Thursday, November 20, 2014

Down and Out in Iquitos and Peru, (2)

I am seriously hampered in writing my newest book book here, the life of a struggling writer having come to full bloom.

Yesterday I got some bread from my friend David's kitchen out back of the house. Kitchens in Iquitos are usually out back, away from everything, because ants come, by the millions, and devour everything, including the kitchen. Ants might not ceramic tiles and stainless steel pots, but they eat wood and food and other organic stuff. The humidity eats more solid things, and the soil eats cement. Nothing lasts here for long but the continuous renewal of life itself. The seeming slow pace is a disguise for the most rapid turn-over of life on this planet. Watch, and things will dissolve before your eyes. Life is a frantic scramble to stay ahead of death just long enough to replace life. Life has to be replaced so other things can eat. It is somehow frightening to witness this extraordinary pace of turning over.

Last day I found some bread and a dozen black and tiny bananas on the table in the sunlight. I peeled the tough and sticking skins off the bananas and wrapped two of them in bread. That was lunch. I spent the rest of my day writing about the old steamship companies who, in part, make Iquitos the city it is today.

One reason, aside from my obsession with completing this book on deadline, that I didn't make a greater effort to find money to get food is that I was supposed to pick up some ayahuasca from a fellow across town last evening. I wrote and thought and did my usual routines till 5:30, at which time I walked to my destination and waited for the next three hours. The man didn't come. He seems to like me, and I was put out that he stood me up. I borrowed $0.35 and got a bottle of no-name soda for dinner as I went home to fume.

Today, sitting at the computer to work further on the history of Iquitos, Peru, he came by and dropped off a bottle of ayahuasca with wambisa. Then he left without a word. I had some coffee this morning, thanks to my friend David. Tonight I might sit alone when the others have gone to bed, and then I might drink this ayahuasca and find out things.

Meanwhile, I continue to write this book.

If you are coming to Iquitos, or if you have been here and want to know more about it, I suggest you look at my books from here:

Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close.

If you are a curious person, you might want to know more about ayahuasca:

 Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic.

If your taste in books is literary, then I hope you will read my novel set in Iquitos:

 Jockk Brand vs. the Toe Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

Next time I might write about how this ayahuasca treated me. I will also continue this report on writing for my deadline. I don't know if I will make that.




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Down and out in Iquitos and Peru

My new book, Blood and Splendor: Rubber Boom Architecture in Iquitos, Peru, ca. 1863-1929, is running up to the deadline. I must finish this by Dec. 12, 2014 if I am to publish five books in one year, the first being Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close. Will I make it?

I ran out of money in Jan. last year. I carried on writing, suffering badly as I went from my happy home to a hostel where my kitten boys and I could live and work in relative peace without the landlord screaming about cat pee. No money.

I work in Iquitos as a guide to the city's historical architecture. I am the expert in this limited field. I love doing it. But I don't spend as much time as I should being a tour guide. In fact, last Feb. I spent no time at all being a tour guide: I had severe bronchitis, and I laid in bed gasping and nearly drowning for the month that my rent went unpaid. Word came that the boys and I had to find a new place to stay.

I packed up my stuff and the boys and off we went to live deep in the jungle for the next three months. I got a deal in which I could live rent-free and edit my next book, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic.

Of course, being deep in the jungle with no money meant I had to find a way to eat. Being sick and 40 minutes hike from the nearest village made that difficult. Worse was when I could no longer stand the isolation and the hunger. I got dressed, got my gear, my boys, and as soon as I reached the stairs down to the ground, I passed out and fell eight feet to the ground, landing on my side, my side landing on my machete, resulting in five broken ribs.

I left the boys behind in mid-June and returned to the city, I being by then 60 pounds lighter. I was invited to stay, without the boys, at my friend David's place, to sleep on his living-room floor so I could come in to town to make some money. I stayed with David and his family, and with Adrian and his girlfriend there as well, while Adrian had some kind of massive mental break-down and got the impression that everyone on earth is stupid. He told us the most preposterous lies he could imagine, and he has a fine imagination. He is also a serious drunk. He is also broke, which meant he was forever borrowing money to get more beer. When drunk, he and others close by got loud. I put my head down in the living room and edited my ayahuasca book, with help from Peter Gorman.

