JH Artwork

JH Artwork

Writing Exchange 2006-2017

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, Lassen, 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 2016: Sept 14; Oct12; Nov 16; Dec 14

Planned Exchanges 2017: Jan 11; Feb 15; March 15; April 12; May 17

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Entry #1028
Where I’m From
I am from a big family, where holiday meals are feasts.
From hard times any other day.
From seeing nothing but roaches in the kitchen.
I am from the “ghetto”, where I learned patience.
From being laughed at every day for being the only white girl.
I am from a place where we fight,
But only for the respect that was never paid.
I am from a place where fights turn into murders,
And murders turn into wars.
I am from the track me and my brother built
In the fields of tall grass we would ride bikes to get away.
I am from clouds of smoke
that my family would constantly blow.
I am from my abused and neglected mother who is my hero.
I am from a well-respected man who is my father,
Later turned to a meth-head schizophrenic.
I’m from broken bottles of a drunken step dad.
We are from new beginnings.
From joyous times at the river with my mom and step daddy dearest.
I am from 6 hour floats with cases of beer.
With the homeboys I grew up learning to trust.
I am from 8 foot tall flames.
From bonfires where sparks touched the night sky.
I am from big dreams.
I am from broken hearts.
From young love,
Followed by broken promises.
I am from false hope my family gave.
I am from feeling guilty, for ending up just like them.
We are from the shame of being told,
“You’ll never be good enough!”
I am from my family,
Where we stand together and prove them wrong.



Entry #1028
Childhood Memories
I am from trailers,
from junkyards and abandoned spaces.
I am from broken windows that cut my little feet.
I am from roses, the blood trickling thorns.
I am from the overly protective and the bringers of violence.
I am from the belief that nothing is ever truly free.
I am from a bathtub in the mountains living on Top Ramen and hotdogs without buns.
From children eating off the carpet and the need to get money by any means.
I am from the screaming and yelling of a crazy abusive mother.
I am now from a loving family. One that has changed because of me.
I’m from the work and the effort put in to stop my family’s addiction and suffering.

Entry #1029
Where I’m From
I’m from rocks, chipped and splintered
From loving arms to a harsh, cold voice
From hot summer days forced to work
I’m from nights of no dinner because of mistakes
From bales of hay stacked like a tower

I’m from razor blades, silver then red
From days of hot tears streaming down my face
From insults screamed out of many mouths
I’m from dirt stained floors, and the smell of chickens
From arguments over religion

I’m from glass and shattered mirrors, shattered dreams
From the ammoniac smell of hair dye and insecurities
From dark eyeliner smudged across my eyes
I’m from bruised knuckles and the sight of blood
From depression and isolation

I’m from years of built up scar tissue
From bland meals of seemingly artificial meat
From the sharp sent of mace tingling in my throat
I’m from clenched fists of suppressed anger
From barbed wire

I can’t change where I’m from…
   But I can change where I’ll go



Entry #1030
Love
I’m from the smell of brisk air, clear skies and indescribable sunsets.
Red dirt, mud under my fingernails, birds and laughter everywhere.
I come from savoring the last bite of black berry cobbler and sneaking another piece even though grandma said to wait until after super.
The tick of crock pots at work creating grandmas special chilly.
I’m from everyone hooting and hollering with the flames of the bon fire.
From Grandpa’s Indian dance while sporting overalls!
I come from a long line of smart ass remarks… “If I live to be 300.”
Grandpa always saying, “I’m gonna kick your butt so far up between your ears your gonna have to part your hair to poop.”
I’m from love, from compassion.             



Entry #1031
I am From
I am from guns and violence,
from empty bottles and Marlboro cigarette butts,
from hot pockets and Pizza bagels.
I am from the dark, dreary and beat up.
Ugly words and pretty faces,
The smell of dope and weed in the air.
I am from Mary Jane, and THC falling off my parent’s clothes and onto mine.
I am from fruit punch at Christmas and crazy violent streaks,
From my sister and I fighting and making my little brother cry,
I am from my parents yelling at each other because my dad was gone too long, again.
I am from raging addiction and prescription medication.
From “Angel, you’re crazy!” and “Come here baby, don’t cry.”
From Bi-polar episodes and crazy mood swings.
I am from God fearing tweakers pretending to have religion,
From being preached at in my living room by a crazy ranting man.
I am from Hells Angels, gun fighting and Mongols,
The violence and death, and the drugs my mom needed just to be herself.
I am from New Mexico and the White Mountain Apache tribe.
I am from family nights, special dinners and watching movies in my parent’s room.
I am from bad dreams and my mom lying with me until I fell asleep.
I am from candy bars and Pepsi.
I am from picture books and old year books,
From love and hate relationships all wrapped up into one.
I am from love.



