Juvenile Hall

Juvenile Hall

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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The past several weeks, students at Table Mountain School in Butte County Juvenile Hall have focused on poetry writing.  Many will be entering the POETRY 99 contest through the Chico News and Review.  http://www.newsreview.com/chico/ballot/poetry99

Entry #68
Catastrophic disappointment fills my mind,
Accelerated to the coast of irritated blue decisions,
Regret, Probation.
Clean treacherous love turns into red viciousness,
Narcissistic disappointed brother,
Decided menacing runaway.
I can still hear her voice, “Go home to your sister.”
Making medicine or is it?
I hate this place,
I wanna kill her,
I could hear him like he was right next to me, “When I look up at the sky I wish I could know she was looking up at it too.”
Nope, she just brushed her teeth, staring at those white walls.

Entry #69
Teeth decaying,
Manufactured obeying,
Lost Hope,
Front row seat: dope,
Packed for head of fire,
Slipping through the floor of quicksand,
Introducing bio mom,
Her way of saying good-bye,
Is the way of the bomb,
Hi mom,
High mom,
“You do too much, you will surely die.”

Entry #70
The Place I Once Knew
Life kept paddling memories back,
Blue smoke filled the room.
My unachieved life failing, falling apart,
Broken and left to die.
The world will never be as I remembered,
As my life fades the memory of my mother intensifies,
As I leave this earth it will never leave me,
The place I once knew, gone.
Where was I supposed to go?
I have nowhere.
As my restless soul wanders my mind is in another place.

Entry #71
Doors of Pure Anger
I shovel my bad memories away in a campfire of terror
Locked behind doors of pure anger
My life’s like a mystery,
The darkest place of night
Nothing can frighten me.
I’m a nightmare, a demon below in a pit
Nothing can kill me,
I’ve been sick for so long the flu runs from me
My family is worried
They’re losing hope
My soul is so empty I feel broke
I’m going crazy
It’s too much to bear,
So I bare it all.

Entry #72
Care Less
I don’t get it,
Why I’m incarcerated yet again.
My careless brother got me here.
Emotions—I don’t care.
Hate and hurt building up.
The cell door shuts, but it’s ready to bust.
Anger building.
Casual people don’t even care.
The annoying locked door.
Daycare. I want a life.

Entry #73
Reluctant Retreat
I’m misguided by this apparition,
This Holy Spirit apparition is my outlaw,
Blown away by my new decomposed determination to win,
There are no false movements,
Creativity is my only crisis,
I’m confused regardless of my regrets.
My spirit and my faith are what lead me to temptation,
I’m young and equipped,
I can get through this reluctant retreat.
A monstrous project I will one day complete.
My new apparition, the shackle free elite.

Entry #74
Dirty with Pride
What does it mean to live?
Or to laugh? It doesn’t mean being detained,
It’s not blending with society.
I long for a freight train with wind blowing in my face,
tugging at my clothes,
dirty with pride.
Craving new sights,
meeting new people,
and making memories for the future.
For now, I am lying on the tracks pondering…
All who wander are not lost.

Entry #75
Cold ice glass pipe, lost friends, and foul drugs,
She thinks I need to get my shit together.
I don’t know,
There are no life rules.
Stranded in a burning blizzard,
White hot like my drug of my choice,
Encaging like the bricks of my nasty cell.

Entry #76
I am dealing smoke
Trying to name my consequences
Wondering how long I will last?
Looking on the internet, I find people looking for me.
Out my back door, I hear the homie whistle asking me to deal more.
My mom, she wants me to change, but I am like, “Wow, that is so hard.”
Now that I am locked up I think to myself in my cell: “There is no point.”
I wonder if the only reason why I say that is because I am locked up.
It was the last mistake of my life…or maybe the first.
Unless I stay the way my mind is in.

Entry #77
That Same Night
My name is broken soul
I have been sober from white smoke for a long time.
It makes me feel sick,
When I picked up the bottle that same night, I picked up the gun.
Locked up and then out on the run.
Back with me, myself, and I,
Hurt but I can’t tell why.

Entry #78
I’m raking my yard of lost control.
It’s not even my yard, it’s my group home’s.
Then I’m getting on the internet dealing with my bro’s drama, pasting pictures on my wall.
Gonna help navigate.
Longing to decorate my Christmas tree and chill with my family while drinking some hot chocolate, playing games with my brother, and helping cook dinner with my grandpa.
I want to go home.

