…am in the tense-murder-filled  middle of Elmer Mendoza’s Silver Bullets, set in Culiacan, Mexico, full of bodies wrapped in bags, guns, huge trucks, crooked cops, narcos, corridos, ocean near, baseball, bars …name any Mexican headline; it’s all there in Silver Bullets …..

….so in the McDonald’s indoor  line this muggy dawn, the man next to me: loose gold watch, loose gold chain, fat silver ring, tattoos on arm, solid paunch, ostrich boots …..

The  characters of crime in Culiacan …he must be one, must be ,,,,,

But I move to coffee talk, English and Spanish, and tell him that he should not rush to the time he can get senior-reduced price coffee.

He laughs, and says he’s in no hurry to get there.

Out the lit lobby, coffee in hand, solid body, boots firm …..


He must be just an early morning coffee customer, no more, no Culican,

but …… …and “gangster-wraps,” Culiacan slang for those bodies in bags ….

…come on! Relax. You’re here, not there ….



Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky mid-January 2017


Snug Slot

From my snug slot I can see,

Within five minutes,

Two green jays dominating a yard,

Dozens of walk-ins from across

Ready to do anything for food ….

So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Good bye.

And before I leave,

A fast glance the other way:

Black and white body bags ….


Author: Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners – when asked!


One Response to Observation, Fear, Edgy Plus Snug

  1. Editor says:

    I can’t say that any of this is very pretty, but then pretty is not always the truth. Gene brings out what is going on in the microcosm, and as for the macrocosm, sadly we seem to be entering a historical period, and it is not the golden age. Could be silver, or could be lead.

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