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Odd Words July 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Tuesday at 7 pm Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego hosts Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts John E. Wade II and The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation. John E. Wade II, author, investor, and millionaire, reveals in his memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation, his personal struggle with bipolar disorder and his experience being the focus of an all-encompassing and benevolent entity he calls the Operation. Wade takes the reader through his family experiences, political aspirations and beliefs, spiritual journey, relationship trials and errors, battle with mental illness, and how he feels he has been cured of the detrimental aspects of bipolar disorder. With the help of a unique and powerful network he calls the Operation, and through religious beliefs, personal perseverance, and the help of friends, family, and his mental health professionals, Wade lives an active, creative, and successful life. His memoir doesn’t end with contentment at achieving a balance in his life, however. Instead, Wade expresses a determined vision for the future, aiming to assist humanity in finding lasting peace and prosperity through his writing, political, and spiritual endeavors, as well as through being the focus of the ever-pervasive Operation

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with New Orleans author Mary Helen Lagasse celebrating the release of her second novel, NAVEL OF THE MOON. A freelance writer and journalist, Vicenta (“Vicky”) Lumière has moved beyond her upbringing in the diverse Irish Chan­nel neighborhood of New Orleans. But a visit to her childhood friend Lonnie Cavanaugh in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women brings back a flood of memories.In Navel of the Moon, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Fifth Sun, Mary Helen Lagasse turns to the 1950s and 60s, where a young Vicky learns that the complicated people that we become as adults and the complicated world that adults create are shaped by events in childhood. The adults around her, beginning with her Mexican grandmother, Mimy, the family storyteller—who says she is from the “navel of the moon”—often confound and sometimes trouble Vicky. Yet Vicky’s strength of character is pro­foundly affected by the complexity of life, and in particular that of her troubled childhood friend Lonnie and of Valentina Dreyfus, the Holocaust survivor who becomes Vicky’s closest confidante.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 5:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a Find Waldo Party! Now, come join us for fun, games and the drawing of The Grand Prize (and lots of other prizes) for everyone who found Waldo in New Orleans this July Regardless of your age, you are encouraged to come in costume. The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs has been hobnobbing all month at 25 different independent local shops all around Octavia Books – from ice cream parlors, snowball stands, chocolate shops, and eateries to toy stores, hobby shops, movie theaters, and bike shops. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, book coupons and great gifts contributed from all of the participating local businesses, with the grand prize being a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. Collecting store stamps or signatures at 20 or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing at the Waldo party. There is no charge to participate. And the hunt is still on.

Here are the participating businesses:

Angelique Baby & Kids – 5519 Magazine St.
Art & Eyes – 3708 Magazine St.
The Bead Shop – 4612 Magazine St.
Blue Frog Chocolates – 5707 Magazine St.
Canine Culture – 4920 Tchoupitoulas St.
Clement Hardware & Variety – 6000 Magazine St.
Creole Creamery – 4924 Prytania St.
Crescent City Comics – 4916 Freret St
Dat Dog – 5030 Freret St.
Dat Dog – 3336 Magazine St.
Dirty Coast – 5631 Magazine St.
Feet First – 4122 Magazine St.
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz – 4801 Tchoupitoulas St.
Jefferson Feed – 6047 Magazine St.
Magic Box – 5508 Magazine St.
Mike the Bike Guy – 4411 Magazine St.
National Art and Hobby – 5835 Magazine St.
Octavia Books – 513 Octavia St.
P’s & Q’s – 5720 Magazine St.
Plum – 5430 Magazine St.
PrytaniaTheatre – 5339 Prytania St.
Rye – 4223 Magazine St.
Scriptura – 5423 Magazine St.
Toast – 5433 Laurel St..
Weinstein’s – 4011 Magazine St.

& On Friday July 31st, Tubby & Coo’s, in collaboration with By the Clock, will be hosting a birthday party for the boy who lived! Join us from 6:30 – 8:30PM for food, games, crafts, and fun, all in the spirit of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Register soon – this is a limited availability event with only 24 open spots!

& At 9:30 pm Friday the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center hosts Moroccan poet and singer El Habib Louai and his band perform at New Orleans’s longest-lived alternative theater. $10. Sponsored by 100,000 Poets For Change, New Orleans and Surregional Press. El Habib recites original in English, Arabic and his native Amazigh plus Arabic translations of major Beat poets. Supporting local musicians include Will Thompson, keyboards and Ray Moore, saxphone.

& At 2 pm Saturday the Latter Memorial Library hosts Join us the monthly Poetry Buffet Reading. Poets Steve Beisner, Christian Champagne, David Cook, and Mary Emma Dutreix Pierson read from their work.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Who Needs Sleep? July 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Who needs sleep
when you’ve got
a double shot
a double shot
a Starbucks’ double shot?
Who needs sleep
when you’ve got
a double shot
and an aerosol
can of oxygen?1

Yes folks, this is the chorus to the first song of Moloch!, the musical version of my service to Big Bank America so closely based on the Three Penny Opera the ink will dry on the papers from the Brecht estate before the paste dries on the show’s posters.

These are the sort of things that go through what P calls The Mind of Mark when it’s over winding the spectrum spring until every damn thing runs too fast, spectrum being a Disorder in the Disorder Service Manual Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in which, at the deep end of the spectrum pool we find, balanced by the toes up on the high board, Manic Depression (sing it, Jimi). Yes, there is High Anxiety Disorder when the second hand is a blur and on a good day at work, when I am whacking them into the stands like it’s a home run slugging contest at mid-season break, I think: King Kong Fucking Superman. Then the roller coaster goes into those dizzying spiral loops before the last few dull humps and drags to a dead stop, the ticket man leering over his cigarette as he pulls the brake so tight nothing is right. It’s time to leave the park and go sit in the dark, alone out in the car, smoking (again).

If anyone needs some ironic musical comedy in his life, it’s me. With a chorus of just-like-me henchmen, a rousing “Seeräuberjenny” in the middle, and a Big Finish where I get to walk away from it all just like Mackie. That and a Blu-Ray remaster of Little Murders so I can finally perfect my Alan Arkin scream, which I think will come in very handy at work these next few weeks.

1. Oxygen for Energy the stuff is called, but I call it Hangover Helper, a little trick I picked up from my college mentor who was an alcoholic flight line washout in the Air Force and got transferred to the base newspaper. He told us that back in the day the cure for the prior night at the Officer’s Club was Full Oxygen in the mask. He was right. It also comes in handy when you’re sleep deprived and about to go face plant on the keyboard. And at least one highly aerobic activity which late middle aged smokers are not quite ready to give up on yet. If ever. Ask your reflection if you maybe need a can of Oxygen for Energy.

Odd Words July 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features David G. Spielman’s The Katrina Decade: Images of An Altered City. The book includes 125 stark, black-and-white photos of New Orleans in the years after the storm. Acting as a window into New Orleans in the last ten years and providing an extention of the work done by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA). With images whose simplicity evokes the work of FSA photographers Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. In the ten years since Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge overwhelmed New Orleans’s levee system, the catastrophe has lived in the public imagination as a parade of dramatic images. Often overlooked are smaller, more gradual changes. For years, David G. Spielman has documented these inconspicuous changes. The photographs depict the devastation and despair of the storm, but also have a quality of the haunting melancholy beauty that has befallen the city.

& Tuesday at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center at 7 pm it’s the latest entry in Teatro Sin Fronteras is a series of Seven Movable Feasts to engage the community at large with interdisciplinary theater events, music, & food to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina Rebirth of New Orleans in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the storm.

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Laura McNeill and Center of Gravity. The truth could cost her everything. Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful. Or is it? Her husband’s behavior grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm at the Rosa Keller Library founding members of the Peauxdunque Writers AllianceMaurice Carlos Ruffin, Terri S. Shrum, and Tad Bartlett will read their works in a no-holds-barred, 21-and-over show at the Rosa Keller Library.

& Meanwhile, the Mid-City Branch Library hosts an Author Night featuring Nancy Dixon, author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature, who will present highlights of 200 years of local writing.

& This event has been cancelled: Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Veda Stamps’s Flexible Wings. Stamps’ critically acclaimed novel, Flexible Wings, is a fictional exploration of the lives of military children. This book, written for preteens, delves into themes of sports, community support and volunteerism as a way to help children and their families through difficult times. In Flexible Wings, an eleven-year-old girl of mixed race uses competitive swimming to navigate her fears of her fighter pilot mom’s impending military deployment.

& At the East Bank Regional Library of Jefferson Parish the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at 7 pm. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 6 pm Harrison Scott Key stops by Octavia Books to share his wildy funny memoir, THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN. Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, “a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas and paved roads and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: how to fight and work and cheat and how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers.” Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir the story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsize role model, and a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.

