The Beat Within by wulinqing


									                  The Beat Within
The Beat Within • A Weekly Publication of Writing and Art from the Inside • Volume 15.19

        W     hen I was about 12 years old I started thugging and
        running the streets by myself just to get money for me
        and my brother, I couldn’t take being broke so I had to get
        it on my own.
                                                     read the rest of Reggie's POW on page14
editor's note                                                         volume 15.19                       editor's note
           e are very fortunate to have our wonderful colleague and                  know it. It’s by 2Pac and Bone Thugs N Harmony. There’s a line in 2Pac’s
           incredible worker for The Beat back in our office after a couple of       verse that says, “…We all gone die, we bleed through similar veins…” And not
           months without him. We’re sure, when you read his editor’s note           to say that that’s the realest quote or anything, but just read it folks. It’s true.
           below, you’ll understand what makes Omar Turcios such a valued            We all bleed the same. We might have different backgrounds and ethnicities,
comrade, and such an asset to The Beat.                                              but we still have some very deep similarities.
                                                                                          Which brings me to the point of us all going through the same struggles.
We would like to thank all you readers and writers that contributed to               The reason why I bring this up is because after two and half months of not
another week of stellar writing that can always be found in the pages of our         being here, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to come back and keep working
publication, The Beat Within. It’s been a while since I been in this office (two     for The Beat Within. So much more than a program, or just a magazine, The
and a half months to be exact) helping to put out this raw publication on a          Beat serves as a window into each individuals’ life and lets the world know
weekly basis.                                                                        what you’re feeling or going through. I was going through a lot this past
       For those of you who don't know me, I am one of the assistant editors         year, and then I thought about what everyone in jail be going through and
and workshop facilitators for The Beat Within, and I have been the person            how we all make life harder on each other, and even though we have a lot of
in the backstage making it happen for several years, consistently coming             similarities, we let a barrio, block, set, color, or ethnic background separate
in to work day in and day out, dedicated to this very positive movement. I           us.
supervised a lot of young folks, not only so they can get some basic computer             Basically, what I’m trying to say, maybe we should all look at each
and office skills while earning a coo’ dolla, but so they can also be around         other a little bit differently, maybe not by where we’re from, what side a town
some positive people and influences. I'm telling you folks from experience           you from, or what click you ride with. Open your eyes a little bit. Don’t take
of being around our office, I definitely think you won't find another office as      out life’s frustrations on the next man. You don’t know what the hell he is
truly unique as ours. I see older folks engaging with the youth every day in         going through. And what’s worse, he could be going through the same thing
our office over work, or when we do our workshops, or when we are at an              you’re going through, and instead of trying to help each other out to get
event or function. Sometimes I just see the youth nitpicking at some of our          through the same struggle, you’re bringing each other down. I came back
elders, and vice versa.                                                              because I’m tired of being around people that just bring each other down
       Some of these people I work with I see are very dedicated to the youth.       instead of helping. I came back because I wanted to surround myself with
I know from personal experience. I first learned about The Beat Within when          positive people that helped me when I was down, and I want to continue to
I was in juvenile hall some seven-eight years ago, when a Beat workshop              help others. ‘Cause that’s what life’s about. And trip that’s what The Beat is
facilitator told me I had a chance to come work for The Beat once I got out.         about. That’s some real-ass shhh, huh? One love to everyone doing time and
And guess what folks… it was true! I got out, and the following week I came          your loved ones at home waiting for you to get out.
to The Beat. Sho' ‘nuff, they looked out for yo’ boy, and plugged me in with a
job. I have been here ever since.                                                    Thank you, Omar. We are reminded of “The Merchant of Venice” by William
       My journey through life for the past seven years hasn't been an easy          Shakespeare. In that play, the character named Shylock takes a lot of verbal
one, though. But whoever said life was going to be easy? I should know               abuse and prejudice because he is a Jew. So, he says: “I am a Jew. Hath not
better, because my life eighteen years prior to that wasn't easy, either. When       a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections,
I first started working in this office, I was in a "stuck in a rut" mentally. For    passions; fed with the same
those of you who don't know what that means, let me put it in simple terms:                 food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd
I wasn't a very positive person. I was deep in the streets, and to tell you the      by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as
truth, if it didn't have nothing to do with the streets, then I didn't care to       a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not
listen. I was all about my ‘hood and no one else’s. But little did I know that       laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”
The Beat would help me open my eyes not only to other ‘hoods in other cities                Okay, the topics addressed by most of the writers in this issue are:
around the Bay, but also all over The United States.                                        Disappointment – What is your biggest disappointment with yourself? It
       Throughout my whole time working here, I had my own personal drama,           is not enough to say, “Coming to the hall,” unless you tell us why you were not
from homeboys dying, to me getting shot, to baby mama drama, and anything            able to stay out. In other words, have you made some promises to yourself (or
that you can think of. If someone were to make a movie out of my life, I will        to others) about what you would or would not do that you failed to keep? Since
guarantee it to be a hit filled with plenty of action and lots of drama.             our failures to live up to our own expectations lead to our disappointments,
       I stayed messing with The Beat because I saw something very unique            tell The Beat what you’re biggest disappointments are, either with yourself or
about this program. Or maybe I should say that The Beat stuck with me for            with someone close to you.
so long. I seen that this program was a product of the street, and, after all, it           Living in a different era – If you could live at any time in the past or into
was created because of the death of 2Pac Shakur. I seen that The Beat had            the future (but not the present), what time period would you choose? If you
major respect, not only in several Juvenile Halls in the Bay Area and a few          choose a time in history (50 years or a 1,000 years ago), tell us why you chose
out of state, but also from a lot of OGs in state penitentiaries all over the        that period. What draws you to this era in history? How do you imagine your
nation. And not just OGs, but young and upcoming Gs recognized what The              life at that time? If you choose a time in the future, tell us what year it is,
Beat was about, and supported this positive movement.                                and how you imagine what things will be like then. Tell us why you chose the
       Through The Beat Within's pages, I learned from a lot of different            future and not the past.
peoples' lives from all different kinds of ‘hoods all over the nation. I seen that          And, What’s in your wallet? – If we could take everything out of your
no matter what ‘hoods we were from, colors we bang, blocks that we claim,            wallet (or your purse or your pocket — whatever you carry on the outs), and
no matter what city or state we are from or claim, we all were going through         put it on a table, what would we find? Do you have photos of loved ones, a
the same problems and struggles. Poverty stricken neighborhoods exist all            driver’s license, credit cards, club memberships, little notes to yourself, lots
over the globe.                                                                      (or little) money? Can you go through the contents, piece by piece, and tell us
       A lot of us were raised by a single parent, or maybe no parent. A lot of      how each item reflects something about you?
us don't know who the hell our dad is. Some of us don't even know who the                   We dedicate this issue of The Beat to those writer/readers who are mature
hell our mom is, either. And that also applies to the people that have parents       enough to realize that, under the skin, we are all human beings — and that we
around in their lives, but don't ever take the time to spend with them or            are all in the same boat…
get to know them. We (mostly) all have drug problems. We (mostly) all have
problems with alcohol. We (mostly) all have abusive parents or relatives. A
lot of us had to grow up fast. A lot of us had to choose sides and put it down
for a certain ‘hood or set. A lot of us have been victims of acts of violence. A        CORRECTION:
lot of us have pent up anger inside. A lot of us have felt unloved and maybe            In our last issue (15.18), veteran Beat Without writer, Dortell Williams,
unwanted at times. I could keep going with all the things we all might have             made a mistake in his story, “Sex Offenders: The Math and the Money”
in common, and they all don't have to be negative. We all like to eat delicious         (page 74). He wrote: “Three Strikes was enacted in response to paroled
foods (though we may not agree on what is delicious); we all like to laugh. (If         sex offender Robert Alton Harris, who kidnapped and murdered our
you are reading this right now and you're saying to yourself that you don't             young, promising Polly Klaas.”
like to laugh you are bs-ing yourself.)                                                      Actually, Robert Harris was put to death by lethal gas in1992,
       I’m gonna take a quote from a song called “Thug Luv”, some of you may            the first execution in California in 25 years. Beautiful Polly Klaas, age
                                                                                        12, was kidnapped and murdered a full year and a half later (October,
                                                                                        1993) by Richard Davis, who remains on California’s Death Row.
 a l o o tn s
tb e fc n e t
table of contents                                                                                    volume 15.19

 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.                                                  Editor's Note

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.

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

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goosen, Jill Wolfson, Elena Berman, Michaela Levin, Dante Dow, Patricia John-

                                                                                                                          of the week 8
son, Dennis Morton, Kim Nelson, Samantha Navarro, Johnny Le, Jhonny Ruiz, Andrey Grinberg, Gena Lindsay,
Ricky Rollins, Sean Shavers, Ava Benezara, Elizabeth Costello, Julia Scheinbeim, Chris Tamaru, Monica Carlos,
Suzanne Manneh, Gwendolyn Hubner, Lisa Kolesnik, Elisha Rodriguez, Georgia Wells, Chelsea Sprick, Kolby
Hansen, Peggy Simmons and Allan Tinker.

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.

                                                                                                                          of the week 17
San Bernardino: Jen Tilton, Jane Guttman, Jessica Martinez, Jennifer Thomas, Alex Rodriguez,
Elyssa Kellogg, Alexis Bueno, Bergen Milam and Antony DiMartino

New Beginnings - Washington, DC Staff: Alex Moe, Messiah Ramkissoon and Khalil Abdullah                                   Co - Pieces
Yolo County: Lynn Gerner and David Gerner

Los Angeles: Karen Hunt, Josh Parr and Efty Sharony

                                                                                                                          Standouts 25
Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: Steve Serna

Fresno: Mai Der Vang, Aaron Benson, Leonardo Castillo, Nigel Medhurst and Lily Romero

Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarah Damico

Honolulu, Hawaii: Dina Brooks

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week.                                                                   Alameda ..................................... 25
Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua                                                                                             San Francisco .............................. 30
Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini                                                                                         Santa Clara .................................. 35
Book Donor: Marisela Norte                                                                                                 Yolo .............................................. 40
Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous support of funders of Pacific News Ser-             Santa Cruz ................................... 42
vice’s Youth Communications Programs – California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen
Fund, Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Compton                       Marin ........................................... 45
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                    New Mexico ............................... 46
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 ..........................................47
Solano, New Beginnings - Washington DC, DC Children Youth Investment Trust Corporation, DC Humanities
Council, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Founda-                    Hawaii .......................................... 48
tion, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement and Jessie
V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, Surdna Foundation, The California Endow-                 San Bernardino .......................... 49
ment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alex-
ander Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding Collaborative, the Zellerbach                Fresno .......................................... 54
Family Fund and individual donors.

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francisco, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa
Clara County, Alameda County, Bernalillio County New Mexico, Solano County, Monterey County, Dade Coun-
ty, Floriday, Fresno County, Yolo County, Oak Hill, Washington DC, Santa Cruz County, Los Angeles County 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:
                                                                                                                          The Beat                                                                                                     Without
Features of the week
Riverside County                                                       features of the week
  From The Beat: We welcome back our colleague and friend Jennifer Boyea,
  who is a clinical therapist who is currently working at Indio Juvenile
  Hall located in Riverside County for the Youthful Offender Program
  (YOP). YOP is a locked down probation placement that integrates an               I’m lonely at home
  individualized treatment team and boot camp style approach with the              I’m lonely in jail
  goal of improving skills necessary to become successful members of the
  community. Jennifer is an advocate for finding creative ways for youth           I’m lonely when I don’t get mail
  to express themselves, and is excited to be a part of The Beat Within            I’m lonely when the homies aren’t there
  and provide her clients/Beat writers she works with this opportunity             I’m lonely when my families not around
  to express themselves and show their talents. Welcome back Riverside
  County Beat writers, we hope this latest installment will trigger others         I’m lonely without a girl by my side
  from your county to contribute as well!! Keep up the good work!!                 I’m lonely when I don’t have no one around
                                                                                   I’m lonely without my enemies
                                                                                   I’m lonely when my demons aren’t inside of me
                                                                                   I’m lonely without my weed
  10 Things I Love About You                                                       I’m lonely in the streets
       I   love   your   smile                                                     Plain and simple I’m just lonely
       I   love   your   laugh                                                     Screw everybody plus the fake homies
       I   love   your   eyes                                                      This is a message to any one lonely
       I   love   your   soft skin                                                 You don’t need anyone but God and yourself
       I   love   your   charm                                                     Real talk
       I   love   your   personality                                                                                                         -Zombie
       I   love   your   voice                                                From The Beat: People can’t live without other people. Why is it though
                                                                              that you are lonely all of the time?
       I   love   your   loyalty
       I   love   your   looks
       I   love   your   style
  From The Beat: The list sounds like you could go on for a while. We are
  glad you have someone special in your life.                                 No More Drama
                                                                                   People die and fade away and we think it’s a blessing,
                                                                                   But it just God trying to teach us a lesson

 Grandpa you will always
                                                                                   Letting us know he’s here when we need protection
                                                                                   And us as young teens
                                                                                   We always need that one person in our life
                                                                                   To show us how to fight,

    be in my prayers and in                                                        Not for the wrong but for the right
                                                                                   So let me get on the government
                                                                                   And how they do people bad

                  my heart, I love you!
                                                                                   Separating families and taking everything they have
                                                                                   Their next step is prison or body bags
                                                                                   All I hear is kids crying
                                                                                   Saying I want my family back
                                                                                   So listen to the sounds of the guns
  Gone Relative                                                                    Taking our people away
  Grandpa I know your gone and I can’t bring you back. I wanna                     Drive bys, turn playgrounds into unforgiving places
  tell you some things I didn’t get to tell you way back. I miss you               Sometimes it’s like hell
  and love you with all my heart. I remember things just from the                  It makes my mind race
  start when I was a kid and you would take me bike riding just to                 Until it bursts into flames
  take a stroll through the neighborhood.                                          I swear to God
        You changed my clothes when I got dirty from having fun.                   I’d sell my soul if all this stuff would change
  I miss when you used to tickle me on your lap til I fell to the                  There would be no more pain, no drama, no gangs,
  floor. That’s what I loved about you the most. We never really                   No mother with dead children, no crack cocaine
  talked as I got older but I know I was always your lil’ soldier, all                                                             -Tiny Bear
                                                                              From The Beat: We all wish there could be change in this world, but he
  you wanted me to do was to listen to my parents.                            world is going to be how it is. You can focus on your self and try to give
        Apparently, I did the opposite, that’s a major thing I regret.        others the knowledge and help them to change as well.
  I did things that put my parents in debt. I’m sorry for not
  spending time with you, I would have rather smoked weed than
  to be with you. Damn sometimes I wanna punch myself for
  being so selfish. I never wanted to tell you this in this way.
        I love you Grandpa, I wish you were here so I could spend
                                                                                   You got the hair that gives your beauty a glare
  more time with you. I made your son cry when you passed away
                                                                                   The eyes that have me surprised
  by giving him a hard time. I didn’t notice that till I ended up
                                                                                   You have those lips that make me wanna give you an one
  in here. I apologized to him and I wanna apologize to you too.
                                                                                   hour kiss
  Grandpa you will always be in my prayers and in my heart, I love
                                                                                   The voice of an angel
                                                                                   The laugher that makes my day shine
  From The Beat: We are sorry for the loss of your grandpa. This just goes         It’s a true blessing to have you as mine
  to show you the truth in the saying you don’t know what you have                                                                 -Zombie
  until it’s gone. You still have other family left, so don’t make the same   From The Beat: This is a short but sweet poem. Even though it’s not a
  mistake with them as well.                                                  lot of words we can still see how much you admire this person.

Page 4                                                                                                               Volume 15.19
Features of the week
 features of the week                                                                                              Riverside County

     Why Us                                                                       Caught my eye
     Why us!? Young teens we’re always finding ways to do things                       I’m not gonna lie
     not positive but negative. The negative things though lead                        You caught my eye
     these young people to drugs and the drugs lead the young                          As your beauty got my mind
     teens to overdose or death. Everybody tries to blame it on the                    Hypnotized, you put my heart in a trance
     government but it’s not the government’s fault it’s our fault,                    Fill me up with romance
     for not showing our kids how to succeed in life. One thing the                    I wanna be yours
     government does do is supply the street with guns.                                Giving everything I have in store
          Why us? I ask myself that every morning and other things,                    My heart been torn apart before
     shhh, why not give us wings so us people could fly away into                      So I put my love in the hands of God
     our never ending dreams. Why us I ask myself, that every                          So he can plan the day of our ever lasting love
     morning when I wake up. We all should be glad we wake up in                       My eye only catches the beauty in you not your beauty in
     the morning, 35 % of us don’t.                                                    looks
          Why us, why is it that 72% of our young women are being                                                                       -Zombie
     raped, beat and ending up pregnant? Is it because they did not               From The Beat: We really like your poem. It is simple and elegant.

     come from a good background or is it these young men they are
     hooking up with are trying to make them into something they
     should not be? Some young women managed to make it out and
     to the other’s may God be with them.
          Why them, why us? Why is it that people die? Is it because
                                                                                       Drugs in my veins
     of all the guns and drugs in the street or is it the stress that the              Controlling my brain
     family brought beneath? As I speak right now, there is someone                    I’m going insane
     turning in their hospital bed and an hour later that young youth                  For smoking Mary Jane
     was my younger cousin, shot 5 times, I didn’t have a chance to                    Just to help ease the pain
     say good bye. Now I am wording “Why us”. Why is that young                        It’s like drugs revolve around me
     teens are dying left and right?                                                   Not letting me see where it would lead me
                                                              -Tiny Bear               Drugs making me happy but deep down inside of me
     From The Beat: These are all questions that we wonder and they are
     good questions. You’re right though a lot of these problems are because           I could only see the real me
     of the messed up world that we live in. We can just live the life the best        Drugs messed up my life
     we can and try to stay away from all the problems.
                                                                                       Took me away from my family and left me stuck in a dark

   To the love of my
                                                                                       Now I regret smoking drugs cause they left me hanging in
                                                                                       Puff, puff pass, takes you to the wrong path

      life you’re the
                                                                                  From The Beat: Drugs are controllable you just have to find it within
                                                                                  yourself to control them. If you’re a man then you need to step up and
                                                                                  not be controlled by a substance.

     drug that gives
   me a natural high                                                              To The Love Of My Life
                                                                                       To the love of my
                                                                                                           life, I want you to be the one I call my

                                                                                       To the love of my   life, I want to be with you till the end of
     God                                                                               To the love of my   life, you’re the one I want my kids to call
          God is my strength                                                           mom
          God is my savior                                                             To the love of my   life you make me do things I never knew
          When I pray I feel like I’m only asking him for favors                       I could do
          He’s the neighbor in my heart                                                To the love of my   life, I am here to told you when you cry
          We’ve never once been apart                                                  To the love of my   life I would be by your side through
          Always loved me from the start                                               thick and thin
          Put light in my life on the darkest nights                                   To the love of my   life you’re the one I wanna die for
          Gave me wisdom to listen to advice from someone wise                         To the love of my   life you’re the drug that gives me a
          God has the power to take your life, give you food and                       natural high
          water to keep you alive                                                      To the love of my   life you give me the strength to keep on
          So be grateful for what you got and always give thanks to God                going
          Thank you God for keeping my family safe from harm and                       To the love of my   life if it wasn’t for you there wouldn’t be
          giving us life                                                               a you and me
          Amen                                                                                                                                 -Zombie
                                                                -Zombie           From The Beat: If you don’t want to change for yourself then maybe
     From The Beat: Be thankful for what you have but at the same time            you can use the love of your life as a reason to change. Although how
     don’t take it for granted. Getting locked up is not being thankful for       are you going to be there for this person to hold and comfort them if
     the life God has given to you.                                               you keep getting locked up?   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                  Page 5
Features of the week
Portland, Oregon                                                        features of the week
  From The Beat: We welcome back our newest contributors to The Beat
  Within, from the Multnomah County Juvenile Detention Center in               Living in a New Era
  Portland, Oregon comes this amazing initial effort of writing that you       If I could go back in time I would go back to when my Uncle Jeremy
  are about to read. We want to thank our newest partners in the young
  writers and the institution that has opened the door for The Beat Within     was alive. I would spend the last second with him and not play
  to conduct workshops. Lastly, a big thank you to Tifini Linford and Deb      around and get drunk or high with my friends. I’m happy he is not
  Arthur and all their colleagues who are running Beat workshops at the
  detention facility through the Senior Capstone class at Portland State       in any more pain.
  University. Welcome all!                                                           I want to go back so I will not be in DEL. I want all the kids
                                                                               that think they’re hard and tight for flying a color. If you came here
                                                                               you will wish you would not have to came here, you would wish
Past                                                                           you could go back in a past era.
                                                                                     I regret all the bad things I have done. All that time I could
If I could live in any time but the present I would choose the past
                                                                               have been with my uncle before he passed away. I would go back
because in the past there probably wasn’t as much drugs and
                                                                               to be with my uncle for five minutes.
violence than there is now.
                                                                                     All I know is that the future is what I need to think about and
      Also you probably didn’t have to watch your back when
                                                                               what I can do to turn my life around. When I get out I’m going to
walking down the street. You also probably wouldn’t have to worry
                                                                               share my story, my life is going to get better. If you can read the
about being gorgeous, nails are expensive, hair dos and clothes.
                                                                               book “Life in Prison” by Stanley Tookey Williams, reading it made
From The Beat: Beverly, thank you for your submission. We also like to         me want to turn my life around. If you read this look at what I
picture a life without drugs and violence. Use what you have learned in        write, do not think you are hard.
your past to make your future what you want it to be. We believe in you.
Keep your head up.                                                                   You might fight for a corner but five minutes of fun can turn
                                                                               into twenty five years to life. It is not worth that, trust me. All the
                                                                               kids that read this, read it more than once and read it carefully.
                                                                               When I get out I am going to keep writing because I want to share
                                                                               what I have experienced.
                                                                               From The Beat: We enjoyed reading your piece about going back in time.
                                                                               We think everyone wishes they could go back in time and change how
                                                                               they acted at some point. We know that death is often hard to deal with
                                                                               and for you to recognize that you would go back in time before your
                                                                               uncle’s passing says that you really cared for and loved him.

                                                                               Being locked up
                                                                               I hate this place. I feel like a caged animal. It makes me want to
                                                                               explode. It drives me crazy not being able to see my 7 year old
                                                                               brother. But it has its ok’s. Going to sleep when I’m told is not
                                                                               cool, but when I’m down I think, think and think of how to turn it
                                                                               around. When my time is over I will learn to think through. Now
                                                                               that I messed up I won’t be so dumb. Overall I know the right trail
Disappointment With Myself                                                     to follow.
If I had to pick one reason as to why I am disappointed with myself                                                                       -Jason
I would have to say it is being locked up in DEL just because I                From The Beat: You are doing the right thing by focusing on how you can
                                                                               improve your life instead of thinking negatively. What is the trail you will
wanted to skip school, play video games and just smoke pot. All I              follow, and how will you follow it in the future to help you not to make
had to do was go to school and I could have avoided all of this.               another mistake?
      I have only been in here for two days now and all I can think
about is how much I want to get out and see my mom and my
brothers and my girl. Another thing I think about is how much
it has to suck for some of these other guys who have extended
                                                                               The Renaissance Era
                                                                               If I was given the chance to live in a different era I would pick the
      After only two days in here and I already feel like I'm going            renaissance era. The renaissance provided Europe with art and if
crazy and it sucks. I am glad I’m only here on a P.V. and not a                you are of the Christian religion, diversity from others. My favorite
measure 11. I have never found myself a religious person and never             part of that era is the fashion of the time.
prayed in my life until I got here. I found a piece of paper hidden in               Long flowing garments with bright colors darks. Silk was one
the light in my room saying, “Pray and he will listen”.                        of the best types of fabric at the time. Cotton and other fabrics were
      So last night was the first time I ever prayed and I'll continue         present but silk was preferred by nobles (aka Kings and Queens)
to do so every night until I get out. When I get out I'm gonna re-             and others that were wealthy enough to purchase the fabrics or
enroll in school and quit smoking pot and quit drinking. The good              pay a tailor to make you one.
part of being here is it gives me a head start on being clean. That’s                Most people associate the renaissance with the plague but the
all I can think of for now.                                                    difference is that it had already happened. I think the renaissance
From The Beat: We appreciate the honesty and reflection you wrote about.       was the best time for prosperity, so I would love to live there.
We can only learn and work on changing when we admit to the wrong                                                                             -Daniel
path we have gone down. To realize the reality of being locked up and the      From The Beat: We have always enjoyed reading and learning about
hurt that it causes, will only bring a better sense of reality and hopefully   the renaissance era as well. We agree with your statement regarding
a willingness to change. Stay strong and positive and know that when           the prosperity of the age and things like clothes and fashion that were
you get out, you have the ability to be what you want to be and make           seen as a premium during that age. Nowadays it seems like we often
better decisions in your life to be a good role-model for your siblings and    take things for granted that they certainly would have not during the
friends.                                                                       renaissance era.

Page 6                                                                                                                Volume 15.19
Features of the week
 features of the week                                                                                            Portland, Oregon
 Living In The Future                                                          Changed Man
 I would love to live in the future. I would expect the future to be           This is not a mad or a sad or a glad poem. This is one of those, I
 with me in heaven like around the year 2023 which is just a guess.            miss what I always had poem when you have something good, I
 I would love to be spending eternity with my family and God right             learned that you should savor it, material things are dumb, but
 now and I’ll feel the same way when I get released.                           getting love is my favorite, this is a reality check and turning point,
      The Lord loves me and he will get me out soon and his “word”             but I speak for myself.
 (Bible) tell me how great eternity is going to be. So yeah I can’t wait            This place should change your life and make you respect your
 so that’s why I would pick the future and that’s why I can’t wait for         health, so much I want to do when I resume my life. In the future
 eternity which is (heaven).                                                   have a kid, and eventually a wife through these eyes of mine. I have
                                                               -Lamont         seen so much crime, raised in the wrong neighborhoods, now all I
 From The Beat: We hope you live that long also and get to be with your        have is time.
 family in eternity! Just keep thinking positive thoughts and doing good
 things and you will get there one day.                                                                                                     -Salvador
                                                                               From the Beat: This poem is well written with emotion and a heartfelt
                                                                               sense that you want to change and make a better life for yourself when
                                                                               you get out. Looking for positives and goals for your future, will only help

    You made me do
                                                                               you become a stronger man.

   things I thought I                                                          Good-Bye Letter to Heroin
                                                                               Dear Heroin,
                                                                                   I’ve been thinking about you a lot since I been here in RAD.

 would never do like
                                                                               Because of the love I once had for you was so strong. When I first
                                                                               met you, I thought you were the love of my life. I thought, I could
                                                                               never be without you. You promised me no pain, hurt, shame, and

       steal from my                                                               You promised to be gentle with me, you promised me the easier
                                                                               and better life. I did any and every thing to be with you. I stole,
                                                                               cheated, and mistreated people. I couldn’t stand to be without you.

 family and friends.
                                                                               You were always at arm’s length, but you turned your back on me.
                                                                                   You made me do things I thought I would never do like steal
                                                                               from my family and friends. I would beat my girlfriend but in the
                                                                               end I did all of those things for you. From this day forward I’m
                                                                               changing my life and finding new friends and setting new goals. I’m
 Disappointment                                                                going to spend time with them, without you by my side.
                                                                                   So, good-bye Heroin.
      Locked up once again
      Thoughts running through my head                                         From The Beat: Thanks, Michael, for sharing something so personal, and
      Only if I did this                                                       reminding us that each day is a new opportunity to say good-bye to our
                                                                               past regrets and open ourselves to the opportunities of the future.
      Why did I listen to him
      But the questions go unanswered
      I’ve made too many mistakes
      Now it’s time to pay
      To change is something unknown
                                                                               Living in different era
                                                                               I would have the future ‘cause I can change the future and not
      And I’ve been afraid to give up what I already know                      the past. In the future I’m not gonna come back to jail. I would of
      It’s easy to fall                                                        did better in school and follow God’s commandments and treat my
      But it’s hard to get up                                                  family better and go to college. I’m going to wait to have a kid when
      I like feeling numb                                                      I’m ready and not have it just because I made it. I keep family close
      So it’s hard to give it up                                               and enemies closer.
      I’ve tried before                                                                                                                  -Demetrius
      But I went back saying                                                   From The Beat: Thank you for your submission. You can use your past
      Just once more                                                           experiences to shape your future into what you want it to be. It sounds
                                                                               like you have a good view on where you want to go in the future, keep
      People say, have hope                                                    moving towards those goals.
      But hope is nowhere
      I try to believe
      But my faith, fades away
      The wind takes it away
      And I’m left with emptiness
                                                                               I try to believe
                                                                               But my faith, fades away
      Once again
      That’s why I like feeling numb
      But I need to change
      I just hope I can believe again
                                                                -Solibella     The wind takes it away
 From the Beat: It sounds like you have lost faith. Faith isn’t something to

                                                                               And I’m left with emptiness
 be lost; it may be hidden and it may be numb, but it is always inside of
 you. Believing in yourself will guide you back to the place you want to be.
 You are not alone, we believe in you Solibella, we have faith in you.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                 Page 7
Counselor'scorner                                            counselor's corner
  Living In A Different Era                                                From The Beat: It’s great to see a piece from you Ms. Vaughn – thanks
                                                                           for sharing! We’re sure a lot of readers would have the same questions
  If I could go back to any era it would be back to the era when           you have about religion and meaning, and we thank you for bringing
                                                                           that up to our readers! We hope to hear from you again, as well as our
  Jesus Christ walked the earth in human form. I say this because          other favorite counselors out there in The Beat Within community!
  there are so many question that I would ask him. Living in the
  21st century, everyone thinks they know everything, rather
  their religion is the right religion and someone else is wrong or       I just feel like if I had the chance
  what is a sin, and what’s not a sin. Hell, most even believe they
  know when the world is going to end, etc. They say to ask God
                                                                          to sit and talk to him physically
  anything and he will answer your prayer and I do believe that,
  heavens I just feel like if I had the chance to sit and talk to him
                                                                          and verbally, us both in human
  physically and verbally, us both in human form, I would have a          form, I would have a better under-
  better understanding about life and this world we’re visiting.
                                                       -Ms. Vaughn,       standing about life and this world

 ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e
             Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center Counselor
                                                                          we’re visiting.

                                                            pieces of the week
  T-R-I-A-L-S                                                              My Disappointment, My Pain
  K-A-T-H-L-E-E-N… In Greek it means to be pure. I am Kathleen. I
                                                                                When I was young I lost my mom.
  am loud, funny, and funny, and smart. I was born to the Chinese
                                                                                I wasn’t there to feel the fear
  year of the rooster. I am 16 years old, that’s only physical. In my
                                                                                when I got the news I lost control.
  state of mind I am 35. I’ve lived a life of hurt & pain. I’ve made a
                                                                                I couldn’t stand the pain
  choice; I am going to break the chain.
                                                                                to live life without the women who gave me a name, and all
                                                                                the talent I have today.
  A-D-R-I-E-N…He stands 3 feet tall, he is 3 years old, his favorite
                                                                                What a shame that she was taken by cocaine, and no
  color is blue, his favorite show is “Go Diego Go”. He is my son
                                                                                second chance to change her ways.
  and his name is Adrien. He has a smile like his mommy and
                                                                                 All I have to say to those who live her way,
  eyes like his daddy. G-E-O-R-G-E, George is in prison. He has
                                                                                understand she past away at 32,
  never meet Adrien. He has never heard his voice, felt his hugs,
                                                                                 no pain no gain just a loved one resting in her grave.
  or even held his hand. George is Adriens daddy. George made a
                                                                                               -Ernest, Land Of enchantment, New Mexico
  choice but Adrien wasn’t apart of it. I am proud to be a single          From The Beat: She may have not had a second chance to change,
  teenage mom. I love my son. T-A-T-I. That is what I called him           Ernest. You do, learn from the second chance your mother never got.
                                                                           Make her proud of the life you live, don’t let your talents go to waste.
  others would call him J-U-N-I-O-R. JR was his name, he was
  a true gangster, he was my right & I was his left. He loved to
  work on cars, he enjoyed Rosie & originals. His birthday was
  November 21, 1933. He is my grandpa he took his last breath
  November 13, 2007 he is my inspiration.                                  Disappointed
                                                                                I was disappointed when you said you will be there but
  L-I-F-E… As I know it at least. These are the people who have                 you never showed up.
  inspired me the most. Adrien = Motivation, George = change,                    I was disappointed when I said I loved you,
  Tati = courage. I sat here for hours thinking about something                 but you turned around and threw it out the window.
  to write, and this is what I got. I’ve come to this point in my                I was disappointed when I let you hit me more then once,
  life that I thought I’d never reach. Understanding, I use to look             and I always came back
  in the mirror and want to hit it’ cause the person I was was                   to you with that word sorry.
  so horrible. But my life has done a 180 degree turn. I am just                 I was disappointed when you asked why I cried
  happy I get to actually L-I-V-E for once. Thank you for letting               when you came home late, and just put me to the side.
  me write –                                                                    But I’m not going to be disappointed no longer because
                  -Kathleen, Land OF Enchantment, New Mexico                    it’s me who has to leave you alone.
  From The Beat: The pleasure is ours to read about your life, and it’s                  -Pretty eyes, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
  good to hear you are still on the outs. Keep sending in your writings    From The Beat: We do hope you took your own advice? As long as you
  so we all can see how well you are doing. Let us know what has been      stay, nothing will ever change. You have to take the first step to get
  working for you and what doesn’t. We look forward to hearing from        away from an abusive relationship, and what ever you do don’t go back
  you again.                                                               walk away and never turn back.

Page 8                                                                                                           Volume 15.19
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P c so t ew e
pieces of the week
     Lonely Bird                                                                Disappointment
          A lonely bird trapped in a hallow cage stressed and                   I hate being disappointed. I feel so lost, like everything just
          depressed trying to make it to the next phase.                        crumbled all together. I hate that gut feeling I get, as if I’m going
           Jingling keys and squared meals surrounded by high                   down a huge roller coaster that feels as if it’s never going to end.
          fences and dirt fields.                                               I hate knowing that something that I thought was going to turn
          Stubborn and insecure I seem to be I’m on time out a                  out good, ended up turning worse than I could imagine.
          chance to get to know me.                                                  When I get disappointed, I feel as if everything I worked
          I fathered two children but, not the father everyone                  so hard for was stripped from me. Daym!… What’s even worse,
          expected.                                                             I only realized this when I came to the hall. But all I could do
          They threw me to the devil but somehow God intercepted                now is learn from my mistakes and strive to better myself. I
          it’s just the way the cookie crumbles; I guess I’ll just have         don’t take my time in here as a waste. I take this as a learning
          to accept it.                                                         experience.
          All of the collected days that were never accepted just                                                        -Ladron, San Francisco
          waiting for judgment day,                                             From The Beat: This is one of the most thoughtful, serious pieces you’ve
                                                                                given us, and it demonstrates a level of maturity and responsibility we
          when the spirit gets resurrected. But where would I go                hope you keep trying to develop. What were some of those things you
          heaven or hell                                                        were working on that you feel have been stripped from you because of
                                                                                the mistakes you’re learning from?
          only one knows and that’s the one above.
           After it’s all over I remain alone looking for that last
          chance as they play the last song.
                                                      -Orlando, Fresno
     From The Beat: You express yourself well, what are your plans for the
     future? Remember that the cookie doesn’t have to crumble, there still           As I used to cut into my wrists I feel the blood drip
     room for change.                                                                It’s all my pain and my bad memories
                                                                                     Falling away from my body and my spirits
                                                                                     It eases my mind to express my pain
     In My Pockets                                                                   In a way that feels good
                                                                                     As I see my mother choose her boyfriend
     I’d always have a pack of gum on me to always make sure my
                                                                                     Over her own blood
     breath stays fresh. I make sure I bring my cell phone whenever
                                                                                     Her daughter
     I go, so I can stay in contact with my family. I keep two pocket
     watches with me, one with a dead battery to forever set at a
                                                                                     It hurts like cutting me open
     certain time that refers to a special moment I had in the past.
                                                                                     Grabbed my heart
     The other watch I keep to tell the time. The most important
                                                                                     Freezing it then breaking it into a million little pieces
     things I would carry with me, are letters to people that I love.
                                                                                     But over time I shall recover
     One of the letters was a “just in case I die ” letter, but the police
                                                                                     Because God’s on my side and I’m strong
     took it away and it a suicide letter.
                                                                                     So when I sit in my cell and think about this
                                                  -Austin, Santa Clara
     From The Beat: Thank you for sharing the contents of your pockets               I know it’ll all be over soon.
     with us. You’ve given us a picture of your uniqueness, especially with                        -Mallory, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
     that watch with no battery that you can set to a time of significance      From The Beat: Mallory we at the Beat hope you are not thinking about
     to you. We’re very sorry that the police confiscated you “just in case”    ending your young life? Please seek the help you need for the pain
     letter, because we can tell it meant a lot to you. Maybe you could write   you are feeling. Find ways to feel better about yourself other then by
     a Beat piece about the person who wrote that letter.                       cutting. There are ways, you just need direction. Don’t give up, it does
                                                                                get better.

