1 her voice rockdrills his soul
listen: grinds him into cornearth
down to brown bloody cornflour
enough poison to make his
head spin—chains him / pins
him down—makes him
pregnant & hungry
for meat . . .
& even if she . . .
& if she breaks skin
& if she gets in & does her stuff
& if she touches him
& as long as she stays out of his blood ¿what does he care?
she’s a fire he sets off . . .
a burning shadow . . .
but hotter than fire--
& I can’t stand in the way--
Xochitl yes—& she cuts--
she cuts / she cuts
from his nose
from his temples
wears his skins
stringed on her ankles
she cuts / she cuts
w/ that root of her tongue tongue
& thusly gone she tears him open
she cuts . . . S O L O N G C H A L E Y
& he cries—drones--
& she cuts deep--
& slices hard
& he staggers
& he yelps
& he staggers back stricken--
& she offers flores flores canta flores--
flowers strung together . . .
I cover him w/ flowers
I destroy him w/ flowers
I DESTROY him w/ deez flowers
I injure him w/ flowers
I incite him w/ flowers
I caress him w/ flowers
I seduce him w/ flowers
I induce him w/ words
& I murder himnz w/ my flowery wordswords
& his gaze lands
Pochtlán they sey
which as he sees & considers
effects no tears to rush
into his eyes--this time—no--
no hot sobs cut his throat--
& er / NO . . . no constructed tears
of smeared centuries gone
dripping down his
face & no not sorrowfully falling to stone
& certainly not piercing his heart--
& as he wipes nothing from his face no shadows
linger where his hands rest or ever rested
& he wakes / ¿into another dream?
& who else but David Foster Wallace
appears to him
look up: banners reading “make it new / make it used / & fucking die you fucking die”
DFW sez you forget fast friend
when you saw me at Strand
& yr jealously led ye to say nothing
I’ve read yr story abt me & frankly I don’t much like it:
it ain’t that all bad now
& Chastitellez sez slyly at this moment: “See Da—whoa / sorry
“I almost called ye Dad / I meant Dave / Dave
“see Dave I’m not un hombre
“to whom such orders cd or shd be given
“sir listen: besides it ain’t my wish to anyways
“& bueno fer yr fey wey: ni modo pues cabrón
“bc compared w/ you I can sey yr gringo pendejo
“make it brown / some wine ¡ho!”
& w/ that he unshyly dispatched Amurka’s greatest post WW2 author thoroughly w/ his fair & strong swordplay (again como
Xochitl’s cantos floridos)
wildly gritando SANTIAGO all the while
walkin back directly again to
Al Norte to AZtlán but first a small detour thru nopaled Cananea
& stories Chaley wd come to hear
of his grandfather Pancho Sr vagabonding for work
& readily searching for workboots & books
pues his own li’l piece
in a golden northern land of milk & money
see he knew Pancho Sr had got these here handbills /
up in Sinaloa / say’n that mines in AZtlán
were digging deep for hot copper güey
 Conversations with DFW by Chaley Chastitellez, B.A.
1 December 1984
I walked back from the New Yorb Café and confessed to D, whom I ran into near the mimosas outside the Modern Language, that I had successfully gained the waitress/actress X’s affection after engaging her in multiple sinuous discourses ranging from the capricious temperament in the critical works of a certain Russian chef, to the heroic striking unions, and dirty, dirty Mexico during her smoke break. “Think she’ll let you pork her?” D asked, one eyebrow raised, the other seemingly still in its scabbard.
“. . .”
He re-adhered his slipping signet to the scroll rolled tighter than an enchilada & this he held in the breeze. He continued in his aqueous voice: “Yes, but you see, love is the necessary thrombosis.” Plaudits from an unknown source ensued. “You need not bowdlerize for me,” D said.
I blushed as he heard this all this
18 September 1990
After fabricating the cover wrap for the biography with a paper grocery sack at D’s unfurnished flat, I opened the text to page 173 and read to him the quoted passage from the author’s ex-wife that most exhilarated me: The aim of literature is the creation of strange object covered with fur which breaks your heart. D’s robot servant Ginger helped him off with his belt buckle, then rucksack, finally knotted his purple bandanna, and emptied the ashtray. He asked to touch the cover, rubbed his index finger along the fibrous wrinkles I left crinkled. A fascinating mediocre meta-quote from a proven alcoholic D said nodding, nodding.
“. . .” I said.
“True, but think more in terms of calipers.”
Of course, calipers I thought.
He turned toward Ginger. “And you, a Cosgrove-Cog pox upon ye and your dynamo-empty heart! Just kidding. Babes, your sweet repoussé face makes my teeth sweat.” Ginger blushed.
“Consider this, Chastitellez: the aim of literature is the suction of the thick tick meant to tickle your tibia.”
“. . .”
“You’re right. He had the benefit of surreal sculpture before him, alas.”
“. . .” I said.
“I agree,” said D, “it is beautifully absurd that a robot named Ginger should blush.”
23 July 23 1991
“. . .”
“Yes, in fact, my LBJ story does not reprehend him, but, rather, is written in an unexpected, unforeseen pathos. It’s quite strawdenarlly touching, in my opinion moving.”
“. . .”
“That’s right, I said strawdenarlly.”
11 August 1995
Q. . . .
A. A brief interview with a hideous man? Well, you’re no piece of lemon pie either, my friend.
Q. . . . Tuxson . . .
A. No, my fiction did not do there. It did not do, it did not do. I remember thinking to myself, I shall grow old, wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled before these cats dig what I did, dig?
Q. . . . the sky a bluish gray . . .
A. But you wrote about piss in jars; I was sketching the Incandenzas and parodying Barth.
Q. . . .
A. Who’s destroying the way “we” tell stories? We? Look, I gotta meet a man about a horse, let me get back to you on this, cool?
Valentine’s Day 1999
I dropped by D’s place to bid him happiness for the holiday. Unfortunately I had had neither the time nor resources necessary to construct for him the intended shotgun shell wreath I had promised since Christmas. Nor the diorama representation of the AA scene from his upcoming Infinite Jest.
“Mmmmyello?” D answered over the intercom.
“. . .”
“Truly: a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of synthetic and organic machines: a creature of social reality as well as fiction. About 10% of U.S. citizens (I included) are cyborg robots. Artificial skin, boss. Come on up.”
Inside his newly furnished flat, D introduced me to his recent acquisition of various swords: épées, daggers, cutlasses, rapiers, machetes, stilettos, pen knives, switchblades, scalpels, flyssas, kaskaras, takoubas, falchions, khopeshes, cinquedeas, sabers, döppelhanders, katanas, scimitars, tulwars, pulwars, nodachis, spadones, flamberges, kampilans—all laying there nice and gorgeously aestheticized on his newly purchased glass top table
D eats the pink of his Neapolitan ice cream first. Ginger hands me a Coors and tells me
“Cheers. Klaatu barada nikto.”
“Kick back for a minute, I’m just putting the final touches on my manuscript. Let me finish then we’ll make like trees, then we’ll wage war with the discriminating public after first making an appearance at Che’s. What are your feelings on pavement not the band?”