JH Artwork

JH Artwork

Writing Exchange 2006-2018

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, El Dorado, Placer, Fresno, and Butte County. Students are given journal topics and asked to write what needs to be written. Several entries are handpicked from each classroom site and posted to the blog anonymously. Students at each site then read the material together, discussing the writing and connecting with others.

Planned Exchanges

Planned Exchanges 2018: May 24; June 27; July 25; More To Come!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Journal #105
Always wanting Dope is on my mind
Dealing drugs is what I did
Insane is what I’m feeling
Coaxing me all the time
Temptation is on my mind
Incarceration is what I got
Only one hit is what I told myself
Not wanting to stop

Journal #106
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Almost every day I feel like crap and I'm always exhausted during the day. My body's falling apart, piece by rotting piece. I have a bone missing in my back, so it always is killing me. I'm sick and tired of people annoying the hell out of me. I can't stand it. They give me a headache. At times I want to wring their neck. I'm sick and tired of living where I live. It's so damn hard to trust people to be cool.
I'm sick and tired of not having my father around. I had to learn to be a man by myself. If he was here (and not being out of control) I wouldn't have to worry about protecting what's left of my family. I'm just so sick and tired. My dad, the one person I needed most at a young age, had to be an ass and leave. As a young kid, my relationship with him was pretty good. He had a pretty bad life as a kid too, but that is not an excuse to treat me the way he eventually did. He always had a new bimbo with him each time we crossed paths. If I cried, that SOB would choke me, like Homer did to Bart on the Simpson's. I am just as violent and destructive now as he is. I guess it just runs in the blood. My father? I wouldn't call him that.

Journal #107
My Life, All Alone in This Cell
I sit in this cell thinking about what’s going to happen if I stay in jail longer than 20 years. How many people I will lose? The things I’m going to miss out on. When I’m in a cell, I think about life in a different way, But when I’m home I just think about myself and what people can do for me. I don’t think about anybody else’s feelings, Or what they want in life. I just be thinking about myself and only me. I just know if I had somebody to help me change my ways, I would be a better person and my life would be better also. Me? I never had a father It was only my brothers and one sister. My mother was barely even home. She was working’ so hard to take care of four kids by herself. She had a boyfriend, But all he did was abuse me when she was at work, ‘Cause I was crying’ for her when she was at work. My brothers and sister were always gone with their father, So they were never home. I was all alone. I never had anybody to look up to until my brother came home. And that was my father. He put clothes on my back and took me to school every day. All the things I wanted, he gave to me. And when he died, my life was over. I stopped going to school and stopped coming home some nights. I started stealing clothes from the mall and stealing cars. Then I started selling weed and coke to keep money in my pocket. I wanted to be fly like all the others I was with, And I got a gun I wanted to kill the person who killed my brother. I didn’t want my life to be this way.

I was young and stupid. I remember going to the store to get some liquor. I heard my cousin telling me to pick a certain kind. I saw my him putting the bottle into a backpack. I worried that he would get caught and arrested. I thought he wasn’t going to steal it. I am following him out of the store. I think nobody saw him steal the it. I needed to drink some of that liquor. I tried not to drink that much, but I could not control myself. I can't forgive myself for drinking that much that day, because I ended in the hospital for AP. I will never drink that much ever again. I choose not to drink liquor any more. When I dream back to that horrible day of when I got AP I hope I never end up in the hospital again. I predict that I will never get AP again. I know that I don’t want to be a drunk and I want to change.

Journal # 108
Saddest Day Ever
On Jan 23, 2006 when my little sister died, I realized I had to change my life around. One day I was sleeping and I was dreaming about what happened to my sister and I had to deal with my mom crying and crying. I would say, “Mom, it’s ok,” and she would say, “No it’s not.” During my showers, I would cry and release my pain. While the hot steaming water ran down my face, I welcomed the pain that comes with the tears. When I look in the mirror, I see my reflection and start to cry because my life is messed up and I am sad. When I think of my little sister my stomach feels like it’s tightening into a little ball and it feels like I’ve got to throw up.

If I Walked Out of Here Today
If I walked out of here today I would probably pass out
Knowing I don't have to wear these jumpsuits
And hear these mouths I would thank the Lord over and over for letting me be free
Letting me out of this coffin
This bathroom
Which would probably become a home for me
If I walked out of here today I would stand in the middle of the street
Just to smell the gases from the cars, trucks and buses riding next to me I would sit in the park around my way and just laugh
Knowing that I no longer have a certain time limit on when I take a bath
If I walked out of here today I would probably walk home
Just to get the feel of being free again
Knowing I can go to the one true place that I call home
If I walked out of here today
If I walked out of here today
If I walked out of here today Damn! Let me stop thinking ‘If” ‘Cause that’s a bother to me I just pray and wait for that day to come Where I’ll finally be FREE!!

Journal #110
Just a place
Understanding where your actions may lead you.
Vacationing away from the streets or the life you were living.
Entertainment is left to the imagination while you sit in your cell.
No way out!!!
Isolation has to be the worst thing.
Lessons learned.
Every day is a day closer to home.
Hoping for the best.
Always looking at the calendar.
Looking towards the future.
Learning for the past.

