Saturday, May 19, 2012


I was just a coming-of-age teenager growing up in the Near-West Side of Chicago  when the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention took place...  In retrospect and light of the NATO 2012, it seems that politics and greed don't change much while tactics to subdue and silence people remain pretty much the same...

There We Were
           jj Méndez

Days of Rage
Crisscrossing the nation
Daily media frenzy over ’68
Chicago Democratic Convention

The world was not watching
18th and Throop Streets
Corner where time stood still

Hopeful coming-of-age camaradas
Hands in their bottomless pockets
Future uncertain and hanging loose
Just waiting… just hoping…

                                 Just hanging in the corner…

Chapters in the Annals
Of Undocumented History
Were being written…

                                 And nobody noticed...

Chicago’s Finest
Making their rounds
Their motto: Serve and Protect
Strictly professional (so they’d say)

Decisions were made –on the spot—
Purpose:  create some local excitement
Justify Pigotry’s authority

                                    And no one said a word…

Suspicion –always the excuse
Humiliation the expected reaction
All for a good laugh, of course
At the expense of unsuspecting fresh meat

                                     And the show would go on…

Spreading of legs and bashing of hands
Billy clubs up the innocent’s buttocks
Bodies against graffiti-filled walls

Unwilling eyes passing through
Confirming the search for fictional
Guns and drugs and alcohol

                                     And no one took note…

Anger flared up
Wise guys in the squad
Taken for a ride

                                     And no one took note…
And
                  There We Were…


© Joel Mendez 2009

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