Entry #79
Repetitive Occuring
Why do you have to be so blind
Go smell that purple flower
Take a stroll along the highway
Stay away from school
Everything I imagine keeps occurring
Go move that rusty shovel
Go pick some colorful flowers
Along the highway
I don’t wanna go to school
Everything keeps occurring
She tripped over that rusty shovel
She was too blind
So many cars are driving on the highway
It's time to go to school
Occurring occurring occurring

Entry #80
Extricating Destruction
I pick up the pipe and the reaper crawls into my lungs.
It brings me a mind filled with hatred and a heart turned to stone.
My insides rot.
My mind dwelling with why?
Why am I like this?
Father dying, I sit and destroy my life, but not only mine, my father’s too.
All I’m asking for is guidance,
Please come down and extricate this reaper from me.
Cleanse my mind and make me pure again.
I LOVE YOU DAD and nothing can crawl in-between our relationship.
Not even my drug of choice!

Entry #81
Another Monday drinking a bottle of scotch.
Missing my mother, stuck on addiction
Remembering a powerful dedication to family,
But now all I have is a crazy adventure with a glass pipe.
Trying to battle the demons
Nothing left but the hustle of drugs and thugs
Absent hope smoking dope.
Addiction will rule.

Entry #82
Passing Time
I landed in hell in this cell
Grinding my teeth and playing cards to pass the time
Waiting for my delaying exit day
My public defender negotiated with the vultures
So I can achieve my freedom, I walk on a sidewalk that leads, ends.
No, I need some light on the very dark place I’m going,
Every day I wake up to the pain and sweat wondering how many days left.

Entry #83

More and more confusion targets my addiction
Denial and death thrown upon me, bring me nothing but pure rage
No rules or responsibility
No more adventure or sobriety
Tell me! Has there been an evening you find yourself cowering underneath a table
A heat blazing in the center of you like a campfire
I don’t want to believe I’m burning but reality hits and I take a look
Damn, it’s so visible
I hear people screaming in this treacherous heart I know as “cell.”

Entry #84
Strange unique love
Was destroyed above
Victory leaving probation
Winning our mission
Hates a strong word
But yet, it has occurred
Promise me anything
As I’m starting to lose everything
Like the weather man making predictions
Trust against Faith
Lies with Disgrace
Addiction wouldn’t say good-bye
And Sobriety was too shy
Left without a trace
Couldn’t see her face
Lost all that beautiful hope
A red menacing dope
Such a very small town…
But no one likes put downs
Jumping in my conversation
Yelling with Destruction

Entry #85
I’m sitting here locked up behind four walls.
Killing time in Juvenile Hall.
I did the crime,
Now I must pay: Forty-Five to life.
If I could go back
I would do things differently.
If only I could go back.
All I can think about is one more chance.
How I would make my mom smile.

Entry #86
It’s Not  a Déjà vu
Tails of my incarcerated thoughts
Feeling melancholy.
I can never be happy in this
Depressing incarceration.
As I entered this pale place my emotions began to rise, it’s not just déjà vu.
I’ve been here for an astonishing seven times and I want out of this black hole.
Bright red face of anger.
The world goes on without me to gaze upon its lustful beauty.
All I think about is burning green into ash colored gray to sooth and release these dark emotions.

Entry #87
Anxious Death
Anxious death awaits me while I’m stuck inside my thoughts.
My mind jumbled up in knots.
I sit in my cell of self pity and ask myself why?
Why is it I can’t be the person I want to be?
Living life too fast and I can’t slow down.
Remembering the look on my mom’s face.
Why am I an embarrassment to my family, when I know I can make them proud?
Why does it feel like I’m living under a dark cloud?
It's time for me to do better and to stand out in the crowd.

Entry #88
I don’t get this.
I’m here because I went on the run.
Running from what I was suppose to achieve.
I don’t get this.
I feel my room is like a dungeon
And I’m a demon taking over.
I don’t get this.
I want to learn from my mistakes
But I keep messing up.
I don’t get this.
I want to leave and never come back.
What do I do to achieve this goal?
Should I change or just be smarter about what I do?
I really don’t get this.

Entry #89
Bless You
Filling my sorrow
Only 17 years old and I have a problem that I wish upon no one
I was a good kid until my soul broke, stomped out by a girl that I loved
I should be out, I have listened better.
I have changed.
I need to get back to school.
I need to make my life better.
I need to get back to my family.
to help with our garden.
I have listened better then the last time.
I can identify my fun side.
People offend me and my dangling anger sinks me into quicksand.
I sneeze my anger out.
Heading down
And wanting out of this trouble
They always find a way to lock me back up.
I’m tired.

Entry #90
Bored, sitting here.
Wasting time.
I keep coming back for “stupid shit.”
I write the same line over and over.
"Welcome back, we kept your room open."
Man, this place gets to me.
I’m leading the life of someone I’m not.
Committing crimes and getting caught,
I keep swearing I’m not going to fall,
Trying to live above the law.
Well I’m going to live by the book.
Gonna keep it straight and quit living it like a crook.
It’s not working out being a criminal, cause I keep getting caught.
It’s time to lead a new life.

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