I went back and forth to the jungle till I finally could not stand it longer and returned to David's place to edit and publish my third book in Iquitos, A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism, Vol. I.

Adrian's madness intensified, along with all the other madness one would never suspect of people in a house in the Amazon. I put my head down again and for the next 20 days I wrote -- a novel. I wrote Jockk Brand vs. the Toe Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

What I had meant to do was write my book on historical architecture in Iquitos. I'm finishing that now. I am penniless, living on Dave's floor in the living room still, thank God, while Adrian has been kicked out of every place he's gone to and is now living outside. Drunk still. I work, so I manage to live. I don't make enough money from book sales as yet to survive, so people like Dave and Peter Gorman and Pedro and Doug and John and Ivonne and many others are helping me out so I don't lose even more weight.

I don't know what I'm going to do about dinner today. It's not looking good so far. I'm busy putting out copy about street names in Iquitos so I can move on to finish writing about steamship companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

With illustrations I have 287 pages as of now. The question is not whether I make dinner, but whether I make my deadline.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Iquitos, Peru: Where the streets have old names

I'm working hard and long on my new book, Blood and Splendour: Rubber Boom Architecture in Iquitos, Peru, c. 1864-1929. It's an in-depth book about the history of the city and a close look at a selection of Rubber Boom Era buildings. Below are some old address plates, some of which were supposed to be removed and replaced with new names. Jiron J.C. Arana, for example, is something of an oversight like the Austrians forgetting to replace Strasse Hitler with Adenauer.


Iquitos is not an old city. It doesn't have a lot of old buildings. It's not Athens or Rome, not even a Manhattan. But it does have its charms.


It also has its Rubber Boom history, a story worth knowing.


Iquitos is the only city in South America with a Condamine st.


For movie buffs, this is the only city that celebrates the subject of the Werner Herzog movie Fitzcarraldo.


It's not only a Rubber Boom era city, it is also a city founded by and for the Peruvian navy, some streets named after 19th century steamships.


Some steamships named after cities.



And some plaques are named after formerly famous locals, like Garcia Sanz.



Some signs are old and forgotten, replaced with shiny new plastic signs. Jiron Lima, for example, has been Jiron Prospero since 1964.



No need to rush into changing everything, though, because it's pretty hot here.


One need not move too quickly either if all one is doing is replacing a rubber baron with yet another soon to be forgotten name.


S. Lores, F. Lores? Who'd know?

It pays to have excellent friends. My friend Edwin points out the following from the also excellent José Barletti:

The street is named after Sargento Fernando Lores Tenazoa (Sargento = Sergeant). Lores was a Peruvian army sergeant that fought in the Peru Colombia War, he died during the Güeppí Battle on March 26, 1933 when he was 26 years old. This war started after the "Toma de Leticia" by Peruvian civilians.

Two months after his death, the Town Hall changed the name where his family live and Fernando Lores grew, from Jirón Pastaza to Calle
Sargento Lores.
An article by José Barletti:
http://avivavoziquitos.blogspot.com/2012/03/en-que-consistio-su-heroismo-fernando.html


The street was originally Jiron Pastaza, named after one of the first ships to arrive from England to establish the Port of Iquitos. Locally, the Pastaza was one of the most important names in the city's history. To replace that is to rise pretty high in the land. Edwin saves me endless grief in searching on my own for the missing name. Where, I wondered, was Pastaza street? Now we know.


Antonio Raimondi is Raymondi. Perhaps an interested Italian can add more to the story of Raimondi.


I like to think I found the oldest street address plaque in the city, but where did it come from?

I found second block Jiron Pastaza on Jiron Tacna. Where did it come from? There hasn't been a Pastaza street here for about a hundred years.


Hurtado? Calvo Arauja? These old names refer to the city's past, and they add a dimension to the city that makes it ever more magical if one knows. The city would still be lovely even if the streets had no names.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Toé Master is Here

My novel is out.

Jockk Brand vs. the  Toé Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

 http://www.amazon.com/Jockk-Brand-Master-Suicide-Iquitos/dp/0987761552


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Toé Master is Coming Soon

Jockk Brand vs. the  Toé Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.



Available soon at amazon.com.

My schizo stalker is at it again, leaving negative reviews of everything I write. Being famous is not all it's said to be. But fame is better than nothing, I guess.

