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The Beat Within • A Weekly Publication of Writing and Art from the Inside • Volume 15.07
editor's note volume 15.07 editor's note
Greetings editorial note readers! Welcome to issue 15.07! Not much more to say here, so allow us to move on to the
This week we bring you someone whose thinking we have topics that were addressed prior to the workshop writings.
come to admire very much. Her earlier editor’s not was First topic, “Giving Props to the Elders”- From a very
a knockout, and this one is even better! She is our dear young age, we're told to respect our elders. What elder in
friend and colleague, Monica Carlos. We only hope that your family deserves that respect? Was it a grandmother
you Beat writers pay close attention to her words. They are who raised you? A great aunt or uncle who spent time
profound. with you, and guided you toward a better future? Was it
someone not related to you by genetics, but still taught you
What is good with the world? What is good with everyone? important things that you’re grateful for? What memories
Today I sit and look out the window and I see the sun and do you have that illustrate why this elder deserves respect?
think of my beautiful son Omar. I brought him into this world Are there elders in the world beyond your family who
two years one month and nine days ago. He is the best thing have earned your respect? In the generation before yours,
that has ever happened to me, yet this morning my mom told Martin Luther King, Jr. earned the respect of the world. Is
me I wasn’t ready to be a mom because of the choices I have there an elder that your generation respects in this way?
made in my life. I was angry to hear this, but at the same Tell The Beat of the elders that have meant the most to
time she is right, to an extent, that she voices her unwanted you, and why you have chosen those people to honor with
opinion, even though she isn't entirely right and could’ve told your respect. Do you hope one day to be that elder that a
me something different instead of using those words. What younger generation looks to with gratitude and respect for
she meant is I let my personal issues affect my parenting. what you have given them?
Sometimes in all of our lives, we are selfish and tend Second topic, “Judging one another” – We know from
to forget everything around us, whatever the reason is. But what you write in The Beat how unfair it is to be judged by
as parents, we have a duty to provide for our child(ren), no nothing more than a piece of paper, or by a single mistake
matter what is wrong with our lives. you might have made. But what about the judgments you
My son didn’t ask to be brought into this world. My (and we) make all the time? When you see a homeless
problems shouldn’t be his problems. Just because mommy person, don’t you make certain snap judgments? Don’t
isn’t haven’t a good day, doesn’t mean little Omar or little you judge people you don’t know by where they live, or if
Jessica should suffer. they come from a different country, or are a different color,
Young kids should only know happiness, fun, eating food, or speak a different way from you? Have you ever found
sleeping and THAT’S IT! The rest is on the grown-ups. yourself making judgments that, after you got to know the
If you have a child, it is your right to be there for them in person, turned out to be false? Thinking about how others
every moment that they need you. The little things count — judge you (without knowing you), tell us about how you
reading them books, sitting down sharing a meal with them judge others, especially those “others” who are different
— those kind of things matter most. from you.
We all know there are so many unwanted pregnancies in Third topic, “Getting kicked out’ – Most all of us have
this world and so many people ready not to be parents. been kicked out of something. Maybe it was just a class
With that said, it’s time for us as adults, as human beings, because you were not paying attention. Maybe you got
to take charge and give our children love and nothing more. kicked out of school for fighting or not attending. What
Children are so innocent and precious and bring so much The Beat would like to know is what you have been kicked
joy. out of, and why. Have you been so drunk you were kicked
If you have a child, be a parent. It was your choice to out of someone’s home or a public place? Have you been
have them. Don’t take your anger out on your kids, either, kicked out of a program? Have you been kicked off a sport’s
because they don’t have a clue what grown-ups face. team, or other school program? What about being kicked
If you don’t like being a parent, stop having kids… and out of your own home? Has that happened to you? So tell
people wonder why the world is the way it is. The Beat about a time you were kicked out of something.
Today’s children are all of our futures, so give them What led up to you being kicked out? What did you feel like
unconditional love and security. That’s all they really need. when it happened? What were the consequences?
I Love my son, Omar. He will always feel my love. And Finally, “The last time I walked in the rain…”
thank you mom, for always being a JERK and pointing In closing, we’d like this issue to go out to family,
everything out! I mean everything! however you define it, something we all have or long for.
See you next week!
a l o o tn s
tb e fc n e t
table of contents volume 15.07
The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of writing and art by incarcerated youth, is pub-
lished by Pacific News Service.
At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate sexual remarks, foul language, and
gang references. There is enough tension in our commuities already–we don’t aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat’s
interest to promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another.
The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants in our workshops. This is simply
the pure voice of the youth. The views you read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All
rights are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our written permission.
To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words have consequences, and could be used to
incriminate you. Try to illuminate your feelings and viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition
for those who might use your words against you.
of the week 6
Co–founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio
Senior Editors: David Inocencio
Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar Turcios and Allan Martinez
Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau
of the week 13
Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goosen, Jill Wolfson, Elena Berman, Michaela Levin, Dante Dow, Patricia John-
son, Dennis Morton, Kim Nelson, Samantha Navarro, Johnny Le, Jhonny Ruiz, Andrey Grinberg, Gena Lindsay,
Ricky Rollins, Sean Shavers, Kendra Davis, Ava Benezara, Elizabeth Costello, Julia Scheinbeim, Chris Tamaru,
Monica Carlos, Marina Saenz, Suzanne Manneh, Gwendolyn Hubner, Lisa Kolesnik, Peggy Simmons and Allan
Co - Pieces
The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department Beat Staff: Les Thurston, Rosa Vega,
Joe Szulecewski, M.A., M.C., M.C., Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette
Flores, Mr. B., Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph. D. Clinical Director.
San Bernardino: Jen Tilton
New Beginnings - Washington, DC Staff: Alex Moe, Messiah Ramkissoon and Khalil Abdullah
Yolo County: Lynn Gerner and David Gerner
Alameda ........................... 19
Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: Steve Serna
San Francisco .................... 27
Fresno: Mai Der Vang, Aaron Benson and Lily Romero
Santa Clara ....................... 32
Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarah Damico
Yolo .................................... 41
Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week.
Santa Cruz ......................... 42
Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua Monterey .......................... 45
Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini New Mexico ..................... 46
Book Donor: Marisela Norte Marin ................................. 47
Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous support of funders of Pacific News Ser- Arizona .............................. 47
vice’s Youth Communications Programs – California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen
Fund, Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Compton Fresno ................................ 48
Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Founda-
tion, James Irvine Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris Stulsaft
Voices In Spanish ............. 51
Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, Open Society Institute, Pen-
insula Community Foundation, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, Monterey, Fresno,
Solano, New Beginnings - Washington DC, DC Children Youth Investment Trust Corporation, DC Humanities
Council, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation,
Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Founda-
tion, Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock Founda- The Beat
tion, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth
Justice Funding Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors.
Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francisco, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa
Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio County New Mexico, Solano County, Monterey County, Dade County,
Floriday, Fresno County, Oak Hill, Washington DC, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to become a subscriber, contact us at: 275
Ninth St. SF.CA. 94103 or call (415) 503-4170 or check us out at:
Features of the week features of the week
The Beat welcomes the The Masks We Wear
The times I put on a tough mask is when I meet new boys. So
HYCF (Hawaiian Youth they don't think I'm a plug and if they is a cool person, then I take
off my mask. So I let them see my true personality.
Correctional Facility) in
If it’s a girl I put on my gentle mask, so they don't think I'm
a player and to show them I have a loveable side of me.
-Smilez of Sosa
Honolulu County, Hawaii From The Beat: Is it hard sometimes having to change your mask, Sosa?
Have you ever “slipped” up and just showed who you really are, like
when you’re alone?
The Way You Truly Feel
Sometimes it’s hard to act the way you truly feel in front of people Being Locked Up
because they might take it as being soft. So in my case, whenever
I was with my girlfriend I used to act like I was tough because I Can Make You Crazy
didn't want her thinking I was soft. But really, I am a sensitive Being locked up can really make you crazy. Becoming crazy
guy who likes to socialize. doesn't always mean mentally crazy. For me, it's feeling trapped
The only reason why I acted that way is because I wanted to and always worrying about what’s going to happen next in my
impress her. But eventually I was tired of feeling so fake and it life.
ended up not working out. So what’s the use of a mask? The hardest thing is getting into situations you can't control.
-Mase Sometimes having thoughts like “what if”? What if this happens?
From The Beat: It’s hard starting a relationship because you become so I'm always worrying about my future ‘cause I don't have nothing
self-conscious in trying to impress the other person. Do you think you
will handle your future relationships differently? going for me right here in the present.
I try not to get too comfortable where I am cause I don't want
to become dependent on something other than myself. Jail ain't
gonna pay my rent or loans for a car. I think about all this stuff
and sometimes I feel a little like I am going crazy.
From The Beat: The thought of responsibility and growing up really is
scary, Young Money, and we can understand how worrisome if must feel
for you and all young people growing up. Are there any adults that you
look up to and admire? How did they get to where they are in their lives?
Nobody can tell you what top do or where to go but that doesn’t mean
that reaching out for advice and direction is out of the question!
The Masks We Wear
The masks we wear sometimes doesn't even show how we are
feeling. But deep inside, we really don't even care. We just think
about ourselves and rebel against our haters and what they think
about our creations and what we want, and what we want is what
we strive to get.
It is better to try and get what we want, because what we
want, we won't always get. I have always said, I will never...I will
always...and it was never completed...to be continued
From The Beat: We can’t wait to read more of your piece, Chris, and
see how you connect the masks you wear with how you strive for your
Wearing My Different Masks wants!
Sometimes I have to wear a mask ‘cause I don't want to think that
I am different than others. Also I wear a mask ‘cause I don't want
people see the real me also to see the way I try to fit in. I always I’m Going Insane
act different in front of my friends but when I am with my family I'm going insane, losing my cool,
I act nice and mature. On the streets I'd slap these fools.
Sometimes, I don't wear a mask but it is kind of hard to fit in You might think you’re crazy and bad,
without a mask like acting cool and being mean, stealing things Me, I really think your just sad,
and not caring about what’s going to happen. And when you wear Sad to be here so you feel to act bad.
a mask and you get into some kind of trouble you sometimes
regret what you did and that is when the mask comes off, when Staring at me till I stare back,
you screw up or did something you regret later on. Our eyes meet you don't know how to react.
Sometimes, when you wear the mask it hurts other people You see my pain, rage, and sorrow,
and also the people that you love. And when the mask comes off All I do is hope for a better tomorrow.
you wished that you never did that to those people and the people Go crazy, go insane, and in the end you are to blame.
you love. -Foster-B
-Solomon From The Beat: This is a deep poem, Foster. These are a lot of emotions to
From The Beat: If you have to wear a mask that says you like something experience at once. How do you deal with the pain, rage and sorrow you
like stealing or trying to fit in when you really don't, then don't you feel are struggling with? Do you ever notice when someone else is feeling
like it's time to take off that mask and be who this way too? And if so, do you step in and try to help?
Page 4 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
Features of the week
features of the week
No One’s Perfect Going Crazy
I have a few masks in my closet, not literally but mentally. I ask Fear in the back of my mind.
myself why I do this, I should be able to act myself 24/7, what's It’s like getting hit from behind.
to hide? Why hide? Everyone's here on earth and no one is Don't know what hit you, but you can still feel it.
perfect. People screaming. You can still hear it.
I think the best feeling of being yourself is no matter what Feeling like there is nothing to know.
happens, you have no regrets, you are who you are. Stuck behind a wall with no place to go.
Each day I think about this topic, maybe not a lot but it flips Stuck in quicksand, nothing to do but sink.
through my mind here and there and when it does, it’s a reminder Going crazy can happen in a blink of an eye,
to be yourself and keep it real. Whether on the streets or in a cell,
-Ryan Going crazy is being stuck in hell.
From The Beat: You’re right, Ryan, nobody’s perfect but putting up a -Dillon
“mask” doesn’t always mean you’re being fake. When you’re in front of From The Beat: You did this topic great justice, Dillon. If a Beat reader
your family, you’re different than when you’re with friends, you might has never felt the chaotic feeling of going crazy then we’re sure they’ve
be more respectful. Be content with the fact that sometimes, a mask is got the picture of what it feels like in mind. How do you deal with
necessary and doesn’t mean you aren’t being “real”. “going crazy”?
I am going crazy because I can't get passes in HYCF.
From The Beat: Do you know why you aren’t receiving passes? Next go
round, push yourself as a writer, given we usually do not publish one
I can't see my family and so this drives me crazy.
From The Beat: We hope that we can learn more about you in your next
piece. One sentence pieces normally get cut.
I Think I’m Going Crazy!
I think I'm going crazy! I've been incarcerated for 394 days in
Hawaii's Youth Correctional Facility. I've been away from home
since I was 9 years old. I am now 18 years old.
I only had one furlough since I was incarcerated. That was
on Dec. 25th-26th of 2009. I made a year on January 14, 2010.
It doesn't feel that long, but I am going crazy. But I can say this
facility did change my way of thinking, my behavior, my change
of mood, and my attitude.
So I think there is a good and a bad thing about going crazy.
We all learn from it and gain positive and negative insight.
From The Beat: Wow, Mikey, that’s a long time to be away from home!
What have you learned from your experiences in the hall? What good
will you take out of this stay and what will you be leaving behind in
these walls you truly are? If you were to be yourself, Solomon, do you
think you would end up in the hall? I Think I’m Going Crazy!
I think I'm going crazy! Being locked up in Hawaii Youth
Correctional Facility for about 7 months is hard times. Not being
my first time locked up, but my 3rd time, makes me go crazier.
No More Going Crazy It's not my fault because I told the judge and my probation
When I say I am going crazy in here, I am talking about I have so officer don't put me in drug treatment program because it is not
much things I could be doing out there but instead I chose to rob going to help me. No, they did not want to listen so I messed up
people, rob families, beat up kids...so when I start feeling crazy, I and didn't go so they sent back to Boyz Home until I'm 18.
go kick it with my homies because sometimes I feel like banging Doing time is very hard because you have nothing, only walls
but instead I go work out. and other inmates to look at. You hope and pray everyday to get
When I sit in my cell and think about what my girl is doing a phone call or a letter from your family. And wish you could just
out there I go crazy. Now I am thinking about being a playa... leave and be with them but no, you can't.
when I get out I am going to make it to the top. There is no more You just got to suffer and do your time behind those walls
going crazy in 34 days. I am 19 years old...I am at the end of the and go crazy and wait till the day comes so you can leave.
-Kanai From The Beat: We understand how hard it must be to be away from your
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this piece with us, Kanai. When loved ones for so long, Kaulana…how will you make sure that this time
you think of the things you’ve done, what goes through your head? How goes differently? Sometimes we have to do things in order to get what
are you going to extend your “end” of the road and take the first steps we want, even if we don’t like it. Just like school or a program, you can’t
for your new chance with life? just cop out!
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 5
ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e pieces of the week
Don’t Talk Smack Self Kicked Out
Judging one another… girl, I ain’t your mother. I ain’t trying to What’s up Beat? Like you said we all at some point get kicked
tell you what to do but disrespect me, and I’ll disrespect you. out of somewhere. Like me, ja ja, it started in November 09’
Never judge a book by its cover, like I said, I ain’t yo’ mother. when I blacked out and ended up locked up. Then I got out on
Don’t look at me and start talking when girl I’m just walking. (CCP) Community Custody Program and (YRC) Youth Reporting
Don’t joke about me when all you do is talk. Don’t talk smack Center and more, so I was almost done with CCP while attending
‘cause what you say is whack. Don’t look back now. You wanna YRC.
be treated foul, keep talking that mess but respect is what life’s One morning I was having group in YRC when CCP called
about. There’s no doubt. me up. They were asking me why I was dirty (drug test) and the
I know a lot of people who speak their minds but just keep next thing I know is that they were telling me to turn around
in mind a lot of people don’t care what you say and they go on and “BOOM!” they handcuff me and brought me next door to
to the next day. So be respectful and never judge anyone if you the D-home. I was here on a 2 day hold, but it’s been almost 2
don’t know them because you don’t know what they’ve been months now, and now I realize they kicked me out of CCP.
through. You don’t know how much they wouldn’t like to be I went to court and they said I had too many problems
on this earth but it’s understandable, if you’re always judging and they recommended treatment for me. I had a couple of
someone you don’t know so just go with the flow and I’ll say no assessments and some denied me before they even got to know
more. me. Now I’m waiting for some treatment, the problem is, I don’t
-Merissa, Fresno want none. I mean I told every body that I was gonna do it, but
From The Beat: Thanks for reminding us about the importance of inside I felt blank for this one and a half months that I have been
respect. And you’re right, it’s completely senseless when we disrespect
people we don’t even know. here and I realize that that is worst then being sad.
Now I’m going crazy, I want to do something, I get mad
easily, I want to get up and hurt someone. I feel like something
is eating me inside out. My own feelings are kicking me out, and
Rain I can’t even explain how that feels. I’m kicking everybody out,
The last time I walked in the rain, I was carrying my daughter counselors, therapists, and family, and I just don’t know what
from the parking space to the house (a few blocks away). It was do to do even when I’m around people, I feel alone.
raining so hard I couldn’t see the street because of all the water One minute I’m happy the next minute I’m trying to hurt
splashing down and hard on almost everything. you as bad as I can. While I’m writing this people are around me
It was very funny at one moment because my hyna was and I still feel alone and I still feel like I’m kicking everybody
running home and she slipped and fell hard on the ground, I out. The sad part is that I think I’m kicking myself out more
was like “Street meet my hyna, and baby meet the street”. She often and I think I am liking it.
was mad, pero she got over it when I was walking in the front -Grumpy, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
yard and my new shoes got stuck in the mud. From The Beat: No matter how great a treatment center is, if “You” don’t
want treatment then treatment will not work. At first you’re convinced
After trying to escape the “quick mud”, I fell down hard you don’t need treatment, but then at the end of your writing you
with my daughter and we were both covered in mud from toes to sound as if you truly need the treatment. Don’t listen to everyone else
listen to yourself and what you need.
head. Now being locked up and watching the rainfall makes
me want to be out soon. I wish I could buy my hija some rain
boots and see her jumping and splashing in the puddles. Bueno
pues to all doing time keep your heads up. Disease
-Spyder, Santa Clara He fell in love with somethin’ black as night
From The Beat: That is pretty funny, especially imagining you falling
into the mud and getting stuck! Something that won’t let him put up a fight
Feeling good on the outside
Eating him up on the inside
Got hooked on the first taste
Why Do I Hurt Them? Thinking his life is a waste
My baby’ momma tripping because I won’t stop grinding First blast owned his soul
The streets want my head because I won’t stop shining Never again going to feel whole wanting more then just a tease
The hood isn’t a place for a ninja to be hiding Heroin isn’t a drug it’s a disease
Mommas being hurt because of all this dang violence Telling his family lies
Her son in the streets so she’s scared to hear the sirens Watching as his madre cries
Her tears are going away because she shares the last With his smile he hides his pain
private visit His whole life thrown away through a vein
He’s gone for three days so she hopes he’s surviving I don’t want to lose him
Now she prays to God if he dies that her love will revive him Already I’ve lost him
She tried to raise him right all his life Owning his mind, body and soul
Now this lil’ ninja turned the gangsta type But with his life he pays the toll
His daddy was a lie but his momma isn’t surprised Praying his time can get freezed
-Stupid, Alameda Heroin isn’t a drug it’s a disease
From The Beat: (Powerful poem!) If the life you’ve chosen drives your -Loud Wun, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
momma crazy, why go on with it? If they want your head for shining on From The Beat: You are so correct, Loud Wun, heroin is a disease that
the grind, make up your mind it’s quitting time. For baby’s sake? ‘Fore many are giving up their lives for. Tell us how you see yourself getting
Daddy’s blown away? clean. We need your insight!
Page 6 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
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P c so t ew e
pieces of the week
Good girl gone What I Realized
Where did she go? Getting kicked out is not fun. I’ve been kicked out of my house
Want her to come back before. I got kicked out because of family issues.
Good girl gone bad won’t ever come back I’ve been so drunk before I got kicked out of my friend’s
Money on her mind house.
Tryna get a rock I got kicked out of the volleyball team too because I wasn’t
Then she got raped good enough to make the team.
She stopped in her tracks When I got kicked out of my house, there were days when
Was stuck on the track I did not have anywhere to sleep, no food to eat, no money, no
Beaten and wounded clothes and no shower. Being kicked out is not fun. I could
No one to save her pretend around friends that I didn’t care. I could laugh and
The money is gone pretend to myself that I was okay when I really wasn’t. No matter
Nothing to savor how much I pretended, every night, I cried and wished I were
She didn’t care, still had to get the paper home on my bed instead of on a hard floor. Never had I felt so
So she went back out tryna get someone to date her lonely.
She never said she would never regret it later One thing I realized is that everything my mom used to tell
So she laughs now and cry later. me about my friends was true, that no one is ever gonna care
-Monica, Alameda about me like she does. No one is gonna be there for me like her.
From The Beat: This is a powerful poem. Is it later yet? Is she crying No one is gonna care if I’m hurt. I chose friends over family and
now? There are options - how can she change, plan and work towards
laughs later, while at least smiling now? Is it a question of priorities? when I got kicked out, no one cared if I had food to eat, clothes
to wear, if I hurt, or if I had a place to sleep.
I realized I needed my family more than anything and
that I would never again put my friends before my family. The
One Of The Best Moments consequences of me choosing what I thought was everything
The last time I walked in the rain was last year, and holding my when in reality there was nothing. Now I have nothing and no
girlfriend and kissing her. one to turn to.
Let me take you back when it all began. I woke up ready -Carla, Fresno
to go to school, left and met her up. Once we saw each other, it From The Beat: It sounds like you learned a valuable lesson the hard
way. It hurts to be kicked out of anything, to be alone and realize the
started to sprinkle. choices we made were wrong. We hope you mend the relationship with
As we walked closer, it started to rain and once we touch it your mom so you can go home soon.
started to pour. It was like a fantasy because once we kissed it
stopped. The sky cleared and the sun shone so brightly. It was
one of the best moments of my life.
-Saelee, Santa Clara
From The Beat: You write about that moment with your girlfriend in What I’ma Change When I Get
Out Of The Hall
very beautiful language. You describe your memory with her in a way
that makes the reader imagine what it was like. We can't wait to hear
more from you!
When I get out of this place, I’m going to get my first tattoo ever
removed from my body because I was running into gang related
problems with these most recent tattoos. I am also going to
On My Own change my attitude, and the way I think about life. I will spend
more time with my mom and family.
Getting kicked out sucks. You don’t have anywhere to go. For
When I get out of the hall, I am going to have to control my
example, when I turned fourteen year’s old, my mom kicked me
temper and the way I get angry and how I would have to deal
out. The reason is because she was so strung out on meth and
with my anger issues, by cutting out my drinking habits, stop
her boyfriend made her do it.
smoking weed, and stop snorting powder. I have to focus on the
I was on the streets for almost two years sleeping in parks
life ahead of me, and what kind of career I want to have in the
and the nearby cemetery. Not having anyone to talk or anything
near future. I want to work for legit kind of money to support my
to eat really took a toll on me. I felt angry, scared, and unloved,
like everything was my fault.
I want to go back to school and start to buckle down on
The consequence of being kicked out was that I got hooked
my academic. I want to change my life because I know that it
on the same drug my mom used.
is time to. I miss my family and hope to be at home “ASAP”
Getting kicked out is no fun. Sleeping on the streets and
with my family so I can relax and just chill with my family and
eating at homeless shelter isn’t cool.
stop worrying about my roommate that I would have in the hall,
In the end I realized that it wasn’t my fault, so I took charge
worrying about them try to stick me or try to steal from me.
of my life. I got sober and moved in with my aunt. So keep in
-Cookie Monster, Santa Clara
mind, if you ever get kicked out of something, try your best to From The Beat: We love how you have thought about what you really
get into something new. Thank you Beat for letting me express want in life, and the best way to get it. Your anger issues are made
worse by the drugs and alcohol you take, so we hope you seek some
myself! real help to build on the sobriety that this experience has forced on
-Cheyenne, Fresno you. Addiction is a kind of disease, and like all diseases, we cannot
From The Beat: Being on your own and living without, you’ve learned cure them on our own. There are many alcoholics and drug addicts
some really important lessons about life. We’re proud of you for taking who know what you are going through, and can give you the kind of
steps to making positive changes. Thank you for sharing your story. support you will need to overcome these problems. If they can do it,
You inspire us! so can you!
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 7
ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e pieces of the week
The More I Fight, So Judgmental
Everyone judges everyone else. Unfortunately it is inevitable. No
The More I Remember… matter how much people deny that they unfairly judge others
Lately I’ve been on a quest to identify and face up to the based on appearances, clothes, or their car – they do.
mistakes I’ve made, and the more I fight in this cause, the more
When I see someone without a home, wandering the
I remember those mistake-ridden days.
streets, I feel pity for that person. But no matter how much I try
I remember being in a cell, and the hundreds of nights I
not to, I always find myself thinking of ways that they could be
spent there thinking I would be locked up forever. There were
times when I’d read old lectures and then cry myself to sleep, improving their situation if they made the effort.
counting down the days, weeks and months ahead of me before I try to not judge people by where they live, where they
my release. come from, what color they are, or how they speak. Everyone is
I remember wanting to see my mother’s face without her different, and there is no reason to judge someone for it.
having to come to this place. A sour taste seemed to seep from How I do judge people, is by how they act. Or by how they
its gates, and I’d see my family’s faces fill with disgrace. I now interact with others. A couple of times, I have met someone
know how much they loved me through all those hard times, about whom I have already heard information from other people,
because they supported me every step of the way. It was they and then found them to be very different from what I was told.
who taught me to believe in myself and to stand tall with every I try not to let what others say, influence my thoughts about
breath I take. anyone. I do this because the information I get from people is
I remember how to cook noodles. I learned about a thousand biased.
recipes for it. Even if all I had was noodles, I wouldn’t let the I want to form my own opinion of an individual I meet.
police get the best of me. People need to meet and interact with someone before they can
I remember the feeling of getting time added to an already judge them fairly. Prejudging people can direct you away from
long jail sentence. It’s like getting your teeth knocked out right meeting someone who might turn out to be your best friend or
after experiencing the drill in the hands of the dentist. turn out to be someone who does you a huge favor.
I’m ready to redeem myself by being active from January
to December. And I’ll never run out of things to say. For I’m From The Beat: A lot of people who have had problems in their lives are
learning through these days of struggle that the more I fight, the automatically going to (pre)judge others. If you are able to look past
preconceived ideas of what someone is supposed to look like or sound
more I remember. like, then you will be able to appreciate the good in people you would
-Looney, Alameda otherwise reject. Props on your efforts at being fair and open-minded.
From The Beat: We congratulate you on your quest. For by identifying
your mistakes and facing up to them, you can prepare yourself not to
People need to meet
repeat them. Also we were moved by your confession of gratitude to
your family. Be strong as you encounter pain, for with change, you
have a new life to gain.
and interact with
Everyone judges everyone else. Unfortunately it is inevitable. No
matter how much people deny that they unfairly judge others someone before they
based on appearances, clothes, or their car – they do.
When I see someone without a home, wandering the
streets, I feel pity for that person. But no matter how much I try
can judge them fairly.
not to, I always find myself thinking of ways that they could be
improving their situation if they made the effort.
I try to not judge people by where they live, where they My Life
Running the streets late at night
come from, what color they are, or how they speak. Everyone is
Busting missions; getting high
different, and there is no reason to judge someone for it.
All on my own
How I do judge people, is by how they act. Or by how they
Mommy’s nowhere to be known
interact with others. A couple of times, I have met someone
Daddy’s living his life
about whom I have already heard information from other people,
With his hyna by his side and loving her baby girls
and then found them to be very different from what I was told.
So here I am
I try not to let what others say, influence my thoughts about
Getting love by this stranger I don’t even know
anyone. I do this because the information I get from people is
Smoking the pain away
Running the game
I want to form my own opinion of an individual I meet.
People need to meet and interact with someone before they can
Just wanting to go home
judge them fairly. Prejudging people can direct you away from
To this stranger day by day
meeting someone who might turn out to be your best friend or
- Taylor, SEF, Maricopa, Arizona
turn out to be someone who does you a huge favor. From The Beat: It sounds like there is a lot of hurt and disappointment in
-Sunshine, Alameda your life. It must be a sad and scary life running the streets wondering
From The Beat: A lot of people who have had problems in their lives are what is going to happen minute to minute. Being alone and not having
automatically going to (pre)judge others. If you are able to look past your parents’ love, support and guidance can be devastating. It is
preconceived ideas of what someone is supposed to look like or sound concerning that a “stranger” is giving you love. Please work on loving
like, then you will be able to appreciate the good in people you would yourself and building your self-esteem so you do not have to rely on
otherwise reject. Props on your efforts at being fair and open-minded. “strangers” for love.
Page 8 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
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P c so t ew e
pieces of the week
There For Me Alone In the Rain
The first time I saw you The last time I walked in the rain was when I was feeling alone
I had some weed and down. I took a long walk around my neighborhood just to
when no one around me smoked. clear my mind. It was late afternoon and it was getting dark
So I asked you to smoke with me. and it was pouring rain hard with flashes of lighting almost
I was a fourteen-year-old runaway. everywhere that it frightened me a little bit. But I still kept
And you were nineteen. walking and the lighting didn’t bother me anymore, it just
You stayed by my side flashed in the sky.
all through the days, every night,
Getting kicked out made me feel sad, mad, depressed,
even though nothing was turning out right.
hurt…I never thought I would be the one that would be thrown
We had nowhere to sleep,
out of my own house that I was raised in, I never thought my
so you slept in parks with me.
And we even robbed Safeway to eat. own parents would tell me that but I can’t blame them no matter
You were there to kiss me goodbye how much I want to, Itt was my fault that it happened because
when I turned myself in. I did things that I wasn’t supposed to do. So when my parents
And you were there when I got my release. found out that’s when they snapped with all the chances they
You were there for my first day back to school, gave me and just told me to get out and never come back. I saw
and every night you helped me with my homework. the anger in their eyes as I turned and walked away and left my
You were still there when I was all coked out, home feeling sad as I walked alone back in the rain..
even though you were mad and all you did was shout. Then in the dark of the rainy sky I saw a long tunnel I
You were there for the 2 CB comedown have to walk through to get to the end where all the anger and
and the morning shots with xanex bars. depression will stop because once I reach the end of the dark
You were there when no one else was, stormy tunnel everything will be dry and sunny and I’ll be happy
even though every day I told you again.
to get the hell out of my life -Chino, Santa Clara
‘cause all I wanted to do was get high. From The Beat: This is a powerful piece Chino. Are you ready to walk
And you locked me in a hotel room through the long tunnel yet?
the two days I was tweaking for meth.
And you wouldn’t let me around my good friend
who was shooting up heroin.
You were there the day the cops took me away.
And you were there at court when they said The More I Fight, The More I Re-
they were sending me out of state,
even though that was your friend’s birthday.
Lately I’ve been on a quest to identify and face up to the
You were there when I was running away from my problems,
mistakes I’ve made, and the more I fight in this cause, the more
through the incarcerations, when I was doing good,
I remember those mistake-ridden days.
and when I hit rock bottom.
I can’t believe you’re still standing next to me I remember being in a cell, and the hundreds of nights I
as I’m about to go through recovery. spent there thinking I would be locked up forever. There were
I don’t deserve you. times when I’d read old lectures and then cry myself to sleep,
But I love you with all of me. counting down the days, weeks and months ahead of me before
-Ashley, Alameda my release.
From The Beat: To stay by your side through all your hardships, drama I remember wanting to see my mother’s face without her
and abuse, this person must have great depths of love for you. If you’re
serious about your recovery, however, it will be perhaps the biggest test having to come to this place. A sour taste seemed to seep from
yet for your relationship, for you must put your recovery first – above its gates, and I’d see my family’s faces fill with disgrace. I now
all else. It sounds as if this love between the two of you though, will be know how much they loved me through all those hard times,
strong enough survive and can support a healthier (in body, mind and
spirit) you. But can you maintain a drug-free environment together? because they supported me every step of the way. It was they
Even casual drug use would be extremely dangerous for someone in who taught me to believe in myself and to stand tall with every
recovery from addiction.
breath I take.
I remember how to cook noodles. I learned about a thousand
recipes for it. Even if all I had was noodles, I wouldn’t let the
police get the best of me.
Box Of Bricks I remember the feeling of getting time added to an already
As I sit in this box of bricks, in silence, thinking of how much long jail sentence. It’s like getting your teeth knocked out right
time I’m going to have to do, I miss my baby brother. I miss his after experiencing the drill in the hands of the dentist.
smile. I made a promise to him that I’d be home soon. I’m ready to redeem myself by being active from January
As I watch the calendar, I believe I made a mistake, because to December. And I’ll never run out of things to say. For I’m
I don’t know when I’m going to get out. I hope I can see my bro’s learning through these days of struggle that the more I fight, the
smile, but nobody made a promise that I’ll live to tomorrow. more I remember.
-Fabio, Santa Cruz -Looney, Alameda
From The Beat: Beautifully written Fabio. While there are no promises From The Beat: We congratulate you on your quest. For by identifying
about our tomorrows, there are probabilities. We think you’ll have time your mistakes and facing up to them, you can prepare yourself not to
to get things right. We think you’ve learned a lot from this experience repeat them. Also we were moved by your confession of gratitude to
– a lot about a lot of things. And you’ve discovered that you can write. your family. Be strong as you encounter pain, for with change, you
So write on, man, write on. have a new life to gain.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 9
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P c so t ew e pieces of the week
Just because my mom Walk In Their Shoes
It ain’t right to judge other people by what we see on the outside
left him didn’t mean
or by their color. Even though we all sometimes judge people,
we should learn to stop at a certain point because we don’t
know what they’re going through or what their situation is. We
he had to leave us. don’t like being judged either.
People used to say that I was mean and always looking for
a fight, and that I was always complaining about things. But the
person who would say those things didn’t even know my first
name. Until one day I was introduced to her, and we chilled for
What It Feels Like To Be Kicked a couple hours. She came up to me and said I was hella koo.
Out Of Someone’s Life I also used to judge this girl, secretly in mind. I would
always say to myself that she looks like a two-faced hoe. And
It doesn’t feel good being kicked out of someone’s life. You guys then one day I met her and now we’re close friends.
were doing good one day and the next it seems like they don’t I learned not to be judging people if I didn’t know them.
have a care in the world for you. I felt like this one time in my Unless we get to walk in their show, then we can. But nobody’s
life. I felt like this when my parents got a divorce. My dad left. perfect and we’re all human so we all make mistakes. It’s natural.
Before they broke up, he was always out the house. He didn’t We have to learn from them and learn our own lessons.
even talk to me that much, but it felt good just to have my dad The only person who can judge us is God. He’ll forgive our
in the house. Growing up, most of my friends didn’t even know sins and forget all we used to do. So remember, don’t judge
their dad. I was happy I knew mine. When I was wit’ my pops, I people unless you walk in their shoes.
used to always just be smiling and happy. Even when he would -Sky, Fresno
argue with me and be mad at the little stuff me and my brother From The Beat: Sky, you provided great examples of what it’s like to
did, I would still want to ride around with him. He was a dude be judged and what it’s like to judge others. Thanks for reminding us
about the importance of putting ourselves in the shoes of others.
that everywhere he went, people knew him.
He used to love to shoot dice. That’s why I like shooting
dice. I only seen him get hit one time. Any other time he was
stinging. That’s like me—I always be hittin’ on the dice. I rarely
ever get hit. Everything he did, I wanted to do. People used to
think my dad was rich because of all his nice cars and all his
I used to want to be just like him, until now. I really hate
dude from the bottom of my heart. I felt like he abandoned me
and my brother and sisters. Just because my mom left him
didn’t mean he had to leave us. He didn’t do nothing for us,
after they broke up. He treated me like I was just another ninja
on the streets and not his son. He would ride by me when I was
posted, and throw up the peace sign. I would just look at him
like he was crazy. I was tempted to just start shootin’ at his car
hella times. I couldn’t do that, though. I know I wouldn’t do to
my kids like that, ‘cause that ain’t cool. I know how it feel. You
don’t be wanting to admit it, but it hurt. I be feeling like treating
him like a ninja on the streets and poppin’ him, but I know
that wouldn’t solve nothing. He came up here last Sunday and In My Room
wanted everything to be sweet, but shhh ain’t sweet. As I sit in this room, my mind wanders. I reminisce on the
I don’t think I would ever really forgive dude. He was up memories and good times. Why does it have to end? Some say
here, trying to sell me a dream. If I wasn’t the ninja that I am, it's for the best and I'm starting to believe that too, but is it
I would have fell for that shhh. I don’t know, though—dude really? I mean true happiness, is it when you’re happy?
really played me, my brother, and sisters. I feel the worst for When everyone's happy with you but inside you’re truly not
my brother, because he the youngest. He really need a dad happy. It's confusing sometimes. What is my purpose in this
right now, his real dad. That would probably be the only way I life?
would forgive him, if he stepped up and was a father to my little I can do two things, go the route and handle business,
brother. I don’t think that’s go’ happen, but I hope it do. and move away and lose everyone and everything that means
-Stevie, Marin something to me and be miserable but be successful.
From The Beat: The man you describe sounds less mature than you, not
able to own up to the responsibilities he has to the children he helped The other route I can go is to stay and mess up and not
bring into this world. It would be nice to think of him stepping back have a care in the world, but be happy. This life is a life where
into your brother’s life to be the father he should have been to you and
your sisters, but if he doesn’t — and we’re betting he won’t— then it’s there is no winner.
up to you. You’re lucky to have those early memories of being with your -Room Time, Alameda
dad, but now his abandonment has laid a new responsibility on your From The Beat: The best thing to do is be a leader not a follower. Get
shoulders to make sure your little brother has a decent future. Are you your mind right, you obviously know what you need to do. You don’t
up to that responsibility — to get out of here and home to guide and have to ditch your friends, except maybe when they plan on getting in
care for him in the way you were not guided or cared for by your dad? trouble. There are two obvious ways you can go, and you already know
We think so, but only you know for sure. what the outcome is gone be.
Page 10 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
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pieces of the week
Being Locked Up is Whack Bouncing Back
Being locked up is whack, There have been many instances where I have been kicked out
When I get out, I’m never coming back. of something but those instances have been minor barriers in
This is just a waste of my life, my life that I took upon myself to overcome.
When I could be out with the family and wife. From the moment I heard the words “You’re kicked out”, I
Sometimes I think why…. instantly felt unworthy of anything and such a blow could have
I hurt my family and made my mother cry? a major effect on a young individual.
I should have thought about things twice, But not me, I chose to not fall subject to these so-called
But now I’m doing 50 to life. barriers that fell before me. I knew right then that I was going
Every day I say to myself I made my life a living hell, to let this get to me or feed off it and see what I could do as a
But oh well. counterattack or alternative path than just giving up, which was
There’s not a thing I could do, a common tendency of mine.
But let time go by the few. So as I thought about getting kicked off the soccer team
Thinking about the people I left behind because of grades and came to the conclusion that I got kicked
Now it’s just my body and my mind. off by the sports supervisor, not the coach, and I still had a
When I got sentenced, it was like a bombshell, strong connection with the coach and players, regardless of my
Praying and hoping Bill Gates would pay my bail. grades that made me ineligible.
As I live life behind these walls, Kids in the past when hearing they had not made grades
Waiting for the day I get out and stand tall. simply quit and never played the sport again. But I loved soccer
Looking at the world for the way it is, too much to just give up so easily. I decided to have a word with
But now I jus’ have to kick back and handle my biz. the coach. So the very next day, I went to the locker room and
-Willy D., Yolo dressed up as usually and grabbed my water and began walking
From The Beat: What a great piece! You really have a strong grip on out to the field to meet the rest of the team.
how to write something that not only sounds cool, but has a lot of real
meaning. Stay focused on your writing, and when you share it with When I got there, everyone was already running laps and
people after you get out, you will definitely “stand tall”. getting there workout in. Then I walked up to the coach and he
said what he called a lot of his well liked players “Hey Bubba
what are you doing here.” And I quickly responded “Coach, I
simply just want to play, even if I can’t play my games with the
team, I still want to practice with the team regardless.
want to stay the
I just love soccer too much to not play” and he said, “Oh
Bubba with an attitude like that, you could stay as long as you
So I went everyday even to those days when they only ran
same. and did not play. The coach saw my passion for the game and
saw something in me, which resembled true athlete. So I stuck
with it and the following year he quickly knew who to give the
captain role, to the most dedicated kid on the team, which was
This Change, My Change -Brian, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Brian, it's great that you found a way to continue
Whether it’s 1999 or 2010, my little friend the time to change is playing soccer. It was something that you were passionate about and
now, so young thug get off the ground and on your feet because you didn't allow yourself to quit. That’s something to be proud of.
your family wants you to succeed, get an education – High However, maybe you could have attempted to improve your grades
while still practicing with the team. Did you? That way you would
School Diploma or a GED. Stay Drug Free. have been able to play games and you would be succeeding in school.
Appreciate what you got and stop stealing for coke and Take that drive to overcome barriers and apply them to more aspects
of your life.
weed. I know you love to have money but when you’re stealing
you’re hurting a family.
Every day and Night you pray for a change, but God never
shows his face or even gives you a phrase.
People look at your face and they see the storm but not the
rain. They don’t see the struggle nor the pain.
Every time you get out everything is still the same ‘cause
no one’s ready for a change but you don’t want to stay the
same. You wonder why I know? You wonder why I can see? It’s
because the lil’ thug I see it’s me! And I’m tired of crying and
I’m tired of lying. So I’m ready to change next time you see me
I won’t be the same. And I appreciate God’s grace.
From the Beat: Migi – from reading this piece, we don’t see a little
thug, but a kid who really does want to change. You painted quite a
powerful image with your line ‘they see the storm but not the rain.’
Where did you learn to write like this? We hope you maintain the
courage and strength to believe in yourself and believe that you can
and will change.
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Why do you judge? Why Do You Judge Me? What’s up Beat? It’s ya’ boy Manos. I wish I had more time to
Why do you as- write, but this is all I can come up with.
They look, they stare, they judge, they just don’t care. Why
is it everywhere I go people judge me? People say I’m bad, and
sume I’m a low life
people say I’m mad.
I want to know what people think when they judge me,
please. I say please don’t judge me when you don’t even know
when I want to just
me. Then try not to stare when I look at them then I wonder is
it my proud brown skin, or is it ‘cause I punched people in the
make you my wife?
Why do you judge? Why do you assume I’m a low life when
I want to just make you my wife? Get to know me before you
assume I’m like every other sucker with the name Tucker. Why
is it everywhere I go people judge me? They look, they stare,
they judge, they just don’t care.
What I Am Waiting For -Manos, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a great piece of writing! Do you really care what
What I am waiting for is to get my freedom and see myself people think about you? Everywhere you go, there are always people
change. I have plans for changing. I know it will be up to me. I looking down on people, and judging each other. It’s not something
new. Maybe if you really pay attention to what you do, whom you hang
think my stay here at the hall has got me pretty ready for society out with and where you hang out with, you might find the answer why
again. I have a three part plan. people look, stare and judge you the way they do.
First is to focus on my education, meaning no more
ditching, and to give effort when I’m in school.
Second involves my family relationships. I’ll tell my mom
that I’m sorry I hurt her (not physically, but in ways that hurt
her feelings) because of my wrong doing. Then I’ll show her that
I can be the son she raised me to be. I’ll also be a better example
for my brother. I won’t just tell him what’s good and bad. I’ll
show him I that I can do it.
Part three is to focus on my sobriety, self-esteem, self-
respect, and working skills. How I plan to do that is maybe give
my free time to work training or work programs.
All this I have learned at the hall – preparing myself for the
environment, and learning how I can give back.
-M, Santa Cruz
From The Beat: You’ve taken to heart what your counselors have told
you. It’s good to hear that you’ve been listening.
Last year, in July, my mom and sister got in a fight. I intruded
and added my two cents. I was hoping it’d release some tension
and take some of the hostile attention away from sister. My mom
was livid with rage even though the argument was over nothing
important. They never are, these arguments with my mom. Then
my mom’s ex-boyfriend got involved in it.
Then the same old routine that happens every other day,
happened . My sister and my mom’s ex got really heated. He told
both my sister and me to get the hell out of his house. And my
mom didn’t even object. She just sat there and let it happen.
To me it showed how much, or rather how little she really
cared. Once we were out, she decided to chase after us but then
gave up on it. I go through a lot with my family. Eventually she
found us, and asked us to come back. We still go through a lot
in my family, but when it ends, if it ever ends, I hope it ends
From The Beat: Family counseling could help a lot. Arguing is not
necessarily a bad thing. It depends on how it’s done. Just as you point
out, what’s most important is that it ends peacefully. Ideally, differences
of opinion are aired, and everyone’s voice is respected. Do you and your
sister show respect for your mom’s point of view? Your stepfather’s?
Page 12 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
co-pieces of the week
Lonely Wish I Could Turn Back the Clock
Hey what’s up with The Beat, this is once again Spyder from Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and get a chance
San Jose. I’m not feeling the topic today, so I’ve decided to write to redo things. I’d like to redo the mistakes I made in life. Now
about something else. it’s too late. And there’s nothing I can do about it.
Today I woke up feeling sad. I woke up feeling sad because People now judge me off of that one mistake I made. I wish
I’ve been away from my daughter and my future wife for too long. they didn’t, but they do. So let me offer some advice to Beat
I had a dream that I was pushing my baby in her stroller, and that readers and writers: Before you act on a bad decision, remember
my lady was holding my arm. We were on our way to the park there’s no turning back.
to have some fun. I promised her that when I got out of the hall When I close my eyes, I see the day that got me locked away.
I would take her, pero I didn’t keep my promise because I got I think about it every day. Sometimes I’m even scared to sleep,
locked up right away. I felt a hole in my corazon, pure loneliness because it’s in my dreams. I can’t eat and I barely speak. I just
and it felt as if I couldn’t wake up anymore. wish that day would stop haunting me.
Sometimes I feel like my soul leaves my body and goes to -Ray Ray, Alameda
them every night, and when it comes back it makes me think From The Beat: Do right from now on. Over time, people will come to
judge you by what you do, day in and day out. But be tough enough to
I brought them to my side. But when I wake up they are never keep doing what’s right even while others misjudge you. Fill your heart
there. That makes me more lonely. ‘Till paper meets pencil. and mind daily with memories newly made, and your nightmare will
slowly begin to fade. Yet while it stays, let it motivate you to maintain
-Spyder, Santa Clara every single day.
From The Beat: Your piece is muy triste, but it’s also beautiful, because
it is about the love you have for your family, and your desire to be with
them. What is your plan for ensuring that you DO keep your promise
next time to stay out of jail?
Crying For Those I Let Down
When I walk in this place, I cry. I cry because I miss my family,
and I feel like I messed up my life. But even if I got a family to
Kicked Out Of Hella Things back me up, to love me, to care about me, I still feel that it’s
not enough. If I can get out, that’s good. But if I get out, and the
I got kicked out of hella things in my life. I’ve been kicked outta
my home because I was on the run, and my dad didn’t want me school district kicks me out, I would really have let my family
in the house. So I couldn’t stay at home. I was staying from place down. I don‘t know what to do. I feel there is no hope. Tell me
to place, and it was bullshhh. I was on the run for a case that what to do.
was never committed. I fit the description and got locked up. There is one thing I learned: one small thing can cause a
I got out on probation and couldn’t do nothin’. I had curfew. I huge problem. Also, I have changed and also learned that the
could barely be out for two and a half hours a day, because I had next time I am about to do something bad, I would remember
school. On Saturday, I went to Anger Management, and Sunday I this pain. In this place I have grown up from all of the immature
went to a drug program for ‘dro. stuff. Friends are the one thing you do not need in school, but
So I jus’ said, “The hell with it,” and missed court and didn’t once you’ over with school, that’s one of the most important
go see my PO. The court put a warrant out, and I didn’t wanna things you need.
go back for something that was never committed. So I ran. Then, -Wilson, San Francisco
From The Beat: Yes, even small decisions can lead to big consequences,
when I got caught, I ended up turning myself in. When I did, and not just for the person making the decision, but for all those who
I ended up getting a new charge. Now I’m in here, doin’ time, care about him. Now that you know this, you have taken a big step
toward maturity and responsibility. We think you do need friends
lookin’ at an outta the city grouper, but I’m jus’ gonna get it over in school, only different ones — the kind that won’t lead you into
with and go back with my family. temptation, and who understand the value of that education for their
futures. For your own sake, as well as your family’s, we hope you always
-Mak, San Francisco remember what you wrote here.
From The Beat: Sometimes, all of us are made to do things we don’t
want to do, but understand that if we don’t do them, the future will be
worse for us. That is what you’ve learned by running. We’re sorry you
picked up a new charge, but we’re encouraged by your determination
to “get it over with” so you can get back into the warm embrace of your
family. They need you as much as you need them.
Addicted To Crime
Today I went to court. This is my third case for the same thing,
robbing. I'm probably going to go to a group home. The messed
up thing about it is I'm addicted to this crime and for some
reason every time I get out I try to hit a lick and I end up getting
Giving Props money. So that makes me want to get more and more.
To A very important person in my life that is my elder is my Then eventually I get caught, so here I am again and I really
dad. He deserves my utmost respect because he is my role want to stop. I know your probably going to say why don't you
model. Even though he’s dead and gone, he knows I respect him just get a job. Well when your black it’s not that easy to just get
because of how he gets money, flips whips, and takes care of all a job. When you’re broke you don't think straight and it's easy to
his kids. He knows I look up to him because that's my ninja/ go out and do something that you're going to regret when you’re
father/best friend. I miss my dad and he’s gone be here with me locked up.
for life. R.I.P. Big Steve Indy. -Case, Alameda
-Lil’ Steve, Alameda From The Beat: It’s all about having the will power to not do the same
From The Beat: Did he show you the right things to do or how to make crime. Getting a job has nothing to do with being black or not. There
money the wrong way? Either way it’s good to have a role model but are plenty of Latin, Asian, and other minorities that can’t get jobs. It’s
it doesn’t always mean you have to follow exactly what they do. R.I.P about having patience, fast money is not always good money because
to your pops, and show him that you can make it in this world without you spend it quick. And it can also land you in jail real quick. If you need
having to come to jail or face other serious consequences. help getting a job don’t be afraid to ask us, or one of your counselors.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 13
co-pieces of the week
The Reason My Heart’s Numb Love Vs. War And Rain
Pops didn’t have time to show his youngest the ropes… The last time I walked in the rain
Too busy panhandlin’, tryin’ to get more dope I forgot to call you on your birthday
Mom’s lost in the same boat…
Face gettin’ slimmer from the coke The last time I walked in the rain
She sniff it, a cold life I forgot to wish you Happy Valentine’s Day
Parents lost to the dope game
-Louie, Marin The last time I walked in the rain
From The Beat: It is so unfair that a child has to watch the disease of I forgot to say I loved you
addiction in his parents, making them unfit to do the most important
job there is. How did you handle this growing up? Have you (or others
in the family) tired to get help for them? Has this made you more or less Although I did love you
likely to do dope yourself? How will this bitter experience affect your
own parenting when the time comes? You played me
So can you do me a favor
If I put it together
Not Alone Maybe sooner or later
What’s good with it, Beat? It’s me again, just sharing a little bit We won’t be here forever
of my knowledge. I love to put my thoughts on paper because And I realize I waited too long
it really helps me express my feeling and know that I ain’t the I always ask if you don’t move on
only one going through this. I have been putting my mind to ‘Cause you don’t need anyone else
work for about a year and appreciate The Beat doing this for us
youngsters. I know now that I ain’t the only one with a tragic After all the drama you put me through
life. With the animosity of your ex-girlfriends
I was about to do life sentence for attempted murder, and I
hope I show people that no matter what the judge or DA says, If I wasn’t so pretty and had a quarter piece
we can still get cut by faith. I was always being punched, and Attitude would you like me
I thought my life was worse. But thanks to The Beat, I see
others who are similar to my situation. I was close to dying and If I were a simple girl would you
giving up, but I’m not the person to tell no one. But one of my Claim me or use me
homeboy read it and helped me get through it. I love to express Too bad I’m real huh
my thoughts on paper and now I know that I’m not alone with And keepin’ it one hundred
the world on my shoulders.
-Moe Joe, Santa Clara No longer walking in the rain
From The Beat: We have seen both your thinking and your writing The sun just started shining
get clearer and stronger over all the time you’ve been writing in The
Beat. We are so grateful to be able to give you this chance both to
From The Bear: Sometimes moving on from a painful relationship can be
get things off your chest, to recognize that you are not alone, and to
hard to do, but sometimes it is the best thing we can do. For the sake of
focus your thoughts so that you can live a better life. We’re glad you
our own happiness and sanity. Thank you for writing this poem.
love to express your thoughts on paper, because we love to read your
To Keavin, Seven Years Old What I Feel
Laying down looking at the walls.
When I come home, I’ll hang out with you more
Regretting the mistake breaking the law.
Instead of pushing you away to hang out with my friends
Wishing I can be out and about.
just because I’m bored!
Violated probation, two months no doubt
When I come home and I see you cry,
And now away from family and mom.
I will stop telling you to shut up, and help you say, “Good
My body is one place and my mind gone.
My mistakes I made were poor choices.
When I come home, I will stop messing up, and miss
I could be home chilling, posted.
special days with you
But nope I’m in here again.
Like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and you’ birthday that I
Still thinking when it’s gonna end.
had to miss!
At some point I have to be a man.
When I come home, I’ll be a better sister, and start treating
This is my last time here, I’ll be damn.
you like my little brother
Life ain’t fun and jokes no more understand?
Instead of making you feel like some little mistake!
Everyday is a struggle, so we have to be strong.
From The Beat: The promises you make here to your little brother Coming back again is the same old sad song.
represent goals that, if you follow through, will make him a better But it’s gone change, it’s gonna stop.
person and you a better person, and will promise you both a better
future. As much as you need and love him, he needs and loves you even Trust me I’ma do it until I drop. Alrato.
more. So, even though when you’re out you’ll be tempted to do some of -Lefty, Santa Clara
the things that let the system separate you from Keavin, never forget From The Beat: We are curious about your last two lines- what are you
what you’ve written! gonna change, and stop, and do until you drop?
Page 14 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
co-pieces of the week
My Elder My Dreams In Life
I give props to ma older brother. He is not that much older than What’s up with The Beat? “I have a dream” to be someone in life,
me, but he showed me what I needed to do to live good and a entrepreneur, or a office manager, have a good job that make
survive on my own. I feel like my brother been a complete help in some decent money. I wanna make my mom proud. I wanna get
my life, and I show him the utmost respect because he showed off probation and lead the right way — a leader, not a follower.
me how to be a man, and told me if it don’t make dollars then it I wanna invent something like a car or a bike or something
don’t make sense. interesting that everybody will like, but I have to change my way
He also said if you ain’t ‘bout bread, then you ain’t ‘bout of doing things to be able to make things happen. I just got to
shhh. So that’s my motto. I live day by day. He told me that if I keep a cool mind state and do me. But I’m gone.
live by this, I can stay trill and live like king. -Young Life, San Francisco
-Lil' Nina, San Francisco From The Beat: Wanting to be someone in life is the beginning of
From The Beat: We can understand how much love and respect you have making it happen. Inventing something people need is a good goal, but
for your brother, but we have to wonder whether his advice helped you like all good goals, it requires some basic preparation, like finishing
as much as he could have. After all, here you are, putting those dollars school and going beyond what is required there to learn as much as you
into the pockets of the system. How much sense does that make? Also, can. Are you preparing for your future success? How?
we can think of many people who were not about bread but about
beliefs, like Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, and even Martin Luther
King, Jr. Would you say “they ain’t ‘bout shhh?”
Either Change Or Quit Complaining
S’up with The Beat? It Whiteboy in the Ranch still! Shhh, the
weather out here been crucial! Stormy as a hurricane! I call it
Wish I Could Turn Back the Clock “Hurricane Craig,” ha ha. But I been feeling like this weather.
Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and get a chance Mainy! I’m getting sick, but I’m still doing my thing, feel me? I’m
to redo things. I’d like to redo the mistakes I made in life. Now using this time to try to move on with my life and get out this
it’s too late. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Ranch! I’m in the forest, for real, and it’s cool. I know I will never
People now judge me off of that one mistake I made. I wish forget this time here, but I just want this time to go by quicker!
they didn’t, but they do. So let me offer some advice to Beat But it’s whatever.
readers and writers: Before you act on a bad decision, remember I stay keeping my head up, feel me? But that’s what everyone
there’s no turning back. got to do! Keep yo’ head up, use this time to your benefit, and
When I close my eyes, I see the day that got me locked away. never forget this time you doing. ‘Cause if you forget it, you will
I think about it every day. Sometimes I’m even scared to sleep, probably end up doing somethin’ stupid again, and gettin’ locked
because it’s in my dreams. I can’t eat and I barely speak. I just up again. For real, most of us that’s locked up be complaining
wish that day would stop haunting me. ‘bout this time we doing, and, for real, this ain’t shhh! This time
-Ray Ray, Alameda is nothin’. It’s ninjas gettin’ football numbers! So either change
From The Beat: Do right from now on. Over time, people will come to
judge you by what you do, day in and day out. But be tough enough to
yo’ lifestyle or quit cryin’ and complaining! And get ready to do
keep doing what’s right even while others misjudge you. Fill your heart time, ‘cause that’s what this lifestyle goin’ get you! But do what
and mind daily with memories newly made, and your nightmare will you do! I’m a do me! Whiteboy out!
slowly begin to fade. Yet while it stays, let it motivate you to maintain
every single day. -Whiteboy, San Francisco
From The Beat: More terrific advice for your Beat readers. You have
been very consistent about using your time to change your future, and
we continue to be impressed by your determination. With your plans in
mind, what do you hope to be doing in, say, five years?
Where I Am
Roses are red
And my clothes are blue 5th Grade and Kicked Out
When I think about were I am The first time I got kicked out of school, I was in the 5th grade
I don’t know what to do and we had been going back and forth disagreeing on things.
I can not see the moon One day he came and started talking about my mother and
And I don’t know if I’ll be out soon I don’t let no one talk about my mother. So I was getting madder
I was acting like a goon and madder and I told him to stop talking about my mother or
Now I eat with a plastic spoon else. And he kept on talking.
I can not see my little brother So at recess I seen him on the play structure and I had the
Or my midnight show teachers scissors and I ran up to him and stabbed him three
I am stuck in unit-A times in his back. But I didn’t feel it going in his skin so I left
Room five is were I be and ran to the basketball courts. The office came and got me and
I can not see the trees blow brought me to the office. They showed me his back and there
Or the grass grow were three red bumps on his back.
I want to hear the wind blow The principal told me I was getting kicked out of the school
Or feel a breeze on my skin district. So I had to move schools, houses, and find new friends
I don’t know when this will end and they charged me with a felony.
Or if it has even begun -Jonetta, Alameda
-Lorenzo, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico From The Beat: Wow, that's some story! We're wondering if you still
From The Beat: Very nice poem, Lorenzo. We look forward to reading have violent outbursts like the one in 5th grade, and if you do if you
more of your work. are getting help (we all need help) controlling them?
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 15
co-pieces of the week
Coming Home High Life Of Sin
The day I got kicked out was when I came home high. I walked in What am I worth?
and went straight to the kitchen and started eating. Am I more hated or loved?
Next thing you know, my mom and dad walk in and told
me to get out and I asked why. Then they told me that all I do is How am I looked upon by the powers above?
smoke and stay home, and that I don’t have a job and that I’m What’s in store for me other than war in these streets?
not gonna do anything with my life, so I did…
After a few days, I started thinking about what can I do with This game gots me mobbin’ through
my town with no remorse in me.
my life. I went looking for a job and got one at Champs. Then I
started saving up and got a car.
No one was forcing me to live the life I’ve lived.
I started thinking about my family and told myself that it
But the gang influence infected my head.
was a good thing that my family kicked me out because if they
didn’t, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So I think that it I’ll dig my own grave,
made me a better person in life. I’ve dug my own grave for when I die.
-Jose, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is such an inspiring story; we hope that it
encourages some Beat readers to do the same. How did you end up in ‘Cause I refuse to be a slave while alive.
the hall? What went wrong? It sounded as if you were doing so great! I’ve never followed orders, never took commands.
What will you do to get back on track?
Catch me if you can, I’ll be damned
if I stand still.
I’m Coming Up Officers killed people that they might have done
I’m not really feeling the topics too much. I’m just going to go off killed people too, but not just anyone.
the top of my head.
As far as I could remember, I always wanted to be a gangster Religiously living under the gun
— not the prison type gangsters you see on the streets. I wanted and still praying to the Father and Son.
to be more of a mobster, like Tommy in “Goodfellas” (not to
mention that’s a bad-ass movie). I’m just chilling doing my thang,
There are no gangsters like that out here in the Bay. Imagine but hurt my family and friends and death I will bring.
how gangsters in San Jose would look coming out of a Bentley
or something fitted with a tuxedo? Would cops try to arrest us Trying to live in this life of sin.
then? But now I’m an incarcerated minor that just wants to get Sometimes I wish this life would end.
To have relief from this pain that won’t let me live
out of jail and take care of my family. Now that I’m looking at
At times I wish for brighter days
some years, I just want to be a guy that takes care of the fam and
There’s a chance I’ll live where the fires blaze
own his own house/car and travels.
So I’m a keep living my life how it has to be.
I want to go places. I just want to be successful, show
certain people that made me feel low how high I really am and From The Beat: We hope you don’t wait to the end to make the right
how great I can be. To all the people who ever put me down and changes in your life. We hope the changes come sooner than later
because we believe you are a great writer with a bright future.
looked down on me. “I’m coming up” I’m going to be so up there,
people won’t even reach my heels…
-G, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We can understand how seductive the movie version of
a gangster’s life can be — big cars, beautiful women, the newest clothes, Everytime
and all the bling. But you have to remember that a movie is a movie, Every time I would go home high or drunk, my mom would hate
and that those “Goodfellas” ended up in prison or dead! Now that you
are maturing, you are looking at the world more like an adult than a it and kick me out of the house. She’d call my dad or some family
child. Your words remind us of a book we read called “Too Soon Old, Too member to see if they could take me to their house for the rest
Late Smart.” Lucky for you, you got smart before it’s too late! of the day till I got sober.
After I would be sober, I would talk to my mom and ask her
“how come you kick me out, if you said this would always be my
home to go to?” She always tells me that she loves me no matter
Judging One Another what and would do anything for me, so I could keep safe.
My great grandmother was judged by the color of her skin. It shocks me when I see my mom do these actions. It makes
March 12th, 1950, Willma Pratt was born. In 1955, when she was me feel like she just lies to me and for that I feel it’s hard to trust
four, she was raped by her teacher during the segregation. My her. I know she just looks out for herself and her health before
grandmother told her mother three weeks later. Willma’s mother she would deal with my behavior.
went to the news, and told her daughter’s story. The Mississippi After a while I’ll get over it and see what I keep doing wrong,
police took her teacher to jail, but when he took it to trial, my so that I could change my actions and stay living with my mom.
grandmother lost the fight. I love my mother a lot and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. So
-Anonymous, San Francisco now I don’t come home under the influence anymore.
From The Beat: This is one of many stories of terrible racial injustice at -Daniel, Santa Clara
that time in that place. Has your grandmother’s experience made you From The Beat: If this is how you feel when your mother does this
judge white people, or southerners, in a different way from how you to you, what do you think she feels when you come home wasted? Is
judge others? Have you talked to your grandmother about the changes this the only way to show respect to your mother and to yourself? No
she has seen in the country from that time to this time? further question…
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Judge Me? I Say: So What? My Mother Is An Elder Who De-
Many people look at me and judge me only by my physical
features. They don’t take the time to get to know me and see serves Respect
who I really am. I think my mom is the elder in my family that deserves respect
If I were to remove my glasses, people would see the pain in because she is the reason I am the way I am.
my eyes. If people were to talk to me, they would hear the voice of I thank God for giving me the mom I have right now that is
a girl who cries. But even if people would try to get close to me, I drug free and for her being so wise and teaching me a lot of good
would try to shut them out. So they won’t hurt me emotionally. stuff.
Many people won’t take the time to get to know me though. Some memories that I have that makes me think that my
So they just judge me off my size, my shape, and the guard I mom deserves all my respect is that when I had a girlfriend and
constantly have up. Really I almost don’t care. I just brush it off. when it was over for us, she made me realize that it is not the
But I love my boo, Scrappy. last or the best relationship and made me feel good by talking to
-Eriqua, Alameda me about life.
From The Beat: If people don’t want to take the time to get to know the -Javier, Santa Clara
real you, then they aren’t worth having in your life. Yet despite your From The Beat: You are a blessed to have such a great mom, and she is
fear, you need to use better judgment than to shut out all those who blessed to have a son who has so much love for her. What are her hopes
try to get close to you (except Scrappy). for your future? What do you need to do to make her proud?
