DEADsiderata March 4, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, NOLA, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist.
Tags: Box of Rain, Desiderata, Grateful Dead
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Maybe you’ll find direction around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do, to watch for you while you’re sleeping?
Robert Hunter (lyrics), “Box of Rain” by the Grateful Dead
Rastaman the Griot: You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.
Brilliantly Literate Occasional Gewgaws February 26, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
“That’s not writing, that’s typing.”
— Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac
Therapist: “What sort of writing do you do. I mean: long form, short form…”
Me: “Well, I primarily write poetry. And I have had these two blogs. The one called Wet Bank Guide…”
Therapist: “What was that?”
Me: ” WET Bank Guide. I used to work for a newspaper call the West Bank Guide and it seemed an apt title for a Katrina-focused blog…
[Pause to allow for brief scribbling. Therapist changes subject].
[Long, distracted, non-ADD pause by me to consider changing therapists after 1.5 meetings.
Nah, everybody does that].
I think I may refer to my therapist in this space henceforth as my “psychologer.” Not to be demeaning or anything. Just because I can. Because I am The Typist.
Any resemblance to psychologers real or imagined by others is orthoganally tangential and in the Particular & Peculiar Public Domain which I, The Typist, create here.
Time Out of Mind February 22, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Haiku, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
Tags: Ikkyu, time
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I didn’t see one thing on my trip but I breathed and whatever I breathed was time
Find X February 21, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, FYYFF, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I AM PICKT UP AND SORTED TO A PIP. MY IMAGINATION IS A MONASTERY AND I AM ITS MONK.
— Keats to Shelley, taken from the epigraph page of John Berryman’s His Toy, His Dream, His Rest
Riddle me this, oh Minnesota Multiphasic: If ghosts or spirits do not influence people to do good or bad, how then to explain the history of mankind? Get back to me on that one when you have decoded the mystery of Consciousness
A. A violent order is a disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)
— Wallace Stevens, “A Connesieur of Chaos”
“I am a statistical outlier,” said I to the therapist on my initial intake visit. [Much scribbling] I recovered enough statistics from the vast cold storage of my idiosyncratic memory while studying for a Six Sigma Green Belt to understand Standard Deviation. I am, then, a deviant, and so potentially pathological. It is interesting that the application of these ideas to systems containing living breathing thinking feeling human beings comes from the Japanese, who value a Confucian conformity above all else.
To what extent does a lifetime’s training to “do well” on anything involving a scantron render something like the MMP, which relies on an honest rather than a best answer, a quaint anachronism?
The 10 Clinical Subscales
The older MMPI-2 is made up 10 clinical subscales, which are a result of answering certain questions on the test in a specific manner:
Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) – The Psychopathic Deviate scale measures general social maladjustment and the absence of strongly pleasant experiences. The items on this scale tap into complaints about family and authority figures in general, self alienation, social alienation and boredom. The scale contains 50 items.
It is not strongly pleasant experiences that concern us here, but rather the absence in society at large of entirely rational and pervasive fits of rage and depression, that absence symptomatic of a society suffering a disturbing level of delusion about the culture and economic systems under which it lives.
I am a valuable but dangerous commodity, something like uranium, in the work-a-day world: Exceptionally bright and good at what I do when inclined to do so (emphasis mine, and therein lies what might be considered the pathology), and militantly resistant to the subtle neo-facism of Corporate Culture. I am a time thief in service of other interests, and understand that the old ways of loyalty in service in return for reliable employment no longer apply: the social and employment contract (the latter at once subtly stipulated and explicitly repudiated) reduced to a grease can to oil the wheels of capitalism. I am by no choice of my own a contractor. I am Surplus Labor personified. In a world in which theft and commerce are one and the same I dare to place myself on an equal footing with the 1% in service of my own agendas. I carry away a tiny bit of Surplus Value in my pocket everyday from which I construct dangerous weapons of mass disillusionment: poetry, this blog and other forms of thought crime.
As I said above: I am, then, a deviant, and so potentially pathological but only to the extent I am subvervise (contagious in a pathological sense, a danger to The Others or, more importantly, to Them). This has always been a powerful undercurrent here on Toulouse Street. Careful if you wade in too deep. You may never find your way back. You have not washed up on Paradise Island. This is samidzat, a basement bivouac in the defense of Stalingrad haunted by a peasant folksong, a mine in the classical military sense beneath the prison labor camp we have built with our own hands.
Sixth months ain’t no sentence February 20, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Six months I have wandered and sought, excavated closets, scoured books, and read the crazed fragments of once familiar streets ( heaving in gentle tectonics, from dust to dust) & not even the iridescent scatter of glitter is enough.
Somebody, somebody must hold the key.
Henry’s Confession February 20, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist.
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—You is from hunger, Mr Bones, I offers you this handkerchief, now set your left foot by my right foot, shoulder to shoulder, all that jazz, arm in arm, by the beautiful sea, hum a little, Mr Bones.
—I saw nobody coming, so I went instead.
Radio Free Toulouse February 15, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Leon Russell, New Orleans, NOLA, pirates, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Resumes its broadcast schedue from our pirate tramp freighter located somewhere in the radar clutter of The Gulf.
We are prepared to repel boarders from BP’s Coast Guard and the forces of any other nation which does not recognize our right to Be. Watch out for the transdermally pychotropic water cannons, motherfuckers One blast and you’ll be Ours
If 6 Turned Out To Be 9 February 15, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Somwehere between the last half-slice of citalopram and the allegedly-theraeutic onset of amitriptilyne is something like a lunar void, a period of uncertainty. The clinically inclined would consider this the expression of depression as the citaoprm washes out before the amitriptilyne kicks in. I consider it something akin to the social readjutment I experienced after forty days and forty nights in Europe, a combination of jet lag and culture shock.
I am rediscovering what it means to be me. In the first few days of the washout I felt an almost exuberant sense of myself, as if I had been mounted by the loa of Walt Whitman. Things then began to grow dark and uncertain, but that I realized is as any path in a journey through the underword should be.
