Reviews

The Savage Review, Part One – Mike Bertino

Reading The Savage Detectives

MEXICANS LOST IN MEXICO (1975)

NOVEMBER 2nd – 3rd

I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a turning of age deal. I understand that, in life, we grow up different; we grow older with the passage of time. That doesn’t mean this tale repeats itself for everyone. Truth is, how can you believe in something? I don’t believe in anything, or any absolutes, and most things are possible. There are just certain things I don’t believe in, and they are very few and far between.

NOVEMBER 4th – 5th

I always use the informal tu, even in my head while speaking English. Seems strange to me though, because Bolaño has written about Gauchos. Thought he might have picked up a thing from them. I can picture Cousin Rob not using the informal tu with a girl he might have just met, and Cousin Rob is the one who relates the most to Bolaño, and the reason why I am reading this book in the first place.

NOVEMBER 6th – 8th

Things just got very interesting.

NOVEMBER 9th – 13th

Sometimes I turn into an archiving gargoyle. A friend of mine is a real compulsory information gatherer, Bernardo, he tracks it, whether it be book, movie or record, scribbles it down on centimeters of white corners on scraps of every available paper near him as soon as he incepts. He eventually reaches every scrap at a later date, every title, every time, in eventuality. For me, there is just too much data out there, and not enough people or time to consume it all. Why bother storing it somewhere then? Let moments be moments.

My penis rages a boner when I read a description of a girl or sexual act in a book. It doesn’t even have to be excessively sexual; a simple description of how she looks, what she’s wearing, how she smells, how she’s standing, anything, and my dick turns rock hard. In fact, its hardest and quickest erections happen when I’m reading a book, unmatched by real life situations with women. They make it hard, just not the same.

Latin America as a theme in writing is I can’t write when I’m drunk. It’s cool that they’re getting high, or at least I think they are. Whether or not drug dealing translates to usage is left to be seen, but if they’re not, then I really cannot relate to the characters in this book.

NOVEMBER 14th – 15th

That Indians communicate with masculine and feminine isn’t surprising, but that this passes on is truly a revelation. Although Mano is only a nickname due to the fact that it distinguishes me from my sister Mana, it’s a couple of terms used to differentiate the masculine from the feminine, as if nothing else matters. Avó with thís accent and Avô with thât accent signifies grandmother and grandfather. This Naco and Naca business is the type of thing they call wisdom or enlightenment in youth, bliss in ignorance. You could argue that the distinction between sexes or sensuality is a sign of caring, but it’s pretty far removed from modern categorizations and the over-analysis of every microcosmic speck. From now on, I think my coffee is naco, and my mate is naca. Talk about solving the gender problem, our brains aren’t developed for androgyny, might as well break the boundaries of male and female now, and stop relating it to genitals.

It’s cockamamie how hard I get from literature. Any mention of a woman, or girl, with the smallest amount of description, and in any scenario, will flourish in my mind and hit me hard in the vein. All I know of Maria Font is that she is tall, dark, with dark hair and thin lips, and yet I feel her smooth and tan skin, see her goose bumps glistening in the sun, and I feel the dark hairs on her arm, warm, the slight moustache above her upper lip which is so prominent in Indian women. I grip her inner thighs, which aren’t hard but as soft as unbaked bread dough. Her breasts are small and her nipples even smaller, but are pointy, and they’re hard. She’s thin, elegant; her eyes are dark and look down at everything, seemingly disinterested, stemming from her inner uninteresting self. Her boredom waxes off on everything, but she feels delightful when I kiss her. She’s tall, dark and thin-lipped.

NOVEMBER 16th – DECEMBER 28th

Not sure if Magnetic people are attracting trouble necessarily. I have met a few, one with a spooky name, Henry, who is certainly a magnet, and it seems he is involved in trouble often, although I can’t tell if he’s attracting or creating it. Maybe it’s unfair to call people around trouble magnetic. Maybe they are just the creators of creative situations. And maybe that goes for everyone who’s magnetic to something, they are merely creating fun, horror, excitement, deathly boredom and complications.