Entry #1032
Security Blanket
Confusion has become my security blanket. Attitude, boys, and drugs have become my norm. I miss having hopes and dreams. I no longer have goals, and I fear for my future. I miss the sound of my laughter not being pressured. I miss that glee that used to live in my crystal clear blue eyes! Why can't I be happy without being high? Now that I've come down from cloud nine all I do is reminisce and wish. It's all fun and games for a girl like me until reality hits. I miss being a good girl with good habits. I miss the crazy roller coaster ride called life.. "Fasten your seat belts, it gonna be a bumpy ride!" God has plans for me but why can't they come with a guide? Why can't I live life on life's terms? I'm tired of being meth’s *****. Let's face it, I don't do drugs, the drugs do me.



Entry # 1033
Locked Doors and Christmas Music
I miss the sound of the Christmas music, and the smell of the fresh cut Christmas tree in the living room. I remember the feel of the tree as we strung the multi-colored lights around the tree and hung up the shiny ornaments. I wish I could still be there to read my little brother his favorite Christmas stories, while he’s trying to fall asleep.
Holidays in the hall are lonely and your only friend is yourself. The only person to wish you a happy holiday is the other inmates and staff. This holiday is supposed to be about being with your family, and cuddling up in a warm bed. Instead, I am here with people I barely know, and sleeping on a concrete slab.



Entry #1034
Locked Up For the Holiday
This is the first time I will be locked up for the holidays. I will miss the family get together and all the fun and laughing my family has on Thanksgiving. It will not be the same in juvenile hall. I will also miss my son’s birthday. On my son’s birthday I will not be there to see him run up to me. He will ask where my daddy is. I will miss everything. I will not be able to watch him open his gifts. I wish I cwould sing happy birthday to him. Being in here, I will miss all the good food and the delicious apple pie that my mother makes. I will miss the pin the tail on the donkey and hitting the piƱata. I will not be out to eat all the apple pie and corn on the cob and all the tacos. To change that I will not get locked up anymore. I will not miss anymore holidays! I can’t wait to go home with my family and not miss another holiday ever again! I will change my ways so that I will make sure that I don’t come back. I want to show my son right from wrong. It hurts to see my son have to see me walk through the metal doors. As he leaves he is screaming. I apologize to my son and my family for the mistakes I have made. I ask God for forgiveness. This is the first and last time I will be locked up for the holidays and my son’s birthday. 



Entry #1035
Brighter Day
I'm from a home of dope fiends and crack heads…
a place were when you grow up your either in prison serving life or under a tomb stone.
It’s funny the way life takes it’s toll… waiting and praying living like a mole.
I remember when I was young and now I'm in a cell feeling numb. I look to the sky and realize I’m in a place where I’m really alone.
I sit and think about my goals, just waiting for a brighter day.

Entry #1036
The Struggle
Here is a tale of a true struggle
A house built to the top that is now in rubble
The house stood strong, a tough little structure
The build took long due to the constructor
Without a choice, I was forced to transition
Moved without voice to a worse position.
Went to a place with the thugs, crips and crimes
Ended up one who sells drugs and flips dimes
Was I born to sell nugs and get mine?
Or to take mugs to serve my time
Now my brain ties itself in tormented knots
And tries to think demented thoughts
Now my mind seems to trip and stumble
Why did that house have to burn and crumble
Now I’m curious, how long’s the wait?
Will I be furious about my fate?
If you cannot tell, the house was my mind
Will I burn in hell til the end of time?
Will I sit upon a throne?
Will someone rebuild my home?
Only time will tell what happens to the ill minded
An empty shell will tell what time did.



