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31 August 2011

September in Albuquerque, Fifteen Hundred and Forty

Rudolfo Carrillo
by Rudolfo Carrillo

If you really wanna know, and in case you did not happen upon my version of the Library of Babel as it appeared this past July, I have been mournfully concerned with the mythos (not so much the historiography) of the conquest of the western lands by the Spanish.

Well, all that sixteenth century tragedy and intrigue led me to accounts of Coronado's fabled expedition into New Mexico. Especially unsettling were the parts of the story where el Jefe's handyman, Alvarado, and his men, discover the Rio Grande and the pueblo of Tiguex. That all happened, by the way, during the first week of September 1540.

So, yeah I've been reading a lot. The usual stuff,
Diaz, Casteneda, Horgan. My public school teachers were crazy about the history of this state and this town, even if they were mostly communists. The courses I took in the history and American studies department at UNM did me some good too. Of course I do my best to remember the stories my father and grandfather told me. All of that is bound to influence what follows.

It has got a derivative quality to it and I hope that is okay with you. I will tell you though, unabashed, that I am sure I have a decent idea about what happened back then, regardless; and can therefore write about it with some authority or whatever the hell you wanna call it.

Anyway, this is what I got so far, out of that experience, after I have done some reckoning and filtering and put my own spin and ideas about the world on top of it all.

The season wanes.

After you are here for a while, you may start to discern a subtle structure. A pattern which repeats itself interminably and is governed by cycles that are centuries long and that is pretty much just like what we are all wafting through today and likely for the next few weeks; the cottonwood trees buzzing with cicadas, rain-rich clouds billowing up from the nothingness of the surrounding desert and then disappearing again, heat rising in waves from the clay and el rio coursing endlessly and mystically southward. As September begins, the nights will grow noticeably cooler.

Four hundred and seventy one waning summers ago, some of Coronado's men - you know
the guy they named the mall after - wandered into the province of Tiguex and stood upon a small river's edge. It was the year of their lord fifteen hundred and forty. At the beginning of the ninth month of that year.

The place those men and beasts came to, our home now, was already inhabited; was vibrant and full of life, human and otherwise. The people that lived there had a name for the flowing water that sustained them. They called it

A complex tapestry of cornfields and earthen villages had been previously observed and reported upon by the
Tlaxcalan scouts under the command of Captain Hernando de Alvarado. Alvarado, who someday would have a hotel named after him, had been sent, with a small contingent of men and horses, to explore the land to the east of Zuni.

Zuni had turned out to be a bust for the invaders. For one thing it wasn't made out of gold or anything remotely like that. Old Coronado himself had been wounded during the siege of the main town,
Hawikuh. The natives continued to harbor resentment, though they had been bestowed with the finest in glass beads and feathers forcibly acquired from Aztec headdresses that the Tlaxcalans had brought along, ostensibly to trade for psychoactive fungi, the ingestion of which was an important part of their battle ritual.

The vast desert that Alvarado's contingent crossed to get to the river was no fun either. Though they supposedly made some allies along the way, they were for the most part still regarded as an ancient and evil presence come back to claim the earth and its people with a fury and vengeance foretold by years of songs and ritual performance.
On a plateau two days' ride from the river, they had encountered a lofty and impenetrable fortress and were warned away with deadly cascades of boulders and arrows fashioned from the light of the sun.

And so the men marched, mostly hungry and disenchanted but still quite capable of sniffing out gold and silver. A few of them probably ran wildly in their near delirious and most likely thwarted condition - toward the sun-obscuring cottonwood forest with beautiful brown water winding through its center. Later, their thirst for water slackened, some of them named the river after
Jesus' mom, as was their custom.

As previously noted, their coming had been predicted. The leaders of the villages along the river came forward in new white cotton mantles and their warriors cast flower petals and corn meal before the advancing Spanish boots and hooves, but only after the women, children, stores of grain and flocks of turkeys had been secured and hidden away.

