Read his story
Update: 12/14/18. Former prosecutor's letter could be the key to inmate's freedom. Read it here.
As an act of living resistance, prisoners create poems, rap, spoken word. Listen to Brandon Seward's spoken word poem. This piece is called "Beyond Chirac" (see poem to the right). The second track is written/performed by Melvin Abbot, also warehoused at River North Correctional.
Just Listen (lyrics)
A poem by Brian Faulkes, River North Correctional Center.
All I need is a platform to speak,
and quite a few ears to listen
My pain will be felt to the point of action,
Ignoring distractions like...
Police brutality, our cell bars, whether in jail or prison.
You wonder now, I get it,
But I'm saying Just Listen
Everything in the world happens for a reason
But we're misleading the youth
with our truths about why.
About why racism still exists in twenty eighteen,
or why bullying is a cause of death now among the
Or why we can't seem to break the cycle
of having so many motherless and fatherless kids
lost to long prison bids
or the grave.
But who do we save?
Huh! I'll tell you if you just listen
but first answer me this...
Why are we dying?
Because no one's trying to come together for a
common idea of prosperity.
We're so divided!
Everybody has their own ideas of what it takes
to make the world better,
and it never involved voluntarily helping someone else
directly without motive.
So everyone is for themselves and it's sad!
Are you still listening?
Trump is the president.
Donald Trump is the president of the
United F**cking States!
Now president fits, being the highest executive officer
of a company, or club.
But of the United States?
We're not a company or club.
And to be united as defined as ...
to put or join together so as to make one;
combine or to bring or come together in common cause,
Now, you prove that's what we are, or have done
and I'll change what I believe
Cause me, you definitely won't mislead,
this world is just so f**cked up!
There's no justice when people in positions of power
are brought forth, but at least 15 to life for these that aint.
And they just say deal with what we can't,
like getting justice made them a saint.
You ask me, they're taking more lives, handing our all
these years to serve, and rest easy at night like they aint
the ones who need restraints.
But I'm crazy?!
Are you listening? Yeah?
Well listen to this!
In twenty eighteen, social media has reached its peak.
Unique how its become a platform for people to speak
but what's the point?
All we do is point fingers, shift the blame, and talk.
Talk about everything that needs to change, but
Because we're all so blinded by all the BS that doesn't
matter, content with what does,
and afraid to be different.
If you don't like something, change it
if you can't change it,
change the way you think about it.
Have you been listening?
I've been rambling since the start of this poem
which only means I'm just as lost as everyone else.
But it's helpful,
and daring to be different.
If the right someone would just listen...
Beyond Chirac (lyrics)
by Brandon Seward (VAPOC), River North Correctional Center
Beyond Chirac!!, every city is Chirac every revolt is Selma,
a life of loaded maks,
take short cuts to pick up packs,
getting all dressed up to impress the tracks,
aka local hoes wearing weave hope they know I'm going to smash that,
heart on my sleeve,
proper place HNIC,
life is nothing who U pretending to be?,
vanguard by nature, leader in every right,
every time I turn my TV somebody dying tonight,
sheets over meat,
greatest hustla under takers,
cuz the young bucks believe in Kane,
no matter if they brothers they rather bang,
happy in embracing surnames,
9,000 miles away lost their identity,
to be trapped in cage,
colony gang real gang bangers,
rape us & then hang us,
then dope us up & coke cain us,
burn our flesh, then make up tales,
call themselves holy & order us to protect the grail,
god bless U, smokafied, taste like bbq,
Thank god 4 Exodus,
no need for money we do it 4 free,
poison our blankets, give our women HIV,
take our history,
then call me racist when I'm only telling true stories,
Just another sad azz story hallmark needs to sign me,
the audacity of the supreme leader,
not me I meant the grand wizard,
the klan is real, just can't see us,
drawing up plans call Wayne Brady lets make a deal,
let me pour in my thinking & limit your skills,
leave U 4 the vultures to pick out our vulnerabilities, would not be no U without revolts such as Denmark Vessey,
without epitomes like Nat Turner we wouldn't fathom of picking up no burner
, its deep in your roots,
we just forgot how to shoot so we loot,
R we comfortable being owned?
Thats good, no, now let me touch the microphone,
I love liberation its my life, peace no strife,
Saving kids from the pipe,
not crack but line as we drop out 50% of the time,
when we climb mountains & pilgrimage to Mecca,
but we get knock off versions of Mason Bethas,
who shot ya?
over the loot or they girls spreading they lips,
all someone got to say is think,
then U smell the stank,
get a board the amistad & walking the plank,
no idea how to escape,
so we turn to face book eating tide,
life is a challenge but do I look like I want suicide, crossing my heart hope to cry cause its hard to laugh while holding your composure in a hell
I meant the cell gets colder