Wednesday, December 31, 2014

UNCHAINED by jjméndez


Today Joe Vet now a bona fide 
proletarian got the courage
to ditch his slave job and set on 
a self-imposed new journey.

He will no longer feel the agony 
of being just another bleeding 
sweating nobody drowning in his
own salty tears in a sea of misery.

No longer will he be wallowing 
in the idea of being a worthless
oppressed disposable thingamajig.

Today he will stop being confined 
to the dictum of the clock and residual 
metal dust trapped in his lungs.

He will no longer need to hear 
the pounding mechanical black 
noise that haunts him all the way
into his frequent sleepless nights.

Today he will no longer suppress 
the urge to urinate because
he had to stand obediently and 
occupy his assigned yellow 
squared space in the endless 
assembly line of the dead-end 
job that was supposed to save his life.

Today he will no longer have 
to worry about feeling undervalued
useless and humiliated. 

Joe will no longer have to follow 
orders from VIPs that he never got 
a chance to see or meet.

Today he will walk in dignity 
knowing that he will be breathing
his moment of freedom as he 
embarks into a new chapter 
in his life living and sleeping 
under the interstate highway bridge.

He only wishes his fellow
oblivious comrades would 
find the courage and do the same.

For now it's an army of one… 
© 2014 jjméndez

Friday, December 19, 2014

DARK BLUE by jjméndez

                Dark Blue

Machiavellian eyes blind Justice.
Angst raises both arms.
Guns and daggers hide from sight.


Regular programming will soon return.

© 2014 jjméndez

© 2014 photo by jjméndez (wall painting at Santa Fé Community College)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

HOLIDAY SCENE by jjméndez

          Holiday Scene

Near the entrance to the corner
drugstore a stalwart gray-haired 
venerable lady relentlessly twitches
her bruised left eye as she swings 
her good arm and repeatedly rings 
a bright silver bell from side to side.

A wiry and hunched aging man 
wearing a skull cap and a weathered
brown face wrapped in a navy blue scarf
drops a coin in the red hungry pot.  

Not far behind is a finicky-faced
blue-hair feline swinging her bushy 
striped tail in mid-air proudly displaying 
her fluffy fur coat and red bag
splotched with green dollar signs. 

She shrugs her padded shoulders and
fastidiously meows as she cautiously
strides to avoid the rhythmically swaying 
musical arm ringing its cheerful holiday charm…

© 2014 jjméndez (poem and photo original)

Monday, November 17, 2014

43 by jjméndez


A prime number
          the world
must remember…

torn shirts
ripped pants
burned hair
gunfire echoes
wide open eyes
empty stares
desiccated lips
torn arms 
broken legs
severed fingers
blood in the river
torsos floating
fractured heads
screams in the grass
death stains in the trees
charred bones
fluttering paper
books and pens
cell phones
tarnished medals
broken crosses
cracked eyeglasses
wrinkled class notes
empty wallets
loose coins
shoes in the mud
weeping mothers
devastated fathers
sisters and brothers
screams in the fog
             souls in the wind…

forced disappearance 
massive destruction
rampant corruption
                   State crime…

the world
        must remember
is a prime number
43       43       43…

© 2014 jjméndez


Es número primo
         que el mundo
debe recordar…

camisas rotas
pantalones rasgados
cabello quemado
plomazos resonando
ojos abiertos
miradas vacías
labios secos
brazos extirpados
piernas cortadas
dedos mutilados
sangre en el río
torsos flotando
cabezas fracturadas
gritos en el llano
manchas de muerte 
                en el árbol...

huesos calcinados
papel aleteando
libros y lápices
medallones y
llaveros tiznados
crucifijos torcidos
lentes en añicos
notas arrugadas
billeteras vacías
monedas sueltas
zapatos en el fango
madres llorando
padres, hermanas
y hermanos destruidos
gritos en la niebla
            animas al viento…

desaparición forzada
destrucción masiva
corrupción galopante
               crimen de Estado…

el mundo
       debe recordar
es número primo
43      43      43…

© 2014 jjméndez

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Bipartisan Babble

I am not a crook.
I didn’t inhale.
Tear down this wall.
Read my lips.

