trying to get money for the family. Me, 
I'm still young so I don't want to have a kid until I'm 25 or 
older. But if anything happens I would step up because that's 
the manly thing to do. But I don't know I could be 30 or 40 
and still not be a good dad, nobody knows. I've seen some 
dads still acting like kids. Yeah it's cool being a kickback 
dad but not too kickback. 

If I have kids I would structure them a lot. I'm going to 
teach them to be respectful. I'm going to try my best to spend 
time with them. I'll be there for them. Hopefully in the future 
I have a good family. 

Alright then Beat I'm out. Much love and respect... 

-Victor, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: We respect the ownership you've taken over your 
actions. It taices a mature person to admit that they are responsible for 
their own actions. That doesn't mean that it wasn't hard for you not 
having your dad around a lot sk% a kid. Kids learn from adults, especially 
parents, and your father's own mistakes definitely made your life a lot 
harder. We're also encouraged to see that you plan on raising your own 
kids differently. Change begins at home. 

For What? 

Everybody say Fm jus a young ninja kickin up dust 
But I done woke up and finally started giving a shhh 

For what? 
'Cause my family really need me out there 

For what? 
'Cause a ninja tired of being in here 

For what? 

When you shinin' everybody around 

But once you go down, they asses are nowhere to be 


For what? 

'Cause every ninja outcome the same they 

Either dead or locked up man the stuff never change 

For what? 

'Cause a ninja wants to go farther 

I want kids, and I want 'em to grow up knowin' they 


For what? 

'Cause I done found alternative ways to get paid 

Plus the game ain't like it used to be back in the day. 

-Young Markie Bo, ALameda 

From The Beat: Hey this is a great piece. Nice flow and rhymes. You 
got a great message delivered in a unique and interesting way. Sounds 
like you got some good reasons to "wake up" and make some changes. 
Glad to hear you've found different ways of getting paid, cause making 
a living without going back to the life is one of the hardest things to 
deal lAfith. When you making a neiv life on the outs, holding onto this 
rap, remembering all your reasons to change and what you hate about 
the hall will help you. But what do you think will be the hardest thing 
you'll face trying to do things differently on the outs? How will you 
overcome that challenge? 

Personal Wisdom 

Your word is the power that you have to create. Your 
word is the gift that comes directly from God. The Gospel 
of John in the Bible, speaking of the creation of the 
universe says, "in the beginning was the word, and the 
word was with God and the word is God." Through the 
word you express your creative power. It is through the 
word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what 
language you speak, your intent manifests through the 
word. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really 
are, will be manifested through the word. 

The word is not just a sound or written symbol; the 
word is a force, it is the power you have to express and 
communicate, to think and thereby to create the events 
in your life. You can speak. What other animal on the 
planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you 
have as a human. It is the tool of magic, but like a sword 
with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful 
dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. 
One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living 
hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, 
which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth. 
Depending upon how it is used, the word can set you free 
or the word can enslave you. 

-Niko, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Amazing piece Niko. You've been doing some reading. 
Most established writers, when offering advice to young writers, tell 
them to "read, read, read". You've obviously got a head start. The 
Argentinian poet, Antonio Porchia, tells u% that "the world understands 
nothing but words". We trust you are depositing new words in the 
bank of your brain, every day. If you do, eventually you will reap major 

Tired Of The Life 

Man, right now life is going crazy. I just got transferred 
from San Mateo from doing three and a half months. Shhh 
is crazy. Now I'm in the San Francisco doing, hopefully, a 
couple of days. Nothing too big and long. 

Keep it real, I can't wait to get out from this place 
so that I can really change my life around. I'm not just 
saying this just to say it, but life period is getting real 
crazy. But me, I signed up for college and the whole nine. 
The beef is crazy. Young boys getting hit every day. Then 
when you get you get released, you have to look over yo' 
back when you not in the 'hood. Plus sometimes you and 
the people be having to run from 5.0 . 

I'm tired. It's time for everybody to change they lives, 
from kids to adults. Make the right move, not bad ones, 
and always keep your head up in life because you can 
be strong through anything. Never judge anyone but 
yourself; it's your life. 

You coming to juvenile is a lesson so you can open 
your eyes and see what you are doing is bad. You don't 
want to be in a place like this with your freedom took. 
Life is important. Open your eyes, and lead yourself to 
the right path. 

-D Stuzz, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Did you write for The Beat when you were in Ssin Mateo? 
If so, are you using the same Beat name? Anyway, we love what you've 
written here. It shows that you are not going to wait until it's too late 
{ik% too many young people do) to make the changes you know you must 
make if you want a different result from the one you're experiencing 
now. If this "lesson" has caused you to open your eyes, then maybe 
it was worth it. Yes, life is important. Now is the time to respect it 
according to that principle. 


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

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

The Lure Of The Streets 

People hang in the streets because there's a lot of excitement 
and access to a lot of things in the streets, like money and 
girls. Things in the streets are like a fashion show and 
people like to be known as a hero, a factor. They're tryin' 
to be somebody. 

Sometimes you gotta show off in the streets, and be the 
center of attention, be on the same page as everybody else, 
or better. Your name gotta be ringing in the streets. People 
gotta have that "ef it" attitude, an "I don't care" attitude. 
You gotta be almost crazy. You gotta have a "No sympathy" 
attitude about other people you don't get along with or who 
you are against. 

People who are impressed by this attitude are your 
associates, and sometimes females. Some females like 
that attitude, but not all females. Some say, "I don't want 
that..." but they are just in denial. Unless the girls have 
a long-term goal like going to college, if they've been to a 
juvenile hall or have been hanging with young youth who 
doin' bad stuff — they don't care. They're depressed or sad, 
then they don't care what you do or what they do — they go 
back to jail, but not as much as us. 

If you show you have a good heart for your friends and 
family, you also can get respect in the streets. They want to 
be like you, be with you, hang out with you. 

If you're hard toward your enemies, your homies ain't 
gonna care, but sometimes females do. A dude ain't gonna 
care — if he cool with you, they don't care if (the enemy) fall 
off a five-story building, if he break his leg or loses an eye. 
If he from the same 'hood, then they'll care. If he's from 
somewhere you don't get along with, people aren't gonna 

Girls sometimes do care. They'll get in your face if you 
mess with one of their friends or anybody, or if you played 
'em out of some money, or lied to 'em — then they're in your 
face for two hours unless you escape from them in two 

People also front in the streets — they lie, they brag. 
Somebody told me their daddy gonna pick him up from 
school in a helicopter for his birthday. His daddy didn't. 
Some people say they got a few Gs put away, or lie about 
they companionship with females. They say they slept with 
a girl when they didn't. They lie about how many kids they 
have, when they have no kids. They say they have five kids 
with five different girls, when they ain't got no kids, just so 
it look like they've had a lot of female companionship. 

When I know somebody is lying, I just walk away. "I 
don't have time for this, you deal with them five kids." I 
heard lying is dangerous since I was six years old — that 
means stay away from people who lie, because they can get 
you in trouble. If they'll lie to you (about someone else), 
they'll lie about you (to other people.) 

That happened to me once. Somebody said I stole a 
dog, a pit bull, but I didn't, he did. The liar was busted. He 
had to suffer the consequences — he and the dog owner got 
into a fight. Nobody won—it was a tie, but the owner got his 
dog back. 

People go to the streets because it's boring at home, 
unless you're occupied with TV or board games or you have 

people in your house or a party, that's why they like 
the drama in the streets. It's the fun—mostly it's about 
the girls. They like to hang with us. Sometimes they get 
involved in the drama. They argue or fight with other baby 
mamas or with girls their boyfriend slept with. Sometimes 
it gets ugly. Usually they fight one-on-one. It depends on 
how confident you feel. You can fight two-on-one if you're 
not feeling confident. Nobody really gets too hurt — it's just 
hair pulled out, earrings pulled out. Sometimes a girl gets 
a black eye or a busted lip. 

Usually the guys never jump into a fight about girls, 
even if his baby momma was getting beat by another girl, 
but I would, to protect her, as long as she would do the 
same for me. 

The streets is also about the fashion show. The dudes 
wear fiashy chains with a lot of jewelry, and they're always 
color coordinated. If you got black jeans on, you gotta wear 
a black or black and white shirt and shoes. You gotta be 
matched. You can't have more than five colors on at one 
time, usually only three. 

I wear Ed Hardy jeans and a shirt of Akademics, pants — 
Rocawear or Coogie. I wear a black hoodie or a white and 
black T-shirt, and black Air Forces on my feet. 

Females are worser than males. They gotta be matching. 
They only wear three colors, sometimes two. Some wear 
white and black, like a uniform. Or pink and black, orange 
and white, or purple and black. Or sometimes they try punk 
rock style, like rainbow socks — then they'll wear blue jeans 
and maybe a green T-shirt, maybe twice a month. Otherwise 
they'll wear they uniform. 

You can get respect by your car. By havin' the latest 
cars on rims-$1500 rims — 22s or 24s. Chargers, Riveras or 
Oldsmobiles are the best. Japanese cars are okay, too, but 
they're just fast — race rockets. Some of them are cool — 
Hondas, Mitsubishis, Acuras or a Lexus. I have an '88 
sedan Oldsmobile. My dad bought it for me. I get it checked 
every three to four months. I don't dog it out — drive real 
fast in it, do crazy stuff, like figure eights. 

I come to the streets because of the money, excitement — 
like the mood, the daily report. I also go to the library, to 
stores, to pay for the stuff I buy, buy materials. 

You can also get respect by going to school (as well as) 
hanging in the streets, if you can do both. I was doing that 
for a while, until I got locked up. I was going to Principal 
Center, called the Principal Collaborative Center, something 
like that. It's from drug court but it depends on your case — 
how serious your case is and your record at school — if it's 
bad, like for truants or grades, they'll send you to that 
school. I was doing good at the school — ^As and Bs. I didn't 
get to graduate. I have to go to summer school (here at the 
Ranch). It starts next week. I have to take economics. They 
send you the books. 

-Jordan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Very imaginative and detailed description of what lures 
youth into the streets. Although you're intimately involved with your 
block, can you take some time now to think about what hanging out 
there is doing to your long life? Since you're also into your education, can 
you finish high school and take basic college courses down at the Ranch, 
then set yourself up to start going to, like. City College when you're out? 
Can you also u%e any of your street skills to get a job in a legitimate 
business you'd be interested in? What will be your plan for your new life 
of freedom, when you're back home? Again, thank you for a well written 

/ was doing good at the school— As and 3s. 
I dldn 't get to graduate. 


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

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

Growing Up In These Oakland Streets 

Growing up in these Oakland streets is hard. People 
shooting every day and getting by is hard. Single mothers 
on welfare, pops just don't care. 

In these Oakland streets in ain't no joke you go to the 
wrong spot you might get smoked. Nothing positive to 
look up to. The young people see bad so they do bad too, 
and everybody kill each other for the stupidest reasons. 
Can't have fun no more 'cause it's funkin season. 

What's the reason? I just lost my cousin and that hurt 
me bad. What will it take to get what I never had? I just 
want justice. I want to change my ways, 'cause getting 
busted at every day just ain't the way. 

I'm tired of stressi'n my mom out so when I get out 
I'm gone say out. All I have to do is change the way I think 
and my surroundings and try to better myself, 'cause I 
don't want to fall down, and I don't want to die. I don't 
want to go away and not stand for nothing. All people can 
say about me is I accomplished nothing. 

You wonder why my life is like this, it's because 
of poverty, murder, and violence and a whole bunch of 
nonsense. That's all I gotta say to next week. To all keep 
yo' head up and knock yo' time out peace. 

-Damani, Alameda 

From the Beat: You've written a lot about your neighborhood, and how 
it's not a place to grow up, and how you want to get out of Oakland. 
While changing your surroundings is one way to change things up in 
your life, changing location doesn't change who you are. Only you 
can make the important changes like you said - the way you think and 
working to better yourself. While a change of geography can help, it's 
not the solution. 

letter To Mom 

Once upon a time there was a girl, a girl who valued 
herself, a girl who said no to drugs, a girl who came home 
one day and said "Mom, I'm doing drugs!" 

Her mom said, "How is that? You're ten." 

The girl said, "Second-hand smoke is a drug. Mom." 

This girl did good in school, didn't back-talk to her 
parents (that much), she was a well-rounded girl. 

She started slipping one day, when she moved to her 
druggie and alcoholic father's house. Things were never 
the same about this girl after those six weeks. She was 
now in the seventh grade. She started out slipping in the 
grade area, so she went to summer school. 

When she realized she needed to move back with her 
mom, it was time for the eighth grade. She met another 
girl who introduced her to marijuana and cigarettes. OH 
MAN! Was she stupid! 

Her mom didn't find out for a long time, until she was 
in the middle of her ninth grade year or sooner. But when 
she did... whew! She was sure mad. But she wanted to 
help her change. But whatever she did, the girl wouldn't 
accept it. 

She wouldn't realize and accept that she was wrong 
and that her mom loved her. She started doing what she 
wanted. Like running away, and fighting and cursing with 
her two siblings and her mom, but she didn't care. She 
thought the world revolved around her until she ended 
up getting her butt whooped, and a couple of weeks later, 
landed herself in juvenile hall. 

But what you all don't realize is this girl is me, Haley, 
trying to send a message to her mother, telling her I'm 
sorry. Hoping she will accept it but not quite sure. I love 
you. Mom. 

-Haley, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope that your mother will read your reflections and 
accept your apology for past mistakes. Hopefully, your relationship 
with her can have a new start when you get out of the hall. 

A Letter to My Fatlier 

Dear Dad, 

I found out what happen at the meeting with the 
mediator on Thursday and why would you walk out twice? 
I thought you wanted to be there for me? You told me you 
would do whatever it takes to have me live with you to 
start a new life? But it looks like all you did was give up 
when you found out you couldn't get full custody. Now, 
how is that keeping your word of saying you'll do whatever 
it takes? Dad, if you said you'll do whatever it takes, then 
dad, why can't you just settle with joint custody? 

Dad why? Why? Why? Out of sixteen years of my life 
and now I have not had a chance to have a father-son 
relationship. And it's only two years 'till I turn eighteen. 
Dad, I can easily be stern and refuse to even try and live 
with you. But I choose not to. All I am asking is for you 
to just be my dad and be there for me. I really want to 
live with you. Dad. Remember the night you picked me up 
when I walking in the street? Remember how I asked you 
what is your plan? I asked you, " Dad do you really want 
me to live with you." And you said of course, why not. 
Then I said: "Are you sure, dad? It's not a money issue 
and custody issue? And you replied sincerely, but angry, 
at the same time with disgust telling me: "Of course not, 
Marvin. It's not a money thing." I believe you on that. Ok. 
So if it's not a money issue why is it you can't settle for 
joined custody? If you want to start a relationship with 
me as bad as I want to then please, dad, just settle for 
joint. And think, dad, for my well being, my future. 

This whole situation will be my future on the line. My 
sisters, to be rub it in your face, but they made it without 
you. And I'm not trying to say I can't make it without you. 
But I want and need you to be a part of my life. So please 
tell me: what do you really want for me? I understand that 
I've made mistakes, and I'm here for the mistakes. But I 
learned that I can change, I can be self reliant. But there 
is a void in my heart, and you haven't build a relationship 
with me and it hurts. Times tickin' I'm not getting any 
younger. I really want you in my life! 

So stop playing around with the court, my heart 
and especially yourself. I understand I'm not your only 
situation, but you also have Tristian and Madeline and 
also your wife and new family you made. It's hard thought 
isn't it? After all the kids you had, I understand it's hard 
but dad, it's consequences right, you told me to play by 
the rules, so can you too? Be a father to me. Just take 
joined custody and we can work things from there. Don't 
worry, my mom won't just take me from you, for there 
will be no reason to because I will mark my word, will 
straighten up my life. 

So in conclusion Just think what's it to sacrifice for 
your son, and how much I dearly want to get to build a 
relationship with you. So please - put anything that is 
keeping you from agreeing to joint custody to the side 
and think of me. Please. 

I love you dad. Your Son, 

-Marvin, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Wow Marvin, thank you so much for sharing this letter 
with The Beat. It is really powerful and many people in here will relate 
to this feeling of wanting our parents to be there for u% no matter 

/ mderstattd that I've made mlstaKes, 
and f'm here for the mistakes, But I 
learned that I can change, I can l?e self 


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

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

The Pains Of Life 

'Sup with The Beat? It's my 6th time being locked up, 
and the pain gets worse every time I'm in here. Knowing 
I got myself into the halls on my own actions hurts even 
more, and I could've avoided it. 

Well, the pain all of us experience on the outs is 
different from the pain we experience being locked up 
in many ways. When you're locked up and you're having 
trouble with yourself, thinking of the pain and anger you 
got built up in you, it hurts a lot. Sometimes you feel 
you're alone in this hole that no one can pull you out of, 
just waiting to be rescued by a hero. 

But there's one thing — this isn't a movie and no one 
can save you. On the outs there's plenty of people around 
that can help you with your troubles, especially your 
family. Put it this way, pain sucks period but being in the 
halls doesn't help. 

-Chris, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're sorry you're experiencing this pain again. But the 
added pain of icnowing you put yourself here gives u% hope that you are 
beginning to iooic at the world in a new way, knowing that the help you 
need is out there. Yes, pain sucks, but it also serves a purpose, telling 
u% that something is wrong and will only get right when some changes 
are made. Come in Chris; make this your last time being a "guest" of 
the county. 

The Pain of Life 

My pain of life was losing my kid. I think that's pretty 
much the worst thing that happened, the bad thing is that 
I lost my baby's mama too. I've gone through other stuff 
too but this was the worst, it hurt me the most. I don't 
like to talk about it so I'll always keep a fake ass smile on 
my face. I hide from pain like a kid afraid of what's in his 
closet at night. It's the worst feeling of all to lose your kid 
and your girl. It was something about how old she was, 
my girl was a young teen and I guess she was too young 
to have a kid. She died from something I created, so it was 
really my fault, I will never forgive myself for that. 

So now the old Te'Arin's gone and a new one is here. 
The one who bangs and it takes me forever to get out of 
Juvi. I always get in fights, my happiness is pretty much 
gone. People don't know this when they look at me. So 
that's my pain of life, and it'll never go away. The only way 
for me to get rid of it just for a while is a fight. 

-Te'Arin, Fresno 

From The Beat: So many young men who get in trouble for fights have 
stories like yours, full of loss and pain, but no one ever asks you. ..they 
just sk%%utne you are somehow "bad". Thank you for setting the story 
straight! You know inside that aren't bad, you just feel bad. We know 
you will find happiness again. Focus on your freedom, and happiness 
will follow. AS for your loss, we are sorry, you'll carry that forever, so 
learn to u%e this pain to benefit your future, so you never repeat the 
same mistake again! 

Lo Que Me Ha Dolido 

Quiero contarles lo que mas me ha dolido en mi vida que 
hasta la fecha me sigue doliendo. 

Esto fue mas o menos hace unos afios cuando sali de mi 
pueblo para venirme a los Estados Unidos. 

Yo soy originalmente de Lagosde Morenos, en Jalisco, 
Mexico. Cuando yo sali de la casa, todo parecia una 
aventura. En esa edad, no tomaba nada en serio. No me 
despedi de nadie. 

Yo tenia en mente que pronto iba a volver con dinero 
y podria ayudar a mis pdres. 

En el tiempo que he estado aqui que han sido varias 
afios, hable con mi madre como 5 a 6 veces. 

Yo tenia planiado ir a Mexico en este afio hasta le 
avise a mi madre que iria en dos semanas. Ese mismo 
dia, me agarraron y no he podido hablar con mi madre. Ya 
tengo varios meses aqui. 

Lo que mas me preocupa es pensar como esta ella 
sin saber nada de mi. Yo siento una impotencia por no 
avisarles donde estoy. 

From The Beat: Ya muy pronto les dara a saberlo. Lo que no podemos 
entender es como no le pudistes llamaria a ella despues de tantos anos. 
£Crees que %esk justo que ella hay pasado tanto tiempo sin saber de 
ti? Primero siempre esta la familia y despues lo demas. Esto estaba 

What Has Hurt Me 

I want to tell you what has hurt me the most in my life and it 
is still hurting me until now. 

This was like about a few years ago when I left my town 
to come to the US. 

I am originally from Lagos Moreno, in Jalisco, Mexico. 
When I left the house, everything seemed to be an adventure. 
At that age, I didn't take things seriously. I didn't even said 
good-bye to anyone. 

I had in mind that soon I was going to come back with 
money and be able to help my parents. The time I have been 
here which has been a few years, I've talked to my mother 5-6 

I had planned to go back to Mexico in this year, I even 
called my mother to give her the news that I was going in two 
weeks. That same day, I got locked up and I haven't gotten 
the chance to tell her. I've been here for a few months. 

What worries me the most is what will she think about 

not knowing about me. I feel impotent not being able to let 

her know. 

- Nino, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: Very soon she'll find out. What we can't understand why 
you only called her those few times in a period of years. Do you think 
she deserves to go through so long without Icnowing a thing about you. 
You should know what should be in first place and in last. That was 
messed up. Now take the steps to make things better! 

To Those Who Work Hard To Help Us 

A dedication to those working hard to help us see what's 
right and wrong in our lives cind they're ability to ch£inge us. 

Here in side it's not like outside 

Its different there are actual human beings here 

Day by day they guide us and teach us 

They are blessed by our loving father above 

our Lord God 

For their responsibility is us, 

they see our effort and reward it 

They are just and fair, 

they show you that everyone makes mistakes 

It's just that you have to learn form them 

If you Iccirn you might not be in this situation next time 

It takes a while and they know this 

They are always there and always caring 

Some may seem like just plain angry people, 

but they care too 

It's a matter of seeing in a different light 

It's all up to us, if we see and think positively 

Of the predicament were in they'll see it 

That's why they're in this profession 

Take a minute of your time to thank them 

It makes their job just a little bit better 

-Stephen, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge those 
who try to make a difference in your life. You're very correct in saying 
that "they are always there and always caring". We praise your ability 
to comprehend the lesson behind learning from your mistakes. This will 
lead you to positive experiences. 


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

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

Creciendo en la Mission 

Donde fue mi perdicion, donde en cada esquina hay 
violencia y dolor. Madres de familia enteras lloran por 
sus hijos caidos y otras familias lloran por lo que apenan 
empiezan a caerse en una vida de pandilla. 

Una cuantas paredes y unas ventanas estan formando 
mi mundo y empezando mi encierro. Estoy en un olio 
negro y oscuro muy profundo en el inflerno. 

El dolo que siento me pone a pensar en mi familia, en 
todos mis homies caidos. 

Mi soledad es mi mejor amigo, y sonar es mi 
pasatiempo. No se cuantos afios me hechen ni los que 
les voy a aguantarles. Pero solo les digo a todos que se 

A Dios le pido que ayude a mi familia y la cuide porque 
un dia mas en la tierra no es prometido. 

From The Beat: Podemos notar tu soledad y tristeza atraves de tu 
escritura. Ahora te estas dando cuenta a donde te ha llebado esta vida 
que has escojido. Lo que te aconsejamos es que hagas lo que %esk posible 
para hacer tu tiempo y volver a reconstrurir tu vida en unsk manera 
positiva. Ya los errores los cometistes, ahora tienes que pagar por ellos 
y aprender a no cometer los mismos u otros que te perjudiquen la vida. 
La vida continua. No te des por vencido. 

Growlno lip In Mission 

That's where I ended up in perdition, where there is 
violence and pain. Mothers of families cry over their fallen 
kids and other cry because their kids are starting to fall 
down in a life of gangs. 

A few walls and a few windows are forming my life and 
starting my locked down sentence. I am in a dark and 
black hole, and very deep in hell. 

The pain I'm feeling makes me think about my family, 
and all my fallen homies. 

My loneliness is my best friend, and to dream is my 
hobby. I don't know how many years they are going to 
sentence me and I don't know how many years I'm going 
to handle. But I tell you all to be careful. 

I just ask God to take care of my family because 
another day in Earth isn't promised. 

-Spidey, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We can notice your %skAne%% and loneliness through your 
writing. Now, you are starting to realize where this life you've chosen 
has take you. We suggest you to do whatever is possible to do your time 
and to rebuild your life in a positive way. You already committed the 
mistakes, now you have to pay for them and learn to never make again 
or others that can affect your life. Life continues. Don't give up. 

My Pain, My Life 

The pains that came across my path in my life 

are unbearable. 

The tears that I've shed, 

the broken hearts I've had, 

the darkness where I stand, 

everything spinning out of control, man. 

It's just terrible... 

Giving up, not thinking anymore, 

married to the streets. 

Looking at my hands, then my reflection, 


saying "damn is that me?" 

I've been trying my hardest guys, 

I really have been, 

but nothing seems to work. 

I've been roaming the streets, 

drinking, using drugs, and just doing my dirt. 

What's ironic is I have no remorse about anything I do. 

Breaking my family's heart, 

poisoning myself, 

I'm just losing myself, but hey, it's true. 

I've tried to pick myself up plenty of times. 

I'm so immune to creeping 

the night's constant commitment of crimes. 

It hurts being a jail bird at 17 years old, 

soon to be 18. 

Imagine when I hit adult age? 

Yeah it makes me wonder. . . 

My mind spins and spins when I lay alone 

looking at the sky from my cell window. 

Thinking all the crazy ways I'm gonna make it 

in this world, going solo. 

Losing over and over again, 

it just pisses me off. 

This poor native girl is just... just... lost... 

Like Fergie said, "Big girls don't cry", 

all I can do for now is look outside, 

put my hand under my chin and let out one big sigh... 

and keep telling myself everything is gonna be alright! 

What can I say? 

This is just the pain of Tweety birds life... 

-Tweety, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: It's too bad you feel no remorse for the pain you have 
caused and the pain you have endured yourself. Once you become clean 
from drugs and find yourself in a safe home, maybe then you will start 
to feel remorseful. However, right now you need to get the help you can 
to stay off the streets and off the drugs. Keep u% informed on how you 
are doing. You've delivered a powerful piece! 

Tlie Biggest Pain 

The biggest pain has been about my Meth addiction. I 
won't go into details, but I started at the age of fourteen 
years old and I stole 1500 dollars worth of jewelry from 
my grandma, and took money from my dad. 

I ran away from the house and was gone for about 5 
months then I came home just to eat. My grandmother's 
eyes watered, as she made me food, then she begged me 
"Please don't go". I walked away and laughed. 

About a week later I put myself in her position and 
cried. I went back home to detox - it was hard, but my 
family and I have a great relationship. I still have cravings, 
but just know you can over come anything. 

-Zwack, Land Of enchantment 

From The Beat: This is good news to hear that you are overcoming Meth, 
and you're right, if we put our minds to something, anything can be 
accomplished, no matter the task or obstacles we face in life. Make sure 
you have someone you can call when the cravings become too strong. 
Don't give in - fight to the bitter end. 

People Are Peopie/ Same Sex 

People are people. 

We all have problems and feelings, 

but whether the people are gay or straight, 

people have love. 

That is the most important thing, 

so please don't "bash" on the homosexual people 

unless you have ever kicked it with them. 

Just let them be... 

Take the time to just close your eyes, 

imagine the one you love... 

Isn't it a good feeling? 

Well gays have that feeling too, 

the only difference is their feelings are for the same sex, 

let them be... Love is love. 

-Zachariah, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: You are so true. Love is love no matter where it comes 
from. No one should live in fear because of their sexual preference, or 
their race, religion or for any other reason. 


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

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

This Pain Is Too Muoii 

Growing up, my main pain was poverty. Even though my 
mother had two jobs and worked hard and did her best to 
raise us. She was a single mother raising six kids so that 
was hard. My mom always gave us money and tried to give 
us everything we needed. But since I didn't want her to be 
so tired, I didn't ask her for money or accept any. I just 
told her I had a job and I gave her money that I got from 
grinding, but I never told her that 'cause she would not 
like that or accept my drug money. 

Then, as I got older I faced another pain, that was 
losing my friend to gang violence, which didn't make me 
start harming people 'cause I been doing that, but made 
me hurt my enemies with a passion. 

Now the worst pain I've always faced was the pain I 
caused my mom and knowing my mom is dying slowly 
everyday little by little 'cause of me; breaks my heart! 

But I'm in this for life! This is my life and I gotta do 
what I gotta do. Sometimes I feel I'm my worst enemy 
'cause I'm killing my mother. 

-Sergio, Alameda 

From The Beat: A mother's love for her child is priceless. Don't kill your 
mother or break her heart from your foolishness. Pick up your game and 
be a man for your mother, if you truly love your mother you would leave 
this life alone. Nothing is gonna come about, but more funerals, and jail 
time. We ain't gotta tell you that. 

Once Upofl A Time 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Karen. 
She was getting abused from her mother. Once Karen's 
mother told her if she didn't finish her chores in twenty 
minutes she would not be served dinner tonight. She 
didn't finish on time, so it's been three days with no food 
for Karen. 

One time, her mom wasn't home: she went to a club 
with a bunch of men. Karen was by herself. She didn't 
know how to cook, she was only six years old, so she ate 
cold food from the fridge. Her mom came and caught her. 
She got her by her neck and put a spoon full of Clorox to 
her mouth. Then her mom put her finger on her throat so 
she threw up the food she just ate. 

So the poor little girl was feeling bad all these years, 
getting beat. She called her neighbor and told her what 
happened. Then she [the neighbor] called the cops and 
Karen was taken away from her mother. They took Karen 
to a foster home. Four months later, Karen has found 
wonderful step-parents with a wonderful step-brother and 

-Lourdes, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're so glad that this little girl's living situation has 
changed for the better and she is in a safe place now. How do you know 
her? is her adjustment to her new life going smoothly? 


Sd Maiy Paiis 

^ r 

I have had so many pains in my life, from physical to 
mental pain as a youngster in my life. 

When I was about four or five years old, I used to get 
beat everyday. When my stepfather would take my mom 
to work, he would come home and beat me, and if I cried 
he would hit me more. 

He used to slap me, kick me, punch me, and he used 
that hard part (the buckle) of the belt he wore. I went 
through this hard life for five years straight until one day 
he just stopped. 

From time to time, he would hit me but it never really 
hurt after the first two years. Sometimes, I thank my step- 
dad for hitting me so much, 'cause now I can take hits. 
When I get jumped or even when I fight, I don't feel no real 
pain anymore. 

Well after the physical pain I've been through in 
my life of pain stopped, I found this girl. Damn, she is 
beautiful. I thought I would spent the rest of my life with 
her, but then I found out and she just brought back the 
pain taken away. She made me feel like a dog, she would 
tell me things and also did things to me and I always went 
back to her. 

It took time for me to understand I don't need 
someone in my life like her who's gonna put me down. 
I'm old enough and smart enough to live without these 
people who hurt me. 

-Raymond, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We admire and respect your honesty about your life. 
We are proud of you that you've realized you don't need someone who 
treats you badly in your life, and that's a step. As for your stepfather, 
in our opinion beating is never a positive thing. Though it might have 
made you feel stronger, can you imagine hurting your child in the same 
way? Do you want to raise your child the way you've been raised? Do 
you lAfant your child to have the same life sk% you? 



My Pain Of Life 

My pain of life is losing my mother at an early age and 
not having her there to talk to or give her a hug or a kiss... 
My other pain of life is not being there for my lil' sister 
and not being able to provide for them when they need 
me... My third pain of life is me being away from my daddy 
and making him sad all the time when I get locked up... 

-Cashmeir, San Francisco 

From The Beat: These are three very real sources of pain, and we're sorry 
you're feeling it. There's nothing you can do about the pain of losing 
your mother. Anyone who has lost his or her mother, at any age, feels 
this pain which will always be there. But the other two pains you feel 
are within your power to change and make better. What's your plan for 
doing that? 


Dice Ipii II Tiie 

Once upon a time there was a light skinned girl about 5'1" 
with brown eyes, brown colored hair to the middle of her 
back, from Oakland. But the part she came from was the 
other side of town. 

She lived in a pink house, right next to a liquor store. A 
lot of things happened in that house. Let me tell you a little 
bit about what goes on in that house. 

Well, to start, my name is Samantha. I'm sixteen years 
old. I've been living on this street about ten years in a crack 
house. People running in and out the house all day, dope 
being made, people getting shot trying to get over on dope 
dealers. Police coming in, kicking down the door, taking my 
dad to jail. That hurts you when you see things like that. 
But that ain't all. I ain't mention my stupid brother. To Be 

-Paula, Alameda 

From The Beat: We took out some identifying details, is this a story 
you're writing (fiction) or is this autobiography? We look forward to 
reading the next chapter. 


7 nn 

//// // 

Real Life, True Story 

Once upon a time there was a boy who had to sell dope 
to survive. He ran from every placement he was placed. 
And the reasons the boy would run was to be with his 
mother. He has been abused mentally and physically and 
most people consider him a bad kid, but he's really not. 
He just makes bad choices. 

The reasons he makes bad choices is because all he 
had been through. His brother got sent to ROP. 

Well the boy gets caught selling dope now the boy had 
to go out of state. And as you read this, the boy remains 
in Santa Clara Juvenile Hall. Well Beat readers this ain't 
much of a fairy tale. It's a true story, and it's about me. 

-Gato, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Real life ain't no joke. You're right just because you make 
wrong decisions doesn't make you a bad person. And you yourself have 
to realize it also. Just because people think that you're a bad person, 
don't play the role, if you've recognized that you made a mistake, and 
you learned from it. Then move on. Become a better person and forget 
about what anybody thinks. These people don't know you like you 
know yourself. So don't stress about what anyone thinks, 
you are. And that% what makes you special. 

. You are who 


What's My Faith? 

I can overcome this 

Then already been through this 

Freedom snatched away 

Fighting a serious case 

Time that I may face. 

Baby momma drama 

Plus my baby on the way 

Family struggling 

And I wonder what's my faith? 

But I'm a man now 

And the Lord wouldn't put 

More on me than I can take. 

-Lil' New Orleans, Alameda 

From The Beat: it's important to have hope and faith when you are going 
through all you've endured and all you'll face to get back on your feet. 
While you look to God for hope, faith and courage, you'll be the one to 
stand up under the weight of everything and find your new path — God 
helps those who help themselves. It's not only God who has put hard 
things on your plate, though. Your life circumstances, including your 
economic situation and struggles of your community, have contributed 
to making things so overwhelmingly hard, si% well sk% some bad choices 
you've probably made. In a situation like yours, the most powerful thing 
you can do is to make good choices and find your way through it, using 
all you've learned recently and getting support from people you trust, 
sk% well sk% your faith. 

The Sickness 


What's up Beat my topic today is called "The Sickness" 
here it goes. The sickness is like a cancer it will never 
get out of your head. It's crazy when it starts when one 
of your family member's passed away. And it sucks when 
the sickness hits your pops in the head. It sucks 'cause 
your pops will never be the same again. He will look like 
the devil and act like the devil and almost speaks like the 

And it's scary when he almost takes his life in front 
of your eyes. But anyways the sickness is a twisted thing 
that can even happen to you. This is my reality and I gots 
to deal with it and it sucks. 

-Lir Sam, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We are so sorry about your father's illness. And like all 
sicknesses, there is medication to help him get through it. You need 
to find out what the problem is and what you can do to help. And if 
you can't do anything to help, try to get some help from somebody. It 
doesn't hurt to ask for help. Powerful piece Sam. We're thinking good 
thoughts for you. 


The Pain Of Life 


This gun is pain to life! 
Not only do it take away kids' lives, but anybody's life. 

This gun don't care who it kills. 

It just go as it will, we have to destroy it before it kills 

more. Shootin' people fast and their blood just pour. 

Nobody's wants to die. 

So leave it alone before the gun take you away from 


-Diquan, Alameda 

From The Beat: So many people have loss their lives due to these 
manmade weapons, if you were trying to see what comes closest to 
Ssktskn in this world- there you go. Guns bring the coward out of men 
and until they are gone we will continue to suffer from their continual 

El Dolor De La Vila 


Que onda Beat! Todos a la mejor hemos tenido el dolor 
de la vida. Cuando esta pequefio me acuerdo cuando mi 
abuelo le pegaba a mi abuela, veia cuando mis tios le 
pegaban a mis tias, mis primos a mis primas, mi carnal 
pegandole a tu novia. 

Eso es el dolor que tengo porque siempre la mujer 
a sufrido mucho. Espero nunca lastimar a mi mujer, 
porque si Uegara a tener hijas, no me gustaria que las 

Saludos y besos a todos y un abrazo a todas las 
mujeres del mundo. 

From The Beat: £Que onda con tu familia? £Por que le gusta pegarles a 
las mujeres? Esperamo que ese mal habito no %esk geneticamente. A lo 
mejor el proposito de tu vida es para protejerlas de gente como las que 
conoces. Piensa en esto! 

The Pain Of Life 

What's Up Beat! We all may have experienced pain in 
life. When I was little, I remember when my grandfather 
would hit my grandmother, when my uncles would hit 
my unties, my cousins hitting my girl cousins, and my 
brother hitting his girl. 

Given the fact that woman has always suffer so much, 
pains me. I hope to never hit my woman, because if I had 
daughter, I wouldn't like anyone hurt her. 

My greeting to all and a hug to all the women in this 

-Lir Chilando, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: What the hell is wrong with your family? Why do they 
hit lAfomen? We hope that horrible habit isn't something you ivill pick 
up. Maybe the purpose of your existence in this world is to protect them 
from people like you know. Think about this! 

The Pains Of Life 

Well, to me the pains of life is being locked up and not 
being able to see my family. That is very hard for me 
'cause I'm supposed to be expecting a baby very soon, 
so I'm kind of stressed right now. But it's god because 
I'm done with high school, and I'm supposed to be out 

So, If I get out, I'm going to do what I have to do: enroll 
myself in college so that I can provide for my child and 
girl, because I do not want to come back to jail ever again, 
and be away from my son. So to everyone locked up, keep 
your head up. They can't hold you forever. 

-Lee Boy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We think you've hit on the right formula for your son^ 
future and, therefore, for your own future, too. Keep this piece close 
to you so you can remind yourself of this excellent plan and not be 
tempted to go back to habits that can only hurt you and your family. 
Good luck! 



7 nn 

//// // 

Me, Myself & I 

rm used to the fast livin' Lord please forgive all my sins. 
But I can't never stop it. Fm gonna have to do it again. 
Fm used to being a screw-up, so Fm gonna live that life 
till it ends. The fast livin' got a hold of me, so there's no 
stoppin'. I tried to change but everything still the same. 
Fm tryin' to give up the streets life so I could be a good 
role model to my lil' siblings but they ain't listenin'. They 
some hard-heads now but I can't blame 'em. 

Ever since my mama past away, thang really changed. 
Ma father is a ..., he ain't about shhh. He left us empty 
handed and moved on to the next witch. Now my grandma 
is struggling to take care of us and shhh. 

My granny told me she's worrying about me while I 
roam the streets. I ain't never apologize to her because I 
don't want to lie. But I did tell her that Fm gonna live the 
street life until I die. I don't wanna hurt her, I don't wanna 
see her cry, but I can't never stop because I choose to live 
this lie. 

-Lil R'dale, Alameda 

From the Beat: It's heartbreaking to see this poem, because you have 
so much talent in your rhymes, so much anger in your crimes. We don't 
think you chose your life, we think you ran to it in desperation because 
you didn't know what else to do. Why would you "choose" a life of tears, 
and sorrow and pain? Don't you think you deserve better? 

I'll Achieve My Goals 


I wish that everything would just be okay 
I wanna throw away all my problems and my life-caused 


My head ain't straight because life is hard 

People judge me for who I am because of a report card 

Fm gonna achieve my goals and get up out of here 

Fm gonna save my family a lot of pain so they won't 

shed no more tears 

I thank the lord for his love and his kindness 

His love never failing, his love never dying 

-Uce, San Francisco 

From The Beat: One of the most important factors in predicting success | 
(or failure) is the attitude you bring. What you've written here tells 
u% that you have the right attitude to achieve the goals you've set for 
yourself. And when you do, those tears of pain will be replaced by tears 
of joy. 

WatGhin' That Girl Watch Me 

Once upon a time... 
Fm on the outside looking in 

At this world full of sin 
Watching that girl watch me 

Look around nervously 

Seeing cars honk and holler 

She has to take it, all for that dollar 

5-0 ridin' by slowly 

Just looking for trouble , that's not hard to see 

Fm on the outside looking in 

At this world full of sin 

At that girl standing there 

With that look full of scare 

Trying to ignore that nasty stare 

I don't know her but I care 

Fm on the outside looking in 

At this world full of sin 

With these tears in my eyes 

None of this comes to a surprise 

Because once upon a time... 

That girl was me 

-Kay-T, Alameda 

From The Beat: This poem is full of heart and compassion, and with that 
final ending right there, courage too! We're proud to publish it. 


Famllir Pain 


When I was little, I remember bits and pieces of me 
growing up. My mom was abusive towards my brother 
and me. As we were growing up my brother always got 
it worse. It's hard to believe now, but I was the quiet one 
out of the both of us. I always tried to please my mother. 
I don't know if she ever noticed it. It was only my brother 
and I as we grew up and we didn't get along as we grew up. 
We would fight over normal things like the remote control 
or who is faster running and who got the front seat. My 
mom hated it. I remember she used to say "why don't you 
guys just kill each other already," whatever that meant. I 
don't know why we used to fight so much. 

