THE BEAT WITHI'
W hen the time
comes for him
to be in the
^; White House, I'm
I expecting our
\ v; world / country
to be better than
what it is now!
to the future...
read the rest Tenesha's piece on page 43
" xnE * •
/// ' ////#/ nmmm^
Welcome Beat writers and Beat readers as
we bring to you the first Beat Within of the New Year.
Long gone with '08 and kicking it into '09 the Beat is
ready to keep this non-stop hustle going of putting out our
publication every single week for rest of the year. We hope
this New Year brings joy to many of you, as if you're reading
this right now, you are alive and breathing and should be
happy. No matter what your situation might be looking
like, whether it be good or bad, there's always something
to look forward to. The staff at The Beat would like to wish
for you the best to everybody and their families.
The year has already started off with many surprises,
and more are yet to come. We're starting off the beginning
of the year with a brand new President of the USA, in Barack
Obama. So hopefully our country will head to a brighter
future, and Obama can uphold most of the promises he has
made. He has promised for change.
Now change, that can mean a lot. Obama has a load
on his shoulders sk% we are headed into tough times - ai% if
these times are not tough already -, and is left to clean up
the big mess that Dubya Bush made, which, won't be easy.
I, myself, am not to big on politics. To me politicians
are made of shhh, and act like solutions are hard to come
by with the problems our society faces. When in truth the
solutions are right under their nose. Now it isn^ because
I'm not allowed to vote that I'm not into politics. If I was
allowed to vote I would have probably voted for Obama .
i, myself, am personally pleased to see history and watch
with my own two-eyes Obama get elected.
As I watch the whole world in awe, and people talk
about change, i hope that people realize that change
doesnt come from one person, or overnight, especially from
the president. You all know the president has to attempt to
appeal to everyone's beneficiary standard. He has to please
both minorities, the poor working class, and also the rich
folks that elected him. Think about it people.
By no means am i trying to down play Obama's win
in the elections. I heard the word "change" many times,
not only through Obama's mouth in his speeches, but
from people on the street, friends, family, strangers, etc.
it is incredible the way that people want to bring about
change but skte not willing to change themselves. Change
is powerful. But for us to want to see this world to change
we have to change ourselves too.
The other day I was bumping a 2Pac's song, "They Don't
Give A Damn About Us" ,which is real political. Basically,
the song was saying "They" si% in the government or society
doesnt care about us (minorities]. But how can you care for
someone who doesnt care about themselves first?
We have to be responsible and take action if we want
change in our communities or in society period. I'm not
talking about negative action I'm talking about positive
action. We have to prove to our selves that we want positive
changes for other people to see that too. For instance
changes in the law; bringing equal justice regardless of
what race we are, and attacking issues in the communities.
Those are battles worth fighting for, and maybe dying for.
Better than a color or a street that you don't even own.
We can't go around being ignorant no more. Money is
the root of all evil folks, but money is not the solution
to all of your problems. Some of y'all need to stop being
I have to admit that I was greedy at one point and all I
cared about was the fast money. But that fast money didn't
mean shhh after all the times i went to jail for it. That fast
life was leading me to a real fast end. I needed to slow
down and take a look around me and realize what's really
important, like being here for my daughters. They don't
want me to give them money. They want them to give
them me, and be a dad to them. So I'm speaking out to
you fathers, or mothers out there, or anyone listening that
doesn't like their current situation.
Why are things the way they are? It's 'cause we ALL let it
get like that, if we really feel that justice isnt being served
then let's fight for it, instead of just keep on messing up
and going back to jail.
In 2009 i hope for change also; and not because we have
a new president, i look for change to all my people that's
in the streets. Just think if we can all get to get together
to unite and strive for a better cause. It would be BIG! i
look for my people to become leaders instead of followers
and start fighting over something really worth fighting for.
Let's stop being greedy, stop thinking about just ourselves,
and let's help each other out folks. If you want help don't be
afraid to ask. if you want to help someone don't be afraid
to help. You never know when sometime you might need
help. Open your mind to new things and get educated. One
love to everybody locked down! I wish you the best for
2009 and hope you achieve something great! I'm out!
Whew, nice work Omar. We appreciate your thoughtful
words on change. We too want to see changes for the
better, for every single one of vk%.
The topics addressed in this issue, although, sorry to
say, many of your writings did not get into this issue, given
the holiday break we suppose, were, "Gun Violence" - Guns
sit^ no joke. Too many of our friends and associates sit^
resting in peace, sk% too many family members and friends
carry eternal pain due to gun violence. As we know, many
young people writing in The Beat fear for their lives given
the choices they are making with their lives, and find
protection behind the gun, and will risk their own lives
and freedom by packing a gun. We all know guns kill and
cause damage that is irreversible. This week want you to
share with us your thoughts on guns. Can you tell us the
first time you saw a gun, or the first time you held a gun?
What immediately comes to mind when you think of guns?
Do you believe we need to have guns in our lives and in
our communities? Would you want your child to pack a
gun? Share with us your thoughts on how we can stop gun
violence, or why you think it's only going to get worse.
The second topic, "Don't Go There" - What if anything,
is too serious to be joked about? Tell vk% something that
you do not find amusing. How does it affect you when
someone talks about that "something"? Can you tell us
what that something is? Can you tell us of a time when
someone went there, or you went there not knowing how
the person would react so intensely?
The third topic, "Speak up" -You notice a self -destructive
behavior pattern in a friend who is clearly unaware of it.
Would you point it out? If it's not vk%, we have friends and
associates who do not see how they are slowly destroying
themselves by their actions - maybe it was you. Well this
week, we want to hear from you about a time when you
should have or did speak up to %x>ie your loved one/friend
from further destruction. Maybe it was you? Tell us how
you now recognize your ills, and wish someone would have
pointed out your pains. How did you/they respond?
Last but not least, "Weird Foods" - Does your family eat
pig^ feet? What about menudo? What about chicken feet
for dim sum? Do you or your family eat sushi, raw fish, tofu,
okra? Write about the weird foods that you grew up eating
or secretly enjoy eating. Describe your experience with
those foods, taste, the way you or your family prepares
All right friends, thanks for picking us up! We'll see you
next week. This issue goes out to you mothers and fathers
who are doing the right things for your children.
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P/ms ff/ fie ^eef
^ff-f/ms fff rte ^eeJt /f
I just wanted to give a shout out to my Junbug Josh, all
the Roswell boys, the homegirls in Manzano, and all the
homies love ya'll ain't no sun shine behind these walls
and to all my Support and family smile for me, be home
From The Beat: Normally we do not let one just do a random shout out
piece, ok, so don't forget to use your support that^ what they're there _
for, but keep in mind not to abuse their support. I
Till the end nf time
Girl every day you're on my mind, and the thoughts break
my heart. Behind these doors doing time and I know your
so far. I can't stand the thought of being away from you. ■
Sitting in my cell feelin' down and blue, but girl I I
know that our love is real. So please don't' go 'cause this
is how 1 feel. Even though the hard times by my side is
where you stayed baby girl your heart is mine and our
love will never fade. So many miles apart so many months
I've been away, but you and me will always be as we wait
out the days.
As the days go by girl I'm yours, your mine, always
and forever 'till the end of time. T'ill the end of time baby
Every day I go out side I look up to the sky. I can't
run, can't hide and it makes me want to cry. I'm locked
behind these gates, and I miss my baby girl. The day I see
you I can't wait 'cause you're my whole world.
As I sit here I ask God why did he put me in this place.
I regret every minute I'm away and can't see your beautiful
face. I remember night after night you would hold me in
Every thing was ok, feelin' like I couldn't be harmed.
Then I kissed your lips and told you I had to go. I'm sorry
for all I missed and how I left you alone. That was the last
time I looked into your eyes.
I went and committed a crime and lost two years of
my life. I never told you every thing I wanted to say, but I
love you baby girl more and more every day...
From Rhe Beat: Hold to the love you have for your girl, but you must
remember it was your choice and your actions that put you there not,
"God" or any one else. When you get out do your best not to loose any
more time from your life, and don't forget to keep writing. Let us at The .
Beat know how your doing. |
From The Beat: We welcome the young writer, Xavier, from the
Youth Diagnostic Development Center in the Land Of Enchantment,
New Mexico. Our colleague and friend Steve Serna, is taking the steps
and getting The Beat program up and running at the YDDC, and we
appreciate his hard work and commitment to the young people and The
Beat Community. We hope you enjoy these initial writings from Xavier,
as we too become familiar with Xavier and hopefully other new writers
and learn about what YDDC is all about.
S/X d^^s IM the shower at oMce, fights a//daif,
h(^rhwire md i^ars this Is MotJi4veHlle or ho
c^Htp cMpcaKe Ifi/o^ get here i/o^r doing time.
Behind these walls
I Behind these walls I sit because I did wrong.
Behind these walls people say is where I belong. Behind
these walls I watch every day go by.
Why am I behind these walls,
God, please tell me why.
Behind these walls I'll stay for the next year.
Behind these walls it's not often we shed a tear. Behind
these walls they say they will help me
make a change.
Behind these walls
makes me worse and causes me pain.
Behind these walls is where I'll be.
Behind these walls kids' wanting help is all I see. Behind
I learn to love this place I'm in.
Behind these walls
is like home and I want to see again.
Behind these walls is called YDDC.
Behind these walls I won't leave
even if I had the key.
Behind these walls I develop a mentality
for this place.
Behind these walls I learn never love just hate. Behind
I want to stay and never want to go.
Behind these walls I lay
'cause behind these walls is my home!!!
From The Beat: We are truly sorry to hear about the last three lines of
this piece. With this mentality and way of thinking is why our adult
prisons are full. Learn to love not hate; learn to want to stay out from
(behind them walls. Learn from your past mistakes to better yourself, so
you dont end up back behind them walls.
To The Beat
A beat what's poppin?
It's yo boy Xavier aka Problems com'in at you posted up
in YDDC (juvenile prison) IVY cottage all day.
Let me tell you a little about my self I'm 17 from a
town called Roswell and I've been locked up for 2 years
already. Since December 07' my sentence is 2 years, but I
aint trippin' 'cause I'm lucky I should have been a youthful
offender, locked up 'till the age of 21, but when I did my
crime I was drunk. Have you ever done something dumb
when you were drunk, 'cause I did and I regret it every day.
It goes like this, it was a Friday my boys b-day, so we
drank then we went to the skating park and my lil' homie
who's like my brother walked out and a rival gang member
hit him with skates. Busted his dome open and I had my
ruru (ruger) so I started bustin'. That fool pushed his young
cousin in front of him and she caught three of them bullets.
I'm so sorry for that, but I wasn't thin'in but she lived.
Then on Sunday morning we stole a van and I got caught up
'cause we did a drive by and my lil' homie got away, but
got caught two months later.
I had to do a six-month term in a RTC (Residential
Treatment Center) Then a year hear at YDDC (children
youth family department) my charges were aggravated
assault, shooting at a dwelling occupant and unlawfully
taking a motor vehicle.
I just want to tell all y'all peeps that have a chance to do
anything than a commitment, stay straight and let haters
hate. Finish that, it's easy to wish I had that chance.
When you get to where I'm at it's not fun. Six guys in
the shower at once, fights all day, barbwire and bars this is
not juvenile or no camp cupcake if you get here your doing
time. Ill be here 'till I'm 18, but that's enough about me.
Here's a few of many of my poems God Bless enjoy keep
your head up peace.
From The Beat: Xavier it^ good to hear that The Beat Within has spread to
your facility and it^ also good to hear that you want to participate in the
program. We at The Beat look forward to reading your work. Don't forget
to spread the word of The Beat.
' /// ' #///:
////// /M"//// 4^. /// ////#/ //. //
The Historic Election
This election proved to me that the US is not the so called
segregated country that many still call it. The fact that
a black (multiracial) man was not only nominated, but
elected president of the United States shows that people's
racial prejudices or previous affiliations are overruled by
the country's insistence on true leadership.
Although there have been many eligible black leaders,
the fact is that in the past a majority of the country was
still too ignorant to elect a black president.
-D, Santa Cruz
From The Beat: We hope you are right about the countiy having moved
beyond its racist past. It may take many more than one election to
prove that. But this is an historic outcome. We hope that you and your
children inherit a country that maices its choices based on performance
and talent rather than skin color. We are closer to that ideal than ever
before. To get there, we need to confront racism, sexism, homophobia,
and all prejudices, whenever and wherever those ignorant beliefs
Life Tliroooli iilly Eyes
Life through my eyes
would scare you half to death.
Gangs, rape, drugs and lies,
or just too many homies put down to rest.
Living my life in and out of institutions
and waking up with confusion.
I'm dazed and confused
but I refuse to lose.
I can't trust any one in my life
*cause ain't no one gonna do me right.
My family is all dead to me -
still alive, but they refuse to see me.
I hurt inside and they don't know that.
But I've messed up so much - there ain't
no turning back.
So step into my shoes and lace *em up tight.
Make sure you're at my level and
ready to fight,
'cause life through my eyes
would scare you half to death.
-Jacqueline, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Beautifully written. And it^ true - there^ no going back,
but that goes for any of us. In this life, we only get to go forward. But
that's where old patterns can be broken and lives mended. Don't give
up. Keep writing about your life. Write whenever you feel conflicted
and confused. Writing is the next best thing to talking about what ails
you, what concerns you.
RIP Lii' Daryas, Wiio Hears Dor Cry
Who hears our cry
when the Judge wants
to sentence us to life
Who hears our cry
when we sit in these
rooms and ask God why
Why did you allow me
to throw away my life?
Who hears our cry
when we cry and pray at night
to have a blessed life.
Who hears our cry
when our brothas
and best friends die.
Most of all who hears
We miss you killed by senseless violence
Gone but never forgotten
-Son of God, Alameda
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and for the "senseless" death
of this friend. How does he respond when he hears your ciy? If you
were blessed with a much shorter sentence than you may possibly face
will you take back your life? Make the changes you need to? How are
you responding and listening to your own cries? You have to feel worth
the effort, you have to feel you and your life are worth more than just
throwing it away.
' /// ' #///:
fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. //
You are gone because of a gun
You took a bullet to the head
Because of a girl
Do you see what you have done
Now I lost my best friend
Why did you leave
The love you had was so great
But now it's gone
Because of a gun
What should I do
Now that you're gone
Because you had to make a name
You're my friend why did you leave
You were only 18
But now your life is gone
Because you didn't back down
And now I walk the streets
All alone with no one by me
Your gone because of a gun
And I saw you bleed
I watched you die
Now it really hurts me
It's like a nightmare that plays in my head
It will never leave
You're my homie my right hand man
the one who never left me
But now you're gone
My heart bleeds everyday I don't see you
I feel lost your love is gone
You were great, happy, loving, honest, sweet, and kind
Now you're in the ground
Where bugs are eating at your soul
You're my homie
You died to a gun
I miss you
Please come back to me
The homie I had left because of a guy
That killed my homie
His life is gone because of a gun
Now it's time for me to leave
-Shawnta*, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
From The Beat: It^ one thing to have a friend, or a loved one die because
of "a gun", but its even worse when you have to witness the event.
This is something no child should have to witness. Remember there are
councilors out there that are more then willing to help you out, if you
decide to seek out help and guidance for the death of a loved one.
My ravnrite Place
My favorite place to be is at home.
The reason why my favorite place is home is because
I can do what I want. I can eat, sleep, and talk whenever
I want to. I don't got people telling me when I can and
cannot do something.
When I go to the house I just get in my covers and
sleep. Then I wake up and get a bowl of Apple Jacks.
Then I smoke a Newport and hop on my Xbox 360. When
I am done I just slap my music all loud and be in my own
The first thing I like about my favorite place is I can
walk out my door and walk in my house. But the most
important thing about my favorite place is I am the man
of the house.
- Marquise, Alameda
From The Beat: You've done a really nice job describing the comfortable
feeling of being at home. We hope you get back there soon and never
have to leave again unless you want to. We imagine there are people in
your home who also make It special for you. We'd love to hear a little
about them, too, in a future issue.
Please Dnn't Gn There
I remember when I started self destructing, I felt alone
and angry. I was constantly fighting with my family and
other girls, and everyone believed I as just this evil person
that hated on everyone just for the hell of it. But like
everything in this world there's a reason behind actions.
Every weekend I'd go to grandma's and grandpa's and
at six I'd sleep there to feel. .."safe." At about Sam every
morning grandma would wake up and cook and clean,
and every morning grandpa would molest me from 6 to
8. I hated every weekend at grandma's, and I hated life
when grandpa stopped doing this to me. I forgave him and
asked God for help.
About 2 years later at 11 my grandpa from the other
side of my family did the same thing to me. I thought "it's
all my" fault that I did this, and I hated the world. Both
grandpas' told me I'd be called a whore if I ever said a
word, but I told my Primo and he told my mom and my
mom called the cops and they did nothing. Once again I
Later, my grandma that was married to the first man
who molested me, asked me, "mija has anyone else ever
done this to you?"
I said yes and her response was **He was probably
drunk." And that was the end of that, and I never again
talked about it.
Last year at fourteen I told my story which helped,
I'm talking to my therapist who listens and cares, and I'm
slowly trusting and trying to be less violent. But once in
a while a girl will get tough and call me a "Whore" and I'll
lose my mind. Have respect, you never know what may
trigger someone. Please don't go there.
-Anxious, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
From The Beat: Anxious, Icnow your not alone. This is a veiy sad thing
that happens to children, and it saddens us eveiy time we hear of stoiy
like this. We are glad you are talking to a therapist, which is the best
thing you can do. Don't keep this bottled up, because all it will do is tear
you apart, and remember this was not your fault.
My First Gun
I bought my first gun when I was a young teen. It was a
9mm. I bought it because I got a gun pulled on me a few
days before even though I was out numbered two to ten or
fifteen; I wasn't scared until they pointed the gun at me.
I felt a cold sweat break over my whole body. Just as
they were getting out the car with the pistol, a man came
out of his house and scared them away by threatening to
call the police.
So I bought a gun from an older friend of mine. After I
had it for a few days I felt untouchable. I felt like nobody
could tell me nothing. I always kept it cocked and loaded
inside my pants on my hip.
The thing that I didn't prepare for was when I was
gonna actually use it. One day it came a time when I had
to use it and I wasn't ready. We got into a shoot-out. I was
very paranoid for the next few weeks and thankful that I
was still alive.
Overall I'm just trying to say is you shouldn't carry a
gun because you might really have to use it and personally
I don't think that the consequences are worth "being
-Lir Rob, Solano
From The Beat: We agree with you, and yet wonder how you will
be protected now? Maybe it^ not worth it to carry it and face the
consequences of using it, even if it means relying on something else...
besides a gun... to help you. Did you thank the man who was brave
enough to come out of his house to help you? It also sounds liice it
would've been pretty easy to have shot yourself in the leg, or worse.
' /// ' #///:
Makino That Mistake
Here I stand in a place I never expected to be.
I'm 7 weeks pregnant and a single parent of one already.
Wishing, I could make things better but I don't regret it.
Just wishing I could have made better choices in my
I thought I was doing good but like I said, what I did in my
past brought me here today.
I never was expecting it and if I did have a wish,
I wish I could turn back time and I would choose another
What can I say? What I did in the past made me who I am
A better person would stand up for every reason that
happened in my life and be stronger
as everyday I live to tell my story.
From The Beat: We're not going to sugarcoat our reply to you because it
is important that you get accurate feedback. There are those that have
been in your position. It is important that you get support and seek out
mentors and people that can help you make the best decisions. This is a
serious situation and the stakes are high but there are others that have
been through this. You are not alone. We are here to help you.
ClianoeLife of Violence
The first time I picked up a gun I was seven. I seen it
because it was sitting on a table-then I picked it up, played
with it a little bit, then when 1 was ten 1 start carrying it
around with me just in case I ran into a enemy and I could
I took it to school in my backpack and I never got
caught with it. 1 never took it out to show people.
When I have kids 1 don't want them to grow up rough
like 1 been through. I'm gonnna treat them right, no
neglecting, and show them more love then my parents
I'm going to live in a different area. When I go to my
placement I'm going to learn how to survive more on my
own. Spend my money more wisely and help me get a
I'm going to get my tattoo lazered off and stay away
from drugs and crime. I'm just going to smoke black and
miles, no drugs. I'm going to feel so much happnin' in my
life. I haven't had me in a long time. I got everybody in my
corner when I get out--they want me to not come back to
-Lir Ant, Solano
From The Beat: Well despite a rough beginning it sounds like you've
got a good mind and plans too. We wish you well. We wish you could
share with the Beat readers how you'd teach your kids to deal with this
environment in a way that is healthy and positive for them.
Some of use guns for protection. Or some of us do it
just because we like to just shoot. But when you take
someone life, it's not fun and games. You start to think if
you get killed, you know yo' mom would be heart-broken.
That would take ten years off her life, and no one wants
their mom to die before she has to. That's why people
should not play with guns. But people feel they life be in
-Lir Rocko, San Francisco
From The Beat: What you said is very important, which is that everyone
has a mother that loves them. When you take someone^ life, that person
feels no more pain, but their mothers and loved ones stwe left to grieve
for the rest of their lives. Just like "no one wants their mom to die
before she has to," no mom wants her child to die before he has to. We
want to thank you for looking deeper than the surface. Keep thinking
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
Yoor Pride wiii kiiiyoo io tiioEod.
Pride. This is something that everybody should let go
of. Eventually our pride will be our demise. You people
have too much pride, you protest something that is not
yours, and you get mad when people say ef... that or ef...
this" and it's not even yours.
If Gangs only killed other gangs I would have
absolutely no problem with them, but they don't. Stray
Bullets kill little boys and girls who have a future. You
think you are a real man because you hold a gun and
cheat your own words. You are a coward. You try to hurt
everybody who rebels against your unwritten law. You
lash out at anyone who has a personal opinion. You are
all arrogantly ignorant.
Some say "Ignorance is Bliss." To an extent this is
true, if you don't know what's up then you know what's
up then you don't know what you're missing. Throw your
pride away like you know is wrong-
Derrick, Santa Clara
From The Beat: As always. Derrick, you throw a challenge to the world.
You're right, a gun doesn't make you any more of a man. In fact, people
usually use it to cover up their weaknesses, and they rot from the
inside. Either that or they use it to threaten others, who kill them from
I'oi GoifloTo Prove Tiieoi Wroflo
I'm going to prove them wrong
I'm going to prove to people
That I'm going to stay out of here
And don't come back
I'm going to prove to myself
That I can do right and not wrong
I'm going to prove to my mom
I'm going to prove to my dad
I'm going to prove to anybody
That think I can't do nothin'
Especially my dad
He think I can't do nothin', nothin'I
But I'm about to show him somethin', somethin'!
-Dri, San Francisco
From The Beat: Your dad is wrong! Just writing this proves that you can
do something! You are something — and you are worth something! If
your dad doesn't already understand that, then it^ his problem. What
are your plans to change the path you've been on, and to accomplish
True love is when you can't be without me and I can't be
without you.... When I look in your eyes I feel like I can
see the beautiful earth from the moon.
True love is something that starts off small like a
caterpillar then grows into something gorgeous like a
butterfly whose destination is cloud nine....
True love is when you hurt.... I feel your hurt from a
distance.... So, I make you feel better like with a turf meal
and hugs and kisses....
True love is something that doesn't come around
everyday or every year.... But I tell you what.... I think I
Outro: This is for everyone who loves somebody and
who's locked up in Alameda County.... Keep your head up
and stay solid.
- Manic, Alameda
From The Beat: This is really lovely, Manie. You're a true poet and found
a beautiful way to share the depth of your feelings. We love that you
added a wish for the same fortune for others.
' /// ' #///:
fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. //
Sometimes life seems hard and difficult
as if you don't want to carry on.
Life sometimes may feel unfair
as if the whole world is against you.
Even if it seems as if your going against a whole army
you always have to try to keep a sense of humor.
Through thick or thin, rain or snow
you should always remain positive and smile
through all the bull shhh.
Life ain't easy, but you can't give up.
If you fall down stand back up and try twice as hard
always learn from your mistakes and spread your wings
fly through all the thunder storms and look for the sun.
The power of a smile can be very powerful.
At the end of each journey lies new opportunities.
The adventures never end aim to be the best,
settle for nothing less.
So remember any situations you may be in
keep your sense of humor laughter
or a smile can make the most difficult situations
So smile there will always be brighter days.
-Nguyen, Santa Clara
From The Beat: These are words of wisdom for anyone. Life is really
hard sometimes, but if you believe and you work and you do what you
can, you can live right and have what you need.
1 know this drunk
Who can't give up the bottle
Not even if his life
Depended on it
He's so lost
In the game of beer
All the alcohol's gone to his head
And he acts like he can't hear
How 1 wish 1 could
Make the alcohol just disappear
It's done him enough damage
Can't he see?
I know he's not blind
Nor retarded mentally
I've tried to help him
But he continues to push me away
Far from his loved ones
Continuing his days
I know this drunk
He is my little brother
People tell me
Not to even bother
But I can't leave him
And let him rot
In his pain
I love him too much
I'd just let him go
And fall into shame
People don't believe in him much
But I sure do
I'll always be here
*Cause that's what big sisters do
I thought you knew
-Queen Bee, Marin
From The Beat: Your brother, who has been in juvy with you, writes
almost every week in The Beat about his drinking problem. It's wonderful
that you try to help him with it and that you're so tender toward him.
Actions Speak Louder Then Words
You know people shed fake tears saying that they are
going to change, but when they get out they put forth no
effort but to go back to the same environment to do what
got them in the halls in the first place. Makes no sense.
Instead of doing time, you need to actually change, and
nobody can make you do it but yourself. "You can lead a
horse to water, but can't make him drink."
Take heed because a lot of us got kids or on the way,
when we're merely kids ourselves. We say that we are
grown, until they are trying us as adults, then we say, "
Man, I'm only a kid! I'm nowhere an adult!"
So I say — and I'm listening to my own advice, as well
— if you going to change, then change. Stop listening to
people who are at fault because while you are actually
crying, they are outside these walls laughing and smiling,
trying to take what you have or snatch away your very
last. Your only friend is your moms, so keep your radars
up 'cause these streets is foul. "Holla"
-Yf, San Francisco
From The Beat: There is so much wisdom in this piece, it makes us
wonder why you were not able to heed it before doing whatever it was
that brought you here. But, to be honest, we're less interested in the
past than in the future, if you truly are listening to your own advice,
your future should be a lot brighter than your past!
Some struggle with drug addiction
Some struggle with no parents
Some struggle with rape and abuse
Some struggle with fear of being abandoned.
Some struggle with disabilities and retardation
Some struggle with poor families and no jobs or education
Some struggle with no role models or father figures
But ail in all what do I struggle with?
I struggle with not having that father figure love. That's why
I search for love in all the wrong places.
I struggle with breaking the cycle of becoming like my
mother and grandmother
I struggle with trusting, males and being understanding
and considerate of their struggles
Some struggle with being patient and being ornery
Some struggle with dealing with stress under pressure
Some struggle with my inner desire of negativity
We all have struggles. Face yours.
From The Beat: We struggle with being overwhelmed and thinking we
can't make a difference. We struggle with negativity, doubt and wanting
to close up, wanting to hide and no longer feel but we are willing to
work on our struggles today and that makes today a good day.
Mn' Of A Man
Hey my friend, do ya feel more of a man?
Blood spilt on the floor, gun in yo' hand...
Who's sick about it, mo'?
Was it all in yo' plan"
And I'm still wondering how you feel mo' of a man.
Violence and guns is a problem we need to look into more.
You can be a role model to a youngsta who look at you as
what a man should be. Represent what you want to the
future generation to be.
Persistence and a goal make a man successful.
-John San Francisco
From The Beat: We really like what you are trying to teach in this piece,
from your rhyme to your thoughts at the bottom, especially the part
about representing what you want the future to be (what you want for
your children and their children). A friend told us, "Your attitude will
determine your altitude." If that^ true, you should soar veiy high!
' /// ' #///:
fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. //
They Don't Know Me
Bangin', hustlin', living life as a G
These punks don't know me. They don't know me
Corrupted police on the streets
These cops don't know me. They don't know me
The DA's talking about I'm a menace to society
These fools don't know me. They don't know me
Sentencing me away from my family
These judges don't know me. They don't know me
Sitting in a cell feeling hella lonely
These staff don't know me. They don't know me
My PO said I'll be in Y.A until 19th
These systems don't know me,. They don't me
You know why? Because only I know me....
-Nightmare, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We lilce the rhythm of this sad lament, and we even agree
with it. But in the end, does it matter whether "they" Icnow you, or not?
(After all, you don^ know them, either.) The bitter reality you're dealing
with is that whether or not they Icnow you, they have power over your
life and over your future. And you have given them that power. You can
hate them and blame them, but unless you make some changes, youll
be answering to them...
My Horrible Joly 4tli
Gun violence. They can hurt people that care for
I was in Springfield for a week, away from my bestest
friend. I felt like there was something wrong. Something
told me to go back to my friend's house. His name was
Joe. He was my dad's best friend that he told to look after
me. But, anj^ways...
I went back to Joe's house and knocked on the door.
He told me to go up to Kimmy's house and check on her.
Kimmy is somebody that has known us for ten years or
Joe also said that she hasn't come over for a couple of
days, and usually she comes over every day. So I walked
to her door and rang the doorbell. Nobody answered. I
went back to Joe's house, and on the way back I looked in
the parking lot to see if her truck was there. It was. That's
when I started getting worried. When I told Joe she didn't
answer, he told me to just walk in and "tell Kimmy I sent
you." I said, "Okay."
I went back and just walked in the door. Right when I
walked in, I heard a "bang bang." I thought it might be the
fireworks. I kept walking in and I saw Kimmy facing the
wall on her side, lying down on her bed.
I said, "Kimmy, wake up, wake up." She didn't make
a sound. I walked and poked her. She still didn't move
or make a sound. Then I pulled her towards me. All of a
sudden I fell to the ground and she rolled into my arms.
All I saw was a big hole in her head and a gun in her hand.
There was a note taped to her chest that said, "I'm so
sorry I had to do it! Take care of my son."
I started screaming and ran out the door. I told Joe
what I saw and called the police. I couldn't believe she
was really gone. That was no fireworks! One of my friends
Fm scarred for life. My life will never be the same.
That is why I despise guns, no matter what the reason
-Christina, San Francisco
From The Beat: There is nothing we can say to add to the power of
what you have described! We ^re so sorry that your friend took her life,
and that you had to be the one to find her! We hope you can use this
terrible experience, and the passion you bring to his subject, to make
others understand that every gun death leaves others behind to grieve,
and to nurse their scars for the rest of their lives. If you can convince
even one person to lay down his or her weapon, then the pain you are
suffering might help someone else. We hope you find peace!
Yoo dofl't kflow the real oie
My feet don't move
My heart barely beats
My life seems gone but only to me
My blood is thick
My tears run down my check
I cry and cry
My body is weak
My mind is lost
My tummy drops to my feet
My nights are dark
My days are cold
I cry and cry
But this pain will never go
My world seems to be nothing
But a bad dream
When will I wake up from this
When will I be happy
Why did you leave me
I cry and cry
What do I do
You don't even know the real me
You're my Mom but you left me
-Shawnta*, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
From The Beat: We at the Beat are sorry to hear and feel the pain you
mother caused. The question we have for you is why did your mom
leave? Is she still alive? If so what would have caused your mom to
Aiflt Tryifl' To See a Shirt with My Face
I stay strapped 'cause it's funk in the streets
some don't like where I'm from so they want beef.
I shot at people 'cause I'm tired of talking
but I ain't tryna be layin' in a closed coffin.
I ain't tryna see a shirt with my face that RIP
I rather be judge by twelve then carried by six.
-Thizz Kid, Solano
From The Beat: This is well written. The rhythm and rhyme work, they
rhyme never undercuts the meaning, and the images are clean. How can
you be sure no one ever wears this shirt with your name on it? What else
are you good at, besides writing?
My body, it's weak
I can't move
It's the pain
Make it stop
I hope you can hear me
I need you
Where is it?
I need it
.... (a soft whisper) "help."
From The Beat: Sometimes a whisper can speak louder than the roar of
a crowd. Your pain is real - but you're only as stuck sks you feel, right?
What do you do to en^e the pain? Do you reach out to your loved ones,
do you read, do you listen to music?
' /// ' #///:
////// /M"//// 4^. /// ////#/ //. //
Two Sides Story, Not Doe
It's like I lost another, they killed Baby Skin, it's like
I lost my brother. So before I go to sleep 1 pray and say
good night to my mother. And the devil trying to do me
just because I'm part of this shhh.
Over the life I live and the bodies I flip. I have lost a
lot of homies so feelings I get. So when I pray to the Lord
I guess he don't really trip.
Plus I get mad when the money gets ripped like God
made this for us, to be workless. Young flies on the block
pushing coke smoking dro and snatching purses. I got
ninjas fighting murders like is it worth it? Young women
selling their body instead of becoming nurses.
So I slide through the projects late night lurking.
Riding up and down the street smoking and perking. Like
this is my area but the earth is my surface. That's why I
want to take a trip to Puerto Rico so I can say there ain't
nothing I ain't never seen before. I watch the good die
young and the bad die old.
Now is the time to watch my niece and my nephews
grow. Instead of being a thug and selling rocks by the
store I should watch my kids have kids and my grandkids
Rest in Peace Lil' Ant.
From The Beat: Dirt, you are a very talented young man. You can write,
you can rhyme, you can think. What skre you going to do with these
talents of yours? At the end of the piece you sny that you "should"
watch your icids have kids instead of "being a thug and selling rocks by
the store" but is this your intention and your plan? We hope so....
Skip's Broadcast: Goos
Beat, wha's poppin? It's me, the one-an-only, FiyBoy
Skip, holdin' it down in this city-paid motel.
But cheah, I know how much controversy guns create
in this country! I carry guns occasionally for protection,
and most of the time I'm very paranoid when I'm in
possession of one. I personally sometimes don't really
feel I need it most of the time because honestly, I can beat
the hell outta ninja if it came down to it 'cause none ninja
pump fear in my heart.
But I don't see what the big fuss is. The government
allow solders to go into Iraq with weapons of mas
destruction looking for weapons of mass destruction.
I don't see the point of that! But I have lost family and
friends to bullets with no names and ninjas with no aim.
I feel everybody should be able to protect themselves by
any means necessary, like the great Malcolm X said, but
just goin' around shootin' in the air or at random folk
ain't reasonable. You gotta know what you doin'.
I first saw a gun as a toddler, and first held and shot
one at the age of 11. I would never want my little girl to
pack a gun. That's why I'm planning on bouncin' away
from this craziness. But if we want it to end, we gotta
work on ourselves.
-Skip, San Francisco
From The Beat: Even though you say you "don't see what the big fuss
(about guns) is," you clearly do see it. The big fuss is exactly what you
describe — "lost family and friends to bullets with no names." And since
you "don't see the point" of sending soldiers to kill Iraqis, then you can'
\MZB that to justify using guns in your own community. Yes, the great
Malcolm X did say that using any means to protect yourself is justified,
but you have to ask yourself if holding a gun actually accomplishes that
goal of self-protection. One of the worst things about carrying a gun
is that it creates a false bravado, a sense that you're invulnerable, and
thus you're likely to put yourself into situations that carry huge risks,
which, if you were not strapped, you might have avoided. How many
children have to die at the hands of other children (who don't have the
judgment to drive a car, so can't have the judgment to carry deadly
weapons) before we see this as a public health issue?
My Vicioos Doos
I like dogs. 1 like vicious dogs — rottweilers, pits, Germans. I
had a rottweiler — it bit me. It had a lot of anger. I got my dog
from my uncle. He probably treated him bad — that's why 1 got
a little scare right here. My uncle beat the shhh out of him.
I was five. He weighed 190-200. I didn't sell him, my oldest
brother, he did. He (my brother's) locked up now.
I was little then. I can make a dog a guard dog. I'll knock
a dog out if he comes at me.
I got two pits now — a mom and a dad. When my brother's
dog was a puppy and it peed on the floor, he'd put the dog's
face in the floor. He (the dog) never pissed on the floor again.
You gotta train a dog. My brother trained his dog hella good.
She never pissed on the floor again.
My mom has two dogs that are rottweilers — a mother and
a father. The male did something to the female and they had
puppies. 1 was locked up when the babies were born. When
I got out I grabbed one of the sickest puppies there. I called
him Rambo because he was a warrior — one of the toughest
puppies, the youngest one of all of them. He was the last to
come out. He beat up all of his brothers.
His head is humungous. He's seven months old now.
He's crazy. He eats all day. When I come home with some
food, he sits by me, waiting for me to give him some food.
My big brother is training him now. He's putting ten-
pound weights on his neck so his chest will be out there.
I think he knows I'm gone, but he knows he's being
taken care of. 1 think he misses me because I always took
One night I came home late, at 3:00 in the morning, and
he knew I was coming home. He's like your ride-or-die homie.
He'll never run away from you. He'd run away from me a little
way when he was little. Dogs don't like being on a leash.
You talk to him, "If you don't wanna be on a leash, don't
run away." 1 told him, "You keep on running, you gonna be
on this leash, behind or in front of me." Now he doesn't run
away. I tell him to sit, he sits. You gotta show him who's boss.
He's fast, for real. If I tell him to run, he'll be back in fifteen
Pit bulls, rottweilers and Germans (shepherds) are my
favorites. I had a dog who was a combination of a pit bull,
rottweiler, a German and a Labrador. He was my cousin's
dog. One night, my pit bull got out. She was a girl dog and
somebody else's dog went after her. She got taken on. She
escaped from our backyard, but came back three hours
When the babies came out, one came out a pit bull, one
was like a German shepherd, one had the body of a rotweiller.
Another was big and husky, and had a pit's face and a German
shepherd's body. Another had a German shepherd's face and
a rotweiller's body. The mother lives in Vallejo now.
When 1 was fighting my case, the babies were born, and
when I got home, I started cherishing my love for them, seven
babies, all boys. One was scary — he didn't like fighting. One
was soft-type of friendly dog — he doesn't like to fight. If you
don't train him, he won't listen. I guess if you train him, he'll
Rambo was getting close to me, talking to me — "You and
me, can we be cool?" I could see it in his eyes — he was gonna
be a warrior. I fed all the dogs, but I fed him personally. The
other ones stayed outside more — mine came in the house.
Now Rambo's chillin', waiting for me to come home. My
two brothers — the second oldest one and the younger one,
are taking care of him.
-Grimy, San Francisco
From The Beat: You tell a solid story about all your dogs. You are very
tender with them. How have you trained your dog to be a guard dog?
Do you think it's better to train a dog to be what you want, or let him
become whoever s/he wants to become?
' /// ' #///:
fifif4rH^//i/^. /// ////#/ //. //
Gun Violence Will Not End
The first gun I saw was a .22 Russian revolver. Wlien
I tliinlt of guns, I tliinit of protection, Yes, I tliink there
should be guns in the community, Yes, I would want my
son to have a gun at a certain age.
You can never end gun violence. The only way to do
that is to have everyone surrender their guns and stop
shooting between gangs and fight instead. But that will
never happen because suckas will always be scared to
fight, so they will start shooting again.
-Godfather Nug, San Francisco
From The Beat: We admire you for thinking about this problem 3k% deeply
n% you have. We understand why you think of guns Siz protection, but
are they? If so, why are so many young people laying down their lives?
Guns (especially in the hands of children} make cowards FEEL brave and
invulnerable, making everybody less safe (including themselves). This
is why we question the connection between guns and protection. We
encourage you to keep questioning what you hear, and to keep digging
beneath the surface of things. Keep thinking, and keep teaching!
People said 1 acted like a fool,
I hung with the boys thought that I was cool,
but I didn't knew about the pain 1 caused you,
tear drops on your eyes when I saw you,
I should of listened to you
before I stepped out the door and roiled with my crew,
but now look at me, "I'm all alone,"
but you were always there to let me know,
that you would always love me,
and you would always care for me,
and you always been there for me,
the look on your face, the memories.. .the moment I
the memories, always find a way to tell me,
instead of being in the street, I can't sleep
I can't stop thinking about the trouble that I caused you,
hurt you so deep, to see me in the street,
the image of a uncompleted soldier, ride like a G
didn't think about the things that you told me,
all I did was smoke weed,
only thing to keep my mind at ease,
pour out some liquor for all the dead homeys,
because it's life. ..that's why I'm telling you the story,
so now you see life in the hood ain't all good,
life in the hood, life in the hood, ain't all good,
because it ain't all good.
-Denny, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a really powerful piece. Behind every person
who thinks he or she is alone are many others who love and care about
that person. And every move toward hate and pain and destruction
that person takes is a jab to their heart. So love them, and love life.
Life In General
What's up Beat? It's the homie Change coming through
once again in this messed up juvenile facility. Time
just passes by like the second hand on a school clock.
Countless awakenings by the click of the door.
I appreciate that I'm six feet above ground, so I start
my day with a little happiness. I cherish being alive in this
cruel and evil world, but it has trapped me in a cell nobody
likes to be. I miss the outs, and I have to await years to
come before I can step foot on city ground, smoking s
stogie, and calling my girl so we can meet up and go to the
movies, or she can come to my pad. And yeah, it's pretty
It's crazy how the world is doing its own thing, like
growing, surviving, taking life, making life, living and
trying to withstand the hate, love and deceit life has to
offer us. It's hard to believe that people would commit
suicide to this beautiful world. I would have to say to all
the Beat readers reading my piece, cherish your mom
because she is the only person that will do anything in
her power to make sure you're safe and healthy.
Family always comes first, but drugs will take you
further and further away from them. So life in general is
hard to live, but it is worth living and making money to
survive this world. So I love this world and when I hit the
streets, it's going to be wrap.
Take care to all the homeboys doing time and do it
smart. Stay up I'm out. Shaoooo!
-Chango, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Every week, we look forward to the wisdom tin beauty
your bring to our pages, and each week we are not disappointed. We
don't know if we could maintain your positive outlook on life if we were
facing what you are facing, and that makes us even more grateful for
your inspiration. Thank you, Chango.