& Friday at 6 pm Garden District Books presents Webb Hubbell’s Ginger Snaps. Attorney Jack Patterson returns to Little Rock, Arkansas after an old acquaintance, Dr. Douglas Stewart, is arrested for marijuana cultivation, possession, and distribution. Jack is no expert on drug cases, but meets with Stewart to fulfill a promise to his late wife, Angie, who was close to Stewart. Expecting to wrap up his involvement in an hour and enjoy the rest of the weekend golfing, Jack hears from Stewart that his arrest isn’t about the marijuana. Teaming up with his bodyguard, Clovis, and defense attorney Micki Lawrence, Jack begins to investigate why this highly-respected scientist was growing marijuana. He learns that Stewart had alerted the government about the existence of his marijuana garden years ago. Why the arrest now? Why are the Feds claiming terrorist involvement? Stewart’s wife, Liz, claims it has to be about her ginger snaps which are laced with marijuana to help ease the pain of cancer patients. As Jack delves deeper into the case, he discovers that both Stewarts and the federal government are hiding secrets, secrets that connect to a past Jack and all involved would rather forget.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop at 11:30 AM the store also hosts Veda Stamps and Flexible Wings.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Good Morning To You, Too July 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, fuckmook, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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I’ll tell them to you some day none the less, if I think of it, if I can, my strange pains, in detail, distinguishing between the different kinds, for the sake of clarity, those of the mind, those of the heart or emotional conative , those of the soul (none prettier than these) and finally those of the frame proper, first the inner or latent, then those affecting the surface, beginning with the hair and scalp and moving methodically down, without haste, all the way down to the feet beloved of the corn, the cramp, the kibe, the bunion, the hammer toe, the nail ingrown, the fallen arch, the common blain, the club foot, duck foot, goose foot, pigeon foot, flat foot, trench foot and other curiosities. And I’ll tell by the same token, for those kind enough to listen , in accordance with a system whose inventor I forget, of those instants when, neither drugged, nor drunk, nor in ecstasy, one feels nothing.

— Samuel Beckett, from the Complete Short Prose, title unsure, as if it mattered to forget in this kingdom of ignorance, intellectual banality of the Theoryists, USA Today and forever, retakes of reality television, the Fox in the newsroom, the implicit idiocy of us the cisgendered, the dumpster economy of a thoughtless and tasteless gluttony, the disliteracy of Twitter & caveman pictographs of Instagram, & a hundred other reasons to regret not asking for the cocktail coupons off my invalidated Business Select tickets when I was sent canceled and packing from the Southwest gate last night, struggling  to be (is it possible?)  happy to be a Beta. I console myself with the knowledge that the Bloody Marys are no doubt normalized well within six sigma of the national bland with nine nines of certainty…

— The Typist

78 July 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Op. posth. no. 1

Darkened his eye, his wild smile disappeared,
inapprehensible his studies grew,
nourished he less & less
his subject body with good food & rest,
something bizarre about Henry, slowly sheared
off, unlike you & you,

smaller & smaller, till in question stood
his eyeteeth and one block of memories
These were enough for him
implying commands from upstairs & from down,
Walt’s ‘orbic flex,’ triads of Hegel would
incorporate, if you please,

into the know-how of the American bard
embarrassed Henry heard himself a-being,
and the younger Stephen Crane
of a powerful memory, of pain,
these stood the ancestors, relaxed & hard,
whilst Henry’s parts were fleeing.

— John “The Revelator” Berryman

Odd Words July 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans is going to move to Sunday-to-Saturday, as work is not working out to have it done by Thursday. I’ve missed several weeks of a weekly listing, only just barely getting up daily postings on Facebook. Remember Odd Words is a labor of love, but love is sometimes a struggle and you can always help me get it done by chipping in a little something. Become a sponsor and buy the poor Typist a beer and a poboy, won’t you?

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& On Wednesday at 8 pm (doors at 7) Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are again going without a theme and that means no hold barred. An evening of surprising and unfettered original erotica in a variety of styles to pique your variety of desires. Original Erotica from: Panzachual, Otter Goodfellow, Paul Oswell, Aime’ SansSavant
and More to be Announced! Interested in joining our sexy party on stage at Esoterotica? Our Unthemed shows are a great time, and we love to experience new voices. Just drop us a line and/or submit writing to info@esoterotica.com

& At 6 pm Thursday the Garden District Book Shop presents Tony Dunbar’s Night Watchman: A Tubby Dubonnet Mystery. In this EIGHTH entry in the Tubby Dubonnet series, the laid-back New Orleans lawyer finds himself caught in a twisted trip down memory lane, distracted by a luscious new love, and, as usual, surrounded by screwball denizens of everybody’s favorite city. But he’s also caught in someone’s crosshairs, and so are half the cast of crazies and screwballs. Which makes for a delicious mix of danger and humor (with a dash of romance!), best consumed with a tall cold one and a bag of Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday The EJ Writers Group meets at the East Bank Jefferson Parish Regional Library. The group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Every third Thursday of the month the All People Open Mic Poetry Circle occurs at Playhouse NOLA, 3214 Burgundy between Piety and Louisa. Rooted in principles that empower the individual’s creative and intellectual growth, this creative venture particularly invites immigrants, people of color and those who identify the class system as being anti-human and benefitting a small percentage of society are encouraged to join.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& At 4 pm Friday at Octavia Books Mark Shulman, author of over 150 titles, presents two books that play with words, MOM AND DAD ARE PALINDROMES and its sequel, ANN AND NAN ARE ANAGRAMS.Shulman doesn’t just mix up words. Everyone loves A IS FOR ZEBRA and AA IS FOR AARDVARK, two pictures books that “picture” the alphabet in a whole new way. If you think these books are fun, wait until you meet the author who dreamed them up. He’ll leave you laughing

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

He Taught Me To Sing A Song July 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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My prolific and talented friend* Ray Shea just had a few of his poems from the online journal Revolution John nominated for Best of the Net, a signal honor in these days of the web-only journal, much better than a Pushcart nomination which has become as common as author copies and so a bit ridiculous when cited. Tell me when you win one.

I know he posted these before when first published but I don’t remember reading “Sing It For Me”, perhaps because of slowly burying own my cold mother, waiting so long until she was both cold and still, the sarcophagus pose, the blue veined marble skin, my own erasure until the only word left f was forget. “Sing It For Me” conjoins that signature scene in 2001 in which Dave is forced to turn off Hall 9000 with the decision on when to pull the plug on a parent, in this case his father (it helps but is not necessary to know his father was a Coastie). The poem is just so fucking beautiful and perfect, a simple yet intricate machine of words with all the beauty of a music box. You want to open the lid again and again, watch the works turning as the song plays out.

This time I promise not to reach for the blemish cream. This poem leaves a scar I will keep and proudly show my children someday, when my life is mostly read outs on the machine, and as we cry I will remind them I left some beauty in this world, a handful of poems and a couple of forgotten blogs, their own lustrous mirrors.

* Can I still say friend when we never speak, constantly miss each other when he comes for Carnival, each on our own trajectories not so much divergent as impossible to calculate an intersection through the massive traffic of parade days. Journalists and former journalists, my friend Victoria (again, how long?) noted, make the worst correspondents. I like to think you don’t lose friends so much as shelve them sometimes, like the books that stack precariously two deep on my book shelves, waiting for happenstance or an inspiration to dig them out to reconnect.

That’s It For The Other One July 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I have to go to a three-day long meeting, my first in person encounter with the New People, the ones who seem to have no life of the mind, nothing but work to clutter their minds. What frightens me is they know everything. They remember everything. The boss wants us to memorize every detail of what we are responsible for. as if this were some cram school.

Me, I remember I can look it up.

I am not one of them.

QueueThe question I put to my co-worker friend was what do to about my queue, which now reaches below my shoulder blades. Do I tuck it into my shirt, or let it hang. Leave it out, she said, and she is right. I am a hired commodity, and certainly not for my looks. I am hired to get up at 6:30, check my Internet/VPN by 6:40ish with my first cup of coffee and never look back. I forget to eat breakfast. I shower later in the day or at night. I barely escape the four-by-four pod defined by desk/wall, window/wall, easy chair behind me, and collapsible table upon which rests my personal laptop and all sort of essential brick-a-brack.

I spend my day electronically among people who can only work as they do bu living unexamined lives, whom I doubt read books, who if they do anything besides make and eat dinner it’s to give a desultory glance at their children’s homework before grasping the all powerful remote, duck commander of the thousand channels of noise.

I am not one of them.

When I hear the motto “The Power of One” (and perhaps I give away too much here), I think, “and in the darkness bind them.” I am sure they are lovely people. They tear up a bit at their children’s concerts and pageants, never forget a friend’s birthday, and make extravagant meals and tender love on their anniversaries. They are no doubt on the envelope plan at their church, and have never forgotten to open what they thought was marketing junk and let a forgotten bill go 90 days into arrears. Their FICO scores are far above their SATs, and they study dutifully for that online MBA.