Entry #1037
That’s How It Is
Waking up in the middle of the night
Getting instantly annoyed by the bright night light
I’m getting used to seeing nothing but brick
I wish this were some kind of trick
We are an angry little juvie family
We look happy as far as anyone can see
We all have our own problems and sorrow
All the time we wish we could borrow
Most are here for fighting and drugs
When all we really needed was love and hugs
It sucks we had to come here to feel love
We had to come here to rise above
We’re sitting in a classroom writing
Our only fun is someone getting caught up for fighting
We get excited whenever there’s a booking
Hoping that at least they’re good looking
Most of us honestly just want a smoke
We sit in the day hall hoping for a good joke
Arguing just to do cleanup and stay out longer
They feed us just enough to not feel the hunger
Going down to our cell that they call a room
Cleaning in the morning with our witches’ broom
Sitting in our indoor outdoor bouncing a ball
That’s how it is in juvenile hall



Entry #1038
Family Footsteps
I’m from a place where you wake up often hearing gun play,
Where mom picks her dope pipe over her kids.
From hard years become a regretful life.
I’m from trying to turn my life around but being stuck in rewind.
I’m from family putting me in the dark and being stuck trying to fight to see the leftover light.
Stuck in juvie with no goals… a product of a jail house breed spending the holidays in a jail cell doing my father’s deeds.



Entry#1039
Streets
I am from the streets that break you down, that keep you full of pain,
from the streets that have you running with your head cutoff, not knowing what the hell you are doing.
I am from the streets that have you doing dope and sniffing that white stuff up your nose.
from the streets full of wanna be gang bangers that hang around like monkeys on a tree.
I am from the streets where you see people drowning themselves in drugs.
From where you get caught trying pass a lick, thinking your slick.
I am the streets where everybody knows you and will not mess with you.
Where you see pimps dragging females into the dust and leaving them at the corner.
Where you starve and hustle for your food.
I am from the streets were you get beat or killed with a 40 hanging on your pocket.
I am from the streets were you get jumped and robbed for your crap.
Yeah that’s me, I am from the streets.



Entry #1040
Black Curtains
I’m from black curtains,
From microwave burritos when my mom was away getting drunk.
I’m from “It’s your fault your brother died” and from Antonio getting locked up.
I’m from guns and drugs under the bed.
I’m from the red tricycle in the front yard. My brother threw it away when he was mad.
From my aunt’s good Mexican food.
I’m from my cousin burning alive. RIP Pepe.
I’m from leather couches and prison drawings.

Entry #1041
Unfindable Success
Imagine a life of happiness and tragedy
Able to smile and call authority “your majesty”
Living in a nation under God and indivisible
Yet to those you love, you remain invisible
Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all
But can you carry the weight and remain standing tall
Ever since the day I was conceived
My soul was destined to be stampeded
My dad had anger and my mom had hate
To this day my mom is a stranger
And that’s my fate
As I write these words on a page
My might stands upon a stage
And with my might my words will say
Please help me find success this day



Entry#1042
Incarcerated Holiday Thoughts
I’m missing the holidays; the red-rice, turkey, the smell of pine needles, orchata, and the pumpkin seeds put in the oven to bake.
It’s not the first time though.
Once again, I’m not home with family and friends.  I’m really missing the sound of my aunties voices sitting around, reminiscing about all of our good and bad choices, laughing and – more than once – yelling in Spanish about the rooms we’ve been thrashing.
It’s sad but true, I’ve missed all the holidays for three years in a row due to incarceration and it sucks, but it’s nothing new.
What would it be like, if I didn’t make some of these mistakes? Had I chosen another route as a kid would I be home now for the holidays?  With family, helping “Moms” set up the tree, carving pumpkins with my little cousins, chillin’ at the Dorothy Johnson Center on 16th?
Instead, I’m behind big cement blocks, missing the holidays.



Entry #1043
I don’t know?
This isn’t my first time being locked up and missing out on a holiday with my family. But I can say this. It sure is my last time, that’s for sure. This is my third year that I’ve missed out on holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I’m even missing out on my family’s birthdays! Shame on me, right? Anyway, my favorite birthday of them all is my little sisters because my family makes it special for her We do a lot of things for her and seeing her smile is the best feeling. It sucks more because I’m in here and I can’t be there to wish them all happy birthday because my dumbass doesn’t know how to stay out of trouble. Although it’s not so bad missing out on a holiday. Know why? Because I’m still breathing. As long as I wake up in the mornings, then I’m okay with that. Also as long as I know my family is okay then that is what keeps me going every day.

