Hola Frontier Cadets,
Yes, the title says it all, the albatross around my neck came to life and is lifting off! (What’s an albatrossless life like?)
The book formerly called The Ramona Diary of SRD is getting published. I say formerly because after a talk with a great poet I really respect I changed my mind. I said I’m getting my book published. He said, congratulations! What’s it called? The Ramona Diary of SRD. You gotta change it. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to change your mind on things sleeplessly decided.
I’m thinking of several and asking around what sounds good.
The book formerly called The Ramona Diary of SRD has been a long time coming. I started it as a whelp. I thought it would be a year or two max, I never wrote something so long before. Hell, people love experimental, deconstructing, decolonizing work or it becomes accepted, they don’t even question it being so, right?
People don’t really like experimental stories by Becket or Borges, or Juan Ruflo, or Barthleme or Barthe. What gets liked is what is advertised, whether it’s some commercial get this now it’s becoming a movie, or your English teacher tells you how fancy their box wine becomes as they read the finest, the bestest LITERATURE which is…whatever usually anglocentric book being pushed as canon. The fact who defines the canon is almost all white with tokens who don’t indict the history of genocide or slavery on those who munch all the donuts as we carrying them around has to be a coincidence.
The canon is canon because of power, and the canon and its literati have the power to silence as well as promote.
That said, I heard my book, formerly called The Ramona Diary of SRD can change cheap box wine into the finest champagne. That’s not coming from me, it’s coming from a real person name, the fanciest white man you ever met. Don’t look him up, he is shy.
I recall some article long ago about the donation of clothes from the USA to a place in Africa (yeah I’m a product of American education, I’m bad at geography). The locals showing el gringo intrepid explorer were embarrassed by an older cat who snatched up one of the shirts the gringo touched: it was an old belief that the rich Europeans had good magic and you’d get good luck if you had something they touch, the local grandpa not realizing the clothes came off the magic gringos' backs themselves. I wouldn’t say they should be ashamed of grandpa, some myths are made to get by, but I’m struck how the brown communities are much like him. Something the Anglos approve of, shit that’s gold! It’s doesn’t matter if it's another social realist slum that shows how we deserve our lowly station or exculpates settlers and colonialism. I don’t expect this book to be uplifted by Oprah or gringistic deciders. It’s not beautiful crossroads of “Latinismo” (aka colonialism), it doesn’t indulge in the dream of white supremacy that the history and tourist California still does. At least not much.
I started this long ago on my own and moved from the lies of the crossroads of Mexican American being that sounds in “I come from two culture, Spanish and native” to then arrive at the Chicano native fact. The "two cultures" or "mesitzo" is more white supremacy and another colonial invasion clouding visions, a false security blanket to quell the outlook that we brown, native folk are not human as seen in the world view of the settler—Spanish, English or American.
I kept the book as I initially wrote it, though I’m hoping to take out some “Hispanic”s and “Latinos” “Latinxs” because the novel is a record of decolonizing. After all, there is more to the story, I’ve finished the book several years ago. And I’m still kicking.
Read the book when it comes out. People who have either loved and said it should be required reading material or hated it (I include those pieces of filth that did a “manuscript trade” with me, I read theirs, edited, proofed it, and then I never hear from them). Really, no one said, it was okay. It’s a polemical book, so there’s a choice. Love or hate.
I hope you are a lover.