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Odd Words June 30, 2012

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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at Odd times, but then I can tell you more than you ever want to know about the history of the Populist Movement and the People’s Party and the election of 1896 than you would ever want to know, and turned it in only a day late and didn’t get to make a single reference to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy has silver slippers and the wicked witch a golden cap. Stop. That. Now. And here I don’t get five points off for being late but I probably should have squeezed another hour out of the day yesterday as three of the book events this week are today. Yes its going to be 100º today but I’m old enough to remember at least the fading remnants of signs on places like movie theaters the read “Conditioned Air.” Do you really want to schlep across some ghasty errand’s hot blacktop or settle into a nice cool bookstore?

& Maple Street Book Shop’s Maple Street location will feature Patty Friedmann’s new novel No Takebacks. Otto Fisher has ADHD. He’s also adopted. At thirteen, he never has thought much about where he came from until his seventh-grade teacher asks her class to write about an ancestor. Each student must perform his piece in a school play. Otto’s adoptive mother, whom he adores, helps him write about one of her ancestors, who was in the Holocaust. Today, June 30th at 12 noon.

& Also today at the Garden District Book Shop features Ellie James Broken Illusions. It’s almost Mardi Gras, but for 16 year-old psychic Trinity Monsour this is no time for celebration. Another girl is missing. Tormented by visions she doesn’t understand;of an empty street lined by crumbling old buildings, a terrified voice warning her to be careful, and a body lying motionless in the grass, Trinity embarks upon a dark odyssey she could never have imagined. She’ll stop at nothing to better understand her abilities, convinced that doing so is the only way she can make sure the terrifying images she sees never actually happen. Saturday, June 30 at 1 p.mm.

& This and every Sunday Spoke Word New Orleans hosts Speak Easy Sundays Poetry at the Club Caribbean 2441 Bayou Road at 7 p.m. Cover. Visit their website for updates on other spoken words and visiting artists all around town.

& This week at the Black Widow Salon is singer/songwriter/native son Paul Sanchez. Paul will discuss adapting Dan Baum’s book “Nine Lives” as a musical (http://www.offbeat.com/2011/02/01/nine-lives-a-chorus-second-line/) as well as the craft of songwriting. You’ve heard Paul’s songs even if you don’t realize it, as he’s written and co-written with Irma Thomas, John Boutte, Shamarr Allen, and many others. More about Paul at http://www.paulsanchez.com Upstairs at Crescent City Books @ 230 Chartres St. Monday, July 2 at 7 p.m. Seating is limited to go early.

& After the salon you can head over to the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square for the weekly Writer’s Block reading. No mic, no list, sometimes cookies and a great time. Performers of all sorts welcome. Every Monday at 9 p.m.

& The second annual Bayou Soul Writers and Readers Conference is a home-grown literary festival that runs Essence Week. You can check them out here. There will be a Women Writer’s Awards Luncheon iIn Honor of Zora Neale Hurston anc z Our Distinguished Gentlemen of Literature Awards Breakfast in Honor of James Baldwin. Featured appearances include: Omar Tyree, Victoria Christopher Murray, Mary Monroe, Julie Kane, RM Johnson, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Keith Boykins, Kiki Swinson, Pamela Davis-Noland, James Earl Hardy , Ronlyn Dominigue, Jed Horne , Yvette Hayward,Troy Johnson, Nicole Porche, Jumata Emill Jones, M.W. Moore, Pamela Davis Noland, Victor LaValle, Karen E. Quinones Miller, Naleighna Kai, Tamika Newhouse, Victor McGlothin, Regina Brooks, LaTosha Johnson, Walter “Trifelon” Johnson, Ashley Hebert, Avery Washington, Monique Mensah, Allison Hobbs, Dr. Maxine Thompson, Ronald M. Gauthier, Lee Hayes, J. L. Woodson, Trevor Baldwin, Pamela P. Reed, Francis Ray, Renee Daniel Flagler, Tiffany L Warren, Sadeqa Johnson, TaNisha Webb, and Victoria Turner. July 5th and 6th at the New Orleans Public Library and the Downtown Holiday Inn. More details here. July 5th and 6th.