I think the clonazepam has also about run its course, or what the fuck am i doing up at ten of six, and writing my second post in two days on my mostly quiescent blog after two cigarettes and half a cup of coffee. Cigarettes and coffee are two things the new therapist I did a mostly uncomfortable intake with the other day suggests we will have to address. She spoke of a box, in which cigarettes, caffine and alcohol have no place for the chonically anxious. I described myself as a statistical outlier in any battery of tests she may wish to administer, a point well outside the box of the consensually acceptable.
Not a good start.
“Nicotine is a drug, you know,” she said at one point. And what, I was tempted to ask, are clonazepam, amitriptilyne, citlopram and the whole cryptic galaxy of SSRIs the medical profession has perscibed to me in the ĺast several years, along with a course of lamotrigine at a higher dose than a friend’s husband–a full-blown manic-depressive–was perscribed by the former head of the Tulane Medical School pychiatry department?
I am up early, writing. I have a private blog that I hide online from all but invited friends called Poems Before Breakfast, named for the quiet time which I found to write in the tense last years of a disolving marriage inhabited by two teenageers. What role does the deminishing effectiveness of the clonazepam and the absence of an effective pharma cocktail for depression play in this place in space time, in which my fingers find the keyboard and I am unafraid to express my deepest feelings in a highy public way?
What then is the problem we are trying to solve? Caffeine and alcohol are also drugs, but if I calm an anxiety attack with two fingers of Buffalo Trace and the the strange place I am in is one where the amitriptilyne lets me get a decent night’s sleep without fucking with my brain what, for all its transient discomfort, is this place in which I am driven to write, to see myself with a clarity long obscured by over-mdication? What if it is Home, my Axis around which I orbit? What is the purpose of submitting myself to the drug-driven clinicians of phsychology and psychiatry?
The new therapist didn’t answer my question when I asked if the negatively charged phrase “wash out” was a clinnical term. She only scribbled some notes. I deduce it means the period during which the cumulative effects of pharmacology flush themelves out of my system.
It is an unsettling place, but so was my beloved New Orleans when I first returned from Europe.
I just want to talk to you.
I won’t do you no harm.
I just want to now about your different lives
On this here people farm.”
Lately I have found more therapeutic value in Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love than I think I will get from any $200 an hour clinician with her DSM, the box-like book of consensual normality from which I declare myself an outlier, a six sigma enigma no re-engineering can or should correct.
Sorry, doctor, but I have had a problem with boxes since I failed in art in the first grade for refusing to color within the lines. I am not sure my comfortable zone is found in the rigid, rectngular pages of the DSM. I am not sure any empathetic and intelligent person should feel comfortble in the world They* are building around us, unless integration is simply another word for cheerful ignorange and compliance.
If the sun refused to shine.
I don’t mind. Idon’t mine.
If the mountains fell in the sea,
Let it be. It ain’t me.
I got my own world to live through
And I ain’t going to copy you….
If the mountains fall
Just don’t let them fall on me…
I think the untriggered anxiety attacks I have had lately whoch wwre well-controlled in medical parlancet rhat led me to visit the pill doctor and schedule myself into the therapist are simply a call to withdraw for a bit into the bariatric chamber of myself, to emerge ready to lift the face plate and announce this planet habitable by the likes of me.
If I cycle through all of the colors of emotion in patterns unpredictable by the mathematics of wave form oscilloscope EEG, well, there are other branches of mathematics and acience that posit alternative universes. Perhaps I am just a visitor in this world, who’s purpose is to take extensive notes such as this–not a catalogue of anthopological field notes but a travelogue–and sometimes sculpt them into poetry. We each have our own path through this planet of forms I find at once alien and interesting.
Perhaps I should just ask the Axis. He knows Everything.
* For more information on Them, I recommend a careful reading of Amiri Baraka’s “Somebody Bombed America” supplemented by the more personal and localized blog post on Wet Bank Guide “In the Zone.”. Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow should be considered an essential supplementary text
The only really adjustable language February 5, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
Tags: grammar, William S. Burroughs
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PS. If my writing seems at times ungrammatical it is not due to carelessness or accident. The English language—the only really adjustable language—is in state of transition.. Transition and the old grammar forms no longer useful..
Bill [William S. Burroughs, from a letter to his parents]
Good Night February 1, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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sad minions of the Krewe of Going Home: the Krewes du Vieux and Delusion, the frustrated lovers, mad trance dancers (children of Dionysus and Orpheus), hustlers of nothing, the irreparably ripped, the friends of the band, the last to stand.
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams./
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth/
I want to be ready.
Rest well. Sweet dreams.
Diary of a Hermit Crab Home Worker January 20, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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February 26. Covered 172 miles. Cloudy sky, grey sea. Nothingness.
February 27, Covered 94 miles. Blue sky, blue sea. Nothingness.
– Log entries from Bernard Moitessier’s The Long Way
[Loop: Marlboro Theme Song Performed by the Incredible String Band} January 15, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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After a long day, toss all those hours of staring at cryptic test cases written by people with marginal English language skills who are clearly feasting on brownies they are not sharing with you into the back of your pickup, spit on your hands, and crawl behind the wheel with a Frosty 40 of Tree Frog. Peel out, spreading gravel and greenhouse gasses everywhere, Adolph’s mountains spewing spring water in the background while the swine soar on the katabatic drafts and the eagles squeal as the winds flatten their pens. It’s Syd Barrett Time.
Sad Baritone Saturday January 10, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans, The Narrative.
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A sad baritone blowing big round Jello-tremulous Os of the blues.
That’s what started this ramble into a pleasant melancholia a fizzing afternoon beer buzz of sadness not quite cheerless, simply there like a color in the air a sky so blue and clear you can hear it, a faint hum beneath your feet an afternoon so perfectly empty you just want to lay down in the arms of some big oak and root, thinking: well, if the world is going to caterwaul in a crashing train wreck, I guess I’m not busy today. Go ahead. I voted early.
And then you remember the Indians, stuffed into the lobby of the museum. So you go and the colors aren’t quite right all that expanse of white marble flattening the joyous chromatic colors into something cartoonish , stealing the scene’s perspective like some VCR on endless loop, alone in a neutral cream room of neatly labeled artifacts under glass instead of the slow approach up a street lined with long, low rows of shotguns and maybe a catercorner store.