Entry #1044


I’m OK
I’m from dripping facets and no power
From wind howling through broken windows
I’m from dirty needles in the bathroom trash
I’m from a mom with bottles and a dad who went into hiding
Remembering my brothers birth on the devils day
I’m from beautiful woods with evil demons hiding in the dark
From the gun under my bed because death do us part
From fighting and yelling and the crash of bottles breaking
I’m from the alley shadows and weeping mothers
I’m from pretending to be ok to live anther day.



Entry #1045
The Days of Life   
If you really knew me you would know that I’m from building sketchy BMX jumps in the front yard as a child and hitting those jumps and feeling like I’m off in the stars.
I’m from endless nights of skating and being unsure of who I am.
I’m from leaving my house as a youngster for weeks at a time.
I’m from trying to be like my older brother, fascinated in his wellbeing but curious to experience the world - not realizing I was in such a rush to grow up.
I’m from loud nights packed with people, going to my room, and escaping into my music.
I’m from violent nights with my brother at the house.
From the streets and struggling to get my next meal.
I’m from long nights packed with chaos and paranoia and the fast pace of trying to hit the next lick.
I’m from having to steal from the mall every day to provide for me and my girlfriend.
From running from Police in the midst of the night.
From euphoric days filled with money and thugs.
From confused feelings of intimacy and endless waves of mixed emotions.  
I’m from restless days and drugged out nights to money filled pockets and rivalry fights.
from long nights in the park hiding out and smoking to calm my nerves.



Entry #1046
Alone
I’m from bitter liquid running down my throat and burning, our way of forgetting.
I’m from bottle after bottle of Devil’s piss to get someone and the hurt they caused, out of my head.
From they don’t care so why should I.
I’m from illegal drugs being used and sold like it was the thing to do, as if it were a job.
From holes in the walls and exchanged fists.
I’m from you constantly having death running through my mind because life at home was so bad.
I’m from Beef flavored Ramen lingering throughout the house.
From a door under my bed where I could be alone from everything while the Monster slowly slipped into my life.
Where you were left to find a way to live on your own.
I’m from bloody razor’s dancing across my wrists as I watch each line leak,
draining each bit of happiness I had left.
From car parts in the front yard scattered and tattered.
I’m from being ALONE.



Entry #1047
7 Days a Week
I am from the ugly green couch in the living room
From the shitty car lot across the street.
I’m from scrubbing counters and dish duty.
From “Shut up and don’t leave the house!”
I’m from Grandma’s pancakes 7 days a week.
From the two stolen shotguns under my bed.
I’m from my Grandpa’s war helmet.
From running down the hallway….
Away from my step Dad, tripping, and busting my middle finger.
I’m from Chubby, my red nosed pit, barking in circles when he got too old.

Entry #1048
Locked Up For the Holidays
I have never been locked up for the holidays, let alone ever been locked up.
Being here makes me miss the smells of the clam chowder being cooked, not that I would ever eat it (Ew!).
I miss the smell of the fireplace and the fresh cut firewood.
Hell, I even miss the smell of my stinky wet dog!
I miss not being at home with all of my family coming together and not fighting for once.
I miss sneaking around at night with my brother and trying to figure out what was in those pretty wrapped boxes, always getting caught.
I miss the snow we finally got.
I miss filling soft blankets on my skin and drinking my special hot coffee.
I miss going out at night in the cool refreshing air and looking up at the sky full of stars, and how the snow always seemed to glow with the help of the moonlight.

Entry #1049
The Hole
Where am I gonna be when everyone leaves
What am I gonna do when life has no means
Looking in the past, like screw material things
Now I just want the embrace of human beings
Ain’t got no guns poppin, no drugs to sling
Now all I got is the a cold little cell
But left alone with my thoughts, it’s hot like hell
Feeling like my life is over, the curtain  just fell
Everything around me seems to stand still
Don’t think about the outs, it’s stuff I can’t control
The more I dwell on it, the deeper I dig my hole.

Entry #1050
Addiction
Run and hide if you dare,
You can try, I’ll meet you there.
Silly girl, you can’t get away from me,
They say it gets better, but you’ll see.
Run and hide if you dare,
You can try I’ll meet you there.
Stupid girl don’t you see?
I’ll turn everyone into your enemy.
Run and hide if you dare,
You can try I’ll meet you there.
One day you’ll stop fighting against me,
Then you’ll be begging for more than just me.
Run and hide if you dare,
You can try I’ll meet you there.
I’ll introduce you to my friends,
The first time you use me, will be the day your life ends.

