Jim “The Beast” Marquez reading from his latest book “L.A. Bitch IV” at the “L.A. Bitch IV DVD” release party last Friday night. The DVD is a slide show of Downtown life with words written and read by Jim Marquez, photography by Rick Mendoza, and paintings by Carl Ramsey. The DVD was produced by Dale Youngman and Gail Zone.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the candid, outspoken and poetic style of Jim Marquez’ “PG 13” book – in Jim’s own words – “East L.A. Collage,” I was looking forward to hearing The Beast unleashed in “L.A. Bitch IV.” Since the show, I’ve started reading his X rated tales. As disturbingly real and graphic as Jim gets, his heart is the leading force behind his unnerving depictions whether he rants against or achingly needs his fellow mortals as in “After the reading” (see excerpts below,) an undeniable proof that Marquez has mastered the art of the short story and is right to have moved on to writing his first novel. If I were you I would get a copy of his self-published books fast; in my opinion Marquez has already transcended his beginnings as an “East L.A. writer” to possibly become one of the most authentic recorders of our 21st American century.

“I should’ve been happy after the reading and signing of my latest book: big crowd, standing room only, college girls sitting on the floor and gazing up at me like I was the Mexican-Charles-fucking-Bukowski himself, but something was off…” Jim Marquez, “After the reading”

Paintings by Carl Ramsey.

“The booze flowed well, it always does when I read, and I read the fuck out of the material; freaked everybody out and even surprised myself with the ferocity and rage in which the words exploded off my tongue.”

Downtowner and “Bathroom Graffiti” author Mark Ferem with whom I got to sip iced coffee before the show. During our animated conversation, which I hope to continue with Mark soon and share with my readers, Mark waved and smiled at a friend across the street. “It’s Gronk,” he said. I grinned. How cool was that! Above him are paintings by Eric Jones from the Dale Youngman’s gallery’s closing exhibit: “Father.”

Sketch by Carl Ramsey from the LA Bitch IV DVD.

“Institution”

I found myself going back to this painting over and over again during the show. My photo didn’t do it justice. Fortunately I found it on http://www.downtownla.com. I couldn’t help sharing this other one with you because I believe it’s on the DVD and… well… it speaks for itself.

“Street Dance”

Photographer Rick Mendoza.

“I mean, I was running late because I had to pick up the chairs for the show, pick up a 20lb bag of ice, buy the drink bucket, and buy extra beers and, so, because all that shit was on my mind, and because I still had to fight rush hour traffic into Downtown L.A. in the fucking rain, and add to the fact that I had come to that afternoon with the sickness (hangovers to mortals, an entirely different and agonizing level of suffering to those of us who actually drink,) so, I guess I wasn’t in the best of moods come game time.”

Jim Marquez, Rick Mendoza, Carl Ramsey.

To find out more about the authors, go to: http://www.MySpace.com/JimtheWriter, http://www.rickmendoza.com, or click here for a link to Carl Ramsey’s work.

Rick Mendoza’s photographs were not prominently displayed during the show. The only way to experience his work was to watch the “LA Bitch IV” DVD on a small laptop. Fortunately there was that picture on the cover of the DVD and Jim’s latest book which left me wanting for more. Rick Mendoza’s work is currently on display at the First Street Studios, 2026 E. 1st Street, Boyle Heights, CA 90033.

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