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Why The Fuck Are We Not All In Lafayette? April 24, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, WTF.
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My tax refund (first in years, and a nice one) has come, and I say: fuck it, and start looking at the cubes. The Jazz Tent. Congo Square. Where are the big names in Jazz that tour the rest of the country and never come here? I love Terrence Blanchard and he’s New Orleans to the bone but couldn’t we book just one, big name, never gonna see them hear otherwise act? And Congo Square? Where is the Afro-World music? Mannie Fresh and Big Freeda and Kermit and What. The Fuck. Why am I not in Lafayette where the real festival is? The price of the ticket is nothing. But I can’t find a day I wouldn’t be going in just to eat. The Blues Tent looks the best and well, folks, I’m listening to it now. It’s right across the fucking street. Elton John and The Who and all I can think of is that British tabloid with the pictures of Jagger and Richards with the Night of the Living Dead headline. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga? OK, I think Tony’s desire to do duets with pop stars has finally jumped the intergalactic warp-powered mothershark. Phone 042415 001

Just: Fuck you New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival​. Fortin Street is still the best place to be, here at the Fortin Street Stage VIP Seating Area (King and Queen Seating Only)​ at the Fortress of Squalitude​. And if I can’t resist closing my eyes and imagining Roger Daltry isn’t pumped up on some sort of steriod–B-vitamin–Peruvian Pure cocktail straight out of Jim Carroll with autotune in both ears, I can hear the Wheeling Crash of Beautiful Doom one last time from the Secret VIP Section. If Townsend’s rotator cuff is still up to it.

Like the MoM’s Ball, I still have my memories, and I can take a pass. And at least on Fortin Street, I can still Be There, Hovering Just Above on a Cloud of Righteous Fuck You-ey-ness. FYYFF. The Shrine of Jazz and Heritage is up. Time to run the speaker out the window for between acts.

At least please keep the shirts ugly. Hollering WATERMELON at the people not unfortunate enough not only to buy them but to turn around and wear them the next day was the height of last year’s Festival. All my tax-related file are mixed with work and a week’s mail on the board that spans the easy chair behind my desk. I’ve been sick all week. I haven’t cleaned the bathroom. The carpet in front of the couch is full of Cheez It and tortilla chip crumbs. There are no Vegetarian Heaven Red Beans. But you know where I at. Maybe I can pass the vac, clean teh toilet and clear a path through the bedrooms. Just ping me if you’re coming in case I’ve wandered off. And if I have, see what Jimmy’s got cooking and get a beer from him till I wander back.

Let A Hundred Congas Bloom April 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I’ve just gone from six hours of dark apartment contractor hell starting at o’fuck:thirty no Herman Miller chair can redeem, the house surrounded by packs of voracious two-stroke monsters which no amount of O.K. Computer at any volume can subdue, into in-and-out of Canseco’s on a blindingly blue day with a pack of no-you-don’t cigarettes and a pack of Wholly (Unnecessary), Guacamole while on the balcony above Fair Grinds a circle of pickers work through You Can’t Always Get What You Want, holy banjo notes on a beautiful afternoon.

If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.

At 5 o’clock in the afternoon, or perhaps 7:45 April 18, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, Fortin Street, fuckmook, FYYFF, ghosts, je me souviens, New Orleans, postdiluvian, Remember, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Metairie encroaches from the East, swallows Carrollton Avenue. Brooklyn comes from the west across the Industrial Canal in a pathetic, staged white second line. We lost the north when they made  Lakeshore Drive the private dog park of the of  Lake neighborhoods along Robert E, Lee. To the south loom the gas-flare, metal islands  of BP, Mobile, Exxon.Sucking the black ghosts of marshes long past was not enough.The water must run  red as blood.

There is no retreat, no defense.  When America erupted in flames and east Detroit held off the National Guard for two days,  nothing happened here. Riot is not our style.  Its too damn hot and a lot of work.

You are left only one choice, to chose the place, the once familiar  corner with its shuttered store, and the moment (Esplanade in the rare, painterly  golden light of late afternoon, perhaps) when New Orleans dies inside you.

Death of the Cool April 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Beauty, cryptical envelopment, Jazz, je me souviens, music, New Orleans, Remember, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Listening to Yusef Lateef brought this song to mind (and only one other person in the world would know why). God Damned arpeggio showoneupmanship.  The world has forgotten how to swing slow, soft and sweet. Miles. Yusef. And Prez. Always Prez. (Yes, that’s our hat.)  How did we miss the Death of the Cool?

Miles Davis / Darn That Dream: https://youtu.be/-jYCpOOsEV0

The History of Poetry: 1 April 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in literature, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Sing, Goddess

            [crickets]

the tantrum of Achilles. The woman blamed. Again. All the men rushing to the slaughter, each yearning to be reborn immortal in the lunatic cycle of blood shed by metal. The gory precision of description of the wounds. The listing ships made manifest. The detailing of Achilles’ shield. Down low Patroclus bro’ ergo Hector in drag. Look. A gift horse in Cassandra’s mouth (seen not heard). Athena (Goddess) spares Ajax the Lessor for the rape of Cassandra. (Scream.)