// ' //////
A Perfect Place For Me
There's a place I would like to be, which is at the
It's a place of peace and quiet for me,
where 1 can think and not worry about my life.
It's a quiet building that just has monks and Buddahs
sitting around and meditating.
Stress, that's the main reason why I need and want to be
in the temple.
It's a place where you don't have to stress about anything
or even worry
about watching your back.
You can just sit and no one will bother you
the things in there will make you feel comfortable and
There are statues, pictures, and a place for you to sit all
Here is a place to relieve stress and to feel the calm in
your life, the temple.
From The Beat: It sounds like you have found your own special sanctuary,
in a world ats chaotic and its stressful as ours, the temple sounds like a
place where the soul can reflect, be calm, and feel peace. Thank you for
sharing your inspiration with us.
I'm the kind of person That won't pass up the Opportunity
to graffiti Across time I'm cast away in a catacomb A dead
summer sunset And the smell of Turkish golds Still sit
in my marrowless bones I can't describe the come down
And how I thought I came up "I'm not growing up I'm just
burning out" Small talk sucks There's no such thing as
simple I'm sorry, but I'm not I can't regret anything It
only pisses me off and pushes me on And it's okay if you
don't want me around What you're looking for Is at the
tips of your fingers And at the back of your mind Love
should be valuable Not cheap I now have a love affair with
my liver And my lungs are fat and spoiled Music forgot my
name So did my best friend I need a cigarette I once was
a gypsy girl Now I'm patient I grew tired of waiting But I
guess it'll fall into place I'm young This is getting old I'm
finger painting my days With gray and blue blobs Can you
miss something you've never had? Is it really that funny?
Is it really that sad? Absolute piracy I only cry when I'm
mad I was born to riot Go with the flow Or swim upstream
You can have all my time But you can't have my mind.
From The Beat: What do you miss that you've never had? It sounds like
you know there^ something to worth striving for, though you haven't
tasted it — something you might regret not experiencing in your life.
You are young, but dont wait.
I There's one thing I wish I could take back. It was my
■ third birthday. My mom and I went to the doctor that
morning and I was fighting with her so it took her forever
to get me in and out of the doctors.
The reason I'm writing this is 'cause when we left that
morning, my dad was released from prison and he got
home and we weren't there.
My uncle had come over and they started fighting and
my uncle killed my dad. I think if I hadn't fought with my
mom, my dad would still be alive. RIP Dad, I love you.
From The Beat: Your story pains us. You blame yourself, but the tragedy
of your dad's death is not your fault, you were just a child. It hurts to
recall such painful memories. Thank you for having the courage to share
this with us.
The Special Gift
Hey Beat, this is Cherryace from JJC. Today I will be
writing about my life and how I became a very good person
to my mom, dad, and my brothers and sisters.
Now I was born in 1991. When my mom saw me she
named me after my dad I looked mostly like him. My dad
wasn't there when I was born, however my step-dad was
there. Still to this day, I call him dad. The reason why I
call him dad is because he was always there for me when
I needed a dad in my life.
For that I am very grateful for him being there for me.
So as I grow older I got to thinking, "where is my real
dad?" One day when I was talking to my mom I said I
want to see my real dad. She got a hold of him and sent
me there so I can see him. When I got there I was very
happy to see my dad but he said that I shouldn't be there
because he didn't like what I had to say to him. So now he
is still in my life but not that much.
Oh! I forgot to say that I was born on my grandpa's
birthday. For this, I have been his favorite person. That is
why I love my grandparents.
Now back to the real story. I am speaking to all of the
people who is or are going through rough times right now.
When I say GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE! (That's all
for now. "Peace out" from JJC)
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing your story. We realize some
people never have a father and they refuse those people who could
serve a fatherly role for them. We commend you for accepting your step-
dad in your life and we also commend you for meeting your real father.
That takes real courage. "Peace out".
Look at me! I would never pass for a perfect bride or a
perfect daughter! Maybe I'm not meant to play this part.
The truth is that if I were truly to be myself I would break
my family's heart.
I see myself in the mirror and wonder, who is that
looking back at me! Why does my appearance show
someone I don't know!
Sometimes I cannot hide who I am though I try! When
will I be able to really be myself without having to worry
about being judged! Will that day ever come! I feel trapped
in my own skin!
When that day does come will I still be alive! The world
and I may never know! But when that day does come I'll
be readyl Will you?
-Lil Skittles, Solano
From The Beat: The judgment you imagine from others is often really
from your self. Sometimes we can be addicted to keeping ourselves
down in this way, addicted to judgmental, painful thoughts that keep
you from expressing who you are, and feeling free enough to discover
who you might become. We're ready, bring it!
Weird food I grew up eating was dog. I ate many animals
people don't usually eat. My dad grew up in countryside
in Asia, and I'm Korean, so I ate dog and pig's feet, ox tail,
cow's ball and all that others might think it's nasty or
disgusting. But when it's cooked with spices and sauce,
it taste chewy and very good. In U.S. it's hard to eat a dog
so I haven't ate it for a while, but when I visited Korea, I
ate it and liked it. I want to try it again.
-DK, San Francisco
From The Beat: What people eat — and don't eat — often is determined
by their culture. While Americans might be horrified to read that Koreans
eat dog, people from India are horrified that Americans eat beef! (By the
way, in the U.S., cowboys also cook and eat bull testicles. They call this
dish mountain oysters...
// ' //////
Don't Need It
I don't think anybody needs guns to survive this world.
The only reason people use guns is because they're
scared that they are not safe.
All these people thinking that it's fun playing with
guns it's really stupid because violence it's not the answer
to the problem. Guns could end up to death or prison,
there's nothing fun or funny about that.
There should just be peace in the world so everybody
could just live happily, because even if you don't die by a
gun your son or daughter could.
Guns are just going to get worse and it's always going
to end up in the wrong hands. It's time to stop this war
with violence because it's not getting anybody anywhere.
It's time for a change... -Lefty, Solano
From The Beat: We think you make a lot of sense and
appreciate your point of view. Do you intend to be part of
the change? Maybe the guns won't change but the people
can. ..What are your ideas for how this could end? Guns
Guns kill, but sometimes with a purpose me
sometimes with no purpose at all. Gangs use weapons for
no reason and always are quick to pull one out. Guns are
used for one thing and one thing only, death.
The main use of a gun is to protect your country.
That is one good thing for a gun. Another is for hunting.
There is more gun deaths from gangs than there is in any
From The Beat: Maybe therek another way to solve issues, between
individuals and countries. We shouldn't accept death so easily.
Man I feel like guns are necessary to have, especially
if you're living in the hood like me. I'm personally from
Palo Alto. I've been around guns my whole life so while
growing up I couldn't wait to get my first gun.
My first time holding a gun I felt safe like I wish a
ninja would test me-the first one I'm giving the blues. But
now it's like so many of my patnas then got killed by the
bullets it's a shame.
But that came from scary ninjas that will pull the
trigger too quick instead of handling it like a man feel
me? It's like the scariest ninja will take yo life in the blink
of an eye. That's why I hate to say it but I keep it on me
for them dudes, them that's crossing game.
From The Beat: Thanks for your good writing on this subject. We
wonder what you mean by "handling it like a man?" How do you know
who will be "scary," and who will be slower to shoot?
A Real Friend
Growing up I felt having a gun was necessary. I used to
tell myself "I rather get caught with it than without it."
When I was thirteen I bought my first gun. I knew I didn't
need it I just got it because I had the opportunity.
Then I started getting myself into situations where I
needed a gun, and I actually started thinking of my gun
as my best friend because a best friend will get me out of
crazy situations and that's exactly why my pistol did. But
now I realize my gun wasn't my best friend because a best
friend wouldn't get me to go to jail.
From The Beat: This sounds like a rough relationship, where you
didn't realize how bad the end could be until you got there. We think
destructive power can not be used for good. What about your creative
power, have you met that friend yet?
This Gun Violence
The first time 1 saw a gun I was fourteen. It was a loaded
tech-nine with an extended clip. It was for protection
against a rival gang. I now see guns ail the time.
Fremont has gone from nice and pretty to bad and
deteriorating. I had a tactical shotgun that an ATF agent
sold me out of Nevada.
I wouldn't want my child to carry a gun because of the
possibility of him getting locked up. I wouldn't want him
to follow in my footsteps.
JJC was built for our kids, and this isn't what my
child would want. I would have failed as a father if he
ended up here. I would move him out of Fremont and into
the hills, to get him away from the hood violence.
From The Beat: Thank you for this excellent piece. What recommendations
would you make, to help make North Freemont a more safe place for
look Past Ike Siiilodt Dipirl Iron Molii)
I remembered how I used to say
How I was tired
So I took a deep breath
Of the polluted air
I'd recognize the smell
And in my mind
I had a placid debate
About the world's traffic
If I should give or take
Maybe I have nothing
To make loud and clear
I could fine a simple place
To learn and steer
can harm me at all"
The world seems more small
And my head less swole
I had to laugh
And kick my self in the
Piss out the desperation
And breathe in the recreation
"There's nothing you can
say that can't be sung"
Maybe I'll undream the cards
I was dancing among
Jump through my looking glass
And wake up to a mouthful of nights
So my mom could get sleep at night
I'm tired of not feeling
The music in my ears and wind in my hair
And these spoons of socialism
And already breathed in air
And I could not find what I did not seek
I was hungry after dinner
Cuz I didn't eat
I wanna see the sun
Rise and set
I wanna go LIVE!
Cuz I'm not dead yet
From The Beat: Good, choose life. This is stn interesting poem, full of
woridplay, metaphor and interesting ideas. Read a lot, it will help you.
Challenge yourself in life, take risks with how hard you're willing to try,
and how much you're willing to love and reveal who you are.
// ' //////
Whats up Beat, something I got on my mind is being
incarcerated. I keep thinking to myself do I really wanna
For example, the other day I wake up early going to
a job or making money. In here I just wake up without a
worry of any responsibility.
Also they feed me, clothe me, feed me, and look
after me. I'm thinking to myself in my room was I born to
myself in my room was I born to live this way? If so shall
god look after me. And shall I find god one day. I once
thought I believed in god but after all the negativity in my
life. I gave up. I don't think I'll ever find hope again.
I sign up everyday for a priest to pray for me cause I
really need it. My life is in confusion and I'm at the point
in my life where I'm one bad decision away from messing
up my life. Please give me advice before its to late.
To everybody out their better yourselves and show
that we can still change and for better choices. Stay up
keep striving be strong don't ever let anybody put you
-Seeking help, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We think living in here is a bit like being a child forever,
but without the family or joy or freedom. You get given everything, but
never do any good for anyone else. And eventually you end up in real
jail, where you fear for your life. Itk just too easy to be good.
! i i I ill
I i I i
Raisino My Dauohter
I think that if somebody said something about my
daughter I'm going to forget I'm a father and be another
slaughterer. I will do good tho and give her everything she
needs, if she ask for money I'm going to tell her to go to
the backyard and cut the woods.
If she asks for a book to study or read, I'll go to the
library with her and tell her to follow my lead. If she
comes home late. I'ma tell her straight up I ain't giving
her no breaks. You're grounded for a month. That's how I
am going to do my raising if only she knew when she gets
older what is she going to be facing.
From The Beat: Your job raising her is to teach her to cope with what
she will face when she's older. You have to do this little by little as
she grows. You can't do it for her, you need to show her how to cope
with feelings, with difficult people, how to focus and work hard on her
education...and how to love others well.
The first time I saw a gun, it was a handgun when I was
lir boy. The first time I held a gun it was in Boise. It was a
.22 rifle. It belonged to my uncle. He let me shoot a couple
of times. I was shooting at birds.
The first thing that came to mind was "Wow!" Then I
said, "Can I shoot it?" and I did.
Yes, I do believe that we do need guns in our lives,
in are communities. If my kid had a gun, I would have to
hold it for him. I will hide it where he can't find it. But if
he wanted it, he would have to ask me for it and tell me
why he wants it.
If you try to stop gun violence it would only get worse.
Just let it play out and later on into the future only the
strong will survive. And when that happens people really
shouldn't be using guns anymore.
-Monkey, Santa Clara
From The Beat: When you say that after gun violence plays out, only the
strong will survive, you're telling us that all those boys who've lost their
lives were weak. Do you really believe that? Does a bullet care whether
you're weak or strong? Why would you hide a gun from your child?
If you let gun violence play out among children then will only strong
children survive? What does having and using guns have to do with
being strong? Are people who refuse to handle guns weak?
\ ' Seoreoated and Discriminated
Sitting in the hall
trapped in between these walls
deprived of my freedoms
segregated and discriminated
are the ways I feel
as people look down upon me
when they don't even know who I am
all they know is that I'm just another Mexican
incarcerated and again I'll say segregated and
are the ways I feel
but I'm still in my prime
living my early years
so I can push myself to strive
through these struggles with my head held high
so I never show pain sorrow
but for the third time I say it again
segregated and discriminated
the ways I feel
so now the only thing to do is get educated and to help
the young ones in the future and tell them it's never too
to want to succeed
but I'll tell you this
stay true to your heart
be real to your soul
-Mc Indio, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is quite a beat and quite a message. Segregation
and discrimination are hard, but they ultimately fail with a strong
person. They can't tell you who you are, only how others thinit you are.
You can always prove them wrong.
[ 1 I M I M I M 1 I IT
A Piece fnr Us
There is a place. It's big and purple with white windows.
It has 5 rooms. One for me and one for my sister. My
room is purple and my sisters' room is yellow. That's her
favorite color. This a new place we have never been before
and life will be different there. It's not perfect but it's nice
and we live together. It's two stories high with a white
picket fence and we are happy.
From The Beat: That sounds very nice. We hope that some day you can
find a nice place to live with your sister.
X Karma's A Grincii
What's good Beat? This your boy, Yung Uso Kefi coming
from the max. Today, I'm going to talk about my lil' sis.
Back in the days when I was in middle school, I used
to take backpacks and steal what inside it that I can use.
Weil, the other day my lil' sis, she left her backpack in
class for only five min. Can you believe that? Only five
min! Within that five min. her stuff got took. She didn't
find her stuff until one of her friends found it in the boys'
When she told me that, I got hella mad until the point
that I wanted to mess someone up. I was thinking, "Why
is karma hitting my family for? And why it ain't hitting
me?" That's messed up. I stopped doing all that shhh
when I was in high school.
Well, I'm going to end this shot. Until next time. To
the usos, stay up.
-Young Uso Kefi, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Can you imagine the reaction of all those brothers (and
mothersj of the people whose baclcpaclcs you took? Probably the same
as yours. That^ one of the great lessons of life — that we all feel, we
all hurt, we all react, and that makes us all equally human. It^ a sign
of your maturity that you saw that connection, and decided to make a
// ' //////
Mama I'm really sorry for the last few years
Mama I'm really sorry I made you shed those tears
I can't say why I do the things I do
But I wish you really knew that I never meant to hurt
It eats me up inside every time I make you cry
So I try to live right and give you one peaceful night
But right there's a fight because the street life's got me
I know I chose to live this life I know it's not the way
You raised me
Are you ashamed of me mama for all that I've done
Don't give up on me mom better days will be coming
And got the best of me mama don't think less of me
'Cause I know that's why your stressing on me
See my destiny is six feet deep
The way I live it just might be
But until that day don't you cry for me.
-Flaco, Santa Clara
From The Beat: These are some beautiful thoughts. But "don't cry for
me" is easier said than done. Sometimes we wish people would just not
care about us, but they do. And we have to do what we can for them.
and love them back.
This Situation Of Mines
Everything seems to be really complicated right now.
Nothing seems to be all right. I'm talking about life. I don't
know about strangers, but is this how life is supposed to
be? Sure, there are the fun and happy times. Sure, when
you see celebrities, famous, rich, and successful people,
they have their moments. I'm sure that life isn't that,
Stress, pain, anger, anxiety, sadness, just to name
a few, is something I'm going through. Facing so many
problems in life. Is there a solution to it? I always wonder,
is everything going to turn out to be all right?
Property tax, mortgage, bills, etc. How can you pay
for all that when there's hardly any money being made?
Especially with the economy being so bad, how can
anyone make it today? I hope everything turns out all
right. With this situation, it's even worse now with me
being in here for some idiotic reason.
-Ramon, San Francisco
From The Beat: Why take on the worries of stn adult with adult
responsibilities when you are still in your adolescence? You have enough
worries about your life today without adding the burden of wondering
about mortgages, etc. (Property tax and mortgage payments only apply
to property owners; renters have only the burden of rent, which is much
less.) Plus, Ramon, change is in the air. It may not happen in a year, or
even two, but you are young, and the picture you see today will not
look the same in the future. By the time this gets published, you will
again be breathing free air and, we hope, putting in your hours at The
Beat. Let that be your concern, and not the worlds problems... yet.
Guns are no joke! True, but guns do not kill. The person
behind the gun kill. Having a gun don't make you big,
bad. People with guns get shot or killed, too. It's a lot
of young people that don't know what they doin'. People
that don't know what they doing should not have a gun.
People could do some real stupid, like kill people that do
not have any thing to do with anything.
-Black Man, San Francisco
From The Beat: We agree with a lot of what you're saying, especially
how guns don't necessarily protect you. But one measure of people who
"don't know what they doin'" is being locked up, 'cause if you knew
what you were doing, you would be able to avoid coming here! So, by
that measure, nobody should have a gun. Judgment comes with experi-
ence and maturity. Young people don't yet have that, and that^ why so
many are dying so young!
I would like to talk about my homie from my barrio. The
reason why I would like to talk about him in The Beat
tonight is because he is facing life, and I miss him. I miss
him because we were pretty close to each other. We would
go everywhere together. There was not a time that you
didn't see us kicking it at the barrio or with the jainitas.
The homie really gave me a lot of cora when we were
both out and in the free world. He told me how it would
be when you got locked up. Like the people you thought
really cared about you, they really don't, 'cause if they
did, they would write to you or accept your calls. And the
people you cared less or thought that they didn't care
about you actually wrote you or accepted your calls.
At first I didn't really get it, but once I got locked up,
I seen what he meant. It's pretty messed up that they are
trying to give him life for something he didn't do. I know
he didn't do it, but the law said he did 'cause he from the
barrio. I hope that homie beats his case and gets out so
he can be out with his beautiful lady and family. Just so
he knows that there's people out there that really care
about him. And just so you know I care about you too,
I would like to thank you for all the support you gave
me when we were out, and for taking care of this lonely
homie when I didn't have nowhere to go.
That it for now. I hope you have a nice Christmas and
a happy New Year's. Free Sleepy.
-Big Temps, Santa Clara
From The Beat: It^ always nice to read one person^ gratitude for another
person^ love and support. We're sorry he's facing such serious charges,
and we hope he gets out from under the possible consequences. Now it^
up to you to help the next young boy who doesn't yet understand what
lies ahead, it^ up to you to be the next boy^ teacher...
I I I I
Batlliig Witk Wiigkl
When I think of weird food, I think of Bulimia. I hate
eating because when I eat I have a humongous stomach
that makes me look like I am pregnant. But I am a guyl
WTF! I throw up in order to maintain my small petite
figure. I know that I am already under weight, but I want
to stay skinny. Usually I will eat one almond, but then I
will throw it up. I know what the heck? But I want to be
smaller so that's what I do.
-Princess Mekal, Fresno
From The Beat: What you have Mikel is an eating disorder. And it sounds
like you know this already. You shouldn't starve yourself, because you
are still a kid and need food in order to grow. Your mind needs food
to be smart, and your body needs it to be strong. But really, eating
disorders are common. Lots of people use food to manage stress, anxiety
or depression. Some people eat too much, some not enough, and some
force themselves to throw up. We encourage you to talk to an adult
you trust about how you're feeling, and get help before you really hurt
These folks say they getting tired of all this gun
they wish they had buttons to keep the shots quiet
they say youngstas now days are a menace to society
these guns wild in the streets so these folks hidden
cops tryin' to stop the violence so most wired
but I call it a tragedy when them guns fired
-Toung Marco, Alameda
From The Beat: Nice writing Marco. Has gun violence caused tragedy in
your own life? What do you think might slow it down? We appreciate
your words, because it matters to hear what people think who have
been affected by it.
// ' //////
Ganoster's Get Lonely
I know it's rough, I know it's tough
Girl, I'm trying to avoid them cuffs
I know your last man is doing life
And he never treated you right
Even though you stood by his side
A good jaina is hard to find
They all seem to be the same
Evil ways and no shame
I need a gangster girl
In my gangster world
Baby, I'll treat you right
Because I'm tired of them lonely nights
And it's never been cool
But you're a real woman and
If you find one you'll be lucky
Seems they always duck me
You thought this gangster got lonely
'Cause our love was phony
How you just sit and you phone me
Wondering who's that holding me
Told you before, I need support
With this gangster life
I want someone, no iil' girl
What I need is a wife
To watch my back
When I'm out making gangster deals
Someone to catch me when I fall
When these homies ain't real
I know there's something I love
About this life I live
But now it's gone it left me lonely
Now you know it gets lonely, here on top of the world
I got millions of females
But all I want is a girl to be there for me
You know when times get hard
And when things get rough
She wouldn't be that far
Me and her together
Would face away kind of weather
God forbid, something happens to you
With out you by my side
I wouldn't know what to do
Good looking girl
I know you got my back
The way you carry yourself
The way you know how to act
It's all good even though I'm just a homie from the 'hood
I said lucky for me, you fell in love with a G
I can't wait to get home, hope I see you soon
Knowing night after night, up in this four-wall room
I just sit and think, about nothing but you
This is Temper and gangsters get lonely too.
Baby won't you ride with me
Slide with me, get high with me
Side with me, all night with me
Come ride with a G
It's the brown super bailer
Got ways to make you holler
And everything top dollar
From the Lex to the Juiced Impalas
But I need a girl, not just to have.
Someone to change up my world
Settle down and have kids
Even though my rep on the streets is I'm a pimp
I need you not to trip
While I handle my biz
Let me do what I do
While I hustle and grind
Let me dip and stack my chips
And you can have the rest of my time
'Cause the truth: money don't bring happiness forever
That's why I need you to come and make everything better
So baby get to know me, show me and hold me
Be here for me girl, and never leave me lonely.
-D, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You've got major skills with words that rhyme/ But your
mindset says you'll spend more time/ In places like this, far from love/
Like the kind you describe in the poem above/ If you do what you do,
if you "hustle and grind"/ Then prepare yourself to leave love behind/
Look around you, to your left and to your right/ No girls, just boys to fill
your sight/ When we read your poem, this is how it seemsi/ Without some
changes, prepare to settle only for love's dreams...
Banoin' In, Banyin' But
Keepin' my target in sight
I steer clear from the light
Hatred twisting my mind
Turning, with no rewind
Look deep past my eyes
And madness you'll find
Don't you dare look away
It's just a gangster's play
Your nightmare is what I call an average day
Who woulda thought I'd be billed 15-to-life for pay
Dead time awaiting trial, countless months I've been
I've never been one to dwell, so I'ma let time tell
Straight, sit back, relax, and represent my side well
-Grumpy, San Francisco
From The Beat: We have such admiration for the talent you bring to
whatever you write. Grumpy — and such fear for your future because
your dedication to the kind of life that the system is so prepared to
stop. fThey don't deal well with intelligence, but they can always bring
more physical power to any situation.) Anyway, we've told you all this
before. When you ssiy you represent your side well, we have to wonder
what your side really is, and whether your keen intelligence is being
put to use for the benefit of others, or for your own future. What else
can we say?
A roreion Life
Many people don't see now the things they do affect
other people either because they just don't care or they
just don't know. I personally think it's the first one you
see I used to have my fun at somebody else's expense.
Now as I look back on my memories, they enrage me
so much, they are like memories from a foreign childhood,
memories that are not my own.
Before I did something I thought, "How much fun can
I get out of this?" But now I think, "What could happen to
me or someone else?" I know some people can't do that
because they have not reached that level of sophistication,
they are arrogantly ignorant, naive, and tunnel vision.
Some people just don't care, but if you could take
your head out of you're ass and see what you cause,
would you stop? I doubt it. It's time to grow up, you make
up society's imperfections!
-Derrick, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We agree with a lot of what you say, but wedon't know
that sophistication is the question. Some of the most sophisticated
and intelligent people are the most boneheaded. But those people will
never be sts good for themselves or anyone else sis those who simply see
others, and think of others.
// ' //////
I reel Like A Chopped Up Body
Anther day stressed out.
Pain of death I'm about to blank out.
Tired of this, sick of that
missing some things bugged from the visions
I face every day,
most of the time at night. I just say
I can't wait to die.
I don't want to hide
Being treated like a dog, heed by fog.
People might as well say F - me to my face
I knew I was *bout to go off, B.
But who cares?
I feel like a chopped up body.
No to this, no to that, where is the help 1 ask for?
Not the county clothes on my back.
They make it hard on me.
It's nothing like the streets but worse.
You can't walk away and that's the part that hurt.
Being part of the drama gets worse.
Cramped in a box full of words that wants to be heard.
Torn by the envious stares and you'll be caught
Open your eyes and see life come as a choice.
It's your momma's rights to know if she wants you
You feel like hell. You've been used so may times you
break the spell. I'm here al alone
counting my days can't wait to go home,
being 'round people who give shhh less about you every
I'm gonna hold my head up high until that day.
From The Beat: We hope you do hold it high where it belongs/at the
place where words become part of songs/ where the music of sorrows
meet the beats of tomorrows/ you will fight the pain and rise above/
because the words your poems they show your love. Keep loving. Keep
Trapped Afld Gaoed
Trapped and caged — this ain't coo'
Can't move how you want... what's the point
You think heila much
I hella hate the lunch
Wishing I could go home and munch
I'm with a bunch of messy females
All I do is smile and strike a pose
Now I got goals, plans, I can't run
Tired of helpin' these smart-mouth staff get paid
When I can be free instead
I got to go to a group home, I'ma stick it out
Can't take the easy route out
It's gone be hard 'cause I'm in it by myself
For my own wealth
I'ma do what I got to do for me
Ain't no "we" when it come to me
'Cause when I do time
All I got is my words of advice
To my readers, do you for you
In the end
You all you got — not a friend!
-Lasara Lacy, San Francisco
From The Beat: If one definition of a friend is someone who won't lead
you into danger, then are you being a friend to yourself? It sounds to us
Mice you're ready to taice a new path away from places liice this. Maybe
that^ "the point" — to give you time to think of what you must do to
avoid coming here. (We had to change one of your rhymes because it
wasn't Beat appropriate.)
Life is a battle we continue to fight
I'm not too sure when my black people will wake up and
see the light
All this anger, violence animosity and strife ain't right
Y'all need to stop, pay attention, and take consideration
To what I'm saying, 'cause this generation is all about
If not now, y'ail gone wish when it too late
That you could have changed to see better days
This lifestyle is corrupting our minds
To the point where we ashamed to admit how we really
If you don't know, I'm gone tell you
That from God we can't hide, off top
You can't look in yo' parents' eyes and lie
They know us better than we know ourselves
And they ache at the thought of what we do
And God forbid they have to see us looking cold
Wit' a tag on our toe
Or strung out on the comer, looking for the next fix of dope
Even doing life
Just because the judge see color, and gave you three
So have fun while you can, and keep riding yo' bike
Keep staying true
Just kick it and do you
Reclaim yo' life
And tell all the people putting you down, no copy, write
-Kirstin, San Francisco
From The Beat: From this it^ clear that you have awaicened and seen the
light. That means, of course, that sometimes you have to put having fun
to the side in order to move yourself closer to your goals. What are your
dreams for the future, and what is your plan for achieving them?
It's Like The Fourth of July
Today I'm gonna talk about gun violence. Nowadays
people are getting shot for any and everything, if you look
at someone wrong, they will shoot you in broad daylight.
And we all know bullets don't have names and the people
that shot the guns don't have aim. See where I'm from
in Hayward, California, the heart of the Bay it's like the
Fourth of July every day Cause there is so many gun
shots, see when you're from where I'm from a ninja will
get smoked over five dollars or a dirty look.
You see people don't kill people. Ninjas with guns
kill people. Sometimes the ninjas with guns kill innocent
people because they try to rob them and it goes bad. But
I'm out for now.
-Lir P, Alameda
From The Beat: You do a great job here of laying out the problem. It^
ugly times in The Bay, and a lot of people get hurt - iti tragic and
it^ destroying the people we love. But in the part of your piece that
we had to cut you tallied about your own role In the problem. Do you
really think carrying a gun will make you safer? And what if It^ one
of your bullets that takes down a bystander on the street? Or makes a
What A (on Can Da
A gun can do a lot of damage
A gun can cause life to be taken away
A gun can cause you to be in the wrong place
There are thousands of people that die from guns just in
People need to just put the guns away already.
From The Beat: Well said Entay. But things well said are easier then
having them well done. How can you help people put the guns down in
your own community?
' ////// ' // '
RIP Lil' Will
RIP to my cousin Lil'Will
he was only fourteen when he got stabbed and killed
he was never the bad type naw he was good
always went to school never posted in the hood
until one night on August 19t
he got stabbed and killed by the enemies
That night I got arrested but he got killed later on
and when I called my Mama she told me Lil' Will was
I was shocked ninja man I didn't feel right
I'm like how I get arrested and he got killed the same
That's one thing that I gotta live with
why the enemies take him, man he was only a kid
It's hurt'n me to say that my lil' cousin gone
that's why I'm always say'n his name up in a song
He got killed down the street from where I got arrested
At least I know he's in his casket man well rested
and when it was time to put in work he would always say
that's why he's my lil' cousin and I'll miss him forever.
-Lir Rolo, Alameda
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss, and sorry for the loss of this
young life. You are right he was too young! We think he'd appreciate
this tribute to him, to his life. We wonder what was going on that
Confessions Of A Bollet
You speak you just talk
And talkin' is just words
when you is just a little baby sayin' yo' first three words
People talk just for fun and act hard with a gun
Poppin' caps in the air and you the first person to run.
Blood spills, bodies drop, thinkin' you really hard
Now well them ninjas straight soft,
Playin' they best friends for straight fools.
And I knock 'em down like balloons
I'm the only one who comes out like - bang. Bang. Boom.
Hit this hit that I ricochet spin.
And do all that.
I'm silent I'm loud I'm whatever not proud
I can't be stopped because the trigger let me go,
I come in all shapes and sizes and I'm ready to kill some
Guess who I am, it's not hard to tell,
I'm not like how it was no more, naah
Never that they just don't make no more
When Fm comin' from that gat.
-Lir Quan, Alameda
From The Beat: This piece hits like a bullet too, straight and sure to
the heart. And telling the story of the streets from the point of view
of a bullet tells gives us a whole new perspective on how meaningless
street cruelty really is. We are looking forward to publishing more of
My Mom And Girl Cryino
Yeah, you know who this be. This Delvonta. I been in
here like a few months. I don't know what they tryna let
a thug out. I am stressed out because they talking *bout
some bs how I can't see my wife. I miss her so much it's
not funny. Thinking 'bout her every day.
Every time my mom come to my court date and I
don't get out, mom leave out crying. That stuff made me
feel bad. And every time I get my phone call, I call ma
girlfriend. I know for I fact she be crying every time I get
off the phone.
Fo' all you dudes that got a chance out there, you
betta take advantage of it because I thought life was a
game before, but people learn form they mistakes. So all I
can tell you is keep your head up, do yo' time and get out.
-Delvonta, San Francisco
From The Beat: Not all people learn from their mistakes, so it^ good to
read that you have learned from yours. What changes do you plan to
make when you touch down so that you don't leave your girl and your
mom in tears again?
Dnn't Gn There
Why you yelling at me
Don't go there Dad
Why you leave me?
Don't go there Dad
Why you disrespecting me
Don't go there dad
Why did you do drugs in my face
Don't go there Dad
Why did you go to jail
Don't go there Dad
Why you tryin' to tell me what to do
Don't go there Dad
-Quilla Bo, Alameda
From The Beat: We sure hope this poem comes with a Part 2, and we
hope you share your stoiy with the Beat - and that you decide to "go
there," because we know you have sm important story to tell.
// ' //////
Have You Ever?
Have you ever had to steal so you can eat dinner?
Have you ever had a teacher say y'all never be a winner?
Have you ever watched yo' best friend shoot himself in
Have you ever gotten a call saying someone you love is
Have you ever wished that you could die
Have you ever been so sad that you couldn't cry?
Have you ever had a big problem that just kept getting
Have yo ever had yo' heart stop for drinking too much
Have you ever been in reality, but still in a dream?
Have you ever done something good, but still felt like
leaving the scene?
Have you ever seen your mom cry so much that you
wanted to kill?
Have you ever been healthy but still felt real ill?
Have you ever?
-No Name, Alameda
From The Beat: With each line of this poem you bring us a little deeper
into an understanding of what it means to love and suffer, to make
mistaices, to mourn. All we can say is that we hope you never heard
what you say from a teacher - because it^ not true! In this poem you
show that you can be a winner- you have heart, wisdom and something
to teach ats well.
Gun Violence, Hurtiny People, Helpino People
1 have never seen a gun before other than a police officer
that had a gun. Guns, I feel, are dangerous and I feel police
should only have them.
1 do not like when people talk about other people and
hurt their feelings. People all have feelings (sometimes
they may not act like they do.) 1 also do not like when
you are in a relationship and the other person apparently
"loses feelings" about you and leaves you there.
If someone is acting strange, I would worry about
them and try to help them and make sure they will be
normal. 1 feel that 1 helped people emotionally by getting
their mind off things. My friend was brokenhearted, so 1
took her mind off things.
-Samantha, San Francisco
From The Beat: Samantha, maybe your Beat facilitator forgot to tell you
to write about only one topic. The reason for that is that when you write
about all the topics, you can't get in more than a few sentences, and we
won't publish pieces that are too short. (That^ why we pushed three of
your pieces together, so that all of them could see the light of day.) You
are too good a writer to give us only two or three sentences. Next time,
think about the one topic you want to write about, then write us much
sts you can about it, with examples, explanations, and details.
riOht With Yoor rists
I think people who have guns are weak because they
can't resolve an issue peacefully. People who have guns
should drop the guns and fight with their fists.
1 hope that people who have guns don't use them in a
way that they take somebody's younger or older brother
from their life. People should think about the victim's
family and how sad they would be: The parents would
be thinking about how their son or daughter is dead the
parents would not be able to sleep knowing that their kid
is no longer with them.
From The Beat: Compassion is the ability to feel what others are going
through, to truly care about another persons suffering or pain. That^
what you're talking about there, about how Important it is that we
learn to have compassion with each other. This is the message of Jesus,
Gandhi, Reverend Martin Luther iCing, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama...
do you feel that compassion is in all of us?
Life is pain
Pain is death
People are fake
Fakes are dumb.
People talk a lot
But don't do anything
I know 1 am tired
Of talking to much shhh.
People say they want to fight
But they expect others to help them
They can't just stand up for themselves.
I want people to just shut up
And live their own lives.
People think 1 am down
But 1 am not.
People judge me for my looks
Or by the way 1 talk.
But if they really got to know me
They would see that 1 am cool.
People always want to start things
And yes I start them too sometimes.
When we all cry
People want to laugh at us
And it's not right
I wish people could
Be in my shoes
And see what this life is about.
People believe I will be
Locked up for life
But they don't know anything.
Life is everything
You can lose it for shhh
You didn't even do.
From The Beat: Bethany has been writing to us for sometime, because
she has been in the JJC for a while now. She^ right though. People need
to stop judging others and worry about themselves. But this includes
you too Bethany.
// ' //////
Chanoino My Hate
In these four walls
I can't think at all
My mind is filled with negativity and hate
Seems like that's my fate
My mind is so dark I don't know no light
But my heart so bright it just urges to fight
I remember thinking back on the decision I made
All the good times starting to fade
I'm tryin' to get back on track but my wolf pack
Keeps holding me back
But I'm letting lose and letting go
My mind is riding with the positive flow
Instead of kicking it with the dudes I stay home
And help my moms bring up the food
I'm on my way back to the positive climb
But first I gotta knock off this six months group home
-Vietnamese Kid, Alameda
From The Beat: This is a great poem describing your trials and
tribulation. Change ain't easy, and it doesn't come over night. But you
can at least try and give it your best shot. Positive thinicing will bring
I positive outcomes, you just gotta have some patience.
1 r\ I I r
Momma I'm tired of seeing you cry,
momma I'm tired of seeing tears in your eyes.
Sorry for all the hurt I put you through,
sorry for doing all the things you told me not to,
I know you never thought I'll be this way,
I'm sorry for a hurtful things I say,
just know from this day things won't be the same,
'cause momma I'm sorry for all your pain,
if I could go back in time, all your pain would be mine,
momma I'm sorry I gotta do all this time,
momma I'm gonna stop all your crying.
-Guero, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a beautiful expression, and a solemn vow. It
takes a lot to see how what you do affects others, and how what you
can do can help them. I hope you can do better for your mom, and I
hope she Icnows you are trying.
Gun Violence Hurts
The first time I saw a gun was like two weeks ago because
my cousin had a gun on him. I seen him take it out, but it
was kind of small and silver.
I never held a gun before in my life, probably a bee bee
gun or an air soft gun but never a real one. When I think
of guns I think of killing and shooting. So that's why I do
not like guns.
But the real reason is, it was like two weeks before I
was born my dad had died over a gun. But nobody shot
him. What I heard he thought he had it on safety and I
guess he was playing with it, and then he accidentally
I don't like guns because they can get you shot or
killed but sometimes you need to protect your family. No,
I do not want my child to pack a gun never, but I would
want him or her to protect their self. No one can stop gun
violence, but you can stop selling guns. But that's not
going to happen.
From The Beat: It's hard because sometimes it does seem like the gun
violence won't stop. We can^ get the guns off the streets, but at least we
start with ourselves and try to educate our peers. Why are kids killing
kids on the streets? We all live in poverty and no one is better than the
next man. Why do people focus their energy so much on trying to bring
the next man down instead of trying to bring your self up?
I was the first of my family to join a gang at first I just
kick it at the park just playing handball affiliating then. I
see how they were how they got down and I liked it. The
streets were like a drug and I'm an addict. I can't stop. I
never thought twice why I choose this life. Nothing comes
between me and the family that I choose.
-Lir Silent G, Santa Clara
From The Beat: It^ good that you feel a connection to people and
genuinely care about your "family." But you are ultimately responsible
for what you do. They don't make you do anything, and I hope you can
take your love for them and do some good.
My Life Has Ciianoed
Well it's been a month and a half since I've been here.
It's my first time here but I feel like I've been here for
months. Watching people come and out, giving advice to
new people. I feel like a veteran in the game. I waited 3
weeks for my 1st court date, which was my release date.
Once that day came I found out my mom changed
her mind and decided to send me to a group home for 6
months. I was totally crushed and cried bitter tears that
day, at the fact that it was only the beginning, at the fact
that it was my mom's decision.
I hated her for that, but not for long. I'm a changed
man now. She visited me constantly and told me why
she made that decision, not because she is a messed up
person or she knew how I'd feel. But she did it to make
me a better person.
I haven't yet started the program but already in my
mind I'm a changed person. I'm anxious to show that to
my mom, myself, and the world that.
From The Beat: That's great that you have decided to change your life.
Sometimes parents make decisions that you might not like, but it^ for
your own good. We all have to do things that we might not like. Liice for
example, waking up early, but you have to wake up early to go to school
or to go to work. Youll learn. We all make mistakes you must learn.
// ' //////
Mama Dry Your Eyes
With only one life to live I got to give it all I got.
With all the chances 1 get 1 still be running from the
I'm sorry for all the drama mom.
I know I need to stop.
And I know that it's killing you, but you're telling me it's
I know that it is so.
Don't lie 'cause it's a fact, and it's more than just a chip.
I'm like a rock on your back.
Don't trust the rock in your sack, 'cause it's killing you
And it's killing me more because you're more than my
You're the one that gave me birth.
You're the one I call mommy.
You're the one that taught me words.
You're the reason I'm walking, and it's hard for me -
but I can tell you in a rhyme that I'm sorry for the stress
and all the tears
in your eyes. So, if you need me for anything mama,
you know I'm here to give you comfort for the stress.
You know that I care, and you'll never be lonely 'cause
I'm always near.
So, mama, just dry your eyes 'cause your son's right
Mama, dry your eyes because your son's right here.
I know it's hard to smile but when the rain is clear,
you're gonna dry your eyes.
We gonna make it through, because you love me forever,
and I love you!
-Big Keno, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Hey Big K - nice lyrics. It's true that sometimes song
lyrics or just a hug can xx^ things we'd like to put into other words, but
for some reason, just can't. Now then, do these lyrics have a melody?
We think the sweetest song you could ever sing to your mama would be
in good actions, good behavior, rather than words. And that, Keno, is a
tune we make up day by day, eveiy day of our lives.
I It's a real life war zone
I Ninjas getting killed
From left to right killing
In broad day light
Not just at night
When they say funk on sight
They ain't lying
They willing to give up they life for the next
Cause all people care about is respect
I can understand being on the street
To get money for your family
But some people take it to the next level
Killing before hey hit a young teen
This shhh is real
Not only thugs but civilians got to keep that steel
'Cause they no if they slipping they can get killed.
-Lir Charlie, Alameda
From The Beat: Nice poem »& it is sad but yet truthful of what really goes
on in the streets, it^ hectic out there in the streets, 'cause eveiybody is
riding around looking for trouble strapped up. Sometimes it is hard and
makes you wanna pacic one too. But how can you get away from all the
negativity? How can you bring it to the attention to the leaders in your
community? Something needs be done, to tiy and make things right.
Where can you start?
Hey, what's really good Beat. Today is Thursday. Soon
I'm finally leaving this place. When released, I'll have
been here ISO+days.
Well, let's see.... by being here we learned a lot, but
I also had many struggles - from the usual drama that
happens in the girls' units to missing my wonderful
mother, my best friend, and my familia. But most of all,
the fear and worry I have for my little brother who is in
here right now.
I've cried many nights and I'm not ashamed to admit
it. I can't contemplate all the tears I tasted as I watched
the days pass by, watched the seconds slide by. Having
the minutes pass but having it feel like an hour.
