…the seriousness and dignity of their feelings. January 9, 2016Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I see my son in the small tumult of the moment…shaking the man’s hand, nodding madly. He is not experienced at hearty rapport, of course, but his effort is meticulous and touching. He knows the man’s pleasure is important… . We must be more precise in the details of our responses. This is how we let people know we understand the seriousness and dignity of their feelings. Life is different here. We must be equal the largeness of things.
— Don Delillo, The Names
Not the largeness in the American sense of the monumental but in the warm, Mediterranean sense of this place, it’s large-hearted people. It is the particularities of the moment that are large in their ordinariness, the neighbor, someone across the street or around the block, the store owner, the man who catches the bus as the same time every day and the man who emerges from the store at precisely the same time the bus arrives with his first beer of the day. Each requires your attention in their own way, born of the familiarity and the pleasure of each connection, the roughly measured to overflowing by moment of the encounter.
The newcomers here do not understand this. They come from cities of strangers with a strict and distancing etiquette of sidewalks. Their connections are exclusively professional, whether accountants or poets. They are the people of the nodding acquaintance, subway elbows at the ready to measure their separation. They isolate themselves in the place they have come to immerse themselves in, run in packs of their own kind with the self-interested isolation of wolves, but without with an inbred knowledge of the landscape. They are forever expatriates in a land where they do not speak the language, lost without a map, forever miscalculating the human currency in which we trade.
Artifice January 1, 2016Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, quotes, The Narrative, The Typist.
Tags: Charles Bukowski
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since fact is an artifice of fiction let’s call this fiction so like all good boys and girls we can relax
― Charles Bukowski, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
Furthur January 1, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Shield of Beauty, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The faster we go the rounder we get.
Anywhere, anywhere December 31, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, quotes, The Journey, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist.
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Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that only your own torment gives you pleasure? If that be so, let us flee to those lands constituted in the likeness of Death. I know just the place for us, poor soul! We will leave for Torneo. Or let us go even farther, to the last limits of the Baltic; and if possible, still farther from life. Let us go to the Pole. There the sun obliquely grazes the earth, and the slow alternations of light and obscurity make variety impossible, and increase that monotony which is almost death. There we shall be able to take baths of darkness, and for our diversion, from time to time the Aurora Borealis shall scatter its rosy sheaves before us, like reflections of the fireworks of Hell!
At last my soul bursts into speech, and wisely cries to me: Anywhere, anywhere, as long as it be out of this world!
— Charles Baudelaire
That’s It For The Other One, Con’t. December 28, 2015Posted by The Typist in Moloch, Sinn Fein, The Narrative, The Revolution Will Be Televised, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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I really need to sweep, but so does the United States.
Best Of Cast Off Sculpture December 27, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, art, FYYFF, je me souviens, New Orleans, Pedestrian I, Remember, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, WTF.
Tags: City Park, Delgado Museum of Art, NOMA
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The Forgotten Labor Of Heracles: The Slaying of the Psychotropic Bacon at the Gates of Taste
The Ignominy of Ignorance: Kinetic Sculpture by Some Guy from Some Where with Docent in the Background
All photos by A. Eulipion. Reproduced under a letter of Marque and Reprisal issued by the Committee of the Whole, Free City of New Orleans.
Ed. Note: Some explanation for the blog’s many subscribers from afar: These are the sculptures that graced the front of the New Orleans Museum of Art in my living memory, a span of half a century. I did not grab a picture of the plaque beside the bronze sculpture of Hercules of my earliest memories and so cannot name the artist. The kinetic piece below, Wave, is by Lin Emory, a world renowned native of New Orleans. His deserved place of honor is now taken by a monstrous Lichtenstein. I would not argue the acquisition of the Lichtenstein, or a place of honor for it in the Bestoff Sculpture Garden behind NOMA. I am resentfully nostalgic that the museum would displace a native son with it. The title is a play on the Bestoff family partnership in the local Katz & Bestoff drug store chain.
Little Miracles December 25, 2015Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Xmas, Yule.
Tags: Rugby Tiger, The Christmas Toy
This is an excerpt of a long ago blog post on Wet Bank Guide.