First just a spyboy peering around the black chalkboard brightly proclaiming Hot Breakfast and Cold Beer, then a hammering of tambourines in the distance and then you spot them, turning a corner: bright-beaded bird creatures from a dream, singing in a language they have made themselves.
That’s when you decide: No, thank you I want to slap the snooze button on that doom clock your time doesn’t apply to us down here we’re on Central River Time and things things are just a bit slower and we’re not quite ready for all your rapturous end time mob of murder and riots. We’re all in pawn up to the brim of our sharp fur felt fedoras so here’s a quarter: call in all your sad Wall Street stories to someone else.
If you’re going to destroy your world try to keep it down to a manageable rumble in the distance, please, perhaps a smudge of smoke on the horizon like a marsh fire and leave us to ourselves to the scat-o-logical chantings of Fi-Yi-Yi to mad tambourine time the bright side of the poverty and sadness you turn into spewing automaton television heads and we turn into a sad baritone sax blowing big round Jello-tremulous Os measuring the girth of the blues just about city sized and right for us, thanks.
The Taste of Carnations January 9, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Flamenco, Gypsy, Roma, Spain, wine
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Tonight of all nights I would hear the saddest songs.
This wine of the Alicante,
dark as blood spilt by night,
sharp as flint, a spark
in the sparkle with the savor
of must fresh from dusty feet
walked hard and long buried.
I would taste carnations
fed with the blood of bulls.
Tonight I would hear the saddest songs
because joy is a wind
that blows hot and cold
but sadness outlasts empires.
Knife Switch December 31, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Or, The ritualistic use of tobacco and whiskey in modulating irregularities in pharmacologically induced states of a socially integrated and productive equilibrium perceived by the subject as happiness.
One whiskey, two whiskeys, three whiskeys, snore. The addition of Buproprion to an SSRI regimen to combat a lethargy born of a crisis in the ability to give a fuck is not indicated if significant sleep disturbances occur. Such disturbances lead to a reliance on coffee (praised be its name) to overcome the loss of sleep resulting in an aggravation in sleep disturbances. Don’t drink so much coffee is not included in the detailed, agate-type instructions and cautions.
Socially integrated. Forget Integration of the Self, the once Holy Grail attainable by psychotherapy or a whispered, $300 personal mantra.
‘Selfhood’ or complete autonomy is a common Western approach to psychology and models of self are employed constantly in areas such as psychotherapy and self-help. Edward E. Sampson (1989) argues that the preoccupation with independence is harmful in that it creates racial, sexual and national divides and does not allow for observation of the self-in-other and other-in-self.
The very notion of selfhood has been attacked on the grounds that it is seen as necessary for the mechanisms of advanced capitalism to function. In Inventing our selves: Psychology, power, and personhood, Nikolas Rose (1998) proposes that psychology is now employed as a technology that allows humans to buy into an invented and arguably false sense of self. In this way, ‘Foucault’s theories of self have been extensively developed by Rose to explore techniques of governance via self-formation…the self has to become an enterprising subject, acquiring cultural capital in order to gain employment’, thus contributing to self-exploitation.
Integration, then, into what? My current state of disintegration–indicated by the inability to give a fuck, by anti-social tendencies bordering on agoraphobia relieved only by occasional atavistic, narcissistic forays into barflyism–is unlikely to be relieved by anything short of a trip to Room 101. Some breakthrough is required but in my current state of disinsurance it will have to be a breakthrough of my own making.
There are a million doors in the naked city, exterior and interior, almost all of them painted in a uniform palette of whites . How then to find the one that may be opened by the application of the correct bottle (larger or smaller), by incantation (Speak, Friend) or by kicking the fucker down? What lies beyond it, in the magical land where old dogs learn new tricks? (Everybody’s going to be happy/That means you and me, my love). Or is consideration of this possibility simply another trap set by society to keep us moving along (nothing to see here; you’ll be late for work), a new flavor of savior on a stick?
In the event of an emergency, are you able to fill in the blank seat-back card in the pocket in front of you and execute what you have written?
Enter Title Here December 27, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Some days demand nothing, not a vacuum but an absence of structure. At the holidays in particular there comes a point where a day of aimless amble, perhaps a ramble through Cansecos for a few necessities; all the chores stored up for this expensive long weekend started but left unfinished, at least for today. It is raining. There is a hangover involved, and out too late mesmerized past sense by music. I slept until one, my careful attention to keeping myself on a reasonable schedule when I must get up at 6:30 a.m. most days but have no office where I must appear except as an icon on a screen; that’s shot all to hell. That is where the nothing began: nothing as tangible as the sink of dirty dishes or stepping over the scattered winter clothes on my floor but an abstraction, a one not a zero or a two. A nice, round number, admimiting no possibility of the computation of an endless irrationality. I debated coffee versus pillow, a day of black emptiness but decided I ought to try to get back on something like Corporate Standard Time. The house cleaning I began to late yesterday (as I lingered over a book I wanted to finish) can wait. I might file a few of the carefully stacked papers, clean off the kitchen table, pass a Swiffer over the freshly mopped floor where I spilled coffee grinds this morning. Or I might not. I have other books to linger over. The grey overcast is a lullaby of listlessness, relieved only by the pool of lamplight at the couch. A new book, the Kinks anthology I received for Xmas, grown children who do not demand to be taken out into the snow or to the theater for some Xmas release, no demand to make Barbie talk or battle to conquer the Pokemon universe. Those days are long behind me. Nothing ventured, nothing gained: nothing true about that statement. A careful review of the mix of “See My Friends” by headphones, the new book of poetry from the book club I just rejoined. Nothing ventured, something gained: composure, an easing of the infernal spring inside my head, yesterday’s escape from Beckett’s The Unamable, my own compelling or distracting voices stilled by the overwhelming presence of the narrator’s voices. The only voice today is recognizably my own, relaxed enough for the first time in uncountable time to simply share my thoughts here, the pinnacle of the day. That and perhaps a piece of pie.