Journal #111
On the 11th and 12th, I will be going to Monterey and Santa Cruz for my first time. I'll be going with my class for a field trip. I expect to have a good time and create fun memories to look back on of my friends and our time together. Some of my concerns are that I haven't been to Santa Cruz and I don't know for sure whether I will like it or not. The thing I am most excited about is getting to go to the ocean again and smell the fresh ocean air. I will contribute to the trip by helping get things ready and behaving like a mature, but somewhat childish, adult. We made money by fundraising. I got to help with the car wash. The rest of the class did other fundraising activities and teambuilding. The only thing that would stop me going would be if I have to work, but I am pretty darn sure I won't have to. I am really looking forward to this trip!

Journal #112
Why do people die? Why did you have to die and leave me here to ask why? Why did I have to cry in front of them? Why did I have to let them know how weak I really was for you? Why couldn’t life be so much easier? Like you could walk down the street without being scared of those who don’t like you and they are going to come anytime and end your life? Well, let me tell you why all these things happen. It's because either you shouldn’t draw attention to yourself or it’s just your time to go.

Journal #113
I’m a criminal back in my hood who always makes mistakes in my life that get me sent to the hall. I remember my mother always coming to visit me in the hall and she would cry out of nowhere because she wouldn’t like to see me like this. She didn’t want to see me end up dying. I know that I need to change to make my mother happy and show her that I really have improved a lot. I hope that nothing would stop me from changing my life around and accomplishing my goals. I will try my best with all my abilities to change for her.

My Hood
My hood is tough
My hood is hard
You come to my hood be ready
My hood is bad My hood is dangerous
Watch your back My hood has gangbangers
My hood has crews If you don’t join they will beat you
My hood has nosy people
My hood has old people
Never talk about your problems out loud
My hood is untutored
My hood has killers
Never come to my hood.

Tears of a Teenage Mother
I have no home
Where will we go?
I have no job
The baby is running out of milk
He just bought a new phone
The baby’s pampers are running low
He just bought a new car
and the baby needs food
He just bought a Rolex
How will I pay the doctor bill?
He just found a new girl
The baby is sick
I ask the daddy for money
And he runs out the door
Journal #116
A Life on METH Okay so where can I start, well I guess I’ll start with how I met METH. It was two years ago, I was at school. My friend, Bee, asked me if I wanted to get high. I stopped to think and just said screw it! I got high on METH for the first time in a bathroom stall and that’s where my life on METH starts. Those endless “lines” was how I did it; the “pipe” is what did it. Life on METH isn’t a joke. I went from running away to sleeping at a park, all those people and voices that weren’t really there. Cops were everywhere and out to get me. Trees were talking to me and that’s not all; I was pregnant and lost the baby at three months. I’m locked up now it’s been eye awaking. It's all good. I’m three months sober and in a program. Life on METH could always be there, but for me IT ISN’T HAPPENING!!!

Journal #117
Have you ever made a phone call home and got bad news? I have, let me start by saying what my plans were for the summer coming up. I was going to get my license, fix the truck that my dad let me use, and sign up for adult school so I can graduate. I also was thinking about throwing a party for when I get released form this dump hole. Here’s what happened when I made my phone call home, I was asking the usual questions to my step mom, how everyone is doing and if anyone is asking for etc. She told me that my step brother got locked up because he was messing up in school and got a dirty drug test. He got committed to boot camp and was not doing too good in there. But then she told me the worst of them all: she said that we got kicked out of the apartments we lived in. It really sucked to hear that because those were some brand new apartments in a good neighborhood. What really sucked the most was that we got kicked out because my stupid ass step brother decided to smoke pot in the managers’ office. We still haven’t found a place yet but we have 14 days left. I won’t let that bring me down though. I’m still going to accomplish my goals and succeed in life.

Journal #118
‘If you really knew me’
If you really knew me you would know I am from the hood.
If you really knew me you would know that I am a drama queen…
If you really knew me you would know that I lost a 4 year old baby girl.
If you really knew me you would know that I love myself.
If you really knew me you would know that I use to be an ‘f’ student.
If you really knew me you would see the pain that I try to hide…
If you really knew me you would know that I am a go-getter.
If you really knew me you would know that me and my mother have ups and downs.
If you really knew me you would know that my Biological father is a sex offender.
If you really knew me you would know all of this about me so stop walking around here talking like you know me because when it comes down to it you really do not know anything about me. ‘If you really knew me’

Journal #119
I remember… when I was small.
I remember… when I was in the hall.
I remember …when my mom was sad.
I remember … when I get mad.
I remember…when I told her I loved her and I would lie.
I remember… when I told my mom I would always cry.
I remember… when I wanted to run away.
I remember… what I thought I would say.
I remember…when it was not to long.
I remember … I was always wrong.
I remember… doing my best.
I remember…of my success.
I remember… when she loved me and always said she did.
I remember… when I hid.
I remember…when my step brother died.
I remember… I tried.
I remember…my mother cried.
I remember…when I would always be bad.
I remember…all those days I had.