     In My Wallet
     If you could take everything out of my pant’s pockets, also my             He’s Gone
     jacket, let’s see what you find. Well, first, let’s start out with my      What’s up Beat, I’m really sad because my dad died 4/3/10. He
     front right pocket. You would find a lighter or some matches.              was really ill man and now he’s gone. When I went to visiting
     Also what’s known as a Big-E, which is a big fat-tipped graffiti           with my mom, she told me he died I started to cry. Because he
     marker. In my front left pocket, you will find a pencil or pen to          was everything to me he taught me everything man… he’s gone.
     get people’s (girls’) numbers. Also a pack of gum.                         He taught me to hunt, fish, cook, mechanics everything. Man I
          In my back right pocket, you will find my wallet, which is            couldn’t even go to his funeral which was one the 4/9/10. He’s
     brown leather. In my wallet, you will find my lawyer’s card, my            gone he’s been ill for ten years and he’s gone.
     PO’s card, and a list of phone numbers (family friends). You will               I haven’t even gone home yet and he’s dead. I wasn’t home
     not find nothing in my left back pocket.                                   when he died I was locked up and sad because I wasn’t there to
          In my jacket pocket’s right pocket — nothing. Left pocket,            say goodbye and to tell him I love him. but that’s foolish 'cause
     nothing also. Left pocket by my chest on top by the logo you will          he knows I love him. He knows I miss him and that I’m sorry I
     find some bills and change. That’s what you would find if you              got locked up, and he knows I would have gone to his funeral.
     took everything out of my pockets.                                              To tell you the truth I can’t wait to die because I can see my
                                                -Secho, San Francisco           dad again well that’s all Beat good bye and good luck.
     From The Beat: We really appreciate that you took this topic seriously                                                        -Freddy, Fresno
     enough to lay it all out there. What is not in your wallet (or pockets)    From The Beat: When a family member die, we feel like our world is
     that you would like to be there one day? What is in there that you         over and we want to go with them… but you have to stay strong for
     hope, one day, you won’t have to carry any more?                           the rest of your family.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                 Page 9
 ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e                                                 pieces of the week
  Thinking Inside The Box                                                    In My Wallet
  When you’re in jail, your mind tries to take you somewhere else.           If you were to take everything out of my wallet and put it on
  Sometimes it makes your time go by faster, and sometimes it                the table, you’ll definitely find two condoms, ‘cause safe sex
  makes your time go slower. Me, I just try to think inside the              all day every day, unless it’s my main babe. Ain’t gonna get
  box, which means—I just try to think about what’s going on in              caught slippin’ without one, because you never know when a
  my room.                                                                   woman will want it. The sex game is the same way of a game like
       It might sound funny, because you want to hear about                  the game itself. Taking a chance without a condom is like play
  what’s going on in your street or in your hood. But in jail you            Russian Roulette; one girl is all it takes to pass you something.
  should try not to think about what’s going on out there, because           So yeah, always gotta have condom in my wallet.
  you’re just going to end up upset about it, whether it’s good or                Also, I gotta have my condoms because I ain’t tryna have
  bad. If it’s bad, you’re going to blame yourself: “Why couldn’t            no kids any time soon. If I get a kid, al that money in my wallet
  I be there to try to help it?”—stuff like that. And if it’s good.          gonna be gone, and I’ma be broke, broke like a joke.
  you’re going to be mad you missed it: “Damn, why’d I have to be                 Second, you’ll find my BART tickets, because you never
  in here? I wish I was out [doing this or that]!”                           know when you’re gonna travel. It could be you wanna travel
       So my advice to all you girls and boys as well as men and             faster somewhere in San Francisco, or out of the city, and you
  women: Try to keep your mind with you when you’re in jail, and             might wanna get there fast.
  not just jail proper but places like Camp Sweeney and other                     Third, you’ll find my Fast Pass, because I always travel in
  placements, too.                                                           the bus in San Francisco. That’s my car that I don’t own.
       Just yesterday I was about to run! Because I called home                   Fourth, you’ll find some important numbers that I always
  and got some bad news. So I began thinking outside the box.                gotta keep on me at all times.
  And it took all day, but I got it together just in time to make the             Fifth, you’ll find my money, ‘cause I always gotta have some
  right choice, the choice that’s going better me in the future.             kind of cash on me. In order to eat, you gotta have money, you
       All right, Beat. Let me know what you feel about these                feel me. In order to enjoy yourself, you gotta pay for something.
  thoughts of mine concerning what you think you should do to                I never have too much money, ‘cause I don’t gotta job. My job
  help yourself stay up while you’re in jail.                                was to rob people, but that was the old me, you feel me?
                                                       -Tra, Alameda              So yeah, that’s what you’ll find in my wallet.
  From The Beat: If you have the mental discipline and mental toughness                                             -Dope Boi, San Francisco
  to do this—to think inside the box—more power to you! When you can         From The Beat: You really gave us a tour through your wallet, but you
  run from a placement, like Camp, then letting your mind get obsessed       didn’t mention anything about photos. Do you have any? As for those
  with what’s going on outside the box (outside of your placement) is a      condoms you carry, we hope that other boys your age will be inspired
  dangerous move. Props!                                                     to do the same, for two good reasons. The first is that too many babies
                                                                             are born to children who are not yet ready to be parents, which is very
                                                                             unfair to those babies. The second has to do with Sexually Transmitted
                                                                             Diseases (STDs). According to the Center for Disease Control, there are
                                                                             19 million new STD infections every year, and nearly 50 percent of
  Get To Know Her                                                            these new cases happen to young people between the ages of 15 and
                                                                             24. Half of all new HIV infections occur in teenagers. So, being prepared
       She walks around head held high                                       and protecting yourself from STDs and protecting her from pregnancy
       but that’s a front. Insecurities inside                               shows a level of maturity and responsibility that we respect.
       Know not whether day from night
       Locked up in darkness of my mind
       She uses my life as an illusionism
       For reality she couldn’t bear 'em
                                                                                  If I ruled the world
       Many nights she sits and cries                                             Judges wouldn’t make us go to court
       Anger unfolds and takes over her mind                                      Just to say, “Detained.”
       Spending many holidays alone                                               Everyone would maintain they own
       Thinking about the parents that grown                                      Little-ass kids wouldn’t wanna be grown
       Supposed to take care of you                                               Females would be independent
       But just hurt and neglect you                                              And won’t need a broke ninja
       She says they’re just stressed                                             To make them moan
       Making excuses for their mess                                              There would be no wars
       Trying to understand their lies                                            No ninjas callin’ females names
       Mixing match rhymes                                                        Lil’ kids would play and won’t have chores
       She wants to be loved                                                      And gangstas wouldn’t rob from stores
       So when push come to shove                                                 Man, if I ruled the world
       She handles her business                                                   There would be peace, love and joy
       Help comes along, she say stay out of it                                   Wouldn’t matter if you was a girl or boy
       Everyone thinks she's got it good                                          There would be no jail
       Get to know he, if you would                                               No one would need to post bail
       You would see her for what she truly is:                                   We would all be in contact
       A lost kid.                                                                So we won’t need no stamps for mail
                                          -Laydee Tyrone, Alameda
  From The Beat: Very nice poem! We think it's important to be able to            If I ruled the world
  accept that you are still a kid. That you have things to learn. That you                                           -Crystal, San Francisco
  need support. (All true for adults too, of course). Is there anywhere      From The Beat: We hope there’s room in your world for us. It sounds
  you can just be yourself, a kid?                                           like Paradise!

Page 10                                                                                                            Volume 15.19
 ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e
pieces of the week
     My biggest disappointment is that I let myself fall. I saw what            This Is My Fault
     I was doing and I didn’t stop myself. I had potential to go                I wake up every morning to a voice on the intercom instructing
     somewhere in my life, but I decided to ignore everything. I was            me that it’s time to shower. After the voice the main light in the
     being immature and decided to be a little kid. I decided to ignore         room is turned on. If the voice on the intercom isn’t enough to
     my responsibilities, to go party.                                          instantly destroy a person’s sleeping, then the light will surely
          Now, because I’m in here, it has opened up my eyes to see             do the job. The light is basically located right over my head,
     that there are no excuses in life. All the little girls in here are        and it is very bright. Sometimes, I wake up feeling like this
     always blaming other people for their problems! I have decided             bright light in this small box we consider a “room” was put here
     to take responsibility for all my actions.                                 specifically for that purpose — to ruin my sleep! Every time I
          I don’t believe in peer pressure. No one can make you do              think that way, I become angry.
     anything. I know that I made the decision to do drugs and drink.                It is already bad enough that I have to sleep on a concrete
     I decided to do a crime and come in here. I disappointed myself            slab with a mattress on top of it that is no thicker than three
     and got myself in trouble, because I decided to blame other                inches. On top of that, I have to deal with the vent located a few
     people for what has happened to me. Now that I’ve been able                feet away from my bed, blowing out cold air all night. The whole
     to realize all of this, when I get out, I’ma be on my own, doin’           situation is phony.
     hella good. There is no such things as friends, just family and                 What makes this situation more disturbing is thinking
     associates. People do nothing but bring you down. I’m going to             about having to deal with this day in and day out. There is no
     start helping myself.                                                      enjoyment in this jail life. But the most coldest part of the
                                               -Marisa, San Francisco           situation is knowing that I literally put myself in this situation.
     From The Beat: Taking responsibility for one’s own actions is the          I know this will not be my situation forever. I don’t make plans
     definition of being a grown-up. It’s difficult to move out of childhood
     and into adulthood, but what you write tells us that you have become a     to get out because I gave up my power to make that decision.
     young woman on the verge of a new beginning, a new life that doesn’t       But I do make solid plans to stay out, because that’s a decision
     include handing periods of time over to strangers to control you. If we    in the near future I will have full control over. For now, though, I
     have any disagreement, it is with your conclusion that “there is no such
     things as friends.” We hope that as you begin to live in a new way, you    just do my time with little complaining as possible, because my
     will find that there are others who view the world the same way, and       current situation is a result of my choices. This is my fault.
     who can be trusted as friends.
                                                                                                                               -Kb, San Francisco
                                                                                From The Beat: It gives us so much pleasure when we read a thoughtful
                                                                                piece. It’s a mystery to us why some people never grow up (whatever
                                                                                their age), while others, like you, think like adults even though you’re
     A Farmer’s Son                                                             still so young. We’d love to know what those plans you’re making for
                                                                                staying out are, the ones that you will be in control of, because maybe
     If I could live in another time, it would be in western time, 200-         they can help someone else. We always say The Beat is for teaching, so
                                                                                thank you for being a teacher (to yourself and to all our readers).
     250 years ago. You know, the time when you had your own land
     and that’s all you needed to survive. When you could shoot
     someone and get away with it if you had a good reason and a fast
     draw. Back when you take care of yourself and your family, not
     having to worry about bills, about curfew, pollution, or about             My Dedication
     not having a job. All these things we have to buy or have just                  At the age of ten, left alone with no mom,
     cause it’s “cute”, “popular”, or “nice”.                                        craving money and luxury. She was gone,
           Back then, we all would live in a small town. That’s where                got my dad going crazy,
     I would like to be. I believe 85 percent or the problems we have                sipping brandy on the daily,
     now did not exist anywhere at that time. We grew our own food.                  tryin' raise two kids.
     We rode horses instead of cars. The government or “law” was                     When my mom was tryin' to play him,
     actually our friend. Things like this and more made life easier.                I respect my dad 'cause he tried to make it better,
           We didn’t have designer clothes or Xbox or Camaros. We                    always had my back, and responded to my letters.
     didn’t need them. I am a country boy. A farmer’s son. A rancher.                I tried to find love. Started hanging with the wrong crowd,
     I don’t have a cell phone or a computer or even a TV, things                    kicked it with the homies, thinking that’s what life’s all
     people tell me they “can’t live without”. I do rodeos and am in                 about.
     FFA (Future Farmers of America). That’s just to explain why I’ve                I thought I was down, so I got my 'hood tatted,
     been saying “we” and “our”.                                                     really hurt my dad. But to me it didn’t matter.
           I am a “cowboy” and I wish I could have grown up then,                    My selfish thoughts only focused on my pain.
     “back in the day”. Where no one had to worry about drugs or                     After all the things I did I never got a gain.
     porn or gangs, or most of the stupid crap we deal with now.                     My mind slowly dying from the hurt.
     Personally, I hate big cities. My small town is getting a little too
                                                                                     Tryin' to hide my feelings by acting hard and putting in
     big for me. But fortunately, I live in the country part of it. I have
     twenty acres, seven horses, three cows, two donkeys, five dogs,
                                                                                     I wanna change my life and make my goal a positive
     twenty chickens, four pigs, and I’m fine with my life. I don’t have
     to deal with most of the city problems, but we’re in the 20th                   dedication
     century, and there’s always problems.                                           that will hopefully lead me out of my internal
                                                         -Joey, Fresno               incarceration.
     From The Beat: You’re right, our society has changed so much and as a                                                  -Brown Eyes, Alameda
     result, there are more material things for us to desire and acquire. But   From The Beat: You can do it, Brown Eyes! You seem to have a rare
     it is rare and pretty cool to meet a young person who possesses your       understanding of why you've done what you've done. Tell us what your
     level of maturity and humility. Thank you for expressing yourself so       specific plan is when you get out. School? Job? Who's gonna have your
     well in this piece.                                                        back besides your dad?   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                Page 11
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  My Disappointment                                                        Won’t Forget
  My disappointment is that I got locked up! And I’m letting my                 Never will I forget the physical pain
  love ones down, for sure, I wish I could turn around the bad                  Memories of gettin’ my ass whooped always stay
  things I’ve done to the harmless people. I wish I could see them              It’s hard, ‘cause I won’t listen to what anybody say
  and say what I did wasn't right, and it was very wrong.                       ‘Til I damn near do life, or at seventeen, go to my grave
       And I feel hella sad because my grandma just passed away                 Won’t forget that person who killed the old me
  just last March. My PO sat down and talked with the judge, and                Won’t forget the pain I brought to people
  came back and said I could go to my grandma’s funeral. That                   To earn the name, Obie
  made me dumb-ass happy. I got a OT and got to go. This was                    Hopin’ to be accepted by OGs, only to be used
  held in Tracy, CA.                                                            ‘Til I started runnin’ up on older ninjas
       But I’m mad sometimes because I’m in here and didn't get                 ‘Cause I felt I didn’t have much to lose
  to see her on her last days, Damn, I be crying at times in my cell,           I won’t forget how much time I wasted in placement
  but hey, I know everything’s going to be all right. She’s with God            Just to be free for a month or two, then caught some new cases
  now. She’s in no more pain now. That’s very good to know. I love              Won’t forget to be careful with love, so I don’t get played with
  you “Nanny” — 1945-2010, Forever.                                             Won’t forget to stay on my toes,
                                      -Young Skrilla, Santa Clara               ‘cause of the guns that’s sprayin’
  From The Beat: We’re curious about the sincere remorse you express at         I know I cause at least 45% of my mom’s tears
  the beginning, wishing you could apologize directly to those innocent
  people you’ve hurt. What brought you to this wish to make things              ‘Cause I didn’t do my part to be back with my family
  right? What changed for you that you are now able to label things             From all these years
  you did as “very wrong”? How will your desire to “turn around the bad
  things” change the choices you make in the future? What’s the best way        Won’t forget to repent for all my sins
  to honor and respect the memory of your grandma?                              I won’t move past all my ninjas who got killed
                                                                                                                             -Obie One, Marin
                                                                           From The Beat: We hope the memories that you can’t or won’t shed will
                                                                           help you move past your “sins” to a new kind of living, one that will
  I do not agree with everything                                           still have its pains and tribulations, but one which you can manipulate
                                                                           without risking the loss of your freedom, your health, or your loves.
                                                                           It’s time to start building a new library of memories for your future,

     life has to offer, but, hey, if                                       memories that can bring a smile to your face and help to dry some of
                                                                           your mom’s tears.

   you sit in a pool long enough,
  you’ll eventually grow numb to                                           I Am Not Disappointed
                                                                           When I recall my past, I think of feelings such as pain, remorse,
                 the temperature.                                          sadness, melancholy, disappointment, and many other
                                                                           undesirable emotions. I was abused by life in so many different
                                                                           ways. But I have conquered those demons that wield hate and
                                                                           haunt me in my memories. I have an inner strength that some
  My Biggest Disappointment                                                people find intimidating. I don’t break down and cry when I
                                                                           hurt, whether it be me losing me favorite CD or losing a family
  My biggest disappointment is leaving my placement. When I got
                                                                           member to gang violence. Am I “cruel” and “obstinate”?
  placed in my this foster home, after I got out of a group home,
                                                                                I do not agree with everything life has to offer, but, hey, if
  I had it made. I was happy, healthy, loved, and well taken care
                                                                           you sit in a pool long enough, you’ll eventually grow numb to
  of. My foster parents made sure I was at school every day. They
                                                                           the temperature. So many things have taken place in my life;
  got me a gym membership. They introduced me to church. With
                                                                           my emotions are all I have. I don’t intend to sound harsh and
  them I lived a normal life, completely opposite of how I grew
                                                                           unyielding, I just know what it feels like to be abused in my
                                                                           weakest moments.
       Then, when I had an issue at school for fighting, I thought
                                                                                My refusal to show my emotions is just an indemnity,
  they wouldn’t want me anymore, so I left. When they called
                                                                           and it’s one of the only things that help me feel safe. It is true
  my phone I ignored it because I didn’t know what to say. I was
                                                                           that this security blanket can cause me to seem insolent and
  scared to hear that they wanted me gone. Well, while I was gone,
                                                                           reclusive. But it seems to me, while growing up, to be the only
  I got into trouble and ended up in here.
                                                                           thing that worked. If nothing else in life had affected me, it is
       When they found out they came to see me. During out visit I
                                                                           when people think of me as a person who does not feel and can
  realized that they didn’t want me gone. They never even thought
                                                                           not love, when in fact I can love and I do feel more than people
  about kicking me out! Both of them are not giving up on me.
                                                                           give me credit for. My intelligence and my outlook on life are my
  They told me the only I way I’m ever going to lose them is if
                                                                           strongest quality.
  I chose not to talk to them. Now that I see that they have not
                                                                                                                    -Dontae, San Francisco
  given up on me, I feel dumb for leaving. So know we’re hoping            From The Beat: Far from finding your inner strength “intimidating,” we
  after whatever happens to me, that Probation will let me go back         find it exhilarating. Whatever demons haunt you, you present yourself
                                                                           with calm determination, intelligence and pride. We have no doubt that
  to them. I sure hope so!                                                 you are fully capable of love, and deeply-held emotions. It is painful to
                                                     -Nita, Fresno         think about those “many different ways” you have been abused in life,
  From The Beat: Wow, Nita, it sounds you have yourself an awesome         but it is uplifting to see how that abuse has not crippled you or made
  Foster Family! We sure hope you get out soon, stay out, and get to       you bitter about life. Your intelligence and outlook on life are not your
  stay with them.                                                          only great strengths.

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     YOU’LL BE OK                                                               To Whom It May Concern
     April 19, 2010 was the day that I felt nothing but absolute                     People look at me and consider me a little kid.
     empathy.                                                                        Well I’m about to do a prison bid.
           How do we “Americans” go to a foreign country, where we                   Now I’m headed up state.
     are considered to be “visitors” or “tourists” while those from                  Everyone says they’ll keep in touch,
     another country come to the US and are labled “aliens”? My                      but really they don’t care
     friend (whom I met here), sadly, just got deported. He’s been                   because one less bastard
     locked down for like 2 years! Just like me, he prayed that he                   and one less disaster.
                                                                                     Yeah my life is like a mystery;
     would get out on his 18th birthday, but unfortunately, he did
                                                                                     when I die who will be missing me?
                                                                                     I want to apologize to my mom for what I turned out to be:
           As I write this, he’s sittin in county jail, waiting to go to
                                                                                     a menace to society is what they labeled me.
     Mexico, where he doesn’t even have any family. They all moved                   Now I’m in this max unit, straight stuck
     to Omaha. The system doesn’t GAF though. They caught him                        banging on my door for a head call.
     as a child, kept him until he was considered an adult, and now                  People say I’m about to get what’s mine
     is going to abandon him as if he were a sick dog- to somewhere                  Seventeen years old and I’m facing so much time.
     he doesn’t know as home.
           I damn near want to cry writing this. I miss my potnah!                   Everyone knows who I am
     He was always smiling, as if he thought I never noticed the red                 I’m the one who’s getting life up in the end.
     spots around his eyes from the many tear he had shed. He                        My heart filled with pain and sorrow,
     would always tell me that he was just hoping that they would                    I’m living life like there’s no tomorrow.
     hurry up and become a “US citizen” as they had told him… false                  It’s seems I always have doubts,
     promises. He’s an extremely good kid.                                           but God can’t even help me out.
           He never deserved two years away from his loved ones,                     because in reality, I’m just a beast
     only to be taken back to the place that he was running from. It                 and I know I’ll never get released.
     wasn’t even his fault… his dad took him from Mexico!
           He’ll be all right though, I pray for him (at least what I                I’m losing my mind
     call prayer). I pray for him to be a US citizen. All that most                  because I’m getting so much time.
                                                                                     And there are those nights when I can’t even sleep
     immigrants want is a better, more educated, safe place to call
                                                                                     because I picture my mom when she weeps
     home. You and I would want the same if we were in their shoes.
                                                                                     trying to see where she went wrong.
     It’s not their fault that they were born into poverty! One day, I
                                                                                     Now her baby boy is gone.
     hope that we can all be a family- everyone! Help everywhere.
     No money, just all working together to live and to educate one                  People act like they care about me
     another.                                                                        but really they could care less about Danny,
           But I guess for every “up” there Is always a “down.” Your                 especially because I’m Mexican
     time will soon pass, brah, as all time does. Keep strong.                       and I live my life around sin.
                                                         -Elmo B., Yolo              But I want to thank everyone who stuck with me until the end.
     From The Beat: You talk about some very difficult things. We are very
     sorry for your friend and for all who come to this country hoping for           I know it’s all my fault so I shouldn’t be crying.
     a better life and do not find it welcoming. Perhaps you can use your
     empathy and experiences to make real changes, to be a voice for the             When I first started fighting
     people, to make this a better country. Without men and women like
     you, our country would not have the freedom (albeit imperfect) that             and getting into trouble in here
     we now enjoy.                                                                   everyone wanted me to change
                                                                                     because I didn’t have nothing to lose
                                                                                     and I could care less about anything.
                                                                                     So when I finally changed and found something good,
     Inspiration for Me                                                              they took it away from me
     The best teacher I ever had!!! The best teacher I ever had without              and I couldn’t do nothing about it.
     a doubt would have to be Mrs. Caldwell. I feel that she’s played                I’m tired of this
     a big role in my life by inspiring me to take my GED and taking                 so from this day on
     time out of every day to do one-on-one tutoring that prepped me                 I have no more hope or faith.
     very well to pass it. I feel that played a big role in my life because          For you people who act like you know
     it was the first step of many in my educational career.                         what I’m going through and like you know me,
                                                                                     you just don’t know what’s up.
          I’m glad that I got moved to this unit because it’s benefited
                                                                                     I want to say sorry to everyone I let down
     my education tremendously. Mrs. Caldwell has taught me to
                                                                                     and everyone who had faith in me.
     believe in myself and when I do that I can achieve a lot more in
                                                                                                                        -Daniel, San Bernardino
     my life. And I feel that’s been one of the biggest life lessons I’ve       From The Beat: You are right that most of us don’t know what it’s like to
     ever learned. That’s why I’m glad to have Mrs. Caldwell for that           face life, but sadly there are many Beat readers who know exactly what
                                                                                that feels like, and can and have shared some powerful advice. The one
     reason and when I leave I’m going to truly miss her.                       thing we do know is that you need to try to hold onto hope, however
                                               -Marcos, San Bernardino          small that might be. Many men who have faced decades in prison still
     From The Beat: Congrats on receiving your GED. Great teachers are          find a way to hope, dream and grow even if it has to be behind bars.
     not always easy to come by and you realize this. It is inspiring to read   You’ve got to hold onto who you know you are, beyond your charge or
     about your accomplishments and your teacher’s aide throughout it all.      potential sentence. Keep The Beat posted wherever you go, we need
     How do you plan on giving back to your teacher? What are your plans        you to teach and save the next generation! You can and are playing a
     now that you have your GED?                                                huge role, just by this powerful piece.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                Page 13
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  She began to cry harder
                                                               pieces of the week
                                                                              Mrs. Nelson, The Best Teacher I
     and she told me they                                                     Ever Had
                                                                              When I was in fourth grade I started school in a new school

    took my little brother
                                                                              and met my teacher Mrs. Nelson. For some kind of reason she
                                                                              believed I could do something great with my life.
                                                                                    In the beginning of my fourth year I could not read or do

         from the school.                                                     math and I could hardly write a sentence. No matter what, she
                                                                              encouraged me to try my hardest and do the best I could do.
                                                                                    Little by little I learned how to read, currently I have read
                                                                              and reread all seven Harry Potter books over and over. In math
  That phone call                                                             I was getting stronger at it, and am currently in Algebra and
  That phone call I received on October seventeenth, where a                  maintaining a B+ in my class. My writing skills have gone above
  friend said Mikey had got into some beef with some guy down                 all, I can write five paragraphs with no problem and I am quite a
  the street.                                                                 good speller. In fourth and fifth grade I had two books published
       My friend said to me “Bro, Mikey just got shot. He’s in the            by Nichols elementary School.
  hospital. I think it’s a not.” My friend Mikey! No! He can’t be                   I don’t know why Mrs. Nelson believed in me, but she did
  popped, he’s like my brother.                                               and it helped me succeed in school. Currently I have made it
       I felt like my heart just dropped. Seven bullets; two to the           to my first year in High school and I am already starting on my
  lungs, the crucial ones, and another to the heart.                          tenth grade credits.
       Got another call: “Rodney, man, he’s done.” I felt my heart                  I dedicate this to Mrs. Nelson for being such a wonderful
  rip in my chest. I can’t do this no more. He was one of the                 teacher
  best. The best friend, the best brother and father figure I have                                                    -Jimmie, San Bernardino
                                                                              From The Beat: This amazing story really shows how much it matters
  ever had, but now, it’s all in the past. Thanks to some guy who             when teachers believe in us. We can all rise or fall to the expectations
  couldn’t talk with peace, but had to use his heat.                          others have. Congratulations to you and Mrs. Nelson for your learning
       To Mikey: I hope you rest in peace. But to that phone call, I          and teaching.
  wish it was deceased.
                                         -Rodney, San Bernardino
  From The Beat: You lost someone you loved a lot, but this piece shows
  how much you he meant to you. To honor Mikey, remember the good
  times and the good advice and influence he presented you with.
                                                                              Thug Life Equals Short LIfe
                                                                              I grew up in Oakland. I got a big brother and a little brother and
                                                                              a big sister and a little sister.
                                                                                   Born in ‘92 my father was nowhere to be found. My mom
  Abandoned                                                                   took care of me by herself, well she did what she could.
                                                                                   When I was about 12 years old I started thugging and
  It was 1998 on a Friday when my mom woke me up for school.
                                                                              running the streets by myself just to get money for me and my
  I felt good that morning because we had food on the table and
                                                                              brother, I couldn’t take being broke so I had to get it on my
  that was rare at that time of the month.
        So after I ate I got my lil’ brother ready for school so could
                                                                                   The choice that I made wasn’t too smart because it done
  be on time. I left the house and got to school on time, for the
                                                                              made my life miserable from getting shot, seeing closest people
  first time in a while. So I was getting compliments and feeling
                                                                              to me shot. I got traumatized from all of that violence and it just
  good about myself.
                                                                              made me crazier. All I wanted was revenge on everybody who
        The day passed and I had completed all my work with good
                                                                              hurt me.
  scores, so I was more excited. I walked home happy, ready to
                                                                                   I had to make sure they felt my pain. So I put in work. It
  tell my mom how my day went.
                                                                              has been times when I had to sleep in a laundry mat because it
        When I got in the house she was crying with her head in her
                                                                              was too much violence going on at my house. That shhh wasn’t
  lap. I saw her, dropped my bag, and asked her what was wrong.
  She pulled me into her lap and I asked her again. She began to
                                                                                    I’m still learning my lesson today that this thug life is a
  cry harder and she told me they took my little brother from the
                                                                              short life.
                                                                                                                              -Reggie, Alameda
        At that point I broke down in tears and began to cry so hard          From The Beat: YOU deliver a powerful piece! You realizing that the
  I was shaking, losing my breath. By the time everybody heard                thug life is a short life is something that many people your age don't
  the news we felt abandoned and ashamed.                                     recognize. You have to make choice that will help you and your family
                                                                              live to see a long life. Remain strong and focused!
        Two weeks later we took it to court for my mom to fight to
  get him back, and she failed to do it. On top of that, nobody
  from the family could see him until he is eighteen, by court
  order. I cried for days and could not explain it to nobody. I just          I’m still learning my
  kept it in until I just wrote this.
                                           -Antwan, San Bernardino
  From The Beat: You told the story of this incredible loss in such a
  beautiful way. We are sorry your family was broken up in this way. How
                                                                              lesson today that this
  do you think keeping it inside all these years? Does it help to share the
  loss? When you get to see your brother again, we hope you can share
  this with him so he knows how much he was missed.
                                                                              thug life is a short life.
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pieces of the week
     LAST WORDS TO THE BEAT                                                 The Worst Phone Call.
     I’m leaving to Sacramento any day now, my release date is May          It was early one morning like three or four a-m, and we got the
     9th, the blissful day in which I turn 18 (also Mother’s Day). I        worst call ever. I had a baby sister and she was premature the
     guess this is a goodbye-for-now letter. My only wish is that I         doctor had called and told my mom to hurry to the hospital
     could have known about the Beat sooner… you all need to hurry          because there was complications happening with my sister so
     and get a workshop in Sac. I’ll truly miss writing for you all         my mom and my step-dad went.
     from Yolo, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop writing for the             They told me everything’s ok, that they would be back
     Beat, I’ll most definitely be in touch through the www.                so I went back to sleep, a little while later I was woken by my
          On behalf of anyone and everyone who read and write for
                                                                            grandma. She said to hurry up and get dressed so we could go
     The Beat, we extremely adore and undoubtedly appreciate this
                                                                            to the hospital. I didn’t know what was happening my grandma
     publication of which I know takes much effort and dedication to
                                                                            kept crying and she was rushing to the hospital.
     type and print out. Way more than just thanks to the volunteers/
     teachers who take time out of their schedules to assist in it all.          When we got there I saw my mom crying, also my step-
     You all will never go unnoticed for the work you put in.               dad crying who I have never seen cry. Then it hit me I knew
          I guess I’ve come a long way, as we all do as we get older,       something bad had happened then my mom told me that my
     I suppose. I think that if I were to leave anything for you all, it    baby sister passed away. It was the worst thing I ever heard I
     would have to be “words of wisdom” (of course, passed on to            couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t know what to do. It hurt so bad like
     me). One word of wisdom is: “who you are speaks so loudly that         a pain I never felt before. My grandma hugged me and said it’s
     I can’t hear what you’re saying”. Another is “don’t count your         gonna be ok and that was the worst day I ever had and it started
     eggs before they’re hatched”. Ummm, and one more that I’ve             with a phone call I wished I never had to answer.
     read is “if you were going to die soon and only had one phone                                                -Andrew, San Bernardino
     call to make, who would you call and what would you say?”              From The Beat: The loss of a loved one is always extremely hard,
                                                                            especially when you didn’t have enough time to get to know them and
     Now, why are you waiting to call them?                                 love them. How did your family support you during this time and how
          I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so I’ll end        did you support them? You say that your grandma hugged you and told
     here. I hope you all remember the name (the B stands for baby).        you everything was going to be ok, did that help? Is there anything
                                                                            else you think could have helped?
     Those who know me, know I love deep and care for all. There
     wasn’t a table in here which I couldn’t sit, while all else seemed
     to segregated, though I kept to my own table in the middle of
     them all. I see you Nunn, you gonna be home soon, Gelly Ru,
     Space Ru, D/Three Stunna, Soy, Wease, Gutzar, Carillo, and             Never There
     all the Mexican bruh’s from all over. Keep my vent lit “AKA            My mom and dad were never in my life the way I wanted them
     the Speaker Box”. I make that for y’all, Bruh. Everything              to be. They never showed me right from wrong. They were only
     discussed, joked, and rapped about won’t be forgotten. Keep            there for me to do drugs with. They were more likely a friend to
     Yolo poplockin’ too! Write for the Beat!                               me than parents.
          You gonna come home soon, lil bruh! With much love and                   I wanted my mom and dad, two parents a normal child
     respect-                                                               should have. So I would want my mom and dad to be in my life
                                                     -Elmo Baby, Yolo       other than me being in juvenile hall, other than going to a foster
     From The Beat: Thank you for the props, we do like to hear that        home when my parents should straighten out and realize they
     this work is important to you. You’ve written much about education,
     family, respect, and making better choices. Make sure to follow your   have kids to raise, and other than raising myself and getting
     own words- you have a second change now.                               into trouble.
                                                                                  Although they do what they do, they’re still my parents and
                                                                            I’ll always forgive them. I just wish they were in my life all the
                                                                            way, not just in some ways.
     Never There                                                                                                   -Bertha, San Bernardino
                                                                            From The Beat: This is an amazing and forgiving piece. You deserve
          This is to that person
                                                                            to have the support so you don’t have to raise yourself. We hope that
          That I never really had                                           someday your parents are able to recognize what they’ve missed and be
          You were never in my life                                         there for you in the way you want.
          Where were you dad?
          I never stopped to think
          I never stopped to care
          I never stopped to listen                                         Living With Native Americans
          Because you were really never there                               If I were to choose to live in a captain era I would chose to live
          I said I'd never get locked up                                    with Ohlone Indians. I would like to live with them because my
          But here I am again                                               ancestors trace back to Ohlone Indians. My people are originally
          While I'm sitting in the halls
                                                                            from Milpitas to Gilroy.
          You’re sitting in the pen
                                                                                  I’d like to sit with my ancestors around the trees, dance,
          Its too late for you
                                                                            hear stories, do ceremonies, and hunt. I would also like it
          But I promise I’ll change
          I won't be like you                                               because it would be an adventure everyday, learning how to
          I won't be the same                                               survive and adapt to certain conditions. It would be exiting to be
                                         -Brandon, San Bernardino           indigenous.
     From The Beat: An amazing piece! Sometimes we can learn from the                                                     -Peter, Santa Clara
     people who fail us as much as those who are there. Hold onto that      From The Beat: Thank you for painting this picture for us. We can just
     promise and make it come true for yourself and the rest of your        imagine you sitting you sitting around the fire with your elders. How
     family.                                                                can you increase your connection to your heritage and culture today?   Volume 15.19                                                                                                          Page 15
 ie e f h e k
P c so t ew e
        My wallet holds
                                                                 pieces of the week
                                                                                Like Capital One
    tears - tears for my
                                                                                I seem to find hunger in my wallet… hunger for a complete
                                                                                family. Hunger for the one I love the most to love me the same
                                                                                in return. Hunger for the young to stop killing each other. I am

      fallen loved ones.
                                                                                hungry for a change in society today, hungry for help.
                                                                                     My wallet doesn’t care for money, or credit cards or anything
                                                                                else. My wallet holds memories- pictures of past lovers and
                                                                                loved ones. Memories of a mother and a father once married in
                                                                                a “perfect” family. Memories of the days when I was so young, I
  To My Little Brother                                                          could do no wrong.
       Being a bad influence is doing stuff you know you                             My wallet holds tears- tears for my fallen loved ones. For
       shouldn’t,                                                               my grandfather, rest in peace, Marcus Mase and L.V., for my
       Especially doing bad things in front of your siblings.                   unborn brother. Tears from when I first got locked up. Tears
       Because you never know                                                   from seeing my mom get beat by my father. Tears from when I
       They might grow up and do the same thing, same mistake                   was alone with no one to confide in. Tears for you and for what
       Wake up one day being an intake.                                         you’re going through.
       Then it’s too late                                                            My wallet holds pride. Pride in me completing high school,
       He or she is following your footsteps                                    proud of seeing age 18. Proud of my nephew’s pride of being a
       Following the same path,                                                 poetic voice. Pride in pride. Proud of my mistakes, for without
       Needing help on language arts and math.                                  them I may not have learned what I needed to be.
       So to my little brother out there                                             My wallet holds a future, a future of success and struggles.
       I tell you from my experience don’t live life without care,              A future with a beautiful wife, a big house (which I will build),
       Unless you want to end up benching up on a chair.                        kids (like three) and a future like a legend! Although my wallet
       So to my little brother                                                  may hold it’s weight in gold, to me, it is priceless!
       Live up to your dreams and follow no others                                                                                  -Elmo B., Yolo
       Remember to love and respect our mother                                  From the Beat- Nicely done. You have a real talent for expressing
                                                                                yourself. We’ll look forward to hearing more from you on the outs.
       And don’t worry no one loves you more than your big
       So choose and choose wisely
       Because once you’re in here it’s not so nice
       Be good and do well so you won’t grow up to be just like
                                                                                     Why do I live this crazy life
       me.                                                                           This life of sin that’s full of crime
                                         -Bryant, San Bernardino                     I rob, I steal and all those things
  From The Beat: This is a very inspiring piece. Your little brother is lucky
  to have a big brother that cares so much about him. It is important to             But the things I do they have no meaning
  define for yourself your own dreams. What are some of your dreams?                 I’m ditching school just to fight
  What are some of your dreams for your brother? What are you doing to
  reach your dreams? How can you help your brother reach his?                        And I can never seem to do things right
                                                                                     My mother said she’s had enough
                                                                                     Because her life is good but I make it rough
                                                                                     My cousin says I need to slow down
  Two Big Disappointments                                                            I just laugh in his face as he began to frown
  I have two big disappointments in my life. I feel as if they can’t                 He walks away in an angry rage
  go away. They are stuck in my mind like somebody has given                         And doing bad where I stay
  them to my brain.                                                                  I go each day with no one to talk to
        My first disappointment is how I loved the person who did                    So I sit and think now what should I do
  me wrong. He turned me out to the streets when I was not even                      Should I stay or should I go
  fifteen years old. I was so in love with him, I let him hurt me and                But the right decision I never seem to know
  talk to me like I was crap. He was my first love. He would abuse                                                       -Davion, San Bernardino
                                                                                From The Beat: This is a great poem, and it sounds like you do know
  my love and forget about me. When I told him I was pregnant,                  what the right decision is. You say the trouble you get into has no
  he called me stupid, and said I did it on purpose to trap him. He             meaning, but the love of your mother and cousin trying to get you to
  was a big disappointment in my life because he hardly showed                  slow down sure does. Maybe it’s time you follow their advice before its
                                                                                too late.
  my daughter any love.
        My second disappointment is me letting my daughter down.
  I am supposed to be there with her when she sick and sad,
  but instead I am doing four months with her wondering where
  mommy is. Those are my two biggest disappointments.
                                                                                He turned me out to
                                                        -Pria, Solano
  From The Beat: The father of your child was not a man, and probably
  never will be. He’s still a boy acting like what he thinks a man is. Forget
                                                                                the streets when I
  about him. He’s the past (and also a warning about how men can be
  often). The future is you and your daughter, so that disappointment is
  the one to focus on. We hope you have a plan for getting your life back
                                                                                was not even fifteen
                                                                                years old.
  on track, so that you can be the responsible mother you want to be for
  your little girl who needs you. You can do it!

Page 16                                                                                                              Volume 15.19
 co-pieces of the week
            Yea, it’s tiresome                                           Runaway
                                                                              It’s troublesome hearing gunshots when you eight
                                                                              Police sirens where you sleep

          But that don’t mean                                                 Almost every day.
                                                                              Mom’s wakin up at night to see you OK
                                                                              Father ain’t around ‘cause he

               for you to quit,                                               Caught a case.
                                                                              Your best friend gets murdered
                                                                              It leaves a bad taste

                 It mean to try                                               But to the police, all that shhh
                                                                              Is just gang waste.
                                                                              Don’t nobody even care, bruh,

                a little harder-                                              It’s a heart break
                                                                              Growin’ up like this
                                                                              Make you want to runaway.

          Show the extra inch.                                                You only thirteen, dawg,
                                                                              Behind a prison fence,
                                                                              Meanwhile, Mom’s havin trouble with the rent.
                                                                              Your older brother is eighteen
    Pay Attention                                                             About to hit the pen
         Walls closing in                                                     ‘ove a bullshhh charge, ‘bout to do ten.
         Who would of though at age 6, you’d be seein’ this shhh?             I know the feelin’,
         Facin’ crime sentences…                                              But that ‘s just the way it is
         Was only ten,                                                        Can’t blame a soul but yourself
         Couldn’t even spell “conviction” yet.                                For mistakes you did.

         But you kickin’ it with the wrong crowd,                             Should’ve been in school or something
         That shhh will have you lookin’ down the throat                      ‘stead of playin fish
         Of a trial                                                           No matter how bad you got it
         While your potnahs still at the house                                You got your common sense.
         Don’t give a damn about you                                          Yea, it’s tiresome
         Time or when you getting out.                                        But that don’t mean for you to quit,
                                                                              It mean to try a little harder-
         But that’s what you call a “real friend”                             Show the extra inch.
         Then why when you get out                                            Make God proud, dawg,
         You go straight to them?                                             Why you choose sin?
         You gotta choice                                                     It’s a world out here,
          But you’d rather choose to live in sin                              You got a life to live.
         And repeat the cycle                                                 You worth way more than what
         Of a jail time consequence.                                          The hood could ever give.
                                                                              FREEDOM, bruh,
         Mom’s goin’ through it, dawg,                                        Should look a lot better than some bricks.
         All she did was try                                                  I know you feel you want to runaway
         All you said to your mom’s face                                      But don’t you flinch.
         Was a lie.                                                           Take control over the life
         She out workin’ for you, nine to five!                               In which you live…
         While you out runnin’ with the ones
         That could take your life.                                           And succeed!
                                                                                                                                -Elmo B., Yolo
         I’m tellin’ you like this-                                      From The Beat: Right again. Sometimes it takes losing your freedom to
         Life is not a game.                                             realize how important it is. We’re glad that you’ll soon be able to move
                                                                         on with your life. We’re expecting you to live up to your own advice!
         The bullets that go through the hood
         Don’t have names.
         Ya best friend could get you
         Killed over anything                                            you’d rather choose to
         And once you dead, baby boy,
         There ain’t shhh you can change.
                                                      -Elmo B., Yolo
                                                                         live in sin
                                                                         And repeat the cycle
    From The Beat: You are so right, life is not a game. Thank you for
    telling it real, we hope that others are paying attention.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                        Page 17
                                                co-pieces of the week
  Actin’ Like A Fool
       What’s crackin Beat? I’ma write this lil poem that's been in
       my head for a while. Hope you like it… I call it “Actin Like
       a Fool”:
                                                                                                                    my life
                                                                                                                    will be
       I’m sitting here in my room, ain’t got shhh to do
       ‘Cause I been acting like a fool
       Caught another charge, now my PO saying I’m out of cards
       Got family and friends telling me I need to get a clue

                                                                                                                    a big
       And stop doing the stupid things that I do,
       Slipping into darkness
       But I don’t sell my soul for more or less
       So I sit in my room

       ‘Cause I been actin like a fool
                                          -Lil' Manos, Santa Clara
  From The Beat: It sounds like you know where you’ve messed things up
  for yourself (and for your family). So, if you know you’ve been acting a
  fool, what is preventing you from making the necessary corrections in

                                                                                                                    after all
  your life so you won’t have to write about being locked up?