Why do people feel the need to keep saying things, about anything? It’s almost as if, while you’re explaining something you experience in some way, physically, visually, intrinsically, transcendentally, you’re trying to understand it as the words come out of your mouth. Why can’t the words stay in your head, quietly brewing and boiling into your answers? Because you’re not a shithead, so you let it come out of your mouth, so you’re eating shit, a shit-eater. Maybe it’s a bad instinct, that first reaction you have, that you have to know what you just witnessed. Maybe in some ways if you choose not to understand you will not only understand it better some day, maybe the answers will come to you in the form of unexpected revelations, like a vision in your girls’ iris. Think you need to stop being able to see too.

Don’t know what it is about dawn, when the joggers and bikers come out, but it makes you real weak in the knees, weak in the spirits, shakes your fingers to an unsteady beat, and you either want to kiss someone passionately or cry for hours nestled deep, warmed by the stuff of life between thighs. I had the most wonderful traumatic experience, a dream in which I could not awake from, where I cried for hours and no one understood why, and when I awoke I was crying. And I kept on crying for hours, not knowing the reason for all the sadness that I felt, but when I woke up at two in the afternoon I felt rejuvenated. Except there was no vessel lying next to me, so I wonder where all the sinful darkness and hardness could have gone. Back into me? Surely not into my bed. My tiny, single bed, two mattresses stacked on one another pushed against the wall, a small amount of leverage for my frail manhood.

People all look the same. We focus on the minute details that make us different, such as the degree of the arch of your eyes, the amount of space between your lips and chin, thickness of your fingers, length of your torso. But take a look, at a sketch of a human being, and with the exception of disfigurement, we all have the eyes in a line next to each other, and the ears, with a nose in the middle, and lips below it and an open mouth with rows of teeth, and you can figure out the rest. And the genitals make a huge difference to us, the inversion of a single organ to operate two different functions, useless on their own, with the same end result. It separates us, exclusive to ourselves. We see uniqueness when uniformity is staring right back at us, from the same region of the face.

Coming of age stories always feel so crummy. I feel as if after this it won’t be coming of age any longer, that it will be of age, but I realize the easiest way to relate to another person, specifically a man person, is to tell the story of a seventeen year old fucking some bitches for the first time, and then being all raw about it. It’s almost like cheap thrills, and I understand why underage love is so easily exploitable. The weekend is an inherently adolescent thing. I guess we all carry trophies of youth with us. Those trophies are vases, they contain dreams, and one by one those vases fall off the shelf and shatter. What do girls relate to? Do they read Catcher in the Rye and enjoy it? Eventually someone is going to call this sexist and then maybe someone will refute it, but to all you people arguing that shit YOU’RE FAGGOTS!
I really hope I’m not missing the point of this book. I doubt there is a point. I don’t believe books have points or that people can get them or miss them. A book can only be read, not understood. The subtleties between lines is something different, but even those are hard to capture. When reading Thomas Hardy you probably need a guide or notebook to explain that when he describes the way the animals move along the grass and among the trees and the way the branches sway in the wind it’s actually just a metaphor for ‘A WOMAN IS BEING RAPED.’

DECEMBER 28th – 31st

Quim belongs in an insane asylum. I wonder how magically realistic the rest of this book is going to get. Hopefully not at all. Hopefully the Fonts’ house wasn’t an insane asylum, or a labyrinth or poetry or something else symbolic and stupid like that. I keep forgetting that they’re in Mexico, and not South America. Did Bolaño write this while he was living in Mexico? He almost describes Mexico City in a South American way, the small amount of times he actually describes anything. Every once in a while he throws in a “Mustang” or “Camaro,” and you never see those cars in South America, at least not as much. It’s a rare sight, not a normal discovery.
Also, if he is Belano and not Madero, does that mean he is describing his own sexual ambitions and conquests, or those of others? I’ve read Bolaño talk about his “problems of a sexual nature” during his adolescence in his short stories collection The Insufferable Gaucho that have recently been translated into English and published by Picador. There are two essays in the collection that are less concerned with a story but are much more similar to ramblings of a mad man. Did Bolaño ever make a girl cum fifteen times in one night, or did one of his friends brag about it? What worries me about this is that I feel an innate connection between Bolaño’s thought process and mine, at least in the two essays “Literature + Illness = Illness” and “The Myths of Cthulhu.” Even in short stories such as The Insufferable Gaucho and “Alvaro Rousselot’s Journey” the writing seems very familiar to me. I think it’s because Bolaño is South American, and therefore he and I share similar grow-up traits. I traveled in my youth, and have never lived in South America for longer than three years, and those years weren’t very conscious.
I’ll come back to this.

THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES (1976-1996)

Amadeo Salvatierra, Calle República de Venezuela, near the Palacio de la Inquisición, Mexico City DF, January 1976

I’m dying to try this Mezcal Los Suicidas, although I’m sure it tastes like any other tequila. I die to try anything in a book, the liquor and the women. Wonder what makes some people so happy to see others. I often find myself more than happy when someone comes to visit me at my home, regardless of who they are. I like them to feel comfortable, and I’m offering anything they can consume or use at my house. It must come off as lonely, like Amadeo. Amadeo is probably older, someone who hasn’t spoken to his fellow poets in many years. Seeing these two probably makes him feel nostalgic, although he’s in for a surprise. Why is old age always surprised by the differences between the years and generations? That ‘times are different’ is really shocking to anyone? The worst are the claims of better times or something. Older people of the world, do us a favor and resign your citizenship along with your right to vote by the time you’re fifty-five. Make it fifty. You’re old, you make poor decisions based on outdated knowledge, and you won’t be around long enough to live with the consequences of your choices, but others will. Others, the living, the young, will have to deal with remnants of your old, ignorant and arrogant genuine beliefs, systems, thoughts, ambitions, and will be cleaning it up until they’re in the same boat as you, ruining it for some other strangers they give birth to. Come to think of it, it’s almost strange that old people don’t treat someone significantly younger than them as their own child. The herd has spread out, become large and diverse, and it is strong enough to sustain those who do not vibe with the master plan.
I like the idea of offering them a drink, because that’s what generations have in common, it’s what writers do. The only thing that changes where you go is the distilled alcohol. For some it’s tequila, for others, whiskey and even vodka, gin, and then the variety of all sorts. Some people claim certain distilled liquors to be more supreme or royal, very important and even more special than others, VSOP grade, or Very Special Old Pale. It’s all the same that ends the same. One could spend all night drinking VSOP and one could spend all night drinking a plastic bottle of gin, the experience might vary but the result will be the same. Similar thoughts, enthusiasm and tribulations will come.
I once spent a night with some friends drinking nothing but “fine” scotch whiskey. I don’t recall most of the brands, except for a Chivas Regal aged at twenty-five years, which someone convinced me at the time cost around five hundred dollars. That might have been true, but most likely it’s a fucking lie. Either way, the parents are rich and so is this kid and his house and upbringing. We get real shitfaced. There are three gentlemen, two girls and a free love ordeal. We drink and become daring. The parents are out of town, we spin in the beamer around the neighborhood, skinny dip in the pool and don’t worry about ash or cigarette buds, and the whole while drinking this fine whiskey.
To be honest with you, I’d have had a great time with cans of watery beer, with enough of them. The experience is slightly different, because the drunken feeling ain’t the same, and the morning after is certainly a separate monster, but I’d still live the same night in my memory. I laugh and cheer with good company, play some of my favorite albums as the designated DJ, although one fucker keeps hassling me over the music selection, and I even sneak kisses and squeezes from the girls. I pass out in the king size bed with a guy and a girl, and after a couple of months I never hang out with those people again.
That’s not true. I ran into one of them years later. She was tipsy nearing solid drunk, and I think I was in the same state, although who knows, supposedly I downplay how drunk I actually am frequently. She told me the whiskey night remained magical in her memory, that the mix of company and freedom, and even age, all complimented the treasure of scotch that we drank. She told me she hasn’t drank (drunk?) anything as good since. Now she’s rather seductive in my mind. I’m playing her over, and I think I’m making up the dress she’s wearing, but she has long brown and straight hair, a little blonde, and she’s average height and very thin. Tan skinned, oriental-western mix looking eyes with a round and cheeky face, very pretty and rosy. No hips or curves, no fat in the three places where it counts, but that makes her elegant. There’s no way of confirming that she looks this way. I don’t think she’s on facebook. Maybe I should look her up. I think I’m giving myself my very first self-literary erection! I’ll have to ask someone how to phrase that more effectively.
There’s something about her eyes too. They look South American.