What fabulous brides do we have for our departing contestants?

The hindsight of a man blinded is perfect.

Been Down So Long April 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Hell is the place where we place ourselves when we wish to look upward.
— Jack Spicer, “Prayer for My Daughter” from The Heads of the Town Up to the Aether (1960)

Postdiluvian Afternoon Manscape with Bulldozer April 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Back of Town, Bayou St. John, City Park, Federal Flood, geo-memoir, Hurricane Katrina, levee, Louisiana, postdiluvian, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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This was once bottom land, he says with the practiced eye and assurance of a successful environmental engineer. He is probably right. This recently mown rough at the edge of this former fairway is not far from the ridge of Bayou St. John and less than a mile south of Filmore Avenue, the line your grandfather told you was once the start of the softly indeterminate shore of the lake, the gradual transition from bottom land to open water, before the concrete seawall, the back fill and subdivision, when the land followed the natural contours of water.

Across Harrison Avenue snowy egrets play tag with a bulldozer returning another feral fairway to its appointed state of gracefully sculpted landscaping. They have carefully fenced off the trees they elected to keep just outside their crowns, but they have not bothered to put up runoff barriers along the lagoon. The other trees, the once mature oaks and cypress older than the park, did not fit into the new PGA-caliber design and were themselves bulldozed, cut and chipped into mulch (one hopes), the thicker branches and trunks, the massive root balls hauled off to some dump itself perched at the edge of useful bottom land, to cycle back into muck, the gumbo mud of marginal land that will suck the boot off a man’s foot as if to say: careful where you tread. You do not belong here.

This was all bottom land in flood a decade ago when the lake toppled the less-than-carefully designed levees, the work of a hundred bulldozers sculpting golf and parkways and neighborhoods, the labor of decades, was undone in a few hours. How we clamored to rebuild back then, even as we and the water birds reclaimed the ruins of golf for our own pleasure in spite of the lurking coyotes, after the hired guns had cleared the park of ill-tempered feral hogs washed in from the East, that last failed attempt to fill and subdivide marked by exits to nowhere on the highway out of town.

We follow a well-worn but little used path this beautiful afternoon until we find a shaded spot to plant our beach and Jazz Fest chairs, crack open the cooler filled with rare ales and settle in for a beer tasting. We used to do this in the Couterie Forest, another bit of man-scaping which was once an open field where the local AOR station staged free concerts, but the Couterie has grown crowded since the acres of feral fairway around it have been fenced off for construction of the new golf course, the confluence of FEMA dollars and the investments of men who could not play a PGA caliber game to save their lives but who can afford $150 for a round of eighteen holes, who will crowd the sponsored tents when the golf circus comes to town. (Build it and they will come, they tell themselves).

The FEMA relief we all fought for requires the reconstruction of what was and nothing more, although the men who run the Park have found a loophole big enough to drive a bulldozer through, to try to steal away the local PGA stop via a “public-private partnership,” that popular euphemism for privatizing profit while socializing risk; a great racket if you can get in on it, and our carefully-groomed and well compensated politicians love these sort of arrangements. Without them the contributions would dry up and instead of campaign billboards they would litter the landscape with solicitations for litigation, become just another schmuck lawyer grafting a living off of our ridiculous insurance rates.

In the middle distance is a beautifully bifurcated cypress, rising out of the roots of a clump of dying, non-native palms planted by some long-ago golf architect. The land here takes its revenge slowly but surely, as slowly and certainly as the land upon which we sit and the cypress prospers gradually subsides from bottom land to bottom of the lake. In another hundred years the furor over golf versus a carefully manicured wildness will be settled not in court but simply settled, back into the Back of Town, more wetland than bottom land. The golfers will move north as the water moves back in. Anyone who treads this path along the spoil bank of the artificial lagoon down which this afternoon past three women in a rented canoe, two paddlers and one lounging beneath an orange parasol, will likely find a very different landscape, too boggy to mow and covered in water-loving grasses. The lone cypress in the middle of the field, suited by temperament to flooding, will perhaps have grown into a stand, safe from bulldozers which will have moved on long ago to more certain and stable investments, far from the gulf that will someday reclaim this all, when my imagined stand of cypress will stand as denuded grey ghosts, victims of the relentless salt sea from which we all came and to which all this will return.

The Faster We Go The Rounder We Get April 3, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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2001 Kubrick wormhole sequence on mute with China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider at 11 1/2 and repeat on my mini-monster Yamaha CRX with the Polks on rockers vibrating the insides of my eyes in the Blue Agave Terror of the Burkian Sublimity of the Precipice. I once worked with a dry drunk who spit cheap chaw into a duct-taped wrapped Diet Pepsi bottle and said when you come to The Edge (the Bottom of The Book) you only have Two Choices. You’re wrong, I said. There is a Third Choice. You can Leap into the Light.