  ‘Sup wit’ it, Beat? I’m here to write about ma future. Well, my
  plans is to get out off probation and be someone in life. First
  of all, I have a job waiting for me with my brother making over
                                                                                                                    the pain
  tweleve dollars an hour. The company is a metal recycling
  company, so I ma be starting off there so I can save up money to
  put my kids in college.
       The next thing I'll do is help my parents, then register in
                                                                              Addicted to Money
                                                                              My biggest disappointment is my way of thought. My mind is
  “Wyotech.” I’ve always liked working with engineers, so I there
                                                                              constantly on money I can’t stop thinking about another way to
  is a career. After that, get a better job. Then open my own shop
                                                                              earn a dollar. I wasn’t able to stay out of the hall, because of my
  down the road.
                                                                              money hungry ways. I don’t bang and I don’t tag. I’d rather kill
       So yeah, there’s some stuff that I ma do. I’ll stop talking
                                                                              or hurt someone over some cash rather than a couple of words
  ‘bout it an’ be about what I’m talking ‘bout.
                                                                              or some kind of block. I guess you could say the dollar sign is
       Yeeeh. Gone.
                                                                              my gang sign.
                                                     -Blaze, Solano
  From The Beat: It’s so much better to leave this place with a firm plan           I not only disappoint myself with my addiction to money,
  than without one. It’s obvious you’ve thought about your future, and        but my family and my girlfriend as well, I have a lot of people who
  how much you want it to be different from your past. Be careful, though,
  because all the same temptations that led you here before are still out     really care and watch out for me but I only stay on one subject
  there. Just remember that the hardest word to say in our language is        and that’s my cash. I have lately promised myself and God that
                                                                              I would drop my “jacking” days and on the real money which
                                                                              would be a real job. What’s the point of hustling and getting rich
                                                                              if all it takes is one bust to lose it all?

  Change                                                                            I’ve not only disappointed my family but recently they
                                                                              disappointed me, I had a chance to get out on a monitor but
  Once my day come and I get out, I plan on changing. Even though             my mom would rather have me in here, like a caged up dog. I
  I said it before. I was in here like twice, but this time is a way          could understand I was too busy with work and side jobs to even
  more situation than ever. So now I pray to the lord that he will            be home, if she would have just given me 20 dollars for a new
  help me change and follow the right path. Because the things                shirt and some boxers I probably wouldn’t be here. I just wanted
  I’ve done, I wish I could take them back.                                   needed some fits for school and work, but man it’s hard at the
       After everyone I’ve hurt and let down, I promise myself, my            end of the month.
  mother and my family that I can do what I have to do and handle                   I only wish to be successful. I really want to do well, but
  my business and do what I have to do. So I plan on living a better          I only get into trouble, it’s hard knowing you could make
  life with everything I can do to make it that way. Even though I            money the easy way and the legal way. I only wish the judge
  know there is going to be test, because of my past. So I pray to            could understand and give me another chance, I know so much,
  Jesus that I make it through every day, and that my life will be a          probably too much but only been here on Earth for so little I
  big change after all the pain that I caused to my family and loved          can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.
  ones.                                                                             Well, alright Beat, I guess that’s all for now. Oh yeah, stay
                                                  -Shadybo, Solano
  From The Beat: It shows your growing maturity to recognize that you         righteous!
  are not alone in this world, and that what you do affects those that                                                            -Ralph, Fresno
  love you the most. We admire your determination to make amends for          From The Beat: It sounds like you are really interested in making
  the pain you’ve caused, to balance the scales of karma in your life. But    money. You should probably focus that energy on something that is
  don’t wait until you get out. Make a step-by-step plan right now, so that   legal, which it sound like you are. Maybe you should think about going
  you’ll have particular goals to meet, and then follow that path.            to college and major in business. It sounds like it would really fit you.

Page 18                                                                                                             Volume 15.19
 co-pieces of the week
    My Biggest Disappointment                                                     Getting Back On Track
         Using meth and being on the track changed my life                        I can’t wait to get out. I get out in days! I’m really going to change
         dramatically.                                                            when I get out. I got a lot to do. I need to get my life together for
         I have lost my parents trust and respect.                                my lil' brother. I’ma get a job and get on track with my credits
         I would do things to get high that I am not proud of.                    and school.
         Before, when I would get ready to do something, I would                       But on the real, everybody doing time just keep ya head up
         think for a second “Is it worth catching something?”                     because you don’t have to do life. So just do your time and get
         But I didn't care. I just wanted to get high.                            out and change your life. Take a look at me. By the time I get out,
         Now, I'm in the hall and all I think about is what I would               I’ma be at home posted. A’ight then.
         have done differently.                                                                                                        -R-Beam, Solano
                                                     -Amanda, Fresno              From The Beat: This is excellent advice. You should cut this out and
    From The Beat: One of the best thing s to do with our time is to examine      tape it to your bedroom mirror so that you don’t forget the promises you
    life and see what we did and how we will do it differently when we get        make here to go back to school and get your diploma. It makes a huge
    out.                                                                          difference to your future, and it’s the model your little brother needs.

                                                                                  The other unfortunate
    I’m disappointed in myself. Inside of me I feel mad, a madness
    that I can’t make it stop. And because I didn’t listen to the people          thing is that this whole
                                                                                  time I’ve been here;
    that care and love me, especially my moms. Hopefully, you The
    Beat understand me? “Yeah!
         I made a promise to myself that when I get out, I’m not
    going to drink, and of course listen more to the olders. This is a
    promise that I want to keep. But till now, I’m gonna keep staying
                                                                                  I’ve compared myself
    strong and learn from my lessons, an experience.
                                       -Staying Strong, Santa Clara
    From The Beat: If you keep the promises you make to stop drinking and
                                                                                  to my father, which is
    to listen to those that love you, your life will immediately become better.
    So many sad stories we get from prison begin, “I was drunk…” Alcohol is
    a big problem for many people, and the sooner you tackle it, the easier
                                                                                  terrible for me.
    it will be. It seems like you’ve already learned some important lessons.
    The hard part is applying them to your life. Good luck. (We can’t let you
    use initials for your Beat name; choose a different one.)
                                                                                  Lock Down
                                                                                       When you’re on lock down
                                                                                       Everyone tells you what to do.
    This Disappointment                                                                You can’t run
    I realized this locked up in here. I am so incredibly disappointed                 Other people do
    in myself because of how selfish and thoughtless I was.                            Lots of drama
         I have a little brother he’s only a year younger then I am, and               Lots of shame
    he’s extremely bright and talented I’ve always known this. I love                  People look down on you
    him to death; he’s one of my favorite people. Unfortunately, my                    Hoping you will change;
    head was so clouded by drugs, money, slanging, and everything                      Not enough hope
    else in that scene, that I hadn’t made him my top priority like I                  Just lots of worry
    should have.                                                                       That comes from those who live their life in a hurry.
         The other unfortunate thing is that this whole time I’ve                      Being locked down to one room
    been here; I’ve compared myself to my father, which is terrible                    In four walls
    for me. My father is some one I’ve disliked most of my life for                    With nothing to do
    the same reasons. Drugs were always his main priority (which is                    Being locked down with
    why I’m here today for the most part), and my brother and I were                   Lots of other girls
    neglected and let down for the majority of our lives.                              So much is being said
         I had to leave my brother because of my carelessness &                        It gets on your nerves
    selfishness. Luckily, I was able to tell him how much I love him                   Family can visit but only
    before we were separated, but I hope to God that he doesn’t                        Once in a while
    realize what I have realized about my actions. He knows how                        Phone calls are wacked
    much I love him, and I would hate for him to see what I’ve done.                   They make you cry;
         Fortunately; I’ve learned my lesson, and when I’m out I’m                     Being locked down
    going to change. I’m so sorry brother I love you and I’ll see you                  Brings you pity
    soon. I promise.                                                                   Especially when you’re here
                     -Lil’ Gypsy, Land Of enchantment, New Mexico                      For something silly.
    From The Beat: Now that you have seen and experienced first hand
    what your father went through, keep your head clear so you and your                                                        -Ka-Shea’, Fresno
    little brother can live good healthy lives together. Don’t be your father,    From The Beat: We wish the best for you Ka-shea’! We hope that when
    be some one you can be proud of and for someone your little brother           you’re doing all that thinking you decide you like it on the Outs more
    can look up to.                                                               and decide to stay out once you get out.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                 Page 19
                                               co-pieces of the week
 Within These Jail Walls                                                     What Should I Do?
 Within these jail walls is like a totally different world. Once                  What should I do when I feel alone?
 those doors lock behind you it’s no way out. The only thing you                  ‘Cause in fifteen more months I’ma be on my own,
 can do is sit back and reminisce and think about how I should                    Havin’ hurtful conversations wit’ moms on the phone.
 of did this and did that. You just sit in your cell most of the day              To give up on life, and wanna fall in the hole,
 hoping that one day you can leave this place and never come                      If I smoke grapes, it’s my way to escape.
 back. You eat, sleep, and use the rest room all in one place.                    How can I do it without goin’ to jail the next day?
      Every day I ask myself how I keep coming back to this place                 Wishin’ my boo was here, so I can give her a crown.
 over and over. How can I keep coming to a place that you get                     But as soon as my situation come down,
 told what to do 24/7? I don’t know. But that’s crazy. When am                    She’s nowhere to be found.
 I going to be tired of being behind a locked door? I don’t know.                 What should I do when I get in a fight?
      The only thing that would stop me from coming to this place                 I’ll neva explain what happened, ‘cause snitchin’ ain’t all
 is changing the things that keep me coming back to this place.                   right.
 And when is that going to happen? I don’t know.                                  Wishin’ I could cry, but my tears won’t fall.
                                                       - June, Yolo               Just want my family, my ninjas, to hold on strong.
 From The Beat: You are asking the right questions and you even have              I got to hold my composure and take orders from the boss.
 the right answer. Sometimes it’s hard to make a change by ourselves.
 We need the help of a parent, a pastor, a teacher, or a friend. There are        Throwin’ CYA ova my head, if I choose to get off.
 people who can help and you need to make this change.                            What should I do when I feel I don’t have anybody to turn

   Feel so alone with
                                                                                  ‘Cause people threw in the towel and turn yo’ smile to a
                                                                                  Feel so alone with no father, so who am I kiddin’?
                                                                                  I think it’s time I stop writin’ and go and make a decision.

    no father, so who                                                                                                         -Obie One, Marin
                                                                             From The Beat: You’re facing some very difficult choices, as if you’re
                                                                             standing at the crossroads, and the path you select will determine your
                                                                             future. There is no question that life is not fair, and that some people

         am I kiddin’?
                                                                             have significantly harder decisions to make than others. We hope that
                                                                             whatever you decide does not carry a CYA term with it, because that’s
                                                                             just another trap. As low as you might have been when you wrote this,
                                                                             we can’t see you throwing in the towel. You may feel alone, but you
                                                                             are not alone. You’ve already been through much too much to give up

 Speaking My Mind
      We are the mainiest
      So you know my society is dangerous
      Ready to go up the slope
                                                                             Bad News
                                                                             What’s up with it Beat, this your boy Raul de Oakland. Well,
      But people misjudge me, but I still have hope                          today I am going write about the bad news I got well I called my
      Eastside, Northside, it doesn’t even matter                            mom yesterday. She told me that my auntie tried to kill herself
      Westside side, Southside, we’re still on the ladder                    and that got me sad ‘cause she is like my second mom she took
      Imagine going to court with no trial                                   me in when I needed help.
      Leaving the courtroom with no probation                                     When my mom told me that my auntie tried to kill herself I
      I’ll be the happiest kid in the nation                                 was in shock because I never thought she would do something
      Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, we’re staying                                 like that I loved her so much that I wouldn’t know what would I
      History never a mystery                                                do.
      We’re all equal, no one’s better, no one faster                             My cousin told me today that she doing better and that got
      If you stressin’, go to a pastor                                       me happy well I hope when I get out she don’t do that again cause
      Living in the streets ain’t the place to be                            she is a strong person and I don’t want anything to happen to
      Get one warning, “Slip up,” get knocked off your feet                  her well till next time beat.
      This ain’t no poetry, this is reality                                                                                   -Raul, Alameda
      RIP CJ, you was down for the ‘hood                                     From The Beat: That is bad some bad news but there is hope for you
      It’s sad you not in my way                                             aunt to live on. You will be a big support for her when you get out, so
                                                                             when you do get out stay out to help your aunt and yourself.
      I want to make a Latino dream, if I could
      I don’t really care about the “American Dream”
      Everyone thinks we’re all Mexicans
      Well, naw, me, I’m Peruvian, I’m proud of my race                      My Wallet
      But I hate when other people like to disgrace                          My wallet is full with pictures of my family. I have a picture of
      Brother, sister, love, that’s what I dream of every night              my girlfriend. I always have more than $50 in my wallet. Some
      I might, I might even make it happen some time                         people think that I stole it or that I sell drugs, but I actually earn
                                           -Peruano, San Francisco           my money. I also carry a membership card, like Footlocker. It’s
 From The Beat: What have you studied and learned about the Inca
 empire that flourished in Peru from about the same time as Colombus         represents me, because I care about my family.
 arrived in North America? Are you proud of that heritage? Are you                                                 -Lil’ Fat Boy, San Francisco
 living in a way that will make others proud of your people and your         From The Beat: Thank you for taking this topic seriously. How do you
 culture?                                                                    earn your money?

Page 20                                                                                                            Volume 15.19
 co-pieces of the week
    Mess Up                                                                       Chicano
    My biggest disappointment in life is how I keep messing up with               My name is Chicano. They call me Chicano because I was born
    my mom and hurting her. Every time I used to mess up, she’d                   in America and my parents are from Mexico. I like my name,
    just give me another chance . But then I keep getting in bigger               because it is very unique, like a black panther which came out
    and bigger trouble. Until I just destroyed all trust that my family           white. My name is a mystery, like the mystery of the Loch Ness
    had in me. They had nearly given up on me before I came here                  Monster. An enigma. My name echoes in people’s heads, like
    and started to change my mind set.                                            someone screaming in the heart of a cave. My name is the color
         Now I’m doing everything I can to gain back their trust, so              of dark thick blood that the Mexicans spilled in the revolution.
    when I get out I can be a better man and person for my family.                My name has a history behind it, like the history behind Cesar
    And that’s my biggest disappointment. Now I’m gonna make it                   Chavez. My name is hard-hittin’, so you better realize it before it
    better.                                                                       hits you in your big-ass forehead.
                                                          -Kyle, Solano                                                  -Chicano, San Francisco
    From The Beat: It is natural for children not to think of how their actions   From The Beat: What books are you reading that teach you about
    affect others. Now you are thinking of how much your family has               Chicano history? Are you acting in ways that will make others honor
    sacrificed for you, and what sacrifices you must make for them, which         and respect that Chicano heritage?
    tells us that you are moving out of childhood and into adulthood. That
    is not an easy transition to make, but you’re doing it. Keep doing it!

    My Alcohol Problem                                                            Wha’s good wit’ it, Beat? Well, I’m here to talk about the my
                                                                                  biggest disappointments I’ve had.
    My biggest disappointment is that I drink too much. I’m gonna
                                                                                       Well, just recent I had just made my Phase 2 of the program.
    end up dying sooner than I wanted. All I do every day is find a
                                                                                  In Step 2, I get special visits with ma kids every other Monday.
    way to get drunk. I wake up hung over, and I take a couple shots
                                                                                  So just a week ago, I had wrote Blaze and Cakes in my mirror.
    and I’m all good.
                                                                                  Blaze what they call me; Cakes was my daughter’s mom who
        Wanting to be drunk has gotten me in here. I’ve stolen
                                                                                  I know for six years. So staff searched my room and saw the
    hundreds and hundreds of bottles, and three times I’ve been
                                                                                  mark. They called me in my room, and I was honest with them.
    arrested for it. I can’t even remember how many times the cops
                                                                                  So what they did was drop my step. So basically, I got another
    caught me drunk — literally, I don’t remember. I black out
                                                                                  month extended, so I won’t get out ‘til August 20th. So I went to
    sometimes. I have to ask my friends what happened the night
                                                                                  my cell.
                                                                                       What got me the most was the fact that I got my kids, and now
                                                    -Dayan, Solano
    From The Beat: While we admire your honest self-appraisal, we also            I can’t see them ‘til another 28 days. So I’m really disappointed
    worry that this is truly a problem that you need to tackle very quickly,      in myself. I feel ashamed for what I’ve done, but I do understand
    before it tackles you and takes you down! Alcoholism is a disease,            what I did was hella childish. So man, I mean I can’t stress of
    and like all diseases, you can’t cure it without help. “Dying sooner”
    is definitely a concern, but so is HOW alcoholics die; pancreatitis and       something I can’t change. I have to be a young man and take
    cirrhosis are VERY painful. As long as you don’t address this growing         responsibilities for my actions. So yeah, there it goes.
    addiction, you will keep finding reasons to drink, and one of those
    black outs could so easily result in tragedy, for you or for someone you           Well, I’ll get at y’all next time, Beat. I really gotta go get my
    love. You are a strong, handsome, intelligent young man. Don’t throw          head straight. So yeah, I’m out, though, Beat keeping it real.
    away that gift. Take this seriously.
                                                                                                                                         -Blaze, Solano
                                                                                  From The Beat: Even if what you did was “hella childish,” being honest
                                                                                  when confronted was hella mature. So, don’t beat yourself up. You did
    Disappointed That I Let Them All                                              what you did and accepted the consequences. The lesson is, there are
                                                                                  always consequences to every choice we make, and every choice we

                                                                                  don’t make — and those consequences often affect our loved ones as
                                                                                  much as ourselves.
    My biggest disappointment is that I’m in jail, and that I let my
    mother and family down, and my girlfriend, my PO and some of
    my real friends. I know what I m supposed to do, and what I did
    wasn’t that. I 100% regret it.
                                                                                  Changing Ways
                                                                                  To those young ones out there, I hope y’all planning a better
         I know when I get out of New Foundations, there is a whole
                                                                                  future for y’all selves. Because tha streets ain’t gonna take you
    world of evil, and it’s ready to suck me alive. What I have to do
                                                                                  anywhere but to jail or six feet under. If y’all still young, make
    is go in another direction. I totally understand how to do it, but
                                                                                  sure y’all planning on getting a good education, because that’s
    I don’t know if I can achieve it. I’ve been around negatively all
                                                                                  where tha real money.
    my life. I don’t know what it feel like to be a good person all the
                                                                                       If you’re hustling, you gotta always watch your back. But
    way through. But I do know how to be. I just gotta have faith and
                                                                                  if you’re a doctor or lawyer, you ain’t gotta watch your back.
    everything will be ok.
                                                                                  But I wanna let y’all know what’s real. Feel me. Make sure you
                                                      -Kejuan, Solano
    From The Beat: You are very honest about know what you did was                choose your choices wisely. “Positive thinking produce positive
    wrong, and knowing what you should be doing right. Your worry that            actions; positive actions produce positive results.”
    you might not be able to do what you know you should do is also
    honest. All we can do is encourage you to stop doing the things that                                                               -Toki, Solano
    really rob you of your life, since they lead to the loss of freedom. You’re   From The Beat: Some people never learn the important lesson you lay
    too smart to hand over your life to an uncaring and cold system. Don’t        out here, so you’re ahead of the game. Just don’t forget this excellent
    throw away the gift of a good brain and good heart just because you           advice when you’re breathing free air, because it’s a lot easier to make
    always have in the past. You’re an adult now.                                 promises when you can’t make your own choices than it is to keep them
                                                                                  when you can.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                 Page 21
                                                co-pieces of the week
 Visions of Darkness                                                          What’s in your wallet?
      As the days grow longer,                                                Well for me it’s my purse, I have a backpack and in my backpack
      Every day going by,                                                     I have a lot of different things. In the main pocket I have two
      It seems like weeks.                                                    pink polka dot bags; one has make-up the other one is a whole
      Every night that I spend in this facility grows dark,                   different story. This bag has needles and baggies galore. My
      And my mind wonders.                                                    needle exchange card, two spoons, cottons, and tie offs. This
      During this period I think about the memories,                          part of my purse is my life, well was before I came in here. This
      I would spend with my girlfriend,                                       was my love; anything else in my purse reflects the bag with the
      Missing the long hours we would spend,                                  drugs.
      Talking and hanging out.                                                     Most of the time in my purse there was stolen games I had
      But as soon as I drift to sleep my thoughts turn to                     to make money some how. It wasn’t even that that got me caught
      nightmares.                                                             up, it was weed which I claimed I didn’t smoke it but just because
      Anything that goes bad does as I sleep.                                 you don’t buy it doesn’t’ mean you don’t smoke it.
      One minute I’m spending time with her,                                       Well I can’t remember anything else in my purse so stay
      Then she disappears and I’m running looking for her.                    up.
      But as I look at myself in a mirror along the way,                                          -Xotic, Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico
      I see myself in a prison jumpsuit,                                      From The Beat: Maybe this is a good thing that you got caught with
                                                                              ‘weed’? When you get out throw away your old backpack and get you a
      And I look down and see handcuffs.                                      new one, one clean of needles, spoons, cotton and tie off’s.
      At that moment I wake up to a staff member opening my door,
      Handing me a broom so I can clean my room.
      As she walks away I go to my rulebook,
      Where I keep a pile of ripped pieces of paper.                          Fresh Out The Hall
      Each one stands for the days til I get out.                             Fresh out the hall, that’s what everybody say. They go to parties
      I pick one up,                                                          and carry guns, rob people, steal cars, then next thing you know
      Make a promise then sweep it out the door.                              you back in jail.
      In my mind I say,                                                            It been plenty thing I said while I was in the hall, next thing
      One more day finished.                                                  I know soon as I touchdown on the outs I’m robbing people
                                                -F, San Bernardino            holding guns. But when I think about it I was in jail two weeks
 From The Beat: This is a really powerful piece. Prison is not a place that
 you belong, so we challenge you to think of things you can do to make        ago begging God to let me out and promising him I will do
 sure those visions do not become a reality. How can you keep yourself        nothing negative.
 reminded that prison is not a place that you want to be? Thank you for
 sharing your thoughts with us, keep writing!                                       Now look at me, back in jail and only been out for two
                                                                              weeks. Now I’m in here for possession of a loaded firearm and I
                                                                              got to stay away order from Oakland. I’m just saying that’s how
                                                                              people be when they fresh out the hall.
  Another disappointment                                                                                                     -Darryon, Alameda
                                                                              From The Beat: You make a really good observation, and this is
                                                                              something we read about and see a lot from Beat writers. Since you’ve
                                                                              done it yourself and see what’s going on, what can you now do to

  would be the influence I                                                    not make the same mistake? How can you make sure to stick to your

 have on my little brother.                                                   Disappointment In Me
                                                                              My biggest disappointment would be not being true to my word
                                                                              with my mom.
 Why Bother…                                                                       When I first got out of jail for my first offense I had a long
 Why bother trying when in the end it will get you nowhere. You               talk with my mom about how I would change my life around
 feel or tell yourself you want to make an impression on people’s             and get my shhh together. I told her that would stop doing shhh
 lives, feeling as if you were useful. Sure, you spent or spend               that would either get me locked up or put behind bars and look
 your days attempting to live in happiness. But in the end, you’re            where I’m at now.
 just like everyone else… DEAD.                                                    Another disappointment would be the influence I have on
      Generations will soon crumble because of inconsiderate and              my little brother. It really hurt me for him to have to see his
 ignorant old and young people… Every single second of every                  big brother caged up like an animal handcuffed in the back of a
 single day people die and what do all you folk do? Absolutely                police car. I never wanted him to see me like that.
 nothing. What can you do? You’re just provin’ how completely                       Looking into my momma’s eyes that day I could’ve cried
 and utterly hopeless you really are.                                         knowing the stress and pain I’ve caused her these past few
      See you on the other side… or not. End.                                 years. I really thank her for not giving up on me already and for
                                             -Goure, Santa Clara              that I am grateful.
 From The Beat: If life is about trying to defeat death, then nobody                                                         -Lil’ Ron, Alameda
 could possibly win! Maybe we are making the effort to live for no other      From The Beat: We’re grateful that your mom is still supportive of you
 reason than that we are alive and trying to make the most of it. Think       too. What do you think you need to do to keep her support and faith
 of it this way: It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts.       in you?

Page 22                                                                                                           Volume 15.19
 co-pieces of the week
    What’s up with The Beat? This the ninja Few. My biggest
    disappointment is robbing somebody two months ago. If I would
    have never did that, I wouldn’t be here right now. Shhh, I would             If I Could Change My Past
    probably be out kicking it with my ninjas right now.                             If I could go back in time,
         Damn, I was doing so good, I just had made one mistake.                     I would change the first crime I ever did.
    But when I get out, I’ll do better. I’m really disappointed, because             I would change it by not committing it at all.
    this is my fifth time in here. I regret everything. The guy looked               If I could go back in time
    so innocent. An average white businessman. Security at my                        I would delete the first time I ever made my mom cry.
    school seen me rob the guy, so a month later the cops came to                    If I could go back in time
    my house and arrested me. Well, I didn’t know when I’m getting                   I would tell my mom that I’m sorry for the first time I got
    released, but I’m out, Beat. To all locked up, keep yo’ heads up                 in trouble.
    high.                                                                            If I could go back in time
                                                    -Few, San Francisco               I would change when I ran away from home,
    From The Beat: The fact that you’re feeling guilt about this robbery tells       missing out on family holidays, and family occasions
    us that your conscience knows what’s right and what’s wrong. Once you
    see your “victim” (or your “enemy”) as a real, individual human being,           that I missed out spending with my nephew.
    it’s much harder to justify doing him/her wrong (“The guy looked so              If I could go back in time
    innocent… An average white businessman”). Use your disappointment                I would change ever getting into this stupid system, getting
    to remind yourself what to do (and what not to do) when you get out
    so that you never let yourself down again.                                       on probation,
                                                                                     that doesn’t even sound like me.
                                                                                     When I was little I said that I would never go through this,
                                                                                      but I guess just saying it didn’t work.
    Is This Love?                                                                                                  -Infant Tazz, San Bernardino
    What’s up, Beat? Look, I met this young, beautiful lady about                From The Beat: So many of us wish we could go back in time. Even
    four months ago. The first time I saw her, it was love at first              though we can’t, you can still go forward to make sure you never miss
                                                                                 those opportunities again.
    sight. The first time we kissed, she stole my heart. I felt like I
    was being robbed. Every time I saw her, she left me speechless.
    I think to myself, “Is this love?”
         She told me that she would never let me down, and I told
    her the same. This girl is the flower in my garden. This girl is the
                                                                                 What’s In My Wallet
                                                                                 Lip gloss, cell phone/charger, Newports, lighters, lots of cash,
    sunshine of my day. Her voice on the phone give me chills. We
                                                                                 makeup, papers, mirror, hand sanitizer, comb/brush, lotion, hair
    gone ride, because we both 100% real. I will do anything to keep
                                                                                 glue, body spray.
    her happy, and she will do the same for me. I feel like I’m trapped
                                                                                      Hey Beat, what’s up? This your girl, Lady. Well, today I’m
    in a cave full of our feelings. And still, ‘til this day, I ask myself,
                                                                                 writing about what’s in my wallet. Everything I have listed above
    “Is this love?” (I just spilled my heart to The Beat. I should make
                                                                                 is something that means a lot to me because I need them on me
    Piece of the Week.)
                                                                                 at all times. I can’t go anywhere without them. They stay in my
                                         -That Cold G, San Francisco
    From The Beat: You’ll have to settle for a Co-Pow, even though we like       purse at all times. And depending on the occasion of the day, I
    how you’ve described your new love. But you say you’d do anything to         have extra in my bag. I guard my bag with all my life.
    keep her happy, so we’re wondering if you can keep yourself free as
    a way to keep her happy? Wouldn’t you rather be with her than to be
                                                                                      I love my purse and everything in it. So, yea, that’s what I
    writing about her? Will this love change your act on the outs?               feel about my purse.
                                                                                                                                  -Lady, Alameda
                                                                                 From The Beat: We are wondering what the papers are. What would
                                                                                 happen, really, if you went a couple days without makeup and hair
    Being A Bad Influence                                                        glue? Would it be so bad?

    I haven’t been the best influence. I made my homey into a gang
    banger. It hurt me to see it now because I remember when he
    was good in school and not getting into big trouble; now he drop             Out Of My Purse.
    out of high school, started smoking and drinking. I told him to              You would not believe your eyes. Money? I have lots of that.
    start back up the hood and he did. He started kick it with all the           That's the kind of person I am. I can't live without money. I use
    big homies from the hood. He said he loved the hood to death.                money for emergencies like paying my cell phone bill or if my
    He said that he would die for it. It hurt me to see him like this            mom needs help paying her bills.
    ‘cause he is like a brother to me. I wish I can change the past.                 There are pictures of my family to remind me that I have
         I pray every night can God change him back to his old ways.             them in my heart. My bankcard because people like to rob
    This life is crazy, the gang life is not fun. I been shot at one time,       people nowadays. Cigarettes and a lighter because I stress a lot.
    been jumped a lot of times. The gang banger life sucks.                      Condoms for protection. Doing these things shows me I am a
         I need to be a good influence to all the homies and my lil              responsible person.
    ‘brothers and sister. Keep your head high!                                       My cellphone, house keys, library card, contact info, gum ,
                                               -Romeo, San Bernardino            mace and pocket knife. I carry a change of clothes and hygiene
    From The Beat: You have a perspective on life that many do not realize
    until they are older. I know that you want to help your friend but           supplies because you never know.
    maybe the best way to do that is to show him another way to live                                                             -Jasmine, Fresno
    through your own actions. Believe that you have the power to change          From The Beat: That's a lot of stuff. We commend you for taking
    where you are going.                                                         responsibility and trying to be prepared.   Volume 15.19                                                                                                             Page 23
                                               co-pieces of the week
 To Hell And Back                                                            Better Days
 There’s many obstacles in life, many games, dreams, fights,                 I guess this fast life don’t change in this crazy world! Cops
 but everything you do makes your future. That’s what you gotta              always trying to harass us for no reason.
 think about before you do anything. I got caught up and ended                    Same race shooting each other, teen moms, other ones
 up in a cell with my head telling me all the wrong things I did.            having abortions.
 My heart is pounding, my head is running, my soul is trying to                   Punk Obama keep lying to us.
 get away from me, but it’s still holding me down.                                And me four time felon and a dad to a sweet lil’ girl that I
      Too much has happened for things to get away from me.                  hardly get to see because I’m always in this max unit.
                                                                                  So here it is, I pray every day for better days! So when is
 What I wanna say is, “Stay out the halls, out of a cell.” Well,
                                                                             this stuff gonna start changing and let us convicted felons, gang
 that’s all I got, Beat. See you later.
                                                                             members, all of us that are struggling in this world period.
                                                -DeMonio Marin
 From The Beat: Maybe if you think of those many obstacles individually,          I mean dang Mother Nature is all messed up itself! Do
 it would be easier to get over or around them, one by one, instead of all   they really plan on keeping us here when a big earthquake
 at once. You’re right… our pasts build us into our futures, but that just   and hundreds of bricks fall on us or when the San Andreas
 means that you have many lessons from your past to draw from. None
 of us can escape our pasts, but the future is still to be written. What     Fault breaks? Are they gonna let us drown in this empty white
 do you foresee in your future that will allow you to follow your own        room?
 excellent advice to “stay out the halls, out of a cell?”.                        The homies from the hood here that ain’t never going home.
                                                                             Dang I feel down myself for them but can they get some type

             I didn’t know
                                                                             of freedom! It’s all scandalous, staff telling us what to do every
                                                                                  It’s bad all ready that I grew up in the hood. But at the same

       anything, but now I
                                                                             time, it’s time for us to start making some changes because they
                                                                             might have us locked up physically but not mentally.
                                                                                  Well I’m gone with this one “Beat! But to all my boys out there
                                                                             keep your heads up. Better Days will come for us eventually!”

       have learned a lot.                                                                                            -Alfonso, San Bernardino
                                                                             From The Beat: Some changes need to be in the system and in our
                                                                             politics. What kind of changes can you make to better your own
                                                                             situation? You lay out a lot of things we don’t all have control over, but
                                                                             you understand that you always control your own mind. We hope that
 My Plans                                                                    you continue writing and making changes to help yourself and your
 What’s goin’ on with The Beat? You know it’s the kid Clap. Been
 taking it easy in this phony-ass situation. I can’t wait to get out
 so I could spend some time with my niece and my girl. I’m in this
 thang for getting blazed off that hydro. I’m finna stop smoking,            A Great Role Model
 because it is not worth my freedom.                                         The best teacher I have ever had is Mrs. Caldwell. She always
      When I get out, I’m goin’ be on that get money shhh. Forget            helps me with things I don’t understand, like if I tell her I don’t
 that beef shhh. It ain’t worth my life. I did what I had to do for the      know a math problem she will sit there and break it down to me.
 turf, but let’s no speak on that shhh… But you betta not get it             Like right now she’s pushing me to get my GED. I tell her I won’t
 twisted and think I won’t act up on something in traffic. Ha ha.            pass it, but she has faith that I will pass it.
                                       -Chapdaddy, San Francisco                 She taught me a lot of new things when I first came here to
 From The Beat: It takes some maturity to recognize that your life is        her class. I didn’t know anything, but now I have learned a lot.
 worth more than you’ve been told it was worth, and that smoking weed        Mrs. Caldwell really inspires me to learn new things.
 is not worth giving up your freedom. We hope you’re able to keep these
 promises, which are always easier to make when you have no freedom                                                  -Anthony, San Bernardino
 to make choices than when you get back out there to all the same            From The Beat: Your teacher sounds like a great inspiration to you. We
 temptations the street held for you before you came in. Just keep this      only hope that you continue to want to learn more and expand your
 experience well in mind, so you don’t forget, and repeat the mistakes       knowledge. Her faith in you passing the GED is inspiring, but you have
 of the past.                                                                to also believe in yourself. Your teacher sees something in you and
                                                                             wants the best for you, but you must also want and believe it.

 The Way I Am Living                                                         My Wallet
 Well, I would say that my biggest disappointment with me would              What up Beat? Junior from a little city in the Bay called Mountain
 be the way I am living my life. The way I live my life is the               View sends his utmost love and respect to the homeboys.
 life of a bad boy. We party, fight, and disrespect a lot of people.              Okay, with such said, my wallet has money and condom.
 Bad boy's are always getting locked up and that life style is just          Money so I could treat my family and myself. The condom
 getting old.                                                                because I don't want to have another kid, and catch another
       Now I'm trying to change because I'm tired of acting up,              disease too.
 because acting dumb is not worth getting locked up for.                          Well, that's it. Other then that, you know me. I be big chillin’
       If I don't change my life now I will end up in jail and I don't       over here in the max with the homies. I exit exactly the same way
 want to live like that. So I'm going to change my life to become            I entered. With love and respect.
 some one and not something.                                                                                              -Junior, Santa Clara
                                           -Clap, Honolulu, Hawaii           From The Beat: We want to congratulate you on that condom you carry.
 From The Beat: We like what you said at the end about becoming some         It not only shows us that you can move beyond the mistakes of the past,
 ONE not some THING. Too many youths decide to throw their lives             it shows you have an adult sense of responsibility, both to yourself and
 away and either wind up dead or as just a number in jail.                   to whoever your partner might be.

Page 24                                                                                                             Volume 15.19
stan d o u t s
staCounty o u t s
                                                                                                                            Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                        Page 25

Going Through Changes                                                           My Day Tomorrow
I’m disappointed in myself because I promised my grandma I                      What’s good Beat this Cece again LOL. Today I’m going to talk about
will stop smoking and coming to jail but I was still messing up                 my day tomorrow April 14, 2010. Man, I’m gonna own that day.
afterwards. That’s why I feel disappointed because I wasn’t a man                    I’m so happy 'cause I get to go home and be with my mama and
of my word and I feel I can change if I work at it and that’s what I            brother when I get out gonna take a long shower, eat, go places,
will do.                                                                        etc.
     When I get out I’ll show my family I can change. First off I’ll                 Readers I thank you for reading my pieces. I’m out.
start going back to school. I’ll also stop smoking so I can play                                                                              -Cece
sports and make my family proud.                                                From The Beat: Cece, thank you for all your writing! You can write from
                                                                                the outs, you know! It'd be good to hear, honestly, how it's going.
                                                        -Lil’ Keese
From The Beat: It sounds like these are goals you’ve set before and
haven’t reached. What will you do differently this time to make sure
you’re successful? Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things a person
can do – what resources will you use to help yourself quit?
                                                                                Back to The Future
                                                                                If I could live at any time I would wanna live in the future so I could
                                                                                see what my life turned out to be and if it turned out what I wanted
Stressing                                                                       it to. But mainly I wanna go back to the past so I could see some
                                                                                of my family members that passed away and my friends that also
I’m up in here at juvenile hall stressing out in my head. All you
                                                                                passed away and I just wanna see what life was like back in time.
do up in here is stress like what’s going on, on the outs. Like is
                                                                                      Another reason I would wanna go back in time would be so
everybody okay with my family. Everyday I be in my room I just be
                                                                                I could get everything cheap because every year in the real world
thinking when am I going to get release and how do my family and
                                                                                prices go up so that is my reason on why I would wanna go to the
friend doing and are they missing me like how I miss them. Are
                                                                                future and the past, both.
they having fun without me?
      But yea I’m here in this box stressing but that’s all I have to say       From The Beat: Sounds like you have a lot you want to see! We think
till next time and last I distress by coming out my room because it             your idea about spending money cheaply in the past is really creative, but
keep my mind off of them.                                                       your other ideas seem to have more meaning. Next time instead of listing
                                                                                things you want to do, focus on one or two and really explore those ideas
                                                                 -Danny         in more detail.
From The Beat: It is difficult to be in the hall and not out with your family
but you have to get through it. Keep using your techniques of releasing
your stress. Remember your family does miss you like you miss them.

                                                                                Prehistoric Time
                                                                                If I lived in a different era I would live back in the prehistoric time.
If I Listened to My Mom                                                         I would live in that era because I would get to do whatever I want
If I listened to my mom I probably wouldn’t be where I am at. I                 and keep dinosaurs as pets and make my own house how I want
should have kept my promises.                                                   out of a tree.
      I wish I could go back to the 80’s because I would experience                                                                            -Demon
                                                                                From The Beat: Just like the Flintstones!
more things then if I was born in the 80’s. I would try to make
things happen that’s happening now. If I knew the things I know

                                                                                If could get a chance
now I would have been able to see how things operate.
      If could get a chance to see what it was like back then, I would
be able to teach my kids now. I would have money, photos of my
mom, girlfriend,kids and other family members.
From The Beat: Why can't you teach your kids now what you know now?
                                                                                to see what it was
                                                                                like back then, I
Tell us what you already have to teach them. And then tell us how you
think you can get them to listen better than you listened to your mom!

Disappointment In My Choices                                                    would be able to
                                                                                teach my kids now.
One of my biggest disappointments is when I ran from camp. I told
myself that I wouldn’t run but then I got hella mad when they took
my home pass away from me. I regret running and now I am going
far away.
     I also ran because I thought I was going to get a second chance
when I got caught or turn myself in but nah, judge K. said no.
                                                                                What’s Up
                                                                                What’s up Beat? It’s Lil’ Papa from Berkeley, I’m getting hella
I should’ve thought twice before I made my decision because I                   frustrated in here my PO told me I can’t go to camp Sweeney or
forgot about my mom and how she would feel if I ran. All I did was              anywhere near close to home. I don’t know why though I’m not
apologize but that didn’t help her stress and depressing go away.               really caring though.
     Damn, I should’ve just stayed. I would’ve gone home like three                  Wherever I go I am going to go home one day regardless its not
weekends already and four, this weekend coming up.                              the end of the world I just really want to know where they’re going
                                                               -Tony            to send me know when I go to court on April 15, 2010.
From The Beat: Shoulda, coulda, woulda – we all have regrets and
unfortunately now there’s nothing you can do to take it back. Knowing                                                                    -Lil’ Papa
that now though, what future actions can you take to start on a better          From The Beat: It must be frustrating to not know where you are going to
path?                                                                           be sent. We hope you get to be home but right now just be patience.
Volume 15.19
Page 26
                                                       sta n d o ut s ts
                                                       sta n d o u County
My Biggest Disappointments                                                      i am what i am
What’s up, Beat? My name is Chino as people around me know                           i am what i am
me by.                                                                               i was taught never to fear
     Well, I’m gonna talk about how I get disappointed. My biggest                   i was taught to make things clear
disappointment yet has been coming back to the hall. I know I can                    i was taught to achieve my goals
do better than just getting locked up over things that don’t have                    i was taught to never lose
importance.                                                                          i am what i am
     Alright, Beat, once I get out I'm gonna try to do what I want to                i learned what’s right from wrong
do and not what others want me to do. But first I have to handle                     i learned to always be strong
some things like go and talk to my homies and let them know that                     i learned to appreciate everything
I have to chill out a little because I wanna get out the system and                  i learned to be what i want to be
try to become a man and not the young teenager I am. So that way                     i learned that respect will get you a long way
I can get my life together maybe go back to school and get my GED                    i learned that now’s the time
because that’s all the hope I got left about school.                                 to change my ways
     And that way I can become a man and have something to offer                     i am what i am
my mom and my future family.                                                                                                                      -Lee-Lee
                                                              -Chino            From The Beat: Now practice treating even those with whom you’re angry
From The Beat: We are pleased to hear that you are going to get your            or by whom you feel hurt, with respect—it is not a self-betrayal to do so.
GED and say goodbye to the homies who get you in trouble. We wonder,            Also self-restraint is not. You have come a long ways and we are so very
though, if there are things you can be working on before you get out. Are       proud of you, Lee-Lee.
you really back in the hall this time because of your homies? Can you tell
us what else is going on?