Perla Avilés, Calle Leonardo da Vinci, colonia Mixcoac, Mexico City DF, January 1976

I ride my grandfather’s horses through his farm, through the forests and the hills, on the field to herd in the cattle. Fenced in, shot with needle, bathed, and then packed up in the back of a truck, and the bills are paid until next year.

I found her on facebook. I know her nickname is Gaby, but I didn’t realize her name is Maria Gabriela Giménez. She’s not the type of girl to write out her nickname, I guess, although when she’s mentioned I’ve only ever heard her referred to as Gaby. Maybe people mean Gabi. Now that’s a thought prying into others’ thoughts. She doesn’t have a lot of pictures up, but it looks like she’s still the same looking girl. One of her pictures proves that at some point since I last saw her she cut her hair short. She’s on a boat with a girl and an older man, hopefully someone’s father, and her hair only reaches her chin. Her bikini is polka dotted, which is a funny contrast to the other girls’ bikini, which looks like one of those fancier tops, with curls and knots and laces. There’s a literary picture of her ass in that same album.

Laura Jáuregui, Tlalpan, Mexico City DF, January 1976

First off, I hope I’m no Pancho Rodriguez. Second, Laura Jáuregui is an idiot. No, she’s not an idiot, she’s just an unappreciative bitch who thinks a little too highly of herself. Whether or not visceral realism is truly an attempt by Bolaño to impress her and show her that he loves her is inconsequential. But if Bolaño wrote this, is he actually admitting that visceral realism is just for Laura? Is there a real Laura, who maybe doesn’t feel this way, but Bolaño felt she did? Well. As far as the story is concerned, she loves a Bolaño, the crate of fruits, and in this I agree with her, so perfect for him to be sitting on, waiting, or I guess I agree with him…Maybe this is just Bolaño. Is this a moment where someone writes fiction that isn’t exactly realistic, and it gets in the way of reading? Here I am hating on Laura Jáuregui, and yet I can’t even believe the character would act this way. I’ve always felt that men can’t write from a woman’s perspective, and vice-versa. There’s no way she could go from understanding and caring to calling him a creep, unless she knows the true meaning of the word creep, which I doubt. Although some women do act completely irrational, it is true, and again someone might someday call me sexist, but they will either be a woman or a lonely loser, which is not a creep in any sense of the word.

Gaby accepted my friend request. Can’t wait until she’s online so I can creep on her hard. Think I’m gonna start creeping on her friends hard, so I can make things interesting. Gonna try and figure out where she’ll be tonight, try and run into her as much as I can. Such a spark of interest. I don’t think it’s necessarily sexual or romantic, but I definitely want to party with her. Wonder what those other people from that night are up to nowadays, but not really.
The club, where I ran into her, when she told me she loved that night, has since closed. I’m sure I’ve run into her or been to the same parties, bars and clubs as she but never noticed, and she didn’t see me. I think I heard someone mentioning her a couple of weeks ago, maybe months, but I can’t remember. Chris was with me at the club, he’ll probably remember. Chris was actually there the night she loved, but only at the beginning. Our party was six, but he had to leave early to take a standardized test the next day, don’t remember if it was SAT or ACT. Man, he must have been taking that thing late. We were already eighteen that year. Or maybe we were seventeen, or even sixteen. Jesus, how long ago was this? And how old was I when she told me she loved that night? I gotta make sure not to bring this up, then, because she probably won’t remember, might think I’m stupid, or that I’m the wrong definition of creep.

