“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Monday, October 28, 2019


It's getting close to the Halloween/Día de los Muertos/Dead Daze time of year, mis amigos. A good time to read my novel Smoking Mirror Blues.

Misha Nogha called it, “A fantastic work of genius.”

Tezcatlipoca will smile upon you.

Friday, October 25, 2019


Chicanonautica announces my stories in two upcoming anthologies, over at La Bloga.

I am a Chicano:

The anthologies are Latinx:

One of my stories is about a mariachi:

Who goes from Texas to Mars:

Monday, October 21, 2019


Española is Felliniesque town. It dates back to the conquistadors. The streets twist around and across the Rio Grande. It feels like a big barrio that thins out into Indian reservations.

Emily had made a reservation at El Paragua, a Mexican restaurant we hadn't tried before. When I called to confirm, all I could get was a recording saying they were closed on that specific day. What? Did they burn down, get robbed, or something?

Luckily, there was a Chinese place right in front of the motel. The servers were teenage girls who spoke Chinese to each other. Conversation in Chinese, along with the sound of frying came from the kitchen. The decor was kung fu kitsch. And the food was good, too.

You never know what you'll find in Española.

Tattooed characters milled around in the lobby as we checked in. The halls reeked of stale cigarette smoke. One of the rooms we rented smelled moldy. A sign on the dilapidated parking lot fence warned: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEFT OR DAMAGE TO VEHICLES.

Surrealistically, both of our rooms had two identical copies of the same bad art print. They were probably in all the rooms. The owner probably got a deal for buying them in bulk.

Later, we witnessed a drug deal in front a NO LOITERING VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED sign.

In Taos, a lot of our favorite places were closed, going the way of the Wired? Cafe. A guy hooked up to an oxygen tank, who was trying to fix a truck, told us the same thing happened to the Coffee Spot. The mural of Billy the Kid with an arrow through his hat and others near it had been whitewashed. A lot of businesses were closed, the spaces for rent.

It's like a hipster apocalypse, though tattoos and man-buns are still plentiful.

Back in Española, we finally got to eat at El Paragua. They said no need for reservations, just come on down. More great tacos, handmade tortillas, and wonderful Latinoid decor.

Pancho Villa smiled from a wanted poster.

Next door they had El Parasol, a takeout annex. Just thinking about their menu makes my mouth water. Award-winning tacos, tubs of beans, rice, and menudo to go. Some kind of paradise.

Friday, October 11, 2019


Chicanonautica tells how you can help Lucy Veloz, The Flying Princess, over at La Bloga.

A different Lucy, in a different sky:

And a different kind of princess:

And inventor:

And hero:

Thursday, October 3, 2019


Compared to the August heat island of Phoenix, it was cool the next morning in Snowflake. No snowflakes, though. But by ten A.M. it started to heat up. After all, we were still in Arizona.

When we took Highway 60 toward the New Mexico border, Emily mistook a large piece of farm equipment for a dinosaur.

Finally in New Mexico, we had pie at the Pie Town Cafe. I ordered the New Mexico apple pie. "Do you know what's in it?" The Marine behind the counter asked. I assured him that I had it before, and liked it.

The green chile makes the apple pie more delicious.

Soon the sky was crowded with puffy clouds. We saw several downpours in the distance. We sure weren't in Arizona anymore.

We visited the Very Large Array. Emily's mother wanted to see it again. It's becoming a pilgrimage.

I didn't get pictures because a cell phone can drown out the radio signals from light years away.

As we left, there was thunder, lightning, and rain. The downpours had caught up with us. All the spattered bugs on the windshield were washed away.

After the storm cleared up,we saw a rainbow on the way to Española. It abruptly changed the direction of its arc. Did rainbows flip often? You never know what strange phenomena you'll encounter on these roads.