I Am An Aquarius Getting The Boot
So I’m an Aquarius and I live up to my water-bearing sign. I I’ll be getting the boot pretty soon from the system because I’ll
personally think my horoscope is hella interesting. I think be eighteen in 78 days. I have so many different emotions about
it’s crazy how people are. I think I’m exactly like my Aquarius the situation. At times I’m excited, then I get worried.
description of a female. I’m not ready to be an adult because people will expect so
Here’s some of what an Aquarius female is like: Aquarian much from me.
females are loyal, but don’t try to tie us down. We like our When I was about fourteen or fifteen or so I would say all the
freedom. We can like up one day and then love down the next. time, "I can’t wait to be grown." But now that I’m approaching
We’re sweet and nice, but we know how to be mean, too. We that grown status I’m talking about wanting to be sixteen again
speak our minds, but won’t try to force our opinion on you. We so I can have a chance to change my life.
are honest and expect you to be, also. We are smart, so don’t So now that I’m turning eighteen soon I’ll be getting the
try to test us. We are creative, coy, compassionate, and vain. We boot. At the same time my situation is a catch for me because I
have lots of friends, but only a couple of close homies. In the end don’t have any help when I get out I’ll be on my own. But you live
we are kinda anti-social, and like being alone. And that’s us. and you learn.
-Angel, Marin -Boss Lady, Alameda
From The Beat: It’s interesting that you cite the love of freedom as an From The Beat: Trust us, at eighteen you still have plenty of chance to
important quality for Aquarians. So, how does that love of freedom change. We are more interested in what you expect from yourself as an
translate into changes you need to make in order to hold onto it? We’d adult than in what others expect of you. No one is ever perfectly ready
love for you to write more about yourself and your family, and especially to be an adult, and no one is a perfect adult. You'll continue growing
about what this experience of tying you down (and surrounding you up all your life, as we all do. We have hopes you'll continue to develop
with walls) has changed about how you think of your future activities. your writing talent all along the way!
(Or, has it?)
Why Who’s To Blame
Why is my way of living cold? Who the hell’s to blame, in this dirty filthy game?
Why am I young but feel old? I’ve been in and out of jail, I feel my wife’s pain.
Why am I here? Take a look at my eyes,
Why is justice not fair? you’ll see they’re dripping like winter rain.
Why do people see me as a statistic? Why did Wino’s life get cut short from the game?
I ask because I feel I missed it. Pops got three strikes, 35 to life in the penitentiary,
I have not done anything wrong, why do I feel like I’m set up to hit the pen?
so why do they take me from my home? The system doesn’t see me,
Why do they strip me of my right? they see a gang banging Mexican
I don’t know, but for my freedom I’ll fight. Lord, last week I graduated
Either way I gotta get let loose, I’m determined to go to work again
because if not, justice will see a lawsuit! Can’t you understand I need to be there
-Lil' Nina, San Francisco As my wife conceives our kid?
From The Beat: Even when the system is wrong, it’s almost impossible Until my prayers are answered I’ll be posted here detained
to sue them. There is a principle called “Sovereign Immunity” which
shields government from lawsuits, unless they KNOW they are violating wondering who’s to blame in this dirty filthy game.
your rights. A few months ago, a man the government sent to death -Nico, Santa Clara
row, although they KNEW he was innocent (they framed him), finally From The Beat: You've written a very powerful piece. You talk about
discovered the evidence of the government’s lies. He sued them, and your desires and your regrets in language that makes your piece all the
they argued in the Supreme Court that citizens have no right not to be more unique. If they see a Mexican Lord, what do you see in yourself?
framed in this country! Think about it! Be aware not to make the same mistake your father made.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 17
co-pieces of the week
Fighting For My Son Gettin’ Kicked Out
Have you been kicked out of your house? Let me tell you I’m back in here, in the max unit, though. I got released to the
something. I was a girl that got pregnant in my first teen year. group home 33rd. They kicked me out that thang in five days,
I was livin’ with my moms, and she was the only person that not even a full week.
I could tell that I was pregnant, ‘because I thought she would
First, when I got out there, I had problems wit’ two boys
understand. But when I went to her, all she said was, “Get out
there. We had meetings an’ shhh. Then my mom took hella long
and see how it feels to be on your own!”
So what I did was pack my shhh and got ghost. I had to bring my clothes. The lady that run it said she didn’t want me
nowhere to go, but my best friend, Bee Bee, said, “You can move there if I’m gone fail, but I told her I ain’t. I thought I wasn’t.
in with me,” so I did. But my mom came around and she told me, Then, like the fourth day, I got caught smoking cigarettes.
“Everything is going to be all right.” But when it was time for me I don’t even smoke them thangs. I just ain’t smoked weed in
to have my son, my mom messed me over, because she had me so long, I just said, “Forget it,” and smoked like eight of them
sign a paper, sayin’ that I was handing my son over to her and my thangs. Had a meeting and shhh, then went to schoo’ an’ got to
stepdad. the last period, then got on a clown.
When I found out what I had done, I went crazy, because I He snitched on us an’ we went down. But I didn’t know that
know my son was not mine no more. My son knows who I am
the lady from 33rd was goin’ kick me out anyway ‘cause she was
now, because my mom told him I was his mom, so he calls me,
tired of me. So I’m in here. But I’m hot. I need to get out
“Mommy.” I was there for him for two years, even though my
mom had me move out, for my son would not know who I was. I -B.R, San Francisco
From The Beat: You should be hot — at yourself! You created the problems
miss him with all my heart and when I turn eighteen, I’m going for yourself. Instead of ignoring the boys you had problems with, you
to fight for him to live with me. went off on one. Instead of using your forced sobriety to clean out your
system, you decided you could break the rules with cigarettes. You only
-La La, San Francisco “need” to get out of here because you put yourself in here! When you
From The Beat: There are some serious lessons to be learned here. The do get out, we hope you think long and hard about what you need to
first is that no child of your age is prepared to be a mother. (You could do to stay out, and what you need not to do!
not earn your own way, had no way to make a living, and simply were
much too young to understand the responsibilities of parenthood.
You owed your son more than you could possibly deliver, which was
not fair to him.) You could have protected yourself against becoming
pregnant, and you chose not to, another sign of a child’s thinking. You
owe your mom some gratitude for protecting your son, because if not,
Child Protective Services would have taken him from you when you
got locked up. If you REALLY want your son, then you cannot allow
yourself to do the things that put you here, because when the court
considers his best interest, they will judge how responsible you are
based on where you have been and here you are going. You have to
show the court that you can be responsible for yourself before they will
allow you to be responsible for a child.
A Rainy Day
What’s up this is Grimm. This time I’m gonna talk about the
topic. This one shall be about the last time I walked through
Today I went to court, and before I could leave, they searched
me, then wrapped me in chains, but my co-partner got to go first
so I had to wait in a cell. I had to take off my shoes before going
in the cell. I had to take off my shoes before going in the cell but
thanks to the chains, I couldn’t reach my shoes.
So the cop sat there laughing at me while I struggled at
taking them off. After two minutes, I gave up and just looked at
him with one shoe half off. He felt that was the time to help me.
So all he did was undo the straps and I kicked them off. When I
left the cell, he expected me to put them on by myself. He had to
help me put them on by doing the straps and making me slid my
shoe in and he did the straps.
When I did get outside, I had two cops holding my arms one
behind me and one in front of me and one more with a shotgun
twenty feet away.
-Grimm, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This sounds like a scene of an action movie, the way
they secured your journey to court. How do you feel about the way you
were treated? Do you think there was a need for them to act the way
they did? If the cop helped you at first, would you have handled the
situation in a different or more comfortable way? The time is now to
stop putting yourself and your family in such a humiliating position.
Get yourself right!
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What’s Up Beat How I Feel Inside
What's up with it Beat? I’m up here waiting to get sentenced on the I fell in love with you "Priscilla" I want to be with you forever
26th of this month. I know I’m doing some time because I’m here You are my true love
for a serious case. So, I got a lot of time on my hands. I’m gonna Because most of the girls are always telling lies But you, you
use it wisely and finish my high school credits and graduate. always state facts
Well, I got to go. Till next time Beat and for all my ninjas out Baby you are my number one You are my one and only love
there doing time keep your head up. that's not a lie I don't act I just state facts You are mine and
-Omar only mine If anybody bothers you, I will let them Know what
From The Beat: You already got the right idea. Stay busy by reading, time is i
exercising, etc. So you can have a clear mind and prepare yourself for
when you get out. Much love to my future wife" Priscilla".
From The Beat: She is going to feel hurt and leave you if you keep doing
all of this dumb stuff. You need to show her you love her not just through
words but through actions too. Think about her next time you’re free and
Placement thinking about doing something stupid, because next time you get locked
up she might not wanna wait.
What’s up Beat? I just went to court today and I was supposed to
find out where I was gonna be placed at. They’re making me wait
until February 22nd and that's when they're gonna tell me if I'm
gonna go to the "Y" or somewhere else like ROP.
-The Waiting Game
From The Beat: Good luck with your court date and hopefully everything
works out for you. Don’t mess up when you do get to your program,
because it will only make things worse. Expect the worse and hope for
the best, but keep a positive attitude and positive things will come your
Getting Kicked Out Of Middle School
In middle school I use to get kicked out every day because I use to
disrespect the teachers and have fights. When I got to high school
I was smarter than I was in middle school. I started listening more
so I can be something in life. Then I got kicked out of school for not
going to school. So I went to a school that helps you get credits. So
now I'm close to graduating.
From The Beat: That’s great to hear, keep up the good work and graduate.
Whether you think so or not school is very important it will help you later
on in life.
The Last Time I Saw The Rain
Man the last time I stepped or even walked in some rain was about
a year ago. At the time I probably was saying that I hated the rain
and wanted nothing to do with it. Since I’ve been in jail I’ve been
missing everything like the sun, the moon, the rain, and the wind.
Up in here there isn’t anything but heat and stuffed air. Ninjas
don't be brushing their teeth and they mess up the air. That's
probably why we’re having global warming.
From The Beat: Once you are locked up it really makes you appreciate
everything that you took for granted while you were free. We hope that
when you do get out you remember these little things that you took for
granted so you won’t ever have to miss your freedom or anything else.
Before I Got Locked Up
Before the kid got locked up moms kicked me out and I had to
Getting Kicked Out go live with my aunty for a couple of weeks. The feeling I had was
I use to get kicked out of class and I use to be just doing my own something I can't describe. I mean mom did me shady, but I did
thing. I just came there to chit chat and wasn't worried about it to myself because I was disrespecting her by coming into the
paying attention to the assignment. I use to hate getting kicked house at all times of the night.
out because all the attention would be on me. When I got kicked I would smoke weed in the house and bring girls into the house
out I felt stupid because I got kicked out for something stupid. I when I wasn't supposed to. I remember when I was disrespecting
felt like the class clown at that moment. my step-dad and he left the house. I'm one of the reasons my step-
-Kicker dad and moms are having bad problems.
From The Beat: Well if you don’t want to feel like the class clown then -Ques
stop acting a fool. It’s not that hard to realize that if you don’t want to From The Beat: Do you plan on trying to fix some of the problems now
get kicked out then don’t do dumb stuff. When you go to class don’t be that you recognize them? If you want to have a happy house then you
disrespectful to the teacher they are just trying to do their job, plus teach got to put some work in to. Don’t be afraid to man up and admit to the
you something valuable in life. mistakes you made.
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Doin’ His Time I Remember
I’m blessed because I’m still alive. I remember the first day I saw you
Some people just up and die. I remember your beautiful brown eyes
Don’t try to be your ninja’s Bonnie, I remember when we first hugged and kissed
‘Cause he sure isn’t tryin’a be your Clyde. I remember those wonderful days we spent together
Locked up but not trying to be confined? I remember the first time you said you loved me
That ninja got you doing his time! I remember all those wonderful moments
I’m blessed though, But what really matters is that we’re still together
Because now I can think with my own mind. And I just want to say I love you Lil’ Angel
Thinking about my son, Forever and ever
Is what causes me to strive -Dreamer
Harder because I got baby Christian in my life. From The Beat: Your Lil’ Angel can’t help but love this poem. But you can’t
keep coming in and out of jail and expect love to last forever. Make a
-Young D decision to change how you think and act, and then make it a reality so
From The Beat: That you feel blessed even though you’re locked up shows after your release you stay free.
spiritual strength. But if you have a child, there is no good reason to be in
jail doing “his time”. Keep your head up. Live and learn.
Judging One Another I’m worried
I don’t judge on looks, but looks are big in my life. Judging is not a Don’t know if my
good thing. I hate people when they judge others by their cover. Baby’ daddy
For example, I was walking down the street and I saw a bag Going to stay alive
man. What I mean by bag man, is that I saw a homeless person. Or be buried
Well, I thought it was a homeless person, but it was not. This As the days go by
shows what I mean by judging people by their cover. I know I’ve I sit and pray
done it in the past, but I am trying to fix it. That he’ll make it
-Alexus To see another day
From The Beat: Judging is not a good thing? Don’t we need to use good Hoping when he comes back
judgment throughout our lives in order to make good decisions? Perhaps
you mean condemning people is not a good thing, or misjudging people, He’ll go another way
or judging simply by looks? But I wonder if he stays
The same way
Will I stay
Or will I be strong enough
Kicked Out Man To walk away
What’s good, Beat? It’s your boy, DJ, moving mean in the unit, I just hope and pray
writing on these topics once again. Tonight I’m writing about being We’ll be able
kicked out. To change our ways
I’ve been kicked out of class many times at school. I’m hella And make it together
goofy, so I be roasting people in class and laughing out loud. My To see another day
teachers say I be disrupting class, so I have to leave and do my We should all try to change
work somewhere else. Instead of making
-Dj Juvenile hall
From The Beat: It’s not a bad thing to be a goofy kid, but when it gets
disruptive is when it becomes a problem. Just choose the right time and Our permanent place to stay
place to display your humor. -Lee-Lee
From The Beat: If you can change, that should encourage him to try. He’ll
need support if he wants to change, just as you will, and maybe you can
do it together. Ultimately his decision is up to him just as yours is up to
you. But if you need to walk away, let him know your love won’t fade and
Getting Kicked Out you’ll be there for him when he’s ready to change. It just might save his
I get kicked out of everything: school, football teams and programs.
It seems like everything I get into, I get kicked out for some silly
stuff, like fighting or disrespecting peers and staff.
From The Beat: Do you mean it’s silly for you to keep getting into fights
and disrespecting folks? So why not stop?
Props To My Jefa
I give props to my mom. I am grateful to her because she raised
me. Maybe she did not have the chance to do the best she could
because she was always working. But then she was always working
because she wanted the best for me.
Props to My Uncle Still I made a lot of bad decisions. I them regret now. My mom
I give props to my uncle gave me everything, and I paid her back by being a bad son. I truly
because he used to sell drugs regret it now. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to pay her back the
and now he’s a principal right way when I get out of here.
in a school in Oakland. -Alberto
-Jabni From The Beat: The right way to pay her back is by never coming back to
From The Beat: When a desire to change is coupled with hard work and jail. And help her out at home, not by offering money you made through
determination, there is hope both for drug addicts and juvenile detainees putting your freedom at risk but by being where you’re supposed to be so
to succeed in life. you can work to succeed.
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Respect Respect For Mom and Dad
I respect Those in my family who deserve all my respect are my mom and
everyone that dad. Because ever since I was born, they’ve been taking care of me
I want to have and trying their best to give me a better life.
respect me. Even when they were struggling with money, they would
My mom always give me a little, or sometimes a lot. They’ve always given
always said that. me something, and I appreciate that.
“Respect others As for me, myself, I have made mistakes and most of them I
if you want others wish I could go back on and correct them. Right now I’m in juvenile
to respect you.” hall for something I didn’t do but got charged for it anyway. I have
-Christopher already been here for a couple weeks, and the time I saw my parents
From The Beat: Respect is not a one-way street. when they came to visit, it made me feel bad to see them leave.
All they ever wanted me to do, was go to school and be
successful. Once I get out this place, I’m going to try my best in
She Wanted Me to Change school to graduate.
I don’t want to think about my girl. I think I will never see her From The Beat: Before you feel too sorry for yourself, think of all the
again. I miss all the times I spent with her. Four years ago, when things you did that might have gotten you arrested but didn’t. Many think
the only mistake is getting caught. You know better. When you make
I first met her, it was the best time of my life. She was the only mistakes, learn from them. Then think before you act (and never trust
positive influence I had. She wanted me to change. I said I would your mind in the heat of the moment). Don’t try just for your parents. Do
when I turned eighteen. it. For you!
Three weeks before my eighteenth birthday, the police raided
my house. I had just got into a fight with my girlfriend and hurt her
a lot. She always wanted me to do good, but I waited too long. The
police found my gun and took me away. All I can think about now Up In Camp
is how I hurt her. What’s up, Beat! I’m in Camp now, and it’s cool up in here. You
-Hurting have a lot more freedom than you do in the hall. I’ve been going to
From The Beat: The things we’re in no hurry to do, are often the things school every day and trying to do cool so I can get my high school
we need to start doing ASAP But it’s never too late to change. Start now. diploma.
Today. It’s an inside job anyway.
I’m also taking an EMT (emergency medical technician, or
paramedic) class that can benefit me when I get out. The homeys
up in here are hella cool, too. And I have only two more weeks to
Anxious go till I get my first home visit – I can’t wait! Well, that’s all I guess,
What’s good Beat? This is Precious, for this week. Late’.
Once again telling you how I feel. -Big Bird
From The Beat: It’s great that you’re doing something productive with your
Anxious: I can’t wait till my court. time up at Camp: learning skills you can use after you get out and working
Anxious: I can’t wait to leave. toward your HS diploma.
Anxious: I can’t wait to go to my group home.
Anxious: I can’t wait to get my time over with.
Anxious: I can’t wait to be in my own home.
Anxious: I can’t wait to wear my own clothes. Winco
Anxious: I can’t wait to get out of here. I’ve been kicked out of every Winco in the nation. I was so drunk
-Precious and high one night that I went in and just started breaking bottles
From The Beat: Are you anxious to get out in order to do something
positive with your life or just be back on the streets?
of alcohol and destroying stands. I ran around the store knocking
stuff out of the shelves and breaking refrigerator doors.
Security came and tried to get me. So I grabbed two cases of
beer and ran out the door. I made it down the street, but then a cop
Love and Respect for Grandma car pulled me over. So I threw a case at the cop car and hopped over
The elder in my life that I feel deserves respect from me – is my a fence. I ran down the next street, but when I turned the corner I
grandmother. She has been here for me every single time I needed saw two cops running at me. And when I turned to run from them,
her. I ran into a car, tripped and fell.
I love her to death, and I would die for her. I would make sure I got caught and I did four months. Then I was released on
she feels no pain if I had the power to. I love my grandma with all GPS. Well, that’s just another one of my crazy days.
my heart. She deserves everything in the world, and I want her to -Mikey
From The Beat: This is why being so young on drugs and alcohol is not a
be a peaceful woman. good idea. You do dumb stuff when you’re under the influence. Time to
When I get out, I’m gonna show her as well as my mom and look at your drug and alcohol use.
my boyfriend how much I love and respect them. My grandma is a
loving woman. She is pretty, short, with light hair and glasses.
And if you really look at her, you can see how she must have
looked as a teen. Beautiful! Then and now. Props To My Mother
-J I give props to my mother. Because she’s my momma, and she’s the
From The Beat: We must learn to respect our elders, for wisdom comes one that really took care of me. She is the one that has always been
with age, even if sometimes it’s hard for us to see it. When love such as
yours for your grandmother is added to respect, what could be better? there for me. She’s the one that’s shown me love till this day.
Well, maybe showing it by bringing them joy and pride rather than worry -Marcell
and trouble. From The Beat: So why are you causing her all this pain?
sta n d o ut s ts
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Dancing In The Rain Grandma Been Good To Me
the rain is good for you Grandma raised me on her own
the fresh air and the wet smell And she took us in and let us have a home
when you’re thinking When we were sitting back in the dark all alone
about a song and My grandma comes to visit me faithfully
just turf dancing and She’s always answering the phone
just hit it and I’m feeling like Drake
dance until your soaked I’m just so far gone screaming
and go in the house and The hell is going on
wait for the next rainy day My grandma is the farthest thing from calm
-Young Love Her nerves are getting strung
From The Beat: You make dancing in the rain sound like a great way to But she’s keeping it strong
pass time (and stay away from troublemaking).
She’s keeping my head living long
From The Beat: Your grandma sounds as if she is there for you come hell
or high water. So what will you give her in return after the heartache of
Pieces of My Life your incarceration ends?
My mom gets my respect, because she has been there for me even
when I was in the wrong. I used to judge people, but now I don’t.
And yes, I got kicked out of school, because I was fighting, also,
for being hella drunk. My Momma Bear
The last time I walked in the rain was when: I left school early Dear Beat,
and I didn’t go home. I was with some of the other kids from the I miss my momma bear! Every time I hear her voice or see her
school, and we were smoking. Then the cops rolled up on us. But beautiful smile at court I get teary-eyed. Damn I feel like such a
they let me go, because I had a permit to leave school. The people failure I just wanna do good and go back with my moms. I miss her
I was with, didn’t. I don’t know what happened to them. I went hella much. My mom is the only person who never left me. She’s
home. the reason I don’t give up, her and my granny.
-Kyla Well I promise when I get out I'm gonna do good, not just for
From The Beat: First off, props to your mom! Now repay her being there me but for my momma bear. I love you mommy!
for you no matter what, by learning from your mistakes, so you can bring -Sweetpea
her pride and joy rather than worry and trouble. You’ll be happier, too. From The Beat: You are fortunate to have such a great mom and to realize
And you’ll stay free! how important she is. You have great motivation to "do good." What does
"do good" mean to you? How are you going to do that? What's your plan,
Beauty Is In The Eye of The Be-
holder Average Male Teenager
One day this man met a girl. His name was Mark and her name was After three years of being away from here, you wouldn’t think I’d be
Gabriella he thought she was absolutely beautiful! Truth is, she back here again now. But you’d be wrong. I’m right back up in here,
wasn’t - she was an ugly beast-like gremlin. All his friends told him just five months after I was released from my group home. I served
but he didn’t want to hear it. What he saw was a P.Y.T. and he loved two years straight with a total of only six home passes!
her and stayed with her despite what his boys said. And he was It’s hard to try to change when I know it’s easier to keep doing
happy with her and she was happy with him. They weren’t going to what I do. What am I supposed to do if Moms can’t buy me any
let anyone ruin their relationship. clothes, school supplies, et cetera? What am I supposed to do if
I hope you guys learned a valuable lesson reading this: Beauty nobody wants to hire a ninja with a record?
is in the eye of the beholder. Just like most so-called average, male teenagers, I have to
-Daisy watch my own and get money by any means. I try not to take from
From The Beat: We agree! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thank you others, but things happen.
for your story showing this.
From The Beat: Are you going to school? Trying to find all the resources
available to you? There’s always an out from that bind. You have to want
it enough not to give up, no matter what. Trust us, we’re talking from
Two I Respect The Most experience. But then, you wrote that you’re looking for an “easier” way.
How easy does it feel to be stuck in the system again so soon?
The people in my family I respect the most, would have to be my
mom and my grandmother.
My mom, the one who gave birth to me, is one of two people
in my life whom I respect the most. I lived with her in Ohio for the Respect and Success
first five years of my life, and then I moved to California to live with Respect! Feel me? That’s all I want, is respect, from everybody. If I
my grandmother. can’t get my respect, you can’t get your respect. Feel me?
Now I only see my mom a few times a year, when I get a So I’m gonna just kick back, because I’m trying to get out and
vacation or break. So my grandmother is the only other person go to the group home in Sac’. I’m trying to stay positive. And when
that I respect as much as my mother in my life, because she has I do get out, I’m gonna bounce back when I touch down.
taken care of me for most of the years of my life. It’s over. It’s time for me to get my dough up.
From The Beat: If your grandma has done so much for you, do not From The Beat: You’ve worked hard to get your mind right, but it can all
disappoint her by ending up in jail again. That goes double for your mom disappear over one bad weekend. Stay strong and straight, regardless of
who seldom gets to see you. Make them proud. what others say. Self-respect above all.
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A Gem I Remember
Rubies are red I remember the first day I saw you
Sapphires are blue I remember your beautiful brown eyes
Emeralds are green I remember when we first hugged and kissed
But I’ve never seen I remember those wonderful days we spent together
A gem as beautiful as you I remember the first time you said you loved me
-Jamir I remember all those wonderful moments
From The Beat: This is a nice short poem. Write more about whom you But what really matters is that we’re still together
And I just want to say I love you Lil’ Angel
Forever and ever
A Love Story, Part Two From The Beat: Your Lil’ Angel can’t help but love this poem. But you can’t
keep coming in and out of jail and expect love to last forever. Make a
you my one and only, the love of my life decision to change how you think and act, and then make it a reality so
after your release you stay free.
my baby, my boo, my lady, my life
and just to show you that my love for you is strong
i wrote it in a love song
you my baby and my baby mama-to-be Two I Respect The Most
my boo, my wifey, my lady jaybee The people in my family I respect the most, would have to be my
i love you baby, to the death of me mom and my grandmother.
i love you with all my heart and the rest of me My mom, the one who gave birth to me, is one of two people
if loving you was wrong then arrest me please in my life whom I respect the most. I lived with her in Ohio for the
i got a taste for love and you’re the recipe first five years of my life, and then I moved to California to live with
you’re so sweet, and your love is addicting my grandmother.
your love is a drug and i’m fiending for a fixing Now I only see my mom a few times a year, when I get a
i hate it when you’re gone but i love when i’m with you vacation or break. So my grandmother is the only other person
i feel it in my bones every time that i kiss you that I respect as much as my mother in my life, because she has
your lips are seductive, soft and luscious taken care of me for most of the years of my life.
your beauty is amazing, your body is a blessing -Grateful
i just want to taste you, touch and caress you From The Beat: If your grandma has done so much for you, do not
disappoint her by ending up in jail again. That goes double for your mom
then make love because your love is best who seldom gets to see you. Make them proud.
you know that i love you girl there isn’t any question
i wrote it in a song to make sure you get the message
From The Beat: She’ll get the message if you send this. Parts one and two
were both so splendid, we hope you never end it. But you need to add My Court
action to feeling. You need to change your game so you can remain free Q-vole, Beat? This is the carnal Kash de Oakland. I’m still in this
to be with mother and child. Love’s promise: no more crime, no more jail
time; honest. weak Alameda County Juvenile Hall putting it down. Well, I had
court last Thursday, and I thought I was gonna get out, but the
judge keeps on playing with me.
The DA had the nerve to mention Boys Republic or ROP, and I
Bad Dreams was heated because of that. There’s still a possibility that I could
get out on my next court date. At least my little carnalito Willie got
What’s up, Beat? This is Lil’ Mouse back in this thing. And man,
out, so I’m glad for him. But now my ninja from my hood came to
I’ve been having these weird dreams about hella sad things, like
this unit. I hope we both get out on the same day. And to all doing
my girlfriend’s sister getting killed and dreams about my friends
tiempo, keep your heads up.
I’ve been dreaming about being on the outs, which is cool. But From The Beat: It’s hard to hand your fate over to others, but at least you
sometimes I see myself dying out there, and that isn’t cool. have a release date coming. If you keep “putting it down with the homies”
on the outs though, you won’t stay free. Try to think about what it will
-Lil’ Mouse take to make a better future for yourself – and be a role model for your
From The Beat: Over time we’ve come to understand that you plan to
homies in that way.
return to your old hustle, which is not only a crime but puts your life on
the line. Your dream is telling you not to.
Real Life, People
Passage To My Granny Through dreams and poetry life changes
people’s lives, dreams and poetry.
To tell the truth, when I was a child I was never told to respect
my elders. Because I basically raised myself, growing up with one In other words, it rearranges
parent physically gone and another mentally. what they said on papers and what they act,
But I did have one person who played a huge role in my life, what we want to be, versus the fact
and that is my grandmother. So I guess I’d have to say she’s one of of what we can really be in real life.
the only elders in my life that I’m prepared to give respect to. People first dream it and then achieve it.
-Gee Real life can be set free by dreams.
From The Beat: You give respect where it’s due, and your grandmother -Chao
has earned your respect. Show it by making the changes in your life that From The Beat: Start with your dreams, and then work to make your dream
will keep you crime-free and, therefore, all-the-time free – you know she a reality. Anything’s possible, if you have the determination to achieve
wants to see it. what you first only dreamed.
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Walking In The Rain and Snow Getting Kicked Out Was Good For Me
The last time I walked in the rain was at my group home up in I got kicked out of school for getting arrested. I was in the ninth
Montgomery, up by the Oregon border. But there was more snow grade when I first came in here, but since I’ve been here, I got
than rain up there. myself bumped up to the tenth grade. So in a way I’m kind of happy
I ran from the group home, and then a couple weeks later I I got kicked out. If I hadn’t gotten kicked out, I would not have
turned myself in. In a way, it’s a good thing I turned myself in, been placed where I need to be: in tenth grade.
because they will release me when I turn eighteen in a few weeks. So I have to admit that by me being here, I got what I needed.
-Jake I also got kicked off the basketball team, and that made me mad
From The Beat: Congratulations on getting released. Still want to continue because I was on varsity!
down the wrong path? Or ready to change?
I took the placement test and was told I scored well, even
though I never took a tenth grade class on the outs. I scored a 209
in math and a 212 in reading. I must be doing something right.
Giving Moms Props Anyway, I guess the lesson here is: Getting kicked out of
The only elder I would give props to, is my mom, because she did a school doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As things worked out, it was
lot for me. She made sure I was fed, bought me clothes, and made good for me.
sure I was happy. -Mac
From The Beat: Every bad experience can be transformed into a good one
The only person I can really trust is my mom. I can talk to her if it’s accepted as a wake-up call and thus kicks your butt into gear. It
about anything, and she knows what’s wrong with me without even sounds like you were lucky to be in juvenile hall though, since on the outs
you might not have decided school was important after getting kicked
having to ask. My mom constantly tells me that she will always out.
protect me and that she would die for me if necessary.
Now it’s my turn to tell her that I would die for her because I
love her that much. I love you, Mom! And I give you hella props for
all that you’ve done for me. Problems
-The Beast Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing to life but problems. I’ve
From The Beat: A mother’s love, there is nothing that compares. Since you
love your mother to death, don’t put her through the torture of having to
never gone through a day without a problem. That’s why I want
see you locked up ever again. It won’t happen by only wishing and hoping to live up to my dream and get a job that’s going to pay enough to
not to get caught. support family and more in my life.
It really stresses me out that there’s always a problem, but it
also motivates me to do better, so I want to go to school, finish my
EMT (emergency medical technician, or paramedic) class and get
Respect the right job to accomplish my dreams. Without enough money,
I respect there are a lot more problems in life.
everyone that The street life is risky, because as soon as you’re on top,
I want to have making money, you go to jail. You go down for a gun charge or
respect me. possession. And then while you’re in jail, you lose your money and
My mom your product. And your family’s crying. And you have to start all
always said that. over again.
“Respect others Then you’re on the corner trying to get money again. Then you
if you want others get arrested, and it happens all over again. The point is: Change
to respect you.” your life.
From The Beat: Respect is not a one-way street. From The Beat: It’s easy to get caught in the system, and once you do, it’s
difficult to get out. Don’t let yourself be a victim of the prison/jail system.
You write as if you have the will power and determination to break out
of the system’s revolving door of release-arrest-release-arrest, ‘cause that’s
Getting Kicked Out Was Good For Me
I got kicked out of school for getting arrested. I was in the ninth
grade when I first came in here, but since I’ve been here, I got Camp Isn’t Cool
myself bumped up to the tenth grade. So in a way I’m kind of happy I’ve been here two weeks, and I hate it – everything about it!
I got kicked out. If I hadn’t gotten kicked out, I would not have Sometimes I feel like running, but I don’t want to disappoint my
been placed where I need to be: in tenth grade. mom.
So I have to admit that by me being here, I got what I needed. I’m just tired of being told what to do and being forced to
I also got kicked off the basketball team, and that made me mad shower with a bunch of criminals. And I’m especially tired of being
because I was on varsity! around annoying kids with problems. I just keep to myself and
I took the placement test and was told I scored well, even mind my own business, so I can get through this program, which
though I never took a tenth grade class on the outs. I scored a 209 is six months for me.
in math and a 212 in reading. I must be doing something right. I wish I didn’t do what I did to get here. It’s really not worth it.