The Unnamable December 26, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, literature, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Malloy, Malone Dies, Samuel Beckett, The Unamable
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Malloy? By all means yes. Malone Dies? Unquestionably. Read it soon. The Unnamable, well, unless you recognize that voice, unless that voice of imagination and uncertainty, curiosity and fear is unceasing in your head, that voice springs out of your dreams and into full stream the moment you awake, then proceed with caution. This way madness lies. If the narrator stills your own voice, replaces you own neurotic fantasy dystopia with The Unnameable, bringing with it the calm of insomniac familiarity, strengthens your resolve to not surrender to the utter certainty of despair, this last book may, perhaps, but not certainly (one can never be certain) be suitable for you.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales December 25, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dyland Thomas, Xmas
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Matthew 25:40 December 24, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Merry Fucking Xmas, William Burroughs, Xmas
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The old version of A Junkie’s Christmas has been taken down from YouTube due to multiple copyright violations by the poster, and the new one cannot be embedded here because there is no commercial partnership between WordPress and YouTube.
I think this perfectly embodies the entwined spirits of modern Capitalism and Xianism.
The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6kHN92Yv48
If you wish to keep X in your Xmas, there are still shopping hours left to get yourself a whip and drive the cashiers out of the nearest department store.
30 Century Man December 11, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
The video is a complete waste of your time: full of sound and worry, signifying nothing. I created it a few years ago Christmas after spending an entire day watching a House marathon, an activity for me that is not far removed from standing on a ledge throwing pigeons at the fire department while shouting gibberish.
Perhaps it’s not a complete waste of time. Not of mine, at least. Despite any desire to vanish into Africa or the South Pacific, I am not that likely to jump the next freight west to search for the ghost of Charles Bukowski in the sun-shocked underworld that is L.A. Maybe it’s just something I needed to get out of my system, a swollen psychological boil painfully anticipating the sitz bath of annihilation.
If this video speaks to you in some way, it may not be too late to get help. I find the drug stores in New Orleans among the finest in the world. You traverse the liquor aisle to reach the pharmacist.
Fires of the Season November 22, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: death, solstice, Xmas
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Walking out for a forbidden cigarette I take a turn around the lot and notice the neighbor’s overgrown oleanders are in full fall bloom, while the seed pods of the adjacent Chinese lanterns have withered to a color somewhere between grocery bag and old parchment (and just as fragile could I reach them): the same old story–the one the crow knows–of the turning of the wheel. I am so engrossed in my new job I did not notice the odd oaks across the street and just outside my window had turned, but walking to Canseco’s Grocery I did see one of the deciduous cypress dressed in scarlet and yellow, the color of the fires we light against the cold and dark, the bonfires to guide Papa Noel and the ones once lit on Orleans avenue, dressed in the colors of the diminishing sun.
Having lost the thread of Xianity long ago, I dread the holidays. I miss the orgiastic liquor and fireworks around the bonfire on Orleans, a proper New Year’s display to call back the sun. Run around it three times, close enough for a mild, one-sided sunburn, for good luck in the New Year. Sadly, two city administrations have thought otherwise, even after we raised the money to get a welding cloth to put under it and agreed the NOPD could fence it off. The fire department was often held up as the scapegoat for the ban, but as a small crowd of us who helped make the last bonfire happen left a meeting with the police and fire chief, a high official of the firefighter’s union pulled us aside and said, “we are with you,” the men of Engine 35 thought lucky to watch over the festivities every year.
It is time to clean up my backyard, which the house painter turned into a white trash tableau of studied neglect. It looks like the still in the garage exploded, but most of my things are in a random pile in the center. I need to scrub the black mold off the chairs and spread the black plastic lawn rug I bought because the landlord’s man is slow to mow. I can flip over the rusting fire pit, give it a quick shot of Rustoleum for Grills and take my chances on the good will of the sparks that flit about like dangerous faeries with a will of their own. Behind the flames I will light a candle before the Green Man who watches over my little bit of weed-wild meadow..
There are spirits in need of propitiation if my own are not to remain mired in the dark. Yesterday my eldest and dearest sibling turned 69. My mother is now officially on Hospice Care, free to refused her dinner and medications, only oxygen and morphine as required. I went to see her the evening after what gave every indication of a heart attack. She picked a bit at her food because I was there. She tried to take her pills but the orderly forgot to raise the bed and almost chocked her. My sister knows she is not taking her medication or eating but she always puts on a good show for the boys. Or rather, for me. I am the only one she has left besides grand children. Someday the paper will read, “preceded in death by her loving husband Sidney Joseph and her son Paul Omer.”
Will she fulfill the holiday wishes of the statisticians and hang on until after the holidays? She is a Hilbert bone and sinew, built to last. Still, she will be the chair that is not there when my nephew takes us all out for Thanksgiving. Knowing our family, I am thinking of taking a cab, although Ralph’s on the Park is halfway between P’s house and mine and within staggering distance.. In these circumstances intimations of mortality are inevitable but not to be confused with inclinations. What I post on Facebook after a bit too much rum are not bits of morbidity but a few of the more beautiful expressions of death that I know.
If Coca Cola’s jolly red elf and the hanged god bring no solace, the trees remind me there is always comfort and color in a fire, to warm the hands and backside, and shed an uncertain light on an uncertain world. The firefly fairy sparks call to the things half seen in the flickering, just out of the corner of the eye, that delight in man and his fire, spirits of fire and earth drawn toward light. Perhaps a prayer is in order, starting with the green man who guards my house, that I not burn it or any of the neighbors’down. Or better yet, just sit as the fire burns itself down, leaving winking embers and the scent of the season ascending to the heaven the earthly flames reach for but cannot, the solstice incense that comforts men in the dark.
If this is the corner I’ve painted myself into November 22, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, Everette Maddox, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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…think only this of me
That one more cheap camera
against the world’s beauty.
— Everette Maddox
Spill That Wine Dig That Girl November 21, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist.
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Morning will come before you know it pouring through the door like the boiling oil of hash browns on the side. It is not time yet time for breakfast. Another rum? I could think of a hundred good reasons why not but none of them is rum, the liquor of the loa, the universal Pan-Caribbean elixir of frantic ecstasy, the shuffle and the dub, the wiggle of the skiffle, the because of Carnival.
Bring it dawn. I’m steady, and ready to roll. Sunny side up.
Give me November 19, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, FYYFF, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free so that we may burn them.
