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diorama 1

no trashcans in this place, because there’s no one to collect the trash

no trashcans in the hills, scattered litter here and there

no trail maintenance, no volunteers

no one preserved Woodfords Indian school, long abandoned

the children used to walk across the highway—they’re gone, old or died

Washo village that was a cluster of shacks beside the stream the other side of the highway, embanked like a ditch, the Washo drew freezing mountain water from the rushing stream for those shacks, now there’s a little suburb of stucco houses on winding lanes where anglos live (it’s not racism, they just end up owning everything)

Nacho took photos of the people, mostly kids here in the 1937, 38 with his first wife Leonore who taught the school

we enter the building through the side door (the old schoolhouse with its stone masonry still sturdy)

big windows along the southern wall illuminate plank floorboards, desks, tables, chairs discarded in some of the rooms, a few items

everything is covered in dust and smells old, big one room school for the Washo children with a kitchen and a couple other little rooms on the side

glaucoma was a problem among the Washo

the hillside surveys the hazy sunshine of the yellow green Carson Valley

anglos took Washo lands, springs and water rights for ranches now Carson City suburbs, kicked the indians to the side

aspen leaves spinning yellow outside in a chilly breeze cast dappled shadows on the dirt-gray window glass, the chill breeze lifts leaves in the grassy yard

their lands and pinon groves on Lake Tahoe were taken, they lost their rights to cross this country, they lost their rights to the country

the Washo sent baskets (an item they felt most expressive of their culture) to the president of the United States on which they wove messages in english asking for help and received no reply

the highway parallels the rushing stream

in the Markleeville public library Michael found some of Nacho’s framed 1930s photos of the area stacked on a shelf in a leaky store room, glass in the frames broken but the photo themselves basically all right, no one at the library knew anything about them

later Michael paid the expenses of mounting an exhibit of Nacho’s photos in the Alpine Co. historical museum

at one point I asked Nacho if I could use his Mexico City fotos and fotos of Indians in Tehuantepec in a book, and he said, “better hurry”

some were published in 2006 but I don’t think he saw them

at Nacho’s funeral at rose hills in 2007, the priest from Jalisco talked about sin and redemption, while I watched a tractor ride back over the distant hillside, disking the dusty furrows


liminal country washo see looking out over the carson valley
liminal country anglos see driving 395 through the carson valley
liminal country zionist jews move through dreaming ever greater israel
liminal country muslims face east, or hindus or buddhists light incense and pray
liminal country christians broadcast some guy talking jesus as you drive I-5
liminal country these dreamers dream their way through, like a movie
liminal country that only exists in the 1902 overland hotel in gardnerville nevada when everybody sits down at the long tables where they set out the wine with courses of lamb and later the old lady elvira cenoz sits down to dinner with the staff
liminal country that only exists on-line or flashing on a screen or TV reruns
liminal country that only exists in papers like old magazines, wrappers, packaging and bills flapping in a freezing breeze across trash piles in the carbon county, wyoming dump
liminal country that exists only in the sentiment of pop tunes, in that noise
liminal country that exists only in images, language, data, code, streaming
liminal country that exists only in jail house skin, tattoos of pouty girls, motorcycles, cars, Jesus and virgins, skulls, gang tags, cowboy stuff, short phrases, “thug life,” “brown pride”
liminal country that exists only in electron pulses, in a haze of particles
liminal country that shimmers in the sunny haze over the carson valley
liminal country that rises beyond the last ranges of the high sierra at night
liminal country like a cat slipping into shadows beyond headlights in the dark
liminal country like the little hopeful fillip the girl applies mascara within the car



incipient, liminal, indicated
traced, potential, seeming
immanent, imminent, evaporated
relegated, lapsed, forgotten
inherent, internal, invisible
possible, plausible, permitted

impermissible, impossible, mythical
not, never, none
unlikely, coincidental, circumstantial
missing, unseen, unknown
void, inframundo, deleted
erased, lost, insignificant

nonexistent, ephemeral, impending
limned, impalpable, indefinable
insubstantial, unformed, dispersed
imperceptible, unidentified, hidden

obscured, unrecognized, secret

ill-defined, equivocal, indeterminate
dim, unmarked, unspoken
unsaid, formless, symptomatic
unproved, unnecessary, hinted
imcomprehensible, undreamt, illusory
dubious, unnoticed, undetected
unspecified, nameless, vague
negated, denied, broken
dead, initial, germinal
nascent, embyonic, immaterial
unaccountable, bodiless, miniscule
imagined, unimagined, inconceivable
shadowy, unreal, invented
absent, transitory, fleeting
implicated, evidenced, evinced
alluded, former, invalid
derelict, abandoned, vanished
disappeared, empty, emptiness
pointless, blank, vacant
lifeless, absolute, clear
lacuna, gap, vitiated
short-lived, fraught, mispelled

modical, pleuridicalist, flourmuscient


menudo (handmade tortillas) at antojiotos guerrero by 56th and York:

the fat deer has floppy upright antler-things
yellow and brown daisy-like flowers that if actual would’ve been a yard across each
blue waters flowing like striated silk down the middle of the evergreen green landscape with two Indian women opposite, one old holding a chunk of gray that says “rock”—the other one, young, a big basket; they’re sitting on a red rectangle mat in front of the door of their wickiup with a brown metate (maybe) with seeds or acorns flowing off of it in a sort of polka-dot wave………………………………..
one green hill with furry looking pines like cypresses and behind that triaungular brown peaks and, projecting from the wall the broken signage, “…and Park CLEANERS” above which they painted of course the blue sky with white cumulus clouds and (of course) above that is the sky, blue with white cumulus clouds

diorama 6


Bodega Bay
railroad camp near the Eel River
Cooper Rd., Sebastopol
—house at Rice & Roney
—apt. above a Chinese restaurant
—Greyhound station
—tunnels he said existed once in case of police raids between gambling dens and speakeasies of prohibition era Barbary Coast
Vacaville outskirts alfalfa fields
Santa Barbara:
—Lower State Street, Greek Deli, Joe’s Bar, Azteca restaurant
—YMCA across the street from the Greyhound station
—Merve Lane’s place off Coyote Road and Bunny’s place on Banana Road
—Madame Ganna Walska’s
Los Angeles:
—Lower Wabash St. storefront with a mattress and a coverless pillow and a sink
—Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital
—Bunny’s house, Laurel Canyon Drive
San Jose, E. 1st St.
Ken Kern’s place outside of Oakhurst
duck hunting lands outside Los Banos
Managua, Nicaragua
Lindo Vista Ave., Chico

diorama 5

look for “nonexistent country, part 6” in

March 2013