In the City of Smoking Mirrors
by Albino Carrillo
University of Arizona Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-8165-2325-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.A7745I5 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Huitzilopochtli has returned. Aztec destroyer, god of sun and war. He of the hummingbird. Son of Coatlique, Our Lady of the Serpent Skin. But you can call him H. H. is reborn in the sprawling suburbs of an American metroplex in the late twentieth century, a place where "the future is a cartoon of the future." Life in suburbia is hard for an Aztec god: H. falls in and out of love, works downtown as an oficinista, raises children, and learns to command the awesome power of modern electronic media. Then one indifferent summer's day H. is seriously wounded by the police—in a case of mistaken identity, of course—and faces death once more.

In the City of Smoking Mirrors relates H.'s adventures as he hovers between life and death, revisiting his homeland and ancestors. He issues letters and edicts—to the faithful, to his dead amigos—and chronicles his circumnavigation of the Land of the Dead and "what he saw there that made him write this book." In tantalizing verse that walks the edge of dream, Albino Carrillo takes readers on a lyrical exploration of a dark netherworld, a quest for hope in a universe overshadowed by impending doom—a place where "The demons you'll have to defeat on your inward journey / Are like so many little yellow hornets buzzing about / Window screens in summer, angry but looking / For anything sweet, any way out . . . ." Through the unforgettable persona of Huitzilopochtli, Carrillo shows us the transitory nature of our passions and wounds as he chisels a new headstone for our times.

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