Maybe Bolaño knew for a fact Laura Jáuregui thinks that way, but that seems crazy to me. I’ve often felt that I misjudge books written by women, so I’ve stopped reading them completely. That’s not entirely true, however. I am in the process of reading Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. It is written in a most simplistic way. Almost. There are still some hints of femininity here and there, although it’s mostly covered up by a rampant oppression of California brand liberalism. Liberalism isn’t the right word, but people have twisted it to this point, so why shouldn’t I? Didion is also journalistic, which is a style of writing I’ve never been too into. I am enjoying these essays somewhat, but the real reason I’m finishing the book is because it was suggested to me by the same person who suggested this book (said if you like prose), which I don’t want to put down. I’ve learned to take my time though, enjoy a good read, and the best way to do that is to read a couple of different books, have some that are less interesting or less entertaining than others. It’s a good system, and in the end you end up filling up a bookshelf and adding to your smart repertoire persona garbage.
Back to Laura Jáuregui, if Bolaño was able to encompass this woman’s thoughts, then she’s of an extremely fickle nature. Maybe she comes from a tribe of fickle women. In the span of about four pages, she forgets how many men she slept with at one period, goes from love to dismissal of a man, and openly praises her love of Bolaño, only to debunk it. That part only took about three or four paragraphs. If you write a book about a woman’s interests and disinterests throughout her life, each chapter representing a new interest, how long will that book be, and how short are the chapters? A fifteen hundred-page novel with twenty thousand chapters? Again, sexist, machista, whatever the fuck you want to call it, chauvinist pig me. I love women.

Fabio Ernesto Logiacomo, editorial offices of the magazine La Chispa, Calle Independencia and Luis Moya, Mexico City DF, March 1976

That’s the thing though, you can never be certain of anything. Once you become dumb and throw absolutism out the window, the window and the throwing go along with it, and you’re left to your senses. If it feels good, something ‘knows’ ‘it’, but everything else is utter nonsense.
The word “suppose” is quickly becoming my favorite. I love its definition, love that it was constructed out of a need that humans have to interpret things they don’t understand. No one understands anything, they can’t explain language, yet they create it and they write it as if it were second nature. To assume, to consider, to believe, without anything giving you certainty. And nothing ever does. You just suppose everything. That’s modern living: supposed.
The English word ‘hug” is awful. I’m putting it on my word shit list and the hall of shame for words. It means to wrap your arms around another person, I think, to most people. Embrace is much closer to what it’s attempting to say. That embrace, that sentiment, that undeniable squeeze you get from human being to human being. It’s a warm feeling, it’s universal and it can be discovered in any corner of the world. In molten volcano lava and in frozen tundra, the hug will be buried deep between sand grains. Same thing goes for the word Saudade. Being skillful in the Romantic languages is a very efficient romantic skill. You see, to Spaniards, Brazilians, French, Portuguese and Italians, words full of expression and sentiments are every-day. A regular basis sort of deal. The Germanic is colder. Mix the two, and what you get is a cold romantic, someone who is both bold and smooth. Actually, I don’t know about all that, but I certainly use some words in casual dialogue with women that might seem poetic, but in another language is regular chitchat, and that cannot be a denial. Or it can. Whatever. Fuck absolutism. You decide if it’s appropriate to put a comma after fuck.

Poem novels sound horrific. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner comes to mind, as well as getting lost in the woods. I wonder if this writer, or rather, I wonder if this poet has Crohn’s disease or something like that. What’s hurting me? I meant to say what’s hurting you? Did I not?
They didn’t drug him. They’re so interested. Chapultepec is gorgeous. The architecture is brilliant white, contrast to the surrounding green, pillars and older buildings, showing age but not too much wear, as if they’ve been spared by time. I imagine having a beer there, walking down the forest, with a five-beer-full six pack in my right hand. I’m not smoking at this point, there is some sweat on the side of my forehead, probably the right, and the noise of the silence and the wind is overwhelming my eardrums. Green skies with blotches of blue in the background, with wood colored brown and gray and red, the ground is yellow, grey, brown and white, a mixture of years of cycle of life stuff. I notice my gait, my locomotive train-wreck, then I start to miss beats, like when I play music and notice my tempo and lose it. I run into some weird Mexicans, one of which is obviously fucked up and in pain and I say “everything OK?” and one of them says “MIND YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS” so I do.