God granted me the serenity to accept the things I
cannot change and the ability to change the things I can.
To anyone who is reading this, just keep your head up.
Be strong. Change your ways. Don't do it for anyone else.
Do it for yourself. "Life isn't measured by the amount of
breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath
away." Cherish every moment like it's your last.
I wish everyone of you nothing but the best and hope
your time flies. And to my roommate - when you read this,
don't trip. I'm watching my brother for you until you get
I'd like to thank all staff who have helped me cope
with the struggles I had to face.
To Ms. Elliott, even though sometimes you were mean
and kicked me off detail, I could never stay mad at you.
To Mrs. Fanjando, you were the first staff I met when
I came to this unit. Thank you for always being honest
with me and telling me to just focus on getting a job and
staying away from drama.
To Mrs. Avalos, you were like the mom on the unit.
I thank you for all the advice you gave me and those
bomb ass tacos you made that one time, and just for
To Mrs. Barnes you're one of my fav staff. I always
looked forward to you coming in and telling your jokes
(brown chicken-brown cow) hahaha.
To Mrs. Vera and Mr. Young, I loved when you two
worked together. You always made it as fun as possible
in here, and always brought us some kind of goodies
each week... best bunk, slushies etc... Thank you for all
your support, your patience with helping me find a job,
and helping me study for my tests. You'll forever have
my undying gratitude. To Mrs. Mamirea, my favorite staff,
thank you for everything, for always finding the time to
talk to me. You gave me advice and thanks for just being
To the GR staff- Cornardo - you're the best. You crack
me up. You always made me laugh when I was doing detail
with you. Thanks Princess Cornardo.
Finally, last but not least - Mrs. Perez. Thank you ever
so much for everything you've done. You never judged me.
You always acknowledged me and always asked how I was
doing, and gave me words of encouragement and let's not
forget - whenever I needed to talk to you, you would call
Thank you so much. To all my staff - you all made a
huge impact on my life and helped me understand things
from a different perceptive. You'll all hold a place in my
heart. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. I hope we see
each other on the outs - like at one of my jobs. I wish you
all the best in life. That's my good bye. Always - loyalty,
-Christina, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a gracious and generous and wond erful goodbye
to the many people who have helped you. We are happy to print it.
Loyaltv and Respect
When I hear the words loyalty and respect I think of my
family and Mom. Because for the fact that I'm loyal to my
family and I have respect for my mom.
Loyalty means a lot- to be able to trust or have trust
in someone is sometimes strange because you never
know if the person is going to snitch- so all my loyalty
goes to my family and they're loyal to me as well and my
respect as well... But most for my mother I give her my
most loyalty and respect because I can always trust and
count on my Mom for everything.
So what does loyalty and respect mean to you?
From The Beat: Loyalty depends on trust, and it sounds like the
snitching factor has eroded the trust — malcing loyalty beyond family
difficult. The gang enhancement laws have made the time people can
get huge, and when folks are faced with that they snitch more often. It
makes sense to only be loyal to those you trust.
I think guns are a bad thing for the world and should not
be used for bad deadly force or just not to be used at all.
Every year lOO.OOO's of people who matter die, or lose
their child to gun violence, but for what reason?
What if guns was never made? I wonder how many
people would be alive, how many families would be feeling
right now. But most people like to just play around with
guns and then a lot people get hurt or even die. Then that
person going to be sitting in jail for the rest of his life
wondering why all of that happened, or why that person
even had to die.
From The Beat: You're right, gun violence leads to a lot of deaths and
a lot of broken families. How have guns been a part of your life? It^
easy to talk about violence being bad in the world, but what about gun
violence in your own community, your own life?
Guns Are Apart Of Me
Well to me having a gun is an always, to me a gun is like
a limb. If I didn't have one it's like I felt like if something
was missing. All my life I've been around guns so to me
it's like a gun is like a tool I carry with me everywhere. I
wouldn't know what to do if guns weren't invented.
From The Beat: Sadly, you're not alone in having guns be a part of your
life since childhood - it's a very common way to grow up in certain parts
of the world. However, in other parts it^ not so common. Do you think
you would still feel lost without your gun on you if you were in a place
where no one else had a gun?
I I I I I II
Gun Violence And Loss
Man, let me tell you about these guns. Man, guns ain't
cool because everybody is quick to pick one up. From
my perspective I think sucka ass ninjas gotta pull a gun
I play with guns but I just don't pull them out on
I've lost too many ninjas to gun play. Rip Burger, Rip
Mike, Rip Paco, man this list can go on and on. Some
ninjas gotta carry a gun 'cause of so much dirt they have
done in these Oakland streets. Man, with all these guns
on the street it's not safe for anyone.
From The Beat: Losing people you care about to guns is really an eye
opening thing. So many people see guns and have guns, but if you
haven't seen the damage they can do, you can never really know what
that^ like. We're sorry you've lost people in your life to gun play, and
hope that you learn from your experiences.
We could play, we could roast, we could joke, but if you
put my moms in it that's yo butt Mr. postman.
Sometimes you gotta speak up for the people that
don't have their own voice. Everyone wants to be heard,
but sometimes can't speak up for themselves. Sometimes
it gets to the point where I'll take that step to speak up for
someone else especially if they're right.
Rest I Paradise Desmond Thomas aka D-West. I miss
you bruh. I'm a shine for you big bruh. It ain't no secret.
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. We wonder when you have
taken that step to speak for someone silenced? Why don't some people
have their own voice?
Gofls Ifl My Life
In my life I saw a gun when I was 8 years old 1 was at
my dad's house in my dad's room. I had pulled the cep
out, put the bullet in the gun, but I didn't touch it again
because I seen my friend shoot himself when he play with
I myself play with guns like people trying to shoot me
or trying to shoot my love one for my safety. I stay with
guns for my life.
From The Beat: You've seen guns since you were young, it's something
you're used to seeing, but you still feel like they're a bad thing unless
used for z^f^t^. Why do you think you feel this way, but so many of
peers play around with guns?
I don't think it's okay to joke all the time. Like when
people joke about people's family member, like people
talk about people's mom or dad or grandma, cause you
never know what going on in their life. Like, their parents
could be dead, you never know. That why you don't talk
about people's family.
For example, I once told a girl that her mom was a
crack head, a dope fiend, she started crying and I felt
hella bad for her because it was true.
From The Beat: You make a really good point. It^ always a good idea
when joking around to keep in mind that people may take offense or
may be upset by what you say.
What Can I Di
What can I do, what can I say, I want to just get high and
All these eyes see is a world of gray.
All pain no love
police don't give a ..., you just another ninja.
To them we all look the same
sitting in my cell in this little room like a living hell.
Think that juvenile hall can't be my God given call,
get released, on the comer, smoke flowing through my nose
round the block got hoes walking on the stroll.
Little girls only thirteen years old, out there, catching
more than a cold.
Sooner or later this hood life gone get old, but for now I
am stuck in the flow.
From The Beat: Sounds like you don't agree with a lot of what goes
on in your community, or even a lot of what you do yourself. When
will it get old? What needs to happen for you to want to get out bad
^ flBflit Paper
Sometimes gun play is dangerous but most of the time
it is necessary. In my life we play that game a lot, some
people say it's crazy but for me it's just what it's like.
I didn't have much of a choice, my cousin was shot
at the age of 17 and retaliation is a must where we came
from, so I had to pick up a gun, do my dirt and now I can't
stop using a pistol.
From The Beat: Revenge can be a very dangerous road to go down. If
you retaliate with violence, you know there will be retaliation against
you with more violence. Where does the cycle end? Can you think of a
situation where it would be worth it to not take revenge and end the
I I I I I
Don't Go There
I don't play when it comes to my fam. It's bad business
when you cross that line with me.
I got too much love for my family and I can't stand to
see anybody in the fam to be hurt. If you put my family
in danger, I'll make your whole life miserable. Don't go
I love my family more than words can explain. It's just
From The Beat: Family is so important, we agree, and we are glad you
have a strong family. We agree too that it's important to protect and
stick up for you blood family, but we took out the parts of your piece
that were about activities that would land you back in jail. We are sure
that your family loves you too, more than words could ssky, and would
prefer you safe and outside, unless you're talking about your street
family, which in truth could care less if you are locked up or not.
What's up wit the Beat? The day I get released I'm gone
try to come up on some paper. But I'm gone try to do it the
legit way so I don't have to hustle to get it or rob.
In the future I will like to have my own business so
I can put my ninjas on with a job with cool pay and so I
can be my own self boss. I want a fat crib, that new Lexus
or new Mercedes on 4s. I want Stacy Adams three piece
suits, coogie, evisu, and Jordans in my closet.
I want to come through the hood shining. Me and my
ninjas we all gone be shining and the police gone hate
because they can't knock us. they might catch us with
I some dro or toasta but can't do shhh cause I'm gone have
prescriptions for mines.
From The Beat: What kind of business do you plan to create? Can you
use your time to learn about business and making your own business,
and get yourself all ready for when you are released?
Today I'm going to talk about my release.
Well, on December 4th I got court with me and two
other co-parts. Well yeah, I just hope we get released
because I've been here almost 3 months and I think it's
time for us to be released.
Hopefully everything goes good and we get released
From The Beat: We wish you freedom nz well. What do you think you've
learned from your three months locked up? Anything that will be useful
to you in your life on the outs?
Dofl't Go There
X Paifl ifl My Life
One thing I don't understand about some dudes in jail
is why ninjas be so goofy in here and take everything
for a joke. Shhh be serious! And enough be enough,
sometimes dudes in here, ninjas don't be always tryin'
to be capping or roasting ninjas be more focus on getting
out and they court day and not getting more paper work
So some heads up advice for you minors and
youngsters, be easy man, do something productive with
your lives when y'all get out 'cause we ain't down forever.
I got a release day one day even if it ain't soon I ain't
tripping. I will be out one day.
From The Beat: You're advice to others is to be productive and stay out
of trouble, but you end by saying you're gonna go right back to doing
what you did to end up in trouble. How can you expect people to listen
to your advice if you don't follow it yourself? It's time to start practicing
what you preach!
Raise YoorHaods Ifl The Air
Yeah guns ain't cool so that's why you suckas need to
put them down an get them hands up an fight like men
*cause it ain't cool to shoot that thang every time you
have a problem. If I got a problem with somebody I ain't
just gone bust they shhh we can always get *em up before
I shoot you.
If you harm my family then I'm really gone bust yo ass
*cause that ain't cool. But remember before you shoot
somebody your size or your age put yo' gun down and get
them hands up blood real talk though.
From The Beat: While guns definitely make the stakes higher, hand
violence can be just az deadly. Do you feel that hand violence is less
dangerous? How do you feel about working out problems with words
instead - can nonviolence be effective?
The pain that I've been holding in my life ain't no joke.
I've lost so many people in my short life of living and I'm
only seventeen years old. My world has been a living hell,
it feels like I've been to hell and back but everybody I talk
to don't understand where I'm coming from they try and
say **I feel where you're coming from" but that shhh don't
Sometimes I get the feeling my own mother don't
understand me and she's my mother. People just don't
know what I've been through. I had to hustle on my own
since I was twelve years old walked out on my moms.
Sleepin' in the rain for two nights till my play brother
took me in so when I tell you that you don't understand
me don't get mad.
From The Beat: You're right, no one understands exactly what you've
been through or how it all adds up over your lifetime. We have all had
some really hard times, and understand how difficult it feels to make it
through them, however everyone's situation is different. What do you
wish people understood about the way you feel?
Gofl Vloieflce Will Never Stop
Gun violence is never going to stop especially in my
hood in East Oakland. We have too many gang-bangers
and drug-dealers so it won't never stop. I mean we can
have less killing but it ain't going to stop. Really now they
ain't playing with nobody. 'Cause sometimes you really
need a gun but at the same time you don't. Me, I'd prefer
to get caught with one rather then get caught sleeping
From The Beat: Do you think the violence would stop if there were
jobs and education opportunities available to those gang-bangers and
drug dealers? Or if they were all swept up and locked up? Tell us some
potential solutions to the problems you decribe here....
It's that vato Gilberto coming out of Max 2. Today I'm
going to write about gun violence. Well I find flaws in gun
violence and I see how some people don't like it, and don't
get me wrong I don't like it either.
But sometimes you gotta handle stuff and a lot of
people choose to do it by using a gun. And I've lost a lot
of my homies to gun violence and right now I'm here for
a gun related charge and I'm waiting to get transferred
to CYA, so I guess guns and gangs will never lead you to
good places, but I had to learn that the hard way...pues
I'm out orales Beat.
From The Beat: We hope some that read this can learn from what folks
like you write, instead of having to learn the hard way themselves. Use
your time well Gilberto, prepare for the rest of your life.
is the reason why I am here. It was the first time in my
life that I'd ever seen, touch, had , and felt the fear of
owning a gun. Clearly, after what this gun had done to my
life, I would never touch a gun again. This gun taught me
a lesson that I will remember all my life.
From The Beat: We definitely agree that guns teach often through
serious harm, or death. The power to destroy is not as beneficial to one^
life sis the power to create. It^ nt\ important choice to make: destroy or
create? If you could feel the power of being able to create your life...
what would you make of it?
I'm in her stressing like mad at this weak system, it
makes me hella mad I'm in here for some bunk shhh that
I didn't do. I hope that when I get out I am gonna do
better and that I will find the way to change my life and
do better because my Mom waiting on me when I get out.
From The Beat: We hope you can turn this whole situation around so
that you can make your life better. You can do it if you decide that^
what you want, and take it step by step, day by day.
I'm tired of this shhh I wish this shhh would stop I can't
wait till I get out
I pray that I go Pro and go to the NBA and have kids
wearing my shoes
and headbands. I want to live the real life, be rich and
have a million crib |
you feel and dig me? |
From The Beat: Good luck with that!! Practice, practice, discipline, taife
care of yourself, make good choices and work hard for your dreams. i
You don't joke about anyone that is dead that I was close
to. My Dad was close to me so if someone jokes about
him I get angry. I don't get angry if someone doesn't know
my dad and in general just says "yo Dad is so stupid..."
I get angry if someone is getting at him sideways. If you
don't get at him it's fine.
From The Beat: This makes sense because it would be Nice someone
disrespecting something that means a lot to you, and not being
considerate about your Dad or what has been meaningful in your life.
How do you respond?
Violence will take over the world whether or not people
like it. No guns, all it will do will make people fight and
stab. But through all the pain, America as our people
will survive whatever comes to us because we have the
From The Beat: What you write is a little confusing. You say that
violence will "take over the world", which ultimately means we'll all
fall, but then you also say that Americans have the power to survive.
These two things seem like they can't both happen. How will Americans
survive - what is this power we have?
To me guns are noth'n unless one is pointed at me. I'm
not scared of them but they are no joke, they are noth'n
to play with. I have many friends that died from guns, one
of my homies just died. ..RIP Lil' Pooh.
Guns is mostly the problem in the hood-if there were
no guns there wouldn't be as much killings, that it is now
matter a fact it really wouldn't be no killings not exactly
no killings but with no guns it wouldn't have as many
robberies... but I don't know a lot of people do robberies
without guns but guns is a big part of the violence.
It wouldn't be no bank robberies fo sho and it would
be better in the hood because nobody would have to
worry about somebody comin' through shoot'n-we would
probably lose more people to jail instead of guns. But gun
violence is a big part in this society. Gun violence is bad,
this just what my opinion is.
From The Beat: Life sks you describe it sounds so rough, it seems like
people get lost to guns or jail. What do you plan to do when you mik
released so that you aren't in this danger of losing your life one of these
I went to the train station to go through the desert
seen a lot of sand and the ride was soft just like a
The ride took all evening and the train was steel
I loved my trip to Venus it was just so real.
From The Beat: We like your writing, Rolo. Do you read a lot too? Read
and write as much sk^ possible while you have the time...
Dofl't Give Up
I know that it's impossible
to get these guns off these
but it's worth trying so go for it
even though you aint going to get far.
From The Beat: We agree with you, not sure what to do.
One person at a time. What about you? Do you plan to
but have to try.
carry a gun?
I hate eating food that I don't eat.
Me if I never ate it I won't eat.
I never ate menudo, tofu, sushi or raw fish.
I have ate pig feet.
From The Beat: How can you learn new things if you don't try it? We
agree there are certain things we'd also say no to, but gotta stretch a
little to grow.
Swaoyer Like Me
Who says Latinos can't spit like this. I'm Salvadorian Mexican
and Puerto Rican.
My lyrical capabilities show I got extraordinary swag
hits keep droppin' while them suckas lag
never the type to boast 'cause my rap sheet brags
wanna know my regiment, just look at the SF hat
snap into focus, play close attention
I been hotter than the temperature up in the kitchen
look through The Beat Within and someone's missin'
stick out like a sore thumb, it's me I'm mentionin'
been sharper than a gold dagger of all metal
thirty-five is the limit but I step on the pedal 'cause life ain't
just a caramelo
should give you an lEP just to make you feel special
planted the seeds in the right soil
got to turn down the heat to make sure I don't over boil
ha, these cowards make me giggle
I stay higher than clouds you can tell by the way I whistle
Chorus - repeat
Who in The Beat Within got swagger like me
Swagger like me
Swagger like me
With these handcuffs on, look how I shine on the wrist
took the roof off so now my car topless
hydraulic pumps left an' right my car switch
turn off an' on but don't blow the circuit
look in The Beat Within and check my sway
now they checking my rep checkin' how I rap
checkin my class, checkin' how I smash
I roll through slow an' then I gas
so off the top take it to the extreme
we livin' to die just like Notorius B-I-G
Ain't no don but they still kiss the ring
y soy lil savage Luchiano an' the fire I bring
like an elevator I'm climbin' to the top
bring the fire 24/7, spinning like a clock
interchangeable wrist on the watch
time to scat 'cause there go the cops
Chorus - repeat
These suckas is counterfeit
focused on the nonsense
I'm focused on the politics, look how I got 'm sick
it's still irrelevant how I got this much stamina
we can handle ya, that's how we damage ya
same color flag as the stars and stripes
it ain't about height, it's if the heart is right
if it got the right size then we got the right theory
can you hear me, I said beef, we got plenty
had to switch it up 'cause them haters' envy
I'm like AK, I spit verses 'till I'm empty
pop another verse, bars I got plenty
lyrics are right, just like every one with me
I move swiftly, fast, like lightening
intelligent gangsta, just check my writing
we live the life while Marks stay lying
while the real stay true and keep on surviving.
- Lir Savage
From The Beat: We agree that words are powerful and that expressing
oneself is important. We are glad that The Beat is a place for you to
swag. How can you be helping others to have such confidence with
Intro: Everyone thinks San Francisco is just glitter and
glamor, but let me show you the dark side of my city.
I am from the city where the Giants play and which the
Niners call home
Welcome to San Francisco
Where every block is a turf and every hood is a district
got rid of all John Does, so no one is missin'
bullets stay whizzin' and the city stay hot
been crackin' since RBL posse and before Mr. C. got shot
Gangsta Flea gone, lil duce gone
the Goodfelons still out but now it's my turn to be on
black an' brown repin' Salvadorian Puerto Rican bomber
seventeen reasons I got to take this game farther
bullies with fuUies like I'm Guce an' mess
the power and the pain gone so what'll happen next
take a ride with me down these deadly alleys
where real recognize real and sight is real badly
unresolved murders take in this seven-point-five mile
long city by the bay
connected by two bridges to still collect pay
Welcome to San Francisco
the city that doesn't sleep, where there's more than sight-seeing
more than just Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
dirty water represents the 49ers and Giants
Prisoner of war up at the Presidio
take the 38 then the 22, you landed in the Fillmore
home of Messy Marv, San Quinn and JT
City boys ain't no punks, we out to money
hop back on the 22 you just landed in the Mission
take the bus to my hood to see how I'm livin'
the district full of life we call it the Latin Ghetto
cholos an' zootsuiters on our murals, we ready
then backstreets stay faulty the frontline been gutted
forty posted daily on the corner
hop on the 48, you just landed in Portero Hill
go a lir farther, you just landed with one of the real
Hunter's Point, that murky island where it's even faultier
on the strip
3rd Street where they stay in scrappers to gas break an' dip
hop on the Muni train until you pass 7-11
hop on the 9x, you just entered hell, not heaven
that's them projects you enter and exit with caution
Sunnydale stay hot so only a few will walk in
stay on that bus you just landed in the Outer Mission
Geneva St. hop on the 29 Muni
slide through Lakeview where they are known to act rudely
sue me not likely just keep goin' 'til you hit the Sunset
that's them avenues where it's hardly ever sunny
North Beach down to Japantown known as the
keep on going downtown 'til you pass car dealerships
you just hit the Tenderloin, a place real known
drug addicts and ex-cons and prostitutes galore
Welcome to San Francisco
the city that doesn't sleep where there's more than
more than just Alcatraz an' the Golden Gate Bridge
dirty water represents the 49ers and Giants
- Lir Savage
From The Beat: Thanics for sharing your intimate knowledge of SF.
Certainly not what the tourists have in their tour books. We'd bet that
you know even more about SF that's not in the tour books, including
some fantastic, fun, rare, beautiful things that the tourists would Nice
to see. Tell us more!
I ! ! !
The ComebaGk to Camp
What's up Beat. This is your boy Luis. Today I am going
to talk about the comeback to camp. Wow it's my second
time here at camp. I was here last year. I did 9 months
so I finished my program. So when I got released I did a
crime and the judge gave another chance to come back
to camp so I gotta do at least seen months, but 1 ain't
tripping though, 'cause 1 been here before so I know how
everything rolls in here. Wow, *aight then I am out - holla
at you next time.
This time it feels different 'cause I do things different.
Things do have to change cause last year I was here I was
just wasting my time but now this time 1 am going to get
my GED so when I get out I won't have to go to school. I
am going to get my GED *cause when I get out I got a job
waiting for me. I am going to work on construction ... be
getting pay 15 dollars an hour so that's cool. Wow, 1 am
From The Beat: It^ great to hear that you have both plans and
opportunities to move you through these things. You will be constructing
buildings, and also "constructing" a new life, brlclc by bride, beam by
beam. What will It talce to build that new life for real?
Life is More Serioos Tiiao Peopie TakeilV
It's a pocket full of reasons that I don't find things
amusing, especially when I'm in the hall and people think
everything is funny or it's playtime all the time that ain't
how me and my ninjas rock.
Because we taught life is more serious than people
take it because a lot of things can happen by playin' so I
stay serious at all times, not speaking for anybody else,
but it's cool to laugh and express your feelings but it's
not always amusing when someone thinks it is .
That's all I got for this because I thought it was a good
question . So if I do make this to the Beat book, I hope I
understand what I mean by it's not amusing time all the
From The Beat: This Is exactly the kind of writing that The Beat lllces
to print - thoughtful honest writings that genuinely give us all " a
piece of your mind." ... So keep telling m^ more about what you take
most seriously, what you sometimes laugh at just because it gives you a
relief, and what you do when you start to feel stress? Or are you more
speaking of people teasing each other but then the teasing goes to o
Dpeo Yoor Eyes
Ay, yo Beat, hear me out as I speak
As I take you down this road of statistics.
They say we as black men could only play sports and
They say we will get killed or end up in jail. We won't
make it to see 32.
It's time for change and change is here.
Open your eyes: We are living and we are more than what
We are powerful speakers, family men, factors in school,
in the white house, and we too are people.
We can change, we have changed,
Stop making comments and movies about us and live
Stop fearin' us and love us.
'Cause we love our wives just as well as you!
From The Beat: This is straight POW material, full of pride and strength.
Next time be sure to sign your name so you can get credit for the power
of your words!
Shhh! I'm still up in the hall as you can see. Well, I'm just
waiting for the R.O.P. release to come. But it's gonna take
forever. But I'm just waiting. I'm missing my loved ones,
my girl. She's in a different state but we are still tryin' to
make this work. I really have strong feelings for her. I love
you, Ashley. Stay solid and strong for your man.
From The Beat: Good luck Bandit! Long distance relationships require a
lot of work, even on the outside. Are you writing to her a lot?
Well today I'm just here. I wanted to talk about how I
missed my curfew call. It sucks real bad because I only
got a 12 hour pass this weekend instead of Friday at
2:30 PM to Monday at 7:30 AM. But it's looking all good
because the week after that we got Christmas extended
home visits. I leave from Friday the 19th to Monday , so
it's looking super good for me. But yeah this weekend I
got three pairs of pants.
Alright I picked out three pairs of 55.00 pants but
they were on sale for 19.99, so then when I was paying
for them the total came out to 64.52, then the dude said
he had a coupon so I'm thinkin' it's probably going to
lower the 4.54, but no, it came out to 51.36 so I bought
three pairs of pants that costed $55.00 for $19.99 so then
when I was paying for them the total came out to 64.52
then the dude said he ah a coupon so I'm thinkin' it's
probably gon' lower the $4.52 but he jugged me and it
came out to $51.36 so I bought 3 pants that costed $55.00
From The Beat: Hey congratulations on getting a good deal on your
clothes. It's good to put on your own pants, right, instead of county?
We hope that soon enough you'll have that freedom in every part of
your life, and that youll take care of It!
Goofltifl' Eacii Day
What's good wit' it Beat it's me Gustavo from East Palo
Alto here at camp countin' each day... I've been here
since May and I'm going to get out in January. I can't
wait, believe it. I'm gonna finish High school and get me
a job so I can support my family and start this serious
relationship with this girl I like. I hope it works out,
So I just pray to God to let me out this BS camp -
because it is hella bootsy. So yeah I hope I get out and
don't come back. -
From The Beat: Congratulations on being about to get released! That^
I great, we are proud of you.
I think guns are a good invention because you can use
them to protect yourself but I don't like that they can be
used to take a life.
My grandma eats chitterlings, and I heard that's
supposed to be pigs intestates or pig boo boo, but I don't
see who would eat shhh.
From The Beat: Tj, you have some great ideas for longer pieces here, and
we hope you write more next time! In your personal experience, have
you seen guns used more for defence or for offence? Would a gun ban
in America help things on the streets? In terms of chitterlings, it^ true
they are pig^ intestines and rectum. But they are carefully cleaned, and
oh so delicious! Have you ever tried the chitterlings that your grandma
I Do It For The Streets
\ I When I Get Out
I'lii mob livin' servin' these knocks
Who is unforgiven
Tryin' to make a livin'
Talkin' about what we doin' and who we getting'
When we be blastin' these shots if you wonder why
Whatever happen to pops. When I was puttin' food on the
When momma's was lost
It just seemed like a fairy tale until my brother left
Then we had to make bail
People said I would never amount to anything
I would just fail
But if that's to be true I wouldn't be here tellin' my tale
I could see the tears in my mother's eyes when they sent
him to the pen never thought I'd see him again
Folks was talkin' about what they was goin' to do next but
what when they didn't get there welfare checks
I'm the lonely soldier got a burden on my shoulder
How am I supposed to get over this obstacle
How am I supposed to break this boulder
I do it for these people who are in struggle
I do it for the people who are in trouble
*Cause I preach through subs
In my back seat ninjas was starvin' so I gave 'em something
Everything I do, I do it for the streets.
From The Beat: From The Beat: The streets need you, the country need
you, your son needs you - we need people out there who understand
the pain, the struggle, and the beauty out there in the ghetto, and can
help make it better, who can speak up, with passion and power the way
you do in your verses. But if you really want to be that hero, first you
have to ^slmk yourself, and find a way to get your own life on straight.
Can you do that? Are there legit ways for you to put food on the table,
and be there for yours?
Anarchy in the USA
(From The Beat: Josh drew a picture that we were unable
to reproduce right next to the piece. The picture was a
rough Anarchy sign - an upside down A with a circle on
it, as well as n upside down cross. We hope this helps you
visualize his very powerful metaphor) I think this needs
to be in the Beat as is because it shows how crooked the
American government is , how sloppy and disorganized
If I were to speed time perfecting it, it would show
that America is perfect, which we all know it is far from.
The upside down shows how America worships a false
power, meaning all religions.
From The Beat: if religion isn't what would keep us finding hope in life,
or the feeling that someone can tell us right from wrong, than where
are we to find it? Where should we turn for comfort? Where should
we learn how we ought to treat each other morally? Tell us how you
personally find those things. You may have a lot to teach us.
The First Time ^v
The first time I saw and held a gun was when I was 8. \
What comes to my mind when I see or think about a gun
is fun, and also death. 1 think we should have guns for
protection but if we don't have guns we wouldn't need
protection. No, I wouldn't give my child a gun because if
he acts like me, something bad will happen.
From The Beat: Duane, this is a great piece, and we wish you had written
more! You zn'y guns htk fun — what about it is fun? Why are little boys so
fascinated by them? (Were you fascinated by them when you were 8?)
What are your ideas about how to stop the gun violence?
What's up, Beat? I'm good, just trying to do my time in
and get out. When 1 get out I am going to go to school
and go to college and get a good job and have kids and
put them through college, and buy a business and buy a
From The Beat: You've got great goals! We all need help with our
goals, though, and we hope that you have support to help you achieve
everything you'd like to, one step at a time. Can you tell us more about
what those steps might need to be?
Yeah! What's up? This is Slick. What I think about guns is
that you need them sometimes but you don't sometimes.
It depends on the situation you are in. For example, if you
live in a dangerous zone or hood like Oakland you would
need a gun for protection, for self-defence because you
could get robbed or jumped and threatened and you will
need a gun. But you don't need to shoot, just scare them
away. But if you have to you have to.
From The Beat: Isn't this the main problem with guns though? That
people feel like they "have to" because they are afraid, and then tragedy
My Name Is Rnn Run
What's up with The Beat
Man this camp stuff is weak
People say they get active but ain't
They ain't got no heat
So before they tell me lyin' speech,
I tell them don't speak 'cause my name is Ron Ron
And I stay I writing to The Beat.
Now I'm gon' say this again, this camp stuff is weak,
I'm used to riding around on 22's or 23's and smokin' on
big trees but 1 miss them streets but bein' in love with the
street I can't get back on my own two feet
So I thank the Beat for lettin' me get this off my chest
But now I'm going to let my hands rest
And say Peace Out to the best.
From The Beat: You may love the street but it don't love you back/it
fiends for your blood like a knock feeds on cracif/and if you fall from a
bullet or catch a life case/another lost soul will just take your place/but
there are people out there who do love you, your family your friends/
the sky up above you/we say you CAN get up on your own two feet/you
deserve more than fake love from the street.
Juveniie System vs. Aduit System
If you mess up good
Now you are on paper
If you're a felon it will make it hard to get your cheddar
Maybe if you're a kid you can get out, but you have to be
Not just book but street smart as well.
Right now I'm in the system but I'm not stuck
I know where I'm going and where I'm headed
Those who are stuck I truly pray for them
Because once you are in it's hard getting out
When I do I'm going to scream and shout.
From The Beat: This poem shows real determination to lead a positive
life, and you also show you know how challenging that can be. So in
your mind, what will your book smarts be that you use to help yourself
with? And what will your street smarts help you achieve? It sounds as
if you have both, so tell us some more details for your readers and fans
in the Beat!
Not GoinotoMakemy Mom Cry oo More
What's good Beat Within, this yo' boy Billy. Yeah I'm
back now. F m doing my time up in camp. How much I
hated the hall I miss the staff in my old unit and some of
the kids and I even miss them haters up there.
Man, but I'm outside now, I'm not in a room no more
locked up. But it's still not home and it's weak, but shhh
I'm doing my time and. A, you need to keep yo' heads up
do yo' time, that's all I got to say, I'm gone.
Man I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get out,
but I think I'm going to stay doing some of these groups
they do up here in camp, and start to get my GED or
something. But that's all talk so I don't now what I'm
gonna really do when I get out but I know that I'm not
going to make my moms cry no more, and I'm going to be
staying with my moms and lil' brothers and be there for
both of them.
From The Beat: Welcome to Camp - it^ good to hear that you are outside,
enjoying fresh air and moving one step closer to the freedom you need
and deserve. So far it's good that you like your new situations... Which
programs do you think you might continue? What kinds of things have
been most interesting to you so far?
Close The Gun Stores
The only way we can stop gun violence is to close all
the stores that sell guns. I think people who are disabled
for example in a wheelchair should be allowed to have a
licensed gun for self-protection. But I also think someone
who is a high profile celebrity or a lawyer or a judges
should be allowed to have a gun for self-protection.
But the only way to stop gun violence is to close all
the gun stores.
From The Beat: Thanks for putting your thoughts down on this important
issue, Farhad...Gunmakers make so much money off of their "product"
that they've managed to get a lot of power in this country, and it^ the
youth that end up suffering the most. How would you suggest we fight _
back against the powerful gunmakers though? I
They Say Appreciate Today
Wake up in the morning
Brush my teeth and I grease my scalp,
get a bite to eat and I'm out
As I look out my RIP Hoodie, I think.
I almost forgot return to the room grab my banger and I
They say appreciate today, but another would be great.
-The Whole Eight
From The Beat: Another day sure would be great. You deserve that and
more! You tell a violent story but you tell it with heart, like Ice Cube
in "It Was A Good Day" or Scarface "Never heard a man cry". Keep
Pli) M) Soni
If I don't make it play my song
When you ride through listen to me
See if I can get inside you
Tell my momma that I never meant to leave her man
Tell my lil' bra we gon' meet again.
Show my mama big times and a happy home.
Wipe her eyes
From The Beat: There^ a lot of love in this short poem - so much love
that we think you've got too many reasons to value your life. Do you do
everything you can to protect it, and to be with your family? Because
there^ too much talent and heart here for you to lose it!
Damn, I'm still in here. It is your little homey Buggy
coming out of Fremont. I've been here for a long time. I
thought I was gone get out but the judge keeps playing
games with me for like 3 months.
It makes me hella mad, but it is my fault. It seems
like every thing is falling apart. My lady thinks I cheated
on her because I'm in here and people putting stuff in
her head. That makes me hella mad but it is my fault for
getting locked up in here. But I got to go.
From The Beat: We all make mistakes little homey. But it^ how you
handle the situation after you make the mistake that really defines your
character. All those problems that are going on the outs, you can't really
do much about it. Don't stress off of it. Do you, handle your business
and get out. And when you do get out stay out, so you won^ have to
come back stressing.
Staff Gettifl' Shady
stuck in the Hall and stuff getting' shady
tryna get back to my ol' school block,
my gun and my old lady,
waitin' to get out 'cause times be getting' hectic.
These bootsie ass ninjas and these ancient ass rec shhh
Feelin' real reckless since life ain't fair.
Don't tell me nothin'
to keep it real, I don't care.
From The Beat: We hope this is not true - because there^ only one thing
worse than feeling pain, which is getting to the point where you don't
care - but one thing that is true, no one can "tell you" anything. Your
life decisions belong to you, and you will make your own choices. Our
new year's wish for you is that you make choices that will make you
happy and keep you safe.
Guns are no joke because most of my family got killed
I because of gun violence for no reason.
Just like my uncle Tanta got killed for no reason, like
Burger was killed by his girl brother, and Paco was killed
by some fools.
I From The Beat: Guns are the most horrible invention ever. If there were
I no guns, then maybe all your folks would be alive maybe this world
I would be a lot different. Why do you think there are so many guns out
I on t
on the streets?
roi Not Cofloeited, I'oi Coovioced
I'm not conceited, I'm convinced.
To be honest, I'm cocky.
I'm the most awesome person I know. Being me is the
I'm intelligent, funny and absolutely adorable.
You can sit there and call me ugly all you want but I don't
There is no way I'll let you give me second thoughts
or doubts about my appearance,
the size of lips
The arch of my back, and the sway of my hips.
I'm gorgeous in every way
I'm the shhh is what I always say
You may call me stuck up you may call me a B..
But like I just said, I'm the shhh.
From The Beat: We think you're sis beautiful sks this writing implied/but
It^ because of the beauty we know is inside/in your heart and the pain
that you've suffered and known/the way that it^ helped you on your
way to grown/so share the most awesome girl that person you know/
from inside not outside that^ where it will show!
Why Should I
\ WeiPd rood
Why should I have to suffer because of you?
Why should I have to take the blame too?
Why should I have to deal with the hardships in life?
Why should I have to listen to you dish out strife?
Why should I have to be the one to blame?
Why should I have to be the one to feel your shame?
Why should I have to Mom?
Why should I?
Why should I?
From The Beat: These are sharp, pained questions, we'd love to know
more about what lies behind them, what icind of answers you would
have in mind. A mother and a daughter are bound together even when
they have anger between them. Have you tried to answer some of the
questions you pose here?
What up Beat? I agree guns are no joke. I thought guns
were joke as people in my neighborhood flashed them
around. Some people carry guns just to be cool. But
others carry guns to be safe because people want their
I had a personal experience with guns many times. I
had a couple guns in my life but part of what I am in here
for is because a gun went off in class and they found the
gun. They thought the gun was mine so they are trying to
put it on me, but it was not mine.
From The Beat: That^ a messed up situation to be caught up in. Why do
they think it was yours? Did you give them any reason to thinic it was
yours? Sometimes if you give people reasons they automatically assume
that you're guilty. You're saying that you didn't do it, and we believe
you. How can you prove your innocence? There has to be a way.
Mv Mama is Mv Best Friend
One thing I don't find funny at all is when somebody
is talkin' about one of my close family, like my mama,
because my mama is my best friend. She is closer to me
than anybody and 1 take everything somebody say about
her to the heart. For example, when one of my close
friends disrespected my Mama by accidentally callin' her
a b - we ended up fightin'.
From the Beat: It^ true, that bond between mother and son or daughter
deserves the greatest respect - what are the other ways you show your
love and respect for your Mom, and for the other people in your life
whom you care about?
The first time I held a gun I was 12 years old. I was in
Modesto in a farm, which had big land. My uncle came out
with a .22 caliber and a rifle. We went hunting for rabbits.
I was surprised with how a little gun can tear off a rabbit's
foot. I felt kind of bad but it was funny.
From that day on I respected guns big or small. I have
a gun and I am not afraid to pull the trigger on anyone
who messes with my family or me or people 1 care for.
But I wont do it because I know what will happen if I
get caught. But I care, but it will be worth it, maybe. But I
don't know I am out and back to my cell hahahaha.
From The Beat: What icind of respect do you have towards guns? Is it
the power that they possess or is it your fear? 'Cause just Sks easily as
you're telling us that you're quick to pull the trigger, there^ also about
a million other fools with that same mentality and maybe even worse?
You don't think about being on the other side of the barrel? Probably
not, because by the time you do it might be too late.
My dad makes a (caldo) with chicken feet it's very good
cause he makes it all the time because I tell him I like
that food. He told me that when I watch people doing the
food it gets over salt.
That means he makes it very salty. That's why I don't
really like to see when he makes it cause when I eat it I
like to enjoy the food with soda.
From The Beat: We thinic that^ great that you're open minded about
food. 'Cause that also means you can be open minded about other
things in life too.
You don't give in
From The Beat: Seems to us that the winner is you/ because no matter
what pain your life puts you through/You will wxe^ew be alone if you've
got a pen/To express how you feel, with the paper ^^ friend. Peace!
X [At Ten
Today I had court. I was almost sure I was getting
released but I ended up getting sent to a group home I
was really disappointed.
From The Beat: We are soriy to hear that. Do you have a plan for when
you enter the group home, so that you can use your time wisely there?
Siiouid of, Cnuid nf, Wooid of, Bot Next
Sometimes I feel depressed so Ijust take walks sometimes,
but Ijust should've followed the rules. But I bet you next
time I'll follow the rules. But sometimes you just got to
do your time.
This time when I go to court this Thursday and get
released I will try to do my best by staying home and
going to school. I'm telling you this will be my last time
messing up because I'm only 12 years old and I don't like
being in here.
From The Beat: Just follow the rules my man and you'll be on your way
to a trouble free life. If you sit here and actually do what you're suppose
to be doing, then you won't have any problems. We're glad to hear talk
so mature for being so young. You definitely have your game tight.
Keep it up and it will pay off!
Crazy in iVIy iVIind
My father told me not to get in trouble and look where
I'm at. "Jail is not the place to be" my father used to say!
I never listened to him and, now I know what it is to be
locked up. I wish I was at my house with my family. The
stress level, the depression level, it's killing me. I don't
know what else to do to not go crazy in my mind.
From The Beat: Write! We mean this. While you are stuck in jail, write
poems, write your life stoiy, write your hopes and dreams. And read
too - let your imagination take you where you physically can't go right
now. The most important thing is that your body is in jail but your mind
belongs to you, right? So show us what your mind can do!
What I think about gun violence. I think gun violence
is not necessary, I'd rather fight than have to shoot
someone. Sometimes people use guns cause they're
afraid to take an ass whooping. I would also stick 'em
*cause its personal.
From The Beat: You make a good point to start off, and then you
contradict yourself, by saying you DO want to use a gun if it^ personal.
Why not use your fists, or even better, find ways of dealing with the
situation other than violence? Or is this totally na'ive? Tell us mora
about your thoughts on this subject, we'd love to read more!
The gun violence in Oakland is terrible because people
now a days kill other people over petty things like calling
a girl a b word, smelling bad, and other things that is
So I got a main question "why is there guns in the
world?" If it was up to me, personally, I don't like guns
just because they kill people and that ain't cool.
From The Beat: That^ a very good way to look at it. Too bad not
everybody thinics like you Dominic. Why do you think people don't
think about what they're doing before they actually do something so
crucial like talcing someone^ life?
The first I saw a gun was when I was like 10. I was at
my friend's house the first time I held it. I felt power in
my hand and excitement, like I wanted to pull the trigger
and see how it feels to blast. Then later in my life I saw
more and more and years passed I lost friends to gun
I think it would do good to get yours off the streets
but at the same time it's hard for us not to carry guns
because we need protection and we know other people
will carry them. I wouldn't want my son to puck a gun
but if he's already in the game then I can't blame him for
From The Beat: What kind of game are you talking about? How would
you let your son join the game? Wouldn't you rather not see him in the
game? Cause you know therei only a couple ways out of the game. And
one of them is either jail, or a pine box. Would you want that for your
If you *bout to do time and yo' homie dropped a dime.