Anyway, I guess the lesson here is: Getting kicked out of There’s nothing to do though but to get over it – and try not to get
school doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As things worked out, it was in any fights or catch any incidents.
good for me. -Lil’ Dawkins
-Mac From The Beat: If you see that what you did was really not worth it,
From The Beat: Every bad experience can be transformed into a good one then this program is working, ‘cause that’s the most important lesson it
if it’s accepted as a wake-up call and thus kicks your butt into gear. It teaches. And you’re right in thinking if you don’t get into fights or have
sounds like you were lucky to be in juvenile hall though, since on the outs .
incidents, you’ll complete your program ASAP We also advise you to stay
you might not have decided school was important after getting kicked occupied with whatever activities are available there, ‘cause it makes your
out. time goes faster and helps you stay out of trouble too.
stan d o u t s
staCounty o u t s
She Wanted Me to Change Kicked Out
I don’t want to think about my girl. I think I will never see her Yes, I have been kicked out of my home before. It was me and
again. I miss all the times I spent with her. Four years ago, when my sister and we were both out in the rain and we didn't have
I first met her, it was the best time of my life. She was the only anywhere to go.
positive influence I had. She wanted me to change. I said I would My sister called my aunty but my aunty only let me come to
when I turned eighteen. her house and my sister gave me money to get on the BART but I
Three weeks before my eighteenth birthday, the police raided don't know what happened to her that night.
my house. I had just got into a fight with my girlfriend and hurt her -Lil’ D.
a lot. She always wanted me to do good, but I waited too long. The From The Beat: It sucks not having a place to rest your head at, at night.
We hope that this isn’t something that happens all the time. Why did you
police found my gun and took me away. All I can think about now get kicked out?
is how I hurt her.
From The Beat: The things we’re in no hurry to do, are often the things
we need to start doing ASAP But it’s never too late to change. Start now.
Today. It’s an inside job anyway. Parents
What's popping Beat? Well some of the elders I've grown to respect
and admire are my parents and some parents of my homies. My
parents always tried to give me the best they could, they’ve come
Once I get out this
from another country to seek a better life.
I didn't care about them at a certain point in life. Even after all
my mistakes they're here for me and they're pushing me forward.
place, I’m going
One of my homegirl’s mom, I got a lot of respect for because
she told me it was ok to move in with them and this was before I
got kicked out. She always encouraged me to do good, and when I
to try my best in
was living with them she signed me up into school and never asked
anything of me. Basically if I had wanted to just be lazy and not do
anything I could’ve but that would be cool.
One of my homies moms also took me in before I moved into
school to graduate. my homegirl’s house. She let me stay with them while her son, my
homie, was locked up. She let me borrow the car and bring people
to the house. There's plenty people I can write about but I just
don’t have the time so I'm out.
From The Beat: It sounds like you’re appreciative of all of this? Why would
Respect For Mom and Dad you get your self in a position to get locked up? You have a lot of people to
support you so why don’t you use all this support so you can move forward
Those in my family who deserve all my respect are my mom and with your life and stop living it behind closed doors.
dad. Because ever since I was born, they’ve been taking care of me
and trying their best to give me a better life.
Even when they were struggling with money, they would
always give me a little, or sometimes a lot. They’ve always given
me something, and I appreciate that.
A Love Story, Part Two
you my one and only, the love of my life
As for me, myself, I have made mistakes and most of them I
my baby, my boo, my lady, my life
wish I could go back on and correct them. Right now I’m in juvenile
and just to show you that my love for you is strong
hall for something I didn’t do but got charged for it anyway. I have
i wrote it in a love song
already been here for a couple weeks, and the time I saw my parents
you my baby and my baby mama-to-be
when they came to visit, it made me feel bad to see them leave.
my boo, my wifey, my lady jaybee
All they ever wanted me to do, was go to school and be
i love you baby, to the death of me
successful. Once I get out this place, I’m going to try my best in
i love you with all my heart and the rest of me
school to graduate.
if loving you was wrong then arrest me please
From The Beat: Before you feel too sorry for yourself, think of all the i got a taste for love and you’re the recipe
things you did that might have gotten you arrested but didn’t. Many think you’re so sweet, and your love is addicting
the only mistake is getting caught. You know better. When you make
mistakes, learn from them. Then think before you act (and never trust your love is a drug and i’m fiending for a fixing
your mind in the heat of the moment). Don’t try just for your parents. Do i hate it when you’re gone but i love when i’m with you
it. For you!
i feel it in my bones every time that i kiss you
your lips are seductive, soft and luscious
your beauty is amazing, your body is a blessing
In The Rain i just want to taste you, touch and caress you
then make love because your love is best
The last time I was in the rain, I was in a good mood. Even though
you know that i love you girl there isn’t any question
I was walking with only an umbrella and no jacket, I still felt good.
i wrote it in a song to make sure you get the message
Then the sun came out while it was still raining! It started to get
hot outside, but I thought it was nice. From The Beat: She’ll get the message if you send this. Parts one and two
-Jamir were both so splendid, we hope you never end it. But you need to add
From The Beat: Sounds like it started off an ugly day and turned into a action to feeling. You need to change your game so you can remain free
nice one. Maybe being sentenced to camp, too, can turn out that way for to be with mother and child. Love’s promise: no more crime, no more jail
you. time; honest.
sta n d o ut s ts
sta n d o u County
A Couple of Months To Go The Best Person Ever
What’s up, Beat? It’s your boy, Chucky, still up in here Camp Well the best person ever is my boyfriend. It is hella funny how I
Sweeney. It’s cool up here. You feel me? met him from my patna. I used to flirt with him and he would act
Ninjas be talking hella trash though, and it makes you want stuck up then one day he texted me and from there we started
to just take off on some ninja. But then I know I got to think about talking.
my girl and my little girl on the way! I liked him ever since I saw him. I knew I was going to pull him
My girl is five-and-a-half months pregnant. I was with her last and when that happened my whole life turned around. He’s been
weekend and felt my little girl kick/hit! I was hella juiced. She’s there for me through thick and thin he helps me in every way he
hella strong! I can’t wait for these next three months to go by. can. He helped me stop using drugs. He helps me focus in school
I’ll be here five more months, and I’m out’ this thing. I’m gonna and he always has some good advice all the time. Even though he’s
go get me a job and support my new family. Feel me? That’s all I got from another town he comes to see me all the time.
for you this week, Beat. I’m hella sad because I hella miss him. He told me he was
-Lil’ Chucky gonna wait for me. But still, I’m hella depressed in here knowing
From The Beat: Since you have a baby on the way, you definitely do not he’s out there running the streets.
want to do anything that would lengthen your time. It’s great that you
have the chance to experience your girl’s pregnancy firsthand, even if I learned my lesson and this is gonna be my last time up in
it’s only on home passes. You’ll make a great dad, if you can stay out of here on some real shhh. 'Cause I wanna be a better person for me
and him. I know I be messing up too much but I'm gonna change
-Weirdo and Big Head
From The Beat: You have great motivation to change, for you and for him.
The Last Time I Was In The Rain How are you going to do that? What does it mean to stop messing up?
What's your plan, your strategy?
The last time I was in the rain, I was sitting with my boyfriend
outside of school. I didn’t expect it to start raining but it did. I
always stay prepared, so I had my huge green umbrella. I brought
it out and my boyfriend started laughing at me - not like a, "you’re
a nerd" laugh, but a laugh like "aw babe, you’re so cute."
Q-vole, Beat? This is the carnal Kash de Oakland. I’m still in this
I also remember this moment because my boyfriend and I weak Alameda County Juvenile Hall putting it down. Well, I had
skipped first and second period that morning and because he kept court last Thursday, and I thought I was gonna get out, but the
asking me if I wanted his sweatshirt but I kept saying "no." judge keeps on playing with me.
I remember this day because it was the best and worse day The DA had the nerve to mention Boys Republic or ROP, and I
ever. It was the best because I had fun with my boyfriend all day was heated because of that. There’s still a possibility that I could
sitting in the rain talking. It was the worse because it’s the same get out on my next court date. At least my little carnalito Willie got
day I came to jail. out, so I’m glad for him. But now my ninja from my hood came to
-Tyler this unit. I hope we both get out on the same day. And to all doing
From The Beat: It's too bad that good moment turned bad. We are curious
about the rest of the story - in what ways did skipping school lead to your tiempo, keep your heads up.
arrest? Do you think now that there are appropriate times to be having -Kash
those special moments, so that they stay all good? From The Beat: It’s hard to hand your fate over to others, but at least you
have a release date coming. If you keep “putting it down with the homies”
on the outs though, you won’t stay free. Try to think about what it will
take to make a better future for yourself – and be a role model for your
Respect and Success
homies in that way.
Respect! Feel me? That’s all I want, is respect, from everybody. If I
can’t get my respect, you can’t get your respect. Feel me?
So I’m gonna just kick back, because I’m trying to get out and What Am I To Do
go to the group home in Sac’. I’m trying to stay positive. And when What am I to do if you leave me
I do get out, I’m gonna bounce back when I touch down. We been together and it ain't be easy
It’s over. It’s time for me to get my dough up. Feeling getting strong
-Casey So baby don’t leave me
From The Beat: You’ve worked hard to get your mind right, but it can all
disappear over one bad weekend. Stay strong and straight, regardless of I need you in my life, you complete me
what others say. Self-respect above all. You out having fun
Leaving me at home
Got me thinking what'd I do wrong
Should I stay or leave you alone
Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover We been cool since the day we met
“How could you be that way? Why do you act like that?” Everyone Ain't did nothing I regret
is different. It doesn’t matter how hard you look at them, you’ve You know everything I say is true
got to get to know someone to know what they’re about, to see So confused I don’t know what to do
what their personality is. Day one we became best friends
It’s like judging a book by it’s cover, before you read it. Some Months later you became my man
people may look different than your friends, but they could have a Everything I say is true
completely different personality than the way you think they might So now we would never end
be if you judge just by looking at them. -His Wife
-Young Love From The Beat: This is a nice poem about a hard situation. It's never easy
From The Beat: Everything you say is true, but what about you? Do you to be apart, especially when one person is inside. Are you staying honest
sometimes judge people by how they look. Tell us a story about a time with yourself and with him? Are you trusting the friendship that has been
that you did just that – and misjudged. there since the beginning?
sta n County u t s
sta n d o u t s
Where Is The Loyalty?
What’s good with The Beat? This ya boy, Bad Ass, up in this Ranch
thing, ya dig? A ninja jus’ finna talk about loyalty and how ninjas
don’t know how to be that. I know some ninjas that talk about
some shhh they don’t know shhh about (loyalty.) Yeah, you boys
talk about it, but you don’t know how to do it. See, wit’ me, if
you tell me you gone do something, jus’ do it. Don’t talk about, it,
be about it. See, that’s where you boys mess up at — you let yo’
mouth write checks that yo’ ass can’t cash.
You ninjas think this street shhh cool, but I lost hella ninjas
in this beef shhh, and some from unloyal fools that don’t know
how to be loyal. Connivin’-ass people—we know them as snakes,
bruh. All I could say is, if you feel like you’re being jam-packed
with them, cut your grass short. The hell with a circle, make a
triangle—(steady on the bottom, sharp on top.) What I mean by
“Cut your grass short” is—stop messin’ wit’ the folks you mess
wit’ and you’ll se the change in them. If fools can’t respect you for
doin’ you, then I advise you to do you. Take it from a ninja that
learned form experience, just stick to yourself. I know what some
of y’all thinking, that’s yo’ ninja’s real, “My ninja’s real.” I used to
think the same way. But all in all, I only mess wit’ my homies. I’m
From The Beat: It’s tragic that you’ve lost friends so young, but blaming
their loss on “unloyalty” makes it sound like they did nothing to bring
about these tragic consequences. The truth is that as long as you (or
your friends) are doing things that give the system power to control you,
then you bear the major responsibility for the consequences. Even close
homies who believe they will always be “loyal” (never snitch) might have
their belief tested if, by giving up information, they can save themselves.
Yes, some people will quickly cut a deal for themselves and betray you,
but knowing ahead of time who will and who won’t is impossible, so
complaining about it won’t stop it. There’s only one way to be sure you
won’t be snitched on, and that’s to do nothing that you can be snitched
Judging One Another
People get judged every day. Sometimes me and some of my cousins
walk outside, and as we walk by the cops, they sit there and stare.
When they roll by us, they stop and cheek us just because of the
Bottles Pop way we dress, talk, and walk. Then, when they see that we have
been arrested before, they call for more cops and then they check
I pop bottles in the party
all of us. Then they go to our house to see if we have guns or drugs.
My girl left me, I told her sorry
They have no reason.
And I got dough
I can’t keep these girls off me From The Beat: It’s interesting that you complain about the police judging
I let my pants hang low like Plies you by the way you dress, talk, walk, etc., but the word you use to describe
the cops tells us that you are making the same judgments about them (a
She all into me, I can see it in her eyes. word to describe an entire group of people rather than the individuals
-Not Signed in that group is pre-judgment) that you object to when made about you.
From The Beat: Your pants aren’t sagging, and no girls are hanging off Hmmmm.
you… You’ve let the system put you where the only girls you can get close
to are in your dreams and in your poems. Not the choice we would have
Judging One Another
I really don’t like judges. I as myself don’t judge people because
I’m Me (Holdin’ It Down) I think it can turn into a habit. People that judges me turns into
What’s up with The Beat, homes? Yeah, I’m in here grazin’ myself… being my hatas. But to me, judging others really does make you a
I’m an ex-drug addict and getting over the meth… hata ‘cause you should be busy judging yourself on the reason why
When I get out, I’m gonna be afraid of many people, and it’s not your judging others, feel me,? That’s just how I think.
going back to gang life. I’m a mommy’s boy and didn’t mean doing Gone. To all, keep ye head high.
all of that, that I did in the outs… -Yung G
-Snoopy From The Beat: Are you sure you don’t make any judgments about people
From The Beat: Although it is encouraging to read that you don’t plan to before you know them? When you see a cop, don’t you think a certain way
go back to the things you were doing that led you here, we’re wondering about him or her? When you walk into a courtroom, don’t you have certain
why you did them in the first place, especially knowing how much it hurt beliefs about the judge, your PO, the DA? If you saw a young man (your
your mother. You said you didn’t mean to do what you did, so why did age), a middle-aged white woman, and an older black man for the first
you? time, would you judge them all the same?
n Francisco t s
sta Sand o ut s
sta n d o u County
First Time Poppin’ A Pill Straight To County
What’s up with The Beat? Ya know this Vernisha. The first time I What it do with this Beat thang, mayne? I don’t feel like speaking
popped an ecstasy pill was when I was not yet fifteen, and it was upon these topics today.
not good. I went to Oakland to a party and these boys, they tried to I’ve been sitting in this thang for almost three months. This
get me to do stuff because they thought, since I’m on, I don’t know shhh really getting old. I’m getting tired of these punk-ass staff
what I’m doing. But I had went wit’ one of them. talking shhh and telling me what I can and can’t do. I got 30 days
Then we was out all night and we had went to Safeway and I left in this thang, and I’m back to the real world rather than this
was stealing some drank. I started fighting the security guard. I’m dream world, ya dig?
tryna stop poppin’ pills, but I can’t, because once I start, I can’t When I'm out this thang it ain't no juvenile, it straight county.
stop. It ain’t gone be no small time thang. I’m with the big dawgs in
-Vernisha there, where the homies is less bark and more bite, if you know
From The Beat: You say you “can’t” stop, but of course, you can. Many what I mean. They wont stop ya boy in what it’s gone be when I get
people have. But you have to really want to stop — enough to seek help,
because you can’t do it alone, as you’ve already demonstrated. The effects out. It’s hectic out there.
of ecstasy are long-term and very negative, and they are particularly bad on To all out there, one love.
the young, whose bodies and brains are not yet fully formed. Sometimes,
being a responsible adult means not doing what you like today, in order -Moreno
to buy yourself a better tomorrow. From The Beat: If you think things get easier in county jail (or state
prison), you are sadly mistaken. The consequences of not doing what staff
tells you to do in here are far less severe than the consequences for not
following staff at the next stops along the criminal justice highway. We
hope when you get back to “the real world,” you’ll think about the reality
I Think About You of jail and prison. If you don’t like it here, you’ll hate it there!
I can’t stop thinking about you. Our first kiss, the first time you
said, “I love you.” Our first date.
I can’t stop thinking about you, like the first time we met. It
was love at first sight. I felt like I knew you.
What’s up with The Beat? This yo’ outlaw J.N, man. I’m back in
I can’t stop thinking about you. When I see you, I can’t wait
here once again for a serious case, but I’m trying my hardest not
to hold you, to kiss you, to love you. And now that I am away from
to stress. I’m trying to stay strong for me and my loved ones, and
you, it hurts me to know that we will be apart. That breaks my
everybody that believe in me,
heart. Being in the halls makes me realize that a lot. Thinking
I was talking to my mom today. She said we go put this in
about you makes me want you more. I love you and I can’t top
God’s hand because this might be a long process. But I’ma keep my
thinking about you.
head up and do what I have to do to maintain up in here and stay
From The Beat: If this guy means so much to you — if you truly love him to myself. But the process just begun, and I’m out.
— why did you do whatever it was that allowed the system to take you -Yung J Newt
from him? Why risk something as valuable as love? Look where your risk From The Beat: Do you think God asks for more than just putting things
has taken you. in his hands? You are asking for God’s protection, but what does God ask
in return (if anything)?
Here Doing Time Fantasy
I’m sittin’ here, doin’ time. This shhh is gettin’ hard. I’m missing
Do you fantasize? I fantasize all the time about stuff. I’m to the age
my fam and my baby! I just can’t wait ‘til I get out. I go to court on
where I’m ready to experience different stuff. Ha ha. If you’re my
Thursday, that’s when my homies is getting out. I hope that I am,
age, you’re fantasizing about stuff, too, especially if you’re locked
too, ‘cause it’s gettin’ hard.
up. I know you been thinkin’ ‘bout your girlfriend or boyfriend, and
I ain’t really cryin’, but when I talk to my mom an’ my girl, they
the good times you all had. I know you miss ‘em. I know you wish
always make me cry. They make me realize how much I miss them
you could hold them one last time and give them your last kiss and
and how I shouldn’t never been with “him” that night. I should
hug. I wish I could hug mines one more time and feel the softness
have just went home! I’m here, doin’ time. I can’t wait to go home!
of his lips as he kisses me.
From The Beat: We know how much you want to be out of here and back -Crystal
with those that you love and that love you. But the time to think about From The Beat: If only all our wishes were as simple as yours, to feel the
that is before you do the things that lead you here. You know what the kiss of the one we love one more time. You know, Crystal, that you will
consequences are, so if there’s a repeat of the past “mistake,” people will have your wish when you get out from under this situation. But if you
think you like it here! truly value his kiss, then you won’t allow yourself ever to be put in this
situation again. It’s in your hands.
Honestly Making It Through
Hear me Making it through
Or see me Inside YGC
Never wanting to leave me Kindness won’t do
Escaping a fantasy Having a hard time
Still in your mind Against my will
Try to forget, but… Inside these white walls
You’re wasting your time Learning my lesson in the halls
From The Beat: Who are you writing this to? Are you saying that somebody From The Beat: We’re glad you’re learning your lesson, but we wish you’d
you once loved is holding on to a fantasy of love that you no longer write what that lesson is. What have you learned, and how will it change
share? what you do on the outs?
sta n County u t s
sta n d o u t s
Wake Up 10:00, Drinking! Judging One Another
What’s up, Beat? This ya girl, Tierney aka Tee Maine…ha ha. These I judge colored flags
girls hella funny, bound up in here! Man, I got two and a half mo’ Just like a judge seeing someone sag
months in here. Ain’t nothing I could do, though, except take it The difference is a colored rag
day by day. I drink Hennessey
Let’s see what chu wanna know…ummm! It’s hella depressing, And for sure if you’re my enemy
walking through the halls, seeing the boys I can’t even have a You better not get at me
conversation with them. At a wrong time
But let’s see, when I be on them thizz pills, I be hella fun Get off the turf that’s mine
to be around. I remember one time when I was on, I was walking I judge those gang signs
on Haight, trippin’ hella, just to see what people was about. Ha Yeah, I don’t act blind
ha. Doing hella shhh. Got more messed up and was dancing and ‘Cause the ‘hood is known for crimes
smoking, getting shhh light, ‘cause you got to live life like every Everybody judges, even a Nazi
day is your last. But, feel me, don’t get no wrong ideas about this, ‘Cause if they see me they might blast me
Beat, ‘cause I carry myself very well. Or they might jump me
-Tee Maine This is the cruel reality
From The Beat: You may carry yourself very well, but if thizzing and then Everybody wants money and good quality
adding drugs to your mix is your idea of living life “like every day is
your last,” one of those days may very well BE your last! The problem People die, it’s a sad tragedy
with relying on those drugs for your sense of fun is not only what might Thugs be thugging
happen when your head is not clear (including giving the system power
over your life), but what you are doing to your body and brain, both of And suckas be bluffing
which are still developing. It’s hard to be responsible and think like an Bodies just be stuffing
adult when you’re not there yet, but we urge you to make that effort.
The cemeteries so everybody be judging
From The Beat: Forgetting, for a minute, the judgments you make toward
that “other” colored rag (and the judgments of you based on your sagging
Somethin’ Keeps Pullin’ Me Back pants), it’s that Hennessey that most concerns us. We heard a report just
this morning that teenagers who drink to get drunk (even if only once a
Dear Beat, Wha’s up wit’ it? Ya boy been up in this thing for, like, week), put little dents in the part of their brains responsible for thinking
and concentration. So maybe, if you deal with that, yu would find better
more than a year. A ninja’ counselor say, like, I ain’t ready to go ways to express those judgments.
or somethin’. What he need to do is let me out so I can get back to
my family. It seem like every time I’m on my way home, somethin’
miraculously pull me back… But you can’t let nothin’ crush yo’
spirits behind these walls, ‘cause if you do, you lost… Until pen Judging Is A Form
meet pad again, let this marinate.
-Lil’ Phil Of Miscommunication
From The Beat: Maybe your counselor has looked at your past actions and I don’t judge nobody, ‘cause you know it’s a form of
concluded that it’s something you have control over that keeps pulling you miscommunication. You gotta keep yo’ thoughts to yourself. It’s
back. Have you thought, seriously, about what you want to do when you
are again able to make your own choices? If you have, maybe you should cool to judge somebody, but just keep it to yo‘self, ‘cause everybody
talk about that with your counselor so that he has more confidence that ain’t gotta know what you’ thinking. But, yeah, though.
you have a plan to change. Without that plan to change, he knows what
you should also know, that the consequences will also not change. -No Name
From The Beat: Wise advice. Making judgments about people can be a
form of warning, a storing of information, to keep yourself safe, and that’s
okay. Everybody has to learn to trust his/her own instincts—who is likely
to harm you and who isn’t? Do you think it’s okay to warn other people
when you don’t think this or that person may be sincere or reliable? That
Judging One Another—A Form Of gets tricky, doesn’t it?
Chea, B. This that young savage thug, Tamaine. What’s good wit’
ninjas judging one another? Nowadays, what I think it is, is self- Only God Can Judge Me
hatred. Dudes be trippin’ off that shhh. It’s time for a change of See the judge try to judge me
plan, ya heard me? But ninjas wanna talk about poverty and shhh. But who is he to me?
Get off that scary shhh, thug. If you scared, then, ninja, go to That ninja went to college to get authority
church, ya heard me? But I’m out. But like I said before, who the hell is he,
-Tamaine To judge me for the sins that I committed?
From The Beat: Does this mean you don’t judge others, or that you are also But even though I’m locked down I still stay committed.
into self-hatred? If you choose a life that ends so often in enslavement or I see death around the corner but that ninja can’t feel it.
death, why shouldn’t you be scared? Do you need to go to church to know
where your choices will take you? See, this system is a set up and he continues to build it.
They say the Y is a good place, but that ninja ain’t goin’.
Put ‘im in a cell, several hours later them tears will start
flowin’. It’s awfully trife how they think they know what’s best.
Things I Like To Do Go ahead judge, sentence me ‘cause sooner later I’m gonna
get out this test.
I like to play football. I like to box. I like to talk on the phone. I like
to sleep and play games. I like to eat a lot of food. From The Beat: You can complain all you want about being judged by the
-Dean judge, but that is a legal power the state has given to him which won’t be
From The Beat: These are all fine things, but do you also do things to taken from him. You are living in the world of what is, and not the world
improve your mind (read books, go to school), and to prepare for a free of what you think should be. You can denounce the power the judge has,
life? Like what? (Next time, we want you to write much more than these but it won’t remove the power. If you put yourself in the system, you will
few sentences.) always have a judge deciding your future.
n Francisco t s
sta Sand o ut s
sta n d o u County
Glad To Be Alive Nobody In The Streets
What’s up? This Jennifer. I was walking alone on the street. I got Looking out my window, and what do I see?
shot at. The bullet went past my head, but it didn’t hit me. Then I Not a goddamn thing, if you know what I mean!
ran and got jumped. Then the guys started bringing out the knives. Ninjas talking shhh, say they in that beef.
I got stabbed through my shirt. I have a big scar across my stomach But I ain’t never seen none of these ninjas in the streets.
now. Homies came out, started beating on the guys that jumped To whom it may concern, or whoever see,
me with bats. I got up and ran to the homie’s house, grabbed a bat, Ninjas kno’ who I is, and kno’ where I be.
and messed up the dude’s car. 5.0 showed up. They burned rubber If it don’t make dollas, it don’t make sense.
and all of us broke. I’m glad I’m alive. -Poki
-Jennifer From The Beat: When “ninjas know” who you are, so does the system.
From The Beat: You are really lucky you are alive. When you’re free again, It’s like you’ve painted a big bull’s-eye on your back, and you’re proudly
what can you do to protect yourself in your neighborhood? You should be pointing to it for all to see! When all the dollars you’re making are going
able to walk down your streets without being afraid of being attacked, into your keepers’ pockets, how much sense does that make?
but your reality, as you write, is that any day or night, you can be in
danger. Can you get your brothers, your homies, your neighbors to walk
with you, or isn’t that realistic? What will be your solution to staying safe,
when you’re home again?
My grandma is old. She has gray hair. It takes her a year to walk
one step. She cooks ancient recipes. She collect cans. She doesn’t
Confused speak English. She speaks with two dogs.
What’s up with The Beat, mane? This yo’ boy Wink, and you already -King Lee
From The Beat: We would love to take a tour through your fertile mind
know where I'm from! Today I’m talking about how confused I am. (even the offensive parts we can’t publish). Where do your unusual
They telling me I could go home and I still got a case down in 850 thoughts take you? Why do you think your Beat pieces are so different
from most? What would you like to do with your life? (Do you ever write
and shhh. So I’m hella confused, fo’ real! serious pieces about serious subjects?)
From The Beat: We can’t help you with your confusion. Maybe they want
to release you for the case you’re in here for, but still try you (as an adult,
if it’s at 850) for a different case. (No shout outs to others in the hall.
Scottie Callin’ Me
I be gone like out of this galaxy. Hyped to the fullest. So on I’m not
When I Get Out “Hello” Scottie calls and I answer, “What?” Then I take off.
5-4-3-2-1, blast off! I arrive in outer space. Playing around with the
‘Sup with The Beat. It’s Young Fean. I’m still in here waitin’ for the
aliens on planet “Dumb”. (LOL) I go there all the time. But right
first of Feb. for my court date. I hope I get out so I can take care
now I’m stuck here ‘cause I block Scottie’s number.
of stuff, get a job and my GED. But yeah, this is all for now. Keep
I need a ride. Send help!
y’all heads up.
-Young Fean From The Beat: We love how you used your imagination to explain how
From The Beat: This is almost too short to print in The Beat. We wish you got to Planet Dumb, and why you need help to get a ride back to
you had taken more time to explain the steps you’re going to take when earth. Sometimes, a space cadet needs to know when it’s time to take a
you get out. Where will you take your GED? What kind of job can you trip, and when it’s time to stay put.
get? What are your long-term goals, and what is your short-term plan to
Don’t Go To Jail For BS
Ey look, all you girls out hea’ be on the same shhh, but y’all want
Miss Kissin’ On You a ninja to stay wit’ y’all an’ be faithful. Why be faithful? The girl
Late at night, when all the world is sleepin’ down the street be doin’ the same shhh you doin’, and she pro’ly
I stay up and think of you. do it betta, for real. So all that stealing, goin’ to the halls, you girls
Tears in my eyes like, dang, I miss kissin’ on you. need to stop all that. Jail ain’t for girls. Why you think they only
Wishin’ we could paint the town and do how we do. got one unit for you? ‘Cause it ain’t meant for y’all to be goin’ to
Go up to Grizzly Peak and look at the view. jail. Ninjas don’t want no girl that be goin’ to the halls hella much,
Ooooh, Shawny’ Bo, I miss kissin’ on you. or, period. It’s 2010. Y’all ‘bout to be grown women, if you already
Been in the fast lane somethin’ like two years. not grown, feel me?
I’m lonely in this thing, babe, I need you near. And you dudes, to y’all ninjas jus’ be goin’ to jail for some
When I come home, hold me tight and don’t ever let go. bullshhh, some shhh that ain’t even for the cause. I don’t know
I love you so much, but I know you know. Regardless of what what y’all be thinkin’, like goin’ down make you hard or what, but I
goes on, know one thing you think—that goin’ to jail, shhh make you hard.
You taught me strength, in here I’m strong. You gone be in jail spoiled, talkin’ ‘bout you ain’t wit’ the shhh,
Hold it down out there; I’m yo’ wife for real, ‘cause this street shhh ain’t for everybody. So if you know
You love me, and yo’ heart, I know I got it. deep down you don’t wanna be wit’ the shhh, jus’ fall back and be
I’m comin’ home soon, but until then, coo’. But yeah, though, I’m done talkin’.
I miss kissin’ on you. -Young Man Man
-Lexi Bo From The Beat: So, you think it’s okay to go to jail “for the cause,” but
From The Beat: Sadly, you showed that you were willing to risk losing this not for other reasons? We wish you would see that your advice goes to
love by doing whatever you did to bring you into the system. We hope everyone, not just girls and not just boys who think jail makes them hard.
you’ve learned the simple lesson that the treasures you hold are not worth Jail is unnatural for everyone, whatever the reason that put you here. So
gambling for the lure of treasures you don’t yet have. As the saying goes, tell us, what makes what you call “this street shhh” right for you, but not
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” right for others?
sta n County u t s
sta n d o u t s
Thinkin’ Of You Two Types Of People
Sittin’ in the halls, thinkin’ of You. What’s with The Beat, mane? Today I’m jus’ writing to tell you
I pray to You every night in my room. that it’s two types of people in this world. It’s ones that’s gone
It’s kind of crazy how I’m back in here, make things happen, and it’s ones who gone watch things happen.
Tryin’ to get out an’ talking to You.
So I advise you to get yo’ green on, like you selling grass at a
I know it’s crazy,
‘Cause when I’m in the hall Leprechaun convention.
Is when I talk to You the most. -Sb
From The Beat: You’ve given strangers power to make things happen
I go to church, but not every Sunday. in your life while you are made to watch! So how much is your advice
I just know that I need to get my life together. worth? Unless you change direction, your hunt for that green can only
When I get out, I ask if you can guide me down the right path. end by putting more green in the pockets of your keepers. Time to learn
something more useful to your future.
Help me be that good young lady that you want me to be.
Thinkin’ of You is almost all I do!
I love You and you know I do.
When I get out, I know that I need to find my way back to
church We Live In The Woods At The
And get closer to You.
Well, I’ma end this poem, but never my love. Ranch
I love you, God. S’up with The Beat? The Beat asked me to write about the animals
-Kia here at the Ranch, and, true story, we got hella animals. I done seen
From The Beat: This is a beautiful prayer/poem, Kia. But love — whether deer, turkeys, coyotes, a fox, hella birds, raccoons, and hella weird-
of a person or of God — is more than just words. What specific things will
you stop doing (and what will you start doing) to show God that you mean ass bugs. I seen tarantulas. It’s cool, ‘cause it is an experience and
what you say? When you put God ahead of the things that bring you here, I will probably never forget it.
it will be the last time you’ll ever be locked up!
From The Beat: Was this the first time you had seen all these different
animals? Which did (do) you like the most? Would you ever consider a
career that took you back into this natural world? What’s the most
Bad News memorable animal experience you’ve had here? Why not write a Beat piece
about it, remembering that most of our writer/readers have never seen the
Man, I just went to court today. Now I got to go to the Ranch. I animals that you have seen.
ain’t trippin’, though. I’m just go’ knock this lil’ time out. I’m go
be down there with the thugs. But, yeah, that’s the lil’ bad news.
-Ya Boy Quis
From The Beat: We hope you continue to be a leader in your own mind Living And Learning
at the Ranch, and not follow those thugs… otherwise, you may have to Living and learning is hard. You got to learn so much. Even when
follow them right into state prison. What are your plans after you do your you don’t want to learn, you learn. So learn every second of the
day, while you can.
From The Beat: What are you learning every second of the day? Some
Nobody Listenin’ examples would be nice…
Na-Na-Na-Na. Man, I’m right chea, sitting next to these ninjas. They
talkin’ about all this violence. While I’m preaching to these young
ninjas, but they ain’t listenin’. But, chea, man, yo’ boy in this thing,
down for a min. But it’s good, my brother. Be out there, holdin’ it
Rain, Hail And Snow
The last time I walked in the rain was this morning, at the Ranch.
down for me, though, thug.
It was raining like crazy, worser than San Francisco. Right now it’s
From The Beat: What are you preaching? raining ice. Last week it was snowing. But, yeah, I’m still up in this
boring-ass Ranch, ‘bout to touch down in a couple of months, feel
me? Just can’t wait ‘til I get out and see my family and homies!
Off The Map -Vse
From The Beat: It’s kind of fun when it “rains ice” (hail), don’t you think?
Bangin’ and repping, throwing up my game, After being at the Ranch, would you ever like to leave the city and live
They wanna see me fall off, but homie just can’t change, among the trees and animals? When you get back to you loving family, will
you change anything about how you live in order to change the results?
‘Cause I’ma do what I do, goin’ be who I be… Tell us what those changes might be.
I’ma gangbanger a dope slanger.
All I feel in my heart is nothing but anger.
I live my life on these streets like I have nothing ,
Kick it with the homies that see just like me. What I Thought It Would Be Like
Only thing on my mind is to be on these streets Man, they got the young thug at the Ranch now. I thought it would
Walking down these blocks be way worse than it is. I thought they would have you get up hella
Watching out for cops.
early, run hella shhh, like that. But it’s cool. They got a basketball
When the task role up, you know the block is hot.
You gotta hit them cuts real quick, or get screwed by the team an’ stuff I’m ‘bout to be playin’ on. Pumpin’ that iron. Come
cops. back big. But, yeah, overall, it’s cool. But, yeah, I’m out. To all my
This all I got for now, this vato’s out. ninjas, be cool.
-Malo -Ya Boy Quis
From The Beat: We took out about half of what you wrote, Malo, because From The Beat: This is an excellent example of making a judgment about
we cannot and will not let you use The Beat to threaten violence against something before you know it. You expected something worse, but you
anyone. To us, your gang is equal to their gang, and we won’t be used to found something better. It’s a good lesson about being willing to test the
hold one up against the other. As for your choice to keep doing what you unknown, even if it seems like scary. We’re so glad that you appreciate
do, all we tell you is that more than 200,000 Californians are enslaved in the Ranch for what it has to offer, and we hope you take full advantage
a huge and ugly prison system (many for their entire lives), and all of them of where you are and what you can do to make your future less stressful
thought they were too smart to get caught. and freer!
sta n d o ut s
d Clara t s
sta n Santao u County
That Raining Day Kicked Out Of Convenience Stores
Whas happenin’ Beat? I’m going to talk about walkin’ in the rain. I’ve been kicked out of Safeway before for doing too many beer
The last time I walked in the rain, I was leaving from my school, runs and 7-Eleven and Marina Foods. I don’t care though it’s all
Yerba Buena. It was a cloudy day. It didn’t rain during school except food.
at lunch. I just went under the roof of the quad, so I wouldn’t get I've also been kicked out of Sylvandale Middle School for
my clothes or kicks wet. getting caught for putting weed in the pancake batter in cooking
It was a cool day until school ended, then it really started to class.
rain. I had to walk in the rain and wind. It was a hell, but it’s all -Milk Weed
good. I got home and changed. It was the beginning of a Friday, so From the Beat: Do you regret what you did in the past? If you do, is there
something that you can do to make sure that you don't continue to get
I knew it couldn’t go worst. That’s all I got to say kicked out?
From The Beat: It's annoying to have walk home in the rain. We've all
been there. Is this memory something that you look back on and miss?
The Same as You
What would your perfect day look like? Would there be bright sun? A little
cloudy? When you think about the best day of your life, what comes to
My lifestyle ain’t no joke posted in the streets daily
I might look normal but inside I’m going crazy
People might mistake me ‘cause of what I do
The Beat Within I believe in something different, but I’m the same as you
I graduated school, but I’m always locked up
I give props to the elders because they are the ones that teach us
So at the end nothing matters ‘cause no one gives a damn.
what we need to learn and they been through stuff we haven’t been
through. They have a lot of wisdom. From The Beat: How do you feel when people judge you prematurely or are
-Gilroy scared of you just because of the life you live? How can you show them the
From The Beat: You're right! Elders can give us good advice about how to opposite perspective of how to view you?
live our lives. Is there an elder in your life that you look up to? Is there
someone that has been there to guide you?
The Lonely Father
What’s good Beat? Well I’m back in this damn hell hole again. This
Getting Kicked Out time I left four kids - three daughters and one son. I want my kids
Every time I went to a school, I got kicked out. I got into hella here with me. I had my first kid at 14 years old, but I never regret
fights and I would always be high and drunk and sold hella weed. having that many kids because no matter what they are mines.
I never learned how to not get kicked out of some place. While I’m the only one they have left. Their moms don’t even want them
growing up I went to hella programs and never got to stay. I only anymore. That’s messed up.
got to stay in one program that was the (CYO). They were hella cool I know I’m still waiting to find a female who is willing to help
people. I would get down in handball with the homeboys and was emotionally for me. I just need some support. I will never ask her
trying to do good for my son. for any money, but treat her like a queen and my daughter and son
-Anonymous like princesses and a prince. Yeah, I’m a lonely father anyway I
From The Beat: Take 2010 as an opportunity to show your son what a good
father we know can be. There's always time for change and try and take gotta go. Bye
the chance to leave all of those unfinished programs in the past. You’re -Demon “the lonely father”
not going to live your whole life playing the same games. Are you? From The Beat: Because you're the only parent you're kids have, make it
a priority to show them how much you care for them. Show them what a
good father and role model you are when you get out. Give yourself props
for sticking with them and not backing out. Because of that, you're clearly
a strong man. You have the opportunity to stay with your children and
In The Rain support them by avoiding juvenile hall.
Last time I walked in the rain was when I was down. I was down
because I was thinking what I was going to do with my life. If I don’t
think now, there will be more days in the rain. Walking in the rain
being cold, wet, and nowhere to go.
When It Rains It Pours
Loyal to the game
I’m tired of being in the rain and I’m ready to start planning for
Glock loaded make it rain
my future and end the days in the rain. Thanks for reading, Beat.
So wild and untamed
From The Beat: After thinking all of this, what have you found? What are Insanely bring the pain
your plans? Beggin’ for a change
Locked away, up in a cage
Day after day
It all remains the same, I can’t wait
Getting Kicked Out Like a fiend wants ‘caine
I got kicked out of my aunt’s house for sleeping in her couch. It And a dealer wants pay,
was bad. She doesn’t want anyone sleeping on her couch. I was I’m begging for a change
tired, so I slept on her couch. She got mad ‘cause 1 was doing And looking for a way
something wrong and broke a table. I left and got pulled over for Before it’s too late
curfew, and I had a warrant, so I got locked up. To be successful.
From The Beat: You're aunt probably felt disrespected by your actions. Do From The Beat: Do you think that there’s ever a point where it is too late
you understand where she's coming from? How would you feel if someone to turn your life around and become a successful person? What defines a
came into your house and disrespected your rules? successful life for you? Who are you begging for that change?
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Santa Clara County
What I Want
What’s up Beat? Well this is that youngster coming back from
Santa Clara county. Well I’m not feeling this topic, so I’m going to
start this like this…. You had a sweet angel face
Well, I have been thinking that I got a month left in here and And the most beautiful eyes
I have to think on what I had to do to stay out of here for my But as you uncovered
birthday, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and my mom’s You were just full of lies
birthday. I want to stay out for my graduation. You even went around
And I want to get off probation to go ahead with my life I don’t And you messed with my homey
want to end up in prison like the homies from my ‘hood. I want to And now I feel down
be an educated gangster. And sometimes even lonely
-Youngster But it’s all good
From The Beat: It's clear that you're ready to move on with your life and
create a successful future. What do you want to do after your graduation? I’ll just put in work
Is there something that you've always dreamed about accomplishing? Can And put it down with the ‘hood
an educated gangster succeed? What would a take for one of them to
make with all the obstacles in front of them? I won’t deny it
My feeling for you were real
But you didn’t care one bit
It was just like a one time meal
I remember the last time I had a time by myself, I was chilling Part 2
outside in the backyard, and looking at the dark star filled sky. I’m sitting in my cell
There wasn’t a cloud passing by. I felt relaxed when I sat on a lawn And I can’t stop thinking of you
chair and popped out a forty-ouncer. On the memories on which I dwell
I put some oldies on and just sat there. I call this my happy They just make me feel mad
place. Sippin’ my drink, and heard the smoothed song of Brenton I dream and I dream about you and I
Wood. And I guess it’s a sign
The songs is called “I’m The One Who Really Knows.” I felt my But what you did
thoughts going away and, it’s just me, my 40 and my oldies. When I still have it in my mind
I listen to this music, I can always forget my troubles. I can’t stop thinking
Well Beat if you let the oldies play all the troubles pass along And I just feel like drinking
and be in the happy place. My drinks out to everyone locked up. I thought you were special
-Taz But I guess your something else
From The Beat: You really know how to value time to yourself. It's
important to get some time away from everyone and allow yourself to and I was just one of your huesos
think. What are the other simple things in your life that you value? We do We could have had something real
worry about your need for alcohol. But you threw it away and now when I think back it ain’t
even a big deal
From The Beat: Chango, it's clear that you've been hurt by a loved one.
Missing Her You're clearly able to express your anger and your love in this piece. You're
ability to do that shows what a skilled writer you are. Remember that
Well last time I walked in the rain I was going to my ex lady’s writing can help you get over painful moments of your life.
cantona to go spent time with her ‘cause I was on the run so I knew
I was gonna get locked up sooner or later but anyways as I was
heading to her cantona the rain was harsh but it felt firme ‘cause
it was naturaleza and it brought peace over on me. About To See My Daughter For The
Well as I got to my ex-pricessa’s castle, I went in and there she
was, my angel sitting down and smiling at me- that smile brought
What’s up Beat? Well today I’ma write about the visit I’m about
to get. Well yeah, I’m about to get a visit para ver a mi hija (to see
From The Beat: We are sorry to hear it didn’t work out, but you will find my daughter). I’ve been waiting for this day since the day she was
love again. Now is the time to work on you and get out of the system, and born. She was born on November 8, 2009, and I’ve been locked up
in due time, love should come knocking!
since September 24th, so I never seen here. Also ‘cause this might
be the only chance I’ll be able to see her ‘cause I’ma be away from
her probably all her childhood and adulthood, but hopefully not.
I hope I get another chance, but if not, well, screw it. I got
To My Mom nothing to do but to play my cards right and to look at what’s
I give my mom all the respect in the world because my mom has ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong, I will always love my family till
been with me every step of the way. No matter what detention the day I’m gone. Pues, yeah Beat, I’ma cut this short. Keep trucha
center I’m in or what charges I’m facing, she’s always receiving and keep your head up. Well this vato is out. Alratos.
me with a smile in the visiting room. To her eyes, I could never do -Lucky
wrong. That’s why I respect her, and I would never let her down like From The Beat: You are describing two different tragedies. First, there is
your own tragedy of facing years under the control of a cold system that,
I’m letting her down now. because of your actions, now has power over your life. But then there is
-Jorge the second tragedy of having brought a child into the world long before
From The Beat: We can tell how much you love your mom, and why. Yes, you were able to care for that child. Her life will now be defined by the
you have let her (and yourself) down, but you can make it up to her by father she never had. We hope that other young men reading this will
putting some real change behind those promising words. Sometimes, love decide to be responsible (which could be as simple as using condoms)
requires sacrifice. She’s sacrificed so much for you; now it’s your turn. before it’s too late to do anything about it.
sta n d o ut s
d Clara t s
sta n Santao u County
Getting Kicked Out A Totally Different World
A time when I’ve been kick out was when my mom told me to get What’s good Beat! Well the last time I walked in the rain, I was in
my act together or I’m out the door. the ‘hood, hella drunk. I was looking for trouble and just doing
I can’t really say that I really got kicked out, but I decided that what I love to do “gangbang”!
I was cool and that I ain’t going to change my ways. So she told me When it’s raining I feel like it’s a totally different world ‘cause
that I got to go. everything looks and smells different and it just makes me wanna
For a while, I was on the street homeless, staying at all the be striking it ‘till I find trouble. But while I’m behind these walls,
homeboys pads. For a while it was cool ‘cause I didn’t have to it gets me depressed, but it’s nothing to the sickness. Well I’m out
listen to or have to do anything an authority figure said. Beat, to all stay up!
After a while, I got bored of doing the same old shhh, but I told -Mister
myself that it was time to go back to my family, so that my mom From The Beat: What is it about the weather that makes you want to act
violently? How does being in the rain transform you into someone that's
can sleep better at night. just looking for trouble?
When I got back, she asked me the same thing, but this time
I lied to her and told her that I will, so I got to stay. But of course
I haven’t changed because I’m back in here and doing the same
stuff. Judging Each Other
-Wicho Que-onda Beat? Well nowadays, a lot of us judge one another. So
From The Beat: It sounds like you're mother was looking out for your
best interest. Even though you might feel like you're able to live on your I’ma share what I feel. Sometimes I think you can see it in their
own, your mother's concerns might help steer you in the right direction. eyes, and you could see it in their structure. You can tell off top the
Remember that she loves you a lot and is hoping that you're safe. Do you person isn’t solid. We label those “suckers.”
think you'll be able to listen to her advice after you get out?
Or how about when there’s those people that act like they’re
hard, but they get picked up when they hit the yard. I know some
of you may have heard that one. Well, I’ma end this one. Till next
Why Do You Judge Me? time, alrato.
Why do you judge me? From The Beat: There is a famous movie called “Witness for the Prosecution”
Is it ‘cause I’m lazy? where the defense lawyer believes he can always tell if his client is guilty
is it ‘cause I’m angry? or innocent by looking into their eyes. So, when someone accused of
murder comes to him, he gives him the “eye” test and determines he is
is it ‘cause I’m mad? innocent. He defends him and gets him off. But guess what — he was
Why do you judge the best? really guilty all the time. Do you ever make judgments that turn out to
’Cause of the way that I dress?
’Cause of the way I act?
or the color of my flag?
My name is Icky Bone
Sick on the microphone Making Racial Comments
Only G’s kick it at my home I have most definitely judged many people both race and religious/
Smokin’ blunts to the dome political views. I have judged it all. I would have to say that coming
I hope that I won’t be judged from a school that is 80% Asian, I have discriminated them the
But that day will never come, so I don’t give a hell most. Trying to be a well-balanced student that focuses on both,
I’ll wrap this up, so ill leave with this sports and academics, I’ve felt the pressure of the insanity of the
if you don’t like this poem you can kiss my … Asian ethnicity towards academics.
-Icky Bone At one point in my high school career, I would get along with
From The Beat: You definitely have talent. This piece carries a good rhyme friends and make racial comments about the Asians
and it brings up your frustration with petty judgments. Take it further
next time. Why do people feel like they can judge you? How can you set
From The Beat: Everyone judges, but it's recognizing how those judgments
an example that allows people to understand why judgments are hurtful?
may be hurtful. That's most important. It seems like you understand that
You definitely have the talent. We'd like to see more.
the way that you talked about your peers was hurtful. It's important to
look past those mistakes and learn from them.
Love My Mom and Dad
I will give my respect to my mom and dad because I grew up with Getting Kicked Out
both of my parents. They’ve always been by my side on the good I used to play baseball when I was eleven years old. I liked the sport
thing and on the bad things. They always came to my court and too, but one day I had a game, but I didn’t go; I chose to go out with
came to visit me when they had time to come. They buy my nice my friends and drink.
clothing and they always support me. So I was walking with my friend with two eighteen packs of
I give my respect to my dad because he was more than my dad; beer and my baseball coach drove up to me and saw all the beer in
he was my friend. I used to go and play soccer with my dad all the my hands.
time. He called my name and said, “are you going to come to the
We go out to the soccer shows and to the beach and visit game?” And I said no and kept on walking. So he just kicked me
different places in the world. off the team. He was a cool coach. He really wanted
That’s all the reasons of what I love about my parents. Much me to play, but I chose to drink and gangbang. That’s the life I
love to everyone in the hall, stay up. chose.
-Chango -Regretting my Choice
From The Beat: You're lucky to have parents that support you and love From The Beat: Do you ever think back to this time and wish you had
you. What have you done to show them gratitude for how they raised chosen differently? Do you think there’s still room to go back and pick a
you? Do they know how much you appreciate them? different path?
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Santa Clara County
Baby Girl My Mom
On September 17th 2009, my baby girl was brought into this world. The elder in my family that deserves the most respect is my mom.
The bad thing was that I was locked up when my baby’s mama gave Not only is she’s my mom but she should get the most respect
birth. because she has been a single mother with two hard headed
At first I felt like a failure ‘cause I couldn’t be there for her, children while all her sisters and brothers have a “proper” family.
but I later realized that I was a father and all that mattered was My mom didn’t have much help or money to spare, but she
developing my plan to be there for her when I get out. still gives us what we want or need. I never realized how much she
My lesson learned was thinking about what can happen before gave up for us. I had to be in juvenile hall to realize everything she
you do something wrong. I lost out on my daughter’s birth over one had done for me.
mistake. To all on lockdown keep your heads up. It’s a horrible feeling to be in juvenile hall. I can’t wait to
-Chango get out, thank her and really show her I love her and respect her
From The Beat: You're right, now that you're a father you have the for everything she has done for me. I love you mom. Te quiero
responsibility to give your daughter the life she deserves. Keep her in
your mind while you're locked up and after you get out. She'll help you to mucho!
stay focused and do right for your family. -Ernesto
From The Beat: After realizing all this, what will you do to show your
mom that you’ve learned from these experiences and that you do love and
appreciate all she’s done? You have a unique mother, someone very special
and hardworking woman. Keep that in mind.
Judgments Based On Where I Live
I’ve had a time when I’ve been judgmental to other people just
because I think different than they do. I dress and talk different.
Being from another neighborhood, we don’t usually like each other. I Was Kicked Out
We probably never even seen each other but that’s life. Life is full I got kicked out of Richmond high for snatching some ninja’s
of tension, so just live it to the fullest because life is too short. iPhone he was wearing around his neck sophomore year. They took
-Jorge me to the hall and I got released two days later. They kicked me
From The Beat: It sounds like you have thought about how many
judgments we make on surface qualities, like what a person wears, or out of the Richmond School District and I went back to Castlemont
where a person lives. Judging people you don’t know is just another High in Oakland.
form of prejudice, even if everyone around you is doing the same thing.
By excluding people from your life that you don’t even know, you really
The moral to the story is to never show a hungry ninja your
can’t live life to the fullest, because you haven’t allowed your own life to plate. My pockets was looking funny so I had to do something. But
develop to the fullest. Feel us? yea though I’m still waiting to get transferred to my county. Be
easy to all.
From The Beat: Hmm. It sounds to us like the moral to the story is this:
Chaos From Drugs don’t steal people’s stuff or you will end up kicked out of school AND in
I think that if they legalized drugs it would cause chaos because
people that do these drugs and sometimes can’t get it, it saves
them from doing something stupid that day.
And people that sometimes like to do a drug but know that is a
bad thing don’t do it, but if they knew that it was legalized it would
The Last Time I Walked In The Rain
The last time I walked in the rain I got into trouble
be easier for them to do and they would not have to worry about
The last time I walked in the rain I was in a struggle
getting caught. Knowing nothing could get in the way of them
The last time I walked in the rain I was in a puddle
doing it, they would do it non-stop.
The last time I walked in the rain I was stuck
From The Beat: We think you might be right – one of the main reasons The last time I walked in the rain I was locked up
people don’t use drugs day to day is because of the law. Where do you The next time I won’t walk in the rain
think the law should draw the line?
By next time I’ll use my brain and won’t get stuck in the rain
because if I do I’m serious I’ll go insane
From The Beat: So what will you do the next time it rains?
The Bay Without Mac Dre
Before Mac Dre came through, the Bay was known for the gays
and the Earthquakes. Then in ‘84 Mac Dre laced a track and made
history. The Last Time
He gave us a sense of pride in the bay. He told us how to dress The last time I walked in the rain was when I was going to go to my
and he is the reason why we all go dumb. God son’s house. I was just getting out the trap and thought after I
He invented words like Thizz-Dippin and Yokin-Yaddadimean?- put my money up I would see how my little ninja is doing.
and everything that ends in izzle. He has a track wit’ Snoop Dogg Well when I got there I seen my God brother (who is the dad of
and it’s a big coincidence that after that track, Snoop invented my little ninja) and my God brother were in an altercation. Well it
the saying, fa shizzle my nizzle -haha- No one will ever take that got ugly.
throne. After that I got a call that my ninja got popped on a drug deal
Now everybody in the bay does what everyone wants to do. No gone bad in south Richmond. He was shot seven times and died in
everyone wears vans, 501’s, stunna shades, and ride skrapers. ICU ‘cause they could not stop the bleeding.
-Icky Bone Well I want to say RIP to James Clemons and free my God
From The Beat: Music does have a huge influence on culture. San Francisco
is beginning to be known for music movements across the board. We sister Laysha Brown.
should all be proud of that. Is music something that you want to pursue? -Jacob
You clearly understand that it can make a huge difference in society and From The Beat: What a terrible day that must have been for you, Jacob.
maybe you can be a part of that. Thank you for sharing it with us.
sta n d o ut s
d Clara t s
sta n Santao u County
Dress Code Reminiscing About Her
Q vole Beat! Pues hoy voy hablar del topic “Getting kicked out”. It’s been a while since I felt her touch
One time I remember I was chilling with mi primos and we didn’t went through trouble just to feel her love
have anything to do. Then our prima and her husband hit us up I couldn’t get enough
and told us there was a party that night. So we started getting but later I got locked up
ready and dressing up for the hynas. After we were done we started she wrote me letters telling me she loved me
driving up to Stockton ‘cause that’s where mi prima lived. while the reality was she was a bunny
It took us like an hour to get there. We rolled up and our prima Honey’s are blessed with but they don’t have enough love for this G
was waiting for us so we parked and got out, and as we went in the this main one is around in the streets
security came up behind us and told me and one of my prinios to she lied to me
stop. He told us that we had to leave ‘cause we were dressed gang doing the dirty dirty she played around
related. So our prima told us that she was going to a house party now she tries aborting
anyways, so we bounced and went to the homey’s party at his pad. it’s cold in this world
Well yea that was when I got kicked out. so love is not a choice
From The Beat: Zapata, we had to edit your piece a bit, to keep it Beat From The Beat: It’s hard to forgive someone you love, but it’s something
appropriate… If you had a chance to do that night over, would you have you need to learn to do eventually, because no one is perfect. We hope
changed your clothing so that you could have gotten in to the club? Is the two of you find something together.
this an issue you have to deal with often?
A Special Person
The Most Exciting Thing in My Life Today I’m write about a special person that’s in my life, and I’m
The most exciting thing in my life that is going on right now is that grateful God brought this person into my life for so many reasons.
I’m getting released in two more days. I’m really happy that I get to I could never think of ever losing this person. This person means
be back with my family again after a few months. It’s like a miracle a lot to me and I’ve been knowing this person for so long and
came through. the feelings I got for this person have grown so much over the
Also, I’m really excited because I’m getting out without years. We’ve had our ups and downs but through my experience
probation and I can take my time to find a job. I would want to work of knowing this person I know deep down in my own heart this is
at a veteran hospital with animals, but the most kind of animals the person I want to be with and maybe spend the rest of my life
that I want to work with are dogs and horses. I’m really hoping to with because of a known fact-- this person means the world to me
get any other job to support my two kids, and my beautiful wife, and I couldn’t have it any better.
Janet. So I thank God everyday for bringing you into my life, and this
My other goals for when I get out are to go back to school and person is a beautiful girl named Summer. The end.
graduate, so that in the future I could study to be a vet and to be -Frankie
From The Beat: Frankie, we are happy for you that you have found love
paid more. But besides all that, I can’t wait to get out and breathe in your life. This is a wonderful thing. Now how are you going to change
fresh air and to stay out of these brick walls to be a better person your life so that you can be a good partner to her, and create a solid future
on the outs. Late, I’m out! for yourself?
From The Beat: We’re glad for you. We hope that with this last time in
the hall will be your last time ever locked up in an institution. We wish
you the best with all of your plans and hope that you and your family
will strive together for a better future. You have beautiful ideas, now put
Life is complicated
them to work. carnales in cages,
life’s a trip
raza doing ages,
their master minds illusions through the eyes
Getting Kicked Out best said the mind
Well, what’s up, Beat, it’s James. Well, I’m going to talk about the other side is where this gangster rides
getting kicked out my dad’s pad. striving to survive
Well, it was one day I came home from the homeboys pad. hard times through mines nobody can battle time
Well, it was hella late and I got home. Well, my dad and me don’t you cry you know you rode
get along. I got home and he was talking shhh to me, saying that I you stood you smoke you get rolled
couldn’t have any gang shhh in my room. nothing is untouchable in this world
He took it all out of my room and I wanted it back, but he everyone knows the unstoppable life
didn’t give it back to me so I went bad on him. is a trip and then you die
When I went back to my room, my older brother and me was homicide rate is up
talking and then my dad was still talking shhh. So I told him that jefas’ crying
I was going to stab him, but he just kicked me out of my pad. So I but still ride the block strapped
just started to live with my mom and now it’s all good now. homie I hold my own down to the bone
-James putting it down when we roll
From The Beat: It sounds as if your dad was just being a dad and trying we let ‘em know
to steer you into the right direction. Do you think if you and your dad
worked through it, you could have a better relationship with each other? on patrol homie we’re in control
Also, we’d like to know what you meant when you said “I went bad -Lil’ Silent
on him.” Would you ever go “bad” on your mom if she were to do the From The Beat: The world can be chaotic and hard, but you’d be surprised
same thing as your dad? You have to respect your mother and father not how much good there is – the homicide rate is down across the country, and
mattering what they are or what they do. They brought you into this life. people find good everywhere, cooperate and love each other, otherwise
Remember that. this wise guy mentality will keep you down.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Santa Clara County
Going To YA Kicked Out
Hey what’s up Beat! This be Flaco also known as Flacs. Well Beat I Q-vole Beat? Pues I’m going to talk about when I got kicked out of
ain’t feeling the topics today, so I’m gonna write about some other my house. I do when I’m drunk or because for being late. Most of
shhh. them was ‘cause me being messing up in the house.
Well I got sentenced to YA on January 15th. I was very pissed, Also, I had been kicked out from school, soccer team and
but I have to make the best of it que no (feel me)! programs that my PO gives me.
Well I’m doing 2-5 years, and hopefully I get out on two but I -Danger
doubt it. From The Beat: Seems like you have a bad reputation regardless being
kicked out from places. Do you like being treated like that?
Alright then Beat it’s about that time to all that know me, to
keep your heads up and stay solid! Late, oh yeah, the judge gave
me two strikes; that’s messed up.
From The Beat: 2-5 years compared to 25 five years to life is an opportunity My Zone
for you to consider. Right now you might not be happy with this decision, Well today Beat I’m going to write about stepping out of my comfort
but after thinking hard on it, you will realize it is a HOPE for life. You
don’t have any idea how many people wish they’d have this chance—the zone, so here goes. Right now I’m locked up, probably going to the
chance to get out, breathe pure air and warm their body with the rays of ranch and I’m going to turn 18 at the ranch.
I’m going to do what I have to do and get wiser and handle my
business like a man because that’s what I say I am and I know I
I have a daughter that’s one-year-old and I want to be able to
take care of her so in my eyes in order for me to do that, I’m leaving
to Vegas and get my life on track. But that’s when I get out of the
ranch, but that’s what I plan on doing. That will be me stepping out
of my comfort zone. My challenge is everyday life, doing different
things every day.
From The Beat: Day to day challenges are some of the most challenging
that exist. But it sounds like you accept that, and are ready to move on.
We hope you find a new comfort zone in your new goals and passions.
Too Many To Count
I have been kicked out from many places from class, school, stores,
programs, even from my barrio, but I don’t trip.
I really don’t care and didn’t care until I got kicked out of my
home. I felt like shhh because the person who kicked me out was
my jefita (mother) the one that was always there for me, and the
one that gave birth to me.
It hurt me because I knew I had messed up. But even thought
it hurt me, I didn’t learn my lesson because when she took me
back I kept on messng up. She kept on kicking me out and I kept
on getting locked up and now I’m here once again.
From The Beat: Maybe she was trying to teach you a lesson the hard way.
Why are you getting into a lot of trouble? What’s the problem? If you just
listen to what your mother says to you, you wouldn’t be here right now.
Going To Court Tomorrow
Hey what’s cracking Beat? Today I’m just going to talk about my
case. First of all, I got court tomorrow. I don’t know how I should
I would feel happy if I knew I was getting released tomorrow,
but I know that ain’t true. But I’m going to find out if I’m getting
trialed as a juvenile or adult.
I’m praying I get tried as a juvenile. I got faith that I will. God is
by my side and I do believe in miracles. Miracles do happen I hope
one happens to me. I’m praying I don’t get much time, but if I do
then I got to do it.
Also I’m happy because I get to see my dad in court. It’s good
to see familiar faces. Well wish me luck Beat hopefully everything
From The Beat: Keep your faith strong. If you got the chance you want,
how would you take advantage of it? What would you do differently?
sta n d o ut s
d Clara t s
sta n Santao u County
Coming Home From A Party Props To My Mom
What’s up Beat? This is Carlos once again, just back from Gilroy Q-vole Beat Within? The person who I give props to is my mother.
after being on the run for four months. The topic I’m going to write She gave me life and that’s something that’s more valuable than
about is about the last time I walked in the rain. anything in this world.
The last time I walked in the rain was walking from a party in My mother raised me she didn’t have no support from anyone
Gilro. It was me and two girls, and we were trying to get to my pad. and she was strong. She worked hard to give me food and clothes.
It was about six miles away. She spent days without eating just to feed me. She had little, but
At first it was sprinkling and then about ten minutes later the she was strong and never gave up on me.
rain started getting harder and hitting me in my face like they were I made bad decisions and that’s why I’m here, but she still
little rocks thrown at me so I stopped walking and decided to go comes to see me.
under a tree to try to call for a ride. Well one of the girls got a ride When I get out I know, she’s going to be there for me. That’s
from some guy that I knew and I got to my house and my clothes why I give props to her because to me she’s the best mother in the
and shoes were soaked and one of the girls that stayed with me world. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
had all her clothes wet too so we dried up and fell asleep. “Mom, if you ever read this I love you and thank you for
That’s all I have for right now Beat, ‘till later. everything.”
From The Beat: We like your description of the rain as little rocks hitting From The Beat: We hope you get a chance to express this and more to her
your face—maybe it was actually hail! in person. She deserves to know how you appreciate her effort and the
support she has been giving you since day one. She also deserves more
than just words. Can you give her that? What are you plans to give her
back what she deserves?
Getting Kicked Out Of School
I don’t really think I have been kicked out of something instead of
school. But in school I never cared.
This one time I was at my boy’s pad and we were doing it live.
Judging One Another
We can’t be judging one another,
There were girls, drinks, and drugs, then next thing you know
we all came from a beautiful mother,
someone came in the door. Then my homey’s boy told that fool to
but some of us don’t even got a father.
kick rocks. Then he was outside making a scene (he wasn’t happy)
As for me I don’t judge. I stay true to the game.
then my boy gave him the good one-two, and it was all over.
We don’t know who’s in it for the fame?
From The Beat: Was this the proper way to handle things? Are these the Or if everybody that looks alike thinks the same?
things that make thing fun for you guys? Is it still fun for you now that But my name and I will always remain,
you are here?
you would never forget the name,
for everybody that knows me, they know I’m real,
for judging someone that likes to drink and chill,
sometimes causes trouble,
Props To The Elders but all I’m trying to do is survive and make my money
Today I want to give props to my grandmother and my grandpa’. I double, can’t change who I am, I got to say I’m in love with
want to thank them for raising me. They show me how to work to. the struggle, so stop judging each other,
They were hard worker and I learned from them that I had to work ‘cause like I said we all came from a beautiful mother.
for what I wanted. -Spooky
My grandpa’ was the one that show me how to be a hard worker. From The Beat: Not to judge another person makes you personality looks
good, but the way you think and the way act makes it look horrible. This
Sometimes he was too hard on me, but I learned and I thank him lifestyle you live will get you nowhere but to an early grave or sad ending.
for that. Think about what you say, your desires and the consequences.
From The Beat: It’s time to put in work what your old folks have taught
you. We hope you use the knowledge they have planted in you. Thanks for
sharing. Our props to your grandparents!