They are, at a casual glance, almost human.

I am not one of them.

I am, by the decision of people much like them at another institution, rōnin. My faithful service to another corporate shogunate meant nothing in the end. My dress is not business casual but really need an air conditioner in the front room baggy, beater casual. My daily shoes are sandals, and my sandal are dirty. When they don’t allow me time to eat lunch, I cinch my belt a bit tighter and keep moving. When I barely have time to shower, I skip shaving. When I do stop to eat it is often sitting before their glowing screen, shoveling food into my mouth like a starving Toshiro Mifune just arrived from the road.

My sword, however, is sharp, and at their service.

If that is not good enough, if they do not like the look of me, if my irrationally faithful service is not enough, I will move on.

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BEER July 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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BEER is an alcohol-based emotional solvent of the class Booze used to self-medicate anger, frustration, anxiety, depression and other symptoms of spectrum disorder and the general state of the modern world. BEER is frequently combined with other medications used to treat these conditions in direct contravention of those medications’ label warnings. Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, make important decisions or attempt to address any dysfunction in personal relationships while using BEER. Use BEER with caution on Fridays, holidays and other excuses to consume BEER to excess. Possible side effects of BEER include: spilling food on your shirt when you finally decide you had better eat something before consuming more BEER, irrational urges to address personal or societal problems in an anti-social manner, ineffective sexual performance,  localized obesity, headache, nausea, regret and self-loathing. Users of BEER may forget to rinse the cans before putting them in the special bag you keep for The Can Man who picks the recycling containers in your neighborhood and which you leave out on top of the can for him, resulting in a sticky spot you will have to scrub on your hands and knees while experiencing headache, nausea, etc. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid BEER. Woman who may become pregnant should consume BEER in moderation and avoid men who are consuming BEER. Shots of whiskey and tequila may exacerbate BEER’s side effects. If you experience clumsiness, dizziness, excessively garrulous behavior or delusional ideas about how to address your personal or the world’s problems, discontinue using BEER immediately and switch to drinking large quantities of water.

Coffee Zombie Wants Brains July 4, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Well, one would do. Mine. I think it is near where I left my coffee cup, the collision of ADHD and exhaustion. That’s quite enough, Brother Coyote, I mumble under my breath.

Another six hours sleep, divided by pointless wandering around the house from sixish until about 7:30. I will find out before long if the UI for SleepBot can handle a sleep debt in three figures.

I am so fucking tired. It should be a good tired. I climbed out of a hole of sloth and cleaned, mostly, the front room and bedroom. Nothing piled on the coffee table, most of the floor of the bedroom clear enough to vacuum, many boxes of indecision finally sorted and collated into a single, plastic container,  hours of work.  Spilling hole punch dots  in the living room on my way out from the bedroom to the trash was a high point, leaving  me on my knees picking up the tiny bits and some carpet burn in the process.  So much left undone: the wall near the ionizing fan, a bad idea for smokers, the thin-film of tar capturing the zapped clumps which then cling to the wall.  I know it’s the tar because of the two dozen screen wipes coming away brown from the television screen. The kitchen and bathroom of one-and-a-half men still to do, the boxes of not going to happen garage sale stuff to haul out to Goodwill. An A/C unit for the front so I can finally avoid a repeat of Satan’s Private Cellar Special Reserve Heat Rash with Fungus for Exceptionally Unrepentant Sinners, punishment for deciding to walk in the morning for exercise when I was cutting it so close to my 6:30 am meeting I didn’t take time to shower or change.  And Monday spins over the horizon, sucking up the energy of its slaves until an eye wall forms and the storm winds blow, the Eye of Moloch which watches over us all.

Eye of Moloch

Creepy.

I need a long weekend but not this. I need the fresh air of mountains and an unseasonable fire, the cool breeze blowing down the  moonlight road on the ocean, beer with lunch and a long nap in a hammock or sling chair, bar-b-q from a shack down the road or a dozen Oyster Corexit and a pitcher of  thin Mexican beer.

Sadly, what I need is a new mop. And that tiny, rattly A/C unit I found on the Home Depot web site, which will draw just few enough amps to allow it to run on the outside wall circuit with two others.  And the joy of throwing open the window long enough to install it, with heat indexes over 100. I don’t think I’m so wicked I deserve to be reduced to a puddle by that exercise, but sadly the world thinks otherwise. No rest for the wicked, hah. As if lounging with a hookah smoking black tar in company with comely courtesan were hard work. Instead, it is no rest for the diligent, or at least for those of us who put up a Potemkin front of diligence, propped up by coffee and an irrational send of duty, just sturdy enough to last the week.  I can leave the kitchen as it is (sandals recommended, like a gym shower, to avoid the loose bits and stickiness) and go fix my sister’s computer and printer. Or go out and get a mop. Or get the mop after.  Going back to bed is not an option.

And then the question remains of what to do tonight, on the Fourth of July in this year of Our Founding Father Who Art In Heaven 2010, also  the 207th anniversary of the sale of my people to the United States, the descendants of the  paternal ancestor who arrived on a ship uncertain but who was married in Lafourche Parish in 1721, two generations before 1776. What little patriotic excitement I could once muster was washed out to sea by Katrina, and sunk under the blood-red waters of the Deepwater Horizon. How to feel that stirring  at tonight’s rocket red glare after all that? As I concluded years ago, the American Experiment is ended and the results are in. It failed.1

Do I know how to put on a cheerful face?  Or what.

I do know how to put a flag on my flagpole. I didn’t have time this latest, crazy week to go get a new flag of Orleans, so I will have to fly the faded and ragged one I have, the sort the flag over Fort McHenry probably looked like after all those mortar bombs bursting in air. I never much liked the Star Spangled Banner anyway. I much prefer the Marseille and its bloody honesty.

I keep forgetting: how would one say “we will armor the levees with their skulls” in French?

Ah, yes, coffee zombie is rambling if not babbling again.  That is how the mind of The Typist works on a good day, the rambling turning into babbling under the influence of coffee and exhaustion. Coffee zombie clearly needs another cup, because brains are so hard to come by these days. Just spend five minutes on Facebook if you don’t believe me.

1. If you find my opinions offensive, as my people were here first, feel free to go back to where ever you came from. As if they’d have you. 2

2. “It’s the straight dope peddler, spreading joy where ever he goes.”

The Broken Road July 1, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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As the statistics dwindle and more and more followers of this blog are simply hoping for a reflexive return on my part, to build their numbers for whatever racket they are running–probably blogging hollow consumables for a penny a word–I wonder what I am doing here.

Here is not even here. I have not lived on Toulouse Street for most of five years. I cling to the tenuous position of having once, long ago, beat out the Doobie Brothers on Google. Toulouse Street is broken with the marriage, the beautiful Craftsman house sold, and all that remains is the banner picture above these words and a street sign my daughter’s kleptomaniac friend once brought to the house,  which once graced my office and now hangs in the kitchen on Fortin Street. The ex- is now No. 2, intended as the least emotionally charged term I could come up with, no scatological pun intended. The children are grown. Others walk the halls of Toulouse Street. All I have are ghosts, Dickensian visitations of Christmas Past.

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Perhaps the statistics dwindle because Toulouse Street has lost its way, lost it purpose to capture Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans. Now it is the Odd journal of The Typist (and so long since I used a capitalized Odd). Perhaps I am just become a whinny old man, and no one cares about the sidebar description: “the life of a man of late middle age racing frantically towards and away from death.”

Perhaps my words have lost their power

Perhaps all words have lost their power.

I don’t believe that.

“You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.” Words of power, from a movie most people have forgotten, a cautionary tale from a decade or more ago of where America is today. Bulworth was ready to kill himself until he discovered what it means to speak truth to power.

“and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive”
― Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems

Words are powerful. What is lost is the audience for words, even words spoken on a screen, particularly uncomfortable words. And Toulouse Street has become an uncomfortable place, a reflection of the uncomfortable world I (we) live in.  Oh, there is discourse civil and uncivil enough on places like Facebook, which has largely supplanted general purpose blogs, but the discussions there occur in the echo chambers we have built for ourselves. We talk to each other when we agree, past each other when we do not, and admire the kittens and the side show characters. One can spend hours on Facebook drowning in words and learn a few things. You can hear a thoughtful explanation of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement and the death of human democracy, or the news that America’s trillion-dollar fighter being built in as many Congressional districts as possible to ensure its survival is a piece of junk. You can also learn by the simply arithmetic of counting Likes and Comments that most people do not care for such things. They care about the Confederate flag, as if the flag itself matters to Black lives. Flags, like guns,  do not kill people. People kill people, often because of the power of words amplified by the echo chambers. What is more important: removing a single statue, or removing a single sociopath (be they an isolated hater or a commissioned police officer) from the streets? Which will save more lives?