That's real my mans
If you just copped to 10 in the Y or the pen.
That's real my mans
If that robbery got y'all thrilled, the next day he got
That's real my mans
If you had a bad dream that was nothing like Dr. King
That's real my mans
If you need yo' space stressed out 'cause yo' case
That's real my mans
If you want money, power, respect *cause you thuggin' in
That's real my mans
If you tryna get dough all through the rain makin
That's real my mans
If it's a hard knock life so you choose money as a wife.
That's real my mans
If you going through trial, ain't had a visit in a while
That's real my mans
From The Beat: This is like a modern-day blues that reaches out to share
respect and compassion for everyone who struggles with the system.
But now we have to find a way to make a change, first in ourselves, and
then in the streets - and that^ real too.
Hate These People
Man, check this out! My homie that's resting in peace
gone actually rest in peace, because I'm gone touch every
last ninja that had something to do with my ninja's death,
Anj^way, gun violence ain't a cool thang, for real. A
person can crush your entire life with one squeeze of
that trigger. These new guns that my goons got have
100 rounds plus, so I know if these 223s hit you, they
knockin' everything loose. People these days don't know
what they doing with these guns, so innocent people
get hurt and they target get away, and nowdays, ninjas
shootin' at anything.
People need guns for protection, because if someone
get at you with a gun, then you better have something to
get back at them, ya dig?
From The Beat: There are a whole lot of ways to "touch" people, so if
you're intending to hurt or kill anyone responsible your homie's death,
what is gained? More young people die, you can get hurt or Icilled
yourself, or, if you get caught, spend the rest of your life in state prison
or be executed. So how many people will be dead if you "touch" these
people too hard?
What's really good with The Beat? Me? Nothing—
thuggin' this time out. I be home soon, man, but the only
thing is when I go home, I got to be on this ankle monitor
shhh. All these people want is a young thug in the house,
but you know I'm go do me, with or without the ankle
monitor, ya dig? But I be home soon, for all the ones who
want to know. But, yea, this a lil' something on my mind
this week. I'm gone.
From The Beat: As onerous ^s wearing an anicie monitor will be, because
youll feel and be hobbled, at least you'll be home. The authorities are
giving you a chance to prove you can be trusted with responsibility. Will
you prove them right or wrong?
Rules Of The Streets
1. Do not snitch.
2. Never leave your homie.
3. Never love a girl if you ain't in love. Only love someone
if it's true.
4. Do not leave the block unattended.
5. Treat the 'hood with respect.
6. Get your structure. Lots of people have a lack of
structure, that's why a lot of people don't obey the rules.
From The Beat: Someone once wrote that the root of all wars is that
people feel that their families, their neighborhoods, themselves are
being threatened, even to extinction. Do you thinic that^ true for
your homies in your neighborhood? How do your rules keep your
neighborhood calm and safe, or don't they?
Ain't Teellny None Of This
Fo' real, fo' real, 1 don't even know what to write about.
This be gettin' super can, my ninja, fo' real, yo. This
same routine every week. Don't nothing change but you,
my ninja. Even yo' conversation became different man.
Messin' 'round with them people, my ninja. Don't get lost
in this thing. Stay above them dudes in the long shoes
*fore you be comin' out the hat, if you get what I'm saying.
I'm out. Sincerely yours.
From The Beat: You're right, "don't nothin' change" inside the system. If
you want change, it has to come from inside you... How's that coming?
What's good with The Beat? I ain't feeling the topics
I just wanna say I'm in here holdin' it down, keepin'
my head up. Just spent my 17th birthday in here. It was
weak, but been eatin' phat, though.
Waitin' on the day when I get out. Seems like forever,
but they can't hold a goon down forever.
To those who holla out thangs behind doors, ain't
nothin'. Get off who you mad at, bruh...
From The Beat: We're sorry you had to spend your birthday locked up,
and hope your f 8th birthday will be spent in freedom. Of course, that
is a matter of the choices you maice when you touch down.
Man, I Thouoht I Was Gettino Out!
Wha's up Beat? It's your boy Isaiah still locked up until
January of *09. 1 was supposed to get out long time ago on
20th of October. But they playing me.
I been here for two and half months in jail, about to be
three months, but I'm not proud of that. But I'm officially
getting out in Jan. of *09 to go to Wyoming. My mom is
sad about everything that happened. I can't lie. I'm in a
gang. My mom is mad, but she dealing with it.
Well, I hope I get out. I'm going to miss my baby mama
every day I'm in here. This is the last time I bein' in jail. I
love ma mom and family, baby mama.
From The Beat: When you love your mom, your baby mama, your baby,
and your gang, you have to make some choices about what you love
the most. If you love your gang, you will always leave your mom and
baby and baby mama behind, and in tears, no matter how much you say
you love them. You can't have it both ways, which is why you are now
separated from all that you love. Time to make some difficult choices,
which take some personal courage. We hope you're up to it.
Ahout Me And The Halls
What's up with The Beat Within? Yeah, you know this
lady-to-man. Ha ha. Yeah, but chu know I'm in the halls.
Been here four times, and I'm tired of being up in this
G-thang. But you know I'm getting out Thursday 12/4/08
and I'm so happy, so I can see my hubby. You know who
you are, don't front. But all these females up in here all
about talk and don't never get active. That's all Vernisha
about. Everybody heard of me?
From The Beat: If you've been here four times, then you should be giving
yourself advice, and no one else! When you are truly tired of handing
chunics of your life over to strangers to tell you what to do and when
to do it, then you will stop doing the things that lead you to lock-up.
Unless you make that change, youll be spending a lot more time with a
lot more females... feel us?
This violence is hectic. Ninjas getting smacked.
You can't leave the house unless you strapped with a
Believe what I say; I seen it live and direct.
Hatas had to go because they had no respect.
So believe what I say, be safe on your block
Because I'm just like Freddy Kruger, nightmare on any
From The Beat: We almost did not print any of this because The Beat
won't promote gun violence (so we took out two lines which did just
that). We don't believe anyone can teach respect by shooting someone!
Fear is not respect. We hope you waice up and realize that the government
doesn't care if you're Freddy Kruger or not. They will ALWAYS be able to
outgun you and stop you, sis you are now stopped.
Gun Violence At Ten
\ Speak Up
Well, the first time I ever saw a gun was when I was about
10 years old. I was at my house and my friends called me
to go outside, my other friend had taken the gun from a
Later that day he brought it over to my house and
gave it to me when my parents were not home and nobody
When I think of guns, 1 feel like 1 wanted to take it
around my town to show people that 1 don't play but 1
never did that. 1 think we should have guns in our lives
so that people can take care of themselves. I also think
guns shouldn't be in out in the community so that we can
handle our business the old fashioned way.
No, I would never want my daughter, or if I have a son,
to have a gun or see or use a gun in their lives. I really
don't know how you can change guns.
From The Beat: We know just how you feel — looking at guns, seeing
how dangerous they can be, but not icnowing how to change their
presence in our — your — communities. Do you remember how you felt
when you saw that first gun — scared, intrigued, overwhelmed, or what?
It^ interesting that you don't want your child (ren| to have guns in their
fives — what can you do 3iz a parent to iceep their lives violence-free?
Wastino Ynur Time
Young men get smacked left to right almost every day
"God" took they life, but what can we say
He took they life for a reason because they were wasting
People were stressed out because they had stuff on they
They don't make enough money so they be on the grind
You can't run away from death when God want you to die
Too many funerals and violence all around
Lots of bodies six feet underground
I'm a young ninja in the game but it still the same
At busting cannons I'ma be in the Hall of Fame
From The Beat: It's easy to "blame" God for taking life, but that^ just
a way to duck from personal responsibility. What icind of God taices so
many young boys in the prime of their lives? No, the choices you make
are what determine your fate. If "God helps those that help themselves,"
then you are not helping yourself by boasting of being in the "Hall of
Fame." In fact, you're in jail. Open your eyes. This is not a Hall of Fame,
but a Hall of Shame!
I think that shhh is messed up and shady when ninjas
don't really be in that shhh but still get hit with bullet that
ain't meant fo' them. Get that shhh right. If you going to
do it, do it right. Don't put innocent people in that shhh.
From The Beat: As long sis children have guns, innocent people will
always be victims. You can say, "Get it right," but look around you and
see how many people fyoung and old) get it wrong, all the time. Yes, it
is very messed up and shady!
Tired Of Tliis
I'm not feelin' it today. Beat. It's just one of them days.
One where shhh is just a little off. Tired of the bullshhh.
I'm ready for some real shhh. Too many lies. I'm done
givin' a damn. Peace!
From The Beat: We all have days when we want to give up. But in the
end, we come back, because giving up means giving up on ourselves.
What you feel at this minute is not permanent; you will feel different
Going through different type of issues
Mama using tissues
Thinking why you locked up
Police said you wouldn't conduct
Why not speak up
In yo' cell going crazy
Thinking the police tryna play me
Neva was a good kid
Thinking back 'bout the shhh you did w
Why not speak up.
From The Beat: Maybe the police are trying to play you, but are you
giving them the ammunition they need to do it? When you're in your cell
thinking about your mama using tissues, do you also think about what
you could do to dry her tears?
What's up Beat, it's Andrew. I'm back from L.A. Well, I
failed the group home cause I ran. I was only there for 2
weeks then ran and tried to come back to San Jose.
Now I'm spending time in the hall waiting for an
opening in another group home, I've been here almost a
month and counting when I could be a month closer to
getting out and off probation.
From The Beat: We hear sadness in this piece, and that makes us sad. It
seems Mice you have some questions to answer for yourself, liice why you
ran, and what you were running from at the group home, or towards in
%nw\ Jose. What can you do differently this time around to reach your
goal of being off probation and out of the system?
What's up. Beat? This ya boy, Lil' Bra. My sis is with me
at all time. I been in this G-thang for 'bout a month. They
say I should be going to an out-of-home placement.
My wife is also with me, and forget *bout what the
next girl or girls have to say, *cause in the end, she's all I
got, and I don't want to lose her. My birthday is 12-3-91,
which means I have to turn 17 in this G-thang.
This is my first and last. I'm out this G-thang, ya
From The Beat: When you say your sisters and wife are with you, do you
mean they are locked up here, or with you in spirit? We hope they aren't
here. Maybe by the time this is printed, you will already be out, and you
I will be able to iceep that promise that this is the last time to get lociced
up. What is your plan to make that promise come true?
Gas, cash, my little stash
I can't get no money in here, so I'm gonna get a rash
I need to get out and on my granddaddy, I mean, fast
I'm always first, never last
All these little smart comments, for now I'm gonna let
So since I'm getting out sooner than I think, I'ma jus'
*Cause they don't wanna see me when I snitch and
On time, never late
Soon as I get out, my outfit gonna be cake
I stay to my team 'cause I'm allergic to the fake
I'm keep moving 'til this money I make
From The Beat: When getting cash is on your mind/ It^ easy to fall, and
trouble to find/ Don't forget what it^ like in this lociced-up scene/ And
whatever you do, keep your nose clean!
Your Dude And Mines
\ ' My Girl
Is he nice? Is he rude?
Like walking around the house with a towel and halfway
Is he sexy, with a hem attitude?
Well, mines, let me tell you, he all the way fine
When I tell him to come in, he does, right on time
He stay with me even though I'm on my grind
Locked in juvy, guess who on my mind
He'll sparkle in the thunder, whether my little sun shine
I'm old to this, speaking through a rhyme
I just gotta tell you where I get my little dime
His name is Thizz,
Just to let y'all know, I'm his
Y'ail say I'm young, but I call y'all little kids
If y'ail know him, that, too, is my bizz
When I get out, I'm going straight to him
They don't want no beef, so I ain't stressing *bout them
Baby gas. 111' mamas and my team
On the squad, man, I does move mean
Even though I ain't out rushing that cream
My lir daddy is the whole reason I'll cause a scene
Every time The Beat comes, I does my thing
Next time I'ma make a rap and I'ma have my sis sing
I'm an angel, but Thizz is my wings
Alright, I'm done, y'all fo'eva ha steam
From The Beat: Like we've said before, the only way to do what^ needed
to Iceep a loving relationship going is to be out, working on your issues
together. So, forget about the other young women in here and what
they are or are not about, and focus on what it takes to get out and stay
out. And good luck with your man.
Well today I'm not feeling this topic so I'm gonna write
about my girl. Well, she's my girl, I love her more than
anything in this world. She's my angel, and she's been
there for me through thick and thin, any kind of weather.
Rain starts to fall I'm gonna be her umbrella keep her dry
even when your life is wetta.
From The Beat: We hear twinges of Rihanna in this piece, and we're
digging that. You make a great point — how when you love someone,
you want to protect them and make sure nothing bad ever happens to
them. How does your girl protect you? How can you change your life to
make sure that you don't ever have to leave her for prison again?
Gunslints Seem Nnrmai
What's up with The Beat? I mean, gun violence is rapidly
in all areas. When I hear gunshots, I think it's normal.
But I hate when people I befriend die. It hurts inside when
I don't like the violence. I can tell everybody whose
people lay in peace to understand sometimes it's meant
From The Beat: Every violent death leaves someone^ mother and loved
ones feeling the same hurt you feel when someone you care for loses his
or her life. When "gunshots are normal," something is veiy wrong. What
should the government, the community, or each of us do to change
1. Back on the unit
2. Being unaccepted
3. Where can 1 go now?
4. I still hold my crown
5. Winning all my rounds
6. Loving the crowd's sounds of round of applause
7. I'm still dope
8. Don't touch a Tort no more
9. I keep on the scoreboard
10. Brought my game back to the new millennium
11. On no presentation
12. Can you feel the tension?
13. Oh yes believe it
14. Feeling the aggression
15. Leaving the sensitivity
16. You should know my name
From The Beat: We're not sure how to respond to this, except to say it^
hard for us to get past number 1... What brings you back, and what will
keep you from another return trip?
It's Aiinut ramiiy
What up with it? I realized that the topics were weak. I'm
sad I'm here. Can't be with may homies on the block and
stuff. But honestly, it really ain't *bout homies, it's about
family. They the only people who visit you and shhh.
I'm in here for robbery, some dumb thing. It's like
when you on the outs, you do anything. But in here you
think and make promises and you end up getting back.
Man, I need help. To all, keep ya heads up. Stay safe
From The Beat: (We had a hard time reading your name, so we apologize
if we got it wrong.) Knowing that you need help to keep the promises
you make in here when you're on the outs is the first step to getting that
help. What do you think you need to remind you of the consequences
when you're free to make your own choices? Who is hurt the most when
you end up here?
I Dnn't Lii(e Guns
I really don't care for guns. If it was up to me, I would
have everybody fighting still. I think if you have to run to
a gun before you use your fist, you are a punk. I would
like to tell everybody who use your hands. See you next
time The Beat.
From The Beat: We also think that using guns doesn't show how brave
you are, but how afraid you are, so we agree with you. Since you are a
thinker, can we ask if you have any ideas or suggestions about how to
persuade young people to put down their guns?
Can't Be Tiiere Fnr My Newliern
I just got a letter from my homeboy. He said nothing
much happening, it's all cool. Reading his letters, his
hand written words. I can hear his voices through my
mind. Every phone call, day, I hesitate.
I'm too afraid to call the one I love. Now I got a baby
coming on the way. I'm not sure if I'm ready for it. My boy's
been telling me it's all right. But I can't sleep thinking
about my unborn child. It's tragedy that I can't be there
My baby's mama tells me she's ready to leave. This
makes my time here worst.
From The Beat: Yes, DK, it is a tragedy that your baby will be born
without a father there to guide him. Can you tell us why so many
boys (not yet menj are making babies when there are ways to prevent
pregnancy, if you act responsibly? We itnow you thinic about the future,
and your unborn baby^ future, but why didn't you (and so many others
in your situation) thinic about that before creating a new life that you
can't take care of? We're sorry your baby mama wants to leave, but by
coming here, you left her first... Will you have a role in your child^ life
when you get out of here, or will that be up to her?
Lookino At CYA
Hey, Beat, this Banana. I'm back up in this G-thang. It's
helia weak up in here. I'm eighteen, about to be nineteen
May 7th. I came back on some dumb stuff. I had a dream
that I was going to CYA, and today, date 12/2/08, my PO
came to see me today and said if a grouper don't come get
me, I'm going to CYA. Damn! Dreams are real.
So to all up in here, pray for me so I can go to a
grouper. Well, that's all. To my hubby, I love you. Love,
From The Beat: Look, Banana, if it^ "hella weak up in here" and you're
"back up in" here (especially "on some dumb stuff"), then doesn't that
make you weak, also? What will it take to give you the strength — the
courage — you need to stay out of this weak place, and the places the
system has waiting for you down the line?
Back And Forth
What's up with The Beat? I'm back in here. I just got out
on the 2 1 st of November. Now I'm back in here. This time
I said I was going to change, but you can't never change
when people put you down and say little stuff. But keep
yo' head up! I'm gone, lii' dawg.
-Yung J. Newt
From The Beat: Well, if "people put you down and z«^ little stuff,"
then you must be giving them something to say. There will always be
snitches, from top to bottom, so if you don't want to be here, you have
to make those changes you ^n'^ you can't maice. We know too many
people who have decided they don't want to be prisoners, and have
made those tough choices. When will you?
It's I War
What's happenin', man? I'm still in this thang holdin' it
But guns... I think that it's important to have one
because if you in this war that I'm in, an' you don't have
one, you are guaranteed to get RIPed. You feel me.
From The Beat: We wish you would write more about this subject,
because you're just giving us your surface thinicing. For example, if
guns give you the protection you believe they do, then why are so many
young men with guns dying?
Guns Are Serinus
If you got a gun and you get into a fight and they start
clappin' it up, it is your right to have a gun (Second
Amendment). It ain't cool to have showing off. It's only
for self-defense. That stuff does not make you look good.
I thought it did, but look where I'm at — locked up and
they won't let me out!
From The Beat: By saying that it^ not cool to use a gun to show off, you
acifnowledge that the 2nd Amendment is not absolute. It has limits.
What other limitations and conditions do you think go with "the right
to bear arms"?
What Gnes Arnund
What's poppin' with The Beat? This ya boy "Drewski
still in here. But you know I'm holdin' myself down like a
anchor. But for real, though these staff be on some other
shhh, acting like ninjas retarded and shhh. But it's cool
'cause whatever you do, it's flnta run back up on you
sooner or later. But I'll holla at ya next week.
From The Beat: When you say that "whatever you do, it^ finta run back
up on you," are you talicing about the staff, or yourself? Is being here
an example of something that^ "run back up on you?"
Eatino Sunflnwer Seeds
I like eating pork skins. If I had a choice what to eat all
day I'll eat sunflower seeds and drink tampico juice. By
eating sunflower seeds, I just like to eat the seeds and the
juice is just good. I love that your mouth operates when
you're eating sunflower seeds. They have all different
kind of flavors, but the ranch kind is the best.
From The Beat: Don't forget to put your name on what you write! Also,
don't rewrite the Beat topic, just write your own piece (which you did 'I
after you wrote our questions). Do you get the sunflower seeds with or I
without the shell on them? I
Guns And Butter
Guns are good and bad. We need them for protection,
but some people don't know now to use them. When the
wrong people get a hold of them, it's not a good look.
A lot of clowns get hold of them that don't aim and hit
innocent by- standers instead of the target. Others use
them to rob, and some robberies go bad, and another
innocent victim is murked.
From The Beat: The problem is that there is no way to keep those guns
out of the hands of foolish people. As long as children can get hold of
guns, they will act like children. And children are clowns. When we read
of all the death and destruction, it^ hard for us to see how any good
comes from guns!
My Mum Knnws Wliat I Gut Myselt Intn \
What hurts my family is being at the Ranch, but my mom
knows what I got myself into, but, anyway, man, that all I
got to say and love you. Mom. You feel me?
From The Beat: Does it help you that your mom understands all about
why you're incarcerated, or Is that humiliating for you, or both? Will
her understanding help you stop whatever it is you were doing on the
I Get Duwn Fur Mines
Don't go there 'bout my dead homies or my family. The
reasons are because I will get down for mines. I don't like
jail, but I will go if I feel like it's something that could
*cause me to lose my freedom. So what? I'm go ride it
From The Beat: We understand the urge to react when those you love
are disrespected, but to do things that put you in jail don't maice sense
to us. Do you respect yourself and your own freedom less? The hall is
minor compared to jail, which is nothing compared to prison! We hope
this is not something you have to learn through personal experience in
Skip's Brnadcast: Tai(e ItTnn Far
Ninjas need to know when they takin' shhh too far, ya
dig? Because if people know what they sayin' is true, they
or they fam gon be lookin' real foolish if they become a
victim of a ass-whooping, or worse, a casualty.
Everybody is not built with the mental capacity as
everybody else. I ain't gon hypocrite myself, because
I've taken stuff too far, but I stop when I hit that boiling
From The Beat: You could have made this a much stronger piece.
Skip, by giving us some examples both from those you talif about in
the beginning, and from your own experience of hitting that "boiling
point," we'd have a much clearer skwisk of what you mean.
Real Ninja Every Day
It ain't like we like to do it. You gotta tote fire
Because if you don't, then it's a good chance you gone
die. Because everybody want a piece of the good life.
Give us a piece of the pie, then we all right.
All the ninjas I done looked up to done gone fed.
And all the ninjas I admired got plenty bread.
And I was taught that a real ninja don't beg.
And these streets was never designed for the scared.
And all the ninjas that ain't broke, they done took the
So if you on your game, you bet not show your hand.
A ninja told me I can't sell dope forever.
I told that ninja I don't want to hear shhh from a broke
*Cause how I feel if you broke, you in the way, ninja.
Forget what you heard, I'm tryna get rich today, ninja.
Don't talk about it if don't pay, ninja.
Money excite me, not females, okay ninja.
I feel, if you broke then you deserve to be
*Cause it's too many way out here to get cheese.
From The Beat: So, you won't take advice "from a broke ninja," but we're
supposed to pay attention to someone who^ loclced up and tallcing
about how to get your money? Hmmm. This doesn't add up to us. Seems
lilce the money you're malcing now is going right into the pocicets of
Lthe strangers who tell you what to do and when to do it. Read the Beat
Without section and pay attention to those who, like you, thought they
were "real ninjas" — and are now trying to stay alive in the huge and
growing prisons of California. Do you think they might have something
of importance to sst^ to you?
Don't Go There
I don't like when people talk about my family. It is
disrespectful, so I feel like I should do something about
it. I think. "Oh, that just gave me a reason to fight them
or shoot them."
Would you like it if someone say something that make
you mad? You will do the same. That's why I feel like
that about my family. Like if you say something about my
family, *hood, ninja's or other things, it get ugly. When I
get a called a sucka, it's going to be on.
I don't react good.
From The Beat: We also get angry when people disrespect us or those we
love. But how we react to that disrespect can maice a big difference in
what happens to us (and them). Fighting and shooting are two possible
reactions, but both can lead to terrible consequences, even worse than
the disrespect itself. Can you think of other possible ways to handle
The Power Df Gofls
People who walk around with concealed guns put
themselves in situations that force them to use them.
People wouldn't bother or pick on other people if they
didn't have their guns. A person might use his gun just
because they were bullied and want to get revenge. Some
people need that power a gun brings them to feel safe and
that helps them get their way. The power of the gun can
corrupt some people, and others work with it.
From The Beat: Very thoughtful essay. It^ true that people holding
weapons can revert to them whenever they feel threatened, get angry,
or whimsically, like whenever they're in a bad mood, if they indulge
themselves, and that's really dangerous, you're right. On the other hand,
some young people insist they need to carry guns for protection, even
in their own neighborhoods. What solutions to this weapons standoff —
to carry them or not-do you have?
Hot II Be Pliyel With
One thing that you can never joke about is family. If you
about the family — whether it be the street or blood family
— that's something that you don't play with. Another thing
that you don't play with is the *hood. Touching bases with
a subject like that and playing about could get you played
out. That right. There isn't anything to be played with.
From The Beat: We agree that nobody should play with what another
person loves (family or not). What we question is the reaction when
such disrespect occurs, because the violence that you hint at does not
promote the respect you want, only fear — and the strong possibility
that you will pay the highest price, and not the person you're trying to
teach a lesson to.
Skips' Droadcast: Weird Foods
I pretty much anything... when I'm intoxicated, but I
don't go as far as pigs' feet or nothing like that. First off,
ain't no feet goin' in my mouth, period! But I ate sushi
before and I didn't approve! But I ate alligator. It was cool.
I ate duck and it was pretty good until I found that it was
duck. I hate eggs. Anything with eggs in it, I distance
myself from it. But I love food though but I stay away from
a lot of stuff.
From The Beat: Do you eat chicken? It^ no different from duck. They
both come from eggs (but so do alligators). Anyway, we found this
interesting. If you ever travel out of the country (or even to different
parts of the U.S.), you will find people all sorts of things that you might
find strange, but which is their ordinary diet. Maybe we should have a
topic on the most exotic or strange food you ever ate...
\ I Just I Rep!) To IWiiit lou Seel
When you look into my eyes
What do you see?
When you look at my body
What do you see?
When I look in your eyes
I see a happy future in you with a smile
Me and you viewing a sunset
Later we text that what I see in you
You can see in me
When I look at your body
I see a well self-takin'-care-of
Very consistency person
[Consistancy — firm and thickness degree)
From The Beat: Well, with a treasure like this on the outs, it seems like
you need to find a way to hold onto your freedom — and to her — when
you touch down.
Dofl't Go There With iVIe
I'm a quiet person, but when it comes down to a real
situation where I have to react, I react. My instincts kick
in. People threatening me, or if I gotta wake it up, then I
do what I gotta do.
People running they mouth, disrespecting my family,
my 'hood, or my ninjas, things could get real ugly. I can't
stand disrespect. Joke about anything else, but when you
call me a punk or a sucka or worse, or you disrespect the
things I love, be ready for some beef.
From The Beat: Have you ever asked yourself if there are other ways
besides beef to respond to disrespect? We understand the urge to want
to hurt someone who disrespects us or who and what we love, but is
that effective? Does it end the disrespect? Is there any way that people
can be made to see how similar we all are (we al have mothers who love
us and who hurt when we hurt and grieve when we're gone) without
resorting to beef?
fifif4r^//i/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/
Guns Are Fun
The first time that I ever seen or holded a gun was at the
age of 15. The gun was a 12 gauge shot-gun. I thought it
was pretty coo' to hold it and try to shoot it. I was gonna
try to shoot it but I couldn't 'cause it wasn't loaded. Plus,
I didn't have anybody to shoot it at.
All I have to say is that it was pretty heavy. It was a
good thing that I didn't get to pull the trigger. I could've
killed myself with it or just shoot the wrong person with
All I could say is that guns are fun. I don't care what
people have to say about that. Well that's it for now till
From The Beat: When you say you could have shot the wrong person,
you're telling us why guns — especially in the hands of young men — are
terrible tools to possess. There is no RIGHT person to shoot at! All you
have to do is imagine someone you love — a younger sister, maybe, or
brother — who gets shot by someone like you who thinics that "guns are
fun" to understand why guns bring nothing but death and destruction,
leaving the living to deal with their grief and pain. Some icinds of "fun"
are not worth having.
X I Motivated To Stay Away Frooi Haters \
Well, first and foremost, I would like to give my respect
to the homeboys. This is the homeboy G coming at you
from the max. Well, today I'm going to write about guns.
To be honest, 1 don't even remember the first time 1
seen a gun. I seen a lot and held a lot. A lot of things come
to my mind when I think about guns, like flashbacks of
how they have been used. Shhh, things come back to me
like when I think about how many of my enemies, family,
and even homies been dropped by a gun. But where I come
from, mostly everybody got a gun. In Sacramento that's
all there is, is gunplay. But I do think that in Sacramento
you do need a gun because you either shoot or be shot.
Yeah, I would want my child to pack a gun if it was
necessary because shhh happens. And I think that gun
violence is going to get worse because there's more
technology and things more advanced.
From The Beat: One of the biggest problems with packing a gun is that
it often produces what you describe Skz "shhh happens." When you're
packing, you often take chances and put yourself in situations you
wouldn't otherwise. How do you ever know if a gun is "necessary"? All
the young men who paid the final price with their lives thought being
strapped was necessary, but they are gone forever! We would think .
about that before we gave a child of ours a gun! |
I was first a teen, 1 got my first cuete (knife). It was a
sunny day when one of my homies came and told us he
just bought a new toy. First I didn't really pay attention
to what he was saying. But once he took it out, I got
surprised and 1 wanted to use it. But I didn't really know
if he was going to let me see it, so 1 just stayed quiet.
After a while, 1 was like, "Whatever," and told him
to let me see it. He was like, "Simon." 1 was like, "For
reals!" He said, "Be trucha with it because we don't want
nobody to see it. You know how these people are. They
see something like that and they start getting scandalous
and it's all bad."
After a little while, I told him when was my turn to use
it. He said to be patient, that my time will come soon.
From The Beat: It seems Nice you didn't get to finish this story. But even
so, would it worry you to see someone Skz young nz you were handling a
knife? What do you thinic it means when children think of weapons as
toys? Would you want your little brother, sister, cousin, nephew to have
one? Why or why not?
What up Beat? Well, today Tma go of track like always.
Today was a slow damn day. I'm mad because my so-called
homies, my co-partners, they doubting me because I got
life skills. They saying on the street that I snitchedl What
kind of shhh is that?
One of my co-partners knows I didn't. He tells me not
to trip off what they think, and I ask myself why can't
they be happy for me because a homie gonna get out
soon. But they hating on me. They say I snitched and I
got caught up a day later. And someone snitched on me
and everyone else. But they hate on me.
The way I see it is to hell with that and what they
think! The only friend I got is the one 1 got in here. Fm
sad because Fma leave this unit in a little while and I ain't
gonna see him. They trying to screw him over, but I can't
do anything, really 1 ain't gonna see him for a min. That's
the only friend I got and my family, so when I get out, I
hope they still think that because it will motivate me to
stay away from them and think more about me and my
family and do what I can to keep my boy company with a
letter, keep him in touch and show some love to him like
he has for me.
Well Beat, I'm out.
From The Beat: It^ too bad people you thought were your friends have
turned on you and accused you of things you didn't do. You already have
enough motivation to stay away from people liice that. You're lucky to
have found someone in here to show you love, and he^ lucicy for when
you are out there showing him love. Treasure your true friends, and
leave the rest alone! Treasure your freedom, and don't do anything that
can lead you back!
Which Is Easier?
What's cracking Beat? This be that one and only Shy boy
coming out of these Santa Clara streets? Well I'm here in
the life skills unit and am about to write about what's
easier life on the outs or being locked up?
Honesty I think being locked up is cookies, because
it takes a real man to be out and taking care of his family
and struggling to survive making ends meat. Any kid can
get locked up and get his meals handed to him and being
told what to do it is easy life for someone who doesn't
ever want to take responsibility for his actions. I think
certain vatos need to man up!
Well Beat 'till next time. To all keep your composure
and stay solid!
From The Beat: You have a good point. It takes someone strong to live
free and live for his or her family and self. Coining back here is just too
easy and does no one any good.
Life in hear is easy but yet hard it's easy 'cause we don't
have to worry about bills and responsibility like our
parents do , it's hard in here 'cause we can't do things
our way and we don't have our freedom.
For me it hard 'cause I got my special familiy out there
and I'm in here not doing anything positive but when I get
out I'm never dreaming back here I hope I'm gonna do the
best, it hard to be a dad for my son through these walls,
but to answer the topic it's easy in here but hard at the
same time. To all stay strong.
From The Beat: Some responsibilities are better than being free of
them, and family really is one of them. You're right that being away
from loved ones can be hard even if the little stuff is easy. We hope
you're able to do all that on the outs.
fifiUr^/fi/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/
s. I think
it for eood I
What's up Beat? Today I'm writing about guns,
guns are a real responsibility. Some people use
reasons but other people, they use it to hurt others. I
think having a gun could be cool, but also dangerous.
From The Beat: You could make this a much stronger piece by giving
examples of what you mean. What kind of situation do you imagine
where guns are "cool"? When are they dangerous? Do you think boys
and girls (not yet men and women) should have guns? Why or why
What's crackin' Beat? Well I'm going to write about
runnin. Well I been runnin from the ranch since 1 was a
young teen and all 1 did is get more time. I ran so many
times that it's easy to run.
The last time I was on the run from the ranch. I was
only out for a few months and I got caught for some dumb
From The Beat: It doesn't seem to make sense to run. It's a temptation
that just maifes you worse off.
In My Mom's Shoes
The Beat Within I'm writing about the subject today
because I'm a just give it a shot!
Well if I put myself in my mom's shoes I can't even
imagine what to think. First off I would be sad because
I don't want my child to be going down the same road I
went down, and I know my mom doesn't want me going
down the same road she went down, but I don't know....
All I know is that I got my moms support even though
I'm putting her through this, and my kids going to have
the same love! Well to all keep your head up!
From The Beat: It^ sometimes hard to step outside yourself, but you
seem to be doing a really good job seeing what your mom must be
feeling. We hope you can take that and do the best for her and for
yourself (because she wants the best for you).
Beat readers this is Peanut! I'm writing about it being
easier for me being on the outs. For me it's really easy
because I can handle doing what I need to do.
From in here I can't do anything but the same shhh
everyday. Even if I'm doing bad I think it's better and
easier to get help or even just talk, whether it be to a
homie or a family member. Just stuck in this trap makes
me mad but it's all. To everyone keep your head up they'll
be better days.
From The Beat: You make a good point - one of the hardest things
about the hall is the isolation. It separates you from the world, and
makes you live with your own mind, even if it lets you live off others
food. We hope you find something here that helps you out there.
The New President
Hey Beat. What's good with yall. It's me Black Bird
coming at you again. Well I'm very happy about Barack
Obama being the new president of the Untied States. Also
I'm proud of him because he made history. If I was 18 I
would of made history because I would of voted for him.
So I'm glad but I got to dip. G's up!
From The Beat: We can all congratulate him.
Do oiy fliifld
Q vole Beat readers how you guys been well as for this
vato, I've been cool I guess. Well am just going to write
what's in my mind. I was just thinking last night about
my life I been in these walls all my teen life.
Now that am 18 years do I think different. The way
that I think different is because now that am going to the
ranch again am not going to run am not trying to spend
my life in jail. I want to enjoy my adult hood in the outs.
From The Beat: Life is real. It takes some time for most people to figure
that out. We hope you do what you can with your real life.
Which Is Easier
Hey Beat! How you guys been? Me I'm good! I only got a
couple of minutes so I'm going to get down real fast.
Well today's subject is a good one. Life out there
could be hard and easy. You know out there you could
live with your family. But there might be someone who
abuses them at home. There might be a bad influence at
home like parents, brothers, cousins etc. They might give
you drugs like meth or pep. In your head you want to say
"nah I don't want to do this" but you put on that mask
and just go along with the flow just so you won't look like
In here or other facilities kids come in filthy, hungry,
scared. There in here and they forget about the abuse
or pure pressure. They shower in here get three meals a
day, When people come in here you get three meals a day,
when people come in and take of their clothes, it stands
by itself by being so dirty.
In the out's they might not have a place to sleep,
shower. Brush their teeth, or my not even have family in
In here it ain't shhh, whoever ever thinks this hell!
Stop gangbanging ! Drop the lifestyle you live! Stop
gangbanging! Drop the lifestyle you live!
I'm a gang member and I know I'm not going to be
But back to the subject I think that probably life in
here might be easier if your institutionalized. But I rather
be in the outs. I do make my own decision's I don't have
to prove my self to anyone, no one pressures me, I have a
family, I'm glad for it. That's my opinion.
Alright then Beat. Hopefully I get lucky and this get's
published. Alright to all, stay up ..
From The Beat: You make some really good points. It Is harder on the
outs a lot of the time, because you have to make your own decisions and
live your own life. In here, you just get to forget your life away, and
have everything stabilized so that you may si^ well not exist. You sure
aren't doing anyone else any good in here.
I am me
Easy to see
Come holler at me if you can keep it clean
No more fighting
No more fussing
I'm a good man
Working on one plan
Its for me yes its
Me , I am what I am so talk to me, if you want to be free
From The Beat: It sounds like you are getting a good idea of what^
important and what you care about. I hope fear disappears with the
fussing and fighting.
Being locked up in this giant daycare is hella easy. They
feed you, change you, shower you, take naps , wipe your
ass, take you to school tell you what to do I feel like if I'm
in preschool all over again.
Even the education they teach you in here is easy like
I might of gotten locked up but I ain't ignorant.
In a few weeks I will be going to the ranch.
Being in the out's is hella harder then being in the
out's is hella harder then being in here. In the outs your
going to school, working and still smashing you have many
responsibilities. The education is difficult and you need
money so you work in a minimum paying job or hustling
in the corner and nobody tells you what to do or when to
school or to get a job your basically independent.
Well to all doing time stay up...
-Lir Silent G
From The Beat: I hope the Ranch satisfies those needs for you, and
helps you be independent. In any case, good luclc out there. Be smart
with your choices!
Inside Or Outside
I think life in here is easier, but not better. In here I don't
got to trip about the police or the detectives, you don't
have to trip about a house raid while your sleeping, but
you still gotta stay on your toes. I still can't wait till I get
out. Life in here is easier, but I'll take my chances on the
outs. Well that's all I'm gonna say for today, so late and
stay up I
From The Beat: I thinic most people would agree with you. Things that
are khz-^ are rarely worth it. Coming bacic time and time again is e^zy,
but it won't get you anything you want. Are you man enough to do
what^ not so eskz-^l
Well beat. I don't know I'm pretty mad because I've been
here almost 2 months and you guys haven't put my stuff
in. but yet there's other ones that are hella stupid and
I see those in there. But now it's whatever now. So I'm
gonna try it one more time and if mine ain't there I won't
write no more. So I'm out for now. Late Beat.
From The Beat: If you write your heart out, and you mean what you
say, and you zn'^ what^ important to you and is respectful, you will
Knew Tiie Trutli
Before, when I was doing what I was doing, I knew the
truth about the gang life. I was around a lot of gang
activity. I did what I did before, but I learn from that
though, I'm tired of what I use to do, that's why I'm done
with all that.
I would tell kids not to follow through what you see
in front of your eyes, if you do, your hurting your loved
ones, who you love that who your hurting I hurt my family
when I was out in the streets doing what I did, but I learn
from, it's better to learn now and have goals for yourself,
I have goals for myself, because I'm gonna make my mom
and dad happy and proud of me, I love my family.
From The Beat: Thanks for your words of wisdom. It^ hard sometimes to
imagine what happens to others when we screw up. I hope that others
can learn what you've learned without having to live it themselves.
I'm not in a gang, but I know why any person would
join a gang though. First to get someone back (revenge).
Somebody always has their back (protection). And to
make sure their friend will always be backed up (loyalty),
but most do it because they like to and love fighting, that
From The Beat: These are three real reasons why people might join up.
But unfortunately revenge means that any protection or loyalty is lost,
because no matter how protected you are, all it takes is one moment of
revenge to lose everything.
' iVIy Lnved Ones
I hate being locked up.
These walls keep me away from my loved
like my girlfriend.
I am going to miss her b-day and our second |
I can't wait 'till I get out.
I am going to make it up to her for
I miss her and my family when I get out
am going to do
From The Beat: How are you going to make it up
to them? What are 11
Hey Beat! Me, I'm doing good in here. Well I'm not feeling
today's topic, wait never mind I'll write about the new
president. Well I think he's gonna die, if not now then
later, I don't know he might change something in the
USA he got million and millions of people all riled up, he
better do what he promised to do, we don't need another
Arnold (The Terminator) who's going to take money from
schoosl and country or we don't need another Bush
Hopefully he's a man of his word and he does good as
president because if he doesn't then most likely he might
just get killed.
From The Beat: Well, no matter what, he^ going to die. No one yet has
survived forever. But I think you're right. With a lot of hope comes a
lot of expectation. We all hope that he can help the nation, but don't
be surprised if he stumbles, too.
What good Beat well I just came back from a screwed
I found out my homie from my hood got shot and killed
on the spot. He barely got out from CYA.
It's all bad.
Barely 18 years old.
He is gone now, but will never be forgotten.
Rest in paradise.
The last time I seen that homie he was in court here in
getting sentence to a cool minute to CYA.
I got locked up before he got out
now I can never get to see him.
Rest in peace Lil' L.
-Lir Silent G
From The Beat: It^ a little scary to know that it can happen that fast.
What kind of life do you want? Even if others can end it, you can
control what you do, and who you are.
rifiur^/fi/jf.iii ynij^f /4.i/
Dbama And Racism
When I found out we were having a black president I
was so happy. But at the same time I was scared, because
I knew someone was going to try to kill him. But they
Not in 100 years would 1 have ever thought we could
have a black president. But 1 don't think racism will end. 1
don't think so, not even in 100 years, because people just
got that mind mentality about people.
From The Beat: We hope you are wrong about racism. And Obama^
election certainly proves that we've come a long way in just fifty years.
Each of us has an obligation to help eliminate racism, and irrational
prejudice, wherever and whenever we encounter it.
to make up
with money to spend.
Catch me rolling with the big wheels,
not the ones that spin.
Ima boss dipped in sauce.
From The Beat: What
whatever flavor it is.
flavor is that sauce? Must be
Time goes on day by day.
Although 1 got 6 months to pay
Ima hold my head up high,
my shoulders broad, walking with pride.
It ain't going to faze me if ninjas gonna hate.
I'm a boss 'til the end,
with dollar signs in my head.
Ain't getting no mail.
No phone calls to make.
Just waking up to ninjas I hate.
They ain't on this hype -
money hype 1 mean.
Nobody messes with a boss baby -
From The Beat: Hey Vickyy, we've been watching those guys on Wall
Street who had dollar signs sticicing out of their heads. They aren't
so happy now. Maybe you should thinic about finding another way to
give your life meaning. We're sorry you aren't getting any mail. Aie you
writing any? (You're a pretty good writer.)
