Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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Magical Thinking: A Review of Charles Bowden, Murder City, Dreamland, and El Sicario
by AE Reiff

books by Charles Bowden

I want to comfort the murder city dreamland el sicario of Bowden's teeth worn invisibly around his neck and now and then thrown in the soup, but Magical Thinking, one of two ways to be safe and sane, requires silence, which means pretend nothing is happening. Facsimiles refuse to say out loud the images of our torture and suffering, saving the best for second best, magical thinking: "inventing various explanations for what you refuse to say and by these explanations dismiss the very thing you cannot let pass your lips" (35). Psychopaths pretend to be fairy princesses because as innocents they were made to masturbate their priest, cop, teacher, and worse. They maintain silence. To speak the horror is horror. Truth cannot pass their lips. It would result in the destruction of life as they know it. But pretend sublimation is subjugation.

If murder city is a narcotecture, magical thinking is a psychotecture supported by the dream amnesia of TV, radio, print. These are the sweet drugs of fantasy (61). Truth's sacrifice, as everyone knows, supports the pretend civilization and its tortured life. Truly you will be torn limb from limb if you speak:

"There is recourse to Magic if things are not said, then these things do not exist. Just as some people cleanse their vocabularies of racial slurs or sexist terms and, by that act, convince themselves they are altering reality and ending tribal or religious or racial strife and bring men and women into some kind of purity and joy, so there is a magical belief that to ignore the killings, to deny the violence, to refuse to admit to fear, these decisions lower the temperature of human rage or human mayhem or erase fear or the things to fear. It is a form of prayer practiced without a church" (78, emphasis added).

I'm just trying to get his books out of the house and go back to watching Macbeth, otherwise avoid becoming the cadaver dog at ground zero who "sat down on the rubble...and never worked again. Apparently, the magnitude of the scents overwhelmed his soul" (Dreamland, 72). Bowden explains the impossible. To me there is no knowing except to dash them in pieces. When Spanish Cortéz met the native, or iron met obsidian, as Bowden says (probably stole it from Galeano), that Sword would rend the civilized heaven, meaning "the moment when iron met obsidian and obsidian offered up its women" (105).

How there can be such a harvest that artists and poets not wonder? How in less than 100 years could earth trippple its population! Bowden says the city itself is a factory where "new human beings in quantities far greater than the market can absorb. The giant machines cut the babies from templates of mud...every year production quotas are raised and more redundant human beings are fabricated and cast out into the streets." (Dreamland, 25).

Magical Compartments

So "nothing in his appearance signals what he has been and what he has done." What assassin, that's the governor! Stay inside when these bubbles blow. You can add the rosy dawn of Cialis to make the greatest nation of the earth! And when the iron room...what iron room? When the air leaves the iron room...on TV, to neuter and strengthen the bloom...not done? Not Yet!

It is a comfort to read the Revelation. But again, the "purpose of this book is not to answer the reader's questions but to teach the reader a new reality, one in which an American reader's normal questions are absurd because the reader has entered a world of terror and total corruption" (El Sicario, xiii) which is broader and braver than that, but do not ask what is it. There is a coming visit. New reality! Hardly are those words out when spiritus mundi bubbles in front. Two for one, Prufrock and Yeats, nice. I think the two are one, Yeats scuttling, to find his grave. Did you know he had a substitute? I guess not. They don't teach the new reality. It must be kept, a nice magical under Ben Bulben, "for example, if you are assigned to kidnap someone, then you deliver the victim to another person, El Dos, who delivers him to El Tres, who will deliver him to the person who executes him, who then delivers him to the person who buries the body" (79)?

Lord knows I don't care where they bury the body, but you know the end. In our case, to brainwash, it will be assumed conform to the grant. 90% of physics majors paid by government, offered NDEA grants to study linguistics—key to the eye hole, to the brain hole, heart hole, holey mole--DARPAOLE. Look ordinary (viii) but be sompin else. El Dos TV Net to eat, El Tres dress them nice, consumption is complete, which Cuatro will electromagnetically make. FEMA cometh, and then the coup de grace. Seven Billion bodies gonna live with God.

Magical Disappearance

Don't believe it. Iron, iron on the wall. These rhymes are solid as youtube, called the los levantados, not raptured, kidnapped. And the iron wall, you can't just drive around, but built "into this wall are gates that will allow armored trucks to pass through" (Murder City, 188). It is arranged. Plato o Plomo? Silver or lead? My Bowden asks, "what do you do when the whole country is invaded, infiltrated completely" (171). What do you do when the tow truck stops at your door? The answer heretofore has been you will not know it is a tow truck. You'll think magically it is an ice cream truck. So be a good sport as the mothers of Juarez are saying, paint the telephone poles pink and cover them with black crosses. Find your maquilas.

AE Reiff wrote the miniature of Opiomes. This overkill continues to be indexed at Encouragements.

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