I have bills to pay and you, Mr. and Mrs. I Love America Look The Flag Is Right There On Our Credit Card, are It. I am Elmer Gantry with a PowerPoint tour of hell and a Visio process map of how to get there.
“If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose”
― Charles Bukowski
About Silence November 15, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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From Jack Spicer’s “Imaginary Eligies II.”
The poet builds a castle on the moon
Made of dead skin and glass. Here marvelous machines
Stamp Chinese fortune cookies full of love.
Make love to other Tarot cars. Here agony
Is just imagination’s sister bitch.
This is the sun-tormented castle which
Reflects the sun. Da dada da.
The castle sings.
Da. I don’t remember what I lost. Dada.
The song. Da. The hippogriffs were singing.
Da dada. The boy. His horns
were wet with song. Dada.
I don’t remember. Da. Forgotten.
Da. Dada. Hell. Old butterface
Who always eats her lovers.
Mr. Bones October 31, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Halloween, Mr. Bones
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is knit with
throat slit pig
hung one long night
over the slow fire.
is bound by
food for crows,
a buzzard’s buffet
for the worms.
come some tomorrow
is all what’s left
I speak these words
& you remember.
That Wound That Never Heals October 21, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Frederico Garcia-Lorga, La Luna, Luna
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When the Muse sees death appear she closes the door, or builds a plinth, or displays an urn and writes an epitaph with her waxen hand, but afterwards she returns to tending her laurel in a silence that shivers between two breezes. Beneath the broken arch of the ode, she binds, in funereal harmony, the precise flowers painted by fifteenth century Italians and calls up Lucretius’ faithful cockerel, by whom unforeseen shadows are dispelled.
When the angel sees death appear he flies in slow circles, and with tears of ice and narcissi weaves the elegy we see trembling in the hands of Keats, Villasandino, Herrera, Bécquer, and Juan Ramón Jiménez. But how it horrifies the angel if he feels a spider, however tiny, on his tender rosy foot!
The duende, by contrast, won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.
With idea, sound, gesture, the duende delights in struggling freely with the creator on the edge of the pit. Angel and Muse flee, with violin and compasses, and the duende wounds, and in trying to heal that wound that never heals, lies the strangeness, the inventiveness of a man’s work.
— Garcia-Lorca, Theory and Play Of The Duende</blockquote>
Le mal du pays October 19, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, home, Murder, New Orleans, the dead, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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‘Le mal du pays.’ It’s French. Usually its translated as ‘homesickness’ or ‘melancholy.’ If you put a finer point on it, it’s more like ‘a groundless sadness called forth in a person’s heart by a pastoral landscape.’ It’s a hard expression to translate accurately. — Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukiru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgramage
Homesickness. Home sickness. Home. Sickness. “…they are the figures in the frame that make the landscape.” There is nothing pastoral about the Upper Ninth Ward. Taking the shortcut to Poland down Galvez to avoid the no left turn signs, the Musician’s Village is just a few blocks over but you don’t see the pretty stick-and-Tyvek houses. You see the aging wood-frame shotguns sagging with and into the ground, come to a stop at Poland across from a scrap yard filled with rusty anchors.
A man gunned down in the middle of a street in the Lower 9th Ward Friday night has been identified by the Orleans Parish coroner’s office. Malik Braddy, 18, of New Orleans was killed shortly after 10 p.m. in the 1600 block of Lizardi Street.
When I come to post here the dashboard shows statistics for most viewed posts and pages. The leaders are always the list of victims I started several years ago, and have semi-abandoned. (Somehow I have to find time to finish 2013 before 2014 is over). Melvin Labranch III.
Once upon a time downtown in the nine, what it don’t mind dyin’ Sworn to a life of crime, was a youngin’ standing only 5’5, big money on his mind Clothes ain’t wrinkled with his hand on the iron, shot six times Shot six times, ran in from of my mom (dear lord) — Downtown, Kidd Kidd
People come looking for Labranch, the subject of the R&B style hip hop elegy by his cousin, who elsewhere in the song sings “somebody done killed my brother, now I gotta get back/let ‘em know cause a nigga gotta feel that/Sitting shotgun with the shotgun: when you hear the shots come, nigga don’t run.” The song is a hit of sorts, which is I guess what drives the traffic: the celebration of a child “sworn to a life of crime” and someone “riddin on those niggas” looking for revenge.
Guess this is the game we chose to play Crazy how it’s always been the same.