Love is love
Love is happy
Love is kind
Love is people
Love is you
Love is everything
From The Beat: Love is a lot of things, and there are some wise people
who say it is everything, everything of importance, that is. But love is
also action, right action, doing good things. Without good action, love
is just a word.
Love is strong and it can take you over.
It can change your whole mindset.
Be careful who you fall in love with,
*cause you don't wanna end up heart-broken,
blaming yourself for his mistakes.
Love is powerful and makes you make decisions
without even thinking.
So just be careful, and stay strong.
From The Beat: No such thing as a decision without thinking. That^
what a decision is - an act of choice. If you act without thinking, you
aren't deciding, but mindlessly reacting. Better to think through any
major moves. As you point out, a failure to do so can land you in hot
Hey Beat, this yo' girl back up in the honors unit again
- for the seventh or sixth time. Yeah 1 know: that's some
dumb shh. But anyway, 1 ain't feelin' the topic tonight.
So yeah, Ihave nothing to say or sing, but 1 just wanted
to say that my mom's been in and out of the system for
almost her whole life. She just got out a month ago and
now she's taking care of business, and probation. Much
love and respect. Yo girl.
From The Beat: We're glad your mom^ taking care of business. We'd be
even gladder if you took care of business. There^ a better life to be
had, and it^ painful to thinic that you could end up going in and out
like your mom. Now^ the time to get it together. We guarantee you that
your mom doesn't want you following her example. Get with it, Malae.
This is it - this is your life.
fifiUr^/fi/Jf.iii yHiMf /4.i/
Until The Day
Here I am in juvenile hall. Staring at all four of these
walls. Just waiting 'till the day 1 get out testing fools to
be what they about not knowing what they will do. Just
sitting waiting for time to pass and waiting for the day *till
I get some lovin'.
From The Beat: Sounds like a plan.
Some people say I'm touched, but not by an angel,
Most people think I'm a troubled individual,
Really I am a product of my environment,
On the streets selling dope for early retirement.
There's something wrong I feel no regret,
I don't give a damn about forgive and forget,
I look deep inside in search of my soul
But end up disappointed when all I find is a hole,
I have much built up hate,
I hope someday it won't hold me back from my
Until then I'll just sit in my cell and chill.
Wait til med time takes another pill.
Going to Ranch and doing time,
for something that the system considers a crime.
From The Beat: Believe it or not that hole and hate found deep inside
you is holding you back. And the problem is that you haven't realized
it. We recommend that you re-search your soul again to find a solution.
Until then, just go back to your cell and keep searching. Search for the
positive side of you.
Q-vole Beat? It's this vato back again to talk about my
vida. Well, I get out on Tuesday, so next time you come, I
will be here. So, when I get out, I'm going back to school.
If I do come back it's because my vida and my love for my
varrio and that's gonna be the reason.
I can't complain because I love it and the way the
gun blows. So, yeah this is mi vida (my life) so to all the
homies in here keep your heads up and don't trip it's
gonna get better alratos.
From The Beat: What's going to get better? Nothing will get better if
you are thinking of living the same life style you LOVE. Just be ready
for the consequences that this life will provide to you. One more thing,
be careful with what the gun blow. "Live by the gun, die by the gun."
Don't forget this saying.
Should I Run
What's crackin Beat? This is Gumbie. Well, for right now,
as you can see, I'm still here. Well, I'm not feeling none of
these topics, so I'm just gonna speak my mind.
Well they're sending me to Wyoming, but I don't know
if I want to go. I haven't made up my mind yet. But damn
I'm tired of all this shhh, but I'm looking for a way to get
around it, but I always seem to fall back in the system.
I know running ain't helping it, but I just can't seem
to do my time. But I think if I run from Wyoming, then
they're gonna give me life skills, but damn they never do.
Maybe this time they will. I don't know, but we'll see what
From The Beat: Don't run! Do your program. If you run from your
problems, your problems will hunt you forever. The solutions is in your
hands. Don't mess it up. Start acting like a grown up, because you're
I Want To Play!
Yo' what's good with it? Well, today I'm gonna write about
The Beat. In my opinion forget The Beat. I appreciate the
people working in The Beat in taking their time to explain
to us *bout different kinds of topics each Thursday.
I don't like The Beat because it takes time out of our
activity off instead of having free activity or watching a
movie. We have to write to The Beat.
I give credit to the other people locked up that write
some smart shhh, but sometimes they don't even publish
our shhh. I have sent drawings and writings to The Beat
and they don't even publish 'em and I draw some good
shhh and I write some kwel shhh!
From The Beat: Thank you! Even though you wrote against The Beat,
we appreciate it so much. Do you know why? Because we just got out of
you what we seek from all you, self-expression. If this is how you feel,
you've just participated. Keep writing us. That's what we exactly want
for you. And about your art, just have patience.
Coming soon! Back to the community is your boy
I'm gonna be out in 20 days baby!
I'nm gonna be going out in 20 days baby!
I'm gonna be going out to my family, my son.
It's been a little while since I been gone.
I'm hella excited! I feel like I could run 5 miles.
Just playing you crazy. I'll be hella tired.
I wouldn't be able to feel my legs. Peace out!
The next time I see y'all is never.
Baby you got me feening.
Baby you be pleasing me.
From The Beat: We take it you are pleased to be leaving the hall.
I wonder if you think of me like I think of you,
I wonder if you kiss my picture at night too,
what would happen if I never met you,
I wonder what I would do,
I wonder if the world stop spinning will I fall off without
I wonder if there's another fella trying to take my place,
tell me if your talking to other guys, it's a mystery
I wonder if it'll be that easy for you to forget our history,
I wonder if the sun stopped showing will the moon be
I wonder why loving you hurts so bad,
I wonder if I was blind will you take my hand and lead
if I had no arms baby would you feed me,
I wonder if I died will you get my name tattooed above
for the whole world to see,
I wonder if you would die for me like I would for you,
just like Romeo and Juliet let our love be true,
right now I'm lost, I'm wondering in the dark,
the only time I felt safe was with you baby
wait for me so our love could be true
but for now all I could do is wonder of you.
From The Beat: This is a beautiful piece. You ask all the questions we
wonder about when in love. But sis pretty hz Romeo and Juliet are, siz
dramatic as a name above your eyes is, know that love is also about
being there, and being around long enough to help the other through
A Gun Brinos Problems
X ' Ganys
What's up Beat how have you been? Well, today is
Thursday and I am going to wirte about gun violence.
When 1 was young, my dad had a shotgun and when
he got locked up and did some time, he got out of the pen
and my brother and 1 visited him at his apartment. I asked
him if he had the shotgun still and he said yes. He threw
the gun out the window and my uncle got mad and went
to get it.
When my uncle came back he said we need it for
protection and my dad said, "I could go back to the
pinta!" And my tio (uncle) end up hiding it in the garage.
My dad's parole officer came and did a search and
found it. My dad went back to the pen for 5 years. He is
still in the pen but for something else.
Well till next time Beat airato.
From The Beat: We are sorry for you dad. He was right when not wanting
to iceep the gun at home. Keeping a gun at home is very dangerous if
not away from those who can't use them, and especially when being on
probation or parole. Your dad is nt\ example. After what happened to
your dad, would you Iceep one?
What's up Beat?
You should of spoke up.
now I'm hooked on drugs
and messed up,
speak up, if you love me,
now Fm on the streets
oh, I was so lonely
you did speak up,
I never heard you at all
now I'm stack in the hall.
thanks, I was falling in self-destruction,
now without drugs Fm able to function.
From The Beat: Keep it functioning
really easy, but getting unhooked is
stay away from drugs. This is your
without drugs. Getting hooked is
much harder. Take this chance to
chance to defeat it. Don't throw it
If I was in the Presidents shoes, I would be nervous and
worried because basically the whole world is on your
shoulders. Your choices affect every one. So you have to
make sure that you choose the right thing or you will be
hated from every one like George Bush.
From The Beat: So, what type of president would you be? What would
Well, today my topic is what's on my mind. Well everyone
always tell me Fm whooped. Fm not. I'm just in love. She
means the world to me.
I've been in and out of this facility and done beat
cases. I need to open my eyes and realize I have not only
got both of my parents. I got a lady that's down for me.
I have been with her lyear and a half. I love her and
will do anything to prove it. First I need to stay out!
From The Beat: Start working on those plans. You got it. You got the
point. Don't let go of it. We htk so glad that you're thinking like this.
So glad! So, for the next time you write to us, don't forget to tell us
what your plans are. Your parents and your girl deserves your positive
thoughts and a big change.
Aye what's crackin'? It's that beast they call shabbs
coming at you. If you're gonna join a gang, don't regret it.
I don't feel no remorse or shame in gang, banging it's all
or nothing. That's just how it is when you're a gangster.
From The Beat: You may not feel remorse, regrets or anything like it, but
if you continue acting and thinking like this, you WILL. And when you
hit this point, it will be too late. Be careful with your beliefs because it
can turn out to be your end.
You Ifl My Shoes
To imagine myself in somebody else's shoes.
Would be one thing I wouldn't do,
walk a day in mine
A life considered crime
Due to my life of struggles at the time.
I don't know it all
but I been around the block.
A everyday struggle and battle
that would leave someone in shock.
If you feel me and know how it is to struggle in life
those who are hurt learned to hold back their cries.
From The Beat: What's in your life that can be consider a crime? What
created these crimes? The decisions you make? We all know how it to
struggle in life, but that doesn't give us the right to keep making our
lives worse by doing wrong actions.
My Love My Soo
I love my son to the fullest
I wish I could be with
I wish I was there for his birthday
I wish I could be there when he needs me
I wish I could be there when he walks
I wish I could be there when he took his first step
I wish I could be there when his sick
I wish I could be there when he needs help
That's why I love my son to the fullest
From The Beat: Are you doing something to be with be there for him?
A child is a blessing. You can do all this and more with him. You just
need to make up your mind and give him what he deserves. But, are you
really willing to give everything up for him? That's the big question.
What I think about guns is that I hate them 'cause I think
everyone should just use their hands, and there would be
less deaths. It would be a good to have less death.
Every day I pray when I wake up. I really hate guns. I
haven't held one and wouldn't. I'm old school and just all
hand. I don't need a weapon.
From The Beat: Good for you. Only if we all thought the way you do this
world would be a different nwic Keep yourself out of the reach of guns
and try to teach the new generations that guns are bad.
The Historic Electloo
I believe it's good to finally have a black man as a
president. I think our country will forget about racism
and mostly everyone will start getting along.
From The Beat: We sure hope you are right. The stakes are high, and
the President -Elect is asking each of us to consider ways to serve the
greater good. Have you considered how you might help out?
rifiur^/fi/jf.iii yniMf /4.i/
Really everybody should have their priorities straight
before joining gangs and know the true consequences for
leading the life they live. So really everybody that doesn't
know here it goes. GANG LIFE AINT ALL FUN AND GAMES.
There are cons and you need to know where your at. For
me I love my life and wouldn't change it. We to all stay
solid and keep your shoulders straight.
From The Beat: Thanks for laying that out there. We think sometimes
it taices people some time to figure out the pros and cons of anything.
Hopefully you can get the word out so people don't make the decision
without knowing the facts.
What's new The Beat,
homeless playing with guns,
always get six feet,
it's not good,
packing a glock in *hood,
nobody don't wanna die young,
so why is ninja playing guns?
Thinking it's fun,
*till her mother looses a son.
Now ended doing 25 to life,
behind my gun,
aint gonna see the light,
we know what's wrong and right,
so why we keep bring guns to a fist fight,
you live by the gun,
you die by the gun
That's why homies always find themselves on the run, so
just say no to guns!
From The Beat: Responding back to your question: we don't know why.
Do you know why young people are killing each other with guns? And
what^ most important, do you know what we can do to prevent it?
Thanks for your words. We hope this message opens at least the eyes
of one person in here.
Plenty To Think About
When I do get out I got a lot of responsibilities on my
hands. I got two kids and no money. But since I'm in here
I have a chance to work in here because I'm in life skills.
So hopefully that happens. But yeah. Until next time I'm
out so stay up and be cool. Late beat.
From The Beat: You seem like a guy who spends a lot of time thinifing
about his plan. But your plan is just the surface. What drives you?
What connects you to others? What do you wish you could say to
Gii't Wait Ii ao Ii Ike Riich
What's up Beat? How have you been? Man, I can't wait to
go to the Ranch. Beat, I don't want to be waiting for a long
time. I am number thirty and something on the list.
I'm waiting in this unit and I am waiting to go to the
next unit to go to the Ranch, so I can do my time and get
my OT. Then, I want to be able to see my love and have fun
when I see her.
When I get out, I am going to stay out of trouble and
stay out with my family.
From The Beat: It seems liife all you have left is to wait to get transferred
and do your time. T>y to learn something that can help you in your
future. How are you planning to stay out?
Some females remind me of the sun. There bodies are
very hot and their personality and smile just bright up
From The Beat: Nice.
To the Beat and fellow loved ones. Today I am going to
write on this topic that caught my eyes "speak up."
Before I was at the Ranch, I used to always be with
my loved ones and instead of telling them to chill and be
cool, I would encourage my loved ones to go with me and
be stupid. Well with much love.
From The Beat: Itk not too late. Right now might be the exact time to
speak up. Right?
Tlie Best roDd
Today I'm going to talk about my favorite food. 1 like it
when my mom make tacos, posole, enchiladas, menudo,
That's why when I get out I'm gonna tell my mom to
cook for me. That's all 1 have for today.
From The Beat: You are proud to have a mother who cooks so well and
so many different types of food too. It seems Nice you are missing out
on so much. Wise up!
I'm going to tell you about my barrio. My barrio is a place
everyone knows each other and where we take care of our
own people also don't got to be scared in any way. In my
barrio you can walk free. And some times my barrio is a I!
evil place to be. If you want to know what the barrio is all
about come around and see how you get treated.
From The Beat: If safety makes a home, then we'd be careful what you
do. Because before long, you could be left without a home, but if you
do things right, the world can lie your home.
What's crackin Beat? Well I'm back in here just waiting
for Friday to get out on APA, so I'm just gonna do my APA
program, get off probation, just kick it, and do my thing.
Well I'm out now.
From The Beat: Good luck! By the way, what^ doing your "thing"
Goo Are Good
I think guns are good. They were made for a reason and
I think people be packing guns for protection and others
The first time I held a gun I was at a friend's house.
It was a shotgun and it was his brothers'. I would like to
pack a gun, a big one. I don't think they could ever stop
gangs because gangsters multiply.
From The Beat: Why would you want to pack gun for? Do you know
how many years you can get for possession of a gun? And how many
additional years you can get if loaded? We would think about it seriously
If we were you.
rifiur^/fi/jf.iii yniMf /4.i/
You showed me how
to stay strong. You
told me to keep my
head up. You made
me believe in myself.
You always stood
behind me. My
mother is always
there for me and
stays behind me.
I miss and love
her so much. She
believes in me.
From The Beat: And she wants you to believe in yourself. You say you
do, and we want that to be so. We think you Icnow what to do. So, bit
by bit, day by day, start doing it.
Paint The White House Black!
What's up Beat and Beat readers? Well, anyways, I'm
gonna write about Obama winning the election. Damn, I
was hella surprised. I don't think he will last long. 1 think
he will be killed, because there's haters and they don't
want to see a colored person in the White House, running
From The Beat: Obama will have plenty of protection from the haters.
We think he'll be OK. We can't wait for him to start tackling the many
problems our country now faces. And remember - hei not a miracle
maker. He'll need our help to make the changes we all need. Have you
thought of what you might do to help?
Well here 1 am just thinking how much 1 miss you, how
much I want to see your cute lil face, your cute smile, |
your cute ways. It's crazy how one day you're here, and
the next day you're gone.
I just don't know why this is happing to me. You were
part of my heart. You were just so sweet. Now that you're
gone, I'm just so weak. 1 still ask why. Why did you have
to take my cousin away? But I guess you were the one
that God wanted to take, the sweet one, the lovely one,
the kind one. Well, I love you very much. Don't forget that
you're my sweet lil one.
From The Beat: We do not know how to explain such losses. But we
know we htk sorry for your loss, for your family^ loss.
Yo Yo Yo
What's up. This Vickyy. Wanted to show some love to
The Beat. Like whaaa.... I wanted to say my goodbyes.
I'm leaving to the ranch on Tuesday. I ain't really tryna
go hella bootsy. But to all you juveniles - keep your head
up. Life goes on. Im gonna be 18 in July, so after I'm
through with this ranch, it's good. But I miss my man. I
ain't gonna be able to talk to him for 6 months. I'm hot.
It's nothing to a boss.
From The Beat: We thank you for the love. And we send our love back
to you. We're thinicing about this 'boss' stuff, and wondering how
important it is to you. if you had your choice of pursuing all the things
in the world - we mean the good and healthy things - that interest
you, what would you do? Each of us is good at something. And most
of the time, when we focus our energy on what we're good at, it makes
us happy. What is it that pleases you? What are you just naturally good
Prayino To The Lord
Everyday I wake up and say to myself what am I doing
in here. I pray to the Lord and ask him to get me out and
pray for everyone in my family and my cousin Paul to get
out. He has to pray too. The Lord is going to believe and
it will come true. Well late Beat, God bless.
From The Beat: We hope the Lord hears your prayers and grant you with
your desires. You also need to put some effort to stay out of here.
Bofl't Go There
If I tell somebody don't go there, it will be because they
are talking about my mom. And if they don't stop, we are
going to have to fight 'cause I don't like it when they talk
about my mom. I don't even let my dad talk about her.
From The Beat: That shows how much you appreciate your mother.
You should also try to show more appreciation in different ways — like
I getting educated, staying at home, and being a better person.
I I think it is easier to be locked up then to be on the outs.
Because on the outs you have to worry about probation
being on your ass. You have to worry about paying bills
and shhh. But in here you don't have to worry about
that kind of shhh. But it is also better to be on the outs
because you have your family and freedom.
From The Beat: It^ cliche, but freedom unfortunately comes with some
responsibility. Your family and your freedom expect you to do the best
for yourself. You don't, and you may have problems.
USA History 2UUB
Finding out that we now have a black guy as a president
is shocking to many! When I first found out, 1 was glad.
I wanted him to win!! I'm looking forward to the future
and what he could bring us! But personally, 1 think he's
gonna get shot! I'm surprised that when he came out to
make his speech on the day he got elected that nothing
When the time comes for him to be in the White
House, I'm expecting our world / country to be better than
what it is now!
Looking forward to the future....
From The Beat: We're looking forward to it, too. There^ so much to be
done, so many people who need help. We're looking forward to better
Life's A Booioier
What's good Beat? How's the bizz? You know it's been a
long time since I've been home, and I miss my family so
much. It's crazy - you really don't know what you have 'til
You know Beat, if there was a time machine I would
go back in time and change the mistakes I've made in
my life. It's hard to know you can't go home and be with
your loved ones. Life can really be hard, but I guess you
sometimes make it that way.
From The Beat: Yes, it^ easy to fall into unhealthy patterns, and often
difficult to break them. But it's worth every ounce of effort you put
into it to change those bad habits. Try worifing on a small one, at first.
Then work your way up, in order of difficulty. Before too long, you'll be
feeling good about yourself.
I think most girls are bi
Even if they wanna lie
And hide about it
Ya feel me?
It ain't nothing to be ashamed of
People shouldn't judge
They don't have the right to
Everybody is their own person
As for me
I don't give a damn
What people think
I ain't 100% bi
You feel me?
But I do experiment
And for ya boys who like girls
Just 'cause they bi
Y'all needa get a life
Honesty is policy
From The Beat: You're right, your sexuality is your own business, and it^
great that you don't judge anyone else, either.
\ ' New Year's Resolution
Well, I'm tired of this place
I just want to go home
And sleep in my bed
Whenever I want
Use the phone
And call whoever I want
To hug whoever
Ride in the coupe
Hang out wit' the goons
And do whatever we want
From The Beat: What you yearn for is your freedom. That's natural and
understandable. In your heart you Icnow what you'll have to do or
stop doing to maintain your freedom, once you're home again. Is your
freedom worth it to you? I
staring at this dictionary
Dear Death, Fm never scary
In the casket solitary
Cold as a January
I lived my life fast
So had to die slow
Forget ninjas alive
Remember you when you gone
Abused like a stimulant
Live life wild
Brought up with no discipline
Moms did her best
But the hood wouldn't let go
Love my ninjas
Yee, no no
Relieve my stress
I sip Robo
Lean like Choio
From The Beat: it^ sad that you're thinking so hard about death, but
that must be real for you. Since you can see that the way you're living
your life may be risking it, why don't you stop whatever you're doing
out there in the streets now? Maybe you aren't scared of death, but you
aren't stupid, either. What is so worth it to you, that you're willing to
die for it?
Control my anger
Learn to obey the law
Stay out the halls
Love myself more
Learn to trust others
Complete my placement
Get my diploma
From The Beat: All wonderful goals,
you're angry at, besides fighting?
How can you deal with someone
Money, Sex, Druos
Three things that's messed up in life.
Money: just causes problems.
Sex: I lost it too early (fourteen years old) and I thought
love was sex.
Drugs: Just block out reality and mess my mind up and
my relationships with people. I've done stuff that I regret,
due to drugs.
From The Beat: When you get a real job to earn money, youll appreciate
how hard it can be to woric and appreciate money more, and hopefully,
spend it slowly and %xve it. Also we hope you have the support not to
fail back into the traps that bring you here
Graduate high school
Get a job (get money)
Get off probation
Make my family proud
Set a good example for my lil'/big brother
Find me a good (worth keeping) boyfriend
Get my own place
Get my life together
From The Beat: Your goals are all great ideas. How do you feel <
setting out in life on your own? Do you need a job? An apartment?
you talk to a counselor and set yourself up?
Well, I'm going to another group home somewhere in
near Reno. I'm gonna miss my mom and lil' brother. Even
my lil' brother gone get sent to rehab. My moms said if
he get sent away, then she's going to pack everything wit'
ma dad and move to another county. Since both her kids
is gone, be gone to placement, she's gone have nothing
to do. I feel really bad and sorry, 'cause I love my mom
to death, but I have problems that I just need to solve, so
me being away might help. I'm gonna be gone for at least
9-12 months. It's sad, *cause in ten months, I'm gonna be
I'm going to graduate school in a group home, and
that's hella bootsie bunk. But, yah, feel me? At least I'm
gonna get my diploma. I'm gonna spend my eighteen
birthday with strangers. I already spent my seventeenth
birthday in a group home. Ahhhh... It all worth it, and
make the best of this bootsie bunk experience. I'm
gonna graduate the program and come home and get my
life together! 'Til next time, hopefully I'll be working for
From The Beat: You have a good attitude toward going to a new group
home. You're right, it may help you to see a whole different life.
I have a secret to tell
Come close, come closer
And feel my misery
Do you feel the hurt
In my voice?
Do you see
The pain in my eyes?
Do 1 look like a person
You could trust?
I'm scared to love
And be loved
People have done me so wrong
They've took all my powers
I'm no longer strong
I feel weak as a baby
My body hurts and is sore
My mind's gone crazy
Can you let me
Out of my door?
Can you give me some advice?
Please treat me nice
For I have feelings, too
And if I were you
I'd think twice
From The Beat: Yes, you do exude misery, and that's so sad. It sounds
like people you've loved and trusted have betrayed you. But it can be
tough for teens your age, because they're just starting to discover the
L world on their own, and dealing with adult emotions and decisions is
difficult enough alone, and sometimes young men just can't promise to
love anybody forever. So can you for now just enjoy them, be friends
with them, love them, and develop your own life the way you want?
A Black Man
It's cool selling weed until you get caught. My boy got
caught and he's doing ninety days for it. Where I'm from,
I have no beef with anyone but the government.
From The Beat: What about you? Have you been busted for selling
weed? Other than it has made selling weed illegal, what is your beef
with the government?
GoinyTo A Group Home
I just had an interview to go to group home where I can
meet a lot of new people I don't know and I will be able
to see new things that I have not seen before. I will try to
make my time go by fast. I will go home a changed person
that don't do the same thing I've been doing.
From The Beat: You have a great attitude toward being eager for
new experiences. If you don't need to go to a group home and can go
home, do you have cousins, friends you can visit during summer school
vacation, hang with them, and see how they live differently, care about
other things, than you do?
I Love Guns But Thev Get You In Trouble
I I own guns and I love them like a son or daughter, but
they do get you in a lot of trouble, though. In this county
you don't need a banga, really, but in other cities, you
definitely need to pack a heater. But for now, it's good.
I From The Beat: Guns can get you in the ultimate trouble — 25 to 3kw% L
or, in this state, execution. Why do you love guns? Why dont you write
an essay for The Beat about how guns make you feel different about
I yourself or the world?
You mess with me
I'll mess you up
From The Beat: How can you "malce things right" without physically
hurting them? Withdraw from them?
Somewhat Chaooed Me A III'
I'm matured now
I've learned to be patient
And keep my loud mouth silent
People look at me different
Wit' a smile
Instead of a frown
I'm not fully changed
But I'm taking each day by day
Learning as I go on
From The Beat: You're doing a great job of growing into a young woman.
It^ got to be difficult. You lead with your heart, but also have a good
mind and a sense of humor.
Gosh, I can't stand boys
They so stupid
I swear, everything goes
In one ear and out the other
They gossip more that beezies
Always repeating shhh they heard
But not knowing if it's true or not
Boys just need to grow up
And move on
And get a damn life
Keep names out yah mouths
From The Beat: That^ one way many people learn from each other what
the worlds about, what^ possible, what^ fair, what has happened and
how to cope. But gossip, no matter who does it, can also show the
person is insecure, because gossip can often be cruel.
^ [ Everyday Thano
Family means more than the definition they give it. It's
more than a six-letter word. My family means everything
to me. It's more than just relations having the same blood.
I'll kill for my family. I'll die for my family. I live for my
From The Beat: You sound like you're truly a devoted, loving, son,
brother, etc. When you go home, how will you help out your family?
How have they been managing without you?
From The Beat: So these many qualities constitute the true Alyssa
SoDieboily Gettin' Robbed
Somebody gettin' robbed
He just don't know it yet
But he gettin' robbed
I tried to tell him
But he gettin' robbed
He don't believe me
But he gettin' robbed
But he gettin' robbed
We know he rich
So he gettin' robbed
I told him I was crazy
So he gettin' robbed
His mom like me
So I'm still gonna rob him
He think he funny
But he a biter (copies people)
This ninja is weak
So he gettin' robbed
He think he cool with me
But he still gettin' robbed
God damn, man
How stupid could
This person be?
I ain't got nothin' against this person
But this one I do
I'm from the hood
So he gettin' robbed
Is he stupid?
*Cause I told him
Now he tryin' to talk shhh
So he definitely 'bout to get robbed
He said he way gonna shoot me
That's a threat
So that's some stupid shhh
So he still gettin' robbed
From The Beat: You really can rap, lilie you said you could! Whether
you really intend to rob someone, or whether it^ just a rap fantasy, we
can't tell. If you are really thinking about robbing, please think again.
Nobody has anything you need so badly that you have to rob him/her
for it, right? IF that is where your mind is, we hope you do not get out
Man, I think about the same thing every day, thinkin'
thinkin', not a thang has changed. All the times it's the
same. Hoping I get out on the bracelet.
From The Beat: What are you going to do about the sameness of your
life every day? You sound bored. Even if you're stuck inside the house
because you're on the bracelet, you can read, write, play games, stand
on your head, wash dishes, watch TV draw, hang with your friends,
etc., because you're free!
I need so many drugs, damnit
I'm fiending fo' some "ya"
I need to get out.
Shhh, I need help.
I just wanna scream
I'm going crazy
Outta my mind
From The Beat: We can feel your pain. Whatk going on that^ driving
you so nuts? Since you have no access to drugs in juvy, what can you do
to calm down and chill out? Can you also use that method when you're
back home again? Don't blow your freedom!
What's good wit' it, Beat? Yah, feel yah girl. Queen Bee,
back once again. Time is rough right now. I ran from my
group home out in Redding. That shhh was boosie bunk.
That shhh wasn't for me, but I can't lie, I was still doing
me out there, had me a boo or two. LOL. Had one wrapped
around my finger — too bad I left.
1 have court again December 10th. I'm going to
another placement somewhere in Susanville or by Reno.
I'ma try to do good, 'cause my next stop is Colorado, and
plus, I only have ten months *til I'm eighteen. Ahhhh...
Damn... But yah feel me, I'm gonna make it through this
hard nonsense phase. It ain't nothing to a boss/queen.
From The Beat: Whatever group home you go to, why don't you learn all
you can from it? You'll meet new people who can become your friends,
learn new ways you can develop your artistic skills.
Pretty as can be
Takes no shhh
Always in beef
C razee as hell
Also hates Taco Bell
From The Beat: There are a whole lot oi
can be quicic witted, laugh at the person
1 him/her, walk away.
to deal with
to mess with
ueen Bee II
"shhh. " You [
you, ignore j
What's good? Come over so I can tell you a lil' secret.
I'm in love with this person, but I don't know how to tell
him, 'cause I'm scared to, 'cause I'm scared to accept the
trust. That I was just dreaming and that's all I'm gonna
continue to do.
From The Beat: Why do you feel you have to tell this person you love
him/her? Can you let him/her know without words? What trust do you
think revealing how you feel implies? You have to trust him/her? S/he
should now trust you? Until it^ obvious to you what how this person
feels about you, maybe dreaming is a terrific solution for you for now.
Return To Yesterday
One day just chillin' after school with some hynas
making posters trying to do good, and after I head to the
bus stop I see a homie and I post up with him. He asked
me for a cigarette, so we smoke one, and there were cops
across the street messing with people.
They had 8 people on the curb for jay walking and
we were laughing *cause the people were not listening to
the cops. Then the cops came and messed with us, and
I had my hand behind my back and the cops thought I
had a weapon. I showed them the cigarette, and they put
my hands behind my head and slammed my face on the
I said "what the hell are you doing" and the cop
punched me and elbowed my face into the bus stop then
handcuffed me and I sat on the ground and then they
slammed my homie.
I wish I can go back and not have cussed 'cause this
might be my last chance, and I got arrested for something
From The Beat: It's always hard to believe when police are using
excessive force, but then there are always two sides to every story. Now
that it is said and done there is no going back, and the past can not
be changed. The only thing you can do now is change your future. The
choice is all on you.
/ said "what the hell are if off doing" and the
cop punched me and elhowed mtf face Into the
hus stop then handcuffed me and I sat on the
ground and then the if slammed mif homie.
Purple little flowers dancing in the bushes
Do you smell the fragrance?
Climbing up your nose
Sun shining on your cheeks
Do you feel the pain?
Going all through your veins
Tears running down your sweet rosy face
Eyes widening from all the horror
Tap dancing in your brain
Your adrenalin is rushing
It's only the monster
Tell him to stay!
From The Beat: This was a wonderful poem, but it was a bit confusing.
There was much to try and figure out in so few words. Tell us more of
your love for lilacs, and tell us of the "horror" this "monster" is causing.
Find a way to open up before it^ to late.
I'm really tired of this mess.
I am tired of the crooked cops trying to harass me.
The whole world is screwed up, so why are the cops
messing with me so much?
I hate how they try to play the good cop, bad cop.
The streets are cold enough without crooked cops.
We have enough prostitutes, meth addicts, and criminals
in this county.
Why do the cops make it worse by ruining families?
I think that they are whacked.
I really want to get out and smoke at least an eighth.
Man, I love dank, like purple and dense hairy buds.
I'm going to burn it and drink 40 oz. Old English.
Well, to all doing time, stay up and keep your heads up.
From The Beat: If you are really "tired of this mess", ^^ you say - stop
blaming others for what you, yourself, have created. Last we knew, it
was still illegal for minors to be chugging 40s and smoicing dope.
If I could go back, I would
From The Beat
is up with your
rear, Troubles, Mercy
I look at the clock in fear.
It's time to put in dirt.
I smoke to relieve my troubles
and never question why 1 love my numbers.
My choices have been consistent.
And I learned not to have mercy on punks.
From The Beat: We think you should rethink your choices. After all, look
where you are. Look around you. Juvenile Hall can be described in many
ways. One way to describe it is nz a collection-center of ill-considered
choices, bad choices. You won't have to be afraid of the clock if your
choices are well intentioned and your behavior is honest. But we must
add that we admire your poem. It is skillfully written.
My day today was OK. We had Juan from Barrios Unidos
come in and do the Boy's Club with us. We also had a guest
speaker come and talk to us about County Jail. We had
cool staff working today. We didn't lose many points.
Then we kicked it with Dennis The Menace from The
Beat and we had lots of laughs. Shout out to Dennis. He is
a bunch of laughs and he always makes it a good Friday.
Dennis is a savage. Well, that's it for today. Hope this
makes The Beat. Later.
From The Beat: We're glad you had a good day, and we're glad out man
Dennis makes you laugh. We hear he can be pretty corny sometimes. Do
well. Be good.
I I I 1
RIP. 'Lil Rob
Today I am going to write about killing. I only have a
few things to say. They got my bro- Lil Rob. RIP, homie. I
miss you. We all love you, dude. I know you're right next
to God. They killed you over a girl. I wish I was there
I'm looking at a two year court commit or going to
Wyoming for two.
RIP Lil Rob and RIP lyier. I miss you both.
From The Beat: We are very sorry for the loss of your friends. While you
are spending the next two years of your life in one form of custody, or
another, we urge you to think deeply about how you've found yourself
in this situation. Two friends dead from senseless violence, and two
more years of your life having to ask for permission to do basic things.
You are a very bright fellow, certainly bright enough to look deeply into
your life and figure out that real change is needed. We'd love to hear
from you, now and then, wherever you are. You have a lot to offer the
world, and yourself, Zach. Wake up. Take your life seriously.
Guns are violence. There will always be guns and
violence in this world. There's nothing we can do about
it. We can't stop it. I don't know what it feels like to have
a gun. I'd rather use my fists instead of a gun. It would
be better if there were no violence at all.
From The Beat: If people said no to violence, then there wouldn't be
any. Most of us get introduced to violence at an early age, via TV <ind
some of us are forced to experience it, in our own homes. You're right
about it being difficult to avoid. But we certainly do not believe that
it^ inevitable. We could and should teach all children that violence is an
inappropriate way to attempt to solve a problem. That there are so many
people who choose not to be violent is proof that violence is actually a
choice, not hw\ inevitability. Too many of us are not choosing wisely. It
certainly would be better, skz you ^sk'y§, if there were no violence at all. Do
your part to put violence on the endangered species list. Practice non-
violence. It just might become contagious.
How I Woold Of Haodleil My Sitoatioo \
If I could go back in time, I would have stayed home
and come into juvenile hall with just a violation instead
of coming here with a felony. Now I'm going to a group
home for six months. Hopefully everything goes well and
I can graduate and stay sober.
From The Beat- Congratulations! You are the only person this week that
has accepted responsibility for his own actions. That is a very mature
attitude and the first step to getting your life together and keeping
your freedom. There^ no doubt that some circumstances in your life
may be tough, but you do have the choice to rise above those things
and do anything you want in life.
Jost Oofl't Care Aoymore
Every single time I'm walking around in my town, it
feels like I'm getting followed. Not by my parents or my
enemies, but by the cops who always cruise through my
streets looking for someone to arrest. I'm always running
from the law. I get accused of things that I don't do. I just
don't care anymore. I just keep my head up and don't
look down no matter who walks by. Maybe that's why I
get into fights.
I post all day until it gets real late at night. I get high...
that's something I can't stop even if I try. Somehow I just
end up high. I can't stop doing what I do because that's
who I am. I choose the life I am living. Fm never going to
change 'til 1 die.
From The Beat: You can't have it both ways. You obviously don't Nice
being accused of things you havent done. But at the same time, you're
telling us about things that you do do that any cop would arrest you for.
We don't believe you when you say "I can't stop doing what I do because
that's who I am." You are more than a robot. You may, as you say, choose
not to stop. But you could also choose to stop.
Guns... I've never had one. I've seen one on TV, that all.
I don't know how it feels to have a gun. Guns don't kill
people, people kill people.
My Beat Within has never come up since the first time I
came to juvenile hal.
From The Beat: Yes, people kill people, but quite often with guns.
That^ what it^ all about in this country. Hardly anyone in the United
States needs to hunt wild game to survive. Guns in America are for
intimidating, or injuring, or killing other people. This is probably the
only country in the world where a young person could easily find a gun.
Why do you suppose that is. As for your writings not showing up in The
Beat, we apologize. There was a mix-up in communication and you will
soon see the backlog in The Beat.
Today I'm going to write about one of my experiences
when I was a seven-year-old kid. Well, one day I was going
to my house from school and I was walking by myself. I
passed by a garbage can and there were a lot of things
popping out of it. I went to check it out and I found a
mouse and a keyboard. I got distracted and stayed there
for almost 30 minutes.
I also found a gun. It was real, so I threw it in my
backpack and took it home with me. My mom and dad
found it in my room and took it. Then they asked me a
lot of questions.
From The Beat: We're glad your dad and mom found that gun in your
room. It might have been loaded. We wonder how you knew it was a
real gun, at the age of 7. Anyway, this is quite the story. We're very glad
no one got hurt. That was a close call.
Well, I'm going to write about trust. Well, to me, there
is no such thing as trust. The reason I came into the hall
this time is that I got snitched on by an older cat, he's 22
I thought he was my homie, but I thought wrong. Well,
all I have to say is that I hope he gets what is coming to
him. I'm heated. Fm looking at court commit, Wyoming,
Right now I don't trust anyone; I won't for the rest of
my life. The last thing I want to say is... stop snitching.
From The Beat: We are sorry that you have had reason to distrust people
close to you. You may be right to choose your confidants carefully, but
you have to accept the real blame. You know better by now. The reason
you came to the hall this time is that you made a poor choice - that
caused your trouble. Until you accept that and decide to chance your
own life, you will continue to live your life locked up. You can change
that. It^ not too late.
I would go back to the time of when I got caught. I should
have hopped the fence to the homie 's yard and hid in his
pad. But no, I had to jump the front fence and hop in the
car. But that's what I get for not running. That's where I
From The Beat: It seems that you messed up long before you started
running, starting with the decisions you made that got you into
trouble. Eventually you have to stop running away from the police,
and especially, away from yourself. Stand still and think about your
choices before you make them... you are sure to stay out of the hall and
have control over your own life.
Mv Life In Juvie
My life in juvie is a whole new learning experience. I
hope to make a difference by learning from my mistakes
and taking the right turn to a better life. There are three
changes I want to make to start my new beginning.
1: Start back in school
2: Get a job
3: Accomplish the terms of my probation so I can get off
From The Beat: Those are good things to do. And each of those
objectives, or goals, should be accompanied by a plan. For instance -
wanting to get a job is good, but how will you go about it? Maice a list
of the various ways you might land that Job. It probably means looking
in the newspaper, and maybe on-line. It will mean knocicing on doors.
It will also mean getting a letter or two or three of recommendation, to
accompany the applications you will be asked to fill out. Etc. We wish
you great good luck. Work hard.
I'm really tired of the crappy food and all of these guards
who act so crude. They really don't care if you get out or
not. They just get off by harassing you a lot.
We all really hate itwhen we get caught. It always turns
out the way you think, like when you picture getting high,
then you get caught by a cop. Looks like I'm out. I'm a go,
no doubt. Leaving Lucy's food, these dudes... always cru
From The Beat: We know a lot of your 'guards' and we think you're
exaggerating, greatly. The staff we know want all of you guys to get
out and stay out. We notice that your piece is really a poem. And you
can stretch language a lot, in a poem. But you can't stretch the truth.
Now, having said that, we also want to z«y that you're a pretty good ■
writer, and we'd like to see more of your stuff. [
Goin' Back To Rehab
I'm going back to my old rehab again. Probation gave me
a choice: either I could do 3 months and go back home
but still be on probation, or go to rehab for 7 more months
(my 18th birthday). Then I will be eligible for a program
that will give me a $5000 grant for college and help me to
pay my rent until I'm 25.
Also, my grandparents said that if I do the 7 month
program they will buy me a car on my 18th birthday when
I get out. Also, Fd be off of probation when I get out. So,
I chose to do the whole 7 months so I can get all of those
things. It would be better for my sobriety any way.
Three months wouldn't do much to help me. I'd
probably start drinking again when I got out, because my
alcohol addiction is strong.
Weil, I'm leaving Monday... only 3 more days! I'm
stoked to finally be leaving but also really nervous to go
back to my rehab. I've already been there like 4 times.
Either I ran or got kicked out. I don't know... Fm just
trippin' because 7 months is a long time. I just hope it j
all goes good and time passes quickly. I really am over
coming to this hall.
I'm over living on the streets and puking up stomach
acid because I NEED whiskey. I'm just over it and I want
better for myself. Besides, I'm too crazy when I'm drunk
anyway. Well, wish me luck. I'm out!
To ail you who are locked up: stay up, stay out and
make some changes, unless you like wearing other I
people's underwear! '
From The Beat: Shay, we can't say much that you haven't heard a dozen
times before. We wish you the very best. Stick with it. The rewards are
Ever since I was young, they labeled me as "gang-
related". I told them that I wasn't, but they still said that
I was affiliated with gangs.
At a very young age, the cops put me down... all
because of where I was from. The cops talked smack
and a lot of crap about me. My mom was always there for
me but she couldn't stop that. I decided to stand up for
myself, but the cops just put me in a cell. So I keep my
head up and refuse to fall. When things get bad, all I make
is one call.
I try to make things right, that's why I fight. I'll
never stop until I'm on the floor. I hate all of the racists,
thinking that they are better. I stand out like a mighty
Aztec feather. I refuse to be put down, that's why they
hate. My soul is something you can't put in a crate.
From The Beat: We're glad that you are not affiliated with a gang.
What^ just sis important, though, is not to act as if you were. We dont
know what the whole story is, but you must have given the police some
reason to suspect you. Eveiy officer is a human being, and all human
beings make mistakes. So maybe mistakes were made. Again, we dont
know the whole story. What can you do to demonstrate that you are
simply a proud young man and not a young gangster? And always make
sure, if you are going to 'fight', that you are fighting for what is right.
