Bercian’s Rooster Flew

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Continued in English just below

Hey Bercian! ¿Estás en tu casa? ¿Hola? It’s Clara. Sólo vine a darle un regalo espléndido: un grande gallo llamado Frederico. Me siguió hasta aquí desde Nuevo México.

Mi abuela y yo estábamos de gira con una banda llamado América Turístico, pero fue despedido por tratar de iniciar una revuelta en Cleveland. Además, somos demasiado perezosos para mover equipo pesado.
Este país es una mierda.

¡Oh no, Frederico ha volado! Ahora que lo pienso, dónde está mi abuela? No estés triste, Bercian. Un pollo guapo y noble como Frederico  es amado de de su rebaño. Debería haber sabido iba a regresar a ellos.
Te voy a enviar otro espléndido regalo – un pájaro carpintero gigante desde el Río Grande! De acuerdo a mi abuela, ellos aman para nadar!

                _______________________________

VISIT BERCIAN:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

 

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                               American Tourist, Rust Bowl Tour 2016 / O’Brien

P  A  R  A  P  H   R   A   S  E

 I surprise the good artist, writer, and blogger Bercian Langan with the splendid gift of a large, handsome rooster named Frederico, who has followed me all the way from New Mexico. I pass on the news that my grandmother and I have just been kicked off the Rust Belt Tour of the Country/Hip-Hop band, American Tourist. We had proven ourselves useless as roadies because of our strong opposition to moving heavy objects. Also, someone had ratted Grandma out for attempting to incite the Cleveland audience to riot.

Whatever.

“This country is turning to shit,” I tell Bercian.

It suddenly becomes clear that Frederico the Rooster has flown away.  Come to think of it, where’s Grandma?

“Don’t be sad,” I tell Bercian, “A chicken  as handsome and noble as Frederico is beloved by his flock. I should have known he would return to them.”

Before I leave, I promise Bercian another splendid gift.

“I’ll send you a Giant Woodpecker from the banks of the Rio Grande,” I say grandly.

Maybe I shouldn’t have added that Giant Rio Grande Woodpeckers can swim. At least, that’s what my grandmother told me…

 

T  H  E   ~  E  N  D

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               CLICK HERE:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

Yolanda Baltimore and the King of Michigan

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Yolanda Baltimore and the King of Michigan / Claire O’Brien 2015

Five minutes after Yolanda Baltimore’s escape, everyone inside the Detroit Emergency Management Camp knew that she had not only spotted the sign on time, but had also displayed a spectacular, even singular finesse, the like of which may well not be seen again

Hearts soared with hope and pride. That Yolanda.

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They could not have asked for a stronger sign. The sky brimmed over with the brightest stars anyone had ever dreamed. Immediately, over 500,000 people began moving outward from the center of Detoit. This movement was so intensely focused, so controlled, so slow and so impossibly quiet that it was almost impossible to see. At least that’s what the government observers who were supposed to be monitoring the Camp’s massive NSA security system kept reporting, until officers threatened to throw the next guard who “just couldn’t see right” down an open mine shaft into Camp Appalachia.

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Alicia Evans-Gonzalez prepared to step into the flow of people from her position in a crumbling doorway in Section Nine, where she’d been pretending to nod off on the low-grade heroin that managed to make it past the machine guns, razor wire and drone attacks when bread and milk could not. The United North American Home Security Forces had no idea that actually, only a handful of people in the Detroit City Concentration Camp continued to use heroin. That meant 8,000 troops the UNAHSF didn’t know about.

Evans-Gonzales scratched herself convincingly, then lowered herself with one brief twist into the passing stream.

Ten seconds later, she had disappeared.

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“We had no doubt we would win. We knew we would win” Evans-Gonzalez told her grandson, DeRay twenty years later as the two worked together at the 15th George Jackson Memorial Apple Harvest. “We just knew. We’d been preparing ourselves every moment, from that first morning we woke up to find the city surrounded by razor wire, electric fences and gun towers, attack dogs patrolling and helicopters buzzing overhead – right up to the night of Yolanda’s escape.”

Evans-Gonzales bit into a big Yellow Delicious apple.

“Well, of course we’d actually been preparing for generations,” she corrected herself as she chewed.

“But why didn’t you send a grown-up?” asked Deray, who thought of himself as twelve years old. Actually, he had just turned eleven.

“An adult wouldn’t have stood a chance. Believe me, we tried,”  Evans-Gonzalez replied. “Six lives were lost before the People agreed that our only hope lay in the kind of person the guards had always ignored: a little girl.”

DeRay nodded.

“Sometimes we make everyone a king,” he said.

His grandmother smiled.

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SPEAKING OF LITTLE GIRLS

Yolanda had crossed the Buffer Zone,  a mile and a half of flattened rubble encircled by a high fence. Several times she had laid down flat at the approach of a helicoptor, but the searchlights had swept the sky, not the ground below, and she had felt very glad to be a small girl.

Now Yolanda stood very still, looking through the fence and standing free. Evening had just fallen, and it had begun to rain. She had nearly arrived at her destination, a small garage at the end of a one-way street, and had begun peering about sharply for the message she had retrieved in dozens of dreams over many months.

Yolanda was eight years old. The world was wet, but not dark – the impossible stars were almost too bright to know what to do with themselves. But the fence was very high. Yolanda might have been afraid, but then she wasn’t – how could she be? she asked herself.

