Thinking Outside the Prompt 1

Who’s to Blame?

My situation is bad, but I’m holding up swell
All this time in prison, might as well be in hell
But I stick my chest out and hold my head high
Cause they can’t break what they didn’t make, so I’d rather die
than to throw the towel in and show them this Pain
of being away from family, but it’s simple and plain
Either I make a change or I stay the same
But to cry like a Bitch about this is insane
I have hate for the Judge, but he’s not to Blame.
He didn’t give me the strap, he didn’t give me the cain.
I did this to myself by following the Lead
of folks who don’t give a damn about me and my seeds
Where are my friends at now that I’m locked tight?
No letters, no visits, no Love in sight!
The saying goes, “What don’t kill will make you strong.”
So I take heed, so I won’t sing the same sad song.
When I get out of this place I’ll become a Real Man
And not give a damn what someone else is sayin’.
I can live life locked up, Or I can live life free
One thing for sure I know it’s all up to me.
The day will come when I’m out of this place
So I pray to the Lord, That I give up the chase
of looking for gangster stardom, and that ghetto Fame.
Cause in the end we find out that it’s not worth this Pain.

~PR

The System

The system.  Now listen here’s a product for sale.
They call it the system, you can order it through the mail.
on the phone, internet, or any street corner.
In fact you’re already living in it my brother
Look around and you’ll see that the system is free.
In fact you’re locked in the system without any key.
You see you can’t get out of the system my friend
And it looks like we’ll have to roll with it till the end.
But what pertains to me may not pertain to you
Depending on if you’re red, white, or blue.
You see the system is designed to serve you by color,
and it benefits some more than it does others.
Now most would say, “This statement is pure exaggeration.”
Without ever experiencing the next man’s situation
of being trapped in a system that keeps him down.
With a shear stereotype that is commonly found
in the majority of homes where the system is praised
For it’s cunning, conniving, and so evil ways.
This system is a law, so we live by it
And to fight against it, Well I wouldn’t suggest you try it
It’s mean, and it’s ugly, and it will chop you down,
and if you jump in the system your promised to drown
Now you’re probably saying, “What about those who benefit form the system?!”
But look at the big picture, and carefully listen.
Even those who use the system for power
Will drown in the lake of fire in the Lord’s hour
Soon my friends everyone will be judged at an equal
And those who benefit will be God’s people.

~PR

True Love   ‘02

As I fill with despair, anger, and sorrow
My eyes roll back in my head in dread of tomorrow
My life as the pain in my heart is unbearable
Will the irony of them be told as a parable?
Is my destiny dungeons?
Chase dragons in jails?
All of my love paid back with betrayals?
In search of some comfort I give up my strength
Even those closest I keep at arm’s length
I’m gasping for air, then I hold in my breath
With the comfort of death as all I have left
Is reality real?
Or am I insane?
If my heart didn’t feel I’d feel no pain
I couldn’t complain if you asked me, “What’s wrong?”
If my words show no weakness you’ll think that
I’m strong
So I just reply that I wish I was high
This needle a crutch which I’ve come to rely
I guess now this makes me a fuckin’ tecato
Beating down gastos and treating fools gasho
But that’s just a side effect of my depression
“They don’t respect love but they’ll fear your aggression.”
And that was a lesson I wish never learned
Joints get burned and pages get turned
And still my heart yearned for some consolation
If not salvation eternal damnation
God,
If You would,
Show love and deliver me.
Give me that strength for this life that You’ve given me,
Now I have nothing so give me the world
At least set me free back with my baby girl
Back with my loved ones, my soul at peace
Not in the pinta or lost in the streets
Give me that home that I’ve never known
Give me True Love

if not

leave me alone

~Spook Armendaríz

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here today to remember

The Swamp

Red, blue, purple, and orange sky
Evil sky where the demons fly

Carmen and Maria’s tio had drove home all fucked up again and his bumper clipped the fence.
He stumbled in from out the trokita and admonished us,
“Enter through the warrior gate!
For wide is the gate and  broad
is the road that leads . . .
to destruction.”

Is that right?
Let’s fucken bounce, nuh!
Ay te wacho fool.
Chain link jingles and we get over.
And our eyesight adjusted to the dark ditch road.
We came around the way like penguins
Hands tucked inside quilted flannel sleeves
Thinking in our mind that it ain’t so cold.
Beenies low.  Sagging low.
Breathing out steam like dragon smoke.