You know when you start noticing something you see it everywhere? And not just with words or poetry or a concept, but solid, physical things? Let’s say you notice a Subaru Impreza for the first time in your life, learn its body and shape, its style, and then you start seeing it more often, but you might have seen it just as often before you noticed it, now it catches your attention. Let’s think that way about women, about the love of your life and everything good for you, or let’s start thinking about making money and how it’s everywhere, you just can’t see it. Well, the spooky thing is that I ran into Gaby at Whole Foods. Straight up, I went to Whole Foods by myself for a beer, which I haven’t done in years, and she was at the Whole Foods dining area having a slice of pizza and a beer. A big beer. It was around five in the afternoon. Sun descending, getting close to winter in November.
It feels like a stupid dream. I walk into the room with beer in hand, grab a ribbed plastic cup to pour my beer into, give me something to do between page breaks of this book. I sit and read for a while, finish about two-thirds of the beer. I look up, I see her and at the same time she looks up and sees me. How made up is this? We lock eyes and smile, a stiff breeze pushes my bangs and her length of hair to the west, even though we’re indoors and the AC is blasting a perfect currentless wave. Her arm twitches for a hand gesture and immediately stops when she sees my legs and hips sway towards her. My hips and legs almost stop working when I notice her arm twitch, but my manly instinct knows better and keeps treading forward. The instinct, which isn’t mine, and I apologize for saying it, makes the right decision.
I could describe the decorations, the tall walls and the dark brown wooden booths that I’m sure aren’t Formica, but I’d rather tell you about her dress, and how it’s barely there. You can say it’s a Sunday dress. Thin, made of some smooth material, and you can tell the textile is a repetition pulled out of a long spindle. There’s flowery roses, the background a light red, black and white and yellow streaks and lines that form flowers, petals and buds, so thin it hu-embraces parts of her body in the most complimentary way. It dances in dead air. Her hair long and light light light brown and glowing blonde. She has a pulchritudinous dark bruise on the back of her left thigh, almost like a tattoo that actually looks good on someone. She’s not giving up her skin for a tattoo, she’s making a bruise to compliment her beauty.
I think I could have bitten down hard on a lock of her hair and closed my eyes and said “Sayonara” and left Earth on some emergency spaceship capsule and never returned, never opening my eyes again and never unclenching my teeth. My smile must have looked ridiculous as I strutted in her direction. Her lips and bunny rabbit front teeth incite me, although I’m only exaggerating, her teeth are pretty straight and white. Her dad is a lawyer and her mom is getting away with being drunk and partying. That’s one of the things she tells me.

It’s not even that absurd, and maybe it’s what’s making me feel strange. I love the absurdity of life, the nonsense, the inexistence of everything. Or the tolerant quality that matter has. These Mexicans and the Mexican wannabe are living a close to ideal lifestyle, just completely oblivious to the absurd structures of their surroundings. Someday I hope to take an eternal vacation like that.

Luis Sebastián Rosado, La Rama Dorada coffee shop, Colona Coyoacán, Mexico City DF, April 1976

Priapo’s is probably a great place as long as you don’t go with people like Luis. I bet I’d have a lot of fun going there with Gaby. She says she likes to get pretty wild when she parties, and since she doesn’t have much to do but a freelance job for the local paper I bet she parties quite often. We talked about a lot of different things at Whole Foods, mostly trying to get to know each other since we’ve never had a full conversation before. Or so I thought. Gaby told me we had a long rant with each other on the whiskey night. I don’t remember this in the slightest.
She was dating one same guy for about three years. She’s moving to New York soon. What a shame, I’ll probably end up in that dump too. She goes on about music, but my experience knows better, a girl’s taste in music isn’t always a pleaser, usually remnants of the last dude in them, so I change the subject. Let me explain this, it’s not that girls listen to shitty music, duh, but music is touchy and people are really into what they are into, so it gets tough talking about it without being dishonest, if you’re looking to not offend someone, according obviously to my personal preference. I shouldn’t even have to add the word personal in front of preference, if you know the meaning of words, but it’s just that these days, with all these half-truths (LOL) and “truthiness” out there, well, it just seems like a lot of people think their preference is something other than personal. They think it’s something that is concrete and factual that must be respected and cannot be offended. Just think about kids and what do we tell them about the sex? In Texas? In New York?
We talk about alcohol, and this part I like, and it makes me drunk. The date is set as soon as she mentions the abbey, gin martinis, gin shots and being sick of hops. Said a bartender won’t skim on a gin martini, and that she likes to get plastered fast.
8th November, it’s now 11th November, and I still sweat when I step outside of anything.