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We dreamed that Yolanda could fly

For surrounding her as far as anyone could  possibly imagine, in every direction were the People, stretching out to her from the prison that could never hold them, from across the country, across the skies, across the oceans and across the centuries. There were the living, of course, as well as the people still to come. She did not know about other people’s ancestors, but as for her own, Yolanda Baltimore’s ancestors were here, right here – and they left no question about it.

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Please click on the link above. It’s a contribution from Eddie Star at http://eddiestarblog.wordpress.com

Check out Mr.Star’s blog!

END OF PART ONE ∇ TUNE IN SOON FOR PART TWO

Love on the D Train

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When I was 19, my girlfriend, Shirley, lived on Tiebout Ave, near 183rd and the Grand Concourse in the north Bronx. We spent so much time on the D Train that eventually we came to regard it as a sort of extension of Shirley’s living room. Lurching our way south toward Manhattan or to the deep south of distant Brooklyn, we spread out comfortably (if we were north of 125th St., when seating was roomy), eating Popeye’s chicken and playing cards.

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Meanwhile, our huge platform shoes glittered like skyscrapers.

Essentially,  we were proud of ourselves for being smart enough to be young and beautiful in the right place at the right time – and wearing the right shoes.

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We had no idea that an afternoon at Coney Island, eating junk food on the boardwalk and taking off our gigantic shoes to wade in the dirty surf wasn’t everyone’s idea of great good fortune. We didn’t realize that our huge shabby beachfront was actually a slum.

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Yes, it was rundown, but its dimensions remained glorious and, for us at least, gleamed with adventure and a kind of abundance. Even the scale of its decay was impressive, although I think the miles of South Bronx rubble we regularly passed through had enabled us to sort of look through decay.

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At any rate, seagulls still circled in the bright sky, the air still smelled of salt, waves rolled in and ships passed on the horizon. People did spread blankets on the sand and win stuffed animals for their kids in the shooting galleries.

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Above all, people ate. A lot. But nobody ever loved Coney Island food, or ate as much of it, as my girl Shirl and I.

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In much the same way, we thought everyone would wander the north Bronx’s Concourse if they possibly could, checking out the stacks of cheap and desireable stuff piled high on the sidewalk and eating huge mounds of greasy noodles.

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Shirley and I turned heads in a city that wasn’t inclined to turn its head for anyone: women, men, teenagers – suddenly, it seemed that the whole world wanted to dance with us.

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This adolescent thinking may well have been a case of arrested development, but it turned out to be a good thing, since actually neither Shirley nor I was at all certain that we even belonged in the world. We tried to act stuck up, but we could never pull it off. Actually, we were immediately delighted to be almost anybody’s friend.

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Looking back, I think of us fondly as Life’s Cheap Date

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Claire’s Collected Wisdom: Preface

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Jun 26

Get a telephone that only echoes back your voice. Call every day and talk about many things.
ValerieDavies   
I am famous in the family for beginning to cry in the cinema at the beginning of a film
Ellen Aronson, Cambridge, Massachusetts 
I’ve always thought you’ve made it in life if you’re written up in the New Yorker or appear on Letterman.
Nancy Phillips, Ibid.

(To 38-year-old Midwestern relative)

Do you know you need a driver’s license in order to drive?
Alan Ginsburg
Ommm….
Suicidal Tendencies
All I wanted was a Pepsi

AFTER THE (LAPTOP) CRASH

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i-ll-be-back-soon

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“Here I am! I promised I’d be ba- “

Hello? HEY! Hello!

 

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” Hey! I SAID I’m back! Wait! Don’t you want copies of my press release… check out my statement on Twitter!” 

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Andrew Reynolds, thanks a bunch for your generous cat  advice.You were right – Julio is almost twice as old as I thought he was, and thus didn’t make front page news. He’s evidently  not a WILD BEAST, but merely an adolescent, just as you diplomatically suggested.

VALERIE DAVIES – no, not you…move over, lady..yeah, YOU; thank-you, dear friend for hearing the distress call of a fictional cow seperated from a fictional herd on the other side of the planet.

Your  ears got so sharp from listening via your heart.

Oh I can’t find your email adress: can you send it to me?

XXOO

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ELLEN HAWLEY: You should get a medal for your patience. Please forgive me – I had no Internet acess at all. I’ll write soon!

Rosaliene Bacchus, Robyn Jambo, Derrick J. Knight, Stuart Bramhall, Ashi Akiri, Lens 1: thanks so much – and please everyone else – please forgive my haphazard brain for not listing all the rest of you dear lunkheads.

I have more notes for the rest of you lot, so please come by soon, and I’ll be over your way ASAP. (I’m still looking for lost files!)

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“Claire’s files are up..there. Somewhere….I think..”

The Last Days of the Colony

2015-04-5--10-44-12 Claire O’Brien / 2015

Nobody wanted to bowl.

The court jester’s efforts were desultory, if not grim, and the tour buses kept breaking down in the desert. An abundance of vegetation sprung up where none had grown before, historic buildings sloped sideways, and tourists found themselves trapped in luxury hotels.   2015-04-5--10-44-12 Meanwhile, Love fluttered around like an anxious butterfly without a map, looking for a place to land, Yet, in the midst of it all, the three little girls beamed. 2015-04-5--10-44-12 Art by Claire O’Brien / 2015