photo by Patti Smith
Read: 2666 Roberto Bolano
Listen: Gunfighter Ballads Marty Robbins
Brew: Dulsao do Brasil





FEBRUARY 5, 2010
2666 (Part II) [see Part I]

Orifices of mud...

Bolano knew he was going to die and that his child, the prophet masterpiece 2666, would be condemned to totter out into the world without him. He died on July 15, 2003, being significant as it corresponds with the date a French engineer discovered the Rosetta Stone in 1799.

The world is a spinning orange. A blood orange that in any given moment might be peeled away or simply thrice bitten, and one can only speculate on the sheer numerology hovering the human sacrifice required to supply ample amounts of blood juice found sliding the chin of a slurping God.

Persephone had her pomegranate. The juice that ran down her dimpled chin cost her half a life in the underworld and gave us winter. It is winter back home but I am not home. It is William Burroughs' birthday and the heavy snows rage as I am flitting about the West Coast. This morning I awoke and it was raining. A good day for sleeping but I awoke at 6:45 and I wasn't going to be sleeping. I tried to trick myself but I just lay there attempting to reign in the filaments of a dream. There were Victorian shoes of dull satin leather. They were made for real narrow feet, narrower than my own. There was a chair with an embedded head that spoke of poetry. His dark eyes rolled back as if the lines were flowing from an astral source. His hair was also dark and he seemed to have a good sense of humor.

Allen Ginsberg was in this dream. His hair was long and so was his coat. He looked uncharacteristically unkempt, even unwell, yet exuding his natural enthusiasm for the subject at hand, which I no longer remember.

I got to thinking that the head embedded in the chair (a dilapidated leather club chair) could be the head of Bolano or more accurately the projection of some kind of Bolano energy.

I had a slight headache. I thought it might be a result of the shot of Patron I had in a particularly loud cantina in West Hollywood the night before. I was watching some basketball game on their high definition screen when suddenly the face of Juwan Howard appeared. Juwan was my favorite player on the legendary U of M Fab Five team. I watched for a few minutes, just long enough to catch a glimpse of him executing a fabulous dunk. Intense, idealistic Juwan Howard, great as ever. My tequila arrived in a small plastic shot glass. I downed it and left. I reasoned that the culprit probably was not one shy Patron, just the heavy morning rain. In any event I needed coffee bad and decided to go out and have breakfast in the dining room of a nearby hotel. I had to walk down a hill that was exceedingly slippery so I held fast to a wall that wound down to the street below. I slid a bit and steadied myself by singing a little mantra something like I would rather fall up a hill than down. A fact any Jill would collaborate.

I had a copy of Nazi Literature in America with me. It got pretty wet but I didn't mind. I entered the empty dining room and ordered black coffee, black beans and tortillas. I wrote for a while than after a time I picked up Nazi Literature and opened to the part entitled Wandering Women of Letters, browsing through it as if in a really fine shoe store. A shoe store with numerous pairs of hand wrought boots.

I switched over to the segment that included the bio concerning the novelist Amado Couto. I got to thinking about which of these profiles, invented by Bolano, most resembled him when suddenly the head appeared again in the chair to my left. The head no longer resembled Bolano. He was more like the good-natured slightly bungling police commissioner Sergeant Garcia in the television series Zorro from 1957 staring Guy Williams.

They are all Bolano we are all Bolano even you are Bolano he cried openly mocking me in the deserted breakfast hall.

True we have read many of the same books. I shudder as my eye falls on the name of Bruno Schultz on page 292. But what was really bugging me was a whole other thing. I was permeated while reading 2666. The eerie feeling that messages were being transmitted. To me that is, through his translator (the superb and saintly Natasha Wimmer). This I realize is an egotistical if not paranoiac presumption but perhaps not. William Burroughs would simply and conspiratorially call it the Third Mind at work. In any case I have felt it in whole passages of 2666. A familiarity zooming like a mischievous lizard and circling in my black and scalding coffee that I have downed not throat damaged at all. On the contrary greeted with the most pleasant of sensations. But as Holden Caulfield says at the end of his tale, talking about stuff just makes you miss it. And I do miss my 2666, so much so that I when I finish this missive I will tramp out into the rain to acquire the boxed set containing the three easy to carry paperbacks. I do not wish to be parted from it anymore, for when I packed to leave New York City a week ago I foolishly left the rather heavy hardcover edition on my bed table.

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