& The Maple Leaf Bar Reading Series is taking it’s annual July 4th break and 17 Poets! is done until September. So go listen to Allen Ginsberg read America with music by Tom Waits.

I didn’t ever become a writer, or only by accident June 25, 2012

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, Fortin Street, literature, New Orleans, quotes, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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If I really appreciated literature I would have become a writer for that reason. But that’s not why I became a writer. In fact, maybe I didn’t ever become a writer, or only by accident . . . maybe I’ve only ever written to understand why I was so afraid. I never wrote to participate in a noble tradition. I wrote to communicate, to explore my own feelings and work through various interpretations of the world. You know, the search for meaning, stuff like that. It wasn’t until I was at Stanford, much later, twenty-nine years old on a creative writing fellowship, when I finally met all these other writers. They all seemed to write for exactly the opposite reason of why I wrote.

That’s not even true. But many of them loved literature and wrote for that reason. How would I know why anybody wrote? Where does the poetry in this come in? Sometimes a sentence is just beautiful, but how can I learn to appreciate a painting? Do I have to learn how to paint? I’ll never be able to tell you the difference between a very good painting and a great painting. I loved the Van Gogh museum. There you just immerse in the mind of this man. It’s not required to understand which of the paintings are minor and which are major. You’re just there, taking it in.
— Stephen Elliot

Odd Words June 22, 2012

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Matisse illustrated Ulysses? Dali illustrated Alice in Wonderland? Who knew? I steal stuff straight off of sites like The Rumpus. Nah, can’t believe that. I’m thinking the last one would make a cool tat, but it would require a belief in conventional time as opposed to orthogonal alternate universes, especially the one in which Pauley Parrette assists me in providing a critical bodily fluid sample that proves she was not the perp and out of gratitude ties me to one of those stainless steel tables and ….

Um, yes; books.

& Spoken Word New Orleans’ open mike (which I’ve forgotten to list for a while) has moved to Sunday Night at the Club Caribbean 2441 Bayou Road. Doors at 7, show at 8 with a $5 admission. This Week’s Featured Artists are Tank & The Black Star Bangas​. Sunday, June 18.

& Leonard Pitts, nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, discusses and signs his new novel Freeman at Garden District Bookshop. In the months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Sam–a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army–sets out on foot to return to the war-torn South. He is compelled to find his wife, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the farm to which they all “belonged.”s Thursday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.

&Garden District hosts Geoff Wyss amnd his new book How0. If every story is born of a question”–“How did we get here? How do you make your arm do that?–the stories in Geoff Wyss’s “How “search for answers to the mysteries of an astonishing range of characters. The narrator of “How I Come to Be Here at the GasFast” explains why he hasn’t left a truck stop in the two days since he scratched a winning lottery ticket. In “How to Be a Winner,” a sports consultant browbeats a high school football team with his theory of history and a justification of his failed coaching career. Lost in the mazes they’ve made of themselves, Wyss’s characters search for exits on ground that shifts dizzyingly from humor to pathos, from cynicism to earnestness, from comedy to tragedy, often within the same sentence. Although propelled by a razor-sharp, contemporary voice, Wyss’s stories–many set in a New Orleans unknown to television and tourists–have more in common with Chekhov and O’Connor than with “Treme”. Saturdayu June 23 at 1 p.m.

& On Saturday June 23 & Sunday June 24, our Bayou St. John location will be donating 10% of our total sales to Re-Bridge – the Bayou St. John Bridge Restoration Project. Help out a great project by buying a book and check out the rest the Fairgrinds and Swirl while you’re down here. And maybe grab some stuffed pork chops as Terraanova’s. Man, I love this hood.

&Octavia Books features R. J. Smith’s THE ONE: The Life and Music of James Brown, the “definitive biography of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with fascinating findings on his life as a Civil Rights activist, an entrepreneur, and the most innovative musician of our time. So Get Up Off Of That Thing and head over to Octavia on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 pm [I need those funky horns and a copy of this book. Come on, give me them horns!)