Journal #120
I remember when life was just so easy
I didn’t have to worry about anyone, not even a
I remember when I didn’t have a care in the world
I was so young and innocent
I wish I would have stayed like that,
but right now my time is spent
I remember when I could do whatever I wanted
Now I’m in here watching other kids getting punked
I’m in here just getting told what to do
I did it to myself and I look like a fool
My time is wasting away right now.
Soon it will be my time to get out, but as of right now I’m going to make the best of my time. It’s just hard to know how.

Journal # 121
I remember when I was 15 years old in a small neighborhood. My mom was washing my clothes for school. Two minutes the phone rang. It only took two seconds when her purse fell out. I was craving for my drug. I saw a bunch of one hundred dollar bills. I pulled one of them out. I said mom your purse fell out. She didn’t even count her money to see if it was all there. My mom said thanks mijo and gave me another twenty dollar bill for school. I said thanks mom and gave her a kiss on her cheek. When I came back from school my mom looked like she knew that I had something that belonged to her. She asked me that if I had her hundred dollar bill. My mom said if you don’t give it back I’m going to tell your brother to not take you with him on the trip to Las Vegas. I said mom I don’t know what you are talking about. She told my brother to beat me up; I went out and smoked blunts to cheer up. But I regret it because if I had been honest she would have probably given me one hundred or maybe a fifty dollar bill and still have had her trust. My brother would have probably taken me to Vegas, but I was too deep into marijuana to regret what I did.
Journal #122
I had lots of good days and bad days, but I’ll never forget the worst day of my life. It was when I got committed. I lost everything. I lost my family, money, car, phone, clothes, freedom, and my girlfriend. I am used to being locked up, but this time I was not prepared. My family started complaining about how it’s my entire fault and this and that. Nobody cares when you get locked up. You find out who are your true friends and family. I had a job, phone, and lots of new clothes. All of a sudden I’m getting booked in. I got a couple of letters here and there, but mostly for bad news. I was told I was fired, phone disconnected, and other things. I felt like I was real slick, but not anymore. There are lots of things that been happening since I’ve been locked up. Most of this stuff that is happening is because I’m in here. I know my life is starting a bad stretch. Regardless, I know my life will probably be better when I get out. If I have to go back to my old ways I will. I just hate having to do time, but sometimes you just have to do it. I get my home passes, but stuff will still be happening. I can’t say what’s going on because it’s not appropriate. There is just lots of tension between me and lots of other people. Well I just wish I could change the past, but I guess I can’t. I will always remember you can never change the past just work on the future in the present. So I guess what I have to do is work on the problem and solve it together or by myself. I don’t need anybody else. I just need to stay living the good life or the pleasant life and try hard to forget the past. Clearly the worst day of my life started when I got locked up.

Journal #123
Death is where
I’m headed
Romanticizing the high
Unrealistic expectations
Getting me in trouble
Journal #124
Roses are red, Violets are blue,
Where I come from you got to stay true,
I got to stay high, I got to stay mellow,
Where I come from is a city called ******,
My peeps stay true, They stick like glue,
You make the money don’t let it make you,
Once you hit the block, Once your selling rocks,
There will come a time when you might get shot,
There once was a girl, Who walked into my life?
She had me thinking crazy-- should I make her my wife,
I told the girl hours are long, Minutes are short,
As the seconds pass I love you more,
Sugar is light, Chocolates are dark,
Don’t leave me now because you’ll break my heart,
I give a holler to the ladies on welfare,
I care, And nobody else cares,
Most men like to beat you down a lot,
And when you come around the block brothers clown a lot,
Don’t cry, Dry your eyes,
Never let up, Forgive but don’t forget,
Little mama keep your head up,
I wonder why we take from our women,
While we rape our women, Do we hate our women?
I think it’s time we kill for our women,
Time we heal our women,
Be real to our women,
Respect our women.

Journal #125
Heart and Eyes I cover my internal bleeding with a smile I feel non human Not cryin in a while I hurt so why won’t these tears fall over Maybe I cried enough for a life time I’m becoming mentally strong Where I take blows from life and move on I’d rather get over it then let life pass me by Cause life does not stop just cause I cry sometime I feel as if my heart and eyes never come in touch Like they’re beefing And my heart says to my eyes, “I’m leaving” Because we lost our connection And I’m not receiving
Journal # 126
I Am
I am a man that doesn’t know how to walk on his hands
But will always stand I am a person who can hold his water
I am alone with a mind of my own
I am a heart that won’t stop a beat
I am pain that can hurt so many people with my game
I am the rain and also the tear that will always drop
I am a leader and I still have to follow to survive
I am a forgiver and not a forgetter

Journal # 127
I’m in class, listening to all the other stories of people blaming their problems on their crack addict moms. It is all bullshit. You do what you do because YOU want to do it. Take responsibility. No, I did not grow up in a “Beaver Cleaver” world. My mom is a meth addict and left me to take care of my brothers. I just don’t see the point of sharing my life and things that happened to me with a group of people I don’t even know. I’ve learned to take responsibility for my actions. Because, if I choose to get high (I don’t) or get pregnant (I’m not) then it’s on me, not my meth addict prostitute mom who I do love with all my heart no matter what. I’m in therapy and have been for awhile. Maybe the people blaming what they do on everybody else rather than just realizing that it’s them, nobody else, should try therapy.
Hours Pass By
Hours pass by
And you’re still not here
I called you hours ago
I don’t know what it is about you
But I want you near 1 hour gone
And my emotions fly 2 more hours gone
And I begin to cry 4 hours later I
want to call you But my hand won’t let me try
I then grab a tissue, look at my watch, and realize
Hours passed by