You've heard that old saying: pride comes before the fall. Think hard
about what you can do to demonstrate that your intentions are good
and that your behavior is too. And when you make a mistake, admit it,
and start over.
My Friends Are My Family
I'm dealing with getting out of the group home so I can
get it over with. I want to get out so I can see my family.
When I get out I'm going to try to not get caught and get
sent back in here. My friends are my family and I can't
leave them. I feel comfortable with them because they
have had my back since day one.
From The Beat: If you don't want to 'get caught', stop doing things that
get you into trouble. When you'ie walking the right path, you don't
have to worry about someone having your back. You are your own back.
We wish you well.
Taii And Hard
I sit taii as a tower.
My heart is hard, like stone.
I inhale the smoke and wish for trouble.
I am without patience.
Time to make a choice.
From The Beat: We have heard that stones, carried in the pocicets of
people who do good deeds, turn to seeds. And that wherever the seeds j
are planted, good things grow there. Have you heard that story?
Ready Or Nnt?
America ain't ready for a black president. Everybody
knows that the USA is the most racist country in the
world. There were many groups all over the country who
did not want Barack to win. When he did, many places all
over the world were happy.
I'm happy that Barack won, because if McCain had
won, that would have been like another Bush, with power.
From The Beat: We are very happy to offer you a forum to express
your political opinions. We also think it^ important to realize that not
everyone who voted against Obama did so for racist reasons. Thankfully,
we've made a lot of progress in race relations in this countiy. We look
forward to the day when race is never an issue in this countiy.
When I hear the word common sense I hear mom telling
me to quit acting stupid. Obviously I didn't listen to her
because look where I'm at!
I think if 1 would have used my "common sense" then
I would not be writing this topic today for an example, say
you were walking down the street and you saw a burning
house what would you do? One, look for a water hose and
try to put it out? Two, just stand there in shock? Or three,
call for help?
Well if you're a person with "common sense" you
would call for help. So basically if you do not have
common sense then you probably keep coming back here
and keep making the same mistakes. So if you don't have j^
any "common sense" you better find it because it will get
you in a better place than this trust me.
From The Beat: We think common skwsk is i>est pointed out by the adults
in your life as you grow up.. .this "sense" needs to be aclcnowledged and
encouraged. It^ never too late to listen for, and develop your common
Me and My Friend
One time me and my friend had a gun and we were
walking the streets with it and we were looking for the
people that were driven around looking for pedo.
When they pulled up the homie started blastin'
windows were shattering the whole thing was loco and we
started running when he emptied the whole 6 out of the
38 and we heard sirens and we just let the streets cool off
and chilled out at his house.
The next day we were out of town in another city
chilien drinkin' mickys and kickin' it with some hynas
and you know the rest. -Erased Name
From The Beat: Actually the rest hasn't all even
happened yet. You have a lifetime to live with this. It
seems easy when you can't see who you're hurting
behind the glass shattering. Even if you boasted about it
then, felt like the man, etc. you'll have to live with it for
the rest of your life, and who knows how it will play out.
What if you fall in love with the sister of someone you
shot? That's just a Hollj^wood example. There's many
more. What if it happens over and over in your dreams?
We Don't Need Guns 1 think we don't need guns in our
community because when we bring guns into our lives
a lot of people get hurt like our families and friends and
sometimes you can end up behind bars for the rest of
From The Beat: We don't often hear gun stories where any good
was done, so we agree with you. How can we get them out of our
Guns are not toys you shouldn't play with them. But on
the flip side guns are protection. I'm a relative of a person
who loss their life due to gun violence. And I was pretty
close to the person.
Should I carry a gun? No but I do at times for my
protection because now days you don't know who you
can trust and I hate to feel that way but that's just how it
is. But to keep it real. I don't think I had a gun of my own
until that in particular happened.
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. It seems messed up that the
response to a loved one losing their life to gun violence is to feel the
need to purchase a gun yourself, if we don't know who we can trust,
isn't it worse if everyone is carrying guns?
Weirdest Fund That I Ever Tasted
The weirdest food that I ever tasted was pancakes with
butter, peanut butter, and syrup. I thought that is was
disgusting until today, when I tasted it for the first time.
It was great. Now every time I eat pancakes I'm gonna try
to get peanut butter to go with it.
From The Beat: Okay we're going to have to try that too.
Isolated, the more I go through life I want to be separated
from majority. If it could be left up to me I would only
associate with family. Three best friends, three good siss,
and one good bra would be part of my remedy. As I do me
through life amazingly I become more and more light of
attention from people you can say I'm not concern of so I
pay little attention.
Man I know its tens of thousands maybe millions who
been in my situation. And yo life feeling like I do but don't
even mention. But through life don't think I ain't happy
but don't think I'm unhappy just think what you might
be uh hater, an actor, or a real factor. As I go through life
I've seen too many of the first two, so that's why I only
associate with family. My remedy as I go through life.
From The Beat: We hope it's working out for you out there, Lil' Night!
Wiiat's On Tlie Menu?
Wuz good Beat? I wanna talk about weird foods my mom
makes a lot of Mexican dinners. I don't think they're
I get out in two days so I'm really looking forward
to some enchiladas, or maybe a huge plate of some
albondigas. I got to go home home for Thanksgiving. We
had turkey, like every other year.
But yeah... I love my momma's cooking. She makes
the best-fried shrimp ever. I can't wait to go home and
have me some real food. Home made food! Well, that's all
I can think about so yeah... late Beat.
From The Beat: You're lucky. We had to google "albondigas" to find out
' ' ' '
All I do while in this juvenile hall
Is sit in this room and stare at these walls
And I wish I never done what I did at all
I think I could've been gone in a month or two
If I did exactly what I had to
And heck with all the people who don't like me
And much love to the ones that do
But what people think don't really matter
Cause what they say normally aint even a factor
it's not really hard to get my head pumped
especially when someone calls me a punk
it's like an easy test that I normally fail anyway
I always get into fights over what people say
Just to prove that I ain't one in some of way
So all I do while in this juvenile hall
Is sit in this room and stare at these walls.
From The Beat: Well it doesn't sound like you're happy with the way you
react to peopled nonsense. Maybe you could get some help with this...
people do learn to respond, instead of react...with hard work and time.
Why we carry guns? To survive and earn our stripes,
most gang members carry guns. You also got knives too.
Anything can really be used to kill a person. Why would I
want to kill someone? To put my dirt for my hood.
A person step out of line got to show them not to
mess with my kind. That's why we don't got know enemies
running around our town. It feels better that you could go
around and no one's on our block.
It's cracking out there if you know the right people. I
do what I do for the homeboys and if my kids want to do
the same thing. This just a little bit of my mind.
From The Beat: Well we edited your name because this could incriminate
you. This cold attitude goes for you and those you love too right? All
the enemies can't be dead or there wouldn't be a war. There will always
be new kids growing into it right? We don't think you will feel this way
when you really have your own kids, we don't believe their lives will
mean this little to you.
Reckless piracy Cataclysm Defiancel Revolt ness!
Instrumentation, performance Destroy! Use, waste, forget
Strange, unfathomable, mysterious, magical Chaos!
Chaos! Turmoil Revolution, violence, destruction Selfish?
BROKEN HEART! Passion, anger, hateful, cross Rebuttle,
defend, broadcast and fight Or forever hold your peace
Forgetfulness Rehabilitation, rejuvenation! Humble?
From The Beat: Hmm lots of events crashing into one another. Humility,
love, creativity, spontaneity, surprises, life, music, integrity, truth,
I I I I I I I 1 I
I I I I I I I I I 1 I
I think gun violence or violence period is ignorance. I
think that people who do violence or like violence need
serious help. Everyday I'm in my room thinking about
people in this hectic world, when would ignorant people
start manning up and be a leader instead of a follower.
I mean put it this way take Obama for instance, people
cross the state didn't think he was gonna be president
because of his race but when I start giving this wonderful
speech about he was going to help the mentally disabled,
the poor and help people with jobs...
All they need to be is like him, a man of integrity,
empathy, and sympathy. If we try to be like him there
wouldn't be no gun violence.
From The Beat: Obama was able to make a lot from the opportunities he
had, though he didn't start with much. We agree that there might be
less violence if people could somehow be more like him.
Guns Ain't Good
Well yea guns ain't no joke I remember when I first got
a gun. I bought it because the block was getting hectic--
that some night my friend was hurt and part of me wanted
But I was also thinking that I don't have a shot. A
couple of days later my mom found out I had a gun— and
a couple days later I got caught up with it and that's why
I'm in here.
-Could Have Been Worse
From The Beat: It sounds like the whole process didn't take much time
at all. Maybe you're lucky you were stopped before you used it in any
way you'd regret for the rest of your life.
On tiia Fioor
I think feesh is a weird food. If I ain't dead don't eat it
that's what someone once told me. One time 1 tried to eat
a lir fish thing in here but I almost threw that on tha floor
so I just eat my candy from class. So when my homie
gives me some sour patches I just say si'mon!!!
From The Beat: Well, you don't have to eat anything you don't want to.
It^ always good to tiy things though...
Last Of iVIy Oays
I get out on Saturday when it's my birthday.
I turn 18 and I'm out that very same day.
9 o' clock in the morning walking out these doors.
Can't wait until I'm free and not going to be bored.
I'ma be a free man no probation nothing at all
going to do it right and just stand tall.
My birthday with Teme Mea Mea and Fae will be great.
I will do the best that I can do have a great fate
What to do when I get out is a great question.
Doing good be great are both good suggestions.
Be a great baby daddy and an excellent father.
I won't get in any trouble so don't even bother
Doing good being a great person in society
Well good luck to all and stay strong.
Words of advice stay solid it won't be long
I'ma do me so The Beat stay up
so please Beat wish me luck.
-Sean, The Pacific Islander
From The Beat: We imagine you are working at life, day by day, glad to
be wherever you are. If you see this contact us and let us know what^
Yappin' they Gums
Wassup Beat, this ya boy Curious George from New
Founds. My main concern is my family. My hood is my
family. Everybody stay talkin, but it never hurts. Just
But Imma keep cool and get back to B. It's money
season, and it's time to get it. But I'm gone Beat. Also
gotta get back to my lady.
From The Beat: We edited because we can't allow you to threaten
anyone in these pages. The Beat is about exploring positive options
to the negativity you've had to live with. How could you get money
legitimately? What are you good at that's legal?
Good aod Looo
Hi Murmur, again I'm bored with jail. It's absolutely,
positively, boring. I'm getting terminated in three months,
but I have to be locked up until then.
O well life goes on! I can't wait until I get outi ! Fm
going to be free, FREEDOM!! Yay! I'm going to get a job,
and an apartment, and live my life good and long with
the people I love. Hopefully I can stay out of trouble.
I'm just glad today that I saw someone I love that I
haven't seen in a while. That made me happy. I guess I
just have to think about everything that makes me happy,
and live day by day. Well remember, I LOVE YOU!
From The Beat: We like your enthusiasm for life, and freedom. Don't
forget how much you appreciated it when you are released, and
hopefully that will help you maice the choices you need to, to stay out
of trouble. They say that what you appreciate grows, so keep thinking
about what maices you happy!
What We Do
What's crackin' wit it Beat? Me just doing this time like
nothing. I was with my homeboys on turkey day. Made me
not want to come back to New-Founds.
Came back was chillen on bunk thinking about all
the different stuff we did on the outs found out my boy
got caught up for some bad charges in shhh. He gets to
switch to county da 10th on his birthday. It's how the life
is you feel me just doing what we do to earn stripes and
Wonder how it's going to be when I get out. About to
do the same shhh you know. Hope 1 don't get caught up
again but if I do you I'm going to do da time like nothing.
Saw my boy, he getting bigger and shhh. Wish he up
in here with me be cracking. I'm going to bounce be and
my room thinking about the good times.
From The Beat: Dear Stunkey, it always takes us a long time to figure
out how to respond to you... because as you say you're "about to do
the same shhh.." and we feel your enthusiasm for your boys. We
understand how important it is for you to have close partners and a
strong community around you. We encourage you to think about how
that emotional support helps sustain you, that deep, real friendship.
The fact is relationships like that don't have to involve "putting in
woric," illegal activity, possible death and jail time. Choose life!!
Mystery My Days Like Spent Dose Petals
Escape My Grasp and fill My Sky
Loves Remains My Unknown Sanctuary
Thus My Long Journey Continues
Wandering Apace With My Two Constant
Companions: My Red Sky and My blue Heartl
From The Beat: At least you loved right? It^ the loving that^ important,
not necessarily what you end up with — though it is important to find i
reciprocal relationships... I
Guns ain't no joke I've seen a lot of people die from the
hands of guns. Me personally I don't have a problem with
guns. I think you should have one only for protection tho
because sometimes you need more than just your hands
to handle problems.
Guns are a big problem in the world. Many people die
from the hands of hammas of all kind. Me I want to be in
the army so that I could have the right to have one and
defend my family.
From The Beat: We feel something^ gone too cold when people no
longer fear the destruction capable from guns. In the Army the "enemy"
has weapons too. Why does this have to be the only way we can figure
out how to resolve issues? What are we creating like this?
The first time I seen and held a gun I was twelve years
old. My friend asked me if I wanted to see his gun I said
yes. then he showed me and I held it just staring at it and
after that moment I wanted one of my own.
That time soon came when I robbed a house and
found a revolver and as soon as I got home I walked to my
backyard and shot it.
From The Beat: We think it^ important that twelve year olds are
introduced into different things than guns. We wish you had been
introduced to tools to be creative with in your life, rather than feel
powerful through potential destruction. Imagine if this friend had
taught you to play a guitar, or fix an engine. How would your life be
I'm almost up out of here. I have like 25 days left if my
PO lets me out. Hopefully she do because I'm trying to
get up out of here real talk. Been locked up since July 18
man can't wait to get out well that all I got to say.
I From The Beat: We hope you have some good plans, and wish you
The First Tloie
I use to rob people and purse snatch but I didn't use no
gun. The first time I used a gun for something I was about
fourteen or fifteen. Me and my potnah was going to rob
somebody but when me and him was talking about on the
phone he said he was going to bring his thang.
He asked me if I had one I said no. When we met up
he showed it to me and I asked him to borrow it, he said
no but ril let you use it. I took it from him and start tryna
put it on my waist band he laughed at me and said put
it in your pocket. So we sat outside until we seen some
other kids walking from the park with a basketball so we
started walking over and my heart started beating.
We got up to them and asked them if they lived over
here they said yea. I asked them where they didn't tell us.
They started getting nervous and knew something was
going on because we had hoodys on.
I reached in my pocket and pulled the little 22 out and
they stepped back and started tryna run but I told them
something that I can't write in The Beat and grabbed one
by the shirt. My potnah grabbed the other one and my
potnah told them to empty out their pockets they had
five dollas and some change. My potnah slammed one of
them and slapped him up I let the other one go and they
both ran. We ran too and went in the house for a couple
of hours and changed. The end.
From the Beat: For five dollars and some change? This robbery risked
so much for so little; your life, their lives, your freedom... what do you
think when you look back on this incident? What if someone pulled this
on people you loved. ..wouldn't you be angry that they endangered their
lives, for five dollars? Even if it was somehow 500. OO, I wouldn't think
you'd want the dough, or anything it could buy after that.
What it do Beat just sliding through to say what's good.
To all locked down missing out on time on the outs, keep
your head up and leveled. My town's got problems like it
got baby momas in HondasI Late night smobbin. Hey man
am I driven koo?
From The Beat: We know you're out there now. Work hard and take
care of yourself!
Whats up beat? Today I'm on topic weird foods. I just
got back to challenge from county jail and in there the
friends be spreadin' all day.
Noodles, hot cheetos, rice, beans, hot spicy sausage,
jalapeno cheese and tortillas. We all would share our
different shares in a big black garbage bags and let it sit
for like 10 to 15 minutes. Man Beat, it's the shhh.
Well that's all I got for you this week. Alright Beat.
From The Beat: This is an interesting recipe. We appreciate the creativity
and the spirit of sharing and camaraderie it requires.
Live It How I Want To
What's up Beat, it's the homeboy Stunkey again. Chillen
on my bunk. Had a visit by my mom today. She said some
stuff that I didn't know that been going on for a couple of
years... I got stuff in my mind that is going in my life.
For one this is my life and I'm going to live it like I
want to. Fm getting to the point where I just don't care
no more. I'm in New Founds right now. I got hella time if
I mess up again. But I like to live my life as a warrior.
But the only reason why Fm doing good right now is
for my mom. She sad all the time and she going through a
lot right now. It hurts me to see her cry you know... 1 ain't
going to lie Fm a mamas boy. 1 will basically kill for her.
I remember one time a cop push my mom so I took flight
on the cop and got beat up for it that day by the COPS
outside and inside my house.
My whole family went to jail that day but that's a
different story for another time... Man "when I die in this
life of hate I pray to the lord my soul he'll take" I do some
dirty stuff at times when Fm in the streets putting down
where I'm from. Vacaville streets can get crazy. Most
people don't know because they from different towns
or cities. You just don't worry about the rivals catching
you slipping, you have the cops to worry. Sometimes you
can't even get down the street by yourself without getting
pulled over. Good luck if you're with four boys and you're
all gang members on probation.
You want to know one person 1 think about every
day is my boy. If you read The Beat often you probably
remember me talking about him once or twice. I got much
love and respect for him. He came in with me and had the
same charges—he just took the hit for everybody. They
did my boy dirty and the judge sent him to the Y because
Fonts didn't want him because he had diabetes. I think
that's some mess up shhh.
Instead of nine months he had to do at least two
years in there. And he's only 15. 1 remember laughing and
kicking it all night long in her and in the outs with him.
That's why I always talk about how I love my boys and
will die for them because 1 know they will do the same.
Been with them for four years now and nothing change
between us. And the boys know who Fm talking about.
One thing I can't wait to do when 1 get out is go to my
park and post up while inhaling my Jane. I just hope the
cops don't interrupt my moment. I know all the homeboys
want to do at their favorite spot and have a good time.
Without cops interrupting the fun.
Well it's getting late about 11:00pm. To all, this time
ain't nothing it's just a little vacation you feel and if you're
reading this I love you... do your time don't let it do you
so I'm going to say it one more time "this is my life and
I'm going to live it how 1 want to" gone
From The Beat: We thought you didn't want to see your mother crying
anymore? Is posting at the park smoking worth ail that pain that it ends
up causing her? Why do you say you don't care anymore? In some ways
it^ easier to give up than figure out another way... but it sounds like
your mother needs you. If you could imagine for a second that gangs
(and weedj didn't even exist, what would you get up in the morning
and do? You might die young in this life, but you also might live a long
long time.. .and what do you want that life to be like? It seems like you
do care about your mother.
Hey Beat what's up my name is Tieki 1 have been here for
12 days and this is a cool place to be better than the hall.
So I'm just sitting back and do my time so I can go home
and be with my baby because I want her to know who her
daddy is, and not think that any man is her daddy.
Sitting in jail thinking about
All the things I done
Can't wait to be free
And live my life and
Do what I need to
Do to be a father
I To my child
I From The Beat: We think if you can keep this attitude up you will have
I a very Happy New Year!!
Soeak Up Attack
This one time in Vallejo I was at this one party on a
Friday and this one dude bumped into me and my bottle
that I was holding dropped on the ground and busted all
open with drank on the floor.
That made me feel hekka mad so when I saw the dude
who bumped into I creeped up on the ground and give
him a upper right hook to the jaw and his gold teeth came
right out his mouth. 1 seen his teeth fly right by my face
they fell right by the dude who I knocked out so he tried
to pick his teeth back up until 1 drop kick his shhh back
to the floor.
From The Beat: Well you're lucky he didn't have a weapon we guess.
This doesn't sound like a fun party, where someone can't make a mistake
without getting beat. How can you make things better, not worse?
As Fm writing this, I'm feeling really depressed for many
reasons because the life that I live, for memories that
keep coming back of the past I wish to control, before
even came into this world.
Depression flows though my veins, affecting the must
sensitive part of my brain, leaving its scars. Depression
scars me, never leave you alone unless you make new
memories to cover it up. But even then that the fact is
From The Beat: The scars remain and yet your life is new all the time.
Let people help you deal with the past, and figure out what to develop
about yourself and your life for the future.
I don't like when people talk about my mom in any type
of way, that just hits the spot and 1 lose my temper and I'll
be ready to fight who ever.
I really don't like that, that's why 1 never talk about
nobody moms cause that's nothing to be playing around
with. So 1 advise to people out there don't talk about
From The Beat: We agree, the most fights we've seen at ranches etc.
started over someone talking about someone else^ mother. Even when
there^ other problems that was the catalyst... Maybe it^ liice a survival
Beino and The Game
X ' My True Love
I have seen gun violence. My brother is in a gang and
someone shot at my house one time. My sister almost got
shot. This isn't no game. I feel like my family is trying to
stay alive, so I don't feel bad that they have guns too.
From The Beat: That is how gun violence starts, people arm themselves
for protection on both sides, but eventually someone uses them
offensively, if neither side had them, they could battle things out with
their words and wit instead of their pistols, because nobody wins if
everyone is dead.
What's up Beat? Well guess what, my best friend Precious
left. I am so sad about it. I feel so lonely. We shared
everything together. I just hope that she will be okay. I
want to let her know that I love her. She will always be in
my heart and in my prayers. Until the next time, peace.
From The Beat: Precious will be missed. She wrote a lot for the Beat.
It^ hard to see people we care about leave. But we hope that you still
choose to participate with us, even though she isnt here. Thanks for
all your help lately.
I Dofl't Like It
Some sushi is good, but some is gross.
Raw fish is good, only when you make ceviche.
Tofu sounds gross but I never tried it.
I have never tried Okra and I don't plan to.
I enjoy tacos and pasole.
Also, fresh beans with ceso and fresh made tortillas.
From The Beat: Don't be afraid to try new foods, one person^ gross is
another^ food of choice.
My whole life I never had a regret about anything. Until
last May, when I met her.
It is because of her that I am in here and it was the biggest
mistake of my life.
Now that she is out of my life things are starting to get
better, and I don't care about her anymore. As far as I am
concerned, she is just another person in the world now.
From The Beat: Meeting people and learning something about yourself
from the experience, is wxe^^w a mistake. But once you realize that some
people are better off not in your life, it is good to just let them go.
People think that it is cool to be gang affiliated. But
a gang is very stupid because the colors will always be
there, even after you pass away. The streets will still be
there when you die.
People come and go in and out of prison because they
are disrespected on the streets. Others end up dead, like
many people in my own family. Some of my other family
members still think that it is cool and that their homies
will be there when the Shhh goes down.
But the truth is that they are worried about the
wrong people, and leaning on them will end up bad for
From The Beat: We think what you are saying is that gang life isn't
worth protecting because you loose more in the long run then you
gain in the short run. It's hard for people to see that until something
devastating happens to them personally. We are glad that you see that,
and hope you share that insight with others.
My true love is... Well it is crime!
My true love has a steelie insidel
My true love is about twelve inches high!
My true love is one of a kind!
I would turn to my true love at any time!
When ever I am stressed, mad, or even happy
I turn to my true love!
I take all kinds of risks
Because it is my true love!
And can't no one ever stop me
Even the man up above!
I would do anything for my love
Even getting locked up!
My one true love is my number one fun!
If you haven't guessed yet...
My true love is a spray can!
Metallic, candy, flat, or even glossy
No matter what I make it work!
Rooftops, billboards, trains, freeways, and even books!
I show off my skills and people stop to look!
No matter what
My true love is mobbin!
From The Beat: Passion is the number one quality of a true artist. But
do you really think that most people stop to look at your art because of
how good it is, or because of where you put it? If you could get paid to
create legal art, and get it out there would you do that? Art is not worth
doing if it violates the lespect of others in the process.
Don't Go There
There is one thing that I don't like talking to people about,
and that is my sister. She passed away on Christmas.
There was one time that my friend was talking about
my sister, and he didn't know that she had passed away. I
don't know how it all happened but I started hitting him.
Later I told him that I was sorry and that I shouldn't have
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. It was very big of you to
admit that you over reacted. Have you looked into grief counseling yet?
There are other ways to grieve besides showing anger.
I WaotTo Ciiaooe
I want to change, yes I do want to change a lot just so
I can get a job and won't be broke all the time like how I
am right now.
From The Beat: We hope you take the steps to bring about the change
you want. When you get out, what will you do to get a job?
Sooiewliere At Tiie Wroflo Tioie
There was a time when I went to a party. When I got
there I was already drunk. We were having a good time,
but there were gang members there that didn't get along.
Soon, my friends started banging on each other.
My sister told me to get down, and we were all laughing.
Because I was faded I thought 1 was being shot at, but it
wasn't for me. I didn't know what was going on until the
next day I realized how serious it had been, but nothing
happened to me so it all turned out fine.
From The Beat: You say that it all turned out fine because nothing
happened to you. But that is so selfish! If you iceep laughing at danger,
you will get burned too. Wake up and take responsibility for your self
before it is too late!
Take Me To Your Heart
Hiding in the rain and snow
But I just won't let go
Sitting just across the street
Listening to my own heart beat
So many people around the world
Tell me where I can find my baby girl.
Take me to your heart
Take me to your soul
Give me just your hand
Before we both get too old.
Show me what love is
Just give me a clue
Show me one day that it can all be true.
They say that love can last forever
But I don't believe no one.
Take me to your heart
Take me to your soul
Give me your hand and hold me tight
And don't you ever let go.
From The Beat: These are some pretty good rhymes. Love can be a
confusing thing, i>ut it can also inspire us to i>e better people and make
something with what little time we have in this world.
Weird Snell) Food
The weirdest food I ever ate was Papi salad. It smelled
weird, but it tasted bomb. It has spicy too! They ask you
how many peppers you want on it. The more the better.
Just because something smells and looks nasty doesn't
mean that it is nasty. That's what I think.
From The Beat: You are brave to try new things. Thanks for sharing.
Living in my part of Fresno, guns are what you see all of
the time. What I think about guns is that they are a waste
From The Beat: We are glad that you do not have a gun yourself, because
how is the community supposed to decrease gun violence if everyone is
always on the defense.
Guns are not a new thing in my life. In my hood I see
people with guns all the time. The first time I ever saw
one I was fourteen. My home boy had it. He didn't plan
on using it; he just had it for protection. I never held a
gun until last month. My boyfriend showed me how to
At first I never saw the reason for having gun play.
My thought is that you are a punk if you can't fight the
person and instead you have to shoot them. Until I met
my boo. He explains why he carries a gun. It is like this...
he lost his best friend / brother over a gun. So it comes
down to kill or be killed. No one is going to give you a
pass so you shouldn't give anyone else one.
I saw too many things in my life and gun violence isn't
going to go no where any time soon if anything it's just
going to get worse.
From The Beat: Your right, it will keep getting worse if people keep
thinking Mice your boyfriend does. The only way to change is to stop
thinking that too wrongs make a right in this world. The way to heal
from a loss is not to cause one yourself. You and your boyfriend will
learn that the hard way if he doesn't get rid of his gun.
Money was lost
But now money is found.
Now that I know
That money goes around.
Money is what I face
Money is what I chase
Money is real
And friends are all fake.
All I really know
Is that there is money to be made.
Sugar is light
And chocolates are dark
Money can't leave me now
Because it will just break my heart.
Hours are long and minutes are short.
As my seconds pass by, I love money more.
From The Beat: There are many things in life that money can buy, but
none of them hold a dime to the things that can't be bought like love,
respect, and honor. If you really want to make lots of money you will
have to do it legit, that's how you gain the stuff money can't buy.
Wake Up Gall
What do you want to do to change; when I get out I'm
going to change my life around. Because I have a love one
so that means I got to step up and be a father.
I need to quit getting in trouble. I got a family to go
home to, so that tells me I have to go home and be a
See some young people act like they can't be real
fathers. That's a wakeup call telling me to get my life
together and be a man.
I look up to my big brother, because he tells me the
right things. Like go to school and get a high school
diploma. That's important to people, you can't get a job
without a high school diploma. He's going to college and
he plays football, he's trying to get drafted to the NFL.
From The Beat: Wow, your brother sound like a great role model. W'z
nice to be able to look up to a positive person. Being a young father
defiantly has its challenges; howevei; it doesn't mean you can't be a
Sometimes when I had time to myself away from the hood
and the homeboys, I used to go home, pack a blanket,
snacks and a notebook.
Then my nephew and I would go to a park, set out our
blanket, and lay down until night fall. I would write poetry
and stare up at the sky. We would look for shooting stars
together and imagine what they look like up close.
From The Beat: We bet your nephew misses those trips with you. It^
hard to see the beautiful sky from inside the Hall, remember that the
next time you think about doing something that will bring you back
I want to get out. All I am waiting for is a foster home to
come and get me so I can leave this place.
From The Beat: The system can help you find a home, but it can't help
you change your own outlook on things. We hope you do that while
Mmmm! I love food! All kinds of different foods. Menudo
is so delicious, especially with lemon juice and Tapatio
sauce. Pozole is also good. It is just like Menudo but
without the pig meat. I love all Mexican food" Enchiladas,
tostadas, quesadillas, and Chile rellenos.
I like Chinese food too: Orange chicken and Sushi. I
also really like good pizza.
From The Beat: Good food is something hard to come by in the Hall,
remember that on the outs.
People Cry For Me.
Hi, my name is Amber and I am a young teen. If I could
change time I would never come here in the first place. I
would never have committed the crimes I did because the
consequences are too bad but I pray to God that I get out I
and when I do, I'm never, never coming back in my life. '
People tell me it's very stupid I come back over and
over again. My mom is very sad because I'm in here. She
cries every night. I'm not only hurting myself, I'm hurting
my family that loves me a lot. People cry for me everyday
when they say I'm locked up.
From The Beat: Sometimes it is easier to just take the pain but we have
to stop and think when our destructive actions hurt the ones we love.
Changing our lives and living in a better way in not easy. It takes work.
We wish you well.
Life Is No Game
Life is no joke.
We got people on the streets addicted to crystal and
You better watch your back before you end up dead
from a bullet, from a gun.
Matter of fact better thank God you're still alive maybe
you should also pray
Because if it weren't for God you wouldn't be writing
this song today.
Keep your head up and stop looking at life in an odd
Be careful what you do and say so you don't end up
in prison as someone's girl, being called gay. I'm writing
this for The Beat within that originated from the Bay.
From The Beat: You've got some talent with rhymes, we hope you write
even more for wim next time!
I have been really worried about my upcoming court
date because I have to go to trial. I hope that God is there
with me because I want him to help me go home to my
I feel lost without knowing how long I am going to
get in the end. I feel that being away from my daughter is
making me weak.
I don't know what I am going to do if I find myself still
in here after it is all over. My thoughts tell me to beat
someone up. But my feelings tell me that it won't make |
From The Beat: It^ okay to feel scared, and nervous and angry, those
are natural feelings. But it takes courage to take responsibility for your
actions, to put others like your daughter first, and to not displace your
hurt into others.
Love Yoo Not
As the days go by
I think about all that we have been through
And the more I think
The more I am missing you.
I think that it seems
Like the bad outweighs the good
Even though it shouldn't
I already knew that it would
And through all of the cheating
You never got caught
That's why I still sit up in here
And say I still love you.
But I really love you not.
From The Beat: Great play on words in this poemi Things
are often not what they seem: people, words and even
Too Much Pain
Never knew that I would go through
Everything that I am going through.
And most of this pain is not because of me
It is mostly because of you.
You have hurt me so many times
With all of your cheating and all of your lies.
I am in pain everyday
But I still manage to get by.
Everyday it seems like everything is the same
So many regrets and too much pain.
From The Beat: You are a survivor... no matter how much other people
hurt your feelings, you will keep living your life because it^ yours. Use
the pain to become a better person, and don't let it bring you down.
My Sweet Dreaoi
For my sweetie. I think of you and try to remember the
way you smell. If I could only tell you about how the
memory of you has taken me through so many hard times
then you know how much I care for you Kelly. Please
remember me. I hope you still feel for me and are being a
good girl. I love you.
From The Beat: It is wonderful to have someone to care for and to thinic
fondly of but never forget that we have to face our situation and deal
with our affairs. Nice memories are good but they are helpful if they
take us away from dealing with our situation.
I'm about to go home on a furlough and chill. I'm gonna
have a good time and kick it with my dad and mom and
aunts and grandma. I'm gonna eat some tacos and talk
with my family. I need to do my time and go home.
I get released next month. I've been locked up since
January. I need to get out for good. I'm about to go home
on my first furlough for 6 hours. It's not enough time to
do all I want to do so I don't know.
What will I try to do first? All I got to say to kids doing
hard time heading to CYA, is I am happy it's you and not
me. I have no heart for the fakes that think they're hard.
All I got to say is I am out the front door tomorrow.
From The Beat: You are lucify to be able to go home, even if it is just
for the afternoon. Your priorities seem to be in the right place. Maiie
the right decisions and do the right things. You can put all this behind
you in a months time. We wish you luck and hope you make the right
decision. You can turn your life around. There is still time. Enjoy those
Thinos Happen For A Reason
I got locked up because of some crazy crap, but things
happen for a reason, so I ain't even trippin'. I've been here
for a couple of week and I am already bored. I am right
here chillin' with the homie, just watching each others'
I am a gang member, and I was raised in the streets of
I went to court a couple of days ago and I got sentenced
to boot camp. 1 am going to try to do good so I can go back
to my family cause I miss them a lot.
From The Beat: We hope you get out soon. It^ tough being there, and at
boot camp. Do you feel as though you were meant to end up at JJC for
a reason? What is that reason?
I have one friend who really is into drinking. She probably
drinks a pint of liquor a day. At first things were fine until
small things turned into big things and things got out of
hand really quickly.
One day, I found the courage to stand up to her and to
tell her that enough was enough and it was time to stop. I
told her that her life was in danger. When a person has a
problem they have to admit that they have a problem and
they have to want others help.
From The Beat: Sounds lilce you did a brave thing standing up to your
friend. Learning to show others respect helps us to think more highly
of ourselves. We hope you find the strength to stand up to yourself
The reason that I am here today is because of the person
who took my dad away from me. I did something bad to
them, and now I am in here waiting for court. I worry
about my mom, but I keep living my life trying to forget
about my dad.
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. Sometimes we think revenge
will help make the pain go away, but it doesn't, it just makes things
much worse because the pain is still there, even after we have taken
vengeance. What positive steps can you taice to help yourself heal?
I truly love my boyfriend and I believe he loves me too.
He tells me he loves me and he expresses it in more than
a million ways. I'd do anything in the world for him and
it's the same with him.
Not long ago I found out I'm pregnant. So many things
go through my mind; excitement and nervousness at the
same time but I know it'll be alright.
I love my boyfriend and he loves me too. Soon it won't
just be me and him; we'll be a family. I can't wait to get
out of here and see him again. I don't feel right without
him. It's like I'm not complete. I wait for the day I can look
into his eyes and hear him say, "I love you babe!" Only 5
days to go. I love you always Mike.
From The Beat: it is always good to have someone we love and who
loves us. We hope it worics out for you and you are able to reconnect
with your love. Make sure you don't forget about yourself, it's great to
get close to someone but it's not enjoyable to iie smothered. The time
is now to step up and take responsibility!
Turkey Bay 2BBB
No Place Like Nome
It is rainy and cold
but the weather doesn't matter.
Rain, sleet, snow or hail
won't change your mentality
when you're locked in and stored away.
Heat or cold will not determine
the attitude you'll hold.
I've learned it's what you make it
in this black hole.
From The Beat: So true. We are the ones who determine our reality. In
any situation there are those who are happy and those who are sad,
angry or mad. We choose how to react to our KM^t^Asi'^ situation. Good
luck and thank you.
So Screwed Bp
I cannot take this crap anymore. It seems like every day
the room gets smaller, like it is closing in on me. I ain't
got nothing to do here, and this is not changing me into
a better person. I feel like a caged animal and the food
might as well be dog food. And then some of the staff
really they think are the police, and the court won't let
me just say that it's screwed up.
Like how all the Judges are white, and the DAs and the
"public pretenders" are too. Also, the "public pretenders"
(which are supposed to be on your side) are friends with
the DAs and the Judge, and they will give you more time.
From The Beat: It is frustrating to be stuck there, the room, the staff,
the food, the judges and lawyers — but please don't give up! No matter
what happens, no matter how frustrated you become, remember you
still have your whole future ahead. Don't let them get the best of you.
When you have a bad day there, what do you to cheer up?
The place I would like to be at in this world is home.
Sometimes it is loud there, and sometimes it is not. You
can sleep but if you're locked up you can't be home so
there's no point of writing about home if you don't even
know what's going on there.
The only reason I wrote about home was because I
have not been there for a long time. Home has peace, food
you can eat anytime, a bathroom, bedroom, a TV, DVDs, a
place where you can do what you want, everything. Home
has it all. The thing that makes the house peaceful is my
little baby girl. I love her and I wish I could see her.
From The Beat: Home is special! Nothing can compare to the simplicity
of just being in the comfort of your living room and enjoying TV. It
sounds Mice you have a baby girl at home waiting for you! We hope you
get out soon so you can be with her.
I Bofl't Beloflo Bore
Here I am in this place knowing I didn't do nothing
wrong. But I know that to the judge I'm nothing but a
I also know that some people are unfair, but I guess
that's just the way life is, I miss being out with my family.
I miss regular school, but I guess I have to stay.
Man I'm just trying to get out of this place. Being in
here knowing I did nothing wrong makes me very mad
and angry! But I guess that's the way god wanted it, I
guess its true life is hard and then you die. My sister
isn't pressing charges and my mom isn't either.
From The Beat: Being in JJC is not always fun. Being negative and
angry isn't going to make things better. Being positive will take you a
long ways in life.
Life With No Reorets
I live life with no regrets because what you do you can't
take back. Let's say you commit a crime and you get .
locked up and get one year. There's nothing you can say
or do because there is no time machine. So that's why I
would squad up and keep moving. I can't tell everyone
what to do, but here's some advice, take it or leave it,
doesn't matter to me how you live your life, it's your
From The Beat: Have you ever thought about the consequences of your
actions? Say for example, you know that what you'ie about to do could
lead to something bad — will you still do it? if you thinic things through
carefully before doing it, then you won't need a time machine to go
back and fix it.
Life As A Teenaye Motiier!
Here I am sitting in Juvenile Hall, wondering what's
going on with my baby.
How's he doing? When am I going home?
Here I sit suffering the consequences for my actions.
Mad because I feel I shouldn't be here but my actions
placed me here.
Now I'm thinking if I can go back I would have never did
what I did
so I can be home with my baby and be a better mother.
I can't wait to get home to my baby and start living my
From The Beat: We thank you for sharing and there isn't much we can
say other than; we hope you can get back to your baby soon.
Glianoe My Life
First of all I never got a chance to change my life. But
when I get out of here I'm going back to the hood and
I'm going to do what I always do when I get out. But
sometimes I do feel like changing and I'm going to try
to change my life when I get out of here. And I have to
change for my mom because she's the person who gave
me this life. I have to show her that I'm grateful for the
life she gave me.
From The Beat: Congratulations on realizing the need to change. That^
the first step in actually making a change. Now ask yourself, what is
it that you want to change about yourself? Finish school? Find a job?
Once you've figured that out, then you can lay out an action plan with
Lor My Mom
I love my mom. She helps me a lot when I'm in a bad
mood. She talks to me and explains about why I'm mad.
She takes me to the mall- Abercrombie. We go to get
Starbucks-Vanilla Bean. My mom takes care of my brother
"Lucky." He was born on a Lucky day.
When I get out, I will go take pictures with mom at
Fashion Fair and go to the park and play basketball. I
want to say "Thank you to my mom-for loving me, for
being there for me even though she works two jobs.
My mom works at Macy's and so does my aunt. I have
been getting good grades in my classes- A's, B's and I
hope my mom is proud of me for that.
From The Beat:Well that's very nice that you are so appreciative of your
mother. Your mother obviously cares about you and works hard to
support you. it's good you get good grades in you class but if you really
want to show your gratitude to your mother then we think you should
do everything you can to stay out of Juvenile Hall.
X I Better Recoonize
While I was in Juvenile Hall. I meta woman named Ruby.
She would come in to do bible studies. I never would have
thought she would be so special to me. I never really had
love from my mom so I didn't know what motherly love felt
like until I met Ruby. She became my mentor when I got
out. There was not one day that passed that we wouldn't
talk. She showed me what a mom was suppose to be like.
She gave me hope. She told me that I was able to overcome
whatever I wanted. It was something nobody ever told me
before. She is the best thing that has happened in my life.
I'm glad God put her in my life.
From The Beat: Yes. Yes. Keep up the good work. Sounds good. You are
lucky. We have realized that when we find someone who wants to help
us and make us stronger then we should value that relationship and not
take it for granted. Thank you for sharing your wonderfully positive
As I wait for time to come to get out I think to myself will
I do what I want when I come out. Will I do good or will I
end up back in here or will I do what I need to do. Get off
\ probation, but until that time comes only God will know.
I From The Beat: You're right we can't predict the future; however, we
I make choices that affect our lives. If you really want to change you can,
I it will take time but change is achievable.
I'm sorry for the things I've done to you.
I'm sorry that I hurt you so much. It started to hurt me.
I wanted to keep you safe and I failed you.
I'm sorry I made you cry.
I'm sorry I got you mad.
I wanted to be with you always but it never happened.
I think of all the good things we had and all the bad things
that happened between us.
I'm sorry I was mad at you.
I'm sorry that I wasn't the one to go instead of you.
You will always be in my heart. I will never forget you.
I know you will be set free and to R.I.P.
I'm sorry truly. Sorry for everything that happened but I
can promise you this.
You will be set free.
From The Beat: We have been in a place where it was seemingly
inconceivable that we would ever one day forgive ourselves. Time,
prayer, experience, conversation and more time eventually smoothed
it out and we were able to come to terms with our situation. It was
important for us not to punish ourselves repeatedly. Even a convicted
criminal only gets one punishment. We are only to serve one sentence
and at some point we have to free ourselves. We must be set free.
