April 11, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Gustave Deghilage photo



Miguel Cruz




Requiem for The Schemed



The streets of my neighborhood are littered with broken lives and shattered dreams,

Much like how broken 40oz bottles decorate the bad side of town’s dingy allies and streets.

Victims of our struggle are now empty shells with the substance that once made them long ago consumed.

Seems like we were born doomed, but they can’t deport or extort us all so they build prisons just to make room.

Even then, some are fortunate enough to have their dreams exhumed and their lives resurrected.

But the vast majority isn’t so lucky and instead has their hopes for change and redemption rejected.

We grew up not respected, out casted like lepers so we fought back with anger driven by indignation.

Oppression running deep going back generations, and we refuse to forget the haciendas, reservations, or the plantations

Because greed, genocide, and slavery are what kick-started the birth of this nation.

And they’re still alive and well today, I just refuse to drink the Kool-Aid made to blind me to the ignorance and misinformation.

You see, the 13th amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

It’s not a coincidence that this country has the highest population of people doing time.

It just boggles the mind that there is a business dedicated to raking in cash and to bountifully prosper

Off the incarceration of others while their families are left to fend for themselves and to suffer.

Where I grew up, the two beasts that swallowed up the most lives were addiction and the Prison Industrial Complex.

But killing ourselves isn’t the answer and we need to stop fighting over whose hood we think is the strongest.

And instead think in terms of the context of why our people are malnourished, mislead and uneducated

And why the streets in the hood and the barrio are mal-flourished, full of dread and still segregated.

Unfortunately for some, the conditions for growth in their environment aren’t present. So it’s more like a trap.

Some say we are fortunate enough to have been born in a nation where we get showered with scraps

From a table where fat cats sit on their ass and get huge slices of the pie while we get the crumbs because they view us as scum.

They get to live on the good side of town while we have to live in the slums.

My eardrums have become allergic to the bullshit coming out of politicians flapping their gums.

Justice and equality have been promised and we have been waiting for years and they still haven’t come.

As a result, my heart and my spirit are numb and there’s only a spark of hope left.

I feel like an addict without any dope left, I’m desperate to find a fix to my problem but I feel that it’s hopeless.

Yet it’s funny because the system uses the poor like a *tecato uses a disposable syringe.

They use us not only once, but until we are rusted and diseased and they still keep on using us and they don’t even cringe.

Prisons are alters! Filled with human sacrifices that are fed to the church of capitalism.

Where all praise and glory go to the almighty dollar and everywhere you turn they try to convert you with their gospel and catechism.

There’s inevitable revolution and cataclysm because we are tired of having them bust us!

There’s no such thing as justice inside of the system and prisons there’s Just Us!

And while my brother is locked up rotting inside of the penitentiary

Crooks on Wall St. are free to walk the streets after committing the crimes of the century.

Can’t you see that the heartbeat of America is no longer pulsing but convulsing with hatred?

Classism is the real issue at hand and it’s not just the racists.

So if you’re tired of being complacent, the time has come as a people to stand up and show bravery

Because I would rather have a turbulent ride to freedom than a smooth sailing trip to slavery.

The answers to our problems aren’t mass incarceration, money worship or a war on drugs.

We are just trimming the leaves instead of getting to the root of the problem if societal issues kept getting swept under the rug.

Things won’t ever change if we don’t have the guts to stand up for what’s right and rise above.

The revolution will not be televised, but the revolution is here. And the revolution… the revolution is Love.

Like Jimi said, “when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”

Maybe one day there won’t be wars in the Middle East and never ending wars on most of these city streets.

Maybe one day people of color won’t be treated in a way where we get executed by the police.

And maybe one day the blindness that keeps us from seeing that we’re all brothers and sisters living in the same planet will cease.






Junky Survival Kit



I stole this backpack from my last job and it almost costs 200 bucks, retail.

Inside of this waterproof piece of shit engineered by people who trick retards into paying shit loads of money for useless things, I have my survival kit.

Everything I need to survive is in it.

In an almost hidden compartment located at my lower back, I have my hunting knife.

Just in case I need to stab someone, I can reach my right hand to the handle that barely sticks out.

Inside the hollowed out handle is a needle for stitches, fishing line, a compass, and other assortments of wilderness bullshit.

If the shadow people or the government agents ever catch up to me I can go off grid in a moments notice.

Inside of the main compartment I have my notebook.

And it is one of my most prized possessions because inside are my deepest and innermost thoughts.

And there are poems

And there are songs

And they are not yet finished, but I know they will one day change the world.

Even though the drugs have taken away some of my talent, I know that my brilliance is still in here somewhere.

I still hope to re­ignite the dying embers of my once burning artistic passion, but right now who gives a shit about that.

In the smaller compartment we have the piece de resistance; a sunglass case which therein lie all of my hopes and dreams.

This case contains the vessel that transports me to another world.

And over there I am king, unlike in the real world.

There, I am the greatest motherfucker who ever lived. Here I feel like the biggest piece of shit to ever have had the misfortune of living.

Unfortunately, the more I go to that place, the more I need to return.

I keep going back there because in the real world I feel worthless and every day that passes I feel more and more like killing myself.

This vessel transports me to that beautiful place every time my lips touch its cold glass stem.

My pipe allows my life’s blood to give me an embrace so cold that it is warm.

The chemicals that flow through me are the only things that take away the pain. Methamphetamine is my fuel, and my lighter is what ignites it.

I once thought that my sunglass case contained my salvation and the one and only thing that held together my sanity.

Now I see that it has not only trapped my hopes and dreams, but also my potential and who I really am.

What I once thought was freedom beyond my wildest dreams has actually now turned into slavery incomprehensible to me even in my worst nightmares.

This junky survival kit contains my life’s blood and my death’s fuel. And even though I know I am slowly committing suicide and rapidly losing my sanity,

I open up my sunglass case, and proceed to blast off into the world where everything is better.






Miguel Cruz

Miguel Cruz is a poet, musician and writer from the Santa Barbara area. He is in recovery and has almost five years clean from drugs and alcohol. He is an aspiring writer who is passionate about criminal justice and social consciousness.

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