A Wish
I have a wish for my little brother
The wish is that being a young father
He’d be one of the best daddy’s he could be to his son
It was obvious my nephew was not a mistake
Because God does not make mistakes Instead,
I call it a blessing and a gift from God
I pray that he will accept responsibility for his action
And realize that raising a child
Takes more than just money out the pocket
But TLC Learn from his father’s mistakes and apply it into his son
Will do for the family what no one else has done
Put into him the tools he needs
To do better than him
And let their relationship be as one
When his son hurts, he hurt
When his son has a problem, he takes it on as if it were his own
And if he didn’t own anything in the past, he now does
Something that takes 24-hour care
And let these days with his child
Be some of the happiest days of his life I don’t know if it hit him yet
Or did he ever see it coming’
But again, he has the responsibility of something so precious
And something with the proper fathering
Can become great in whatever he decides to do
Or even leave his own legacy
He received the best gift you can receive from God—Life
A new one I hope he looks on the bright side of being a teen father
Upon a Dream
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
Your smile so precious,
The likes of which I’ve never seen,
The touch of your lips, leave me gasping for air,
Getting lost in your eyes, the fruity scent of your hair,
God sent me a blessing, an angel from the sky,
The joy you bring into my life,
Everyday, you’re by my side,
Though you’ve been hurt,
I’ll tell you now,
Our love will stay for real,
For as time goes on, and on and on,
Your broken heart I’ll heal,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
The things in life all have no means,
For the only thing I want is you,
To have a love so pure and true,
Your voice so harmonic and oh so sweet,
Every time I hear it, it sweeps me off my feet,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
Your love is all I’ll ever need,
Each day our love grows more and more,
So much that heaven knows how high it soars,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
As me for you and you for me….
The Game of Life
If life was a game,
That money could buy,
The rich people would live,
And our people would die,
I have seen so many soldiers drop,
And not one,
Make it to the top,
Seen how my folks struggle,
And work all around the clock,
I’ve seen the man,
Train a another to pop,
But bullets have no name,
So who does it drop,
I’m trapped in a maze,
But people say,
It’s a phase,
Will this phase,
Bring misery,
On the rest of my days.
Change-like Symptoms
I refuse to stay in park and become rusty and old
I want my value to go up so
I’ll always be worth being sold
You can be stubborn and stay the same
But I’m going to make a quick change
Like a vehicle switching lanes
Trying to get to its destination
One thing people failed to do
Is make change revelation
You need it to get places in life
Well I’m going to make an upgrade
While you clowns stay in clown stage
I hate the saying “One apple can spoil a bunch”
Comparing apples with humans
Apples don’t have brains, humans do
I’m glad unique sticks to me like glue
I’m daring to be different
I’m feeling sick with change like symptoms
The Future
In the future I see a beautiful angel,
In the future I see her name is ___,
In the future I see her #1 fan.,
In the future I see they call him __ Man.
In the future I see he’s a hell of a guy,
In the future I see __ Man is I.
In the future I see he’ll give her the world,
In the future I see she’ll think of being his girl.
In the future I see I’m never frowning,
In the future I see me always smiling.
In the future I see honesty and trust,
In the future I see you & I turn 2 us.
In the future I see there will be haters;
In the future I see that will make us greater.
In the future I see there will be obstacles indeed,
In the future I see if we stand together we will succeed.
In the future I see our relationship being the best,
In the future I see our relationship lasting longer than the rest.
In the future I hope those words will be true,
The day you say you love me
And I say I love you

(Drawing By Freedom Teacher Bill Feavor)

Journal #134

I wonder in this life if there is a plan or do we float around aimlessly, coasting through life? I believe in life we wander around aimlessly and there is a plan. Confusing, I know, however I am an atheist and therefore don’t believe in a God or in many gods. If there was a plan, we couldn’t make decisions. It would have already been decided from the day you were conceived from your father and mother.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

08-09 Writing Exchange V (Coast to Coast)

Entry #81
I remember when my mom left me & my brother home alone, cause all she wanted was to hit that last drag of dope. It hurt to be alone. I’m older now and want nothing more but to be successful. I'm scared ‘cause I seem to be walking in her footprints. I hate that I have to wake up to a 3 minute cold shower.
After those big blue doors close that’s when all my worries start to happen. I start thinking about what am I doing, where am I going with my life, how can I fix this or is my life just too messed up. As time goes by I think about all my mother has put me through. In a way it’s not fair. At the end of the day I promise myself that I will try my hardest to be better than what I am or what my mom ever was. It was hard for me to raise myself and I try not to get too down on myself for my actions. I know if I would have had a mom that loves me I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Day after day I think I have done a better job with myself than she would have. And if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in the same skin I’m in. But as time goes by I wonder if I’ll ever have what it takes to be successful in this world called life?

Entry #82
Dreams of comfort from the dark
Annihilation of all that is righteous
Raging beast dying to live in life
Killing the dispair that cursed me
No help needed to survive
Endless life of the blinding light
Safety of the darkness as my home
Solemn vow to destroy the light.