                                                                                False Dirty
Unforgivable Disappointment                                                     My big disappointment right now is Camp. I got a dirty test for
                                                                                meth when I really didn’t do any drugs. I told the staff about it, but
I made a life altering decision that I wish I never made. It’s the
                                                                                they didn’t believe me. Also I tell my PO, and not only did he not
worst decision I ever made, a decision that fills me with regret.
                                                                                believe that it was a false dirty, he also didn’t believe that I was
I wish I could take it back—it’s something for which I will never
                                                                                with my family that weekend!
forgive myself.
                                                                                     I disapprove of his attitude because I love my family—and my
      I ask for forgiveness from God, but how can he forgive me
                                                                                newborn baby, Anthony Michael! He weighs six pounds and looks
when I cannot forgive myself? I’m in constant turmoil because of
                                                                                just like me. He’s ugly to other people but beautiful to me, because
it. I want to be released from my disappointment and my regret. I
                                                                                I made him and because God gave him to me.
want freedom from the self-imposed chains.
                                                                                     I also took a blood test to clear up any misunderstanding Camp
From The Beat: Forgive the sinner but not the sin! If you believe in a loving   staff had about me using meth—and the test came out negative. So
and merciful God, you are already forgiven—but your sin, your “debt” isn’t.     I brought it to Camp to show it to my PO, but still he didn’t agree
How will you go about beginning to “pay off” that debt? Can you make
yourself a blessing to others? Let your regret motivate you to change.          to reverse his decision. So now I’m restricted for two weeks, with
                                                                                one more to go!
                                                                                                                                           -Lil’ Tony
                                                                                From The Beat: Do you have any idea how your test might have come up
                                                                                positive for meth? Consider this a reality test, because there will always
Disappointment                                                                  be things in life that are simply not fair. Props on doing all you could
                                                                                to prove your innocence—and on accepting an adverse outcome without
My biggest disappointment with myself is always joining in negative             making it worse.
behavior. I try to stay away from it and do something good but I like
getting into trouble. I know I could do better but I don’t try hard
     When I get out I’m going to start hanging out with people                  Caged
that’ll keep me out of trouble.                                                 I just found out they washed another one of my comrades. He isn’t
                                                            -Demon              the first one, and I’m pretty sure he won’t be the last. They’ve been
From The Beat: If you like getting into trouble, how are you going to
prevent yourself from getting into trouble?                                     caging my people up for as long as I can remember. I guess ‘cause
                                                                                we live like untamed guerillas.
                                                                                     No jail cell can change them. When they’re ready to make a
                                                                                change, they’re gon’ make it.
Disappointment                                                                       I’m locked up in a box right now, but when I touch down, I’m
     i be disappointed                                                          gon’ support all my people that’s doing stretches. If they got kids,
     when i come to the hall                                                    I’m gon’ look out for them, ‘cause I’m obligated to do that. I’m
     because i make my grandma                                                  going to keep money on their books and money on the phone, so
     my mother and my sister                                                    they can call and eat as much as possible. ‘Cause I know how it is
     sad and stressed and mad                                                   to do time.
     so i be angry at myself really                                                  To all my people doin’ time: Keep yo’ heads up! You’re gon’ be
     so i live my life                                                          home soon. You ain’t missin’ nothin’.
     but i do the best i can do                                                                                                                -Juug
                                                                                From The Beat: It’s great that you plan to help out all of your friends. Just
     to stay out of jail                                                        remember that you have to take care of yourself, too—‘cause if you don’t
                                                                     -Gene      take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help anyone else. You can’t
From The Beat: Yes, you live your life—but it may be the way you’re living      keep putting money on their books if you’re making it illegally—and get
it that needs to change. Do your best at that!                                  caught up! Think.
stan d o u t s
staCounty o u t s
                                                                                                                          Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                        Page 27

Disappointed In My Little Sister                                                disappointment
Hey, what’s up Beat? It’s me, Cheekz, again—and what disappoints                     disappointment: me, family, pain
me is my little sister. She pushed my mommy! And she disappointed                    disappointment meant lies, money, love
me because she’s supposed to support her, especially while I’m in                    disappointment, disappointment, disappointment
here.                                                                                it feels like every time i’m doing right
    My mom always gives my little sister everything—everything                       somebody else is doing wrong
she needs. But my sister doesn’t listen to her or do anything to                     disappointment: my mama’s in jail
help, not even give appreciation. I was mad and disappointed when I                  me being in with my three cousins is disappointment
heard what happened, because my mommy is always giving us, her                       disappointment, disappointment, disappointment
kids, anything and everything we need. So I’m just disappointed in                                                                                -Semaj
my little sis’—but I love her all the way!                                      From The Beat: You couldn’t be released to your mother because she’s in
                                                                                jail? That is disappointing! However, if you’re doing right, while you may
                                                           -Cheekz              feel still feel disappointed, you are not yourself a disappointment. You
From The Beat: Your little sister may be feeling as if you’ve abandoned         feel? We’re proud of you!
her! But even if she feels hurt by your absence, she shouldn’t take it out
on your mom. Meanwhile, don’t try to make her look bad so you look
better—just talk to her.

                                                                                Living In a Different Era
                                                                                If I were living in the past I would want to live in the 80’s because
What’s Up Beat                                                                  back then people was stunting real hard. Or I would want to live in
What’s up, Beat? It’s your brah, the Beast. I’m at Camp, just staying           the 70’s because they was going hard back then too.
out of trouble and keeping my head up. I just wanna tell everybody                    What I would do with all the money is make organizations
out there that’s doing time: Don’t let time do you!                             for black people and start a lot of programs in Oakland. Only for
     You got to do the time. I did the time, and I’m finally getting            blacks I would have G.E.D programs and job programs.
out this Friday! Damn, man! I hope they free the fam’. You know, I                                                                         -ProBlack
told them they couldn’t hold me down forever.                                   From The Beat: Living in past era and having the programs you want,
                                                                                would it make a difference? It is great to think about going to the past
                                                         -The Beast             to fix the future. Use the present to plan what you can do to help your
From The Beat: Take each day as it comes and don’t let the time get the         community in the future.
best of you—then one day, Friday for you, you’re free! Everyone handles
jail differently though, and the main thing is that it should be used as a
learning experience.

                                                                                Disappointment In My Actions
                                                                                I’m disappointed for running away, because I know that I’m still
My World                                                                        young and should not leave home. I won’t do it again.
     The world is in a mess                                                          I want to follow my mother's rules and be a kid and still have
      I feel the pain in my chest                                               fun.
      It’s not the best                                                              Also I’m disappointed because I’m not showing my sister how
      I go to sleep                                                             to grow up and do the right things.
     the world in my mind is nice                                                     Thinking next time I will do what is right when I go home.
     but when I wake up it still slipping into the end                                                                                       -Keke
                                                                                From The Beat: You say both that you want to be a kid and that you want
     like its on ice                                                            to show your sister how to grow up. You can't teach someone how to do
      when I’m out I stand in an empty space and scream and                     something you haven't done yet. Yes, you can show her how to make good
                                                                                decisions as a teenager. But don't put too much pressure on yourself.
     I sit there and think but don’t know what to think about
     my life is a mess.
From The Beat: We feel your sadness in the realities you face. The world        Disappointment
you live in is a mess but you have the time to plan how to clean it up. Take    I’ve disappointed a lot of people. My mother, my brothers, my
it one day at a time!!
                                                                                coaches, and anyone who had an investment in me whether it be
                                                                                time, money, or advice.
                                                                                       People expected me to be on my way somewhere far. I’m not
Changing                                                                        gonna say where, but it's somewhere a lot of young athletes wish
What’s popping, Beat? This is Lil’ Mouse back at it again. I’m                  they could go. I had my chance and ruined it. I’ve never cried but
stupid mad! They played me! Why did the counselors take me                      sometimes, I want to cry.
to the Hall for no reason? I didn’t even do anything! But I’m not                      I owe myself and my loved ones the chance to see me on that
tripping though. I’m too smooth, like Lil’ Webbie.                              TV and I know I’ll make it happen. In these next few years I’m
     I’m about to get out though—I hope in just three weeks.                    rebuilding trust and my image. I can get out of this hole I’m in but
Everybody’s changing it seems, and I’ve realized that even I’m                  it’ll take hard work and dedication because school and sports are
changing. I’m seeing that I’m maturing, and I’m about to take                   a combination that require a "growth mindset."
charge of my life and leave the streets alone! Until then, everybody                   I’ve fallen far and I can’t wait to reassure everyone how much
stay up.                                                                        I’m really worth. I swear I'm gonna have the cheese like big bra and
                                                         -Lil’ Mouse            the same Benz. I can’t wait to get started.
From The Beat: We celebrate the fact that you are starting to change and                                                                         -Trife
see a need to change what you’ve been doing. But don’t underestimate the        From The Beat: We'd like to wish you luck, Trife. You certainly have the
pull of the street or the habit of thinking in street terms (you know, street   attitude and determination necessary. We know it's not too late, there are
“solutions” that only pull you in deeper to fall harder and stay locked up      lots of opportunities left for you. What advice do you have for others so
longer).                                                                        they don't make the same mistakes you have?
Volume 15.19
Page 28
                                                      sta n d o ut s ts
                                                      sta n d o u County
Just Got to Camp Sweeney                                                       Speaking of What’s On My Mind
I’m just writing about Camp Sweeney. I got to Camp last Tuesday.               My biggest disappointment is violating my probation. If I would
And I’m happy I got here, so I can be out away from all them walls             have never gotten violated, I wouldn’t be here in the first place.
and smell the fresh air! All the air in the hall seems like you just
breathe what somebody else blows out.                                               The thing about probation is: It’s like it was made for people
      I’m just happy to be in the open and not all locked up in                to mess up and get violated! Being in the Hall for one month and
somebody’s room. Don’t think its your room just because they                   being in here (Camp Sweeny), has really got me thinking about
assign it too you. If you start thinking it’s your room, sooner or             the choices I’ve made in life—I wonder if I will ever change my life
later you’re gonna start thinking it’s home—and that isn’t a home              around.
for anybody!                                                                                                                                -Lil’ T
      It has been a home for me for the last time. I just turned               From The Beat: The answer to that question is up to you. If you want your
                                                                               life to turn around though, no other person and no facility can do the
eighteen last month. So that means there isn’t anymore kiddy                   work for you. First decide, do you want to change? If the answer is yes,
jail for me—and I can’t do any real jail! So I’m gonna try to get it           put your all into it. Start now.
together so I can get on the right track for when I get out.
      I got a couple of months left. Well, more like a lot of months
left since I get out one of them months at the end of the year. All
right, I’m out for now. I’m’a write something in here next week for
                                                                               Well, my biggest disappointment would probably be getting locked
                                                                               up and missing time with my daughter. I wanted to be there on her
From The Beat: It must feel a little like getting reborn to get out and        first day of daycare, to drop her off and pick her up.
breathe in the fresh air. Camps and ranches give you a lot of freedom, but           Damn, I wish I could have made it! But now that I’m getting
if you abuse it—you can count on doing more and more time. So just do
that good program and go free.                                                 my home passes, I am with her every weekend. I’m taking care
                                                                               of my daughter because a girl needs a father, my daughter needs
                                                                               me. That’s it for me. This is your boy, Lil’ Eddie, from Newark. To
                                                                               all, keep it solid.
Where My Head Is                                                                                                                           -Lil’ E
                                                                               From The Beat: Yes, your daughter deserves her father to be with her
     They can’t see me tryna get out of jail and be free                       now and forever. She needs you there through everything in her life,
     So I can go out and be me                                                 to share with her, guide her and protect her—and just to be a strong,
                                                                               understanding and loving dad.
     Is it my dreads, is it me, why can’t the police let me be?
     Is it because I’m black, or they just want me in the back
     Of the bus where Rosa Parks sat?
     Or is it that the police wants to know where my head is at?
     But live by the gun die by the gun
                                                                               The Hall and All
                                                                                    Alameda County Juvenile Hall
     Or should I predict that I will die by a gat.                                  When I get out I’ll turn my life around
                                                         -Lil’ Derryck              And make sure I ball
From The Beat: It sounds like your thoughts are pretty conflicted between
being unfairly treated by the police, and also choosing to live and die by          Alameda County Juvenile Hall
something both illegal and violent. Both of these things can happen at              When I get out I’ll turn my life around
the same time, but neither should happen at all. Who’s going to give first
– you or the system, or both?                                                       And make sure I ball
                                                                                    I gots to keep my composure
                                                                                    So I don’t step outta line
                                                                                    With live scanning
Disappointed In Myself                                                              So the homies got room time
What’s up, Beat? It’s your boy, Chikillo. I’m feeling this topic                    I’m tired of collect calls
today—so I’m gonna write about my lady, Roxana, and me. Well,                       I need a straight through
I’m disappointed in myself, because just yesterday I went out on a                  Got my stomach steady achin’
TR (temporary release) and didn’t handle myself as well as I should                 Off generic hall food
have.                                                                               I use salt and pepper
     I was with my lady, and we were happy and everything at first.                 To make my food better
But then, out of nowhere, we started arguing and shhh—all over                      Waitin’ for my release
jealousy! We got into it bad, and I told her things that I didn’t really            ‘Cause I wanna be free
mean to say. So I’m disappointed in myself, because I let myself get                I’m an innocent man
mad over little things that aren’t even worth it.                                   The judge don’t believe me
     And I hate arguing with her anyway, especially because she’s                   But when he release’ me
pregnant and everybody tells me not to make my girl mad or                          Two holes in my beanie
stressed out while she’s pregnant because she could even lose the                   Leave another dramatic scene
baby because of that. And I don’t want her to lose my kid! So I’m                   No witnesses seen me
very disappointed in myself. It seems like she and I are always                     Can’t go to Sweeney
getting mad, but I hope that changes and we stop having these                       I’m straight to CYA
stupid arguments. Well, Beat, I’m out. Alratos.                                     Hey, what can I say
                                                              -Chikillo             That’s just life in the Bay
From The Beat: There are a lot of emotions your girl is going to be feeling                                                                  -Jay Nasty
during pregnancy. It’s a little like temporary insanity. So you need to have   From The Beat: Why are you going to cause a dramatic scene once you are
a lot of patience with her. When you strongly disagree, before you start       released? So you can just come back to this BS— the generic food and live
arguing, tell yourself: I can be right or I can be happy. Which do I want      scans? Why do you want to live this kind of life forever? There is a better
more?                                                                          way to live life in the Bay.
stan d o u t s
staCounty o u t s
                                                                                                                         Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                       Page 29

Trouble In My Pockets                                                        my wallet, my future
In my pockets you would find a banger in case someone try to rob                  in my wallet i got
me or kill me or even if I come across a good come up. Then you                   big-face hundred
would find a lot of money, which I know not to carry a lot because                i’m always stuntin’
the police be hating.       Next maybe you will find a bundle to get              and way too humble
some more money. Next you will find a cell phone to call people or                what i’m going to do
get calls and maybe you will see my keys that’s if I aint forgot them             when i get out is stop hitting houses
at home.                                                                          and go to job core
                                                                 -Alex            i’m gonna continue to get good grades
From The Beat: Your pockets are your wallet. Good detail about what’s in          even though i do what i do
your pockets.
                                                                                  i’m still going to go to school
                                                                                  i got one c and the rest a’s and b’s
                                                                                  and i’m keepin’ it that way
Disappointed By My Grades                                                                                                                         -Ya-Ya
                                                                             From The Beat: If you keep doing what you do, you’re not going to be out
My biggest disappointment in myself is my not getting better                 for long. If you want to make something of yourself, there are going to be
grades in school. I know I can do better! (I just don’t know why I           things you’ll have to give up.
think about this shhh.)
     I know I’m smart, I just got to do the work. Some things you
just got to do! But when you’re a person like me, you have a lot on
your mind—and you end up shutting some of the important things               Hella Mad
in your life out for something small.                                        I’m hella mad I’m still in here. Man, the judge keeps playing with
     But now I see. I’ve opened my eyes during the time I’ve been            me, telling me to come back to court. They talking about the “Y”
here in the Hall. This place gave me a big wake up call: “Get on             right now. This shhh's sick.
your shhh!”                                                                        On April 15th, they're gonna tell me if they're charging me as
                                                              -San           an adult or not. I hope they send it wherever I'm gonna get a fair
From The Beat: That is exactly what time in the Hall is for—to be a wake-
up call before you make bigger mistakes and end up in “the big leagues” or   trial.
dead. For sure it doesn’t work for everyone, but we are glad it is working         I hope they give me Camp or ROP. I think I should be tried as
for you. First see, then do! Props.
                                                                             an juvenile but it's whatever. 'Till next week, I’m gone, Beat.
                                                                             From The Beat: We hope to hear what happened. And we'd still like to
                                                                             know more of your thinking about being tried as an adult. Of course
I Ain’t Coming Back                                                          you want to get the fairest trial possible. But do you think a minor ever
                                                                             deserves to be tried as adult?
     What can I say I put my mom and my other loved ones down.
     I came back the next two days
     I can’t take this but I got to do the time…
     Why do I keep on doing this?
      I think I’m out of my mind.
                                                                             dedicated to my lady
                                                                                  i don’t have everything
     The small rooms they put us in is like putting a hoe on the
                                                                                  as a matter of fact, i don’t have anything
                                                                                  except a dream of a better day
     I’ve been sitting in my room thinking
                                                                                  and you to help me find my way
     with my kid on the way I’m done with living the life of crime.
                                                                                  being a man
     I was feeling the subjects
                                                                                  i am sure to make mistakes
     so I just wrote what was on my mind the last few days.
                                                                                  but to keep you
     The thing that made me come back that’s violation of GPS
                                                                                  i would do all it takes
     but when you on GPS it isn’t like you really out.
                                                                                  and if it meant my love is really true
From The Beat: Keep yourself in check and stick to your plan. Finish you          i would gladly die
time and when you are done be the father that you want to be to your              an’ watch over you
                                                                                  i wish you knew how much i cared
                                                                                  you have seen my life is true
                                                                                  by the life we shared
What’s In My Purse                                                                even if you changed your mind
                                                                                  and said our love was through
Lighter, Newports, swishers, weed, lotion, Dove soap, Wet and
                                                                                  i would continuously cry
Wild lip gloss, phone/charger, PSP Go, matches, makeup/eyeliner/
                                                                                  but i would still watch over you
mascara, money, mirror, comb, brush, needle+thread or hair glue,
                                                                                  this is how you know
Black and Mild, name tag.
                                                                                  my love is true
     My lighter is my life. I like to play with fire. Newports
                                                                                  so while i’m in here
relieve me when a person can’t. They calm me down with weed
                                                                                  don’t ever forget about me
in them swishers. Oil of Olay lotion keeps me nice and smooth
                                                                                  ‘cause i sure won’t forget you
and refreshed. Everything else just makes me me. Christina. The
unique princess I am.                                                        From The Beat: What are you willing to do to keep this lady with whom
                                                              -C             you are in love? If you keep going back and forth to jail, your lady is going
From The Beat: Do all those things really make you you? Maybe they keep      to get tired of you—no matter how much it hurts her or you. Yes, you will
you feeling good and looking good, but we know you are made up of much       make mistakes, but make new ones, not the same old mistakes that will
more interesting stuff than lip gloss and smokes!                            bring you back to jail.
Volume 15.19
Page 30
                                                          n Francisco t s
                                                      sta Sand o ut s
                                                      sta n d o u County
Different Era                                                                  Just Be Smooth
If I could live a different era, I would live in Mexico before the             Yo, wha’s ha’nnin’ with The Beat, bra? Me, I am just writing to
Spanish conquistadors arrived. I would live with my Aztec                      get up out of this thing. I’m up in here on some clown shhh. But
ancestors, because back then life was much simpler. No worries                 anyway, I’m tryna see wha’s up with these nerds. Ninjas keep beefin’
about gangs, jails, or racism to deal with, just living your life,             wit’ anybody. All you gotta do is, if you from somewhere, just hold
except for protecting your tribe and making your tribe thrive. I               down the ‘hood and worry ‘bout getting’ money. See wha’s ha’nnin’
imagine my tribe being the fairest when messed with, but generous              wit’ these girls out here. Tell her to bring some friends, get some
when united.                                                                   killa ‘dro, fire up, get it poppin’.
                                                            -Aztec                  After that, do the same shhh different day, and stop worrying
From The Beat: We don’t know how much simpler life would have been             ‘bout those others. Make sho’ you tuck off from them people,
then, but it certainly would have been an interesting time to be an Aztec.
What have you read about your history?                                         police, and just be smooth. Them people/ police tryna wash ninjas
                                                                               up, and lock ninjas up like animals. Come on, man, them people/
                                                                               police know what they doin’.
                                                                                    I’m out this g-thang, The Beat. Y’all keep it trill…
My Biggest Disappointment                                                                                                                    -Shaq
Disappointment? My biggest disappointment is not getting windy                 From The Beat: If you spent as much time coming up with a plan to keep
                                                                               yourself out of here — a plan that would include finishing school so you
from the boys. Or better yet, not staying in the house and waiting             could get a job — as you spend planning your next party, maybe you
for my female. If I wasn’t being a dog-ass ninja and trying to see             wouldn’t have to worry about what the police are trying to do to you. Stop
                                                                               giving them the opportunities to do it!
what’s up with some new females, I wouldn’t be in this situation.
                                                     -Young Gebe
From The Beat: You won’t be in this situation forever, so what are your
plans for when you get out from under it? What changes do you see in
your future?                                                                   Fun On The Outs
                                                                               When I was at my friend’s house, we were watching comedy shows.
                                                                               We started laughing hella bad, and then me and my friend went
Still Here                                                                     outside. When we ran down the street, my homie came and gave me
                                                                               a sandwich. We went back to the house and played video games.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…. What’s good with The Beat, though? Still in
this g-thang fo’ reals. The group home laggin’ it, fo’ reals. Jus’             From The Beat: This is so short, like it wasn’t important enough to write
found out my lil’ brother in here. Messed up shhh!! But he gotta do            the details. You could have written a full page about this day of playing
                                                                               with your friend.
his time, like the lil’ thug I know he is. Like I say, they ain’t keep
a true g in here foreva.
                                                                               City Lifestyle
From The Beat: It’s sad that your little brother is also locked up, but even
sadder that you want to celebrate his behavior. (How would you celebrate
if, God forbid, he got hurt doing what he does, or hurt someone else
enough to buy himself 25-L?) They can’t hold you HERE forever, but they
                                                                               What’s ha’nnin’? This young bruh JC shaking the halls up in YGC.
can hold you in state prison forever (no parole) if you give them that         Trying to do my time and don’t get back to the streets. But I still
opportunity. More than 2,000 juveniles across the country are in that          tryna eat, hoping one day I’ma be with my family, like they show
                                                                               on TV.
                                                                                    I’m from the land of drug dealers and drive-bys. It’s sad when
                                                                               the young ones die. I can’t lie, ain’t nothing fly about dying young.
A Thug’s Thoughts In Poetry                                                    Be yourself young homie. What you hiding from?
‘S’up with The Beat Within? I’m not feeling the topic today. I’ve                   They say you live by and die by the gun, but I rather be with
been here for four months now, and be thinking about my family                 than without one. I was counting stupid money, living crazy fast.
and my homies. I’ve been thinking a lot and be reading and working             I got a great future and a crazy past. Can I make it last? Only the
out. Here’s a little something of what I’ve been thinking.                     strong soul survive this shhh. It’s deep. I’m about to make this
     Every day I wake up taking cold showers                                   thang cry. I’m out. Late.
     Thinking about snitches and weak cowards                                                                                                 -Cutty
                                                                               From The Beat: Every study ever conducted about guns shows that having
     Saying their with the shhh like if they got power                         one makes you less safe, not more. Evolution is not based on the principle
     But when funk hops off, they be telling                                   that only the strong survive, but on the principle that those who survive
                                                                               are the strong, even if they survive by running away, because they are
     Giving the whole info, names they be spelling                             the ones who get to pass their genetic code to the next generation. Tell
     Saying they put in work in the streets they be dwelling                   us about that great future you see for yourself, and how you see yourself
                                                                               achieving it.
     But they not about nothing
     They talk nonsense, they just be fluffing
     When shhh hops, they be running
     I be thinking about my family
     Waiting for me to come home, what a tragedy
                                                                               Tryna Stay Positive
                                                                               What’s trappin’ with The Beat, man? I’m really sorta tired of writing
     System giving hard time t my thugs but staying true is the                this thang, but you know, I’m just tryna stay positive and get my
strategy                                                                       GED. I’m tryna get a job when I get out this thang, but all my ninjas
     Shout outs to my thugs doing time                                         know that’s just goin’ be a cover up foreva thuggin’.
     Be on the ‘hood shhh is what rhyme                                             RIP to all my fallen soldiers. Meet you ninjas at the
From The Beat: As you see, we had to change your last line. But besides        crossroads.
that, we wonder what difference it makes whether “they” are real or fake,                                                                  -Ley-Ley
or you are “real” or fake, when you and they are both locked in the same       From The Beat: If all your “ninjas know that’s just goin’ be a cover up
box? If being real means living the life of a slave, then that’s a reality     foreva thuggin’,” then you can be sure the law also knows it’s just a cover-
we’re glad some young people choose not to experience.                         up, and you’ll soon be back at the crossroads…
 sta n County u t s
sta n d o u t s
San Francisco
                                                                                                                            Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                          Page 31

                                                                                 Wha’s up Beat? This be Chuco coming from max once again. I’m
                                                                                 going to write about “disappointment.” Well, I personally have
                                                                                 disappointed myself, and not just myself, but my loved ones as
                                                                                 well, and it hurts now that I think ‘bout it.
                                                                                      The way I disappointed myself was by saying I was not gonna
                                                                                 come back in here. I said I was gonna change my life around, but
                                                                                 look, I let myself down and my familia, and that something I really
                                                                                 need to change.
                                                                                      Well Beat, see you next Tuesday. I have court Monday. To all
                                                                                 my homies, keep your heads up, and to my haters, keep hating.
                                                                                 From The Beat: Disappointment is only worth experiencing if it makes you
                                                                                 change some things in your life so you don’t have to experience the same
                                                                                 disappointment again. So, what are the things you plan to change?

                                                                                 What’s trappin’ up in The Beat, man? In this thang, thuggin’. Tired
                                                                                 of sittin’ in the trap. I ain’t trippin’, though. But today, they had my
                                                                                 thugs Mook Lover an’ Thump in the room on some shady shhh.
                                                                                 Always trying keep the thugs down. But they gonna be back on the
                                                                                 choppin’ block tomorrow.
                                                                                      These staff be conniving and manipulating, feel me, feelin’
                                                                                 they authority. Too much power trippin’. Staff probably was bullied
                                                                                 when they was younger, so they take it out on us. But it’s okay
                                                                                                                                                 -Lil' Vell
                                                                                 From The Beat: If “psychology” tells you that staff was probably bullied
                                                                                 when they were younger, what does your psychology tell you about you
                                                                                 and your homies for putting yourself in a place where you can be connived
                                                                                 and manipulated? If you think the staff here is arbitrary, we hope you
                                                                                 avoid the power rangers waiting at the next stop in the criminal justice

                                                                                 Tempted To Run, But…
Disappointed In Myself                                                           I don’t like carrying wallets, but what I carry is a condom, and the
My biggest disappointment in myself is saying I wasn’t gonna come                other thing might scare you, ya’msayin’, ‘cause shhh get ugly and
back to the halls and I did. Being in this new situation I’m in this             reckless. Enough about that, though.
time doesn’t look good. I been here nine days                                         They already made the decision of sending me somewhere.
     I was supposed to get off probation two weeks before I came,                Don’t know where yet, though. I’ll knock all this time out,
but I messed up. But it’s been stressing thinking about it every                 ya’msayin’…
day. I also been having a lot of support, so I will be okay till the end              I’m probably goin’ be tempted to run, but I’ll try not to.
of trail. But till then that’s my disappointment of myself                       Anyways, on Sunday April the 18th, we goin’ get drunk off this
                                                              -Young C           milk for ma birthday, ya’msayin’? We goin’ do it big and eat fat
From The Beat: When you think about the support you’re getting, we               balogna sandwiches, ya’msayin’, with the Lays chips.
hope you’re also thinking about how to pay back that support — not with
money or things, but with living in a new way that doesn’t end in the                 That’s all for now, though. To all, be smooth and stay up.
halls, or worse. You have it in your power to stop this lock-up life, but only                                                           -Gerry Geez
you know if you will use that power or not.                                      From The Beat: We admire you for carrying condoms (for your protection
                                                                                 and for hers), but you know how we feel about that other thing you carry;
                                                                                 it only makes your life and ours less safe. As for your birthday, maybe the
                                                                                 next one you’ll have something better than bologna sandwiches and milk
                                                                                 to celebrate with. Which is another way of saying, “Don’t run!”
Next Generation Thug
He was born with a hereditary gene passed on from his father,
the sick and demented sadist that made him homicidal and
bloodthirsty. He didn’t have money for treatment, and had no way                 It’s Nasty Being Locked Up
to relieve his urges. So he had to kill. Murder was in his blood, and            Being locked up isn’t cool. You wearing other people’ clothes and
he was just as merciless as his father. He stole a bazooka from the              underwear. The staff in YGC give people room time for stupid stuff,
military base and blasted.                                                       things that you didn’t do. One time they gave me time for going in
                                                           -King Lee             the closet. He gave 2.5 hours. The food in here is nasty. One time I
From The Beat: Once again, you give us a silly fantasy that hides the
reality of who you are, and who you want to become. Are you hinting that         found something metal in my food.
your father is a “sick and demented sadist?” Are there hidden messages                                                                      -J-Mainy
about your own life in this silliness? (By the way, we have more than one        From The Beat: We can understand why you would hate being locked up.
friend who could be the subject of your little fantasy — and they are all        So, what are you going to change when you get out so this doesn’t happen
on Death Row.)                                                                   to you again?
Volume 15.19
Page 32
                                                          n Francisco t s
                                                      sta Sand o ut s
                                                      sta n d o u County
On My Way To Wyoming                                                           Everything So Damned Complicated
What’s trappenin’, Beat? Ja know this yo’ girl, Nee-Boog, still up             Why everythin’ gotta be so damn complicated, fa real, though? Why
in this G-thing. Can’t wait ‘til I get out. All these girls all about          cain’t I change my ways? Why cain’t I make my family proud of
talk, don’t get off. But, man, they sending me to Wyoming until                me? Yeah, I keep tellin’ ‘em I’ma change, but then I went and got
September, and I’m ‘bout to knock that out the way, because I’m                my ass locked up. And when I get out e’rybody gonna see a brand
tired of coming to this weak-ass place, hearing these same-ass                 new Genah, feel me?
rules.                                                                              On some real shhh, though! I’m tellin’ my moms I’m on to
                                                           -Vernisha           do betta things. All she think is, “Yeah, same old story!” But this
From The Beat: We hope you open your mind to the possibility that you          time, when I get out, I’ma stop doing drugs and the hell with the
will come back from Wyoming stronger and more prepared for freedom
than when you arrived. In other words, don’t just “know that out the           drinkin’! The only thing I’ma continue is the tussin’, feel me? I
way,” but seek opportunities to learn new things, to meet new people, and      gotta stay loyal to my title!
to broaden your view of the world.
                                                                               From The Beat: The smartest thing you can do is to take your promises
                                                                               seriously about quitting drinking and drugging. So many jail and prison
                                                                               stories begin with the words, “I was drunk,” that it is obviously a major

What’s In My Wallet
                                                                               problem for many young people. Don’t wait to deal with it, because the
                                                                               longer you ignore the problem, the harder it gets to control it.
     What’s in my pocket?
     My wallet
     Pocket full dough
     Boy talkin’ mess                                                          My Soul, It Be Healin’
     Come out your pocket                                                           The Beat I be feelin’
     Take ya dough                                                                  My soul, it be healin’
     Looking fa me                                                                  My life, they be stealin’
     Find me up the street                                                          Get me the hell out this buildin’
     That’s where I be                                                              This healin’
     Lil’ BD                                                                        It’s a good feelin’
     My wallet full a dough                                                         I can’t explain it!
                                                                      -Jun                                                                   -Crumblez
From The Beat: Okay, but what does this say about you?                         From The Beat: We wish you would TRY to explain it. What is the cause of
                                                                               your “healing”? How do you know it’s happening? What will it mean when
                                                                               you get out of here? How can it benefit other girls? Like we say, TRY to

I Always Get In Trouble
Wha’s up with The Beat, man? You know me, P Spunkz, still up in
this thang holding it down like track glue. But man, I been thinking           Living In A Different Era
up in this thang. Man, this shhh really phony, for real. It seem like          If I was living in a different era, I would live for the future, because
I always get in trouble, and everybody else just be coonin’ on the             you can’t live the past. But if I could, I will live in the past when I
outs.                                                                          was a little kid posted with my mom with everything I know now so
     Once you be down, ninja, just do what they do. Then, when                 I can know how it feels to have a mom.
you get out, they act like they missed you. That’s why this time                     But anyways, I would like my future to be with my wife Celene
I’m only messing wit’ certain people, ‘cause these homie ain’t                 and our kids, with a nice house, a nice car. I want the gas to be
homies!                                                                        cheap, where everybody can afford. I would want all the medical
                                                          -P Spunkz            stuff to be free. And I want peace so everybody can live a good life.
From The Beat: There are some people who are always left holding the
bag, and always made to pay the price, while others skate by without                                                                            -Jimmy
being touched. If you’re one of those who “always get in trouble,” then it’s   From The Beat: If you want to go to the future, why not go way into the
time to switch things up. If you come back here, you can’t blame anyone        future, with flying cars and brand new styles? If you were able to go back
but yourself.                                                                  to that early life posted with your mom, what do you think you would
                                                                               learn? How would it change your future?

Disappointment                                                                 If The World End
What’s up with The Beat, man? I met this beautiful young lady
                                                                               What’s ha'nnin’ with The Beat? This yo’ mans JM. Man, if this world
at the mall, when I was buyin’ the new Jordans. Her name was
                                                                               end in 2012, I’ma make sure I have me a baby before 12.21/12. I’ma
Keisha Cole, and she was a singer. I was talking to her in this
                                                                               send my baby to Mars for he or she can come back with the aliens
store called Macy’s, and we was both shopping. So then I ask her
                                                                               and fix the world for I can rebirth and get back to doing me, getting
for her number and she gave it to me. Then I ask her where do she
                                                                               money, being fly, and stunting with the ladies.
live? And she said that she live in LA. After we was talking, I told
                                                                                    But I don’t want the world to end. I’ma just be turning 19,
her that I was going to call her, but when I called her, she didn’t
                                                                               that’s not fair. But if it do on 12/16/12, I’ma make sure I rob a bank
answer. So, then I called her back, but she didn’t answer again.
                                                                               the week before the world end. Nah, I’m just playing. I’m gone.
After that I stopped calling her and went on to the next girl.
                                                                                                                                -Problem Child Newt
     The next day I went to the mall. I saw her with another man, so           From The Beat: We wouldn’t worry about the world ending in 2012, or
I just said, “What’s up?” and went into Footlocker and bought me               any time soon. We’ve been hearing predictions that the world will end in
                                                                               one or two or three years for the past fifty years, and not one of those
some Tims.                                                                     predictions came true. Rather than preparing for the end of the world,
                                                      -Road Runner             why don’t you prepare for living in this world, without having to rob
From The Beat: Well, if Keisha Cole won’t answer your calls, maybe you’ll      anyone, so that you can have that family you want, all living happily right
get out and have more luck with Beyonce!                                       here on planet Earth.
 sta n County u t s
sta n d o u t s
San Francisco
                                                                                                                          Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                       Page 33

Waiting                                                                       It’s Time I Learn My Lesson
What’s good, Beat? Well, I”ma talk about how I had to wait for                What’s happenin’ with The Beat? This Keyon, Lady Goon, on
these grouper people to come see me. Well, I’m in my cell, waitin’            this thing again, feel me? It’s, like, about time I need to learn my
fa these people to come. It’s bad enough I had to spend my b-day              lessons. Man, for real, I am real tired of gettin’ into trouble. I sho’
in hea’, and it was hard. Lots of my fam wanted to be with me, but            do need to change around my acts. I know I can do better, but, ya
I’m in here.                                                                  feel me, it’s so hard to try not to do the things you always see in
     I gotta wait ‘til the 28th of April ‘til I get out. That’s shady,        the streets.
‘cause my baby niece is turning one years old on the 17th, and I                   It’s really depressin’ when I see myself in the streets, tryna
really wanna be there with my niece. I’m really mad, ‘cause I’m not           struggle to get my next paypa. Money got me stressin’ and, honey,
out there, but hope I get out. Love you, niece.                               let me tell you, it ain’t trickin’ if you got it. I mean, heyyy, you gotta
                                                                 -Jun         strive, believe in yourself, do what you do. That’s how you gone live
From The Beat: We’re always curious when we read “I’m really mad,”            and get through the streets. All I’ma say right now is that if you
because we don’t know who you are mad at. Aren’t you missing your
niece’s first birthday because of something you are responsible for? So,      feelin’ confident, you gonna get through it, ‘cause I am my own
shouldn’t you be mad at yourself?                                             defendant.
                                                                              From The Beat: What does it mean to “get through it?” If getting through
                                                                              it means repeated trips to lock-up, where you have to hand over control

Five Years From Now                                                           of your life to strangers, then don’t you think there’s a better way to “get
                                                                              through it?” Do you foresee any changes in how you plan to live on the
If I could live in a different ear, I would go five years in the future       outs?
to see where my life would end up. To see if my goal have been
achieved. To see how my family is, and if my life has changed.
Hopefully, five years from now, I would be finishing college and
looking for a job as a nurse. But if I go five years back, I would try
                                                                              A Chance To Change
                                                                                   Finally I get a chance to change.
to make those things come true.
                                                                                   My life has been a pain.
From The Beat: You don’t have to go back five years to make this wish              I hate living this way.
come true. You just have to make a plan and stick to it. Nursing is a great        Can’t wait to get out and get paid.
profession, and there are many jobs available.
                                                                                   I hate my mom crying and going through pain.
                                                                                   Senica is coming my way.
                                                                              From The Beat: We decided to change one word in this tight little poem. If
Quest                                                                         you “hate living this way,” why are you living this way? What is keeping
                                                                              you from living in a way that you don’t hate… that turns your mom’s tears
     Tip on the scene, real mean                                              of pain into tears of joy?
     Polo had wit’ the new black jeans
     Man, I ain’t rappin'
     Man, I’m mad as hell
     I’m in here, I need a break right now                                    In My Mom’s Arms
     ‘Cause I’m hot as hell                                                        Damn, I did it this time
     This shhh is lame and boring                                                  March 29th, today is the day I’ll remember forever
     Man, I need to get out this hole right now                                    The day I got locked up
     They tawkin’ ‘bout Ranch for one year                                         The day I lost my complete freedom
     Man, I’m hot                                                                  My privacy, my own space, and air to breathe
                                                                    -Yose          I had gotten arrested that night
From The Beat: How much time have you spent thinking about who is
responsible for being in this place you hate? How much time have spent
                                                                                   And I know I did it all to myself
thinking about what you have to change on the outs so that you don’t               It had started out with my man going all crazy again
give away any more of your life to this “lame and boring hole”?                    ‘Cause I was leavin’
                                                                                   I was tired of the BS
                                                                                   I had gotten tired of being on the run
                                                                                   And I wanted to go home to my momma
No More Groupers                                                                   The person I missed the most
Man, my biggest disappointment is when I’m supposed to get up                      Even though we had no type of close relation
out this G-thing, such as, like, today. I was supposed to be up out                I wanted to get away from the hysterical life I was livin’ in
here today, and I guess my cat-ass PO just taking his time on my                   And the first thing I always thought of
case. But I ain’t really tripping, ’cause I ain’t tryna go to no mo’ God           Was my moms holdin’ me in her arms
damned groupers anyway.                                                            I was always brought back to reality
     This my fourteenth time here, and I done been to over 20                      With a loud bang or a screaming voice
something groupers. Ha ha ha… ain’t that funny? So, chea, I guess                  His mother had now gotten irritated
I’m just lamping ‘til they come get me. I’m ‘bout to be eighteen                   But I didn’t blame her
anywho. Hey, happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Check                     Even though it wasn’t her fault
me out.                                                                            She didn’t ever help out
                                                                  -Cindy                                                                     -Arlett
From The Beat: After more than a dozen times locked up here and 20+           From The Beat: When we’re young, it’s easy to think we can live on our
groupers, have you learned anything about cause and effect? By now you        own, not answer to anyone, make our own way. But as your sad piece
should know what causes this effect (lock-up), so you should also know        makes clear, when the time comes, we all want what you want: “my moms
what you have to stop doing if you want to stop coming here. Of course,       holdin’ me in her arms.” We hope that when you get out from under this
at 18, you won’t be coming here any more, and the next place down the         situation, you and your mom will see that you will have each other for the
road is not nearly so nice.                                                   rest of your lives, and that is a true treasure.
Volume 15.19
Page 34
                                                           n Francisco t s
                                                       sta Sand o ut s
                                                       sta n d o u County
I Fit The Description                                                           Unsolved Problem
I got trial in the 26th. Hope the dude don’t come, ‘cause if he don’t,          What’s ha'nnin’ with The Beat? Chea, man, I’m stressed out I this
ninjas get out. Got grabbed fo’ a bullshhh-ass attempted robbery.               joint, ready to get out. I’m trapped in a cage with a bunch of soft
The boys said I fit the description of that bullshhh. Now I miss ma             animals that’s ready to take it there and go all out for the steak.
whole break.                                                                    But really ain’t ‘bout it, ‘bout it.
                                                       -Anonymous                    But this jail shhh is no good. We get nasty food, staff always
From The Beat: So, you are innocent? Well, it definitely happens. We hope       eating our food, trying to play us out our rec and phone calls. Man,
you walk on the 26th, and we hope you stay out of trouble after that.
                                                                                I need to stop coming to this hellhole, stay out and get money. I
                                                                                need to get high, take my girl out to the beach and just kiss her
                                                                                and tell her how much I adore her, how much I love her.
The Beat Is Shady                                                                    I been thinking about a lot since I been ion here. People is
The Beat shady as hell. Y’all started off in San Francisco with the             phony, fake, fraud; they turn they back when they can’t hang. It’s
thugs. Now y’all never put us in there. Y’all only put some races in.           good I’m existing all the phony people out my life. But look all you
And don’t say it ‘cause we cuss, gang bang, or some old other stuff,            ninjas that be having my name in y’all mouths, keep it out. It’s a
‘cause I be saying some real stuff.                                             bad word. Don’t wanna get your mouth wash out with soap…
                                                        -Young Gebe                                                            -Problem Child Newt
From The Beat: We would love for you to come and work with us for just a        From The Beat: You’ve been around this place enough to know that it
little while, and then you would understand how difficult it is to put out      won’t ever change, no matter how loud you complain about the staff, the
this magazine every week. We do our best to get everyone in who writes          food, or your peers. We hope, as you are “thinking a lot” that you realize
something of value. We NEVER discriminate by race, so that’s a bum rap.         that only by changing your act can you avoid places like this (and the
                                                                                much worse ones the system has waiting). If you are unwilling to make
                                                                                those changes, then you’re inviting this consequence, so complaining

 I would live in the
                                                                                about it only leads to the question: Who is responsible?