My dad left when I was five, my brother was a year and 
five months older than me. I remember my dad being a 
very loving person. My mom would get mad, my dad would 
protect us like any father, but when he left he couldn't 
protect us anymore. I don't understand how someone 
who said they love me can hurt me so bad. I was scared 
of my mama when my dad left. I cried for nights after my 
dad left, hoping he would come back. 

After he left it seemed like everything was getting 
worse. My brother split the cereal box in half full of rage. 
She grabbed my brother by his neck and choked him and 
started beating him viciously and I screamed "stop!" All 
she told me was that I was next if I didn't shut up. So I 
was quiet. 

I don't know why my mom was so angry and caused 
her to do all those bad things, but I just knew I didn't 
want be like her and all I know is that my brother hated 
my momma. After my dad left I never really understood 
why I had such a bad childhood. Why couldn't I have a 
good relationship with my family like other kids? I left my 
mother at twelve and by fourteen I realized I was sexually 
interested in girls. I am now seventeen years old and I 
have been living in a foster home from 12 to 17. There is 
more to this story. 

-Katrina, Fresno 

From The Beat: It can be hard growing in such sin abusive home, but 
we're grateful you made it through that difficult time. Speaking out 
about the struggle you had growing up is stn important step in starting 
over. Have you spoken to your brother? What advice would you share 
with younger people who are going through a similar problem? You're 
great writer! You %xy there's more to this story, keep writing and tell 
more! Hopefully you'll write part two in the next issue of The Beat. 


Avoidino Prison 

When I get out I don't think I would be going to prison 
because I'm trying to make it somewhere in life. 

I'm going to go back to school. I'm going to try to 
get my high school degree. I'm also going to try to get a 
scholarship if I can go to college but if I can't, I will be 
trying to get a job. 

I know that some people don't want to go to school 
and go to college but to me without a high school degree 
and without education we will be getting nowhere in life. 

To some people it's about gangs, but to me it's more 
than that. I'm talking about this because there's a lot of 
people who are in gangs and they don't think it over. Some 
people think once and they do the action, then they end 
up in here like I am, but I'm not trying to stay, and that I 
didn't make the right choice, but I will with better choices 
and actions so that I won't end up in between these brick 
walls no more. 

-Janks, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You obviously have a lot of plans Janks. We hope they 
work out and that you keep u% updated on how you're doing sk% you 
think about what's best for your future! 



7 nn 

//// // 

Hurting My Mama 

We've all experienced some kind of pain in our lives. 
Although some have had it worse, we've all gone through 
something. I would have to say my biggest pain would 
have to be when I started getting locked up. Not 'cause it 
brings pain to me but because it brings pain to my mama 
and that hurts me. Some think it doesn't affect no one 
but them, well, they're wrong. Every time I get locked up 
I see the pain and disappointment in my mom's eyes and 
voice. All she does is care and try to teach me right from 
wrong, and I still get locked up. 

Also I can tell she tries to visit and write but life's 
hard when you're poor and got almost nothing. I don't 
mind but I can tell it hurts her, and even though I try to 
comfort her it seems the only way is to stay out and not 
get locked up, but it's hard once you're in the system. I 
guess all I'm trying to say is even though I try, I still hurt 
my mama and that hurts me more than any physical pain 
I ever went through. So until I can completely straighten 
up and fly right, I'ma keep hurting and so will my mama. 

Maybe one day when I'm older I can finally stop 
hurting my mama 'cause one day she won't be there, and 
I think that when she's gone that's gonna hurt the most. 
So all I want to do is stop the pain and cause pleasure, 
like becoming successful and prospering into a great 
man. Then my mama would hurt no more. 

Well that's it, I'm gonna let the next fool tell his story 
'cause this is mine. 

-Argue, Fresno 

From The Beat: You are mature to recognize how much your challenges 
affect your mom. We hope you find the inspiration you need to "fly 
right". Your mom will be proud. The Beat will be proud - and you iwill 
be happy. 

Dice U|oi A Tine 


Once upon a time there was nine young kids that had 
two brothers that grew up with no father and had to live in 
a cold-blooded household. It wasn't so bad in his house, 
but there was too many fights in that house. So what this 
cold young kid did was follow up to it. He did what he 
wanted, not caring what people said to him. 

He started kicking it in the streets and got to know 
the homies a lot more, and started smoking, started 
drinking, holding guns for people, selling drugs, making 
money, having sex with girls that were way over his age... 
and he started getting locked up from early teen age years 
to now. And that young kid is me, still in juvenile doing 
what I want, until one day I will change. Until next time 

-Grimy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We've got news for you. Grimy. Change doesn't happen 
"one day" in the future. Change is a process that, once begun, never 
ends. Whether you know it or not, change is already happening in your 
life, and we want to encourage even more. 


Once Upon A Time 


Once upon a time there was a young woman by the name 
of Guadalupe, who happens to be my mother. 

Well, the way I want to start this skit is by saying I am 
16,1 am 5'8 and I got a kid at the age of one-year-and-two- 

When my mother had me it wasn't really all that a 
kid wants to start their life with. When I was born I was 
raised without a father. It was really hard to raise me 
'cause she didn't have a father to bring home money for 
food, so my mom had to struggle. I never had a father to 
show me what's right and what's wrong, and to show me 

At the age of ten I started getting locked up and I got 
out every time and I got babied by all my sisters and my 

I am sixteen now and I want to say that I am still young 
and I still got a long way until I become a man. I want to 
get out already because I don't want my kid to grow up 
like I did, not knowing his father. Being locked up just 
ain't the place to be when you are going to have a kid at 

I just want to say, life is too good just to waste it 
at a young age, so try to stay out and for all the young 
teenagers that are locked up, the best thing to do is to 
pray every night and just wish that your family and kid 
are protected by God until the day you get released. The 

-Lil' Gardos, Fresno 

From The Beat: Your kid is lucky to have a father like you who wants to 
be there for him. If you put that first in your life, ahead of all your other 
wants, you iwill always be there for him. 

Once Upon A Time 

Once upon a time on the way to slang a dime 

Drug deal went bad, turned into a vicious crime 

Now Chunks in the Beat here spittin' these rhymes 

Been over two years, lookin' at more serious time 

32 with an L, what a way to spend your life 

Feelin' like the DA got me hooked on his life 

But you know I got to stay strong-minded and strive 

Stuck without visits while being confined 

This is what goes on in this life of mine 

-Chunks, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ tragic to read that the caged life you're trapped in/ 
Results from a crime that was never supposed to happen/ We have a 
friend whose drug deal ended with bullets to the brain/ He still walks 
around, but he will never be the same/ There^ a terrible truth here, and 
one that we hate;/ Some of life's lessons we learn far, far too late!/ But 
Chunks has a soul that, like the Phoenix arisen,/ Will prove (once again) 
that there^ life in - and after i- prison! 

Real Talk 

What's good with The Beat? It's ya boy JT in here once 
again. Man, I feel stupid right now. I just got out the Ranch 
two months ago. Now I am back for a new charge. 

Man, I probably go to a group home or back to the 
Ranch. But you know wherever they gone send me, I am 
gone do my time. But it's just a matter of time for me 
to realize it's time to make a change, 'cause if you don't 
make the change somebody is going to make the change 
for you. 

But yeah, I know I am go be sittin' for a minute, but 
when I get out, things are going to change for me 'cause 
these people are not playing with us. I am gone. 

-JT, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You're right about YOU making a change, or letting 
others make that change for you. So we hope you are able to follow 
your own very good advice and do your program, get out, get your 
education, and stop giving your freedom to the system! 



7 nn 

//// // 

Pain of Life 

What up, Beat? Fm going to write about the pain of life. 

The things that hurt me the most when I was growing 
up was seeing my mom cry, that's the worst thing that 
can happen - seeing someone you love cry. She used to 
cry that she didn't have enough money to pay the bills 
and to feed us. 

I used to see my grandparents cry when my mom 
would come over all loaded and act a fool. When my 
mom would get loaded she'd come to my gramma's and 
grampa's house, where I stayed, and start doing stupid 

And the thing that hurts me the most now is being 
away from my beautiful 1 yr old daughter Corine. It hurts 
me that I'm not being a good dad to her, and that I been 
away from her since December 2007. If she was right in 
front of me right now I would cry and tell her that I'm 
sorry that I haven't been a good dad to her. And when I get 
out it's going to be me and you -forever. 

-Diego, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Seeing your family members cry is one of the most 
painful things in the world. But yet, you might already be repeating 
this same cycle by crying in front of your daughter. How can you work 
to be solid and strong and happy around her? 

So Muci) Bottied In 

People talking shhh and people talking smack, 

people thinking I ain't nothing, people think they're bad. 

Think, because they're big, that they're all that. 

Think, that I won't do nothing, wait 'till I get MAD! 

You'll be on the floor crying 

you'll be on the ground thinking about what happened, 

damn, it all happened too fast. 

You'll look up and you'll see the power deep inside, 

all the anger £ill the rage you caused me in the last few days. 

You'll say you're sorry and I'll say, oh well, 
should've thought about that before you cursed me out 

for no reason on that day 

I was walking home and you punched me in the face! 

For three days I held out thinking what was that about? 

But now you've crossed the line now it's coming out. 

The demon that possesses me it's finally coming out. 

But I have to control it can't let it escape. 

I can't think about what will happen next. 

But you've really pissed me off 

don't you see enough is enough 

when you hit my brother knowing he won't do nothing 

but I bet you didn't count on me coming in and losing it. 

To everything you've done to me f 

inally after 17 months I've finally been set free. 

But that's not enough for me no no no. 

It can't be no no 

you won't take control of me 

I'll fight to survive 

I'll go for my strive 

I'm not gonna give up 

I'm gonna live my life. 

Now that you see all the rage in me 

don't even mess with my family! 

Because I'll be there for I'll be square knowing you don't 

want me there. 

Now you see, now you know you'll leave us alone for 


-Shadow, Fresno 

From The Beat: It sounds like you've been through a lot of pain and 
feel big responsibility to be the protector. We hope you don't have to 
u%e violence to fight violence. Are there skny other ways to protect your 
brother? And to protect yourself from the rage you've got bottled up 
inside so it doesn't turn against you? 

I I 

1 I 


Tiie Pains of Life 


We all experience lots of pain and struggles. Going 
through life, there's always gonna be all kinds of crazy 
shhh. It's hard being a G. The lifestyle we live will probably 
kill us a few years early or end up in the PEN for a bunch 
of time. 

But G or not, life will take a few knockout blows at us 
while we borrow this existence. Some go through more 
shhh than others, but hey, like 2pac says, that's just 
the way it is. Things will never be the same! It's a part 
of life, complainin' about the downsides of life, but not 
a lot of people are thankful for all the good, fun, exciting 
etc, etc... things we have. Be thankful for all the food you 
guys eat, nasty or not, and every day we get to breathe. 
Stay up aye! Late! 

-Smirk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Your message is not just for those locked away, but for 
all of u%\ Yes, we all do a lot of complaining about things that sknnoy 
or hurt us. We even complain about the weather. But most of us don't 
take the time to be thankful for the blessings we enjoy — including life 
itself. Thank you for taking the time. 

I r 


The thing that drives me crazy the most about being 
locked up is I have no idea how my two lil' sisters are 
doing and if they are all right or not. 

I'm the type of person to really care about others, 
other than myself, but being locked up I've been reading 
the Bible a lot, and came to find out in order to love 
somebody you have to love yourself first 'cause what's 
gonna happen when your loved ones are gone... You gonna 

Like this topic said "being locked up is not the best of 
times." I look at it a different way, though. The way I look 
at it is I can't be mad, but kind of in a way be thankful. Yes 
be thankful because whatever position you in, whether 
good or bad, somebody always in a worse position than 
you are. 

-Mike, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We agree that so many people need to love themselves 
first before they can love sinyone. When times get tough, it's important 
for u% to understand that we are not the only ones suffering and that 
there are others that are suffering more. It gives u% the perspective we 
need in order to be able to deal with our problems. 

Pains Of Life 

lat I 
Mfe I 


What's good. Beat? Yeah, I'm still here and been here for 
a HOT minute. This juvenile shhh ain't shhh. It's really 
phony as hell. But this is one of the pains of life. 

Life is crazy because it ain't nothing promised to you 
but death, and that's for certain! When you born into this 
world, you ain't promised a good education or a stable 
foundation. You're not promised to be successful. I bet 
half of the nurses that deliver half of the black babies 
in this world already label the babies to be "thugs" and 
"'ho'es" just 'cause of their skin color. 

But to me, my biggest pain is "death" because this 
beef is thick right now. Matter of fact, I dedicate this to 
my lil' bra Trayon, aka "Tray Duece." I'm losing ninjas 
right now and I can't wait to touch down. It's hard when 
you lose someone close to you! But lil' bra, I love you and 
hopefully I will see you in paradise. Keep it popping to my 
casket drop! 

-A.N.T.O., San Francisco 

From The Beat: We don't know if you're right or no about those nut%e% 
labeling the black babies they deliver, but it's true that to be born black 
and poor makes life's struggles much, much harder. But we also know 
that individual people can overcome these handicaps and succeed. We 
hope that you are able to deal with the death of your lil' bra T>ayon 
without trying to take matters into your own hands... 



7 nn 

//// // 


This Pain, Tliis Life 

rm a very young teen. Fm in jail, and Fm pregnant. I 
came here for something little, but on the transport, I 

I decided to turn myself in, and now Fm being charged 
with escape from jail. 

I sit here and think about what it would have been 
like if I didn't run. It turns out, I would have been released 
the next day. 

I stress a lot, but Fve learned that I can't stress about 
what could have happened. Right now I have to say what 
Fm going to do to change. 

I used to smoke, fight, drink and all the works but 
now I'm proud to say 'that's not me' and my baby's coming 
soon. I should be getting out before then. 

Do what's good and beneficial later, not what's fun 
now but can kill you as you grow up. I'm a blooming 
flower, in a sense. 

-bby tay. Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: At 1 3 years old, you are but a child yourself. Are you 
truly ready to raise a baby? With luck, your parents will help you out 
in this process, but don't leave that sole responsibility on them. This 
is your child not theirs, remember they are the grandparents, not the 

rm a hloonilug flower, In a sense, 

My Family's Influence 


I know what it feels like to be a young person in pain 
that has been through what only adults should know 
about. When I was nine-years old, my mother started 
using drugs and having babies. There are six of us now. 
I have one brother and four sisters. I am very close to 
my big sister Jennifer. We were always playing or doing 
something crazy that little kids do. I don't exactly know 
when our life started to go bad but it all started when she 
started running away, smoking and having sex. 

She was only a young teen and going the wrong path 
already. I remember the first time I saw her smoke. She 
offered me one too. I'm not going to lie, she was my big 
sister so I did it with her and yes it was wrong. She was 
fourteen when she got pregnant and fifteen when she 
had her baby. My nephew's daddy was thirty-seven at that 

I grew up a little more and headed down the same 
path. I was thirteen and going back to live with my mom 
because I was staying with my dad at the time. When I got 
back to my mom's house, it was very bad. My sister and 
my mother were in their rooms and my little sisters were 
outside. I walked in my mom's house, it was a mess and 
a lot of people were there. I found out they were doing 
drugs big time. 

I started smoking cigs, which led to drinking, than 
that led to weed and so on. I can't say it was my mom's 
fault or my sister's but they had a part in it. I was only 
a young teen and saw all this bad stuff and not from my 
friends, but from my family. You know what it's like to . 
start doing bad things because you had a bad life. ' 

I may be locked up right now but I know I'm not a bad 
person, I just been through stuff. All I can say is pray. You 
are not a bad person and neither am I. God bless you. 

-Shaylee, Fresno 

From The Beat: Shaylee, thank you for sharing this piece. You make stn 
important point — sometimes the bad influence doesn't come from your 
friends, it actually comes from your own family. Does that make things 
harder and how so? How are your younger sisters doing? We hope you 
look out for them, and also know they will look up to you. 

Don't Make Drugs Your Life 


Ever since I was young in elementary, I have always been 
against drugs. My goal all the way through high school 
was to be drug free. It always meant a lot to me. 

Then, summer '06 I was going into 8th grade. I was 
with my sister at a hotel room that night, and they brought 
the pipe out and asked if I wanted a hit. I took my first hit 
of marijuana that night. I didn't do anymore for about a 
year. I thought it would be a one-time thing. 

Going into my freshman year, I started talking to cool, 
new, interesting people. They were all into drugs and I 
wanted to experiment. It all went by so fast! In August I 
did Ecstasy. I thought nothing of it really, but I wanted to 
try more. 

I found a kid that looked really fun on Myspace, he 
was really into the drug scene. The night I met him was 
the night my whole life changed. 

We got an eightball of coke, we rocked it up and 
smoked it, I took my first hit of meth. 

This boy told me if I took the hit it would ruin my life, 
and I said, "I don't care". Then on a regular basis I would 
go and get high off of marijuana just about everyday, and 
from time to time we would do exciting things. 

I have used marijuana, sequil, oxycontin, crack 
cocaine, meth, shrooms, inhalants, exstacy, xanex. Any 
type of drug that's out there, I've done it, except for 

From August 'till this day, it was all fun, probably the 
best days of my life. I would also drink every single day 
too. I guess you can say my life was a big party that never 
stopped. But there were some bad times too. I dropped 
out of school for three months and then checked into 
home studies. 

The third day after New Years, I overdosed on coke, 
meth, and two bottles of alcohol. I got caught shoplifting 
twice at Target and Winco. Target didn't make a big deal 
about it. But I got caught shoplifting at Winco trying to 
steal alcohol with a friend. I got arrested and ended up 
in a drug court program. I am on some kind of probation, 
but nothing serious because I am on drug court. 

In drug court I have to get tested randomly twice a 
week. I go to a group twice a week. 

Every other Wednesday, I go to court. Now I'm here for 
things that were done to me, but they all revolve around 
drugs and alcohol. 

This is not what I wanted for my life. It's not a life 
I want for anyone. Never hit the pipe if somebody asks 
you to. You say it's a one-time thing, but it won't be your 

Stay away is all I can say. I regret the first time I hit 
the pipe. There are better things out there then a high 
that only lasts for a day or two. 

-R, Fresno 

From The Beat: We're hoping the best for you in your recovery. Drugs are 
serious business because they make you dependent on them. We hope 
other young people will hear your words and "never hit the pipe" even 
if it's just to try it one time. Next time you feel tempted to do drugs, I 
what will you do differently? I 



7 nn 

The Turnin' Point 

What's good with The Beat? This Cam, that dunny ninja, 
ya heard me. But Fm Anna be on my coo' shhh, below zero 
cool... Nah, but this a turnin' point in my life. 

I beat my 707, but had to plead to a non-strike. But me 
doing that, if I get a serious violation it's YA off top. An it's a 
nine and of ten chance I go to the Ranch. I don't wanna go, 
but shhh, with the life I'm livin', that might be the only way 
I see 19. I turn 18 in July, so that's a handclap right there, 
feel me. 

But to this beef shhh, just know I ain't got forget about 
you. Misery love company, an' hatas is gone hate regardless. 
I wish I would give one of y'all ninjas the pleasure of catchin' 
me slippin'. 

This other situation I gotta man up an deal with is my 
ex. The situation with that is that I broke up with her in 
the beginning of March when my cousin got killed, an' I 
did some sucka shhh. I did it in a letter and just stopped 
talking to her. But I called her one day to check on her. I 
didn't trip that when I asked her if she don't talk to me no 
more 'cause she didn't write back. She thought I meant like 
in a relationship and thought that was her invitation back. 

I found out when she wrote a letter talking 'bout finish 
where we left off. I know that shhh gon hurt her, but I gotta 
tell her befo' she hear it from somebody else. The female I 
do mess with and her are both what the average ninja would 
call a "hitta," meanin' like they go hard ova shhh, and the 
outcome of them two is gon be bad regardless. I don't wanna 
tell the wife 'cause it ain't gon be no stopping her 'cause I'm 
down fo' the count. 

That's gon screw stuff up 'cause she just read me a 
lettta 'bout a week ago sayin' nothin' but good shhh. My lil' 
bra was just my roommate, an' we was talkin' 'bout what 
kinda female we want. We both said a female that's gon at 
least try to keep us out of the streets. The female I broke 
up with don't exactly fit that criteria 'cause like she know I 
probably wouldn't listen. So, if I was to tell her I'm Anna go 
on one, then she'll jus tell me be safe while the wife would 
try to stop me, an' we was talking 'bout babies. 

When I first talk to all my females, I ask them if they'll 

have my baby. They all said yes off top except fo' the 
wife, an' she said she don't know if she gone have a baby 
or not. I respect that more 

'cause she thought about it. The other female just had 
a baby an' it seem like six out of ten times the baby with 
somebody else. Like two weeks ago I asked her why she 
didn't take care of her own baby, and she said she wasn't 
ready to have a baby. So I said, "You should've thought 
about that," and it ain't even my baby. If it was, I'll be mad 
as hell 'cause she sat there nine months and now just hand 
her baby off when she get tired of her. That definitely ain't 
the code to live by. 

My wife, I knew her for about eight years now, and 
I'm glad we was just close friends 'cause that gave us the 
opportunity to get to know each other, build and use trust. 
It's like we built a foundation and now, as of March 8th, we 
got together. We hit our few bumps, but we cool now. How 
I met her is so crazy. That alone was probably the biggest 
key to all the shhh. We got so many stories together, we can 
mess around and make a book. Matter of fact, I'ma try to 
get her to do that 'cause the simple fact it's shhh y'all can 
relate to an y'all can probably use it to learn from it an keep 
y'all out of trouble 'cause we been through ups an downs, 
just like one of them movies. 

If we do do that, I promise to keep it all the way real. I 
think I'm finna do a year at the Ranch, so I'ma try to keep 
my mind on that. My inspiration to do it is that book, "From 
a Hard Rock To a Gem." But I'ma add more details and I'ma 
probably miss some shhh 'cause all the weed I was smoking 
and pills I popped. 

But let me get started. Young Cam out. 

-Young Dunny, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're glad you beat your 707, but we hope you take it 
not only sk% a second chance, but sk% a true reflection of who you are — not 
yet skn adult. By asking females if they will have your baby, it^ another 
reflection of the fact that you are not yet a mature man (and you shouldn't 
be yet). In other words, we believe the court was right to treat you si% a 
juvenile, and we encourage you not to jump into adult responsibilities 
(being a REAL father is the biggest adult responsibility a man can take 
on) until you're ready. We also admire your "wife" for having the maturity 
to take your question seriously, and to give a thoughtful and reasoned 
answer. Do your program, and then see what's going on. You have lot of 
time before you start creating a new family. 


No matter who tfou are tfou should marri/ who loves ifou whereever Mif 
emotions towards this are strong, especlallif since mif mom has a few ho- 
mosexual friends. I snppose this Is one of the greatest moments In an if 
gatf person's life. 


Same Sex Marriage 

Fm straight first of all, but I have this belief. It doesn't 
matter who you love, but it matters that you love at all. If 
this country stands for freedom then denies loved ones to 
wed, what message is being sent out? No more freedom? 
Or hypocrisy? 

No matter who you are you should marry who loves 
you whereever. My emotions towards this are strong, 
especially since my mom has a few homosexual friends. 
I suppose this is one of the greatest moments in any gay 
person's life. This new right must mean so much to any 
gay or lesbian. I am not at liberty to say how another 
person with another lifestyle feels. 

-Keegan Root, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That% a very good way to look at it. You are very brave 
for being outspoken about a topic a lot of people don't like to talk about. 
It shows a lot about your character. Keep up that positive attitude and 
positive things will come. 

I I 


Tired Of Funerais 

n. I 

What's up with The Beat? I'm finna talk about life, man. 
Life is a good thing, man. People need to cherish life, 
man, and get out the beef 'cause people dying left to right, 

I'm tired of going to funerals and tired of seeing my 
black brothers die in black-on-black crime. If they put 
that energy to become someone than to beef, this world 
be a better place. And little do people know, the 'hoods 
they fighting for is getting torn down! 

-Lil' Cali, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We wish we knew some magic to make people get the 
message that life is precious and that, under the sicin, we are all more 
alike than different. We don't only blame those in the beef, though. 
We also blame the government for doing nothing to prevent this self- 
annihilation, while pouring billions into jails and prisons. We all have 
a role to play to change things. What changes are you planning in your 
own life? 



Almost Gone! 

What's up Beat, this Chikillo, well I'ln out this soon. Fm 
out to ROP to start my 12 to 25 months. Shhh, I'm just 
gonna kill my time 'cause this eight months I been here 
is just dead time, that's bull shhh! 

But all I'm just gonna do is keep my head up high and 
stay out of trouble. I mean if I see some fools I just gotta 
take off, that's my life. Just living my crazy life to the 


From The Beat: If you can- for the Beat, but most of all for yourself- 
we're asking you to stay out of trouble and come home where it counts. 
We need you out here, but not to take off on enemies but to be a role 
model and leader for those youth who don't have one. 

Keep The Money In The Air 

When you in the hall. 

You see these walls. 

Waiting to get out. 

Just be in the outs. 

You do the same. 

To get some fame. 

But it ain't a game. 

You better change. 

Better yourself. 

Keep the money in the air. 

-Sponge Bob 

From The Beat: You got some good rhymes, some good thoughts goin 
on. We wonder, what are you gonna do to change, to better yourself? 
What do you think it takes to do something like that? What does it 
take for you? 

The Beat: 

Being responsible to me means to take action in your 
words and thoughts. For example, I told my mom that I 
wasn't coming back to jail and I thought I wasn't either. 
But I ended up back anyway; I don't think that's being 
responsible or taking responsibility. 

I think the hardest of life's pains is the mental part. 
Sometimes the thought of being in jail will kind of make 
you get ready to loose it. But if you go' bad you will add to 
your time. 

I don't really have anything against gay people or gay 
marriages (as long as they stay away from me) but I still 
think it's absurd because what can a man bring to the 
table for another man? But I am not gay and never will be 
so I won't worry about it. 


From The Beat: It seems as if you got a logical way of thinking. Life 
should guide you well but never be afraid to accept a different aspect of 
learning. For the world is forever changing and as it changes our way 
of thinking it should be of alignment with its reality. 

Here Again 


I'm here again in Juvenile Hall. I was at Camp but I did 
some shhh bad and they send me back to the hall. 

I got a few days and they still haven't come pick me 
up, and when I called them they told me they probably 
kick me out of camp. I hope not because then I'm going 
to have to serve like a month and then they going to go to 
a group home and I don't want to go to a group home. So 
that all I have to say Beat, all right then. 

-White Boy 

From The Beat: How does all of this make you feel? What is it about 
being in a group home that you don't like? Why were you doing what 
you did to get kicked out of camp? Is it something you think deserved 
the punishment you got or not? Give us more of you. 

The Worst Pain 

so why make them suffer by 


by I 

Guns are pain for mothers 
killing their children? 


From the Beat: If most people's brains were big enough to analyze every 
perspective before they were to take action, we'll be far more advanced 
and our world would have less pain in it. 

! I 

wmt Matter Mist 



Your family? Your girl? Yourself? To me family matters 
most. But to some cats they think about themselves. 
Man, I love my family. I miss them more than anything. 

My dad is trying to help me a lot to get me out. My 
court date is tomorrow. I hope I get out though man. So, 
YOU, is the only thing that matters in life. You're lost. 


From The Beat: We live in a world of multiple attitudes, there's no right 
or wrong way of thinking in actuality. Men are usually the ones who put 
limits on thinking. We hope you get out and focus on you, and get your 
life together, so you can stay out of these institutions. 


' ■ ■ ■ 

Biy Problems 

I got big problems bra! My ninjas, y'all ninjas keep 
pushing me to the limit bra, I feel like busting ninjas in 
the helmet and leaving them on concrete to hell with 'em! 
I ain't got no feelings for you suckas! Look at his face, 
spit on 'em and say forget 'em! 

-Lir Seag 

From The Beat: If your anger is this great towards whoever maybe it'll 
be best for you to stay away from those persons until you have thought 
about a more reasonable and non-violent way to deal with the situation 
concerning these individuals. "A man's anger will eventually introduce I 
him to his downfall." I 

The Plins II lift 


i I 

When I was younger I suffered a lot of mental verbal 
pain. Lots of people use to talk about me, basically try 
to make me feel smaller than I was. I think now that I'm 
older it was because I was better than them. 

I had a better life, my parents were there and I had 
material things that they didn't. So they tried to make me 
feel as if I didn't fit or belong. I now understand all of it 
and choose my friends wisely. 

-The Great One 

From The Beat: You must choose your friends wisely you are right about 
that, but also just stay away from people that like to spend their time 
talking about other people. They're probably so insecure with themselves 
that they have to make fun of everyone else so they feel a lot better. 
All you need to do is worry about what you're doing and strive to reach 
your goals, 'cause nobody can take them from you. 

Resiiisltillt) Vs. Piln 

! I 

"Take Responsibility" to me, means being accountable 
for your own actions and setting priorities. A time when 
I was responsible was when I decided not to smoke weed 
in the past week. 

A time when I was irresponsible was when I decided 
to ditch school in the past week. I did it even though I 
knew it was irresponsible. 

The pain that comes mainly to me is the drama 
between me and my mom. When I was growing up the 
pain that hurt the most was family drama, now it's mainly 
the drama between me and my mom. 


From The Beat: We hope you and your mother will eventually come to 
terms and we appreciate you for keeping it real with us on the topic 

I hate you, you just disappear like I was never there. 
When I left you showed me you didn't care. You didn't 
help with nothing, and I had to do it on my own. 

You are so selfish when my papa is dying and getting 
played with do you instead help the person that really 
care for you. You turn me this way. You could have helped 
but you was never there. 

But you left your dad dying and helpless with people 
who didn't care. I try to help the best I could, but you knew 
I just a kid but when I left he didn't have nobody now he 
in a nursing home. Then you left me with nothing... so 
now I have you so don't try to come into my life now. You 
is full of it, you're a deadbeat dad. 


From The Beat: The hurt and anger you felt is real, and we're sorry you 
feel so betrayed by your father. Now that he wants to come bacic into 
your life, is he apologizing for what he's done? Are you curious to find 
out more about his relationship with his own father? We're not saying 
you should take him back if you don't want to - but maybe if he^ trying 

to earn back a second chance? 

Free Me 

What's good beat? It's your homeboy Dopey from 
Hay ward, hoUerin' at you from this Daycare Hall. Man 
I'm sick and tired of this place. I been locked up since 
January of this year (Camp really don't count 'cause I had 
a couple home passes). 

I'm 'bout to get out of here in 30 more days. I'm just 
glad I'm doing my time instead of my time doing me. If 
you're locked up, you all know what I mean. Keep yo' 
heads high and stay solid. 


From The Beat: Please keep in touch with The Beat to let us know how 
you're doing. You are now ready to start writing for The Beat Without! 

In My Room 

In my room yo' ninja go insane 

It takes a real ninja to feel my pain 

I know you ain't ready 

When you in that room yo' head feel heavy 

You start trippin' because you hearing sounds 

But then you realize ain't nobody around 

You be crying while yo' tears hit the ground. 

I be rapping and rhyming boy you know I'm big timing 

Yeah I'm writing for the Beat brah I'm anxious 

I can't stay in my seat 

You know yo' boy got J's on my feet 

Jay-walking through the street 


From The Beat: You wrote this so well that for a second we did feel the 
pain of being in your room, alone... it's a real talent to be able to open 
up a window that makes others feel what you feel - keep those flows 



Same-Sex Marriage: OK for Females 

Same-sex marriage. I agree yes people should be able to 
marry who they want. But not any people any female(s) 
because when two males get married, that's just outta 
pocket but when two females get married, it be like 


From The Beat: We hate to break it to you - but gay women aren't trying 
to get married for men^ amusement, it's about trying to build a family, 
have the right to love and legal protection. Same with men... they want 
the right to be ivho they are ivithout being punished by the courts. 

The Streets 

I tog 

I came up in the streets where it's a lot of pain 

Selling drugs in the hood where them slugs just rain 

It's a lot of things in the environment that you wanna be 

But it's hard growing up when you tryna be a 'G 

So you gotta raise money and raising money takes time 

So if you tryin' to waste time please don't waste mine. 

-Lil' Purp 

From The Beat: As you know already, the way you been tryin' to raise 
money gives you nothing but stress. Jail time, separation from your 
loved ones, bloodshed. So how are you and your boys going to get it 
together so you can have the success in life that you deserve? 



\~ Step Up Game Up! 

I Man sitting up in jail is not the business in these four 
I corner rooms, eating this nasty ass food where these 
■ pink and blues. I'm tired of coming in and out of here, I 
been coming here for years. 

I could have left today but my mom didn't come to 
my court date she says she's trying to teach me a lesson, 
let me sit and think for a while about the decisions I've 
made. But as I sit and think more back on my actions, it 
upsets me 'cause I'm better than this and I should be past 

I'm 'bout to be 18, grown, supposed to be finished 
with this juvenile hall shhh. Man every time I get out of 
here, I get focus and follow my goals but it's hard for me 
to stay focused 'cause I'm so into my boyfriend and what 
he's doing... but not no more cause it's time to do me. 

-Da Baddest 

From The Beat: if your boyfriend is a good boyfriend, he should be 
trying to support you in your goals, help you stay on track, keep you 
motivated, if he's not doing that, than he's too much about himself to 
treat you as you deserve to be treated. Don't let him hold you back. Our 

two cents. 

I 0-r%* 


Some of my goals when I get out of here is to get a good 
job so I can support my family and my baby girl. One of 
my other goals is to make good choices and to stay away 
from my old friends, also ~ to move away so we could get 
away from everything. 

I am also trying to save more so I can get a car to get 
around. When I get out I am going to be the best father to 
my daughter. I don't want to be here in jail because I've 
already been here for my Mama's birthdays and when my 
baby was born. Now I have to worry about her everyday. 


From The Beat: These are all solid goals - and it might be hard to stay 
away from your old friends, but we bet that when you think on our 
beautiful baby girl and your dreams, it get will get a whole lot easier 
I Peace. 

I Oppose Same Sex Marriage 

Same sex marriage is something that I truly oppose. I 
simply don't agree with same sex marriage because it 
seems unholy and it even is mentioned that it is wring 
in The Bible. 

I mean simply it is my opinion, but to those who are 
in a gay relationship they have different view, but I don't 
see how a man could love another man. 


From The Beat: We appreciate your sharing your thoughts. The Bible also 
says "Let he who has never sinned throw the first stone." it seems that 
on the list of sins out there — killing people, hurting people, stealing 
from people, a "sin" that is based on love seems like something God 
might not hate. 


My Life Locked Up 

Guess What 

What's up with it Beat, this is your boy B-Nasty. I went to 
court today and Fm still here. And that's some BS. I came 
in here with my two brothers thirty-five days ago. 

All of us are ready to go home to the family and the 
hood. Man I ain't been out of Oakland this long in my 
whole life. I'm ready to get out and be there for my soon- 
to-be son. Man, I'm tired of writing them because it takes 
too long for them to write me back. I feel like they don't 
care that I'm in here, so then I get that forget you feeling 
but then I think about it why am I trippin' off them. 

But if you know B-Nasty you know I'm going to keep 
my head up. 


From The Beat: In a way, it^ kind of lucky because while you're locked 
up you get time to think, and it sounds like you have a lot on your 
mind, a lot to think about. Like how do you feel about being a father? 
What have you learned about which friends care for you? What brought 
you to the point of being in jail? What's your next step, and what do you 
want life to be like in the future? 

Stuff I Didn't Even Do 

What's up Beat. Life is hard. I been locked up for about 
four months now. I been here on some stuff I didn't 
even do. I was with them, so I guess you can say I was a 
conspiracy to the crime. 

I am being charged for doing the crime... that is what 
upsets me. The bad part is the people I was with already 
got out. They didn't snitch or anything, the juvenile 
system is just messed up. They tryin' to send me to ROP 
so when I get out of ROP. I'm going to try and stay out of 
all the negativity for at least until I get off probation. But 
my hand is starting to hurt so I'm out. 


From The Beat: The system does not play - that's why it's so important 
for you to find a way out of it^ clutches, which includes staying away 
from your friends, so you can focus on taking care of the one person 
who matters the most: YOU. 

Deino Locked Dp, I've Deeo Frustrated^^ 

I been looked up since February and ever since I been 
in here, I've been frustrated. I'm tired of staff just picking 
just to see if I'm gonna go bad, but I got control of myself 
and I'm not gonna let it get to me no matter how hard he 
try cause Pm tryna get back home with my family and 
now that it's my last couple of weeks in here I ain't gone 
have to deal with counselors always picking. Till next 
time Beat. 

-Lil' Von 

From The Beat: Congratulate yourself on the fact that you didn't ever go 
bad. it shows that you know how to control your anger... that% a skill 
you can definitely use on the outs as well. 

When I Get Dut??? 

When I get out I don't even know what I'm going to do. 
But one thing I do know, since I can smoke weed I got to 
spark me a port. 

My baby mama told me my son been kickin' like he 
is ready to come out. Damn I can't wait until my son is 
born. Man on my Mama that is going to be the biggest 
and happiest day of my life. But what am I supposed to do 
until then. But I'm out ...this yo boy. 


From The Beat: Becoming a father will be the greatest challenge of your 
life, and also it's greatest joy. Don't forget that you can't spark that 'Port 
around the baby. Second hand smoke is almost as bad for him as if you 
stuck a cigarette in his mouth yourself! 

Last year I was with my family in a truck going to a 
public pool. 

My mind started going crazy 'cause didn't have no 
drugs in my system that day. So I jumped out the car 
while the car was going 45 miles per hour. 

When I was on the ground I started laughing and ever 
since I been trouble with the law that's crazy huh? 

-Big Luke 

From The Beat: It sounds painful! Did you have to go to the hospital? 
Were your parents worried about you? Now that you're in the hall, do 
you have prescription drugs keeping you calm? 

Same Sex Marriage: It's Their Business 

A lot of people have a lot of different opinions on this 
subject. To me I have two. 

1. I don't think its right for two men to marry each 
other because I can't picture it in my head ...but if I saw 
two married men walking I wouldn't make fun of them as 
long as nobody tries to talk to me or try to engage with 

2. But I think everyone should be able to do what 
they want and marry who they want because it's their 


From The Beat: You make a really good point here - in that you don't 
have to approve of what people do to believe they have a legal right 
to do it. It's like, most of us agree that no one should smoke cigarettes, 
because they kill you, but most of us also agree that if people want to 
smoke (and they're adults) they should have the right to. Seems like 
you really think like a lawyer! Maybe that's what you should be in law 

Seeing My Parents Argue 

When I was growing up, the thing that hurt me most was 
seeing my parents argue. They used to fight all the time. 
Sometimes they would hurt each other. 

I have siblings too, and it was hard because they had 
to see it. They argued every week for years. Now they 
split. It used to hurt a lot. Now it doesn't. What hurts now 
is I'm in the hall and I can't do anything for my family. 
And I also feel bad for my mom 'cause of everything she 
did for me. 


From The Beat: It^ so hard watching your parents fight, especially 
because little kids can't help but feel like the fighting is all their fault. 
Do you think your parents are better off now that they are not together? ■ 
Do you and your siblings still get to see both your dad and your mom? I 

A Job in Firefigiiting 



TBW: Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

I see myself having three kids and living a good 
life with my wife in Oakland - and having a nice home 
somewhere and hopefully graduate of college with a job 
in firefighting just doing my thing. 

TBW: Has anyone in your family ever been to college? 
Where? What did they study? 

No, no one has been to college in my family, but I plan 
on being the first one to graduate from college. What do I 
want to study? Actually I don't know yet ...I'll get back to 
that later but college seems like a good choice from a kid 
coming from the 'Town with nothing but time. 

-Lir T 

From The Beat: Have you talked to your PO about your hopes and 
dreams? Because there are programs that can help you get the money, 
support and tuturing that you would need to make these dreams come 
true. California needs more firefighters, and the youth need more role 

See How I Change 

What's up with it Beat? This yo boy Young Cel. Yeah I 
am still in here. This week I'm talking about the pains of 
my life. 

So much stuff is going on in my life that is causing 
me so much pain. I'm about to have a baby. What don't get 
my wrong, I can't wait to have my son. He is my life. I want 
to get out of here, so I can take care of my son and baby 
mama... well I should have said my own family. 

Before I came here, I was doing so good. I had a job 
taking care of my family and bein' a man. My baby mama 
is the only person that really ever was there for me. She 
wrote me a letter that really taught me about my life. She 
is really the one I want to marry. The pain I get from being 
here, it feels like I'm being torn from my family. 

I wish I could tell people before coming in here ...if 
you got a family, think about everything you do before 
you do it. I really wish I would have. I know everything is 
going to be ok because it's in the Lord's hands. 

One love to my son and baby mama. I love ya'U and I'll 
see the family in a bit. This yo man Young Cel my heart is 
in pain without my family. Love ya'U, see how I change. 

-Young Cel 

From The Beat: Your heart will keep you motivated, but your brain will 
help you make a plan for success. Have you got a mentor out there, 
someone like the Omega Boys' Club or an older coach or teacher you 
trust, so that you can get advice on how to become the father and 
husband we know you have it in you to be? 


Being Responsible 


Being responsible is taking credit for your actions. Part 

of being responsible is thinking before you act. 

I try everyday, 

I try by just with little things 

Being responsible is all the little things 

Fallowing simple directions 

Listening and learning from everything 

That's what I strive for everyday 

Being responsible starts with the little things. 


From The Beat: What are some of the "little things" that you have been 
responsible about in the past? And what are some of the things where 
you haven't? 