The summer continued to decline and the men from the south began to raise great wooden crosses here and there, threatening with sharp steel those who would not bow down before either implement. As the hummingbirds themselves fled southward to heaven and the harvest began, more tall and pale humans appeared, their faces covered in coarse hair, their dreams
shaped by eight hundred years of war and conflict. Their dogs were large and fierce. Two of the metal-clad soldiers brought women with them. They obviously intended to stay.

And though they told the people of the valley they could perform great feats of magic, knew how, for instance, to bring water to very distant fields,
they could also kill from a distance with smoke and thunder; they did not understand the real depth of that same water which flowed all around them, preferring it would seem by year's end, to wade customarily and comfortably, in blood.

27 August 2011

"I Just Had to Look, Having Read the Book"

Rudolfo Carrillo

by Rudolfo Carrillo

At six-twenty, while rosy-fingered dawn was leaking through the blinds in his bedroom, a man awoke and he shook the night from his hair. 

“Damn,” he said, ”I think I've left my wallet in the truck.” 

And he reached for his pants, which had earlier collapsed on the floor. They were typical of pants manufactured in the twenty-first century. They were made from “microfiber” and had a white band, with blue racing stripes, that ran along the inside of the waist. They were very nice pants and fashionable, too. Never needed ironing. 

They had been bought during the height of discount season, but the wallet was not in them.
Neither was it on the nightstand. 

From her half-sleep, his wife muttered something about his faulty organization level, about falling asleep while reading Soviet science fiction at two 2:33 in the morning.

In order to avoid an argument, he retrieved the book buried beneath a bundle of blankets and dropped it into the incinerator, which hissed timidly like an overfed snake. He applied the pants to his body and stepped quietly into the larger world. 

For a minute, he contemplated going outside - without wearing a shirt - to look for the wallet.
“Easy enough to do in this neighborhood”, he thought, then revised himself, thinking that he did not want anyone to see how fat he had grown this summer. So, he found a polo shirt to wear. It was in the laundry room and crinkled but clean and white. 

He remembered the wallet, turned toward the front door. It was breezy outside. 

The truck was unlocked. 

At first, he was certain the wallet was gone and a thread of panic was opened. Somewhere deep inside his body, more than a few neurons sent a minute electrical signal to their friends and allies, calling for the body-wide release of substances guaranteed to make the heart pound and the mind race. 

But, then, there it was, the thing itself, an ashen plastic rectangle, perched at the event horizon of an equally black seat crevice, complete. 

He grabbed the wallet from where it lay and his eyes darted to and fro as he wondered whether he had been seen.
He read the news today, but no one seemed to be making the grade. In fact he was currently of the belief that the world was becoming more and more like a Kilgore Trout novel, and less and less a quasi-romantic, existentialist-inflected, orchestral reverie.

After taking a few puffs on a cigarette that he had saved for two days, he fell into a deep sleep upon the couch where he sat.

In the dream he went into
, he was driving two friends to a grocery store that did not really exist, on the eastern edge of Nob Hill, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By the looks of things, the man reckoned the year to be 1948 or thereabouts. The mesa spread outward, emptily triumphant, to the north and to the east.
The two friends who came to visit him in the dreamworld - which, by the way was a magical, trans-dimensional place composed of complex proteins and electromagnetic radiation, encased in a calcium-based shell - were humans whose existence within the framework of material reality had ended. They were dead. One of them was a young man, the other, a young woman.

When all of them got to grocery store they found it was part of a shopping center that was possessed of a very complicated design, based on the positions of the bricks that composed it. The bricks were self-organizing entities and were capable of creating and manifesting a plethora of intricate configurations. This excited the man, who was fond of postmodern architecture and said so. His spectral visitors were nonplussed though, having recently witnessed the formation of galaxies millions of light years away from the dusty mesas and forlorn arroyos of Albuquerque.
They exited the truck and were distracted from their cosmological communications by the crowd. La tiendita was filled up; humans and animals and even birds hopping around from shelf to shelf, twittering and turning their heads. After a few minutes the man lost track of his friends.