                                                                                Biggest Disappointment
 ‘90s as a teenag-                                                              My biggest disappointment with myself is coming into the halls.
                                                                                I’m very disappointed in myself because I promised my girl that I

 er. It was crackin’
                                                                                would stay out of trouble, and here I am, back in the halls.
                                                                                     She’s everything to me, and it sucks knowing I can’t get a hug
                                                                                or kiss when I want it. I’m very disappointed in myself for doing

  during that time.
                                                                                what I did.
                                                                                                                                           -Mack T
                                                                                From The Beat: If she’s “everything” to you, why did you put something
                                                                                ahead of her. You risked losing her, and now you have, at least temporarily.
                                                                                Will your disappointment change anything about how you live when
                                                                                you’re out of here?

Interview With The Thugs, Part 2
Jerry Geez: What’s trappin’ with the thugs?
Newt Dogg; It’s the same ol’ thang, new day. Staff got the otha two             Living In The ‘90s
thugs in they room.                                                             I would live in the ‘90s as a teenager. It was crackin’ during that
Vell:       For real… Same thang.                                               time. The economy was the best it ever was during that time. I
Jerry Geez: So what’s the plan for this week                                    would be getting hella money, too, during the early ‘90s.
Vell;       Stay out this book, ya’msayin’? Gotta stop getting time.                                                         -Teen Of Another Era
I be catchin’ time for dumb shhh.                                               From The Beat: We can’t let you use your last name in The Beat, so we
                                                                                had to give you a new Beat name. (Next time, use your first name or a
Newt Dogg; Go back to court Thursday. Might be freeing the thug,                nickname.) The ‘90s were better than these times, or sure, but we still
ya’msayin’? If not, show a ninja love, ya’msayin’?                              didn’t know anyone who was rich… Still had to work for a living.
Vell:        What about you, Geez bruh?
Jerry Geez:     Shhh. ‘Bout to turn 18 on Sunday.
Newt Dogg: Happy birthday, bruh.
Vell:         Yeah, bruh, happy birthday.                                       Time Wit’ Heem
Jerry Geez:     Right on. Be smoodies yaw, till next time…. gone.               It’s the thug just chillin’, improvising, planning on doin’ som’in’
                                                        -Jerry Geez             new when I get out. Finna hit my pops when I touch down. Spend
From The Beat: Well, there’s not much in this interview to comment on…          some time wit’ my grams, then head to the block, see what I been
other than, Happy Birthday, Jerry.
                                                                                missin’. I got a court date Thursday, and I’m gonna see what they
                                                                                talking ‘bout.
                                                                                      Go see my baby bruh when I get out. See how big he got. Ain’t
What’s In My Wallet                                                             seen ‘im in a couple years. Finish up this school thang, then trap
                                                                                it out, feel me? To all my thugs, mane. stay up an’ be smoov in this
First off, I don’t carry a wallet because they don’t make wallets big
enough to hold my money, ya dig? I can’t stop stacking, ya dig? My              shady system. Don’t let these cats play ya out. But I’m trappin’ out
closet look like Foot Locker. But ain’t no shoes in the boxes. It’s             till then.
straight hunneds.                                                                                                                           -Lil Vell
                                                                                From The Beat: What does it mean that you put going back to the block
                                                         -White Boi             to see what you’ve been missing before going to see your little brother
From The Beat: Gee, with all those stacked bills, you’d think you could buy     that you haven’t seen in a couple of years? As long as the block holds
your way out of places like this. Rich or poor, there’s no glory in this kind   more appeal to you than your little brother does, you’re missing the real
of self-imposed slavery.                                                        treasure in your life.
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                                                                                                                                    Page 35

Life As A Gangsta
The most disappointment in my life was when I got arrested.
I was ditching school and I was walking down the street. The
cops stopped me and I was tripping. I was going to run and go
somewhere, but I stayed like a man. They took me into the car and
drove to my house.
     My whole family was disappointed and I was disappointed in
myself too. I seen my mom crying and that broke my heart. I was
going to cry too but I soaked it up and took it like a man. I was mad
as I pulled up to the jail. I was scared as I walked in. I thought I was
going to be in here forever. The judge is still trying to give me two
or three years.
     When I seen my mom on my first visit I was so happy but when
I get out I am going to change for the better and not for the worst.
This is the most disappointment in my life.
From The Beat: To realize you need to change often times it takes
something like getting locked up to open your eyes. You’re right in what
you’re saying about disappointment though. Not only do you hurt yourself
when you go to jail but also your family and those who care about you.

I experienced disappointment when I got incarcerated, not because
I failed EMP because I knew it was coming. I was disappointed
about the fact that I was trying so hard at the beginning, I stopped
drinking and going out instead of going home at A.M hours drunk.
I also stopped smoking and I was going to classes from 8:00 to
3:00. Instead of skipping class and I was getting A’s and B’s for the
first time in years.
      Then my birthday comes and my so-called “cousin” took me
to a kick back in East Palo Alto. I decided to get drunk so when we
got back to my cousin’s house I was wasted. I called my lady on the
phone and I looked down and noticed my ankle bracelet. I tripped
out because the whole time I had forgotten I was on EMP.
                                             -Young and Forgettful
From The Beat: That’s what happens when you’re drunk, you mess up and
don’t think everything through. Was the kick back that you went to worth
messing up your EMP? Take responsibility, don’t blame cousin.

                                                                             Living In The Thirteen-Hundreds
Disappointed In Me                                                           I would like to live in a different era, like the thirteen-hundreds.
I’m disappointment at myself because I’m here and I was doing                Back to the Medieval era where there were many warriors, kings
good but then the police stopped me and I got locked up. It’s not            and queens with many thrones that could be conquered. They had
too bad though, I like it here but I I’m disappointed because I              the power that was like respect.
can’t be with my girlfriend or my family. I miss them but I got used              The most respected kingdom was the most powerful, the one
to it and I’m disappointed at my mom and father because they’ve              that obliterated all enemies. I would like to participate in all wars.
never been there for me. I don’t care any more though, so it’s all           To be the most feared.
good.                                                                                                                                     -Pancho
                                                            -Gabriel         From The Beat: Why do you want to be feared? What about being the kind
From The Beat: Well obviously you do care if you still bring it up. You      of king who inspires love and respect?
need to express your feeling to your parents and maybe you all can work
it out.

                                                                             Que paso Beat? How’s everything going? Pues conmigo no hay
Life Happens                                                                 tanto (Well, not much with me) just waiting to go to alternative
What’s crackin’ Beat . I’m not really feeling the topic today. Let me        tomorrow. So as you can see this is my last Beat con ustedes
tell you about how I just found out that my lady’s pregnant. My life         chavales.
like just changed when I heard that. Damn, I’m gonna be a father.                 Well my biggest disappointment would be not being able to be
I think that I’ll be a great father but I need to learn how to stay out      with my family when they need me the most. Also, not being able
of trouble and get off the streets.                                          to be with my morrita (my right now, just grumpling around if you
                                                                -Isaiab      know what I mean. Ha, Ha. Pues this is it por hora. Alratos.
From The Beat: You definitely need to learn to stay out of trouble and                                                                -Grumpy
doing so isn’t very hard at all. It just takes the will power to resist      From The Beat: All these disappointments that you’re talking about are
temptations. If you’re having or have a baby then it’s just something that   changeable. All you need to do is turn your life around because if you
you’re going to have to do.                                                  don’t then you can count on not seeing your family o morrita for a while.
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Crazy Thoughts                                                              Big Goal
    Sittin’ in my room thinkin’ ‘bout my lady                               When I get out I want to get back into playing football because I
    The thoughts runnin’ through my head are making me go                   miss it more as the days go by. I remember when I used to be out
    crazy..                                                                 there stunting. I know I still can play football. I haven’t lost my
    I can’t wait to get out and be back with my girl                        talent in the sport because I really have a passion for it.
    When I get out I’ll prove that she’s my world..                              I was a starting running back or a wing but I’ma stick to what
    She doesn’t deserve anything that I have done                           I’m good at and make my last year look real good and play for
    I want to get out already and prove she’s my only one                   college after that. I know I can do that and I’m determined to do it
    All things I have done I deeply regret                                  so I know I’ll accomplish my goals and be in a Sports Illustrated
    I know I’ve done things that she’ll never forget                        magazine saying that I’m a 1st round draft pick in the NFL. Only
    I just wanted a chance to say sorry                                     time will tell.
    Well I’m out Beat, see you next week                                                                                                -Lil’ Mak
                                                          -Slapo            From The Beat: These are big dreams, and you will need a lot of hard work
From The Beat: Since you have betrayed her before, promises will likely     to get there! Is it a challenge to keep in shape while you are locked up?
mean very little, but your actions—both towards her and towards taking      Tell us what your exercise regiment is, so that you are prepared to go out
control of your own life— are the best way to show her that you do love     onto the football field the minute you get out!
her, and that you want to be a positive influence in her life.

                                                                            Being In the Hall-
My Lucky Day
A time when I was really lucky was about 10 months ago. It was              My Biggest Disappointment
just a normal day, and it was my homie’s birthday, We were at the           My biggest disappointment is to be in the hall because I could have
cemetery celebrating his birthday. We were just drinking some               prevented that. I could have prevented that by not being there. I
beer. The same day was some funeral of some gang members. So I              could have been somewhere else. I chose the wrong time and the
guess they mistook us for their rival gang members.                         wrong place to be at.
     It was like the afternoon and we were about to go home. All of              I’m disappointed because this is my first time being here. I
a sudden we heard some gunshots and we saw a guy shooting at                told all my friends that I was never going to come to hall and they
us. What really got me pissed off was that my sister was there, and         told me to never say that and I promised them that was not going
my cousin and she was pregnant, and two other girls.                        to happen.
     I guess that day my friend that passed was really looking out                                                                     -Carone
                                                                            From The Beat: There is nothing you can do about the past, but you CAN
for us because it was really close. I still think about that day and I      change your future, and make sure that you never come here again. What
say to myself how lucky I am for not getting shot. All the thanks go        are the lessons that you’ve learned from this experience, and how can you
to my homie and also to God.                                                use them to stay out of trouble in the future?

From The Beat: You are lucky that none of you were shot! Does life feel
different to you, after this near-death experience?

                                                                                 Come with me to the depths of hell
                                                                                 Burn eternity and let the sun fall
Disappointment                                                                   Curse those who curse me
I hate it ‘cause I disappointed my cousin. I left him in a time of               Yet I still curse myself
need. I left him when he was getting into a lot of trouble.                      666 tatted on my heart
     I feel like a bad cousin. I feel like I failed him in the worst way.        I hear people sayin…
And by me getting locked up it didn’t help at all.                               “Prayin’ won’t get you nowhere
                                                                  -Jesse         ‘Cause I’m going to hell anyways…”
From The Beat: Even if you can’t be there for him physically, what are
other ways that you can support him? For example, have you written to            He taught me to steal, kill and destroy
him from juvenile hall? What important things do you need to tell him, to        Many years from now we will not rot in hell
help get him on the right path?
                                                                                 For eternity
                                                                                 I say hail Satan ‘cause I just don't give a damn…
                                                                                 ‘Bout the so-called “God”
                                                                                 I know for a fact every god is fake
Disappointment In My Cousin                                                      Except god, Jesus, and Satan.
My big disappointment are my cousins. It’s funny how you’re own                  You’re all being lied to
family will not defend a innocent man. But all in all, I know God                Follow me in the shadows
knows the truth.                                                                 They call me father of lies
    My biggest disappointment is my one cousin! Man its hella                    I deceive, but not about gods
funny how my own cousin can’t stand up for what he did. He robbed                How I seek the dead
someone and they found me instead and he said it was me.                         All night long, and meditate
    Man I’m disappointed also because I was once told that                       Seeing me burn in hell…
family comes first. But all in all, I know God will make the right               I love it
decision.                                                                                                                         -True Grimm
                                                         -Sirtyph’d         From The Beat: Of course, you are free to believe anything you want, and
From The Beat: Wow, this is a hard lesson to learn. Has the situation       not believe anything you want. But how in the world could you “know
divided your family? It’s terrible what he did, but we hope that you can    for a fact” that every god is fake but god, Jesus and Satan? Belief is just
deal with the situation without turning to violence or further worsening    that — belief. Facts can be proven. We don’t think you can “prove” what
your own situation.                                                         you say you “know for a fact.”
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Disappointed In Myself                                                       Fighting My Case
I’m disappointed in myself for making my mom and all my family               Q-vole Beat? Well, today’s topics, I wasn't really feeling them, so
worry about what I do as in drugs, gangs and just any problems or            I’ma tell you wha’s going on with me in these halls. Well, I got
anything bad that could happen to me ‘cause I feel bad because               court May 12th. From what I know, the DA trying to give me deals,
they always would give me lectures and tell me I’m heading in the            pero no chales with that. I’ma fight my case till they drop some
wrong direction but I gotta admit that they are right so far.                charges.
     I am planning that when I get out I will make it up to them                   My lawyer tells me I’ll be out by the end of the year. Ojala y que
as much as I can. I’ll listen to them and try to get out of the drugs        no me este verbiando. (I hope this isn’t just bullshhh.) Hopefully
and gangs as much as I can, for I know I can make my family and              it’s true. I have a feeling he lying because I know the DA ain’t got
especially my parent proud of me.                                            nothing on us. So hopefully, he decides to drop some charges. But
                                                          -Francisco         until then, me and the homie are going to keep that hope up.
From The Beat: You are on the right track-- the first step is wanting to           Pues, I’m out Beat. Till next time. To all doing tiempo, keep
change. The second step is figuring out a plan. What are some concrete
things you can do this year to make your family proud of you?                your heads up. Don't let no one bring you down.
                                                                             From The Beat: What is the motive for your lawyer to lie to you? We’re not
                                                                             saying you have to do what he tells you, but we are saying that he has
                                                                             a lot more experience than you in that courtroom, so it’s worth at least
Disappointment in Myself                                                     listening to what he tells you. When you go to trial, you risk losing a lot,
                                                                             even if you believe the DA has no evidence against you. (We know too
My disappointment in myself has to do with my attitude towards               many innocent people doing long years in prison because they decided
everything. I sometimes have to act out and get in trouble because           not to take the deal that was offered.) Just be very careful.
of my attitude towards things. I don’t know exactly how to
control myself in situations where I’m mad too. I try to get along
From The Beat: Learning how to control your anger is an important skill
you need in this life. What are techniques that have helped you in the
                                                                             Crazy Nights
past? What helps you when you are in juvenile hall?
                                                                                  What’s up Beat? It’s yo’ boy Evil comin’ from the max
                                                                                  Desolate nights and it's a endless fight
                                                                                  I’m using all my might
                                                                                  But I’m hanging on a limb
What’s In Your Pocket?                                                            ‘Cause the one that's after me is the one they call Grimm
If I would take everything out my pockets and put it on the table,                I could walk away or should I walk right to him
you would find fifty dollars, a pack of Newports 100s, a lighter, and             If I make a mistake then my life is in sake
my cell phone.                                                                    And I know the chances, an’ what he will take
       I got money because I work for it and if I need anything I’ll get          Could be one close or the one I love most
it. I always have a pack of newports because I smoke all the time to              My mind is telling me go
chill. I carry a lighter to light my cigarettes and if there might be a           But my heart is telling me no
reason to use it. My cell phone, I use all the time to keep contact               I sit back and think what could happen to me
with my associates and to talk to my girl.                                        If I go and follow the weep into the dark, dark streets
       I never have a wallet so I never have to worry about losing one.           ‘Cause that's what calling me as I lay myself to sleep
All I need is my pockets and I’m good.                                            I see him in my dreams reaching out to me
                                                                    -Ln           I can’t sleep with these demons all around me
From The Beat: Thank you for showing us what you carry in your pockets!           Tellin’ me that they want to take me to their boundaries
Do you ever lose any of this stuff, when you change from one pair of pants        Tellin’ ‘em to leave me be
to another? Do you think you will ever use a wallet? Why or why not?
                                                                                  But they say he won’t stop until he has me
                                                                                  But it won’t be that easy… they’re gonna have to drag me.
                                                                                  He’s giving me one more chance to make up my mind
In My Pockets                                                                     I wake up in the middle of the night and he’s right there by
                                                                                  my side I see him with my own eyes
Well if I would take everything out of my on the outs I would have
                                                                                  To all doing time stay up.
a comb, a pack of stages, and at least a couple bucks just in case
something would happen like I would lose my bus pass or I would              From The Beat: We’re not sure if you’re running from a human being named
need it for another pack and some brew.                                      Grimm, or you’re talking about Death itself (the Grim Reaper). If it’s the
                                                                             latter, there’s no point in running. That’s a race we are all going to lose.
                                                            -Lupe            But if it’s a person, we hope there’s a way you can deal with the problem
From The Beat: Have you ever lost your bus pass before? Do you buy it        like adults rather than like kids; in other words, by talking rather than
yourself, or does your family buy it for you?                                fighting.

Living In A Different Era                                                    What’s In My Polo Wallet!
If I were to choose another era to live in it would be the Medieval          Well what I have in my wallet is pictures, attorney numbers, girls
era and I would be king and my and my kingdom would be the                   numbers, green card, and a cannabis card.
greatest. There would be no crime and if there was the accused                   I don’t keep money in my wallet ‘cause I keep it in my shoe box
would be exiled and all my subjects would praise me but that is              with everything else that makes money.
then and this is now. Until next time.                                                                                             -Young Braco
                                                            -Devin           From The Beat: Thanks for sharing what’s in your wallet! It’s interesting
From The Beat: What about the medieval times appeals to you? Or is it the    that you carry everything important in it except for money… where do you
idea of absolute power that attracts you?                                    keep your cash when you go out?
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The Homie                                                                        Disappointment
What’s up, Beat? I just wanted to talk about one of my closest                   Wha’s crackin’ Beat? Pues, this gots to be the primo Mr. T, otra vez
homies. His name is Lizard. Him and me have been through a lot in                (again) from the max unit, just chillin’, nothing much to do mas
these past years, from fighting, running away from the police. Man,              que puro (more than) lay low.
him and me used to do it all, like smoking and drinking all day.                       Pues, today’s topic gots to be disappointment. To be honest,
    I remember when we used to sneak out and go to parties and                   I disappointed in myself and my familia by coming back into this
sneak back in my house. Then the next morning, he would sneak                    place, and by making bad decisions. Serio, que se aguita uno
out and knock on my house door as if he just got there. Ha ha,                   machin (seriously, this place makes anybody worried.) But hey,
those were the good times.                                                       there’s nothing I can really do. I’m already here. But like they say,
    But Lizard and I always said we would get locked up together                 we learn from our mistakes; just try not to do it again because it’s
and we did. Ha ha. But that's all I got to say about the homie. Stay             just affecting me and my family.
up and I’ll see you on the outs.                                                       And now that my morrito is about to be born in three months,
                                                   -Lizard’s Homie               it’s going to affect him to by not having his dad by his side, si me
From The Beat: You haven’t begun to “do it all.” Smoking and drinking            entienden (you know what I mean)?
and partying are what everybody does, but without a whole lot more,
you’re missing out on most of what the world has to offer. When you                    Pues, to all the primos doing tiempo, stay up, ‘cause this vato
finish school, go to college, travel outside the country, work a real job for    truly cares about you. Bueno pues (okay), with this bein’ said.
a living, then you can talk about doing “it all.” Then, of course, there’s the
prison experience you haven’t had yet, and we hope you never do, because         Alratos.
there are not many opportunities for “Ha ha” there… (No more initials as                                                                          -Tor
Beat nicknames.)                                                                 From The Beat: We’d love for you to write a complete piece about what you
                                                                                 have learned from your mistakes. When you learn something, it should
                                                                                 change the way you look at life, or the way you live it. How will what
                                                                                 you’ve learned change the decisions you make when you’re out from under
                                                                                 this situation?

                                                                                 They Warned Me, “Keep Doing
                                                                                 What You’re Doing, And…”
                                                                                 Q-vole Beat? It’s me once again coming out the max unit. Pues,
                                                                                 today I’ma tell you ‘bout my biggest disappointment. My biggest
                                                                                 disappointment is coming here. This is my biggest disappointment
                                                                                 because when I was in the outs, I always used to say, “No, me yo no
                                                                                 voy a torcer” (No, I’m not coming back to jail.)
                                                                                       But look at me now, in these halls for attempted murder! Ain’t
                                                                                 that something. It’s messed up because everyone used to tell me,
                                                                                 “You’re just like your carnales. Keep doing what you’re doing, and
                                                                                 you’re going to end up like them.”
                                                                                       I used to get mad when everyone used to tell me this, but hey,
                                                                                 I guess it was true. Now both of them are out and I’m the one here.
                                                                                 Pero ya que gots to stay strong, and hope for the best. Hopefully
                                                                                 they drop these charges and let me out. Like my homita told me,
                                                                                 “Only time will tell.” And all I can do is hope for the best and hope
                                                                                 everything comes out cool. Pues, this is it. This homito is out. To
                                                                                 all the homies doing time, keep your heads up don't let the system
                                                                                 get you down. Alratos.
                                                                                 From The Beat: We’re curious to know why you were not able to hear those
                                                                                 very important warnings. What did you think would happen? How did you
                                                                                 think you could avoid consequences for your actions? When you do get to
                                                                                 go home (soon or late), what have you learned that will help to keep you
                                                                                 free in the future?

                                                                                 It Was Cool, I Guess
                                                                                 What’s up Beat? Well, this gots to be your homie Tiny, just droppin’
                                                                                 this pequenas lineas from the max. Well, today I’m not feeling this
Wallet Containments                                                              topic, so I’m just going to write about… pues que este vato is back,
My wallet contains a razor for grip tape on skateboards. Money,                  and how I had so much fun in the streets. I got to spend time with
‘cause I have a lot of it and buy what I want. Pictures of my                    my family and I got to kick it in the ‘hood. I got to smell fresh air.
girl; Safeway card; laughs; baggies for marijuana; gift cards for                It was cool, I guess. I had a firme tiempo.
Spencer’s.                                                                            Pues, with much respect to all them homegirls and homies
      Well, those are the most recent objects I would carry in my                doing their thing and time, this vato is out. Alratos.
wallet. End.                                                                                                                                     -Tiny
                                                           -Goure                From The Beat: Well, you say you guess it was cool to be able to enjoy
From The Beat: We’re not sure what those “laughs” in your wallet are             that little bit of freedom. But the most important words we can find in this
about, but we wish you’d share some of them with us!                             piece are these: “este vato is back…” ¡Que lastima!
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                                                                                                                                        Page 39

Disappointment                                                                  The Love Of My Life
Disappointment to me is when I let my family down. Also my jaina.               Well Beat, I ain’t really feeling the topic for today, so I’m gonna talk
I left them on the outs suffering for my criminal actions. I left her           about my girl and how much I love her, and how she cares about
with my five-month old daughter.                                                me, as well. So I’m going to start it off like this:
      Now I’m probably gonna be stuck here for life instead of being                 Her name is Felicia. She’s Mexican and I’m black. We’ve been
with them. That to me is disappointment. But what can I do? Life                talking for a year, and we are now a couple of five months. I really
is what you make it, homies.                                                    love this female because she’s not like most girls I’ve been with.
      Pues, I’m out. To all, stay up and live life to the fullest.              She’s more of a real person. She lets me know wha’s up and how
                                                                  -Lucky        she feels about something that makes her upset. She writes me
From The Beat: The great tragedy in your piece, and in so much of what          letters saying, “Oh, baby, I miss ya.” You know the cupcakin’, ha
we read in The Beat, is that you waited too long to ask yourself that
question, “What can I do?” You could have done many different things, but       ha.
you chose to do something to end your freedom, something that affected               But yeah, I’m thankful for what she brings to me, and I’m
another family forever and will leave another child to grow up without
a father. These are the terrible consequences of having not thought of          thankful that she is my girlfriend. Now, most people say, “Yeah,
others when you had the chance. Maybe your situation will make some             she’s cheating on you,” and I say, “Hell nah!” I don't go and say
other young man think before he acts.
                                                                                I’ma kill her, like most guys. I just say if she cheats on me it would
                                                                                be over! But I try to think very positive about our relationship that
                                                                                we have, and I hope for it to last for a while.
                                                                                     Well, I’m outty until next time. Take care of your lady and
My Big Disappointment                                                           loved ones the most. Late!
                                                                                                                                         -Young Skrilla
My big disappointment with myself is that I wasn’t there for my                 From The Beat: It sounds like she’s mature and responsible, and that she
older brother. He’s19 now and getting older everyday. He sleeps                 sees a mature and responsible young man in you. That’s the basis of a
every night at county, charged with two attempted murders. And                  good relationship, so we hope it works out for you, and that neither of
                                                                                you cheats on the other. (Trust is a two-way street.) Isn’t it interesting
he’s been on trial for almost two years.                                        that you are able to have a loving relationship across racial lines, while
     I feel the closest I’ve ever felt to him, probably because we are          young black men are killing other young black men and young Latino men
                                                                                are killing other young Latino men. Maybe it’s time for an old-fashioned
both behind bars. But when I get out I’ll be there for him now.                 hippy-style Love-In!
From The Beat: What impact has it had on your family to have both of you
behind bars? What are your hopes for your future, and for your brother’s
                                                                                Living in a different era
                                                                                I’d like to live in the future. We’d have starships and colonies

Can’t Wait                                                                      around the universe. I’d like to meet other intelligent species and
                                                                                learn their ways life. I would probably fall in love with a female
Wha’s up with The Beat? Pues, here I come once again letting you                alien. LOL!
vatos know wha’s up. Pues, I’ma let you know what’s on my mente                                                                             -Austin
right now. On today’s day, to tell you the truth, the most things               From The Beat: This is almost too short to print — especially because it
that are on my mind gots to be my family, my case and the most                  shows a real imagination that you could have played with a lot more. Next
                                                                                time write a whole page! (Describe that female alien you’ll fall in love
important thing, my lil baby. Can’t wait for him to be born, Three              with, for example…)
more months and he be out.
      But at the same time, I feel nervous. Don't know why. I think
it’s the happiness that this vato feels inside. Pues, this gots to be
it for this camarada. To all carnales doing tiempo, stay up and a big           Get On, Woman
q-vos to my primo next to me. Alratos.                                               Something about her drives me insane,
                                                                - Tor                But the ‘hood is where I’m best known for doing my thang.
From The Beat: So, your baby is out in three months. And what about you?             She saying something ‘bout if for her I’m willing to change.
With a new baby, it’s not only time to get out, it’s time to figure out a way
to stay out, or you’ll be cheating your son out of a father. (The Beat can’t         This foolish girl is crazy; I’m deep in the game,
print your last name, so could you come up with a different Beat name,               And plus, I’ve been living in the ‘hood since I was a baby.
                                                                                     Now she threatens to stop lovin’,
                                                                                     Well, all I gotta say is that you better love it
                                                                                     Or get on, then, woman.
What’s Happening?                                                                                                                            -Junior
                                                                                From The Beat: Let’s see, now… You’re locked up tighter than a frog’s
What’s up Beat? This lil Manos coming from the max unit. I ain’t                behind, but she’s “foolish” and “crazy” for wanting you to change?
feeling any of these topics, so I’m going to write about what’s                 Somehow, “foolish and crazy” seem better applied to you than to her!
     Well, I failed the Ranch and caught another charge. Now I
might go to YA, or somewhere. I went to court today, and it’s not
looking good. So I don’t know what to do…
     But yeah, that's what’s happening. To all from the Ranch, keep
                                                                                I feel nervous. Don't
                                                                                know why. I think it’s
your head up. They can't keep us locked forever …
                                                        -Lil' Manos
From The Beat: The halls and the Ranch are easy compared to YA and state
prison, the next stops along the way if you can’t stop yourself. You are
100% wrong when you say “they can’ keep us locked forever.” The truth

                                                                                the happiness...
is, if you give them the opportunity, they most definitely can keep you
locked forever, There are nearly 3,000 children (under age 18 at the time
of their crime) who are serving Life In Prison Without Parole — in other
words, 3,000 kids who will never experience freedom again!
Volume 15.19
Page 40
                                                    sta n d o u t s
                                                    sta n d oYolo County
Real                                                                        That Day
    Mind your own , you might live long,                                    On March 19, 2010, there was a riot at the park. The DEA said that
    Bullets ain’t got no name.                                              fifteen gang members where seen punching, kicking, and chasing two
    I lost ten people in 2010,                                              males.
                                                                                  I was at home that day with my family.
    I’m just thinking-                                                            Later on that night, I was on my way to a party when the car I was
    When this shhh gonna change?                                            in was stopped by the police. I had a little blood on my hand, it was my
    When it comes to education                                              blood. The police said that several witnesses said that I was at that
    People don’t use their brains                                           park during the riot, so they arrested me and booked me in the Yolo
    They wanna be in the streets                                            County Juvenile Detention Faciity. I’ve been in here for 37 days and
    Struggling to maintain.                                                 know that they are trying to try me as an adult. I pled guilty to keep it
    Nowadays                                                                in juvenile court even though I didn’t do anything. Now I’m looking at
    The streets ain’t the same                                              seven years. I can’t worry, I’m going to keep my head up and leave it all
                                                                            in God’s hands.
    I wonder why
    It’s because you got a gun                                                                                                                 -Abel
                                                                            From The Beat: If you are innocent and not associated we hope justice will
    Well you’re not thinking right.                                         be served, and you will be freed. Only you know the truths at this point.
    Five years from now…
    Just think about it.
    Where you want to be in life?
From The Beat: Good to hear from you. This is good advice- to “start
                                                                            How I Feel
thinking right” and to think about where you want to be in life. Use your        Girl, I was afraid to approach you.
time here to figure it out for yourself.                                         The fact was, I didn’t really know you.
                                                                                 Girl I really wanted to make you mine.
                                                                                 Just by looking at you make my day shine.
                                                                                 It was really hard for me to say my first line.
Thin Line Between Love And Hate                                                  So we kicked it from time to time.
                                                                                 From one through ten, you’re higher than a nine.
    Lies                                                                         You are my dime, one of a kind.
    Obsession                                                                    Your eyes steady on mine.
    Vows                                                                         That’s when I noticed you’re just like a chime,
    Emotions                                                                     Like a melody to keep me out of a crime.
                                                                                 But I was selfish like if I was blind,
    &                                                                            Kept doing things that I thought was fine.
    Hostile                                                                      So you fell in love not to push or shove
    Anger                                                                        While I was always stay high like a dove.
    Treachery                                                                    Just remember I still want you for my love.
    Emotions                                                                                                                            - Young Soy
                                                                            From the Beat: Opening up your heart, and being honest with yourself
                                                       -Fifty One Fifty     and those you love—this is where happiness comes from. You are right-on
 From The Beat: Cool poem. Unfortunately, much of this world lives with     in your poem. Just make sure you remember your lessons and help others
such an indistinguishable line between hate and love. Truth is missing.     to remember theirs.
It doesn’t seem to be valued much does it? Isn’t that what really makes
“love” love?

Real Feelings                                                                    Three months ago I did a crime and that crime got me locked up.
                                                                                 I thought being locked up would be great but it’s not.
    A real woman is someone I need                                               I am missing a lot of things in the outs…
    Someone to be by my side                                                     it was three months ago my cousin died and I’m in here.
    Someone like you to never leave.                                             Life can be complicated but I will live on the way he did.
    I can love someone                                                           RIP Armando.
    But it seems hard to receive                                                                                                          - Jokes
    I have goals that I have not yet achieved/                              From The Beat: Sorry to hear about your cousin. That must have been
    Clean your ears and listen up                                           tough for you to not be there. We are glad you understand that this is not
                                                                            somewhere that you want to be and we hope that you can find a way to
    It’s the truth, baby girl,                                              steer clear of the things that will bring you back. You have a chance now
    With you I think I’m falling in love                                    to take a different path. We did not know your cousin, we only hope he
                                                                            was a good role model, given you speak about living the life he led.
    They say it’s better to give than to receive.
    I don’t want you to follow
    I just want you to see
    That I really do love you and care
    Anytime you need me, I’ll be there.
                                                                            Living Life Isn’t Fake
                                                                                 Living life isn’t fake.
    You don’t always get what you want                                           Being on the streets you gots to be awake.
    But it’s only fair                                                           Life flows like a lake.
    Me wanting you is very rare                                                  People die like slices of cake.
    To you I wouldn’t dare.                                                      Gotta watch for people that act like snakes.
    Only the truth “yes” or “no”                                                 People acting like a bunch of fakes.
                                                                                 I wake up – time to wake and bake.
    Before I go
                                                                                 This shhh hurting me like a toothache
    I just want you to know                                                      And my homie’s and how we love from the gate.
    In my heart there’s an empty space                                           So I gotta have faith.
    For you, I’ll always and forever hold.                                                                                              - Young Soy
                                                                 -Kunta     From The Beat: You are so correct when you say life isn’t fake. We get out
From The Beat: Love is good. It is important though to have your own        of it what we put into it. When we do harm, we feel pain. When we do
issues squared away before you try and love someone.                        what’s right, we feel good. Yes, have faith.
 sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Yolo County
                                                                                                                         Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                       Page 41

Prayer                                                                        My Life 2010
     Please, Lord, forgive us.                                                What’s good Beat? Well I will tell who I am. My name is Darnell.
     We love you, but what the heck we supposed to do every                   I’m seventeen. My birthday is October 5.
     single day?                                                                   Well let’s get to it. I’ve been in and out of jail since I was a
     I know that I wanna go to heaven, but I notice now that in the           young teen.
     end,                                                                          It’s not good being locked up. People tell you what to do, tell
      there’s no choice but to be down. Lord, please forgive us.              you what to eat, and when to go to bed.
                                                             -Indio                I was off E when I stole a car with my cousin. We were having
From The Beat: Dude, you are down. When times are like that for you, put      fun but when the cops got on us we got scared and took the cops
yourself around people who have hope and that can encourage you. They
can help you find the answers to your prayer.                                 on a high speed chase. It was fun but it was not worth doing to get
                                                                              locked up.
                                                                                   Now I’m going to ROP in Iowa for 6 to 9 months but it depends
                                                                              on how I act in there.
The First Time                                                                     Well, I’ll see y’all later Beat. Stay up. Be God’s child not the
     The first time I saw you, I knew I had to have you.                      devils.
     Now I’m behind these walls, reminiscing on the days                                                                                    - Bingo
                                                                              From The Beat: You know that being locked up is not the life you want
     I was out with you. We use to kick it.                                   to have. You don’t want to keep coming back. It sounds like you have a
     Remember that and all the stuff.                                         chance with the ROP in Iowa depending on how you act. Decide now,
     You told me you loved me and that you would never let me                 while you are young to get on a different path. Maybe this can be a
                                                                              turning point in your life. Lastly, leave other’s property alone, how would
     go.                                                                      you like if someone took your car? Mature up!
                                                         - Goblen
From The Beat: Creating sweet memories is a beautiful part of life. Do all
you can to do right, to stay out of trouble, so you can be with this sweet
person you love.
                                                                              Just Because
                                                                                   Just because I’m a girl,
                                                                                   It doesn’t mean I can’t work as hard as the boys do.
Life Behind Bars
Hey Beat. I am Danger from Orange County. This week I wanna tell                   Just because I’m locked up,
you vatos out there that being busted ain’t shhh. It only matters                  It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.
when you actually thinking about your family and knowing how
they’re missing and your homies from the varro are just mosing on                  Just because I’m Mexican,
with the rest of their lives.                                                      It doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be treated the same as
     I’m writing this letter to you because I want to make good                    other people.
decisions in life… disappointing when you’re locked up, specially
if you get about 15 years to life. Being out there moving freedom                  Just because I’m a young girl,
feels good. It’s like having power without being a thief.                          It doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing.
     Learn how to appreciate to God for what you get everyday:
                                                                                   Just because I made one bad decision,
food, money, love, and respect.
                                                                                   It doesn’t mean I can’t change and be a good person.
     Right now I’m in an immigration situation. My time is already
over, but like I said I’m in an immigration case. It’s like being                  Just because I’m in love with a gang member,
trapped and thinking you’re never gonna get out. But I have hope.                  It doesn’t mean he’s going to put me down.
Hopefully in a month or two I’ll be out. So far I’ve been busted for
about six months and still feels like I’m never gonna see my family                Just because I don’t like to go to school,
again.                                                                             It doesn’t mean I won’t finish high school.
     This is my second and hopefully last time I get locked up.
Alright, I’m gonna start to wrap it up for tonight, but before I leave             Just because I’m in jail,
I just want to say gracias for reading this letter. Alratos.                       It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop praying every night to God.
                                                              -Moise                                                                    - Beatriz
From The Beat: It sounds like you’ve got it figured out, that you’re going    From The Beat: Beatriz, you make many important points. It’s essential
to do all you can, and need to, to stay out of trouble. Just keep doing the   that you stand up for yourself, that you own up to the things you do
right things so no one has any reason to keep you longer.                     wrong, and that you make every effort to make positive change. Don’t
                                                                              give people any reason to criticize you.