My Dad's Life Story 

What I know about my pops. Well, I know before he met 
my mom he had another wife and had a kid. Then he met 
my mom and then they came here. Then mom had my 
older sister, and then they had me. 

I was one when my dad got locked up for selling 
cocaine. He got deported and came back. He once told me 
that he got deported one time before that for drug selling 

Now my dad got deported recently, but because of 
me. I remember we sat down and I started to talk to him, 
asking him if he would sell again, and he told me no 
because the third time is the worst. 

My dad was cool. He let me have guns in the house 
'cause he knew how many enemies I have, and especially 
once since I got shot at in front of him.... I ran out of time 
so until next time. 


From The Beat: Thanks for writing this story - your father sounds like a 
complicated man who loves you with all his heart. It must have been so 
painful for him to see your life in danger, to know that he couldn't keep 
you safe, it seems like he also quit committing crimes. Do you think you 
can follow that example and quit as well? 


Little boy go to court and found out he lookin' at two 


Got a special visit yesterday hurt me to see my 

momma tears. 

Go to sleep at night and dream about my life. 
How fast it could end cause the hood ain't right. 

Tell momma when I get out things gone change. 
Separate real from fake and those that be acting strange. 

When I get to YA gotta stay to myself. 
No write ups coming my way don't need nobody help. 

Everybody in jail I guess it's free the hood. 
Ready to meet the judge and the news ain't never good. 


From The Beat: You need to separate the people that can help you be 
positive from the ones that might drag you back into negativity. Are 
you ready to be cold enough to drop people you bring you down? Even 
if you still got love for them? 

Same Time Next Year 

Same time next year 

Same me new gear 

Stay fresh always dress to impress 

Girls on me 'cause they love the new me 

Windows tinted so you can never see me 

Always black do I will always be ready to attack 

Chubby but females still love me stay 

With the one fork grill 

So iced out it make you chill 

That will be the new 

And that I never again will go through— 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: We were waiting for the end of this, to find out howf 
you plan on making sure that never again happens! And then you never 
finished it. The grill and the car is some short-term dreaming ' 
about your long term plans? 

I abc 

' lAfhat 

Wiiy Care? 


Man sittin' in this camp make the kid pay attention to a 
lot of stuff. Like I wrote a piece a minute ago about me 
not really carin' 'bout shhh, which I still don't but I think 
that since I've gotten older I'm more of a person in their 

You know how people say that yo' friends don't care 
for you? That's a fat ass lie. Even though I don't have 
friends, my circle (my brothers) stay worried about how 
I'm doing up hear, not able to wait for me to come home. 
A lot of the females I know write me a lot tryin' to see me 
on my home passes and and want me to write them, but 
I don't see no point in none of that 'cause when I touch 
down I'm gonna be the same cat -- with a few changes. 

'Cause I can't go back to jail now that I'm 18. Ain't no 
mo' of the hall, camp, or a group home ...It's either Rita or 
the pen and I don't want to see neither one I'm gon' 
keep it lit 

-Lil' Solid 

From The Beat: Donte, in the months that you've been writing for the 
Beat, you've shown yourself to be growing into a man, not just in years 
but also in the way your writings get more and more mature with each 
week. You're right, you're 1 8 now and the stakes have changed. Some 
of your friends - people you probably love - are still people you might 
have to stay away from in order to stick to your dreams. Are you ready 
to take on that challenge? 


Growin' up on the street man and never lookin' back, 
Robbin' and sellin' drugs 'cause everybody need some 


Ain't listenin' to nobody not even listenin' to myself, 

Fm walkin' 'round the hood with a big pistol in my belt. 

Pops been in jail and he gone be that shhh forever. 

And now everybody telling me I'm a follower and aint 

gone do no better. 

Me bein' irresponsible I don't listen to no kids. 

Why listen to them when they doin' the same thang you 


Been doing wrong for so long man 

It's hard to make a change. 

Mind so sick bust a head and don't feel shame, 

I can't follow nobody so I sit back and analyze. 

Working for a body strong soul and a strong mind. 

-Lil' Dougie 

From The Beat: Funny, you say the opposite but it seems iiice you are 
becoming more RESPONSIBLE, for your children, for your hood, for your 
future. Whoever tells you you're a follower, ignore them. You're a leader, 
with things to do, places to go. 

M) Piin 


Most of my pain came when my brother died on June 
15, 2007. 

I was so sad that I could not even go home for two 
weeks. They took him away from me and that was the 
most pain I ever had. That's most of my pain... I miss him 
a lot, but I got to lay my pain to rest. And try not to think 
of the day he died. 

-Baby Whoday 

From The Beat: The pain will always be there, even if it fades, but the 
love will too. Now that he's gone, can you imagine that he's watching 
you, and that he still suffers when you suffer, feels happy when you're 
happy? He would want you to be successful... what are you doing to 
make that happen? 

I Quit 

I quit. I will not write anymore 

Lil' T the Freestyle King 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear this, especially because so many of 
your flows have made piece of the Week. You know we'll be coming at 
you, hoping you decide to write for us again. 

Two Strikes 

Even though the DA is giving me two strikes I still got 
a chance 

I'm just waiting for the day that I can take off that 
Alameda sweatshirt and pants 

I gotta go to ROP. 

So now that means it's time to man up 

Ha Ha the DA. 

Tried to knock me down but I'm still standing up 

Every day I spend at least a hour reminiscing and 

staring at the ceiling 

Ha ha tripping and shhh wonder what would I do if I had 

a million 

To all my ninjas that's yelling free me I'ma see ya in a 

Just know that I'm gonna hold it down for y'all while I'm 

in here 

-Young Art 

From The Beat: Art, iwhat you have to do is keep it doivn for YOURSELF. 
You have a year to study, read, write, and really think about how you're 
going to avoid that third strike. Like you ssty, itls time to 'man up.' So 
hoiAf are you going to do that? 

A knife in my heart, longing in my soul 

Yearning for love, mind ready to explode 

Chest caving in, hard for me to breath 

Thinking of jumping off a building to put the pain at ease 

Slapped in the face, staring at the bruising 

Trying to cover up the hurt by turning up the music 

I don't understand why it's there, why it happens 

It comes out of nowhere and appears like magic 

Hurt, regret, and revenge enter my head 

It's like dying slowly, just wishing to be dead 

I feel queasy in my stomach like riding in a plane 

It's only for a moment 

Just a feeling called PAIN!!! 


From The Beat: You are a gifted poet... we love how you describe 
the universe that is contained in that moment so perfectly with your 

Ni Id Sue Sex Marriaie 


I disapprove of gay people! They shouldn't be able to 
marry because it is in the bible. God made a woman to 
company a man. Not another man that's gay!!!! 

-Lil' Nook 

From The Beat: Everybody has their own opinions concerning matters 
that transpire doing in this life. You should not let the functions that 
take place in this world upset you or distract you from whatever you 
trying to accomplish in this world. 



Pain: in lives, tears in eyes that's abused. 

Wondering why kids with no parents 

Some dead or crackheads 

Makin' they own lives, trying to survive 

Pain: parents stressed out. 

They just lost a kid 

Now six feet under in the ground. 

Momma crying saying, "Why?" 

Pain: on the street 

Don't even know what day it is 

Don't even know where your family is. 

Being abandoned, now you stranded. 

Pain: in the mirror, look at marks and bruises on your 


Crying and crying, hate your life 

Got a drug addicted, abusive family for life. 

Pain: leaving your home, running away. 
Don't want to, though someone said the po po's are 

coming for you. 

Now you on the run for a year until you get caught 


making money now, without a doubt. 

Pain: you was just with your friend the other day 

Maybe your ninja or your girl. 

Woke up, watched the news, and found out they died 




From The Beat: When we experience or witness pain in the different 
situations you describe, sometimes we ask ourselves: "How can this 
suffering exist in this world?" As a writer and a young person, what do 
you think? How do people continue to survive in the face of so much 
pain? Does the pain alyvays heal ivith time? 


fje/ ft 

Free The Jets 

Man beat the police just hit the hood where my ninjas 
be. They just really hit the neck of the woods in my hood 
and took everybody to jail though. 

That ain't cool though, 'cause they just really 
droughted our shhh. They tryin' to wash us and take us 
away for the summer. They do this every year, talking 
'bout that it's gang related. Come on dawg we aint in no 
gang we just doing what we do. Free the jets! 

-Lil Purp 

From The Beat: What does "doing what we do?" mean. If you're a group 
of people involved in criminal activity, then that means, sorry, it's a 
gang. We do know that there's more to it, that there's love there, and 
also a real effort to straighten out. But if you care about each other, you 
need to help each other get out of the hood. 

Me And My Brother 

Well I can't really think of what we did when we were kids. 
All I can think of that me and my brother did together is 
buy cars steal cars and drive them to parties. 

My brother and I went to a lot of schools together we 
got into a lot of fights at school with other people and 
got kicked out of school together. Me and my brother go 
everywhere together ...we go to the store together, we go 
to our friends' houses together, we even set on the block 

Well all I can say is me and my brother did a lot 
together OK 


From The Beat: Are you twins? Which one of you is older? Do you protect 
each other or is it one of you more watching out for the other one? Have 
you ever thought of trying to go legit together? 

Goino Home \ 

My name is Charles and I been in Juvenile Hall for two 
weeks now and this is how I really feel. I'm in here for 
something stupid. And I really don't want to say what, but 
I don't know what they are going to do with me. 

I been getting in trouble since age 10, but this come 
around I'm going to be a better man, and show my little 
brother how to be one too. 

But when I get out Im going to church, and do better 
things with my life. All the time I'm in my room I think 
about going home and seeing my family again. That's the 


From The Beat: You write "that's the end" but it seems like you're heading 
for a new beginning - one that is based on love, ambition, family and 
faith. You've started in the right direction, what's the next step? 

The Paifls Of Life 

People go through so much pain in their lives. 

Physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

It is very easy for one to be hurt, 

especially by another person. 

Most brothers in the hood get hurt by guns. 

Some people can be hurt by how they grew up. 

Mostly everyone can be hurt by their heart. 

But it always hurts the most when it comes to the heart. 

Being heartbroken can not only hurt you 

but you can be physically distraught. 


From The Beat: This is a very wise piece. It is amazing how our bodies 
and minds are so connected, isn't it? Being heartbroken can affect the 
states of our bodies, and being in physical pain can also hurt our hearts 
and minds. If you have felt hurt in your heart in a way that led to 
physical distress, were you able to find anything that helped you feel 
better? if so, what was it? 

Every Day Sopermao 


Woke up in the morning 

Wash my teeth 

Look up in the mirror 

Lost the fear 

Put on my Camp Sweeney gear 

Listen to my radio 

Till they tell me to go where I gotta go 

I work in the kitchen for all these poodle ass chickens 

I clean up all the messy mess 

I am the best never any less 

And I walk around like I got a "S" on my chest 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: So in camp you're handling yourself like a superhero. Do _ 
you think you will handle yourself differently out there? What will your I 
"Every day" look like when you are free? I 

My Life Is A Very Eoiotiooal Rollercoaster \ 

It all started on my fifth grade graduation. I came home 
and my house had been robbed, my mom had been beaten 
up, and she was crying. At that point, my life took a change 
for the worse. I had to go live with my grandmother. 

Every five months since then I've been back and forth 
from my mom to my grandmother. It's hard to be away 
from my mother. My mom is my best friend. When I'm 
away from my mom too long I cry. 


From The Beat: This editor's heart goes out to you because I also share 
a very close bond with my mom. Have you talked to your mom about 
changing the living situation so that you can have more stability? If it's 
not a realistic option right now, can you see her more often when you 
at your grandmother's house? 


\ Lr 

I Never leen lespensible. 

Responsible: I never been responsible. I always get in 
trouble when I'm with my friends. I didn't care for anyone 
and thought I was cool, ditching school and getting in 
trouble. So wrong I was ... 

The time came for me to get locked up. I haven't been 
here for long but I look back into my past, and I was a 
dumb child trying to live a dream. 

Now that I'm here I know that I was irresponsible for 
my negative behavior. I'm hoping to get out soon... 

So many thoughts are going through my head. I know 
when I get out 

I'm going to be a different person. I'm going to make 
a difference in my life. I'm going to be a more responsible 


From The Beat: Man, sounds like getting locked up has been a real 
wakeup call for you. What are the specific things you will need to be 
responsible about in order to make things work better next time? 

The Paifls Of Life 

The pain that I feel inside 

Words can never describe 

The hurt that is in me 

Your eyes will never see 

Mixed emotions 

Can't smooth it with lotion 

Unlike dry skin 

You can't cure it quick 

It takes time 

Like planning out the perfect crime 

From The Beat: Ooh... good poem. Like that flow! 




Just Feeling Pain 

The beat of my heart is faster than ever before 

I can feel the blood rush down my arm as I look at the 

closed door 

This is a part of me that I do not like 

It's hard to show my feelings but it is hard to fight 

I walk out the door and come to my surprise 

It's my boyfriend coming towards me and me trying to 


He hits me on the regular for no reason I should say 

But the reason I'm with him is because when he's not 

drunk he makes my day 

I'm feeling emotional and physical pain and there's 

something I can do 

I will try to do better for myself and be me a lot, too. 

So listen when I say that he doesn't have a hold on you 

That loving yourself is better, and you can be what you 

want, too. 


From The Beat: Yes! We love what you wrote. We hope that you will 
take these wise words you have written with you when you go back 
home. He will try to get a hold on you again. Don't let him! Loving 
yourself is so much better and you can trust yourself. Unfortunately, 
abusive drunks won't change their ways until they are ready to, and 
even then, it% a long road. Steer clear of this guy, please! 

Good For Tiiose Wiio Benefit From Same- 
Sex Marriage 

I think that it is unfair when you love someone and you 
can't marry them because you are both male or female. 
So for me I think that's good for them that they can now 
get married. 


From The Beat: Nice, we agree. Everyone deserves to be loved. 

Pain Of Life 

Life is crazy. 

I live with a whole lotta pain everyday in my life. 

I also stress because my life is on the line. 

I try to erase it so I decide to write. 

If you look at me I'm the pain of life. 

Pain is real, life is sick to keep it 100. 

Life is a bummer. 

Pain of life, pain of love, pain of squares, pain of thugs. 

Pain of the streets, pain of the world, pain of young men 

and young girls. 

-This Pain 

From The Beat: We feel you. Life can be really painful, especially in 
circumstances like yours. We've also noticed that some things can make 
it less painful. If you were advising someone else in your shoes about 
how to handle the pain, what would you tell them to do? In your piece, 
you mention writing to erase pain, and we think that^ a good way. 
What else helps? In the hall it might be different from on the outs, of 
course, but sometimes thinking about the things that helped on the 
outs can make things easier on the inside. 

Tiie Pains Of Life 


The worst type of pain is emotional pain because 
emotional pain hurts more than physical pain. A broken 
heart hurts more than a broken bone. Emotional pain can 
stay with you for a long time and keep on hurting you. 
Physical pain only lasts a little while. 

- Guera 

From The Beat: If a cast or crutches helps heal a broken bone, what^ 
the best way to heal a broken heart? Is there anything that helps or 
does it just take lots of time? 

I I 

! I 

' I 


Me And Same Sex Marriage 


It's good that they approved same sex marriage because 
now I can marry my girl. The only thing that I don't like 
is that I can't get married to my man if I marry my girl, so 
now I gotta choose which one I care for more. If it really 
came down to that, then I wouldn't pick either, 'cause 
both of them get on my nerves. 

- Guera 

From The Beat: You're still young... you've got lots of time to decide if 
you want to get married! 

Yeai), I'm Gay 


The same sex to mean that I would want to marry my 
girlfriend, but at the same time I would want to be the 
first person to marry a boy and a girl. 

I really think that would make a difference in the 
world if they did pass that law, 'cause I like a boy and a 
girl who both want me to be with them, but I can't make 
up my mind. I think by next year, they will pass that law 
so I can marry both of them. 

It would be cool to live all in one household 'cause 
we all love each other and want to be with each other in 

Let me ask you this: why should three people that love 
each other get married? But, on the real, I'm happy [the 
California Supreme Court] approved same sex marriage. 
'Cause I'm going to be the first person who gets married 
to three people. 


From The Beat: You bring up another interesting way of looking at 
marriage: should it only be restricted to two people? We hope that you 
will always have the freedom to live as you choose. What are some of 
the unique problems that can come up when three people are sharing a 
relationship? What are the unique benefits? 

Ganosta Fairytale 

Once upon a time, I was on my grind, 

makin' my paper and like a star I shine, 

better close yo eyes you might end up blind 

in my watch so many diamonds I can barely tell the time 

chain hang low, it almost drag the flo' 

it's so fresh, look like I'm fresh up out the sto' 

pockets so heavy, I can't even walk steady 
I'm eating so good but I don't even got a belly. 

-Lil' New Orleans 

From The Beat: This has some great images, a nice flow and a great 
sense of humor. It really is a fairytale, huh? A fantasy-version of this life 
the way everyone wants it to be: success, having nice fits and money 
and bling, being well-fed and on top of the world (and not even getting 
fat!) At the same time, sitting where you are, and having read your 
work before, we think you do understand this is a fairytale. This is 
how people want it, but as we know; the costs are high, both to your 
integrity, your deeper sense of freedom, as well as the risk of being 
locked up and all the pain that causes. We'd love to read a fairytale 
about life after gangsta living. What comes next? 



Same-Sex Marriage Tliouolits 

Personally I like women that like women. It's natural for 
women to have sex with other women, but it's wrong for 
a man and another man. Now that's just so out of pocket 
right there I don't even want to talk about something like 


From The Beat: What do you think is the reason you feel comfortable 
with tiAfo women together but not with tivo men? And, we are curious 
that when you think about same-sex marriage, you are focusing on the 
part about having sex rather than about gender. When you think of a 
man and a women getting married, do you automatically think of their 
sex life too? 


As The World Goes By 

As the world goes by 

As the days goes by 

I wonder why 

When the world 

Will get better 

While people 

Getting locked up 

They get knocked up 

Wondering why 

And crying 

Sitting here 

Thinking why people die 

If Eve haven't ate the apple 

What would happen? 

What would the world be like? 

People homeless on the street 

Being all cracked up 

No food to eat 

Don't know 

They killing they selves 

While the days goes by 

When will earth end? 

When did it begin? 

I want to know 

Though no one knows 

For everyday 

People need to work 

For the money they get 

And earn it 

If not you be homeless 

Begging for dollars, 25, 75, 50 cents 

Having nothing 

In the cold 

Being lonely 

In the darkness 

No water 

So I am telling you this 

Don't mess witii drugs 

Or you be looking messed up 

And addicted 

Strung out on the street 

Pulling food out the trash to eat 

Not having shhh 

As the world goes by 

Think about what you wanna do 

With your life 

What you wanna be where you wanna 


Do you want to be married 

With kids? 

Or single? 

So it's your choice 

Also your future so 

Just do good in school 

And not act a fool 

Because not having shhh ain't cool 

As the world goes by 


From The Beat: For your next piece, (if 
this interests you), you could do a thought 
experiment to imagine and write about a world 
with no suffering. You ask what the world 
would be like if Eve hadn't eaten the apple. 
What do you imagine that world to be like? Do 
you believe that human sin started with this 
act in the Garden? If so, is woman the source 
of sin? How does this Bible scripture relate to 
women's life choices in the modern world? 


Future Plan 

My plan when I get out is to do something different, 
like get a job and do something to help me to be another 
person who can take his past an use it as a strong point 
to keep control. But I will never forget my past. 

The judge is really countin' on me, to see my talent, 
and use it. 

My family is my weakness, because I love them with 
all my heart. 

There is one person that keep me keeping on, that's 
God. The one and only Father I have. He keeps me knowing 
that I can do better than the life I am living, and I will. 

I have a plan to become a barber when I finish school. 
Then get my own shop. 


From The Beat: You've got a great plan Reese. Goals you want to reach, 
and that you don't want to give up on. Don't forget your past, like 
you said, because if you forget the mistakes you've made, you're bound 
to make them again. Learn from those mistakes and you'll already be 
closer to reaching your goals. 


This yo boy Lil' Kev. I'm still here trying to wait to go to 
court to find out what they gone do with me. I can't take 
being in here and not knowing how much time I'm about 
to do. I know that the DA is going to try to mess with me 
and give me my m£ix, which is nine years at CYA. 

I ain't even tripping about being locked up no more. 
I'm just trying to finish school and get my GED. 

When I get out I'm 'bout to move out of Oakland — 
there's going to be trouble when I get out. I'm not scared 
of no one, but if we have to get down then we gone have 
to get down. Ninjas speaking on me when I'm locked up 
but they don't want to say anything when I'm out. 

-Lil' Kev 

From The Beat: We bet it is hard to wait this long before you even start 
officially doing your time. It would probably be a relief to just know 
what your sentence, but at the same time, it sure would be hard if they 
give you the full nine years. We support your focus on getting your GED 
and being productive while you're locked up. We are concerned when we 
hear you're planning on messing with other ninjas when you get out. 
Why start all that when you know it could get you locked up again or 
even killed? You are a smart guy, so how about this: during your time 
locked up, how about you find a way to rise above all that crap and get 
on with doing something that you will feel proud of in your life? 


My Piin 

i I 

Have you been in pain before? 

We all know it hurt both physical and mental. 

Well let me tell about my pain. 

Have you ever been away from your family and love one? 

Well ever since I made the choice 

to get money and don't care about no one but me. 

It hurts more than me, but my family and love one too. 

I don't want to cause my family and love ones to stress 

over me no more. 

Man it break my heart to see my grandparents cry! 

But once I get out I'm gonna stay out and have a Plan B 

since Plan A failed. 
I'm gonna try and finish high school or a least get my 
GED and make my family proud. That's my Plan B and 

I'm sure it going to work. 

Well, hope this get to all in here. Just understand what 

our family going through. 


From The Beat: it's hard knowing that your pain extends to people 
other than you, especially if it's hurting people you love. You're plan B 
sounds like a great start to ending that cycle of pain. Just stick to it, 
cause you know you don't want to get to a plan C, and we don't want to 
see you get to that either. 

i I 

Pain Is This Life 

J L 

Man this shhh is buUshhh. I think it emotionally hurts 
more than physically, because when you get hit your 
pain will eventually heal, but emotionally you ain't never 
gonna know when it will heal. But life, that's what it's all 
about, whether you hurt emotionally or physically. 

Life ain't nothing but pain. You gotta learn to deal wit' 
it though. It don't matter if you do good or bad, trouble 
will always follow you. So when there's trouble there will 
always be pain. Life is always trouble though. Everything 
revolve around trouble and pain. Whether it's good or bad, 
is always trouble and pain, physically or emotionally. 


From The Beat: You're right, it^ a lot easier to measure when physical 
pain will heal than emotional. But what you do (good or bad) does 
make a difference in your own life. Pain reaches everyone at some point 
or another, but your actions can prevent pain, just as you can create 
it. You have choices, you control your own path. Life doesn't have to 
alyvays be trouble. 

ce 1 

inst ' 

Against The Ten Cnnrniandments 

Man what is the world coining to? First it was the violence 
and now it is same sex marriage. I ain't got nothing against 
gay people. Same sex marriage, that's a sin. But they love 
is love. God said this was going to happen in the Bible. 

I really don't think it's bad, it's just a sin. But God 
would always forgive you. It's only a sin turning gay, not 
being gay. 

Going against God's Ten Commandments is a sin. But 
he always forgives you. 


From The Beat: Sorry we got your name wrong, couldn't read it. Sounds 
like you have two feelings about same sex marriage, and we icnow this 
from discussing the issue with you too. On the one hand you feel it^ 
against God's law, and on the other you don't personally have an issue 
with it. So we are curious: Do you think that the love of two people 
("they love is love") is as bad as the violence going on? if so, why? 

I Don't Agree With Same Sex Marriage 

Hey Beat today I chose to write about same sex marriage. 
Me personally, I don't think it's right to marry the same 
sex. I really don't like it. I just don't agree that it's right. 
Why would people wanna walk around holding another 
man, kissing another man. Just stupid stuff. 

I think it's allright for two women to get married. I 
love lesbian females. 

- My thoughts 

From The Beat: We'd like to know why you're against the idea of two 
men together but two women together is okay. If we look at this as a 
civil rights issue, how different is that from saying that Asians get to 
vote but Blacks do not? We also had to smile at your idea of dating a 

L lesbian. The whole idea of lesbians is that they are attracted to other 
women, not men. So generally they don't date guys (unless they are 
actually bisexual). You are not alone, though, since many men have the 
fantasy that they'd be the exception. 

I I I I 

Missin' Him 


What's good. Beat? This is Dimples, once again. 

Well, today, I'm gonna talk bout my boyfriend. Well, 
I'm gonna start off by sayin' I miss him. I never met 
nobody like him. I love him. I just can't explain it and 
just 'cause I'm only fifteen doesn't mean that I can't love 

His name is Carlos, he's sixteen. I've been with him 
for seven months, almost eight. I know it's too soon, but 
I just never met no other boy like him. He treats me with 
respect, he buys me whatever I want, he puts me first 
(then his homeboys). And he also kept me off of drugs. 
And I thank him so much for that cause I want to be able 
to live longer. I want to be able to have a family of my own 
when I get older. Now those are the reasons I love him so 
much and miss him. Well, Beat, got to go, so later. 


From The Beat: He sounds like a caring boyfriend, but please remember 
that nobody can keep you clean and sober but you. Real talk! We hope 
that you stay healthy and that your dreams of love and family come 
true when the time is right. 

Jist Waitin' 


Was up Beat, Still sitting here in up in the room just 
waiting to go to my program. Two of my homies are going 
to ROP too, so we're just going to kill our time to be back 
in the varrio kicking it with the homeboys and doing hella 


From The Beat: Usually when people are locked up and they're talking 
about the date they're able to go home, they're talking about the urge 
to see their family and not some hood that forgets about you when 
you go to jail. Separate your priorities and responsibilities from that of 
destructive pleasure and fun. 


Ike loie I! M) lite 


I will never hurt him even though he makes me mad. He 
makes me cry, he makes me happy, but he's still my lover. 
He's heading down the death lane and I'm scared for him. 
He will die for me and I'll die for him, but that's not what 
I want to do. I'm gonna live my life no matter what, just 
know that I love you, no matter what, baby. 


From The Beat: Can you or anyone else get him off this destructive 
path? He's willing to die for you, but is he willing to do what it takes 
to live a safe life? 

My Story 

I woke up in bed wit a woman I didn't know. Thought 
about last night but I couldn't think right. I woke her up 
an' ask her where I met her at, she said at the club. I said, 
what club, I was at last night? She said " you don't know 
who I am", I tried to play it off but she got up and left. I 
tried to call her and tell her I remember, but she hung up 
an' I never called back. 


From The Beat: You've definitely got some mystery going on with this 
story. It^ so mysterious it^ at a point where it^ a little hard for the 
reader to understand what's going on. Next time give us more detail, 
more story. Plus, this kind of not remembering party lifestyle is very 
dangerous, say you contacted an STD, or something life threatening 
happened to you! 


I acted irresponsibly after I completed Electronic 
Monitoring because I was not following my probation 
guidelines & got stopped by the police and got my 
probation violation. I took responsibility by having to go 
back to court and they are now sending me to placement, 
and I have to deal with the consequence of my poor choices 
by serving time in the hall & then going to a placement. 


From The Beat: The interesting thing about the system is that it forces 
you to take responsibility, whether you committed the crime or not, and 
whether you take on the responsibility internally or not. You say you 
took responsibility because the system forced you to, because you had 
to go back to court. If you could've run, not taken responsibility, would 
you have? Is there a part of you that feels like you should take the heat 
for your own actions whether or not you get caught? 

ng I 

Tlie Pain of Life 

(at I 


The pain of life on the streets, pushing that white, 
getting money when everything goin, right. 
The sun don't shine when I grind late night. 
Just keepin' my hopes up for the ones I love, 

Keepi'n it lit on the blocks like a thug. 

Sex, money and guns make me stress free, 

everybody love me. 

Don't care for war in Iraq. 

Where we at, every member in my circle gone clap. 

I just pick myself up when Lil' Dirt fallin' down, 

but I feel good every time shine come around. 

Mama don't cry 'cause the Lord got me known, 

I cannot let anybody in put me down. 
The pain in my system kept me packin' on these 
Oakland streets, holding shhh down. 
I wake up every day like pain is love, 
I'm in love with money. Believe that . . . 

-Lil' Dirt 

From The Beat: You need to take a look at what you're spending your 
time doing right now. You say money and guns make you stress free, 
but they landed you in the hall. Is being in the hall or worrying about 
ending up there again not stressful? If you keep living the life you're 
living, you will alyvays carry the stress of being locked up again someday. 
Which do you love more - money, or your freedom? 


Being Responsible 

X f 

Being responsible is a big part of life. A lot of people is 
irresponsible. A lot of people have they own meaning to 
the words "responsible" and "irresponsible." I feel that 
the word means you're handling your business and not 
lacking. You not half-ass doing things. 

Irresponsible is when you're not trustworthy or you 
can't depend on that person. I feel like a lot of my friends 
are irresponsible with money you loan them or if you give 
them something. 

-Lil' Major 

From The Beat: We agree with your meaning to these words. Why do you 
thinic so many of your friends are irresponsible with money or things 
you give them? Do you thinic they are as irresponsible as many teenagers 
might be or is it something about the kinds of lives they are leading? 
Does this cause you to thinic twice about lending money or other things 
to them? What about you — how responsible were you before you got 
locked up and what do you want to do when you get out? It is tough to 
live a responsible life, but it can bring many good things as a result. 

Been Lock Up Boy! 


Being locked up ain't cool because you be in these fake 
ass rooms looking at the wall or reading a book and when 
you do get out yo' room you go to class or do work out or 
we get a hour of rec. (recreation) playing table games and 
when you're in here you do the same thing every day and 
we have to get up hella early and every day, we got to eat 
nasty ass good and the staff be taking a long ass break 
and be trying to act like they yo' mom and dad and they 
be trying to make us go to sleep hella early. 

-Lil' Tj 

From The Beat: We all know being locked up isn't cool and iwe Icnoiw 
when you're under someone else^ supervision sometimes that person 
can see the world how he/she likes and will sometimes try to pull you 
into their world of misery. We hope that when you do finally get out it 
will be these things that you remember and that'll be enough to keep 
you away from that crazy place forever. 

Being Responsible, Being Irresponsible 

The time I acted responsible was when I took care of 
my little sister. Also when I had to take care of my house 
without making a mess too. 

The time I acted irresponsible was when I got in trouble 
from school for jumping on a desk. But this was when I 
was in 1st grade, and I've learned from my actions. 


From The Beat: Those are great examples of you being responsible 
and irresponsible. But what would you call you're doing right now? 
Being locked up means that you were out on the street acting real 
irresponsible. Now that you know what can happen to you for acting 
irresponsible, are you goin' to act a lil' more responsible now? 

Being A Responsible Bad 

Being responsible means a whole lot to me now. The 
reason I say that is because I got a lil' one who looks to 
me. My son is 8 months old and he is my twin. 

I live for my son and that's the only way of life for me 
to live, for my life is way more meaningful now 'cause of 
him. I know I have to get my life together just so he could 
have a good life. That is a real big responsibility for me 
now. I live my life very cautious just because of him. My 
son's name is Messiah. My son will be one on September 
17, and that means a whole lot for me. 


From The Beat: Responsibilities and priorities change so much when 
you have a child. We're glad you take this responsibility seriously, and 
hope that when you get out you'll do what it takes to be there for your 
son the way he needs you the most - physically being there with him. 
Staying out the hall so you can raise your son is the best thing you can 
do for him. 


Can You Feel My Pain 


Can you feel my pain livin' in Oakland, struggling and 

trying to get money. 

My pain is seeing my mom cry and seeing my ninjas 


The things that I seen don't make no sense 

but if you seen some of the things I've seen you would 

come to tears. 
Throughout these years I been in and out of jail in my 


Brings me to pain being away from my family. 

Makes me mad, but they can't break me 'cause I'm still 

and I'm confident to do something different and don't 

come back to jail. 

That's all, I gotta go, but keep y'all head up and knock 

yo time out. 


From the Beat: We're confident that you'll do something different when 
you get out and that you'll stay out. You have so many insights Damani, i 
and you know what you need to do. I 

Ike letn li H Faitasi Wirll 


Once upon a time there was a young teen. He is only 15 
and he is from the town. He is living in a fantasy world of 
gang banging, thinking life is hard and he was put in this 
world to fight and shoot just to rep a color man. 

When I found out that my girl is pregnant I wished 
she wasn't but there's only one way to get rid of the kid, 
but I don't want to cause I don't believe in that. 

One of my wishes was that I never started gangbanging 
but now it's too late. I already got my reputation. I really 
hope when I have my kid and when I hold him and look at 
him I really hope I change for him. I really want to get out 
of this fantasy world, but how? I hope this baby will help 
me out. 


From The Beat: What is it about your world of gang banging that feels 
like a fantasy? Is that fantasy broken when you're in the hall, does that 
feel more like real life? If you want to leave the life you live you can. 
If you want to change for your child, for yourself, you can. No one's 
stopping you but yourself. 

Story Every Bay Based on Money-Brugs 

Every day based on money and drugs. 

Circlin' every block on them Oakland streets, 

'cause I was raised a thug on the block 

keeping it lit for Ant. 

Every day tryin' to get rich, why? 'Cause you can die any 


Savage life living is all I know. 

If I get too hungry I'm gon' bust my toast just to show 

how life go. 

My life is all around leaning on syrup in dro. I might 

pop a lil pills but I don't do no mo'. Out of pocket young 

lives that be snorting that coco, but not Lil Dirt. 

I might push a li'l dope, but we only sell drugs 'cause 

we ain't got no hope. 

I told mama I'm gon' cry if I ever go broke. 

This jail life crazy, this ain't no joke. 

Mo' money, mo' drugs is all I know. 

-Lil' Dirt 

From The Beat: Jail ain't no joke, you said it yourself. You keep living 
for money and drugs, you'll be living that no joke life for the rest of 
it. You can choose to stick with what you're doing, and keep ending up 
in jail, giving up your freedom. You can also choose to let that life go, 
spend your time doing stuff for you, so you can have a life other than 
being locked up. It's hard breaking away from the only thing you know, 
but you knoiAf it's the only yvay to make sure you stay out the hall. 


My Fairytale 

Once upon a time there was a boy named Joe. He lives 
with his auntie. He always gets into trouble. He went 
to Juvenile Hall six times and he still didn't learn his 

Now, he's in for attempted murder and he is doing 
twenty-five to life. And now he wants to get out and do 
good, but he can't because he killed someone. So now 
he's on twenty-five to life. His mom comes to visit him 
every night. 

-Lil' Scooby 

From The Beat: There are many examples, mistakes, actions, etc. which 
taices place in this world for each and every one of us to learn from. 
That boy named Joe has lost his life behind bars from doing the wrong 
thing - no one should follow his footsteps. 

No Trust 

Man, I been in pain all my life 'cause I have no one to 
trust! It's just my mom, my lil' sister and I. So if you have 
no one to trust all your life you will never give a damn 
about your life. If you go to school it will still be painful 
but at least you can be someone when you grow up. 

You can change your life around and be with someone 
you love. You can put your mom and your lil' sister in a 
big house and help the community out. Everybody will 
like you and life will not be painful like that but everybody 
have painful things in their lives. 

-Lil' J-Tuda 

From the Beat: You are so right Devon, there are so many ways to 
improve your life. It's all about what's going on inside of you and the 
icind of individual you are on the outside. A healthy attitude is all you 
need to diminish any Icind of pain that happens to be in your life. 

New Generation Shhh 

I think same - sex marriage is not right. I don't know 
how people turn out gay. It's really messed up. God made 
us to love the opposite sex, but then people started liking 
the same sex. How the hell did that happen? 

Man, this new generation shhh is really messed up. 
People are getting A.I.D.S and H.I.V and all them diseases 
now. But I'm happy for them gay people. They get to marry 
now. I ain't taken sides or nothin' but shhh is messed up 
these days. 


From The Beat: Everybody's entitled to an opinion of their own in this 

Llife. Everything isn't necessarily going to go as you see fit. The daily 
functions that you see talcing place within each and everyday all started 
from vision and thought. Create your oyvn vision to implement into the 
world to see the world how you'll like to see it fit, and learn to embrace 
all and be open-minded! 

Life In tiie Hall 


Life in the hall is having no life! 

We wake up everyday at the same time. 

We eat this fake ass county food. 

Some of the staff be tryin' to tell us how to wear our 


Sometimes they be tryin' to get over on us on our rec. 

(recreation) time so they can take their break. 

Every night we go to bed at the same time 

and wait 'till the next day to get out our rooms. 

We barely get to use the straight phone. 

Call only when the staff want you to. 

-Lil' L 

From The Beat: You should learn from these unfortunate occurrences 
and go home to tell all of your friends about it so they want be too 
anxious to do something they aren't suppose to be doing and end up 
at juvenile hall. 

Life in these times' have me thinking about life, that 
this ain't no game. It's real! I learned that you have to 
take one step at a time. I learned life ain't no joke! I even 
learned that I got to change not for every body but for 
me. I learn if I want to survive longer, I have to change my 
dreams if I want to live. 

My dreams was to be the bigger drug dealer, the gang 
banger, but life isn't all about that, it's about having a 
wife and kids, enjoying your life, not watching over your 
shoulder every day and time. 

-Baby Joker 

From The Beat: We hope that you keep on learning in life because the 
more you learn the more freedom you receive. This thing called life is 
partially about having knowledge to understand. 

Stili Nn Release 

What's up Beat? 
Imagine waking up in the morning to just a window. 

No family, nothing to give a smile. 

Taking me away, twenty-five miles away from the love 


But I must go on. New intakes muggin'. 

Ninjas claim block that ain't theirs. 

Just give me my release please. 

No smiles only frown. 

But I will be gone next week. PEACE. 


From The Beat: You've got a great plan Reese. Goals you want to reach, 
and that you don't want to give up on. Don't forget your past, like 
you said, because if you forget the mistakes you've made, you're bound 
to make them again. Learn from those mistakes and you'll already be 
I closer to reaching your goals. 

w I 

ide I Lii 


■ I 




tad I 


Life is crazy being locked up. I know my family is mad 
that I am in here. It ain't cool being in the hall, can't get no 
freedom, can't see nobody you hang out with or nothing. 
You be in here with enemies, they talk like they get down 
but they really don't get down, they all about talk. 

The food in here is hella nasty. It makes us shhh, but 
you got to eat. We're only allowed to take five' minute 
showers. You wear somebody else's underwear that was 
in here before you, even though they wash them you don't 
know what they had. Ninjas be talking bout stupid shhh. 


From The Beat: There's a reaction to every action, so when you do get 
out and you decide to indulge in negative activities don't be surprise the 
next time you end up in jail thanks to a negative result. If you don't like 
your current predicament maybe you need to do a little introspecting to i 
find out what it is that keep landing you in these messy situations. I 

Tai(ino Tiiat Chance tn Ciianpe Ynur Life! 

Taking the chance to change your life is like being able j 
to say I don't want to do this no more, I want what's best | 
for my life, I want what's best for my children's life, I want 
to be able to go in to any neighborhood even if it driving 
by without anybody wanting my life. 

I don't wanna be on the news, "sixteen year old kill in 
these Oakland streets," 'cause statistics say a black man 
in Oakland these days die young, maybe sixteen on up. I 
don't want to be in that category, I want to be the BEST I 
can be. " I'M GONNA MAKE IT!" 


From The Beat: We don't want you to be in that category either. If you 
keep your determination, hold on to it, you will make it. Like you said, 
it% just about talcing that chance and changing your life. 

ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 

//// // 

My Pain 

X f 

Super Robbers 


Once upon a time there was this group. And in this crew 
there was three boys and two girls. The boys' names 
were Jason, Phil, and Cal. The girls' names were Tete and 
Nisha. This group was made to work together. They all 
had super powers. 

Then one day, they thought that they should rob a 
bank and that they wouldn't get caught because they had 
super powers. They robbed like three banks and decided 
that they don't need money because they could just get 
what they want instead of getting money. So they started 
robbing stores and that's the end. 


From The Beat: We don't get it. If they have super powers, why do they 
have to rob anyone? Don't you think they could earn a very fat living by 
offering their services to the rest of us,! 

Wbo Hotter Tbao IVIe 

Somebody put me out, I'm on fire 

Please tell the feds I retired 

I know a lot of rappers for hire 

The streets do mess with you, you a liar 

Mike's real, he preach to the choir 

Yo' buzz in the streets expired 

Count a 100 grand, I'm kind of tired 

Keep yo' girl from around me 'fore I buy her 

Goons love me, I'm they supplier 

Street cred don't get no higher 

Got one on me 'cause it's lighter 

Sincerely yours, Mr. Supplier 


From The Beat: You may be hot sk% hell, but you're here on ice/ And not 
all the fine words in the world can make it nice/ Just keep your eye% on 
the prize and stay on trade/ Supply some knowledge, and never come 

Tbiflking Of Family 


Pain of life are the ones that have ever made you cry, or 
stopped you from living your life, keeping you away from 
your loved ones. 

What I feel is what I want to. What is pain? What is 
it that I feel ? Love is pain. That's what I heard. If it true 
'cause I'm away from you! And now I'm missing you! No 
pain in my heart for you! 