Has it? Has it always been this way when I was growing up on the Lakefront just off Robert E. Lee Boulevard, and the Times-Picayune and States-Item just didn’t bother with dead black me? I don’t think so. There is nothing pastoral about the Upper Ninth Ward, but there is a terrible sadness. There is as I suggested above, a home sickness, the old style proud of the working class–black and white–that was once settled with fists that has metastasized into a violence most Americans only read about in the paper, stories of some far away country, and then only the body count of the American soldiers, not the million and a half Arabs dead for what? Killing random people because they live in the wrong ward of the planet just for revenge. A friend went ballistic on Facebook after attending a memorial for the man everyone in her hood in the upper nine knew as Sappy. She was mostly going after the hipsters in the same bar looking for food but avoiding any contact with the largely black crowd at the memorial, black except for her and her partner. She grew up in San Diego in poverty to match any sad story from the Ninth Ward, but chooses New Orleans. She lives there, running a small business with her partner while both work part time, and make themselves a part of their stretch of St. Claude. What is sad about Sappy is not the hipsters gathered in a tight, white knot at the other end of the bar is that he was a country kid from Mississippi who also chose New Orleans, made a living as a minimum wage worker at Rally’s. When he was gunned down over some stupid argument in the parking lot of Church’s Chicken on St. Claude he asked the woman who drew the gun, “Are you going to shoot me?” She did. Was his tone of voice confrontational, the braggadocio that is part of a life in that part of town, or was he incredulous that some dumb argument could turn so quickly to a gun? I like to imagine the latter, but either way it doesn’t matter. The man born Derrick Christmas is cold in the ground. It was not his first brush with senseless violence. He was the victim of a vicious beatdown in a bathroom with Harrah’s for brushing a man’s shoulder. To chose to live in New Orleans is to chose to live with the body count, to walk back to your car in the relative safety of the Marigny like a soldier on patrol, every sense hyper-alert, suddenly sober as the adrenaline prepares you for the man passing on the street who might be a road side bomb waiting to go off. To chose to live in the Ninth Ward is to put your plastic piece down on the Monopoly block where many go directly to jail, do not pass home and collect $200. No real hope going in, less coming out. And too many do not pass home but go directly to the cemetery. How to live in this city when every morning I go to the blog to grab the day’s Odd Words to post and see my statistics, the numbers next to the list of the dead. Sometimes they leave comments, as I ask, the way people leave plastic flowers, bottles of a favorite rum, a faded picture in the spot where another one fell. I don’t need to open the newspaper to be reminded that I live in a city at war with itself. How to live in this city? When my daughter came back from a semester in Amsterdam there was a seminar they were all required to take on readjustment to one’s home culture. I only had a week of jet lag, and a second week frantically finishing a paper and a manuscript for the courses I took there. It was only then that the culture shock began to sink in. I met an old friend for drinks and after walking back to her house to sit on the patio on Conti Street. When I left, she insisted there was no way I was walking alone through the quarter the nine blocks to Buffa’s, or standing on the corner of Esplanade and Rampart waiting for the last 93 bus to take me home. She shoved money in my hands and walked me up to the corner for a cab. It wasn’t safe, she insisted, to walk nine blocks through my town, although I count myself a street-wise former quarter rat, keep to the well-lit, no-parking side of the street. Too many robberies, and the latest craze, senseless beatdowns. How many died while I was wandering Europe? I could consult my local newspaper’s helpful online Murders page. Does your hometown newspaper have a Murders page? How to live in this city? Those who know me know I have sworn a blood oath to New Orleans as serious and final as any gang initiation, and yet I find I can’t stop asking this question. I know a woman alone could not walk the dark streets of Rome or Barcelona as I did, but I wandered lost and enchanted in the Barri Gòtic looking for the familiar square that had become my landmark, from which I could easily find my way out of the maze and back to my hostel. Now I am home and am told I dare not walk Burgundy or Dauphine nine blocks to get a burger. “A groundless sadness called forth in a person’s heart by a pastoral landscape.” Were I to look back at my pictures, the view from the castle in the Tyrol of northern Italy, the vistas of Granada from atop the Alhambra, my memories of Lorca’s beloved vega (and that was le mal du pays, but not homesickness but rather the pain of leaving, of going home to the place I love); in those visions it is not a groundless sadness in the pastoral landscape. It is a sadness born not of homesickness but home sickness, a culture shock the two women returning from the castle to San Diego will never know. It is a deep sadness, born of blood, like the Deep Song of the gypsies of southern Spain, the black and terrible angel or familiar demon of Duende that lives deep in the gut, born of love and suffering. Le mal du pays.
He Was A Mess October 8, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Everette Maddox, The Maple Leaf, Umpteen
Was there a twinkle I missed, drinking too much on the wrong end of town? Some wisdom issuing from your tobacco-scented beard, a joke so blue men were afraid to laugh, busting a gut to hold it in? I like to imagine one of the nights I was working the East Bank and didn’t have to go back to Gretna, and sat at that bar waiting for Marianne to get off from work around the corner, that you were there. I will still reading Stevens and Olson and Berryman, trying to figure out which way was up and you were probably scribbling the very instruction required on a bar napkin.
Yes, I could put my damn pants back on and join what’s left of your old gang at the East Jefferson Parish Regional Library, in some room the carpet runs up the wall like nylon mold and sit in an fluted plastic stackable chair (Panhandle aquamarine? burnt sunset orange?) but what’s the point in that? Did you even know there was a West Esplanade? It’s neither lake nor river but another direction you probably wouldn’t want to go in. And if I don’t write this belated birthday elegy who the hell else is going to do it?
I would recognize you now if you appeared for a moment at the Maple Leaf, the vision I saw one Saturday morning at Jazz Fest: a man of the right height and build, in a tweed jacket in baking May for chrissakes, pipe issuing from his beard like the fasces of poetry. But the time I realized what I saw and turned around again you were gone. I don’t want to know about no doppelganger. Nobody is going to rob me of my ghost.
I hope some folks show up tonight, learn what I’ve learned over the years, hunt down your books like possums and pause, too amazed to shoot.
Rutledge in the Rain
The first poem I ever spoke
into a microphone (not my own,
but well said or so I heard)
in Everette Maddox’s patio
at the umpteenth reading
celebrating the late poet’s
Selected Sad Whimsies,
the moment saved on a page
dimpled by the afternoon’s drizzle.
I owe you one for that, a whole run of ones one after another until it takes both of us arm-in-arm, leaning in to steer the other down the middle of the sidewalks of heaven. I don’t really believe in heaven but a man has to believe in something and I believe I’d like to buy you drink: somewhere, someday. The best I can manage for now is to make it to the Maple Leaf tomorrow after class and beat the cover at the door and buy two glasses of bar scotch, one to pour for you and the other to prove I love the man we’ll call The Speaker in workshop before, because I hate scotch and I’ll toss it back every drop. You were The Speaker, and the singer, and the instigator of the chorus, there’s no doubt about that.
He was a mess, was Everette Maddox, and those of us who tend to the messy side need our own patron saints and your poems are a novena for the messy and the lost. I think instead of tepid coffee in a library I’ll mix another drink and take down the Songbook that found me and read a bit instead, before I prepare for class tomorrow. I don’t have a poem for workshop and if one’s going to come to me before tomorrow night it’s going to come in your voice, with the faint tinkle of ice cubes like a chime in the wind: not a muse or an angel but the deep, deep song of the your blues.
Happy Smiling People Holding Guns October 5, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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There are few cures for emptiness that
don’t leave you full of regret in the morning.
I’m not sure how many days I have left
& responsibilities. Let sleeping bottles lie.
I want to suck nitrous oxide from your vagina
& float away but my libido has gone missing.
We watch Walking Dead instead, a calculated antidote
for the occasional temptation of going postal.
Calculator the number of dead in my email
divided by brass bands. The answer is Err.
Facebook is Happy Shinny People Holding Hands,
the worst song in R.E.M.’s entire catalog.