If I have grown weary and turned inward it is in part that the external, public world of words makes less sense, seems to serve no good purpose, more and more so every day. I believe my ramblings here have their purpose, even if you think me narcissistic and a bit unhinged. I am Surplus Labor Incarnate, and I rant against my job because my service to Moloch is to facilitate our enslavement. Hey, I tell myself: I am only in it for the Benjamins. A daughter in New York at Columbia, well launched in life, is a considerable expense. I have bills to pay, the cost of stepping away from Moloch for nine months to finish a generally useless degree in English Literature. I hoped to be an example to my son. He is doing exactly what I did at his age, stepping away from college to figure out what he wants from life. My return to school, and my voyage to Europe are not so different from the decision he has made. I abandoned my degree thirty years ago, and so did his grandfather, and we managed to push our way through life to comfortable middle class positions. Still, both my father and I received considerable education before we walked away. I want him to understand that college is not a stupid recapitulation of everything he learned in high school. That’s just the freshman year price of admission to the real learning.

The price of admission. That’s what I am working for, the descendant in one branch of slavers from Haiti, slaving for Moloch to enslave us all in hopes my well- and liberal (arts)-educated children can escape enslavement, to equip them to have a chance to be a little more free, to give them choices.

Irony is an immutable law of the universe.

If there is a purpose to my navel-gazing ramblings here it is to make a record for posterity, even though I know how transient and impermanent electronic words are. The Typist struggles against Irony with it’s own sword with the diligence of Prometheus, and if you find that boring I am sorry, I can’t help you. You have lost touch with the power of words, traded that magic for the magic of toaster Jesus or imaginary vampires. It is OK if you do not care to hear about my Fridays or Mondays, the book ends of a very minor tragicomedy, the struggle against ancient humors and modern entries in the Diagnostic Manual that are like pervasive allergies: reflectively symptomatic of a diseased society. If I have lost the power to enchant you, perhaps another’s words in the very same vein might.

“They say there is no Fate but there is. It’s what you create.” I will go on creating, chronicling the consequences of my own choices good and bad, and the occasional moment of joy, in the hope that someone out there is listening. “No one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own.” Of course they do. I just want them to know they are not alone.

Amen.

Don’t Look Down June 29, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Monday: that moment when the path narrows to a goat track of uncertain rock which every few steps sends tiny landslides into the precipice.  Don’t look down and don’t look ahead, where the bottom of the precipice opens into a verdant, river-threaded place of distant calm. You have gotten up too early, and are not clear enough to remember if the path leads there, or further into the icy granite heights obscured by clouds. Or whether the path just continues on like this forever.

Fare Thee Well June 28, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Grateful Dead, music, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist.
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image

The Last Waltz.

#faretheewell

Fifty years.

I was in a foul mood last night, buying cigarettes with the thoughtless compulsion of a junkie, when “Satisfaction” came on the satellite channel.  Satisfaction is not a young man’s problem. It is an issue for an aging man who will not settle comfortably into a finale of routine mediocrity.

I have a new CD of Garcia and a  copy of the heavy green vinyl repress of the second album to open the evening, to invoke His spirit before the live stream. I have the necessary cables to wire the laptop to the TV and the TV RCA out to the Yamaha AUX in. I have juat enough of the Jah-blessed remedy.

I have enough space on the mantle for some rearrangement into an altar to the four fingered Mojo hand of The Spirit in the Stings which will be both absent and present, at once a Doleful and Glorious Mystery.

We shall, in the words of Sun Ra, erect a shield of beauty over the earth.

Tonight the Fortress of Squalitude shall become The Broke Down Palace. We shall roll, roll, roll.

Crabapple Lane June 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Happiness is for saps.
You see them paired in
matching polos and shorts,
their fat pink squealing children
on even, green lawns.

Science we find is wrong.
The universe does not rush into
their vacuous block
to fill the gaping void yawning
in formless boredom.

There is this skulking skunk.
He squats inside my chest
sullen, hungry.
I want to yank him out, toss him
butt first in their yard.

Going In Circles June 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Gravity Always Wins June 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Moloch, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Fuck you tomatoes, miraculously irregular Renatza’s 4800s, each as soft and meaty as a breast.

Fuck you summery cucumbers. Fuck you broccoli florets.

Fuck you crisp lettuce, blessed with the sweat of the pickers like blood of a Mexican Jesus.

Fuck you, too, lovely artichoke hearts gleaming slick with olive oil.

Fuck you mushrooms, you glorious flowers of cyclical immortality.

Popeyes, that’s it: dark and spicy, the crisp skin all slicked up and sliding off as if god meant you to eat it that way, like pulling apart Oreos.

Hemoglobin diabetic markers equals fuck it, a biscuit.

Fuck it.

The clock ticks. Nothing happens.

Waiting.

The end of the week hasn’t started yet, the little bits still sliding through the wires into place at 2/3C, the Speed of Copper, waiting to be arrayed into fields and screens, checked off one against the other, work for monkeys.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Suck the fingers clean enough for a cigarette.

Fuck you, vape.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

ESTRAGON:
But I can’t go on like this !

VLADIMIR:
Would you like a radish?

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

What is the glycemic index rating of fingernails?

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

If there is not enough nourishment in coffee and cigarettes, I won’t have to worry if they’ll have an iron lung in my size.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting…

VLADIMIR:
This is becoming really insignificant.

THE TYPIST:
That’s what I think.

Odd Words June 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface. Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina. In 1998 a collection of Mr. Rosenthal’s photographs, Regarding Manhattan was published by Safe Harbor Books, and in 2005 his work was included in Safe Harbor’s Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers. In August of 2008 an exhibit of his Lower Ninth Ward photographs, “Then, Absence,” was displayed at the New Orleans African-American Museum and Boston’s Panopticon Gallery. Mr. Rosenthal was awarded a 2008-2009 North Carolina Arts Fellowship.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.

& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Skunk by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man’s doorway, it’s a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It’s not clear—but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature’s attention, only to find himself missing something. . .

This slyly hilarious tale brings together picture book talents Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell for the first time.

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Louisiana State Poetry Society features the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work at the East Bank Regional Library,

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Marquer Theater the ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project presents “Teatro Sin Fronteras / Theater Without Borders,” a series theater events or “tertulias” in Spanish with music & food to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of New Orleans in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the storm.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater conclues their month of poetry in June with readings by Sarah Xerta and Kia Alice Groom.

& Also on Wednesday the New Orleans Jane Austen Society hosts a night of all things Jane trivia at the Pearl Wine Co. Test your knowledge of Austen’s novels, her life, love interests, manners, films and more! We’ll have prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Enter title here June 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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If not exhaustion then running on fumes, as if huffing fumes, stumbling more like it, threading the obstacle course of too much stuff of a life squeezed into too small an apartment with a ragged disregard for my personal safety. Sort of a swashbuckling exhaustion if your idea of swashbuckling is Johnny Depp mimicking Keith Richards on Quaaludes, and if you don’t like Jack Sparrow there is something deeply, disturbingly normal about you.

The spring water bottle drips and coughs like some sad Dicken’s character. So: Winn-Dixie, an archipelago of unimaginably distant, mythical aisles and all I really need is a bottle of spring water. The Kentwood cooler which no longer cools (but thankfully still pours hot enough for tea) will have to stand totemic and emptyfor a day.

No tea tonight, anyway. Not night meetings. So certainly no coffee. When one’s body goes into shutdown mode at 5:30 in the evening clearly sleep is the necessary medicine. Perhaps it is the new medicine, warnings of somnolence and such, in the absence of mania. My lifelong ADHD is compounding my complete lack of investment in the current job, and the job has to stay for now, so I can’t afford this medicine not to work.

I can make it to Canseco’s riderless (good horse), threading the overhanging plants and managing the rippling brickwork. There are, however, cigarettes at Canseco’s, and winded pumping up the bicycle tire argues both for the bicycle and against cigarettes and untold other things a laptop-bound, post-amitryptiline fat man should not be allowed to even consider.

Consider Fig Newtons. It’s Real Fruit. Says so right on the package. Unlike the chocolaty peanuts which contain no fruit whatsoever and an adjective masquerading as an adverb pretending to be chocolate. Fig…Newtons, the last bit a soft and savory mouthful of vowels, with just a hint of the seedy crunch in the t and ending in the s of satisfaction.

So, glass of water in hand and a plate of Fig Newtons (not the bag, oh my god, don’t bring the bag) and all I need is something to read. Preferably with large type and small words. Or at least something on the Kindle, so I can blow up the type to some ridiculous size. Let the words pass by large and slow like a ship on the river which will certainly loose control and crash into my chest (“they are still dredging the carpet looking for the remains of several Fig Newtons missing after the disastrous collision”) before I can turn off the light.