My heart had turned cold! No more emotion is true! My 
heart, now it's cool because of you! Inside of me balance 
me 'cause I know I still love you! 

No matter how much you hurt me, I know I will always 
be here para amarte (to love you). You my pain of life. I 
want you to my side hasta la muerte (until death). You 
show me the best of life, you make me cry and love. You 
made me this man. So please stop to complain, it's just 
my pain, 


From The Beat: Why do you think that "love is pain?" Why do we put 
ourselves through it? If your heart has really "turned cold," then how 
can you love? In fact, if you have a cold heart, can anyone love you? 

Same-Sex Marriage x i 

I'm so into same-sex marriage. Hell, me and my ex- 
girlfriend was plannin' on getting married, but that girl 
ended up getting pregnant. 


From The Beat: Marriage is not something you should just jump into 
without some serious thought and preparation — whether same-sex or 
not. Marriage is a legally binding contract that carries legally binding 
obligations. Think before you jump.... 

I don't know what I'm writing about, but my thoughts is 
about family. I got family in a lot of mix. I got family who 
got beef with others who they were close with. 

My family always told me, "Don't trust anybody but 
the family. That's why I don't got a lot of friends because 
I don't trust most of them. That's why I roll with my 


From The Beat: We're not sure we agree with your family^ advice about 
trusting only family. Our experience is that there are people who can 
earn our trust that are not in the family... and there are people in the 
family who have lost our trust. It's not a question of blood (family) but 
of character. 

Window Warriors 

What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Mike writing 
out the big dog unit. I ain't feel these phony-ass topics 
this week, so I'ma just talk about window warriors. 

Man, it's hella ninjas that think they sick behind 
these walls. You see them walking in the hallways and 
they start shooting invisible bullets at you, and saying, 
"To hell with your 'hood." 

When they in the same unit as you, they don't be 
hollering shhh. Some be scared to come out they room. 
They ain't 'bout what they talkin' 'bout. I swear, bud, I 
hate that shhh with a passion. If you go be with the shhh, 
be with the shhhh to the fullest. Don't half step shhh. If 
you scared, go to church or hop back on the porch. That's 
all I got to say. 


From The Beat: Yeah, there's a lot of fronting in the hall. In fact, there^ a 
lot of fronting whenever boys or men are locked together, from the halls 
to state prison. It^ more important to be perceived sk% dangerous than 
actually to be what you project. You %x^ advise stn^one who's scared 
to go to church or "hop back on the porch." We say that if you aren't 
scared, be prepared to be spending a lot more time locked up again and 
face the same kind of "posing" sk% now. In other words, get out of here 
and stay out, and you won't have to worry about this scene at all! 

i I Stiil Ti)ifli(iflo Lil(e A Jovooiie 


What's up with The Beat? Man, a ninja 'bout to start trial 
tomorrow for this 707 shhh. I been here seven months 
and I'm just starting trial. Once they tell me I'm gone be 
tried as a juvenile, it's gone be on and popping. Watch 
when I touch down ninja, you gone see. That all I got for 
The Beat this week. 


From The Beat: This is hardly worth printing in The Beat, Lano. Whatever 
the court decides, it's clear from what you've written here that you 
still thinking like a juvenile, so you should "win" your 707. 


The Pail Of Life 



When living life it's very painful, especially if you living 
that 'hood life. When you living that 'hood life, you go 
through a lot — losing ya homies, police harassing a ninja 
on a daily basis, and that statistic they say when you live 
that 'hood life: you either go be dead or in jail. 

I think that shhh is a disgusting lie because I'm not 
finna get smacked and have my peeps crying over my dead 
body. I refuse. I'm go be one them ninjas that make it. 
Gangs tas don't die; they get chubby and move to Miami. 


From The Beat: We love the last line of this piece, and we admire your 
certainty that you're going to make it. But that's not a promise you can 
leave for others to accomplish or just to luck. Unless you make some 
changes, nothing else will change, either. We hope you get to move to 
Miami and get fat, but without a real plan, how will it happen? (If you 
don't want to see comments on what you write, then start your own 



ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 

//// // 


"Check, one, two..." Yeah, it's young Bri broadcasting 
wild out of YGC. Well, I wasn't really feeling the topic 
today 'cause I wrote about those topics last week. So I'ma 
talk about my haters. 

It's funny how one minute they're in your face and 
the next minute they chopping you up with the next girl 
you don't get along with. So I decide to sit back and laugh 
at them. So I'ma ask y'all a question: why are y'all so 
immature? Why do y'all stay hatin' on me? 

It seems like when we're on the outs, everybody cool 
an' not talking about nobody or not messing with the 
enemies. But when you get in here, everybody stabbing 
each other in the back. I keep it real. I ain't got to do that. 
If I got something to say, I'ma speak my mind of top. 

So I'ma tell you like this: stop smiling in my face, and 
tell me what's really the deal 'cause I ain't got time. But 
step y'all game up an' get on ya grown woman shhh, ya 
dig. 'Cause best believe I'm always on this young lady... 
or should I say grown woman shhh. But if you knew betta 
ya do betta. 

To all, keep ya head up. Do this time and don't let it 
do ya. 

-Bri B 

From The Beat: Here's the thing, Bri. Even if every iword in this piece 
is accurate and correct, we wish you would spend more time telling u% 
about you and what you're going to do to stay out of places like this, 
and less time telling u% about others locked up with you. Don't get 
u% wrong... You're frustration is understandable. But, sk% long si% you're 
here, we're more interested in your self-improvement plans than in your 
advice for others, who also need self-improvement. 

Rtal) To (el Out 


What's good with The Beat? This ya girl Pell-Pell holdin' 
it down. I been cool tryin' to stay out this thang and 
can't wait to hit the pavement. Being locked up ain't the 

I'm probably 'bout to get out this Monday comin' up. I 
just need to straighten my act fo' I be in here even longer! 
Me and a few of my friends up in here, but my real goon 
right here holdin' me down, ya know! 

I'm gone me super happy when I get out so I can 
cupcake with my boo! Y'all know who he is and where he 
be! It me and him against the world, so ride hard or die 
hard ninja! 


From The Beat: Since we don't alloiv communication betiween our writers 
in the hall, we had to take a couple of lines out of this piece. What are 
you doing to "stay out this thang?" Whatever you're doing, it's obviously 
not working, because here you are. So, besides getting back to "ride 
hard or die hard," do you plan to change anything about the way you 
live? if not, you can expect the system to react just like it did the last 

The Pains Of Life 

What's good? The topic is "Pains Of Life." My pains 
life is shhh that happened in the past, like someone real 
close to you getting killed and you watch it happen but 
can't do nothing 'bout it because you so young. And the 
messed up part about it is you can't change the past, so 
the memories will live with you till you die. 

But I'm outa here. They need to let a ninja walk so I 
could get home, 'cause this shhh weak. Gone. 


From The Beat: When someone gets killed, there's really nothing anyone 
can do about it at any age. Whether you take revenge, let the law do its 
work, or do nothing, the dead remain dead! The only thing you can do 
now, sk% sktt adult, is to change your lifestyle so that guns no longer play 
the dominant role they now have in your life. 

I I 

lioil, Give Me Tiie Strengtii 


God showed me the light but I'm here goin' for the 

sixth time 

It's embarrassing and ridiculous that I'm still fighting 

and committing crimes 

I've hurt my family and friends so that my heart yearns 

and cries 

When I wake up here I feel outta body, outta place 

Just hoping and praying the judge would drop my case 

The staff say I love it here just because 

I try and stay positive with a smile on my face 

I'm very glad I have that because it keeps me at peace 

Like the feeling I get when I sing Amazing Grace 

It hurts so bad to know that once you get caught you 

have almost no control to stay out of this place 

Please God Give Me The Strength 


From The Beat: We believe God has already given you what you're praying 
for — strength. It takes strength to admit that you're embarrassed to 
still be doing the things you did sk% a child, and still be paying the 
price for it. It takes strength to stay positive and keep smiling. Now, 
God is waiting to see if you can u%e the strength he has given you to 
move beyond the life that has put you here, and to take you into a 
responsible — and free — adulthood. 

My Baliji Boy 

I'm sixteen years old, and I got an eight-month-old baby 
boy, Damarcus Jarelle. My baby has the brightest smile 
in the world. He has the brightest eyes a baby can have. 
I was fifteen when I had my baby boy! The pain I went 
through... the emotional and mental bond I made with 
him. Eight and a half months I went through pain, mood 
swings, medicine, swollen ankles... He was worth my 

To My Son: 

So I sit in jail thinking about when I'ma see my son. 

The pain I went through just for this lil' one 

8 1/2 months of labor but I'm still sittin' strong 

I'm sittin' in my cell wantin' to talk through the phone 

Sittin' here thinkin' about my baby boy 

The bond I made with him is love you can't destroy 

I pray for the day I see his smile and his lil' face 

I think about his laughter that's something I embrace 

So from now till I get out baby boy, I love you 

Pray for mommy baby and I can wait till I see you 

-Lil' Rumbles 

From The Beat: We knoiw hoiw much you must be missing your baby, 
but we also know that he needs you even more! You were just a child 
when you had this baby (which is why you risked losing him by doing 
whatever it was that led you here — something that was more important 
to you at the time than he was). Now that you are older and more 
experienced, we hope you realize your first duty is to your son and 
not to yourself. It's time to stop doing the things that leave your son 
without a mother... 

•*iol ' ' 

Taking Responsibility 

When somebody tell me to take responsibility, the first 
thing that comes to my mind is to be a wise person. I 
can't really explain what responsibility means, but one 
thing I think it means is to really to just be a wise man/ 

Last time I've been responsible was when I took care 
of my mom. Ever since that, I don't think that I've been 


From The Beat: How do you get the wisdom to be responsible? Don't you 
think your mom needs you to be responsible again, so that you can be 
with her instead of being locked up? 

ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 

//// // 

This Ain't A Game 

X f 



When my big bra KG got killed, it wasn't the same 
walking round the streets. My moms always told me this 
ain't a game. Walking around just into my teen years... 
Ain't that a shame? Man, my life not the way you think it 
is I got friends the same age already with kids. 


From The Beat: Do you think there is a connection between the fact 
that children are having children (when they can't even take care of 
themselves) and the amount of violence that leads to tragedies like the 
death of ICG? What are you doing to allow yourself to grow up into a 
responsible adult? 



To all my goons up in all the units, if 1 make it to the 
WMBA I will come for you — only if ma haters don't stop 
me 'cause I got them. But it's '08 and I got to stop them 
'cause they hella weak. 

I don't fight no mo'. It's '08. If I make it I am coming 
back for my goons. 


From The Beat: We had to take several lines out of this piece, ^sknsknsk, 
since they were threats to do violence. There's no doubt in the world 
that if you carry out these threats, then there's absolutely no way you'll 
ever make it to play professional basketball. That requires finishing 
school, entering college, and staying out of trouble. Are you grown up 
enough for that? 

Man, growing up... The thing that hurt the most while 
you're young is when you get taken away from your 

But nowadays what hurts me the most — not in the 
emotional way like crying, but the type of pain that makes 
you mad — is when someone attempts to run my life who 
wants to go around allowing someone tell you what to 
do. Especially when someone tells you something and 
they're wrong but think they're right. 

Also what really make me mad and 'cause me pain is 
people being a hypocrite. 


From The Beat: So, being in the hall must be a lot of pain since you're 
away from your family and having to take orders from strangers telling 
you how to run your life! We can think of only one remedy for this 
pain, and that it is to stay out of institutions liice this. One thing that 
would make this a much stronger piece is if you added some examples 
of someone attempting to run your life, or people who are hypocrites. 

The Pain Of Life 


I seen my momma cry yesterday, but what hurt the most 
is when she was asking me to answer her and I didn't 
know what to say. I just was looking at her like my heart 
fell to my knees. Like, man, why I keep on doing this. And 
in about twenty minutes later, I'm on my way to YGC. 

-C Bang 

From The Beat: What was your mama asking you that you couldn't 
answer? If you don't know why you "keep on doing this," then it's 
most likely you'll just keep on "doing this" and paying the same price, 
because the system will certainly keep on doing this. 

1 |~SearGliing For A Sopiiisticated Femaie 

I I Once upon a time there was a ninja named Mac who 
grew up in the 'jets. His whole plan as a child was to be 
an athlete. But as he got older, he turned on to the game. 
You know how that shhh go growing up in the 'hood an' 
shhh. So, as he got older, it was a change of plans — to 
own the world and be the ninja,.. 

On some real shhh, though, this for all the sophisticated 
females. Man, I just a young ninja in these streets tryna 
get a doUa. I'm also in search for a sophisticated female 
pen-pal to write me 'cause I'm gone be in this hole for a 

So if you in search for a "real ninja" get at me. 


From The Beat: You've put yourself in a box with only other males, 
but you're looking for a sophisticated female? Maybe we're wrong, but 
somehow we feel that sophisticated females won't be searching out 
boys in juvenile hall to pin their hearts to. We wish you luck, but we 
think a long-term plan that follows you out of here into school and work 
and family and freedom is much more likely to attract that sophisticated 
lAfoman you're looking for. 


Pains Of Life 


Well, I got a lot of pains in many different ways. One of 
my pains is not having a father figure to give me the love 
that I really need. That shhh really hurt me. That's why I 
go to dudes looking for love, and I don't get all the love I 
need because all they do is abuse and use me. That shhh 
hurt me. 

But it's flnito. Be a new me. No more pain and drama 
in my life. I'm flnsta change, get the love that I'm looking 
for from my mother or brother or sister, 'cause I know 
they won't hurt me and kill my soul or spirit more than 
it already has been. So it's time to do me and heal my 

I'm tell y'all young ladies and gentlemen, keep 
ya heads up and best believe god will get you through 
anything. But this probably the last time you hear from 
me. Peace. 

-Bri B 

From The Beat: We wouldn't mind hearing from you again even if you're 
home and free. Love has to begin with you — love yourself. That means 
you will not allow some little boy who thinks he's a man to abuse you. 
We believe that if you insist on your own self-respect (meaning that you 
insist that others respect you), you'll find that boys who want to use 
you will fade «wsk^, and be replaced by responsible adults. 

Gamblino Ifly Life 

Waiting to get in the outs, 

I have doubts on my court day. 

Can't wait until the day, 

I get high and play. 

Laying back on late nights. 

Get drunk and start fights. 

Light the 'dro and take flight. 

Letting my eyes lose sight. 

Fighting for my life. 

Lighting my life away. 

How much longer can I play? 


From The Beat: These are the things you list: get high; play; lay back; 
get drunk; start fights; smoke 'dro; run. How does this lead to "fighting 
for your life?" How much longer can you play? Well, iwe don't knoiv. Are 
you playing now? 



Life Ain't No Game Until You Gnne 

Life ain't no game until you gone. You can be the man 
on them streets. You can shine and get all the dimes, but 
once you out the game, ain't nobody go remember after 
a while, ya dig. You hearing this from Coop who really on 
these streets getting this money like it ain't funny. If you 
ain't heard of me, then you not in these streets. Watch 
some of your homies 'cause they will give you away for a 
dime, easy. I'm fighting a 707. Life ain't no game. Wow. 


From The Beat: What good is a street rep if you're taken off the street 
and put behind walls where strangers tell you what to do? You can call 
yourself anything you want, but the truth is you're a captive of the 
system. it% up to you to change that reality. 


ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 

fjffff // 

Walk Wtere I Wilk 


Walk where I walk, see what I see 

All my life I hustle all night 

Now rm all right 

And I did if all without y'all advice 

I done been though hell and back twice 

So you can do it like me now 

As the world turns 

I let my blood burn 

Police writing down tags like I'm concerned 

I graduated from them nickels and dimes 

You need something, then come get mine 

Get on the grind but stay the hell out of mine 

I know! Can't be humble in the jungle 

Man, to hell with this earth 

Ninja, what's worse? 

Waking up in the pen or sleeping up under dirty? 

Boom boom, ninjas busting they gun 

That's where I come from 

Where they shoot dice, snort dope, sell crack and have 


-Ram Horn 

From The Beat: We had to take several inappropriate lines out of this 
poem that celebrate shooting and violence. You %xy that where you 
come from, people have fun playing craps and selling and doing dope. 
But aren't you forgetting one other part of where you come from, and 
that is that the "fun" you describe leads you, and so many more, to 
temporary slavery or worse? 

Loyal To The Soil 

What's poppin' with The Beat It's ya girl Sha'Taea here 
trapped in this unit. I want to go home. Man, I miss my big 
sis and all ma big bra's. I got to finish this 90-day program 
and I'm gone be back to my spouse doin' my thang once 

I miss ma old boo thang even though we ain't as solid 
as we used to be. But he be on my mind like all the time. I 
can't wait to get out. Uhmm, I see you. Me and a couple of 
my friends up in here holdin' it. It's 3:24 PM and I stayin' 
loyal to my soil, know what I'm talking 'bout fo' real 

I'm out chea, mayne. See you. 


From The Beat: We don't know how many times you've been here, but 
we know that if you go back to doing what you were doing before, then 
you'll be coming back. Only a fool or a child believes she can repeat 
what she did before without facing the same consequences sk% before. 
We don't think you're a fool, so we hope you grow up a little more before 
you head back to the old ways... and have to face the same old results. 

For M) line 


Ey, lil' momma, you know you so precious. 

It's like every time I we talk, you know you leave me 


Maybe one kiss could try to persuade you. 

I'm still thanking god for the day that he made you. Your 

body's so soft, your lips so sweet. 

Your voice is so sexy, it almost puts me to sleep. 

I want you to be my lady and be by my side. 

I'll never do you wrong; I'll be ride or die. 

We could both get money, it don't matter to me. 

I'll be down with you if you be down with me. 

Now we like Bonnie and Clyde 

Until the day that we die. 

My love is so real I'll give it to you all the time. 

-Lil' CP 

From The Beat: Those "ride or die" promises never impress u%. They 
always sound like children living in a fantasy. There are lots of things 
between "ride" and "die" — including the results you're experiencing 
right now. is this what you want? For her? For you? 




Once upon a time before I had a dream 

I was on the block with rocks and hella bags of weed 

I've calmed down, used to livin' savagely 

Hurt feels killin' a bunch of tragedy 

Once upon a time I had everybody mad at me 

Haters wanted to see them witii it rather than me 

And only my real folks was glad to see me 

Cash doggin' these dudes, stay true to the game 

You need nothn' else but dough on the menu 


From The Beat: We'd like to take you right back to the very first line of 
this poem... back to that dream you now have. What is your dream? How 
do you plan to move from the life you describe here into the dream of a 
different life? Or do you? 

Walt Til Next Week 

What's good wit' chu. Beat? Damn, like I always say, 
time is going be hella slow. I already did four months. I 
got two more to go. I can't wait till tiiat day comes. This 
time I really don't have much to say. So next week I'll 
have something to write for sure. Till then. 


From The Beat: Well, since you didn't tell us much, we don't have much 
to say in reply. Til next week... 

Mom: You're My Life 

I love you for everything you done for me 

I love you for being there for me 

I love you 'cause you my moms 

You was like a mom and dad to me 

I love you for taking care of me 

I love you 'cause I'm proud to be your son 

Mom you are my one and only, my everything, my heart 

And last but not least, you are my "life" 

Mom, I love you 


From The Beat: These are beautiful words, BD, but to make them come 
true, you have to back them up with action. The way to show your mom 
just how much she means to you is to stop doing the things that allow 
the system to take you away from her and leave her in tears. Can you 
show her that much love? 

Coniig Back's Nit lespinsible 


What's poppin' with The Beat, man? This ya boy comin' 
from that max max unit. Man, people out there ain't 'bout 
what they be talking 'bout. Man, a lot of people ain't 
responsible. Man, I see people getting out and comin' 
right back in. That ain't coo'. When you get out and don't 
come back, that's responsible. 


From The Beat: Why do you think this is true? Would young people 
be more responsible if the hall was not so easy? Are there other 
responses to juvenile "crime" that would have more chance of changing 
juvenile behavior? Are you responsible? What helped you most to be 

Same-Sex Marriage 

So yeah, how I feel about same sex marriages is I really 
hate it! I hate homosexuals! It's not that I'm scared of 
them! Truth of the matter is gays are an abomination. I'm 
not a homophobe, it's just I HATE them. 


From The Beat: Well, you're free to hate whoever you want... only we're 
sure you have people in your life that you care about who are secretly 
gay and you don't even know it! (And why would they keep that a 
secret? Because of your prejudice!) 


mnnnME Mswmmm^4 ^ ^ / s ^ ^ 

fj^i^f // 

Not Feelii' It 

X f 

Yo, look, I been getting in trouble since I was twelve. 
I started by stealing cars and staying out late. But I got 
tired of being broke and started robbing people. Got my 
first six hundred, then the six hundred went to nine. That 
wasn't enough so I went higher, robbed a store, got a few 
of them bad boys , didn't get to spend a dollar for real, 
cousin. But I'm not feelin' this shhh anymore, and I don't 
mean the beef. I'm gone ya dig. 


From The Beat: We're not sure what it is you're "not feelin'" if it's not the 
beef. If you're not feelin' lock-up, then it^ up to you to stop doing the 
things that lead to lock-up. The dollars you're generating now are all 
going into the system^ pockets. 

Females Be Lyino 

'S'up wit' chu ninjas. This D-Boy still here in the super 
max holdin' it down with my ninjas. Females be lying 
'bout shhh too much. They be speakin' on shhh they 
know nothin' 'bout. 

This girl I know on the outs wrote me talking 'bout 
some bullshhh. I wanna stop her when I see her on the 
outs. This other girl be playin' too, not holdin' a ninja 
down like she say she do. What happen to the ride or die? 
Females be hollering'. 


From The Beat: You wrote three pieces; we could only print one of them! 
The other two were completely inappropriate for The Beat. So, when 
you complain that you're not in The Beat, consider what you write! 
As for this piece, it makes u% laugh to read a boy complaining about 
females lying. We've never known a boy yet who doesn't lie to his girl... 
What about you? 

eva ■ 

Family Pain 

The pain I had in my life was mom when she had AIDS 
My dad walked out on me when I was twelve, and he neva 
came back. I started not giving a damn 'bout my life till 
I got older. When I was little, I saw my mom get beat and 
couldn't do shhh 'bout it. 

But the pain I don't got is my girl. She the best thing 
besides my family, and I still struggle in life. I'm out. 


From The Beat: We're sorry you had to experience so much pain in the 
family. We can understand how these things might cause you to not care 
about your life, but we hope sk% you move into adulthood your recognize 
that you are worth caring for. 

Foroet The Beat: 

I write Beats constantly every week, and faithfully you 
fool me. I come to The Beat every Friday, look into The 
Beat and every week my shhh ain't in there. What I'm 
trying to say is that you need to be up on your program. 
You guys are getting paid to edit these Beats and I ain't 
getting paid shhh to write in these Beats. If anything, this 
is a voluntary program and I'm trying to keep this program 
running, and from you not editing my Beats, I feel like 
you ain't putting time and effort in your profession. You 
guys chose to work here — no one put a gun to yo' head 
and said, "Edit this Beat." I'm just saying be up on the 
program and edit my Beats. 


From The Beat: We've published almost everything you've written 
since you've been at the Ranch, especially if it's standout or better. The 
only time we wouldn't print something you've created is if you have 
disrespected someone, incriminated yourself, or have not put enough 
effort into the writing program assignment. When you really write your 
heart out about skny subject, even about feeling neglected by The Beat, 
we skWtsk^% print it and are delighted that you ivrote it. 


Crackers Won't Let Me Do Good 


I'm trying to get out of here because this isn't no place 
for me. I was just doing good on the outs, and I just gave 
all that shhh up for nothing. I know I can get out and do 
good , but the crackers don't want to see ninjas doing 
good. Most of these ninjas are praying for when they are 
going to get out of jail. 


From The Beat: Unless "the crackers" made you do the crime that led to 
doing the time, we think you're finding excuses for your own behavior. 
Racism is alive and real, but it is not responsible for all the problems 
you face. You have a lot more control than this piece lets on. When will 
you start using it? 

Smokln' On Pnrple 

rill I 


Smokin' on that doja, I done got a bag fo' cheap 

Ninja eyes barely open an' I'm glued to the backseat 

Homie took anotha hit an' then he passed it back to me 

This shhh must got somethin' in it; ninja slipped some 

crack on me 
Ain't no crack up in the windows, one can barely even 


Got me fumblin' an' trippin', almost passed the blunt to C 

Got it cloudy in the Bentley, ninja squintin' tryna see 

Don't know what time it is, but I know it's time to eat 

Ridin' dirty, bumpin', ridin' dirty, know how that shhh 

One day you're here and next day you going on repeat 

Right now dyin' ain't fo' me 

Bustin' odors when you roUin' potent as it 'posed to be 

And we rollin' and I'm smokin' back-to-back constantly 

Keep movin' Dutches, Phillies, Garcias to Swisher 


Young savage don't really care 

Just throw that shhh up in the air 

-Lir Canon 

From The Beat: If you spent sk% much time making real plans for a decent 
future (school, job prep., relationship building) sk% you do reminiscing 
about those blunts, you might not be in a place like this! 

Gai't Gi Bick 


Man, I sick of this jail shhh. Every time I ask the staff 
can I do something, they say this is not my old unit. The 
so-called unit manager go say, "Yes, you can't go back to 
your old unit. You got to stay here until you act right." 
I don't know what they trying to pull, but when you get 
out stay out because I know y'all don't want stanky-ass 
breath in yo' face. 

-Young Shottie 

From The Beat: Why do you say you don't know "what they're trying to 
pull?" If they're telling you to straighten up your act, then they're not 
trying to pull anything. It's up to you to do some pulling — like pulling 
your own weight. 

k Sick Yoiig Ninja 


What's up wit' The Beat 

Can't wait ta get on the streets 

'Cause I'm broke in the halls and a ninja gotta eat 

When I get out I'ma stack my grip 

On a grind all day tryin' ta get these chips 

Money ova some female's lips 

I'm a sick young ninja; I don't worry 'bout shhh 



From The Beat: What is it you can't wait to get back to? The grind? The 
beef? If it^ the same ol' same ol', then expect the same ol' response from 
the system. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrniamff ff // / 

//// // 

Back From Y-A 


Hey Beat - what's good in this juvi hood? I'm just writing to 
say what's up. I just got back from YA and I'm posted here, 
waiting to go to Colorado. 

There's a program out there, waiting for me. I have to 
stay there for six months and then I finally get to go home. 

I haven't been out since 2004. I've just been locked up. I 
know that all kinds of stuff has probably changed. I'm happy 
just to be back in my county. Down south was not the place 
for me at all. It really sucked. I'm ready to handle my business 
and get the six months out of the way. I've really learned my 
lesson and found out what I want for myself. I've had enough 
of living like a low life. Partying gets old after awhile. I want 
more for my life. 


From The Beat: We're glad you're back and that you have only sixth 
months to go. We remember that great poem you wrote before you were 
shipped off to YA. We showed it to some famous poets and they were 
mighty impressed. We hope you'll write more poems. Send u% a few from 
Colorado, please. 

On Trust 

I trust people until they lose my trust. I see people 
positively in the beginning until they loose my trust. The 
reason why is that I was brought up respecting my elders. 
I also believe that it is right to treat others as I would like 
to be treated. Something that would lose my trust is when 
someone says they are going to do something but they do 
not follow through. 


From The Beat: And what about you, Jose. Do you follow through? Are 
you a trustworthy guy? 


I think punishment is not enough for me. I'm locked up. 
I wish I could go home. I'm sad. Being here stresses me 
out. If only my punishment was less than what it is. I'm 
sitting here impatiently waiting. I'm bored. No girls. No 
cat in the hat. Punishment. 


From The Beat: Hey, we'll ask the staff to put stn HD TV in your room. 
We'll get you a manicurist and a personal assistant, a chef, and a trainer. 
Will that do? 

AiDilini Prism 


Well, my plan to not end up in prison is just to take it 
chill. By tiiat I mean - stop kicking it with my homeboys 
and to not go to my 'varrios' so often, like I did before I got 
locked up. I'm not saying Fm going to stop going to my 
varrio at all, but just once in a while. I don't have to prove 
anything else to my varrio - no more than they already 
know what's up with me. That's my plan. 

-Lil' Tripper 

From The Beat: Sounds like a good beginning. But you'll need to replace 
the time you were wating with time well spent, doing good things. 
What will those good things be? 

What Do You See 

Take a look around and tell me what you see. Mexicans 
filled from head to feet with ink. They don't want to see 
us succeed. Try to do good and the cops plant drugs in the 
hood. I have a front row seat to a life-style that ends in the 
penitentiary, where few make it to college. But to those who 
do - keep your chins up. Shine bright. 

-Young Sinner 
From The Beat: We're glad to hear you talking about college. We're not 
sure who the "they" you refer to is. But we can tell you - we do want 
you to succeed. We'd like to see more ink on the page. What you put on 
your skin is your business. What are you doing to make sure you end 
up in college? 



I don't trust anyone except for my friends. I don't care 
if anyone trusts me. This is so lame that I just have no 
words for such lameness. 


From The Beat: We think you're confusing lameness iwith laziness. T^ust' 
is one of the most important things in life. You hint at its importance in 
your first line. You're copping out here. You've got words to spare. You 
just don't want to spare them. We'll catch you next time. 

Love Horts 

6u I 


I look up to the sky and I start thinking of you. 

A dagger in my heart has me feeling pain because I 

thought you loved me too. 

Girl, you're not mine anymore. You walked out the door 

and there's nothing I can do. 

You left me so alone and empty even though I was so 

You might think it's funny but you really could cause 

some pain. 
You're a princess in a tower, so hard to reach, and it's 

making me insane. 
I miss you a lot but I know you forgot the love we once 


Our love was so hot. . . hotter than lava. 

And sometimes I hold you tight, but that's all in my 


I tell you that I love you and you ask me what that 


That's when I wake up and see that you're not there. 

And I know that for my love you no longer care. 

There's one thing you don't have, and that is love 

but there's a sudden smile on my face as I look up 


Looking at the skies I suddenly realize - 

there are plenty other beezies in the world of this thug. 


From The Beat: We like your poem, but those last two lines don't ring 

My Story 

Well, I'm writing about my life. Beat. My name is Ernesto. 
I'm "gang-related affiliated". I messed up so I got caught 
up. Now I'm stuck behind these walls and no one calls. 
Well, I'm going to ROP and that's where I'll be. Alrato. 


From The Beat: That was stn expensive screw-up. What have you learned? 
^Nsk% it worth it? Tell u% a bit more about your life. Why did you mess-up? 
Why are you 'gang affiliated'? 


^ I 

* I 


Statistics say we won't make it past 25, but look at the 
OGs living strong, with pride, hustling hard to make a 
living on the streets. 

Mama's looking at me like - 'what has my son 
become? What's the outcome?' I'm sorry for all the drama 
I've caused for all the years, and all the tears. Realizing 
what's wrong is my first step to becoming a better man. 
I've been a sinner from the get go, since birth. But my 
family's always remained strong. 


From The Beat: You're a bit hard on yourself, claiming to be a bad baby. 
We've never %een a bad baby. They don't exist. We all learn how to 
behave from those around u%. We did, you did, we all do. Start hanging 
out with folks who have a purpose in life, who work hard and do good 
things. They aren't rare. You already know people like that. These are 
the folks you need to learn from. Observe and learn. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 


Prison, I ain't trippin' about that 'cause if I can do the 
crime, I can do the time. But screw that, I'm gonna be sly, 
slick, and hard, but if it comes down to that screw it, I'm 
a gangster and those are some of the consequences of 
being a gangster. And I'm gonna stay that way 'till I die 
putting it down with all my g's. That's the life I chose and 
prison ain't gonna scare me 'cause I ain't weak. I'm down 
for my shhh, por vida. Alratos. 


From The Beat: So you're prepared to deal with the consequences of 
being a gangster, even if it means prison or death? What are some of 
the other consequences of being a gangster? Do you have a family that 
loves you? If you do, you should really think about how being in prison 
or being dead would affect them, not to mention your entire life. We 
really hope you reconsider because we would hate to see you waste 
your life. Mark our words Toker, you'll carry plenty of regret, sk% most 
prisoners do, sk% you walk the prison yard with men, men and more men, 
if you are so lucky, and not doing a SHU program alone. 

Thoughts In My Head 

What does it mean to go crazy? 

When you go crazy you're put into a room with 

somebody you probably don't know. You lose your 

mind, your head feels like it's about to blow. 

Crazy thoughts that won't go away, they're there for you 

to keep. 

Crazy thoughts that haunt you in your sleep - Visions of 

people crying, 

so sick minded, you see people dying. 

No feeling or sorrow for no one. 

Then you realize you're going crazy and you consider 

yourself shady. 

Those voices won't leave me alone, 

to get them out I just get stoned. 

Lately I've been wanting a baby, 

so I could see a side of me that wasn't always shady. 

Someone come save me. 

People call us outrageous, 

every time you let the animals out cages, it's dangerous. 

Then they wonder why we blast foo's with gauges. 
That's it for this time and these are the thoughts in my 



From The Beat: What stn interesting look into what happens inside 
someone's head. People who "go crazy" are often misunderstood and 
feared, then blamed for something they probably couldn't help. As for 
wanting a baby, do u% a favor, and wait! Take care of you first before 
you bring your baggage into the life of a newborn, who needs a healthy 

Punishment And Your Mindset 

What's up Beat? Well today I'm going to write about 

I believe when the system locks us up we have two 
options. Option 1: we stop messing up and do better in 
life. Option 2: We don't care and try not to get caught 

Just because they lock us up doesn't mean we're 
going to be good when we get out. It's the mindset people 
have. If they want to do it, they're going to do it regardless 
of the consequences or they stop to think it. It really 
depends on the mindset, if they want to be incarcerated 
or not. Well until next time, later Beat. 


From The Beat: You make some really good points Donkey. Punishment 
changes some people and for others, it only makes them more careful 
about being caught the next time. So we have to ask you: if it's all about 
the mindset, how do we go about changing people's mindset? Do you 
think we even should? 

//// // 

Missiny' You 


I miss you so much 

I can almost feel your touch 

It's killin' me slowly 

And I'm tired of bein' so lonely 

Can't wait to see you again 

'Cause I think of you as more than a friend 

There's nothing like your love 

'Cause it seems like you were sent from above 

I just wanna let you know how I feel 

But something's holding me back like a wall of steel 

That's all for now I'm out of time 
But until pencil meets paper again I'll think of you as 



From The Beat: The person you wrote this poem about must be very 
special. We hope you tell this person how you feel because they should 
know how much you care about them. 



Once Upon a lime 


Once upon a time there lived a race, a human race. They 
killed, murdered, plotted, and made their way to power. 
They died while they lived. 


From The Beat: Since this is only three lines long, we almost cut it. But 
those three lines make u% hungry to read more. You chose the Beat 
name Unknoivn, but we'd like to knoiv a whole lot more from you about 
this "human race" that died while they lived. We think you could write 
a page or more on this topic, and we're eager to read it! 

Drivino Me Crazy 

The thing that is driving me crazy is when I can't see my 
family, when I'm stuck in my cell and also when I'm away 
from my loved ones. 

The thing that drives me crazy the most is when my 
freedom is taken away. But every day I just try to maintain 
and keep my head high and stand on my feet and I stand 
tall and I won't let no one disrespect me, because to me 
respect is one of the most important things to me. 

The thing that also drives me crazy is when someone 
disrespects one another. When I am disrespected I get 
mad and my anger inside me just goes crazy and there's 
no way that I can control it. These are some of the things 
that drive me crazy. 

-In control 

From The Beat: Respect for everyone is something we fully support. 
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. We're curious about how 
you define disrespect, though. What would someone have to do for you 
to feel like they disrespected you? What would you do if someone was I 
disrespecting another person? I 



I'm sn inneiir 

Just two months ago I was on the streets of San Jose. 

Three months later I'm locked up in the hall. 

Now it's been a long time since I loved. 

I haven't even smelled a woman at all. 

I had a girl, she was my one and now she's probably with 

one of my homies. 

I ain't trippen' I got other girls jocking me. But there's 

nothing to look at in here. 

Everybody who's locked up knows what I'm talking 


I sit back and dream about the day I get out. 


From The Beat: It's hard to be surrounded by people of the same sex 
24/7, especially sk% a young person. We feel your pain about losing your 
girl but it seems like you're okay with the situation now, but is this how 
you want to live your life? in and out of the system? I 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

No Preaching Please 


Hey Beat! How you guys been? Me I'ln good waiting to be 
released. Well I'm not feeling today's topic. 

Last week I saw a writing in the Beat by some dude 
that called himself Game. Well I was reading it and it got 
me mad, even though that was probably his opinion. He 
wrote how he was a gang member and he just dropped 
out. See I don't care that he's a dropout. It's that he tries 
to preach to us like we don't know what's up. 

There are a lot of people who don't know what's up 
and do it for the fame but us who know, well I don't like 
being preached at. 

You know I think like, "Okay, you dropped out. You're 
a punk." So let us be us. Don't try to act like you went 
through a lot when you're just our age. Well there are 
people who have gone through a lot but don't brag about 

Us, the ones that want to live that gang life, don't go 
around telling people like rockers and skaters to drop out. 
If you say that you used to be a gang member you know 
what's up about trying to go around preaching people. 
To us, basically that's a punk and that kind of stuff gets 
people killed. If you're going around telling people you're 
a D-O (drop-out), you know there's people that don't like 
that. They'll try to fight you or even worse kill you. 

I also see a lot of Christians that used to be 
gangmembers and stand like they're still homeboys. 
Don't be doing that because you know you punked out 
and thought the same before you became a D-O. 

All right to those who are trying to preach you know 
what's up. Alright then I'm out. Alrato. 


From the Beat: We appreciate your honesty. You obviously feel strongly 
about this topic and Garnet piece really upset you. It seems to us, 
though, that Game was simply trying to tell his story and perhaps be 
skn example for people who are thinking of getting out. He does have 
the right to tell his story, just like you have the right not to listen to 
him. We thinic it's brave of him to be telling people he's done ivith his 
old ways, since we're sure he knows he's putting himself in danger for 
it. As for drop-outs being "punks," don't you think people have the right 
to change their minds or their lives? Why should someone continue to 
be someone they're not? Wake up!!! 

Goin' Insane 

These calls are makin' me lose my mind 

I shouldn't be here I'm one of a kind 

I think I've been here too many times 

The highlight of my week is writin' these rhymes 

Usually sittin' in your cell 

Thinking about the things you did 

That got you in this place close to hell 

Staff steady givin' orders 

Crossing those disrespect borders 

They don't know what it's like to be locked behind steel 

Grief and anger is what I feel 

I'm always in a bad mood 

Because someone is acting' hella rude 

Talkin' that shhh on the daily 

I think it's drivin' me crazy 

Young foos actin' like they got balls 

But when it comes down to it they're actin' falls 

They were just actin' hard 

Knowin' that their mouth is shut in the yard 

Goin' insame by the minute 

So at the end of the day you don't win it 


From The Beat: This poem really speaks to what it's like being on the 
inside. This is skn insightful read, and we're glad you shared it with u%. 
With so much stress, how do you deal with it? What is your plan upon 
leaving the hall? 

My Varrio 


My varrio is firme, 

Homies everywhere. 

You see them here. 

You see them there. 

We just chill and kick back. 

And have a couple laughs. 

Good times or bad times. 

Doesn't matter we're always posted up, 

Homies laughing at vatos throwing up, 

vatos be drinking too much. 

They be throwing up their lunch, 

Pero simon we packing too. 

Can't get caught slippin' 'cause then we trippin' 

- Toker 

From The Beat: So what exactly makes your varrio so firme? Is there 
anything else about it that makes it cool besides you and your friends 
drinking and throwing up? Plus, packing a gun doesn't sound like 
anything to be brag about? 


I So 

When Can I Gn Home? 

Something that drives me crazy is that I can't go home 
with my family and I'm stuck in here just doing the same 
thing every day and getting letters. 

I don't want letters, I want to be able to talk to them 
in person. 

Another thing that drives me crazy is that I can't say 
good morning to my mom, my big sis', my lil' sis', and 
my lil' bro'. They mean so much to me but I had to come 
in here and be far apart from them. It makes me so sad I 
can't wake up in the morning and see all their faces. But I 
got to stay tough and get through my problems. But I'll be 
out soon to see them. And they mean more than anything 
in the world to me. 


From The Beat: Being away from your family is one of the hardest things 

L about being locked up. We feel for you. When do you get out? We hope . 
W% soon so that you can be with your family again. I 

What's Driving You Crazy? 

Hey Beat. How you guys been? 

Me, I'm still in here waiting to be released. 

Well about today's topic. I don't think I go crazy in 
here. Actually I don't, because to me juvenile hall is 
nothing compared to prison. I hate seeing other minor's 
cry or acting suicidal because they're in here or are going 
to the ranch. 

You know I understand it, you got your family 
problems but if you have those problems, why go and 
catch more problems. I feel sorry for people that come in 
and start crying. Shhh, you were man enough to do the 

See I can take doing time. Things happen you know 
so you just have to deal with them. You know you can 
do a couple months and not trip. But there's people in 
here only for two weeks and they already want to kill 
themselves. I see guys in here that catch 25-to-life and 
they don't trip. They pretty much know their life is done, 
so they go all out. There's kids that only do 4-6 months 
and they are already complaining. 

. Alright then Beat. Alrato. 


