Interlude Docs

Doc 074: Raquel Gutiérrez

How It Used to Be in the Arts District

My days, a waking oblivion
Functional, a verse to recognition
It comes with the commute, a non-profit
bohemian simulacra
but between seeds, and stems, and stress
of amiable agendas, staff meetings like clockwork
every Wednesday morning followed trips
to the artisanal pie shop next door—
carrot cake whoopie pies, lavender strawberry
galettes and my cultural capital in the newly
turning neighborhood. I, a funky native. It was
pie and I was a god. How could I keep control?
Just desserts I hoard for Ometeotl
So many cute hipster girl baristas to fall in love with
in this neighborhood
When I confessed my desire
with a bottle of overpriced pop
in my hand, the gas exploded
as if a prop situated in a very well
written cable television series
the imaginary audience
laughing was better than a phone
number on a cocktail napkin. These were
the glory days of hiding in plain sight

Raquel Gutiérrez is an essayist, an arts critic/writer, and a poet. Born and raised in Los Angeles, they currently live in Tucson, Arizona. They are a 2017 recipient of the Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital, Andy Warhol Foundation. Their debut essay collection, Brown Neon, was published by Coffee House Press in 2022.


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