As troubling as it is to expound upon this, here are a few grains from a journey I took south through the hemisphere two years ago that folks have been interested in purveying.
(I’ll be tacking this post together for a minute as I gather it, so hold your horses while it manifests; & I’m not putting in chronologically cause I don’t believe in that.)
The mentality of those dogs is itched. They’re broken, whimpering, scampering skittish from under eye, dead silent. They’re feral, terrifying, unpredictable like cockroaches’ compared to beetles’ movements, schizophrenic; are flippant, psychotic, mangy. Packless and purposeless even in the context of humanity, they become crazed, their souls vanish, love evaporates, survival is barely understood.
In Portland, the black bloc was charged by mounted cops, whose rearing hoofs came down just barely in time on my backpack’s head instead of mine as a swiveled out of the dash onto Burnside Bridge. We almost took it. Mace, Batons etc.
Stowing away in the baja: I hunched, a fetus on the metal floor in the dusty darkness crawlspace behind the cab for about forty minutes while they revved up the trucks and drove us aboard the red ship at bay, bumping and locking us in by our wheels on the deck. Sooner than I’d expected, the hatch opened up.
In Guadalajara we made another visit to the grandparents to browse their neighbor’s new litter of puppies with the kids in a square concrete yard lot. next door over a three-foot wall a large mongoloid woman sat in a hammock, smiling and swaying, one hand gently massaging inside her shorts. I stepped in shit. as we poured through the baby dogs, her swing escalated into flying: right to left and screaming out orgasmic joy. the grandmother refused to acknowledge it, in a different world, leaving oblivious. Took two pups.
Belize Border: It was warm, enough now to sleep almost wherever I pleased without cover now. What world, all night I saw flashes and fadings of colorful lights, I heard screeches and scratchings and horrible sounds, I sweated and sweated, the rocks prodding into me, barking and flapping and darkness, I dreamed many dreams.
Gargantua & Pantagruel, Moby Dick, Othello, The Gospels & Revelation.
I played harmonica on the streets, busking to support myself as I went. In Bolivia an average wage is 27 Bolivianos daily (Bs./6=$1), and strangely e’en though half-braked an tuneless, Monica gleaned in twenty minutes Bs./50, which is 150 ($25) an hour, the triple what I make a’washing plates to pay my university. I was too ashamed to go on. It’d've been a robbery.
The raw virgin wild old-growth jungle: There are trees called Walking Trees that look like trunks growing out of five-foot standing tipi-cones of sticks. Some roots die and others grow towards water, so that the trees can move several dozen feet in one year, following a water source. There are sounds like cackling and screeching, howler monkeys and cicada sirens, toucans, and Silence. Entering the jungle is entering dusk, as only at early morning can the rays get an angle through the canopy. Poison dart frogs. Vines like arms, like snakes (and snakes like arms) all climbing over all. No people. There are Cabezas de Agua, flashfloods where trickles transform instantly to cataracts and sweep down through. Birds. Bugs. Life.
Arcata, CA: The coldness of the earth flowed into my body as i lay there with nothing but a quarter inch of compressed synthetics holding my warmth above the twigs and stones. I frigid shivvered, restless slept.
Costa Rican Jungle vs. Ecotopian Forests (there’s a hitchhiker by that redwood)
In Patagonia at last, I downed down to Chocon, where there’s the bones of that the biggest carnivore Gigantosaurus Rex, I saw him, snatched a piece and scurried out back over tundra, finding on the ground the black and basalt heart of Patagonia, which kept. On, on to finest fire station I’ve yet countered-en, and slept with dreaming colours (Seeming as they are to grow more luscious with each passing dusk and dawn in this unwinding, self-creating as imagination) and lucky, went with the firemen to south, then there upon the road were needed they, for one man, who if I’d not been in the red brigade might well’ve picked me off the roadside for a ride, there had collided in a fierce choking explosion with a semi truck, the latter toppled, spilled, the cab all twisted crushed, and he in shiny black Peugeot (became like suddenly accordion’d) was pinned within his driver’s nest, the petals penetrated all all through his legs, his body crushed and twisted as his auto, rather half intact or less. For ten long thousand minutes they were pulling on the starter cord failing to rev the motor hopelessly to get the metal clipping scissors all turn’d on. Your could hear him groaning inside, trapped an maybe dying. Finally it started. ‘Most an hour ope’ning up the frame, then with a scream they lifted up his self and off went pain with sirens. Then drove we off in remonstrance, arrived, and off I hitched from on a bridge.
All through Central America – they were the boniest, wiriest cows I’ve set my eyes upon, lumpy like camels with draggled drooping fleshflaps and folds. Brahman cows they told me, noble highbred, ears pressed down against their heads, their ribs sticking pronounced, knobby knees, and an wobbling drip, turkeylike throat to gut.
Colombia: a long long time it took to wiggle my way out of Cartagena. At first I ended utterly on the wrong side, where a quartet of nasty authoritarian policemen let me sleep behind a wall while their puppy played in the dark….Electric jeep people in yellow & baby blue zoot-suites, all gender-happy….Just before we stopped for lunch, we heard great hooting and hallooing behind us, people laughing all together, getting closer. I turned my head and saw a motorcycle rid’ by a widely grinning man, and all the people all around were pointing, chuckling big. As he neared up beside us, saw: a rope from the back of his moto went back and was dragging a dead dog by the leg down the road. Hilarious horrible, all were delighted, I didn’t know how to react – I laughed, and felt sorry, and sick. At the last gas station truck stop they let me off. A perfect pristine butterfly dead on the ground. A philosopher with a huge red fungus growing on one side of his face. In the afternoon a man took me up into his truck and brought me down for 20 hours to Medellin. “Go off this road you find the Farc guerrillas.” Police-points and army checks everywhere, “you smell really bad” he kept saying to me.
I wish I’d done the porn shoot offered me in Panama – it smacked, but what the hell.