“That’s just fine”, he thought, staring longingly at the ceiling fans, whispering recipes he remembered from his grandmother's kitchen. The brightness and activity inside the store were confusing to him, though, so he went back outside, still chanting oaths to lard and catfish.

It was darker now than it had been; a storm was approaching. Inky clouds gathered on the horizon. They moved quickly and then hovered over the larger buildings of the neighborhood.

“Is that a tornado?” a passerby asked.

Everybody started leaving the store. The birds and other animals were lifted skyward, as if connected by wires to a quaint, invisible mechanism.

The wind came up with the clouds and it started raining. People were wandering all over the parking lot. From inside the truck, with the windows rolled down, and the water pouring from the sky and drenching the earth like it never does anymore in real life, the man looked for his two lost friends, but did not see them. He chose not worry too much about them; they only appeared on random occasions in the somnolent realm he plumbed nightly.

Instead, he was concerned about getting home. He was sure that the storm and its water would wreak havoc if he did not.

As he turned onto the street with that chaotic thought anchored to his chest, he noticed one of his students sitting at the bus-stop. The student was holding onto a portfolio that contained a copy of the research project she never turned in for review.

A bus drove by and she disappeared into it, dissolving and being absorbed into the cylindrical machine as it passed. The portfolio was left behind, draped casually on the bench and the man stopped for it, removing it from the surrounding tempest in an extra-vehicular rescue mission that took only seconds to successfully complete.

When he got home, the storm was ebbing; steam rose mightily from the asphalt and the trees wagged their saturated limbs, wanly in the breeze. The man opened the portfolio and showed it to his partner. It was filled metallic seashells, glittery costume jewelry and wisps of fine white hair.


At nine am, the dogs started barking because they were hungry. One of them was also howling, doing a sort of dance in the living room that might have been indicative of native intelligence if not for its primal urgency.

Those events effectively ended the man's reverie about ghostly friends, heavenly food markets in the middle of the undeveloped northern mesa that once upon a time preceded the Sandia Mountains as a wilderness of sorts, tornadoes over Nob Hill, and the poetically deconstructed symbolism of unfinished research.
Then he rose up. He checked for his wallet and glanced out the window for any signs of rain.

26 August 2011

It'll Never Fly in Peoria: Kosmos Hosts Peculiar Pretzelmen on Eva Ave. in Knife City

Samantha Anne Carrillo
Flier by Mark Beyer

by Samantha Anne Scott

On Saturday evening, don vestigial or revamped vaudeville duds and drive your bourbon-powered space shuttle over to The Kosmos (1715 Fifth NW) for a very special evening with El Lay's The Peculiar Pretzelmen and locals Knife City and Eva Ave. & Carlosaur.

Saturday evening's showcase, presented by local art hustlers and carny barkers Caterwaul, Cinik, and Stranger Factory and featuring El Lay old timey/good time quartet The Peculiar Pretzelmen, ABQ honky-tonk supergroup Knife City and local doom salon darlings Eva Ave. and Carlosaur, promises a diverse yet interconnected soundscape. "I'm really stoked to see The Kosmos being an active venue for underground, marginalized music again. It's so nice to witness performances within all that space underneath the vaulted ceiling. And I think all of the sets are gonna blend really well together too. If you're into Tom Waits, David Allan Coe, Bob Log III, gypsy rock/steampunk, street buskers, carny music, and generally have a twisted sense of humor, you're gonna love this," said Caterwaul.

On first listen to recordings of self-described "barn-burning gospel revival[ists] and punk rockers" The Peculiar Pretzelmen, it's difficult not to draw the Tom Waits comparison, but a deeper listen reveals craftsmanship and inspiration that a "sounds like" comparison does little justice. Dark literary leitmotifs, references to ragtime, and heavy winks of blues-inflected Americana combine with jangly, "old man's work bench" percussion and eldritch strains of banjo, mandocello, and ukulele and plumes of baritone sax to create a sound and aesthetic that remains firmly rooted in the '30s without sounding antiquated or anachronistic.