Half an hour before normal people roll out from under blankets.  A Pee Wee’s processional
before an audience of broke down cars in backyards.    Cracks in frosty windshields tick under
freezy air.
Gizmo found an old pallet and carried it across his back like an ant do.
His cross to bear.
We swooped up some paper bags here, crumpled up newspapers there.  Just a little more further. . .

Street lights get shot the fuck up ‘round here.
Motion lights even learn to think twice.
In less than an hour normal people will start warming up their vehicles.   They’re all mad a,
throwing us jeños behind suspicious cups of coffee.
They probably think we want to be here out at odd hours, up to no good.
But not yet.
Rows of proud fence stand like soldiers, like street promoters advertizing Barrios, taggers, and
crew initials.
And there it was.
In betwixt two big ass fields lay a short uncivilized strip of forest, fragment from another time.
Someone else might have beheld a wall.  An impenetrable barricade of short trees and tall weeds.
This façade worked hard to conceal a cathedral.
The slightest insinuation of a packed dirt pathway lead us off the asequia road.
No civilian could probably even snap.
There before us lay the Swamp.
A momentary burst of icy rain hit us, behind our ears, down our necks.
Waving in the chilly breeze a timid “no trespassing” sign welcomed us inside.
I held open the barbwire fence slid through one at a time.
Giz maneuvered that paleta, through the fence, through the branches.
Now Bandit
Polo
Mirardo
We’d been coming here forever but now the big homies were too chignon for the Swamp.
Fucken placas ran everyone off The Top of the World. Under the bridge was all tecatos, transient
motherfuckers, old paint hoofers and shit.
But at that time the Swamp was ours.
Our eyes now adjusted to deeper darkness.  Only moonlight—diminished through purple clouds
above us.  Reluctant noses withstood musty blankets, moldy cushions and carseats.  Chlamydia
Lydia’s panties were hanging from a branch, blowing in the wind like a flag.  Cushions in rows
like church pews.
Pew like fuck, que no?

Gizmo threw the paleta on the floor which  we broke like bread.  We placed the pieces into the
alter.  Alternately the bleached skeleton of a 50 gallon oil drum.
Three of us crouched down and around it.  We barely saw beyond our breath hitting the cold and dark air.
With each little flick we caught glimpses of our hands.
Varrio script and scar tissue, busted knuckles and infected lighter burns.
Ugly hands,
Little ugly hands unfit for praying with.
Baby lighters poured forth baby angels which delicately caressed damp wadded paper.
At last.
The offering was accepted.
The paper ignited transfigured by the holy spirit.
Yellow light burst through corrosion and bullet holes then it danced around our church.
Warmed by the flames, we gradually took our seats.
In silence we watched carefully,
In silence we watched prayerfully,

A firey priest took possession of the charred black pulpit.
The air stood still and his sermon began.
Whispers and pops echoed down an earthen isle surrounded by mulch carpet.  Amassed vashas,
dead lighters, spray paint and beer cans, bottle caps and broken glass.
Syringes from another congregation.
A heathen of a cold breeze stumbled upon our services.  He bumped blankets hanging from strings tied to branches.
The preacher suddenly came alive, rebuking the heathen with a firey roar!
The choir began to sing.
Car alarms.
Police sirens.
Joined together in ungodly harmony.
Gizmo scampered up the cottonwood steeple, in the dimmed down firelight his face was that of a baby jaguar’s.
“They’re going towards Carmen and Maria’s” he said.
“Orale” the congregation responded in accordance.
“Wanna smoke a leño?” somebody said
Corduroy LA Raiders hat.
Collection plate was passed around.
Mirardo tithed a dimebag of that welfare weed.
Bandit gave 6 roaches in a cellphone.
Giz pounced from the tree like a cat,
Zags in hand as we were still patting down our shit.  He was slightly indignant upon the
realization that he had torn the hem of his garment.
I sat Indian style to prepare the burnt offering upon a flap of cardboard box.
Lit…
Took a very long hit…
Transubstantiate that shit…
Our sins are forgiven.