Here's one of my books that should make me more famous than ever. Of course it has a negative review. Maybe I should have been nice to my stalker. He used to leave outrageously sucky reviews. Now that he hates me, well, so it goes.

http://www.amazon.com/Genealogy-Left-Dhimmi-Fascism-Vol/dp/0987761544/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My latest book, Jockk Brand, should be available at amazon.com by Thursday. Will leave a link here when it's available.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism, Vol. I, Alienation and Authenticity, Part One.

My first Genealogy is out.

D.W. Walker, A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism, Vol. I. 
Alienation and Authenticity, Part One.

 http://www.amazon.com/Genealogy-Left-Dhimmi-Fascism-Vol/dp/0987761544/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


My other latest book, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic, is doing nicely. Thanks for your support.

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Ayahuasca-Skeptic-Finding-Enlightenment/dp/0987761528

Now, back to typing my pulp fiction action-thriller novel,

Jock Brand Vs. the Toé Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

Note: I have a stalker who is obsessed with me to the point of frenzy. He leaves negative reviews at all my books, and he stalks me in the city. Your choice on how you take this and his reviews. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ayahuaca book rising in the charts

My latest book, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic, is now listed at number 12 of 230 at amazon.com's ayahuasca section. Not bad!

Hope you enjoy it. Please leave a review at amazon to give others some idea of how it is for you.
My best from Iquitos, Peru
Dag Walker

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic Now Available at Amazon.com

Hope you like it.

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Ayahuasca-Skeptic-Finding-Enlightenment/dp/0987761528


It's a good one.

Here's an amazon.com review from Peter Gorman:


By Peter T. Gorman on June 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I wrote the preface to this book. But I wrote it on condition that the man who wrote it, whom I did not like at the time, wrote honestly about a subject so easy to exploit. He did. More than that, after some early pages that were too steeped in quoting academics for my taste, he went on and wrote a rollicking good adventure story. Dag Walker is smart, witty, curmudgeonly and in the end, very human, very decent and a very, very good story-teller who is honest with his subject and honest with himself. 
 Got a second review at amazon.com.

By Passin' Through on June 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Like everything else about Dag, this book hits you where you least expect it and leaves you illuminated. I could hardly believe the scholarly opening chapters and then, in stark juxtaposition – like ayahuasca itself grabbing hold – his seriously hilarious adventure into the world of jungle medicine takes off. This book will not disappoint. 
I'm back to the deep jungle for another week or so, and till I return to the city and electricity, keep in touch through the net. 


Saturday, March 01, 2014

Last pages of my next book


-->
Ayahuasca Conclusion

Last time Jane was with me visiting Bar in the Fortress we were watching a video on a computer screen, Apocalypse Now, Bar wasting badly in his wheelchair, his head shaved to rid himself of lice, his legs so swollen he wrapped his feet in black plastic garbage bags because he couldn't wear shoes, the smell of him impossible for others to cope with unless all the windows and doors in the warehouse were full open and fans were blowing. Bar must have weighed 400 pounds, all of him covered in dirt and a grey track suit. He'd been a handsome man most of his life, but time and impending death spoiled all that, at least on the outside. His voice was still commanding and mellifluous, his smile still winning, his sparkling blue eyes still shiny and happy most times. We watched the movie and ate pizza and Bar guzzled whiskey from the bottle. Jane tapped her feet in time to music from the show. “Oh, Susie Q.”

In our own private diner we could do as we pleased, and I told Bar to rerun the movie scene and got Jane on the ten foot long bench top and we watched her as Credence Clearwater Revival pounded out music while Playboy bunnies danced on stage in the jungle before hundreds of horny soldiers locked in Viet Nam. Jane got up on the table and danced a-go-go, while we looked up, clapping and cheering her on, Jane's long legs pumping and her back slipping and her hips gyrating, go-go, her long hair flying wild in the back-lights, the cardboard pizza box vibrating off the table and onto the floor, Jane's shoes joining them, Jane aflame, Bar in bliss. “Oh, Susie Q, tell me you'll be true, Susie Q.” Rock and roll your soul till you die alone in the dark while your friends are fucking. Who needs you?
Madness, pain, and hatred. The world of others provides it all. Who needs friends when one can lay in the dark alone and screw?