Cinik became a fan of The Peculiar Pretzelmen after seeing them perform with his friend Zoe Boekbinder several years ago. "I saw them three times on that tour and have been hooked ever since... I'm a firm believer that music this good should be shared and, because of that, I'm willing to do a lot to help the fantastic sounds of The Peculiar Pretzelmen take over our desert air," said Cinik.

The Peculiar Pretzelmen - Undertaker from Logan Taliaferro Carnehan on Vimeo.

ABQ honky-tonk supergroup Knife City genuinely fits this superlative genre description, comprised, as it is, of local music luminaries: Bud Melvin (The Grave of Nobody's Darling, Phantom Lake, Lionhead Bunny); Pat Day (Fando, Tenderizor); Steve Hammond (Leeches of Lore, Tenderizor); Nick Angelo; and Kris Kerby (Sabertooth Cavity, Tenderizor). Pedal steel guitarist Bud Melvin notes that this supergroup ain't about an ironic rendering of honky-tonk. "We play about half covers and half originals. It's pretty much straight up honky-tonk and is just done out of a love for that style of music," said Melvin. Lead guitarist and vocalist Steve Hammond echoed this sentiment. "It's just good old rowdy, tear in your beer honky-tonk! I've always enjoyed playing old school country music and have been in a couple honky-tonk bands in the past. No 'alt' prefix needed for this shit. Straight up," said Hammond.

Having survived the latest, necessarily abbreviated Sabertooth Cavity tour, Kris Kerby is psyched to be playing snare drum for Knife City. "I've always had a tiny urge to play with a honky-tonk band -- ever since I figured out I could play drums -- but never thought I'd come across one that's so good. I grew up in a small farm village, around people who either blasted honky-tonk, mariachi, or classic rock music while boozin' and cruisin' down to the river. So, it always makes me feel at home. And most of Knife City's lyrics are filthy and dark and that's right up my alley," said Kerby.

TIL was unable to reach local doom salon darlings Eva Ave. and Carlosaur for comment, but rest assured these locals can charm the fangs off a rattlesnake. See the below-embedded video for illustration of this claim.

The Peculiar Pretzelmen
with Knife City, Eva Ave. & Carlosaur

Saturday, Aug. 27, 8:30 p.m.

The Kosmos
1715 Fifth NW
Tickets: $7, all-ages
RSVP on Facebook

20 August 2011


Rudolfo Carrillo
By Rudolfo Carrillo

Some Saturday mornings, I drive my neighbor, Tomas, to the methadone clinic.

It is a good deal because he always gives me about seven bucks for gas, but I usually spend that money on Camel straights, since Samantha smokes American Spirits and by the weekend, I am damn tired of their purity and their taste.

So, at seven o'clock, my cell phone rings. It's old school, it flips open, just like the communicators on Star Trek. I like irony and so for a hoot, I have programmed it to sound like a 1950s British telephone.

Sure as shit, it's Tomas. He says his wife, Martine, is visiting relatives in Chama and can I give him a ride. Fine, I say. Samantha is still asleep and I will make her breakfast when I return.

Tomas lives in one of the biggest homes in Ridgecrest. I met him one night when I was walking my dogs at Laurel Circle Park. He was sitting at one benches, watching the cars go by, whistling a song that used to be popular before rocanrol was invented.

He says to me that there are all sorts of trees surrounding his house, and a large lawn, too. Tomas pays to have the yard kept up. He is not too old to do it himself, he says he just never gave a damn about lawn-mowers and hedge-trimmers and so forth. There's also a swimming pool which sets idle most of the year, except for an occasional dragonfly or visiting cousin.

So I get to his house and a carload of middle-aged women are driving up. Their car has a placard on it, advertising the maid service that sent them over to the big house. I smile and say hello. Tomas comes to out of the front door, dressed like he is going to visit the Four Hills Country Club.