Been Kicked Out
Well Beat I’ve been kicked out of a lot of things like school,
programs, and even my home. That’s the main thing I was kicked
Success out of my home by my so-called family.
Well what up Beat? I still up in here bored to the dome, but still Once my jefita (mom) got deported, they send my ass packing.
thankful that I ain’t going to face that much time. 52 days is nothing They told me to get my stuff and leave. They told me they were
compared to months or years. just waiting for my jefita (mom) to leave to kick me out. That felt
Looking back in my life, I have lots of things to be thankful for messed up.
and all the opportunity that I had. Well I’m about to get out pretty I never did anything to them I always kept to myself. I got
soon and I just want to do good and take this last opportunity like kicked out just ‘cause I have tattoos on my face they hate and
it was my last to stride for success. ‘cause I was on the streets. I have spend almost five years of my
Hopefully it’s going to be my last one. I’m not saying it is life in this system, but to me I just got to say is, “forget it shhh
because all the other time I said it I came back. So I’m just going happens.” I don’t want to blame them for my wrong doing.
to do good and hopefully this is the last time writing in The Beat. To all in here keep your heads up.
Late to the boys catch you guy up in the out stay safe. -Lil’ C
-C From The Beat: We’re sorry to hear the way you’ve been treated by your
From The Beat: We also hope this to be your last one, although you sound own family. Family shouldn’t do that. But, you what, you still have your
very convening. What would you have learned when you get out? What life healthy and strong to move on and be a different person. Don’t give up
are you going to do to try to stay out of trouble and never come back? on hopes. If you have gotten this far, you can get farther than this.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Santa Clara County
How Can I Be Successful Getting Kicked out
I’ve been unsuccessful for most of my teenage years. I do things as Well I’m gonna throw some lines about when I got kicked out
I please, do what I want, when I want, with whom I want. But then from my ‘hood. I was in the apartments posted up with the homeys
again everything has consequences. drinking some 40oz.
I’ve done good and bad. When I do good, I feel good after but When the manager came and told us to leave or she was gonna
when I do bad, some of the bad things have an effect in my life like call the cops, but we didn’t listen to her and we still stood posted
stealing cars and breaking in two houses. up.
I’ve been caught for both. So now I know that I’m not good at Five minutes later, we were surrounded of cops and we got
doing those things. I want to be successful at something in life. caught up but they let us go back. If he received another call he
I’m not ready for success and willing to stay out of trouble. The would come and arrest us. But it’s our ‘hood, so we still went back
seven is now do I do it? Maybe to stop drinking so much and using and started chilling.
drogas (drugs) will get me a kick at success. When we saw the cops again and they got us and they still got
-Carlos me here.
From The Beat: It seems like you're working to change your ways for the -Chato
better. If you are able to recognize that what you've been doing in the From The Beat: Though your manager was messing up your day, it looks
past is getting you in trouble, than you are already changing your life. like she was serious about kicking you out for not listening to her. It
Realizing what is distracting you, like drinking and drugs, may help you might have been better just to move to a different place instead of testing
find the success you're looking for. How can you make sure that you don't your managers word. We hope you learn your lesson.
get pulled into doing "bad" when you get out?
Rain Cruel Life
Last time I walked in the rain was when I went to go meet up with What’s up Beat? It’s me here in the max. A lot of things have been
my lady at her school, so I took the Light Rail to meet her and it going through my mind. I heard bad news from my parents saying
was pouring. I was hot ‘cause I messed up my Suede Jordan’s and they don’t want me to be a NWC wrestler because of violence. They
got hella wet. But it’s cool ‘cause that’s my boo. even threw away all the violent movies. I thought being a Christian
Well, I’ll tell you that I won’t do that again. That was bullshhh. was cool, but I got to have violence somehow.
My girl is the only one. Well that’s all I got Beat late. It’s a tragic world and I hope someday it will get better. I’m still
-Soldier aiming towards my goal, but I do the time, I don’t let the time do
From The Beat: Too bad, but we’re sure it was worth it. At least your girl me. I did get the victory and been set free for changing my ways,
saw your effort. but I just have to move forward and see where I go. The only thing I
worry about more than my case is my family. Once I get home, I’m
gonna separate them from their abusive men and start over.
Two Lovers Well that’s it for now. Until next time, I’m out.
Well, I got two lovers. A baby mama and another girl. But anyways, From The Beat: It’s interesting that you crave violence, even if only movie
I love them both the same just like the song says. Except I really violence. Of course, the history of Christianity (and the Bible itself) are
got two, you feel me? They’re both cool and everything, but before full of violent acts and stories, so maybe you can be a good Christian and
still like to read about or to see violence. Just as long as you don’t perform
I go to county, I have to decide which one I want to marry. I’ma have any…
to follow my heart. I got a couple other sideline ladies but these
are the top two.
But don’t worry Beat ,I’ll let everyone know who I chose before
I leave this place once and for all. Much love and respect to all who Judging
know me. Gone. Judging one another happens a lot. It’s just a natural instinct.
-Junior Sometimes I judge people before I even know their names. You
From The Beat: Why should we worry? We’re not the one going off to can’t judge someone just by the way they look, dress or talk.
county hoping that either or both the girls we love will still be there
when we get out… The time to think about how much you love someone
I know a lot of people and half of them I misjudged in the
is before you do the things that let the system separate you. After all, the beginning, but in the end they’re just as cool as the next person.
object(s) of your love have something to say about it, too. I tell them that I thought they were a little angel when I first
met them, but most turned out to be some of my closest friends.
Now sometimes I’m in their position and it doesn’t feel good
Getting Kicked Out Of My Home to be misjudged and I tell them “Only God can judge me”.
What it be like Beat! It was my birthday November 20th. I was at From The Beat: Are you trying to say that it is OK to judge people and
my pad with the homeys, we we’re chilling hella deep, and we we’re stop until you get to know their names or get to know them?
just drinking up and my mom walks in.
I’m just laying on the floor, I was so drunk I couldn’t even
walk. My mom got me up off the floor and she kicked my boys out,
so she started yelling out, “what’s your problem?” And I couldn’t Racist Thinking
even talk, so she told me to get my stuff and get the hell out. So I I judge all the white people because they’re racist and I’m just as
knew what I was doing. I got a bag of my clothes and I just hit the racist as them. White people think that they’re everything because
streets. I went to my dad’s and I was just gone. I got to my dad’s and they have nice homes, cars, jobs and everything. I dislike every
passed out. That’s my story about me getting kicked out. white person in the world.
-Lil’ Man -Crazy
From The Beat: Though kicking you out was probably not the best idea, From The Beat: If you look at the statistics the majority of the people on
remember that your mother is just looking out for you. Maybe she was welfare are white people. The view you have is a very limited. You need to
frustrated with how you were acting. How can you show your mom that get out and see the rest of the world. First, you need a good education,
you're okay and that she can trust you? ‘cause what you write sure sounds pathetic.
sta n d o ut s
d Clara t s
sta n Santao u County
The Pain Within
Behind these walls comes a lot of pain
my tears fall like a stormy rain
when I get out its time for a change
no more alcohol and drugs
no more kicking it with the thugs
time to go back to school
I’m tired of being in here actin’ a fool
I want to get out of this juvenile hell
there’s nothing to do but think of the pain
time to get a job
not another person will I rob
From The Beat: How are you going to do that? We’re glad you have the
passion and the hopes, but think about the challenges and how you’re
going to deal with them too, because sometimes its strange when it
happens all at once.
What’s good! Well you guys asked about getting kicked out and a
lot of people in jail are kicked out. We’re kicked off of our lives like
we’re trapped in a box outside the real world, waiting for the judge
to let us back in to give us another chance.
Some people may not get that chance and that’s a shame, but
one day I will. Right now it’s sad to know I’ve been kicked out. I
believe my mom feel they’re a piece of her heart kick off ‘cause I That Day I Almost Lose It All
ain’t there. One time I was kicked out of my house when I was seven years old.
To make a long story short, I pray everyday that God let me My mom was smoking crack and she started yelling at me for no
back in and I promise Him that I ain’t coming back. That’s my reason. I was just trying to watch TV.
word! It was raining at the time, and I was cold. I just walked around
-Elias my neighborhood to give my mom some time to cool off.
From The Beat: Keeping your words will gain back the trust from your
mother and family. You have hurt them and disappointed them, but you
When I came across some teenagers, they started picking on
still have the time to get back what’s yours. Don’t promise something you me and tried to rob me. I didn’t have any money, so they let their
can’t keep. pitbull loose on me. I ran all the way to my house, but the dog
caught up to me. It bit my arm. I grabbed a rock and smashed to
its head, but the guys came up to me and jumped me. I got stabbed
and blacked out. I woke up in the hospital two days later.
Kicked Out -Asumadre
I remember when I was in my first group-home I thought this is From The Beat: It was a very unlucky moment for you. We’re glad you are
survived this horrible event to share your story. For the next time, try not
going to be easy, but it wasn’t easy because I got into so much to go far away from your house and if you are going to give your mother
trouble. a chance to cool off, stay home, in a place where you would be safe.
Nowadays is hard to be safe even when being at the door of our house.
What got kicked out was a small, but it was everything that
happened before that. After a while they just started sending me
farther and farther ‘till I was pretty much out of California.
What gets me is that they spend $100,000 to send someone to
a group home. I think that they have spent half a million dollars for Getting Kicked Out
What’s up Beat. Well I remember when I got kicked out of school
me and that whole time I could be home. Something is wrong with
and I got locked up the same day. I got kicked out because I got
them well. That’s all Beat.
into a fight with some fool at school. We were fighting for a while
From The Beat: Yes, they spend a lot of money to keep you safe and away ‘till I got tired. I just stop, pulled out my knife and try to stab him.
from home, but also some of that money have to be paid by your parents I didn’t get him ‘cause he started running and I went after him.
as well. So, it’s their money and your parent’s money. Not yours. Don’t you
feel bad about it? Then the school staff saw me, so I stop and put my knife away
and try to walk like nothing was happening. When I was walking
away the principle got me and took me to the office, and the pigs
I pray everyday that God were there. They found my knife and the principle told me the he
was kicking me out of the Eastside Union High School which I
didn’t care. After that, they brought me to the hall and been here
let me back in and I prom- since then.
From The Beat: Though the guy that you were fighting with may have
ise Him that I ain’t com- been testing your patience, it might have been better to walk away
from him instead of continuing to fight. School grounds aren't a place
for violence, anyway. You could have been working towards a diploma
instead of getting in trouble with the cops. Just remember that as boring
ing back. That’s my word! as it is, school is important and it can lead to an unbelievable amount of
opportunities for your future. Start caring!
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Keep It Cool Me, Me, Me
Being locked down really got me stressed. What’s happenin’ Beat?
Don’t know where I’m going, but wherever I go I’ll try my best. This yo’ girl, Boss Hitta once again in this thang and I wanted
I’m really tired of the system ‘cause they keep putting me to to write about the mask we wear. We’ll shhh, in my eyes, I think I
the test. act the same, regardless of who is around me because I believe if
Whatever happens you know I’ll keep it cool
you don’t take me for me, then damn, I don’t wanna be around you
‘Cause to me being real is my #1 rule.
Getting in trouble really got me feelin’ like a fool. period . . . straight up.
My foolish ways got me trapped up in this maze, I guess that something I really need to get over Beat, ‘cause
But I’m not trippin’ ‘cause I know this is just a faze. my cousin always told me it’s not changing, it becoming a bigger
One day I’ll be shinin’ bright blinding people like U-V-Rays. person to pay bills, the legit way; he had his point. I couldn’t even
Whatever it is they do wit’ me I’ll get through it. knock his lil’ way of making dough.
And any wall they put in front of me, I guess I’m just a stubborn person to the point that my mind
I’ll break through it. is set, so it’s set. I really don’t change around other girls. I see that
everyday, though girls change around people to make themselves
This yo’ boy Baby Lucas from Santa Cruz
seem like they wit’ the shhh knowin’ they not ‘bout nothin’ . . .
Much love to all you locked down.
Keep yo’ heads up! But I guess that’s them as long as they stay far, far, away from this
- Baby Lucas Boss.
From The Beat: You’ve got the right idea, recognizing your foolish ways - Boss Hitta Lynisha
and replacing them with the ways that will let you be your best. Just From The Beat: You are right that putting on a mask to be what someone
remember that the walls and tests that you face in here aren’t to trip you else wants us to be is not being true to ourselves. But we also need to
up, but to change your direction towards the sun. make sure we are being true to the sides of ourselves that makes us a
better person, careful not to keep listening to the side that keeps us doing
the wrong things. Lynisha, it sure sounds like you will make the changes
you need to make.
What’s poppin’ with The Beat Within? Yup, this yo’ homeboy Young
Catracho, y’all dig. We’ll I’m gonna talk about some people that
calls themselves friends. There are some people that say they
Times are crazy nowadays,
going to ride with you ‘till the end. But real talk the people that Kids doing drugs and running away.
calls themselves friends are the people that would stab you in the
Not caring what the next motha sucka says.
back. So all y’all fakes, quit being fake! Yadadabobo … all right,
But me, I say it’s time for a change.
Out with the old, in with the new.
- Young Catracho
From The Beat: Those fake friends are also called fair weather friends— I’m tired of doing drugs and waking up feeling blue.
“friends” who are there only when things are going alright. You are right When I look in the mirror, all I see is a true go-getta counting
to sort out who are your true friends, and to make sure you, too, are a cheese.
But I’m tired of all that!
I want more in life.
From pimpin’ to hoein’ to being on the block selling rocks,
Feeling Down That’s not the life I want . . . it’s not what’s hot!
‘Cause with that there is always a price.
I’m feeling blue.
My baby girl has left me now, So a word of advice: take things slow,
What can I do? Think twice before you do, and always
If she already has somebody else Remember God is there for you.
You replace me With that, hang in there everyone . . .
But you didn’t face me. Especially the big boys doing time.
Damn girl this shhh is driving me crazy. Keep your head held high and
Hell yeah you made me cry. Wave at your haters! One love.
I was dying inside but I’m alright. - Vanna Whyte
I realize you’re not worth it. From The Beat: Vanna, good for you for turning things around. With your
Even in my birthday, you told me lies. attitude, you can help others to make the change they need to make.
Good work with this piece, too, your edits paid off.
I hope you remember what you said that night
When I jumped your balcony
Just to see your pretty eyes.
We end up in your bed for the first time.
You told me you were virgin, I was your first one and I will Mind of Relief
always be, You would leave me stressed tellin’ me you were one of the
This life, the next one and eternity. best.
How could you do this to me? But you split open my chest.
How could you hurt me? Left me in misery and stress.
You were my baby, my wife, and my girlfriend. Remember when you was lying on my chest, telling me a
Even in my worst days I was there for you mind relief,
To hold you, to hug you, to kiss you, too. That you would always be there for me?
What about those talks we used to have on the phone
The only time that we would touch is from a drawing that
When you used to tell me “I love you” Corazon?
- Tiny would kill my heart.
From The Beat: Trust is one of the most important parts of any love, any - Navey Soy
relationship. When we don’t have trust, we cannot fully open ourselves From The Beat: The pain we feel when someone treats us badly is one of
because it feels unsafe. Take a deep breath and do all you can to trust and the worst feelings we can experience. Hopefully, we learn from those bad
be trusted. It hurts, but you will heal. times so we never treat another as badly as we were treated.
sta n d o Santa s
sta n d o u tCruz
Tested My Neighborhood
As I step into a new yard My comfort zone is my neighborhood. I feel safe everywhere I walk
in a different facility through it. I’ll be walking and I’ll get hellos from neighbors and
my courage is tested. friends. I’ve really never been out of my comfort zone. I don’t know
how it would feel to be out of your comfort zone. Luckily, I haven’t
The disrespect. been, and I probably wouldn’t want to be.
The adrenaline rush. My neighbors, my comfort zone, is “bad”. I can’t imagine how
The push, the shove. it would look after six months, because that’s how long I’ve been
away from my neighborhood. I walked through it every night and
The orderly cycle and flow. day, as if it were my job. I should have been on “Neighborhood
First, the blade, then, the tears. Watch”. Ha ha.
The sharp pain and the yell. -D
Step by step From The Beat: Don’t you think it would be cool if we thought of the
whole world as our neighborhood? Wouldn’t that make it a great world?
it unfolds in an orderly way. Friends and neighbors wherever we walked, rode, visited, near and far,
wherever we were.
Courage and rage flow through my mind and veins
like the blood of my ancestors.
Thoughts of injury or injustice make it boil.
Please don’t test my skills, I pray. Innocent Until Proven Guilty
-Albert They say they got proof.
From The Beat: Albert, you’re a very bright fellow. It’s good to fight They say they saw my face.
against injustice, but it’s very important how you do it. Using the tools They must have a faulty memory.
of the unjust to fight injustice only lowers you to their level. That’s an
unhealthy place to be. You have a fine mind. Please put it to work for the The clock hits midnight.
right things - for you, your family, for the community. I’m in my cell with a thin blanket.
I can only hope it’s all a dream.
Then I feel my sadness,
hear my silence,
2010 feel my anger flowing through me like a flood.
Yes, 2010 will be a 100% different year. I’ve stopped doing drugs I feel my future drifting, miles away.
and I never want to do them again. They changed my life, and to I ask God to help me with my burden.
tell you what – I’m glad I had to go through it. Now I’m getting a job, -Fabio
and I’m going to stop smoking cigarettes. From The Beat: Your future may feel miles away, but it’s always right
in front of you. You could start building a better future right now, this
-Brandon instant. If you decided to be kind, to everyone, including to yourself,
From The Beat: We have a feeling that you really have learned some you’d feel much better, now, and in the future.
important things. After you’re on the right track out there, send us a
Violence In My Life
In The Hall I think that violence won’t stop because when you grow up on the
I’ve been in the hall about six months. It sucks because you have streets with gang members, gangbanging is a must. When you’re
to do whatever they say. If you don’t, you get sent to your room. only a kid you begin to think it’s OK to commit crimes, and that
If you don’t go to your room, they call the staff and you will get fighting is OK. Using drugs is part of it. Violence has been going
LOP. on for a long time, and the cops reinforce violence by walking with
I can’t wait to get out of here so I can live my life and start guns and batons and by tazing people. Violence is a part of life and
going to school. And when I finish high school I am going to go to it won’t change.
college so I can get a good job. I want to help my mom and dad with -M
From The Beat: If this is so, that violence is a part of life, how do you
the bills so they can be happy. explain the millions of people who are non-violent, who refuse to use
-D violence to solve their problems? Your piece is very well written. We think
From The Beat: Those are good reasons to get out. We know it must be you’re on to something important in it. You talk about how kids behave
hard to be away from home for so long, but you can help your situation when they are exposed to violence at a young age. What if kids were
by being cooperative with the folks who run the hall. They really do want exposed to peaceful ways to resolve differences at a young age? Do you
you to get home again, and to do right. think that might make a difference?
Change Waiting On A Dream
I’m waiting to get out so I can do some good. I am positive that if I I am waiting for my release date because as soon as I get out I am
get out I could go to school and get a job. That would keep me busy gonna go to Cabrillo College for two years. And if God is on my
so I wouldn’t get caught up in trouble. side, I will transfer to a four year college, like San Jose State. I will
If I do have to stay, I’ll ask for help so I can work toward my be studying politics.
diploma. I want to be ready to show that I have a chance to do good I hope I get out soon so I can achieve my goal. I am an awesome
in life and take care of my family. football player and that’s why I chose those two colleges. I run a
-Ulysses 4.5 40 and I am 5’10. I hope by the time I am 18 that I will be 6 feet
From The Beat: We know you’re willing to accept help. And that’s an
important step. Following through is the test. Finally, it gets down to how tall.
badly you want to change. We’re betting that you do want to and that you -Adrian
will. Work hard, Ulysses. From The Beat: OK. Study hard and eat your spinach. Good luck to you.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
On My Knees Men Crying
I’m on my knees. When people say that real men don’t cry, I think that is a lie. In
I’m praying to the Lord – my opinion, a real man knows when to cry. A real man doesn’t cry
please, why me? in front of his family because he wouldn’t want his family to go
I must have diseases. through the pain he’s going through.
I’m loc in the brain. Also, you wouldn’t want to cry in front of strangers or friends
I’m going insane. because you wouldn’t want to show weakness. If you did, they could
It feels like hell. take advantage of you. In my opinion, a real man cries alone.
I don’t feel that well. -Fabio
-Richard From The Beat: We’re inclined to believe that to cry around others might
From The Beat: Keep writing. It will help you feel better. actually show strength. It could be saying, “I have feelings and I’m not
afraid to show them”. We think it takes more courage to admit that we
are all human and that we all cry than to pretend that some of us don’t.
Telling the truth requires strength, more strength, usually, than to tell a
2010 Will Be A Better Year
2010 will be a better year for me because this year I’m planning to
take it chill, ‘cause the truth is – I don’t like the way I feel when
I’m here at juvenile hall. I don’t like it when the staff tells me when Anger And Pain
to eat, sleep, and get up. I hope my court goes good and that I get Anger and pain…
released and go home. This year I’m going to listen to my mom, it comes through me through my veins.
to everything she has to say. This time I’ll make sure that all the It’s hard to maintain
words she says stay in my head. these evil thoughts up in my brain.
From The Beat: OK, we believe you. But listening is only part of the solution. Anger and pain…
What you ‘do’ with the good advice you receive is just as important as the it comes through me through my veins.
advice. Are you ready to follow through? We hope so. Good luck.
It’s hard to run from problems when you’re shackled
to these chains.
What Am I Waiting For? Anger and pain…
it comes through me through my veins.
A big day is coming up for me. Soon I will have court and it will
I’m going insane.
be decided where I live. It seems that it will be pretty much with
I’m just crazy in the brain.
my brother. I’m really excited because my family, my PO, and my
attorney are on my side. The person I have to worry about is the From The Beat: We’re sure you have many good reasons to feel angry, and
DA. Usually, everyone watches out for him. I’ve already had two for being in pain. How many of those reasons have to do with your own
choices? Think honestly about your situation. If you discover that some of
hearings and I think this one will do it. the reasons for your misery are of your own doing – then stop doing those
Staff has already turned in its report to my PO, which is good. things. It probably won’t take care of all your difficulties, but we bet it will
help you to feel a lot better than you feel right now.
My attorney is really optimistic. That makes me feel confident. It’s
not a guarantee that I will live with my brother right away, but for
sure some time soon. So, I have a few more days to wait. This is a
-J Need To Get A Job
From The Beat: Sounds like a lot of folks believe your brother will be a What I’m waiting for in order to change is getting a job. I want to
good influence for you. We wish you good fortune. Work hard. Be good. use my time doing something positive – not only for me – but for
Do the right things.
my family, especially my babies.
I don’t want to make bad choices that will keep me away from
them. I really want to be there for them. So that’s what I’m waiting
for – a good job that will help me stay away from the bad as much
My Last Beat as possible.
Hey Beat, what’s up. This is my last week in here. I’ll be going to -Alexis
a group home and doing a nine month program, so this will be my From The Beat: You have so many reasons to do well. Get on with it. Don’t
come back here. Your family needs you.
last time writing. But alright Beat – thanks for coming through.
Ima miss you guys. And to all the locked up homies – keep your
From The Beat: We’ll miss you too, Chris. But you can write to us wherever
you are. Look us up on the web. This Place
I’m missing a lot of special things in this place – birthdays,
Valentine’s Day, Christmas.
This place is not for us. It only makes us sad, and mad, ‘cause
2010 we can’t be with our families. It does not change us, or stop us.
But I have changed, and for the better. I will never come back to
2010 will be a better year for me because I am going to complete
this place. I would try to stop anybody from going through what I’ve
my program and get off probation. I’m going to do it by staying on
task and by being smart about it.
-Ronnie From The Beat: Hey Writer, we’re glad you’ve changed. How did it happen?
From The Beat: That’s it ‘in a nutshell’, as they say. We’re rooting for you Are you sure that getting locked up didn’t have anything to do with it?
sta n d o Santa s
sta n d o u tCruz
Trapped What I’m Waiting For
I’m trapped in the hall, behind these cell walls. I’m waiting to get out of here. I just got sentenced to placement and
I stay strong like the bricks, remain standing tall. the judge said I’ll be out of here soon. I can’t wait. I’m gonna try my
But this ain’t nothing, compared to prison time. hardest to do my program. I’ll get out and go to school, maybe get
So I sit and wait ‘til it’s my time. a girlfriend. I’ll try to get a job, my license, get off probation, and
I know I’ve made mistakes get on with my life.
so I believe karma’s taking place. -Cc
There ain’t no time for regrets From The Beat: Those are good things to want. And if you’re willing to do
the work, there’s a good chance you’ll get what you want.
so that’s why I keep a smile on my face.
From The Beat: Regrets are OK, if they’re real, and coming from the heart.
If the time for regrets isn’t now, when is that time? Regrets indicate
that you understand that you’ve made mistakes and that you wish you
Violence Won’t Stop
I think gang violence won’t stop just because big homies get
locked up, because there are young homies willing to step up and
take their spots. That’s just the way of life when you’re raised on
Places I Want To Go my block.
I want to go to Hawaii and experience the warm water and the From The Beat: So, what would you do if it were your job to show folks
animals and the trees, and the big volcanoes. I want to go scuba a different way of life, a more peaceful way of life? Where would you
diving and just have the best time I can. And I want to see all the start?
I also want to go to France and see the Eiffel Tower.
From The Beat: Get your act together Brandon. There’s a whole world out
there, and its all pretty darned interesting.
I want to write about stress. I’ve been stressing a lot lately, about
my case. I’m 16 years old and they are trying to give me a lot of
time for something I didn’t do. I miss my family and friends, a lot.
Life I hope I can get out, but if I don’t I’m just going to have to make
the best of it.
Life can be right or wrong. It all depends on how you want to live.
I still haven’t found the light. I feel like I’m walking in a path of From The Beat: The best thing we know of to reduce stress is a practice
darkness and ignorance. Today my day was pitch black, even with called “meditation”. Have you heard of a book called, “Finding Freedom”?
It was written by a deathrow inmate in San Quentin. Ask us about it.
the sun up and out.
One of the reasons is because it’s my girlfriend’s birthday
today. It sucks that I’m here and can’t be with her to show her my
love and support. She’s a very special person in my life. I get a lot
of love and support from her. I love her and I feel like if I don’t get Three Places I Would Love To Go To
my life straight, I may lose a good thing. One thing for sure, she Three places I would love to go to would be Cancun, Sweden, and
will always stand by my side, through thick and thin. Amsterdam. I imagine myself being free, not knowing anyone – so
-Jose I wouldn’t have to be worried about any kind of problem. I’d love
From The Beat: Only one thing to say to you: take your advice-get your to be exploring places I’ve never been to and feeling the peace all
life straight. around me.
From The Beat: We hope you get to do that. Get out, finish school, get a
job and save some money. Then – off you go – to Sweden, etc. Good luck
If They Legalized Drugs Tomorrow and bon voyage.
If they legalized drugs tomorrow I would be happy and proud,
because drugs make me happy. I love beer. I know it’s not good for
you. I’m planning to quit drinking and smoking. I’m planning to
get a job and when I go home, I’m gonna keep myself busy – like
Doing time in the hall.
cleaning my home. Still standing tall.
-Clean and Free Getting violations
From The Beat: So, you’re going to quit drinking and quit smoking,
because you know they’re bad for you. Do you believe drugs are good for ‘cause I keep breaking laws.
you? Maybe it would be a good idea to start asking some hard questions Getting no privacy behind these walls.
about drugs, too.
I try to maintain from going insane
but every day’s the same.
This place is hella lame.
Ants In My Pants Every day’s like the last.
I’m starting to stress
The funniest thing that’s ever happened to me happened when I
was little. I got ants in my pants. I was jumping up and down and because my life’s
my mom thought I was smiling, and happy. But I wasn’t, ‘cause I a straight up mess.
had ants in my pants. -Emdee
From The Beat: So, what keeps you from doing the right thing? You most
-Samantha likely know what the right things are. It’s a simple question, but the
From The Beat: Hey, really? Are you putting us on? We’ve never known answer requires honesty. And then a lot of challenging work. Which do
anyone who really had ants in their pants. You can tell this one to your you dislike the most – hard work, or being incarcerated? You get to choose.
grandchildren. We hope you choose wisely.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Locked Up Again Stuck
I got caught up by GTF once again, but this time for no reason. I’m in a place where I can’t do nothing –
For association with a guy I was with wasn’t a gang member but I have to do the same thing every day.
he was known as one and now I’m in here for the holidays and my I have to ask for permission to get up and move around.
birthday, but that’s what you get for living in Salinas. I’m locked up and it sucks.
-Knuckles Is hard for me to stay out.
From The Beat: So you know the consequences of hanging out with the The longest I’ve been out was 6 months.
wrong crowd (you say you got caught up once again by GTF so you’ve I wish I can go back in the past and change the day I got
been through this before). First you say you did nothing wrong, but it
sounds like you did know what you were doing, because in the second locked up.
half of that same sentence you say you were hanging out with a known Do something so I wouldn’t have got locked up or be on
gang member. What gives? probation.
I wish I got off probation already
so I can’t come back or do mostly whatever I want,
Moving With Precision and just get arrested or a ticket instead of getting locked up.
I hope I get out already and never come back.
I really ain’t waiting for anything interesting to happen. All that I’m sick and tired of this place.
could have changed my life has already happened! And still, I move -Maico
with precision and try to make the right decisions, but it seems all From The Beat: Why is it hard for you to stay out? Could it be that when
my choices I’ve made just lead me back here. you are truly sick and tired of this place, you will change your ways so
that you really do stay out? If you’ve been able to stay out for 6 months,
I guess what I believe and strive for aint right to society, but I we know that you understand what you have to do so that you don’t come
guess only you know what the right thing, so live your life and do back – make smart choices.
the right thing for what you believe and don’t get caught up. Don’t
let her get to you. They come and they go even though you think
I’ll Never Make you Cry
From The Beat: Castro, all that could have changed your life has not Chorus: I miss you and I love you and I wanna be with you. My
already happened. You’re young and you have SO MUCH to look forward days won’t count till I see a smile from you and you know Im’a love
to, you don’t even know it. Strive for a goal that will keep you out from you till the day that I die. I promise if you’re with me, I’ll never
behind bars, stay on the straight and wait for the changes to come to
you. make you cry.
Verse 1: I’ll never make you cry and that’s something I could
promise, ‘cause if you give me one chance, I’ll always be honest.
I never cheat on you, so don’t worry about that baby. Have I ever
RESPECTS told you that you’re one sexy ass lady? And that you’re worth
more than anything in this world. I’m so lucky that I have a special
I just want to pay respect and pray that my two homies are resting
girl like you ‘cause if I didn’t have you, I’d be in a world of pain.
in peace in heaven – CNot and Keith, 2009. I’ll see you homies one
These feelings that I for you are real, not a game, so don’t think
day in heaven.
that I don’t love you ‘cause girl that ain’t true. I’m always up every
From The Beat: We hope you see them in heaven a very long time from night just thinking of you, so just know that I love you ‘till the day
now. What can you do to honor the lives of your friends that doesn’t bring that I die. I promise if you’re with me, I’ll never make you cry.
pain and sadness to those that care about you? Chorus: I miss you and I love you and I wanna be with you.
My days won’t count till I see a smile from you and you know Im’a
love you till the day that I die. I promise if you’re with me, I’ll never
make you cry.
My Plan -Carlos
In 2010 I plan to get out of placement. After I get out of placement From The Beat: Carlos, there are some really great lines in this piece, it’s
easy to see that you enjoy writing. Keep with it, and your voice will just
I plan on trying to go back home or go with a family member. I also keep getting stronger and stronger! Maybe you can read your work at an
hope to get off probation and stop getting locked up. open mic on the outside some day?
Also, I want to catch up in school and graduate. I want to get
a job when I get out so I can help my mom and dad with bills
now that I am older. Those are my plans to do in this new year of
-Castor I do want to change because I want to have a good life when I get
From The Beat: Castor, those are great goals to have. We wish you best of out. Because I want to be with my family and go to school.
luck in accomplishing these goals. What kind of job are you interested -A
in? From The Beat: What can you do to make these changes happen? You have
the want to change, but do you have the will? What will be your first step
to this good life?
Whose The BOSS
Im’a BOSS. Don’t come at me wit’ that mess, talking ‘bout where Time
you from and how you down. This is my town, better known as I sit in a place filled with nothing but pain and hate. Time and time
Monterey Country. This is how I go and this is how I flow and all again I fill my life with nothing but mistakes. If I could go back and
already know that it’s all about my town. change my fate, then in a heart beat it will be done. But for now, I
-Salas sit and wait for my time to be done.