There will be no more taxes.
I did not have sex
With that woman.
The war is over.

Mission accomplished.
They misunderestimated me.
The tyrant has fallen
And Iraq is free.

There will be no ground troops.
Money is not the only answer
But it makes a difference.
Change will come if we wait for it.

I ended the war in Iraq.
Affordable Care is a predictable disaster.
We will have comprehensive
Immigration reform.

           And the charade continues…

©2014 jjméndez

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

FALLEN'S DAY by jjméndez

       by jjméndez

Unknown or forgotten
I ask myself everyday 
and not just on Veterans’ Day…

Is there really a difference 
I wonder…  Between our Vets 
who are still walking
and those that find 
themselves six feet under?

In this land of runaway
lop-sided democracy 
where we still enjoy 
our right to say
whatever we please 
and worship freely (or not)
on Veterans’ Day 
we glorify our dead Vets 
but often look past the plight 
of the living still dealing 
with deep wounds in body or spirit.

We swallow the reasons 
we are given for killing 
and keep on believing 
the hyperbolic stories 
we are fed by a State 
controlled by the filth 
and greed of the those 
on the Hill and Wall Street.

Either way, my dear friends
the daily reality not just 
on Veterans’ Day is 
our Vets’ life is often a mess 
whether alive or laid down to rest.

If dead, it’s one less dog tag 
walking the land of the living.
If still breathing, the forgotten Vet 
wonders if anyone really cares 
and settle for living in hell 
right here in this land of the free.

So tell me again, my patriotic 
brothers and sisters as you cheer 
and celebrate…what will it take 
to end the growing number
of soldiers unknown and forgotten?

Brave soldiers —those dead 
and those living— who gave 
the best of their years
just so that you and I 
can live somewhere 
between the lies and the fears 
we are fed to commemorate 
the scars in the living and 
the loss of the unfortunate 
fallen on this Veterans’ Day…
© jjméndez, November 11, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

HALF TRUTHS by jjméndez

    Half Truths

I’m OK…seriously
I forgive you
I’ll be there on time
There’s only you for me.

I swear, I wasn't looking
I’m not worried
I forgot all about it
You haven’t changed a bit.

I know what you mean
I bought it just for you
I’ll never forget you
Being near you is all I need.

I don’t feel well
I have a headache
I don’t mind —really
You look great in that outfit.

I’ve been very busy lately
I’m losing cellphone reception
I’ll always love you
Sorry, someone’s calling.

Have a wonderful day.
                    Yeah you too!

©2014 jjméndez

Sunday, November 2, 2014

RAZA CÓSMICA (Diaspora) by jjméndez


You are 
the branches
and diverging
in the green
tree of life.

You grow
where there
are no artificial

You bear 
fruit and
hurl your
fertile seed
into the shifting
winds of life

And onward 
to the four
corners of 
your sun-
Mother Earth.

But your
roots remain 
as one vein…  

you must
make sure
your children 
and your 
children’s children 
know well
             the shoulders they stand on…

©2014  jjméndez
©2014 Original Photo  Cieneguilla Petroglyphs, NM by  jjméndez


las ramas
que se
y divergen
en el verde
árbol de la vida

sin descanso
rumbo al cielo
donde no 

fruto y
lanzas tu
semilla fértil
hacia el
viento de
la vida

y sigues
de frente
hacia las
cuatro esquinas
de la Madre
Tierra bañada
de sol

Pero tus
antiguas raíces
siguen siendo
una sola vena…

que tus hijos
y los hijos
de tus hijos
conozcan bien
                 los hombros en que se sostienen...
©2014  jjméndez

Tuesday, October 28, 2014




Hey, Slim.
Is that you?
Yeah. How’s it going?
Everything’s cool.
Glad to know.
How’s it with you?
OK, I guess…  

Yeah.  Well …no.
Looking around?
No, just laying low.

Taking a break?
Got no choice.
Don’t wait too long.
Ain’t desperate, ‘bro.
Not yet.
‘Till the money’s gone.
That won’t take long…

Well … better go.
Yeah, me too.
See you later.
Yeah, thanks for the call.

© 2008 jjméndez
© 2008 Original photo by jjméndez