… [b]ut I believe in Christmas miracles. A decade ago, my three-year old daughter fell in love with a character called Rugby Tiger, from an obscure [Jim Henson production] called The Christmas Toy. Having Rugby Tiger was her only Christmas wish, the only secret she had for Santa.
Finding Rugby Tiger proved to be impossible. The Christmas Toy is a wonderful show, but not a spectacular of the sort that generates tie-in marketing. The stores at Christmas are full of great piles of stuffed animals, but none came close to looking like Rugby. We scoured the smallish town we lived in at the time, and all the stores of Fargo, N.D. as well. I dredged through catalogs of online stores back in the early days of e-commerce, and called every major toy store I could think of. It became increasingly clear there would be no miracle, that the first Christmas my first child really understood would be a failure, a disappointment that would haunt her the rest of her life.
There’s a happy holiday thought.
Then one day, perhaps a week before Christmas, I went into a little mom-and-pop drug store in little Detroit Lakes, MN, and walked past the big pile of stuffed animals I had twice before torn apart. As I came back from the pharmacist with my little bag, I decided to have one last desperate dig. And that’s when I found him.
His tag didn’t say Rugby Tiger, but he was a perfect replica, the very image of the television tiger. Christmas was saved.
I’ve told this story to my children, when they finally asked me about Santa Claus. Yes, I can tell them with a straight face, I do believe in Santa Claus, because once when I truly needed a mieraculous Christmas present for someone I loved, it happened.
Perhaps I’ve used up my quotient of miracles. But I know that belief is more than just a bit of sustaining psychology. I am a poor excuse for a Christian, probably not one at all at this point in my life. But I know there is a power within us and without us that, sustained by belief, can work miracles in this world.
Most miracles are small and personal things: two people meeting and falling in love, a child’s face on Christmas morning when they find a dream come true, the birth on a winter’s night of a child entirely ordinary and no less miraculous. My Christmas wishes for myself and for my city may seem as improbable as the sentiments of a beauty contestant, but they’re not. My wish is for the thousand tiny and entirely human miracles I know are possible.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales December 25, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Xmas, Yule.
Tags: Dylan Thomas
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The Junkie’s Xmas December 24, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: A Junkie's Christmas, Wiliam S. Buroughs
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Burroughs does Xmas stripped of all the pretense. I love this story but then I was raised on The Little Match Girl. If you don’t understand why Jesus of Nazareth would love this story go back to wrapping presents. Better yet, burn your tree. Leave the angel on top so she can fly up to the heavens in the smoke and ash and ask whatever gods may be lurking behind the entirely ordinary stars of a mythical winter’s night to have mercy on your soul.
A Day in the Park December 23, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Dead, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is a pivotal moment that occurs, of all places, in the lunch room at work. It is the guy across the table eating his daily bacon cheese burger, dipping each French fry delicately into the ketchup, explaining that your quinoa is grown by people who are now suffering from malnutrition because their crop is more valuable than coca. So they chew coca and eat expired U.S. surplus cheese food and white flour which they make into something resembling biscuits and gravy. Cheese burger guy will, through a genetic dispensation, live to be 87 and die quietly in his sleep after a night of wild sex with his fourth wife, followed by a cheeseburger and French fries from the all night fast food joint. This comes to you as a haunting as you stare at your floppy gluten-free sandwich, which was stiff if not crisp when it came out of the lunchroom toaster oven, but is now floppy again. You stare at it but do not eat until the lunch room is empty: quiet, white, almost serene. You get up and walk out of the office without telling anyone and wander the streets for hours stretching into days during which time you don’t eat. You subsist exclusively on weak diner coffee with three sugars and a non-dairy creamer, because when you walked into Starbucks your remnant college Italian left you incapable of deciphering the sizes on their menu. As you walk your cell phone will ring and the picture of a familiar woman will appear on the screen, but you don’t remember how to answer. Eventually the battery dies and you trade the phone for a patty melt on white with a side of fries and bottomless coffee for the night.
