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14 March 2012

La Neta According to One Old and Trumpetlike Burqueño

Rudolfo Carrillo

By Rudolfo Carrillo

I live in a magic world. Everyday, usually just after the sliver of earth upon which i reside slides celestially into the sunward position called daylight, I place a wizard's hat on my head. The hat is made from aluminum foil and has little black stars and crescent moons that I drew on it with a sharpie.

Once I have donned this arcane accoutrement of the brujeria practiced by outsiders, artists, punk-rock musicians, certain writers, as well as magicians of every conceivable level, from charlatan to time-lord, I walk ceremonially out into the town contained within the arc of land I told you about in the second sentence of this text-string. Out there in Albuquerque, leaves are erupting from the trees and the homeless people I share the bus with are leaving their jackets and blankets behind and wading in the Rio Grande, chasing after the ducks that stayed behind to feast on the shoots of fresh grass that are common and brightly supple as they grow in mid March on river's banks.

I decided to be a magician in the third grade, while my family was living in Gallup. My brother and I bought every magic trick you could come up with back then in the middle of the nineteen seventies and learned how to make them work. Our bag of incantations came from the Winrock Mall, from a place called Toys by Roy. We'd visit every weekend, when my folks drove into town and away from their lonely and spectacular outpost at the foot of the hogback mountain.

When we finally had a chance to perform before an audience, things went awry. Though my mother bought us wide collared shirts at JC Penny and made us capes from her mother's mystical trailer-house curtains, cards flew out into the space of the school auditorium like unfamiliar and wild butterflies and the silk scarves refused to change color. The rabbit got lost and never got to the venue. I think she ended up as a roadside attraction at Chief Yellowhorse.

Anyway, after all of that, and forty years later, I wander around this place, my New Mexican home, mi chante, el mundo, with the idea in my head that I am at least going to make a decent attempt to solve the great problems of humanity and the earth and all its creatures and plants, too. But since I am made of flesh I really can't do much. I can't cure cancer, for instance. Or find a way to mitigate genetically transferred autoimmune conditions. I know my limitations and they are woeful deficiencies to be sure, but life in the shadow of the unknowable has made me brave. Hope is my reliable weapon of choice, though one night I dreamt I carried a silver dorje on my back to scare away ghosts and demons.

Now, I am going to turn the volume down on the poetically satirical, yet plaintive post I just typed out for your consideration. I am going to be brave and tell you my opinion on some stuff, cultural items of the local variety for the most part, that I stumbled upon whilst skylarking, as above. If you don't like those words and ideas, then you can go to the devil. While you are chatting with old scratch, you might want to ask him for you own wizard's hat

  • For starters, all this business about how Burqueños talk is bothersome to me. It was funny at first. But, like the episode of Gilligan's Island where the mad scientist accidentally transfers the spirits of Gilligan and the Skipper into a dog and a cat, it has worn thin with repeated iteration.  Not all of us speak in funky malapropisms and vaguely defined terms. Those of us that do risk inflaming the souls of our ancestors for indulging in such stereotype-reinforcing mierda.
  • There was a discussion on Duke City Fix (one of my former digital habitats, I must shamefully acknowledge) wherein two regular commenters bemoaned the state of affairs at this once noble cyber-destination. One said that the site "is circling the drain", while the other added "...the reason the site fizzled is because they took away the morning fix and regular blog posts and changed the format. Its not their fault, its a lot if time for non paying work." I am sure I said something similar when I channelled Criswell on this channel last summer. I'd like to add that said current circumstances are the products of poor creative and editorial choices. Combined with a slant towards so-called new comers and transplants (I'd employ the terms carpetbaggers and paternalistic orientalists here, but shall instead let my better angels guide my criticism) at the expense of local, native, and authentic voices, this has resulted in the rise in a bland and vanilla-flavored version of DCF which is haunted by wingnuts and characters from Portlandia. It seems a mockery of what I used to read five years ago.
  • The Valencia County animal shelter is overwhelmed with stray dogs and had to kill an inordinate number of adoptable animals this past week. Listen, fellow humans, I know times are rough but I'd be mighty pleased if - when you get through that last curmudgeonly paragraph without condemning my flamy rant outright - just one of you would go out to your local shelter and adopt or foster a dog or cat. For one thing, that action of yours would help me stop crying tonight. For another, it would serve, to me at least, as proof of some sort of magic in this world.

Be Seeing You.

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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