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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.

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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 Journey, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
7 comments

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.