Odd Words June 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, Toulouse Street, Writing Workshops.
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Coming up this week in literary New Orleans:

& Tuesday Garden District Books hosts the book launch of Laura Lane McNeal’s Dollbaby, A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets.

& At the East Bank Regional Library on Tuesday the Louisiana State Poetry Society hosts the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work. Free of charge and open to the public.

& In Westwego the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at he Edith S. Lawson Library.

& Wednesday Amanda Emily Smith, Donney Rose and Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore read at Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater.

& Thursday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface.Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.
& Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels

Madrid, Espana 18 Junio 2014 June 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Memory, The Narrative, The Typist.
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I can’t help think of Washington, D.C. as I traverse Madrid on the N3 night bus back to my hotel, set in Ciudad Lineal, a quiet apartment block suburb much like Arlington, VA just outide the ring road. Both are great capital cities, but one was built by bureaucrats and acountants and one by kings and their artists. The meandering path from where the N3 night bus drops me requires I ask for directions three times before I manage to traverse the three blocks back to my hotel, via a rounabout intended to gather up and redirect the traffic directed by the radial imperatives of a monumental city . ¿Qual izquirda when five street meet? I am not sure it helped that the bus stopped across from an all night gas station where I picked up a tall boy of Mahou to combat the jet lag confusion of seven time zones and my first two sets of direrctions in Spanish.

My first mistake was setting my phone (which does not work in Spain) and my tablet an  hour slow. I was up from my jet lag sieta an hour late,  and took 40 minutes to realie it. I decided to take the autobus anyway to save money, and managed to find the Cafe Bogui Jazz in time to grab a hasty tortilla patatas and two cup of strong coffee before the show in a clearly local cafe. The  second small cup of black dynamite was a bad idea, but I was still in my jet lag haze, trying to converse in my collegio Spanish with the waitress in what was clearly a neighborhood joint. Three beers at Bogui Jazz did not help much, nor did the adverture of discovering my 53 bus did not run at night, figuring out that I needed to take the N3, followed by a amble through the neighborhood, tall boy from an all night store in hand and half understood directions, in search of my hotel. Now I know the way, and that  I can  grab a beer if I think sleep wil be slow coming and find my way back all in 10 minutes.

The “free jazz” night of Bogui Jazz was more of a straight-ahead modern set with a few moments of transcedently improvizational glory. The saxophonist told me on break they had played with Donald Harrison, Jr. at a festival In their hometown of Leon, so I was clearly in the right spot. I was thrilled enough to write a poem on scraps of paper inspied by a duet beteen the singer and the drummer, and pressed it in her hands while thanking her in village idiot Spanish and then English for making a perfect first night in Madrid. I was clearly in The Zone.

I know I am going to love this city. I think I am going to find my way back to that cafe with its rack of dry cured hams one man was carving the whole time I was there to try the boqurenones rellenos con jambon before I wander off to another night of jazz flamenco, even if it takes me an hour to navigate the narrow and convoluted Europen streets from Salamanca to El Centro and the Cafe Central.

If it weren’t for the prepaid tuition I might consider abandoning a month in the Ezra Pound castle and spend 40 days here recovering my forgotten Spanish, and finding those one or two things each day that demand a poem, spend my siestas in the Bibliotque National or the Cervantes Center with pen and notebook, or early mornings in a plaza soothed into concentration by a baroque fountain.  I think I may have found my haven when Atlantis comes to pass.

Moonlight On Vermont June 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I have 10 hours sleep total over the last two days, a Speaking Tequila Skull and my new CD copy of Trout Mask Replica (no more annoying scratchy ticks or other cicadaian interruptions; the record he almost dead, a penny for the old stylus).

What could possibly go wrong?

Arabella and I have this covered.

20150619_153901

(It’s Just) Another Day June 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Hi Gemini,
There’s simply nothing you can’t do if you’re armed with patience and perseverance…

What my horoscope doesn’t tell me is where I can acquire these things. I am the poster child Gemini, flighty, garrulous, of two minds about everything but insistent when my mind is made up.

Patient, not so much. Perseverance? Really?

I think I will arm myself with patience and persistence. Mañana.

For now, there is coffee.

[rewind]

I had a good night’s sleep, by the clock. It started probably around 7:30, perhaps a quarter to eight. I know I woke just before ten with half of the beer I opened for dinner clenched in my first, my vape fallen into the sofa, my old Kindle lying on the floor. I had slid into a position that made the space between my toes hurt, my body gradually slumping while my rubber-bottom sandals remained planted in place, cutting into my feet. I went straight to bed, and plugged in the phone but forgot to turn on Sleepbot. I may have snored like a warped board saw and tossed and turned all night, but have no way of knowing. By five my brain decided it wanted to get up, although my body is exhausted.

I sit down with the microwaved dregs of yesterday’s coffee, and light a cigarette. I was determined last night not to buy cigarettes and did not. As I draw on one of the last ones in what was to be the last pack, I can feel Death’s hand squeezing the tops of my lungs. They are not icy but warm. Still, I can sense the cold bones underneath. Death whispers “emphysema” with each exhale, and gives a little squeeze. I look in the box at the last two smokes, and contemplate running to the sketchy store before works starts at seven.

Does contemplating going out for smokes in this condition constitute suicidal ideation? I will have to ask the expensive but empathetic psychiatrist.

[rewind]

I believe insistently logging into VPN at the current incarnation of Moloch before 6 a.m. constitutes suicidal ideation.

Memo to self: un-hide the resume on Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder. Let my boss’ next check-in call go to voicemail as if it were an accident. Let her hear the greeting that tells why I don’t answer unrecognized calls, that if you are yet another recruiter that I am currently employed and thank you for your interest. Change the arrangement; tip the scales in my favor.

For now I am one hour away from “protected time,” the arrangement by which a multi-national Moloch manages meetings between New York and Singapore. Next week it will be 7 pm until. And then I will start again with a two-hour morning meeting at 7 am, and another at 9 pm.

So it goes.

[rewind]

I need an attitude adjustment, but grow weary of pills. I can’t afford the psychiatrist I sought out to get away from them and a therapist. I missed the first class of Tai Chi yesterda, because work did not give me a moment to call doctors to make sure I got my new medication and made arrangements to not run out of my blood pressure medication. I should be practicing the mindfulness technique my psych and I practiced on Monday, but feel compelled to write, and the compulsion to write calls for the “seer in front” with a cheering section deep behind him, and the lizard brain hiding beneath the stands swilling coffee and contemplating cigarettes.

[rewind]

All along Moss Street they walk, they run, they bike. They walk their dogs, or run with their dogs, and sometimes (but not this morning) let their running dogs pull their bicycles. I drive, entombed in my car, a new pack of cigarettes safely in my pocket. (Emphyyyseeeemaaaa.) A clearly homeless man, wearing a dirty yellow safety vest, is hand-lining for breakfast, his distant but pleasant expression places him more at peace with his world than I am with mine. (Work: T minus 33).

If I had more time, I should have jumped on my recently repaired bicycle and forced myself to ride to the sketchy store for cigarettes. If I had more time. Today’s calendar hangs from my tiny whiteboard by a magnet, a cryptically colored, solid block of no-time, of not enough time even to do what is written.

Coffee. Emphysema. Cigarettes. Work.

[rewind]

Tonight is date night. Hopefully I won’t be exhausted.

My side of the bed at my girlfriend’s house is what I call my “happy place”, the one spot in the universe where I feel truly relaxed and at peace. I don’t dare go there tonight, and risk falling into a restful slumber. I have a meeting tomorrow.

At 7 am.

[rewind]

“I heard another beep. Who joins?”

[rewind … flap … flap … flap … Krapp]

1. The title comes from the irrepressibly cheerful Paul McCartney, the one who should be dead. I fucking hate Paul McCartney. [2]

2. A working class hero is something to be. [3]

3. Listening to George Harrison’s “Wah Wah” on the car stereo while in a hypomaniacal state, I might as well be cranking it while swilling straight from the Speaking Tequila Skull while doing donuts in front of the police station. This is what I believe the mania index quiz calls “risk taking behavior.”

The Slow Noon Burn of June 16 June 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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As I am not making it to Bloomsday (again), republishing this.

Canal Street in the slow noon burn of June. Thin dribbles of tourists pass up and down, hug the narrow ledge of shade along the buildings as if some abyss yawned at the curb. A handful of hotel workers in dull uniforms colored maroon and dark blue shuffle unhappily toward work or tiredly toward their bus stops and home. There are few suits on the street, no conventioneers with plastic badges swinging from their necks our for lunch. Two men in wilted jackets, ties-loosened, pause outside the Palace Café; they consult the burning blue sky, one’s watch, the cool, dark windows of the restaurant and decide to slip inside. I imagine the spicy fried oysters nestled in a bed of cool greens and blue cheese, a sweat-beaded glass of tea besides. The café tables on the street are empty; pigeons huddled under the canopy pick at the crumb-less pavement. The birds outnumber the people passing by.