After a short drive with the air conditioner going full blast, we pass through the gates of the clinic. Those gates and the surrounding hurricane fence are topped with razor wire. I pull into a parking spot and tell the old man that I will wait. He looks at me bemusedly and winking, climbs out of the passenger side gingerly, ambling toward the clinic doors.

The lot is filled to capacity. At one car, a child of about ten years old swings from the rear door of a gray sedan, playing and singing to himself. At another, three men smoke, speaking in hushed tones and listening to rancheras on the radio. After about ten minutes, a tired looking youth with dreadlocks and dirty blue jeans walks up to my window. I am reading a David Foster Wallace novel and try to ignore him. He is persistent though, and when I finally look up, he holds his hands out to me. He says, "hey, open the window". I shake my head and return to my reading. When I look up again, he has joined the group that is listening to music and smoking; he is on their periphery, dancing and gesticulating wildly.

The clinic has a guard. He looks more like a soldier. He has a utility belt with two guns strapped to it. One is a revolver, the other a semi-automatic. He is wearing a black uniform and also carries handcuffs, mace, a two-way radio and some sort of collapsible truncheon that he swings around and around, like it is toy, showing it off and laughing in the middle of the hot asphalt.

When drivers try to leave the clinic using the front entrance, he raises the device above his head, shaking it like he is possessed by the restless spirit of drought. He waves the stick and menaces the wrong way drivers, grinning toothily. I remind myself to use the proper exit.

After about fifteen minutes, Tomas returns to the car. As we drive off, I ask him why he doesn't go to a regular doctor for the treatment he receives at the clinic. I think he is out of place but he says that he fits in just fine.

He says it is better for him like this. He needs to be reminded of what got him to this point in his life. He relishes the humility. He says that it is more interesting to talk to the other people in line than it is to have any sort of conversation with the folks he knows from his other life.

We head back towards Ridgecrest where it is the end of summer and therefore lush and overgrown, with birds and flowers just about everywhere. Tomas opens his wallet and lays a sawbuck on me and I toss it back at him when I stop in front of his house.

17 August 2011

August: Albuquerque's Atramentous Arachnids

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo

August: Albuquerque arachnids (all arthropods) reach an observable peak this time of year. It has been a dry summer too; so maybe they are expanding their range, seeking cockroaches and sow bugs in territories typically bereft of their predatory influence. Somebody I saw while slinging sludge said they had photos to prove that scorpions lived in Rio Rancho. They were photos of smashed up things with claws and milky white blood.

Orb weavers are scattered throughout the valley's gardens. For them, a time of resigned confidence approaches; it is near the end, near the egg-laying time when their predators are preoccupied with southern visions and have also become clumsy hunters in the long hot spell.

Black widow spiders are abundant, too.

Some folks will tell you that the dark and spindly spiders are a dangerous animal - even as they reach a cloistered and piceous fruition this month, growing fat on stumbling flies; preparing to leave their thousand successors behind - and most will not deny that local lore, which may as well be fashioned from the summertime darkness absorbed by their stygian shells.

And so here at summer's decline, a sort of hideous beauty which in observation is nearly literary as it capers cruelly on sharp and sinewy limbs upon a chaotic trap and dragging its bloody belly along for show.

Its like
watching the earth turn to unmeltable ice or discovering an awful, murderous race hiding in the caves beyond town.

Well, it seems to me that a reading with that sort of poetic pretext practically promises some sort of bellicosity, presaging perhaps a reminder of summer's end and the triumph of a winter that will surely but is yet to come. So those spiders come to symbolize what both repulses and attracts. A signifier of thanatos hidden in shovel handles and carpet remnants and old sheds in every discretely rectangular human habitation that flows outward from the stream we call a great river.

That said, I'll do battle with 'em anytime; but I am apt to leave them alone if they are somewhere outside or on the fringes of my little cubic patch of weeds and crumbly stucco world. If they seem unlikely to make contact with domestic mammals or humans then I let them be and you ought to consider that as well, because they do a damn good job on the roaches and flies.