When they get to the end of the North Bound Train verse throw the Hadron Supercollider into the tub.

FYYFF April 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in fuckmook, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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WANO

Excerpt in draft of The Bayou: Tell Us About the Light March 31, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Tell us about the light.

There was the lemon fresh light of early morning, the sun’s abundance after the long night, grasses, vines, leaves, and saplings all stretching toward it as the morning cupped them like a breast and the bayou echoed with the moan of a distant outboard, droning unseen toward some secret breakfast haunt of the speckled trout. It was then, in the early hours when the water was darkest in the shadow of its own shining, that its browns were most golden, its greens iridescent. The long stalkers fished the shallows, the egret and the ibis, while pelicans stirred but rested in their nests waiting for the coasting updraft of the warming land, for the water clear of the sun’s reflection, for the vision of fish. This was the hour of the gamey peat and green smell percolating as the heat slowly seeped into the water and its soft land, and then the boiling of the coffee.

Where did the darkness hide?

It lay quietly beside the water every which way, where the pirogue-narrow channels slithered into the tangle of cypress knees and creeping things green and black, rooted and rootless, where the logs had eyes and the only way to tell a water snake from a cotton mouth was with a stick, watching for that flash of white in the day-long twilight, far back from the canals where men went about their business, far from the fishermen and the oilmen and their noisy, oily boats rusting away to nothing beneath the scraping of the deck hands. Back there the water gleamed faintly with leaf-rot, another delicate color in the palette of this water forest, not the false rainbows of sputtering two-strokes. On the bayou the pelican traced the bayou coasting up and down, hunting for lunch, a marker of the bayou as certain as clouds and flotsam speak of an island over the horizon. Ice tea tinkled in glasses besides sandwiches.

And later? When all grew dark?

In the mosquito evenings the bayou floated golden brown beneath the creeping shadows of its soft land, the water prairie grasses mellowing from green to yellow, and the dense growth explored each new shade of green blacker than the last, the land camouflaging itself in the growing darkness as the sky turned a burning autumn and the first and strongest star winked. It was the hour of the needling whiz of the mosquito and growling drone of the homeward bound boat. The bayou itself was silent except for the chirp of fish picking dinner out of thin air. Somewhere in the darkness, a roux was stirring through the colors of the evening.

Someday there would be the horns of morning traffic, come afternoon the smell of warm asphalt and finally the flickering buzz of street lamps: that was the darkest of all.

I got the blues March 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Jazz Vipers, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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No matter that I could not get to sleep after last night’s final shift of weekend work. An eye mask of supreme comfort and impenetrability to light cannot make up for the fact that the circus has come to town. The horsey people are still fighting their once-a-year hangovers and the fancy hats reserved for Opening and Derby Day have not yet been put back in their boxes, but the mechanical elephants of grinding diesel are dropping the piles of steel struts that will soon be assembled by roustabouts with their own roaring machinery and directed by megaphone into the Blues Tent.

My shotgun neighbor Jimmy has been counting the days like an excited child marking off a calendar for Christmas for two weeks now, anxious for the days when Fortin Street (you know it, you just never knew its name) becomes for two weekends something like upper Royal Street on Carnival Day but with a circus twist. The coozy on a neck strap man will start-up his sing-song pitch before too long: “How’r you gonna clap with your hands full!”, the man begging for donations to his home for trouble veterans will arrive with his bucket and handbills to repeat his spiel a dozen times to the people lined up to hit the Fest the moment they open the gates.

We love those days here on Fortin Street, although work will be hard over the noise but not everyone gets to live across from the Blues Tent, can walk two blocks to park themselves in hearing distance of the Jazz Tent, or take a stroll to the secret back fence spot that puts you closer to the Accura Stage than most of the people inside.

It is coming, weekends of no rest and too much beer, of Jimmy cooking for “donations”, of trying to drive for some errand through the ambling crowds going just a hair slower than my cars idle. I was just unprepared this groggy just past ten a.m. for the bang and crash, the mechanical bump and grind that means it is Jazz Fest time.

DO NOT STOP OR START OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS March 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Two cups of coffee, an over-charged e-cigarette (27 milligrams of nicotine) and the lizards of adrenaline trace the paths of my nervous system with familiar claws. An ogre well-known hereabouts grinds the clockwork of my molars and a pill box monkey dances unwanted telegrams of ALL CAPS urgency to the discordancy of my broken pianos. [Draw upon the e-cigarette with irritable pencils.] The brown stains at the bottom of the cup forecast anxiety, desire and disappointment.. Big Pharma arrives in the waiting room wearing bespoken suits and pink salad bowls carrying sample cases full of cash to reward the doctors for their advice about my bad choices. The reps are peddling punch-foil sample papers of simple solutions to complex problems which the night sky, covered in starry equations, cannot solve, not before it is time to get up and greet the sun with another cup of coffee. I would go back to bed but the pillows are stained with forgotten exams and misplaced passports. The day is leaving without me and I have forgotten to purchase a ticket two weeks in advance. An unreliable narrator suggests solutions to the world’s Facebook agendas involving a black bandanna and a healthy disregard for the law. My sour stomach hollers obscenities from the balcony at the unanimous consent to pour a drink. The lap bar is locked and the cars do not stop (leering clown-faced attendant taking his leisure at the brake lever) and we are dragged clanking back to the top of the roller-coaster from which sunrise is visible over the event horizon from which there appears to be no escape from the plummet into centripetal gibberish.

