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Warrior Poets Project

September 25, 2017

Introducing Rich Pheng

I am working on a project called “Warrior Poets,” which features artists in a forum meant for healing wounded souls. This project will commence in the domain of my blog, but hopefully, other artist will be able to create their own websites as they get started. There are many talented individuals in prison who not only deserve recognition for their work, but who, I believe, can make a difference by offering what they create for others to ponder. Unfortunately, there are many foolish distractions in prison and only a few will actually grasp hold of the chance to shine, but shine they will.

I am starting this project from within prison, but I hope to gain members from the outside as well. It is important for all of us to gain the interest of those outside, to be heard, to entertain, and to collaborate. I see a doorway of many opportunities opening wide as this project grows, such as helping at-risk youth, artists becoming teachers of the craft and healing, so that we can get out of prison and live productive lives in a society we have been separated from for too long. I hope to eventually turn Warrior Poets into a non-profit organization and publish anthologies with profits going to charitable organizations, as well as creating a start-up for the participating poets who are paroling.

Our first warrior poet is Rich Pheng, who has been serving life sentence since the age of fifteen years old. He is currently working on a degree in business from Coastline Community College. Hopefully, his own personal blog will be set up soon after this introduction, and you will be able to read more of his writing in the future.

Forced to Fit In
by Rich Pheng, 2017

Growing up as a third-world descendant

Rich Pheng

America forced me to start pretending
They forced me to try and fit in
So I studied all that was in my vision
from thugs, dope-dealers, and promiscuous women
to hustlers, stick-up kids, and players play pimpin’
So many promises in this land of differences
but what was different was different incomes
The higher class got fancy with their children
My family ate whatever welfare could get us
but food stamps couldn’t provide clothes for my baby sister
so momma gave her my clothes that would fit her
“FUCK THAT!” my brother said, so I followed because he was bigger
We bought a Dillinger and started pulling stick-ups
So fun like a game, we took turns pulling the trigger
The easiest money ever made and momma didn’t hit us
We got smart and went to school for appearance
and when the bell rang we played as killers
A life of crime promoted through movies and history
We wondered at times, “Why go against it?”
Richard Nixon lied and he president
Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, modern America is what you’re picturing
a thug, a dope-dealer, and a promiscuous woman again
The same old American description
I loved every step across that line to sinning
I loved every hit of that natural addiction
I loved every freak chick down with Monica Lewinski
When my pops and big bro died, I wished that I was right there with them
but now I see my younger siblings having children
I’m trying to make up for all my sinning and hoping God forgives me
America the united yet still divided due to ignorance
Innocents being killed and witnesses refuse to be a witness
Murder is murder no matter who is the victim
A thug, a cop, and even a kid can be a killer
I was fifteen when I was given my life sentence
I wasn’t innocent so that cruelty fitted me
But take care to remember that my sin is not my present
and before you judge me take a long look inside my broken mirror
feel my pain, love my life, and see the fire in my spirit
I grew up as a third world descendant
in American where they forced me to fit in

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