But some years, I have seen and killed many representatives of the genus of spiders called Latrodectus
. Two years ago, I had to forcibly introduce a dozen of them to the tip of a steel shovel, just for being too near the house or in a place where one of the dogs liked to take a leak.

This year, I've only seen two of them. One was in the corner of a disused parking lot near work. This one I stop by to say hello to, just about every day. I am learning about how it moves and reacts and so forth. It lives near to a pile of red ants, so that interaction is interesting to watch, if you have a few minutes during break time.

The other was by the back door, in a crevice on the stairs that leads to my backyard. It had to go.

I wasn't feeling particularly brutal that day, unless you count the folks I challenged and cajoled on Facebook, and we don't have any insecticides around the house, so I went searching for something else with which to kill the deadly black widow spider; it was just like that scene in Pulp Fiction where Butch Coolidge goes looking for something to fight the S and M rednecks with, serio.

The spider was shiny and somber and starless, a perfect black satin raindrop filled with poison.

The best I could do was to find a can of hair spray.

And so said to myself, advancing, samurai sword unsheathed, “Hmm...an aerosolized solution of alcohol and various polymers...should do.”

The monster's ragged and corpse-laden (insects have corpses, don't they?) nest was sprayed. The spider splayed its forelegs out menacingly and retreated.

“Damn, I hope that did it.”

Twenty minutes later, it was back.

Another round of Aquanet attack and it curled up into a ball; soaked with vinyl neodecanoate, the beast began to drag itself across the sidewalk, inching towards me, lurching towards death and perhaps one final victim.

“Enough is enough.”

I went inside and found a clear plastic cup and a pair of chopsticks. The cup I filled with about an ounce of booze.

I went outside, used the chopsticks with tender and terrible accuracy to drop that tenacious adversary into a cup of icy vodka.

It spread out against the bottom of the cup, vanquished but still retaining a intensely powerful form, the darkness of deep space, all legs and abdomen.

I headed towards the restroom.

“Hey Sammie, would you assist me, please", I intoned gravely, "A quick nautical service is in order.”

As the whirlpool roared through the porcelain and into the abyss below the wax-ring, I vaguely hoped it did not survive all of that, and would not rise again, vengeful-like, and drunken, from the toilet, allowing summer to pass from water and light and back into ice and night.

13 August 2011

Things in Light Podcast #2: Past as Prologue

Samantha Anne Carrillo
New Buffalo Commune, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, 1967

Enjoy eight stellar tracks from past Nuevomexicano artists, including Karen, Potty Mouth Sherry's, and The Drags. See full track listing below.

1. Trilobite - Pumpkin Farmer
2. The Drags - I Like to Die
3. Potty Mouth Sherry's - Superstar Cowboy
4. The Morticians - Little Latin Lupe Lu
5. Karen - Chinese Ghost
6. The Chob - We're Pretty Quick
7. The Rondelles - Safety in Numbers
8. The Drags - Iron Curtain Rock

12 August 2011

Notes on the Conquest and Colonization of Albuquerque

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo

Begin transmission.

As extra-Venusian research continues on our distant and watery celestial neighbor, I find it necessary to elucidate the following anecdotal data. It is fervently hoped that such information, if properly disseminated, will result in the continued, though oft-maligned interest in our inevitable and glorious conquest of the third planet.

On that world, in the anomalous expanse of desert initially surveyed by our predecessors as a place of potential colonization (prior to the advent of instantaneous multi-dimensional communication), there are numerous human settlements concentrated along a narrow band of liquid, mostly potable water, known to some as a river and to others as el rio.

Linguistic variations aside, inhabitants of the area commonly refer to this geologic phenomenon using adjectives alluding to its immensity,
although many are quite aware of the irony such descriptions invoke.

One of the larger settlements in this region
is known as Albuquerque, New Mexico.

