Place where the waters meet
A heavy metal rain upon your head
Sometime in 1990, we went to see the Blake Babies play at the Empty Keg, the now-defunct campus bar at USF. There were probably 25 or 30 of us in the basement of the Student Center, mixed in with pool tables & lounge chairs. Juliana Hatfield and Freda Love had cut their hair super short around that time, and the music was deafening pop good, way too loud. Later that night, some of us went to the Denny's on Fowler Ave. and we ended up sitting next to the band and their two roadies. They had a couple vans parked outside, heading to Georgia next. Late rock so calm afterwards in the empty Denny's, remembering static speakers.
The converted warehouse I lived in with H., A. & others was next door to the Corral Wodiska building in Ybor City, south of 7th Avenue, toward the silos and warehouses of Port of Tampa. Titanic Anatomy, which took up the entire second floor of the Corral Wodiska, began to have showings and parties for their members' work, as well as that of visiting artists and filmmakers. Before he left for Jamaica one spring, M. sold off a huge stack of his paintings and even many of his possessions were on sale, since he'd be gone indefinitely. I remember a large collective show one early summer which included several over-size canvases that D. had painted, taking advantage of that former cigar factory's tall ceilings.
That was during Ybor City's terminal days, as the invasion of nightclubs and bars along 7th Avenue proceeded to destroy any remaining spirit in those self-enclosed, seemingly ancient Roman streets (especially when viewed at night from the top floor of the Corral Wodiska). Earlier, before I lived there, we used to go browse at the Three Birds Bookstore, where I found Corso's (mighty) Mindfield and Martín Adán's The Cardboard House.
I met A. and L. during the two years I lived in Ybor. They had been working on a short film together using pixel cameras, of which I saw a rough cut. It was mostly A. filming L. driving through West Tampa along Armenia Avenue talking about her family's departure from Cuba decades ago, her own years spent in this city which so many of her older relatives still called "La Trampa" (the trap, because you arrive saying you'll only be here temporarily but you end up staying, never returning to Cuba and becoming trapped, half-jokingly, here in Tampa). It was here, at the tiny strip-mall air conditioned cube of Tampa Libros, that I found my copy of Tres tristes tigres, as if words were the only consolation.