When the plastic card stops working you move into the park and start collecting acorns to eat and find a hollow shrubbery in which to sleep. Over time, the birds and squirrels and insects increasingly find you harmless, although they wish you had some cold popcorn. They speak to you until you begin to learn their languages. They explain that they too are dying like the Andean quinoa farmers because the world has become poisonous because of man. You are unsure what is quinoa or an Andean farmer. You wonder if you are a man. None of the large animals you see in the park have a beard as long as you do, and they wear ugly boxes on their feet. You try to approach them one by one to discuss this creature man, until you encounter a creature magnificent creature covered in shiny bits who wears a belt much like the things the other bipedal creatures in the park wear on their feet. It is full of interesting looking objects. As you attempt to ask him your question the last stitches holding up your pants give away, and you stand naked trying to ask him your question. He pulls out a box that is at once black and shiny, with two bright shinier bits on the end, and he fills you with their light until everything goes black.
You awake up in a box lying on a soft box with a soft thing under your head. A two-leg in a white wrapping visits you every day and talks to you, doing something with a stick and a board as you walk, and another two-leg who brings you am acorn like thing only larger filled with brightly colored things to eat. You like to watch the light on the wall march across the room, and stand at an opening looking at the animals outside. You eat the brightly colored things until you are declared fit to get up and join everyone else in the lunchroom, where you eat brown things …. chicken …. chicken nuggets, yes, and soft white potatoes covered in …. gravy and and a mix of new colored things which are soft. One day the man in the white wrapping informs you that as you have no insurance, you are now well enough to be discharged. You are not quite sure what this means, but you are given a set of wrappings …. of, clothing, and out of pity the white wrapped man named Doctor gives you a wad of green paper. You walk out, unsure where to go, until you capture a familiar smell in the air, and another forgotten word. Coffee. You walk into the place with coffee, and notice a green and white figure of a woman with something on her head, and she reminds you of the nice …. nurse who brought you your …. medication. You stare at the menu, and because you have forgotten almost all human language much less Italian, you see the word Grande and something in your head tells you this means wonderful and large. You are disappointed at its size, but overjoyed by the aroma. The woman who is not green but just white and wears nothing on her head bangs on a metal thing, and speaks until you remember what the green paper is for. You give her some, and she gives you more back (hurray! you think, you think) along with shiny things. You are afraid of the bright shiny things because something frightening once happened to you when you were touched by bright shiny things so you put those in a …. jar with other shiny things. You keep the brown ones, and wonder if the green paper and brown shiny things are something the animals would like to eat. The colors remind you of …. acorns. You wander into the …. park, but the animals will not eat either the green things or the shiny brown things. They chatter at you. You remember that once you could knew their words, could speak to them, but now it is all noise. Everywhere there is noise …. horns, you think, which go with something called …. cars. There are loud metallic and howling sounds that wake the memory of the shiny black box with the shinier bits sticking out of it. And rhythmic noise you believe might be …. music, but you do not like this music. You prefer to whistle the sounds you once learned from the birds. You listen and try to remember how to do this. You walk slowly through the park drinking your coffee. When it is gone, you drop the cup and a woman yells at you but it is all noise. You keep walking until you reach the lake in the middle of the park. You keep walking until the noise stops and all around you are beautiful dancing lights.
Such a Beautiful Day December 23, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, The End, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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This is the movie that will destroy your comfortable American life. It is on Netflix. What are you waiting for?
Saddest of All Animals December 19, 2015Posted by The Typist in errata, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
““[V]erily I feel myself sometimes to be that saddest of all animals,” he wrote, “a poet who cannot write poetry…””
— Malcolm Lowry
Abandoned Cruciform December 19, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Once Upon A Bayou, The End, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Take your oil
& burn it.
It is the blood of our uprooted earth
which we have given up to you.
Do this in ignorance of me.
Still Standing December 15, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Moose Jackson, O'Neil's Lament
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“I am not alright but I am upright.”
— “O’Neil’s Lament“, Moose Jackson
Indecency December 14, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, film, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Viva la libertà
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Fellini fought so that indecency would not become a habit. When the TV channels went to spy on his death their real mission was to announce the end of a world and the birth of a new cycle. Politics as the constant invention of reality, as deception.
— Mung, Viva la libertà
Debt Is Freedom December 14, 2015Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I am come from the underworld
to tell you your new gods
are concerned about your parsimony.
This country was built on credit, goddammit,
so spend it. You are not carrying your weight
in their grand scheme of things & things.
Their sisters will snip your disobedient cards &
abandon you to eating the happy employee meal
sweating at the bus stop over the rent.
