As Us

A Space for Women of the World

Michael Armendariz – Poetry

Time Harvest Rights

Damn!

Them fools got me again!

Que jodido!

Wrapping your mind around the totality of a gangster mentality shouldn’t be such a

formidable task, right?

So why all the bullshit?

In the next time, after this time, when the scales are recalibrated

should I really still be here?

well,

I guess that depends on according to whom.

but thank God for irony.

Chicano.

Chicanismo

Tribal warrior from amongst the peasant

hordes.

Public Enemy Number One Cholo.

Genetically equipped to survive small pox.

Emotionally stunted to perpetual teenager.

Acculturated to hate myself with a blind passion.

After a decade of rehabilitation,

over and over and over

I finally get it.

I guess I wasn’t before

but now

I’m habilitated like fuck!

From all the things I’m not allowed,

the solitude of the box to which I was

assigned.

The many Brown officers

adding insult to injury.

Protecting,

Serving,

Like underline, accent, and exclamation point

To complement the absurdity of this

European desmadré!

I’ve seen the error of my time,

I’ve pondered,

Dwelled on,

And made my peace with it.

But enough about the plank in my eye,

Let us discuss the spic in yours.

For all my bragging rights,

scars,

and concussive head injuries

I slowly but definitively realized what’s

real.

I don’t want to deprecate actual events

for the sake of a

killer’s poem

but what if I was tyrannized into selling

drugs to my own people?

terrorized into an addiction to terror,

bulldogged into being a soldier,

conned.

not by one individual

not by many per se

but systematically broken down by departments

by their agents

by their agent’s agents

by pigs in wolf’s clothing

and the bitches are no better.

What if I was hypnotized?

Bamboozled

Seduced to valuate an ethereal shot at

revenge

over my very humanity

over my closest approximation of religion.

I was alright til they started taking my time.

In our present age

the Sun of Motion established harmony among the

four elements.

He gifted truth to a world in which time

became spatialized and placed in terms of the

four directions.

What if I said an enemy is stealing this time?

What if I told you an enemy has devised a

system of labels to administer a time machine,

a slavery machine where time seekers sabotage familia

for the good of

“society”

Remember when we used to say

“Get yours!”

Like as if

to be

is to acquire things.

Look out for number one.

And I bought into that shit too

for a time.

But what if I told you this shit out loud?

What if I bemoaned my stolen time like a wailing mongrel

hit  by a truck

bleeding out on the side of the road with a

broken hip

?

I am responsible for my time

perhaps not as much as the time managers

would prefer

but never-the-less accountable.

Now-a-days

vatos don’t know how to do their time anyways.

So…

while we’re on this royo

I guess what I’m trying to say

is

umm…

I’d like to report a crime.

 

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

 

Michael_Armendariz_PhotoMy name is Michael Armendariz.  I was born in 1978, and I spent most of my life in correctional facilities.  I am currently serving a life sentence since 2002 for a crime of which I maintain my innocence.  I began writing poetry at age 11 in the D home, but at the time I called my poems raps or flows.  I started rocking house parties in middle school and before my life sentence I recorded several serious gangsta raps, working with artists such as Baby Bash and Chingo Bling, among others.  As a writer/poet/hustler I have met many obstacles on the path of my life, but I continue to use the written and spoken word to bring awareness to the struggle and to uplift La Raza.  My most recent publication was an article challenging the level systems in New Mexico prisons in the newspaper, “The Ground Up.”   I see the corruption of capitalism and the criminal justice system as the civil rights struggle of my era.

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