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A Rough Facsimile of the Outside



by Rudolfo Carrillo

The other question I get asked is how do you come up with all of that mierda about Albuquerque that seems to come crawling off of the screen like the backwards guitar in a John Lennon song that is really about the joy of oblivion.

Well, first, I tell those folks thanks for the comparison as that is indeed an apt and concise metaphor for the way I have seen words come spinning out of my head and through my fingers, just about like that, anyway.

Afterwards, when we have each and all settled on our favorite Beatles song, I tell about where this and that story came from and how it was something I saw, like the poetical refolding of the state fair into transportable, forlorn units and truckloads of animals that set me to thinking, or maybe someone I remembered that was wandering around the arroyos and storm drains with a collapsible psychedelic shopping cart in nineteen-hundred-and-seventy-seven. It is all pretty damn random, and sometimes I write some of it down.

I could write all of it down, but I am too busy skylarking and wondering about the ultimate destination of humanity and the way beauty is all wound up in the fragile construction experience to be too bothered with the thin transcriptions of my own fatty meanderings.

That ain't to say the words collected here are in any way meaningful, just plentiful when it comes to their organization into a mythos for this state that is mostly based on my eye for it, and the way it sings to me as I wander through and around the place.

So, now, I am gonna collect and display some words you most likely could be hearing or reading about from other sectors in the global data fiesta, right about now, how it is the end of the year and so making an accounting and displaying some quantitative data is the proper ritual to enlist, to mark our passage forward. 

The sort of instant gravitas accorded to that particular and especially ephemeral popular culture process always annoyed the hell out of me. As historiography or as narrative, most year-end lists, especially the most arcane and abstruse stuff found in American pop culture, have the weight and coloring of H.R. Pufnstuf, says I, offering the reader a dry, dusty, Dadaist version instead: independent of television, free from the nagging static of reality.

Of course, I took all of that into dreadful and sustained account whilst penning my own unaccountable, bounces-like-a-foreign-convertible-with-a-bad-front-spring configuration of hyper-local events, occurrences, circuses and meta-narratives. I reckon some are important, somehow.


  • There are still ruffians at the local Walmart. They were also out of rakes the last time I ambled through the holiday-truncated gardening section. It is not that much cheaper to shop there, but damn, everything there, centralized, the great navigator would be proud.

  • Lead and Coal look lovely and I enjoy driving down them almost every day. 

  • I think it must be for the first time in 30 years that there was not a Christmas tree lot in the Student Ghetto. Now, it is getting on towards the new year and my heart is broken for that whole neighborhood; Kai's Chinese is closed until next week, too, which is a particular goddamn shame to me because this is just the time of year when finding parking along Harvard is as easy as pie. 

  • I decided it was okay to stop worrying about the the three-thousand tactical nuclear missiles stored next door by my neighbors. They seem like good folks, but one of the fuel tanks in their backyard leaks and who knows where in the hell that'll end up.

  • When I was about 14, my brother and I had dirt-bikes.We met another kid out on the mesa who had built a suave fort out of plywood and all sorts of shit that had tumbled down the arroyo. Inside it smelled like burnt rope and there was a battery-powered radio and lots of canned food, plus some booze. In the intervening 30 years, esa chante has transformed into a Satellite Coffee shop, but is still cavern-like with dark edges, with inhabitants that look up from the shadows, surprised to know you are there, too.

  • During the first Gulf War, I was working at UNM. One day, chingasos broke out between a group of flag-burning hippies and hate-shouting hawks, right in front of Zimmerman Library. I was walking by on my lunch break and impulsively decided to separate the two main fighters, one of whom was trying to ignite an American flag. Somehow, my crazy gesture worked, I was bigger and older then the contestants. They both retreated and I was left holding the flag. The next day was Saturday and the local daily featured the war protest on the front page. Next to the story, above the fold, was a picture of me in action, yanking folks this way and that. Serio.

  • A summary of the latest reported UFO event in Albuquerque can be found here, and includes a fancy interweb map that could lead to a transformatively X-Files-like experience, except I promised you no teevee at the beginning of this scattering dataset and so ask that you believe with the above reference noted but not invoked.

Anyway, thanks for your support and happy new year from TiL.

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