Hark!
Two soft sets of footfalls punched against a frozen dirt path, in the still of the night.  Branches rustled.
Carmen rushed inside crying, overwhelmed by her cross to bear and fishing for sympathy.  She
curled up next to Mirardo on a cushion.
Gizmo took advantage of us being high and cold and he booted Carmen in her big round brown and said,
“Shut the fuck up already!”
Gasho as it sounded her backside absorbed the force.  If you only knew, it was kinda funnier than fuck.
He sprung back up to his perch.
Polo took off.
He returned quickly with an armful of driftwood. Moving quickly, still long before they left him that
fucken shitbag.   He approached the sluggish preacher for a little revival.
Half of us zoned out.
Half slept.
Up in the bell tower Gizmo took the last roach and loaded it in his tiny chamber pipe.  He screwed the lid on the bowl and lit it.
He watched a warm house light flip on in the cold distance.
Maria was beside me llena de gracia.  I felt her tense up as…
Whackaté!
Her sister caught Mirardo with a good one.
And then she growled all whitado
“Do you really think that I’m a Swampthing now?”
Carmen’s composed come back landed with perfect timing and this strange illustrious quality
that could own any room she chose to enter.  Elegance would catch her by surprise sometimes.
I looked up the path at adjacent empty 40 oz bottles which lined the pathway.
Old English 800.
Six on each side
Marked by symmetry.
They guarded us like cold sentinels.
Nobody was fucking with us.
Seven lost souls nobody wanted in a place everybody forgot.
Some of us grew up.  Like the trees and vines.
Twisted.
Ignored.
Crooked beyond all redemption.
Beautiful.
Two months later the Swamp got burnt.
Ashes to Ashes
Dirt to Dirt
Dust to which thou shall return.

Que aqȕite, nuh?

           ~MA ‘13
           revised from ’10 original

Untitled

A heavy moment
And I feel it break
The music
Of shattered glass
Magnanimous
Nausea
Seven colors
Of pills in your hand
Flesh like
Plastic
At the back of your
Neck
The amazing
Disintegrating
Man

~RW

“No estas solo”

1      No vayas ah sentirte abandonado, simplemente eres afortunado

2      Le dieron tiempo para decidir, en cuales cosas son importantes, y cuales puedes resistir

3      Por las cosas malas, una vida infernal

4      Por las cosas de Dios una vida eternal

~JOW II

“Bailadora” o “Inspirado”

1      Me encanta tu movimiento, se me acaba toda la sed

2      Imaginaciones sueltos, me gustarian ver

3      Me besaste con besos, húmedos y suaves, me dejastes sentir igual, que el aire guiando aves

4      Lo que me hicistes sentir hoy, es que quiero transformarme, en un hombre mucho mejor de lo que soy

~JOW II

Untitled

Two steps forward,
Three steps back,
Always cutting my life such slack
No more excuses or turning back
Onward marching, full attack.

~JOW II

Dream or Reality?

I no longer wonder
if coming back to reality is a smart thing,
but a safe thing.
So I daze for days.
The truth can be crucial,
And twice as ugly.
And usually beauty is deadly.
This fits the saying,
“between a rock and a hard place!”
This reality is escaped through dreams.
As I ponder the way
I create the perfect me,
And erase an embarrassing past.
As I dream not only am I perfect now,
but I’ve always been perfect,
I’ve climbed every mountain,
Swam every sea.
Never letting any problem
Penetrate my baracade.
A dream worth sleeping for,
But I must soon awake.
Awake to a reality of ugliness
Along with beauty.
Hot with cold.
Good with bad.
Life with death.
Which do I choose?
If living is hard,
Then death must be easy.
Regardless of what is easy
Choice is not.
I’ve become accustom to the pain
I resent.
Why do we love right
More than wrong,
But want wrong
More than right?
Reality is ugly,
But dreams are beautiful.
As I take my leap of faith
Into my dreams
I pray I land on my feet.

~PR

Untitled

Blood the same, pouring through our veins,
Discovering that love is pain
Forced from birth with an umbilical-cord
Hanging by r navels resembling shackles and chains
What a beautiful family tree,
How did it grow without any rain??

Familiness is so bliss, two strangers coming together, why did they ever first kiss??

Family reunions
Gathering like Holy Communions
Discussing family contributions,
Finger pointing
To the ones who constantly stay in ruins
No protection, from loved ones who r being verbally abusive

Familiness is so bliss, two strangers coming together, why did they ever first kiss??