Somebody scream!

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd March 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Smiling.

IN-A-GADDA-DE-DOLCE-VITA March 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is Friday. Innocence is not an option.

dolcevita6 (1)

I hear the singing of the undertow
where the anxious waves come and go.

I watch it greedily leach
away the sand beneath
Fellini’s beached monster.

The tide has drowned the beach.
The cafe angel waves. I cannot reach
her distant innocence from here.

I turn my back on the fantastic
and light another cigarette.

Let Sleeping Camels Lie? March 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I walk into Canseco’s and It’s Midnight at the Oasis on the ceiling speakers. It’s Day 4 of red beans, day 4 of late night meetings with our colleagues in that huge swath of the earth on China Standard Time. I’m eating a salad, again, to relieve the tedium of just red beans.

The best I can say about this week is last night a line came to me, and I forced myself out of bed in spite of my exhaustion and managed three draft strophes for a long poem I’m working on, a break-through, really, another approach to telling history through poetry without hitting a false note: typing, not writing.

Come Friday night at midnight, I am the camel. Coo coo ka choo. OK, maybe you weren’t born when that song came out or were waiting for Saturday night and the Lawrence Welk Show, but this is not a happy thought. Maria Muldaur was a pop pin up girl in my day, with Cher’s looks locks but a real woman’s body, not a stick figure. And a come hither voice in that song that sent chills up and down the spine.

Now I hear it and I remember the card I saw once in the same store, before the changed the racks. Over what hill? When? Where? I don’t remember any hil1!. (I add here my own: harrumph!) I don’t want to be the Camel. I want to be Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif, both terrified to ride in a camel charge, finishing off a pint of scotch whiskey and milk before they took Aqabah from the land side. To paraphrase another song of long ago, I want to up get on my camel and ride before I’m so old no amount of extras and crew and scotch and milk can get me up in that saddle. I want to stop collapsing on Friday night like Welk’s dead accordion.

I better run. I think my sausage is about done. Wait, can I rephra…oh, never mind.

Good Night. Safe Home. March 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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NO. I am NOT going to the Holy Ground. (Write on the blackboard 100 times). I’ve had a 12 hour day and more to come this week.

The last little bit of Jameson is gone, and I’ve got a few bottles of Guinness and Altan for company.

When I die, after you leave my marker or scatter my ashes, I don’t ask for a brass band and Didn’t He Ramble. I ask every friend I’ve known (and one I haven’t met yet who can play the fiddle, or at least the penny whistle), to lead everyone away from the sad moment to the party to follow playing this, the one song I’ve heard in fifty plus years that marries sorrow and joy perfectly, that echoes the music of the Acadians whom my German ancestors were assimilated into.

Long ago, halfway into my exile, the Scottish host of The Thistle and Shamrock Fiona Ritche had Micheal Doucet on her show, and pronounced the Acadians the Lost Tribe of the Celtic Race. I felt this on my one visit to Ireland, especially the nights spent in small town inns. And I’ve taken that as license to drink a bit on this day, as I am right now, even though I am but 1/32nd Irish (and thank my sister whose Mormon genealogy, if I can lay hands on it, can give me the name and the county.

(NO. I WILL NOT go &c.)

(Echoes of drunken Welshmen abound in that last statement. But dammit, I shall not go. NO)

If you can talk Doucet into playing my funeral, I’ll promise to arrange for someone to return the ankle bells I drunkenly stole off the stage at the Mardi Gras Party at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA one long-ago carnival season early in my long exile. If he preceeds me, I will make arrangements for return of the bells myself.

A penny whistle would be just fine. I hear it in my head that way. May this tune carry you safe home tonight is my prayer.

Tommy Bhetty’s Waltz by Altan:

Redemption Songs March 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical 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 rotted cabbage heads, 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.

Impacts of Fuzz Effect Guitar on Dopamine Uptake and Recycling Rates in the Brain of the Typist March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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ABSTRACT: A study of the Fripp Effect, in combination with mellotron, in reducing states of oppositional misbehavior and inducing a state of exhilarated calm by the end of the second side.

Klaatu barada nikto mofo March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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What Tumblr’s email robot thinks I should be doing with my life. Banking is not one of the choices. Wise, wise robot:

college versus gardening. You decide

I thought the other day, for a moment, how happy I was working my ass off trying to cram six credit hours of graduate school into four weeks: eating well, not smoking or drinking much, climbing that damn hill every day, brain fully engaged in poetry.

