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Date: Feb 2, 2008 3:20 AM
To: Andrei Codrescu

Dear Corpse:

I thought these two pieces might break into Exquisite Corpse's embryo, gracing me with the opportunity to pop my cherry with you dastardly bastards down in New Orleans, where the ghouls slurp their goulash like Wallachian Dragons making love to their women, while showing force between East and West, standing between Christendom and Islam. And I thought you might know something about what the hell is going on. I've driven across this country seventeen times and lived in a lot of cities and a few back wood hills, and I can't figure out what's happening. But I have been thinking that at the point of our origin there is a war raging for character. And this war is being waged by one gigantic prick whose having a good laugh at the those who are trying to become pricks themselves.

I'm forced at this time to sell myself more than ever to survive, but I've always thought one has to act like an asshole to get a job. And everyone is telling me I'm suppose to walk around with a smile. But what the fuck for? I save my smiles for good times around a table getting drunk and eating good food with a bunch a pricks who get off laughing at themselves. I've been called the Duke of Despair, a Communist, a homosexual, a meth dealer, FBI, NIA, CIA, a narc, an artist, lazy, a mud-skipper and more. And I really don't care because none of it's true. I'm just a man who walks across the street and thinks of God. When I cross from one corner to the next I know nothing of the approaching corner. And I discover that I'm not alone in wondering if we are on the verge of losing our word.

I don't know if this is how one writes a query letter. I thought about sending a transvestite from Santa Monica Blvd. over with a singing telegram of my work.

I like the tone and expression of Exquisite Corpse, since on my good days I aspire to be one.

Jim Lopez

P.S. The first piece is a collection of poems titled "A Maudlin Ballad." The second piece is a short story about a night I spent with Gene Gregorits, who wrote "Midnight Mavericks" and Dale Young, who wrote "White Trash Like Me," and myself at the Rouge River in Detroit. It's titled, "Guerrilla Nut Twist & The Peripheral Bullet." These two pieces are from a book I just finished that I call, "Abstracts of An American Pageant."

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