Entry #1051
Locked up
I never thought I would ever get put on probation. I especially thought I would never get arrested. I was never a good kid though. I thought I was invincible, stealing anything I wanted, from clothes to alcohol. Basically anything I wanted I could get and I never thought about a single consequence, until one night my luck finally ran out. Now I'm stuck like dog on a chain. I thought it would be easy but things slowly got worse and next thing you know I'm in and out of Juvenile Hall every other month. I hate to think about it but unfortunately here I am, in a cell for Christmas. No friends, no family or opening up presents on Christmas Eve. "We have so much fun stuff to do for Christmas," they say, but not much is fun about being locked up for Christmas.. It is pretty depressing when you think about it and it is hard not to. But what sucks most of all is I also will be locked up for my mom’s birthday... Great present right? I hate to think about the fact that I will spend my 18th birthday in here as well. People tell me, "Be happy. You will graduate high school." But what is there to be happy about? Yea, I get to graduate from juvenile hall? I'd much rather graduate like a normal kid and have my own freedom. But how hard is it to just quit smoking weed, drinking and partying on the weekends and to just go to school? Obviously pretty hard because I still haven't learned my lesson and maybe I never will. But the only good thing that will happen after I get out of this hell hole they call incarceration is I will be off probation so I can be my own person again, wish me luck.

Entry #1052
How Life Plays You!
I feel pain…
I have been forgotten.
I feel I have become comfortable with where I am, which is not sane.
I feel that it is not okay to be comfortable with the way that I live.
That I will never change into what I need and want to be.
I feel as though the cards I have been dealt are playing me instead of the other way around, as it should be.
I have lost control and that scares me.
I feel that what I am becoming may never change.
I feel angry.
I feel that I have lost at my own game.
I’m being spun round n’ round just to be watched stumbling and hitting the ground.
I feel my hope slowly getting away and I’m not capable of catching it this time.
I feel completely lost!

Entry #1053
Freedom
I miss my friends and family.
I miss my phone and the music I like to listen to.
my room and bed.
I miss taking showers as long as I want.
being able to do what I want.
I miss not having to ask to get up or use the bathroom.
not having to worry about what I eat.
the feeling of being independent.
I miss having my own privacy and not being checked on every 15 minutes.
But most of all I miss freedom.

Entry #1054
Life Memories
I am from dusty floors and "Don't cry no more!"
from sweep the floor and clean the dashboards
I'm from Smoking weed at age 11
I'm from smoking a cig when I was only 7
I am from sitting and watching All Dogs Go To Heaven
from wishing my dad and mom would stop fighting
I'm from Tamales, Jalisco, Mama Ria, and bailles.
from bull riders,Toyotas, mami Pera, and fairs
I'm from pot holed streets with no side walks
from beat up cars and tagged up walls
I'm from looking up to my brother
and wishing I new my mother
I'm from my past memories
so please don't wake me.

Entry #1055
A Whole List
Reminiscing on memories as I sit here and think
Me and my best friend pouring up drinks
Trying to find the meaning of life and how to find the missing link
Just thinking of those days as my heart sinks
Singing You Are My Sunshine to my grandma dying and sick
Lyrics from the heart of things that I miss
People I love, here one second and gone the next. Damn it's a trip
Seeing my boy laying on the ground in a puddle of blood, he's cold and stiff
The cross once on his neck now clenched in my fist
Memories that haunt me man there's a whole list
Sitting in the hall reminiscing on the days that I miss
Wondering if there up there watching me scream life's a *****!

