Editors Letter Photo October November 2009Cobbling together La Cuadra has always been like a drunken acrobat doing a high wire act over a blazing fire. There is a good chance things will get messy, but in all likelihood the end result will be oddly entertaining.

We begin the process in hermetically sealed rooms, insulated from the outside world, with the loftiest ambitions dancing through our brains and egos. Think Marcel Proust searching for le mot juste, that absolutely perfect word placed elegantly in a sentence to create multiple levels of meaning, euphoria, assonance and alliteration. That is us at the outset.

But, of course, we complete every issue like college students writing an overdue thesis for which they have neither done the research, nor opened the books. Think gallons of coffee, liters of beer and NoDoz caps washed down with Jack and NyQuil chasers.

We moan, we wail. Meaningless and muddied sentences fly like errant gas from our fingers, we scratch at nonexistent wounds until they bleed. Pages are set afire, we doubt everything: our own pitiful existences, the futility of any and all action… The cigarettes in the ashtrays pile higher and inevitably we look longingly at the razor blade on the table, (why is that blade there in the first place?) and contemplate it drawing a crimson line on our pallid wrists.

Then, somehow, the Gods have mercy. One descends from the heavens at the moment of ultimate desperation, and while we are passed-out in heaps of hopelessness, She (our Gods are Goddesses) rearranges this mess in some semblance of coherence and puts a few of the commas and periods in the correct places. Viola, La Cuadra. Offensive, entertaining, scatological, illuminatingly brilliant with, of course, the occasional nipple shot.

Now take that image and multiply it by 666, divide by the square root of π and carry your answer out to the 10th decimal.  That’s what it was like getting out THIS issue.

Why? Well, the “brains” of the operation headed back north for some much needed low-rent rehab with the family after the accumulated stresses of life in the tropics and issues back home led him to temporarily relocate to a barstool on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for some R & R.

Meanwhile, yours truly was also spending his time in NY, drinking a mixture of absinthe and mezcal, passing out on blue couches (that miraculously materialized before his nightly collapse) dreaming of hippos, dwarves and magic crystals. That much, and little more, I remember.

The trip to NY was made to arrange the importation of Café No Sé’s favorite elixir, Ilegal-Mezcal. That mission has somehow been accomplished, and the end of October will see Ilegal-Mezcal on bar shelves throughout Manhattan. The task was not easy, but surely noble, and one giant step toward our goal of well lubricated reverse imperialism.  If you stop by the gray metropolis, be sure to hit Mayahuel Tequila and Mezcal Bar on East 6th Street.  Accomplished vixen (and No Sé veteran) Ivy Mix has a gig there serving our booze.

But back to La Cuadra. The goddesses have been extra generous due to our trying circumstances. La Cuadra, Issue 6 of Volume III, is another diamond, In this issue Kevin Petrie returns to again take us into his sordid life and make us glad that we are not him, nor any of his exes. If you like stories that turn out horribly wrong, you’ll love this one. Remember the song, One Night in Bangkok Makes A Hard Man Humble? It did something even worse to Kevin.

Mike Tallon also gives us a thoughtful analysis of the Honduran Coup, stripping away the normal blather of Left vs Right. He also covers La Tortilla, a collective of local musicians who have recently produced a brilliant CD.

Miles Afuera also returns with some sordid recollections of the old 42nd St., and Mike’s dad, Jim, once again bringing his wisdom to bear, this time on the current health care debate in Washington. This issue is a hit.

Mezcal, Absinthe, Magic Crystals   and a Blue Couch are calling my name. Hope you enjoy reading as much as we have enjoyed writing. Razor blades furnished upon request.                   JPR

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About the Author

John Rexer, the founder and editor of La Cuadra Magazine, expatriated himself from Los Estados about 12 years ago because he couldn't stand seeing his city, New York, lobotomized by the metastasizing sameness of WalMart America and didn't have a pillow large enough to Chief Bromden the place out of it's misery. After knocking around Mexico for a while he landed in Antigua, Guatemala - broke but certain about the decision to stay out of the States. Without much of a backup plan he opened Café No Sé (with a rusty credit card) on a residential street, in this sleepy, third-world, colonial town with the intention of creating the best bar in the known universe. For those of you who've been through Antigua, you know he succeeded. Primary mission accomplished, a few years later John started "creatively transporting" mezcal from Oaxaca into Guatemala with the intention of creating a multi-national company that would deliver the finest agave spirits to the citizenry of the world. That company, Ilegal Mezcal, is currently selling its booze around the globe. La Cuadra Magazine, an idea hatched a decade ago in a booze fueled bitch session with current Editor-in-Chief, Mike Tallon, is actually just the first step in larger plan to develop a publishing company that will create a genius literary movement in this new century in much the same way that Ferlinghetti's City Lights project launched the Beat Movement of the 1950s. Writ short, his aspirations are as big as his liver. Or, as Mike has noted on a number of occasions, John Rexer puts the "messy" back in "Messianic."