Entry #83
In My Mind
I sit in the back of my mind and think of the pain
You caused me when you entered my life
And tried to play father.
Now that I’m locked down
In this jail of pain
You don’t even come visit me.
Why did you step into my life
If you don’t even care for me?
But let me tell you
I don’t need you
I’ve got an angel by my side
Called Mother.
She’s always there for me
So I don’t have to worry
About a dead-beat father like you.
So don’t tell people I’m your son
Cause I hate you
And that’s from the bottom of my heart.
I got a new father figure in my life
Who has always been there for me
Through thick and thin
And he never lets me down.
He always stands his ground
Like he’s watching over me
And that much I can see
He stepped in to be
The father figure that I need.

Entry #84
I remember when I was at least two, my mom went to prison for four years for giving my sister meth and selling it to put food on the table. She used to rock me to sleep at night, smoking out of a dope pipe at the same time. I’m a dope baby.
I remember when I was seven years old, and my daddy used to come up stairs to my room and do bad things to me. I didn’t know better.
I remember when I was 13 years old, and I caught my mom smoking dope in her bedroom on my birthday where all our family and friends were. I asked, “Mom is this more important than me?” She replied, “YES!!” with a needy look in her eyes. I then took her pipe and dope and smoked it for my first time.
I remember at 14 I became addicted to meth, and then I started selling my body to get by in life. My mom was wasting our money away on our drugs and made it up to me to put food on the table.
I remember when I was arrested for the first… second… third… and fourth time.
Now I’m sitting in my cell thinking about my next move; I’m ready for a change.

Entry #85
If I could write a letter to myself at the age of seven, I would write things that would help me get through those years again. I would tell myself things I should and should not have done. I would write and tell myself all the secrets everyone kept from me all those years. I would deal with my piece of crap “father” and have him put in prison for what he did. There are so many corrections I would make to my life to try to make it better. Regardless of the things I would change, I have had a good life. These are just some things I would have wanted to know.

Entry #86
I remember when I saw the most gruesome and horrible thing I had ever seen. One morning I woke up at my sister’s boyfriend’s house. We were bored and it was hot. So we called my good friend, Joey, and a couple of our buddies met us. Joey and his sister picked us up in a black van and took us to one of our favorite swimming spots---***** Flats. When we were walking down ******* Hill in ****** and found a little trail and decided to go down it. My sis was the only girl with us, and she was wearing sandals. When every one was jogging down what seemed like a 90 degree angle road, my sister could not run down this trail, so her boy friend and I decided to stay back with her.
After about 20 minutes, we finally got to the main road that separates two swimming spots on the river, ****** Lady and where the bridge is. We thought that we were meeting everyone at Naked Lady, so we went down but they were at the bridge. We decided to hike back up the trail. When we were walking to the bridge, we walked past a camp site and an argument was occurring between some people. My sister kept walking and we did too. When we got to the steep down hill, my sister did not want to hike down this hill, so we went around to the easier hill. When we finally got down to the bridge, all of our friends went up the hill to find us. So I remembered my sister’s boyfriend and I were kind of mad, but we walked back around, too.
When we were walking past a campsite, a dispute was occurring between two guys; one of them had a gun. He was telling the other guy, James, to get on his knees, so James did and got kicked in the face. That did not satisfy the gunmen. He told James to give back what he stole, but the younger guy, James, had said he did not steal anything. The gunmen did not believe him. I remember when the gunmen said to get back on his knees and I stepped in front of my sister to protect her. Then I watched from about 20 yards and the gunmen kicked James in the face again and told him to get back on his knees; James refused and the gunmen shot him in the face. I remember another guy put his fingers over James’ head wound to keep him from bleeding to death. The gunmen hid in a trunk and was caught at the top of the hill and arrested. He was sentenced to four years. On the way to the hospital James apparently passed away. I remember the tears that were shed that day. James had a little brother that had to see. It was something I will never forget.

Entry #87
I am 17 years old and life is a blur. I don’t know where I am going to go or what I am going to do in this hell I call my life. I don’t know at all but for some reason from like 10 to 16 I thought it would be fun to be an adult. I would get to drive, drink, and lots of other stuff. But now the thought of becoming an adult makes me worried and I get scared that I am going to get in a fight or get tried as an adult for something I did. I am scared I won’t be able to afford rent. I just don’t want to have what happens to a lot of people happen to me…being homeless, poor, and not able to support myself or my girlfriend (if it works out, that is). I hope it does work out but it never has before and that scares me, too. I don’t want to lose her. I want to get a good job but I don’t know if I will be able to. If I can’t, then I can’t go to college. I just want to be happy but all I get is anger, frustration and sadness, and it just seems to never work for me. When it does start to look good I do something without realizing it and it all falls to pieces. It really sucks but with me being the person I am I always try to look at the bright side of things. I seem to be happy to others but really I am so sick of people that I just want to snap their necks. I look like I am nice and cheerful but I am so depressed inside and I get fed up with everything and the littlest things make me mad. But, all I do is put on a grin and go with it no matter how stupid it is. For instance, when I am in group I talk about something cool I did or something funny and other kids in the class will try to make up some cheap knockoff of what I just said or make the stupidest comments. That makes me just want to rip their heads off. The sad part is that I am stuck in this hole. In some ways it’s worse than juvie.