More than three quarters of a million sentient beings (non-inclusive of the millions of dogs and cats who are surreptitiously working with our clandestine forces toward colonization) occupy this complex network of buildings, roadways, agricultural areas and other planned structures, situated at the edges of said river and sprawled out wantonly, along its course to the sea. The settlement also diffuses eastward to a series of large granite outcroppings whose names refer to
fruit or fruit-bearing plants and thereby allude to the importance humans place upon the sustained production and consumption of food.

Recently, this place called Albuquerque has also spread westward, out into a desiccated plateau. Interestingly, this area of relatively new activity does not bear a name suggesting or alluding to the edible parts of vegetative growth. Its leathery dryness is supplanted by importing water from the narrow and beckoning stream detailed above, or by drilling deeply into the earth itself, tapping the underground aquifer
which sleeps temporarily beneath the city.

The production and consumption of food and the consequent need to maintain a sustainable water supply to facilitate such frail activity seems to hold a preternatural fascination among the current inhabitants, who, by the way, refer to themselves variously as Albuquerqueans, Burqueños or pinche carpetbaggers.

Besides its notable presence in the naming of physical landmarks, this inherent interest in food (Burqueños and their "pets" must eat to live, unlike the misty and non-corporeal beings found in the void surrounding their planet) and its numinous associations may be seen in the naming of specific meals utilizing the fruit of the much adored chile plant.

The highly prized berries of
this relative of nightshade, datura and potatoes are lovingly and gloriously cooked and eaten when either red or green coloured. Separately, each has a fervent following; when presented together however, a ritual religiosity may be noted. Consumers refer to that interaction as “Christmas”, ascribing to the consumption of the two the name of an important winter holiday which apparently celebrates the potential for the divine within the strictly corporeal.

Further examples of this tendency to associate divinity with the native cuisine have been widely reported. The spontaneous
manifestation of holy images on another deeply revered foodstuff, the tortilla, have been carefully and precisely documented.

In order to continue this important line of research and make a determination about the probable connections Albuquerqueans have to the sublime nature of the universe - and therefore their amenability to colonization - it is highly recommended that this researcher be given time and opportunity to investigate the templar edifices where such rites of consumption are known to take place. It is felt that,
in these lofty locations, known locally as “New Mexican Restaurants” or “Restaurantes Nuevo Mexicano”, important observational discoveries regarding the nature of this group of humans residing in the desert may be made.

I would also like the opportunity to examine the coming water crisis these humans or their successors will one day face. They need the water to perpetuate the cult of chile and the temple of tortillas, as I have affectionately come to call this cluster of cultural units - though it has come to me through my handlers (such as they are at this most distant and dusty outpost of the empire) that after initial contact is made, we may direct esta gente towards
the moon, as a reward for being compliant.

End Transmission.

Traductores Nota: Esta transmisión fue publicado originalmente, en una forma ligeramente diferente, en algún otro pinche publicación.

07 August 2011

Things in Light Podcast #1: Summer Vacation Mix

Samantha Anne Carrillo

Enjoy eight excellent tracks from active Nuevomexicano artists, including Leeches of Lore, Occasional Detroit, and The Scrams. See full track listing below.

1. Bud Melvin – 62 Miles
2. Baby Shampoo – Live 2010-07-10 at Titwrench Fest, Denver, CO
3. Leeches of Lore – Cenozoic Death Waltz
4. Great White Buffalo – Handful of Darkness
5. The Scrams – Steve Sangre
6. Venus Bogardus – Motorman
7. The Gatherers – Dark Triangle
8. Occasional Detroit – Cellular Cousin

108 Reasons to Visit the Rio Grande Zoo

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo

It is proposed that the thread running through the fabric of what now appears, as if by magic, in front of you, be laden with the same sort of fruit that grace both
Euclidian space and Muktinath.

One is all around us and shared; the other distant and windswept, accessible only by horse and helicopter. They are very beautiful places.

But they’ve got nothing on the
Rio Grande Zoo.

Mused upon without that mnemonic advantage of modernity known to some as photography, the recollection of and proximate exhortations to visit our city’s lovely menagerie should become abundantly clear.

Once enumerated, that is.

