My Warehouse Eyes May 26, 2012Posted by Mark Folse in A Fiction, odd, poem, Poetry, quotes, Toulouse Street.
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Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums
Should I leave them by your gate
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
Lit Geek 2.3 November 8, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in Garden District, meme, odd, Odd Words, oddities, Toulouse Street.
Tomorrow Odd Words is off to the first day of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival carting this 7″ Coby Android Tablet doohickey instead of the laptop.
I also have this nifty faux leather stand/case/keyboard thing with a very tiny keyboard, too small for real touchtyping but I think it will work out better than either carting the damned laptop
or last years attempts to post from an Android phone, which nothing for my spelling and made my thumbs ache for a week.
It has an out-of-date touch screen that works best with a stylus isn’t much more responsive than the monster “portable” computer I used back in 1990 with the 7″ green screen and dual floppy drives but I think it will get the job done. And boy was it cheap, as it is clearly last year’s (month’s, you get the idea) model. The only thing its really lacking is that copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text RPG that the monster portable had on its capacious 10 MB (yes, that’s an M) hard drive).
But the Coby and this goofy keyboard were too cheap to resist, for all the infuriating qwerks I had to puzzle through to get the WordPress client installed and this post complete. Did I mention it was super cheap? Ipad users can mockmy little toy but I am getting what I need done for what: a thousand dollars less? More?
Potter’s But Not Forgotten October 15, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, je me souviens, odd, Remember, the dead, Toulouse Street.
Eprit d’escalier October 14, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, odd, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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Am I coming? Are you going? Where was it again? When? What’s the story, morning glory? What’s the frequency, Kenneth?
Are we here yet?
Excuse me, I was just leaving. I’ve got a quarter for Zoltar & I’m off to find the man who wasn’t there.
Bad Air September 30, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, odd, Toulouse Street.
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“…depression was a successful adaptation to ceaseless pain and suffering…”
– novelist Jonathan Franzen on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air
…which I trust he explained somehow between the car and the stereo remote, but I missed it and so went into the kitchen to get something to drink. When I came back there was a review of a movie about a man who has built a tornado shelter in his house and moved into it. In the clip his wife is pleading with him desperately and increasingly angrily to explain the shelter, the time he spends there, why he sometimes never comes out from it at night or vanishes into it at all hours with no explanation.
Charming. The usual host is off and some fellow is filling in and all he really did was dust off an old review of Franzen’s Freedom, which was just released in paperback, and queued up the author’s year old interview with Terry Gross. I doubt he picked the movie review either. It was what the reviewer had pitched and had accepted, what was scheduled for this week, just another cart to feed into the machine. It’s not as if he spent the weeks leading up to Terry Gross’ absence plotting how to ruin the Friday night of a hundred thousand temperamentally melancholic Americans home alone on Friday night, pushing the emotional tachometer to its limit hoping for a multi-car crash like a NASCAR fan with a prominent italic 3 tattooed on his arm.
While the review ran the fill-in host probably walked up the hall to the latte dispenser and pressed the button for sugar-free, low-fat mocha. I took my glass of water back into the kitchen, selected another, smaller glass, and poured some run and then some of my ice water into it. This was probably not a wise choice after last night’s exhausting revels, the endlessly flowing Jameson and bottled water back for a featured reader and the drinks after, but there was something about the confluence of events on that radio show that called for it.
He probably took his steaming foam cup back to the studio and sat idly watching the VU meters, thinking he would have to pick up some over cleaner on the way home. It was his turn to clean the kitchen and he was scrupulous about it, meant above all to avoid those weekends when his wife would come behind him, sigh, and do something over because she felt it not quite right.
After he finished recording the outtro from the depressing episodes he wasn’t really listening to, he gabbed a pad of pink sticky notes, wrote out oven cleaner (having used up the last of it a few weeks ago), and stuck the tab on the inside fold of his wallet. As he filled in the paperwork for the broadcast he gave no further thought to the last time he cleaned the oven, his wife having her Saturday off reclined on the couch reading the new, corrected text edition of Ariel.
He had knelt with his head swimming from the dilute scent of lye, the rag he had been using to wipe away the last of the blackened cleanser clenched in his rubber glove, studying the temperature sender at the back of the burner, wondering exactly how one could kill themself in an oven. Did they have to defeat the safety feature that cut of the flow of gas when there was no heat, or was it overridden by turning the dial all the way to the start position, which allowed the gas to flow prior to ignition? The latter, of course. It was not like jumping off of a bridge, an irrevocable moment. You would have to kneel with the rotten egg warning scent of the gas in your nostrils for a long time.
Aren’t you done yet? his wife asked when she came in for more tea. What have you been doing for the last hour?
Cleaning the stove he said, not realizing how long he had spent staring into the dull, enamel darkness of their treasured antique Merritt. His knees ached in spite of the cushioned garden pad kept for such chores. He dunked the cloth in the bucket of rinse water without turning to face her, waited for her footfalls to vanish down the hall and and then resumed wiping the dark nooks and crannies until they glowed with a dull brilliance, trying to scrub away the last traces of whatever had just happened.
God & Ghosts August 16, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in books, cryptic envelopment, literature, odd, Toulouse Street.
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For my 888th post, something Odd. Of course. If you read the whole interview, anyone this whack who reputedly once assaulted Thomas Pynchon, well, it just seems like a natural fit. Here’s on to 999, at which post the entire internet may abend. Just warning you.
