New Mexico News
New Mexico News: July 2013
By Mike Smith and ¡Brapola!
Back in France in 1906, an art critic and anarchist by the name of Félix Fénéon documented the crimes and tragedies of his place and time by reducing them to their narrative essentials, writing each news item up in three lines or fewer. Fait divers, he called these. Sundry fates. Early last year, I read a collection of these poetic nonfiction vignettes, Novels in Three Lines, and was struck by the prismatic way these huge little stories seemed to act as a fly's eye view of a world being torn apart again and again by bombings, poverty, despair, injustice, a lack of social safety nets and random accidents. Inspired, I began writing a Twitter feed @New_Mexico_News, turning the news of our state into stories and descriptions in 140 characters or less. The feed has proven somewhat popular, even outside the state, and counts among its fans acclaimed novelist Teju Cole who's called it "haunting" and "superb." Record label L.M. Duplication turned it into a monthly newspaper for a time, and now New Mexico News will be a recurring feature twice a month here in the Alibi, with art by brilliant local artist Luke Hussack aka ¡Brapola!. Sometimes these fait divers are sad. Sometimes they're almost funny. All of them show that our lives are made up of stories as much as they are of atoms, and taken together, I think they show what a lovely, horrible, violent, fiery, apocalyptic wasteland we're all lucky enough to call home. I hope you find these worth your time.
“Silver City teens are amazing. It’s really fun to watch them,” said a man about to sound less creepy, “get involved in [local] projects.”
For weeks, a crutch has been stuck in a tree above a Taos home, symbolically urging all passersby to take what they lean on & hurl it away.
Driving on a trip, a Farmington man saw a grapefruit-sized rock fly through his windshield and into his face. For 11 days, he was in a coma.
A Lordsburg man claims a "portal" has been letting pterosaurs, UFOs, Old West legends, & tiny black creatures in from other times & planes.
New Mexico's Human Services Department is cutting funding to 15 important mental-health-care providers this week, forcing them to shut down.
"This is my neighborhood," says a Rio Rancho man, sick of free-range cows on his lawn. "I shouldn’t have to smell cow poop in the morning."
Carol Ann Canzona has offered to channel angels for you, in Farmington. She traveled all the way to Hawaii to get her angel therapy license.
Rafters on the Rio Chama report shots fired over their heads, a cabin they would stay at burnt down, the bodies of cattle lining the river.
Sometimes, when Sandia Peak is topped with wispy clouds, I imagine it's a Founding Father in a powdered wig. "Thank you for freedom," I say.
Intense rain & hail sluice & gouge the vast burn scars of recent megafires, leading to flooding, pollution, & a generally apocalyptic vibe.
A small, quiet story from the still-growing Silver Fire: 83 Gila trout lifted from water near the flames, then taken safely to a hatchery.
Soldiers control a drone in Afghanistan from a room near Alamogordo. They fire at a building. And suddenly a child walks onto their screen.
Two feet of hail fell onto Santa Rosa, collapsing a roof, shattering skylights, and blocking roads. "I have never seen this," said one man.
"If you want to be happy, have more sex. And do more drugs!" says a radio preacher, his words about to be taken badly out of context.
Tuesday was Worm Day at the Carlsbad Library. Children made worms out of cardboard and yarn, and ate gummy worms, and talked about worms.
She had hoped to move to rural China, but her husband got a job on a pipeline outside of Carlsbad. Once a week, she goes to the post office.
"What sort of retail, restaurants, and entertainment venues would you most like to see for the Trinity Site?" asks the LOS ALAMOS MONITOR.
Two hours after a major flash flood in a concrete Rio Rancho arroyo, a boy, 14, walks a bike in it. "I've seen waters way deeper," he says.
Former Governor Garrey Carruthers will be NMSU's new president. "...A friend put green chile on pancakes," he says. "I wouldn’t do it."
A dead man on a dark street in Farmington. Three others shot. A woman, begging police for news of her husband, lit by flashing blue and red.
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