One hundred eight dollars buys a person fifteen admissions to where it's all happening and leaves enough feria to provide the leader of such a grouping with a frosty carbonated cola beverage and some jangling change.

So, bring your friends.

They will be greeted by the most fluorescently psychedelic critters known to our species, the taciturn yet graceful flamingos, who reside in a humble pond near the eastern gate. Their limbs resemble living, moving reeds. Their bright black eyes greet visitors with a real and avian curiosity practically unheard of among their
eponymous counterparts.

A path leading upward and away to the north from that pink playground leads to a place where two types of primates may be observed by a third. The feral yet recognizable mystery of the gorillas and orangutans is sublimely matched, if not equaled, by the people gathered round the ape habitats. In the midst of these sheltered and well-designed environs, it is difficult to discount our nearer ancestor, a fellow named

Onward, a verisimilitude of the continent known to the controllers of this planet as Africa looms and chatters. Hyenas pace nervously. The zebras are in repose, even as great big cats growl in the distance. Two hippopotamuses like submarines only made from leather and toothy maws float calmly, beatifically.

In the dominion of chimps, spread out at the edge of this synthetic homage to our original location, one may further ruminate on the very thin boundaries, both physical and biological, that separate us from our quizzical kin. For one, I think I'd fine, spending the days investigating the veins in leaves, grooming my partner for tasty insects and staring into infinity reflected in a strong perspex panel.

Emerging from such super-natural and evolutionary reveries as are engendered by this exhibit, it is easy enough to ascribe preternatural fluidity and grace to the seals and sea lions cavorting in their roomy reservoir, for they do seem customarily lumpy and immovable whilst on land (or in this case, concrete). It is difficult for me to image that men had a war against these creatures and their kin, taking their fat and fur until modernity plastically intervened.

Beyond the pinnipeds' pretend pelagic outpost, is the kingdom of the cats, where the casual viewer or visitor may be frightened by proximity. All of them, it seems, from the anxious bobcat to the jaguar with a ginormous head are gloriously vigilant. I attempted to telepathically contact a cougar at his wire and mesh window, but everything he was thinking about was fashioned around prey and escape, and I did not dare invoke either.

A recent visit very near closing time ensured that our glimpse into the twilight activities of the two resident lions would be an intimate one. With no other humans about, the felines' regal and retired presence was read as intense and presumably predatory. We both considered running away quickly, they seemed so close; yellow unblinking eyes, swirling tails and twitchy whiskers defining their presence. For a minute I wondered what it would be like to be et by one, but then gave up for lack of imagination.

Oddly, the kangaroo display is directly across from the Leo household. One wonders about the redolent olfactory tensions that have developed on account of said appropinquity.

After that, the polar bears seemed playful, pawing at tree trunks and floating placidly, far far away from the arctic tundra, yet seemingly at home, surrounded by a different and dry desert.

The wolves were hidden in their lairs. Nearby, a noisy teenage couple (human) flirted and gamboled about, happily oblivious to the keen eyes and noses hidden among the cottonwoods.

Obviously they had not taken time to visit the two monstrous crocodiles housed in the southeast portion of the park. If they had, they would certainly have been more subdued, for those fearsome reptiles live in a veritable prison, amidst sand and reinforced steel paddocks. They did not stir but seemed to be silently waiting for meat or movement or a combination of both.

Much like the
British Museum, it is nearly impossible to absorb and observe all the Rio Grande Zoo in one visit, and certainly one visit should lead to another.

For a famous elephant dwells thereabouts
, as do a coterie of condors, impossibly tall giraffes, who though cruelly culled by a previous and deviously cold winter, graze and nod lengthily, with pride. There is also a collection of crawly things, just like what you'd find if you made a living with a capture net and specimen jar. The couple of tank-like rhinos will ignore you because you are too small, as far as they are concerned.

And all of them living testaments to the biological diversity and fragility of life that would otherwise remain unobserved while we construct numbered structures and arcane legends around our interactions with the parts of the world that we did not build.

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