A castle helped. As did lunch. As did Venice.

Then again, I”m watching three people go through the end of their MFA on Facebook. Not a pretty picture, at least for two of them. Not naming names. You know who you are.

Gardening. I used to do that.

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree”
By Wm. B. Yeats.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

WHAT HE SAID March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Todd Rundgren, Toulouse Street.
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honk honk honk [listen closely]

Miller Time 3 1/2 Hours [Exit Only]

A Riddle Wrapped March 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The unwrapping of which is my current task, to crack the nut and find perhaps in the kernal an enigmatic way to live.

We are here to kill war. We are here to drink beer. We are here to live so well Death will tremble to take us.
— Charles Bukowski

My literary heroes acted out by impulses beyond their control the myth of the drunkenly suffering artist. Bukowski, John Berryman, Everette Maddox, all but the last dead too young and by their own hand (Berryman’s bridge, Maddox’s “Drinking Glass“).

If I have a credo in my life it is Bukowsi’s. How, then, to live a moderately happy life and honor it? Politics drives me to the brink of a stroke, Klonopin drowning in adreneline, and regrets that I tossed my copy of the Anarchist Cookbook. Not a good place, but when I first came home I managed to channel the anger into words and civil action. Beer we may take to understand what the Irish call good craic:companionship of friends, out of the house and having fun. It need not end in a hangover.

The last is the most difficult. I am bound in chains of my own forging to a life, no, a job that is an exchange of soul for money, but at the moment money is what I need. It robs me of so many hours, leaves me drained and empty eyed, all in service to a system I loath.

Moloch, whose soul is electricity and banks.
— Allen Ginsburg, “Howl”

When my careful online code name for my employers of the last several years is an idol into whose furnace innocent children were thrown, a dark god which represented for Ginsburg everything that was wrong with America: what more can I say than that except thank you Mr. Ginsburg for the apt shorthand.

I have just finished making some notes after my therapy session, a process I have just undertaken. It is clear from the flow of questions that my psychologer is still figuring out why I am there, as I am. And if I am serious about the process. Am I?

I tell myself I am in her office to solve the conundrum above, but am I really? Would freedom from the Pill Doctor put me in a place of less dependence, closer to the staticially happy, within six sigma of the Minnesota Multiphasic mean?

I was born to peddle roses down the avenue of the dead.
— Bukowski

Perhaps I am, in this city where the dead all have an address and history uproots the sidewalks in the form of oak roots. If I manage to decode my life into its constituent parts and reassemble it will those parts still be me? It is one thing to take the clock apart. It is another to put it back together. If I am anything at this point in my life am my words. Going to a therapist to try and get off the Klonopin, the molecules unable to distinguish between an unhealthy anxiety attack and the urge at the edge of sleep to rise up and write down that fragment of an idea, to sacrifice sleep to follow that thought wherever it may go, is a gamble. Perhaps I do not wish to be fixed in any conventional sense, but rather to manage the madness without resort to well scotch or a tall bridge. Or the Klonopin, to which I exhibit symptoms of tolerance and possibly dependence.

Perhaps I was borne to suffer at times, to relish irrational exuberance, and in my spare time to peddle my flowers down the avenues of the dead.

The Mind of Me is a Terrible Waste of a Thing March 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Todd Rundgren, Toulouse Street.
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My EEG while at work today transubstantiated into sound. Primarily the part up to about 1:26 The heavy distortion effect is probably due to the coffee. The giant monkey may be the coffee or just me loosing it.

Damn, that’s a big monkey.

[coffee]

Trapped in Another Man’s Eyes March 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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Yes. This. Here. Now. Always.

Beat novelist John Clellon Holmes [describing Jack Kerouac’s On The Road]: “Somehow an open circuit of feeling had been established between his awareness and its object of the moment, and the result was as startling as being trapped in another man’s eyes”

Liberated from Randy Fertel’s A Taste for Chaos: Creative Nonfiction as Improvisation.

Radio Free Toulouse: In Case of Emergency Smash This Bottle and Go for the Door March 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist.
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In case of emergency are you prepared to execute the instructions on the seat back card in front of you? Are you? Ready?

The American Duende of the Blues March 7, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Duende, music, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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El Taranto

Dame venemo
Si me quieres dimelo
Y si no dame venemo
Y sal a la calle y si
Yo mate a mi dulce dueno
Con vememo que le di

Give me poison
If you love me, tell it to me
And if not, give me poison
And go out on the street and say
I killed my sweet master
With the poison I gave him

— Traditional cante jondo

I love Irene, God knows I do,
I’ll love her till the seas run dry
But if Irene should turn me down,
I’d take the morphine and die

— Variant verse of “Good Night Irene” by Leadbelly

The continuous glissando of the cantaor’s vocal cords and the bending of notes upon the guitar with hard calloused Black finger or the glide of a bottle neck slide.

