Odd Words August 19, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
There is just something Odd about that word, the way it roles off the tong that’s hard to describe, something like the mouth feel of a wine percolating up through the brain of a vino-neophyte struggling to explain himself.
Just say it to yourself: derringer. Didn’t that feel good? Of course it did.
It reminds me for no other reason than that the purpose of this blog is two-fold: to capture something of New Orleans for posterity, and the Odd (Orleanian or otherwise) of in general, like standing near the bus stop one day lighting a cigarette after the massive influx of Latinos following 8-29 and hearing a woman on her cell phone say “Marrero”.
Marrero is a nondescript suburb that has seen better days. It’s shopping mall is gone, and the tide of white flight which flooded the area decades ago has been overwhelmed in part by what I think of as the brown exodus, people on the make looking for better schools, a bit of lawn, a piece of everything the television promises them.
When I heard this woman say it, drawling out the vowels and trilling her Rs as if she were running her tongue along her lover’s ear, it gave me shivers down my spine. Marrero, a tract of blocky houses and not much else too far from the city for my taste, suddenly had the ring of a gurgling Grenada fountains and the low notes of Gypsy guitar.
§ Maud Newton’s blog has long been in my own blog roll down the side of the page, and I have been known to crib an idea or two (though not as prolifically as I raid TheRumpus or HTMLGIANT, as if I were Roberto Bolano’s character Juan Garcia Madero, the book kleptomaniac from The Savage Detectives). I discovered today that someone had clicked onto Toulouse Street from her blog. I have apparently made her blog roll under Blogs: Books, Culture, & Politics. If you need a table at the Four Seasons, give me a week’s notice and I’ll see what I can do.
§ The book launch of New Orleans: What Cannot Be Lost 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City will be launched Sunday Aug. 22 at d.b.a from 4-6 pm with music by the Free Agents Brass Band. Playing alongside the alluring photographs of Christopher Porche West, 88 New Orleans’ writers pay tribute to the city they call home. Edited by Lee Barclay/Photographs by Christopher Porche West. l
§ Since the song “I’m So Excited” popped into my head I’ve been searching for a ball peen hammer to knock it loose. While I do that, consider this: the book launch for A Howling in the Wires: An Anthology of Writing from Postdiluvian New Orleans edited by Sam Jasper and myself, and published as the first work of our own small press, is next (not tonight, next) Thursday, Aug. 26 at Mimi’s in the Marigny. If you can’t maek it, rush to our website now to pre-order your copy.
§ Dave Brinks and Megan Burns are keeping 17 Poets! dark for our book launch (bless ‘em) but planning a big celebration of the fifth year of our recovery Sunday, Aug 29 at 5 pm at the Goldmine Saloon, called the All-Hands-On-Deck Poetry, Art, and Music Fundraiser. Featuring music by Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr and the Zydeco Twisters w/ special guest Cyril Neville, the Saintsations, poetry, multi-media performances and a silent auction including work by George Rodrigue. All Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit: Protectourcoastline.org $15.00 Donation at Door
§ Aug. 22 is an open mike at the Maple Leaf. I’m disappointed I didn’t get to see Dennis Formento jazz-backed reading last week, but I had an obligation I could not escape. Poet Paul Benton steps up to tempt fate by reading on the 29th I’m thinking of wearing shrimp boots in his honor.
§ Benton also mentions in a comment last week that the weekly reading on Wednesday at The Yellow Moon in the Bywater is no more, joining the Tuesday Dinky Tao and the occasional Sunday readings at Fair Grinds among to poetry ghosts haunting the listings sections of the Times-Picayune and Gambit. Don’t despair, 17 Poets! is just around the corner, the Latter Library continues to host occasional but wonderful events, and if you haven’t been to the Maple Leaf lately come on, downtown people, all you have to do is get on the street car. It’s not like you’re liable to get lost and end up on the westbank.
If you’re made it this far, here’s your reward. Damn that’s clever.