I Made It
If I would ever end up changing my life, for the better, I
would never forget the struggles I've been through, or the
life I came from. And I would never think that I'm better
than someone that was like me because I would know
that one day I was once like them.
The reason I would never forget my old memories is
because, everyday when I wake up, I could look back and
say, "I made it."
From The Beat: And you will! Years from now, you will wake up, look
back on your youth, think about all the challenges you faced and the
struggles you overcame. And you will tell yourself, Israel, exactly what
you say here, that you made it.
I'm burning and I don't know what to do. It's like people
don't even recognize you. This feeling is so strong all
because you've been in a corner for so long. I seem to be
the only one to not need you. But so many people need
to see the truth. You kept us strong. When we didn't and
refused to move on. So honestly, here's my thanks to you
my friend but man, this list will never end.
First off, you created me to be something like you.
Second off, you let me see what being locked up could
Third off, you showed and let me be the person I am,
crazy, outgoing and funny.
Fourth, you let me see when you have faith, it skips
numbers five, six, seven, eight.
Ninth off, going back in time.
You let me realize and start appreciating you.
That's the truth. I'm still burning and don't know what
Maybe, I should put it out with water or wood or leave it
burning the way it should.
Do you know who I'm talking about?
It's God in heaven. Please hear me out.
From The Beat: Yes, it is good to feel the fire in the belly and realize
the potential of our existence. Don't put it out. Listen to your God. Feed
this fire and make it good and never take it for granted.
Let me tell you guys about a chapter in my life. I met
this girl a few months ago, and we go together. She didn't
like how I was making my share in life so I told her that
I would stop but then I didn't. I got in trouble at school
selling drugs, even though she got me to go to school
more and get a job. I messed up. Now she sent me a letter
saying she can't be with me anymore because she is tired
of me being in trouble.
From The Beat: Sometimes we have to realize that others can not make
us be better people, but they can inspire us to be better for ourselves.
So what can you do now to help yourself the way she used to?
Dear Beat Within
I'm writing about return to yesterday. If I could back
up time and return to yesterday I would change the way
I acted. I would straighten my life out so that I wouldn't
be in here. But it's all good I'm leaving in two days.
That's why I don't want to rewind time. I'm just going to
straighten my life out on the outs.
From The Beat: That^ great you're defiantly going towards the right
path. Setting goals for yourself will help you straighten your life. Stay
positive and change will occur.
Wlien I Go Home
When I go home I am going to get back into school. Then
I am going to start helping my mom out more. I don't want
to stay away from my family any longer. I miss them a lot.
I really miss my little brothers and my sister. I never want
to come back here. I am really going to change a lot so
that I don't.
From The Beat: Sometimes people can get really home sick in the Hall,
and talk about how they never want to come back so they will have to
change. Just remind yourself on the outs how you felt in the Hall.
I Siiouid Have Stayed Home
If I could change back time I would have never committed
my crime. I would have stayed home like my mom told
me. I would have told my friends I can't go out today. If I
would have listened I wouldn't be in here today.
From The Beat: We identify with you. We all make mistakes and do
things that we wish we never did. it's important to learn from our
mistakes and to implement a new way of thinking and acting so that
we do not repeat the same mistake.
' ' ' '
Gun Under Grandpa's Bed
I remember seeing a gun underneath my grandpa's bed.
I thought it meant my grandpa was bad, but my grandma
told me that it wasn't his, it was his friend's. She said he
had it so that his friend wouldn't do anything bad with it.
That's how I know not to touch a gun.
From The Beat: Knowing how to handle a gun correctly is a good thing,
being afraid of them is not. But knowing how to handle a weapon
and to respect the damage it can cause is what it sounds like your
grandparents are doing, and that^ a good lesson.
In the song, "Thug Mansion," by 2Pac, he describes a
paradise, a place where all the true Gs go, a place where
you don't have to worry about the fake wannabes. A place
to chill and live life like it is supposed to be lived. Where
money and everything else means nothing. Where you
don't have to be rich or poor and colors don't matter. If
there is a place for me it would be with Pac and all the
other true Gs that have passed into Thug Mansion.
From The Beat: Sounds liife a true paradise! Do you think this place can
exist on earth, or is it only a place you feel in your heart?
This Is I 200
Being here is like I am at the zoo. People have to tell me
what to do but I have to do it. Life is hard. Mom on drugs.
People keep hurting me. Love is crazy but when I get out
I am the best I can be.
From The Beat: It sucks being locked up but we gotta look at our
situation and see what we did and what we shouldn't do. Our life isn't
going to change just because we say so.
I'm going to write about that I'm going to another group
home next week and the sad thing about it is I am going
to San Bernardino. It is several plus hours away from
here but the good thing is that if I do good, I will go home
to my lovely Grandma and my dad.
The reason I have to go to a group home so far away is
because I kept running away and going to my boyfriends'
house. I can't live with him because he is too old and too
bad. So that's why I have to go to a group home. But a
good thing about it is I can go home if I do good.
That's my story. I get to go home for good and this
time I'm doing good and staying in the group home this
From The Beat: We hear you and we know how tough it can be but
just sit tight and do the time and go home and live happily ever after.
Obviously running ain't working, right? We know how tempting it is
to go over the wall but nothing changes. Everything only gets worse.
Some things we can't run from.
Let me tell you this before you get down
I got a little herpes. I got a little AIDS.
1 got warts all over my braids
and 1 ain't done yet.
I got syphilis on my breast.
I got chlamydia .
Let me tell you about this gonorrhea shhh.
When you're headed down south
Trying to put it in your mouth.
Screaming just like "Ouch!"
I know you see the lumps but guess what,
they ain't razor bumps and it's my bad.
I didn't mean to give you herpes .
It ain't my fault you got AIDS when you talk.
And when you spread my legs. Spreading that odor.
I got you in a daze. Sex. Sex. Sex. Now you got AlDs.
From The Beat: We hear you. Sex is not an innocent act. It can i>e
dangerous. Get educated and be smart!
The Eternal Skv
The sky is cool. The sky is blue.
I like looking in the sky cause that's where
everyone goes when people die.
I try not to cry. I don't know why.
When 1 lie, tears come from my eyes like rain from the
From The Beat: We must strive to iceep our heart open. The world wants
to singe it shut. We must be courageous sis we work to Iceep it open.
If 1 could pick a place it would be up in the clouds, and
I would live there with my homie. 1 would make a skate
park and my neighbor would be God, and we would all
three kick it. 1 really wish 1 was there right now.
From The Beat: If you could take this image and maice it happen down
here, how would you go about doing that? Are you saying that the
clouds are peaceful, your friends make you happy, and the people you
live around are inspiring? How can you make that image good for you
Nothing you should do should be gangster. And if I could
go back 1 would go back to yesterday and revoke the
violent activity 1 partook in.
From The Beat: We would like to hear more about your story. What
exactly will you do differently in the future?
I am worrying about when 1 get to go home and see my
family. 1 hope 1 get out soon. I want to be with my family.
I don't want to be in here. I am just thinking, when am 1
going to go home and be with my family? 1 do not want to
come back to this place. Please, this is not for me.
From The Beat: That is unfortunate thing about being locked up; we do
not have any say about when we can go. We only have control over the
actions that preceded us getting locked up and we have control over the
actions we taice when we are locked up.
live With Wiiat foi lit
Hey readers, this is my story.. .before you think of doing
the wrong thing, think again. Juvenile hall will be coming
your way. 1 have been in and out. It's not fun but it's just
First, I was here for battery then 1 joined JDC. That
brought me in here again and again. 1 come back for
Juvenile hall says its the devil or it controls your
mind but that's a lie. It's worse. I am only 15 years old
and 1 have been smoking since 1 was 13. ..It is so stupid
because 1 am so young and 1 can't stop at all.
Every time 1 see it, 1 smoke it. Weed can take away a
lot of things from your life. So, that's what brings you in
here. A lot of people think it's so cool to be locked up but
once they get here, they see that it's not cool.
Most people in JJC don't graduate with their friends
from regular school. You can't see all your family or watch
your baby cousins, brothers, sisters or your own kids
grow up. So, I say live with what you have, family, friends,
great food, a home and a school that you can graduate
from. Get a great job and be happy. Live your life and try
to do better than before.
From The Beat: Weed takes us down an empty road of wasted time. We'll
never get that back and time is all life is. Think of how many people
have been arrested just because of a little weed. Respect the power that
little smoke owns. There are many groups you can utilize during the
process of kicking the emotional dependence on it.
I Want Out
Well, when 1 get out of here 1 want to go home.
Well, I'm not going to go home. 1 am going to go to
group home or instead of a group home, I would rather
go to a foster home. 1 am not going to be able to go to my
home for a while.
Everyday is a different day for me and everybody else
and 1 want to get out of here so bad. Some people in here
like this place and they do not want to get out. 1 don't
know how people could like it in here. 1 really want to be
out for my birthday which is January 28th.
Well, that's all 1 have to say. There's probably more
but I don't know what else to say right now.
From The Beat:People become institutionalized. They get into a system
and they get used to it and then they become dependent on it. Break the
cycle and sicip that groove. You don't need to bust that move. Break out
by changing your ways and ways of thinking. Thoughts make actions.
ritouoh Times And Clianoe
' Say, have you got a minute?
If you have please put me in it.
I have something I'd really like to say
I have such a fleet mind
I should share it with man kind
Besides, it goes non stop any way.
Now my toils are all involved
And they are never getting resolved
Being on the block is all 1 know
Money, sex, and drugs
Are the beef I provoke.
My life is what I take, a joke.
From The Beat: Your beats are sweet in person, we hope that we could
capture them in print siz well. We wonder if you have any that can
inspire others to have hope for their future. Can you share your story
If I were given a chance to go back in time, I would. I
mean, who wouldn't?
I've grown to the point in life where I realized God does
everything for a reason.
But, if I could, I would change the first time I smoked
If I would have made that one big time, that one life
changing decision not to get high,
I probably wouldn't be sitting in this cell-pod.
I probably would still be a virgin. 1
know 1 would be with my family.
But I've learned not to take anjrthing back in life
because 1 wouldn't having the loving and supportive
friends and family 1 have now.
But 1 would love to hold on to the fun and silly memories
of being high
with my friends and just laughing all my stress off and all
the cool friends 1 made
and most of all the things 1 have learned.
From The Beat:lt is possible to look at our past and to appreciate
eveiything while ending certain actions. Do you think God wants you
to smoke weed? How many of your "friends" would be your friends if
you didn't smoke? How many of them would still be your friends if you
It's not the nicest place in the world but it is the place
that I like to chill when I am mad. And this place is at a
party with all the homies. We like to kick back and have a
smoking session, and that's what I look forward to when
I get out.
From The Beat: We wonder if this activity you can't wait to do will
increase your chances of ending back in the JJC?
I I I I
I love playing with her. When she says "momma" it makes
me want more and more to want to raise her. When 1 look
at my daughter, 1 see me all over again but twice as worse.
She trips me out. 1 shouldn't be here. She's missing me. 1
hope she never forgets me.
From The Beat: She will never forget you. We never forget our Moms
but there are many Moms who are not there for their children and all
those children want is their Mommy. She needs you more and more and
the older she gets the more she will want to know you. You are more
than you know.
What Up Beat
Today 1 want to talk about what is going on in my life. 1
am getting out of here in a few months because 1 will be
eighteen. So this will be my last time doing time, because
if 1 get caught again 1 got to go to the real deal.
My brother is almost on the same path as I am, I'm
always telling him to stay out of trouble but it is hard
when 1 am in here. 1 feel like I am being a hypocrite. So far
though, he is staying out of trouble. I just want to make
sure he doesn't end up like me, that's all.
So when 1 get out 1 am going to show him The Beat
Within, so he can follow.
From The Beat: We think it is great that you will show him The Beat.
What else can you show hint? How else can you lead by example instead
of just telling him?
My Drawino Board
If 1 had a chance to go back in time, I would change my
decisions, and my mind. And since my name defines my
actions and hobbies, I would go and help think twice
because only 1 can stop myself.
From The Beat: What can you do with your skills to show the world that
you can make better decisions for the world and for yourself?
Learn From Your Mistake
I finally realize that stealing is bad. When you steal,
you feel sad. Sometimes you can work for money. Just
remember it is good to try.
From The Beat: if stealing makes us sad, what does earning our own
money help us to feel?
The walls are dark
Painted with sin
Depression and darkness is
Just the start
It goes further, so deep within.
Pain, chaos and love
These thoughts these feelings
Are what shrouds my mind.
Pain is just
It comes so easily
But it is so hard to be rid of
Day in and day out
There is no escape
At least not for me
For others it is a piece of cake
It runs the world
It runs our lives
But within chaos
There could be no order
The greatest feeling in
What everyone deserves
What I've spent my life
Searching for what 1 have found
My only device
My dearest desire
The one who stole my heart
Whom I am engaged to and will
Pain, chaos, and love
Without one 1 would
Not be complete
Our souls are all different
Mine was black
But now it is grey
When 1 get out it will shine
A bright white from the rain.
From The Beat: If these three things affect everyone in life, how do
happy, healthy people work around them? How does someone avoid
pain and chaos while loving themselves? We think you should ponder
on this a while.
Appreciation For Mv Mom
X I iWy Place
The person that should be recognized is my mom
because she is always there for me. She is the one who
cooks for me, provides me clothes, and shelter. She loves
me and I love her.
I am in the JJC for things I am accused of, but I don't
think that I did. My mom is really hurt over it. She should
be recognized though, for keeping me in line and doing
all her hard work.
From The Beat: We are glad that you have someone to help Iceep you in
line sks you say, and we wonder what you are doing to honor her and
help her to have hope and faith in you sks well?
We'ii iHai(e It
When I think of you, 1 think of we.
You are the only one that keeps me sane.
When I am locked up or out free.
Inside 1 live in eternal flames.
You cheated once, can it happen again?
When you are upset 1 tend to cheer you,
When I am distant, I run near you.
When you are emotional, I show you remorse.
I held you down, I held you up,
When you needed I held you with force.
Im'a hold you here, Im'a hold you there,
Im'a hold you no matter the reasons.
Hot, cold, winter, fall,
Im'a hold you no matter the seasons.
Just hold me in your heart like I have you.
And I promise we'll make it together times two.
From The Beat: Thanhs for sharing with The Beat. Your beats have
passion behind them and we would like to hear what you are passionate
about for yourself sks well.
A Brotlier's Love
I have an older brother who is always trying to tell me
how to do things to keep me out of trouble, but I have
never listened to him.
If 1 could go back in time I would listen to my brother,
because he was telling me how to not get locked up, but I
didn't listen and so now I am here.
I want to go to him now and tell him that I am sorry
for not taking his advice. When I get out, I will listen to
what he tells me from now on.
From The Beat: Your brother sounds like he really cares about you and
we hope that you do tell and show him that you respect his advice,
when you get out.
Hatiflo Tills Place
On the outs, I felt good and relieved in life. When I came
here though, I felt sick and disgusted. I can't believe that
let myself in this place. I feel that I have let myself down.
Man, this place ain't no joke, so those of you that are
reading this, keep yourselves out of here, 'cause I just got
committed to a boot camp and doing a whole year in that
From The Beat: The good thing about making mistakes is that you have
the opportunity to learn from them and to do things differently the
next time around. Being human comes with making mistakes, being nn
adult comes with trying to prevent mistaices from happening the best
that we can.
at I f
The place for me is my neighborhood. It's nice and quiet
there and I can smoke. Once we are done smoking we can
mob it around to the stores in our hood. We can stop and
eat some munchies, and go to a park or a school to hang
out. That's a nice day in my neighborhood.
From The Beat: There has to be more productive things that you can get
involved in with your neighborhood. What can you and your friends do
in your hood to make it a safer place, because doing drugs in it, is not
Which Is Easier?
Is life easier in here or on the outs? I would say that
life is easier in the hall because when you are locked up
you have a set program and the work in the classroom is
easier and all you have to do is to sleep and eat and follow
the rules. So if a kid bum would want to get a free meal all
they would have to do is to get locked up in the JJC.
And when you are on the outs you have to worry about
getting shot or stabbed or jumped, etc. Also, you have to
worry about food and shelter, if you don't have a house, (I
thank the Lord that I do) because you need somewhere to
sleep at night.
From The Beat: Living on the outs Is tough, no one can argue with that.
But there are so many great things that come with freedom. Having
the freedom to refuse to be in skn environment where bad things can
happen to you is a right of all Americans, and life is more worth living
if you are the one in control of the agenda of your own life instead of
I I finally realized that the life I have been living for the
last three years is not for me. That life would be in the
JJC. At first it did not bug me but as I got older it got
boring. Especially because I can see how it affects my
mom and other loved ones. Now I am in the JJC doing the
maximum time of confinement. Now when I get out I can
start my life over again.
From The Beat: Three years is a long time, but it^ nothing compared to
the time you can have living a happy healthy life when you get out.
But you need to take steps to make that happen. So what will you do
It's Easier Belog Free
What's up with The Beat?
Well to me, it would be easier to live out there because
I am a new man and I have grown up a little bit.
But a couple of months ago, I would have said that it
was easier to live in here because 1 was out of control out
there and put myself into danger. I could have been killed
dealing with drugs and a lot of other things that I used
to do. I used to not eat right, and the hall gave me three
meals a day and taught me that I need to eat better to feel
So I think that if you are on the outs and messing
with drugs and other shhh, it would be better for you to
be in the hall, even though I will admit that all the things
that 1 used to do were fun, but just not worth it in the
From The Beat: Sometimes it taices going in the hall to realize how
things could be different on the outside and it sounds liice you have hit
that point. What do you plan to do on the outs to show the world that
you are a changed man?
Livino My Life
The life I live is crazy.
Sometimes I feel good and others I feel bad.
Right now I sit in the Hall and just try to be me.
People want to judge me because they don't know me.
I wonder if life could be different because it is crazy.
I still remain a gangsta though.
My mama tried to teach me right, but I guess the street
From The Beat: We wonder if you being gangsta has anything to do
with why your life is crazy, and we want to know what you think life
would be like if you weren't?
A Cursed Life
My life has been cursed because every time I try to do
good, bad things happen, and sometimes good. I hope I
can figure it out before it is too late.
I was doing well for several months but then I made
a mistake and the charges came and life got worse and
worse. I still want to try to do good even though I have no
hope or faith. The only thing that keeps me going is my
family. I hope that they are a good enough reason to get
me though, and keep me out of trouble.
From The Beat: Having hope and faith in yourself is something you
do seem to have even though you may not see it. Family is a good
motivator, and sometimes being there for them mz well, will bring good
things in turn.
■" I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
When you have a friend, you give her your jacket.
When you have a girl friend, you give her a love bite.
When you have a wife you give her a ring.
But this girl has my heart!
From The Beat: Having a significant other gives us someone to relate
to and to care for beside ourselves; we would liice to hear what you are
doing to show your appreciation of others through tailing care of your
Deitt Dn M) Bitk
Over the years, I didn't know what was going on, but
death was on my back. After that I got locked up, and that
is a fact. I went to court, sat down and listened, but didn't
say a word. My mom always told me to listen but it went
in one ear and out the other. Back in the day I listened
and skated, and never thought I would smoke. I want to
get death off my back but I don't know how. Please help.
From The Beat: It sounds like you already know what to do. Back when
you listened and you had healthy hobbies you were happier right? What
does that tell you now?
There's Places To Be
If you want to go to a place where there will be no sorrow,
pain, lust, thieves, or hatred, then give your life to the
Lord and you will have that place. It's not guaranteed on
Earth, but it will be in heaven. So just believe and stay
faithful, because you will never know when your time will
From The Beat: How does someone give their life to the Lord? What
does that mean, and how does It help us get through life on Earth if we
may not see its benefits while we are here?
I Pray Tor Help
Every day I pray to God to forgive me for my sins. I hope
that he will give me another chance to go back to my
parents and show them that I love them.
Every morning when I wake up I think at first that I
am at home, but then realize I am locked up in my cell. I
am hoping that my mom and dad are doing good as I pray
- Homesick Kid
From The Beat: Keep your head up Kid, trust that you have the strength
to face anything and use every experience h% ah opportunity to show
how courageous and resilient you are no matter what the outcome of
your offense may be in the end.
Hert Forlkt koliliis
Time isn't worth wasting between these doors. Be easy
and stay up. Being in this place makes me want to step
up my game. I am wasting my time locked up instead of
handling my shhh the legit way. I am telling ail the others
to be with your family during the holidays instead of out
on the streets, or you will end up spending them like I
am. Think before you act and happy holidays.
-Pretty Boy Bookman
From The Beat: Thanks for sharing. We would like to hear what you plan
to do to step up your game? Others may benefit from hearing the steps
that you might take.
The jungle is where I want to be so that I can be free
and run around naked. I will be so happy because I am
surrounded by beautiful trees and animals. I want to live
like Tarzan, ride tigers, and keep a Tucan for a pet. I want
to swing from trees and be the king of the jungle and beat
my chest at the top of a mountain.
From The Beat: It^ good to have an imagination, sometimes it helps us
to get through hard times, but we wonder what you could do to turn
this fantasy into something productive? Are you saying that you like
animals and would like to be around them?
There's A Place Tor Me
People say that others will go no where in life. People
get greedy because they want more and more. My place
though, is with my girl, outside of this cement box. There
is a place for everyone.
From The Beat: Sometimes people put others down because they lack
faith in themselves. So what can you do to show people that they can
Guando Estoy Aqui
Cuando estoy afuera me puedo poner la talla que yo
quiero y el color que quiero, pero cuando estas encerrado
no mas te hacen poner lo que los stuff quieren. Te dan
ropa m-s chicas y el color mas feo y usas la misma ropa
de los dem-s.
From The Beat: £f cual vida es la que prefieres una vez que saigas de
aqui? Sera el mismo?
When I Am Here
When I am on the outs, I can wear any size of clothing I
want and any color I want. But, when you're inside, the
staffs make you wear what they want. They give you very
small clothes to wear and the worst type too. You also use
the same clothes others wear.
-Oso, Santa Clara
From The Beat: So, which life do your prefer when you get out? Would
it be the same?
El Nuevo Presidente
Esta bien que le hayan dado la oportundiad de ser
presidente de este pais y asi mirar si esta preparado
para ese gran cargo que se le da. Hay que ver si tiene la
capacidad de sacar este pais adelante.
Muchas personas estan sorpendidas porque no creian
que un hombre de color iba a hacer el presidente de este
Puede ser que las cosas scan mejor que las que hizo el
presidente Bush porque el tiene muchas ideas buenas.
From The Beat: Eso es lo que esperamos. Esperamos que llegue lograr lo
que prometio. ^Y t>, cuales son tus promesas?
The New President
I think it's fine to me that he was given an opportunity
to be president of this country and that way we can see
if he is prepared to this big challenge that was given to
him. We need to see if he is able to make this country
There are many people who are surprised because
they never believed that a colored man was going to
become the president of this country.
He may do better things than president Bush because
he has better ideas.
-Jose, San Francisco
From The Beat: We hope he gets to accomplish what he promised. What
are your promises?
I I M I I M M I M I M M
Mi plan es salir para ir a la playa con mi bebe, luego
Uebarlo a la tiendas a comprales jjgetes, luego llebarlo a
la casa, llebarlo al parque y gurar soccer, ybasketball. Me
gustaria comprar tamales y chips.
From The Beat: Nos parece buenas Idas. Esperamos que llegues a hacer
eso y mucho maas. Tii bebe se lo merece.
My plan is to get out to go to the beach with my kid, later
take him to the stores to buy him toys, take him home, to
the park to play soccer, basketball. I would also buy some
tamales and chips.
-Tony, Santa Clara
From The Beat: They sound like good ideas to us. We hope you get the
chance to do all that and much more. Your baby deserves it.
Que onda raza! No se aguiten paisas. Algtin dia vamos a
tener que salir de aqui. Las rejas se abren solas. Todos
sufrimos esta vida y si no sumfrimos nunca aprendemos.
Asi que ponganle muchas ganas y que Dios es el unico
que puede ayudar a uno a salir pronto de aqui.
From The Beat: Gracias por tus palabras. Recuerda que tambiEn se tiene
que poner de su parte para poder salir adelante y no dejar todo en las
manos de Dios.
What's up my people! Don't worry friends. Some day we
will get out of here. The bars open by itself. We all suffer
this life and if we never suffer, we never learn. So, keep
going and know that God is the only one who can help us
get out of here soon.
-Loney Boy, Marin
From The Beat: Thanks for your words. But, always remember that
you also have to make an effort to make things better, not just leave
everything on God's hands.
Hay Que Enfrentar Tus Prniiienias
Yo pienso que correr de tus problemas es algo tonto
porque siempre va a llegar el momento cuando tengas
que enfrentar tus problemas.
Una ve que escuches a alguien mensionar lo que
puedes hacer hoy, no lo dejes para mafiana. Yo pienso
que es mejor tratar de arregiarlos y uir de ellos.
From The Beat: ^A que conclusion llegastes para aprender esto? £Ser-
esta experiencia que estas viviendo? 0Y t- le estas buscando solucion a
Is Better Tn Cnnfrnnt Ynur Prniiienis
I think running away from your problems is something
dumb because it will always be the moment when you will
have to confront your problems.
Once your hear someone mentioned what you can do
today, don't leave it for tomorrow. 1 think it's better to try
to solve the problems than running away from them.
-Younster, Santa Clara
From The Beat: What made you realized this? Is it due to the experience
you are going through right now? Are you looking for solutions to your
I I I I I I
11 I i i I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
This week I'm gonna write about drugs en vez de
pandillas. I think drugs and gangs are the same because
they just make you a pipero (pipe user). Te hacen actuar
de diferente formas y hasta aveces te hacer hacerle dano
a otras personas (They make you act in different ways
and sometimes it make you hurt others) I never been in a
gang, but yeah I've been in drugs.
I would say that drugs make you do wrong things in
your life. At the begginig, you always say that you can
control it, but the truth is that drugs no me controla, eso
era lo que yo decia (it doesn't controlled me, but that was
what I thought) At the end, I found out that drugs me
estaban controlando, so mi consejo es que no hagas a las
drogas (were controlling me, so my advice to you is not to
-Tonster, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You know what drugs do to us. What are your plans
after realizing this? Thank you for your advice and er hope you stay
away from drugs as well.
La Vida Afuera
Pues, todo bien, sabemos que afuera as la mejor vida porque
aqui tu vida la tienes privada y mas que nada, no tienes cosas las
cuales quieres. Yo tengo 9 meses aqui en USA pero por desgracia
cahi aqui y extraOo la vida de afuera, todo lo que tenia.
Todo lo que encontre cuando llegue, lo tengo privado. Lo que
m-s me duele es mi novia porque ella es lo que m-s amo en mi
vida. La verdad es que ya no aguanto estar todo este tiempo sin
ella ya que con ella pase buenos momentos en mi vida y por eso
la quiero un chingo. ExtraOo todo las cosas que juntos pasamos
y por eso es que siento que mi vida aqui no vale nada. Quiero
salir y estar con ella toda mi vida porque ella me ha demostrado
cuanto me quiere.
Todos aqui sufrimos por algo y eso es por lo que sufro yo. Yo
sufro porque extrano a mi baby. Cada dla que me llegan cartas de
ella, me pongo a Uorar por todo lo que ella me dice. Yo quisiera
poder estar con ella este 20 de Noviembre que es mi cumpleafios.
Ella es todo para mi.
Espero en Dios pronto salir y no volver a cometer los mismos
errores que cometi.
Aqui estoy con unos homies y mi primo por el mismo delito.
Espero en Dios pronto salir y cumplir mis sueOos que son
terminar high school y tener un trabajo para poder ser alguiEn
en la vida.
Esta es mi primera vez y ultima porque no creo volver aqui.
Todo este tiempo que Uebo aqui es lo peor de mi vida. Ya estoy
sin mi girl que tanto amo. Todo el mundo se me pone de cabeza
al pensar en lo que estarla haciendo con ella.
Bueno, mis saludos para todos mis homies. Piensen bien las
cosas antes de hacerlas porque los aparta de sus vidas que tanto
quieren y de las personas que amas. Por eso la vida afuera es
mejor. Gocenla mientras puedan y aprovechen todo los instantes
porque luego pueden caer en la piche juvenile.
From The Beat: Lo bueno es que tendras otra oportunidad de salir de
esta c-rcel y poder realizar tus suehos. Si tanto quieres a esa muchacha,
deberias de luchar y hacer lo correcto para conservarla. Se nota que
has aprendido de esta lecciUn y que haras mejor para mejorar tu vida
y estar con las personas que mas amas. Nadie te esta deteniendo para
que cumpias lo que quieras. O ^^h que tienes el camino libre, entonces
deberias de contruir tu camino a la victoria.
The Life On The Outs
Well, it's all good, we know that out side life is better because
in here you are deprived everything and you don't have the
things you want. I've been in the USA for 9 months thank God.
Unfortunately 1 came here and I miss the life on the outs because
there 1 had it all.
I all I gained since 1 got here, are deprived from me. What
hurts me the most is my girl, because she is what 1 love the
most. The truth is that 1 can't handle anymore to be without her
anymore because I spent so many good moments with her in my
life and that's why I love her a lot. 1 miss all the things that we
used to do together and that's why 1 feel like my life isn't worth
it. I want to get out and be with her all my life because she has
showed me how much she loves me
We all suffer for something and that's why I'm suffering. 1
suffer because I miss my babe. Every time 1 get letters, 1 cry
for all the things she says to me. 1 wish 1 to be with her this
November 20th for my birthday. She is all for me.
I hope in God to get out soon and never commit the same
mistakes I made.
Here 1 am with some homies and my cousin for the same
crime. 1 hope in God to get out soon and make my dreams come
true that are to finish high school, and get a job that can make
me be somebody in life.
This is my first and last time because I'm not coming back
here. All the time I've been here has been the worst of my life.
I am without my girl who 1 love the most. That's why life on the
outs is better. Enjoy it while you can and enjoy everything that
comes your way because you can get back into juvenile hall.
-Jenni-Joe, Santa Clara
From The Beat: The Good thing about your situation is that you will
get another chance to get out of the halls and be able to realize your
dreams. If you really want that girl, you should fight for her and do
what's correct to keep her. It is noticeable that you have learned your
lesson and at least, you will tiy to better your life and be with the
person you love. Nobody is holding you back from making anything
you desire a reality. In other words, you got a long way to go. So start
building your way to victory.
He tornado decisiones estupidas y la verdad es que
me ha ido mas o menos mal, pero le doy gracias a Dios
porque todavia estoy vivo. Le pido a Dios todos los dias
que me de una oportunidad de salir de aqui porque la
verdad es que no me gustaria volver a este lugar. A mi
corta edad, esta es una de las experiencias mas feas que
me ha pasado.
Voy a ser lo mejor de mi vida y voy a cambiar las
decisiones malas que he hecho. Voy a trabajar, y voy a
tratar de ser alguien en la vida. No quiero causar mas
preocupasiones a mis padres.
From The Beat: Esas palabras, "voy a tratar" no nos convence. Mejor
di "lo voy a hacer". De que vuelvas a este lugar todo depende de las
decisiones que llegues a tomar. Aprende de las experiencias que te
I've made so many stupid decisions and the truth is that
things had gone not so good, but 1 still give my thanks
to God for being alive. I ask God everyday to give me an
opportunity to get out of here because the truth is that I
wouldn't like to come back here. In my short age, this is
one of the worse experiences I've gone through.
I'm going to do the best of my life and try not to commit
wrong decisions I've done. I'm going to work, and try to
be someone in life. I don't want to cause more worries to
-Alex, San Francisco
From The Beat: These words, "I'm going to try" doesn't sound convincing!
You should say, "I'm going to do it." Whether you come back or stay out,
it's a decision that only you can make. Learn from the experiences you
are going through.
I Love You
Te amo tanto tanto tanto
me hace falta, tanta falta
mis noches son pesadillas
me voy a quitarme la vida
y a ponerme serca de tu cama
para estar contigo Kimberly
y el viento me trae tu besos
y miisica a que oiga
los besos que me distes
amor ya no sufras mas
esto se va a realizar.
From The Beat:Huinm, que extrano poema! Que es lo que se va a relizar?
Solo estamos de curioso!
I love you so much, so much, so much
I miss you, I miss you
my nights are nightmares
I'm going to take my life away for you
and stay near your bed
to be with you Kimberly
the wind brings me your kisses
and music so I can listen to
the kisses that you gave me
my love, don't suffer anymore
this will become a reality
-Anonymous, San Francisco
From The Beat: Humm, what a weird poem! What's going to become a
reality? Just being curios!
Reoresar Un DIa Antes
Bueno, al tiempo que quisiera regresar es a un dia antes
de salir de mi casa. Si no me hubiera salido, no estubiera
aqui y estubiera celebrando mi cumpleanos que es hoy
el 2o de Noviembre. Mirenme donde estoy, en la pinche
juvenile pagando todos los errores que he cometido.
Si pudiera regresar el tiempo, lo haria para no tener
tantos problemas, pasarmela con mi familia. Pues tenia
15 anos sin estar sin ellos y hoy que los encontre no
puedo verlos porque les pague mal y no puedo hacer
Quiero decirle a todos los homies que se pongan
truchas, que no hagan cosas que no van. Yo quiero salir y
terminar high school y tener un buen trabajo.
Regresaria el tiempo a esa fecha en la que no tenia
problemas con nadie y salir adelante con la ayuda de
mi efuerzo. Ese es mi plan, salir y hecharle ganas a la
No quiero ser malo, pues nunca lo he sido. Hechenle
ganas a todos que lean esto y van a ver que si es verdad
que se puede. Se los dice un buen amigo que ya paso por
lago gacho. No caigan en las drogas. Es bueno vivir sin
drogas. Bueno al rato y saludos a todos.
From The Beat: Ya legrear el tiempo no puedes hacerlo, pero si puedes
hacer cosas que no pudistes hacer reaiidad una vez que saigas de aqui-
como obtener una buena educacion y un buen trabajo. Lo bueno es
que esta experiencia te ha ayudado a ver tus errores y te ha dirigido a
la entrada de una nuevo empezar para una nueva vida. Cuale son tus
To Go Back A Day Before
Well, 1 would like to turn back time to a day before I left
the house. 1 hadn't gone out, 1 wouldn't be here and I
would be celebrating my birthday today, November 2nd.
But, look at where I am, in this damn juvenile hall paying
for the mistakes I've made.
If 1 can turn back time, I would do it to avoid many
problem I have now, and spend time with my family. 1
spent fifteen years without them and now that I found
them, I can't be with them because 1 failed them and 1
can't do anything about it.
I want to tell ail my homies to be careful, not to do
things that aren't right. 1 want to get out to finish high
school and have a good job.
I wish I could turn back time to the time when I didn't
have any problems with anyone and be able to succeed by
my own. That's my plan, to get out and make an effort in
I don't want to be bad even though I've never been bad.
Keep going on to those who read this and you will see
that you can make it. This is said by a friend that already
went through the hard ones. Don't end up in drugs. It's
good to live without them. Well, see you later, and my
greetings to all.
-Jenny Joe, Santa Clara
From The Beat: To turn back time might be something impossible to
do, but you can do things you couldn't do once you get out of here-
getting a good education and a good job. The good thing of all is that
this experience has opened your ayes to see your mistakes and gave
you the entrance of finding a new start to a better life. What are your
I I I I I t I
I I I
Hola homies, les saluda su cuate Daniel. Pues mi
historia es asl. Tengo poco tiempo que llegue aqui a la
juvenile y me estoy dando cuenta de todo lo dificil que es
estar adentro y no poder estar alia afuera.
Cuando llegue aqui, deje a mi girl y extraiio estar con
ella, pasandoa bien sin broncas. No regresar nunca mas
aqui porque no quiero sufrirm-s.
Les doy este consejo a todos los homie que estan
leyendo mi historia: cuando salgan no cometan los
mismos errores que hemos cometido.
Bueno, cada jueves estaran escuchando mas de mi triste historia.
£Que piensas hacer ahora que te distes cuenta de lo duro que es estar
aqui adentro? Esperamos y hayas aprendido de tu leccion.
Hi homies, this is your friend, Daniel. My story starts like
this. I came here not too long ago, and I am realizing how
hard it is to be here and not be able to be on the outs.
When I got here, I left my girl who 1 miss to hang
without any problems. I don't want to come back here
anjrmore because I don't want to suffer anymore.
I'm going to give this advice to all the homies who are
reading my story: when you get out to never commit the
same mistakes we have made.
OK guys, you'll be hearing more about my sad story
-I/iros, San Francisco
From The Beat: What are your plans now that you've realized how hard
it is to be in here? We hope you had learned your lesson?
Mejor Hobiera Corrido
Ahora estoy en la carcel porque estaba kickiandola con
los homies. Pos mejor me hubiera quedado dormido en
mi casa dormido. Ahora pienso que hubiera corrido de la
policia y ahorita no tubiera en prision.
La gente me decla que me parezco a un callejero
porque todo el dla andaba en la calles kickiandola con
los homies. No hacia caso a mi madre. Ella aveces Uoraba
y me decla que si querla terminar en la carcel pero la
neta es que mi hermano y yo somos asl. Se que se aguita
porque estamos en prisiUn.
From The Beat: Ciaro que la gente va a pensar mal de ti, que no has
escuchado el dicho que dice, "dime con quien andas y te dire quien
eres."No crees que tu madre ya ha sufrido mucho por ti y tu hermano. Es
ese el tipo de aprecio que se merece por ustedes?
I Shoold Have Boo
I am in jail because I was kicking it with my homies. I
wish I had stayed sleeping at home. Now, I think I should
have run from the streets and 1 wouldn't be in prison.
People tell me I look like a thug because I would be
kicking with the homies on the streets. She would cry
and used to tell me 1 wanted to end up in jail. The truth
is that my brothers I am like this. I know she gets sad
because we are in prison.
-Lir Duende, Santa Clara
From The Beat:Of course people are going to thinic wrong about you.
Haven't you heard the saying that goes, "tem me who hang with and I'll
tell you who you." Don't you think your mother has suffered so much
about you and your brother? Is this how you appreciate what she has
done for you and all her suffering caused by you and your brother?
Pues ahora voy a escribir acerca de mi haina aunque
ahorita este enojada conmigo. Se dio cuenta que estaba
con otra cuando estaba afuera y me siento triste.
Yo le habia prometido que nunca le iba hacer Uorar
otra vez. No pude retener mi palabra, pero ahora tengo
que aceptar las consecuencias aunque aun la amo. Ella
decidio dejarme pero ojala y piense las cosas bien y se
decida a regresar conmigo. Ella sabe que la amo.
From The Beat: Si ella te quiere, te dara esa oportunidad y si no tienes
que aceptar la realidad. Tu fuistes la quien la rego. Ella se debe sentir
bien dolita. Esta en ella que te perdone.Dinos cosa, si fuera ella la que
te hublese fiecho infiel, la perdonaras?
Well, I'm going to write about my giri even though she is
mad at me right now. She found out I was cheating on her
with another girl and 1 feel sad about it.
had promised her that I was never going to make cry
again. I couldn't keep my word, but now I have to accept
the consequences even though I love her. She decided to
leave me, but I hope she thinks about it and decide to give
another chance. She knows I love her.
-Anonsrmous, Santa Clara
From The Beat: if she loves you, she might give you another chance,
but if she doesn't you should accept the reality. You were the one who
messed it up anyways. She might feel hurt, it's all up to her. Tell us
something, if it was her who cheated on you, would you forgive her?
Hayo Lo Que Quiero
Yo siempre hago lo que quiero aunque a nadie le guste.
Ahora estoy en el sistema y tengo que seguir las reglas
para poder estar en el nivel A. Siempre trato de hacer las
cosas bien para que no me esten cagando el palo.
From The Beat: No solo te deberlas de portarte bien aqui adentro sino
afuera tambien afuera para evitar caer a estos lugares. No crees?
I Do Wiiat I Want
I always do what I want even if nobody likes it. Now I am
in the system and I have to follow the rules to get to A
level. 1 always try to do things right in here, so they won't
mess with me.
-Crikri, No Unit
From The Beat: You should also do your best in behaving well on the
outs not just here to avoid coming to this place. Don't you think so?
Mis Pensamientos Solire Dos Temas
Bueno yo creo que esta bien que Obama haya ganado
estas elecciones. Espero que haya un mejor gobierno
que el de George W. Bush quizcer. Espero que nos den
derechos a los imigrantes, que hayan nuevos proyectos
para que ayuden a los Latinos. Queremos que haya un
verdadero cambio en EEUU. Ya estamos arto del racismo,
queremos que toda la gente camine con la frente en alta
sin pensar que alguien le va a querer hacer algun dafio.
Queremos que se terminen las pandillas, que hayan
buenos proyectos para acabar con todo lo que nos hacen
mal. Ojala y Obama traiga el camino.
Creo que lo primero que uno ve al entrar a una pandilla
es que todo va a ser divertido, que vas a beber, fumar, ir
a fiestas, y creo que el mundo es tuyo. Pero uno se da
cuenta que le esta destruyendo la vida a los demas y la
vida de uno mismo. Todo termina cuando llega un policia,
te arresta y termina todo. Ahi es cuando dispiertas de la
realidad de todo lo malo que andas haciendo.
Recuerdo cuando ibamos con mis homies a buscar
personas que aveces solo llebaban poco de dinero para
comer, y se los quitabamos. Eso es algo que no volviera
a hacerlo. Bueno amigos, alejensen de las pandillas. Un
saludo a mis amigos.
From The Beat: Ojala y este presidente llegue a hacer muchas cosas y
mas. Personas con tus pensamientos es lo que necesitamos para ayudar
a nuestra gente. Tii deberias de prepararte y llegar a zew un cambio aqui.
Nada es imposible. Puedes y llegues a tomar un cargo bien importante
en el pais, como Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gracias por tus consejos sobre
las pandillas, esperamos y muchos aprendan de tu consejo y mensaje.
Lo bueno de todo es que estas arrepentidos de tus actos y que ya ha
cambiado tu forma de pensar. Gracias y sique escribiendonos.