Entry #88
I remember my god mother’s house. I remember the family I always wanted. I remember the trust she gave me. I remember the little brother that looked up to me. I remember my own bed. I remember taking care of my godmother and her honest gratitude. I remember opening up. I remember their open arms. I remember going to my friends. I remember going to get a bag. I remember anticipating smoking. I remember those first hits. I remember going home spun and not enjoying my family. I remember scrounging for money to get a bowl of crystal. I remember conning people I held dearest to get high. I remember lying, cheating and stealing to get high. I remember snapping at everyone. I remember how hard it was to quit or say, “No, I’m cool” when it was right there. I remember wishing I had help. I remember hating myself for losing everything for dope. I remember all my regrets…

Entry #89
Got Damn!
I’m glad I wasn’t blind, ‘cause it might hurt worse
Why couldn’t it be simple? It’s like I’ve been cursed
Can’t blame no one but myself, cause there’s really no one to blame
But it doesn’t make me mad at all--no need to go insane
You want to know why I express myself on paper?
‘Cause it’s a lot easier when you have an eraser
You can believe that I’m stupid and don’t know what’s going on
But believe it or not, I’ve known it all along
My greatest fear is no one but me
So I fear no one unless me you are able to be
But you can’t be me, so you can’t feel what I feel
All that I express on paper isn’t make-believe, it’s real
So guess until your brain gives in
Honestly how would you feel if you thought the pain couldn’t end?
I smile but just to hide the stress
Life isn’t like school—can’t stay home when there’s a big test
Am I supposed to find a way out?
Or do I let it find me?
Either way it goes, I can’t stop me from being me
Lies continue to come left and right
The truth comes a little bit later
But it doesn’t put up much of a fight
Most wouldn’t believe what I write is true
But who cares what they think?
This isn’t for them, it’s for you
It’s my thoughts, my feelings, my everything else
Can’t be pretending to be him or her
Too busy being myself
They can’t live my life, they can’t fill my shoes
So what would you think if I told you that’s all they want to do?
I do one thing, but it’s looked upon differently
But I don’t change ’cause my purpose wouldn’t be what I wanted it to be
Do you see exactly what I do?
Can you feel the things that I can?
I’m not expecting you to
‘Cause honestly I should be a dead man
My mouth opens to speak, but for what?
‘Cause no one wants to listen
It is just another reason for me to continue on with my mission
One day you’ll see, ‘cause I know why I’m here
Do you have an opinion?
‘Cause I can see it clear
This is what I do and also part of who I am
Only two words can describe my poem…

Entry #89
Y’All Don’t Hear Me
If you hear me send a blessing
‘Cause right now I’m mega stressing
I need to clear my head of this voice in my ear
I am my deepest fear
I lost a lot this year
Away from family and friends
The cost of my sins
My best friend died and left behind a baby girl
Excuse my language, but f da’ world
I’ma call his daughter my niece
I can’t fall victim to the streets
I got kids to look after
But for now I’m captured so life is hard
But my faith’s in God

Entry #90
I’m having thoughts
Bad ones and sometimes good ones
Living in a world so messed up
I have nothing but thoughts of vengeance
Thoughts of freedom, thoughts of me leaving
Not just jail, but life forever
Thoughts of change rarely come
But in the distance I hear the hollow sound of a drum
Thinking it’s for me
But the whole time it involves my freedom
Love for my wife and son
Is the only reality I have since my time’s just begun
Trying 2 think happy thoughts
But on the streetz
My folks’ lives are getting ended by the gun
Me thinking about it never helps
Just helps me think about what I’m going 2 do 2 the cause
But not thinking of the consequences involved
My fate is picked
Caged behind nothing but barbed wire and bricks

Entry #91
Ghost Dad
Here one day and gone the next
Where did he go, my little voice vexed
Growing up without a dad, that I did
So I grew up a fatherless kid
Every three years he would call me
And every three years he told the same lie
He said he was going to pick me up
But he never did, so I guess he doesn’t give a
Only time he really called was when he got locked up
I was always happy to talk to him, it felt like good luck
But when he finally came to see me
I thought I was dreaming
Wow! I finally saw my dad
My feelings are no longer bad
A spitting image of him, that’s what I looked like
When I saw his face, I couldn’t believe my sight
As soon as I closed my eyes, he was gone from under the light
I could no longer see him, I tried with all my might
Here one minute and gone the next
Where did he go, my little voice vexed
My dad, he left me, he left me to be alone
Forget him, I’ll learn how to be grown on my own

Entry #92
When I Cried
When I cried
It was like a waterfall
Of anger and life
Mixed into one.
When I cried I remembered
All the happy times that me and my family members
That passed away have had.
My family always say
“Go for what you know fits you best”
But how can I if my mind is clogged
With happy memories of us having fun together?
Then a voice said out of the blue skies:
“When you cried, I cried
For my life and soul to be put back in my body.
But once seen to the gates of heaven
I thought why cry
When I am in a better place?”
So I told myself and my family
Don’t cry because they’re gone
Just remember all the good times
Cause that’s what I did
When I cried

