Where do I begin, I really don’t want you to know who I was, only who I have become. Yet you must know who I was to understand who I am.
I don’t really know where to start, so I’ll begin with a poem I wrote about me.

At the age of 7
I knew I was destined, for the pen. or that dark lonely coffin
I prayed to God please, let me go to heaven
‘cuz at 7, I new I’d lead a path of destruction
Misery would be my company
No regrets, no remorse, my mind frame
There were things to be done
I had to get food on their plates, cloths on their backs, roof over their heads,
Not for me, but for them-the children is the reason I had to do what I was doing.
At 8,
I began my escapade
On my own, barely a place to call home, strugglin’ ‘N strivin’ to survive,
While inside anger was steadily brewin’
I kept pushin’ in those streets I called home
Always lookin’ over my shoulder
It was the age of 9,
Time, stopped for me
Gangbangin’, dope slangin’, killin’, stealin’, trying to be pimpin’
Waiting for that stray lead to stop time for me permanently
10, time, tick-tocked again
For one minute of my life I thought I was free of those savage streets,
Went back to school, doin’ good,
Life was just foolin’ me
I didn’t understand how I could end up in the place I started
Age 11 my rage began
Shot down in the fight, again in the streets
To many bullet holes going through me,
Its a miracle I’m still livin’,
Someone must be lookin’ down upon me,
Leading me to my true destiney.
Bypass some of these ages-there boring
Life at a stand still,
Filled with juvenile detentions, institutions, the pen;
Wouldn’t see the streets ’till I hit 17,
They didn’t set me free-I ran and ran
They had my body and were tryin’ to take my mind
I needed my mind to set me free
18 back in the pen;
Its got me wonderin’, will I see a new day?-I pray,
I get to watch my children grow up,
Graduate from college
God please let me provide for them
Even while I’m sitting in this cell
Age 25, a sista ask me to write something to help the children, ‘n
I realized, my destiney
Now I’m 39, this is from me to you,
The children.

My life is true-don’t live it
There’s something for everyone, a way around everything
Don’t just accept what life brings
Make your life what you want it to be
Find your destiney
This is mine…

99.99% of that poem is true.
Hi my name is James Rollins I’m a 39 year young black man in the pit of hell trying fight my way out.
I was born September 11, 1975 in the Tacoma Washington’s Hill Top area. I’m a ex-gangmember, a murderer, a prisoner, but those negatives,I refuse to let define who i’ve become.
I’m a Father, son, brother, I’ve become a honest, loving, caring,
respectful, responsible man. That is what now defines me.


James Rollins
DOC #732975


6 thoughts on “FROM GANGSTA TO MAN”

  1. Hello, I use to facilitate a creative writing class at monroe back in 2003/2004 which resulted in a BPC poetry anthology: It’s not by Coincidence It’s by Design and am wondering if you are the same James Rollins from the class? I would like to get in touch with the BPC members from the class as I still have the book (as well as other poems) that I thought you might like to have access to and am planning to put the project online, but want to get permission/blessing and input from members before moving forward.


    1. To that light skin,
      With Turkish origin woman,

      I was pleasently surprised to here from you. Its crazy because me and Darrel Massey was just talking about you before he went to camp, wondering if you were still in college, wondering what happened to you.
      Its great to hear from you. I prefer to be contacted through the JPAY system which allows us to email back ‘n forth amongst other things but if you want to contact me using the US postal service thats fine to.
      I hope to hear from you soon.
      Thank you all for your comments and feed back.

      James W. ROLLINS


  2. James, Ive only read your poem and cryin. I cant wait to see your face. I cant wait for your arms to hug me. I love you so much james. I love everything about you, flaws and all.Your MY big brother. I wouldnt trade you for the world..ever. yes your going to go to heaven because GOD knows your heart……Love Nip. P.S. I posted your pix on facebook earlier and wrote…”missin my bro. Wishin he was here makin me peanut butter cookies & trying to sing.” I love you so much! 🙂


  3. James, ive only read your poem so far and cryin. Your my brother and I love you so much. You had a hard life and I remember so much. But your heart has never ever changed. I cant wait to see your face. I love everything about you, flaws and all. Love Nip. P.S. peanut butter cookies as soon as you come home! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s