Father’s robbing their innocence,
Mother’s blind, dumb, deaf, and defenseless
To their existence
Now looking for love in all the wrong places,
Discriminating and hating their own family
For putting them in this situation
Now like a family disease,
We pass it to the next generation.

~RN

Dream or Reality?

I no longer wonder if coming back to reality is a smart thing,
but a safe thing.
So I daze for days.
And usually beauty is deadly.
This fits the saying “between a rock and a hard place!”
This reality is escaped through dreams
As I ponder the way I create the perfect me,
and erase an embarrassing past.
As I dream not only am I perfect now,
but I’ve always been perfect,
I’ve climbed every mouton, swam every sea.
Never letting any problem penetrate my barricade.

A dream worth sleeping for,
but I must soon awake.
Awake to a reality of ugliness along with beauty.
Hot with cold.
Good with bad.
Life with death.
Which do I choose?
If living is hard,
then death must be easy.
Regardless of what is easy choice is not.
I’ve become accustom to the pain I resent.
Why do we love right more than wrong,
but want wrong more than right?
Reality is ugly,
but dreams are beautiful.
As I take my leap of faith into my dreams,
I pray I land on my feet.

~PR

Million Dollar Dreams

Time is of no matter
It will only determine how long it will take
To recover all the pieces of my heart
Which has shattered
Once more
Stumbling every other step, wondering if this
Pain will leave before I find eternal rest
Feeling all these feelings is causing such feeling
Inside every breath
Pressure
Time is of no matter
It will only determine how long it will take
To recover all the pieces of my heart
Which has shattered
Missing pieces
Lying with my head in her lap, the baby cooing
Swinging in her swing
Amusing herself with almost any and every new thing.
Scattered memories
Awakening to feed her
Watching you sleep
Amazed at the strength of the feeling of my love
For you both I can recall
The songs of the early morning bird
As I drift back to sleep, then I hear
Counts on, stand by your bunks, shit
My dream, lives on.

~FG

Once when the pieces fit, when everything stuck, was together.  As if glue held us, in places we would have rather not been.  There seemed to be an unforeseen desire to mislead and eventually mentally mind fuck on another was festering.  Not very far from taking over everything we knew to be us.

Who are we when we aren’t looking?  Do you search for the answers in your soul or heart?  Do you know why we sit down instead of standing and screaming at the top of our lungs, upon learning the terminal news of our unborn child’s life?

Just as the thought of her, our angel.  Your lips make me cry.  Playing a fool to feel all those superficial, mislead representations of love.  Simply so our kids would not know a lonely road.  Ending up with no parents, alone and no where to go, except everywhere but a home in some uncandid mediocre kinda excuse called life, known to binding darkness held down by chains of memory that reflect deaths, pain, seclusion and an undesired recollection of abuse.  Which is a constant reminder that you are still alive due to the reoccurring feelings of pain every time you relive your nightmares in your daily awakening in the early hours of A.M. darkness.

Not knowing if your existence or what you seem to perceive to be an unwanted memory is just that or not.  Subconsciously you reach for the remote, and as if the fact that you remember where it is and then, that you knew which button to press to turn on the lights on your ceiling fan wasn’t proof, you lay there for a few moments.  The first thing you do is check your face for the scars of younger years, followed by a jogging of mostly unwanted, unconfirmed memories and true to your ritual with a final attempt, holding on to an unknown reality you turn on the news and the date and time are revealed. Everything you hoped was a nightmare once again becomes your reality, once again, your reality (The tattoo of the broken noose around my neck reminds me of the times that I have cheated death, reminding me of where I should be) now knowing the unmistakable pain of heartbreak I feel from missing my children, I want to cry, I want to scream, yell, smash, punch, kick, claw, destroy, yes destroy, I want to destroy my very own life’s existence, and then I wonder what I would be, who and where would I be.

After pausing for a moment, this is a part of me, my life’s experience and soon enough I will have to leave it behind.  I decide to use my heart and head and I wait.  Coming to the conclusion that yesterday has nothing to do with tomorrow and today is what matters and the future is mine to sculpt.

So with a humble nod to the Creator I thank him for everything, bad, good, ugly and beautiful.  I take a deep breath and face today while holding it until tomorrow.

~FG

One comment

  1. JOW II,

    Shorter than the others, but not lacking in meaning whatsoever. To me, I get a certain concept of falling, yet getting up stronger than before.

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