* To my right are four geisha holding biscuits; to my left, a bucket of sausage gravy. The walls are covered with velveteen Jesus fish and floor is encrusted with crushed candy corn. I type at a wobbly desk donated by a frustrated Swedenborgian. The air is thick with mischievous desperation.
I been called cheevious myself, though its mostly to do with Tom Sawyer or Miss Watson when she gets me with the spelling-book.
2. If you could live in any 'work of art'--whether it be a novel, movie, painting, etc.--which would you choose and why?
* I'd live in the movie Amelie, because I lament every day that I am not in Paris, France.
I reckon I know his feeling, cause I been to Paris Missouri and seen all they got there and things to do, and it's where Miss Watson ain't, so's a fine place by me.
3. How do you think your two home cultures--Chile and Missouri--inform your storytelling?
* I was named for Neruda, and only read one worthwhile book in the eighteen years preceding my undergraduate education. It was The Adventures of Huck Finn, which begins just a stone's throw south from where I grew up, in O'Fallon, Missouri. To this day, when I read it (which is often) I can hear Huck's Pike County just as Twain wrote it and revel in both's ignorant credibilities. Neruda and Twain are my eternal writing prompts. I'm convinced there's no writing block of mine that they cannot break.
I knowed he's heard that from Miss Watson that I break things, cause she's always a setting on me, saying like, 'Huckleberry, don't put your feet up there' and 'don't set that way' and a tellin me about the bad place. And one day I got so flusterated I said, 'I wish I was there' and she got mad. I've hardly broke nothing, but you can't tell that to someone who 'works' on arguing, cause they win most times.
4. What brought you to Open Salon and what keeps you here?
* I read about Open Salon somewhere, but I don't remember where. What keeps me here this week is Skip Williamson, who is one of the most interesting people I've ever encountered online.
5. How do you feel about America's place in the world right now, and do you feel that our standing is changing?
* The United States has been exposed as a lie. It was founded on the finest political document ever written, and that document has been shit on by a generation of political fiends and civically-ignorant sheep & desperadoes. Policy makers around the world know that the U.S. must now print every dollar it has and more, go for broke. Fareed Zakaria likes to say that the US isn't sinking, that the rest of the world is rising. My thought is, when this is all said and done and the world's economies and the world economy finally bottom out, the United States will have sunk considerably and taken the rest of the world down with it. There's really no way to know what the consequences of the last generation of American policy & spending habits will be, but one thing is certain: they will be my generation's inheritance.
I don't know as I disagree. All's I know is when I see folks come back from the overseas, 'The Sand Box' some call it and they laugh but it ain't happy the way they do it. And most of these folks, if you git to know em, they tell you they got bad dreams that they like to never get shut of, but that they cain't talk out, and even me, half ignorant, can tell that rich folks start the wars while the poor folks foller through.
6. Who are some writers that have influenced you?
* Hmmm...Twain, 2Pac, Shakespeare, Hunter S. Thompson, Cervantes, Bob Dylan, Thucydides...to name a few.
7. Why do you write?
* Can't help it.
Now without you have read http://open.salon.com/blog/pablo_manriquez/2009/02/22/slatherin_calamity_me_vs_the_st_louis_beacon_round_1
then you won't know what this next is. Pablo worked for a newspaper, and he photergraffed a 'Citimortgage' and this 'Citimortage' got hopping mad and then the paper, too, and Pablo had to light out. But you'd do better to let him tell it hisself, like above.
8. What did you learn from your recent 'battle' with the St. Louis Beacon?
* The St. Louis Beacon has a damn fine mission statement that Margaret Wolf Freivogel's provincial disdain for innovation renders meaningless. What the episode taught me is that until the news industry rejects the false premise that all journalism is news-writing, and allows for a creative rhetorical approach, one with teeth that returns to its literary roots, American journalism will remain neutered and unreadable...and "Land of the Free" will continue to apply only to criminally sadistic curs like Citimortgage and the billfolds it enriches.
9. If you could change something about OpenSalon, what would it be?
* The default font for posts. I'd go with Helvetica.
10. When are you happiest?
* To tell you the truth, I'm never happy anymore. I have no job, no prospects, and the one skill I've spent my life cultivating (writing) is no longer profitable. I spend all day applying to jobs, reading bleak policy papers, and taking OpenCourseWare classes; and when I sleep (which is rare), I dream of my deepest regrets.
That there is so sadful, even Emmeline Grangerford couldn't make it more so, and if she was here she could rattle off a 'tribute' poem that would weepen the angels, but it wouldn't befit the likes of me to try. (Emmeline wrote about when Stephen Bots drownded and such and tributed ever death she heard of, cept her own, which laid in ambush, sorta like, so she hadn't time.)
11. Does it bother you when people say, "Chilli" instead of "Chi-LAY"? (I can't help it. I have to know.)
* No. I love accents.
12. Have you been back to Chile, and do you keep up with family there?
* I've been back twice: in '94 and again in '05. My family there has no computer, and I have no money to call, so I never hear from them, only of them, through my father who calls periodically.
13. I usually end with some version of this question--"Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved"???
* Loved and lost. You can always love again.
Pablo's told me other things, private like, of how he got his college all paid through some kind of mind-like chess with an officer and his family left Chil-lay cause dick-taters tortured his kin and Tom Sawyer himself couldn'ta done more adventurin. So's I'm done and Pablo can work on arguin again, but really he's a writer, like Mr. Mark Twain, cept prone less to stretchers, more to nunfiction. And I warn't sure you'd heard of him, so before I lit out for the Territory I wanted to make it so. And if Tom Sawyer ever growed up, he'd a turnt out much the same. And you know where to find Pablo, but mostly Tom stays hid.