Saturday, March 08, 2008

Miguel Angel Soria and Tomas "Tommy" Riley: Xicanosmosis and the Taco Shop Poets

Tex[t]-Mex has two odd chapters that are called "Seductive Hallucination Galleries" in the book--these are largely blog-style dispatches profusely illustrated where I threw together findings that I could not sustain in a traditional book chapter. They are a sort of Island of Misfit Toys (in the best sense of the term as I am a closeted Rankin Bass Rudolph fetishist!) of gross stereotypes, photography, editorial cartoons, print ephemera, etc. Even Michael Jackson makes a cameo in one of the galleries and my sustained, loving bitch-slapping of Richard Rodriguez, who writes like a saint, and, until recently, thought like Lou Dobbs in brownface, also appears, revised, in these pages.

The last dispatch in the second gallery is penned by former Taco Shop Poet scribe Miguel Angel Soria and features a tale of lurid "Mexicans" subjecting the USD campus to the menacing horror of their "Mexican" ways--basically two Chicanos listening to the Clash in a car in a USD parking lot, reappear reimagined the next day's USD newspaper as a crime report. Soria quotes that fetid artifact of fishrap: "no crime has been reported, as yet." "As yet" as if the potentiality for criminality always already fueled the dimensions of American culture. Soria's dispatch is cool, criminally wicked, and nefariously deft. This Mexican American writer is, indeed, in the end, a felon--a felon of the pen with the mind of a seer!

All this as a preface to a posting of an outtake from a PBS Visiones documentary that features a segment on the Taco Shop Poets, Miguel Angel Soria, and my good friend Tommy Riley, et al, that recently showed up on YouTube. Like Oliver Mayer, Michelle Serros, Gilbert Hernandez, and Dulce Pinzón, their xicanosmotic work shows the cultural synesthasia of a Mexican/American, Mexican-American, and Mexican & American--not the same things--reality in metamorphosis.

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