& Next week Octavia Books delves into the history of the first degree-granting coordinate college with the release of Susan Tucker and Beth Willinge, NEWCOMB COLLEGE, 1886-2006: Higher Education for Women in New Orleans. Touching on three centuries, the book concludes in 2006 when Tulane University closed Newcomb College and Paul Tulane College, the arts and sciences college for men, and united the two as Newcomb-Tulane College. This absorbing collection offers both a scholarly history and an affectionate tribute to a Newcomb education. Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m

& Hey, Faubourg Marigny Art & Books on Frenchman Street has a website! No announcements there but go sign up for emails. I just signed up odd.words.nola@gmail.com and I’ll get them up here as well.

The Maple Leaf Bar Reading Series features a reading by qwriter and professor Ruth Salvaggio reads from her new book from LSU Press, Hearing Sappho in New Orleans: The Call of Poetry from Congo Square to the Ninth Ward. Several poets featured in the book will also read. Sunday at 3 p.m. if I’m late, I’m still waiting at the beer for a bar.

Which reminds me it’s probably time for my somesortofenia reminder to send your events to odd.words.nola@gmail.com if you want to see them here and Facebook and Twitter. OK, I’ve been falling down on the Twitter and Facebook announcements but then I’ve been falling down a lot and I’m going to see the doctor about that. Oh, and I just ate a meatloaf sandwich from the meatloaf I made, um, I think last Saturday. And I’m eating some chocolate covered strawberries that usually get thrown out at the end of the day at the candy shop where she works “because they don’t keep.” Please make donations to the Tennessee Williams Festival in lieu of flowers. Of you can stop by and see if I answer the door, in which case I have a bunch of white chocolate ones left.

& Just around the corner is a local festival to get you out of the crowds at the Essence Fest author events and reach out to local writers while you’re in town. The second annual Bayou Soul Writers and Readers Conference is a home grown literary festival that runs Essence Week. You can check them out here. There will be a Women Writer’s Awards Luncheon iIn Honor of Zora Neale Hurston anc z Our Distinguished Gentlemen of Literature Awards Breakfast in Honor of James Baldwin. Featured appearances include: Omar Tyree, Victoria Christopher Murray, Mary Monroe, Julie Kane, RM Johnson, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Keith Boykins, Kiki Swinson, Pamela Davis-Noland, James Earl Hardy , Ronlyn Dominigue, Jed Horne , Yvette Hayward,Troy Johnson, Nicole Porche, Jumata Emill Jones, M.W. Moore, Pamela Davis Noland, Victor LaValle, Karen E. Quinones Miller, Naleighna Kai, Tamika Newhouse, Victor McGlothin, Regina Brooks, LaTosha Johnson, Walter “Trifelon” Johnson, Ashley Hebert, Avery Washington, Monique Mensah, Allison Hobbs, Dr. Maxine Thompson, Ronald M. Gauthier, Lee Hayes, J. L. Woodson, Trevor Baldwin, Pamela P. Reed, Francis Ray, Renee Daniel Flagler, Tiffany L Warren, Sadeqa Johnson, TaNisha Webb, and Victoria Turner. July 5th and 6th at the New Orleans Public Library and the Downtown Holiday Inn. More details here.

Oh Say Can You See? June 21, 2012

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Thursday? Odd Words? I don’t think so.

I am getting too old to pull an all nighter. The weekend was mixture of busy and trying to relax. Relaxation comes to me as naturally as a gerbil in a cage, grinding my teeth and eyeing that wheel. Tuesday night I was so tired I went to Loews and bought a bigger mailbox so my mail won’t get wet,then found myself wandering the aisles thinking there must be something else I needed. (There wasn’t so I bought a cheap eight dollar outdoor rug in an attractive thundercloud gray since the landlord really needs to mow the back more often and I do like to sit there. I’m an habitual stoop sitter. I think it’s better than halogen lights, a neighborhood watch and a security district. You get at least a nodding acquaintance with everyone in the neighborhood, chat up the closest, and the guy in the other half of the house is pushing old store plastic containers of what he last cooked into your hands. That smothered pork chop is a message. You’re one of us. You have your back covered.