What you must search for and find is the black torso of the Pharaoh.
— Andalusian cantaor Manual Torre, to Federico Garcia Lorca, explaining the duende–the “soul” if you will, of cante jondo or deep song; paraphrased from Greg Simon’s introduction to Ralph Angel’s translation of Lorca’s Poem of the Deep Song

Song born of pain, of longing, and of pride. Simon continues:

The apex of Moorish culture, which is represented for eternity by the Alhambra, was hallowed out from below by the brutal, secular incursions of the crusaders and brought to an abrupt end by the reconquest…By the time of the destruction of the Spanish Armada…Andalusia had splintered…and soon sank like a breached caravel from the sight of the world. I’m convinced that Andalusia’s Gypsy cantaores…began to be called upon for the consolation inherent in their art.

‘We are a sad, static people,” Lorca wrote of his fellow Andalusians, ‘people [who] cross their arms in prayer, look at the stars, and wait uselessly for a sign of salvation.’ ‘Static,’ Lorca’s description of the Andalusian…invokes the idea of the power of the force of life, potential energy waiting to be called upon by those who must have it to survive.

The further I go into the cante jondo and Lorca, in search of clues to the duende, a possible explanation for my own familiar demons that express themselves sometime in poetry, it seems impossible not to link the deep song, the cante jondo, to the blues. And if you listen for it, it lurks in the portamento of the fiddles in the saddest low waltzes of the Acadians, America’s closest native-born analog of the Gypsies.

“The black torso of the Pharaoh,” the common link in the Gypsy’s origin myth out of Egypt, out of Africa; the marginalization and suffering of a people who lived in caves above the city, and the Black American experience of their own harsh marginalization (the three fifths), the profound combination of sadness and hope, the constant portamento of the cantaor and the blues player, speaks to me of the universality of the duende. There is a force of unknown origin, the soul, the collective consciousness, or as Lorca relates (quoted from Archer) “…the words of an ancient guitar player who told him the duende pressed up through the crust of the earth and into him through the soles of his feet.”

I stood more than once in a tai chi class and felt myself rooted to the earth, the energy rising up through my own soles to the tips of my extended fingers and continuing by a tenuous but palpable thread to the sky.

As I read Archer’s translation, familiar poems in new clothes, the overwhelming presence of the earth, of the Guadalquivir and other rivers of Andalusia, of the olive grove and the flower, I hear echoes of haiku and the poetry of Asia generally. I am carried back to Ezra Pound’s free translations from the Chinese, in particular to the “Lament of the Frontier Guard” and the “Song of the Bowmen of Shu:”

When we set out, the willows were drooping with spring,
We come back in the snow,
We go slowly, we are hungry and thirsty,
Our mind is full of sorrow, who will know of our grief?
— from “Song of the Bowmen of Shu”

(Wind and dust
Fashion prows of silver.
— Lorca’s “Clamor”)

Lorca, in his published lectures and essays, and in his poetry, speaks often of the cave dwellings of the Gypsies of Andalusia, as do his commentators. Caves, openings into the earth, the place closest to the spirits of the earth. As Lorca himself explains, the duende is not the angel or Greek muse born of heaven, but closer to a demon, a spirit of the earth. The duende follows the ley lines beneath the rock and flowers, circles the earth and–when conjured by by stout hearts with the scent of sorrow–comes forth in the voices and fingers of the poet, the player and the singer.

March 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Hell, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Will the circle be unbroken
Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye
— Trad.

The lyric, like it’s quixotic faith, defies logic: an endless loop with no exit. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. That’s probably as close to eternal life as I’ll ever get, given an endless supply of “revitalizing” shampoo. The words of the song are nonsensical. Faith in a Christian Heaven or a Buddhist Western Isle imply we have only one pass around the track before the checkered flag or the crash-and-burn. Only one turn.

Like fractal patterns, nature is partial to circles, the ripple being the simplest example. Still, the most perfect pi-in-the-sky ripple eventually meets the fractal shore, and begins its return, the last of its impulse entangled in countless other infinitesimal returns, ending in nature’s other favorite game: chaos. Chaos is the nature’s greatest trick. The ancients thought the first people, gods if you will, emerged from it bearing the spark of consciousness, the ability to defy the common misunderstanding of the laws of thermodynamics, to impose order out of chaos.

How then do we make order out of the chaos of a life? Life, my dear creationist, is not a closed system, and is capable of self-organization. We dodge the curve balls of a game fixed to nine innings but which, without the deus ex machina of the umpire could go on forever. It is thought a perfect game is when no one reaches base. Perhaps the perfect game is the one in which the trajectory from the mound to the plate and by human intervention to the stands could, in theory, go on forever. Nine innings, three strikes, a perfect game: we manage to make some order out of an uncrunchable number of agate variables. We manage to find the circles in chaos. I have closed my share, 57 orbits of the sun is one. My departure and return to New Orleans, returning to the university after an interruption of 30 years to find as I wrote my last paper a book left to the library by a favorite professor of my ragged start long ago, inscribed to his mother. Terminus, meet Circle. There is a poor payout chance the sun will come up this morning. Other things are not quite as certain: the number of seasons in a life, the clashing possibilities that we will simply decay and return as another circle, a perfect daisy; or the chance that there is an escape velocity to be achieved, either by Calvinist laws as rigid as Newton’s, or by a life of holy mortification. Even that path is not certain. Is it achieved by perfect faith in the road to the distant and distinctly invisible, or in the constant moment of the Tao? Place your bets, spin the wheel, take your chances.