From The Beat: It sounds like you’re really proud of where you’re from. -Jason
When you get out, take responsibility for making it an even better place, From The Beat: Jason, the other thing about time is that is will heal
‘cause we all know what happens to young foolish gangstas! Shall we tell wounds. When you get out, take the time to focus on staying out of
you? OK, we will, prison, death, homelessness, uneducated, very poor, trouble. If you can do that, then time will be your friend rather than your
and wishing that they lived their lives differently enemy. You will be able to do whatever you want with it.
sta n d o ut s
sta n d o u Mexico
Getting kicked out Busted
The day I got kicked out of my mom’s house was one of the worst My day started out with school
things ever. She did so much for me that I never thought I would Chilling with my homes, keeping it cool
push her to that point, but I did. There was nothing worse then her Sitting bored in class wishing the day would go by fast
Then along came lunch time
telling me I could not go back home.
Remembering I had a dime
I was forced to get my own house, and it worked out for a while Was waiting for school to end
but after a while I got done with the rock star life style. I asked if I Just wanting to get high again
could go back and she said yes if I stopped doing drugs, and at that But I couldn’t wait
point I denied her terms because I was hooked. Because I did not I went to lunch and ate
have my mother there telling me what to do I am now facing prison When I was done I went to get high
time, all because I got kicked out. Got caught but didn’t want to lie
-Brian So I told my staff I was smoking weed
From The Beat: Living the Rock Star life style is not all that it’s cracked up They let me go doing me a good deed
to, it is? In this piece, the worst thing you did was blame your mother for I got kicked out of the program
you facing ‘prison time’. Even if she had been with you telling you not to
do what you did, you would have anyway. Why? Because it was a choice I was so stoned just thinking to my self
you made not her. “Damn”
Now I want to go back to the program called FACE
But I know getting back in
Wouldn’t be the case.
Giving props to the elders -Strawberry
From The Beat: Losing out on the program, losing out on your freedom,
I respect my sister because she has been there for me when I was there is one question you have to ask yourself, was the high worth it?
only 3 years old. It has been really rough for my sister because
she had kids of her own and when I was getting older she started
telling me what I was doing. I did every thing what she asked me to
do because I know she was my elder. Nobody’s Mistake But Mine
Now I give her respect because what she did for me, but she Violating probation brought me the worst consequences that
needs my back when she needs my help. Now I’ll give her my I didn’t even think about when I committed the crime. When I
respect and help because of what she did for me in the past. think about the residential burglary I did it eats my mind, because
-Destiny instead of being in a cell I could be kicking it with my family and
From The Beat: It is good that your sister was able to help you out in your my girl.
time of need, and that is good you are willing to return that respect and Committing the crime didn’t bring me anything good, my
help now that she needs it. First things first, you need to get yourself
together and out of detention before you can help any one? homies don’t even write me to ask me how I’m doing. Now I learned
that the people I used to kick it with, they are not true friends.
Doing the crime took my freedom away, but it was nobody’s
mistake but mine. But now I have learned from my mistake, so
Happy Birthday Is Not A Special when I get out I’m going to do good, and I’m going to back to school
because I don’t want to end up in here again.
Day In Here When you’re going to commit a crime think about the
Happy birthday to you, consequences and you will keep yourself away from jail. Bueno,
happy birthday to you, that it for today I’m out….
happy birthday dear Savannah, -Armando
From The Beat: Two things, the first is that it’s good that you admit that
happy birthday to you…. it was you that made the “mistake” and not someone else. Second, choose
your friends wisely, and remember it is your family that will stand by you
no matter what not your “homies”.
Today is my birthday and I’m now 17. I wake to face the cold brick
walls, nothing special today, not a cake, no ice cream, nothing
for me. Today we did nothing, nothing at all. We sat quietly and
watched the TV. I’m just a criminal dressed in blue. Here you’re a Getting To Know You While Being
nobody, just another kid. To day’s my birthday, I’m 17, and it’s no
special day for me. Judged By Others
-Savannah When I first met you I knew that for us there was a future that we
From The Beat: Happy Birthday Savannah, sorry to hear that you are in held even though we didn’t know if it held good or bad, we still
lock up for your birthday. In one of your last writings you had mentioned took a shot at it.
that you were getting out? Would you care to tell us what happened, and
how you feel about not getting released? After a while I had this feeling that I loved you, but I was afraid
to let you know. We were being judged by others left and right,
but we didn’t care because remember when you told me that you
wanted to let everyone know that I was your lady anywhere we
My Great Grandmother went?
One thing that get’s me every time about you is when I hear
My great grandmother deserves my respect, because she is a very
your voice in my head, convincing me that you love me but I’m so
strong woman and she had a place for me when I didn’t have any unsure.
where to go when my mom left me. She cooked, cleaned, and At the same time I wouldn’t care what others say to break us
washed my clothes for me. My grandma was my mom for 2 years, apart because no matter what…I’m not going to lose you Daniel…
and she kept our family together, and I love her with all my heart. I love you, my Energizer Bunny.
From The Beat: It’s good that your grandmother was able to step up From The Beat: It’s one thing to second guess what others say about you
and help you when you needed it. It’s just too bad she couldn’t be just and the one you care about, but it’s another when you yourself are “unsure”
a grandmother and enjoy her grandchildren. Is your mother back in the of your own actions. Ask yourself, ‘is this a good healthy relationship?’
picture? Why did she leave you in the first place? where is Daniel now?
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Thinking And Thinking Jaden
Wha’s up with it, Beat? Well, me, not so good. I’ve been in my room, Three feet tall, three years old, turning four. Smart as can be.
thinking and thinking. The time my girl needs me the most and I’m Looks so fresh, so clean, when my big sister dresses me fo’ school
here, locked up. I had to do what I had to do, but all I want now is to in the morning. He was born May 18, 2006, with epilepsy. Small—
five inches, five pounds, two ounces. When he was being born, his
do my time and go home to be with my girl, and be there when she
neck was wrapped in the cord three times.
has our kid. I haven’t talked to her at all, ever since I’ve been here,
but I know she’s doing all right because of my visits. She sends a From The Beat: It sounds like your little brother that you love so much is
few words to me and so do I. But all I wanna say loud and proud is, lucky to be alive. We’re happy for him and for you.
“I love you, Smiley,” and the one with you. Hope to see you guys
I wish I get re-
soon. No more messing up and getting caught up in shhh.
From The Beat: If you “had to do” whatever put you here, then bringing a
baby into the world was not the act of a responsible young adult. As soon
leased on a
as you made the choice to make a baby (or not to prevent it), that should
have become your number one priority, the one thing you “had to do.”
Instead, something else was more important, leaving you and your baby’s
mama to deal with this reality. The consequences are heavy for you and
your girl, but they are far heavier for your child-to-be. We applaud your
“no more messing up” promise, which came a little late, but not too late to
live up to your responsibilities when you get out.
Our Next Time
Next time you will be by my side, where I’m at The Rain In My Head
Next time I’ll make up for what I didn’t do while I’m locked up Last time I walked in the rain, I was reckless and buried in sin. My
Next time I’ll tell you how much I miss you family is all I ever had, when it came down to business, because
Next time I’ll let you know how much I love you, mija Sexy that’s who I ever trusted. My last time in the rain, I was free and
Senorita enjoying the rain in my head. I wish I get released on a rainy day.
Next time I hope you give me another chance, girl Just plain and simple today. Keep your heads up.
I miss you and for the next time, girl -Cesar
-Sniper From The Beat: We like it “plain and simple.” When you get released —
From The Beat: Next time we hope you see that you chose to risk the whether the weather is rainy or clear — what are your plans? We hope
treasure you already had for the promise of something you didn’t have… you have some, because otherwise someone else will decide your future in
and you lost! Was the risk worth the loss? We hope she gives you the a way you won’t like. Tell us what changes you hope for in your life, and
chance you’re asking for, but only if you stop putting yourself first. Time how you hope to move your life forward away from “sin” and toward a free
for some sacrifice. and independent life.
Sitting in this place Raised
Staring into space This isn’t the way I was brought up
Wishing I wasn’t in this place
Getting shot up..
Should have done better
But can’t beg to differ Caught up…
Want to blow Cuffed up…
To take the pain away Toughed up…
But can’t get it in here anyway Getting messed up…
I’m going insane everyday
I’m getting detained
I need something to take this pain away Going insane
Going home just isn’t the same With the pain
I need to get back into the game That I gained
I just ain’t the same In the game
From The Beat: Being locked up sure isn’t the life that people grow up I need to be tamed
to want to have. Neither is living a life using and abusing drugs. Sure, I ain’t the same
drugs can make you forget about the emotional pain that you may be
experiencing but that “freedom from the pain” is temporary and ALWAYS -Taylor
comes back as soon as the high is gone. Drugs and alcohol are no escape. From The Beat: If this wasn’t the way you were brought up, what caused
What could you have done differently so you wouldn’t have ended up your life to become like this? What responsibility do you take for not
“Behind Bars”? What other things can you do to “take away the pain”? having the life that you want? How can you be tamed?
sta n d o u Fresno
sta n d o u t s
Getting Mad To My Grandma
I’ve been getting mad lately because The Beat is kind of stupid. I give props to the elders because they deserve it more than we
That is my opinion and my homies opinion too. I know it sounds do.
bad, but it is my opinion. I’m talking about the pictures in The I give props to my grandma, in love and memory. I loved my
Beat. The articles are good, but you guys have been putting dumb grams. She helped me through a lot of stuff. She was a nice woman.
pictures in The Beat. A lot of people draw good pictures but you When I got in trouble she was always there for me but now she’s
guys never put those in The Beat. Even my little siblings can draw gone. She will always get my props.
better than some of the pictures in The Beat. The end. -Lady K
-James From The Beat: You’re lucky to have had such a loving elder in your life!
From The Beat: Thanks for sharing your opinion. We really value how you
feel, and we’re sorry you’ve been upset with us lately. We always try our
best to make sure The Beat represents your voice and those of your peers.
But sometimes, we mess up too. Although we want to publish all the
wonderful artwork we receive, sometimes we can’t due to lack of space.
Keep in mind, The Beat’s main focus is on writing and all the artwork is
just extra. If you have artwork to submit, please make sure you give it
My God is good. He helps me when I need him and is there when
to your Beat facilitator at the end of each workshop. Don’t give up on us I’m lonely. I asked God to be a part of my life so I can be a better
yet! person. I asked God to help me change my ways, such as my anger
problems, my ways of stress from things that happened in the past,
...if you are a sin-
my depression, and getting into too much trouble.
I want to start a family someday and stay out of trouble. I want
to be happy and never scared. I want God to show me the way to my
ner and don’t tell
future and to pick me up when I’m falling down, to be there for the
ones I pray for. I want God to help me be strong and make the right
the Lord -Eric
From The Beat: It sounds like you’re already on the path to making positive
changes and the right decisions in your life. Keep the faith in your life so
to save you...
you don’t stray from this path.
Touched By The Holy Bible
Something that change my something that I would like to share
with the whole world the holy Bible. I encourage you to read the
Never Be The Same Bible because it did something for me, and for the whole world it
The last time I walked in the rain I was cold and insane. I didn’t saved us from our sins. The Bible changed my life because it took
want to go home ‘cause my mom was mad at me for taking her car the gangs, drugs and all the things that would get me in trouble
and her anger will never change. away.
I got kicked out of my house and I never went back for three Now if you are a sinner and don’t tell the Lord to save you,
months and that is how my life will never be the same. trust me the time is coming when you will be judged for the things
-Chu-Cho you’ve done. So brothers and sister I’ll tell you let your faith grow
From The Beat: It most likely wasn’t a good idea for you to take your
mom’s car. If you haven’t yet, we hope you have the chance to apologize
into God our Savior one thing He has done for me is He changed
and make it up to her. my life completely.
From The Beat: That’s great you’ve found something that helped you
change? Tell us what it took for you?
If the government legalized all the drugs you’re going to see almost
all the world will be lowlives. People are going be fighting for drugs Kicked out
'cause they’re addicted. Getting kicked out! I was kicked out of a lot of stuff like school,
-Eric my home man because I was ignorant but I’m older so I know was
From The Beat: Do you think it will be a struggle for survival? And why up now. I’m facing a lot of time because of my ways because of
would all legalized drugs be any different than alcohol, the worse drug
of all? things I’d rather not talk about.
From The Beat: Being older dose help in your decision making sounds like
you’ve learned your lesson.
What’s up Beat? This your boy and I know how it feels to get kicked
out of your very own home. That’s how it used to be now I’m going Why Boys Don’t Cry
from group home to group home. But I got kicked out 'cause I used The reason why boys don’t show their feeling is because they don’t
to be with my homies and always come home hella late. So finally want to be seen crying. It’s a lie when people say you’re a boy
my foster mom got hella mad and finally she wanted me out of you shouldn’t cry because when you live in the hood and you’re a
her house. So I was living with a homie for two years before I got gangster and you see your homeboy die in front of you or you hear
caught but I’m glad I got 'caught cause I miss my homies. about it you’ll cry at the funeral
From The Beat: What do you plan to do when you get out? Living under From The Beat: Most men cry at funerals, but would they cry if they were
someone roof there going to be rules, have you learned to follow them? being picked on? Its more acceptable at funeral to show emotions.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Locked Up In The Rain Drugs
The last time I walked in the rain I got kicked around my If they legalized drugs the crime rate will go up and the death rate
neighborhood. So I started walking and got pulled over by the will go up too, because people will start killing themselves and
police and was thrown in jail soaking wet. But then I missed mom overdosing on drugs. So personality I think that will be a bad idea
but she didn’t want me in her house so I haven’t been home since. and it will even be worst if unexpectedly teachers and coaches were
But when I get out I’m going to go see her. doing drugs. Even people in the court house or the state. Lawyers
-John would even be all drugged up man that would be all messed up.
From The Beat: Sorry to hear things aren’t great with your mom. Is there -Christopher
anything you might be able to do to fix the relationship? From The Beat: Yes, that is very true people from all walks of life would
be using drugs.
Survivors are those who keep their heads up who play the Gangsters Do Cry
games of life. People said gangsters don’t cry but that’s a lie because, do you
My opinion of a true survivor is living through the thickest of know how hard it is to see your homies die?
Also not giving times, I give props to those who are striving From The Beat: It’s no secret everybody cries at different moments.
to ride the rollercoaster of life.
“Life likes a box of chocolate you never know what you going
to get” that’s really my favorite line from the movie, Forest
Gump. Fitting In This Game
Hopefully this is the last time I will be writing. Thank you The last time I was in the rain,
“The Beat Within” for all that you do please wish me luck, I was in a lot of pain.
and farewell. I was feeling lame with shame.
-Jeremiah I just wanted to fit in this game.
From The Beat: Like forest Gump said, You’re right, life is full of surprises. All I wanted was to gain some fame.
One can just hope for the best.
was rolling like a tire because I thought I was hitting a home
run like Mark McGuire. Now I have a charge and I’m sitting in
juvenile hall at large.
Props To Auntie -Robert
I give props to my auntie because she’s been there my whole life From The Beat: Sometimes being part of the “game” isn’t always what we
expect. Stay up!
and when my family was going through something, she would be
there. She’s like the mom I always wanted. To me she’s the best
and I love her and I know she loves me.
I just wish I were out so I could be with her right now. If I were
with her right now I would cry because God gave me another day to At A Party
see sunlight and to see my auntie who means everything to me. The last time I was in the rain was when I ran from a party that got
-Nacoyia raided. What happened was everyone was getting faded and then
From The Beat: You’re auntie sounds like an amazing person. We give my homegirls were hella high and had just arrived.
props to her too! As for me, I was high already and hella paranoid. Everyone
was chillin’ but then I saw some lights but I thought I was trippin’.
Then all of a sudden, I ran out of the door and just kept on running
My Aunt RIP and I stopped when my homegirls honked and told me to stop. It
was raining and pouring and I got sick after that.
My Aunt was like my mom she did everything for me. But when
she died I was heartbroken, because I did not get to see her in the From The Beat: Sounds like a bad night! We’re glad to hear you’re okay,
hospital. But my mom told me her last word was to finish school. but maybe your choice to get high that night wasn’t a great idea. Please
take care of yourself.
And now I’m locked back up in trouble. Sometimes I still cry in my
room I can still see her in the casket and every time I see her I cry
that was like my mom, RIP Aunt Frances. Love you.
From The Beat: it is definitely hard losing a close family member…cherish
your memories together. Those will last a life time. Leaving And Getting Caught
It started out as a nice sunny day. I got upset with my foster mom.
So when she started doing laundry, I grabbed my purse and packed
some of my things, and hers too.
Drugs The first thing I did when I left was I called my mom and let
What’s up The Beat Within, it’s your boy. If they legalized drugs her know that I had left. She asked me where I was and I lied to her
tomorrow I would not care because I’m trying not to do drugs so I because I wanted to make some money. As soon as night came, it
can do well. started raining and I got all wet. But the good thing was I had hella
If there were stores who sold drugs all stores would be broken money in my pocket and I caught me a ride too. The next morning
into. All the people that have no money will do whatever to get I got locked up. That was the last time I walked in the rain.
-Samuel From The Beat: It seems like some of the decisions you made that day were
From The Beat: Sounds like you won’t be affected by it but what about probably not the right ones. You put yourself in harm’s way. We’re glad
your friends or family? you’re safe now, but we hope be more careful in the future.
sta n d o u Fresno
sta n d o u t s
Drugs Mess Things Up! Rain And Tears
Man if they legalized drugs this would be messed up we The last time I walked in the rain, I felt it was a mixture of rain but
would all be hooked on drugs. of tears too. I was thinking about how I was screwing up. How I
Crime would go up killing and stealing would be going on. haven’t been to school. And how I’m beginning to have problems
Everyone would want to get money because prices will go up with smoking and drinking, losing respect for my mother.
people would do anything to get their cash. I realized that I need to change for my own good and the only
I don’t know what I would do, what I wouldn’t want. one who can help me is God. He loves us all and forgives us for
People would do anything for money everything we do. Change for you, for your own benefit, not for
I wouldn’t want to be on the streets you would have to watch others or to look good in front of people. I ask God for help and
your back. when I’m back on the outs, I’m going to prove to myself that I can
-Varon be a better person and I’m not forgetting about God because in the
From The Beat: It would be a scary world, if we always had to watch our end, he’s always by my side.
From The Beat: Having faith is important to overcoming challenges, but
please don’t forget that there are generous people out there who are
willing to help you achieve those positive changes you seek. You just
On My Mind have to ask for their help…
Well Beat, I ain’t feeling the topics today. In reality, I ain’t feeling
nothing at this very moment.
I went to court today and everything came out bad. I was sitting
in the courtroom crying my eyes out. When the judge said, “You’re
I can’t believe my probation officer is recommending me to get
going to S…,” my world started spinning. I’m so sad Beat, I really some time in a group home. I just got done the other month doing
don’t know what to do at this moment. I don’t know whether to cry my commitment days. The last time, my probation officer said
or to be strong and take what’s coming to me. But what I know is that he was gonna sentence me for those days so I could learn
that I can’t go without seeing my family. my lesson about not running away from my group home. I proved
Beat, I need some good advice at this moment. What do you to him that’s not gonna help. It’s gonna make me worse. But he
think I should do? didn’t get it. So now he’s talking about giving me more time in a
From The Beat: We’re sorry to hear things didn’t work out at court. We group home so I can learn my lesson. Wow. What makes him think
want you to stay strong through all of this, and don’t lose that connection I won’t run away again?
with your family. Their support is going to help you get through all of this. I swear if I do get time in the group home, I ain’t gonna trip not
Remember, The Beat is here for you too.
one day. I’m gonna show him that ain’t no one gonna control my
life but me. Tell the judge that. I’m mad. I’m a pimp, not a killa. I
got money to get and ain’t no one gonna stop me.
Hardly Changing -Lady Cash
From The Beat: Your probation officer wants what’s best for you, but it
When I get out I want to go to school and do well. I hope I don’t also seems to you like he doesn’t have your best interest at heart. You also
smoke but I know I will smoke weed I want to get out of here. want your own way, but are you really making the right decisions? We
When I get out of here my grandma and grandpa don’t want me to hope you take some time to do some really productive thinking about both
sides to this situation, and t oask yourself, how you find yourself locked
smoke and since I will be back here and if I do smoke weed I know up again! Good luck and keep us posted.
I will come back here.
From The Beat: Your grandparents are giving you good advice, if you want
to stay out quit smoking.
I Was Happy
The last time I walked in the rain I was happy.
I was on probation but I was free.
Home I didn’t think it was going to be temporary but here I am
I am going to be good so I can go home. writing on a borrowed piece of paper with a pencil that isn’t
I will do well because, I hate coming here. mine,
I will leave and come back in a couple of months after my while wearing a sweater that doesn’t even work.
birthday I wish I were at home. Not in a cell alone but in my house.
so I will remain good until then. I miss my mom and dad and feel stupid for the things I did.
-Calvin The last time I walked in the rain I was happy.
From The Beat: Do good and stay positive, don’t think about returning.
Have faith in yourself that negative temptation will not bring you back
From The Beat: It sucks that you’re in this situation, but hopefully you
to the hall!
learned something valuable so it doesn’t happen again. Good luck to
Wanting to Change
Every morning I wake up I wish I could change. Family Means So Much To Me
Change my ways, change my act, also my attitude. What’s up Beat? Well today I am going to write about my family.
Even my wants at a lot of moments. Well I wish I was with my family right now because I miss them. I
But most of all I wish I could change into my own clothes at want to tell them I love them and I miss them a lot. I will leave all
home. the drugs.
From The Beat: Changing can be hard but, not impossible. Change is From The Beat: Sounds like you miss your family, what can you do to stay
Possible. out and with your family?
stan d o u t s
staSpanish o u t s
Con La Familia With The Family
Mi última vez que estuve en la llubia fue cuando estabamos toda la The last time I was under the rain, I was with my family having a bar
familia haciendo carne asada detras de mi casa. Todos nos tubimos b q behind the house. We all had to get inside the house because it
que meter para adentro y mi mama se puso a hacer gorditas de arina was raining and my mother made gorditas and hot chocolate.
y chocolate caliente. Now that I am locked up I think about those times when I used
Ahorita que estoy encerrado me acuerdo de los tiempos bonitos to spend it with my family and that’s why I am waiting to get out to
que pasaba con mi familia y por eso estoy esperando salir para estar be with them.
con mi familia juntos. I don’t want to make them suffer anymore. The truth is that it
Ya no quiero hacerlos sufrir. La neta es que se siente feo estar feels sad to be here and making your parents to suffer. I want to get
aqui y estar haciendo sufrir a tus padres. Yo quiero salir y salir out and I succeed, graduate school and have a better job.
adelante, graduarme de la escuela y tener un buen trabajo. All I think is all these beautiful moments I used to spend it with
Todo lo que pienso es lo que me hace recordar los momentos my family and friends. Sometimes we would to the mountains when
bonitos que pasaba con mi familia y mis amigos. Aveces nos ibamos it was raining.
a las montañas cuando estaba llobiendo. Now I am locked up and I think about those moments we spent
Ahorita que estoy encerrado me acuerdo de los momentos and I want to get out, finish my programs and get my freedom back.
chidos que pasabamos y quiero salir y terminar mis programas para This is all.
volver a tener la misma libertad. Es todo. -Jose, Santa Clara
From The Beat: These are memories that lift the spirit of anyone. It’s
From The Beat: Esos son momentos que lebantan el espiritu de cualquier noticeable that you have a great and beautiful family, something everyone
persona. Y se nota que tienes una familia bien alegre y bonita—algo que doesn’t have or with to have. What do you plan to do after this experience?
casi nadie tien y desea tener. ¿Que tienes pensado hacer despues de esta What would you do to make them stop suffering? Remember that you are the
experiencia? ¿Qué haras para no hacerlos sufrir más? Recuerda que tú eres only piece missing in the family.
el único de la familia que hace falta.
Cuando Me Corrieron De La Casa
I have been kicked
Cuando estaba en México tube unos tíos que me querían como un hijo.
Nada mas era mi tío porque su esposa era mala onda conmigo. Recuerdo
cuando mi tío me compró unos tennis que estaban chingones.
out form school and
Me los dio y me dijo, “son para ti, porque te estas portando bien.”
Al otro día cuando fuí a la escuela, un guey me hizo enojar y le encajé
el lápiz en la mano y le salió sangre.
from my house be-
Cuando llego la maestra me llebaron a la dirección. Le llamaron
a mi tía a que me fuera a recoger. Estabamos discutiendo y me dijo
que los tennis que me habia comprado mi tio se los diera. Me dijo que
cause I used to fight
nunca le habian dicho nada de la escuela sobre sus hijos. Me dijo, “vete
de mi casa, lárgate.” Le dije que mi tío me los habia comprado y no ella.
Ella me dijo que no le importaba. Me fui a la tienda.
a lot over gangs...
From The Beat: En primer lugar estubo mal lo que hicistes en la escuela,
pero no era para que la esposa de tu tio te corriera sin el consultamiento
de tu tio. Deberías de decirlo lo que ell ate dijo y portarte bien con ellos
porque ellos te estan dando el apoyo que necesitas para seguie adelante. Sí Me Han Corrido
“No tomes el codo cuando te den la mano.” Hola mi nombre es Luis. Bueno voy a responder a la pregunta
del Beat. Si me han corrido de algún lugar. Me han corrido de la
escuela y de mi casa por que peleaba mucho por pandillas y por
When They Kicked Me Out From vender drogas como mariguana, cocaína y piedra.
The House Me corrieron por eso, luego entre a otra, pero también me
When I was in Mexico, I had my uncle who loved me like a son. It
was just him who cared for me because his wife was very bad to me. I From The Beat: ¿Cree que hacer lo que haces es lo correcto? Tienen razón
remember when my uncle bought me a pair of tennis shoes. They were ellos en correrte si andas haciando cosas no debidas e inapropiadas. Hay
very tight. normas y reglas que tienes que seguir. Andar en pandillas, andar en drogas
o venderlas, no te llebara a nada bueno mas que a esas mismas paredes
He gave them to me and said, “This is for you because you have que estas mirando en lo que lees.
been behaving well.”
The next day I went to school, a guy got me mad and I stabbed his
hand with my pencil and he bled.
When the teacher came to the classroom, she sent me to the office.
I’ve Been Kicked Out
Hi my name is Luis. Well, I am going to respond to the question
They asked my auntie to come and pick me up. We were then arguing
The Beat asked. Yes, I have been kicked out from places before.
and she asked me to give her back my tennis shoes that my uncle had
bought for me. She told me that she never received a complaint from I have been kicked out form school and from my house because
school regardless her own children. She said, “get out of my house, I used to fight a lot over gangs and for selling drugs like weed,
go.” I told her that my uncle was the one who bought it for me and not cocaine and crack. That’s why they kicked me out, then I went to
her. She told me that she didn’t care. So, I left to the store. another school, but I also got kicked out.
-David, Santa Clara -Luis, Santa Clara
From The Beat: First of all, it was a wrong thing doing what you did From The Beat: Do you think what you do is right? They have the right
in school, but it doesn’t give your uncle’s wife the right to kick you out to kick you out if you are doing inappropriate and illegal movements in
without consulting it with your uncle. You should tell what him what schools or at home. There are norms and rules you have to follow. That
she said to you and also behave better because they are giving you the road of gang and drugs, won’t take you anywhere but to the same four
support you need to succeed. “Don’t bite the hand the feeds you.” doors you are probably looking as you read.
sta n d o ut s ts
sta n d o uSpanish
Some people get Los Mayores Se Merecen Nuestro
their respect Respeto
A mi desde pequeño me dijeron que tenía que respetar a las
by doing bad things.
personas mayores porque hay personas mayores en el mundo que
se merece nuestro respeto. También en sus generación existieron
personas con mucho respeto.
Algunas personas se ganana el respeto haciendo cosas
Cambiar Mi Vida Por Ella malas.
Les quiero decir algo a todos los que piensan que haciendo
Hola mi nombre es Luis y me dicen el Psycho. Yo quiero cambiar
mi vida principalmente por mi mama y porque ella es la persona cosas malas se peude ganar el respeto. El respeto se puede ganar
que más amo en mi vida. Desde que empece a drogarme y a andar haciendo cosas. Gracias por decirlo.
en pandillas, me he dado cuenta de que yo le he hecho sufrir. From The Beat: ¿Y a ti como te gusta ganarte o dar respeto? ¿Y tú tienes
Ella no se lo merece porque ella no ha hecho otra cosa mas personas mayores a quien respetas? Tal vez para la próxima nos puedas
decir de alguna de esas personas.
que cuidarme y protejerme. Yo quiero cambiar para hacer feliz a mi
mama y para demostrarle lo mucho que la quiero y la amo. Por eso
yo les doy un consejo a todos los que tengan a su mama: quieranla Elders Deserve Our Respect
mucho, amenla respetenla, denle todo su amor y cariño y no la I was told since I was very young that I have to respect elders
hagan sufrir porque el día que ya no la tengan mucho les hara falta because in the world there are elders that deserve our respect. In
pero tarde sera. their generation, people with a lot of respect existed.
Yo voy a hacer feliz a my mama porque ella me cuidó cuando Some people get their respect by doing bad things.
yo era un bebe, me alimento y medio su amor y cariño. Por eso I just want to say something to those who think that doing bad
te amo mama, te adoro y doy mi vida por ti. Tu me alumbraste el things will get you the respect you need: you gain respect by doing
camino cuando estaba oscuro y me cargaste cuando yo cai en un what’s right.
tiempo duro. En la salida de la escuela simpre me esparabas. Tu -Carlos, Marin
caminabas largos tramos pero siempre estabas. From The Beat: How do you like to gain or give respect? Do you know
some elder you respect? Maybe you can tell us about that person for the
Me acuerdo que cuando tu llorabas por mi y me arrepiento next time. Thanks for sharing.
de que hayas llorado por mi culpa. Yo doy mi vida para que tu no
sufras. Perdóname por hacerte llorar mama. Ya no lo voy hacer,
Te amo y te respecto mama.
From The Beat: Esperamos que llegues a cumplir con lo que has prometido.
Te Lo Di A Ti
Tu madre si se merece tu cambio y merece algo de afecto que ella mismo Te voy a esperar
te ha dado a ti. Tú tambien te mereces una mejor vida que la que llebas. Mi amor te entrege mi cariño, lo puse a tus pies.
¿Cual es tu plan para hacer tu cambio una realidad? Haz lo que tengas que
hacer y haz feliz a la mujer que siempre ha estado junto a ti en las buenas Pero en final solo quede.
y en las malas. Me dejaste, mi pobre corazón quebraste.
Fuiste mi primer amor.
Changing My Life For Her La reyna de mi corazón.
Haría todo por ti y todavía te quisiste ir.
My name is Luis and they call me Psycho. I want to change my life
Siempre te voy amar, hasta el dia de mi final.
especially for my mother because she is the person I love the most
Siempre recuerda si tu quieres regresar, aqui te voy a
in this life. Ever since I started to use drugs and became part of a
gang, I realized that I have been making her suffer.
She doesn’t deserves this because she is hasn’t done anything From The Beat: Parece que estabas muy enamorado. Queremos saber si te
dejo porque anduviste de bolado en las calles o tal vez porque preferiste
bad but to take care of me and protect me. I want to change to estar con tus amigos hacienda travesuras. Otra cosa mas, para la proxima
make my mother happy and show her how much I care and love vez nos gustaria que escribieras un poema sobre tu vida o como miras la
vida. El Beat tiene otro proposito. Habla con el facilitador del Beat para
her. That’s why I give you all an advice: take care of them, love una mejor explicación.
them, give them all your affection and caress, and don’t make them
suffer because when they are gone, you will miss them and it will
be too late. I Gave It To You
I am going to make my mom happy because she took care of I’m going to wait for you
me when I was a babe. She fed me, gave me her love and affection. My love, I gave you my all my affection, I put at your feet.
That’s why I love them, I adore you, and I give my life over you. You But in the end, alone I was left.
illuminated my path when it was dark and carried me when I went You left me, my poor heart you broke.
through hard times. After school, you were always waiting for me. You were my first love.
You walked long walks, but you were always there. The queen of my heart.
I remember when you cried over me and I regret that you cried I would do anything for you and you still wanted to leave.
because of my fault. I’ll give my live over not make you cry again. I will always love you, until my final day.
I’m not going to do it again, forgive me. Always remember if you want to come back, here I will wait
I love you and respect you, mom. for you.