From The Beat: You make some good points. Some peopled tolerance for 
hard times is lower than other peoples. Some people are naturally better 
able to deal with problems than others. You should also remember that 
pain is pain and even though it may seem like someone is going through 
something that isn't that big of a deal, it hurts them just the same. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Cholo Is Out 

X f 

What's crackin' Beat? It's your boy Cholo again here in 
the ni£ix. Well, I'm writing to tell you guys that this is my 
last Beat because I'm getting out this Sunday. I'm a little 
nervous about getting released because I've been locked 
up for nine months already. It's gonna be weird because 
I'm used to being told what to do, so I'm gonna enjoy just 
chilling and doing my own thing. 

This is my last time here at the Hall because I'm 
already 18, about to be 19 in a few months. So now it's 
county. I'm kinda looking forward to that. But I'm gonna 
end this here. So to all the homies, stay up. This cholo is 
out with mas flrme love to all. And know that this cholo 
went out banging. 


From The Beat: The fact that you're nervous about having to make 
your own decisions again after having others maice them for you for so 
long is a sign of maturity. We hope that maturity will lead you to maice 
mature decisions because we worry that if you "went out banging," it's 
real easy to go BACK IN the same way! You can always write The Beat 
and tell u% what' going on in your life. Good luck. 

My Forecast 

Prison is where I'm headed 

'Cause I'm steady tryin' to get my bread 

It's a messed up future for a teen 

But what does this juvenile life really mean 

It could be a sign from above 

That in your life you need to add some love 

It's shady how the system works 

'Cause it's filled with phonies and jerks 

It seems the judge is trying to put me away 

And on the outs it's so hard to keep from going astray 

I'm just a one-man team from the Bay (Area) 

Up against my PO, the judge and the DA 

My odds of winnin' are not that good 

Especially 'cause they're tryin' to keep me from the 


They look at me like a minority 

I got proof 'cause in here Mexicans are the majority 

When I get out I'm gonna be focused on the present 

'Cause I'm gonna try to stay from another prison 



From The Beat: The odds are usually worse for a single person against 
the system, we agree, but it's not impossible, especially if you have 
plans to do something with yourself once you get out. And you? 

My Special Place 


What's up Beat? I'm from this street, where what goes 
on over there stays over there. I don't like to be located 
in one spot. For me I think all the stuff that goes around 
there is mostly not a good thing for society because 
there's a lot of drinking, violence, and gangs but every 
one over there is used to that kind of life like me. The 
good thing I can think of that goes on in this location is 
everyone is friendly and knows one another and if you 
ain't from around there, mostly the homeboys show as 
much respect to make them feel good. Well reporting, 
this is Jr. and that's a daily report from my side of town. 
Well stay up, take care. I'm out. 


From The Beat: Some neighborhoods are known for everyone knowing 
each other and there's something comforting about being able to go 
back to your neighborhood and have people remember you and be cool 
with you. What do you think about the fact that people are used to 
the bad stuff in your neighborhood though? Is that skn okay thing for 
people to be okay with? YOU claim to be fine with it, yet how do you 
think the older people feel about the violence, the drugs and all the 
posting that goes on? Exactly, they don't like it one bit. 


In Love 


Yo, whadup Beat? Well this is Smetey right here writing 
from the max. I noticed today's topic of gay marriage and, 
well, I'm going to take this opportunity to write about my 
love. Well, me and him just met in here and we love each 
other. We are thinking of getting married when we get 

But yeah, I don't care what other people think about 
us, I love watching him go to the showers, and even 
though he is a little overweight, I love my fat boy. 


From The Beat: We admire your courage for being so open and honest 
about your love (whose name we took out without his permission). But 
even if you're in love, that doesn't mean you have to start thinking 
about marriage. You're young. Don't jump into something until you're 
older and better prepared. 

Being on the Run 

What's crackin' homeboys? Well this is Chino coming 
out of this unit! Well today I'm not feeling this topic so 
I'm going to write about me and my homeboy Aztec when 
we were on the run together! 

Well we were chillin' one day and a cop showed up 
out of nowhere and he flashed his light at us, while we 
were drinking and smoking, and once I saw the light I 
started to walk away and every one was still chillin' there 
when the cops were walking up and the cop called me 
and he started to talk to us and he told us to go inside. 
We went inside and started to do our thang in there. But 
I thought we were going to come back to the hall but that 
cop let us go! So we were gone and we had better days 
than that. 

Well that's all for today, stay up! Much love and 

- Chino 

From The Beat: We're a bit confused Chino. If they cop let you go, how 
were you on the run? You're luclcy that the cop let you go though, we 
suppose, yet it only meant a few extra days of freedom 

My Crazy Life 


Damn, I got caught up June 7. My dumbass fourth time 
here! I'm looking at going to a group home, but damn, I 
already told my PO I'm going to run. I can't believe I got 
caught up, but at least I'm in here with my cousins and 
friends. Dang, but let me tell you what happened. 

Well, I live in Gilroy and in March '08 I ran from home 
because I was going to South County Community! 

But today June 19 was my 15th b-day! Aww, I'm still 
a baby! Haha! Dang, but back to my subject. 

Okay, well I was chilling a lot with my man. I was 
living with him. Damn, I miss that a-hole. 

You know what sucks is we got caught up on the 
seventh of this month and it was our six month thingy 
together! Ha! We're a cool relationship haha! I got to call 
him today in G-R. Man, I busted out in tears (freaking 
sissy). LOL! 

Dang, I have no idea whats gonna happen,. I'm hecka 
going psycho up in here! Pero I've hella changed, for 
reals. I'm trying to go back to change my life for the best 
'cause I want to change. Screw everyone else, they say 
they're your homies and shhh, nobody is writing me, just 
my love and my dad. That's crazy, but dang I hella wanna 
go back home to change for the best so I can be with my 


From The Beat: Destiny, you have a real stream-of-consciousness writing 
style, that's when you let everything in your mind come out on the 
paper. It's pretty cool, we really get to see inside your head. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

My struggle 

When times are rough 

I keep my head high 

When I'm down I wonder why 

I think about good and bad times 

I wish I could break away 

But Fm stuck in a cell and can't get away 

My jailmates feel the way I feel 

But they will never feel my pain 

I've been in here for awhile 

And I'm still tryin' to maintain 

I stand on my feet and I stand tall 

I keep my head high 

And I won't let my head fall 


From The Beat: Keeping your head up when times get tough is something 
that will get you through life itself. Keep giving u% inspirational pieces 
like this! 


i I I I I r 

Can't Hide My Pain 


It's "the TANK" once again, chillin'. My pain growing up 
was not having a man to raise me. I was raised by my 
mom. The pain in me now I can't hide. It's an everyday 
struggle now. 

That's it, my times up. I didn't come prepared this 

-Knock Out 

From The Beat: We're not sure what you mean when you say you didn't 
come to the woricshop prepared. Even without preparation, we know 
you're able to give u% a lot more than this! Oh well. Next time... 

tratefil Ibinis 


What's up Beat? Well I'm grateful for a lot of things, like 
still having my family by my side and always sticking up 
for me and my brother, even if we're wrong and now me 
and my brother are back. 

My mom is still with us too but she's on a little 
vacation in Arizona with my sister and some people from 
my family because my grandma just won the lotto for 
$10,000. 1 could have been over there getting hella clothes 
and stuff. But I'm also thankful for having my little bro 
with me through all the times I'm happy or mad. That's 
why I'm thankful for having him in my life. Well those are 
the things I'm greatful for. 

Well I got to go so 'till next week, stay up. LATE! 


From The Beat: Having a supportive family is the best thing anyone can 
ever have. We're happy that you have such loving people in your life 
and that you appreciate them. 

Life Is Gnnd 


What it do Beat. My name is David and one of the most 
important things that I'm greatful for is life itself. 

I'm also grateful that I have a sister and three brothers 
who really care about me. They might look at it as I'm not 
because of the dumb ass things I do, but I really care. 

Also, another big thing I'm real graetful for is having 
vision out of one of my eyes. So I'm glad I'm not blind. I 
lost it by being in gangs and rolling with the crew. So yeah, 
just be gratwful for everything, to taking a ten minute 
shower to wearing your own clothing. Ya'll should know, 
every day we're having to wear clothing that's [been] worn 
by 200, maybe more kids. Do be grateful and love. 


From The Beat: You have a lot of things to be grateful for Cyclopse. Does 
your family know how much they mean to you? Sometimes being locked 
up makes you more aivare of hoiv luclcy you really are. 

OnceUpen ATime... 


There once was a young lil' homeboy from the beautiful 
city of San Jose. Growing up was a little crazy, and 
different than regular kids. Along with the rest of the 
homies that started bangin' at a young age, he had to deal 
with watching his back every time he stepped out the 
door, watching out for enemies. 

Well, one night at a party, doing his thing as a young 
teen, he got a little too buzzed, so he decided to sober 
up. Walking around a neighborhood that wasn't his own, 
he got caught slipping by five big-ass older enemies. He 
wasn't gonna back own and deny his pride, so he violently 
got beat and stabbed near the temple and nearly died. 

As life went on, stuff wasn't any easier. Now he's 
stuck in juvenile hall m£ix-unit for a case that's straight 
buUshh! He has a witness, but the case is hella serious. 
It's hard to beat his case. Still standing tall though with 
a lot of pride, which can be a sin at a point. Yet a lot of 

I And that's my story of homeboy 's fairytale. 


From The Beat: Unfortunately, the path that led you here is way too 
familiar to anyone iwho reads The Beat. When children get drunk, bad 
things too often happen. But there is one line in this sad story that 
caught our attention, and would love to read a piece by Smirk that 
explains and gives examples to your belief that "pride... can be a sin at 
some point." What do you mean? 

Wliat's My Sentence? 



What's crackin'. This is Chino coming out of this. Well 
I been here for a cool minute and I still don't know what 
are they trying to do with me? They're trying to send me 
to YA for some old shhh! 

Well on June 19, 2008, I had court and I'm gonna 
go get sentenced and (as I write this) I don't know what 
they're giving me. Maybe 12 to 18 months or a re-hab? 
Well I been locked up for a year and a few months and 
hella shhh is going on out there. So I need to be out there 
to chill with my hood!! When I get out I'm going to chill 
with some girls. I 

-Chino I 

From The Beat: So what's the update Chino? Let u% know what happened! 
The bummer here is that according to your piece, after all this time 
locked up all you can think about is returning to your hood to chill? . 
Come on Chino, what's your plan upon getting out? I 

I'm Still Here 

Well, I still don't got anything else to talk about besides 
that vato, you know who. Let's see, what else could I say 
about him? I don't know - I still miss him and it seems 
like I just can't get him off my mind. I just wish that he 
would stop trying to play me 'cause when we were talking 
I never tried to get at anyone else. 

I would always let all the homies know that I was 
taken, even some of the homies from his hood tried to get 
at me, and I still didn't get at them. I see I do want to be 
with him but I don't think he knows what he really wants. 
I just want him to know that even though I'm locked up I 
wont be here forever. 

One day you're going to want me and I might not be 
around when you need me. Damn baby boy, I miss you 
hella much. I just want you to know if you should lose me 
then you lose a good thing, cause baby I'm for real. Well 
I'm gone for now but not for long. 'Till next time... 


From The Beat: Malina, hope you are doing well. Maybe you are just 
thinking so much about this person because it is easier than thinking 
about your own situation, but spend some time thinking about yourself 
too, okay? 

■ I 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Dad Deported, Mom Arrested 

X f 

I don't remember my real parents. When I was 2 years 
old my dad was deported to Mexico and my mom was 
arrested and thrown into jail. 

I was adopted and 2 years living with my new parents 
they got a divorce. My dad moved away and I didn't see 
him until I turned seven. By seven years old I was already 
getting into trouble. Stealing, cheating, fighting. My mom 
sent me to live with my dad to "whip me into shape." I 
stayed out of trouble for a few years until I got caught 
stealing an I-pod from a store. My dad got mad and from 
then on we would always fight. He was never a good role 
model because he was never there for me. I guess he 
thought I was just a messed up kid and gave up. We still 
don't get along and he is still never there for me. 

I hope my son will think of me as a good role model 
and I hope to make him proud. 


From The Beat: We can totally relate with how you feel. Not having 
your father be there for you made your young life incredibly difficult. 
We're sorry to hear your relationship with your father is still not on the 
best of terms but we're glad to hear that you plan on raising your own 
children differently. Sometimes it takes going through something like 
that for us to learn how to be different. 

\ I 

! I 

1 Weirl Die 


Once upon a time, when a man was all alone, he was 
just chilling. Then he found a brown looking stick: "Oh, 
it appears to be a blunt," he thought to himself. He had a 
lighter, so he sparked it up - then a cop came and took him 
in. So he's in jail. He snuck in crack, then he smoked it. 
I don't know what's wrong with him. Now he is tweaking. 
Boy, I oughta knock his ass out. 

-Strange tale 

From The Beat: Hmmm, this is a iveird one. Is it a fantasy or reality or 
a parable? It is interesting how you start out by telling the story in the 
third person and then in th end you insert yourself. 

The Pain of Life 

Well Beat, today I'm going to write about the pain of life. 
Well the thing that hurt the most was when It hurts to 
see my gramma and grampa cry and even when my mom 
cries, it hurts. But yeah, that's it for now - 'till next time 
then. Late! 


From The Beat: These situations you talk about sound very painful. 
Seeing your family members make each other cry and cause each other 
pain is hard, especially when you are in the middle. 

Gratefui Fatiier 


ct \ 

What's crackin' Beat. This is Elmo writing with respect 
from this unit. 

I'm grateful for being a father and having a beautiful 
son. He's 8 months going on 9. I really love him very 
much. I wish I could be with him and hold him. I wasn't 
there when he was born. I regret it very much. I think 
that's one of the most important things to be there when 
your son is born. 

When I get out I'm gonna show him how much I love 
him. I'm gonna make it happen. I'm gonna stay out and 
get out of probation. I'm also going to school. I always do 
good in school. And now that I passed my California High 
School Exit Exam it's gonna be easy, it's a wrap. So yeah 
I'm gonna take care of Lil' Elmo when I get out. 


From The Beat: Congratulations on being a father Elmo! We're sorry to 
hear that you missed your son's birth but once you get out, you'll be able 
to make up for lost time. It sounds like you'll be on the right track with 
going back to school too. Keep us updated! 

i ! I I 

Being Gratefui 

All right, what's happenin' with The Beat? Well I'm gonna 
tell you a few things I'm grateful for. . . 

One is that I'm grateful for my family, especially my 
mom and my sister, because if it wasn't for them, I couldn't 
be who I am right now, a young man with intentions and 
a good dream. I have a lot of potential. 

Another thing I'm grateful for is life itself. I'm gonna 
thank the Lord for putting me on this earth. 

I'm also grateful for all my homeboys that back me 
up when all the funk jumps off. And last but not least I'm 
grateful for my brother Anthony. That's my carnal for life. 
We've been through the most messed up things you have 
ever seen. We've been shot at, we've been stabbed. I just 
wanna thank him for sticking by my side. Lots of love. 

Well gotta go. Peace out. I'm out. 

Your lil' homie, 


From The Beat: You do have a lot of things to be grateful for Tiburon. 
Make sure to turn that potential into something once you get out, 



Can Opener 

I want to talk about something that's been on my chest 
for years. Ever since I was seven years old, I used to get 
beat up a lot because I'm from both sides of the gang. 
Most people know me because of my jacked up teeth - 
that's how I got the nickname Can Opener. 

Two weeks ago, some dude punched me in the face 
because when I smiled he thought I threw gang signs with 
my teeth. The good thing is I got moved out of the unit 
and went to another. 

My goal is to stop stealing from the candy store, so I 
don't get locked up anymore. I'm going to fix my teeth. 


From The Beat: You seem to have a lot of nicknames. Is that like having 
multiple passports, or identities, or personalities? You should be a 

Beino Respnnsibie 

I have to be responsible because my baby's gonna be 
born next week and that's a big responsibility. By trying 
to be responsible, I'm doing by GED. I'm about to get a 
job in here and just trying to do what I have to do to step 
up and man up and be responsible, cause I'm gonna be a 
young dad. Well Beat, 'til paper meets pencil - late! 

-Gary and Ruby 

From The Beat: Good luck on getting a job, Gary. It takes a lot of change 
to be responsible, so hopefully you will work hard at it once you get 
your early release. 

The Pain of Life 

To me, the pain of life is seeing my family cry. 

To me, the pain of life is seeing my mom hurt. 

To me, the pain of life is seeing my family members die. 

To me, the pain of life is seeing my mom scared. 

To me, the pain of life it hurts inside. 

To me, the pain of life is physically and mentally hurting 

To me, this is the pain of life. 


From The Beat: Another rhythmic poem. There is a real power and 
urgency to your pieces. Keep ivriting. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

What Is and What Should Never Be \ [ 

And if I say to you tomorrow: take my hand, child, come 
with me. It's to a castle I will take you. Where what's to 
be, they say, will be. 

Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, 
way up high in the sky. But the wind won't blow, you really 
shouldn't go. It only goes to show that you will be mine 
by taking our time. Ooh!! And if you say to me tomorrow: 
oh, what fun it all would be. Then what's to stop us, pretty 
baby, but what is and what should never be. 

Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away leave today, 
way up high in the sky. But the wind won't blow, you 
really shouldn't go it only to show that you will be mine 
by taking our time. Ooh! 

So, if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your 
dreams are still as new, and happiness is what you need, 
girl, the answer lies with you, yeah. 

Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, 
way up high in the sky. But the wind won't blow, you 
really shouldn't go, it only goes to show that you will be 
mine by taking our time. Ooh! Hey, oh. 

Oh the wind won't blow and we really shouldn't go 
and it only goes to show-ow-ow, we're gonna see it spin 
were gonna... sail my little girl do do do, boi boi a do-oh 
my my my my my my yeah. Everybody I know seems to 
know me well but does anybody know I'm gonna move 
like hell. 


From The Beat: Wow, you're quite the songwriter! The breaicdown at the 
end there is especially catchy! This seems like it would be sung by The 
Mamas and the Papas from the 60s, do you ever listen to them? What 
kind of musician do you picture singing this song? 

\ I 


Asian Life Is Hard 


In a life of an Asian ninja, like me, life is hard because 
most Asians in San Jose gang bang and stuff like that 
to make money. There is a lot of racism against Asian 
people. Most of those racist people usually get their butts 
whooped. I am totally different from all of that Asian 

I am not into that kind of lifestyle. I am a good 
person. I am not racist toward any race, gender, or sexual 
preference. I have no problems with anyone. Most kids 
are disrespectful to gays. I have respect for everyone 
and everything. Can you dig it? One love to all my Asian 


From The Beat: We think it's great that you're stn open-minded person. 
Being open-minded leads to a positive attitude. Stay that way. 


A time when I acted responsible was staying out of 
trouble and watching my siblings all the time. Being 
responsible takes a lot because most people don't have 
enough guts to take responsibility for their actions. I 
used to be immature and do things and blame it on other 
people or say I didn't do it. But as I got older I started 
to take responsibility for everything I did. That's why I'm 
sitting in here now. 

When I was irresponsible, I used to act like a wild kid 
and didn't care about anybody or anything. I regret being 
irresponsible, but in the long run I will learn from my 
mistakes as soon as I get out. 


From The Beat: You're right, taking responsibility does take a lot of 
guts and sometimes it is not easy. We all want to escape responsibilities 
some way or the other, it sounds like you've already started learning 
from your mistakes. 

\ I 



I have been pretty irresponsible in my life, always having 
fun and doing the minimum amount of work. Always 
partying, getting drunk and doing drugs. Always blowing 
people off who try to help me. Always thinking of ways to 
get away with doing something one last time. 

I have a lot of good things going for me, and I think 
it's time to step up to the plate. I have learned to think 
things all the way through since I've been in here. I have 
the rest of my life to party and to have fun. I need to take 
responsibility and get out of this situation I'm in, (being 
on probation). Well, I'll be out when this gets published. I 
get released soon, so hopefully I'll be already taking care 
of business. I'm out. 


From The Beat: You're right. You have plenty of time for fun, but you 
need to learn how to have balance in your life. Take care of business. 
We wish you good luck. 

Responsible, Irrespnnsibie 


Q-role Beat, well this is Spikey from Mountain View. 
Y pues (and well) I'm gonna talk about a time I was 
responsible. If I can think of one! Haha...Oh Simon, pues 
(all right fo' sure then). When I was on house arrest I 
remember I would go and kick it with the homies and I 
remember that one homie would take out the weed and 
some other homies would take out the chelas(beers). And 
all the homies would start drinking and blazing. So when 
they passed me a chela(beer) pues (well) I would open it 
and start drinking that shhh. But when the blunt got to 
me I would hold it in my hand and just look at it with the 
temptation to take a hit, then another hit, and another 
hit, but then I would pass it to the homie next to me (with 
out hitting it) and just start drinking my beer again. 

Y pues (and well) the reason I wouldn't hit the blunt 
was because my E.M.P. officer would go and see every 
three days and I didn't want to get messed up over by 
a dirty bottle. Y pues (and well) don't think that only 
happened to me only one time 'cause that shhh happened 
to me like every other day, (that I had to say no to a blunt), 
and that shhh feels bad (that you can't smoke when other 
people are smoking around you). That went on for 2 Vi 
months, but it was worth passing the hits 'cause I passed 
my house arrest program. 


From The Beat: Congratulations on passing the program. We know that 
must of took a lot from you to not smoke, and all the peer pressure that 
you were under also. You should take that example of responsibility and 
apply it to your life right now. if you can be a little more responsible 
then you can manage to stay out of the halls. Then again, it's a lot of 
wfork, howf bad do you wrant change in your life? 

Ill I I I I 

I I I I ii 

About My Self 

I just want to talk about my self. My name is Kevin and 
Im in the hall with my friend Cuong, hoping our time is 
up so I can go home to our family and the girls of our 
lives. I just wanted to talk about some girl I met, a long 
time ago from my friend Cuong and her name is Nawpaw. 
At first I thought she was just a friend but now she 
very close to me. I can always depend on her about 
anything and she is always there for me when I'm in here. 
She writes to me and sends me pictures and I love her 
like a real sister in my life. 


From The Beat: That's great that you have someone out there that's 
holding you down and you can count on them. Not a lot of people have 
the luxury that you have. Hold on to that special some one and don't 
let go. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 


X f 

Sitting in my cell got me going crazy 

They say they releasing me or are they playing me 

Every time I think of my friends and family 

I wish I was in the outs in reality 

Everything in here is bad it ain't the place to be 

Maybe one day I'll wake up and it'll be all a dream 

But until then I'm gonna do my time 

Because I did the crime 

There's no one but me to blame 

I did it for the fame 

Now they locked m'e up in my cell now I'm laying here 

in shame 

Listen to me life aint no game 

It got me going insane 

I just wish someone else would have taken the blame. 


From The Beat: Why would you wish someone else would of took the 
blame? You have to man up and accept responsibility for your actions. 
That's the only way you will learn in life. You can't go around blaming 
other people for your actions. Take full responsibility and be sincere in 
what you do and you can't go wrong. You want to be a knuckle head 
and commit the crime, so don't complain. It's just part of the game. And 
if you don't like it, then stay out of it! 

My Short Story 


Was up Beat it's Garfield. Well I just want to say a shout 
out to all in here. But anyways once upon a time I was 
kickin' back with the homies we were drinkin' an smokin' 
you now having a good time until some guys came out the 
cuts starting shhh. So we just put our beer down and 
handled them and we came up on some Ipod and a phone 
and a badass hat with some change and money. 

So me and the homeboys just halved all the stuff 
except the money 'cause we just bought more beer and 
bud. Then I was going home and I seen a cop so I ran I hit 
a few fences until I reached this one girl's house. Then I 
went to see what's up with her, and then we did our thing. 
Then the dad came so I ran out the back door. Then the 
dog started getting' me so I hit a fence. After that I went 
home. The end 'till next time Beat I'm out. 


From The Beat: That's quite stn adventure you got into. You sure are 
lucky that the police didn't catch you. We see that you like to get in 
trouble. You got to be careful out no them streets lil' homie, because the 
tables can easily turn around and you'll be the one getting your Ipod 
and money took. We don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but you 
already know the outcomes to the street life. Go spend time with your 
family because this life is very short. And you're parents, mom or dad, 
ain't gonna be around forever. 

Domestic Paio 

What comes to my mind is when my moms was dating 
some dude that thought he was all bad just 'cause he 
went to prison a couple times. And he thought he was so 
bad putting hands on my mama right in front of me. 

When I was ten, he tried to put hands on me but my 
uncles handled it. And what always pops in my head is 
my mom had bruises, bumps, and black eyes on her face. 
But he was lucky 'cause I was hella young. But if he was 
hitting her now it would be a different story. That is pain. 
Later beat. 


From The Beat: That is pain both physically and emotional. It^ hard 
dealing with issues about domestic violence. But if that guy was putting 
hands on your mom like that, how come your uncles didn't handle it. 
She doesn't deserve to be putting up with any kind of abuse. And she 
needs help. You can't do alone, especially since you're locked up. In 
those kinds of cases you really need to holla at yo' mom and tell her to 
drop the dude 'cause he's not giving her the respect she deserves. 

X I 

i I 

Life SuGi(s 


Hey what's up Beat? Well I haven't been writing The Beat 
for a while. Well Beat I'm back in here. It really sucks to 
be in here. I wrote The Beat a little while ago, about four 
months ago. I was real glad to be out, and I when I got 
locked up again it's like they took away my happiness. I 
was happy when I was with my grandmother and family. 
But I always messed it up. I messed up because put my 
friends before my family. Now I lost my family and they 
wont visit me or come to court. 

It's real hard for me to be in here because I miss 
the old days. Right now I'm locked up with my primo 
(cousin). He failed the ranch. I miss the good old days 
when everybody got along and nobody was doing drugs in 
my family. But now half my family is gang related or doing 
drugs or sick in the hospital from drinking. I feel sorry 
for my grandmother because she had to deal with all my 
aunts and uncles getting locked up and then she had to 
deal with my brother. He ended up going to CYA for all his 
teenage years and got out and went right back for murder. 
He's doing life now. When I was growing up my real mom 
was locked up while my grandmother was raising me. 

She came all the way to Riverside in a women's 
prison to pick me up. I'm glad for what she did for me. I'm 
always going to be thankful. And you know I never knew 
my father and I really don't want to. I hate to leave my 
grandmother alone because she is so lonely and she has 
really no one to take care of her. She really only had me. 
She tried really hard to raise me right and I messed up. 
Now she disowns me. She don't want no part of me. This 
my fifth time being in here and I know this is not my last 
time coming in. 

This messed up place all you can do is gang bang, 
work, or and play "bingo." haha. That reminds me I miss 
my beautiful lady. She loves me to pieces. I been with her 
for two years. She's the girl for me. I cheated on her once 
when I was drunk, and everyone knows when you drunk 
you don't know what's happenin', and she finally forgave 
me after two months. 

She is the one I want to be with por vida(for life), but 
yea. Right now, I'm going to a group home for six months 
to eight. I'm probably not going to finish my program but 
hey stuff happens. Well 'till the next time I'm here. To 
everybody out there be good and stay up and don't be a 
mess up like me. Well Alrato. 


From The Beat: You're kind of being harsh on yourself. You did mess up, 
but you shouldn't call yourself a "mess up!" You did mess up and made 
a few mistakes, but \V% all right. Everyone makes mistakes. We make 
mistakes too. You just gotta learn how to recover from them. It's how 
you bounce back after you make a mistake that really counts. That's 
wfhat showfs iwhat kind of character you have. 

Handiing Mine 


The most responsible thing I've done is handle business 
in the hall. I've been on A level since 4-9-08 and I'm willing 
to keep it up. 

So people see that I'm not here just to play around 
and to show them that I'm mature and that I'm ready to be 
responsible when I get out. 

I have to start thinking like a grown up because you 
only get one shot in life and you gots to take advantage 


From The Beat: We have a feeling that you iwill continue to think maturely 
when you get out. What's motivating you to keep out of trouble? What 
are your plans when you get out? It's really important to plan things 
out, so that you'll be prepared when you hit the real world. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

What's Love 

What love? Love is when you cant stop thinking about 
the one your really care about. Love is when you can't 
stop dreaming about this one girl and can't wait to see 
how pretty she got when you went away. 

I met this one girl. Her name is Tanya. I can't ever stop 
thinking about her! The way she look, the way she talk, 
and the way she feels! The first day I met her I thought 
she was just like all the rest of the girls, but ever since 
she came into my life everything's changed. The way I act, 
the way I think about girls! 

I'm not sprung or hypnotized! I'm just crazy in 
love with her! I don't think I will stop or feel the same 
about another girl like how I'm feeling about her. People 
always ask why do I love her so much. Well, because 
she's everything I want in a girl. She's pretty I mean very 
attractive, smart, caring, loving, sweet, and always has 
the right words to say. She's always there for me and I'm 
always there for her even if I'm locked up. 

I'm trying my best to past everything cause I want to 
be there for her. I love how unique she is. Her background 
is mixed with a lot of stuff like Cambodian, Viet, Thai, 
Hawaiian, Japanese, and also Korea. She hell unique. I 
been with her for at least 1 year 8 months, and I got with 
her on the best date October 27, 2006. 

I love her so much that there no word in the world that 
can express the way I feel about her. I love so much I want 
to marry and I want her to become my baby mama and 
one day it would happen cause I love her and she loves 
me. Our love is too strong that no one can come between 
it! Everything I'm writing about tonight is all true and it's 
coming from the bottom of my heart. 


From The Beat: That' s a very sweet piece about the girl you adore. 
You're very iucicy that you have a unique girl that shows you endless 
support. That should give you a lot of motivation to get out of here 
and never come back. Those kind of girls are rare to find and since you 
have one you better do anything you can to keep her. Make this your 
last trip to the hall. 'Cause sk% much sk% you love each other, if you keep 
coming to jail, she's not gonna wannabe with somebody that taices her 
for granted. Because if you love her like you say you do then you won't 
be making choices that could possibly have you locked up away from 
her for a long time. Stop wasting your time in here and get out there 
and do your thang with your girl! 

Tie Pains of Lite 


What up Beat? Well today's topic is pain. The most pain 
I ever felt was when I got shot in the leg. It didn't hurt at 
all, just burned a lot. 

Another pain that hurts me as of right now is being 
locked up and not being with my family, and friends. 

I wish I was out for this summer. So much was going 
to happen this summer. Damn, I'm missing so much. 

Well I'm going to the Ranch for 6-8 months, until next 
time Beat alrato. 

-Young and Detained 

I From The Beat: You're lucky it was just in the leg. If it had penetrated 
a different part of your body, this piece wouldn't be part of this 

publication. Be careful! You only have one life, and once you loose it, 
it's all over! 

One Pain 

I feel so bad that my jefa feels pain or sadness because 
I'm locked up. That's the only pain I would confess 
because that's one of my worst. Alrato. 


From The Beat: If you know what pains you and her, iwhy are you 
continuing to do what you do and continuing acting like if you don't 
care? You're saying that you care, but you're not showing it. 

Being Responsibie 


Well, we all have some bad times and we all have good 
times. Right? Well as for me, now I have to take on a really 
important responsibility. 

Well I'm going to be a father so now. I know I can't be 
doing the same things. Well, I want to be a good daddy 
you feel me! 

Well I am ready for my baby to come through! Well for 
all who know me, this is my last time I will write! I get out 
next week! Well to all, good luck and late! Alrato! 
I -Julio 

I From The Beat: We hope this time to really be the last time. If you're 

I out and read this, please give your child a responsible father he/she 

I deserves. Are you ready for this? It will be hard but not possible. Good 

I luck! 

Gay People 

I could care less about gay people. I really don't think 
it's what God intended for us. At the same time, they say 
that people are born with gay hormones. I mean girls and 
girls are ok, but guys with guy are just wrong. 


From The Beat: We respect your opinion. It's really dangerous to guess 
what God plans, or what His intentions really are. Just look around 
and answer this, do people follow what God intended us to be like? 
Do you? I 


I I I 

I I I I I 

Beiny Responsible 

Being responsible is a big part of life. If you're 
responsible in life, you will make it very far, like going to 
school, getting up for work, taking someone you know to 
an important meeting or interview. That's all it takes is 
a little bit. Small stuff like that is being responsible, but 
you can call it taking care of business. 

If you can go to school and go home and do homework 
and go do whatever important stuff you gotta do everyday, 
that's being responsible. So keep ya' heads up and when 
you get out of this hole -just be responsible. Be good and 
you won't be here. 'Cause me, Ima be in East Palo Alto, 

I posted, and that's guaranteed. 
From The Beat: You know the definition of being responsible. Now - can 
you act on it? That^ the question. We hope you don't post up too much, 
and get into trouble again. Go to school, handle your business, be... 
I responsible. 

Ibe Paiis it life 

\ I 

J L 

Pain is everywhere and everyone experiences it. But life 
in America, no life in the world is free, regardless of being 
in a communistic or capitalistic country. Freedom is love 
and happiness and being able to see the sky or animals, 
or people, or whatever you want to. But, that's always 
within the law. 

Some people abuse freedom accidental or not. When 
that happens you end up in jail and your freedom is 
taken. You barely see sunlight and loved ones. Having 
your freedom taken is the worst possible pain in life. It 
can swallow you whole and like acid slowly eat away at 
you. Freedom if taken though, is always given back one 
way or another. 

-Keegan Root 

From The Beat: There are various pains in life also, it doesn't just come 
from being locked up. It comes way before that. Of course nobody likes 
being locked up, and it does cause pain. But what about the pain you 
cause when you're out on the street breaking the law. Whether it may be 
hurting someone, stealing someone's personal belongings, selling drugs 
to drug addicts. What about those pains? We're not accusing you of any 
of these things, but we have to look at the pain we cause ourselves, 
also, not just the pain that comes from being incarcerated. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

The Pains of Watching My Mom ^ 

My big pain of my life was to watch my mother getting 
beat when I was a little boy. The scenes of my dad yelling 
and swinging at my mother repeats over and over in my 
mind with tears in my eyes. 

I sit in my cell drying my tears with my pillowcase 
because I broke my mother's heart. I wish to go back in 
time and not had made the decision that I made. 

Le pido a Dios que me perdone por mis actos que he 
cometido, le pido a mi mama que me perdone por mis 
actos. (I ask God to forgive my actions I've committed. I 
also ask my mother to forgive me for my actions as well. 


From The Beat: It seems like she already had enough suffering in her 
life. You can erase those memories filling her life with joy, proud and 
happiness. You Icnoiv all the bad moment she went through in her life. 
Close your e^e%, touch your heart and think what's better for her. She 
deserves to shed tears of happiness. If you make her happy, you will be 
happy sk% well. A mother is the most important person in life. 

Trne Taie 

Once upon a time there was a gangster lived in America. 
He was only seventeen, now he's serving his life in jail 
'cause of the person he killed. 

-LL Cool J 

From the Beat: Sounds like this gangster has been through a lot. This is 
sktt interesting start to a story. What happened? Has he learned anything 
learned from this? 

My Mnther 

Well what's up Beat? This be Lil' Bones once again 
dropping some lines. Well this vato is still in here, still 
waiting to go to the Ranch. 

Well I'm doing good, just getting visits from my jeflta 
(mother) who is sad because I'm gonna be locked up for a 
good time. 

When she comes and visits me, she is always happy 
to see me, but at the same time she is sad because I'm 
locked up in j-hall. Well this guy is out. Alrato. 

-Lil' Bones 

From The Beat: You should do your best to ensure that her life is full of 
happiness. She deserves better than this place. Being or pretending to 
be what you're not or were not meant to be, will take all your dreams 
. You know what we're talking about! 


so \ 

Once Upon in A Littie Barrin 

Q-vole this a fairytale that become reality. Todo empezo 
cuando era un chamaco (Everything started I was a little 
kid) when I was growing up, looking up to no man. 

He had no fear. He never did care, but now he has to 
share a small cell, but still wears a big ass smile. Now 
he's happy as hell, 'cause his baby Esperanza is going to 
be born around September. 

He's sad as hell, 'cause he still in his little ass cell. 
It's a feeling that can kill. Just for his little varrio y su 
pufio de soldado's haciendo tiempo. Eso todo me paso a 
mi ('hood, and his big group of soldier, just doing time. 
This is what happened tome? 

Why try to change when it was all for that? LITTLE 
BARRIO. Que crueles son los caminos de la vida (How 
cruels are the road of life) 


From The Beat: Now you're against the wall. Either you can choose to 
give this new-born a responsible father, or to continue serving time over 
"el barrio and your soldados." Do the best that can benefit your life and 
give your future child the type of life he/she deserves. It's all in your 
hands. Whatever you choose, will be your future and your choice. 

i Don't Agree 


I don't agree with gay marriage whether it be lesbians 
or gay men. Marriage is a thing that should be shared by 
heterosexual couples. 

I also think the state of California should stop being 
so liberal with these people and make some laws that ban 
gay couples from doing any type of gay activity in public. 

They make so many laws for us gang-members like 
enhancements and things like that and let these people 
walk around in public. 

I don't think it's fair that our kids have to grow up 
looking at this madness on TV or in public and have to 
learn to accept it. 

Everyday day gays and lesbian couples are more 
accepted in our country and it shouldn't be that way. 

Well Beat, I am done for today, till next time. To all 
stay up and stay strong, much love and respect. 


From The Beat: Appreciate your commentary. Just answer this question, 
do gay people harm, kill, or destroy lives like gangsters do? We just 
want you to answer this simple question. That's all. Not disrespect at all. 
We just want to make you understand something. In this life, everyone 
was born with the right to choose what they want for their life. 

Tiie Locl( Up Pains 

ttill I 

The pains I have in life mostly occur when I am locked 
up. I don't have physical pain, just emotional and mental 
pain. When I get locked up, it hurts me to be away from 
my family and the more I think about them, the more it 

It hurts to see my parents stress out and go through 
what they go through while I'm locked up. Especially my 
mom, she's done so much for me, she gives me clothes, 
food, love, and support and up until now I didn't show her 
how much I appreciated it. 

I My mom also did the very best that she could to raise 

me to be a good person and up until now I've failed to be 
one. She sees me and thinks she failed, little does she 
know, she did her job, it was me who messed up, and it 
hurts me to see her feeling bad because she thinks she 
didn't raise me right, but she did. My family is my life, 
and it hurts me to be away from my life. 


From The Beat: You're right! It was you who failed, and it's on you to 
get back on your feet the same way you messed up. It's time for you to 
get back what you've lost. Always keep in mind that in order to receive, 
you have to give. 

Life Witiiin Here And Ont 



J L 

When you have someone out there, saying that they love 
you, that they will wait for you, want to marry you when 
a person comes out. 

I been with a girl for two-years, she said all the stuff 
to me, but looks like it won't happen. I called her and she 
said "it's over," on the phone, and she's with two other 
guys in a car with my homegirl. 

I was going crazy in here tripping out, I believed every 
word she said. I'm 17 years old and she's 22 years old. 

People told me this was going to happen. I fought my 
friends over her; I was stupid. I'm tripping because I'm in 
here, can't do shhh. I was on top of the world, now I'm on 
the floor looking out the window. Bye Beaters. 


From The Beat: Live and learn. We understand how you feel. It^ hard 
to lose someone you love while being in a situation where you are 
unavailable to solve anything. You really need to think hard and reflect 
on the things you're doing. Would you wait for a girl who's always in 
and out when there's so much temptation in the outside world? Only 
you knoiAf ivhat must be done. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Everlasting Love 

rm trying to find the words to say, 

and to tell you how I feel. 

Surely, words won't be enough 

to prove that this is real. 

You make me feel real special, 

like Fm the man for you, 

but things are just so complicated. 

What are we to do? 

I am wishing that everything you said comes true 'cause 

when you walk down that aisle 

I am hoping you say " I do," 

bring your lips closer to mine, 

kiss me 'till death do us apart. 

I'll give you my everything, my soul, and my heart, 

and just keep it safe in your hands, away from harm. 

I promise I come home to you with open arms. 

Soon, I see sunshine baby, 

through this rainy weather 

loving everything about you, 

your soft touch like feathers. 

July 21 is when I made my sweet lady. 

Forever I be by your side, 

put your trust in me baby. 

We been through a lot, thick and thin. 

There's a future in us 

that we can accomplish and win. 

Don't give up on me now 

see what tomorrow got to give 

end our marriage like a Fairytale, 

happily ever after we live. 

-Alicia's baby daddy 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful poem. You definitely are a very skilled 
writer, and you communicate your passion for the one you love clearly. 
You seem to have a lot of hope for your future. That desire will truly be 
helpful after you get out. Keep this love in mind and continue using it 
^% your motivation to succeed. 

Beino In Here 

The pains of my life are like being in here just knowing 
you're away from your family that you really love and 
never wanna be away from. 

Your family is the most important thing in the world 
and they mean so much. I have memories of them every 
day. It hurts to know that you can't see them and say 
you love them to their face, be home and be a family with 
them. But I'll be home soon, I just got to have patience. 
Well that's all I have to say Beat. 


From The Beat: if your family is the most important thing in your life, 
why not pay attention to it? Will this experience teach you to stay with 
those you care about and love? Now you know what it is like to be here, 
we hope you don't forget it when you get out. 

Pain of Life 


At the age of seven, I seen my mom get beat. 

My dad used to not care and just left us in the streets. 

I grew up around criminals, drugs, and gangs. 

This life I live will never change. 

I'm from a small town, don't get it twisted 

it's nothing nice. 