My favorite desserts are chocolate ice cream, cake, and cookies.              Loving You…
Well this dessert I more likely buy it ‘cause I don’t know how to                  I love you?
cook or bake anything.                                                             And I wish you feel the same way…
     The last time I tasted ice cream probably was around December,                Because I fall in love with those “honey sparkle” eyes and
but cookies and cake I had taste it up here in juve, but I still wanna             that beautiful smile of yours…
eat more. Well, this is all about the desserts I like. They all have to            I said it once and I say it otra vez
have some chocolate on it.                                                         Having you close brings a smile to my face
                                                                   -M              And you always make my day.
From The Beat: Ah, the sweet tooth. Nothing like a chocolate chip cookie,                                                                - Husky
or chocolate cake like mom’s. Next time you can, try baking some cookies.     From The Beat: That’s a beautiful expression of your feelings.       It’s a
You can do it.                                                                wonderful thing to have someone to love.
Volume 15.19
Page 42
                                                             d o uts
                                                       sta n Santa u t s
                                                       sta n d oCruz County
Blue                                                                            Pride
     My past was blue, now                                                          I got too much pride
     everything seems a blur –                                                      to run and hide,
     walking down the street,                                                       or just lay down and die.
     free, with no more laundry to do.                                              I got too much pride
     Let’s see, it takes eggs to bake a cake.                                       no matter how much pain I take.
     I have a recipe.                                                               I got too much pride
     Light will overtake the darkness.                                              to plead guilty to my case
     My sheriff love crosses the bridge.                                            no matter how much time’s in my face.
     His work is done.                                                              I got too much pride
     He’ll enjoy my cake.                                                           to turn my back on my family
                                                                     -Elena         because they’re the ones who really understand me.
From The Beat: Nice poem, counselor. Save a slice for us. Not sure if you           I got too much pride – way too much to feel.
are a juvenile counselor, if so, we apologize for putting your writing in the
mix with the young people, and not in the Counselor’s Corner. We hope to            Eventually my pride could get me killed.
hear from you again!                                                                I got too much pride –
                                                                                    more than I should.
                                                                                    I got too much pride
                                                                                    for my own good.
Bad Influence                                                                                                                                   -Fabio
I feel bad for my friend because I was a bad influence on him. When             From The Beat: Hey, we know some guys who don’t have any pride at all.
I ran from placement I started hanging out with my homie. And like              Maybe you could give them some of yours. By the way – good poem. You
                                                                                should be proud of it, (but just a little proud).
– he’d been doing all good and he had a new girlfriend and he was
staying out of trouble.
      But when we started rollin’ around together, and carrying, we
got arrested. And I felt really bad because of the trouble I’d caused
him. Everything the cops found was mine, but he got locked up
                                                                                Phone Call
                                                                                I got a phone call on Easter. It was my mom who called, crying. She
too.                                                                            told me that my tio from Salinas had died that day. He was 35 and
      He couldn’t read or write, so when his girl wrote him, he had             he’d had a heart attack from the lifestyle he was living. It was a life
me read for him. In the letter, his girl said that ever since I’d run           of partying and being with gangs.
from placement, he’d started doing stupid stuff. And she said even                   I know he’s in a better place and that he will be waiting when
his family were saying it was my fault.                                         it’s my time.
      So, that’s my story about being a bad influence.                               Felix Percy: 1.12.75 to 4.4.10. Rest in Paradise.
                                                                   -W                                                                          -Fabio
From The Beat: We’re glad you feel bad about it. That’s a start. Now how        From The Beat: We’re sorry again, Fabio. As we recall, you wrote about a
about having a little mercy on yourself? You’re not treating yourself very      different loss just last week.
well. You run from placement, have a few minutes of freedom, and wind
up back in the hall. Don’t you think you deserve more than this?

                                                                                My Shoes
Blue                                                                                How is it to be in my shoes?
     My past was blue, now                                                          It’s like going to work without a clue.
     everything seems a blur –                                                      But then figuring out what to do
     walking down the street,                                                       because I know that I ain’t no fool.
     free, with no more laundry to do.                                              So here it goes with my cause
     Let’s see, it takes eggs to bake a cake.                                       because I ain’t waiting for no applause.
     I have a recipe.                                                               Never trust no one is what I learned.
     Light will overtake the darkness.                                              All those scars is what I earned.
     My sheriff love crosses the bridge.                                            That’s what happens when you feel safe
     His work is done.                                                              around people who don’t really care.
     He’ll enjoy my cake.                                                           Walking down the streets is really fun
                                                                     -Elena         because these days everyone has guns.
From The Beat: Nice poem, counselor. Save a slice for us. Not sure if you           But I’d rather stand out like a star
are a juvenile counselor, if so, we apologize for putting your writing in the
mix with the young people, and not in the Counselor’s Corner. We hope to            because one day I’ll be going to college really far.
hear from you again!                                                                Then I’ll come back to my hood
                                                                                    and everyone will be in a good mood.
                                                                                    I’ll be kicking it with my homies
                                                                                    because I don’t affiliate with all those phonies.
Best Teacher                                                                        Wherever I walk, I walk with pride
                                                                                    because there have been times I could have died
The best teacher I ever had was Ms. Gonzalez. She encouraged me
                                                                                    watching slowly how death walked by –
to do my best. She understood the situation I was in. She pushed
                                                                                    then he stopped and asked me why.
me. She made me stay after class – not because she didn’t like me,
but because she believed I could do good in her class. And I did.               From The Beat: Shine those shoes. Walk them to college. Let them do
                                                           -Daniel              some high powered learning. What will you study, Israel? Sounds like you
From The Beat: Have you been in touch with her. We bet she’d love to hear       like to write. Do you read much poetry? Ask us about our favorite poetry
from you.                                                                       anthologies. Maybe we can hook you up with some good reading.
 sta Countyo u t s
sta n d o u t s
Santa Cruz
                                                                                                                       Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                    Page 43

That Phone Call
I received a phone call that I will remember. It was about a year and
a couple of months ago when my girlfriend called and told me she
was four months pregnant and that she was keeping the baby. It
changed my whole life. I have a kid now, and I’m proud of it.
From The Beat: Yes, having children does change your life. To give your
child the chances you didn’t have, or failed to take advantage of, you’ll
have to take your own life seriously now. You are a talented artist. Your
gift could be the key to unlocking a good life for you and your new family.
Please take that gift seriously.

     I got too much pride
     to run and hide,
     or just lay down and die.
     I got too much pride
     no matter how much pain I take.
     I got too much pride
     to plead guilty to my case
     no matter how much time’s in my face.
     I got too much pride
     to turn my back on my family
     because they’re the ones who really understand me.
     I got too much pride – way too much to feel.
     Eventually my pride could get me killed.
     I got too much pride –
     more than I should.
     I got too much pride
     for my own good.
From The Beat: Hey, we know some guys who don’t have any pride at all.
Maybe you could give them some of yours. By the way – good poem. You
should be proud of it, (but just a little proud).

That Phone Call
Once I had a phone call. They told me that I was gonna die in seven           My Shoes
days. I took that as a threat. I think it was one of my rivals. I didn’t          How is it to be in my shoes?
trip. It’s part of thug life in my town. There are some crazy guys,               It’s like going to work without a clue.
thuggin’ out hard there – doping pills like nothing.                              But then figuring out what to do
                                                             -Richard             because I know that I ain’t no fool.
From The Beat: You were right. It was certainly a threat, and we hope you
were very careful for those next seven days. We hope your thuggin’ days           So here it goes with my cause
are over, now that you’ve seen where they lead you.                               because I ain’t waiting for no applause.
                                                                                  Never trust no one is what I learned.
                                                                                  All those scars is what I earned.
                                                                                  That’s what happens when you feel safe
Bad Influence                                                                     around people who don’t really care.
I feel bad for my friend because I was a bad influence on him. When               Walking down the streets is really fun
I ran from placement I started hanging out with my homie. And like                because these days everyone has guns.
– he’d been doing all good and he had a new girlfriend and he was                 But I’d rather stand out like a star
staying out of trouble.                                                           because one day I’ll be going to college really far.
      But when we started rollin’ around together, and carrying, we               Then I’ll come back to my hood
got arrested. And I felt really bad because of the trouble I’d caused             and everyone will be in a good mood.
him. Everything the cops found was mine, but he got locked up                     I’ll be kicking it with my homies
too.                                                                              because I don’t affiliate with all those phonies.
      He couldn’t read or write, so when his girl wrote him, he had               Wherever I walk, I walk with pride
me read for him. In the letter, his girl said that ever since I’d run             because there have been times I could have died
from placement, he’d started doing stupid stuff. And she said even                watching slowly how death walked by –
his family were saying it was my fault.                                           then he stopped and asked me why.
      So, that’s my story about being a bad influence.                                                                                        -Israel
                                                                   -W         From The Beat: Shine those shoes. Walk them to college. Let them do
From The Beat: We’re glad you feel bad about it. That’s a start. Now how      some high powered learning. What will you study, Israel? Sounds like you
about having a little mercy on yourself? You’re not treating yourself very    like to write. Do you read much poetry? Ask us about our favorite poetry
well. You run from placement, have a few minutes of freedom, and wind         anthologies. Maybe we can hook you up with some good reading.
up back in the hall. Don’t you think you deserve more than this?
Volume 15.19
Page 44
                                                           d o uts
                                                     sta n Santa u t s
                                                     sta n d oCruz County
                                                                                   The air is invisible,
                                                                                   like the father up above.
                                                                                   I wonder about the universe –
                                                                                   about planets bursting into
                                                                                   a black hole
                                                                                   loud as a lion’s roar.
                                                                              From The Beat: That would be one huge lion.

                                                                                   The air is invisible,
                                                                                   like the father up above.
                                                                                   I wonder about the universe –
                                                                                   about planets bursting into
                                                                                   a black hole
                                                                                   loud as a lion’s roar.
                                                                              From The Beat: That would be one huge lion.

                                                                              Phone Call
                                                                              I got a phone call on Easter. It was my mom who called, crying. She
                                                                              told me that my tio from Salinas had died that day. He was 35 and
                                                                              he’d had a heart attack from the lifestyle he was living. It was a life
                                                                              of partying and being with gangs.
                                                                                   I know he’s in a better place and that he will be waiting when
                                                                              it’s my time.
                                                                                  Felix Percy: 1.12.75 to 4.4.10. Rest in Paradise.
                                                                              From The Beat: We’re sorry again, Fabio. As we recall, you wrote about a
                                                                              different loss just last week.

                                                                              My Second Grade Teacher
                                                                              My second grade teacher, Mr. Block, was the best teacher I had
                                                                              because every time I had a test he would do his best to help me.
                                                                              They wanted me to repeat the grade, but he wanted me to pass.
                                                                              From The Beat: That’s pretty good, remembering all the way back to second
                                                                              grade. With a memory like that, you ought to be able to remember to think
                                                                              before you act. And if you can do that, you can save yourself a lot of pain

That Phone Call
                                                                              and save your family a lot of heartache.

I received a phone call that I will remember. It was about a year and
a couple of months ago when my girlfriend called and told me she
was four months pregnant and that she was keeping the baby. It                Best Teacher
changed my whole life. I have a kid now, and I’m proud of it.                 The best teacher I ever had was Ms. Gonzalez. She encouraged me
                                                              -Eddie          to do my best. She understood the situation I was in. She pushed
From The Beat: Yes, having children does change your life. To give your       me. She made me stay after class – not because she didn’t like me,
child the chances you didn’t have, or failed to take advantage of, you’ll
have to take your own life seriously now. You are a talented artist. Your     but because she believed I could do good in her class. And I did.
gift could be the key to unlocking a good life for you and your new family.                                                              -Daniel
Please take that gift seriously.                                              From The Beat: Have you been in touch with her. We bet she’d love to hear
                                                                              from you.

That Phone Call                                                               My Second Grade Teacher
Once I had a phone call. They told me that I was gonna die in seven           My second grade teacher, Mr. Block, was the best teacher I had
days. I took that as a threat. I think it was one of my rivals. I didn’t      because every time I had a test he would do his best to help me.
trip. It’s part of thug life in my town. There are some crazy guys,           They wanted me to repeat the grade, but he wanted me to pass.
thuggin’ out hard there – doping pills like nothing.                                                                                    -Cesar
                                                             -Richard         From The Beat: That’s pretty good, remembering all the way back to second
From The Beat: You were right. It was certainly a threat, and we hope you     grade. With a memory like that, you ought to be able to remember to think
were very careful for those next seven days. We hope your thuggin’ days       before you act. And if you can do that, you can save yourself a lot of pain
are over, now that you’ve seen where they lead you.                           and save your family a lot of heartache.
sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Marin County
                                                                                                                           Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                         Page 45

Effort                                                                           Thinking
     Seen a girl walkin’ down the street                                              Um, well, just had court yesterday
     I’m lookin’ real hard                                                            And my release is unknown
     “Hey, girl, how you doin’”                                                       Mad as hell
     She just bust out laughin’                                                       But hangin’ in there
     I guess the joke was funny                                                       Gonna be locked up for Thea
     “But, Baby Girl, what’s happenin’”                                               My little sister’s birthday
     She said, “Not you”                                                              It’s sad, because it’s not the first time
     I said, “Damn, you harsh                                                         So, it’s all bad, maynee
     Well, my name Obie One                                                           But the other question:
     And I’m try see what you ‘bout”                                                  Is he gonna stay true?
     She looked at my face, at my clothes, and shoes                                  Is he gonna keep it solid, like he said he would?
     She said, “Sorry, Obie One, Baby Boo, I’m coo’”                                  Or is he just gonna mess up
     She strolled off—she called me Baby, though                                      Like he did when I was down for a while?
     Then here come my boys                                                           Hopefully, he do.
     No game, no game—that’s a God damn shame                                         Mayne, I miss you
     Time to step my game up                                                          And Thea, Familia, keep it solid for me.
     So I got some money wit’ shoppin’                                                                                                             -Chula
     Got dipped out my body                                                      From The Beat: We always wonder when we read “mad as hell” who,
     Then I went to this party                                                   exactly, you’re mad at. If you’re mad at yourself, then you’ll change the
                                                                                 things that allowed the system to take you away from your little sister
     And seen the same Lil’ Shorty                                               (who needs you), as well as your boyfriend. But if you’re mad at something
     She said, “Hi, Obie—that is yo’ name, right?                                or someone else — the staff, the system, your PO — then you’re not as
                                                                                 likely to change what you need to change to stay free.
     I see you change your swag, so tike to see if yo’ game right”
     Yeah, I got some money, and she lookin’ real cute
     But I think she’s finna tryna hustle me
     And take Obie’ toot
     Well, I switched it up, said, “Why you wanna talk now”                      I Got Clowned
     Then that cute lil’ smile started to change to a frown                           I used to talk about my females, thinkin’ they so real
     She said, “Well, you look good                                                   But soon as we break up, a weird emotion I’ll feel
     And look like you ready for something new”                                       Ninjas clowned me, because they had a bad beezie
     But I thought about it for a second                                              And I took any female, hopin’ they was on real shhh
     And I told her, “I’m ready                                                       I got clowned, ‘cause ninjas just gotta speak
     But I ain’t ready for you”                                                       Can’t be my own person, in the streets, feelin’ weak
     Kept it strollin’, had fun, but, yeah, I got clowned                             I got clowned, ‘cause I wasn’t ashamed to give my girl dough
     I put a lil’ effort in her, but my effort turned around                          And the clownin’ made my girl feel like her ass was so broke
     But I do got game                                                                I got clowned, ‘cause I wasn’t pickie about how my girl
     So, what is you sayin’                                                           looked
                                                            -Obie One                 I took them how they acted, how they dressed, and how they
From The Beat: What a sweet and funny poem about what might have                      look
been… We trust your instincts. If you thought you were about to be
hustled, it’s probably true. You’ve got a gift for story-telling in prose or          As time go older, I stepped my game up fast
poetry…                                                                               To mess with ride or dies, and we worked to get that cash
                                                                                      Now I still get clowned, but I can care less
                                                                                      ‘Cause at least I got a girl, and I’m not in a lonely
Still Self-Medicating                                                                 relationship
                                                                                      But the clownin’ turns into hatin’
If I could live in a different time, I would go back to a year ago so
                                                                                      I guess the hatin’ is good news
I couldn’t have messed up and got on probation. I would go back
                                                                                      ‘Cause some regret all that clownin’
and redo this whole past year. I would still be self-medicating, but
                                                                                      Wishin’ they had you
I wouldn’t be on probation. Since I’ve been on probation, I’ve still
been self-medicating. But I can’t when I’m here writin’ about this               From The Beat: Sometimes, when you’re feeling lonely, it’s better to have
shhh.                                                                            someone by your side than on one, even if that someone is not your ideal
                                                                                 choice. But you’re a very young man, Obie, and you have a very big heart
                                                           -Shroomy              especially for females, so don’t doubt that you will find someone special
From The Beat: Of course, the topic we asked you to write about was
                                                                                 who will appreciate just how special you are.
living at any time except this time, so you didn’t really write on topic. Tell
us, what condition are you “self-medicating”? When you don’t have your
“medication,” what do you notice about your symptoms?

                                                                                 Last Of A Dying Breed
Disappointment                                                                        I grew up in the lost generation
I’m disappointed because I told my mom that I will never get locked                   Friends got took to jail, then shipped off to placement
up. I ended up in here. But I’m also disappointed at my mom for                       I’m one of the last of my dying breed
putting me in here. Yeah, my mom was feeling sorry when she                           Trying not to slip the grip of the hands
came to see me.                                                                       Of my friends that are free
                                                        -D’Antwon                     Instead of them, I wish it was me.
From The Beat: Why did your mom put you here? What is your responsibility                                                                             -Sal
for her decision? How can the two of you work together to keep you               From The Beat: What’s keeping you from being free? What changes can you
free?                                                                            make to move from a “dying breed” into a living one?
Volume 15.19
Page 46
                                                     sta n d o ut s
                                                     sta n d o u Mexico
                                                                              My Disappointment
                                                                                   I let you down
My biggest disappointment                                                          I let him down
What’s up beat? When I think about my disappointments I can’t                      I let her down
even narrow it down to one reason, but the thing I regret the most                 I let my son down
is getting locked up when my little brother Romeo was five. I’m                    But most of all I let myself down
still locked up and now he’s seven, and I can’t even imagine how                   I’ve made mistakes, but nothing like this one
he feels.                                                                          I push my limits to the fullest
      It’s bad enough my pops is locked up, and his older brother is               I want to change
too. Maybe ever time I think about this time blows my mind ‘cause                  The sad part is I had to make this huge mistake before I
where did these years go, feel me?                                                 really wanted to change
      This is my second time out of my two years writing to The Beat.              Shooting for a gang isn’t worth it
But disappointments come in many forms and I’ve had plenty, but                    I thought it was at the time
this is what stands out to me. So peace later Beat, I’m gone.                      Look where I’m at now
                                                             -Robert               Incarcerated with no homies writing or no one to call for comfort
From The Beat: Robert the only person that can change your disappointment          The homies said they got my back they’ll write me
is you. You say it’s been 2 years, yet here you are still doing the same
things you were 2 years ago?                                                       Where r they now?
                                                                                   No where to be found
                                                                                   All because I thought I could trust them
                                                                                   I’m in here for takin’ that girl out of my set
A heart full of pain                                                               Till next time
If I was an A plus student, the Judge might really believe that I                                                                           -Traviesa
didn’t do it. The color of my skin and the race in my face makes me           From The Beat: Being in a gang will only bring you down, and they always
                                                                              claim to “have your back” but they never do. The only time they have your
different from those who tuck in their shirts and lift their pants to         back is when you have money, drugs or are willing to “take one for the
their waist. I could change in many different ways, but what’s the            hood”. Is this the reason you’re locked up now?
point when I still get looked at with a face full of shame.
     With nothing to lose and not a whole lot to gain, my mind
manages to maintain with a heart full of pain. I guess I just have to
live and not let any of this get in my way.                                   Drama
                                                              -Julian              The biggest disappointment I have is getting into a hood mentally.
From The Beat: Yes there is prejudice in our society, and that is a sad            The thing that attracted me was the drama; I like drama in my life.
thing to witness first hand. Are you sure your not being judged my your
actions alone? In this piece you blame the color of you skin, or the cloths        I like drama in my life; it spices things up a lil’.
you wear, yet, not once do you accept the responsibilities for your own            I’ve gotten out’ta, well I should say for the most part I’ve
actions? It’s easy to point the finger.
                                                                                   gotten away form the hood mentally, but I still like drama
                                                                                                                                        -King Pr1me
                                                                              From The Beat: It’s good that you have got away from “hood” now it’s
                                                                              time to start a better life. Right now you have made a step in the right
I wish I could go back                                                        direction, so stay the course and life will only get better from here on
     I’ll miss you so much
     But know you’re ok
     Now all that’s left to do is sit here n wait
     ‘Till the day come back
     I know where you’ll be
                                                                              Disappointment In Me
                                                                              What is my biggest disappointment? It’s not enough to say, I take
     Up in heaven watching over me                                            just a couple hits. Not knowing it would make a terrible memory.
     The days go by slow from here on out                                          I thought it was the best feeling ever, but now you’re gone. We
     ‘Cause with out you around my world is a drought                         promised to be truthful that’s why I said such a thing. That’s when
     And nothing else matters too much any more                               you said that word disappointed in you. Never again did I feel the
     ‘Cause I know it not you when there’s a knock at my door                 same without you. I feel like I’m a hypocrite, I said I would never be
     Sorry I couldn’t be there                                                like my mom, but just one hit makes a really big disappointment.
     Now time there’s no more                                                                                                               -Serena
     Now when I think of you                                                  From The Beat: To most who have used, it does only take one, “one hit”
     My heart is so sore                                                      to make a huge disappointment. Don’t look back; look forward to a better
                                                                              life without having to take “one hit”.
     I wish I could go back and do like you said
     But I didn’t I’m locked up
     And now your dead
     I wish it was me I really do
     I just sit here wishing my life was through
                                                                              A Little Disappointed
                                                                                   I’m a little disappointed in myself
     But I know if you were here                                                    I broke my grand mother’s heart
     You would tell me to be strong                                                 I promised her I was going to do well, but I messed up again.
     And keep my head up because                                                   Well all I know is that I can’t dwell on the past
     Life is to long                                                                but I can change how I’m going to live my life from now on
From The Beat: To many, life is long but to many others life is to short.          so I can make her proud.
Take the person’s advice you are writing about and keep your head up and                                            -Young Land of Enchantment
stay strong. Who is this person, a boyfriend, brother, father, uncle? Was     From The Beat: You’re right; you can’t live in the past. Don’t just make your
there any other good advice he gave you?                                      grandmother proud; make your self proud of your accomplishments.
 sta n d o u t s
sta n d o u t s
Solano County
                                                                                                                          Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                       Page 47

Back To The 1940s                                                             Being Free
If I could go back to a different era, I would want to go to the 1940s. I     Man, I got a little more than a month left, and I’ve been here for
would want to look around and learn about the war from that time. I           nine months. I can’t wait to get out. I’m feelin’ to get with hella
am interested in World War Two and all the things that were happening
                                                                              females right when I get out. I’m going to smoke hella trees and
in the 1940s. I would walk on the beaches of Normandy before the
invasion to look and see how wonderful the place was before the war           get wasted. I’ll be off probation ‘cause I’m 18 and my record will
screwed the land.                                                             be sealed.
                                                                  -Corey           If I get locked up again, I’ll be in county and I will be in the
From The Beat: What an interesting time to choose. What have you read         adult system. But it’s whatever. I know I’ll probably go to county
about WWII? Are you interested in other wars? What do you think of the
two wars our country is currently involved in?                                when I get out so I might as well go out with a bang. I get out and
                                                                              will be back, but I’ll try not to get locked up. Nut if I do, it whatever.
                                                                              I will do what I do.
Living In A Different Era                                                     From The Beat: It is a sad irony that what you’ve written shows that you’re
                                                                              still thinking like a child, but your next stop in this system will be as
If I could live in a different era, I would live in the 1860s because I       adult. The idea that you’ll “probably go to county” (and then state prison)
                                                                              will make everyone reading this who is in the county or state prison shake
would want to be an outlaw. I would want to have shootouts with               their heads and think, “That child doesn’t know what he’s asking for.” We
people I didn’t like. I would want to gamble and drink all day and            hope you make some better decisions (than just to “smoke hella trees and
smoke. I like cowboy movies like Tombstone.That’s why I would                 get wasted”) before you learn the hard way why people say, “Be careful
                                                                              what you wish for.”
want to be a cowboy
From The Beat: You didn’t say anything about horses. Can you ride? Have

                                                                              My Four-Month Disappointment
you ever? Would you like to?

                                                                              Wha’s poppin’, Beat? I’m going to tell you about some
                                                                              disappointment. I disappointed myself this last time that I got
Apple Bees’ Dream                                                             incarcerated, not only because I got arrested, but I have to repeat
What it is, Beat? It’s little Koo Ka Kon, feel me? I’ma step to pimpin’.      another four months in a program called New Foundations.
It’s real mental. I only got a week and like 3-4 days till I get off              This is my second time in this program. I have disappointed
grounds and get to eat at Apple Bees with family. Most important,             myself and my family. I am upset with myself deeply. I know that
right? Yes, and I am gonna order some steak with cheesy shrimp                my family is disappointed in me, but they still believe in me.
on top with some cheese steak an’ some fries on the side with a                                                                      -Jay, Solano
Sprite, feel? Everybody in jail ah love that.                                 From The Beat: Do you still believe in yourself, Jay? We hope so, because
      But yeah, that’s it, though. Can’t wait to get out and stay out.        in order to do what you know you have to do so that you don’t give more
Feel me.                                                                      disappointments to yourself and your family, you have to believe and
                                                                              know that you can stop doing the things that threaten your freedom, and
                                                          -Koo Ka Kon         do the things that will make your family proud of you. Are you up to it?
From The Beat: We can understand dreaming about that first meal with
the family. But what comes after that? We hope you have a plan to “stay
out,” because if you don’t for yourself, you can be sure that somebody else
will plan for you. Good luck.

                                                                              The Outs
                                                                              I’m happy. I’ma get out on my trial date and I’m praying that I am
What’s In Your Wallet?                                                        not going to Fouts or CYA. If I get out, I’ma do what I need to do to
                                                                              stay out. I’m going to school and staying away from cops. And I’m
Me, I don’t carry a wallet, but I would like to know what’s in your wallet.
One time I found a wallet in this pocket, and let’s just say I wasn’t         not goin’ to commit crimes.
hungry for a while.                                                                                                                           -Zee
                                                                              From The Beat: Even if you don’t get to go home yet, the plan you’ve laid
     Well, I came across a lot of wallets in my lifespan, and I am only       out here is a good one to follow. It will lead you away from places like
17, about to be 18 at the end of this year. That was the past. I moved on     this.
to bigger and better things.
From The Beat: Is it those “bigger and better things” that have brought

you to this bigger and better hall? You say you “found” a wallet in a
pocket, but you don’t say how you “found” that pocket. We just hope you
think clearly about where you are and where you’d like to be, and make
the necessary adjustments in your life so you don’t have to repeat this
                                                                              My boy (I’m not gonna say his name) went on the computer and
experience.                                                                   messaged me. He said he just got out after doing five months. He
                                                                              wanted to change his life ‘cause he had two kids. He told me the
                                                                              ninjas were after his head ‘cause he snitched. He was telling me
                                                                              that all we really had was our fam-bam, and he needs us now or
It’s The Beat                                                                 he’s dead.
     What’s crackin’ Beat?                                                         There was nothing I could do. And even If I did, they would
     I’m sitting here with Beat going dumb in my seat.                        shoot me, too. I was disappointed in him for being in that position
     I wear a size ten with the J’s on my feet.                               and the people who got him. I was disappointed with myself
     They need air freshener because the jail kinda stink.
                                                                              because I could not help him. I didn’t tell him anything helpful or
     When you taking a shower they looking in the puddle tryna peak.
     I’m standing on the sink tryna get Beat                                  comforting. This is for Tremendous.
     With my hands in the air yelling tryna get something to eat.                                                                     -Buckshot
                                                                              From The Beat: We’re sorry your friend found himself in this no-win
     I’m going to sleep.                                                      situation, and that you weren’t able to help him. The real lesson is that as
                                                          -L-pee-pee          long as you’re doing things you shouldn’t be doing, somebody is always
From The Beat: We’re not sure we understand everything in this little         willing to trade that information to make their own situations less severe.
poem. Is the air freshener for the smell of the jail or the smell of your     The only solution is not to do things that somebody can snitch you out
feet?                                                                         for.
Volume 15.19
Page 48
                                                       sta n d o u Hawaii
                                                       sta n d o u t s
I Broke Promises                                                                 Disappointment In Our World
I've made a lot of promises to my family, to my friends, & to a lot              I'm disappointed in this world for have so much poor people. I'm
of my loved ones. I broke almost every promise, I didn't mean to                 disappointed with people and life. I know I'm in here because I
but I did.                                                                       did a bad thing but there’s people out there worse than me. I'm
     My biggest disappointment is my promise I broke to my                       disappointed with the way that people act and don’t have respect
daughter. I promised her I wouldn't ever leave her side. Well look               anymore.
what happens, I mess up and get locked up. Every day I don't see                       I'm disappointed for that guy on the big Island that brutally
her is another day that my guilt for breaking that promise grows                 tortured his daughter to death. I'm disappointed not knowing
bigger and painful. I didn't have a choice to leave I got taken away             about it and doing something about it. While that was happening I
and I hope she can forgive me.                                                   was just doors down in the hotel partying with my friends.
                                                           -Chanson                   I'm very disappointed in myself for the things I have done in
From The Beat: She’s young and at this age it’s very important to be there       my life but I guess we have to move on and we all have to hope for
for your daughter. She needs her father around her growing up, so do
whatever you need to do as long as it means you can stay free with your          the best. I always pray to the lord that one day the world would rid
daughter.                                                                        itself from all of this madness in the world. Peace!

I know that you must
                                                                                 From The Beat: We guess you can take comfort that there is someone
                                                                                 worse then you out here but that goes to show you your situation isn’t the
                                                                                 worst. As far as the girl being tortured, don’t blame yourself because who
                                                                                 knows if you could’ve changed the outcome. You can change the outcome

         be confused
                                                                                 though on your future, if you try hard enough.

    What should I do,                                                            Breaking Promises
                                                                                 My biggest disappointment would have to be breaking promises

           let you go
                                                                                 with my family and my girlfriend. I promised my girlfriend that I
                                                                                 would do good and stay off drugs, but somehow marijuana got to
                                                                                 me. Also I broke a lot of promises with my family. I told them I was

And find my own way                                                              doing good but actually I wasn't.
                                                                                       I know I shouldn't have smoked weed, and gone to all of my
                                                                                 classes. But now this is what I got, a whole bunch of disappointment.

          back home                                                              My family and loved ones told me to listen and not to do drugs, but
                                                                                 I still don't listen. Now I have to work my ass off and try to live it
                                                                                 out in this prison for juveniles.
                                                                                 From The Beat: Why do you have to lie to the people that you care about?
Lost And Confused                                                                They are going to be there for you and maybe if you stop lying to them
                                                                                 they can be there to help.
     I am lost, and I don’t even have a clue
     I am lost, and I don’t even know what to do
      I thought my love was actually going to come true
     For you, my love was lost, flew
     And didn’t come back to you
                                                                                 Not Being Honest
                                                                                 The biggest disappointment in my life is not being honest with
      I am so confused,
                                                                                 myself. I say I’m gonna do things different, like changing my old
     And thought you really loved me to
                                                                                 ways but I end up doing the same thing's.
     And now your love is lost in my heart
                                                                                       I’m also disappointed in myself for lying to my judge when all
     And is now separating us apart
                                                                                 he asked me was to be honest with him. Instead I end up not telling
     So now I’m lost and confused
                                                                                 the truth. One reason I end up not telling the truth is because I lie
     And I don’t know what to do
                                                                                 to get away with thing's.
     But for you, I guess our love is officially through
      I walked in your shoes, and you walked in my shoes                         From The Beat: Lies only end up adding up on you and before you know
     So you must feel how I feel to                                              it you have so many you can’t keep track of them. We understand your
                                                                                 disappointed in yourself but only you can change that now.
     I gave you my heart so you can be my baby boo
     But you took that sacrifice, to let someone else into your life
     And got lost in this world, and let someone else
     Have you as their baby girl
     So now you're lost, and I know that you must be confused                    Disappointment In Myself
     What should I do, let you go                                                Well there is a lot of disappointment in my life like coming to HYCF
     And find my own way back home                                               and from doing all the crimes I did to get here.
     Go our separate ways, with nothing else to say                                  The bigger disappointment is hurting my mom. My Mom has
     Or love you, and see if our love will come true                             always been there for me and had my back, and look what I do to
     I don’t know                                                                show my appreciation. Now though I’m not going to do anymore
     That’s how you know I’m lost and confused                                   crime and also no lies. I don’t want anything to disappoint my Mom
                                                             -Chris              or myself. I love you Mom.
From The Beat: This is stuff that you are just going to have to talk to                                                                       -Smilez
about and figure out. If there is a mutual love then one way or the other        From The Beat: Your exactly right in what you’re saying. If she has always
you will be able to see it. If the connection isn’t there then you’re going to   had your back and been there for you then show your appreciation because
have to do what is best for both of you.                                         being in jail isn’t doing it.
 sta n d o u t s
sta n dCountyut s
                                                                                                                       Volume 15.19
                                                                                                                                     Page 49
San Bernardino
Love                                                                         Have You Ever
     Love is like roses,
     Love is so true like honey du.                                          Been a Bad Influence?
     Love is like Winy the Pooh.                                             Well I have. There was a kid who was fifteen years old and I would
     Love is like the flu,                                                   always do different types of drugs in front of him and I would
     But you have someone to take care of you.                               always ask him if he wanted to try it. He would always say no, but
     You are so beautiful,                                                   then one day I was hitting the crack pipe in front of him and he saw
     That is why I love you.                                                 how I was acting and I asked him if he wanted to hit it. I told him
                                                                             that it would just keep him awake over night and that you won’t get
     My mom loves me no matter what happens.                                 addicted to it and he tried it. The next day I felt horrible because
     When I do bad things I don’t think about love,                          I should have never let him smoke it. Then he was asking me for
     I think about hate and revenge,                                         more, but I told him that there wasn’t anymore.
     To get back at the person that never love me.                                A way that I could be a good influence on him is by proving to
     But soon as I see my mom crying,                                        him that I don’t do it anymore and show him pictures of what could
     See deep down inside her that I’m breaking her heart,                   happen to him if he keeps doing it. I could show him how much
     And that she loves me but it’s going away.                              trouble he can get into if he got caught doing it.
     So I look at my mom every day and tell her I’m going to                      I will show him the pipe and break it in front of him and flush
     change.                                                                 the stuff down the toilet. I can hang out with him every day and
     And I love you.                                                         show him how good of a person I am without the drugs.
     Just to make my mom happy,                                                                                             - A new drug free me
                                                                             From The Beat: It is really good to see that you want to help this young
     But then I realize that I have to change,                               man see that he does not need the drugs. Even though you feel like you
     Instead of hurting myself and my mom.                                   were a bad influence on him, it is never too late to make a change, and be
                                                                             a positive role model for him!
     To love someone,
     I got to love myself.
     Not I love my mom no matter what.
From The Beat: You are right, you have to love yourself before you can       A Great Teacher
love someone else. We are glad that you have your mom there for you,         The best teacher I ever had was a great teacher because she actually
someone who loves you no matter what. Sometimes we hurt the ones
we love, but what can you do from this point forward to make sure you        cared about her students. She showed lots of love towards her
continue to love yourself and your mom?                                      students including me.
                                                                                  Even though I didn’t have her the next semester she still

Not like other teachers
                                                                             helped me with my work, but I felt guilty because sometimes I
                                                                             didn’t want to work, she was pushing me because she cared. She
                                                                             also helped me get my community service done when she hadn’t

that just want to teach                                                      done nothing wrong. She would feed me and care about me. When
                                                                             I was in trouble she would get me out of that trouble. Not like other
                                                                             teachers that just want to teach and get paid, but she spent lot of
  and get paid, but she                                                      time with me after school.
                                                                                  Even when I got locked up, she sent me letters to see what

 spent lot of time with
                                                                             I was up to. That was the best teacher I ever had, her name was
                                                                             Manuela M., she has changed my life a lot.
                                                                                                                          -Jose, San Bernardino

       me after school.                                                      From The Beat: Your story reminds us all that when teachers go the extra
                                                                             mile for students they can really help young people change their lives.
                                                                             What can you do now to thank her and honor the gifts she gave to you?