Entry #93
If you really knew me you’d know I’ve had some hard times
If you really knew me you’d know to get the pain out I sit and write rhymes
And my families going bankrupt from all my stupid crimes
If you really knew me you’d know I spill my heart out on the red and blue lines
And you’d know I don’t judge by looks but what’s deep inside
If you really knew me, you’d know me and being good just don’t coincide
You’d also know I got a lot of friends and only few of them are true
And I’m stuck in juvenile hall wearing nothing but blue
But in this game of life or death I’m refusing to loose
If you really knew me you’d know I love my family with all of my heart
And I want a new life but don’t know where to start
If you really knew me you’d know I’m my dad’s only son
But he’s doing life in prison and about me he knows none
If you really knew me you’d know I can’t live with out music
It’s the only thing that keeps me stable so that I don’t loose it
If you really knew me you’d know my moms addicted to drugs
I lived half my life without her with no kisses or hugs
And I was there when a relative was filled with 9 millimeter slugs
If you really knew me you’d know my moms been clean for 5 years
But I’m a messed up so it leaves her filled with tears
If you really knew me you’d know I’m sorry and my apologies sincere
But I’m stuck in juvenile hall so that she cant hear

Entry #94
I remember this time when I was 12 and I went to ****** ****** School in ****** City. My brother and I would always walk to and from school. One day we came home and there was a guy (my cousins friend) and they sat us down and told us he was going to be staying with us for a little while. He seemed pretty cool and down to earth, so we were okay with it, and I had to let him have my room. So I shared a room with my brother, well he introduced himself as Steven ******. Later, we figured out his name was Gavin. He was only about 20 or something, and he was always there to help me with my math homework. He also would cook for us, and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. Well, he ended up staying with us longer than we thought and we were okay with that. Until one day, my twin brother and I walked out to his room and saw him shooting up. We just shut the door hella quick and ran back inside the house and acted like we didn’t see anything. Next, he just came in and acted like nothing ever happened, but my brother and I aren’t stupid. We knew what was going on. So we didn’t say anything; we just went on with our day. A couple of days later, he disappeared for a week and one night. One night, he came home at 3:oo in the morning and was acting very suspicious as was my cousin. However, they kept denying that anything had happened. It was Friday, and my mom had to go to work in *******; my older brother, Jerry wanted us to come stay the night, and we made plans to stay with him for the weekend. Well, we came home on Sunday, and we found our house a mess, our door kicked down, and our house thrashed. We were lost and we didn’t know what had happened until we looked in the newspaper, the next day, and found out that (Steven ******) Gavin had gone down the road and stole three trucks from the little car dealership. He took the police on a high speed chase, and then, he came back to our house and hid the keys. The cops found him and raided our house, and that’s why it was thrashed. He got caught and went to prison, and we haven’t let him in our house again.

Entry #95
My brother, Jack, was always there for me. He was the first person that taught me about good and bad. My parents taught me these things, but, mostly my brother Jack. Another brother, Ernest, taught and brought drugs into our family. The drugs ruined me. I started following his foot steps using cigarettes, weed, cocaine, and meth. It was very awful because I would never spend time with my family. I would leave home and get up early in the morning and come back at 12:00 pm. Jack showed me lots and lots of good ways to change. First he told me to get rehab or ****. I never thought of all he shared with me .The only thing that was holding me back was my bad friends and my addiction. I thought that I would never do drug and I would be out there doing something with my life, but I went the wrong path. I’m really proud that I’m here in **** to help me with my drug problem. **** is helping me make better decisions. Now that I’m sober, I am hoping to get out, go back to regular school, and stay out of trouble.

Entry # 96
I was a bad criminal and bad influence.
I remember when I almost died of bleeding and got thirteen stitches.
I heard and saw stabbing, gun shots.
I saw people get murdered and get hit with bats.
I worried because one day that might happen to me.
I thought I was going to college and be a coast guard but I started to hang out with the wrong people.
I am a good person is just the way I react.
I think twice or talk with a counselor.
I need to get back in regular school and remember to reach my goal.
I try to stay away from my bad friends.
I feel that while I’m here in **** I’m safe.
I forgive myself because everyone deserves a second chance.
I will be a coast guard in the future.
I chose to be sober for the rest of my life.
I dream to graduate from City College and get a good career.
I hope I become a probation officer and change my bad friends from smokers to non- smokers.
I predict my goal is to accomplish those things I set.
I know I will stay positive and do what my mom and tells me to do.
I will change my behavior and stay sober, also stop hanging out with my bad friends.