They can take it all back at any minute,
a repossession worse than death:
carless, houseless, under the overpass.
The obsolete missionary gods slop contempt
on mercy’s plate. Get a job, their prayer but
there’s no good work for folk with your credit score.
I was as you once, and walked away, thinking:
freedom. It was then they came for me. No room
for bad examples except under the overpass.
Your new deities send me to tell you:
debt is freedom, the endless shelves
of choice beyond your grandparents imagining.
Spending and getting is all of heaven
you will ever know before the balloon note is due
& cold repo death, the only old god left
comes due at some month’s end.
Chicken Salad on Rye December 14, 2015Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It’s 4 am and I’m hungry so I decide I’m not quite ready to go back to sleep. I make a sandwich. Chicken salad on rye, things that are good for turning around my pre-diabetes you have not through sloth and gluttony but because you sat too many hours through too many days in a job from hell, gaining weight while living in a constant state of molar-destroying stress. And you think chicken salad on rye not just because it’s on your safe list, and you are rapidly becoming one of those dietary obsessives, the vegan and gluten crowd, but because you know this drill. You father worked himself into a complete collapse, literally dropping at work followed by a week in the hospital and a month of doctor’s orders for no work. He had to piss on the tape back then but came back from it. I don’t know if he managed his stress by getting himself fired, or walking away (they always let you walk away, they let me walk away), owed $100,000 which was serious money back then. But he bailed, and he beat it. And I have walked away. And I’m going to beat it.
And if this is starting to sound like a Bukowski poem without line breaks I started reading Bukowski when I couldn’t sleep because Clarice Lispector is a madwoman of the first order, a twin separated at birth from Beckett but you’re just not ready for Lispector and her brilliant cockroach monologue, because that sort of concentration doesn’t come at 4 am. You are up because of an anxiety dream about your ex- who is freaking out because our daughter is bringing her dog home with her for Xmas, and you just know she doesn’t want to leave a nervous dog alone in her obsessively Southern Living-ready condo. And later this morning you have to call unemployment because they don’t want to give you unemployment. You have to call the insurance company because they’ve lost your crappy COBRA policy but at my age I need something. You have to call the life insurance company which canceled your life insurance policy because you spaced a bill with a rate hike. They’ve cashed the makeup check but you still don’t know. You have to get out and walk five miles to loose the weight gained sitting in the Herman Miller chair you splurged on to make sitting in that tiny corner of your apartment 12 hours a day slaving for people you hated a little more bearable, the job you kept only because they paired you with a single mom with two small kids who had never worked anywhere else who was also loosing her mind from all the work, and you just couldn’t leave it all to be dumped on her. (Asked once by an HR department if I had a friend at work, I declined to answer, finding it creepy and intrusive. But in the job from hell, I made a true friend at work. And I was not going to bail on her).
And you’re reading Bukowski because he’s not trying to be intellectual or clever in ways your brain can’t process at 4 a.m., and the other book on your bed is Grace Paley and while you love her stories she’s just so persistently cheerful through all of the mad lives of her characters you can’t stand it right now. Bukowski, he is just telling you brilliant little stories of life without Paley’s incessant optimism; stories of life’s moments of bullshit and beauty, and your own life right now is an endless freight train with moments of beauty glimpsed between the endless gondola and tanker cars of bullshit, the boxcars filled with sacks of bullshit, the boxcars half the politicians in this country would stuff you into if they were given the chance. Bukowski was first and foremost a journalist who looked deep into the cesspit of America and spoke what he saw. He afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted, unless he was drunk and the afflicted were making a scene of their affliction then he threw them out because they didn’t know how to suffer with class, because they couldn’t take a punch.
I should go back to sleep but in half an hour the lights will come on at the Fairgrounds across the street and maybe I’ll make some coffee instead, sneak in the back gate and stand at the rail and watch the horses warming up until someone tells me to scram. Maybe later I will go to the track instead of walking because the track is exercise for the mind and the body if it’s done right: first the form, to train the brain, a puzzle to keep the mind working; then off to the paddock to study each horse’s temperament, the way they manage themselves in a tight space surrounded by the competition; followed by a trot out to the rail for the post parade to see how they move, again a question of temperament but also how the muscles flow, if they prance with excitement do they do it with the grace of a dancer or a nervous wobble? Then watching the tote board, comparing what you’ve doodled on the form to the constantly changing numbers, probability and statistics meeting up on the mind. Then, at the last minute when the tote board seems to be settling in, the sprint to the window and back to the rail. Finally, the stationary cardiovascular circuit of the horses running, the blood pounding and your voice shouting encouragement.