     Gangs is not the same.                                                  Forces That Put Me Here
     So why bang?                                                            The forces that pushed me here was family problems. I ended up
     To get rid of the pain?                                                 here on my own with the things I did. I grew up with a dad and
     And think you will change,                                              mom, but my dad was in and out of the house. It’s been about nine
     Because you been in a gang?                                             months since he left with his girlfriend and never came back.
     When we in a gang,                                                           Most of it brought me down so I found a way to forget most
     All we do is bang on each other,                                        of the things he did. So I got involved with drinking, smoking
     And people think it’s all gravy,                                        cigarettes, and I got involved with my local neighborhood gang. So
     And bother and kill one another,                                        I ended up with probation and became hard headed with them and
     Over a color.                                                           I ended up in here.
     We people,                                                                   I know I can break the chain that ends up here by getting
     So we should help one another,                                          everything together and go to school and do what I have to do in
     And protect each other.                                                 the outs.
                                                                   -Britt                                                                -Isaac
From The Beat: This is a very wise outlook on gangs. It can be hard to get   From The Beat: You have a good sense of how you took a wrong turn and
out of the gang life. But you are right, we are all people and should be     a clear idea that you want change. Now the question is, what are each
there for each other. The choice is yours, to walk away and be your own      of the small steps you need to take to get everything together and break
person, or stick to a lifestyle that will forever bring pain and sadness,    the chain?
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                                                       stan d o u t s
                                                       staSan Bernardino County
Being a bad influence                                                           Being A Bad Influence
I have been a bad influence to my brother. I have let him see a lot             I was once a bad influence on my little brother when I was out.
of me that I’m not proud of. He doesn’t deserve this but until the              When I was talking about doing bad things he would always along
day comes that I change this about myself, I hope to be a positive              with it and want to do the same thing I did. I would always tell him
influence. The consequences have been things like he has tried to               “No, you’re not going with me. I’ll bring you some money back or
do things I have done that he knows are wrong. I personally don’t               something. I’d rather me get into trouble than you!”
like this because I don’t want him to end up like me.                                Now that I’m in this place, I thank myself not taking my little
     Worst of all, I’m a bad influence on my son. I know he is a                brother with me to do bad things because if I did, he would be in
small boy right now, but I fear that he will try to do some of the              a place like this where I’m at now and I would have been in bigger
things I’m not proud of. The consequences might lead him to a                   trouble with my parents than I ever was. They would never forgive
place like this. I hope on changing this and hopefully become a                 me for that I’d done.
better brother and father.                                                           Now that I’m bettering myself so I can be a positive influence
                                                           -David               on my little brother and not have to worry about him getting locked
From The Beat: These concerns for your family are a heavy burden to carry,      up without an education, being a bum, or risking being killed. I’m
but the fact that you can acknowledge this is commendable. You can learn
and teach from your bad choices and have time to reflect on how you can         here to be a role model for my little brother and I hope he follows
change into a positive influence on your brother and son.                       me in these positive footsteps and be a productive person in society
                                                                                and have a job and not worry about not having money.
                                                                                From The Beat: One of the biggest ways for a person to grow is by
Letting Things Happen                                                           accepting our mistakes and realizing that we can in fact change. Then
                                                                                we can take the first step towards change. Although you have had to
When I moved out to Redlands I started hangin’ out with the wrong               go through many struggles, if you keep trying to change and turn your
                                                                                experience into something positive, you will also be able to instill this in
people.                                                                         your brother and everyone else around you.
     I remember one day we were smoking weed and my friend let
his little seven or ten year old brother smoke the blunt.
     At the time I really didn’t care because I was so high but the
next day I thought how even though I didn’t pass him the blunt
how I was still a bad influence for not saying nothing.
                                                                                My Moms
                                                                                Dear Momma,
From The Beat: Many people don’t realize the power that they have as                 Thank you for being there with me when I needed you the
bystanders. Often it will only take one voice to change a situation. In the     most. You taught me to be strong like a soldier through anything
future how will you use your voice in a powerful and meaningful way?            that came my way. I love you momma and even though you left my
                                                                                side I will survive. You are my drug that wakes me and keeps me
                                                                                     I’m sorry for letting you down at times, mostly now because
I Can Only Depend On Myself                                                     I’m in the halls. But don’t forget I’ll get my stuff right because of
     I can only depend on myself, I don’t know why,                             what you taught me. I’m a soldier for life momma! One day I will be
     But it’s hard for me to depend on anyone else.                             set free like you in the sky.
     My mom was never there for me and neither was my dad.                                                                                -Lil’ Dopey
     I wish I had a mentor when I was little,                                   From The Beat: Your love for your mother shines through this piece and
                                                                                clearly keeps you strong. Continuing to follow her teachings will take you
     But by looking at me now, I guess I never did.                             towards freedom.
     I never show my emotions, not even when I was young,
     But now I think I should, so I will no longer be alone.
     I always ask myself questions like, “How can I depend on
     anyone else,
     Even though really I only trust myself?
                                                                                The Worst Day of My Life
                                                                                One day I was home doing my regular routine: eating, and watching
     I hate that I am alone in this world,
                                                                                TV, I got a phone call from my cousin saying that, “the police
     But to me “I can only depend on myself!”
                                                                                rounded up a lot of gang members who were related to me.” They
                                                       -Infant Tazz
From The Beat: It’s hard to go through this world only depending on             committed a murder on a little girl names Mynisha.
yourself. You might find even greater strength if you take that risk to              During that event her sister was shot. Their intentions wasn’t
show your emotions. Know you are not alone in this world. You just need
to find the right people to trust.                                              to hurt the children, they retaliated after a fellow gang member (my
                                                                                cousin) was shot in the face.
                                                                                     When I found out my Uncles, the gang leaders, where convicted
                                                                                even though they weren’t present it made me cry. The younger
Hidden From Society                                                             members (my cousins) the youngest one was nineteen and he gave
                                                                                some information about the leaders that lead to the big roundup.
     Sittin’ in my cell makes me think a lot
     Sittin’ in my cell lost in deep thought                                    He told about how the OG’s shot callers (my uncles) distributed
     Waitin’ in my cell for the day to be free                                  weapons.
     Waitin’ in my cell drowned in misery                                            Every member who was rounded up helped raised me. It affects
     Locked away living cold as can be                                          me ‘till this day that I’ll never see them again. It was about fifteen
     Once again I’m down but soon I’ll rise                                     of my relatives washed away.
     Caught in a struggle hard life behind my eyes                                                                                           -Steven
                                                                                From The Beat: This sounds like a horrible ordeal for everyone – in
                                                                    -Eddie      Mynisha’s family and your own. In this world it seems like violence is a
From The Beat: A great poem with solid rhymes that capture what it’s like       continual cycle that can never stops. What can you do to end the cycle of
to sit in a cell. You are right that you can rise out of that cell. Maybe you   violence around you and your family? Where do you stand with all this
can spend the time thinking about what it will take to make that real.          today? What do you want for your future?
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San Bernardino
When I Get Out                                                              The Phone Call
When I get out I want to change my ways. I’m only fourteen and I’ve         About two years ago, freshman year, I became friends with this
been here twice for a felony. I don’t want to mess up. Its just I hang      fifteen year old, only a month or two older than me, but it turned
out with the wrong people. I wanna help my mom out around the               out he was the biggest guy in the school. His name was Sherman,
house and help her pay bills and stuff. I love my mom a lot, I always       everybody knew him. I met him when I seen this new girl, I thought
think about her and really, I think I worry about her more then she         she was beautiful. Sherman also did, but he caught my eyes on
does me and I always have because I love her.                               her and told me to talk to her. I did too, having full confidence
     I also wanna get back on track in school so I can go to college        ‘cause of him. I got her number and he said he knew I had it in
and do music because that’s the way I can express myself and it             me. Sherman teased us all the time, saying he thought we would
relaxes me a lot.                                                           make a cute couple. That’s how we became close buddies. He also
                                                       -Christopher         had some crushes, which didn’t matter ‘cause almost every girl
From The Beat: You have so much more of your life to live. We at the Beat   liked him. But Sherman only had one crush which later became
want you to remember this piece when you do get out. Don’t forget that
you want to change your life because you have the power to do it. Our       his girlfriend. I also made my crush my girlfriend. Us being best
everyday actions depict where our life will go. What steps can you take     homies made the girls become close too.
once you get out to insure that you won’t be back in this facility again?
                                                                                  Close to the middle of the semester, I started having trouble
                                                                            with people because they said I act “hard.” That’s when Sherman
                                                                            would step in and take care of it. He handled things the best was
Help Us                                                                     as possible, but these people tried to kill us. That’s when we
How can society help kids stay out of juvenile hall for good? Well          had to take action and ended up earning nicknames: Sinbad and
I think the way society can help these kids stay out is to improve          Deathwish. He was Deathwish because he could knock anybody
the schools and the way they teach kids things.                             out. Me, I was just bad. Then at the end of the semester I got a call
     Also, make the prices go down on houses and apartments so              at my house. Sherman was dead. I didn’t believe her, but when I
people can have a home to stay at and go to school and back. Some           got to school it turned out true. He was shot and killed in little
kids get in trouble because they don’t have a place to call home            Africa.
and they don’t have the things they need.                                                                                               -Sidney
                                                                            From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss of your close friend. Too many
     Also I think that the laws should increase so the law can keep         Beat readers can tell similar stories of young men and women dying too
kids off the street and out of gangs and jail. That’s what I think          soon. How did his death affect you? Are there ways you can keep his
                                                                            memory alive in a positive way? What lessons can we all take that might
society can do to help kids stop getting in bad stuff.                      help us save more lives?
From The Beat: You offer some great advice to us all. Stable homes and
schools that connect with kids are so important? So how do you think the
laws should increase or change?
                                                                            My Life
                                                                                My life is a rough life
                                                                                Just living without thinking twice
Keep It Steady                                                                  Everyday just getting into fights
    We got laws & rights nobody likes,                                          Smoking marijuana and just rolling the dice
    But if we never had them we ourselves be corrupted.                         Never thinking what my family would like
    Have you ever thought about others?                                         Doing wrong to get there
    Me myself,                                                                  So my mom wouldn’t put me on welfare
    I’m greedy.                                                                 And starting drama
    But when it comes to family,                                                Just to put more stress on my momma
    I’ll do whatever it takes to make ‘em happy.                                And she cry here
    But when it comes to snitching,                                             And she cry there
    Nobody likes.                                                               Man, she cry so much it makes me want to tear
    Say this,                                                                   But it’s ok and it’s alright,
    No one is perfect, alright!                                                 I will show my mom next year that I don’t always have to fight
                                                                  -Dani                                                              - Bryan
From The Beat: You’re right, nobody is perfect. Even though we all might    From The Beat: Your mom’s tears show how much she cares. She will be so
be greedy sometimes, it’s really awesome that you would do anything for     proud of you if you can show her that you’ve learned how to avoid the
you family.                                                                 fights, drugs and trouble.

Best Teacher was Ms. Reed                                                   My Cousin
My best teacher I had was Ms. Reed. She ain’t dead yet. I wish I still          I’m very thankful for my cousin
had her for all my school years. She explained the work to me and               He was there when my mother wasn’t
I knew what she was saying. She is fun to talk to. She could be very            He gives the comfort that I need
mean and fun, so I stayed on her bad side.                                      And he makes sure I do good things.
     She let you eat in class, and if you didn’t have anything to               He’s always there for me to talk to
eat she would give you something to eat. She knew how to play                   When I’m feeling bad with nothing to do
basketball and I used to get mad because she would go hard on me,               When life is rough and very though
but that was because she wanted me to be a good player. Now I am                I can run to him with my love.
good, but she’s old.                                                                                                                      - Davion
                                                        -Demetrius          From The Beat: You are blessed to have that kind of support and love
From The Beat: A great story of how sometimes teachers are hard on you      from your cousin. We hoe he can help you find the way through the rough
because they want to see you succeed. Thanks for sharing it.                spots.
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                                                  stan d o u t s
                                                  staSan Bernardino County
Bad Phone Call From Prison                                                I Was A Good Kid, and Real Smart
    I remember when my mom got a bad phone call.                          Al through my life, all of my teachers always told me I was a good kid
    It’s my uncle calling from prison                                     and really smart. Not just teachers, but principals, vice principals,
    telling my mom he got forty years to life for robbing a bank.         family members, and friends on the streets. I knew I was a good kid
    My mom didn’t cry, but I could tell that she was very sad             the whole time, but I figured I was going to do what I wanted to do
    about it.                                                             at such a young age. I did well all through elementary, then went to
    After the call she went to get the newspaper and he was in it         junior high, and did alright. Once I got to high school, I just went
    Then I was sad after reading about it.                                whenever I wanted to, or I would go and leave early.
    Two weeks later I got a bad phone call.                                    I liked money a lot because without it, you can’t do anything
    It was my dad calling from county jail.                               really, so my thing was to get illegal money instead of going to
    He was doing time for something he didn’t do.                         school. I was going in and out of jail thinking it was alright because
    It was something a friend of his did.                                 I was only doing thirty day violations and beating my cases.
    He went to jail for being with some of his friends that robbed             The last time I got locked up, which is right now, and I’ve been
    a bank earlier that day                                               down for a year now. It kind of helped me. I’ve gotten my G.E.D. and
    My dad was with them when the got caught so my dad went               I am now attending online college classes. All through life though,
    to jail too.                                                          I said I would never go to college and that I hated school, but there
    But three weeks later they let him go                                 was always people there who believed and encouraged me. So that
    because they found out he didn’t do the bank robbing.                 is a reason why I think I can do it.
                                                          -Nephew                                                               -The Good Kid
From The Beat: It sounds like your dad was in the wrong place, with the   From The Beat: Despite what you’ve been through, it’s wonderful that
wrong people, and the wrong time. What are some things you can do to      you have support and faith from so many people. How can you now take
avoid something like this from happening to you?                          advantage of your education and the instead of taking the easy way out?
                                                                          You have a lot of people who believe in you, all you need to do now is
                                                                          believe in yourself!

Bad Times
    I was confused since the age of nine.                                 I Want To Be
    I was blind by the age sixteen.                                            I want to be a good influence for my lil’ bro.
    But between that time,                                                     He is in a foster home right now and I want to let him know
    I was committing crimes.                                                   what I’m doin’ is not cool.
    People looking at me                                                       The halls sucks,
    Like life wasn’t meant to be for me.                                       Don’t be like your big brothers and bifg cousins.
    But I realized many things over the year,                                  He don’t have to bang and carry a thang for protection,
    Like my peers only want to cause chaos.                                    We got yo’ back.
    I just wanted to chill and be real.                                        I want to be a good influence to my little bro
    I regret that day that I fell                                               ‘cause I just sit back and watch him do everything we do.
    All I can say is that only God can judge me!                               We also was in foster home and it messed up our lives up.
    I am now no longer confused.                                               So keep your head high because we feel your pain.
                                                                    -R         And stay in school.
From The Beat: It’s wonderful you’ve found such clarity. Are there ways                                                                   -Tc
you can take that understanding to take some steps towards a new life?    From The Beat: We hope that you are able to be a positive influence on
                                                                          your brother. What are some things that you can do to make sure you
                                                                          remain a positive influence on him, and to help him stay out of the halls?

The Wrong Way
    Why did I do that?                                                    My Best Teacher
    I know I shouldn’t have.                                                   The best teacher I ever had was when I was in elementary school.
    Look how it affected me now.                                               I can’t remember what grade I was in, but her name was Miss
    All it’s gave me s misery and pain.                                        McGee.
    Crazy thoughts by Miss Mary Jane.                                          She always took pride every day and she believed in me when
    I passed it along,                                                         I didn’t believe in myself.
    And now she grows more fame.                                               She loved and cared for me and worked with me and tried to
    Now other people are going to see what she does to you.                    help me.
    Not just affect me now,                                                    She always made sure I had good grades
    But you.                                                                   She would work with me if I was wrong about something.
    So why pass it on?                                                         She would make sure I corrected it and she always cheered
    Man,                                                                       me up when I was down.
    You go head now,                                                           If I tried real hard on something and still didn’t get it
    And pass it on.                                                            he would still be proud of me and congratulate me on it.
    Try not to do too much,                                                    No matter what I did she wouldn’t look at me differently or be
    Before all your brain cells are gone.                                      mad at me.
    Now I’m done with that junk.                                               She was a good teacher and a good friend.
                                                         -Hector                                                                        -Gregory
From The Beat: Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with        From The Beat: Wow, we wish all teachers could be like her! Thank you
us. Hopefully you are able to share your experiences with others and be   for sharing your experience with us, we hope that you continue to have
a role model for them.                                                    teachers in your life like Miss McGee.
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San Bernardino
Word From The Wise                                                               Regret
     I sit back and think in my cell,                                                 I regret not going to school when I had the chance
     Thinking about the greatest teacher I know of.                                   But I always enjoyed passing through for a glance
     Not just one of them,                                                            I regret not getting the good education when I could
     But all of them.                                                                 Because now I’m barely learning something an eighth grader
     That is because I didn’t just learn something from one of                        should
     them.                                                                            But I always thought I had better stuff to do
     I remember now what they say,                                                    And what was better for me, may not be for you
     Keep sinning and you’re asking for a grave.                                      I loved the rush of running off campus
     Doing bad is like loving death.                                                  It was funny when teachers would run but couldn’t catch us
     Looking for something good to do is just the start.                              I could never stay quiet unless I had something green
     Change your ways,                                                                So I’d meet up with Mary Jane during class or in between
     Not just one time,                                                               The last school I was at was fun to go to
     But forever.                                                                     Because there were boys to see and money to come through
     O’ these things and feel the change of heart.                                    It was like going to a job because I knew I was gonna get it
     That is what people told me.                                                     Because a bill fifty in one day
     Not in those exact words,                                                        I never did regret it
     But if I put it all together that’s what it means.                               But I regret not paying attention because now it’s hard to
                                                          -Hector                     learn
From The Beat: We think it is awesome that you have had teachers in your              Because I messed up my head with something that you had
life that affected you in positive ways. If you want to change your ways
what are some things you can do to achieve that?                                      to burn
                                                                                      But the damage is done so I just try to move forward
                                                                                      So Mr. Flores, have patience with me as my desk piles up
                                                                                      with more work
The Elementary                                                                                                                             -Marilyn
                                                                                 From The Beat: It’s wonderful that you regret the education you’ve missed,
Back in the day when I was in elementary I remember when I used                  but it’s not too late to catch up and even fly ahead. Your writing shows
to get in trouble and act a fool, disrespect my teacher getting into             great promise, so it’s clear that you’ve got that potential if you can stay
fights.                                                                          focused both inside and out.
     Then when school was over and when I went home I was
scared because I know that I was in trouble if my teacher call home
so every time the phone rang I got nervous because I knew it was
my teacher because my mom would say “He did what? Oh really ok
you have a good day.” By then I was in trouble that’s when I would
get a wiping and then get punishment. She would take my game
playstation two away.
From The Beat: We wonder if you could take this a step further and
write about how you getting in trouble affected you and your mom’s
relationship? How do you think this affected your mom? If you could go
back and change anything would you? Did getting in trouble affect you in
a negative way, positive way or both?

Bad Influence Brother
My brother was a bad influence all the time. He would do a robbery
and the next thing you know you would see the cops busting the
door down. But one time my brother asked me if I wanted to go
with him and the next thing you know my mom gets a call on her
      She said they “who’s this?” They said it was central juvenile
hall…I did my time, but my brother got more time. After that I
didn’t think juvenile hall was tough so I ended up coming back
over and over. My brother stopped coming in here.
      Now I see my little brother and sister trying to act tough, but
I tell them to finish school, get their high school diploma. Now I’m
going to placement. I tell them if you come in here you’re going to
placement when you first come in here. I tell them not to do drugs,
and hang out with a bad crowd because if they do they will end up
in here. But they got to learn from my mistakes, not to come in
                                                      -Wiser Brother
From The Beat: Showing your brother and sister that coming in and out
of juvenile hall is not the life is really powerful. It really sounds like you
want to be a good role model for them. What are some things you can do
to really show them the right way? It’s awesome that you don’t want them
to end up in the system, but we don’t want you to be a part of it either.
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                                                     sta n d Fresno t s
                                                     sta n d o u County
Honey and Shame as One                                                        Being There For Him
     No one understands. No one listens. All                                  Being in placement is one of the biggest disappointments I have
     they care about is getting that money. Money                             had to face in my life. Not only because I truly do not belong in
     is nice to have but it's no good when you're                             placement, but because by being in placement I have disappointed a
     away. Think about your life. Think about today.                          lot of people. One for example is my little brother. I have wrongfully
     Don't let life blind you or you'll fade away.                            missed out on one year of his life.
     Put the money down and look at life as today.                                 While I was away in placement, my little brother moved
     Not the past as life used to be. Just now                                schools and he hates it. I wished I could be there to help him out,
     and tomorrow. Family is important. They put                              but I can’t because my mom refuses to let the court send me home.
     you first. So repay them by putting away that money.                     I really wasn’t that bad of a kid on the outs, but for some reason I
                                                        -Ka-Shea              can’t come home so I’m going to be away from him indefinitely.
From The Beat: We agree. People and family come before money.                      He needs me. He’s getting into trouble. I wish I could be
                                                                              there to set him on the right path, but I can’t. I guess I didn’t only
                                                                              disappoint my little brother, I disappointed myself.
Growing Up In Fresno                                                                                                                          -Tyler
                                                                              From The Beat: Is it possible for you to write your little brother a letter?
Growing up in Fresno is no joke. Parties, racing, evading police.             We think it’s really important that he hear from you!
It’s all just part of growing up here.
      I was a good kid growing up. I went to school, played sports,
and kinda stuck to myself. As I grew older, I started meeting people
who were showing me how to survive on the streets. I thought they             Won’t Do It Again
were the best thing for me. But then I came to find out it would              I remember the last time I was locked up I told my mother I was
slowly but surely end in a horrific manner.                                   going to stay out of trouble. When I got released I was doing good for
      Now most of them are shot, locked up, or on the run. I don’t            a couple of weeks, but weeks later I failed my mother. I went back
know, it just kinda shows me what I need to start doing to keep out           to drugs and to my old friends. I know my mom is disappointed
of here.                                                                      with me because I came back to the hall.
                                                                 -Tr               I was on the run for three months. When I got tired of being
From The Beat: There are many challenges in any city that make it difficult   on the run, I wouldn’t go back to school. It was too late for me
for young people, but you’re right, Fresno may top that list. What plans do
you have to keep out of JJC?                                                  because my PO called my mother and said that I had a warning. So
                                                                              I made my choices and decided to do what was right. My plan when
                                                                              I get released is not to disappoint my mother and family.
In My Pocket/Purse                                                            From The Beat: It’s hard to build trust when we don’t keep important
                                                                              promises to the people we love. We hope in the future you work hard to
I have a lot of things I carry. There is a picture of my little sister.       keep your promises to your mom.
She's the love of my life. I also carry money, a knife, a pipe, the
herb, my cellphone, cigarettes and a lighter. I carry a knife for
protection. I was abused as a child so carrying a knife makes me
feel protected.                                                               Facing Hard Times
     Cigarettes relive stress and money is good for anything.                 Facing Hard Times up in the JJC missing all the fun times on the
Smoking the green is good times, stupid, funny memories, just                 outs man… I wish I was out I miss kicking it with the homies
chillen and getting your mind off things and I need a lighter for the         and my girl but, most of all with my family. I miss my mom even
spark.                                                                        though when I was out I was acting like I didn’t care about my
                                                            -Amanda           family. Because I was too busy doing big things with the homies.
From The Beat: Seems like you have what you need but how much of that
stuff has you? If we change how we think, we can change the things we              Until one night we did something stupid that ended me up
need.                                                                         in JJC. Now I’m in here realizing everything that I did was wrong.
                                                                              Because of this now I’m facing hard times.
                                                                                                                                        -Fat Boy
                                                                              From The Beat: One decision can change your life forever, what’s your
Turning Out Like This                                                         plans for when you reach the outs?
My biggest disappointment is that my family is disappointed that
I turned out like this. All my family but I just hope I don’t turn
out like my Uncle. He went crazy from sniffing paint and glue but
I didn’t know him very well cause he died. They were trying to fix            Disappointment
his liver but he just wouldn’t stop bleeding.                                 A disappointment to me was when I lost my furlough. When I lost
     Or like my sister. She went crazy from doing every drug you              my furlough I was kind of sad, but then I thought about it and I said
could think of but her main drug was KJ. Now she talks to herself,            u made you lose your own furlough. So for now on I’m not going
laughs out of nowhere, fights with everybody for no reason.                   to start hanging around with people who get me in trouble. That
     The person I’m really close to is my sister. She doesn’t have            way next time I don’t get in trouble there’s always a next time for
everyday. She feels like she is going to die. Both of my parents              a furlough.
really don’t want me to be like my brother. He’s a gangbanger but                  What am I going to do when I get my first furlough; I want to
I really didn’t even get to see him that much ‘cause he was locked            go eat real food. Then I’m going to tell my mom to write me for my
up most of his life.                                                          birthday or send a card. My birthday passed it was on the 22th of
                                                          -Adrian             this month.
From The Beat: You know what you want and don’t want, how are you                                                                      -Baby Boy
going to get to the point where you have the freedom to make your own         From The Beat: Wow that’s a disappointment however, most importantly
choices? What is your plan?                                                   you learned a valuable lesson.
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                                                                                                                                      Page 55

Much Simpler Time                                                             Not Listening To My Aunt
If I could live at anytime in the past or into the future, I would live in    My biggest disappointment was when my mother left me. She left
1 A.D. because it is a much simpler time. Getting food and clothes            me the day that I was born, and so I was left with my aunt for
is really the only problem. You could roam wherever, whenever,                a while, then my caseworker came. My caseworker came every
living a new adventure.                                                       Thursday and also on some holidays, mainly on Christmas and
      Every day, I would be a free-roaming hunter, killing my food to         Halloween.
eat and never taking too much, but always enough to live through                   It was going good for a while then that day came. I remember
the next day, constantly exploring new and unmarked land, living              that day like it was yesterday. I was about 11 years old when that
free.                                                                         same caseworker that visited me told me that I didn’t have to listen
                                                                 -Lance       to my aunt. So that same day I got in trouble for messing up all the
From The Beat: Certainly it was very different back then. It seems like we    toys in my room, and my aunt said “Its okay just pick it up,” so
were more independent. Thanks for sharing your perspective.
                                                                              then I remembered what my case worker said, that I didn’t have to
                                                                              listen to my aunt anymore, so I said, “NO! I don’t have to listen to
                                                                              you anymore.”
                                                                                   My aunt said, “Okay!” and walked away and called my
The Future                                                                    caseworker. The next day I was taken way from my aunt and put in
If I were to live in a different era, I would choose the future and live      a group home because I think she was just mad because I was not
in the year 2013. I would like to choose the future to see where my           listening to her anymore, so that was my biggest disappointment.
life will take me. I would want to see if I’m going to be successful                                                                        -Alan
or if I’m going to be locked up.                                              From The Beat: We’re sorry it came to that. It sounds like the caseworker
                                                                              really influenced your behavior. Have you spoken to your aunt? If not, we
      I would also want to see if 2012 is really going to be the end          hope you take the time to explain this to her.
of the world. I wonder if there would be floating cars in the future
also. There are so many things I would want to know in the future,
that’s why I would like to go that that era.
From The Beat: We hope your future holds many good things to come.
Where would you like to be in three years?

What’s Gonna Happen?
I’m not really feeling these topics so I’m just going to write
something sort of random. I got court at the end of April for my
sentencing. Hopefully I get out of this shhh. For one, I got a family
to be around for.
     I have a girlfriend that I’m happily with for almost three years.
This might sound confusing but I also got a babymama, she is 12
weeks pregnant now. I might not be with her but I’m still going to
help her get through. So hope me luck in court.
From The Beat: Well, hopefully you get what you want from the judge,
and that you can help your babymama out.

Sick And Tired                                                                Missing Mom’s Smile
What’s up Beat? This is Ernie, but my friends and family call me                   Disappointment in this life of mine
Tefo. Well this is my first time going down, and I got some serious                Always been locked up from time to time
charges. I’ve been in here for two months already, and trust me                    Supposed to be there for my mom
this isn’t the place to be. I hate doing the same routine every day,               But always let loose and be gone
eating this nasty food. I miss my family. There’s really nothing to                Haven’t seen my mama for a while
do when your locked in a cell besides imagine, think, dream, hope                  Now I’m missing her smile
and regret. I pray god will bring me home soon.
     I’m ready to go home sleep in my own bed, be in my own                        Sorry mama
house. I’m ready to reach my goals. Get my GED and a good job.                     For these few years that I have lagged
Graduating is my biggest dream. I’m sick and tired of putting my                   You suffer for me to be fed
mom through this. I’m ready to be a man!!! We’re not supposed to                   Live my life like a thug
be caged up were not animals, were humans. I just hope I don’t                     Now I’m missin’ your hug
get CYA or years that’s my biggest fear. I hope to be with my family               Should never give your love to a waste
soon! Well beat I’m going to let you go for now…thank you for                      Now livin’ with guilt and hate
letting me express my feeling, I hope to see this piece in the book.               So I’m sorry mama
Much love                                                                          Hope you forgive me
                                                              -Ernie               Kuv nco koj niam (“I miss you Mom” in Hmong).
From The Beat: Your goals are still achievable, don’t give up! What are you                                                                    -Cheng
going to change so that you don’t come back? Write down goals, and then       From The Beat: It’s sad when we look back on our actions and wish we could
how you’re going to achieve them.                                             have acted differently. We think your mom misses you just as much!
Volume 15.19
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                                                             o uts
                                                     sta n d Fresno t s
                                                     sta n d o u County
                                                                             Time Shall Pass
  I would say un-                                                                 What’s gonna happen when I get out?
                                                                                  Trouble, temptation, it’s what the world’s about.
                                                                                  I’m happy and yet I am sad –

 til next time but
                                                                                  Not knowing if my life will be
                                                                                  Good or bad.
                                                                                  I have faith and I have hope
                                                                                  But I’m struggling and hanging from

    there ain’t no
                                                                                  An all too thin piece of rope.
                                                                                  I know I should climb all the way to the top
                                                                                  But I notice that when things get rough,
                                                                                  I stop.

next time for me.
                                                                                  I want to know that when I get I will succeed,
                                                                                  And know will never again follow, but lead.
                                                                                  My time to shine is now –
                                                                                  I just have to find the easiest way how.
                                                                                  One day there will be a success story,
                                                                                  And my family will never again have to
Moments Of Pleasure,                                                              Worry.
Years Of Pain                                                                From The Beat: Thanks for sharing, Tye. It really sounds like you know
You might remember me ‘cause I’ve been in the system for a while             what you need to do and know that it may not be that easy – but it also
                                                                             sounds like you know it will be worth it in the end. Much of what happens
now, barely got out earlier this month and now I’m back in there             is up to you! The power of choice can be a wonderful thing, if you choose
for some BS charges. This time when I got locked up I think I                wisely.
disappointed not just my mother, but also my whole family, from
brothers to uncles.
     I messed up by coming back here cause I had it good in the
outs. My life started all over from new car to new house in a new
location. I was set and done. I promised everybody I was going to
lay low ‘til I got off probation. One day my anger united with my
boredom so I took off in my car back to Fresno to kick it with my
homeboys. That’s when we decided to do something stupid and get
locked up, but this time I got a surprise for my loved ones. I would
say until next time but there ain’t no next time for me.
From The Beat: It’s sad to see you back in the hall, but at least we know
you’re safe and okay. Making positive changes is easier said than done,
but we hope you know there are people and organizations out there who
can help you get the support you need, so stay focused and don’t be afraid
to reach out.

Friend Or Foe!
Isn’t it funny how the people that call themselves your homies
break under pressure and how they don’t even care if they’ve
known you for years and how they would even snitch on you also
how they would try to put the blame on his brother.
     Also, how they would even act like if they didn’t snitch on you
and they would even get down with you and back you up. Well,
that’s what happened to me. Well, that’s all I have got to say. Until
next time. And those who are locked up keep your heads up.
                                                         -Hapy Mac
From The Beat: Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish someone who is
considered a friend and from someone who is considered a foe. Although,
it is also important to factor in the situation at hand. Especially if you
think you know all sides of the story when there are probably other things
to take into account.

                                                                             Hard To Succeed
Props To The Beat                                                            Every day and night, I get down on my knees and pray to the man
                                                                             up above who made me, letting him know that I got faith. But why
I think The Beat Within is the best thing I ever heard of because
you get to draw and write. Oh yeah, I hope I can be in the magazine,         was I put in this world to destruction and hate? Lord please take
as in, The Beat Within.                                                      care of me and my family. This world is full of demons and misery.
                                                             -Wayne          It’s kinda hard for this brown man to succeed.
From The Beat: Thanks Wayne! We hope you write more, tell your life                                                                    -Nathan
story, for Beat readers next week!                                           From The Beat: We agree, it’s tough out in this crazy world!
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                                                                                                                                         Page 57

No Money, No Problem!                                                           My life
What’s in my wallet? If you were to catch me on the outs you                         What can I see
probably wouldn’t even catch me with a wallet. If you seen me I                      When I’m told there isn’t anything to see
would have no pictures, no I.D., and probably even no money at                       As a youth I was robbed by the streets
all.                                                                                 But the streets were united
     Money is tight (even with my family) but not for long. I’ve got                 Introduced to the drugs and gangs
plans for when I get out. I’m going to do good in school, get a                      But I blame no one, showing negative things at a young age
job, and help my mom out. I love and miss my mom and for all                         It’s a beautiful thing
the troubles I give her that’s the least I can do. So what’s in your                 I’ve been trying not to die
wallet?                                                                              But my whole life has been a whole lie
                                                             -Mason                  We only know what we hear and see
From The Beat: You sound like a person who knows what he wants. Doing                Born as a loose dog
well in school, getting a job, and helping your mom out sounds like a
pretty got plan. You also seem to have a strong connection with your                 But one that will never be tamed
mom. That’s good.                                                                    Seen all kinds of bloody scenes
                                                                                     But that should be framed
                                                                                     Homies banging to the fullest
                                                                                     On the block another one got shot
Bad Decisions                                                                        But this Fresno gang will never stop.
I was disappointed with myself because I never thought I was going                   Homies working hard selling “stuff” on the street
to come here again. Now my mom and dad are disappointed in me                        But we will always stand tall on our feet
because of my bad decisions.                                                         My life used to be full with brew and dank
     Now all I do is think of my good decisions when I get out I am                  Sometimes my homegirl fiends for crank
going to be with my family and stay out of trouble. I guess that’s it                Got to go because there’s no time
beat. Until next time.                                                               ‘Til the next rhyme
                                                              -Ivan                                                                      -Gabriel
From The Beat: We agree. As much as we like working with you, we would          From The Beat: What’s hard sometimes about reading work like this is that
feel very happy not to see you in again in juvi. Your family probably           it is open to a lot of interpretation. Maybe you could elaborate more next
feels the same way and it is obvious that you do. The scenarios and             time on what it is that you can’t see and who are the ones telling you that
opportunities to make bad decisions are not something that you’re going         there is nothing to see? It would make the understanding of this poem a
to face once, but they are decisions you are going to have to make all of       little more complete. WE hope you see that the road you are on is only
the time and for the rest of your life and it will only take one bad decision   leading you to trouble.
to bring you down and back here.

                                                                                I Love My Grandma
Life’s A Struggle                                                               I love my grandma ‘cause she’s always been there for me. She took
Life’s a struggle when you get caught up doing something really                 me in when I was give months old cause my mom was on drugs.
bad. Then you see your family cry when you get locked up for a                  She buys me anything I want and she keeps a roof over my head
very long time. Then you’re just in your room with nothing but a                and she always keeps me fed. And she always comes to visit me
flat rock as you bed and thin blankets and a thin mattress. Feeling             when I’m locked up.
down and depressed wondering thinking about when you’re going                                                                              -Jesse
to get out, hoping for a second chance.                                         From The Beat: When we have no one to turn to, grandmas are always
                                                                                there! You’re very lucky.
      Thinking about your girl friends and family wondering what
they’re doing hoping there okay. Wondering if there thinking about
you while I’m in the room I’m always wondering and wondering
that’s all I do is think and wonder to myself. I hope I get out
soon.                                                                           Now I’m eating some

                                                                                nasty meals feeling
From The Beat: Thinking and wondering can be good…do you think about
your plans for the outs?

Disappointment In Myself                                                        lonely missing my
                                                                                mom and brother.
I get most disappointment when I set my mind to something, and I
don’t achieve it. Like one time I was out hanging with the homies
and we were about to do a mission. My mind was set so I busted a
mission. I ran back to my house without getting caught. But then
I got busted and ended up in here at the hall.
     Now I’m eating some nasty meals feeling lonely missing my                  Defend Christ
mom and brother. Even though they come to visit me, it is not the               I would like to live two thousand years ago because I would like
same I am not even going to talk about the privacy. Because we got              to see Jesus Christ. It would be incredible to see his miracles and
none, I wish everything had come out just like I thought I would                wonders and follow him around. Fight with him against the foes
have been eating some homemade tamale.                                          and to be one of his disciples and to live in paradise.
                                                           -Jesus                                                                              -Boe
From The Beat: It’s not too late to set new goals, you can always set goals     From The Beat: Boe, you want to go back in time to fight off the people
again and again. Don’t let it get you down…                                     who were sent to abuse and kill of Jesus Christ? That’s pretty crazy!
thebea without
The Beat Without                                                               Last week Jams Gonzales drop some heat on us readers, and this week

James Gonzales
                                                                               is no different, given James Gonzales is definitely on a creative roll!
                                                                               He graces the pages of The Beat Without with another heartfelt poetic
                                                                               essay sent from the adult correctional facility, RJ Donovan in San Diego,

  Resurrection                                                               to arrive there before her. It’s within my grasp, always within my
                                                                             grasp, but I always wake up in this tomb, a cement cage, and I
  I love to remember her beautiful laugh and her smile. I wish she
                                                                             don’t see her. I don’t hear her. Oh, the pain is too much.
  knew how much it hurts me; she is getting further away from me
                                                                                  Then a letter arrives. It’s from her and I want to cry because
  and I can’t catch up to her, maybe she would stop and wait for
                                                                             time is putting so much distance between us and I’m so afraid of
                                                                             the day a letter never comes from her. Then I’ll be alone on this
        I’m losing sight of her now as she makes her way through
                                                                             journey. I must follow the path she has led for me if I want to see
  twisting paths and winding trails. I can only watch helplessly as
                                                                             her again.
  she puts twenty years of miles between us. I stop to rest, but only
                                                                                  I pray to God to give her forty more years before He takes her
  for a moment.
                                                                             because I am lost without her and I need her. Yes, I know I am 45
        Then, a burst of energy gives me strength to gain some
                                                                             years old, but the last time I seen her I was 29 and it’s been 16 long
  distance, but she’s too far ahead. I still see her.
                                                                             years. She is still “mommy” to me now as she was to me when I
        God, I don’t want to be in this tomb. I don’t want to live without
                                                                             was four years old, except now I cannot hold her, feel her, or smell
  her. “I want to die, now!” But, God promises me I will see her again
                                                                             her… both of them are still mommy to me.
  if I endure.
                                                                                  California’s Three Strikes law has taken me from my mom
        I follow the path she has led for me. It’s hopeless. Her footsteps
                                                                             and has taken me from my mom and has taken my mom from me.
  are fading. I want to stop, quit, lie down and cry, weep and mourn.
                                                                             This law was created for and intended for third felony cases with a
  I feel so weak, out of energy.
                                                                             “violent” or “serious” third felony. Hundreds of third strike cases
        Demons are lurking about seeking victims to pull into their
                                                                             such as myself are in prison on nonviolent third strikes. People
  abyss. No! I break free. No time to stop! No time to weep! No time
                                                                             need to speak up about this law and the flaw in this third strike
  to mourn! As long as I live I’ll continue to follow her.
                                                                             law that puts innocent people such as myself in prison for life for
        I know she’s there because she talks to me. She tells me not
                                                                             nonviolent offenses. Our elderly parents need us now as much
  to give up. I pray, “God, let me fall asleep until I see her again in
                                                                             as we needed them at one time. I pray the Three Strikes law is
  the resurrection.”
                                                                             changed to apply to violent third felonies as the law was supposed
        I go to sleep and force myself into a sweet deep sleep. I want
                                                                             to be intended so I can go home to my mom before it’s too late.

  Dear Beat Within…                                                          am now. Back in 2004 to 2006 the SNY inmates were there because
                                                                             they locked it up. For example, my former homeboy, Wicked, put
  It is I, your old friend J.G., also known as James Santiago Gonzales.
                                                                             in work! Right there at SVSP. He was about something. Finally, he
  I am strongly compelled to write to you because everyday I am
                                                                             almost lost his life after being stabbed. He died twice! That’s why
  forced to listen to a bunch of loud mouth inmates yelling out their
                                                                             he was in SNY. But nowadays you got these young punks 30 years
  cell doors, screaming at one another, disrespecting, cussing, and
                                                                             old down to 19 years old who have never seen a real level four such
  constantly putting it out on the tier about how much of a gangster
                                                                             as New Folsom or Pelican Bay, who get to prison and think they
  they are or how bad they beat someone’s ass, or how bad they’re
                                                                             made it to the big time. Shut your mouths! You ain’t shhh! If you
  gonna beat someone’s ass.
                                                                             were about shhh, you would take your ass back to G.P. and leave
          They are the reason I write this piece, because to them I have
                                                                             us dishonored veteranos in peace in our SNY.
  to listen to everyday and to everyone like them I have to listen to
                                                                                  Some of us just want to do our time in peace. That’s the way
  everyday and to everyone like them in various prisons in California
                                                                             SNY was back when I was placed in SNY. Back then in 2003 not too
  who like to run their mouths of how much of a gangster you are
                                                                             long ago I’ll give you another example. I ran into another homeboy,
  or how bad you can whip someone’s ass, regardless if you are a
                                                                             a good example, Oso. He got sliced up at Corcoran level four, but
  gangster for real or a wankster or whether you can fight or are
                                                                             he did not lock it up; he went to the yard and got off every time.
  just a cell soldier, pay attention, I have only one question for you.
                                                                             He did not allow “real gangsters” or “real killers” to run him off
  Why are you in protective custody with all the snitches and child
                                                                             the mainline. He is SNY now, but only because they had to stab
  molesters? Why are you not out in the main general population
                                                                             him to finally get him to go to SNY. My point is all I hear is these
  with all the gangsters and killers? Is protective custody the only
                                                                             SNYs running their mouths every day out their cell door. Go back
  place where you can safely be a gangster? I am so sick of all
                                                                             to G.P., killer, because you are a threat to my peace and security!
  the cowards, the sacred gangsters who end up in SNY (sensitive
                                                                                  As for me, I’m SNY because like Oso, the homies sliced me
  needs yard), also known as protective custody, who make my
                                                                             up and I spent many years locked up in Ad-Seg before I was finally
  life miserable; who pose a threat to my safety and security and
                                                                             placed in SNY in 2003. Now, I am walking with the Lord Jesus
  everyone else like me who are in sensitive needs trying to program
                                                                             Christ and I can only pray I end up at a place like Salinas Valley
  and trying to walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. If the hundreds of
                                                                             was for me in 2003 to 2006 with fellow SNY who want to do their
  protective custody gangsters are such killers, why are they in SNY
                                                                             time in peace. If not, oh well; I’ll find a way to live my life in peace.
  running from the Bloods and Crips, running from the Skin Heads
                                                                             SNY is not what it used to be.
  and Abs? I have listened to these scumbags run their mouths for
                                                                                  I pray my story gets printed in The Beat because I’m gonna
  years now!
                                                                             find a way to make SNY the way it was when I was placed in SNY
         I, myself, was placed in SNY in 2003 at Salinas Valley State
                                                                             back in 2003.
  Prison and I swear to God, I never met such scum as I have where I

Page 58                                                                                                              Volume 15.19
thebea without
    Loyal columnist, Dortell Williams, is non-stop This week this articulate   The Beat Without
                                                                                     Dortell Williams
    ever-supplier of thoroughly researched information, is back with another
    essay. He writes from the adult correctional facility in Lancaster, CA.