I might be an active gang member, but I got pain in my 


-Growing Son 

From The Beat: Do you think being in the gang iwill take that pain aivay? 
On the contrary, it seems to be brining more pain and loneliness. Hope 
you find the light you need to see the ivrong things you are doing. 

J L 

Once Upon a Time 


Once upon a time, there was this white boy who met an 
older white boy. They got to talk and decided they are into 
the same shhh. 

The older one was of an affiliation in prison and did 
about 20 years. The younger white kid was soon good 
friends with the older one. 

On his 15th birthday, he got a tattoo that sealed his 
fate. He was so proud he showed everyone, and I mean 
everyone. That got him into a lot of fights. The people he 
hated before became his number 1 enemy. He would fight 
with many of them and occasionally get jumped. 

But he made other white friends & they became 
like brothers. Now they are getting locked up. Hopefully 
soon they will all be chilling, having a BBQ and drinking 


From The Beat: is this boy glad that he met this guy? is he glad for 
being locked up? What would happen to him if he continues messing up 
the way he is? He might end up doing more than 20 years or more than 
what the other white boy did? Please if you know this YOUNG white 
guy, lAfarn him! Be a good friend! 

an _ 

Mmmm... Leprosy 

So once upon a time, there was a hungry man named 
Poodiblar. Poodiblar loved eating glass and Frito chips, 
but one day Poodiblar had an ice cream Sunday with 
pizza fiavored, mushrooms. 

Then he started to scream, Derka Derka Pok-a-Dot 
over and over, then Giant Gummy Bears started to come 
from the sky with super sucker filled with mustard and 
pickles. They started spraying people in this giant mob. 

Poodiblar was in this mob running for his life, then 
he gets hit by the mustard sauce, and when he got hit, 
he turned into a break dancing pickle. Then he ate the 
mustard, shooting Gummy Bears then became the empire 
of China, and won a break dancing competition then he 
ate a fortune cookie and got leprosy and now he break 
dances for change in Brooklyn. 


From the Beat: Seems like you have quite imagination. Creativity is 
difficult to achieve. However, you blew u% away with your unique story. 
What inspired you to write this? Will there be a sequel? 

Tiie Next Life I Look Forward To Liviog 

When I get out of here, I never want to have to come 
back. I'm going to make sure I stay out of trouble and 
follow the law, always be home by whatever my curfew is, 
and hopefully be very successful. 

One day I hope to never be late or skip a day of school. 
When I'm released, I'm going to listen to everything. 

My probation officer says because regardless if I like 
the rules or not, I'm sure it's only for the best and the 
right choices to make the situation I'm in better. 

Hopefully, I can get out soon and be able to continue 
getting my education done, so I can receive my degree and 
get a good job. I can't wait to get out of here, go back to 
school, go back to work and see my family and friends. 

Hopefully when I get out, everything will be better, 
I can just move forward and look back at all this like a 
good lesson learned so I never have to get in trouble or 
end up in a place like this again... 


From the Beat: This is great. We are happy that you are so motivated 
to improve your life, and that you are willing to follow rules, even if 
you don't like them. This mindset is really inspirational, and hopefully 
others will follow in your footsteps. Good luck. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

On Lock Down 

I was recently arrested under a probation violation. 
Because of population overcrowding and the fact that 
Fm an unaffiliated 18 year old, they placed me in a max- 
security unit. 

I wish nothing more than to do my time and get back 
to my beautiful girlfriend as soon as possible. I haven't 
talked to her in five days and I'm already yearning to 
hear her sweet voice. Since we're on lock down, we are 
restricted to only writing letters and using phones on 

She is also 18 and I know she can handle herself, but 
I can't help feeling as though. She needs my protection 
just as I need to reassurance of her touch. I'm not a 
religious person, but I'm so desperate to hear her voice. 
I pray at night. I love you Cassandra, your always in my 
mind and heart. 

-B Ant 

From The Beat: It's frustrating to be locked up. However, it seems liice 
you're handling it sk% well sk% can be. Writing about your situation will 
help you release skn^ pent-up frustration. Keep doing it, we're here to 
listen to you. Tell us how you stumbled upon the system! 

Jerry and Larry 

One day this mouse named Jerry was taking a rest at 
the skate park, when the snake Larry comes up to him. 
"Ah dog," says Larry. "I bet you can't do a nine-hundred." 
"Watch this." Jerry downs his RedbuU, drops in and files 
off the ramp, gets some spin, then falls and lands on his 
neck and dies and Larry says, "Lunch." 

-Will Smith The Actor 

From The Beat: Very funny and creative! Was this part of stn episode of 
Tom and Jerry? 

Think Lesbians and Bisexual Shnuld Get Married \ 

Vhat's up Beat this is Turtle L. I think girls should get 

What's up Beat this is Turtle L. I think girls should ge 
married if they choose with each other, nothing wrong. 

Who would you rather see two girls kissing or two 
guys? I choose girls and get in the mix. I would get with a 
girl that's bi, the more the better. 

Well that's just my opinion. I don't hate on the gays, 
that's just me as long as the gay guys don't try to hit on 

-Turtle L 

From The Beat: Appreciate your insight. Our purpose is to hear what 
comes out within you about different issues of life. 


ify I 


Well Beat readers? What's good this is your boy Goofy 
chilling in the m£ix unit.. 

Well I'm not really feeling this topic, but I'm going to 
write about responsibility. Well growing up in my crazy 
minded life style, I really didn't have any responsibility 
besides to clean my room, take care of myself and clean 
whenever my mom told me to. 

I'm eighteen now and I got to start taking care of 
myself. Yes I'm going to have responsibility. I'm really 
looking forward to getting a job and finishing school. 

Well Beat this is going to be it for me today. Well 'till 
pencil meets paper once again Beat. This vato's out. 


From The Beat: That^ great that you're iooicing forward to having 
responsibility. That mindset is a positive one, and your plan to get a job 
and finish school iwill benefit you. Make sure to remember that this is 
skn important time in your life, and sometimes it will be hard to follow 
through with this plan, but stick with it, don't get discouraged. We 
believe in you. 


Sex Marriage Is A Sin 


I think same sex marriage should not be able to get 
married to each other. The reason is 'cause the Bible says 
that it is a sin to be homosexual. I think they should not 
get married 'cause they got to get in front of a minister. 

-LL Cool J 

From The Beat: We can see that you have a strong opinion, and sticking 
to your beliefs is often good. But we want to know more about what 
makes same-sex marriage a sin. What would your opinion be if the Bible 
didn't address gay marriage? 

Because I Didn't Listen 


Well I really can't tell you the pain of life, but I can tell 
you the pain in my life, because of something so dumb. 

I didn't listen to my mom. I ended up in here away 
from the person that I love, and that's my life my lady. 
Everyday it hurts me that I can't be with her. I mean yeah, 
I get letters and I call her, but it don't help. 

I miss her smile, her hug, and just being with her 
and the stuff. She writes to me and she tells me that she 
misses me, she tells me that she can't take me being 
in here. She hates this, so the pain in my life is being 
without my lady. 

-Bay Boy 

From The Beat: Regretting what you did will help improve your life once 
you're released. What can you do to make your lady feel better about 
the situation you two are in. When your out, remember how it feels to 
be away from her. Hopefully, that will motivate you to make some good 

Snmenne Special 

We were created to find each other, for us to love forever, 
our hands holding tight as I look into the eyes of that 
special person that will complete my life. 

You were the one I chose out of all the rest, the one 
I'll always cherish and love with all my heart. Just to stay 
in your arms as you hold me tight, cause baby being with 
you just feels so right. To be cont... 

-Yung Thug 

From The Beat: We can see hoiw much you love this girl. Make skn effort 
to be with her if you think she's the one. You're the one not there. 

J L 

One Upnn A Time In My Hnnd 

Once upon a time, there were a few homeboys posted in 
a little hallway, in an apartment complex. 

Out of nowhere, a rival gang member came from one 
side with a big ice pick and said his side of the gang. From 
behind others more came out with bars and bats. 

The only thing I was thinking was which way do I want 
to go, to a knife or a bat. So I ran toward the rivals with 
the bats, and got dropped in like two hits, which I was on 
the floor. I got beat by several individuals all with bats and 

All I was waiting for was the knife to get to me but it 
didn't. When I got up one of the homeboy was already up 
looking over the other one. The homeboy laying on the 
floor got stabbed in his head and damn near died. The 
other homeboy got sliced in his back and I couldn't walk 
for about two weeks. Now the homeboy that got stabbed 
in the head is cool and the other homeboy is locked up as 
well as me. 


From The Beat: What a traumatic experience, it's hard seeing the people 
you care about get hurt like that. You know that this is what you will 
always look forward to when messing with the wrong people and being 
associated with a gang. You're very lucky neither of your friends died, 
and that their still with you. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmMHmm j^ / ^ ^ 

//// // 

La Dame de ma vie 


Les reasons que je t'aime 

Je t'aime parsque tu es perfet 

Perfet comme le soleil leve dans la matinee 

Ca me fais peusee de comment tu ris, tu parle et tu 

souris t'oujours 

Je t'aime parsque tu es mon premier vrai amour 

Je t'aime parsque sans toi je suis rien du tout 

Je t'aime parsque tu es toujours dans ma vie 

Je t'aime parsque tu es toujeurs I'a meme quand tu es 


Je t'aime parsque tu es ma famile 

Je t'aime parsque tu es ma vie 

Je t'aime parsque tu es mon amour, la seule dame de ma 


The Lady of my life 

The reason I love you 

I love you because you're perfect 

Perfect like a sunrise in the morning 

It reminds me of how you laugh, talk, and smile all the 


I love you because you are my 1st true love 

I love you because without you I am nothing at all 

I love you because you are always in my life 

I love you because you are always there for me even 

when you are far 

I love you because you are my family 

I love you because you are my life 

I love you because you are my life, the only lady of my 



From The Beat: The emotions of love are strong in your poems. Continue 
with your writings because we have enjoyed hearing your words. 

Mifpriifto Carlito died that daif latf- 
iHg there on the sidewalk, tie was 
oftitf siKtee/f if ears oid and it was 
aii hecai4se of gang vioience, 

Tiie Worst Palo 

The worst pain in my life was on April 16, 2006. I was 
walking down the street with two of my cousins, Roberto 
and Carlos. We were just walking, having a good time, 
until I heard a loud bang and my primo Roberto grabbed 
me and threw me on the ground. 

I was all, "what the heck is going on?" 

Then I see a white Lincoln flip a U-turn and take off. 
I got up and I saw Carlos laying there and blood coming 
form his back. 

My primo Carlito died that day laying there on the 
sidewalk. He was only sixteen years old and it was all 
because of gang violence. Not a day goes by that I don't 
miss him and wish we weren't at that spot at that time. 
These guys that shot him will get their own eventually, 
because what goes around comes around and karma's a 
B(ummer), huh! 

-Teddy Bear 

From The Beat: We at the Beat are sorry to hear about your Primo -RIP 
Carlito. Gang violence is a hard way of life. In general, there are only 
two outcomes with gang violence. Prison or death, this you know by 
first hand experience. Get out of the gangs before it^ you that ends up 
face down on the sidewalk. 

Uflforgivabie Palo 


Stepping out of my room door 

Listening to the cry's from my mother 

Picking up the blood from the floor 

That my step-father left her 

Wishin' I was bigger 

'Cause I would have put a whoopin' to his backside 

But now that he's gone 

I got my mother, flne 


From The Beat: We commend you for your bravery and well-tempered 
manner towards your step-father. It^ easy to react and do something 
you'll regret. We encourage you to keep your mind clear of violent 
thoughts so sk% to make you the better man. 



What is pain? 

Is it when you're left in the rain? 

Going insane 

Nothing to explain 

But the life fllled with shame 


What is pain? 

Is it all in your brain? 

Or is it all the people living the same? 

Drugs, murders and gangs 


What is pain? 

Is it when you get a cut? 

Is it when you get locked up? 

Or left in here to rot? 

But what is pain? 



From the Beat: Very nice poem, Masion. Remember that life shouldn't 
be about pain, things can always be worse. Life should be filled with 
happiness and joy. We hope you find more than pain in you life. 

nt _ 
ith I 


To M]f SOfl 

To me you are my one and only. 

When I say, 

"only many people can attest to every word I say" 

is genuine and true. 

I only wish to be a better father to you. 

I wish I could take you to the zoo. 

I wish even the simple actions 

like teaching you how to tie your shoes, 

when you sneeze just to say, "God bless you." 

The atrocious drug world has kept me as your father 

away from you. 

In this poem, every wish and every word is true. 

To me, when the Judge gives me my prison sentence 

for murder one, it will feel like I left and abandoned you 

as my one and only son. 

But guess what son; daddy will always be with you 

in your head, mind, and heart, and spirit. 

The same goes for me too, 

as your one and only dad. 

You will be in my mind, heart, head, and spirit too. 

Even 'till my last beat of my heart, 

daddy will always love you!!! 

-George, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: While it's very sad that you can't be with your son, 
you've made your priorities clear. We all have choices and you've chosen 
to delve into "the atrocious drug world". You said its "kept you away", 
but only you've made that decision. Face your actions and make the 
best of them. 



mnnnME mmmMMu / ^ ^ 

//// // 

Motherless Pain 

^' f 

Once upon a time 


The pain I feel in my life is my mom. I have hate for 
her; I don't like her one bit. I never liked her since I was 
a young kid, since she walked out of my life and left me 
with my dad. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear your mother did this, but remember, 
hate is such a strong word, no matter who it^ used towards. Tell u% more 
of your life, about your father. Do you have siblings? Tell u% what you 
are doing now to better your life. 

Tlie Pain of Drugs 

Having my son was the best thing that ever happened 
to me, but the pain of my life is drugs. Thinking about 
missing all of what my son is doing now hurts my heart 
and mind a lot. I just wish drugs never came into my life, 
but then I think, if I didn't do drugs, would I have had my 

-Shy Girl 

From The Beat: No one iwili ever icnoiw if you would or iwouldn't have 
had your son. The question now is are you going to step up to the plate 
and be a responsible parent? One of the hardest jobs in the world is 
being a parent. Are you ready to live for your son and not just you? 
While you're the one out partying, the only person that is getting hurt 
is your son. 


\ I 

Once upon a night I was driving a G ride when a punk 
hoota got behind me, and flipped on his light and sirens. 
I panicked and stepped on the gas and hauled. 

Once I got away from the cops, I jumped out of the G 
ride and ran on foot. I would like to say I got away, but 
alone in the dark, I see a ghetto bird coming my way. I 
dipped out and had to hide in somebody's yard. 

After about 2 hours, the cops searched the yard I was 
in and brought a K-9. The mutt came in the yard and 
sniffed me out and bit me on the foot. I was resisting 
but they put me in cuffs and hit me several times in the 
stomach. I was pissed, but what can you do? 

I tried telling someone but everybody ignored me. The 
original reason was they were trying to pin some armed 
robberies that I had done. I got in trouble for running 
and the stolen car, but I'm still waiting trial for the armed 
robberies. I am innocent 'till proven guilty. So it's my 
word against their word. 


From The Beat: if you're innocent, why did you "step on the gas"? 

Who did you steal the car from? And the armed robberies? You stated 

that you're "innocent till proven guilty" and it^ "my word against their 

I word", yet you look guilty from the start. Do you think getting away 

I with all this will make you smart "man"? Think again. 

I Want Tn 


I want to learn to put the spliff down, 'cause when I'm 
high, I know I'm acting like a clown. 

I want to and wish I could be back in my hood, but I 
know I shouldn't 'cause I know they're doing no good. 

I want to leave the rare scene, and stop frying my brain 
'cause I want to be successful and be on top of my game. 

I want to make up for all the mistakes that I've done, so I 
can start living my life in peace and have fun. 

I want to have responsibility in my life. I want to 


From The Beat: It's great that you "want to be successful and have 
responsibility", but that won't happen until you act on your words. You 
have to get tired of "acting like a clown" and grow up. Do this before 
its too late and quit "frying your brain". 

|~ Being Irresponsibie 

I Being irresponsible is easier for me, in my case. Gang 
members always talking shhhh in my face, and when I get 
mad, I'd rather pull out my heat and bust, 'cause where I 
come, from being hard is a must, but I'm tired of it. 

It's hard to quit, I'm not gonna deny it. I just want 
to stop, but I'm gonna make my mom proud, and stop 
banging and stop hanging out with the wrong crowd. 


From The Beat: The first step is to get away from all the bad influences 
in your life. Yes, it is easer said than done, but it can be done if you 
truly want to get away from the life of drugs, violence and gangs. Don't 
give up and make your mom proud. 

! I 

Clilt, Doi't Fill 

Bottom line, no one is perfect. 
We all make mistakes, even some that we will regret 

for the rest of our lives, 

but the only thing we can do is learn and grow from 

them. Simply by picking ourselves up, 

striving to be all you can be, and by working hard 

towards your dreams and goals in life. 

When life throws something 

to block your path of success, j 

ust know you can always move it to the side of the road 

and keep on your path to be all that you can be. 

Don't let anybody tell you different, 

only you can make or break your reputation. 

Live your life to the fullest. 


From The Beat: You're absolutely right Zachariah, if you set your mind 
to something, you can accomplish it. As you said, if there is a block in 
the path don't let it stand in your way. Live your life to the fullest - free 
of drugs, violence, and gangs. 

It's my iife 

Hey, what's up all you people that are reading this? 
I'm going to tell you a little about my life and how I was 
brought up. Saves que? 

I'm not a little rich white kid, I have no Play Station, I 
don't have a two-story house. 

Sometimes I didn't have money for food, so I would 
have to go without that for a week or two. 

Sometimes I'd kick it with the homies, roam around 
the barrio. Then you know, got my mom always yelling at 
me, she get's me mad. 

I became a little gangster, went on down the street to 
the D-home. The place doesn't have anything to do, just 
kick it, play cards all day, write letters to the familia. We 
only get three meals a day. 

Finally get out, and I started to straighten up my life. 
I quit the gang banging, I'm glad I'm changing my life 
around. I go to church, and all I represent is my area, 
my New Mexico Burque. All you gang banging vatos out 
there, I want you all to try and do the same things too. 
Be proud of where you come from. If you're poor, don't 
be jealous of the rich, and if you're rich, don't show off to 
the poor. 


From the Beat: It's good that you have changed your life around, but 
if you're not with gangs and you're going to church, what brought you 


back into the D-home? Keep us informed on your progress, 
you get out of detention. 

even when 

Life & Love 

I got kicked out of my house when I turned thirteen years 
old. Growing up on the streets was not easy. It was hard. 

When I turned fourteen years old everyone was giving me 
respect because I got jumped in a crazy gangster life and now 
regret what I've done in the past. 

Picked up a gun when I turned fifteen, and got DRUNK 
with the homies because of the fact of me looking for love, 
and trying to have a better life. 

That is until I found that one and true person that came 
in to my life and changed me for the good and not the worst. 
The true one I love is Gabby. 

It took me to figure out who I wanted to become at the 
age of seventeen years old. Because I told myself the homies 
wasn't around when I got locked up, not even gotten a letter. 
So when I do get out it's not me and the homies anymore, it's 
me and myself I give respect to. 

I lost my girl over the homies and everything like my 

mother's respect, her trust, all that for some punks that, I 

thought that they were the homies. I'm down for one and one 

for all. Anybody who can praise to that, then you're my friend 


- Crazy-Boy 
From The Beat: What a rough time you've been through, learning some 
hard lessons about what means most to you. it's so hard when it turns 
out homies aren't true friends. You will find neiv and better friends 
in the next phase of your life, if you believe it can be possible it will 

They Don't Want Us To Get Out 


To all the people out there that are locked up, let me tell 
you that the system does not care about us. They would lock 
you up forever if they could, with some they can and will. 
They don't care if your mom cries her eyes out or if you cry 
yours out. They're all out to get you, even the attorney that 
is on your side. Most of the time the judge knows what he 
is going to do already. They don't want us to get out of the 
system because if we did, they would be out of a job. The 
attorney they give you knows the judge, they are friends and 
owe each other favors. Of course they have to let you go, 
because someyimes they have to, but for others they keep 
their buddies the P.O. with jobs, and do not give us a chance. 
Because if they gave us life they would not lose any sleep. 
They think that we are all gangbangers and thugs. But it is 
us who put our lives in the white man's hands. 

-Yah Boy 
From The Beat: You are arrested for an alleged crime, and now all those 
adults (counselors, the PO, the lawyers and judge) have so much power, 
and you often don't know what's going on in court. How can you get out 
of the trap, so you can live on your own terms— free from the violence of 
the streets AND free from the system? 

I I 

The most painful thing of my life was when the homie, 
Whyno passed away. That really hurt me a lot. I didn't 
believe it. It was in October of 2007 when I called my hyna 
and she had told me that Jesus had passed away. That 
was his name but the homies called him Whyno. 

Me and him went to high school together. Man I just 
wish he would be here with us and chill like we used to. 
But there's nothing we can do but just cry. 

My carnal Pelon had his name on his head to show 
respect. But what was more painful was the day of his 
funeral when I seen his body laying on a body casket 
when I see his face it gave me the chills then I couldn't 
hold it so I just started crying. Also when we took off to 
the cemetery and have our last respect, man I just wish 
we could kick it one more time. 

When I am alone in my cell in Juvenile Hall I just 
think about when we used to kick it, going to parties all 
gangster out with a t-shirt, gray dickies and some Nike 
Cortez'. Just chilling with the homies living our vida loca 
not giving a shhh. But now he not here today with us 
but all we can do is say Rest In Peace Whyno. In loving 
memory of Jesus aka Whyno! 


From The Beat: It's so hard to pass through the innocent time when you 
feel like you have no cares in the world, into the world of adulthood, 
responsibility, consequences and loss. You are facing this for the first 
time, so be brave. Know that we all survive loss, even though it hurts so 
bad. Just don't lose yourself further to the lifestyle that brings further 
sstdnessl If you are strong enough, you need to take a good look at 

T/fe two mai^ things are to 
ntake mtf Tap a hear proMd of 
his OHiif child at what she 
does a^d how sMccessfMl she 
can become, ^ 

Making Papa Proud 


My hopes and dreams are to make my papa proud and to 
be successful in life. To accomplish everything I put my 
mind to. I know I will be successful! 

One of my dreams is to become an interior designer 
and design homes. I will make sure a person is satisfied 
with what they have in their homes because everyone 
should be proud of what they have in their homes. 

And down the road I will get older. I realize I want to 
help people, mainly children. I had problems growing up 
and never had anyone to turn to. I want to become a CPS 
worker. I realize now how many children are hurt, and 
Fm only one person and can't help everyone. I will try to 
do my best to make sure I inspire someone to become 
successful in life. Even if you had a bad life growing up, 
you can always make it better down the road. 

The two main things are to make my Papa bear proud 
of his only child at what she does and how successful she 
can become. 


From The Beat: Way to go! We're so inspired to hear you want to help 
others, especially children who have been hurt. Keep that dream and 
you will make it happen. If only the world had more young people like 


Once Upon A Time... 

X f 

Well I have to say that sometimes my personal life 
feels like a fairy tale. I understand that life isn't fair, but 
sometimes I feel that life should sometimes be easier 
than harder. 

Take for instance my relationship with my girlfriend, 
I always tell her "nothin' is promised to me and you, so 
why would we let this thang go? Baby I promise that I'll 
stay true, don't let nobody say it ain't so." Sometimes 
when I really think about this and the promises I make to 
my "love" it seems like a fairy tale because it seems like 
it can't come true. 

Another example is that in March I got out of JJC and 
promised my girlfriend I wouldn't come back, but now I'm 
back in here for going down the wrong road. 

Why can't life have a happy ending "No Matter" what 
road you choose? I wish life was really sometimes a fairy 
tale, so everyone can be happy. Ambria, I love you! 


From The Beat: We all wish life were easier, but it's just not. Luckily we 
have things like love to get us through the dark times. We hope when 
you get out, you find the support you need to stay free from the wrong 


A time I acted responsible was the day before I got 
locked up. I was to come home before ten, to watch my 
little sister and I did, but it was also an irresponsible time 
for me because I was on drugs. I made sure my lil' sis ate, 
showered, and went to sleep. After she went to sleep I 
went to sleep. 

A time I acted irresponsible was when I used to 
steal before I ever got caught in my life. I used to steal 
everything from liquor to candy. But now I stopped and 
think, don't do it, unless it's worth it. 


LFrom The Beat: It's great that you were there for your sister, she's lucky 
to have a brother like you when you are sober, when your on drugs, you 
can't even seriously take care of yourself, let alone your lil' sis. The time 
is now to get smart! By the way, no one in this paper is named after a 
gun, Lil' 22, come up with a new name!!! 

Becoming A Fattier 

It's hard to be me. But I have to be me all the time. But 
I have to be responsible because I have a baby on the 
way so I have to take it day by day. So I have to change 
my ways so I can be a good father. I don't want to make 
the same mistakes my dad made. So I want to be the best 
father I can be. 


From The Beat: You will be a great father if you change your ways. 
Believe it in your heart! What must you do to not repeat the same 


the I 

I'm writing about the hall. Being locked up sucks. Well, 
I really don't know how to explain it but here it goes: the 
food sucks, the clothes are small, the shoes are old, and 
you don't get to talk to your family. 

I miss my family, I have a wife and a daughter and I 
have a baby on the way and I'm not going to be there for 
the birth of my second child. That's part of being locked 
up, I wish that I could get out so I could be there for my 
family. Thank you for reading this letter. 


From The Beat: We hope this is the last time you are separated from your 
family! Take care of your program, get home and guard your freedom. 

HowlWill Be Responsilile 


When I get out I'm going to be responsible by helping my 
family out and being there for them, and not arguing with 
them. I'm going to try and get a job so I can help my mom 
out with some money so everyone can be more happy and 
not so stressed out all the time. 


From The Beat: That's a great plan! You are a good son, but don't take 
on too much or the stress will get you in trouble again. What kind of job 
are you going to look for? 

I wn 

I are 

What I Saw 

It started a long time ago in the ghetto. I saw people 
that gangbang, people who do drugs, and then I started to 
hang out with the wrong crowd. Then I started smoking 
weed, then came gangbanging, now I bang and I started 
having sex and got my girlfriend pregnant, and now I'm 
locked up. And now I'm stressing 'cause I want to see my 
kid. And now I bang for a gang. 


From The Beat: You saw as a child and when old enough you joined 
them in the lifestyle that seemed right for you, given this is what you 
knew. Now you have some hard choices to make, what will it be? Will 
you be present and loving for your child? Will you walk away from 
putting in work for the hood, and instead put in work as a carrying 
legit dad? 

Dear Readers 

When I was growing up my family and I were homeless 
We used to stay on the streets. My mom and dad used to 
be drug addicts but by the grace of God they stopped. I'm 
very proud of them. 

Growing up, I ran the streets with my friends, and I 
came home when I wanted to. But now I look at my life, 
I know I don't want to be like that. I want to live in a 

For some people who were in my situation, they want 
their family just to say "no" to them cause I know I did. 

All I know when I grow up I want to have kids, but first 
I want to go to college, have a home, job, everything my 
kids want that I never had. 

For you guys and girls, keep yo' head up and believe 
in God because he is there for you no matter what 


From The Beat: Victoria, what did your parents do to stop their drug 
I addiction? Your support must mean so much to them. We're happy to 
I hear you want better for yourself and future family. 



Life is hard and you struggle all the time 

I wish God can come down and give me a sign 

It's hard when you have your little cousin's head in your 

hands and he's dyin' 

And you keep repeating to him that it's fine 

So I just try to live day by day 

Always watch your back because you don't want to get 


Go house to house because the cops always raid 

If you been through that then you know what I mean 

Posted on the block with a pocket full of green 

That's all I got to say, and this song's about me. 


From The Beat: Solid rhymes. Tragic tale. We hope you get the sign 
you're looking for, so you don't have to spend the rest of your life 
watching your back! 

Once Upon A Time 

X f 

Once upon a time there was a youngin' from the Bronx. 
He lived in a middle class ghetto. There were a couple of 
people that lived around the corner that were supposedly 
mobbed up making hella paper. So this kid from the Bronx 
named Daniel tried to join, but he wasn't no Italian, so 
they wouldn't let him. So he started going into business, 
talking about a window insurance policy. Basically you 
paid Daniel $100 a week to make sure your windows 
don't get smashed up. So after about 3 months he was 
hitting 10 different stores every week to make sure the 
windows didn't get smashed up. That's about $1,000 a 
week. So people started noticing and all the drug dealers 
who wanted to make paper started asking how. So Daniel 
came up with an idea. Certain types of stores would have 
certain types of drugs sold in them INSIDE instead of them 
being sold on the corners. Then the dealers would give 
him 30% of their take. If you wanted some weed, you'd go 
to the Dominos on 31st. If you wanted coke, you'd go to 
the liquor store corner on the boulevard. Crack and meth 
were both sold at Chinese restaurants run by Mr. Wong. 

So then Daniel's making so much money he wants to 
put it into something, so he opens a whorehouse, that's 
three stories tall. Everybody went there to get sexed up. 
And on the 3rd floor, Daniel started making all the drugs 
so he basically was taking proflt from the drugs. Plus the 
windows. And if he ever had problems, the drug dealers 
were his soldiers. 

About three years in, he had put away about ten mil 
and then he sold his operation for twenty and moved to 


From The Beat: Wow, noiv THAT is a fairy tale, and no one got, got. 


One Day At School 

When I was in second grade something bad happened. 
One morning I was getting ready to go to school, and 
when I was in class the teacher called me over to her desk 
and I went up to her. 

She said, "you're going home, your aunt is here for 
you," and I was like... so I walked to the office and my 
aunt was crying, crying, and crying. 

And I asked her "what happened" and she said 
"nothing". Then that's when I started thinking like what. 


From The Beat: So what happened next? Why does this memory sticic 
lAfith you? 

Pns and Gins in ttn lall 


The food's not too good, but it's three meals I know I'm 

getting today. 

My clothes are not my style, but they're clean every day. 

I don't stress about having money to buy weed because, 

well, you can't smoke duh. 

For the first time I ain't bit my nails, in result, I feel 


I'd rather be home but it's too late for that, but I do get 


But I say to myself, it's only temporary, then I'm back on 

the street. 

They can't hold me in here forever. 


From The Beat: Great job telling the too true story that sometimes life 
in the hall, as lonely as it is, is less stressful that the streets. What's 
the plan upon going home? Tell us how you envision your return back 

The Pains of Life 


Today I feel like talking about my past. When I was 
growing up to now, I feel like my family went through a 
lot. My father was in and out of prison and he was never 
there. My mom was strung off drugs. I felt like I had no 
one to love. I've been from group home to group home 
and I feel all alone, but I keep my head up instead of being 
fed up. 


From The Beat: it% hard to grow up without stable parents. We hope you 
find the stability you need and deserve. And the love. Remain strong, 
yet honest with yourself! 

Mj life Behiil Bars 


J 1 

Since I've been in here, my life has changed a whole 
lot. I've been thinking about the things that I've done 
that ended me up here. About six months ago you could 
not get me to right up to what I did that was wrong. You 
couldn't get me to change. I thought I could live my whole 
life cheating the law. Oh don't get me wrong, I had dreams 
that were positive, not everything was negative. But I 
would put them behind me. 

I cursed Jesus, I gave up on him. 

I thought I could live on my own, do my own thing, 
but something hit me and it hit me hard. What hit me was 
JJC. I didn't know what to do, I never had time to prepare 
because I thought it would never happen to me, but I was 
wrong. But after a couple of weeks in here I felt bad for 
what I did for the first time. 

I My mind still said, this is nothing when I get out, 

I'm going to do it again. But my heart took over. My heart 
made me realize that I was hurting my mum, and my 
family too. That they are suffering when I did the crime. 
I That my future was closing in on me. 
I So I prayed to God for forgiveness, that He would 

I forgive me for everything I did. And He did. I could have 
gotten 8 years total for the crime, but I prayed and told 
God that I need Him, that I want Him in my life. And my 
prayer was answered. I got 2 months instead. I was happy, 
I got one month and 2 weeks left. 

Being responsible and knowing what I did was my 
fault only helped me to stay strong, and change my ways. 
I learned that there is always hope, and a way in life, and 
the way in my eyes is God. It's never too late to change, 
but sooner is better than later. 


From The Beat: You have made a major breakthrough in your mind and 
heart, congratulations! 


She is the first thing I think of in the morning 

And the last thought of my day. 

She is the beautiful colors in my dreams 

The one I can think of and my problems go away. 

She is my reason for living 

My love, my pride, my joy. 

I love my baby girl, with all my heart and soul. 

I'm so glad that she is mine. 

And that I'll watch her as she grows. 

My daughter is my everything 

I'd give my life for her. 

I thank the Lord everyday 

For my daughter and some more. 


From The Beat: Having a child is a special feeling that only a parent 
can feel. We appreciate you sharing this beautiful poem as a tribute to 
your daughter. 



There's Always A Tomorrow 

It does not take 

A brand new start, 

It only takes tlie deepest desire, 

To try witli all our heart 

To live a little better 

And to always be forgiving 

And to add a little sunshine 

To the world in which are living 

So never give up on it all 

And think you're through. 

For there's always tomorrow. 

And a chance to start anew. 

Big girls don't cry 

Tears may roll down my face. 

But tissues wipe them away. 

Today it rained on my parade. 

But tomorrow starts a new day. 

-Pound Cake 

From The Beat: Very uplifting! Imagine if everyone started their morning 
with this poem, and instead of saying 'There's Always A Tomorrow" 
people said, 'There's Always Today". 

That Day 

The day I came in here I was very upset. I thought 
I would not get caught until after I was eighteen but I 
guessed wrong. On that day, I found out I was two months 
pregnant and I was very shocked and I am scared to 
become a mother and my kid's dad is happy but this is a 
messed up place to be pregnant. I really don't like it. But 
I am here. I have to make the best of it. But me and my 
baby daddy, we are very happy to become parents. If later 
on down the street and I don't know what to do I have my 
mom and dad there to help me through our new life. My 
parent's are happy to become grandparents, so they have 
a room for us ready. I just want to go home. Thank you 
for your time. 


From The Beat: How scary to find out you're pregnant while locked up! 
We hope you are getting the medical care you need. How great that your 
parents are being supportive. 

M) Sister Ckanda 


I have a wonderful sister. She is so great I am proud to 
have her as my sister. I used to hate her but now I love 
her. We would always fight with each other. 

Me and my sister Chanda have been through a lot 
together, bad and good. 

Now I'm locked up and she is out there with our 
mom, sisters, and brothers. I tell Chanda if she weren't 
my sister I wouldn't know what to do. Chanda is like a 
friend. I can talk to her about things I can't talk to my 
mom about. I just want her to know I love her for who 
she is, not her color (she is my half sister, and she is half 
African-American) . 

We will always be best sisters forever no matter what 
happens to us. When I was on the run she took our mom 
and dad to where I was and turned me in. I have had two 
miscarriages and my sister was there for me. I wish my 
sister luck in everyday for everything she does in her life. 
I would love to be like Chanda, to go to college, to finish 
high school. 


From The Beat: Chanda must be so proud to have you as a sister! 
Sisters share a powerful bond unlike any other relationship. Keep that 
relationship with her, she sounds like a positive influence in your life. 

An Extra Thinking of Love 


You're the guy who loved me. 

You're the guy who kissed me and gave me a wonderful 

lust of sparkle in my eye. You're the one who showed me 

dollar signs before my pretty Asian eyes. 

You're the guy who comforted me during my bad dreams. 

You're the first guy that when I said, "I love you," 

you said back "Baby, I love you don't worry about a 


You comforted me sometimes when I was down, 

then you fiipped the script and started to assault me as 

a thinking gift. 

I can say that is not the way to love me, for that is the 

way you can surely lose me. 

With an open mind and a willing and loving soul, 

I must say this person is a wonderful handful of 

sparkling gold. 

The last time I saw you there was no kiss on the lips, 

there were feisty words and evil looks. 

I wish I could change that day. 

I wish I could still see your beautiful sweet long face, 

from the bottom of my heart I love you babe. 


From The Beat: Natalie, we hope this person realizes he is very lucky to 
have you. Your loving descriptions of him shows us he means a lot to 
you, but if he is assaulting you, he needs to get help for himself before 
he can have a healthy relationship with you. What did you mean when 
you said "thinking gift"? 


Money makes the world go round. 

Around the world people kill and fight for money. 

Money caused me to get some rocks and be on the block 

with the thumb thing, 

no no stop people look at me for a second, and then 

look the other way, 

they say she's so young but up to no good, 

but money is where I stand, that's why I'm up to no 


- Bubble 

From The Beat: What would the world be like if money didn't exist? 
Look how this dirty money has brought pain to you! 

Fighting For Custody 


What hurts the most in my past is watching my mom 
and dad fight over custody of me, and seeing my dad leave 
and my mom do everything on her own. 

I grew up with my mom and she would work and go to 

After I got home from school I was alone until she 
met this man who was wonderful, or so we thought. After 
awhile he changed dramatically. He would get drunk, 
yell and throw things. He would ground me for months, 
and all I could eat were peanut butter and grape jelly 
sandwiches. He would give me alcohol and cigarettes. But 
then one night it got really bad and he almost backed his 
truck into my room and we moved out. So then I started 
drinking and smoking. 

So now what hurts the most is knowing that I am 
doing almost the same things but I'm not physical. I hurt 
my mom emotionally and I know now that I will change, 
starting now. 


From The Beat: Some adults can be a bad influence on young people, but 
it shouldn't be that way because adults need to be good examples. Your 
mom's boyfriend wasn't on the right track, and we hope he gets some 
help. We're glad to hear you want to make a change in your life. Is your 
dad back in your life? 

//// // 

I am a mess I tell myself 

I really love my man 

My life relies on him. 

I really love him 

Why did God take him away! 

I love you 

I love you with all my heart 

My heart will fall apart the day I cried for you 

I left you I need you I am crying out for you! 

I think of you! 
You do this to me 

I cry for you 

I will sit and wait 

I want to know why you do this to me 

Why do you make me go through pain 

I love you and want to know you 

You put me through a sea to cry out 

And wonder why you hurt and crush a lot. 

-Baby Cakes 

From The Beat: You demonstrates how you're feeling the contradictory 
emotions of love and pain at the same time. What a crazy, confusing 
feeling that might be! We hope that in time you find the balance you 
need to get through the love and pain. 


M) lite 

Sadness and hate seem to surround me. The life I have 
lived, no one would want to see it. Too much pain was 
given daily. As a young teen I grew up mentally. 

I was three years old when my mom and dad's marriage 

All my life, I lived with just a little hope to get me by. 
I manage to stand on my own two feet living behind bars 
and locked doors. It's no fairytale story. But my life will 
change as soon as I get along with everybody. 

My mom has passed away. I have nowhere to live. I 
lived homeless, and being shot at. I guess I should have 
been a better student and listened at home. But I stay 
religious and stay with my faith. So one day I can also 
have a nice growing day. 


From The Beat: When you say your life will change as soon as you get 
along with every body.... tell us more about who you want to get along 
with, and what you feel like you need to change those relationships? 
Tell us who you will live with upon your release? 

Who Am I to Jodge? 

I don't think that it's right for gays to get married, but 
who am I to judge? They can do what they want, and we 
can all say what we want but on the end the only one that 
has the right to judge is God. 


From The Beat: You've made a powerful statement. Why do you think 
other people judge each other? }Neahness? Fear? What's your thought? 

That Day 

The day I came in here I was very upset. I thought 
I would not get caught until after I was eighteen but I 
guessed wrong. On that day, I found out I was two months 


From The Beat: So much to live through in one day. How did you deal 
with it? How are you doing now? What steps are you taking for your 

Pain In My Life 

Pain to you is not pain to me. 

I've been through it can't you see. 

It's not fair it's not right. But is it part of life? 

To you it's not right, to me it's wrong. 

But still does it make you strong? 


From The Beat: You're right, pain hurts, but surviving it makes us 
stronger people. Thinks for bring that to light. 


Won't Come Back 


This is my first time in the hall and I don't like it at all. 

I have court next Friday and I hope I get out. I just 
hope the judge can see I am a good person. I am. I have a 
lot of things going for me in my life. 

I miss my moms so much even though we sometimes 
don't get along, and my boyfriend. I feel so bad that I am 
not there with him, man it's just so hard. I went through 
a lot of crap but who hasn't. 

I hope I go home. Trust and believe me, I won't come 
back. I'll stay out. 


From The Beat: We hope the same for you too, JoJo. When you're stuck 
in the hall, you miss out on a lot of things. What do you plan to do 
when you get out? 

I Didn't Di It 

! I 

As you can see I am here in the Juvenile Justice 
Campus. I am already going on several months. I feel so 
sad because I'm in here for something I didn't even do. 
And they're accusing me of doing something. But I know 
I didn't do it. 

I hope I get out soon because I have a fifteen-month 
old baby, and I miss him so much. I am so sad and so 

I am trying to stay strong in this place because it's 
not easy being in here for something you didn't even do. 
I have the faith and the hope that I am going to get out of 
this place. Because God sees everything and He knows 
that I didn't do it. So I just hope with all my heart that I 
get out of here soon. 
I -Adriana 

I From The Beat: if you aren't suppose to be in jail, then you will eventually 

I get out, but you have to be patient and go through the process. We 

I hope that justice prevails and people believe you are telling the truth. 

I Your baby needs you, and you need him. Now tell us, how did you get 

I arrested if you are not suppose to be here? 