Circles can be our undoing, each the link in a chain we forge to bind ourselves. Spend, work, pay day, spend, around and around and around until we have forged a chain of links we can no longer stand under the weight of. The modern concept of retirement, an escape from the circle, is just an attempt to build a little bit of heaven here on earth, but with each passing day of the current era that dream seems as distant as the throne of clouds. Economy is a closed system, and as the most clever among us–the ones who own the coal and iron and command chains forged by the mile–rely on us to do the digging. As they pile up their own burden of chains, our chances are diminished. The chains we forge are not our own, but we must wear them.

The children of Calvin offer their answer: let go, and let god. Your chains will fall about your feet but so, in perfect devotion void of curiosity, will some measure of your humanity. It doesn’t matter if I Google whether it was Marx or Engels who urged the workers of the world to slough off their chains. What matters is that all attempts along those lines have only forged new chains. The lesson here: even as I swallow the Klonopin of Big Pharma to calm the rage against the machines for the making of chains I serve, is that the only way out is to abandon all dogma: Adam Smith or Karl Marx, Christ or Buddha. (If you meet the latter on the road, you know what to do).

I will take Ikkyu as my model, the most undogmatic spiritual writer you will find. Whether standing in the shadow of a twisted pine contemplating the irregular perfection of a boulder in the distance, bent over the quotidian paperwork of a monastery or reclining, wine in hand, in his favorite brothel, he seems to me the best model for a life without chains. He accepted no rules except the necessary rituals of life: work, pleasure, contemplation. I should have chained myself to the front of the plow half an hour ago, but sit here (thief of time, a title that may be capitalism’s greatest invention), in contemplation. Later, I will meet some friends to drink fine ales. I may perhaps later go out to frolic for a bit with the Dionysians of Bohemia who chose a pub crawl fundraiser as a way to at least rattle their chains a bit, in the name of saving a bit of perfectly contemplative green space from the ravages of the deductible rounds of golf. It is not the wobbly sand pits but the perfect circle, that little cup waiting for the ball, that is the trap, just another link in the chain. Perhaps Ikkyu shows us the only escape, to jump off of the circling carousel, to forgo a chance at the brass ring the lawyers took away long ago, and sneak off for a bit mindful of but outside the rules. This may be as close to heaven as we ever get.

“That’s It For The Other One [Cryptical Envelopment/Quadlibet For Tender Feet/The Faster We Go The Rounder We Get”

Are we here yet?

DEADsiderata March 4, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, NOLA, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist.
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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.

I’m On The Phone With Singapore March 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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is now my standing excuse for all night time engagements I would just assume not.

We got off early but damn it, I’m still on the phone with Singapore as far as you all are concerned.

I’m going to make a salad and read something.

Write One Hundred Times on the Board:

I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
Scully
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.

And, introducing our new tag: The Pointless. It sounds so unhopeful but think about it. Pointless. Without a point. If there is no point, I am neither here nor there. I am not in orbit, have no geographic or geometic reference or presence. I am working no angles, complementary or supplementary. I am adrift in the sea of me without compass or protractor.

All I can tell you with certainty is I am not in Singapore.

That is all.

Y February 28, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, Fortin Street, FYYFF, je me souviens, Katrina, postdiluvian, Remember, Sinn Fein, The Narrative, Theater, We Are Not OK.
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[Baraka’s] are the agonized poems of a man writing to save his skin, ot at least to sette into it, so urgent is their purpose. — Richard Howard’s jacket blurb for Amiri Baraka’s S O S Poems 1661-2013

Word.

Klonopin does not differentiate between a panic attack and the sudden urge at the edge of sleep to turn on the bedside lamp and find a notebook. — The Typist to his Psychologer, on why he wants to “wash out”

Nor can the inflexible chemistry of psyco pharma recognize what might be thought an anxiety attack if it did not present as righteous anger. Yesterday I should have been emblazoned with the red lightening bolt of danger, caught in a fit of righteous anger, the fire that blossomed into the shield-boss flower of the old NOLA Bloggers, the warriors for New Orleans. I am not done with that. More2com, not –30–.

Rastaman the Griot: You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.

