N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 3 :   S p e c i a l   E d i t i o n

L o n g   P o e m   M a s t e r p i e c e s   o f   t h e   P o s t b e a t s





Jesús Papoleto Meléndez


Photo of Jesús Papoleto Meléndez by Elena Mamarazzi Marrero.



Against The Threat of AIDS

(for So Many Friends)



Death Discriminates Not,

                                   Against The Living!

     :Death Kills All Living Things!

          Death Kills Your Life!

                                           IT, ends, IT


                                                                    , on this Earth

                                                                           as(wE KnoW


                                                                                                 That’s It!


But Disease!... O! But Disease Discriminates,

                                                                    Disease is Selective

                                                                                            of Its Victims:

   Some Are Children

                                , Whose eyes have yet to wander

                                                                             through their lives

                      Who we’ve seen before

                                                   starving to their deaths

                                                                           at the floor

                                                                              of our dinner tables

                                                                                                            :!Bombed Upon—


                                                                                                       Broken Dolls;


                                                                                                                 Mass Murdered!

                                                              Crying with their open mouths…

                                                                  Unheard above the dancing crowds!...

   Old Men!

              , After their lives;

                                          Their children&their wives

                                                                              their affairs,

                   their cars&cares



               among the unknown sheets

                                                  of strange hospital beds

                                                                                       , No One

                                                                           not even

                                                                                     the shadows of their wives

                                                                                 showing their heads.


   On Colorful Posters,


                                          , unable to take a playful step

                                                                                 into this world

                                              without the aid

                                                                of the iron-exoskeletons

                                                     into which they were born,

      elicit our poor sympathy  (unlike

                                                     The Attitude Assumed Against

                                                                                                 This illicit misery

                                                                                      which now

                                                                                         lays its peril


                                                                            the whole of society)!

           ...O! Our tears are endless

                                               for the lithe less,

                               reaching the depths

                                                        of our wallets,

                                                                           where wallow our hearts


                                                                                              in deep debt

                                  “To Give Support!”

                                                             ...as we so poorly know how.


How Is It?!... THEN!!!

                                 That so many of my Friends

                                      Have come to meet their End

                                    Without Even,

                                                         the Government

                                            A Relative

                                                 or Friend


                                  , at that last moment

                                                              in their lives

                        To let a tear come to their eyes,

                           To send a friend

                                                  a kiss Goodbye,

                                                                        a hug

                                     Or give a reason why?!...

   Young men, in their prime


                                              as old wrinkled men aged with time;

                                            From the moment of their first breath

                                                                                                   , Babies born

                                                                                                       doomed to their death;


      While Junkies

                            , still in ghetto streets

                                                         nod & leap from window sills

                                                                                                   in one


                                                                                                    wasted  haste

                                                                                        to leave this hell

                                                                                            they’ve lived to hate!!!...

         ...in this Society

                               , where all that melts into its pot

                                   comes out asplasticpiecesofshit


                        Having Lovers, making love like this:              

                                                                              with plastic tubes

                                                                                 between their bliss

                                                                                                               , unsure

                                                                                              of ThemSelves

                                                                                                                     , embraced

                                                                                                                              in True Love

                                                                                                     wearing surgical gloves!


   Why Is It?!... THAT!!!

                                    This Disease

                                                which kills with such great ease

                                             goes on

                                                        , unnoticed

                                                             as if a subtle breeze?!


Could it be, That Our Great Society

                                                has Acquired

                                                    an acute Immunity to the needs of its

                                                                                                       own community,

                                                       a Deficiency in humanity;

                                                          a sickly Syndrome of insanity!

   Why else would IT  go ignored

                                             by Those

                                                Whom we implore

                                                                      to convene

                                                                         on the floor of Humanity

         And allow Science to explore

                                                an End

             to this Dread Disease

                                               – Instead of mixing Bombs

                                                    with eyes designed against You&Me!


I can only wonder:

                            ...“How lonely Death must be?”

                                                                         ... any Death must be!

                                                                                                            , a lonely destiny


                                                                                                                        for Every

                                                                                                                                  Living Being!

O! But To Go!!!...  O! BUT TO GO!!!!!....

                                                         Through the Door of Life’s Great Mystery

   , unblessed by Society

                                   , unlike a Soldier

                                            , without Regality



                                                             now Filth,





                                                                                               , said of a fellow

                                                                                                                    Human Being!


I do not think of my Friends, like this

   To me, They   are Beautiful;

                                             my Friends!  my Family!

                                                                              My Brothers & Sisters

                                                                                  of Mother Earth:



                                You cannot blame their Deaths

                                                                        on Them!

                   My Friends, as Yours,

                      tried to live their lives

                                                    as Full

                                                      as the Brightness

                                                                       in their Eyes!

                         – THAT IS WHAT EVERYONE TRIES!


My Eyes will meet Their Eyes

                                      in the bright glaze of Another Sky!

   We will be Friends again,

                                        My Friends,

                                                         And We Will Be Whole,



            ... Far      Far!!!

                                   , from this Society’s Hypocrisy!




[Used by permission of the author.]



Jesús Papoleto Meléndez is a visual and performance poet, and one of the remaining original founders of the Nuyorican Poets’ Movement, a cultural and intellectual movement involving poets, writers, musicians and artists who are of Puerto Rican descent and who were brought up in New York City during the late 40’s and 50’s, as a means to validate the Puerto Rican identity and experience in the United States. With the publication of his first volumes of poetry, Casting Long Shadows (NY, 1970), Have You Seen Liberation (NY, 1971) and Street Poetry & Other Poems (Barlenmir House, 1972), Meléndez’s poetry emerged at the inception of this movement. His play, The Junkies Stole The Clock,” (1974) was the first production of the NY Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre’s Nuyorican Playwright’s Unit. As a performance-poet, Meléndez has distinguished himself as a dynamic presenter of his works in the oral tradition. While in California, he formed the musical group “Exiled Genius,” with Eugene Mingus on piano, and M’Chaka Uba on bass, a trio that combined the tradition of jazz spontaneity and precision with the natural melody of the poetic voice in poetry/jazz collaboration.  Exiled Genius performed at several festivals throughout San Diego, Los Angeles and Baja California, Tijuana, México and has opened for such artists as Tito Puente, Urban Bush Women and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.  He also formed Nuyorican School – Original Poetry Jazz Ensemble” in 1997 with Americo Casiano in New York City.