But sometimes you’re not feeling chatty and you just want to sit under the disintegrating beach umbrella in your tiny New Orleans yard, listening. That bit of grey plastic will come in handy in your tropical yard.. (I passed on the astroturf green one for a dollar more because the color looked about as relaxing as passing a pint of cheap tequila at a bullfight. My new backyard is awfully quiet. I miss the two women up the street. (You know its a nice street when you move from four door down for a better place). If these two aren’t sisters they ought to be, have probably lived next door to one another since they first got to sit in front of the streetcar. They chat, they sing a bit when they hang out the sheets (yes, they still hang out the sheets; ain’t nothin’ better than sun dried sheet, no way, no how), they bicker like sisters. Sometimes younger men and their women come and cookout and there’s smoke and laughter enough for the whole neighborhood. You wish you live on the other side of the block, because you know there would be a piece of barbecued chicken with beans and greens knocking on your door any time now.

The crows call and the wild parrots in front riot every time someone walks their dog in front and the sparrows have taken to plucking next grass three feet from you. They’re cautious neighbors, the sort who peer out the grate as you walk by until one day you catch them out front carrying groceries. You offer to help but they say no but you’re in. Its like the time the young man came out from the house next-door on Toulouse Street to offer to change my tire for me. I’ll let you know when I’m too old to change a tire, I told him, but you’re welcome for the company. He went inside and came out with two tall Modelos and I let him help me heft the little spare on. He wanted to help.

Here I go again, wandering off my topic–look, a squirrel–bit sometimes I think the ADHD everyone tells me I have is part of these dreamy words, the sparrow landing three feet away that breaks your run away train of thought and that detail that makes the landscape, the grandness of the mountain in a tiny man on horseback, and you just sit and watch each other until Mr. Sparrow flutters away with a bit of seeded grass. I wonder if they pick the seed pieces because they’ll manage to sprout and grow just a bit, one less trip out to build the nest. What was I thinking about before. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter.

Then Tuesday was an anxiety disaster, the kind where you pull out all your files and scatter them on the floor looking for something you don’t really need. Sometimes someone or something sinks its claws into your head and you run around screaming like the second to last guy in an Alien movie. A certain someone knows exactly how to do this and I think, when they are bored, they send me just the text message pr e,ao; they know will set me off. I try to leave the phone inside more when I’m sitting out, to ignore its mechanical chirp. If it was important, they would call. That’s what I tell the kids, who probably don’t even know how to access the numeric key pad on their phones. If you text and I don’t answer, call me. You know, like dial my digits and hear my actual voice. One’s at college and one spends only every other week with me and hearing their voices is better than any little blue pill.

So, I find myself Wednesday with a pile of work and since I get paid by the hours I can’t let it side. Moloch can dump a contractor faster than you can get the garbage from the back kitchen to the front door, and I need the money. This leaves me at supper homework hell reading two chapters, watching two online lectures, browsing the same damn Power Points you just watched online, then sit down to write a short answer to two questions. I am going to finish my degree, dammit, if I have to start cashing out 401k or, better yet, get a Heisenberg hat and take up some new lie of work.

Online courses should be illegal in Louisiana. It’s far to easy to find yourself letting it slide, then spending Wednesday in a frenzy, telling yourself you really ought to try out that new espresso pot you got for your birthday, and you can’t just go back and work while it brews. You have to wait for the sizzle of the boil to turn into the gurgle of the black elixir. I finally get back to my desk and I’m not sure what a short answer is but it is probably not 1,500 words with pertinent examples from outside the text and lectures but if you are a garrulous show off you have nobody to blame but yourself. You are trying to do all this the night before its due and if you run out of cigarettes at 1 a.m. you are truly fucked. You are almost too tired to drag yourself out the back door for a cigarette at 2:30 a.m. when you are finally done, but then there’s that rug you just paid eight dollars for, and the solar wind chime you bought on sale for still way to much but its paid its way.

Its the next day. Or rather later the same day. Sometime after lunch you decide to steal a nap. You set your work computer’s message notice sound to that WWII submarine klaxon you found on the Internet, plus in the mini Bose speakers so there’s no sleeping through it and stretch out on the couch.. Its a quiet watch, nothing on the horizon, the room rolling gently on the swells until the next thing you know its quarter of six. You’re due for dinner somewhere around 7:30 so the first thing you do is sit down and write a blog post about why there is no Odd Words today. The wheel gleams in the corner of the cage. This time you wiggle your way onto it backward and start it turning but its more of a casual walk than a workout. You just want to see the world whirring with the clackity sound of an old school projector. No real class today. The teacher is tired himself so its 30 minutes of 16 millimeter amoebas pulsing on the wall and the sounds of the Jefferson Airplane echoing in your head. You drag out of class with no more clue about the Golgi apparatus than when you walked in but you’re finally remembered all the words to Wooden Ships.

