Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

No news today - Guest Post - Brian Allen Carr

I was waiting for a massacre, but it seems that none will come. I was asked to deliver no news, and against my greater instincts I’ve no news to report. The call came Thursday and I truly figured that the weekend would yield some great fire-fight in the state of Tamaulipas. I thought I’d tell you about that. I’d tell you about the cartel members carved up by bullets, their bodies dropped like bruised shoulders on streets dirtied with shards of glass. The location of a celebration was moved in fear of violence, a rich kid was shot three times in the back while on a golf course, white-haired Midwesterners arrived in RV’s to once again make thick the trailer parks of the Rio Grande Valley, but there were no gunfights—the action of them Twittered by the younger cartel members—that erupted. No kidnappings called to attention. No politicians beheaded. The Mexican Navy did not storm Ciudad Mier, a town thinned out in the wake of a Los Zetas siege.

No white people were shot off jet skis by fledgling members of a pirate force. Busted brains did not drift in the brown waters of Falcon Lake. Though $4.4 million dollars of cocaine was seized at Anzalduas Bridge.

I’ve not done cocaine in some time. The summer of my 18th year I did a mess of it. We had a friend named Fast Eddy who was awarded $22,000 in a lawsuit after having fallen from a diving board at a municipal swimming pool and splitting his head open. He got $11,000 of it the day he turned 18 and the remaining $11,000 was to be awarded on his 21st birthday. We spent a summer drawing lines the length of baseball bats across kitchen tables owned by out-of-town parents. I saw the sun rise 30 times in two months and lost a taste for it.

I’ve not crossed a border bridge for over 200 days, but I drive by the river often, the green water still, wide as a motor home between the waist high grass. It’s thicker further west, but it’s siphoned off here to feed the citrus groves. William S. Burroughs used to own one of those groves a couple miles from my home. His wife would set grapefruits on her head, and Burroughs would shoot them off. He wasn’t as good at aiming at Martini glasses. I read Queer and don’t recognize his Mexico. Now there are soldiers in the squares, automatic machine guns around their necks. They searched me once, “Drogas? Drogas?” they screamed and rifled through my wallet, placed their barrel mouths against me. Their faces clean and steady. This was many years ago. The let me go unharmed. Didn’t even take my money. I’ve been across many times since then. Most likely those men are dead.

Brian Allen Carr lives on the Texas/Mexico border. Short Bus, his first collection, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press. He can be found online at www.brianallencarr.com.

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