So imagine the capabilities of a 4D being—a 4D being could change anything about our 3D world at will. Again, it’s the same as the drawing of the snowman. The snowman can only see in terms of length and width, so when I use an eraser to erase his carrot nose, or when I use my thumb to smudge his striped scarf, he can’t see me do it, because the eraser and my thumb both exist at a height above his, on a different 2D plane. All the snowman can see is that his carrot nose vanishes, or his striped scarf smudges.
A 4D being would have those same abilities in our 3D world—it could trigger a tornado at the edge of a wheat field, or erase cancer cells from the brain of a seven-year-old child. And we would never even see its pencil, so to speak, because it would exist outside of our seeing.
And when it looked at a 3D image, a 4D being would be able to see all of that image all at once. Again, back to the snowman: a 2D snowman can only see certain parts of himself at one time. If the 2D snowman looks at a 2D box, the snowman can only see the side of the box, or the top of the box. But when I look at the 2D snowman, I can see its entire outline, all at once, can see even its insides—if I look at the 2D box, I can see all four sides of it at once.
A 4D being would have the same capabilities: it would be able to see all six sides of a 3D box, all at once, and, at the same time, it could see inside of the box, the contents of the box. And it could change those contents of the box—or erase those contents—without ever opening it.
In other words, a 4D being would be both omniscient and omnipresent. It would see everything at once and be everywhere at once. And it could change anything at will.
Straw Man Dancing July 7, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, odd, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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I think I’ve been neglecting the Odd lately (thinking back to one of my first posts, Pride of Pothole, a photograph of one of the colored markers various agencies put into their street repairs). I stepped out onto my deck patio Monday morning for a cigarette and found this figure laying on the boards, and he looked so much like an Anasazi or other neolithic figure of a man with wild hair dancing. At least he did to me. He was gone by afternoon, blown into a few bits of straw ( scattered around. I thought for a while to try and transfer him to a piece of backing paper and using hairspray or something to mount him, but decided against it.
I recently read a wonderful novel form Chin Music Press titled OH! A mystery of ‘mono no aware’. Mono no aware is a core concept of Japanese poetry and literature: the elemental emotional connection to a moment in time, rooted in a pathos arising from the transience of all things. Cherry blossoms, there in great beauty one day, gone the next on the wind, are a routine example of such a moment. I treated Straw Man Dancing as just such a moment, a remarkable coincidence not coincidence but a reminder from the universe of the transience of the patterns we call life. I left him unmolested, and by afternoon the bits of him had blown apart and away.
Such is the stuff of which haiku and senryu are made. Feel free to leave one about the straw man in the comments.
Miss Marty, Mother of Strippers November 24, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in French Quarter, New Orleans, NOLA, odd, Toulouse Street.
Tags: bourbon street, strippers
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I was going to stick this in Odd Words, but it is part of their RECESSION SEX WORKERS interview series and not really literary so much as it is about something Odd and local that most locals, much less tourists, know about: the strip club house mother.
Like strippers, they survive on tips that they accumulate from dancers for the items and care they provide the girls backstage. House moms are hired by strip clubs to enforce the club’s rules about the dress code, schedule and conduct. They’re entrusted with a dancer’s cash, secrets and belongings. The house mom at Penthouse Club on Bourbon Street, Marty Morgan, has the ability to ensure a dancer’s place on the schedule or promptly get her removed from it. She’s the seated goddess Demeter, with her crock pot cheese dip and homemade watermelon soup. Her desk is an encyclopedia of all things stripper-related and her meatloaf is beyond amazing. She’s the eyes and eyelash glue behind the scenes, and she cares deeply for the women in her midst.
The last bottle of Obsello August 15, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, odd, Toulouse Street.
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Its the last bottle of Obsello in New Orleans and a second glass seems excessive but the only measure I know is the brown stained ruler at the Carrollton underpass warning off cars in a hard rain but that doesn’t stop fools old enough to have shed the winsome invincibility of youth. Old habits die slowly and if you’ve seen one thunderstorm what’s another? You’ve made it through before and once you’ve drowned a city to the eaves what’s a few more ounces over the bridge gonna hurt?
30 Century Man October 8, 2009Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, odd, Odds&Sods, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
Tags: 30 Century Man
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I first started working on this little diversion sometime right after the 2008 holidays, at a time when I found myself mindlessly resting on the couch in front of endless House marathons on the television, an activity that is for me comparable to standing on a windy building ledge tossing pigeons at the fire department. I made this little thing to cheer myself up, as I think I am too old to successfully hop a moving freight and head for L.A. to search for Bukowski’s ghost, too encumbered to follow Rimbaud and Gauguin into a tropical never land. I finished it the other night for much the same reason it began. It is full of sound and pictures, signifying nothing. If this video speaks to you in some way, it still may not be too late to get help.
HOME January 22, 2009Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, NOLA, odd, oddities, Toulouse Street.
Tags: home, Hope, Obama, Obamacize
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Battle of New Orleans January 13, 2009Posted by Mark Folse in music, New Orleans, NOLA, odd, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Battle of New Orleans, Johnny Horton
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Thanks for Citizen-K for leading me to this surreal “reenactment” of the Battle of New Orleans. Love the Liberace coon skin caps. I was too slammed by life this weekend to go out and compare this video to the re-enactors who were out at the Battlefield this weekend for the Jan. 8 anniversary.