Facing the wrong way on the wheel there is no urgency. There is no visible window from this direction so there are no squirrels but you can still hear the birds sing and if you listen closely enough, from four doors down, you can just catch an old spiritual interpreted periodically by a mouthful of bed sheets.

So I guess Odd Words will come out Friday again this week.

Can’t find my way home June 17, 2012

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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The true light awaits.
Come out of your hermit’s cave
Detached from the past

If you cannot fathom the relationship between the poem and the song it is not the true light that you see. Return to your cave and consider that the next time I climb this mountain my aging form may become as the fallen leaves. The trees will grow taller, stronger and more beautiful. Meditate on this until you hear and smell and taste the light.

Odd Words — Mea Maxima Culpa June 17, 2012

Posted by The Typist in books, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Yes, no Odd Words in two weeks. (Strikes breast three time but can’t remember the proper Catlick Latin so MMC will have to do.

Why I didn’t post is a long and boring story I won’t impose on you. Oh, and Tiresias says hi.

If you hurry over to the Irish House hopefully they will skip ahead to the naughty bits. And if you don’t: “. . . I was a Flower of the mountain yes where I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used to or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask agai nyes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like made and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

Please submit 500 words from a Feminist or Post-Colonial critical view by next Wednesday. Or help me remember which Firesign Theater album ends with this.

&The Maple Street Bar Poetry Reading Series features performance poet LEX presenting his work, followed by an open mic. Sunday, June 17 at 3 p.m., or pretty close to that after everyone gets a drink at the bar. 17 Poets! is sadly finished for the year but will be back in September.

& Get your funk on and meet me at the Eastern Market next Saturday for some Rare Essence but then the market burned down years ago and I have no idea if that band from the 80s is stil around and sadest of all, Chuck Brown–the father of Go-Go music which is to DC what the original Funky Meters line up is to New Orleans — just passed away. But you can get a chuck of funk at the Maple Street Book Shop’s Healing Center location for a reading and signing by Natalie Hopkinson, author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City. If you were listening to Soul Sister the weekend after he passed you know what I mean. Remind me if I show up that I CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY ANY MORE BOOKS for a while but please loan me yours when you’re done. Tuesday, June 19th, 6:30-8pm.

& Wwe all knew it was coming for years now but here’s another Katrina-tinged book also over at Octavia this week, Rosalyn Story’s Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans Thursday, June 21st, at 6:30pm. There is a chef living in Treme who stays and his son the trumpeter who rushes home to find his father and finds his old girlfriend instead. I normally don’t get much of a thrill out of formulaic but it is beach reading season and it is an Essence Book Club selection.Thursday, June 21st, at 6:30p at the Healing Center And who knew Essence had a Book Club? Maybe that’s why Oprah is bringing her’s back what with Essence getting all up in her shit.

And the Maple Street Book Shop Healing Center location is in St Claude (and the Bayou one is just four blocks over), Maple Stret location which is of courses on St. Claude which is not confusing at all people in New Orleans who know where Bayou Road, Kelerec, North Dorgenois and Bell Street all cross in one crazy ass intersection. With no stop signs. Fortunately Bayou Road is one of the last of the brick paved stretches of street in this town so you tend to go slow.

& And with Essence just around the corner I’ll give an early shout out to a home grown literary festival that runs Essence Week, the Bayou Soul Writers and Readers conference. You can check them out here. And I’ll by cutting and pasting like crazy is a couple of weeks listing all the authors at Essence but whether you’re a visitor or from just around the corner, show this local festival of writers some love during Essence week.