X I- 

Itinkiig il Yoi 

I sleep in bed dreaming of a girl. 

As she tosses and curls. 

She glows in the light. She 

Smiles so bright. I love 

The way she tosses and turns 

Her body. She may act shy but 

She's really naughty has a 

Smile that drives me wild. This 

Girl that I dream of every night 

She acts hard but she's really 

Nice. She even likes it when 

We fight. She likes the way I 

Say her name. She likes the 

Way I play games. 


From The Beat: What a fantasy! Who is this girl, and why does she make 
you feel this way? You must like her a lot. Remember to be respectful 
and safe, given yvhat is at stake. 


//// // 



Same Sex Marriage 

It's wrong what they are doing. It's not fair because I'm 
gay as well and I can't get married. It sucks. It hurts. I 
probably have to go somewhere out of California to get 
married. It's a lot of money to do that. It's going to be 


From The Beat: Hopefully you won't have to leave California to get 
married, if you are 1 8 in November you should vote! 

Wtat Hurts The Mist 


The most pain in my life was when my friend died. He 
was young and just started to do good. He came from 
out of town and wanted to change his life in Fresno. He 
wanted to have things in his life. He wanted to stay away 
from gangs and trouble. He also wanted to be something 
in his life and have people to look at him like he was 
someone real famous. He had good thoughts and good 
plans for his future. It's sad what happened to him. 

Everyone that was close to him went through it and 
the pain wouldn't stop. It was like when someone was 
stabbing you in the back with a sword. I felt like someone 
had run me over and I couldn't move or breath. It was 
really hard for me. I stayed that way for two weeks, I didn't 
eat at all. 


From The Beat: So sorry about your loss David. Thanks for writing about 
it. You describe the pain of grief very well, it's emotional pain... .but it 
hurts so much it feels physical. ICeep writing! 

Once I Turned My Life To Jesus 

When I came to juvi my heart was broken. I was sad and 
depressed. And then I met this cool staff named Nina. 
She then gave me a Bible and told me Jesus was the only 
one who could help me. I then began reading the Bible 
and I didn't understand much but then I asked a preacher 
named Brother Franklin and Brother Marcus, who come 
every Monday to JJC. He teaches us about God and the 
Bible. I still do not understand much. One day, the staff 
Nina brought me a book about good and evil. It tells me all 
about how the world was created. I now open my heart to 
Jesus Christ. My soul is in his hands. I now understand 
the word of God. Amen. 


From The Beat: What is your favorite story from the Bible? Tell The Beat 
why it's your favorite. 

The Pain of Life 

It's just like my life when I was little, and it still follows 
me now. "My life is full of pain" that's what my title says 
to me. I lost so many people in my family, and I couldn't 
take it. It hurts so bad that I want to leave too. So I'm just 
waiting for my light to break free. 

Life in pain 

It's hard to continue 

When there's pain in the way 

Life is even harder 

When people put you down 

And most people give up 

They leave so quick 

It's like don't go. 


From The Beat: Pain is a difficult but natural part of life. We all deal 
with it differently. Do you think there are any benefits to pain? 



No reason for life 

When everyday is a fight for it! 

No reason to smile 

When there's so much ugly 

No reason for tears 

No reason to fear 

No reason for help to come near 

It's a lost cause 

I'd rather stay in my shell blind 

Unable to see 

If I was to see it would 

Bring more suffering 

But don't follow me, I'm going 


Be wise and listen to the higher people 

They will always try to take 


You can fight it but in the 

End you will end wit' it 

Like me! 

Blind useless locked away 

Like a dog 

Below everyone 

But hey this is life for me at least 

A useless invention that 

Someone thought up! 

- Larmarie 

From The Beat: Such an intense poem, so much passion behind your 
voice. What inspired you to write this and why do you feel that "life" is 
a useless invention? Tell us your story. 


About What I Went Throuoh! 

The pain that I felt in my life was when my nephew passed 
away. It really hurt inside because I was incarcerated at 
the time. 

When I found out I wanted to go crazy. I found out 
when I got a visit. I went through it when my mom went 
home; I went back to my cell and went insane. 

The next day I did not want to eat or talk to anybody. I 
just can't stop thinking about it, and the pain keeps going, 
and don't stop. It felt like someone was stabbing me in 
my heart, and like someone was twisting my stomach in 
a knot. And this will NEVER leave my mind, and heart. 


From The Beat: That is so hard! We hope you get to go home soon, 
that is if you are ready, and be with your family so you can grieve the 
way you need to for the sad loss of your nephew. What other outlets 
do you have to get share this pain with others? Is there a teacher? 
counselor? A close friend? Keep writing, we know that helps! 

My Mentaiity 



Living in these walls 

With jus' a few phone calls 

The only way we can throw down without getting maced 

is with dodge balls 

Can't even talk in the halls but I ain't tripping 

Jus' making sure I don't get caught slipping 

With fist gripping I stay milk sipping 

Till I get up out of this mess 

But they keep trying to make me confess 

So for all ya'U feeling my stress 

I guess I can just say 

God Bless the best 


From The Beat: Never underestimate the power of a game of dodgeball 
to release stress and keep you out of a bigger mess. 


My Beliefs On The Same-Sex Marriage Tliang! 

I think it's wrong! No, they shouldn't have the same 
rights as straight fools, because we wasn't made to go 
with the same sex. Yes it is, because if you are intelligent 
enough that's why man and woman were made to be 
together, there would only be one species of human 
beings (Male or Female) not two. Also, in the Bible it says, 
"I pronounce you man and wife" not male and male, and 
vice versa (meaning female and female). They must be 
damn gay (happy). 

Hold on a minute. "Hey homeboy pass me a fag 
(cigarette) out of your pack of Camels. Cool thanks, but 
anyways let me get back to the story." Yeah but that's 
how I feel and think. 


From The Beat: Thanks for sharing your opinion. Do you form your 
opinion just from the Bible, or also from taiicing to people around you? 

our I 


Being responsible to me means to be wise about your 
actions. Also it means for when you're not wise you own 
up for your mistakes. I am a responsible person. I take 
care of myself and my loved ones around me. At the same 
time, I respect and cherish them. To take responsibility 
is to take your result or punishment for the action you 
have taken. 

One time when I acted responsibly I was congratulated 
for it. It took my outcome for the action that I took. But 
there was a time I acted irresponsibly. That's why I'm 
in here. Honestly I really wish I would've been more 
responsible. Because now, I'm in a place away from my 
family and loved ones. If I could go back... I would change 
the day I acted irresponsibly. But see, I can't because 
that's life. 


From The Beat: You can't change the past, but you can make better 
decisions in the future. What's one thing you can change, or do 
differently, yvhen you get out? 

Lost Homelioifs 

This one day me and some homeboys of mine we went 
to a party. When we got there, we started to drink. When 
we were there for a little while, we noticed that there were 
hella rivals everywhere. We were like, "Damn we didn't 
even come strapped!" All we had were some knives. 

Man, I don't care how bad ass you are, you don't bring 
a knife to a gun fight. So we left because shhh went down. 
So when we were on the road, I called the other homeboys. 
I told them if they went, there's gonna be trouble. They 
said they were not gonna go, but that was a lie. Like 15 
minutes later they called back and said they were pulling 
up to the party. I just told them to call me if anything 
happens. So we hung up. 

So me and my homeboys were just chilling and 
smokin'. Then my phone rang. I picked it up, and my 
homie Johnny said that my homie Peter was shot and 
killed. He had just turned 16 two weeks before he was 

This is to let all know "if you go anywhere make 
sure you're ready for anything." So I'm gonna end this 
with much love and respect to Peter. May you Rest In 


From The Beat: How sad that your homeboys didn't listen to your 
warning.. .lAfe hope you are never in that situation again! 

i Can't Walt! 

My name is Ramon but you can call me Ray, 

And I'm going to write a rhyme about choosing another way. 

It's not astronomy, science, or physics. 

I'm not grabbing attention by throwing out gimmicks, 

I'mma be real, this is how probably most of us feel. 

So if you feel me don't scream just listen and chill. 

I can't wait till the day I feel the sunlight 

Go home squeeze my girl with all of my might. 

In sight is a dream, yeah it's kinda squarish 

but it's better than laying in a cell at feeling pherish. 

All I can say for everyone to create the day that we all 

get out 

Man I can't wait. 


From The Beat: Tell us more about your kinda squarish dream.. .what 
does this other way of life look like to you? 

! I 




Been here for about a month and a half now and this is 
my second article. 

I still got dreams of getting out and hitting the studio. 
But since I've been here in the JJC I have renewed my 
faith and want to go home to my mom's and show her 
that I can live on the outs without getting caught up in 
some bull. Even though I thought I hated my parents for 
not supporting me in what I wanted to do and for calling 
the cops on me, I now realize that living at home putting 
up with my parents isn't as bad as not having no place to 
sleep at night, always being hungry. And always dippin' 
from the cops in the same pair of socks that I was wearing 
for a week and a half. When I get out, it's gonna be ballin' 
by selling my tapes. 

-Kid Hope 

From The Beat: What are you gonna do to help yourself put up with your 
parents, so you can stay home where it's safe? We know it^ not going 
be easy.. .so don't be afraid to ask for help. 

M]f Lav iife 



a go getter is what I am, 

17 years old and I don't mess with 

no man, all he wants is your money, 

make you his whore but not call 

you his honey, tell you what to do 

or where not to go, beat you up 

and call you a hoe, he 

makes your life miserable and tells 

you not to hit the stroll. 

but no, 
I can't do that anymore, 

no more men, 

I can do this on my own. 

livin' lav, lookin' the best, 

when I walk through the clubs 

all he guys are impressed, 

I'm drivin' a Mercedes, 

yeah I'm so fresh, 

he wants my number but I don't 

know what to do, 

see, I don't want to get played 

or used. 

I'm independent, I'm pretty, I'm young, 

I got money, so what!!! 


From The Beat: Catchy poem, nice rhythm — it speaks to your style of 
independence, and we suppose what you have endured in your past. 
Now what must you do to change yoru ways so you do not return to a 
place like this? 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

El Castigo Que Me Dio Mi Padre \ [ Mi Primera Y Ultima Vez 

Pienso que esta bien que los castiguen los padres. Yo 
cuando tenia 10 anos, y me gustaba agarrar lo que no era 
mio. Un dia estaba robando en una casa y me agarraron 
robando. Entonces le fueron a deeir a mi papa. Yo ya sabia 
que me iban a castigar. No queria ir a la casa y mi papa me 
fue a buscar a la calle. Me encontro en una cera sentado, yo 
no lo mire, y me castigo desde ahi hasta que Uegue a la casa. 
Alia me amarro con un mecate y dormi toda la noche asi 
hasta que mi mama me solto. 

Otro dia me habia fumado un caruco de mota y me fui a la 
escuela. No miraba. Mi profesor mandaron hablar a mi papa. 
Cuando ibamos por el campo de football, mire unos perros 
haciendo el amor. Vino mi papa y me dijo que no mirara y me 
castigo muchisimo. Eso es lo que pienso sobre los castigo. 

From The Beat: ^Api^ndistes la leccion que tu padre te dio? ^Crees 
que es justo ser castigado violentamente para poder aprender? £Le 
en%enskfsk% a tus hijos de la misma forma como te ensenaron a obeceder 
tu padre? £Por que y por que no? Se nota que desde pequeno te gustaba 
contradecir a la gente sabiendo que estabas haciendo lo equivocado. Te 
aconsejamos que escuches a aquellos quienes quieren lo mejor para ti. 

The Punistiment My Dad Gave Me 

I agree that parents should punish them. I was 10 years old, 
and I liked to take possession of the things that weren't 
mine. One time I was stealing in a house and I got caught. 
They told my dad. I knew I was going to get punished. I didn't 
want to go home and my dad went out to look for me. He 
found me sitting in a street curve, I seen him, and he applied 
a punishment from there to the house. At home, he tied me 
up with a rope, and I had to sleep like that until the next day 
my mom untied me. 

Another time I had smoked a joint of weed, and I went 
to school. I couldn't see. My teacher asked to speak with 
my father. When we were walking along the football field, I 
seen two dogs having sex. My dad told me not to look and I 
did. He punished me very hard. This is what I think about 

-Oscar, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Did you learn the lesson your father set for you? Do you 
think it's right to be punished violently in order to learn something? 
Would you teach your future kids to obey the same way your dad taught 
you? Why and why not? It's noticeable that you liked to contradict 
people even though you knew you were doing the wrong thing. We 
suggest you to listen to those who want the best for you. 


\ I 

El Ilia miei 

Race muchos anos, cuando era muy pequeno, me 
contaban las personas mayores decian que hace muchos 
anos en una aldea Uamada Gascolile, que en un arbol 
de aguacate que quedaba en el fondo de un callejon, en 
frente de una casa donde vivia una sefiora Uamada dona 
Maria, en la noche despues de 12 de la noche aparecia un 
viejito con una gitarra cantando. 

From The Beat: A lo mejor era alguien quien debio haber sido un tocador 
de guitarra. £Si todavia pasara eso, hirias a escuchar su musica? Tal vez 
te guste. 

In One Village 

Many years ago, when I was very young, older people would 
shared that many years ago in a village called Gascolile, 
there was an avocado tree that was planted at the end of 
a road, next to a house where a lady called Maria lived, 
after 12 of the clock midnight, an old many would appear 
playing a guitar. 

-Jose, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Maybe it might have been someone who was guitar 
player. If he would still appear, would you go to witness him play his 
music. You might enjoy it. 

Esta es la pimera vez que estoy en una carcel y nunca 
pienso volver a caer. Le pido a Dios que no vuelva a caer 
aqui y no estar lejos de mis padres, hermanos, y de mi 

Espero que saiga luego de este lugar. Espero encontrar 
a mi familia como cuando me vine de Honduras. Que Dios 
me los cuide. 

From The Beat: 

Para no volver, tienes que portarte bien. ^Crees que 

My First And last Time 

This is the first time I am in a cell and I never think to 
come back. I ask God that I would never end up here, to 
never be away from my parents, brothers and girl. 

I hope to get out from this place. I hope to find a family 
like when I came from Honduras. God bless you. 

-Dixon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: to never come back, you would have to behave well. 
Can you do that? 

El Amor De Ml Vlda 

El Amor de mi vida has sido tii 

Mi mundo, mi desea, sigue siendo tii 

Por lo que mas quiera, no te apartes de mi. 

Te amo linda mujer por ser la mejor 

Siempre conmigo a cada momento 

A mi la neta no me importa el temor 

Porque la neta, lo que queria es tener tu amor 

Tus besos, tus caricias 

Yo las sientos a cada momento 

No te alejes de mi 

Es lo linico que te pido. 

Porque sin ti, mi vida no tiene sentido 

El amor de mi vida ha sido tii 

Mi mundo, mi deseo, sigue siento tii 

Por lo que mas quieras 

No te apartes de mi. 

Te amo Betty, 

y estas conmigo a cada momento. 

From The Beat: Bonito mensaje, pero para la otra se lo deberias de 
mandar a ella. Nuestro proposito es otro. Pregunta si no sabes. 

Tie love Of Ml Life 


The love of my life has been you 

My world, my desire, is still you 

For God sake, don't get away from me. 

I love you my woman for being the best 

Always with me at all moments 

I don't care to afraid 

Because the truth is, what I wanted is to have your love, 

your kisses and caress 

I feel them all the time. 

Don't get away from me 

It's the only liiing I ask 

Because without you, my life has no meaning 

The love of my life has been you 

My world, my desires, is still you 

For God sake, don't get away from me. 

I love you Betty. 

You are with me at all times. 

-Lil' Chilango, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Good message, but for the next time you should just 
sent it straight to her. We have a different purpose. Ask about what it 
is if you don't know. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

El Castigo Ayuda 

El castigo es algo que nos toca desde que estamos 
pequefio. Quisas por la educacion que nos dan nuestros 

Cuando empezamo a crecer nos volvemos un poco 
traviezo. Un ejemplo seria cuando quebramos las ventanas 
a nuestros vecinos. Ahi es cuando algunos padres nos 

Muchos padres cometen el error con sus hijos porque 
ellos los dejan hacer lo que ellos quieran. 

Cuando uno tiene 10-13 afios, muchos nifios 
dependen del castigo de sus padres y es algo muy comiin 
para nosotros cuando estamos chicos. Nuestros padres 
tienen la razon. 

Cuando uno empiezan a tener la edad entre los 18-21, 
uno se vuelve hombre y muchos agarran el mal camino 
en andar en pandillas, drogas o en la calle. Y hay padres 
que no pueden hacer nada por nosotros. Ahi donde uno 
corre el riesgo con la policia. Ahi es donde le sentencian 
el castigo de encarcelamiento. A muchos le dan el castigo 
de muerte. 

El castigo hace cambiar a mucha gente, especialmente 
cuando uno recibe mas de cinco afios en la carcel. Muchos 
se arrepienten de todo lo que han hecho y buscan las 
cosas de Dios. 

From The Beat: £Te han servido los castigos que te han dado a ti? i,Hay 
otra forma como que alguien pueda hacer las cosas mejor sin necesidad 
del castigo? £Has hablado por experiencia? £Te has arrepentido de 
lo que has hecho al estar aqui? Esperamos que aprendas sobre esta 
experiencia y que no llegues a pasar muchos anos para darte cuenta de 
las cosas que haces. 

Punishments Helps 

Punishment is something we deal with since we are very 
young. Maybe, our parents apply it to us to educate us. 

When we start to grow, we become a little bit naughty. 
An example would be when we break our neighbor's 
windows. That's when some parents take action and 
punish us. 

Some parents make the mistakes with their kids by 
letting them do whatever they want. 

When some kids are the ages of 10-13 years, many 
kids depend on the punishments from their parents and 
that's something very common when we are young. Our 
parents have the right. 

When someone gets to the ages of 18-21, you become 
more like a man, and some choose to be in the road of 
gangs, drugs or the streets. There are parents that can't 
do anything for us. That's when you risk it with the 
police. That's when you get incarceration as a sentence. 
And others get the punishment of death. 

Punishment change many people, especially when 
you receive more than five years in jail. Many regret 
everything they have done in their lives and look for 

-Marcos, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Have the punishments worked on you? Is there another 
way to make someone better or reflect on the wrong things people are 
making, without the u%e of punishments? Have you regret from what 
you've done while being here? We hope you learn from this experience 
and we also hope it doesn't take you many years for you to realize what 
you are doing. 

/ don't Know mif thing akotft how the law is, 
hut I think that in this countrt/, theif should 
know and he ven/ sure who theif want to he 


Mi Opinion 

Bueno, yo soy una persona muy directa y me vale decirle 
la neta a cualquiera. Voy a opinar sobre los matrimonios 

Pienso que eso de que un hombre se case con otro 
hombre es una mamada demaciada fea. Se mira feo eso. 

Es mas bonito casarse con una mujer, pero eso es 
decision de ellos. 

From The Beat: Esa es tu opinion y la respetamos. £A>guna vez te has 
visto en un espejo y te has visto directamente tu realidad? 

My Opininn 

Well, I am a straight person and I don't care to tell 
anyone the truth in their face. I'm ging to talk about gay 

I think that a man getting married with another man 
is a dumb thing and ugly. It looks ugly. 

It' s beautiful to marry with a woman. That's their 

-Chamuco, San Francisco 

From The Beat: if this is your opinion, we respect it. Have you ever 
taken a look at yourself in the mirror and asked yourself (directly) how 
perfect you are? 

Mis Pensamientns Sniire Lns Temas 

Una de las veces que creo que fui responsible fue cuando 
estaba estudiando en Mexico. Siempre asistia a las clases, 
me gustaba estudiar, y siempre estaba atento a las cosas 
de la escuela. 

La vez que pienso que fui irresponsible fue esta vez 
que me meti a vender droga. Se que es un delito grave y se 
que es muy dafiino para la salud de todas las personas. 

Lo que pienso que me a afectado siempre mi vida es 
que nunca hemos tenidos el dinero necesario para mis 
estudios, ni el de mis hermanos. Por esta razon, tenemos 
que trabajar siempre. 

Mi opinion en el casamiento del mismo sexo no es 
un si o un no. No se bien como esten las leyes, pero en 
este pais cada persona deberia de saber y tener claro con 
quien quiere estar sexualmente. 

From The Beat: Deberias de volver a esos tiempos en que eras responsible 
para tu propia conveniencia. Mas a necesitar de una Buena educasion 
lAftorsk que sabes las cosas que son dahlnsks y que te perjudican en tu 
vida, que haras al respecto? ^Seguiras en lo mismo? 

My Tiiouoiits Abnut Tiie Topics 

One of the times I was responsible was when I was going 
to school in Mexico. I was always attending to class, and I 
was always on track with the things from school. 

The time I think I was irresponsible was when I started 
to sell drugs. I know it's a serious crime and I know it's 
very harmful to people's lives. 

What I think has affected my life is that I have never 
the money I needed for school, neither my brothers. That 
reason, we have to always work. 

My opinion about same sex marriage is a yes and a no. 
I don't know anything about how the law is, but I think 
that in this country, they should know and be very sure 
who they want to be sexually. 

-Daniel, Fresno 

From The Beat: You should go back to those times you were responsible 
for your own convenience. You will need a good education in order to 
live a better life. Don't waste your time. Now that you know what are 
those things the harm and that affect your life, what are you going to 
do about it? Are you going to continue doing the same? 


.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Mis Pensamientos Para El Beat 

\ f 

Cada quien debe ser responsible de si mimso, pero cuando 
fui responsible fue cuando termine mi primaria. Me hice 
irresponsible cuando fui a los Estados Unidos. 

Lo que me dolio de mi familia fue cuando me vine a este 
pais. Lo que no me dolio fue saber que se quedaron bien de 

Yo opino que si ellos quieren casarse, que se casen. 
EUos pueden hacer lo que quieran hacer. Ellos son los que 
opinan de su sexualidad. Sobre las mujeres lesbiana, no me 
importa lo que hagan. Estoy deacuerdo. 

From The Beat: Puedes terminar la segundaria sk%i mismo como 
terminastes la primaria si quieres. Una buena educacion abre unsk buena 
y major puerta para un major futuro. Gracias por tus opiniones. 

My Thoughts Ahout For The Beat 

Everyone should be responsible by their own, but I think I 
was responsible when I finished middle school. 

What hurt about my family was when I came to this 
country. What didn't hurt me was to know that I left them 

I think if they want to get married, they should. They 
could do whatever they want to be. They are the one who 
should give their own opinions about their sexuality. About 
lesbians, I don't care what they do. I agree with them. 

-Humberto, Fresno 
From The Beat: You should finish high school the same ivay you finished 
middle school. A good education opens a good and better door towards 
a better future. Thanks for your opinions. 

Esto Es Lo Due Pienso 

Bueno ya tengo dos semanas de estar preso aqui en la 
juvenil. Durante el tiempo que he estado aqui, he tenido 
muchos amigos, he asistido a la escuela, he visto movies, he 
convivido con ciudadanos Americanos. 

Aveces he hecho cosas que no estan bien como por 
ejemplo molestar a algunos de mis compafieros aiin sabiendo 
que hacia mal. 

Ahora me doy cuenta de lo que hacia. Cuando me 
castigaban, me enojaba, pero si merecia el castigo. 

Si alguna vez mi padrastro le pego a mi mama y me enojaba 
porque no podia hacer nada porque estaba pequeno. 

No acepto el casamiento entre los gays y las lesbianas, 
pero respeto los gustos y derecho de cada persona. 

From The Beat: Esta bien que estes aprendiendo a socializarte con 
otras personas de diferente pais y cultura. Pero creemos que no tenias 
que haber venido aqui. Hay otras lugares como las escuelas, libreria, 
parques, hasta en las calles. Conforme a lo de tu padrastro, no dejes 
que lastime a tu madre. Eso se llama violencia domestica. Nadie tiene el 
derecho de lastimar a otra persona devil, ni a nadie en general. 

This Is What I Think 

Well I have been two weeks locked up in juvenile hall. 
During this time I've been here, I have met many friends, I've 
attended to school, watched movies, and lived together with 
American citizens. 

I've done things that weren't right like bothering some of 
my friends knowing I was doing wrong. 

Now I have realized about what I was doing. When 
they would punish me, I would get mad, but I deserved the 
punishment though. 

Yes, there were times when my stepfather would hit 
my mother when he was younger, but I could do anything 
because I was very young. 

I don't agree with the marriage between gas and lesbians, 
but I respect their taste and rights. 

-Rosny, San Francisco 
From The Beat: it^ a good thing to socialize yourself with people from 
different country and culture, but you didn't need to end up in here 
to experience this. There are better place like schools, libraries, parks, 
even in the streets. Responding back to your step-dad, don't permit him 
to hit your mother. That^ called domestic violence and it is punishable. 
Nobody has the right to hurt another person, in general. 


\ I 


Mi Peor Castigo En La Vida 


Mi nombre es Carlos y a mi me castigaban mis padres por 
las drogas. Mis padres me decian que no tomara y que no 
furmara porque las drogas son malas y yo no les hacia caso. 

Todos los dias me iba para el campo con unos amigos a 
fumar mariguana y regresaba bien tarde a la casa. 

Los fines de semana, me iba a beber guaro. Me regafiaban 
y me pegaban pero no hacia caso. Me iba de la casa enojado 
con mis padres porque me habian pegado por andar en vicios. 
Yo trabajaba de Lunes a Sabado y por andar en los vicios, 
casi no me daba el dinero para la comida. 

Asi pase desde que era pequefio hasta ahora que tengo 
15 anos. Me pase todos esos anos en drogas. Ahora me 
doy cuenta que todo lo que me decia mi padre era la pura 

Mi peor castigo que me ha dado la vida fue haber perdido 
a mi padre y por no hacerle caso cuando el me decia que 
dejara las drogas. Esto es todo lo que tengo que contra sobre 
mi peor catigo. 

From The Beat: hemos vistos atraves de tu escritura que has escojido 
el peor camino para ti desde temprana edad. Ahorita que has estado 
limpio de droga y que tienes la oportundiad de pensar mejor las cosas, 
deberias de tomar esta oportundiad para hacer las cosas mejor. Revive 
las palabras de tu padre, manten %u% consejo activo y llebalas acabo. 
Honoralo a el y %u% deseos, y se el hombre que el quiso que fueras. 

My Worst Punishment In Life 

My name is Carlos and my parents would punish me because 
of drugs. My parents would tell me not to drink and not to 
smoke drugs because they were bad and I didn't listen to 

I would go to the camp everyday to smoke weed with my 
friends, and I would get home very late. On the weekends, 
I would drink liquor. They would get mad at me and hit me 
because I wouldn't listen. I would get mad with my parents 
because they would hit be over my bad habits. I would work 
from Monday though Saturday, and because of being into bad 
habits, my money wouldn't even last me for food. 

I lived like this since very young until I turned 15 years 
old. I spent all those years in drugs. Now I've realized that 
everything my parents told me was the truth. 

My worst punishment that life has given me was loosing 
my father and not listening to him when he would tell me 
to stay away from drugs. This is what I have to say about 

-Carlos, San Francisco 
From The Beat: We've %een through your writing that you have chosen 
the worst decision even since stn early age. Now that you have been 
clean from drugs, and have the chance to think about things better, you 
should take this opportunity to do things better. Revive your fathers' 
words, keep his advice active and follow them through. Make him happy 
lAfherever he is. Honor him and his desires, and be the man he wanted 
you to be. 

Lo Que No hice 

Lo irresponsable que fui fue cuando tenia que salir del 
house arrest y no lo hice por que me cacharon con una 
pistola en la casa. Me dieron Rancho. Les recomiendo 
que si estan en house arrest, que lo terminen. 

From The Beat: £Y que temabien no tengan cosas que pueden lastimar a 
otra personas y los lleguen a meter en problemas. ^Verdad? 

What I Did 

The time I was irresponsible was when I had to finish 
house arrest, and I couldn't do it because I got caught 
with a gun in my house. They gave Ranch. I recommend 
you that if you get house arrest, to finish it. 

-Psycho, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We recommend not to carry things that can get you into 
trouble like having a gun. Wise up! 

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

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #////// 



I've got to repent and rejoice 
See I ain't got a choice 

And if I ever did 

See I chose to rejoice 

'Cause I know that Jesus loves me 

Yes, this is true 

He laid down His life 

For me and for you 

He came here to earth 

To show us the way 

The one and only way 

Please listen to what I say 

Or rather to what He says 

'Cause it's all about Him 

He called us brothers and sisters 

And beloved friends 

This is the truth that I speak 

See, it ain't a lie 

I promise to cross my heart 

And hope to die 

If what I say isn't true 

'Cause it's all about you 

And I would never lie or hurt you 

Because of my love for you 

'Cause of my love for you... 

Brothers and sisters 

Give your life to Christ 

He came here to earth 

To pay the price 

And if you don't believe 

These words that I say 

Read the Holy Bible 

Page by page 

I said, read your Holy Bible 

Page by page. 

The Gift of Life 

I find the gift of life as one of the most precious gifts in life. 
We were born to live and we live to die, yet while we are alive 
we achieve great accomplishments, or we are let down by 
our own heart's desires. A person is quickly forgotten once 
that person's time expires; however, many individuals are 
remembered, long after they have left us, by the memorable 
and unforgettable moments on which we look back and 

Even more amazing is the fact that we neither choose 
to live nor choose to die, yet the choice is very much ours 
in between life and death. From sun up till sun down we 
choose how we are going to spend our days (most people, 
anyway), what we'll eat, speak, wear, not wear, and the list 
goes on. Some people have chosen to take away the precious 
gift of life that was given to them. Some individuals choose 
the fate of an unborn child while others decide to terminate 
their own lives for whatever reason. Hypothetically speaking, 
I believe there is more to be achieved during one's life time 
(besides a good life insurance). 

I believe that life is bestowed upon each and every one of 
us for a particular reason. What is the ultimate quest in life 
or purpose for living? No one may ever know for certain, but 
we can wonder and speculate all we want. Since the gift of 
life is precious, we are, therefore, precious since our lives are 
gifts. How do you treat a precious gift? Hopefully very special 
since it is as meaningful to you as it was to the person who 
gave it to you. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Clallam Bay Corrections 
Center in Clallam Bay, Washington (State). Oznog has been a great 
writer for our publication constantly dropping knowledge and a lot 
of advice for all the readers our there. He^ a prolific writer who has 
spent all but two of his birthdays behind bars since he was 1 3. He'll be 
turning 26 on July 28. We hope your appeal went well and that you'll 
be spending many more birthdays on the other side of the wall, ^% a 
free man, Oznog! 


One thing I never understood about society 

Is how they criticize me and look down on me 

I may be locked up, but one day I'll be free 

back onto the streets of society 

Will I survive? I don't know 

Will someone help me? I don't know 

What I do know, though 

Is that I'll just go with the flow 

I've made some mistakes in my life 

Have not lived an acceptable life 

But I've paid my debt to society 

And now I'm trying to change my life 

We learn from our mistakes 

And I have learned from mine 

When I was taken off the streets 

And sentenced to do time 

They say what goes around comes around 

And now it's my turn to frown 

But what goes around comes around 

And soon I'll be the one to clown 

See, I've changed the way I think 

The way I speak, and now I seek 

To straighten out my ways 

No more wrinkles or kinks 

Even though society may not accept me 

I've put all of my faith in ME 

And I know I'll succeed 

'Cause the choice is up to ME. 

Away From Home 

I'm so far away from home, in a cell all alone 
Wishing I had somebody I could call on a phone 

To hear someone's voice on any given day 

Someone who would listen to what I have to say 

It would be such a blessing for a felon like me 

To speak to somebody who is out there and free 

Who could give me some advice, a message of hope 

'Cause day after day, it gets harder to cope 

In a prison cell all alone, far away from home 

With no one to call when I pick up a phone. 

Tryino to Ciiaooe 

I'm trying to change my ways and live a better life 

'Cause I hope to one day have children and a wife 

I've been struggling for years and have shed many tears 

But I stay strong in my faith and try to keep my mind 


'Cause the lifestyle I have lived has now come to an end 

I can no longer deal with these feelings stored within 

I need to let them out, speak with someone who'll 


that I'm still a child inside this body of a man 

Who wants to change his ways and live a normal life 

This is a brief glimpse of the story of my life. 

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

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #////// 

'H^nnn canr. ' 

Desiring Reality 

Many things in life are taken for granted. Our lives are filled 
and surrounded by blessing each and every day, only we 
fail to realize the fact that we are blessed. As we go about 
our business everyday, we do not take into consideration 
how truly lucky and blessed we are, from sun up to sun 
down. Many of us never open our eyes and see the reality 
that surrounds us in our daily lives. Our vision has become 
obscured, blurred by a fog. That fog is like a thick blanket; 
it blurs out the reality and we see only a blanket of lies. 

Some individuals achieve seeing beyond the blanket of 
lies we have set up and truly grasp and understand that 
there is more that lies beyond a blanket of lies. Others 
are unfortunate and will never be able to see clearly again. 
Sometimes we are placed in situations or in places that take 
the fog away from our eyes. Sometimes it's like a nightmare 
that we wake up from and can't believe. I hope and pray that 
one day everyone will wake up and be able to see again. 
Once our vision has been restored, we will see things, and 
life, a little more clearly. We will see life as we have failed to 
see it so far. 

There is a darkness that surrounds us that we don't 
even realize is there. We are lost in a dream, walking in 
shadows. The dream is unseen, yet we see it crystal clear. 
We see an illusion that we interpret for reality. We believe 
in the lie because we are blind. Life is not an illusion, nor 
is it more than a dream come true. Life is only a refiection 
of the desires of our hearts. Life is like a mirror, sometimes 
it's blurry, sometimes it's clear. Some of us desire more in 
life than to be blind. Once that desire is our heart's, it takes 
over and does away with the illusion that we have been living 
in. The desire is like a spark of hope, of life. A desire is 
more than we can comprehend or begin to understand. The 
desire of life is life itself. Once we give it birth, it will slowly 
grow. The more we tend to it, the stronger it will grow. The 
more time we spend with it, the faster it will grow. 

Many people take for granted the desire of living. Many 
people take for granted the blessings of our lives. What we 
can't see, what we can't feel, what we can't smell and what 
we can't hear is very near and real. We only see what we 
perceive and only perceive what we think we see. Some 
people hear voices or whispers but do not understand what 
they mean. Some people feel lost, out of place, and strange. 
We smell awkward things, yet we do not see the aromas. If 
only we could taste reality, what would it taste like? Would 
we chew it up and spit it out or enjoy its pleasant taste? Our 
five senses lie to us; what about our sixth sense? Our inner 
voice wants to be heard, yet we close the ears of our hearts. 
We neglect to believe in what we cannot see, hear, touch, 
or smell. Yet, what we believe we see is not necessarily a 
reality. We give birth to illusions and think they are real. 
We walk down a valley, a shadow of darkness. There is no 
light; that's why we are blind. We need to open the eyes of 
our hearts and see the light. 

Life again seems to have a purpose once it has been 
taken away. Only once something that matters to us the 
most has been taken away do we realize that it ever mattered 

Make four life a realltif. Do not he deceived 
hif the lies Ik four life, Kather, Instead, 
rejoice at the meaning of life. 

to begin with. Why is that? Why do we want what we do 
not have, yet do not want what is already ours? We are 
confused by the desires of our wants and our needs. When 
we strip everything away, or when it has been stripped 
away from us, do we begin to comprehend the value, and 
the meaning of, the things that we have, and of those who 
currently exist in our lives. Strip a person of what is his or 
hers and they will realize what they once had. To not have 
is where the need of wanting to have is born. 

We realize our mistakes of not having treasured what 
was once already ours and a treasure at that. We give a lot 
more meaning to certain things that never once seemed 
to have a meaning before. We realize that our reality has 
become a dream. The illusion that we never knew existed 
is now more apparent than ever. We no longer are deceived, 
nor do we believe in the lies that our eyes see. The blanket 
has been pulled away and our vision has been restored. No 
more fog or blur; now only the truth and the light. 

Do you understand this message? Can you hear your 
inner voice? To believe in what is unseen is the most 
powerful belief. Knowing what to believe in is a complicated 
matter of its own. A dream is an illusion, yet some dreams 
are real. An illusion is a lie that lies right before your eyes. 
To see what is unseen is being able to see. To feel what 
cannot be touched is the gift of feeling. To hear what is 
unheard is the understanding of mere whispers. To be 
able to touch what cannot be touched is the ability to hold 
onto that which is within your grasp. And to taste what is 
tasteless is being able to understand the meaning of fiavor. 
Once we are confronted by the desires of our hearts will we 
understand the true meaning of reality and no longer take 
people or things for granted. 

Life has more to it than what we think we can sense. 
Life is more than an illusion and a valley of darkness. Life 
is having light in one's life and being able to see beyond the 
shadows of our hearts. Life is life; it is precious and more 
valuable than the meaning of value. Life is what we make of 
it. Some people will fail, others will make it a reality. 

Make your life a reality. Do not be deceived by the lies 
in your life. Rather, instead, rejoice at the meaning of life. 
Life is an unseen dream waiting to be made into a reality. 
Do not take for granted the ability to dream. Dreams can be 
made true; it's all up to you. 

Are you doing time or is time doing you? Being locked 
up is not doing time; being locked up gives you time, time 
to think, time to rest, time to reminisce, time to refiect 
on your past failures and mistakes, time to contemplate 
on what you would like your future to be like, time to 
wake up and face reality. The only time you've got is but 
a short time here on earth. It's time to grow up and take 
advantage of time spent doing what you want to do rather 
than time outs thinking about the good ol' times when 
you had the time of day and night to do what you wanted 
with your time. 

Don't spend your lifetime doing time 'cause sooner 
or later your time will expire. Hopefully, this time you will 
understand that time is what you make of it. I'll say this 
one time and one time only, "There is still time, time to 
make the choice on how you want to spend your time." 

Do you like spending time doing time? Times are 
changing; it's time for you to change. As time keeps 
ticking and the clock doesn't stop, ask yourself what 
time is it? Will this be your last time? Or will you be back 
again to do more time?... 


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

wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^^if r 

'U^nnn canT. '. 

The Unborn Child 

Mommy and Daddy 

There's something I would like you to 


I heard you guys talking 

and I cried and screamed, "No" 

How could you guys think of such a 


Without thinking of me 

I'm more than just an embryo 

I've got life you see 

Please give me a chance 

A chance to live 

One day when I am big 

I want to have my own kids 

Please think about my future 

Of what it could, and should, be 

I know I'm just eight weeks 

But please don't do this to me 

I'm a gift from God 

A present from above 

A test for you to express 

Your unconditional love 

For each other, for me 

For us as a family, you see 

Please stop thinking about yourselves 

And think about me 

What did I do, what can I do 

To prove my love for you 

Mommy and Daddy 

Please love me, too 

Please love me, too... 

When you were both little babies 

About as big as I am now 

I bet your parents had the same talk 

That you two are having now 

Had they actually done what you two 

are thinking 

Would you be here now? 

They didn't, that's why you are here 

Please give me a chance now 
Don't make the mistake you'll regret 

one day 
By making this decision here today 

Everything will be okay 

And you'll be thankful for this day 

No words that I can say 

Will change my fate 

And that's just the way it is 

I pray you'll make the right choice today 

This is what I pray... 

"Father, Father, Heavenly Father 

Forgive them for they know not what 

they do 

If I were there and they were here 

They'd pray you forgive me too 

But they're neither here nor I there 

So they're in my prayers to you 

Please don't hold this decision against 


And bring my soul to you 

So I can be close to you, close to you... 

I'm just the blood of your love making 

and a gift from above 

Mommy and Daddy please show your 

blood some love 

Think of how happy you'll be 

The day when you first see me 

When I learn how to talk 

And say my ABCs and count to three 

I'll be your pride and joy 

Make you smile, make you proud 

You'll be the center of attention 

When you go out in a crowd... 

"Oh, how sweet a little baby 

He's so cute, she's so pretty 

You're so lucky and we're jealous 

What a beautiful baby..." 

What a beautiful baby they say 

But I don't go a say today 

I guess my fate is in your hands 

I pray you'll make the right choice today 

Before it's way too late, way too late... 

When you were both little babies 

Your parents loved you two 

And now that I'm your baby 

I pray you'll love me, too 

I know that times are kind of tough and 

stressful, too. 

But all I really want is a mommy and a 

daddy, too. 

Please bring me to life 

So I can see the light 

Please bring me to life 

I'll be the highlight of your life 

If you bring me to life 

I'll be in debt for life 

I'll love you forever 

for the rest of my life 

But if you terminate my life 

And put out my lights 

You'll never have a chance to see 

The gift of life 

The gift of life, my life. 

Much Love 

(A song) 

Much love to my people in them county jails (halls) 

Much love to them people in them prison cells 

Much love to them people who will never tell 

And turn a state's witness to avoid a jail cell 

I've got much love for the people who are on Death Row 

And those doing life locked behind closed doors 

Much love for the single mothers who are home alone 

Whose babies' daddy for some reason never came back home 

Much love for the children who were raised on the streets 

And to those who were brought up in poverty 

Much love to you hustlas trying to make ends meet 

'Cause you've got family at home with mouths to feed 

Much love, much love... 