Before pharma entered my life there was beer, there was coffee, and after The Federal Flood there was writting, the countless typos of a hundred thousand plu words written in wee hours on not enough sleep. The dispensers of  psycho pharma do not recognize the world around them, the urgency of that world’s dysfunctional  condition, their patients but presentations of a broader illness. If people are not angry or depressed some significant portion of the time they are at best ill informed and at worse complicit dupes. I am not sure Toulouse Street is the platform for such an anger. The name lacks the resonance of the names of the prophets. The Typist is not Ezekial, fresh from the desert. Before Toulouse Street there was the Wet Bank Guide, where anger, sadness and hope argued drukenly around a table in a halo of smoke.  Somewhere in the middle was a famous and druken, attempted but incoherent eulogy  atop a fountain in the courtyard ofa bar at Ashley’s wake I don’t need a Klonopin. I need a fountain. And a beer. FYYFF, The Typist

Brilliantly Literate Occasional Gewgaws February 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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“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, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Haiku, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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image

I didn’t see one thing on my trip but I breathed and whatever I breathed was time
— Ikkyu

Find X February 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical 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, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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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, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical 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, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical 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, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical 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

Mendacity February 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Somewhere out There (not here) Endymion leans on his shepard’s staff and contemplates the moon. This is so distant from what will erupt a few blocks away this evening as to be almost out of reach, but I would choose to be there however long the walk.

Somewhere along the canals of Venice, or climbing the Albaicín in the midday hallucinatory alleys of the past I lost Carnival and I’m not sure where to find it. The Bacchanal of of this weekend holds no appeal, hasn’t for years, really. The endless parade of megafloats is a Zero, not a point but a hollow as big as infinity, god’s bottomless junk drawer. I have abandoned MoM’s, filed it away as memories of Arabi long ago.

Tuesday they promise rain.

What is missing is me, the old Dionysian me. I looked in my costume trunks (smelling a bit of midew; all must go in the wash), but did not find it there. I know it’s in here somewhere, likes to sneak off to the Holy Ground and play the chatty barfly. I start to wonder if I can find it Here, in this city of my birth. It is drowning again and too few seem to notice, our Lord Mayor the Krewe Captain of the final Americanization, an apocalype as large as Katrina and similarly invited by those who refused to see the faults were not in the stars but in themselves.

Today my neighborhood is Kenner, just another big box strip mall boulevard just off the exit marked America 1/4 mile. (America 1/8th mile. America 1/16th mile. American 1/32nd mile…), a paradox I have no interest in teting. My friend the Pill Doctor would call this depression but it is not. It is a sadness as infinute as zero, a nostalgia for all that was almost lost in apocalypse and a sadness that those who did not drown are being sold into the galleys to pull their oars like Real Americans.

I am not a real American. I think the last vestiges of anything ike patriotism were burned away when the last Apollo climbed into the morning sky. I simply didn’t realize it until the Federal Flood washed away all illusions, a catastrophc baptism into what? Something like a promised salvation, a clean slate in the aftermath that proved itself the medicine bottle of a thousand Cousin Dudley’s who’s only interest is to cash in on mendacity.

BIG DADDY: I’ve lived with mendacity!—Why can’t you live with it? Hell, you got to live with it, there’s nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?

New Orleans as Big Daddy, dying of cancer that has spread to murder, greed, conformity, and the lot of them–the mayor, the uptown money, the downtown carpetbagers–all circling, eyeing each other, trying to get their hands on 28,000 of the finest acres this side of the Nile.

That is what Endymion and Bacchus are to me: mendacity, the Lexus and American Express suburbanites slumming in the city tossing trinkets to the pick up truck port-o-let crowd come downriver from Kenner pretending this is Carnival.

Carnival is not Blaine Kern and a movie star grand marshall. Carnival is a Spirit and I’m looking for a preacher who knows that Holy Ghost. Perhaps if it’s warm and rainy Mardi Gras, I will walk naked as Ezekial through a mostly empty Quarter with eyes like wheels of fire, one saved in the desert by ravens while looking for my place in the story I seemed to have laid aside and lost track of, a prophet of the wrathful god of water, preaching sin and sin again in perfect innocence while we still have time, before one flood or another washes the slate so clean Noah cannot find the mount.

The only really adjustable language February 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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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..
Best.
Bill [William S. Burroughs, from a letter to his parents]

Good Night February 1, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical 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.

One Upon A Bayou January 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in History, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Once upon a bayou an old man and woman came down Esplanade almost daily to the shore. Under the watchful eyes of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard (C.S.A) the man sat beneath an unravelling straw hat with a cane pole, fishing. The woman in an apron bent and picked dandelion greens in the ancient posture of the plantation. She placed them in an old, plastic ice cream bucket on which the plastic handle had been replaced by a string of twine.

Once upon a time there were such people? There are no lard-fried bream and dandelion green dinners preserved in the freezer aisle at Winn-Dixie. On my way home, turning north at the General’s statue–the direction of his resentful gaze–on the bank a small tractor pulls a spray tank, scarecrow arms extended. Dandelions no longer mar the view of park lawns from the high-rise apartment building on the opposite shore.

Once upon a time there were such people.

Introduction to a longer poem, and a parable for New Orleans. If you chose someday not to publish the poem because of this post, fine. Return to munching leaves or carrion, after your scaly fashion. Your time will come, too.

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