& Octavia Books hosts Ruth Salvaggio’s books Hearing Sappho in New Orleans: The Call of Poetry from Congo Square to the Ninth Ward. Author Event While sifting through trash in her flooded New Orleans home, Ruth Salvaggio discovered an old volume of Sappho’s poetry stained with muck and mold. In her efforts to restore the book, Salvaggio realized that the process reflected how Sappho’s own words were unearthed from the refuse of the ancient world. Undertaking such a task in New Orleans, she sets out to recover the city’s rich poetic heritage while searching through its flooded debris. Hearing Sappho in New Orleans is at once a meditation on this poetic city, its many languages and cultures, and a history of its forgotten poetry. Using Sappho’s fragments as a guide, Salvaggio roams the streets and neighborhoods of the city as she explores the migrations of lyric poetry from ancient Greece through the African slave trade to indigenous America and ultimately to New Orleans. NOT BUYING ANY BOOKS. REMEMBER? But you just missed my birthday. Thursday June at 6:00 p.m.

OK, I’m getting all out of chronological order here but if you’ve gotten this far down you can figure this out. Or you can ask your high school aged kid who has a $39 calculator that exceeds the entire computing power of the Apollo mission command modules. Which is almost as amazing as the Space Pen, or the fact that people still buy them. Silly Russians, they didn’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars creating a zero gravity pen. They used pencils.

& Spoken Word New Orleans’ open mike (which I’ve forgotten to list for a while) has moved to Sunday Night at the Club Caribbean 2441 Bayou Road. Doors at 7, show at 8 with a $5 admission. This Week’s Featured Artists are Tank & The Black Star Bangas​. Sunday, June 18.

& In a city that tried to shut down some of the best Latino cooking we ever had just because the restaurants had wheels, Garden District Books brings us John T. Edge, The Truck Food Cookbook. The book delivers 150 recipes from America’s best restaurants on wheels, from L.A. and New York to the truck food scenes in Portland, Austin, Minneapolis, and more.John T. Edge shares the recipes, special tips, and techniques. And what a menu-board: Tamarind-Glazed Fried Chicken Drummettes. Kalbi Beef Sliders. Porchetta. The lily-gilding Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger. And in case you sadly miss the food truck that used to park on Frenchman you know the guy that ran it cooks in the back of Cafe Negril and makes the most awesome Central American tamales you will ever eat.

& Leonard Pitts, nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, discusses and signs his new novel Freeman at Garden District Bookshop. In the months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Sam–a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army–sets out on foot to return to the war-torn South. He is compelled to find his wife, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the farm to which they all “belonged.”s Thursday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Bloomsday June 16, 2012

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Today in New Orleans at The Irish House at St. Charles Avenue and I started the ball rolling and then completely disappeared and I’m running late and may the god of your choice bless Michael Zell for getting this all arrange and I didn’t get an Odd Words out Thursday to remind people and here I am late and I’d best just stop typing and GO. And there you have the story of my life in a sentence. Stop by for Joyce and good craic

Pistachio Afternoon June 15, 2012

Posted by The Typist in Fortin Street, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Rattling through the metallic junk drawer: assorted batteries , dull pocket knives with frozen tools, chargers to forgotten things. random parts to things you can’t bring yourself to throw away. For want of a Danish twist lock. In there is that rattling custodian’s key chain full of keys for old doors: horrible room mates, the better one up the block, good jobs and bad, girl friends’ kept out of spite. All those doors are closed.

A brass and stainless dream journal, an afternoon cleaning the attic until you find the comic books but you have have pressing business, the slowly encroaching walls of your studio apartment You have forgotten what you were looking for. You put the ring back in the drawer. You take the one lonely key from your pocket, still attached the the landlords plastic tag. You turn it in the lock in the door leading out to dreary, dreamy street. Turn either direction, past the rows of locks.

Two blocks down is the park. A beautiful woman stands next to an ice cream cart. She has just ordered pistachio, your favorite flavor. Licking the green trickles on the ring-less fingers of her left hand while fumbling coins, purse and wallet with the other her keys tip out onto the ground at your feet. She stands there a moment considering the physics of dissolving cone, keys, coins, purse. difficult trajectories, the unsteadiness of summer ice cream. You bend over and retrieve her keys. Before she can say thanks you order a double scoop. She never does thank you, but she smiles.

Across the path you find benches and a fountain, swans, possibilities unlocked by a pistachio cone. Somewhere up the street is your house key, but you are not about to notice that now. When her single scope is gone, you lean your double towards her. It’s going to melt anyway, you say. She hesitates then takes a generous lap with her tongue from the collapsing cone, shaping it back into balance, wiping the dribble from her chin with a finger, laughing.