Canal passes like a diorama: the peppery aroma of Popeye’s Fried Chicken is followed by powerful cloud of patchouli coming from the Hippie Gypsy shop, then the more delicate smells of browning butter out of the Palace Café; music passes like the tuning of a radio, bars of Cajun from one and jazz from another of the progression of tourist shops with names like Gumbo Bayou and Jazzland and Dixie Market with their racks of tacky t-shirts and windows garlanded with beads; in between ageless Levantine gentlemen stand stiff and mute in the doors of electronics shops like sentinels in crisp cotton shirts and slacks, windows blazoned with No Tax! 220v! PAL Format! waiting patiently for sailors who no longer get shore leave from the mechanized container ships. They watch the masts slip past just over the floodwall up the block and wait.

By midday the sun has warmed everything until the heat no longer comes from above but radiates from every direction: down from the sun and up from the pavement and off the sides of passing windows and we pass in the middle like loaves through some mechanized oven, perfectly browned on all sides. In the distance a church chimes and as if part of the clockwork the last thin ribbon of shade slips under the buildings and there is only the harsh glare off the pavement. I stop and listen to the fading echoes from a dozen buildings, try to think: which church, St. Louis Cathedral to my left or the Jesuit Church behind me on Baronne Street?

I remember as a child my grandmother and I catching the old green Perley Thomas cars at Cemeteries for the trip down Canal. She would shop and we would eat lunch at the K&B Drugstore counter or the lady’s cafe’ in D.H. Homes Department Store but my clearest memory is Immaculate Conception; the dark, narrow Jesuit church filled with flickering red glass candles, my grandmother lighting a taper to Mary while I studied the procession of men who stood, heads bowed and murmuring prayers with one hand on the foot of Saint Joseph. To this day every time I see a status of Joseph I study its feet, notice how generations of hands sliding on and off have worn the wood.

I don’t remember it being this hot when I was a child. I study the parents leaning heavily on the handles of strollers, the women’s sun dresses collapsed damply over their bodies as toddlers skip happily away over the roasting pavement toward traffic. To a child this weather is as natural as the damp warmth of the womb, they see the sweat on their bodies as beautiful dewdrops, tiny sunlit jewels. I stop and mop the inside of my hatband and then my brow, watch anxious parents corral the children back into the stroller and set off grimly for the Aquarium and the promise of air conditioning and the cooling illusion of immersion. I squint over my shoulder back toward Baronne Street and imagine for a moment stepping into that dark nave, into the cool innocence of my own childhood, then turn back to continue my trudge toward the river.

I am not on vacation. I have no lunch date. I am walking away from work but only for a while. I have, frankly, no good business being out in the mad dog sun except to walk and watch and listen. It is June 16, and I am taking my own advice, spending Bloomsday not reading about Dublin 1904 but setting out on my own ramble through New Orleans, to capture a snapshot of this city in June 2009. There is little to see except the street itself. The heat has driven all but the desperate indoors, and those who are out in the sun don’t waste their energy talking. I walk on.

The first and last real crowd I pass stands in the plaza of the last tall high rise before the river, the office tower disgorging lunchtime smokers onto benches. They stand alone or in small knots, and I wander in and through the crowd but there is not much conversation. It is all they can manage with a full belly in the noon sun to get the cigarette up to their lips and back down to their sides, blowing smoke up into the sky to carry away the extra heat. I bum a light to excuse my intrusion and perhaps pick up a bit of conversation but all I get are grunts of assent, and a flame held at arm’s length. I puff, nod and walk on.

The last block to the river passing the humming utility substation is empty except lone vendor eyes me excitedly, waving dripping bottles of water in my face for only a dollar, coldest on Canal he promises and the last chance, he throws in. I smile back (his the only smile seen today on the street, and my reply is equally forced). No, I manage through my pleasant grimace and head up toward the place where the streetcar and Public Belt Railroad tracks both cross Canal. I stop and look both ways but there are no cars or trains in site, the empty tracks remind me that the river is no longer the city’s big business. The Aquarium across the tracks and it’s tourists are now our stock and trade, the stores where my grandmother once browsed are now Gumbo Bayou and the Hippie Gypsy.

Here on the plaza another vendor paces up and down shouting his own cold drinks, water a dollar and Powerade available, but he’s on the wrong side of the square. I walk alone into the middle of the plaza while the scattered tourists make directly for the shaded overhangs of the Aquarium where they huddle under the arcade, lining up to escape into the promise of frigid air.

I head straight for the railing along the river, hoping to find a consoling breeze there. I can see it out on the river where the wind stirs up a tiny, rippling chop amid the swirling flat water where the confused current prepares to make the hard bend at the Gov. Nicholls and Esplanade wharves before heading down through St. Bernard and Plaquemine to the Gulf. I light another cigarette and watch the wind but it stays over the main stem away from the riverfront. I pull off my hat and mop again, then start walking along the water’s edge. Usually you can smell the river but today is so hot the creosote is oozing out of the timbers that edge the dock and its aroma overpowers everything. I am alone on the promenade.

There is no traffic on the river. I crane my neck to look upstream but nothing moves. Even here where tourists often congregate it’s deadly quiet; no buskers out playing or liquor-loud knots of bead wearing young people in from the dry north. The riverboat calliope is silent. I am startled when the ferry hoots its horn, ready to cross. Usually the pigeons that swarm here for the lunch leavings would launch themselves into disturbed whorls at the sound, but they are nowhere to be seen, have found shade somewhere else. Realizing I have less sense than a pigeon, I turn and start to head back to work.

The only action is a woman who poses in front of the aminatronic dinosaur advertising an exhibit at the Audubon Zoo and starts hollering, “Help mommy! Help mommy!”. A small toddler grabs his father’s hand and starts tugging him. “Help Mommy, Daddy, help Mommy”. Then the plastic raptor lifts it’s head and let’s out a roar and he freezes even as mother squeals louder, “help me, help mommy”. Not yet two and already he’s torn, facing his first betrayal: the woman and love or his own skin. You don’t get to save a pretty girl from a dinosaur every day and if you don’t you might wind up a lonely pair of eyes, one of the solitary watchers of the world walking alone at lunch, instead of one of the heroes.

I root for innocence and heroism but I need to find the water man, coldest in town and only a dollar, before I start my march back to the office, before the wriggling lines of heat invade my head and start to spin like disturbed birds. I need to replace the bucket of sweat the day has taken out of me, and to wash out the taste of cigarette and creosote. Before I turn the corner I look back to see how things played out but the boy and his parents are gone, into the aquarium where the monsters are kept behind thick safety glass.

The Perils of Memory June 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in je me souviens, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The man with the silver hair and blue suit led the way. They climbed into the bus that was waiting at the sidewalk. The man counted the Japanese as they passed in front of him. He climbed on in turn and sat next to the driver. He was holding a microphone. The Jardins du Luxembourg was just one stop and they had all of Paris to visit. I wanted to follow them on that glorious morning, harbinger of spring, and be just a simple tourist. No doubt I would have rediscovered a city I had lost and, through its avenues, the feeling I’d once had of being light and carefree.

Flowers of  Ruin, Patrick Modiano

Teach Me To Dance June 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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You can laugh, too, huh? You laughed!

All The Way June 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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                I’ve had enough. I’m going to
pull myself up over the side, and get
all the way out of my mind.
From “JUST NORMAL” by Everette Maddox

Another long week at Moloch stuffing screaming debtors into the flames, and it’s time to just get fucking weird again. Just another Friday night at the Fortress of Squalitude…

Smile, my mother whisper-hissed, as I tread up the aisle many years ago..

Where Are the Snowden’s of Yesteryear? June 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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yossarian tree

“You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You’re dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!”

Surplus Labor Incarnate June 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Working from home: you have to get up early to check the Internet and VPN, allowing time to shower (optional) and dress (optional) should you have to flee to the coffee house to get connected. Once you are logged in you have to check your calendar. Someone may have cancelled an early meeting. Or, worse, someone also on night meetings may have pushed out an earlyish meeting, and your are a time zone behind. .So now you are in Outlook. All of the testers whose work you are validating are in China or Poland. It is already 8:30 pm in Singapore, and 2:30 pm in Poland. You know this because you have a screen on your tablet filled with world clock widgets: New Orleans, New York, Singapore (most of the overseas team are in Singapore, but that tiny nation is on China Standard Time), India. And Venice (which is in the same time zone as Poland, but one can dream). Once you are into email they have got you by the lobes, and you haven’t yet brushed your teeth or made your morning gruel of yogurt and Grape-Nuts. You are getting fat, tied down from early morning until late at night into a four-by-four space between the desk and the easy chair in the living room, stressed, taking medications for stress that make you blow up as if you had swallowed the business end of a gas station air line, and you feed in quarters like you feed yourself hypomaniacal snacks. The blue tooth headset hangs from the architects lamp. Both computers are fired up and ready for the day. There is no escape. You got a panicked text message from a new contracted co-worker about her computer. It seems the person she replaced was released because he was too often off-line, but you are convinced the client’s rickety Citrix environment runs on a cluster of scavenged desktops from the late Nineties,and their version of IBM Rational Quality Center–where you spend much of your day–has taken to throwing over license messages when you log on, is hopelessly oversubscribed and overloaded. You are an involuntary contractor–discarded by your last real employer a few days before  you received your five year pin, because you refused a compulsory relocation. But the message is clear. You do not have the freedom to set you own hours as long as the work is done. if Moloch’s systems don’t work, don’t complain. Just put in more hours to compensate. You are paid a salary and not by the hour, and the hours are long.  You are surplus labor incarnate, and you doubt your employers know the difference between a Marxist and a Marxian. You do what you are told.

