October 30th, 2010 / 2:00 pm
Literary Magazine Club

{LMC}: A Brief Reflection on Czar Gutierrez’s Bombardier

You can read a PDF of Bombardier to better participate in the discussion. Go buy NY Tyrant. If you would like to have the full PDF of NY Tyrant 8 so you can participate in this month’s LMC discussions, get in touch with me. But still, when you buy a literary magazine, an angel gets its wings.

The New York Tyrant veers closer to a glossy magazine than most literary journals. The stories are punchy, slim, trim and — with an exception or two — quite small. This is a quibble when you like what you are reading and a relief when you do not. Czar Gutierrez did not just leave me wanting, I was left reeling, holding his strange text up to the stuff I usually like — the Cheever, the Amis, the Ellroy — baffled, going through it line by line, trying to understand why I liked it, and how the hell he managed to jerk me around so much I dug pressure prints into each page.

I am quite suspicious of translations. The ones that wash ashore in the U.S. are tend too often to be finger wagging nuggets of exoticism.  The last I remember actually enjoying was Michel Houellebecq. And I should have hated this excerpt of Bombardier — it begins with a trickle of semen dribbling down some poor girl’s thigh, then the camera yanks around to see two planes cross in the sky; then he pulls away further, into pure telemetry and physics… I won’t spoil the rest.  Gutierrez’s control is so splendid, his craft so clean and precise, you can ignore the fact that the man is a D.J., a poet, that his website shrieks techno at you as soon as you open it, and the implied quarrel with American military power and 21st Century capitalism (which, honestly, as a Colombian he has a right to quarrel with — we Americans do meddle a bit down there).

All successful magazine brands sell not just stories, but a platonic ideal of taste; a lifestyle, an aesthetic or the appearance of being informed. Literary journals are no different. Each time I pick one up I expect a throbbing, sizzling smorgasbord of discoveries — and for once, in the New York Tyrant, I think I found what I was looking for.

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  1. HTMLGiant Blog post @ James McGirk

      […] Czar Gutierrez’s except in Issue 8 of NY Tyrant literary magazine… [LINK] […]

  2. letters journal

      Holy fuck do I love Cesar Vallejo. I just got through his ‘Trilce’.

  3. letters journal

      Holy fuck do I love Cesar Vallejo. I just got through his ‘Trilce’.

  4. M Kitchell

      This was one of my favorite stories in the issue (which I finally finished reading yesterday, oops, sorry lit club). It really is fucking incredible in its almost total establishment of tone through obscured images and such tiny fragments of text. I really hope the entire thing gets translated someday, I’ll be first in line to read it.

  5. Tyrantbooks

      We are working on making that happen.

      -Tyrant Books

  6. Pvlgo

      Peruvian, not Colombian.

  7. Bombardero

      > thank you very much, mr. McGirk.
      > thanks to giancarlo di trapano and luke goebbel (tyrant)
      > I would add two things:
      -I am peruvian (and that isn’t an honor)
      – this is the missing piece in the pdf cited:


      HER BODY HAS BEEN in the satellite for two seconds but the vertical memory of the teleobjectives and the wide angles freeze the light so it becomes The Light That Floats Forever In The Sea Of Time: she is a blade of static, a satellite’s digital eyelash, an ether saturated millimeter in the solitude of the cosmos.

      NOW SHE IS a spark charged with electricity flying parallel against the intermittent steel bars that frame her perspective: hair stirred by smoke, lips laminated in ashes, cones of magneto that enter and leave her body, translator of mister CANTOR Fitzgerald and show room model of mister Salvatore Ferragamo falling now like the light of a star that has travelled millions of years in order to gather in this cone- this cone where a lightning is being sharpened -.

      IT IS 9:38 A.M. Eastern time in this WTC2 / 0 Time in the edges of Planet Hell: bathed in pure physics, Rachel cuts the air curtains while Battery Park is being drawn out-of-focus shutters drained by gas clouds and petroleum vapors and compasses without North.

      3.1.- Downwards the profound wound in her voyage through rapid windows.
      3.2.- Upwards the appalling pressure of a skull gripped too hard by the pliers of her temples and
      3.3.-Insidewards, oh, insidewards: arteries connected to the celestial orbit, towards the already invisible wake of a embedded plane, towards the dead noise of an engine and the white sound of my scream:
      – Love is the skin of an expansive planet- I think.
      – Love is a slow rupture of symmetries- I say.
      – Love is the dramatic vertex of a collapsing star- I write.

      LOVE IS THE VERTICAL that tears me apart while you fall (This is how I will live).

      FLASHES FROM THE SKY FILTERING on or maybe crossing her skin (which opens up): it opens up or it is bared, inverting itself like the red prairies of Arizona against the feverish skies of Hiroshima.

      MY EYES DO THEY CLOSE or darken or are filled with glass?

      IT WILL BE A BLADE OF STATIC, the satellite’s digital eyelash, an ether saturated millimeter in the solitude of the cosmos, but a discharge from her lips is the luminous trail that outlines the orange curve of space.

      SHE FALLS PROFOUND, INFINITE like a silent rain: her breasts arched to break the waves, her open arms measuring the vacuum’s length, measuring the wave of attraction, her mouth open towards the firmament, the frozen mouth looking for an incandescent kiss, a frozen mouth traveling in search of a lone and generous kiss, searching for the kiss that covers the world, searching for the enormous and prodigious kiss, the frozen mouth in search of a Blue Kiss.

      THE WESTERN WALL finds its base: a fistful of concrete:
      9.1.– the creaking of the tree of her veins while folding,
      9.2.– the gleam of her brain, silence against abyss, and a rosary of heartbeats that is born and grows and is lifted,
      9.3.– a rosary of beatings constellating the spatial swell so that—between auras and chiaroscuro—tamely the Being rests.

      10. I WANT TO WEAVE A NET with my bones but I end up converted into a deformed polar icecap, into a poem covered in moss, crushed at its edges, burned at its core, bathed by the silent and spectral and cathodic rain of a television without weather that, as it feeds me, converts me into plasma.

      11S. FOREVER

  8. Wounded Translations: Christian Hawkey, Aase Berg, Pilot etc - Montevidayo

      […] by Johannes on Nov.02, 2010, under Uncategorized On HTMLGiant, James McGirk writes the following about translation: […]

  9. James McGirk

      Mr. Gutierrez:

      Yes! I’m so sorry, it should be Peruvian and not Colombian.

      My apologies,


  10. Publications | James McGirk

      […] A Brief Reflection on Czar Guiterrez’ Bombardier HTMLGIANT […]

  11. Wounded Translations: Christian Hawkey, Aase Berg, Pilot etc | Montevidayo

      […] On HTMLGiant, James McGirk writes the following about translation: […]