My Tlioooiits Alioot Two Topics
Well, I think it's fine that Obama won the elections. I
hope me make a better government that George W. Bush
tried to make. I hope they give immigrants some rights,
and to create new projects to help the Latinos. We want
a big change in the US. We are tired of racism we want all
people walk with their heads up without fearing getting
harm. We want the gangs to end, to have new projects to
eliminate everything that hurt us. 1 hope Obama creates
I think the first thing you think before getting into
a gang is that everything will be fun, that you will drink,
smoke, and I think the world is yours. Everything ends
come the cops come, get arrested and everything ends.
That's when you wake up to reality from all the bad you
I remember when 1 used to kick it with my homies and
take away the money of those who bearly had something
to eat. That's something I wouldn't do over again. Well
my friends, stay away from gangs and my greetings to you
-Rosny, San Francisco
From The Beat: We hope this president maice this happen and more.
People who thinic Mice you are what we need to help our people.
You should prepare yourself with a good education to become a very
important person in this country liice Arnold Schwarzenegger, but try
to be better than him. Thank you for your advice about gangs and we
hope many of you get your message. The good things of all are that
you regretful of your actions and have changed your ways of thinicing.
Thank you and keep writing us.
n/ifji/ff/fi/M. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
^T^^wMmmmfi^ mm/ ' f / /// / /
Have You Learned?
You sit here dreaming
While the others are really asleep
You're soul searching
Attempting to figure out if you have what it takes to keep
Things from going wrong again
So many mistakes in the past
Have you really learned it?
You question, "Have I really learned it?"
Because freedom is just around the corner
From the corner where you used to stand hustlin'
Right down the street from where your man got shot and
Right up the block from where you stay
I mean sleep
Because you don't live there
Just a borrowed cot
Right across the street from where the woman you get
Who is trying to quit crack by becoming an alcoholic
While the streets and television raise her children
Just a phone call away from that holding cell
Requesting that your "boys" raise money for your bail
Only a paddy wagon trip away
From state road where you sit lonely, hungry, and cold
Herded from holding cell to holding cell
Sleeping on floors and hard wood benches
Ain't bathed in three days
Right beneath B2-1 where they ship you to spend 26 days
Just a week away from CJC (criminal justice center)
Where you get found guilty
And sentenced to five years upstate
What the *#%! is that?
Violation of the uniform firearm act
Now you're only a van ride away from grater fort
Yellow jump suits
Staring out of the window at that huge concrete wall
360 degrees everywhere you turn
"Where do you want your body sent?"
State # GR8416
One envelope away
From her eyes burning and face tear streaked
Your female just received your mail
(Just) a day before that blue goose transport
Idiotic black box
Has your hands trapped uncomfortably for that two hour
Ride to Camp Hill
Just two days away from being classified
Going from blues to browns
A day away from working in the kitchen
For 19 cents and hour
And a 4:30am wake-up call
Just ten minutes away from shuffling to work
And seeing me write my life's story out on scraps of
As you sit at the table to eat your morning meal
With lifer's eye's looking at you
With an unspoken question
Piercing your soul
Freedom is just around the corner
"Have you learned?"
Our next writer is sending us these brilliant pieces from Camp
Hill, Pennsylvania. William is a first time writer for The Beat, and
we're glad that he stumbled on our publication. He delivers some very
powerful pieces skz he gets deep, deep like the bottom of the Atlantic.
His poems are detailed with descriptive similes and metaphors. Read
between the lines. We are proud to introduce you to Mr. William
Hello The Beat,
My name is William Johnson and I am incarcerated at
SCI-CAMP HILL in PA. This is my first entry and it shall
not be my last. I learned of your publication through word
of mouth, and I decided to check you guys out. Upon
receiving your publication I was pleasantly surprised by
the entries of all the incarcerated youths.
To them I speak: Your work is good, minds are strong,
and your future is bright. Continue to shine in those dark
places and allow GOD to guide you; not self because self
is unwise and foolish. Look at where it has gotten us.
So with every new day, rectify the wrongs of yesterday,
dismantle the thinking that has landed us here, and let
us build ourselves mentally and spiritually.
I love you all with the kind of love a prisoner has for
freedom. Keep Pushin" You'll make iti
Post script: I hope you all enjoy my poetic favor. At
times you will be able to see through my work how I may
have been feeling that day or week. What I hope is that
you all will be able to relate to some of my works and
grow off of them. PEACE.
I Thouoht I Needed
That I was spending a lot of my time
With the concerns of this world
Investing in frivolous practices
Money, drugs, sports, entertainment, and recreation
All in an useless attempt to obtain a "wholeness"
To feel happy and complete
But it was all for nada (nothing, naught)
I spent 29 years wasting time
For nothing in this world can satisfy me
You see I was fooled
Thinking it was all about me
How can I be made happy?
When it was never about me
It is about GOD
Writing poems about lost love
Chasing a high
Or just trying to satisfy myself
I was busy
Preoccupied with gain
Yet steadily losing
Unable to see the light
Unable to hear the truth
Until I stumbled and fell
Five years incarceration
Ran concurrent with the love of my life leaving me
Just like I
Thinks it's all about ME.
n/ifji/ff/fi/M. ffii ///M/ //. // //// //
9/^?nf7M/MM BmMk/ ' >^ //// //
'MXL,L,Tf7M ^UHnsnn cnnr. '
Slave To rreedoiii
Beckoning from behind closed doors
Windows that never open give off false perceptions
I see right through you
Yet 1 still can't see freedom
What I see are lies
And barely visible chains that have minds bound
In bondage to false precepts
Have faith in a lie is like copulating with an AID's victim
Believing that you are safe
Yet not knowing that there are microscopic tears in your
Need I say more?
Freedom is a lie
And we are all slaves to it.
Cigarette in hand
Pen in the other
Staring at four yellow
Conscience idling over the
"I should have listened"
All the people (aboard my
Trying hard to steer me
Of the obstacles of street
But I didn't listen and
wrecked the ship
Now I'm stranded in a
On an island full of time
To ponder my wrongs
With 1825 days to decide,
This time MUST be my
I'm the captain of this
And although the weather
(right now) is gloomy
The sun will shine again
Providing me with another
chance to set sail
On this journey through
This time I will listen
I will not fail!
Sentenced to face reality
Without the fleeting devices of the gratification of me
But that is when I heard
Heard what I've been deaf to for all these years
I still small voice
Saying, "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy
laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you
win find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-30)
And I needed that voice and came
For I was so tired
In need of that rest
And as I drew closer
I began to see
That shined brighter
And brighter the closer I came
My blind eyes were opened
I was no longer a prisoner
In a bondage to self
For the love of God had set me free
He came into my heart
And filled my void
With a love that completed me
Freedom and trust
Now, I no longer try things by my own means
Now that I can see and hear
I seek the light in all I do
I let God guide me
For everything that I was trying
To gain on my own
For the last 29 years
Love, happiness, and financial stability
Are all mine through God
To The Beat Withio aod To Those Gifted aod
My gratitude to The Beat Within and to those who have passed
through my life whether in a positive or negative note. My utmost
love and respects to each and every one of you, especially to those
that find themselves through such difficulties. Hopefully my
presence is felt from all over that fight those struggles. I encourage
you to keep it strong. I myself am battling. For those who may no
know me, my name is Ascencio Rolando. I'm currently housed here
in Salinas Valley State Prison. I just received my issue of The Beat
Within a fabulous and remarkable book that inspires us readers
to excel in our performances that our mind and heart allows us to
write with pen and paper.
It's a blessing to hear from you all. It truly does allow us to
enjoy great satisfaction that accompanies our success. The Beat
Within a provocative book that can affect everything to our inner
heart and souls. It gives us the realistic details of life from young
to old. I'm still at a young stage what you call living and learning.
Hopefully my company can provide the younger homies like me
the knowledge to build our strength, the strength to sustain ones
self-goals and obtain victory on the battlefields of gangs and drugs.
Some of us might be fighting deeper struggles, emotions but it's
within ourselves to change!
Through my whole young career I lived in nothing but
Our next writer is sending us some advice from Salinas Valley
State Prison in Soledad, CA. Ascencio has established himself as a
very thoughtful writer often writing to give advice. Ascencio doesn't
sugar coat anything as he tells you the honest truth about his prison
experience. All of you that find yourselves going to camps, group
homes, or just sitting In the hail, you have plenty of time to change,
but as our friend Ascencio sx^s, poor decision making, will turn those
months into years. ," " " " "" " "" "
into the system, and itk hard to get out folks. So kick back, take your
time to flip through this page, and listen to some real true advice from
to be a part of.
blurriness. I have been in and out fighting. I realize that I was only
deceiving myself. Now I live challenging all the open doors I have
opened. It took this far in time to finally realize.
"Prison" I hope you young folks in the halls, placements or
any other detention stop now stop while you're a head. I can tell
you from my prospective that what you do will soon catch up.
Every thing you do follows you. everything is in record. It never
goes away. Those little months will soon turn to years. When you
see the judge, jury's, they look at your history and decide your
sentence so remember it's not a slap in the hand.
I'm not sugar coating this I'm being REAL. It's different in this
world. Everything is politics. I just ask of you to think before you
act. Be smart. It's hard getting out the system but we can do it.
Just take my advice from a young friend, God Bless.
Con amor y respecto, (with love and respect)
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
''^f7UL MJf7¥ ffBBO'
Profiles in Addiction: Wiidfiower
I met Coco about three years ago. At the time I was deep in the
stag net waters of a drug addiction. I supported my addiction
of crack cocaine by selling the same drug to other addicts. I
saw her walking down one of Beaumont's "ho strolls". She
was pretty and voluptuous, but looked no older than fifteen.
I couldn't tell if she was white, Hispanic, or light skinned
black girl. She stared at me as we crossed paths with a hopeful
I assumed this young girl was prostituting and probably for
crack or enough money to buy some. I didn't acknowledge her;
I kept going. Later I asked another prostitute about her and
learned her name and found out my first impressions of her
One night, a week later, I saw her again while on my way
to meet a wholesale drug connection in one of our clandestine
spots. It was a cold, rainy, winter night. She was standing alone
on a corner in a short sleeve shirt, jeans, and was barefoot. As I
got closer, I noticed she had two black eyes. My heart went out
to her. I felt sorry for her, so I stopped to talk with her. I asked
her what happened to her eyes.
She told me how her child's father had beaten her. She
asked me if I had any dope and I told her I was on my way
to purchase some. I knew she wanted to get high but didn't
have the money hence the reason she stood on the corner,
impatiently waiting for a trick, any trick. The drop spot was a
half-mile away, but I knew had I left her there, she'd probably
not be there when I got back, so I asked her to accompany
I took off my warm jacket and gave it to her. That's when
I felt how cold it really was. I'd worn a short sleeve under the
jacket. It was difficult for her to keep my pace, there were a lot
of rocks and broken glass on the ground. Her bare feet were
catching hell! I let her climb on my back and I carried her the
rest of the way.
On the way back, Coco repeatedly requested I give her a
"hit". I told her to wait until we got to my room, so I could cut
it up. Actually I could have honored her request. My motive,
however, was to get back to my room where she could be
warm. I attempted small talk with her, but her responses were
laconic. Her mind was getting high. Talking with her was like
talking with a child. She did tell me she was menstruating, so
I stopped at the store and bought us both some cigarettes and
her a box of feminine napkins. The fact is she was so desperate
for crack. She was willing to turn a trick, even vaginal sex,
although she was on her period.
When we got to my room, she pulled out her crack pipe
and eagerly sat, anticipating some dope, probably assuming
I was going to ask her for sex in exchange for drugs (I'm sure
she thought this was why I brought her to my room). I told her
I had a deal for her. If she first took a shower and ate, I'd let her
hang out with me and smoke as much crack as she wanted.
"Is that all I have to do?" she asked like a child.
"That's it," I told her.
"Are you sure? Nothing else?" She added.
"That's it," I repeated.
And off to the shower she went. In the meantime, I left
my room and went to the room of a woman I knew who was
about her size and got her a change of clothes and a pair of
tennis shoes. Then I walked to Checkers and got us both some
burgers and fries.
After she'd showered, changed, and eaten, she seemed
brighter and exuded and innocent, naive beauty, not conscious
of itself, especially with the prospect of getting high. Her face,
though still pretty, was marked by her blackened eyes. She
looked like an abused child sitting in a chair opposite me. I felt
guilty sharing crack with her, but knew if she wasn't getting
it free from me now, she'd be out on the streets prostituting
herself for the same thing. I started asking her personal
questions about herself, but she became defensive and wanted
to know why I was asking.
Our next writer just came through with a brilliant piece of writing.
Powerful enough to maybe even have you shed some tears from your
eyes. This story gives us a glimpse into the life of an older man, trying
to understand why a young teenage girl has turned to the streets to sell
her body just to get high. Writing from Port Arthur, Texas, Paul scripts
out a detailed movie for us to watch. Based on a true story, he gives us
a view of what^ going on in her mind and his nz well. He brings up a
good point that we nz people are unconcerned about others just because
they a different race, sex, nationality, or social status. There are people
crying out for help in the world and others just sit there and ignore
them. We hope that y'all can learn something from this powerfully sad
story revolving around addiction and neglection.
So I lightened the mood by telling her a little about myself
on how I'd gotten involved in drugs and how I was fighting tooth
and nail to quit the addiction. I was ingenuous as I could be,
even through the most painful and embarrassing parts. This
seemed to help her to be willing to open up to me. Her story is
a touching, sad portrait of a little girl who never grew up.
Coco was nineteen years old at the time of our first meeting
in 2005. She is originally from Acres Homes, a drug infested
part of the north side of Houston. She is part Hispanic and part
White. She was given the nickname Coco because of the creamy
color of her skin. She was raised in a broken, dysfunctional
home. She first experimented with crack cocaine at the age of
twelve, hanging out with delinquent friends after school. She
immediately became addicted.
At first the drugs were given to her free as a hanger on with
various groups of delinquent children. Soon, however. Coco
found herself craving the drug but no one was willing to give
it to her, and the money she was given for reduced lunch at
school wasn't enough. She had recently turned thirteen and
was still a virgin. A drug dealer made an indecent proposal to
her. If she would allow him to have sex with her, he'd give her
a crack rock.
"I told him, I'll do it, if he let me hit the dope first," she
And that is how she lost her virginity. At that moment
Coco discovered as long as she was willing to have sex, she
could smoke as much crack as she wanted. What's more,
she, at the age of thirteen, had already blossomed physically
into an attractive woman. And in the predominately Black
neighborhood she lived, she was novelty. Because she was fresh
to the drug scene, every drug dealer took his turn with her. She
didn't think of herself as a prostitute. She, in her reasoning
was just partying and getting high. After all, she wasn't, at the
time, standing on corners like other prostitutes.
As time wore on, so did Coco's novelty on the scene. She
was no longer the dope dealer's delight. She had to find another
way to get high. It didn't take long for her to be approached by
men as she walked down the street who offered her money
in exchange for sexual favor. To her it wasn't different than
"partying" with drug dealers. Only now she'd have the money
in her hands to purchase the drugs herself from the dealer. But
this required her making herself more visible on the streets.
She began walking the streets and hanging on corners. She
also discovered wearing clothing that highlighted her assets,
increased her chances and the amount of men who picked her
up. She stopped going to school altogether and started hanging
full time in areas of prostitution and spent nights in crack
houses. Her mother eventually found out what the daughter
was doing and refused her admittance into the home. Coco was
now orphaned, alone and on her own at the age of thirteen in
the streets of Houston, homeless.
Coco knew nothing about being on her own. She only knew
how to find means to get high. Every now and then one of the
tricks that picked her up would house her for a day or two,
sometimes a week, until the money and drugs ran out or he
got tired of her. Most of the time she slept wherever she could,
even in alleys and abandoned cars and houses.
One would suppose Coco's desperations coupled with
her constant contact with the degradation of street life would
harden her into a criminally mischievous mind. Yet Coco
emotionally remained an innocent, naive twelve -year- old girl.
She doesn't boost, pickpocket, steal, or run average street
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game. She doesn't use profanity, choosing rather to use words
like "darn", "shoot", "shucks", and "golly" as explicates. Her
mannerisms are simple and straightforward.
In the streets, she is not the user. She is the used. Amazingly
no man has yet succeeded at pimping her. When men attempt
to control her. Coco disappears from the area, reemerging
somewhere else where no one knows her, becoming novelty
again. Therefore she is a teenage vagabond, carpet bagging her
way through life. Coco's perspective on life has been molded by
neglect, abuse, deception, and indecency. She lives in a world
where men don't love her but simply lust for her young body.
The women she meets encourage her to go out in the streets
and make something happen with her body. Law enforcement
officials hound and harass her, sometimes forcing her to choose
between having sex or going to jail. She lacks formal education
and viable job skills, so everything she wants or needs, from
drugs to food, must be purchased through sexual acts.
No one has given her anything without the strings of
prostitution attached to it. She owns nothing but her body,
which she rents out to be performed for money and/or drugs.
She has experienced the selfish, perverse desires of men but
never felt loved, wanted, honored, or valued.
Coco's transitional lifestyle eventually led her to Beaumont,
a small city, and 90 miles east of Houston.
She wound up getting pregnant from one of her tricks
who became possessive and began abusing her physically. He
wanted her to stop drugging and prostituting and settle down
with him. When she didn't he became violent.
During our conversation I asked her did she enjoy what
she does for drugs. I asked because many of us men assume
women who prostitute themselves are sex-craved nymphs.
"Not really. I just do it because it's the only way," she
"Do you enjoy sex?" I asked. "I mean have you ever had an
She blushed and couldn't repress a giggle, "No. I just do
it to get them men off, so I can get on and get high. Men enjoy
what they do to me, I guess. But I really don't."
I then asked her if she's been asked to do things sexually
she didn't want to do, and how did she respond to it. She
became more serious.
"Some men have tried to pay me to be with another girl, but
I ain't like that. Or they ask me to do things to them that ain't
right, so I just leave and wait for another one. I've been beaten
and raped. I've had to jump out of cars naked and run for my
life. One time a cop handcuffed me. I thought he was taking me
to jail. But he pulled down in an alley and made me perform."
"Do you love yourself," I asked
"I don't know. I guess not because if I did, I wouldn't be
doing what I do."
She doesn't know what she wants out of life due to low
expectations. Her plans for the future are filled with the same
doubt and uncertainty. She doesn't know how to be a mother
to her baby, probably because the baby was produced as the
unexpected and unwanted result in an effort to earn enough
money to get high. She only practices safe sex at the request of
a few of her tricks, placing her at a higher risk to contract H.I.V.
She has already had bouts with other curable venereal disease,
including lice (crabs).
Society expects little of her or any, another teenage drug
addict prostitute, known on the streets as "crack hoes". They
are regarded as crack whores because the amount they charge
for sex is regulated by the crack industry. Yet prominent men
of the community businessman, clergymen, lawyers, doctors,
judges and police officers often seek their services. Others
choose to ignore them, hoping they'll fall out of sight, out
of mind. The average "good" Christian tries to keep a "safe"
distance from these social lepers. Other addicts tend to tag
along with them as long as they are active and can produce
the means to get high. And then there are those conservative
political Calvinist who'd like to redeem society by annihilating
them through legislation. Few actually care enough to get
involved in their lives, to love them and help them discover
greater joys than drugs without trying to control them.
I saw Coco a few times after this, each time I would get
her something to eat and offer her time out from the street.
One day I intervened in an incident where a pimp was trying to
force her to work for him and take her money. He was roughing
her up. I challenged him to take my money. Most pimps are
ready to assault vulnerable woman but hesitant to challenge
a man. I took her to my room where she remained for a few
hours. I fed her and we sat and watched television together.
Before she left she threw her arms around me, hugging me
"I love you, Paul!" she exclaimed.
"I mean I really do. I ain't just saying that either. No one
has ever treated me the way you do. No man has ever done
anything for me without wanting me to have sex with them.
You are decent and I know one day your going to quit. You
deserve better. I wish more people were like you. I wish I was
It was an encouraging, emotional moment. I had to fight
back tears as I embraced this beautiful, sincere young woman,
who'd just added a cubic to my stature and affirmed my self-
I haven't seen Coco in over two years. She's probably
moved on to a different town with a fresh start on the streets. I
miss her and often think about her, hoping she has discovered
her own inner beauty and affirmed it as she did for me. She is
truly a wonderful human being, deserving a hell of a lot more
out of life than what she's getting.
To the world Coco is a grown woman. But I saw only a
child trapped in a woman's body, a child waiting to be loved,
nurtured and guided into a better way of life. Coco represents
the greatest challenge to social work.
The challenge is not so much to stop her from doing drugs
or to tell her how to live or force changes on her. She is a
child waiting to discover it. She will probably pursue it with
the same relentless determination and self-sacrifice she has
for drugs. We must help her discover it for herself. We must
affirm the child and help her maturate in healthy ways. This
involves getting out there in the trenches with her. If your car
had stalled in the middle of the road, which would be of greater
help to you? Someone standing there, reading the owner's
manual to you, while you struggle to push it? Or someone
willing to help you push it to a safe spot?
That's just what happened to me recently. I was working
with a friend and his nephew on the outskirts of Port Arthur,
in a predominately White town. On the way back, his truck
ran out of gas. The nearest gas station was about a mile away.
We got out and started pushing the truck (he didn't have a gas
can). We passed through a residential are. People were outside,
watching us, ignoring us. People in their vehicles pass us by.
No one dared asked could they be of service. Three Black men
were out of place here.
When we get a block away from the station, one white lady,
who'd passed by us four blacks earlier, came back. She said
she had a gas can and would help us out. Yet we were almost
there now, we no longer needed anyone's help. We thanked her
and moved on. Unfortunately, this is how society treats other
people's struggles. We are unconcerned about others because
they are different, a different race, sex, nationality, financial,
or social status. Or we are indifferent to the situations they are
in. It's not until they've almost reached their goals or it's too
late for them, that we extend a helping hand.
The Coco's of this world are crying out for help. Every hit
of crack is a plea for relief from her personal hells. Each night I
pray for this young woman that society calls a thorn. But she's
not a thorn. She is a wild flower. In the 1970's a group called
New Birth recorded a popular song entitled "Wildflower". The
lyrics befit Coco.
"Let her cry, she's a lady
Let her dream, for she is a child
Let the rainfall down upon her.
She's a sweet and gently flower growing wild."
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Reflection Of The Moment
The painful reality of being a black man in America is
knowing that you have grown accustomed to being treated
like a stereotype. When you walk into a store, you're
uncomfortable without the store clerk's trailing eyes. When
you interview for a job, you expect offerings a handshake
and nothing more. Your questions, the experience of any
cab driver willing to pick you up at night. The clutching
of purses in your presence no longer stirs your emotions.
However, the wave of violence sweeping the country brings
to surface feelings of being a black man that you cannot
To be a black man in America is to be invited on a
hunting expedition, only to find out that you are the game.
Every night your face is shown all over the country, while
a reporter warns everyone that you are "dangerous."
Politicians, feminists, racists, and even your own people
argue about you. Society has chased you up a tree like a
pack of hounds and holds you responsible for the stereotype
of the uneducated. Crack-dealing misogynist, it's as if your
clean family life job and college credits don't matter. When
your daughters, sisters, and lovers write about you, you
are either a womanizer or a rapist; you are unemployed
or unemployable. Even powerful images of modern black
"leaders" like Nelson Mandela, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen.
Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Jovis
Smiley are no match for a "Crip" or "Blood" or "G."
The American Dream — The illusion of material success —
is the best bait that lures you away from the truths that
would make you strong: community, family, brotherhood.
And the pursuit of this dream drives you further away from
Our next writer just stormed this page with some lightning striking
words. A message to all the brothers and sisters about racism and
stereotypes. It doesn't matter what race we belong to, we ail have
stereotypes about ourselves and about other races also. In America
we're all supposed to have equal opportunities to be successful, but
we all know that we are not all equal — but according to whom is a
question that we need to ask ourselves. Jerry addresses various issues,
including the fact that even our own race puts each other down. So how
do we stop racism if we're racists even to people from our own race?
This powerful writer comes to us from Alger Max Correctional Facility
in Munising, Ml.
your own identity, once you have been tempted by your all.
The opulence and decadence, you are easy prey. The system
will toy with, then destroy a black man. You cannot escape
the hunt even in the densest part of the concrete jungle so
many of us call home. A place where few Caucasians would
dare draw breath, instead of having a refuge to survive.
You will be considered less than a black man if you
conjugate your verbs, work hard in school, or avoid calling
our woman "freaks-skeezers," bitches; terms used mostly
in casual conversation amongst our brothers! If you avoid
negative behavior, and language, your brothers may call
you "white acting" (the ultimate insult to a self respecting
brother). You anticipate subtle insults from whites, but
when it comes from your own, you truly feel hounded.
Sadly, we are hurting ourselves, killing one another in
the streets, chemically distorting our hair. Thousands of
confused individuals will go through life believing that
being black has more to do with music, fashion, and slang,
than heritage, morals and philosophy. It makes one wonder.
Is this suicide or genocide? Perhaps Marvin Gaye read our
minds when he sang, "Make you wanna holla, throw up
both your hands."
LaNavidad Do Un Preso
Que triste es esta Navidad cuando te tienen cautivo, lejos de tus
familiares y de tus amigos. Encerrado como una fiera en esta
misma celda, recordadno a tus seres queridos y a mis queridos
viejos. Cuando te entra la nostalgia, sabes a la yarda de concreto y
estas esperando ver cuando vienen a visitarte, mientra sintiendote
enfadado y muy desdesperado. Estas parado ahl entre la manada
de presos, y no te canzas de esperar.
Este mundo que vivo es muy claro, pero todo se ve muy claro.
Cuando ves que nadie viene y te pones a pensar, "soy un hijo de un
gallo bien fino. 0Ser- este maldito destine?" No lo puedes evitar y
le dices a tus compass "Ique triste Navidadj."
Virgencita de Guadalupe, te pido de todo corazUn, que me
hagas el milagro de reunirme con todos mis seres queridos y mis
Te prometo que voy a cambiar virgencital Te pones a meditar y
ver los anos pasar y toda la vida malarruinada y desperdiciada.
Adentro de este penal, hay presos que entran y salen. Para ellos
nada cambia y todo sigue igual.
Tu familia te recuerda y lloran sin descanzar como no tienen
la manera de venirte a visitar.
Se pasan dia y noche resando que quieren tu libertad.
Mi virgencita de Guadalupe, te pido que nunca me abandones
Aunque aveces quiera morir porque me canso de sufrir. Nada
mas en ti confio y en ti encomiendo mi vida.
Te prometo que cuando saiga libre, voy a verte arrodillado por
casarme de esta pesadilla. IQue triste Navidad!
The Christmas Of A Prisoner
What a sad Christmas when they have you away, away from your
family and your friends. Locked up like a while animal in this same
cell, thinking of your loved ones and my old loved ones. When
sadness hits you, you go out to the concrete yard to wait when they
Queremos darles las gracias y darle la bienvenida a nuestra
publicaciUn a Alberto Sanchez quien nos escribe desde CSATF/State
Prison At Corcoran. El comienzo su introducciUn con nosotros con una
redacciUn titulada, "La Navidad De Un Preso." Esperantos escuchar m-s
de el y tambiEn le deseamos que en esta Navidad tenga m-s paz y m-s
felicidad que las anteriores.
We want to thank and welcome Alberto Sanchez to our publications.
He is writing us from CSATF/State Prison At Corcoran. He started his
introduction with us with a poem titled, "Christmas Of A Prisoner. We
' ~ o wish him a better Christmas full
of peace and happiness.
are coming to visit you, while feeling mad and desperate. You're
standing there between a bunch and prisoners, and you never give
up on waiting.
This world I live in is clear, but everything seem to be clear.
When you see that nobody comes, you start to believe, "I am a son
of a distinguished cock." Or is this my damn destiny? You can't
hold it and you tell your friends "what a sad Christmas!
Virgen Of Guadalupe, I'm asking you with all my heart to do
me the miracle of reunite myself with all my loved ones and my
I promise that I will change, my dear virgen! You start
meditating and see the years goes by and experience a missed
used and wasted life.
Inside there are prisoners who come in and get out. For those,
nothing changed because everything stays the same.
Your family think of you and cry without stopping for not being
able to come visit you.
They spend all day and night praying for your freedom.
My Virgen of Guadalupe, I ask you to never abandon me.
Sometimes I rather rie because I get tired of suffering. I only trust
anyone but You and I commend my life in you.
I promise that when I get out, I'm going to get on my knees
and thank you for getting me off this nightmare. "What a sad
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If only... If only... That's pretty much all Fm left with, the
could've, would've, should've... That's what a lot of us are
left with. But that ain't me. I don't like to dwell on the past.
What's done is done, and I'm just praying for a better day,
but somehow, the thought of "If only" creeps into my mind
and start eating away.
Sometimes it makes me laugh, and sometimes it
makes me cry. 24-hour lockdown ain't fun. I think about
everything and everyone, and read until my eyes get tired,
and still I hardly ever sleep. I'm in this room so long that
I hold conversations with people I haven't seen in a while
and talk to them for long periods of time, different people.
Sometimes I don't even know the person, but they talk to
me and I talk back.
A human being needs to have some communication.
Sometimes long conversations help. And the good thing,
I don't have to hold anything from these people. You think
I'm crazy? Wait 'til you're in a position like mine, and I bet
you'll be doing the same thing.
You know, I sit back in my cell and wonder where I would
be or what I would be if I wasn't a gang member. I remember
the first time my uncle took me across the street to smoke
my first blunt. We went back home and I was super gone.
He told me to go look at myself in the mirror and see how
blazed I looked. I did, and I never quit smoking again.
I remember when they got jumped into the 'hood, and
how they would act when they came across a rival. To my
young mind, that was sick, and I wanted to be down and bad
like them. I often used to tell myself that I wanted to have
the fighting skills of both of them put together so I could be
better. I laugh when I think of my young days, and I always
wonder when, exactly, did I cross the line of no return.
What good did it do me? What good has it ever done for
anyone? Before I was 17, I was shot, stabbed, jumped with
bats and bottles, run over or ran under ('cause I rolled over
the car). But as long as I walked away with my life, I thought
it was fun and games, and only thought about revenge, and
The title of the next piece by Abraham Martinez tells it all: "..
Only..." In this sad piece, our old friend from SF/YGC (who wrote
under the name of Goofy) says what we find ourselves warning our
Beat writers in every issue, that without looking honestly at where your
actions will take you, you could end up spending a lifetime wondering,
"If only..." The scars that Goofy recounts don't include the scars on his
soul, which are much more long-lasting, but much harder to count. We
can only hope that his words will penetrate young minds who think it
can't happen to them — just as he thought before he found himself in
Alameda County^ Santa Rita Jail facing a possible death sentence.
how good it would be to get back at them.
I didn't wake up from this dream until about three
months ago. I actually counted my scars on my body from
head to toe. I counted eleven — three in the head by bats
and a knife, four in the chest by a .40 caliber, two in my
arms, also by a gun, and two long scars by a K-9 bite. I
realized how fortunate I am to still be breathing, and to not
About three months ago, one of my close homies got
shot in the shoulder sideways. It hit his spine and went up
to his head, and now he's paralyzed from the neck down.
Another homey got shot in the face and killed with is four-
month-old kid in the back seat.
These incidents made me think about my situation,
and helped me realize how 1 lucky I've been. Even though
I'm fighting a heavy case, and my freedom isn't guaranteed,
I still will try to be a better man, and walk away with the
memories and scars.
That's it. I trip and I think I could've been a real good
mechanic if I hadn't got so deeply involved in gangs; or
maybe one of those demolition people going around blowing
up buildings and caves and stuff, since I like breaking
things and the sound of dynamite going off.
I don't know people. It's just a bunch of "If onlys" in
my head. I would be in this "could be" world. For now, I
just keep praying and leave it to the Man up above to seal
my fate. He knows me best and can be fair. Well, peoples,
it's about that time for me to try to catch some zees (sleep)
or read my book. 'Til pen meets paper again, keep ya' head
Prisoners For State Workers
It was almost like a trade off. In the state's most dire straits
Governor Schwarzenegger proposed to release 22,000
nonviolent prisoners last February— who were already within 90
ays of going home. Conservatives balked vociferously, standing
on a tenuous platform of ideology (I guess they forgot Ronald
Reagan released thousands of prisoners during a similar
financial crisis in 1967). The move would have saved taxpayers
a bundle and relieved dome of the strain from state coffers.
Rather than be the maverick many voters thought he'd
be when they elected him in 2003, he folded under pressure
and let a golden opportunity vaporize. Five months later those
22,000 prisoners, and thousands of others after them are now
Yet as a tragic consequence of the many failures to cut
unnecessary fat in areas of ideology and nonessentials, brutal
cuts are not being made deep within vital flesh.
In May $4 billion was cut in education in a desperate
attempt to shore up the budget, $15.2 billion in the red, and
a deluge of pink slips were sent out like reapers to dismiss
teachers who were already in short supply.
Meanwhile, Federal Receiver, Clark Kelso, appointed to
correct and rehabilitate the catastrophic medical wing of the
prison system, after it was found by the federal courts to
Dortell Williams writes us from a Correctional Facility in Lancaster,
Ca. We haven't heard from Dortell in a long while, and not because
he^ been missing in action, but because we are so backed up with
BWO^ that we really have to apologize to everybody. (We have over 650
submissions for BWOs, and only one person edits them and keeps track
of them. I So if you guys haven't seen your work and you sent us some,
just be patient. We have the Special BWO issue coming out soon, which
will give us an opportunity just to catch up a little, in the meantime,
Dortell comes through with another outstanding piece of writing with
some vital information to share with everyone!
be wholly inadequate and operating unconstitutionally. It's
demanding an immediate $7 billion from the general fund to
restore the system back to humane levels of care.
With corrections siphoning billions off the top, and health
care services already cut to the bone for children and the
elderly, the last alternative was an executive order to layoff
10,000 state workers August 1.
Sacrifice must come during these turbulent times said
Schwarzenegger, as he dropped the hatchet. It's just too bad
the sacrifices had to be made at the top, instead of the bottom
where they would have been a practically painless procedure.
The saddest part is that it could all be for nought. Come
November when the overcrowded "corrections" system goes
to trial to defend other alleged unconstitutional patterns, the
court could order thousands more prisoners released anjrway.
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12/23/08 To The Beat
The trip to North Dakota was amazing. The plane rides
were another story. Totally grueling with all the weather
delays. It took us 28 hours just to get there! But it was
soo worth it.
The families and the kids were so happy to see each
other and actually hug each other after 2 years apart. It
was so emotional. Everyone was crying.
We had the families and the kids write poems to each
other and joint poems on what the visit meant and then
shared them. So touching. The guards and staff were
really moved I could tell as well. The power of writing!
Free Minds has already gotten our gift this year... a
partnership with Beat WithinI!!
12/23 To Tree Miods
As for your trip to North Dakota, wow! We'd love to
include something in The Beat Within regarding your
successful journey. Is there a story to share with the
readers? A poem to share that was written during the
12/24/08 To The 8eat
You have such great ideas! I've attached poems that
were written during the visit to North Dakota. Some of
them were written jointly by moms and sons and one
brother/brother team. They just spontaneously decided
they wanted to write about what the trip meant to them,
then they all shared with everyone. There weren't too
many dry eyes in the room including the guards. It was
so emotional. There are no contact visits allowed at the
jail, so for some it was the first time in 2 years that many
of the families were able to hug each other.
The trip to get there was grueling. It took us 28 hours
because of all the bad weather plane delays in Chicago
and elsewhere. It was 31 below when we got there!
Not one person complained once. They were just so
ecstatic they were able to see their sons/brothers. It was
really hard to say goodbye but it was the best Christmas
present for everyone.
The last poem 'In This Cold Lonely World" by Glenn
is heartbreaking because he didn't have any family visit
him. He read the poem and all the other moms went up
and hugged him and told him he was loved.
For starters I would like to thank Eric S. and the Free
Minds Book Club and every other organization involved
in making this a remote possibility.
For those who don't know we as a group are so
fortunate to be seeing our families. While on the streets
it's all good when we are chillin' with our mans and
hanging out with females but in the end when all those
people are nowhere to be found you will always have a
It feels almost like a Christmas morning to be seeing
my mother today!
-Andre G., December 20, 2008
The following pieces were written a couple weeks ago, during
an emotional family visit for a number of young ftxewx that was
arranged by Free Minds and the Campaign For Youth Justice. These
groups arranged for family to travel from Washington DC to Devils Lake,
North Dakota, where the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center (Prison)
is located. This is where the eight D.C. teenagers, who were tried sks
adults were sent to do their time. In DC you can be tried siz an adult
»z young as 1 6 years old. Free Minds and the Campaign For Youth
Justice - two wonderful DC non profits/CBOs got funding to escort and
fly out family members to meet with their sons. During this emotional
visit, they found time to write a few poems which are included, WE
have also attached a few notes that were exchanged with this editor
and Free Minds.
In This Cold Lonely World \
Devils Lake, North Dakota
In this cold lonely world
I'm all alone
With nobody to hold
Nobody to love
Why does it feel so lonely?
Does anybody love me?
Somebody show me
I never see any good times
I never see any signs
Am I in the blind?
Somebody open the blinds and show me
In this cold lonely world
In this cold lonely world "^
-Glenn W. - December 20,2008
What Does this Mean To Me?
This visit has been the best day since I've
; been locked
Just to hug Grandma and feel Ma's touch
I never knew people outside my family
could care so
So thank you for everybody being able
to make this
This is the best present -\
and it didn't need wrapping!
-Marquis H., December 20,2008
Christmas here, Christmas there
Being with my family is a great Christmas gift
and a Christmas cheer
Christmas here, Christmas there
Visiting my Lil brother is the best Christmas year
Christmas here, Christmas there
My nephew was very happy when he heard
Santa and his reindeer
Christmas here, Christmas there
1 don't see my younger brother that often, it's rare
So I have to show him how much love we share
Christmas here, Christmas there
Thank God for answering our Christmas prayers
-Christopher S. and Donte S., December 20,2008
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // //// //
^I^^EJ^ ^FM^^iffil' ^/.i/JJ.l
^rffEE Mxnas snn/< clus fjna uffXTxnn unffHSHnp^:
In times of joy you look past the trial and tribulations
Just to know my mother would fly 1000 miles
to see her child in visitation
I see my mother just as I picture heaven
I couldn't of ever asked for a better Christmas present
With my family's love and holiday cheer
I've not seen my mother in the last two years
Today is the day that means the most in life
To hug my folk and hold them tight
Feels like I'm high above the sky in the cloud
All I want is to make my mother proud
Woman in my life that I'll forever respect
Today is a day I'll never forget
She helps me get through every obstacle
Without all you people this wouldn't be possible
So happy to see my mother and sister elated
Just know you are appreciated
-Jermaine H., December 20, 2008
Huoyino My Son
For me to say that I'm happy to see my son today
is the understatement of 2008
I'm ecstatic, I'm overjoyed
I'm on cloud nine for sure
Joy unspeakable, a feeling unbeatable!
Hugging my son after two years
there was absolutely no way that I could contain the tears.
I know that he always hates to see my cry
and although I really tried my best the emotion refused to die
So here we are today after traveling very far
by cab, by shuttle, by plane I dare not part my lips and complain
It was all so very worth it to hug my son again
-Keela H., December 20, 2008
It's been quite sometime
Since we've seen one another
Once again reunited
Not feeling slighted
By the time and touch
But still not enough
Looking forward to better days
We both have to get on our knees and pray
Holding on to faith
Reality will replace
-Arman and Kim J., December 20, 2008
I am three years old
My family calls me Stink
I'm wearing some jeans with a white shirt
One day I am with my sister
So my shoes is untied
That's when they get caught in this girl's bike
Next thing I know she is dragging me
And my whole leg is in the bike
I cry in my mother's arms
The whole night until they take me to get treated
I am in a wheelchair for a while
With a cast on my whole leg and half the other
I am three years old.
We would like to welcome back the Five Mlnd^ Book Club for
another little insert of poems from the young men incarcerated
in Washington D.C. County Jail. These are young men incarcerated
in an adult facility, brilliant young minds with the gift of writing. We
are privileged to have them be published in our publication. We all go
through some of the same struggles no matter what city, set, state, or
coast we are from. So without further ado we would like to present
to you Washington D.C.^ finest! These following pieces were published
with permission from The Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop.
Who I'll Be
I am a lot of things
But you can call me Branden
I come from the city of Washington, DC
And also my mother's soul
I stand for my one and only child
That's something to stand for
My face is very well known
So you should know my face
My hands are made for holding and helping
My eyes can see a lot of things
Coming to me and leaving from me
I wear problems each and everyday
So I know how to fix them
I have a dream that one day the people of Earth
Will never to have to want for anything
I will put my best foot forward
And try to make my dreams come true
I am what other people think I am
But I am one step away
From being what I want to be.
Does God Love Me?
I love God and I love life
But why he had to take my mother and father's life?
I thought God was a personal savior and blessed people
And I thought he loved them as they come
But why he had to take them and leave me with no one?
No one except my heart and loving myself
No one else
I love God because 1 believe in myself.
Trylflo to See
I sit in jail as my brilliant mind wanders off
Trying to justiiy what it is out there I am trying to see
For starters, 1 would love to see how the world
Has moved on without us inmates in prison
Being very well left behind
I would also be trying to see how my schoolmates
The class of 2009 strives to become our outstanding future
I would like to see how the day-to-day conflicts escalate
When they could be so easily defused
If only they could have been discussed
I am trying to see
How I have become furious with life
Wondering how I got myself into this ruthless situation
I am trying to see how I can keep this stupid obstacle
From taking a great toll on my life
Yet, most of all 1 am trying to see
In what adult's mind frame is justified
A law that sends juveniles to an adult prison
And throw our lives away at such a young age
This is what I'm trying to see.
n this cold lonely world
I'm all alone
With nobody to hold
Nobody to love
Why does it feel so lonely?
Does anybody love me?
read the rest of Glenn W.'s BWO piece on page 74