Entry #1056
Try Me, Love Me
I’ll love you
And that’s just what you’ll think
Sniff me
Smoke me
Slam me
Just taste me, and you won’t want to look back
I’m a thrill
I’m a rush
I’m fun
You’ll think I’m all you need.
You won’t regret it till it is too late,
I won’t leave you alone till death tears us apart,
You won’t even know what hit you, till it’s too late
I’ll steal you from your family, even your friends
I won’t leave you alone
I’ll stay on your back like a monkey that wants a banana
You can try and stay away
But sometimes it’s too late
IF you escape... don’t worry
You’re not the first or last
I’ll always find someone new
They’ll fall just the same...
Maybe even harder because I’m just the same.
I’ll take you away from everyone and everything you love
I will sell your most precious diamonds even your gold
I’ll rob your soul,
And that’s just the start, 
I’ll rip you into pieces
While you’re thinking I am hiding your pain
And that’s just what you’ll think
I’ll take you away from everything you’ve ever known
Make you run like a coward
While you’re starving for food and sleep I’ll make you do the worst things just to stay “sane”
I’ll make you feel like you can’t put me down
I’ll make you believe I’m all you need
I am a nightmare and just one hit and you will see
They call me a whole bunch of names
Listen to your parents
I’m no joke
Ill drag you through hell
Dragging you on your knees
While begging for me to leave you alone
I’m no joke
I am crystal meth!

Entry #1057
The past becomes the Present
I’m from a background of confusion, mistake after mistake. Keeping the drug reputation up, not wanting to disrespect my family name. The smell of incense burning in attempt to cover the sweet musk lingering in the air.
I’m from the sound of Boston, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Grateful Dead blaring from the speakers. The game of Ring Around the Rosie, to young and innocent, not knowing the tragic meaning.
I’m from laughing at others misfortune so hard I snort! I’m a good girl with bad habits.
I’m from the fear of success, full of hate and sabotage.
I’m from taking the easy way out, not that I don’t like a challenge, but that usually involves boys.
I’m from the fast life, hand cuffs, and locked doors. Who cares where I’m from, all that matters is where I’m going.

Entry #1058
I Remember
I remember never seeing my parents
I remember the non-stop fighting
the loud knocks on the door
Till the day I remember my mom under the red and blue lights
I remember being told I was okay
seeing my mom again and her taking us away
Back and forth between my parents
I remember my dad’s new girlfriend
Them being locked in a room
I remember her kids
And fighting with them
I remember going to church
I remember her leaving
Being taken from my dad
I remember counseling
The first stage
I remember talking to the cops
There were six of us now
I remember the drugs getting to my mom
I remember taking that first hit and coughing for an hour
I remember the last
Not caring
I remember losing everything
I remember the cops and how the cuffs felt on my wrists
I remember cheesin
I remember the first time that was supposed to be the last ….

Entry #1059
My Wish
I wish that I could change my family being broke. I hate to see the struggle in their eyes.
I wish to be at the top with my team and family so we don’t have to worry about life or food in the house or shirts on our backs.
I’m going to make it to the very top where all guns are safe and we don’t have to worry about anything.
I wish my Uncle gets out of prison in 2018 to see me graduate high school and he comes to the top with us and has the nice things that he wants.
I wish that I could fix my past, but I can only fix my future to be successful in life. I just want to see my family happy. My life goal is to make my family never worry about being so broke that we can pay rent or that we have to depend on having food stamps. We don’t need that because I’m going to change that all. That’s my wish.

Entry #1060
The Past
I remember the last time I felt like a normal kid.
I remember the first time I took my first hit. I watched my life crash into a brick. My personality shifted away. I saw the pain and hurt on my mom’s face, but the drugs were so good it took me away.
Until this day, things have never been the same.
I wish I could go back and throw that pipe away and hope that things would change. All the nights I walked in the rain when I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t feel the pain. So many times I wanted to change but I couldn’t stand the feelings.
I put my mom through the darkest rain, so God please help me change my ways.

Entry #1061
Participation
I am from place where marijuana and liquor are sold and bought by minors.
From a place that fights, shootings, stabbings, robberies, and car theft are an everyday thing.
From a place that everybody wants to be a part of.
I am from a place where crime is an activity everybody likes to participate in.
I am from a place that marijuana, meth, coke, and pills are available to everybody and anywhere even available to elementary students.
I am from a place that children see their mothers abused.
From where children see their parents smoke dope.
I am from a place where children screw up their lives because of the crimes they have witnessed and the lies they have been told.
From a place with no hope.                     
I am from the Evil Side.