Entry # 97
I remember when I was 7
I remember that I couldn’t go with every one
I remember my first kiss
I remember how good I felt

I think that there should be more help for the homeless people
I think that I did enough time here in the J.J.C 398 days
I think that we the people chose a good president Obama
I think that some people are not even with others

I know that my mom and dad believe in me
I know people watch me every day
I know that one day I will go home
I know I try my best at every thing

I believe in my sister
I believe that Mr. ****** is a very good person
I believe in myself
I believe I will finish high school

Who was that person that helped me up
Who was there when I first got locked up my dad and mom that’s who
Who will watch over me
Who is God

I love my daughter and her mother
I love my parents so much
I love my life
I love people

Entry # 98
From the inside out
My life is full of nothing but sin
If you’ve been through what I been through then you wouldn’t want to live
I’ve seen people get shot
Seen people OD
I’ve seen people’s bodies being dropped
Six feet deep
I’ve seen a little girl get raped
While lying helpless with terror in her face
I didn’t know what to do didn’t know what to say
Now she’s traumatize ‘cause it happen on her first day
Coke infested in my nose
Living in a house with roach infested holes
Drugs on my mind so I never buy any clothes
Cabinets empty with no kind of food
Reminiscing on my life like what do I do?
I ask God to show me the way
But it seems like he wants me dead ‘cause the way he lets me live my day
When I was born my eyes were already wide
Already trying to find a way out from living in this hellhole which they call life

Entry # 99
When I first fell in love I was just getting home from spending the night at my friend’s house. I came home because I wasn’t feeling good. I was just going to stay home and rest until I got a phone call. He had waited to know if I wanted to go to the movies, with him, his sister, and some friends. For some odd reason I had said yes that day even though I was sick and all. I got ready quick then went to his house and then from there to the movies. My friend’s sister and I started talking that day while we were waiting for the movies. It’s funny because we never really talked to each other. I was flirting with her and she knew it. I always liked her but I was too scared to ask her out. She always looked beautiful, nice smile, nice eyes, intelligent. Anyways our movie was about to start so we went to go get some good seats. We happened to sit right next to each other. I think we were destined to. Well the movie had started and I thought to myself this could be my last chance ever to let her know how I feel about her. I was very nervous at the time but I’m glad I did what I did. I slowly put my head against hers. I thought she was going to freak out and tell me to stop but she didn’t say anything at all. So I kept my head there, then I started to smell her hair. She smelled so good; I felt butterflies in my stomach flapping around everywhere. I have never felt that feeling before. I knew she was the one for me. We were like that until the movie ended. We were waiting for a ride home. We didn’t talk much after because I was scared. My friend’s dad came and picked us up since we all live in the same area. So we happened to sit right next to each other again. So on the way home I made another move. I started to play with her hand and soon we started holding hands; I looked up at her than she looked at me. I turned away quickly and started looking out the window I left my hand there though. I ended up staying the night at their house with her brother; she was in the room with us the whole time. We started to flirt with each other. She took a pair of scissors from me and sat on them. I wasn’t tripping though because I got to touch her butt trying to get them back. I left her brothers room to get a drink of water and she came out right after me. She gave me a kiss on my cheek and told me good night. Then I called her name and she turned around, I grabbed her and gave her a hug and asked her out finally. She was mad at first because she thought we were already together but then she said yes. That was the day I first fell in love, and I am still in love until this day. We have been together for 3 years going on four. We had our first baby with each other, my baby girl. I’ll always love her for all the years to come, until the day that I die.....

Entry # 100
Wow, wow, wow. Why do you think you know so much about me? REALLY THOUGH. You don’t know anything at all. Why is everyone so damn superficial? Do you not respect yourself for who you are? I do. I hate how you think you know so much about me by the things other people have told you. Why don’t you get to know me for me? Know me by the things that I tell you about me. Not by what someone else has to yap about. I can’t believe some of the people in this world who cease to get the real facts and dwell on the BS. I don’t believe anything anyone else says about you unless you tell me yourself. Why should I? I trust you and I wish you could trust me enough to ask me questions about myself, instead of going around to other people trying to gather information. You leave me in amazement. WOW.

Entry # 101
Innocent Man Writing A Poem
A young man feeling alone,
Looking for someone to take me home,
On my first day of school I was the only one new,
To comfort me I got to know you to hang around you,

An innocent man sixteen years of age,
I find myself like an animal in its cage,
An innocent man wanting to get out,
Will I forget to show them what Looney’s about,

I go to the Juvenile Hall,
And meet all four of the walls,
I learn about all these staff,
Now comes the time that I don’t want to come back.

Entry # 102
One of the best days of my life, was when my father got custody of us. After being in foster care for two years, it felt good just living with my dad again. What made it special was that we got our own apartment and I had my own room. We always went out to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It also felt good to be with my dad because I was tired of being in a group home, always getting searched and we could only have limited things in our rooms. Now, I’m locked up and it’s worse.

Entry # 103
My Poem
A young gang member
Looking for someone to see who I am
On my first day of school I get the cold shoulder
To comfort me a friend who does all he can

An innocent young Hispanic teen
I find myself being locked up
An innocent Hispanic in for murder
Will I forget about the past?

I go to school everyday
And meet new people
I learn about math, history and other stuff
Now comes the time where I get out and change my life around. Really, we got our normal lives back!!!

Entry #104

I was an innocent person just going through life.I remember when I was young I didn’t have no worries and I did what I wanted.I heard the sounds of gun shots in my hood.I have seen the writings on the walls, but they mean nothing to me.I’ve worried that the evil I have done will never be erased.I thought I was heading for C.Y.A or prison, but got a first and last chance.I am A Born Savage King in this game of mobbing with this prior 211case I got.I think this world is nothing but fun and games and doing what I want.I need to be careful with this 211, or else I could end up in a lot of trouble.I try to stay away from 211 and these drugs, to straighten out my life.I think this time I will change my life and change my ways