I finally watched Jonathan Jakubowicz's film Secuestro Express (2005), which is out on DVD. The violent, depressing plot involves an express kidnapping, following several hours in the lives of victims and criminals as they wind their way through Caracas by car. The film's true protagonist is the city of Caracas, in all its colorful, poetic and sordid violence. There are a few cliche action-film moments but for the most part I liked the movie. Jakubowicz has a great eye for how the city breathes and pulses through an eclectic range of personalities. Watching it, I'm reminded of the paranoia I often feel whenever I'm in Caracas. Interestingly enough, politics are a distant rumor in the film. Caracas is seen not through the filter of Chavismo or anti-Chavismo but through the raw mechanics of survival. The city I grew up in and love is so fucked up.
Received and read Aaron Tieger & Jess Mynes's collaboration, Coltsfoot Insularity (Wendell, MA: Fewer & Further Press, 2005). They invoke a series of poems in correspondence, postcards of loose interiority, from backwoods meditations to 30-something musings on aging. Perhaps I read my own obsessions into the poems when I find a concern for identifying specific recent eras, as in the following untitled poem:
"the scene ain't
what it used
to ever was
don't lose track
tact to go when
its time onto
being or more
if its meant"
I can't say which of the two wrote this, since the entire book moves anonymously between the two poets, a true collaboration in postcards across states, the scratch of pen or the tap-tap of a keyboard, stamped, metered fractures of postal delays. Collaboration for the sake of erasing the "I" in thrall to the poem of daily records. The poem will record and honor a minor, changing consciousness.
Reading an anthology of short stories by young Mexican writers, Nuevas voces de la narrativa mexicana (Editorial Joaquín Mortiz, 2003), which includes "CC" by Heriberto Yépez. It's not as much a short story as it is an essay or blog post on the insidious nature of America's influence on that form, beginning with Poe:
"Un cuento no es una forma de comportarse como autor, es mover personajitos para asombro de unos lectores pasivos. The same spirit which is released by that mental region and cultural semantic field and individual psyche called "short stories" is exactly the same ghost that runs (rules!) the world right now. Get it?"
Disconnect to read, write, live.