Entry #1062
At This Point
My mind, where is it? I'm not myself right now, why? I need help, too scared to really ask why this is happening. I'm asked "What's wrong?" by someone I care so much about and it hurts, but I ignore them. Why, what's going through my head? Bits and pieces. Death. Sacrifice. Loss. Things and people I’ve hurt and can never get back or repair. Why do I feel this way? I thought I would have had an answer by now but I don't, and with every passing second I feel like I’m losing my mind. Right now I'm uncomfortable with the stares people give. Violation after violation, juvenile hall became my new home, sadly.... I'm too comfortable here. I don't want to leave too soon, but I also don't want to over welcome my stay... At this point you can tell I'm going insane.

Entry #1063
Rolling Away
If you really knew me, you would know that meth is my weakness, it’s the one thing to which I can’t say no.
Smoking, snorting, and selling,  becomes all that I know.
I lose grip on reality with no sleep for weeks on end.  By the time I go down, I look sickly and thin.
Money and meth, that is my motivation, these two things cause me to forget the starvation.
I have a family and to them I’m a loving dude, but after a week even to them I am rude.
If you really knew me, you would know that I love the gun play and I love slanging dope.
I’ve been in the game since I was eleven, now I’ve done things that prevent me from heaven.
I’m seventeen with a son I can’t see and a girl that just loves the tweak.
My life is spinning away, I just want things to look up and go my way.
If you really knew me you would know, I live a life full of resentment and hate.
 It started at fourteen, I rolled that pipe and my old self and old life slowly rolled away ….

Entry #1064
I am from
I am from what seems like broken glass and hot water
From a place nobody should know
I am from my father spending rent money on what seemed to me like snow
I’m from a broken family and deep unspoken hatred
From a friend that became a brother though we were never related
I am from unanswered prayers wishing things were different
From reminiscing on my childhood and the days I miss
From trial and tribulation but a feeling in my gut telling me one day I will make it
I am from becoming more of a father to my younger brothers
I am from finding that I have lost my mother down the same path as my father
I am from reunification and rejuvenation
But right after that, probation and people breathing down my neck
From asking god why life is a daily test but keeping my faith
From wanting success and the second I get a taste
The whole world will open up in all its grace
Realizing that one day I will face
The world
Shedding tears as life works its way into a downward swirl
But then things seem to change
I was feeling lost but I think I have found my place
I am from focusing my thoughts into lyrics
People telling me to chill, but I can’t hear it
They can’t feel what I feel or see what I’ve seen
There is nobody in this world that can do it like me
The pain and sorrow was a temporary placement
I know that I’m destined for greatness
Once lost in a sea of hatred
Which has now been flipped into motivation
My fortune is so close now that I can taste it
I was stuck in a pool of pain
From lost love to dead homies and blood stains
But now I realize what’s at stake
This is my life
And that’s when I realized
That this is my time

Entry #1065
Family
                If you really knew me you know I am a good kid. Before I was lock up I played sports. I played basketball, football, and baseball. I remember when I was two years old CPS took me away from my mom and dad. It was on July’15, my dad’s birthday.
       I was placed in a very good foster home for one year. Then I was passed in another one. That’s when I met my little brother for the first time. I lived there for seven months.
                Soon I was moved to another foster home when I was four years old. That is when I met my older sister, Raquel. She didn’t live with me. She lived in a different foster home than I did. I started getting visit’s with her. After I got know her, she moved in with me, my little brother, and my older brother. He moved in with us when I was three years old. I lived with my foster mom for seven years.
            I got in to sports when I was in the 4th grade. During basketball season I had my appendix taken out at Children’s Hospital. When I got out of the hospital I was in a wheelchair. I couldn’t play basketball until the doctor said I can could. When the doctor said I could play, but my couch said I would not be able to play that season. We took it all the way to the finals and lost by a free throw. When I turned ten, I found out that my older sister Raquel had died.

Entry #1066
I was careless.
I remember saying hurtful things to my mom.
I heard my mom cry.
I worried about my mom when she had to stay with her “FRIENDS” until she got back on her feet.
I thought chilling with the homies everyday doing stupid things was what I wanted, but I want to change.
I am a good person.
I think everything happens for a reason.
I need to push myself to become someone successful.
I try to control my temper.
I feel like giving up sometimes.
I forgive my mom. Now I can change.
I will make it in life.
I choose to stay away from negative things and people that will affect my life.
I dream one day I’m going to have a nice house and beautiful family of my own.
I hope for the best.
I predict I could do it.
I know I’m STRONG, I will CHANGE.