    Mergers V. Coalitions: Power V.                                            must “reward[ ] labor’s friends and punish[ ] labor’s enemies.”
                                                                                    Punish them by withholding that which they covet most—
    So-Called Powerless                                                        money.
                                                                               Boycotts are not new to us. The recent boycotts of “anything
    It’s a never-ending story, these corporate mergers. They combine,
    join forces and consolidate—growing ever stronger while the                gringo”—on both sides of the border—for immigrant rights was
    consumer, especially the ethnic consumer, grows more fractured             impressive, as was the December 12, 2003, boycott sponsored by
    and divided.                                                               the Mexican American Association in response to the repeal of the
          In May, 2005, Regions Financial Corporation struck a                 California law allowing undocumented residents to obtain driver’s
    $10 billion deal to merge with rival AmSouth Bancorp. Prior to             licenses. Governor Schwarzenegger has since softened his hostile
    that, heavy-hitter software giant Adobe Systems combined with              tone on immigrant issues, and the passage of a new law granting
    Macromedia for $3.4 billion. And Verizon successfully bid with             them the privilege to drive appears promising.
    NBC-Universal to compete in cable and satellite TV.                             The solid unity of Latinos and their willingness to sacrifice
          Meanwhile, we people on the bottom are divided; struggling           brings to mind the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott spawned by the
    like crabs in a bucket, or running on hamsters’ wheels that keep           late civil rights activist Rosa Parks. It was hailed as one of the
    us moving but take us nowhere.                                             most effective boycotts of the time, lasting over a year and costing
          It is during divisions and disturbances in prison that the           the Montgomery Bus Line Company $750,000 in lost revenues.
    institutional alarms sound and we are obliged, even forced, to             Some 17,000 African Americans refused to ride the buses, instead
    freeze. No one is allowed to move until the disturbance is quelled         ride-sharing or walking if they had to.
    or an assessment is made as to how to proceed. Perhaps this facet               As history has taught us, values often come in second to
    of prison life should be our societal model.                               profits in a capitalistic world. This point is made clear when one
          Assessment: The elite and established have health care,              considers the history of the United States, not to mention the
    employment, and property; and the privileged have education,               exploitation of countries like Africa or our western neighbors
    cohesion, and power.                                                       in Central and South America. Here in North America we have
          In sad contrast, we struggle for employment, education, and          yesterday’s abominable period of trans-Atlantic slavery, followed
    decent health care—we strive for a mere voice!                             by horrific child labor abuses and less than humane sweatshop
          Ailments like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension plague       conditions. Now, prolific immigrant exploitation and heartless
    our people; and gangs, guns, and prisons drastically minimize our          job outsourcing plague the country’s moral stance. Yet corporate
    presence.                                                                  economics has always been the catalyst fueling this evil.
          Some of us are so deceived we see the other as the enemy.                 On the other hand, we now wield an unprecedented potency.
          Meanwhile, ExxonMobile pulled in a first-quarter profit of           Take for instance the knee-bending $50 million loss Safeway, Inc.
    $8.4 billion this year. Many other American-born multinational             suffered in just 4 short months during the 2004 worker strike over
    corporations also did well. And it seems the better they do, the           a dispute with white shirts over health care and a proposal for
    more they get from Congress, and the less we get from either.              wage reductions for new workers. Safeway’s devastating loss in
          But our curse is also our blessing.                                  revenues also sent their stock plummeting, further hurting their
          After all, in a capitalistic society, money rules. And though        bottom line.
    hardly realized, money is a resource we have plenty of.                         The vociferous complaints bellowed by Los Angeles Unified
          African Americans reportedly spend $761 billion annually,            School District officials following mass student walkouts in
    while Latinos dole out $760 billion a year. Our combined ethnic            protest to anti-immigrant legislation was also telling. According
    purchasing power, including Asians, Indians and others, is                 to news reports, in just three days the walkouts caused a loss of
    expected to exceed $1.5 trillion in the U.S. by 2009.                      $1 million in federal student subsidizing.
          That’s power. But power, to be effective, must be channeled.              In the interim, while we casually consider the urgent need
    The days of blindly rewarding discriminatory, unpatriotic and              to coalesce, phone giant Sprint bought Nextel for $6.5 billion,
    exploitive corporations must end—today.                                    Procter & Gamble purchased Gillette for $57 billion and K-Mart
          “How we spend our dollars has a big impact on corporate              seized Sears for $11 billion; all spawning layoffs, fewer consumer
    profits,” says Jeremy Siegal, author of “Stocks for the Long Run.”         options and much more power for corporations incessantly flexing
    Samuel Gompers of organized labor told us in the ‘60s that we              the consolidated muscle we, as consumers, fortify.

    In the San Francisco max unit at juvenile hall, he chose to be

                                                                                                                No Name #1
    “Anonymous.” Now that he’s moved to a program in the East, he calls
    himself “No Name #1.” But whatever he calls himself, his short love
    poem is a reminder of what you risk losing when you give power to
    the system over your life. “No Name #1” writes from George Junior
    Republic, Grove City, Pennsylvania.

    Your Love                                               Your love is a mystery
                                                            How you gently life me
                                                                                                           I can feel it rising
                                                                                                           All the joy that is growing
         Your love is amazing
                                                            When I am surrounded                           Deep inside of me
         Steady and unchanging
                                                            Your love carries me                           Every time I see you
         Your love is a mountain
                                                            Your love makes me sing                        All your goodness shines right
         From beneath my feet
                                                            Your love is surprising                        through   Volume 15.19                                                                                                            Page 59
thebea without
The Beat Without                                                                Thee Mouseman has more thoughts for Amber of N.M., but it turns

Thee Mouseman
                                                                                out, once again, to be great advice for all of us readers. Along with
                                                                                this, he sends some great creative writing, too. Our veteran writer Thee
                                                                                Mousman writes from High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California

  Thoughts for Amber: Part 2                                                  four, I must have been doing the math wrong. What to do? Live in
                                                                              fear and pretend it is all going to be good? Say it ain’t shhh when
  All from a cell… Does it sound almost impossible all alone? Well,
                                                                              you and I both know it is? Or man up and admit that something is
  that is because it is! I have a wife; her name is Maria. First off, let
                                                                              broken… and that something is me! Well, I was not sure if things
  me tell you she is much smarter than me and smarter than you,
                                                                              were going to change for the better, but I was sure if I did not do
  too. She has never been to prison or any other type of lockup.
                                                                              something they were going to stay the same. If you do not like
  That style has nothing to do with her style. Sometimes I wonder
                                                                              your situation, look at someone else who has what you want and
  why she hangs with me, but she is like the sunshine. I don’t stare
                                                                              wonder how they accomplished it. Then ask… ask for guidance.
  at it and wonder why it is always there; just be glad it is as I am
                                                                                    I mean, I can pretend I am Jack and the Bean Stalk or a
  thrilled she is in my life.
                                                                              Sleeping Beauty; either way, something is going to come along and
        There are few things we do in this world alone. My wife is
                                                                              change my life for me magically. NOT! I change my life. But again, I
  accomplished; she has been to college and has her degree. When
                                                                              would have to admit something was wrong. Is it wrong? Is it wrong
  I think about all the stuff I think might be too hard to do, I think
                                                                              for you? Is it wrong for me? Is this what you want for your life? Is
  about all she has done and remember the circumstances in which
                                                                              this what I want for my life?
  she accomplished them. Rough trail, to say the least; I will not
                                                                                    Then quit waiting for the Fairy Godmother and move past the
  talk about it because it is not my call to do that. Her private life is
                                                                              FEAR of admitting you and I were wrong about our decisions. If
                                                                              we cannot trust ourselves to make good decisions, then who do
        So, there I was, sitting in my 1st Place Prize (my cell), wondering
                                                                              we trust? I personally choose to trust my wife. Why? Not because
  about what my wife said, “I think you can be a successful artist.”
                                                                              she is my wife, but because she has accomplished things I wanted
        I am good. However, I did not think I was actually capable
                                                                              to accomplish; that being success, she has the money to show for
  at first. Then I saw what had won the State Fair the year before. I
                                                                              her work and no one can take it from her. It is that “slow dime,”
  thought to myself, “I can do better than that!”
                                                                              not the “fast buck.”
        I really felt I could do art work that would capture the eye
                                                                                    The hardest part is not the work that it takes to succeed,
  of someone quicker than what I saw won. No lies; I was afraid to
                                                                              not for me. The hardest part was admitting I was wrong in my
  say it. Why? ‘Cause when you open your mouth about something,
                                                                              past decision. Why? FEAR!!! I was wrong, then that means I was
  people want to see if you’re just talking shhh or do you mean what
                                                                              wasting my time, acting a fool, thinking it was going to be all just
  you say? I knew if I said it out loud my wife would call me on it!
                                                                              fine. That means all those people I hung with, they were wrong,
        Fear of failure is a bitch! It will stop you from moving forward;
                                                                              too!! You would be surprised how many people would rather be
  it will stop you from speaking your mind; it will stop you from
                                                                              wrong, not admit it and just live their lives in the 1st Place Prize.
  changing your life! If you are a fearful person you really do not
                                                                              Fear stops them from standing up and saying, “I was wrong about
  excel much. There is always that fear; fear is an anchor that keeps
                                                                              life.” I know that. I have done that. Sorry I cannot say it for you;
  you in the past or inside where you never see the sunshine.
                                                                              you need to say it for yourself and move on from that place.
        I know me; I knew if I said it out loud I would have to do it. So,
                                                                                    I have very little chance of changing how you feel about your
  I said it out loud. Why? Because, although I have fears, I challenge
                                                                              life; that much is fact. I have a 100% chance on changing how I feel
  myself all the time. I know passing the fear allows me to grow. If not,
                                                                              about my life and I have a 100 % chance on changing how I live it.
  I would have never learned to ride a bike, drive a car, motorcycle,
                                                                              So why do I write all this stuff? I do care; I care that we (me and
  join a gang, smoke some weed, use a gun, murder someone. Fear
                                                                              you, my brothers and sisters in lockup) allow our lives to waste
  is powerful! It is to be respected… fear lets you know when the
                                                                              away in these places when it is not that hard for us to get out of
  situation calls for consideration -- deep consideration.
                                                                              here and stay out of here. Nope, we are too fascinated with our
        In the past when I made a decision based on fear, I made the
                                                                              image to admit we are wrong.
  wrong one. Unless you’re not too bright (like I was), you understand
                                                                                    Criminals are some of the most intense people on earth; we
  which decisions were made poorly. So I suffered greatly for my
                                                                              do not quit. We will push till we can push no more. It is all bad that
  poor decisions and life moved on. I later had a chance to make
                                                                              we push “without sight;” we push ourselves into that 1st Prize
  other decisions and when I did, I chose poorly again! Go figure!
                                                                              Place. We like to think we are not as bad off as the next guy. You’re
  I was not too smart, but I realized when I screwed myself. I did
                                                                              in a cell, ain’t you? Well, I think you might be close enough. If
  not need to have someone tell me I f***ed up things. My 1st Place
                                                                              you’re in a cell, you’re just a few bad steps away from doing a life
  Prize always reminded me. Cells talk to you if you listen.
                                                                              term, just like me. Don’t let fear of doing life in prison get to you.
        For some reason I was making bad decisions time and time
                                                                              If pushing is what you do best, cool… push with sight, purpose,
  again. Later it became obvious to me I was not capable of making
                                                                              and love of life...
  choices. Really, I was listening to my partners and “we” made
                                                                                    Fear is a bitch; it will have you all twisted up wondering what
  those decisions, and they were not too much brighter than me, so
                                                                              to do; sometimes you have to trust people, but pick well who
  we all winded up suffering. If you think your homies are smarter
                                                                              you trust to help direct your life. Nowadays, I do make my own
  than you, look around, lil’ folks, where are they? Are they in their
                                                                              decisions and they’re not all the best possible, but they are mine
  1st Place Prize, too? Well, there is our answer; no disrespect to
                                                                              and they do not cost me my freedom. Hey, I am doing LIFE; how
  anyone intended, but if the shoe fits…!
                                                                              can that be possible? It is.
        Point is, at some time I had to look beyond what my partners
                                                                                    I’ll drop some words later, maybe next week. Ya’ll take care of
  had to say; I had to look beyond what I thought to be true. The
                                                                              each other and if you feel the need for improvement in your life,
  way I was adding things up just was not working. Every time I
                                                                              well, then handle that; bone up, be a man/woman about it. It’s your
  thought I had bank, in the end I had pennies. I did not like the
                                                                              life; lace it the way you want it…
  math. Something had to change and since two and two is always
                                                                                    Am I lying? Any questions? ASK!!

Page 60                                                                                                              Volume 15.19
thebea without                                                                     The Beat Without
                                                                                   Thee Mouseman cont.
    Little Fallen Eagles                                                                 “I do not know,” said Quail, “but it sure was beautiful.”
                                                                                         The little eagle thought, “I sure wish I could fly like that!”
    A very long time ago, there were two eagles hatched atop a tree in a                 The little birds ran home to tell mother of this glorious bird they
    nest, leaving one egg still closed. Several days later, while the parents      saw. Mother was amazed, too, but advised them to be careful as this
    were out hunting, the third egg was hatched. It became too crowded in          bird might be the killer of quail and not to be toyed with…
    the nest and as the chicks pushed for room, the smallest was pushed                  As night fell, the little quail took notice of what its mother had
    out.                                                                           said and had dreams of this bird killing its father; dreams of this bird
          Hitting the ground, it was shaken, yet not beyond recovery. A            holding quail hostage to bushes its whole life.
    short time later a quail passing by noticed the strange looking bird.                Little Eagle dreamed of flying high and the ear-piercing cry it
    Having never seen an eagle before, it said, “What are you?”                    heard; it echoed in its dreams.
          The eagle said, “I do not know; all I know is I fell out of the sky!”          The next morning, they both went out to fill their bellies with
          “Well, what are you going to do?” said the quail.                        bugs and seed. Little Quail thought about being taken by the Shadow
          “I have no idea,” said the quail.                                        Spots and Little Eagle thought about flying in the deep blue skies and
          “Are you hungry?” asked the little quail.                                calling like the grand bird had. However, both did as they did all their
          “Yes,” said the eagle.                                                   lives, scratching the earth for bugs and worms, running from Shadow
          So the little quail showed the eagle how quail eat, scratching the       Spots in the sky, being restricted to life on the ground.
    ground looking for seeds and making bugs move. The little eagle did                  Sometimes we are placed in situations we are not totally in control
    as he was shown, yet his talons, being very long, stuck oddly in the           over or we find we have fallen. We do not want to be seen as needing
    ground and it seemed his beak was not quite right for grasping the             help, or to seek help. To fall is human, to stumble is human, to find
    seeds and bugs either. However, the little eagle did what it had to in         you stand in a position which is not favorable is very common, normal,
    order to survive although it felt strange about the way it ate, and it         and surely human. There is nothing animal about it.
    looked nothing like the quail.                                                       To have a healthy respectful fear of the unknown is normal. To fear
          Once they had both eaten they decided to rest under a bush, just         what you have been told to fear is normal as well; to do as others do
    as quail do. While resting the little quail shouted, “Don’t move!”             while in their house is respectful and normal. To heed advice when one
          He was frightened and, standing very still, he pleaded with the          is alone and hurt is normal and wise. All these actions are NORMAL
    little eagle, “Please, friend, be very still.”                                 and favorable when seen by the spirit.
          “Why?” asked the little eagle.                                                 However, there will come a time when the spirits that guide you
          Pointing his little wing to the sky, the little quail said, “Shadow      will make themselves known to you. This comes either by action or
    spots!!”                                                                       your spirit-guide knocks on the door to your soul telling you that you
          The little eagle still did not understand and the little quail noticed   are wrong in your actions and, although you stand respectfully, this is
    that, so he spoke further, “If we go out in the open, they will come           not the place for you. You are intended to be and do something else.
    down and eat us!!                                                                    Quail know only to run and hide from Shadow Spots. Why do you
          The little eagle, being frightened, became very still.                   run from what you are; are you afraid to fly? Have you not heard the
          As night came, the spots in the sky left. “Let’s go home,” said the      cry of the Eagle? Yes? Why, then, do you fear meeting yourself? I think
    quail.                                                                         the spirit shows us many things; I am talking about your spirit guides.
          When they reached the quail’s home, it was a bigger bush with a          I am not talking about GOD; Mouseman don’t know GOD too well!
    clearing in the middle. There was a mother quail and many brothers                   I know that if I refuse to acknowledge those things which “TAP”
    and sisters, no father to be seen. Mother Quail, seeing the little eagle,      my shoulder when a situation is wrong, eventually they will stop
    said, “Who are you and what are you?”                                          tapping. Something told me to stay away from Casper; it did not say,
          Little Eagle responded, “I do not know. I just fell from the sky and     “Hey, Casper is going to get killed!” It just tapped me on the shoulder
    your child has helped me survive. Mother, may I stay with you?”                and I knew deep down to stay clear of him.
          Mother Quail had never seen a bird like Little Eagle before but,               There are those who would tell us we are not intended to fly,
    being a good host, she said, “Of course you may stay here as long as           that we will always be quail; to those who say my brothers and sisters
    you like.”                                                                     cannot fly, I say, “Kiss my RED A**!!”
          They both started telling tales to the family about the adventure              Yeah, you guessed it; I am Native but my brothers and sisters are
    they had that day, but when it came to the Shadow Spots, all the other         all of you locked up. Those who tell us we cannot fly, they are ignorant
    quail hung their heads down and shuttered. It seemed that the Shadow           to matters of flight. They do not understand the divine winds belong to
    Spots took their father.                                                       us all, we all merit freedom.
          Time passed and Little Eagle became like a quail. He talked their              Those who fear the Shadow Spots, they just fear because they
    talk and sang their songs. He ate as they did, and when it came to             have heard others’ tales of being eaten. You need not fear, you are all
    Shadow Spots, he hid just like they did. In fact, if you did not know he       eagles; men in fear make themselves quail. They will tell you and have
    had fallen from the sky, you would have never guessed he was not a             you believe there is no room for flight in prison that there is no room
    quail.                                                                         for growth, that if you do grow, it does not matter as you will be eaten
          One fine day while they were resting in the bushes after eating,         by Shadow Spots all the same. Who is the quail? The one who speaks
    a great bird landed not far from the bush they were in; its wings were         like quail or the one who believes?
    massive, spreading to command the wind to stop its flight! Its eyes                  Do not allow other people’s fears to become your own. My brothers
    were sharp as it peered around. Stretching its neck, it let out an ear-        and sisters, I cannot tell you enough times, you are not intended to be
    shattering cry. Raising its neck to the sky, it did so again. It seemed        scratching on the ground for bugs and worms; you are not intended to
    as though it were calling for something, something it longed for,              hide in bushes. My little folks, you are all EAGLES who have, for one
    something lost. It stood patiently, awaiting a response. Hearing none,         reason or another, fallen from the nest. Why is not important. What is
    it again spread its wings. Flapping, the elements took it high into the        essential is you must learn to fly. What quail have taught you is good,
    sky till it became a spot in the sky.                                          too; it allowed you to survive; they were sent to aid you.
          Both Eagle and Quail were amazed at what they had seen; such                   That you learn to respond to the call of your true spirit right now
    a grand bird by any standard. It seemed part of the divine wind it flew        is what matters. Time to learn from eagles… honorable it was to be a
    on.                                                                            child… time to fly, lil’ folks, time to fly…
          “Wow,” said Eagle. “What do you call that?”   Volume 15.19                                                                                                                    Page 61
thebea without
The Beat Without                                                               It’s been way too long since we last heard from Paul Jay Reed, one of

Paul Jay Reed
                                                                               the most memorable BWO writers to grace these pages. Paul has had
                                                                               more than his share of ups and downs, and is currently back in custody
                                                                               wondering how many more times he can pick himself up, dust himself
                                                                               off, and push himself forward. But, being the profound thinker and
                                                                               positive person he is, he’s given us the analogy of a boxer who never
                                                                               gives up (and who ultimately wins) to remind Beat readers — including
                                                                               himself — that it’s always worth fighting to regain control of your life,
  The Last Round                                                               and that it’s not over ‘til it’s over. Paul wrote this inspiring message from
                                                                               his cell at the Jefferson County Jail, Texas.
  “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” (Ernest Hemingway,
  The Old Man and the Sea)
       When Sugar Ray Leonard first fought Thomas “Hitman”                   not an enemy to be fought, but a reality we must accept. Rather,
  Hernes, the world of professional boxing knew he was out of his            she was fighting against fear, hopelessness, and anxiety, the
  league. Hernes was younger, stronger, bigger, and perhaps the              greatest opponents to the human spirit. It is our fear of death
  hardest hitting middle weight boxer of all time. Few expected              that must be defeated, not death itself. It is our fear of success or
  Leonard to win a single round, let alone the fight.                        failure that keeps us from giving our very best. It is our feelings of
       The critic were right. The fight was scheduled for twelve             unworthiness that keep us wanting to throw in the towel.
  rounds, and for eleven rounds “Hitman” Hernes pounded Leonard,                   If you are reading this, then you are still breathing; if you are
  who couldn’t win a single round. The fight would be over in                still breathing, there is at least one more round in you; if you have
  one more round, and “Hitman” would be crowned the world’s                  a round left, there is at least one more chance to win.
  champion. The fact is, Leonard really had no reason to come out                  Despite what boxing analysts said, Sugar Ray Leonard
  for the last round. Realistically, the fight was over. The only way        believed he could defeat Hernes. He trained, believing he could
  Leonard could win the fight would be by knocking Hernes out, a             win. And after eleven rounds of losing, with only one round left, he
  possibility, but certainly not probable. Leonard chose to come out         still believed he could win. He wasn’t just trying to survive rounds,
  for the last round.                                                        accept his loss and collect his money. He really believed he could
       Sugar Ray came out with an apparent new zeal, and attacked            beat the “Hitman.”
  his opponent with surprising gusto. Hernes was caught completely                 Which brings me to my second point: No matter how bad
  off guard. Leonard’s punchers came fast and furiously. The fight’s         things may seem, no matter how many losses we’ve suffered over
  momentum quickly swung in Leonard’s favor. Halfway through                 the years, no matter how great the opposition(s) we face, we must
  the final round, Leonard backed Hernes against the ropes and               believe we can overcome it. We must fight to win.
  unleashed a flurry of punches, sending Hernes through the ropes                  Some may ask, “If I’ve lost everything, including my dignity,
  and out of the ring! The audience was ecstatic, as they witnessed          freedom and self-respect, what reason do I have to keep coming
  the unthinkable, the seeming impossible. Ray Leonard had won               out to fight?” the answer: If you have nothing left to lose, then you
  the fight. Somehow, Leonard was able to summon all his God-                have everything to gain, so why not fight to win?
  given strength and defeat Hernes at the last minute.                             Leonard had nothing left to lose — he had lost every round —
       Of course, for me, looking back on this classic moment in             yet he came out believing, despite how badly he’d been beaten, he
  boxing history, I can see that this was more than just two athletes        could still win. He expected to still win, although no one else did.
  in the right fighting for a belt. There is something deep and rich         Michael Jordon once said, “You have to expect things of yourself
  that emerges from this that both inspires and encourages me.               before you can do them.”
       Like Sugar Ray’s predicament in that match, many of us have                 How many of us have lost confidence in our own unique God-
  been beaten over and again in practically every round of our lives         given strengths of character? How may of us have lost faith in
  by a seeming bigger and stronger foe than we. Some of us have all          ourselves, resigning ourselves to just making it through the day?
  but given up completely. Many of us are at the verge of throwing in        How many of us refuse to come out of our corners because we
  the towel and accepting ultimate defeat.                                   refuse to face our fears, doubts, and sense of worthlessness, etc?
       Keep in mind that for eleven rounds, Sugar Ray Leonard fought         Fear doesn’t just go away, it must be challenged. Doubt doesn’t
  with everything he had. But it wasn’t enough. His very best was no         stop beating us just because we’ve stopped resisting; we much
  match for Hernes. Sugar Ray’s athletic skills simply weren’t good          challenge it. We must be willing to come out and fight back,
  enough to outbox or outscore the “Hitman” for the duration of              knowing courage is stronger than fear, faith is greater than doubt,
  the fight. However, although Ray was losing the fight, he never            and that virtue is always victorious over vices. It’s been proven
  stopped fighting. He kept coming out each round, giving his best.          time and again throughout history. Therefore, if history proves
  Why? Because it is the nature of the fighter to keep fighting until        our greatest enemies can be defeated, why not come out fighting,
  the fight is officially over. The fighter realizes that, at any point,     knowing you can win?
  the fight can switch momentum toward his favor; which leads me                   Some readers may assume that “the last round” is about those
  to my first point: No matter how bad things are going in your life,        who, after fifty plus years of facing life’s difficulties need extra
  no matter how much a failure you feel you are, if you are still            courage just to face another day. This couldn’t be further from the
  breathing, then the fight’s not over.                                      truth. The feeling of being beaten, bewildered and beguiled by life
       I am reminded of my great Aunt Irene whom we endeared,                is a very real experience whether you are young or old. The fact is
  Aunt Krickett. One day, I called her up to see how she was doing,          many of the youth in our culture are afraid to come out and fight,
  and she told me she had just come from therapy. I assumed it was           even after only a few rounds with life. Both the teen drug abuse
  for her arthritis.                                                         and suicide rates are evidence of this sad reality.
       “No, Sweetheart… I didn’t tell you? I have both lung and brain              The greatest difference between our lives and Leonard’s
  cancer.”                                                                   match against Hernes is hat we don’t know how many rounds our
       Taken aback by this alarming revelation, I said in a pathetic         lives are scheduled for. Therefore, it behooves us to face each day,
  voice, “Oh my, Aunt Krickett, I didn’t…” She quickly interrupted           each challenge, each obstacle as if it were our last.
  me before I could finish, “Don’t do that. Don’t you dare do that. As             So whether you’re thirteen or thirty, getting out on parole or
  long as I’ve got breath in my body, don’t you dare ever feel sorry         just beginning a life sentence, whether you’re facing final exams o
  for me. This fight isn’t over as long as God is still good and I’m still   just got laid of, whether brimming with perfect health or fighting
  breathing.”                                                                cancer; no matter what condition you’re facing, no matter how
       I realized then that the petty problems I faced daily, whining        badly you’ve messed up; if you are still breathing (enough to read
  “Poor lil’ ol’ me,” were miniscule compared to what she faced.             this!), then get out there and fight with everything you’ve got,
  Aunt Krickett faced death with more dignity and determination              believing you can and will win, because nothing can defeat you at
  than I faced life with. It wasn’t death she was fighting. Death is         your best. Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Page 62                                                                                                                Volume 15.19
thebea without
    Terry Moses, usually the contributor of essays, sends these creative    The Beat Without
                                                                                            Terry Moses
    poems from State Prison at Corcoran in Corcoran, California. Like his
    essays can be, his poems are enlightening and heartrending.

    Ghost Whisper                                                           Truth and Consequences
         At the funeral it was my little brother                              Inner-city dreams shattered
         Who read the eulogy, and he said                                     By unexpected things
         A lot of things that weren’t new to me.                              Like a parent being addicted to dope
         He started by saying how he missed                                   Leaving a child with very little hope.
         Being taken to the mall, and afterward                               It’s a pattern in the ghetto
         How they used to play basketball,                                    And by the time the kid is ten
         But when the tears started to roll                                   His understanding has reached zero
         Down my little brother’s face,                                       So the neighborhood gangsters and
         I wanted to console him and tell him                                 Drug dealers become his heroes
         Everything would be OK.                                              It’s like being married to the streets
         As I walked up to the podium                                         For better, for worse,
         To take my brother’s hand,                                           Where nothing or nobody else
         He continued to speak                                                Matters because surviving comes first
         Which now I couldn’t understand,                                     And after years of struggling and
         He went on to say that my big                                        Hustling, you finally make it to the top
         Brother meant everything to me,                                      But then your door is kicked in
         Then I looked down into the                                          And here comes the cops
         Open casket and it was my own face                                   Now you’re facing three strikes
         I was able to see. He concluded                                      Or the RICO Act
         By saying, “I love you, big brother,                                 So you’re asking yourself
         Rest in peace.”                                                      Where are all my friends at
         I screamed, “No, wait, look,                                         So you receive life in prison
         It’s me.” Then the pastor said                                       But it feels like a death sentence
         Another gang tragedy on our                                          Because when you write to people
         Community streets, making me now                                     Nobody is paying attention
         Understand how it happened to me,                                    And your name on the streets
         And as the comprehension of my own                                   Is barely even mentioned.
         Death became a reality, I once                                       It is a cold hard reality
         Again saw my little brother’s face                                   That in the ghetto
         But the only words I managed to say                                  While still living
         Were, “I’m sorry, little brother,                                    Some of our lives
         That I left you this way.”                                           Still become fatalities.

          You start to search for answers
          But it’s as hard as curing cancer
    The Monster Factory                                                      Turning yourself into a victim.
                                                                             You turn to your family
         A confusing network of passages
                                                                             For assistance, but they can’t
         Is defined as a maze,
                                                                             Comprehend the system.
         As is the correctional system’s
                                                                             All your problems become
         Program where you are
                                                                             Your own fault and
         Trapped inside a cage.
                                                                             Nobody can see you were
         Even as an adolescent,
                                                                             Programmed to be lost.
         You are programmed to feel
                                                                             You start to search for answers
         Helpless, and when the rage
                                                                             But it’s as hard as curing cancer,
         Builds inside your mind
                                                                             And if prosperity and expectations
         The opening to that maze
                                                                             Are anywhere in sight,
         Becomes that much harder to find.
                                                                             I welcome them to escape this maze
         So you lash out at the system
                                                                             Before it ruins my life.   Volume 15.19                                                                                         Page 63
thebea without
The Beat Without                                                        As Joseph Sierki’s letter makes clear, it’s been a very long time since

Joseph Sierski
                                                                        this poet has blessed us with his work, and we’re as happy to hear from
                                                                        him again (including Michael) as he is to rediscover The Beat. While
                                                                        non-Christians may not agree with Joseph’s certainty that trust in Jesus
                                                                        is the one path to Salvation, we can all agree that we do, indeed, “reap
                                                                        what we sow,” and that substituting faith for drugs and alcohol to give
                                                                        meaning to the human experience will make us better human beings
                                                                        in a better world. Joseph writes us from the Apalachee Correctional
  Evil Spirit                                                           Institution in Sneads, Florida.

      Alcohol is a poison, some call it spirits
      These spirits are demons so don’t go near it
      Some go down smooth, some even taste great
      Distilled beverages that instill hate
      Your life will be like a boat without oars
      Easily you can get crashed into shore
      You’ll awaken in strange places without any socks!
      When life’s like this you’ll soon be smashed on the rocks!
      Like a man who needs glasses but has none on
      It’s hard to see the road you’re traveling upon
      The fun times are few and cost lots of money
      You could wind up in prison … now won’t that be funny
      I messed with the spirits, I’m paying the price
      So before you take a drink I hope you’ll think twice
      Here’s a thought you need to entertain:
      From alcohol you need to abstain
      Rotten fruits and vegetables you won’t eat it
      So now it’s a liquid, would you really drink it!
      What was once illegal we re-legalized
      What makes one feel good is usually the Devil in disguise
      I’m warning you now ‘cause you need to know
      It says in the Bible, “You reap what you sow”
      So I plant these seeds in hopes that they grow
      Some lives will be better but I will never know
      It’s a good message, I hope you listen well
      What if you die and end up in hell?
      There’s much more to life than going around aimless               Please Knock
      Whenever you die, you need to be blameless                             I done been so far out there I am scared to go back
      The devil’s not the answer, Jesus is the cure                          Way above the earth where the sky’s all black
      Alcohol is poison, you need to stay pure                               I seen the stars and the moon and the sun
      I’m done with this planting, these seeds ought to grow                 I stared at the Earth and watched as it spun
      Take heed to this message, “You reap what you sow”                     Prison in the place I was meant to be
      Romans 15:13 2nd Peter 1:2 and 3:18                                    I escaped with some pills that were gave to me
      God bless you all!                                                     Above the Earth with the constellations
                                                                             Me, God and two angels had a long conversation
                                                                             It lasted forever in the blink of an eye
                                                                             If I could remember it all, you’d swear it were a lie
  Dear Beat Within                                                           I knew things that I could never understand
  I am sorry I haven’t written in so long. Please accept my apology          One thing was important, I forgot, I’ll be damned
  for not writing in so long. I honestly lost the address, and I even        I never really saw God, but He let me see Hell
  forgot the name of the organization as well. How sad is that?              And after we talked, I felt really swell
  Pretty sad.                                                                I quit smoking and masturbating for a bit
        Well, after thinking about it constantly for days, recently          Till I got the urge and said, “I’m sick of it”
  I was able to remember you are called The Beat Within, and I               The story of my life, I haven’t got long endurance
  remember reading in all them you have a website and had                    I hope I can pull it together before the fiery furnace
  someone get me your address. How happy I was once I realized               I know God is real and Jesus is too
  your address was inside the letter I’d received. (Michael, if you          Now I don’t doubt the Bible is true
  are reading this, I’m very sorry I lost touch for so long. I’m a           I’m trying to crawl till I learn to walk
  lot closer to going free, and can’t wait to meet all the people            I hope I don't end up a body lined in chalk
  working at the Beat Within.                                                I read my Bible in hopes I will grow
        Since it’s been such a good while since I last wrote y’all,          I’m telling you now ‘cause you need to know
  it’s only right that I break y’all off proper with a few dynamite          They say “misery loves company…”
  pieces, which I’ve written lately. I hope you all share them with          I say that’s untrue…
  the others who receive The Beat Within.                                    ‘Cause if I am in hell
        And I also can’t hardly wait to receive an issue as well.            I wouldn't want to be with you!
  Please send me even an old one y’all already have made! I really           Jesus is real, let me say it once more
  miss getting to read it.                                                   Please just knock
        Well, let me get this in the mail.                                   He will answer the door

Page 64                                                                                                      Volume 15.19
thebea without                                                                 The Beat Without
                                                                               Joseph Sierski cont.
    You Better Believe It
         Could one ever imagine the hell one has in store                      The Significance Of Your Letter
         Still I try to picture this as I pace upon the floor                    The significance of your letter
         Terrified one would be if it were their destiny                         Is of which I’m beginning to tell
         Tormented by the flames forever till eternity                           When the mail bag comes in I begin to pace my cell
         God has plenty patience, it is written so shall be                      My adrenaline rush becomes an irritation
         Who will go to the flames, is it her, him or me?                        As I yearn to see your notation
         Some will surely go there ‘cause it is meant to be                      I longingly wait as he sorts it into piles
         Because sin is their true love, not the great big G                     If I think I see your hand writing I have no choice but to
         Jesus came to save us but some don’t choose to see                      smile
         Even worse for those who didn’t believe                                 If it turns out I was in fact wrong
         The scriptures are all so perfect                                       A deep sadness envelopes me, I wear a face that’s long
         Not one flaw in it could be                                             But whenever I’m right…
         ‘Cause if God didn’t want it, it wouldn’t be there to read              Oh, what a delight
         So study them and read them well                                        Still I pace my cell in fright
         If you’re not ignorant you may avoid hell                               While I wait till the mood is right
         Cast into a lake of fire where the worm dieth not                       Then I sniff the envelopes
         Eternity never ends, the pain dieth not                                 Savoring their unique perfume
         So if you’ve got a Bible I suggest you read it                          I bet to my celly I seem quite a buffoon!
         If it’s gotten all dusty, it’s a shame you didn’t see it                Then I carefully break its seal
         Read it cover to cover, memorize your favorite parts                    The mystery is soon to be revealed
         You’ll know you truly know it if it’s written on your heart             I’m so happy I would almost squeal
         If you reap what you sow, this seed I hope to grow                      As I read your message
         That Jesus becomes your true love but I might not know                  I get to feeling as if I’m healed
         The rewards in heaven I may never see                                   ‘Cause yes, it’s a sickness
         I don’t know about you, but hell’s too hot for me                       That overcomes me thought the waits
         Maybe one day you’ll admire my golden wings                             For each next letter
         And we’ll bask in true love, listening to angels sing                   But with each one I feel a little better
         I might even see you in splendor of many hues                           And the warm fuzzy feeling I receive
         All because of my message you read the good news                        From each letter may seem hard to believe
         So please read your Bible                                               I swear it’s better than any hug or drug
         Be a fisher of souls for the Son                                        That I’ve been given in friendship or romance
         Or you would be doomed                                                  Now I hope you’ll understand
         To the fire as hot as the sun                                           Your letter’s significance!

    It is always a pleasure to bring a new voice to The Beat Without.

                                                                                         Gregory Clegg
    Gregory Clegg has sent us this cautionary poem about how the young
    can hurt those they love the most, including themselves, because they
    only think of the present and not of the future, only of themselves and
    not of others. It is an old, sad story that can never be told too often.
    Gregory, who says The Beat “keeps my hope alive,” writes us from the
    State Correctional Institution at Somerset, Pennsylvania.

    Call It What You Want To                                                    Momma always taught me to grow up right
                                                                                But I would always put up a fight
         I would get high just to get by
                                                                                All I ever cared about was me
         It would take all the pain away
                                                                                Why couldn’t I just open my eyes and see
         But it would all come back the next day
                                                                                My soul died years ago
         Put my family though hell
                                                                                When I started messing with that blow
         Now I’m sitting in a cell
                                                                                Wish I could’ve seen what it would have done to me
         My family always stuck by me
                                                                                But it was new to me
         Was always down to ride with me
                                                                                Now I’m 27 years old
         I cried many nights
                                                                                Grown old
         Thinking about all the pain I caused my momma
                                                                                Got eight years to plan my next move
         Damn, it was so much drama,
                                                                                I dream big for me and my daughter
         I always said I would never be like my dad
                                                                                I will be a good father… Here we go
         The dad I never had,   Volume 15.19                                                                                                       Page 65
                                                            The Beat Within                 415-503-4170
                                                                                         275 Ninth Street
                                                                                 San Francisco, CA 94103

Art Contest
The Beat Within in collaboration with the Italo Scanga Foundation present an art contest

Who can enter? Anyone who is or has been incarcerated.
What is the theme? Freedom
When? March 18, 2010 thru July 18, 2010.

All entries must be postmarked by: July 18,2010 to qualify.

Youth Category:                              Adult Category:
First Place:      $150.00                    First Place:      $150.00
Second Place:         $100.00                Second Place:        $100.00
Third Place:           $50.00                Third Place:          $50.00
All winners will be published in The Beat Within publication and on our website. The Beat Within is
copyrighted and each art piece will be entered under the author’s name (any individual copyright is
the responsibility of the author).

All those published in The Beat Within will receive a copy of the publication. The Beat Within reserves
the right to decide not to publish the art contest if it decides there is not enough interest.

•All art pieces must represent “freedom”.

•No more than two art pieces can be submitted by a single artist.

•Art pieces can be submitted in black and white, ball point pen, or color pencils/paints.

•The drawing must be respectful for all to embrace.

•No tracing pieces.

•The title of the piece must be written in the back of the piece along with your full name and

•All entries must be postmarked by July 18, 2010.

•Do not include questions or additional information along with the piece you are submitting.
Please make sure your envelope states The Beat Wtihin c/o Art Contest 275 Ninth Street, San
Francisco, CA 94103 - Any additional information will be discarded, so please send info in a
separate envelope.

How to Enter: Draw/paint a piece, any size, no bigger than 11 x17, no smaller than 5x7, that best
represents “freedom,” and send it to: The Beat Within – Art Contest 275 Ninth Street San Francisco,
CA 94103
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there a cost or entry fee to enter this contest? Absolutely not! This is not a gimmick contest. There is no
charge to enter.

How many times can someone enter?

Will the youth be judged separately from the adults?
Yes. We will simultaneously have a youth art contest, for those in juvenile hall, group homes, rehabs, camp/
ranch, and a separate contest for those in jail/prison.

Is this an art contest where every entry is accepted to be published?
No! We take pride in the fact that we are selective with our entries. Our objective is it to make it an honor to
be selected to The Beat Within publication and website. The Beat Within reserves the right to halt the contest
if it decides that there is not enough interest.

Who owns the rights to the art piece?
The artist owns the rights to the piece they submit, but by entering the contest the artists gives their consent
to The Beat Within to use, publish, market and distribute through fundraising, the website and weekly
publication. The winning art piece is given to the Italo Scanga Foundation as a gift from The Beat Within, due
to their generous donation.

Who is the Italo Scanga Foundation?
Italo Scanga (June 6, 1932 - July 7, 2001) Italian-born American artist. He was an innovative neo-Dadaist, neo-
Expressionist and neo-Cubist multimedia artist who made sculptures of ordinary objects and created prints,
glass and ceramic works.

Does the contest require a certain topic?
Yes, we require that all pieces represent what “freedom” means to the artist.

Will the judges give the artists feedback on their pieces?

Will there be other contests?
Yes. Dates still to be determined.

Will I be contacted if I do not win?
No, after all the winning pieces have been selected and winners notified, we send everyone on our mailing list
an announcement listing the top winners. This could take awhile after the close of the contest, which is July
16, 2010.

How will the prizes be awarded?
When we notify the winners we request that they send us the information as to how to send them their prize
money. Every institution has a different procedure regarding money. Artists can request that the prize money
be sent to a friend or family member on the outside.

How will you announce the winners? The winners will be notified by mail, website and through our weekly
publication. Their names along with their piece will be posted soon after the close of the contest.

Will the art pieces be returned to sender?
No! Because of the number of entries that are submitted to our contest, no entries will be returned. The entries
will be used in support of The Beat Within and our efforts in touching lives. NO XEROX COPIES WILL BE

Will only the contest winners be included in the publication and website?
No, though The Beat Within reserves the right to decide who will be published and how the art pieces will be
put together. Honorable mentions and others will be included in the special Beat Within publication.

What criteria do your judges use?
Heart, love, appeal, originality and commitment to the work that is submitted.

Who are the judges?
Senior Beat staff and friends of The Beat.                               Good Luck artists!
I   have very little chance of changing how you feel about your
life; that much is fact. I have a 100% chance on changing how I
feel about my life and I have a 100 % chance on changing how
I live it. So why do I write all this stuff? I do care; I care that
we (me and you, my brothers and sisters in lockup) allow our
lives to waste away in these places when it is not that hard
for us to get out of here and stay out of here. Nope, we are too
fascinated with our image to admit we are wrong.
                         read the rest of Thee Mouseman's BWO piece on page 60

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