Thursday, March 23, 2017
The Metro Phoenix Area has skipped spring, and gone directly to summer. I've broken out the luau shirts, unfashionable cargo shorts, and chanclas. Some folks are saying that it'll cool off again, but it looks to me like we're in for a long, hot summer.
What else could we have in 2017?
Birds are still shitting on the head one of the Buddhas in our backyard. I don't consider it to a tragedy or an outrage. It's really funny in a zen-like way. I enjoy contemplating the slow disintegration of the bird turds in the heat and ultraviolet radiation.
Yeah, weirdness abounds . . .
The other day, not far from our favorite burger joint on Glendale Avenue, around the corner from a bearded homeless person in a dress, we saw a van customized to look like a pig – a remnant of a defunct business.
Later, there was a stretched, bent Hummer parked in front of Safeway. A Latinx bride, groom, and wedding party, all in formal attire, wandered the aisles.
And our neighborhood rooster has been sleeping in, and not crowing until after eight a.m.
I know that this sounds like notes for the script for a surrealistic art film that's maybe a little too derivative of Un Chien Andalou, but that's the world we're living in. Reality doesn't care if it doesn't make sense. And it doesn't give a damn about aesthetics.
At least we aren't buried up to our waists in the sand, being devoured by insects. Yet.
Friday, March 17, 2017
It all started with a Kickstarter campaign:
And it ain't no ghetto:
More like a galaxy:
With the imagination going wild:
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Just a quick reminder, nenatzinme, you can get copies of High Aztech that you can get physical with! And no electronic wizardry required to read it.
Join the international conspiracy to make it available at your local and campus bookstores, public and school libraries, and other places where culture breaks loose and runs wild like it should.
P.S.: The same goes for Cortez on Jupiter!
Friday, March 3, 2017
They take place in Tenochtitlán:
Or, as they say these days, Mexico City:
One's about witches:
The other is about vampires, and dedicated to Germán Robles:
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The reviews are coming in for Latin@ Rising, and my story got three paragraphs in a Texas Observer piece, “In the Age of Trump, the First All-Latino Sci-Fi Anthology Hits Too Close to Home” by Roberto Ontiveros.
I plan doing my usual mining for exploitable quotes, but since that chunk about my humble effort is so good, here's the whole enchilada:
Ernest Hogan’s “Flying under the Texas Radar with Paco and Los Freetails” is a comic gem. The story envisions a Lone Star state of mind wherein a dissident rocker in a band named after the Mexican bats is exiled from the planet for not being Texan enough. The narrator, a “Jewish Tejano” living on Mars, details a future in which Texas has become a corporation run by a billionaire politician/entrepreneur named Billy-Bob Paolozzi. Cultural criticism and sarcasm are verboten and words are not so much banned as made palatable. Some Spanish, for instance, is acceptable, but not without the proper Texas twang.
The piece, which jokes its way through to isolationism’s terrible, logical end, would be frightening even if we didn’t have a president who was also his own brand. But we do, so it’s terrifying.
And I'll like to go on the record and say that Billy-Bob Paolozzi was not based on the current president of los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica. I wrote the story long before he expressed his lust for the office. It bounced around before I found a sympathetic market.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the rest of Latino@ Rising.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Here we are, off and running in the Year of the Rooster. And there’s a rooster in my neighborhood, and it crows all the time, not just at the crack of dawn. The poor devil is time-warped. I’m not sure what causes it, but I’ve been running into time-warped roosters for a long time . . .
My family had chickens, and a coop in the backyard in West Covina. This wasn't a normal West Covina thing. My parents were concerned about the ecology -- as we called it back then. The chickens provided us with eggs. We also had a rooster.
He was a mean little bastard who would have terrorized the neighborhood if we had left the gate open. I named him Peckinpah because I was impressed by The Wild Bunch with its slow-motion deaths and cowboys who knew what chichis were. And encounters with Peckinpah were usually bloody.
One day we found Peckinpah dead. He just keeled over. He tore into his job as kamakaze sperm-delivery machine and backyard holy terror with more passion than his tiny heart could bear.
After that we got a series of replacement roosters. They all died. The same way. “Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse,” is basic rooster philosophy, except that sometimes their corpses get mutilated.
Finally, my dad said, “That’s it! No more roosters!” So the chickens were left to lay their eggs unfertilized, and we had to get up without any cock-a-doodle-do.
Until, one day, and not in the morning, we heard a cock’s crow again.It was one of the chickens.
She -- he? it? the language fails me -- had grown a comb, and spurs, and took on the role of the rooster in the coop.
And she was time-warped, crowing at all hours.
I don’t know how complete this sexual transmogrification was. Peckinpah had trained me that if it strutted like a rooster and crowed like a rooster, don’t let it get too close.Since then, I've learned that sexual reversal and gynadromorphism does happen in chickens – it just doesn't get talked about much. It's also why Emily and I knew that the T-rexes were reproducing when we saw Jurassic Park.
The years went by, and the chickens died off, one by one, long after they stopped laying eggs. All except for the Ancient Chicken. My full name for her/him/whatever was the Ancient Chicken That Refused To Die, referencing the classic film The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.
I was her (I always thought of her as a she, and was quick to tell her story when visitors mentioned “your rooster”) caretaker, feeding her every day while slaving away under a pile of rejection slips, trying to get my career going. She lived a long time. Eventually, she took to an un-chickenish lifestyle of mostly sleeping in a tree, perched on a branch over an ever-growing, pyramid-shaped mound of her own excrement.
I wondered if she had discovered the secret to eternal life, and wasn’t going to share.
Alas, her secret was of life extension, but not immortality. One day, I went out to feed her, and found her dead, face-down in her pyramid of poop.
I speculated about what may have kept her alive so long, and wrote to Emily – this was during our interstate romance: I HAVE DISCOVERED THE SECRET OF ETERNAL LIFE -- AND IT’S DISGUSTING!
Ever since, I keep running across time-warped roosters -- if it’s a sign of the Apocalypse, it’s taking an awful long time. Maybe it’s just the universe’s way of reminding us how fantastic it is.
Friday, February 3, 2017
It's seems like magic:
But it happens:
It helps if something's in the air:
Mostly, you just have to do it:
Monday, January 23, 2017
I've published another story (the second time I've been published this month, if anybody's keeping count), this time in The Jewish Mexican Literary Review's Insurrection-themed issue.
Just what is The Jewish Mexican Literary Review? It was established in Mexico City in 1935 by artist Rosa Alvarez-Pinot and poet Nahum (Eduard) Landmann now published online by editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar. It has “never let go of its ethos of international diversity, multilingual approach, affection for marginalia or, indeed, never paying contributors more than the cost of a bad cup of coffee.”
My story is “Lunch in the Ruins,” inspired by recent political developments, starring myself, and my alter ego, Victor Theremin. Rather than attempting to explain it, I'll tease you with the first paragraph:
Friday, January 20, 2017
Chicanonautica suggests that President Donald Trump is going to Arizonaize the U.S.A., over at La Bloga.
Looks like we're going to be in for a lot of this:
Businessmen getting into politics is nothing new in Arizona:
Sometimes it can get out of this world:
But, it's just the same old snake-oil: