Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miami Gay Vice

Arturo Tijeras

“Rosario had been shot
at point-blank range”
—Jorge Franco Ramos,
Rosario Tijeras

Arturo gets shot at point-blank range while he’s cuming, confusing the pain of death with that of love. But he realizes something is wrong, when the pain doesn’t stop. Even tho the cuming does…

“I feel something oozing thru my body. I think it’s a kiss,” he says, as he grows weaker in my arms.

Armando gets the fuck outta the apartment, jealousy making him do it? Or is it just the thrill of it, shooting Arturo in the head while making love?

Giving the kid his last good fuck, one he’ll always remember. All the way to the morgue.

So much for those gone fantastic, magic realism dayz of picturesque Banana Republics, mysterious rain-forests, Latino literary landscapes of the 1970s.

So much for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s cheesy folksy village defined by all the long gone Borges boyz. The new literary style is cheesy condo lit, a takeoff on the words “McDonald’s, Macintosh and condo.”

So much for tropical, exotic Nowhereville, the Fuguet boyz are in town now. Urban trash, urban legends, urban sex & violence, the easily recognizable pop-entrenched downtown, dirty, polluted, crowded, throbbing with sex, drugs, money and death is here.

“Arturo Tijeras” simply oozes with McOndianesque shocking, provocative, unsavory, cheesy details. Just the thing to make Charles Bukowski cream in his kimono: fucking a corpse in a condo, peeing on a former rival hustler’s face, scenes of mass masturbation at Ocean Drive, Miami nightclubs.

Raymona Chandler would be aghast tho, such moody displays of miserable Miami Noir even worse than yesterday’s tacky TV episodes of unsavory Miami Vice.

So many hopes pegged on the Jorge Franco generation, to come up with a whole new slant on the same old worn-out, crummy, magic acts of Garcia Marquez and Company.

Armando Tijeras

“I feel [that] the great literary
theme of ‘Latin American identity’
(who are we?) must now take a
back seat to the theme of
‘personal identity’ (who am I?).”
—Alberto Fuguet

How am I supposed to know the two boyz are the Tijeras brothers? Well, half-brothers anyway. They have the same Mexico City mother, but different fathers.

I can’t help it, I’m in love with both of them. Arturo and Armando. Armando and Arturo. Let me count the ways, I mean, let me count the inches.

Arturo had 12 inches, Armando had 7. There’s some seething sibling rivalry going on between them, Arturo the younger one and Armando the older stud.

Probably lots of penis envy too, I know I have it bad for Arturo too. Arturo is like magic realism, he comes from some other banana republic world.

But Armando is McOndos, the gritty urban Miami crime scene means everything to him. Coke and power is everything, that’s how he gets the pink Cadillac.

"Arturo Tijeras" is set in the new Medellín Miami of the McOndos youth, the Medellín of 2012 when drug lords like Pablo Escobar rule the planet. They control the Redneck Riviera and its zombies through violence. When people die in the book it is not because of beautiful, biblical butterfly plagues, but because of acts of street crime of narco-terror.

There are dozens of murders a day, but the Escobar gangs are still raking in more than a million dollars a day from cocaine shipments to Miami. Teenage killers like Arturo and Armando, get paid in pocket money for every competitor killed, dipping their bullets in cum before going to work.

The novel, adapted as a Spanish-language film this year, is another cheesy contribution to McOndo realism, to Miami Noir literature, but also to the female action hero genre. One thinks of "La Femme Nikita" especially, watching all the gun-toting, crack-snorting junkie badgirlz strutting their glamorous urban wild pussies on the street, sexualizing female domination. Arturo, like most femmes fatales in the genre, functions less as a beacon of strength than as a construction of male erotic fantasy.

Gender politics gets blurred somewhere between the demise of magic realism and the sexual power, new reigning lower class whores trafficking with narcotics as the means of rising. Arturo and Armando once belonging to the "decent" upper class, battered and bribed by the drug wars into submission.

The same with me, destroyed, diminished, dragged down and brutalized by my addictive love for Arturo and Armando. Their seductive, toxic, druglike love easily an allegory for the process by which the Miami upper class loses control of its once dear domains.

With me it began the same year García Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was published, my dayz of magic realsim already dead. The new unmentionalbe axis around which Miami moves is how the novel addresses the political implications of this story subtly, its primary goal a realistic depiction of the city, and whatever such a representation suggests or implies which is incidental.

The only place I get heavy-handed is in with my somewhat gay persistent reiteration of Arturo's deadliness. "Breath rhymes with death," Arturo exclaims ... this from a kid whose "kisses taste like death," who fires bullets at people immediately after making out with them and who is finally shot while embraced in a kiss.

For me it’s crucial that the gay sexuality and chronic violence that corrodes Miami be reflected in literary form, and ultimately what allows me to personify it is Arturo’s intimacy with death, his fearlessness in the face of it.

Arturo’s brother, an infamous drug lord now, drops by my apartment in The Carlyle sometimes. We play the music he liked, we get drunk, we get high, we even make love. He camouflages his guilt by bouquets of flowers, depicting all the street crimes, bar brawls, police brutality and poverty they both went thru.

But all that’s just fake, ersatz, hustler jive—supposed disillusionment and anger. Just as grotesque and fantastical as his supposed literary forefathers the magical ones.

Armando’s fake magical realism is just another form premised upon nostalgia for a premodern Miami that’s passed and gone. What kind of literary style can possibly acknowledge the presence of such a vulgar modernity?

How to depict an unrecognizable society shaped and permeated by pop culture, mass media, urban growth and the forces and influence of blood-cold globalization?

It would take an impossible Escape from the present reality that is, for many of us absent of enchantment and magic. A realistic Miami novel would be like what?

A fictional "disenchantment with the world"?

An exile from magical realism—into what kind of different genre of realism? One that deals with gay Miami Beach disillusionment?

The look on Armando’s face—when I do to him what he did to his kid brother. Making love in The Carlyle Penthouse—pulling the trigger as Armando cums?

No comments:

Post a Comment