"She's the island above me, I can tell, I can tell"

Wake up and go to sleep listening to Niño Rojo on repeat. Drink coffee for the afternoon and disappeared morning. The streets of Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater and environs written by me over a decade ago in mediocre notebooks, page after page of trite poems under the influence of Baraka's rhetorical mid-sixties work, Ginsberg's self-deluded prolific late stanzas. There's also the undergraduate adhesion to Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé and Valery, which hopefully tempered my illusions. Rayuela was annotated excitedly throughout 1992 and 1993.

Regardless of present plans and actions, the streets here are always pulsing with ghosts, vivid absences I can feel as I drive by certain addresses. The times spent at the apartment on North Cleveland, near downtown Clearwater, from whose windows a row of tall pine trees and evergreens trembled in psychedelic breath on a rainy afternoon.

Within synchronicity's map, 1992 devoured me. Certain tragedies ocurred which I can only fully digest now. As I was semi-oblivious at the time and writing protected me, or blocked my view. Irreversible choices I made in my utmost ignorance and unawareness. Ancient affliction, much older than myself. Survival, then, is a matter of repetition. Returning to the notebook as to these streets. Cut through the material gloss of condos, convenience stores, strip malls, clear-cut blocks, turquoise shoreline girded by causeways, highway overpasses, the lights of Belleair causeway shimmer.

An epigraph from Caracas Notebook is by Alfredo Silva Estrada. It roughly translates as:

Her writing breathes in my insomnia
From dream ruins to future forgotten horizons

A section taken from his selected poems published in the early 1990s by Monte Ávila Editores. In his collection Al través (Angria Ediciones, 2000) he spreads individual lines across wider swaths of blank page, takes on the task of writing through the entire city, including the valley-wide stretch of the mountain, whose green variations loom over the city, frozen wave of trees & shrubs, waterfall cliffs, trails, forest. In my reading of it as a sequential, book-length poem.

Later, I'll translate Elizabeth Araujo's column in today's TalCual, "El rancho en la cabeza."

Hearing Ice Cube's Death Certificate and Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing for the first time in 1991 was thanks to mythical DJs (on air or among friends) who dropped lessons (research). The former for its preface to events in L.A. in the spring of 1992 ("Don't let me catch Darryl Gates in traffic...") and its Death Side /Life Side conceptual frame. The latter for its emphasis on style as meter and some of the best loops, like the beats made of dog barks on "Similak Child."

At dusk, the Parque Amigos de José Martí in Ybor City was still open, though unlit, when I drove by. Ordered one of Tampa's best Cuban sandwiches (there's several) and a cafe con leche at La Teresita tonight, for under $5. The causeway is repetitively arched, lights thread or knot across the bay and sky.

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