-Luis, Santa Clara -Bolado
From The Beat: We hope you keep your words. Your mother deserves your From The Beat: We want to know if she left you because you were untrue
change, and deserves the same affection she has been giving you. You also to her on the streets or maybe because you preferred to cause trouble with
deserve a better life than the one you had. So what are your plans to make your friends. One more thing, for the next time we would love if you write
your change a reality? Do what you have to do to make that person who a poem about your life or about how you view it in general. The Beat has a
has always been with you though good and bad. different purpose. Talk to a Beat facilitator for a better explanation.
Welcome to The Beat Without
rom The Beat: We would like to welcome you readers to
the latest installment of The BWO Section this week,
as we kick off the third straight week with another
commentary in our famous back pages known as The
This week we have various writers that find themselves
trapped behind bars in institutions all across the country. This
week, for example, we have writers from Washington State,
Texas, New Mexico, and of course we have our powerful group
of writers from facilities all over California.
We feature another special guest by the name of Beautiful,
and she delivers a short but powerful poem that she dedicates
to a special someone. This is the 2nd straight week in which we
have a woman featured in our BWO section. Hopefully we can
keep that going, as of many of you that are so familiar with our
publication know that we don’t get too many women writing in
The BWO Section.
We have so many stories and poems in-store for y’all this
week, but another out of the ordinary piece is one written by James Gonzales
one of our former interns named Alex. He tells us a story about
how his pet Dragon almost burned his house down – so ironic.
Ok readers, brace yourself for stories filled with laughter,
pain, frustration, and anything that you can imagine or think of.
Some are short, and some are small, but they all hit hard like 25
year life sentence given out on a 16 year old kid. Many of our
writers in this section are in penitentiaries fulfilling some long
sentences, and trying to reach out to y’all to tell you the truths
about being incarcerated for so long. So give your attention to
our writers and take heed of some of the advice that they have
to offer. One love to everybody going through the struggle, and
if you are not, and you are free and handling your business,
please do not hesitate to also drop us a line, we’d love to feature
your thoughts in the BWO too!
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 53
The Beat Without James Gonzales has written for our publication before, but it’s been a
while since we heard from our friend. This week James delivers a piece
that reflects what being in prison for sooo long can do to you. Filled
with a lot of anger and pain James uses our pages to vent out his
frustrations with the criminal justice system. We thank James Gonzales
who writes from RJ Donavan State Prison in San Diego, CA.
Dear Beat Within what it’s like for him as a Ku Klux Klansman.
They show Dave; keep in mind he’s Black and blind but
Why do I have so much anger and rage? Why do I have so much
hate for people? It seems as if the only time I can like anyone is thinks he is white (laugh out loud, ha, ha, ha). They show him
when they’re giving me something. I hate everyone in this place. I being driven to a KKK meeting, but they stop at a gas station and
thought this hate and this rage went away and it did when I went a bunch of white red necks start calling Dave the “N” work. Dave
to the SHU. I quit waking up screaming angry every morning. is blind and he starts yelling along with the white boys, “Yeah, you
I quit having rage fits in my cell, and I quit yelling out my cell “N” word, get out of here” (LOL). So he’s yelling but doesn’t realize
disrespecting fellow inmates or police. I really and truly honestly the white men are actually calling him the “N” word (LOL). So they
“stopped” being mad, and to be really honest, I think I quit being show up at the KKK meeting and Dave is at the podium covered in
angry long before I was in the SHU. a Ku Klux Klan uniform and you can only see his eyes, no other
I think I stopped being mad when Salinas Valley put me on the part of his body, and he’s giving a rally speech to a room filled with
sensitive needs yard in October 2003 and I was no longer locked KKK members.
in a cell 24/7 along with a bunch of people always yelling out their At the end of his speech he removes his hood and they all see
door like screaming idiots. I was locked up in the hole from May he’s Black (LOL). He just gave them a speech about being pure
2, 1995, till October 2003 and being locked up, being deprived, white, and they were all cheering and then they see he’s Black.
turned me into a hateful, angry individual. I no longer felt human. Oh, it’s hilarious. They all started throwing things at him. Oh,
I was so mad I’d wake up screaming in the morning and kick the and I miss laughing at Mad TV and Saturday Night Live. Yes, I
door a few times to release some rage. I wished the inmates were remember that my anger disappeared. It’s a sickness, a disease
dead; I wished the police dead; I hated everyone! feeling this hate and rage. I wish I could be just a little bit happy.
The hate I felt towards the inmates and police was like a But I know that is not gonna be anytime soon. I don’t want to do
cancer consuming me. I felt like I was the only one suffering. I my life sentence suffering this way. Why did they send me all the
really don’t remember that the hate and rage did go away. Now way down south like this? There aren’t even any electrical plugs
it is eating me alive once again. Being locked up in the hole has in the cells for anyone to plug in their TV! This is the only prison
reminded me of a time that I suffered every single day in the hole in the state of California that does not give the inmates TVs in the
when “sensitive needs yards” did not exist and I didn’t have no hole like they’re supposed to per new state law passed in 2006.
place to do my time because the Norteños removed me off the yard It seems the only time I acquire enemies is when I’m in the
and I refused to go to another mainline. hole like this and my mind is bouncing off these walls because
I don’t like this rage and anger. It makes me sad and I miss I have nothing to keep me laughing, nothing to entertain me,
being happy and laughing. I miss laughing at Dave Chappelle on and most of all, nothing to keep me informed, such as the world
the Dave Chappelle Show. I remember one of the funniest skits he news. No one has this rage disease worse than I. I wish I could
ever did was when he was the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. kill people; kill my neighbors upstairs and next door because I’m
Now if you’ve never seen the Dave Chappelle Show, he is a Black sick of hearing them. Kill everyone I’m forced to hear because they
comedian and has some sick humor. I love it. So Dave is the Grand run their mouths on the tier every single day! I know it wouldn’t
Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan; the KKK is a white race supremist even bother me if I had my TV, but with nothing but these stupid
group. Dave is also blind and he lives deep in the mountains of people to listen to, it makes me sick. I wish I could kill them dead.
Mississippi. A news reporter from Frontline wants to do a story I pray to God I get out of this hell hole soon and go back to Salinas
about the KKK so he follows Dave around on a news story to see Valley where I lived from October 2003 to March 2006 happily.
Respectfully, James Gonzales at R.J. Donovan in San Diego.
Our next writer has delivered a short poem, that packs one hell of a
punch! A first time writer Santos is digging our publication and wants
to be part of our “movement”. Participating for the first time we would
like to give Santos a warm welcome as he describes to us his “Tears of
A Thug Child”. He writes Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City,
Tears of A Thug Child I planted no seeds because I am a damaged rose
With petals of blood from years of darkness and enemies
I was born with a life full of drama and pain
clipping away at me
And people don’t understand
Only to see me fall and die
I can never go back and change things physically only
When I cry out
No one hears it
You see when I’m asleep I dream of screaming souls
They only label me a public enemy
Lost looking from the outside
This is my life my heart, and also my soul
But no one looks in our hearts and notice that something
Dreams of a thug’s memory told by many tears.
else is there
Page 54 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
We welcome Angel who so eloquently delivers his message which The Beat Without
couldn’t be any more clearer than the waters off the Hawaiian shores.
This message he sends out to his “Raza,” as Angel himself has admitted
that his pride has gotten in the way of him of trying to do the right
thing. With so much pride in his heritage Angel is one of the only few
to realize so far that sometimes our own people, race, whatever you
want to call it, are our own biggest enemies. Not holding anything
back in his upcoming pieces Angel isn’t afraid to speak his mind,
heart, and soul. He writes from a Correctional Facility in Susanville
California. The Angel
The Angel is me, who in reality gave his life so another may live
freely. So my life sentence would be my joys of turning my back
on the world before it turns its back on me.
For My Brown Brothers It describes the beauty in the worst of situation and also
acknowledges the willingness to teach and share what wisdom
There is several purgatory of hells, and the number one cause of
“Raza” death is our pride. may be found here in (prison).. The other explains how I’ve taken
We as a race have fallen below the average marker of death myself and my choices for granted, as a brown individual.
in our neighborhoods, ‘cause of the way we were raised. As a kid
we envy the local T.V. stations that displayed the hard death, or
the invincible man who took 4 arrows and still killed 5 people
before he actually died. We were brought up believing and Inspired by Flaw
praising death, ‘cause anything else would seem weak thinking From Heaven I’ve fallen, my grace, an abomination. For you see
as a society of discriminative. Thinking brought us towards I’m a king without a kingdom, destine to live by my choices..
our own individuality therefore what suffering we encounter we Forced to see what I’ve taken for granted, never has my sorrow
handle with minimum words. awaken such cruel benign intention. I’ve become once more a
We see what other races called down right impossible “to wish never spoken, a God of the night. No one to behold such
hard to accomplish as a breeze, therefore on the social scale its magnificent and still I fathom the day to be restored my treasures
always them before us, then us we prevail, but the death scale of untold worth.
is always 100% Mexicans who are putting their pride in front of So once more, I roam another century upon ash and
each choice they make. Their families’ pain is heard through brimstone, my wings are etched and scorched from those who
out the neighborhood and rattling the halls of Aztec’s Pyramid. cast me down; no more will I hear the symphonies of “master’s
We as a nation must prevent the cycle of seeing one another as
touch upon my beating heart”.. Never will my eye’s enjoy the
strips, stars, teardrops, or bones. It is the head of households
feast of colors yet discovered such warmth to be felt, can only
who is responsible for the way we see and accept things. Such
acknowledge the sense’s never to have existed then to be
as racism, superiority, pride and it is us who tells the stories of
shunned it’s embrace. I walk with heavy wings for they serve
generations of oppression..
better to shield the cold, then to fly once more through time’s
We speak for the dead in honoring those who killed in the
names of street justice. The walls have ears and eyes and it’s the calling. Yet I see a purpose through my anguish, my cries of
little niños (boys) and niñas (girls) whose hearts are filled with despair are melodies to give strength to the hopeless.
pride for the brown brothers and sisters. My deed’s can renew the breath once more to the dead. My
Mi Raza Querida( My Dear Race), step up and see what’s tears have created such lagoons of emeralds glow with diamond
become of your race, close your eyes and hear the tears of lights. To inspire gathering from my master’s flock to be admire,
grandmothers and grandfathers, lost tia’s (aunts) and tio’s I hold such prestige of essence, yet to be witness shame’s me
(uncles) who may of passed before telling you the honor in loving into remorse of that as a child’s scolding and yet my talons have
your fellow brown brother. As Ramon Ayala sings “Un Punio De allowed me to confess the deepest secret’s of matters of the
Tiera”, understand that all were taking us, yet that pride wins heart’s true nature. I confessed this life time is one of many
the mind and heart battle everyday to hear the truth. I am a heartaches to be cherished and enjoyed the pain to carry along
Mexican-American, a soldier of misfortune. I kill to be praised, your amazing journey’s of triumphant battles therefore “my
use women to make money, give my primos (cousins) drugs to friend”, I sit upon the highest peaks, of my kingdom, suffering,
rot their bodies and steal food from kids to feed my drug addict so that you may continue your life’s struggle.
corpse. Mi raza querida, what good are all our accomplishments Earnestly, I stand at time with my wings spread open so the
on TV or radio, when it’s our murders and violence being wind will seep through the twigs and branches of any encrusted
displayed on a daily basis? Must we face our deathbeds, to see and scattered feathers. The chill of its breath aches all over and
what we have taken for granted, how we misused those who we yet I defy deaths grasps upon my carnation grip, so that you may
cared about and admired? stand firm in your decision to carry out no matter how cruel
I saw a man jump off a high bridge cause they called him a or fowl you may of fallen. To retrace a million steps will only
punk. I witnessed 2 niños drink themselves to death ‘cause they get you disappointed for what path set before you no one can
were dared. I’ve seen scars, beatings, burns, broken bones, up change it’s destiny. Learn my “friend”, if you run so fast, that life
on my young brothers and sisters. We are dying faster then our passes you by or if you’re to slow to even see the sands of time.
guardian angels can catch us. To be brown was a curse of my I’ve fallen a 1,000 graces cried a 1,000 oceans, romanced a
elders, to be American has me surrounded by walls, guns, and million hearts but never have I been loved once. I even turn my
bars. back on my shadow, for even he ridicules me for being exalted
I sit and think what’s become of my words, my hard work, amongst the Gods to being reduced to consorting with rocks and
and my thirst to be human. Once more, for you see its on my dirt. I am an ancient prophet ruler amongst killers and thieves.
death bed, I acknowledge the love for my fellow brown brothers
My tongues soothing, to the hearts desires temptation is at
and sisters, so sit down and talk amongst each other and see all
hands grasp. My heart is weary and old but your pride will create
you have in common. My words are but a grain of sand but its up
kingdoms that houses fools. So choose your choices correct,
to the youth, my niños and niñas, to carry these words and make
become someone, don’t dream of dreams, exalt yourself and
them into mountains.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 55
The Beat Without Burnell Kelly drops some inspirational writing this week to get you
motivated to stop fighting one another and realize that the real fight
is within yourselves. Burnell brings us some interesting points in his
next piece as he addresses various issues, and tells us about how
him and group of other inmate are planning on attacking every issue
that poverty stricken communities are facing. Sending us his love and
respect plus, some very thoughtful advice from Corcoran State Prison
in, Corcoran CA, Burnell tells it like it is and keeps hope alive behind
‘Tomorrows Success is deter- the concrete walls and barbed wire fences!
mined by the decisions we make means to many of us in here, is Prison not exempted from having
today!’ its share of b.s.’ers, fandanglers, twisters and conmen. So when
somebody in here makes a decision to change his ways, it’s not
To Whom This Letter May Concern:
something that goes un-noticed. In fact, he’s watched even more,
Please, allow me to first and foremost, greet you and those
he’s tried and tested by his ex-homies who believe that they can
among you who are hard at work and attempting to have some
bring him back home.
visible impact on the various social ills that affect the inner cities.
So “keepin’ it clean,” it takes on a whole new meaning in
Be in the form of gangs, drugs, dysfunctional homes, etc. Whatever
here, ‘cause for one, you can’t run from the decisions you make.
position you have taking in this plight is a deserving one.
What ever you do will become public information sooner or later.
Before I go any further, afford me this opportunity to explain
Unlike on the streets you can move to a whole new location, or
how I came to this particular position, of joining the brawl. Even
you can just duck and dodge people. In here, it’s not that simple,
from this incarcerated position, a dear friend of mine, who is a
and this is one of the reasons why I truly believe that one of those
federal attorney, wrote a letter on my behalf to the Board of Parole,
programs enacted out there with the support of these individuals
and one of the highlights he expounded on, was my desire to
who live a different life even under these circumstances should
become involved with the at risk youth, especially those who have
be afforded the opportunity to share life’s experience in a positive
become involved in gangs.
manner that will inspire the youth, and those adults who might
Since I was at one time a gang member as well, so instead it
find something of value in there life narrations.
being an idea alone, I begin writing organizations: at risk Groups,
We would love to become involved in many of the various
Churches, Mosques, etc… Now a lot of these organizations never
programs that cater to Alternatives to violence, Anger
wrote back, so I started talking to other individuals around
management, combating peer pressure, avoidance of negative
me who I know are ex-gang members, and have made that full
situations, understanding acceptable and anti social behavior, and
transition. Once I got here (Corcoran State Prison) almost two
challenging the gang mentality. We however do not limit ourselves
months ago, I started a letter campaign, by having a large group of
to these few issues alone, for there is a variety of social issues
sincere individuals mail out pre-typed letters and we received not
that have and has had a devastating impact on our communities,
a response, but this does not deter, nor did it discourage us from
and mostly through our actions. Therefore RESPONSIBILITY, and
continuing to move forward.
ACCOUNTABILITY is not merely an abstract idea. We very much
2nd Chance, Inc. is also aligned with ‘P.E.O.P.L.E’ (People
understand that many of these negative stereotypes are direct
Educating Other People Living Everywhere) Founded by Anthony
result of our actions. And from here we will redefine how others
Burton. Who’s objective is one in the same with 2nd Chance
see us and how we represent ourselves to others as well.
P.E.O.P.L.E’s mission statement is each one, teach one, reach
The OVERALL objective is not to make a better human being,
one! Both of these ideas are established, so that inmates, who are
but to find creative ways, that permit us as a unit to recycle the
sincere about rehabilitating themselves, can have a outlet for doing
latent possibilities, of each individual who has/is this sincere about
so. P.E.O.P.L.E and 2nd Chance are not religious organizations,
correcting their thought process, and reforming their behavioral
we however have those who are parishioners of the various belief
response toward stressful situations. Even though I choose to
systems, participating in these programs; because we understand
write this letter, expressing many of the ideas I represent, I at the
that it may have been through these spiritual mediums, that these
same time speak for those individuals who are affiliated with this
now enlighten minds have learned how to live a life, which reflect
work. I therefore make the effort to use the phrase “we” rather
their stands, and not one that is contrary to these very ideas.
then “I” if it’s permissible.
There are certain euphemisms that candidly express various
In closing I hope this letter is informative, and inspirational
points of reference without all the verbiage. In the youth today, we
and perchance you find yourself motivated to respond to the
often we hear the phrase “keeping it clean” and this phrase could
contents or to a particular concern you wish to address, if so, my
take on a variety of different perspectives. However this euphemism
mailbox is always open. With that I leave as I came, with hope!
We welcome Michael Fernandez who delivers a short poem he would like
to share with you readers, as “Prison Thoughts” provoke some positive
advice out of our newest contributor, Michael. He writes from Corcoran
State Prison in Corcoran, CA.
My Prison Thoughts I free myself from the past
Even though I sit in my prison cell. One of the most health
promoting activities I can participate in is exercising forgiveness
toward myself and others.
Through forgiveness, I free myself from the past so that I
so that I may more fully ex-
may more fully experience the blessings that are in my life right
now. I cannot change the past, but I can change the thoughts perience the blessings that
are in my life right now.
and feelings I hold about the past and I can change the way past
events affect me in the present.
Page 56 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
It’s been a while since we heard from one of the few ladies in recent The Beat Without
memory to contribute to our publication, Patricia aka Beautiful. This
week she dedicates this poem to somebody that means a lot to her.
Filled with regrets for past mistakes, pain, yet we can’t help but cling
on to her fast pace poem as she describes her “Wasted Time” as an
experience that not only she has learned from, but maybe some of you
readers as well. Don’t wait till you’re doing some serious time in the
pen to reevaluate your lives. She submits this poem from a Woman’s
Correctional Facility in Chowchilla, California. I guess I was weak when I should have been strong
Living the fast life and wings I had grown
My feelings were lost, afraid to be shown
Wasted Time As I look at my past it’s so easy to see
The time that I’ve wasted is my biggest regret The fear that I had afraid to be me
Spent in these places I will never forget I’d pretended to be rugged, so fast and so cool
Just sitting and thinking about the things I’ve done When actually lost like a blinded fool
The crying the laughing, he hurt and the fun I’m getting to old for this tiresome game
Now it’s just me and my hard-driven guilt If acting real hard with no sense of shame
Behind a wall of emptiness It’s time that I change and get on
I allowed to be built With fulfilling my dreams for a family and a home of my own
I’m trapped in my body, just wanting to run What my future will hold I really don’t know
Back to my youth with its laughter and fun But the years I’ve wasted are starting to show
But the chase is over and there’s no place to hide I just live for the day when I get a new start
Everything is gone including my pride And the dreams I still hold deep in my heart
With reality suddenly right in my face I hope I can make it, at least I have to try
I’m scared, alone and struck in this place Because I’m heading toward death and lord knows I don’t
That some call home want to die.
Now memories of the past flash through my head
And the pain is obvious by the tears I shed Dedicated to Mr. Orosco serving a life sentence in Waupun
I ask myself why and where I went wrong Correctional Prison.
We welcome first time writer Bambi Bayer, who has put together a
strong poem for us readers to read. “Death By a Concrete Wall” not only
describes the inner pains of the costly consequences of being locked up
for so long, but also how it can drain you both physically and mentally.
Time passes us by, and the decisions we make will free us from our own
selves, as Bambi comes through with a deep poem asking us “When will
my soul find a home to rest?” She writes from a Womens’ Correctional
Facility in Chowchilla, California.
Heart felt repentance mends a broken soul
God sees you, an angel who’s fallen
Death By A Concrete Wall “Get up and keep marching”, his voice rings out
Slowly faith lifts your head, you see the light
Multiple wounds inflicted of betrayal
Although bruised with an injured soul
Murder by enemies is sweeter
You keep marching
Than a bitter remark from a friend
“Baby-girl, I knew you’d be back”, he cries
These walls are closing in, forever is fading away
Slowly you lift every mask you’ve created
Love seems so far from the hatred in my heart
Unseen pain and heartache through a front created
God help me, I’ve fallen to my knees
Don’t be ashamed to let your guard down
I reach for help only to be kicked down again
We are all fallen soldiers in the army of Christ
Invisible footprints, a scar of broken trust
Broken souls mended by his undying trust
My foot breath seems moments too late
Thank you Lord Jesus for making me who I am
I look around only to find darkness
Never give up because the light is near
The spiritual battle for my soul is over-powering
Soon you’ll shine brighter than the brightest star
How long will my past invade my future?
No one will be able to harm you with him on your side
When will my soul find a home to rest?
We are merely angels with broken wings
I’m not dead physically but emotionally strained
Through our persecution and suffering
Immobility causes my life to be put on hold
We are made stronger than all of Satan’s army
A sudden death by a concrete wall
Heaven is our resting place
Life outside goes on while we remain in our cage
The road is much brighter
A glass barrier separated us from our living treasures
Fear is no longer present
Smeared lipstick prints and visible tear drop stains
Our heads are held high
Sweet hellos ended by sad good-byes
Our pain is forever gone
10 seconds of fame, 10 years of shame
The road is much brighter
Prisoners of our own minds, unclaimed sails
The sticks and stones will cause us to stumble
Cries unheard and thoughts entrapped
But our father will pick us up, dust us off
Smiles erased and stolen laughter
And send us back to the spiritual battlefield
Invisible scars of a road misguided
Our heartache proves good to capture a broken soul
A road traveled by many but the end unfound
God’s mercy is ours to claim
The light is dim and yet to be discovered
And heaven our eternal home.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 57
The Beat Without Look who is back!!! Yes, it’s Lauderdale Leo, whome you all should be
familiar to if you have been in tuned with The BWO section of our
publication. Lauderdale Leo has been putting some serious work the
past couple of months and submitting some countless poems and
powerful pieces. This week is not different as Leo tells us about “A Life
Changing Experience,” and comes through with a rap of his own. He
writes from Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida.
It’s My Fault; I Did It Myself;
I Am The One Responsible They Hatin’ On Me
More often than not we (the incarcerated) tend to blame everyone
but ourselves for the situations we find ourselves in. We blame
They hatin’ on me ‘cause they hate how I’m livin’
the system, police, DA’s, and judge for all our troubles. But,
Ice on my wrist
in truth we fail to look at ourselves for our incarceration and
Pocket full of chips
struggles. No one put a gun to our heads and told us to break
This gold in my mouth
the law. We mad a conscious decisions to do what we’ve done to
Homey why you trippin’
end up incarcerated.
Get it how you live, but stay out my way
A few years ago an old time convict asked me the
Do you and I’m gonna do me is all I’m gonna say
I came from the dirt, now I bloom like a flower
“How much time you got, Jit?” I responded by saying that,
I walk through the storm but don’t get wet
“the judge game me 35 more years.” In response, the old time con
Shinin’ every minute
said to me, “You never thought that you gave yourself an extra
Hour to hour
35?” I pondered that question every night for 3 years straight. I
I know my name been in your mouth a lil’ while, do it taste sour?
came to the conclusion that, yeah, I did this to me. I am the one
As far as I can see your failed immensely to be like me
responsible. A big part of maturity is learning to be responsible.
Always tellin’ the police what you’ve seen and heard
Not only for our actions, but in everything. We cannot keep on
So fly into the night and be your own bird
telling ourselves that it’s everyone else’s fault that we’ve failed
I get mine’s from the struggle
so far in life. We have to man up to our own.
Suffered day and night but I ain’t burst like a bubble
How are we supposed to grow into mature, respectable,
I live for the pain
honest citizens, if we cannot be responsible? One needs to be
I go through the gates of hell but remain the same
responsible to hold a job, raise children, own anything, and
I ain’t hatin’
carry on in life. For example, I’m on super-max for escaping from
It ain’t in my nature
prison if I say to myself, they got me on super max, what am I
I got it all from the struggle
learning? How can I call myself “grown”? It’s my fault. I did this
Do you hater!
to myself. I am the one responsible. I chose to run. It’s time
to stop blaming everyone else for what happens in our life. We
have to, need to, start taking responsibilities for our own faults.
They hatin’ on me and I ain’t trippin’
Responsibility equals success. You feel me?
I kept my shoe’s tied, showed ’em how I was livin’
I’ll always floss everything I got
How are we supposed I am everything you was not
Smile for me hater
Hate the game, not the player
to grow into mature, I’ll say it again but only this once
Do you but don’t you front
respectable, honest Verse 2:
You tellin’, oh my, now tryin’ to cop a deal
citizens, if we cannot
Lettin’ them think everythin’ I got I steal
What it really be?
You can’t feel
be responsible? I earned this
I went through all this shhh to get this ice on my wrist
These diamonds on my neck and the rims on my whip
came from the struggle
What It Do Beat What don’t you get?
This is Lauderdale Leo here. I’m dropping off some more You hatin’ now ‘cause I’m ridin’ big boy style
writings for y’all to check out. The piece I wrote titled, “A life Appreciate it, sit back and smile
changing experience,” is something very real and serious. I’m What I got you can get too
also dropping some lick (knowledge) with respects to taking All ya’ gotta remember dude you do you
responsibility and being responsible for your own actions. Dirty south raised
I felt compelled this week to lay down some lick. So, no Lauderdale’s my name
poetry, every piece of writing I put out, I direct it to the young From the bottom to the top
ones, at-risk youth, and incarcerated. On another note, I’ve been No deals I’ve copped
receiving The Beat Within publication regularly as of recently. And this guap I got stacked?
I appreciate it very much I truly enjoy The Beat Within. Y’all be Came from your hood
easy. Take care. The hatin’ that you sprayin’ really needs to stop!
Page 58 Volume 15.07 thebeatwithin.org
thebea without The Beat Without
Lauderdale Leo cont.
A Life Changing Experience magically, before the golden bench once again. “Your honor, my client
and I have spoken and received the case in length” says Immanuel”
I was laying in a coma; dying. I had lost so much blood and my heart father, I’ve read his heart. I offers myself for his crimes and I accept his
had stopped. I had taken it too far this time. They let me bleed out punishment.”
before they got any medical attention. This was it the final act. I see “So be it,” the loud voice booms.
nothing. No shapes, images, faces, objects, or people. Just complete I open my eyes and find myself in a hospital room. There are leg
darkness. I can’t hear anything either. Its as if everything has stopped. irons on my feet and both hands are cuffed to the bed rails. “Nurse,
Suddenly, I’m standing so beautiful, it makes me want to cry. As I look nurse, he’s awake! He’s alive!” exclaims the officer at my bedside.”
around me there are only a bench, this golden bench, and myself. Seconds later, a team of nurses and doctors rush into my room.
Nothing else in sight I look up and there is a bright light, so bright I “How in the hell,” says the doctor standing to the right of me.
cannot look at it “My, my, my, you have done so much” a voice echoes “This is amazing! Vitals are good, and pressure is stable. Hey, he’s
from everywhere. “Where do I begin?” “Stealing, murder, adultery, and even got some color in his cheeks”.
now suicide”, he says. I ask the CO to let me sit up. “Sure, sure, whatever you need.”
“But there is much, much more here. I could read for years! Is He says. As I’m popped up, a man comes walking into my room. “I’m
there anything you want to say before you are judged”, he asks. “Uh…I father Demetrius,” he says. “I’m here to read you your…wait, what’s
begin to mutter before another voice interrupts. going on?”
“Your honor, I have a few hours with my client before your most “He’s awake. It’s a miracle from God,” someone says.
high imposes sentence?” It requests. Miracle indeed. This is a true story. In November 2004, I attempted
“As you wish” the great voice booms. suicide. I fell into a coma shortly after due to lack of oxygen to my
Just as soon as I blink I find myself in a movie theater. Sitting brain, loss of blood, and my heart stopping. Everything I’ve said is true.
next to me is a man who looks as if he belonged to a hippie convention. It all happened I implore you youngsters out there to stop the way you
“Name’s Immanuel” he stretches his hand toward me. I shake his hand living, and change your life. God is very, very real and he’ll judge you
but before I could speak he says “I know your name already”. according to the way you live your lives. Banging, money trapping on
“What’s with the movie theater and what’s going on?” I ask the block, and violence ain't worth it. Your life will change in every
“Just watch; he replies I look upon the screen and I seen myself. single way if you turn to the Lord. I read all the time in the pages of
“Just watch,” he says again. As I sit there watching, I see everything The Beat how you youngsters don’t like what ya'll going through. Ya'll
I’ve ever done in my entire life. Everything. The good, bad, up, and in complain about the system, them “crackers” always on your trial, how
between. “How in the h…” your homies doing your wrong, etc. etc.
“Don’t you dare say the H word” says Immanuel. “Just watch”. After If you young ones want any peace, you need to change. Find
what seems like years, the screen goes blank. “You have two options God’s guidance. He’ll take you out of any and every difficult situation
here, son. You can choose eternal life or eternal condemnation”, he you find yourselves in. He’ll make the bad turn into good. He’ll help
says. “Its up to you.” if ya’ll truly tired of the way things are going, then stop plain and
“What’s going on” I ask. simple. Stop! Stop doing crimes. Stop the bullshhh. Stop blaming your
“Well, here’s the scoop. You’re out yourself really bad this time. environment for your faults. Show everyone who says that you can’t,
The officers let you bleed. You’re in a coma. Actually, you’re dying. that you can. Prove the DA, judge, PO, even them “crackers”, that you
Dead if you ask me, but I think I can get you out of the jam. It’s up to ain’t a statistic. Show’em that you somebody positive. But, to do that,
you, son, ”Immanuel says, “You have to make a promise. Sort of like you need to change and God can help. We all struggle. With God’s help
a plea deal,” he explains. “You agree to live righteous, stop destroying and love, the outcome will always be in your favor.
your body, follow my father’s commandments, Just think about it. Be miserable or be happy. Be locked up
“Your fa…I attempt to speak, but I’m out off”. inside or completely free. All you have to do is one thing. Two actually.
“Just listen”, he says “Love your neighbor as you love yourself Change and let the lord have your life. Just give yourself to him. You’ll
and love the lord, your God, with all your heart, mind, and soul.” Can understand.
you do that?” asks Immanuel. Before I could answer, I appear, almost
We welcome back TG aka Tony Gidican who has contributed to our
magazine numerous times. Always showing respect and love TG reads
The Beat from start to finish because he really likes listening to what
you young writers have to say. In return this week, TG has some words
of wisdom based on some of the things he reads in our publication. He
writes from Stafford Creed Correctional Center in Aberdeen, WA.
you don’t keep your WORD in here it don’t matter if you give your
Your Word is Your Word word about giving someone a 3-way, your word is your word and
you mess that up you get crossed out, and people won’t listen to
My name is Tony. I send my respect to all who read this and anything you have to say.
really understand what I’m saying. First off, I’m not talking bad to I’ve been in the system since I was 8 years old, I’m 22 now and
anyone but I get the Beat Within every week and I ready EVERY a lot of people know me ‘cause my word is good from when I was in
piece in it. I see almost 95 percent of the same saying, “I’m not juvenile until now. I got until 2018 of September and I’m on a two
coming back to the hall”, “I’m gonna change when I get out this strike law that means I don’t have three chances, I only have two.
time”, but then a month goes by and I see people saying I’m back Since I got a strike for this first-degree assault with a gun I only
up in the Hall, “I messed up”, and “I’m sorry Mom, I love you, I got got one more chance or I get life with no parole.
caught with drugs,” or “I got caught in gang banging shhh.” So my word has to be good or the rest of my time won’t be
Now I don’t knock what any of you do. What I do knock is when easy. I hope everyone that reads this understands what I’m saying.
you don’t follow through on your WORD ‘cause if you can’t keep This don’t just goes for prison, this goes for the streets too. Your
your WORD then you’re no good. That’s how it is here in PRISON. word is all you got, think about it. I send my respect to all young
I’m not a juvenile or in some so-called Hall, I’m in PRISON. And if and old soldier’s this is for the ladies too, much love to all.
thebeatwithin.org Volume 15.07 Page 59
I came to the conclusion that, yeah, I
did this to me. I am the one responsible.
A big part of maturity is learning to be
responsible. Not only for our actions,
but in everything. We cannot keep on
telling ourselves that it’s everyone
else’s fault that we’ve failed so far in
life. We have to man up to our own.
read the rest of Lauderdale Leo's BWO piece on page 58