Jane and I went to all the finer Salvation Army Thrift Shops to dress us up real fine for Bar's memorial service at the ethnic place his kids from out of town rented. Only once did I have to slam a clerk's face into the dressingroom wall because the kid kept trying to sneak peeks through the crack. Jane looked sharp when she was dressed up, a light brown suede blazer, a cream coloured satin blouse, and black wool slacks with shiny black leather shoes. I got her a necklace for a quarter, and she stepped out looking like a movie star. I out-did her altogether cause I got a better sense of style, me in a knee-length grey cashmere coat, black wool blazer, white shirt and red tie, grey slacks, and my favourite alligator skin cowboy boots. I topped it off with a black, broad-brimmed Kosuth hat on sale. Bar was our friend, and we dressed up good to send him off.

Bar's son presided as he stood before all of Bar's old friends. The man stood before us dressed in track pants and a dirty tee shirt, his braless older sister beside him, she being stuffed into a black polyester tube, dark spots on her legs where she'd hurt herself shaving. Jane and I were aglow till Jerry walked in from work, still wearing his usual one of a dozen $5,000.00 business suits. Why even try when your friends make you look like shit without even trying?

I laid alone in the dark in a fairy castle house of concrete and woven banana leaves on jungle sticks, alone in the dark on a mat as Claire laid alone in the dark beside me singing. She sang “La La La La La,” and I told her I would rather listen to the radio and be alone in the dark by myself without her.

I didn't want any friends as I laid alone in the dark and drank. I wanted to be alone.

Alone in the dark by myself with Claire beside me quietly weeping I closed my eyes – for a moment only, nothing more – and there I saw Bar and he spoke to me. I saw him, his lips moving, his mustache soaked in drool, he spoke to me. “Who needs your friendship when you can sit alone in the dark beside a sobbing woman and drink ayahuasca?” I rose from my mat and sat alone in the jungle and smoked mapacho in the night. “And you don't even think about her.”

***

They sit alone in a group and listen as he talks, his voice like violets and roses and leather and blood. He speaks and the room fills with golden sunlight and they are filled with memories made real of love and passion and power and someone who loved them once. He talks and they gaze at him in wonder for he is wise and gentle and kind and his words fill the air like dancing rainbows. Every little gesture, his smile, his eyes, he leaves them in awe and desire to be with him forever, the way he smooths his pant leg with his palm, the sheen of his hair, his clear and lovely eyes. He knows, and they love him.

Though he has been on of life's perpetual losers, each failure astounds him, and thus he carries on in faith, knowing his destiny is grand and he must suffer till he rises to the heights.

He walks past the fortress in the night, huddled against the freezing rain, and he stops momentarily to look in at Jane and Bar and me as we live our little lives alone. I see him clearly and I know he is the man. He is coming, Son of Mother Ayahuasca. He will come to offer healing of my psychic fucking pains.

Jane dances a-go-go on the table like sex on a roll, and he turns away grinning and disappears into the night.

***

Jane and I exit the hall hand in hand and step into the cold air of a Spring day, the hemlock trees solid and leafless rooted in hard ground, the grass a'greening again, brown for now but turning. At home we get into bed in the dark and four cold hands reach out to strangers, touching.

Should I wash away my psychic pains in jungle drugs and feel whole and healed? Should I go harmonious into the cosmos attuned? Should I lay aside my hates and rage for horrors done? Men in the world hurt. We are small. I look deep into the endless empty skies and see the gods that hate us. Wounded? I laugh. Healing ayahuasca? The man is grand who sits so still alone in his own pain, his rotting body, his hand grasping in the dormant gap. We don't need others to heal or hurt; we harm ourselves just fine. Who needs healing when we can die alone in the dark?

Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic



Here is a link to my other book on Iquitos.


http://www.amazon.com/Iquitos-Peru-D-W-Walker/dp/098776151X
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close. IT'S A HIT!

A shipment of my latest book, Iquitos, Peru, Almost Close, arrived at Dawn on the Amazon yesterday, and it is a big hit in the city.

http://www.amazon.com/Iquitos-Peru-D-W-Walker/dp/098776151X

You can order it now if you aren't living in paradise where you can get a copy from Bill Grimes at Dawn on the Amazon.

Wow, is it ever cool to be a medium famous writer at last!