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We are pleased to invite you to the launch event of the sixth issue of Párrafo Magazine, dedicated to the city of Los Angeles. The event will take place at 5:00 pm on April 18, 2014, at UCLA (Royce Hall 306). Join us to celebrate our new issue and have some drinks with our authors, artists, and Editorial Board! We will also have copies of our magazine for sale at a special reduced rate!
Están todos cordialmente invitados a la Presentación del número 6 de Párrafo, dedicado a la ciudad de Los Angeles. ¡La cita es este viernes 18 de abril a las 5 pm en UCLA (Royce Hall 306)!
Párrafo No. 6 includes texts by Deborah Aguilar Escalante, Sesshu Foster, Alberto Fuguet, Pere Gimferrer, Vinicius Jatobá, Román Luján, Nylsa Martínez, José Luiz Passos, Anthony Seidman, Vickie Vértiz, and Maite Zubiaurre.
The Los Angeles Issue also features photos and artwork by Ryan Allen, Daniel González, Jean-Paul deGuzman, Mario de la Iglesia, Román Luján, Vinícius Praxedes, Johnny Taylor, Noah “Kast” Teran, and Elizabeth Warren.
At this time we will also release the online version of our issue with some “bonus tracks,” including an interview with film director Chris Weitz by Jesús Galleres, artwork by Sandy Rodríguez, and a photo by Oliver Shou.
maybe if we entertain this vision of gangsters killing people we can forget about the wars.
maybe if we yelp endless restaurants and eat lots of food we can forget about vast doom of our lives.
maybe if we purchase a new vehicle and attach its motor to ourselves and drive our debt we might dream.
maybe if we consider fictive problems of astronauts lost in space we might forget about all these other people.
maybe if we purchase new clothes and apply them to our person we might forget about too many past successive incidents.
maybe if we exercise our vexations and protuberances by focusing on arcane requirements of vicissitude, we could obliviate.
maybe if we dote upon something formerly comforting in another life, we might achieve proper attitudes toward the east.
maybe if we console ourselves accurately with ministrations of adequate cuteness we could orientate formally our one-time notions.
possibly if we overrule our concessions with obsessions of comeliness then we could emerge on the other side of blue lavender scale.
finally could we deal with raising heretofore fuzzy invisible embryonic personality from shreds of reality we could get on.
perhaps if we inveigle marked shrapnel embedded in our morphology we might see pools of viscous liquid in new light.
I was hanging around the Parking Lot of an evening, minding tall racks of steel shelving, stacked with electronics I presumed, crated and tarped.
My buddy sitting nearby talking at me from a folding chair when a student, 19 or so striped in the bright colors of South Vietnam, joined us. She energized our dull waiting around, but she couldn’t stay.
She was hungry, she wanted to eat, she wanted me to go with her, she promised Steve (or whoever that was) he’d be fine without me awhile, took me by the arm and hauled me off (pouring her breathy voice in my ear), suggesting there was a whole evening ahead, we didn’t need to hang around the Parking Lot.
Besides, I could get something to eat too. Dragging me along, she clung to me like the personification of youthful desire, chattering happily. How tired was I of being myself?
I put my hand around her waist, lithe as pheromones on air. Were we soon to weary of each other’s face, me of her sweet thoughtstream of shiny chatter, her of my heavy inertia and lack of impulse?
These thoughts crossed my mind but for the moment I was buoyed by her presence. We emerged from the garden and entered a cafe, selecting a table, I told her to have a seat—I just had to check on something, it would only take me a minute, I’d be right back.
She looked up hesitantly; “Be back in a second,” I assured her, threading through the mostly empty tables and cream tablecloths in the lights of evening, hurrying off, between fern fronds seemingly along the same path as before.
But perhaps not—the path, winding between dense brush and trees, ascended toward a distant ridge, mountain peaks shining with the last light of day in vertical distance. Finally the damned path was not only barely a trail, it was no longer even easy hiking—it had become a slog stepping gingerly in sodden black mud.
It was like some transcontinental trail somewhere between Nicaragua and the Pacific Northwest, and I doubted my purpose, if I had ever had 0ne. Time to turn back!
On the way down, I bumped into yet another former student, Alyssa, stouter and more muscular perhaps than the actual Alyssa, nylon rope coiled over one shoulder, hiking her way to a climbing route in the peaks above us.
We exchanged greetings, I wished her luck (surely darkness would catch her high in the peaks? I wondered) anyway she seemed very strong and determined, without a doubt, confident smile as she hiked on, close-cropped hair dyed lighter than I remembered or perhaps bleached by long exposure out of doors.
The path descended through a ravine like Boulder Creek, a rushing stream pouring over and under large boulders, down into the steep forest. I strode down determinedly, hurrying back to the 19 year old.
of course the rain is beautiful— and faces appeared out of that dampness where they did appear. stevenson 152, faces like calif. poppies in the rain, which is to say these gentle blossoms (young student faces) flattened and mushed by wind and rain, orange, even folded on the ground by parsley-green foliage, orange. kara, grad student, angel dominguez and dan talamantes, terrific poets, former students from a couple years ago sat in front. i should have asked them questions, shouldn’t i find out something important? karen yamashita said i did okay so i take her word. shortly after, scanning the crowd of 150 or so students in humanities lecture hall i knew i should make them descend en masse and exercise, chanting in the martial spirit, as some look despondent, maybe the majority, under incessant attack by market forces and representatives of capital. plus they are young and need to feel their strength. since they have it. droplets drifting through oak and redwood— angel read poems where his grandfather became a cenote. alyssa young joined others welcoming me to read, which i did, reading some poems about death, then alyssa said she had a hand in several projects like the art bar at the brewery. we gave doctor james lew a ride to his car, globes of lights floating through trees, droplets spattering the shining long drive down the hill toward the bay, we met people at the pier. micah perks (with a new novel manuscript) and karen y. hosted (before she flew off to seattle), stephanie chan was there, joseph shannon, less harried and frazzled than years back, heartened my spirit telling how he stood up for his students. micah asked me what was wrong with the shrimp salad, but i didn’t admit it, i was talking and listening too much to eat. my friend the doctor, i should’ve stood to give one of those embarrassing toasts— he’s provided healthcare to farmworkers and the poor in hawaii and california (and flown out to mexico and nicaragua) these past thirty years, long waves of white foam washing underneath us through the pilings, long white crescents of surf cast on the drizzly beach. we got too much history to go into, the three of us at one end of the table, doctor jimmy, dolores and me three decades ago hiking the olympic peninsula in dark winter rains (trees floating down the flooded hoh river, logs booming together in the waves on rialto beach, jimmy, dolores and me soaked to the skin on rialto beach) when my daughter was born on that camping trip. that night history, in the dark and in the rain. we went out into the misty night, stepping to our vehicles, i stood at the railing a moment and took it in: the sea glowing and swelling in spots of green from the lights of the pier, it must be the very same darkness as all these years or some different dark, the very same rain or different rain. in the morning the downpour coming down hard, as dolores and angel and i, and laura kincaid chatted over coffee in the breakfast room of the motel overlooking the pier and the beach.