If someone started reciting a poem in front of me I think I’d start laughing uncontrollably or vomiting hysterically. Unless I’m certain that I’m not in a poetry event, hearing, reading, class or themed anything, I don’t care to control my reaction. I don’t worry about acting like a dick or looking like an asshole in such an absurd situation. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t laugh at something so ridiculous? In fact, I cannot remember one experience in my life in which a poem reading would have been appropriate.
In Miami, there is a militant poetry group under the guise of a fake institution, a very clever name for a poetic operation, known as ‘O, Miami’ or some other, and the artists’ group is called University of Wynwood. These forceful soldiers want to shove poetry down Miami’s throat, whether Miami likes it or not. They launch off in planes and strategically drop leaflets with poems printed on them, death from above littering our literary consciousness. They sow tags onto clothing at thrift stores with little poems printed on them, as if one tag wasn’t enough of a bother, now you need a whiny voice itching away at the back of your neck with flowery language. They congregate inconspicuously in public areas, and then in sequence recite a poem, an idea obviously stolen from those lame flash mobs. Flash mobs are a morbid look at self-actualization, how people can gather for the most meaningless event to gain some miniscule amount of attention from a passerby who couldn’t offer more than a second of their life to be impressed by something unimportant, useless, uninteresting, uninspiring. Flash mobs of poetry are something even more vacuous, a soul-sucking hole of pleas and cries, for poetic justice and literary sense or something. Some nonsense just like that.
The Visceral realists need to make a comeback and run these people out of town. I like poetry because it doesn’t reach me and those who practice it don’t speak up.

Luis is a lot to handle. There is an Iranian I know who reminds me of him, he’s a great friend of mine, just very insecure and unsure, both about his sexuality and his identity, I think, and I understand not wanting something like your sexual inclination to mark you as a someone. I might have once been in Luscious Skin’s place (or skin), except I never kissed Luis or the Iranian, I’ve never felt an attraction towards another man, although I’ve kissed plenty, I’m not macho aprovado, approved male, because I’ve never gone through the full certification of getting my dick sucked by a man, or me sucking a man’s dick, or fucking another man, and not being interested in it. You can always be sure you’re straight as long as you ask for the money in the end, according to Jim Carroll according to Robert Mapplethorpe according to Patti Smith. And I guess, according to Just Kids, according to me. Patti and I have a mutual understanding, although it is often written, unremarked.

I like Gaby because she is not unique and she tells me so. She says I look like everyone else and it makes her happy to be with the human population. Our mission is none, chaos is a good result. We jeer at everything, we obfuscate everyone’s unique and diverse and particularly special eyes and ears. This is your drink so I drink it. This is your pride and it makes me laugh. You know that for a fact? I don’t know about that kind of stuff, I’m ill equipped and incapable of proving for or against, lack evidence, can’t claim any basis for an opinion, did not do research and will not take the time, am not troubled by anyone’s conclusion, and the only fact out there I will mention, is that I know for a fact that there is no way you can know something for a fact. She also smocks herself in the silliest see-through shit I’ve ever bit into.

Alberto Moore, Calle Pitágoras, Colonia Varvarte, Mexico City DF, April 1976

Fuck Alberto, fuck Luis and Julita, and fuck Luscious Skin and Ulises and Arturo for right now. Something very strange has happened. I feel very at peace, but when I stop to think about it I feel confused, ashamed, and sometimes I don’t care.
I don’t think it’s gonna work out with Gaby. We were hitting it off for a while, but then we reached that point where parallels turn perpendicular, and she keeps me away from reading this book, which I want to come back to, since it brings me happiness and excitement, which I felt with her, but not anymore. I think at first I liked the book because of her, but now I see the herring of my ways.