This is Freedom.

This is the Invisible Hand.

This is America.

This is Fucking Insane.

“A pig. In a cage. On antibiotics.”
— Radiohead, “Fitter, Happier

Odd Words June 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

Tuesday is Bloomsday! Details below.

Joyce in New Orleans

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Robert S. Brantley’s Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect. Few nineteenth-century architects ventured far from the pattern-book styles of their time. One architect not constrained by tradition was the Irish-born American Henry Howard, who started as a carpenter and stair builder in 1836 New York and arrived in New Orleans the following year, soon establishing a reputation for distinctive designs that blended American and European trends. His career gained momentum as he went on to design an extraordinarily diverse portfolio of magnificent residences and civic buildings in New Orleans and its environs. Henry Howard is a lavishly produced clothbound volume featuring hundreds of contemporary and archival images and a comprehensive analysis of his built work. The first book to examine the forty-year career of the architect, Henry Howard establishes a clear lineage of his aesthetic contributions to the urban and rural environments of the South.

& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Jim Field. If you ever see a box of cornflakes offering a free lion, ignore it! This is the hair-raising story of two brothers who didn’t- and then ended up with a grizzly bear, a cranky old crocodile, and a huge gorilla! Now if only they could get a free tiger…

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet/songwriter, Mike True performs his work, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday June 16 is Bloomsday, the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. Bloomsday in New Orleans will be observed upstairs at The Irish House from 6-8 p.m. Reading from the celebrated novel will include featured readers Brian Boyles, Yuri Herrera, Mwende “Freequency” Katwiwa, Benjamin Morris, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Katy Simpson Smith. Members of the public will be invited to join in and read brief passages of their own selection from the work.

& The East Jefferson Great Books Discussion Group will discuss Sanctuary by William Faulkner at 7 pm. Psychologically astute and wonderfully poetic, Sanctuary is a powerful novel examining the nature of true evil, through the prisms of mythology, local lore, and hard-boiled detective fiction. This is the dark, at times brutal, story of the kidnapping of Mississippi debutante Temple Drake, who introduces her own form of venality into the Memphis underworld where she is being held.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Latter Library hosts an Author Night: Historic New Orleans Cemeteries, featuring Dr. Ryan Gray, University of New Orleans faculty member, sharing his research on our local graveyards.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Russel Swensen and Nikki Wallschlaeger. Wallschlaeger is the author of two chapbooks, Head Theatre (2007) which etched itself out of her palms unexpectedly & “I Would Be The Happiest Bird” (2014). Her hands continue to talk, which is why she writes. Publications include Esque, Nervehouse, Coconut Poetry, Word Riot, Pirene’s Fountain, Burdock, Spork, DecomP, Shirt Pocket Press, Horse Less Press and others. Her book “Houses” was just released by Horse Less Press. She is currently working on her first full-length manuscript of poems called Crawlspace. She is also the Assistant Poetry Editor at Coconut Poetry. She lives in Milwaukee with her spouse and son.Swensen earned his MFA in fiction from the California Institute of the Arts and his doctorate in poetry from the University of Houston. His poetry chapbook, Santa Ana, was the winner of the Spring 2011 Black River Chapbook Contest. His full length collection, The Magic Kingdom, will be released by Black Lawrence Press (January 2016). His work has appeared in Black Clock, Pank, Quarterly West, Prick of the Spindle, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Have Faith June 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I know you. I know your torments. When you fall into your fears and doubts like this, you become mesmerized. You see nothing outside yourself, my brother. It is as if you walked down a road forever gazing into a mirror, walking toward yourself and blind to the world. Have faith.

-Luis Alberto Urrea, The Hummingbird’s Daughter

When I Am Old June 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I shall paint my house orange…

Orange Wall

Fuck You, Google June 7, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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image

Of course The Google knows it’s my birthday. It knows Everything. I was fascinated and appaled when I found I could  trace my movements through Europe last year when I relied on GPS and Maps to help me find my way..

So, O Great Google, do you now I now weight 259 pounds? That the medication I have taken to avoid compulsive eating in hypomania has caused me to blow up like a fucking balloon off the party shop stand up tank? That the last anti-depressent I took did the same fucking thing? That I’ve gotten up twice this morning and stood over the garbage can holding the Rouse’s doberge cake, only to put it back in the fridge because P wants to light a candle and sing Happy Birthday in her best Marilyn? That the new meds have not kicked in enough to completely stiffle hypomaniacal, compulsive eating? That the cigarettes I’ve reverted to this past two weeks haven’t helped?

I can live with myself at 235, am much happier at 215 , which is still on the red side of that chart written by doctors who haven’t gotten over their amphetemine addiction from residency. Two fucking sixty is just too much. I was ready to set out for a birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurnts. P wanted to wear a dressy dress she made last summer so I changed into long pants and and a favorite linen shirt she found for me at Goodwill, and as I began to button it I knew it would not work:I was liable to pop  a button the moment I sat down. The pants, Haggar Cool 18 chinos with a hidden stretchy bit, cut into my stomach.

Off we went, but this was not the happiest birthdy dinner I have ever had: fat, dumb struck and unhappy I still ordered the tamalaes with a crema drizzle, and split a flan for dessert. The flan and tamales at Casa Borrega are too damn good not to eat. I tried, really, but no amount of expensive reposado  was going to improve my mood, flat as a fallen cake  I came home and collapsed into bed in my (binding) boxers  without even bothering to change into my drawstring bed pants. I turned to the wall and waited for the meltonin and herbal concoction to kick in.

So, thanks for the imaginary cakes, Google, but fuck you very much. I’m off to walk to Walgreens (leaving the car behind) to get a pack of cigarettes and browse the patent medicine aisle for a box of whatever berry and green tea pills. I am not ruling out mail order tapeworms.

Odd Words June 4, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, signings, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Room 220 is pleased to present a Happy Hour Salon celebrating two excellent New Orleans music books: Spirit of the Orisha by Janet “Sula Spirit” Evans and Talk that Music Talk edited by Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes. The event, featuring readings, discussion, translation, and live music, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Spirit of the Orisha is a book-music combination meant as a teaching tool to connect new generations with traditional Orisha music. It features a selection of song lyrics compiled and annotated by Janent “Sula Spirit” Evans, translated into English by Omoba Adéwálé Adénlé. The book’s accompanying two-CD album features performances of the songs by the Zion Trinity, of which Evans is a member. Talk That Music Talk: Passing On Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way is the latest major offering from the wonderful Neighborhood Story Project. Editors Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes spent years compiling oral histories, photographs, and documents that tell the story of how brass music in New Orleans has remained alive and thriving for more than a century. Breunlin is co-director of the Neighborhood Story Project and Barnes is a veteran park ranger at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

&Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Bill Hancock and Riding With The Blue Moth. After the death of his son, Will, in the 2001 airplane crash that took the lives of nine additional members of the Oklahoma State basketball team and support staff, survival became a common word in Bill Hancock’s vocabulary. Bicycling was simply the method by which he chose to distract himself from his grief. But for Hancock, the 2,747-mile journey from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast became more than just a distraction. It became a pilgrimage, even if Hancock didn’t realize it upon dipping his rear tire in the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach, California in the wee hours of a July morning. On his two-wheel trip, Hancock battled searing heat and humidity, curious dogs, unforgiving motorists and the occasional speed bump-usually a dead armadillo. Hancock’s thoughts returned to common themes: memories of his son Will, the prospect of life without Will for him and his wife, and the blue moth of grief and depression. That pesky moth fluttered around Hancock as if he was a beaming lamp pole in an empty parking lot.