Walking to the hot, claustrophobic laundry room
on a blue Sunday morning of fall is a fail.
Grocery shopping during the game is not betrayal.
My enthusiasm is universally translucent.
If we both make it to the end of this poem alive
there is still something to discover: tomorrow
never knows if Monday the barrista will shyly
Cheshire smile you into the end of the beginning.
Box Three, Spool Five October 3, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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How to live in this town when every saxophone is a glittering instrument of pain, its every note a howl of anguish?
I can’t tell you this story, not unless I am prepared to call in the final airstrike: the raging curtain of napalm on Kurtz’ temple over the mournful sound of the Doors.
“Calling PBR Street Gang, Calling PBR Street Gang. This is Almighty. Do you read me? Over.”
I have bared my soul here but there are limits. There are other souls I love more than the fitful god they say created them and I will not reveal their secrets, but how to live in this town when every saxophone comes in under what resounds like the final trumpet, wails painfully with the most human voice of any instrument built by man. There are songs I will never be able to listen to again.
I have walked the darkest streets of Barcelona at unreasonable hours and not heard a gunshot. I can manage enough Spanish to scan the headlines that still hang from kiosks in Europe, and no where did I read of the kill count. In Granada I stood in the Huerta de San Vincente and thought of Ezra Pound, and was ashamed. I live in the world Pound warned us of, when you subtract his predictable anti-Semitism, leaving only the banks and the war machine. I live in the world Garcia-Lorca died defying, the machine gun Inquisition with no questions, no promise of redemption through confession.
Suffering is. If I met the Buddha on the road I would kill him. If I happened upon Calvary I would weep at the brutal senselessness of it all. I would become, as in Gaudi’s masterpiece, the faceless person imprinted with suffering, his Veronica. Because suffering is is larger than any individual.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
— Psalm 13, which I have quoted long ago
What do you do when the magic is gone? Once I bled for this city, gave friends up to the soft ground who shared my love and anger. Today I wonder why.
I think it is time to pull out the expensive BBC Collection of Samuel Beckett, to listen to Krapp’s Last Tape.
Box Three, Spool Five: the perfect absurdity of the banana peel, tragedy not comedy, the traps we set for ourselves.
…” clear to me at last that the dark I have always struggled to keep under is in reality”…
Ambulatory at Best October 3, 2014Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I awoke this morning in in my tub in the remains of an ice bath swaddled in crudely-wrapped bandages, the apparent victim of an involuntary fuckectomy. I had already somewhat anesthetized myself with three pints and three shots in cross-wired celebration of my first paycheck in nine months and learning on the same day that my recruiter’s promised six month contract is in fact tied to a 12 week Statement of Work, and that my manifestly less productive predecessor burned a bunch of those weeks doing not much. There is no clarity on extension. So my new job will last about six weeks, maybe 10, but not six months. Better than Henry Chinaski in Factotum, which is absolutely the wrong book to be reading right now. I just finished Ham on Rye, but I’ve gone from the consolation that someone’s life is much worse than mine to the temptation to crawl into bed with a bottle.
Perhaps somewhere there is a network, a bounty system in which young IT contractors identify productive older contractors and have them taken out of the market to keep rates up by arranging these ambush fuckectomies. Now my ability to fully give a fuck is in an organ cooler passing as some construction worker’s lunch. The man in the truck bed is not a pick-up from the front of Home Depot but a sworn devotee of Santa Muerte. Under his shirt the haloed death’s head is tattooed in prison purple and the dull red of pilfered BIC pens and also underneath there is a submachine pistol. The bloody remains of my fuckectomy are off on its way to whomever doesn’t sufficiently give a fuck, but could afford to pay to steal someone else’s give-a-fuck-ability. Perhaps they are transplanted into burnt-out executives who can afford to have one to regain or even boost their ability to give a fuck, seven by 24 by 365 by the synced clock on the office smart phone, nine nines of ready to roll fuckability.
I Just Want To See His Face September 6, 2014Posted by The Typist in art, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Goya, The Black Paintings, The Dog
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“I don’t wan’t to walk and talk about Jesus. I just want to see his face.”
— Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
Can you see the face, the one with the long beard, and the left hand raised as if watching this scene through some impervious barrier of glass or time? Or is it simply an illusion, the wish to believe that some being is at least disturbed enough by this scene to press their face into it like Jesus into the veil of Veronica? You can see it in some reproductions but not others. It is hard to see here. I can see it in the card on my wall if I turn the desk lamp directly on it. It is not, however, anything holy. Perhaps it is just mad Jehovah reveling in his ability to destroy what he has made. There is no suggestion of redemption. Or perhaps it is simply a disturbance in the pigment, a bit of holy toast for the damned.
52: THAT BRIGHT MOMENT April 8, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
YOU ARE TRAPPED IN THAT BRIGHT MOMENT
WHERE YOU LEARNED YOUR DOOM
— Samuel R. Delaney in City of a Thousand Suns
I’ve just finished my taxes and realized i made a $5,000 mistake last year. Also, the IRS does not do payment plans for the unemployed.
The unemployed who plan to to run up a credit card to go the Europe and lock themselves in a castle in the Tyrolean Alps for a month were I will determine if I am a poet or a poseur, doing an intense side class on Ezra Pound because we all have our mountains to climb.
We all have our mountains to climb and so in spite of all this I will do whatever is necessary to make sure my daughter is settled safely at Columbia University for her graduate degree and Matthew realizes his musical dreams no matter the cost.
No matter the cost even if you are on the black diamond slop to penury. You have been poor before and remember how it is done. Marianne and I lived for years as two, first in college on a fraction of my daughter’s allowance, managed when my newspaper salary was in the high four figures and don’t regret a moment of those days.; I made my choices and I remain convinced they were the right thing to do.
The right thing to do is to find the life you were meant to live and do it regardless of the cost. I pray my children discover their path young and are ready for every ugly bump, blowout and broken axle life throws in their way. I waited until too late in life and now I pay in currency of blood.
In currency of blood I would pay the price demanded of me. My family’s blood is older than the Lakota in the Dakotas, and no less bound to the land I stand upon. My claim to this place, Mr. Jefferson, is more honest than your patrimony as is my honest Creole blood. I am home and here I make my stand. For all my decisions there is a cost and now I have to pay.