Few things are better than a first kiss. Pistachio ice cream cones are one.

Dream Song No. 5 June 15, 2012

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Henry sats in de bar & was odd,
off in the glass from the glass,
at odds wif de world & its god,
his wife is a complete nothing,
St Stephen
getting even.

Henry sats in de plane & was gay.
Careful Henry nothing said aloud
but where a Virgin out of cloud
to her Mountain dropt in light,
his thought made pockets & the plane buckt.
‘Parm me, lady.’ ‘Orright.’

Henry lay in de netting, wild,
while the brainfever bird did scales;
Mr Heartbreak, the New Man,
come to farm a crazy land;
an image of the dead on the fingernail
of a newborn child.

John Berryman, The Dream Songs

Apollo 13, this is Houston s s s s s s s s s June 14, 2012

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, Fortin Street, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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THE SENSE OF DECORUM IN POVERTY June 8, 2012

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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For any freaked out about last night’s accidental release of a scheduled post which will come up June, two-thousand-and-dead. Yesterday was not that day. But thanks to everyone who pointed out that the video is no longer up there. I need to find a new one.


I put on a shirt
with a couple of
gone buttons and a
pair of pants my wife
hates and walk into
the living room and
sit down in a dull
chair. In this way I
acknowledge nothing’s
going on. If I
wanted to really
suffer I could go
lie down in some shit,
but that transgresses
the fine line between
propriety and
masochism. If
I were any kind
of poet I’d go
stick up a Jiffy
Mart or, Say, the First
Bank of the Cosmic
Imagination.
Then I could buy a
red plaid jacket with
a rooster tie and
stumble out into
the clear autumn air
crowing “Guilty! Life,
I’m your beautiful
man.”

Not To Do List June 2, 2012

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Saturdays are peculiar. No work and a long list of things to do. Where I live there is a triangle park across from the Laundromat. A short walk around the corner there is also a wine store, two groceries and a book shop. People think us lazy and shiftless, always for pleasure, which is why they buy tickets and come here in droves. It is your civic duty not to disappointment even if duty is not the order of the day.

All of the trees in that park have names, some botanical and one of them your’s.

You could run to the dollar store and buy more underwear but that verges dangerously close to on a chore. Your filing system consists of various, carefully organized piles of paper on the floor from which you could pluck anything you need in a moment, and your laundry basket overflows on top of the plastic filing bin. Consider the chaos stacking those piles of paper into one so you could vacuum would cause.

Some poor sod is out there delivering pizza or Chinese but one day this week will be his Saturday. Your tip could pay for a bottle of wine and a book.

Pour another cup of coffee and sit on your stoop talking to your chatty neighbor. Admire the colorful birds and pity their restlessness. After some indeterminate time assess what is in your drawers and in your closet. Dump the dirty clothes into a pile and sort them into the necessary and what can wait. Somewhere it is probably early to open a bottle of beer while the laundry tumbles but you don’t live there. Think how it will facilitate a nap later.

Don’t forget to bring a book.

I sing the body eclectic June 2, 2012

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Every now and then I am reminded that not very many people (if any) make it far enough down the sidebar over there at your right to read the “disclaimer” below. Confusing The Character with The Typist leads to all sorts of “are you alright?” emails and calls. The excessively literal read it as autobiography. It is and is not. Everything you say can and will be used against you in court. You are the judge.

Maybe I should make the type of this side bar item bigger. I like the things set on the right in their current order, so this “disclaimer” is staying where it is, along with the quote from Beckett.

Toulouse Street began as a geo-memoir, subtitled Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans, set in the character of the city. Over time is has grown in strange ways. It is, to borrow novelist Tim O’Brien’s subtitle: A Fiction. It is loosely based on the life of a man of late middle age racing frantically towards and away from death. Any apparently auto-biographical bits are about “me”, The Typist, in the sense that the ringing of wind chimes forecast the weather. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is chronologically orthogonal.

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I disclaim nothing.

I encompass everything.

I sing the body eclectic.

Blog Spam June 1, 2012

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Sorry if you received any email or RSS spam as someone hacked the blog overnight.

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