Wednesday, August 29, 2018



“I didn’t create T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E., I diagnosed it.” – Tupac Shakur.


In 1992 at the ‘Truc Picnic’ in Cali, Tupac was instrumental in getting rival members of the Crips and Bloods to sign the Code Of THUG LIFE. He and Mutulu Shakur had helped write up the ‘code’ , with help from other ‘og’s’. The Code of THUG LIFE is listed here.It details do's and don'ts for being a righteous thug and banger.

1. All new Jacks to the game must know: a) He’s going to get rich. b) He’s going to jail. c) He’s going to die. 
2. Crew Leaders: You are responsible for legal/financial payment commitments to crew members; your word must be your bond. 
3. One crew’s rat is every crew’s rat. Rats are now like a disease; sooner or later we all get it; and they should too. 
4. Crew leader and posse should select a diplomat, and should work ways to settle disputes. In unity, there is strength! 
5. Car jacking in our Hood is against the Code. 
6. Slinging to children is against the Code. 
7. Having children slinging is against the Code. 
8. No slinging in schools. 
9. Since the rat Nicky Barnes opened his mouth; ratting has become accepted by some. We’re not having it. 
10. Snitches is outta here. 
11. The Boys in Blue don’t run nothing; we do. Control the Hood, and make it safe for squares. 
12. No slinging to pregnant Sisters. That’s baby killing; that’s genocide! 
13. Know your target, who’s the real enemy. 
14. Civilians are not a target and should be spared. 
15. Harm to children will not be forgiven. 
16. Attacking someone’s home where their family is known to reside, must be altered or checked. 
17. Senseless brutality and rape must stop. 
18. Our old folks must not be abused. 
19. Respect our Sisters. Respect our Brothers. 
20. Sisters in the Life must be respected if they respect themselves. 
21. Military disputes concerning business areas within the community must be handled professionally and not on the block. 
22. No shooting at parties. 
23. Concerts and parties are neutral territories; no shooting! 
24. Know the Code; it’s for everyone.
25. Be a real ruff neck. Be down with the code of the Thug Life. 
26. Protect yourself at all times..

It's Been A While

It's been a while since I wrote poetry, or painted, or sang in the shower. Times are to hard not to be an artist. I hope you (and I) will get to it. Dancing in the rain on my way home.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Walking and Jogging for my Life


I'm back at it. I did what my doctor asked and set a date to run another 1/2 marathon. I'm doing it October 15 in Detroit. Won't you help me raise money for the American Diabetes Association?

Raising Money on the Run

Monday, April 17, 2017

Consequences (for the 1st of 7 Words on Good Friday)

By Valerie Bridgeman
© April 2017
3rd draft

Women lined the road
They cry for a dead man walking, he carries the load
Condemned for crimes against the state
While protesting for humanity’s sake

But he said,
I CAME to set it on fire
And NOW, the burden of a conviction he did not deserve
the CONSEQUENCES of a decision to serve his people

His back caked with blood
His face bruised
from the brutal force that Empire soldiers used to subdue him;
stop resisting, they said.
Stop resisting!
Stop resisting!

He bore the cross
Simon shared the WEIGHT
Of the splinters of time and eternity

The Consequences of a life lived in defiance to a regime
Bent on destroying the people’s Spirit
Then and now

He told the truth
He lived the truth
He IS the truth
Then and now

But even truth has its consequences

Women lined the road
As he climbed Golgotha
He said
Don’t weep for me
Cry for yourselves
They questioned me at length
And treated me with contempt
I’ve been mocked and accused
But you’ve been used to provide the chorus of lies
And cries in the key of Consequences
Today it’s me but tomorrow, it will be you

Don’t weep for me
Cry for yourselves
And for the fruit of your womb
For your sons and daughters
Led to the slaughter by a government so cruel--
They rule by crucifixion
And modern day lynchings

… A government that does not BOTHER to clean up its mess or dress it up—

Golgotha’s hill
Littered with skulls and bones
Bodies left in the streets to die
While people shake their heads, and cry at the sight of it
What?—4 ½ hours—3 ½ hours…
Then and now

Golgotha—the consequences of power gone MAD
Power that grinds up the vulnerable…
There is no honorable way to imagine this horror

Forgive. Forgive? Forgive them?
Forgive them their madness?
Forgive them their ignorance?
Their evil?
Their Shamelessness?

I came to set it on Fire
But they burn the green trees
And leave a hull of a man
A shell of a woman
People bruised and battered
Forgive, but let them know
We will resist
These are the consequences

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Silence of Grief

For some reason, I came to my site today. I haven't written (non-academically) since May 6, 2015. That day, like January 6, October 6, and September 25, means something to me. And maybe it means something only to me as I have navigated so many losses in the last two years. I lost my best friends to death and to betrayal and to time. And I have been silent in my grief. Maybe, this writing, is an opening to the voice for it. 

(c) Valerie Bridgeman

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Sometimes you just make a mess of life
There's no getting around it.
Sometimes, your best efforts at easy
or letting go or believing the words
flowing no matter what the eyes see
just leave you breathless,
unable to make sense of it, so you make...
a mess.

I'm not sure how you clean up
some messes... I mean yesterday, it was as easy
as remove the sheets and throw them in the washer
and when they weren't clean through the first cycle,
rinse and repeat.

I've been on repeat wash of my heart for
some years now... messes made and made
again; and always, there's someone bearing witness
to it and claiming they never would have
made that particular mess.

Does it matter to you what "mess" it is...
whether of the heart or the soul;
the clothes or the house, or a relationship
that can't seem to find the same page
even when there's only one in the book?
Does it matter to you that even
with the residue on my hands and my
knowing how dirty it all looks, it feels...
I am committed to cleaning it up... again?

I keep making a mess of life
And when I think I've learned the lesson,
a test comes to show me again...
"clean" depends on a chance to
keep trying, to a washing machine,
to a heart open to "one more time."

May 6, 2015
©  Valerie Bridgeman

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I will love you steady
hold you when you think
your heart is on the equator
and your body spins
at the south pole
and you cannot
get it together

I will love you still
even when you leave
afraid of what it means
to be vulnerable and
need what you 
cannot find within

I will love you here
and wait through the struggle
breathe when you are on quest
for the parts of you that seem
all over the place

I will love you

© Valerie Bridgeman
June 10, 2014