First novel from a new press that focuses on original literary paperbacks (see Grimes, above). This tyro’s effort, however, is far less of a treasure than Grimes’s psychopharmacological whiz.
Back in the mid-’90s, Martin Sierra, an unpublished young Spanish/American writer abandoned by his poetess mother in childhood, now rooms in Brooklyn but is a habitué of Alphabet City clubs on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He may well have a collection of rejection slips heavier than the Sunday New York Times. His latest poems have come back with a mustard smear and not even the courtesy of a rejection slip. Martin cruises clubs looking for girls, but he even gets turned down by hookers in automobiles. Drinks quite a bit. Best bud is Nikki, a lesbian dreamboat who may neck with him at ear-banging clubs but who won’t let him on board. The clubs rave with freak scenes, and from the Useless-Nameless band a transvestite entertainer in emerald wig and wrapped only in Saran Wrap sings to trendies, B-list models, groovers high on X, eccentrics, and fashion victims. And Nikki dances with Martin, letting it all hang out! She’s just priceless! Sweet heaven! And on Second Street at 3 p.m., wild-assed kids with assorted mental problems mix with homeless crackheads. A Japanese firm’s Air Shipping clerk, Marty self-publishes his first book, Idealism and Early Wish-fulfillment, and spends six months hustling it on St. Marks Place, selling sixty copies. He also follows The Village Voice personals closely, has his own ad in the back, writes long letters to women who answer. He’s supposed to meet Lola in front of Kim’s Video on St. Marks Place. Is she this petite goth girl, clutching a bouquet of barbed wire, mincing past? Body-pierced Lola’s an art student who paints hyper-real scenes of intense psychopathic violence. Then comes Amaris, who, unbuckling him, says, “Hurry up, you sexist prick.”
Rough start but finally builds into an engaging debut.