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“Oh I like surprises.”

“Mojo,” repeated the man, going into his briefcase, his face flushing, swelling as he leaned over to fish something. “Oswald Mojo.”

Gnossos shaking his head, not recognizing the name, turning back to the wall, always cover your flanks. Leave the flanks exposed, they’ll tear right up the middle, nail you with a howitzer or something. What’s he getting, Luger? Stay loose. Aquavitus, man, of all people. Sicily ox-shit. Ersatz Mafia Capo coming from South Brooklyn, has eyes for the heavyweight heroin crown, still district distributor for Cuban grass.

“Here,” said Mojo, “some of my work,” tossing a number of political periodicals on the eiderdown. “Foreign Affairs Quarterly, Partisan Review, back numbers of the The Reporter, The New Leader. You probably didn’t know I complete the treatise in F.A.Q. when I was twelve. The irony there, you see, the aesthetic injustice, as it were, was that Madame Pandit’s translation achieved so much more fame than my original, well, how shall we say…”

“Show business,” supplied Gnossos, flipping through the pages and actually finding a numer of essays by Oswald Mojo, the paragraphs laced with Italian and Latin expletives.
—Richard Fariña, of Flatbush*, from Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me (1966)

* And Brooklyn Tech, as is Dallas Penn, voice of the people, not be confused with voice of the peepshow (je me souviens Show World) or voice of the peepholesomebody ask Caz about his brief, shining career as a Brooklyn hotel detective… please?


“They Took The Dulcet Out Of Dulcimer (And Shoved It Up Spencer Tracy’s Ass),” Mountain City, Georgia, on the road to the Foxfire Museum; photograph by Amber Tides, courtesy the collection of Ernest Borgnine.

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