Now I have to pay the bankers who unmanned me and the Central Government I foreswore any real allegiance to almost a decade ago, proudly tossing the American flag in the trash when I needed a new pole to fly the ensign of the City of New Orleans every July 4th, Memorial Day and any other inappropriate occasion. I wish I’d kept them so I could fly the charred remnants upside down at half mast when George Bush take his last overlight to hell. No matter: I am a citizen of New Orleans and an accidental resident of any other entity. I know who I am.
I know who I am and not a citizen of Delaney’s dystopia. I’ve known for a long time there was no enemy over the mountain, that pro patria nonsense. I know who I am, a poet not a poseur, and yet rebel against my own cause. “A post-post-modernist” someone kindly inscribed in an autographed book but that is not quite right. I am a broken link in the DNA array of the next step of evolution. Farewell Aquarius and your outworn Piscean god. “We are ready for a new avatar,” Coco sang but I am not it. Perhaps a fraction of John the Baptist, wailing in the wastelnd, fit only to wash her feet but not to baptize.
Trapped in that bright moment in which I learned my doom:, mountains to climb no mattèr the cost, whomever I must pay in currency of blood. I know who I am. I am finished.
Radio Free Toulouse: Hey Man, Slow Down April 5, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Radio Free Toulouse
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“sometimes I get overcharged. that’s when you see sparks.”
Fifty: Traces of Angels March 29, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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This is my entry in Harriet “Happy” Burbeck’s call for stories for her art show “Illustrations Stories That Haven’t Been Written Yet” (which closed last night).
She goes out in the morning looking for traces of angels. Her momma’s house is chock-a-block with cherubs and delicate porcelain nymphs with gilded wings. Even the fractured worm of ash of the cigarette her mother passed out smoking sits in a bowl cradled by the hands of a pieta-headed angel. These are not the creatures she hears in the night, the woosh of muscular wings, the cries that frighten the hoot owls. The curio cabinets rattle at their passing. When she can no longer fight off sleep she dreams of their hot breath on her neck, dark forms standing guard against darkness. She goes out in the morning, gathers their tremendous feathers and takes them into the woods behind the house. She plants their spines like saplings. With each new plume the forest grows more fiercely green, the trunks and branches more muscular and rough. She sits in her feather garden listening to the crows talk, listening for the familiar voices from her dreams.
Forty Nine: This Fresh Hell March 28, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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You can’t imagine a city like this. The archetypes are all wrong. You’ve drunk so much you’re sure you going straight to Baptist hell the minute you cross the Mississippi line but don’t realize it’s right outside your curtained hotel window, the vomit brimstone steam from hoses rinsing off the blistering streets, the smell of gluttonous garbage decomposing in the brutal, golden sun of August, the flash of gold from the teeth of the last tranny hooker stumbling home. Cathedral Jesus knows what you’ve been up to but he’s been hanging in this city so long all he really wants is to bum a cigarette, something toward bus fare to somewhere less molten, more regular in its habits, some place evil orders the breakfast biscuit and eats it methodically before it pulls out the gun, the horror and the glory of the certainty of Satan’s works on a placid landscape.
Forty Eight: INSERT TITLE March 25, 2014Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: 365, ambition, sloth
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If I don’t shave, would I be starting a new, full beard? It seems an inauspicious day to start something and equally so to do anything as ambitious as shaving. If I were any less ambitious today I might be mistaken, should someone discover me on the couch, for a catatonic. I have a house full of unread books, one clean plate, a rinsed out coffee up and a fractious garbage can that refused to move itself to the curb unaided. I’m not sure what time it is because my upended bicycle, waiting these two weeks for me to repair the front tire, has become a fixture in front of the bookcase and obscures the clock.
I am, for the moment, perfectly happy with this situation. I am wearing my Hefner burgundy velour robe, managed to make a pot of coffee and when the last cigarette in the pack runs out, I have a pouch of loose tobacco and can resume my project to save money and smoke less by rolling one. Except: rolling cigarettes is such a bother, but it is still more in keeping with my current state of affairs than actually putting on pants and walking four blocks to the grocery..
This is New Orleans, and should I choose to appear at Canseco’s wearing nothing but my robe, my thin hair a charged nimbus about my head and my cheeks suitable for removing paint, I might be worth two sentences between the check out girls before the next neighborhood character. This, however, smacks of intentionally eccentric performance, and intentionality (Christ, I hope that’s not a neologism) is not on the agenda.
Which is all to say that I started this (yet another) project 365–to write something on the blog every day–with entry Zero on January 14. It is March 25th, and I am only up to 48. No, I am not going to launch Excel and do the date math necessary to quantify my failure to meet that goal. I carefully explained to my children while helping them with math that estimation is an important skill in addition to precise arithmetic, that I used it almost daily in my job as a project manager, and I leave calculating precisely how far behind I am to the earnest and eager reader to figure that out.
I think, with another cup of coffee, I might manage to stand in the shower long enough to feel clean, put on yesterday’s jeans, and pick out a book from the clutter and walk toward the park. Walking is an almost automatic act once you set out, requiring no particular ambition. If I had a loaf of bread, I might even make a sandwich, but I don’t so I won’t. Grabbing a couple of apples that have never made it off the kitchen table and out of their plastic bag into the refrigerator may have to do. They are Pink Ladies and delicious, and should provide just enough sugar energy to put off walking back from the park to the coffee shop later.
Forty Four: Redemption Songs March 13, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Now at the annual collision of our African, Celtic and Sicilian cultures, in this town where the African’s ripped from their villages and put into bondage were too valuable a property to risk so the hungry Irish were set to work and die digging the New Basin Canal, where the Sicilian residents of the French Quarter were lynched by practiced hands, the Mardi Gras Indians will come out even as the Irish and Italians stage their parades and the green beer and red wine will flow, and the streets will be lined with pork chop sandwiches and loose feathers, a celebration in the way only our entirely Creolized culture knows how to do best. In this one place God set aside like Nod for the rejects of Anglo culture and in which we have established (with a wink and a blind eye from God) all that the propaganda of the north promised in their lies, the true melting pot. It is time to to sing Redemption Songs.