& Also at 6 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library. the group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read William & the Missing Masterpiece by Helen Hancocks. Debonair cat-detective William finds himself at the center of a mysterious theft when the Mona Cheesa is stolen from a Parisian gallery. Can William put the clues together and solve the crime? Fans of Helen Hancocks’s Penguin in Peril won’t be disappointed in this hilarious tale of cat and mouse.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet serves up its monthly reading at the Latter Memorial Library. This month features poets Ralph Adamo, Carolyn Hembree, Brad Richard and Mark Statman reading from their work.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 5 pm Crescent City Books will be home to a poetry reading hosted by Thaddeus Conti featuring noted local poets Megan Burns, Joseph Bienvenu, Nancy Dixon, Bill Lavender.

& At 6 pm Tuesday the West Bank Writers Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Tuesday at 7 pm “TEATRO SIN FRONTERAS” is a community arts initiative of the “ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project” supported with funds from Alternate ROOTS’ Partners in Action Program. José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo Productions in partnership with Puentes LatiNola have launched a series of 7 “Movable Feasts” and “Theater Without Borders” events to engage the community at large, and gather around food, theater, & music for sharing of stories & ideas to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of LA NUEVA ORLEANS for the 10th Anniversary of the storm. Featured artists at this event are Featured Artists: Veronica Isabel Giraldo-Puente, poet/performer, Antonio Garza writer & performer, Ecos Latinos & Carlos Valladares short films, and Margie Perez & Guitarist performing original songs.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Joseph Bienvenu & James Blanchard. Bienvenu is the author of Atom Parlor (BlazeVOX 2010), Cocktail Poems (Hobby Horse, 2011), and Pool Hall Quartet (Verna Press, 2008). His translation of the poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus was published by Dialogos (2013). Joseph is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives and teaches Latin and English at a local high school. He received his B.A. in Classics from Loyola University of Chicago and his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Blanchard is a writer, spoken-word artist, poet, bartender residing in Lafayette, Louisiana.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

The Universal Switch June 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Regular dancing has been shown to lead to significant decreases in salivary cortisol concentrations.[1]

Down on your knees digging through the shelves of vinyl the cat has de-spined looking for Quadraphenia because you heard “5:15″ on the satellite radio at the store where you were loading up on intentionally healthy things to stuff hypomanically into your gullet: cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, a non-fat low sodium French Onion dip, a tub of guacamole with pico de gallo and a bag of blue corn chips and you still bought cigarettes anyway, home and not sure what pose to strike, the classic boy hunched over his scooter or the famous inside shot of Todd Rundgren from Something/Anything, hands extended in a Nixon victory salute, so you choose the slouch on the couch and the Kindle and manage 20 pages of the new novel before you get too fidgety, the buttons jumping pages and changing the font size unbidden like the time you tried to watch Arachnophobia while clutching the remote like a protective totem which worked, after a fashion, switching off the movie every time you spasmed with terror.

I want to find that remote, the Universal Remote capable of controlling all channels: the Shopping for Losers channel, the Netflix is Empty channel, the Radiohead and Patti Smith Pandora channels, the channel you have dug from couch to kitchen in search of more compulsive food, the Ant Races channel, any channel carrying Black Mirror’s White Bear episode [No Talking, Keep Your Distance, Enjoy Yourselves], the imaginary but compulsively anticipated stress episode flashback channel, the flood of emotions overflow outlet channel that runs through your nervous system.

This is the truly Universal Remote, as mystic and distant as the Theory of Everything. The instructions for its programming and operation are hidden somewhere in the Paragonian Foundation’s webpage between The Heraclitus Project and Integral Relational Logic: Liberating Intelligence from Its Mechanistic Conditioning. The PIN code required is Hebrew and hidden in the Kabbalah. By default it operates on the radio frequency spectrum around 2.7 GHz so stay the fuck away from the microwave popcorn. Operation at 1420 Mhz is not supported outside the mothership and Radiohead lied to you. Patti Smith lied to you. They are not coming to rescue you.

You can only rescue yourself.

Whew. For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself.

1. Quiroga MC, Bongard S, Kreutz G (July 2009). “Emotional and Neurohumoral Responses to Dancing Tango Argentino: The Effects of Music and Partner”. Music and Medicine 1 (1): 14–21. doi:10.1177/1943862109335064

Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) May 31, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The End, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Out of my brain on the five fifteen.
— “5:15″, Quadraphenia

Train songs for the cigarette apocalypse, at the hour of the conjunction of the Third Klonopin and the Second Beer, your jittery teeth the tight shot  black-and-white of the piston and the driving wheels.

Love & Loathing May 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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La Dolce Vita 7

“The day that you understand you love Marcello more than he does, you’ll be happy.”
— Steiner, La Dolce Vita

Fallin’ Ditch May 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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When I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
When I trip fallin’ ditch
Somebody wanna’ throw the dirt right down
When I feel like dyin’ the sun come out
‘n stole m’ fear ‘n gone
Who’s afraid of the spirit with the bluesferbones
Who’s afraid of the fallin’ ditch
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
How’s that for the spirit
How’s that for the things
Ain’t my fault the thing’s gone wrong
‘n when I’m smilin’ my face wrinkles up real warm
‘n when um frownin’ things just turn t’ stone
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
‘n when I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bone
— Don Van Vliet

The Ghost in the Stone May 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Travel, Writing.
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Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting
“Which Side Are You On?”
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

I remember listening to this, the almost prophetic lines, almost a year ago to the day in that window of time between my graduation and leaving for Europe, wondering what lines an intent and malcontent young man a thousand years hence would–given an fortuitous manuscript in an ancient tongue–would render into his own poetry: Pound’s or Dylan’s?

I cannot see the future any more clearly clearly  than Ezra Pound could see the past. My current desire is to find a narrow swath of time, a butterfly’s worth say, in which to find some peace, the surcease of the black verses of Pound or early Dylan.  When I need to get away from the chatter of streetcars and the lowing of trombones,, I think of the Castle, Brunnenburg, last outpost on the winding castle road and guardian of the springs that watered the mountaintop fortress which loomed over it.

Madness. Pound is madness wrought fine, at once the distilled essence like  Nick’s fine grappa from the grapes that surrounded us, and the great stone in which the reader must discern the form. I followed the steep Via Ezra Pound and immersed myself for a month, my studies interrupted everyday by a gourmet lunch fresh from the Castle farm tended by his grandchildren, up late, falling asleep sitting up in my tiny room in the croft, and up again early scribbling marginal transcriptions of the sense of it from Terrell’s agate companion. Madness.
image
Ruins of Brunnenburg, 19th century engraving

I would do it again in a moment, for there I discovered not Pound’s truth but my own: dedication to something I loved beyond all reason, at least two healthy meals a day, and the steep climb to town if I wanted dinner or cigarettes. A mind well engaged and a body well fed and worked hard at least once a day. To live well and work hard at something worthwhile, not just to pay the bills.

I would leave today.I have my passport and 30 Euro found months later stashed in various pockets of my clothes.

I sit here sipping a Campari and soda (there is cava in the fridge, but not just now) listening for imaginary vaporetti passing along the canals of New Orleans. Yes, Venice: Venice is an essential part of the equation, four days our reward for hard work but still kept on task, following in Pound’s footsteps, passing our hands over the smooth sandstone pommel on the bridge leading to the small piazza where a young Pound contemplated tossing his early verses into the canal.

I am so often to tired to write much. Books of poetry topple constantly from their otherwise undisturbed stack. I sometimes go through my meager manuscript and consider what, if any of it, is worth the death of a tree. I watch from a quiet distance the steady success of a friend who for all his own troubles and the grind of his job practices his craft with a discipline I cannot conjure. In those moments I want to return to the castle, to rent the spare room off the küche and lose myself in poetry again, distracted only by the fairytale beauty of the low mountains of the Südtirol, the rescued eagles of the Castel Tirolo soaring, the warbling of the turkeys wandering the yard.

That is not going to happen anytime soon. June will be a death march through the work project at hand and I hope that keeps me too busy to dwell upon last June. Still, I must not forget the lessons of the castle: to eat well and walk long, to find time to bury myself in poetry, to stop and watch the hawks hunting in the park.

I write, Castles and mountains and iron-cloistered Virgins are all within my reach. I need only place myself before a metaphorical Via Ezra Pound, and take that first step up the daunting climb. Once started there is no point in turning back.

Through a prism, darkly May 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Odd, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Spectrum

King Kong Mother Fucking Superman

                                                                     cries sometimes

                                               alone

in his Fortress of

                                                                                                 Solitude

Hey, Mister May 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Another week booked and billed, another chapter lived but unwritten, another beer opened on Eastern Time and I want a fucking cigarette. How else, then, smoke rings?

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

— Bob Dylan, “Mr. Tamborine Man”

This completely unnecessary attribution is dedicated to the handful of patient professors–Gery, Marti, Hazlett–who tolerated (just) my rambling sentences of intricate internal logic unbound from the shackles of Latin and Aristotle, and my irregular conjugations of the MLA handbook, which was no larger than Strunk and White when I started out on that road. Why does English in any usage or situation adhere to something like the MLA? Rules? In a knife fight?

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