'Cause we've only got one love, one love 

And sometimes we've got rough love and tough love 

Some people have got no love, no love 

And all my people've got much love, much love 

'Cause I've got much love, much love 

I said I've got much love, much love 

For those who ain't got no love, no love 

Now you've got my love, my love 

See, a lot of people do and a lot of people don't 

A lot of people can't and a lot of people won't 

Some people say it 'cause they mean it 

And others say it but they don't 

Some people have never felt it 

And a lot of people won't 

I'm talking about one love, true love 

I'm talking about what you say to a person whom you really 


See, words can't express how we really feel 

Actions speak louder than words and that's for real 

So until you can express the love that you feel 

Let me tell you a little something 

About this love that I feel 

'Cause I've got much love, much love 

I said I've got much love, much love 

For those who've got no love, no love 

Now you've got my love, my love 

'Cause some people've got no love, no love 

Now my people've got much live, much love 

And for those who ain't got no love, no love 

Now you've got my love, my love 

I say that I love you 'cause this is true 

I'd lay down my life and die for you 

And if you were my girl I'd call you my boo 

'Cause I know that in my heart I'd be loving you 

With much love, much love 

I'm talking about my love, my love 

And for all my peeps who are on the streets 

Caught up in that vicious drug scene 

You've got my love, yes, this is true 

I was once a youngsta who was lost like you 

And I've got much love for those 

Who can't trust enough to love 

Who were hurt as little kids 

And were shown no love 

Much love for my people who are trying to change their ways 

Those who ain't in a hurry to get laid in a grave 

Much love, much love. 

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

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - ly/ rjjj / 


I'm Alive And Well, My Story 

Coming up the way I did, everyone expected me to be dead 
or in prison doing life. Well I'm not dead or in prison. 
However, I did spend a lot of time in and out of jail. From 
juvenile halls, group homes, rehabs and the California 
Youth Authority. 

My first time going to jail was at the age of 11 for a 
gang related fight on top of the hill Daly City. I was with 
three of my homeboys that I grew up with. We jumped some 
rival gang members we caught slippin' at liie bus stop. 
When they started to run we chased them with bats and 
sticks. The police happened to be down the block and saw 
us running with bats in our hands. They instantly pulled 
up on us and drew down their guns. At that time me and 
my homies were high and drunk off some cheap 211 steel 

After we were arrested we all went to the halls. That's 
how my rap sheet started. I was housed in YGC Bl. I guess 
they had too much people so they let me out after about 
a month. They gave me a court date in two weeks, but I 
never went because I wanted to kick it on the block with 
the homies. 

Since the day I went on the run I was never legit after 
that. I'm only 20 now, but until two weeks ago I can now 
walk the streets with out worrying if the police is looking for 
me. Since the age of 11 1 was either on the run or locked up. 
I spent 7 Christmas, Thanks Giving and New Years behind 
bars. My criminal life-style was affecting a lot of aspects in 
my life. I was too caught up in the mix I couldn't realize how 
I was hurting my family and loved ones. 

The whole time I was on the run I was gang-banging to 
the fullest. I was on the block every day, rain or shine. I felt 
good a lot of people recognized me and knew what I was 
about. I was always the youngest one, but when it came 
down to funk I was always the first to smash. I guess I was 
trying to prove my self and not be no punk. 

I got an older brother who as well is in the gangs. So 
when I was coming up I was living in my brother's shadow. 
I was only known around because my brothers reputation. 
I was Kermitt's little brother. When I was younger it was 
cool with me, but after a while I wanted people to know me 
for my own stripes. So I did just about anything the law 
didn't accept or allowed. I wanted to be a hood star with 
all the money. I wanted to be a cholo'd out Tony Montana. 
So I dropped out of school in the sixth grade and gave my 
soul to the hood. I was jumped in the hood when I was 13. 
I thought I was unstoppable. 

Well like I said, I was always locked up for some dumb 
shhh. Mostly drugs and gangs, but there's too much to talk 
about and a lot of information to get into. So I just going 
to talk about my last time I was incarcerated. As I stated 
earlier, I was paroled two weeks ago from the California 
Youth Authority in Stockton, CA. I did three years just this 
last time. When I got locked up in 2005, I already knew I 
was going to go to CYA. So my intentions were to smash 
and max out (which means doing your whole time), which 
mines was 5 years. I was close though. 

I was only sentenced for one year for resisting arrest, 
false I.D to a peace officer, dirty drug test and failure to 
complete my placement. When I first got to CYA I did not 
care about nothing. It was all about me and the homies. 
Somebody say something stupid or I felt disrespected by 
any means, then it was time to get down. I've been in a lot of 
fights and riots when I was in there. I also did a lot of time 
in lock up which till this day is still messing with my head. 
(I'm just playing). I'm still sane. 

Our next writer is writing to u% directly from inside our Beat 
Within Office in Sskn Francisco, Ca. Moreno has been in and out 
of institutions all throughout his life since he was eleven years old. 
He's been through the halls - (Hillcrest, where we first met him), group 
homes, CYA, etc. He tells us a story of himself and how he grew up. He's 
been through his ups and downs in life. He^ been in the same shoes 
of a lot of you readers out there that are reading this right now. He's 
been in that mentality where he didn't give a damn, but sk% you can see 
that mentality didn't get him nowhere except locked up in a small cage 
to live in. Now he's a lot wiser and has matured a lot. He has learned 
from his mistakes and like he says in his piece "a mistake is a mistake 
if you leave it that way, but if you learn from it then it becomes ^n 
experience." And that's some grown man advice right there. So give it 
up for Moreno! 

After about two years of messing up in there I was 
getting tired of all that drama that was going on. All them 
Y.A games, which we call them, were making me catch a 
lot of time. CYA ain't nothing to be bragging about. It's 
just a whole bunch of people trying to prove themselves, 
but after you been there for a while others are trying to 
prove something to you. I was never trying to prove nothing 
to nobody in CYA, however I enjoyed fighting all the time 
so that's why I was always getting time adds. I was really 
getting tired of being in jail, so I came to the point where I 
would let little things go. 

I would never let anyone disrespect me even to this day, 
but I did change a whole lot. My whole mind frame and out 
look on things is better. When I got out of lock up the last 
time, well actually while I was in there, I told my self I was 
going to do something with myself, I had no diploma or 
anything. I had nothing to show for the whole time I was 
locked up. I couldn't get out with no type of education. So 
I signed up for some G.E.D classes because I was so far 
behind in my credits for never going to high school. 

After about six month I finally reached one of my goals. I 
got my G.E.D. That was one of the biggest accomplishments 
in my life. After I got that, one of the teachers told me I can 
now sign up for welding, fork-lifting and carpentry classes. 
So I did. I tried to do as much things as possible so when I 
go up for my parole hearing I'm not going up with nothing 
but a whole bunch of write ups. I got certified in all three of 
those areas. 

Because I was still affiliated with the Northern Hispanics 
my only worry was that it would kick off (riot) and I would 
catch some more time, because in there if it kicks off you 
have to get in it. I didn't care what others would say if I 
didn't, but I'm in the mentality where I would never leave 
my homies hanging, because I know there their for me. I 
was fortunate it didn't kick off before I went to my parole 
hearing so I was cleared for six month with out any write- 
ups. So I made the board list. 

The night before I went to board me and like 12 other 
people didn't sleep that night. We were all excited and 
nervous at the same time. Tomorrow was the day I was 
going to see if the board members felt I was ready to step 
back out in society and become an up standing productive 
citizen. When they called me into the boardroom, I was very 
nervous. But this moment was going to determine if I was 
going to get out or wait another 9 months until I go up 

While I was in the boardroom I had to think about my 
freedom, because I had no room for messing up and saying 
the wrong thing. I explained my situation in full details and 
informed them on how I received numerous certificates 
and reframed from any physical altercations in my last six 
months. I didn't want to leave nothing out. I told them the 
truth on why I was doing the things I was doing while I was 
locked up. They say the truth will set you free, and thank 
God it came true. 

Right after I was finished with my presentation and 

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

^7/?7wn7mmm^mu r - f ///^ , f / 

'Mn/PSnn canr. ' 

they was done asking me questions, I told then I had a job 
lined up at the Beat With In. David was the one who hooked 
me up. He wrote a letter so I can show them and they where 
very pleased. 

It's rare for anyone to have a job lined up for themselves 
before they even get out. I was very fortunate to have some 
one like David do that for me (Thank you David!). 

Now that I got out I'm trying to stay on the right track. 
I got too much to lose with so much to gain. I can't go back 
to my old ways. I actually got something going for myself. I 
got another job lined up as well right now. I'm just waiting 
for them to call me back. I got a lot of plans and goals I 
want to reach. I came to learn that if you don't got no goals 
then you got no ambitions. If you stand for nothing then it's 
going to be easy to fall for anything. I don't want to prove to 
those who believe I'm not going to amount to anything, that 
it was a mistake that they let me out. By me just saying that 
I changed don't mean nothing. Actions speak louder then 

words, and my actions are now showing for it. 

There ain't nobody that can bring me down but 
myself. Another thing that I learned that stuck with me is, 
a mistake is a mistake if you leave it that way, but if you 
learn from it, then it becomes an experience. Everyone has 
there own experience in a lot of different things. But what 
we should do that will help and benefit us all is to use other 
peoples experiences and learn from them because it can 
some times be too late. Plus no one has enough time in the 
world to experience everything anyways. 

All right then Beat Readers. It's good to talk to you 
all again. I'm just blessed that I'm not writing from an 
institution, but from The Beat work shop. So I'm going 
to let you guys go in paper but keep you in my prayers. 
So to every one going through some type of crisis, keep 
your head up. You'll see your light at the end of the tunnel. 
So allow me to conclude this with the absolute love and 
respect. One love, one way. 

The Beat Within 

I'm a new reader of your publication. I am a rapper and 
songwriter. My stage pseudonym is X-Felon. Another 
prisoner here at R.J. Donovan felt compelled to introduce 
me to your publication. Once I opened the first page of The 
Beat Within volume 13.09. 

First and foremost I want to extend a proper shout 
out to all of The Beat Within staff, who give voice to the 
prison community. The supporters write the hip hop 
nation, the San Francisco radio stations that spin that 
real hip hop, 106.1 FM KMEL,KPOO 89.5 FM, KUSF 90.3 
and all of the writers poets that submitted writings from 
juvenile detention facilities, California Youth Authority and 
California Dept. of Corrections institutions. 

I've been confined for a minute for conviction of 
possession of a firearm, but still I rise. I am currently 
working with producers here in San Diego at Track Star 
Recording Studios in preparation of producing my CD. I've 
been working on completing my autobiography about my 
life inside the Southern California CRIP organization. It is 
sad in order to get to something you most first go through 
something. To have testimony you have to have gone through 
some tests a midst the treacherous storm. I have survived. I 
also await contact from executives at Island Def Jam, which 
will inform me if indeed they will be my recording label in 
the near future. 

'/?^¥Afnna scnrr' 

Our next writer is a first time writer for The Beat Within 
Publication. Raymond also icnown sk% X-Feion. Welcome. He's a 
rapper and songwriter so writing comes natural to him. But in the 
upcoming piece he opens up by introducing himself and what he's about. 
So pay attention to Raymond's story ^% he breaks it down for all you 
readers out there. X-Felon writes u% from the adult correctional facility, 
RJ Donovan in Sskn Diego, CA. 

Mean while I explore ways to aid and help offenders in 
the future. Some seem to feel the streets is all they got. 
But truth is you can have love for your hood. That's fine, 
but a inevitable reality awaits you, and that reality is you 
will never out live these streets, myself included. When we 
are dead and gone the streets will live on doing what they 
do devouring those in its path that don't take the streets 

Many of us have been warriors for everything negative. 
Now lets channel our energy into being warriors that protect 
family and community. Each one, teach one, reach one, we 
are all actors and actresses. We all have our roles to play 
to H.E.A.L (Human Education Against Lies) and to S.O.C.K. 
Save Our Community Kids. 

I have been embraced by a few grass roots community 
organization in San Francisco that among other music 
industry related activities will entail future visitation to 
San Francisco. I would sincerely like to maintain contact 
with and support the works of The Beat Within. 

Again thank you for providing an outlet for the 
incarcerated all across the nation. 

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

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #////// 



I'm tryin' to stand up tall 

But I keep comin' up short 

With a will to keep going 

But a heart that's torn 

I got grudges to let go 

But when, I don't know 

When the lack of trust within me 

Continues to grow 

Though I didn't know it then 

It'd affect me now 

As it runs through my mind, 

Makes it hard to smile 

Lately I've been strugglin' 

To keep a hold on what seems 

Like a never ending rope 

And the blisters are mean. 

So I pray to God 

Ask him for forgiveness 

I ain't tryin' to go to hell 

When I've already been livin' it 

Show me the way 

To a better day 

Where the light shines bright 

And everything's okay. 

It Takes 

It takes time 

It takes patience 

It takes promise and desire 

It takes heart and faith 
That burns deeper than fire. 

It takes a strong will 
To overcome the struggles 
It takes the will to forgive 
For each other's troubles 

It takes strength 

It takes everything and everybody 

It takes each other's friendship 

Once again, MRT has reached out to The Beat from his room at the 
Solano County Juvenile Hall to send a selection of poems, filled both 
with pain and hope, that tell u% this is a young man at the threshold 
of adulthood. If, sk% we believe, one's attitude is the critical variable 
predicting success, Matt's attitude must be described sk% "\ know I can!" 
He's not only "hustlin' for knowledge," sk% he writes it, but also spitting 
knowledge. Read and learn. See you in the workshops!! 

To take the pain away 

It takes hours and days 

It takes months to years 

It takes sympathy and trust 

To wipe away the tears 

It takes mutual respect 

It takes both you and me 

And though at times it gets rough... 

Love, is a very special thing. 

Where I Stand 

I don't ask for much 

Though life's been rough 

My tears drop silently 

Feels like my heart's been crushed... 

Into pieces, tryin' to put it back together 

'Cause at times life's colder 

Than sleet and snow in December 

I think whether 

I should quit and give up 

Even got a life left 

Because statistics say I'm done 

But I'll never 

Stop reachin' for the best 

I'm gonna prove 'em all wrong 

I'm gonna pass this test 

Whatever happens next 

Is in my hands 

Because a man should never worry 

About the next man's plans 

Or what they think, 

I'm me 

And that's where I stand 

Forget what they told me, I know I can! 

Hard Knock 

Christmas missed us again 

Pops robbed the corner liquor store 

So now he sittin' in the pen 

Ain't no presents under the three 

Nothing comes free 

Unless you take it, so I'm out hustlin' 

Living on Top Ramen to keep J's on my feet 

Mama wasn't really there 

Though she worked a nine to five 

Even wit over time 

It was struggle to survive 

And thought it wasn't right, I held my .45 with extra clip 

'Cause in the hood shhh got to live 

Now I'm hustlin' for knowledge 

With dreams of college 

But I'll never forget where I came from 

The hoods my motivation! 

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

^I^I^^^^^^ ^^W*j!J., l£LU/JJ. 

'MXnHf^BL, Mn/<xnnB¥' 


Energy is good only if it is being used in the right way. 
I am locked up in prison and I have been in here for the 
last 20 years. When I first came to prison on this bid, I 
was young and full of energy. I did not know how to use 
my energy to my advantage. I was full of anger and it was 
nothing but energy. I used that energy in a very destructive 
way by always fighting and wilding out. I was wasting so 
much energy that should have been put to good use like 
learning law and working very hard at fighting my case 
in the courts. I might have been out of prison by now if 
I did. 

That's why it doesn't pay to waste energy. Many old 
time convicts who are very wise used to point out to me 
and pull my coat about all the energy that I had, and how 
I was wasting my energy in a very unsmart way. At Florida 
state prison, where they house close management lock 
down and all one man cell 24 hour lock down units, are 
full of young inmates who have so much energy and don't 
know what do with it. 

They talk and yell all day on the door and out of their 
cell windows about nothing but nonsense, wasting that 
youthful energy when they could use that same energy 
to study and learn about the Bible and God's plan for 
them. They could use their energy to study the dictionary 
to enhance they vocabulary and grammar. They could 
use this same energy in studying and to learn all about 

Michael Mclcinney is bade in our pages, sk% he writes this latest 
commentary from the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, 
Florida. Michaelas most of you know is skn OG, ^% has been locked 
down for 20 plus something years of his life. So for all you reading 
this are tripping off %eMen months, a year, think about it. This man has 
been locked down for two decades. And within those two decades he 
has grown to be ^n exceptional man with a good heart, and with a will 
to try to steer away some of the youth into a new direction. Listen to 
Michael's words, listen to his story, and soak up some game! 

Never Give Up 

Life at times gets rough, but never give up. Being in 
prison at times gets tough. But never give up. The key to 
the struggle is to never give up. Hard times will always 
be there. Storms will come and adversity will always be 
around. But never give up no matter what your thoughts 
and feelings may be at the moment. Never give up because 
through out my life, there have been times when I had 
thoughts of giving up. There have been times when I 
have been feeling like giving up but there was something 
within me helping me to always overcome these thoughts 
and feelings. 

It was just not in me to give up. Even though I had 
seen so many others who gave up without showing and 
kind of will power, I had a strong will that kept me going 
through some of my worst moments and God was with 
me and my family through it all. My brother Sedrick had 
a strong will and he had faith in God. He has been locked 
up in the Fed Prison System for over 16 years on a 20- 
year bid. And he has not given up. Doing time was not 
easy for him but what has kept him going is he stayed 
focus on not giving up because he knew he had so much 
to live for: his sons and his family. 

And my sister. Tiffany has done 11 years on a 15-year 
sentence for murder. This is her first time in prison and 
she did not give up even though it was not easy for her 
being away from her kids while they were growing up. She 
turned her life over to God. She did not give up because 
she knew god was on her side. 


Discipline and self-discipline is something I did not have 
when I was growing up. And for some strange reason I 
hated discipline, but at that stage in my life. I did not 
understand what discipline was and how it was so much 
needed in my life. I did not know any better and for a 
long number of years in my life, I lived wild and out of 
control. All around me discipline was being taught but at 
that time, I thought discipline was something bad. 

My mother used to discipline me in many ways when 
I did something wrong because she loved me and she 
wanted me to be better. I always noticed that a person who 
had a lot of discipline about them, were well respected. 
Here in prison, many inmates do not see discipline for 
what it is really worth. Discipline is a form of training that 
should be learned by everyone. Discipline and control go 
hand in hand. 

Having discipline in my life helps me to be in control of 
my thoughts and actions. Having discipline means being 
able to take a tough and unfair situation without showing 
anger or rage, or reacting out of anger and rages. Prison 
life is the life I have grown up in and I had to struggle so 
hard with disciplining myself. I use to learn from other 
old time convicts. I watch and I see how easy they made 
doing time for them self by having a lot of discipline. 

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

^I^I^^^^^^^ ^WiLi I f,LL i£LL 

'SHf7u/n MnnTnnMB/?¥' 

Wisdom As A Teacher 

Wisdom takes care of those who look for her; she raises 
them to greatness. Loving her is loving life itself; rising 
early to look for her is pure joy. Anyone who obtains 
wisdom will be greatly honored. Wherever you go, the 
Lord will bless you. Wisdom's servants are liie servants 
of the Holy One, and the Lord loves everyone who loves 
her. Those who obey her will give sound judgments. 
Those who pay attention to her have true security. Put 
your trust in Wisdom, and you will possess her and pass 
her on to your descendants. 

At first Wisdom will lead you along difficult paths. She 
will make you so afraid that you will think you cannot go 
on. This discipline she demands will be tormenting, and 
she will put you to the test with her requirements until 
she trusts you completely. Then she will come to you 
with no delay, reveal her secrets to you, and make you 
happy. But if you go astray, she will abandon you and let 
you go to your own ruin. 

Words Takeo Dot Of Context 

During the current presidential cycle, the overriding 
issue has not been the economy. It has not been healthcare 
or education and no it hasn't even been the war in Iraq. 
Sure these kitchen table, bar room issues have been 
mentioned quite often, but still they have not been the 
issues that have affected the election the most. What it 
has been is words to make matters worse, the words that 
have not been the major issues are not necessarily words 
spoken by the candidates themselves. Some have been, 
but most of them have come from people who either are 
volunteers for one of the campaigns or from someone 
known by the candidate. 

And that is not all. Most of the words are words taken 
completely out of context. We all should know by now that 
words taken out of context can completely change what is 
said and meant. For an example, if I said I hate mothers 
who abuse their children, and somebody publicized only 
that I said I hate mothers. That would not endear me 
to mothers anywhere. Mothers would want something 
bad to happen to me because of something I didn't say. 
What do you think would happen if I wrote an article that 
Americans are fools if they believe that they will bring 
total peace to the Middle East and all that was printed is 
that I said, Americans are fools? 

The moral of that story is that words taken out of 
context are no longer just words. They become a dangerous 
weapon. In this presidential campaign, intelligent human 
beings who know perfectly well what they are doing, often 
take words out of context with the expressed purpose of 
smearing another candidate. This all constitutes what is 
known in politics as mudslinging. I can't speak for your 
vote for candidates that engage in mudslinging or out- 
right lying in order to embellish their resume. 

There used to be an age-old saying that goes, " Sticks 
and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt 
me." That is not true today. A few well selected worlds 
circulated in the right places can damage one's reputation, 
garnish the good name, be a source of embarrassment 
and cause stress that could lead to sickness. 

Words can hurt as much as sticks and stones. Not 
physically, but mentally. Today more than ever before, 
Americans need to beware of their words being taken out 
of context. It is a common, and dangerous thing.X 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Union Correctional Institution 
in Raiford, Florida. Shawn is no stranger to our publication ^% he 
consistently sends us his writings so he can educate all us readers. 
In his upcoming piece he clearly states that someone needs to read 
this. And we would recommend that you readers out there don't skip 
this page or this piece, because you WILL learn something. So pull your 
ears back and take the time to read these upcoming pieces from Shawn 
that he wrote directly from his heart and soul. He pours out all his 
knowledge for everyone to soak up. 

Wheo Afl Apolooii is Not Eoough 

Last month, members of the Florida Legislature passed a 
resolution denouncing the state's role in the slave trade. 
The decision met with mixed reviews. Florida became 
only the sixth state in the nation to do so, and frankly 
other states should follow. In fact, it should have been 
done long ago. Some people felt that an apology was not 
necessary because none of the former slave owner or 
slaves are alive today. Few of those who suffered through 
the Holocaust are alive today. But that doesn't make 
it any less painful for those who survived it or for the 
descendants of those who didn't. 

Slavery was, and continues to be as much a part of 
American History as the Boston Tea Party or the Civil war. 
It happened. It's not anything anyone should be proud of, 
but it remains a fact. Some people "owned" other people. 
Some mistreated them, sold them, split families, and 
treated them in the worst possible way. This is shameful 
by any standard of civilization. 

An apology is much needed and much delayed. Some 
feel that if you start making apologies, then you must 
continue to make apologies. One example was an apology 
should be made to the Native Americans. Yes, they, too, 
deserve an apology. While their plight was not in chains, 
what happened to them was just as wrong as slavery was 
to African Americans. 

Some feel that an apology automatically opens the 
doors for reparations. But logically, it would be impossible 
to award financial settlements to descendents of slaves 
without the country going broke. 

But, there is a solution. The government could provide 
scholarships to those who have traced their genealogy 
and who have proof of being descendents of slaves. This 
would allow some children who otherwise might not be 
able to attend college to do so. This would insure that the 
next generation would set educational goals and have the 
means of making them become a reality. 


Dedicated To Psych. Spec - Mrs. Mithiell, Nurse Edwards, 
Senior Psychologist M. Leafgreen. 

The spirit of God rejuvenates me. I am ready to take 
on the day. 

Whenever it seems that my energy reserves are 
becoming depleted, a rest from activity may be the 
answer. I rest to refresh my mined, to revive my soul and 
my body. Sometimes, I'm engaging with a case manager 
in conversation and it can energize me in ways I wouldn't 
have expected. 

Deep within me, the spirit of God resides, a spiritual 
reservoir of life and energy that is waiting to be called into 
expression by me. As I affirm wholeness and strength, I 
am rejuvenated and restored. I can tune in to my own 
wholeness whenever I choose to be refreshed, cheerful, 
vibrant, alert, and awake. God's rejuvenating spirit within, 
energizes me. I am ready to take on the day. 

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

^I^I^^^^ ^^?f{t i J , 'i.^^lLii/ 

'SH^wn MnnTnnMB/?¥ canr. ' 


In one of the great travesties of our times, a recent 
government report reveals that: three times as many 
Black people live in prison cells as in college dorm. Blacks 
must arrest a problem in which we make up 41 percent 
of the nation's 2 million and jail inmates. Being jailed 
in federal or state prisons has become so common that 
more young black men in the U.S. have done time than 
have served in the military or earned a college degree. 
Twenty percent of all black men born from 1965 to 1969 
served time in prison by the time they reached their early 
30s. By comparison, less than 3 percent of white males 
born in the same time period has been in prison. 

The fact that America implements a public policy of 
racially selective mass imprisonment is beyond dispute. 
Almost half America's 2.2 million prisoners come from 
the one eighth of its population - African Americans. 
Almost 5 percent of African Americans languish in prison 
and jails, and nearly as many more are on probation, 
parole, bail, house arrest or court supervision. Tens of 
thousands of jobless, skill-less, of ten anti-socialized 
inmates are released into black communities each month 
in, which jobs, medical care, educational opportunities 
and family or official support are almost completely 
absent. Unsurprisingly, many are black behind the walls 
in a matter of months. Right now, the shadow of prison 
squats at the corners of, and often at the center of nearly 
every black family's life in the nation. 

Virtually 70 percent of black males in prison come 
from single mother homes. One in 14 black children 
has a parent in jail or prison. One in 20 black men is 
incarcerated, compared with one in 155 black men. For 
every three black men in college, four are in prison. With 
smart rehabilitation programs, many more black prisoners 
would be finishing their sentences, coming home to be 
tcixpaying citizens and not being life long drains on the 
state's coffers. They would be with their families and could 
jeep them off the public dole. So, why are so many failing 
to rehabilitate us? Where are the financial incentives 
for prisons to properly our rehabilitative functions? The 
system is so broken that the very people you entrust to 
rehabilitate (us) prisoners actually profit from prolonged 
stays and our quick returns. 

How can you justify continuing to spend $40,000 to 
$100,000 annually per inmate in neighborhoods where 
you spend less than $9,000 per pupil? Most Americans 
have turned a blind eye to growth of the Prison Industrial 
Complex. You know prisons are being built, but politicians 
and news anchors assure you that they are being built for 
prisoners, for bad people, and not for us. But, it is our 
concern and we should move to offer financial rewards 
to wardens who have the lowest recidivism rates over a 
period of years and hold them accountable for the billions 
of dollars they spend each year. Increase funding for those 
that send us home, and who stay out of trouble. 

Decrease funding for those that sends us home who 
then get into trouble. And close those prisons notorious 
for being virtual crime universities. Rather than blindly 
and endlessly funding prisons, why shouldn't states 
create " community safety" super funds and force 
incarcerators (public and private) to compete with 
entrepreneurs, community programs and even other 
branches of government for those dollars? If community 
bases programs can do a better job at keeping us out of 
prison, then let's reallocate those funds among people 
who care. 


" To every thing there is a season, and as time to every 
purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1 (The King 
James Version) 

That verse and the next seven that follow it may 
constitute one of the most infiuential passages ever written. 
It is just something about the meaning behind those 
words that has always stayed in my mind. Understanding 
the concept that every event that transpires in a person's 
life has a time and reason for being, has given me a 
different perspective on how to handle whatever positive 
or negative energy crosses my path. When it comes to 
dealing with people it has been especially beneficial. 

There was a time when I would harbor hate toward old 
friends who I felt betrayed my trust and for associates who 
seemed to take advantage of my kindness. Even on this 
Bid, I remember my instability to get over the heartache I 
experience when an ex-girlfriend and I parted company. 

After each occurrence, I had to lean on that old Bible 
verse so that my anger and despair wouldn't get the best 
of me. It was the only way I could keep my sanity. There 
was no way I could function on a daily basis with out 
accepting the fact that betrayal and heartache had come 
to their respective seasons. I found the time to hate each 
emotion equally. But I also discovered that there was a 
time to let the hate go. 

I realized that being betrayed and being abandoned, 
each served a purpose they both came into my world to 
teach me a lesson. And after the lesson was taught, the 
pain passed and it was time to move on. For me to hold on 
to the hurt, by dwelling on the memory, would have only 
prolonged the suffering. 

The problem that many of us face in this life stems 
from out reluctance to let things their course and leave 
from our presence. We allow our fear of loss to control 
our actions. We hold on to toxic relationships and allow 
negative encounters to continually feed off the spirit with 

People come into our lives to fulfill certain roles, 
whether they be blessing or curses. Once their season 
ends and the last page is turned on their chapter in our 
story, all we can do is allow them to continue on their 
journey and focus our attention on whatever the universe 
decides to toss in our direction. 

It is because of the briefness of these periods that 
make it so important to show appreciation for those who 
bring joy and happiness into our lives. Because, we never 
know how long their season will last. 

For anyone reading this who may be dealing with 
financial strain, employment difficulties, relationship 
issues, family problems or time in prison, always 
remember these down cycles only last temporarily. 
Regardless of the size of the storm you're dealing with, it 
will eventually pass. Stay strong. Be patient. And watch 
for the wind... it always signifies a change in weather. 

for an If one reading this who mat/ he deal- 
ing with fitfatfclal straltf, em/^lotfwetft dif- 
ficulties, relationship Issues, fawllifproh- 
lews or time In prison, alwaifs rententher 
these down cycles onlif last temporarily. 


amam// • #////// 

'SH^u/n MnnTnnMB/7¥ nnnT. ' 


A Most Maonificent Hour! 

It is the stuff that fuels legends. Movies are made of this. 
And the place where it happened with no doubt, become a 
shrine. Yet what is the most fascinating is that it will only 
take an hour! The plot is simple. Two individuals of great 
stature meet, in a U.S. senator's home, in Washington, 
D.C. They have been political rivals, and now that one is 
the victor and the other has been vanquished, they meet in 
the senator's living room, to heal their differences and join 
forces toward winning the Presidency of the United States. 
Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are the two who will meet 
on neutral ground. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is their 
host, she, her family and (let me add, for fiction's sake) her 
chocolate Labrador Retriever " Billy" (no pun intended) and 
her Persian cat " Alexander." 

Obama and his entourage arrive, fifteen minutes before 
time. Hillary and her aides and traditionally late. Both 
groups set up camp in Sen. Feinstein 's kitchen and on her 
pool patio. Meanwhile, the historical couple if ushered into 
a living room decorated in Colonial American with a dash of 
antique Luis 14th. 

Immediately, Obama begins to sneeze. Turns out he's 
allergic to dogs, which means Billy - who has made certain 
to have each guest a welcome lick - must be exiled to the 
patio, with the rest of the aides and media. Sensing all may 
not be well, Alexander disappears behind one of the thick 
living room chairs, and is consequently, forgotten about. 
And so, after tea and coffee have been brought and served, 
everyone leaves the living room, except for a handsome 
black man with floppy ears and Clark Gable smile, a feisty- 
savvy white woman whose blue-collar background sparkles 
in her eyes, and a cat. The people sit across from each 
other, each occupying a love seat. Silence speaks first! 

Eyes speak, second. Finally a throat clears. Hillary 

squirms and when she opens her mouth a giggle pops 
out! " This has been some ride," she gushes! " You can 
say that again," Obama chuckles then adds, " Mama said 
there'd be days like this," and Hillary immediately replies, 
" They'll be days like this, my mama saaaaaid!" The both 
of them fall out laughing! And the chain of awkwardness is 

" So what's next," drawls Barack, in that manicured 
brogue he carries around for effect. 

" Gee, I don't know," laughs Hillary! " After all, you're 
the guy who won!" Barack 's attitude sober slightly. 

" Yeah," he laughs, " but it's far from over." Hillary's 
eyes soften. 

She searches for Alexander the Persian cat, who 
somehow senses his affections are needed, and pads over 
to her leg where he gets a rub and tickle behind his ears. 

Barack fiashes a lopsided smile, shakes his head, and 
while watching the car, asks, " What's it gonna take to get 
your people to trust me like they do you?" Hillary looks 
back into Obama's piercing dark eyes and smiles, " My 
people are going to have to see us walking hand-in-hand!" 
Barack laughs, " Won't that make Bill jealous?" Hillary 
counters, " Will it make Michelle jealous?" "Probably so," 
says Obama, which causes both him and Hillary to break 
into more boisterous laughter! 

And that is how the hour goes. Does Obama every get 
around to asking Hillary if she would accept becoming his 
vide presidential running mate? Does Hillary tell Barack 
she is willing to join his team, only if there's room for her 
husband Bill? Dare we Americans dream that will Barack 
and Hillary joining forces we may see a better day? Only 
Barack and Hillary know the answers, along with the 
Persian cat Alexander, as well as one more observer. Sen. 
Feinstein 's living room has a mouse. And curiously enough, 
the mouse as heard everything! 

To Everyone Behind Bars 

Hello young brothers my name is Joseph Henry. I'm not 
new to this. To tell you the truth I use to write The Beat 
Within many years ago back in '98 when I was in the hall. 

Now I have a message to the young youth out there that 
are throwing their life away (boys or girls) just know this 
they are not playing anymore. They are giving out football 
numbers (meaning a lot of time) so don't wait to the last 
minute like I did and other people. 

So let me tell you what they got me on but I wish I never 
did it. I am a 24-year-old black male with three kids; born 
and raised on the Southside of San Jose. I threw my life away 
over an Ipod. I was so high on P.C.P, coke, and crystal. I beat 
up a young man for his Ipod and pulled out my gun 'cause I 
was so high and not knowing what to do so I ran like I wasn't 
going to get busted (like they say you do the crime you must 
do the time). 

It's crazy 'cause as I sit here in this county jail thinking 
about all the things I done but never was scared until this 
day looking at 15 to 25 years with two strikes meaning one 
more strike you get 25 to life. This is the most painful feeling 
knowing that my whole life is gone all 'cause I want to get 
high, rob, and gangbang. Just to let you know you cannot 
mix all that together. It don't mix. 

This is to everyone in the hall or in jail or on the streets 
you have a chance it's never too late; it's not about blue or 
red it's about making it in life. I know this whatever time I get 
I got God on my side to guide me through it all. 

Much love to all the readers and writers in The Beat 

'UnSB^H HBn/?¥' 

Our next writer is writing to us from County Jail in ^stn Jose, CA. 
Joseph is not new to The Beat Within, ^% he u%e to write for u% bade 
when he was in juvenile hail bade in the late 1990s. Sadly, Joseph 

fighting a serious case - years in prison. But that doesn't mean that his 
mentality hasn't changed. This latest piece he writes to u% readers, he 
tells of his personal experience with intentions on getting his message 
across to everyone young or old. So listen up to Joseph's personal story 

Stooe Heart 

People think my heart is made of stone 
I hide my pain well, until I am alone 

People think I cannot feel 

But the pain in my heart is very real 

I have lived so long in darkened cells 

Where your feelings you cannot tell 

A chink in the armor some would say 

Weak man here don't last a day 

So forgive me mamma if I've changed 

The animal in me is writing this page 

Until I see you face or hear your voice 

I'll be an animal, not by choice. 

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

^I^I^^^^^^ ^^iLL'J^JJJIIJ. 

'MXHH^XL, Mf7;?HHf7SBi^' 

The Making of a Christian Envirnnmentaiist... 

The of the granted blessings of being a prisoner in America, 
is that unlike most of the world's population we don't have 
to ask ourselves the necessary questions, "What will we 
eat in order to survive? Where will we sleep? What shall 
we wear? What will happen if we get sick?" All of the 
necessities are accommodated by the State, and so we have 
the luxury of writing poetry, drawing, engage in political 
debates, work out, and spend our days in trying to solve 
the world's problems. After all, in some other countries, it's 
hard to be creative on an empty stomach, or to muster up 
the brain power for political debates when you're freezing, 
rat-packed in a small cell with a hundred other prisoners. 

And so, I'm hooting my planter trumpet because I can 
do so without much of a sacrifice in any practical sense. I'd 
like to think of myself as a "Christian Environmentalist", 
and deride the corporate greed of "big business" without 
realizing that I'm partly responsible for big business by 
my consumerist greed. I'm still eating meat (bad for the 
creature world) and processed foods (not very eco-friendly); 
I still leave my appliances on — especially the fan during the 
stuffy summer months (bad for our oil and coal dependence), 
take showers ever day (bad for our already limited water 
supplies), and get quarterly packages (awful for "Mother 
Earth" with all of those non-biodegradable wrappers and 
containers), and do other things which, inevitably, tcix the 
environment and the eco-system. 

And when it comes to being a tree hugger or an 
advocate for the spotted owl habitat, who would not prefer 
a cute-and-cuddly panda bear or a seal pup for a urine- 
soaked bum at the end of the alley, or a mentally-deranged 
neighbor, who gets on our nerves? It's much easier to be 
an environmentalist than a humanitarian, and so the long 
line of celebrities lining up to support the "environmental 
awareness" craze is only further proof that I fit right in with 
most Americans who want to have their cake and eat it 
too — without letting go any of the modern-day benefits that 
have defiled our cozy planet to begin with. 

At least, that's how it is in the advanced West. In the 
Third World, people are simply struggling to survive on 
semi-clean water and some rice and grain, and have little 
use for "hybrid cars" which they can't afford, "earth 
friendly" housing, and "non-genetically altered" foods — 
among the other perks we flaunt as clever innovations 
and alternatives to what is ecologically unfriendly. In our 
prosperous society, we have the option and the leisure to 
be selective about how we live or what we eat, but that's not 
the case elsewhere, in the other "real world". 

Personally, I believe that in our FALLEN WORLD, the 
biggest issues aren't environmental, but exclusively human. 
The environment is failing because people are failing in 
their greed. We blame the "producers" without ceasing to 
be the "consumers", and point the finger at "big business" 
without ceasing to prop it up with out spending. What do we 
really need in all of this? For myself, I've found the answer 
in the right perspective, which tiien leads me to a right life, 
both toward others and the environment. 

For centuries, the Church has taught the children the 
interdependence between man and nature. When we give 

Our next writer doesn't need much of skn introduction sk% he is in 
every issue and hasn't missed a Beat in well, we can't remember. He 
always delivers powerful pieces with strong messages behind them. 
His writing is religious but makes a lot of %en%e whether you know 
about religion or you don't, in this upcoming piece Mikhail brings a lot 
of food for thought to the table, and never fails to mention how we 
all sit here very critical about politics , like gas prices, war, (try to solve 
world's problems) etc., but never fail to look at the wrong things that we 
do ourselves. So without any more delay we present to you the talented 
writer known sk% Markhasev. 

thanks for the food we're about to eat, we signify that 
the act is holy — we depend on the earth of out livelihood, 
and are grateful to God for allowing us to partake of it's 
produce. Man is responsible to taking care of the planet — a 
responsibility first given to Adam in the Garden of Eden. 
No one destroys (or, should destroy) the source of his/ 
her physical well being, and so the current environmental 
crisis is a sure sign of our own communal fallen ness. 

The Orthodox Church has long celebrated feasts such 
as "Theophany" (Christ's Baptism in the Jordan river) 
when the waters are blessed. We also have harvest feasts: 
Pentecost, Transfiguration — when the fruits are blessed 
and the worldview of nature becomes sacred, sacramental, 
because it is a gift from God — a gift we ought to share, not 
hoard. Man is a steward of nature not only for his own 
survival, but also as a provider for others who may not have 
the same access to the same resources. The accumulation 
of resources in the hands of a chosen few is a big problem 
in the world today. 

So where do we begin? Well, firstly, by recognizing 
that we are stewards in the world — not its owners, and 
our primary responsibility is toward one another. The 
world was made for man, and because of that man is held 
accountable for what he does with it. At the same time, 
before battling "corporate greed", blaming big business 
and big government, I should point the finger at myself, 
and ask myself whether I'm being greedy and irresponsible 
when I buy what I want, with-out necessarily needing it. 
What do I really need, and when am I simply being greedy 
and coveted? Do I share with others what I do have, or am I 
allowing possessions to rule my life? These are some of the 
basics that I need to consider for myself, before I accuse 
Exxon-Mobil of disrespecting the polar bears... 

The church teaches that Jesus Christ came to only 
redeem mankind, but also to set all of creation straight. There 
is a famous passage in the Bible that is often overlooked, 
"For the creations was subjected to futility, not willingly, 
but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the 
creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of 
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors 
with birth pangs together until now." (Romans 8:20-22). 

As soon as environmentalism is took out of context and 
becomes an end itself, it deteriorates into a new paganism, 
where "nature is God", and it's okay to sacrifice people and 
the existence of others for the poor spotted owl. Yes, "the 
birth pangs... until now" continue. We've subjugated land, 
water and air, and reign over the animal world. We've been 
in outer space and seem to conquer the elements, but still 
fail in harnessing our desires and passions. Perhaps before 
I continue as a "Christian Environmentalist", I need to care 
for the wilderness in my own heart, and make sure that 
I know how to treat the two-legged creatures in our little 
concrete habitat... May God bless and keep everyone! 

I need to care for the wilderness in wif own heart, and wake sure that I Know how to 
treat the two-legged creatures in our little concrete hahitat . . i 

Actions speak loader then words, and mif actions 
are now showing for It, 

There ain 't nohodtf that can Mng me down hnt 
mifself, Another thing that I learned that stncK 
with me Is, a mistake Is a mistake If if on leave It 
that waif, hnt If if on learn from It, then It becomes 
an ex./?erlence, 

read the reest of Moreno's 3W0 /piece on page 64