Just maybe that is how Bukowski lived as long as he did with all the wine and beer, the cigarettes and cigars: he know how to exercise his mind and body in one place, how to celebrate the wins and how to suck up the losses; like the fighter he was, how to take the adoration of the winner and the humiliation of the loser, but most of all how to take the punches.
The sandwich is gone. I wonder if a glass of wine would help me get back to sleep, or if I should just call it a night and go watch the horses. The horses may disappoint, but they are always beautiful.
Baphomet’s New Orleans (17th Ed.): The Christmas Lounge December 10, 2015Posted by The Typist in Baphomet's New Orleans, Christmas, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Uptown.
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The Christmas (or Christmas Tree) Lounge is a bad answer to any question. Located just over Lowerline Street from stolidly respectable Uptown–the tourist-bus haunt of gnarled oaks, neo-Classical mansions and money as old as Egypt, rooted in a river, cotton and slavery–the Christmas Lounge stands in the adjacent nineteenth century suburb of Carrollton, long ago its own town with a quaint neo-Classical courthouse turned school just where the streetcars turn at the spot called Riverbend by real estate agents but known to past generations Uptown as the Devil’s Elbow. Surrounded by the once modest but now fashionable bungalows of a prosperous antebellum bourgeoisie and their employees, like all good dive bars the Christmas Lounge has the low-roofed and neon ambiance of a place men once gathered to wreath themselves in cigarette smoke and drink away the day’s labor straight from the beer bottle.
Today it is more likely filled with weary service people after the manager has tossed them out of the bar and everywhere respectable is closed, and the children of local, Jersey and Long Island money who mingle with the confident ease of daddy’s platinum card, students at Uptown’s expensive if not precisely prestigious universities, scholars of the sort who have quiet forgotten exactly which class they are in. Here the next generation of waiters and lawyers assemble to while away the smallest hours of morning with a studied drunkenness handed down in New Orleans from generation to generation.
The Christmas tree can manage a quite respectable martini early the evening, but the specialty of the night is the beer and occasional shot. Upended bottles of Jägermeister stand half-empty in their chiller/dispensers, the inverted stag suggesting a tribute to the author of this guide. A bottle of cinnamon whiskey does not last long and sugary sorority girl cocktails can be managed at all hours. There is still an active jukebox, an increasing rarity in an age when bartenders are liable to dial up a Pandora channel on their smartphone, and the music is an indefinable mix best categorized as loud and danceable.
There is a small set of long overused couches near the front, available for whiskey-earnest arguments, public foreplay, and passing out to the Instagram amusement of your friends. Toward the rear are small high tables opposite the bar, stools across long taken by the time you arrive, and the usual, narrow obstacle course through the middle where drinks are apologetically sloshed back from the bar.
To truly appreciate the Christmas Tree, it is best to dress in casual and spill-sacrificial clothing, start drinking before dinner, and continue doggedly on through the evening at one of Uptown’s many music venues until the band tears down. If you think you can still drive the Christmas Lounge is for you, or one can simply stagger over from the nearby destinations on Oak Street as they close.
Ranking: Four horns out of five largely for its promising youthful depravity.
Cognitive Disobedience December 4, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Yesterday I walked away from the prospect of a job, a job job with health benefits for all the fun stuff that comes with growing old, life insurance to replace the policy I just lost (again, like my COBRA over and over) because, well, Aetna. Back to Moloch, with banker’s hours and all the usual holidays paid. Back to the racket, automating ways to shake you by the ankles until all the money falls out. A job job, in an office full of clones who wear a full undershirt beneath a polo shirt, with razor sharp faces and clean shaven hair. Razor cut. Razor. Cut. The blood of the lambs on my hands.
But I might die tonight.
Radiant Brains December 2, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Poetry as discipline (yes, mistress) the painstaking arrangement of the gunpowder flowers pounding the Anglo-Saxon drum of controlled explosions the crackling shower of non sequiturs of my radiant brains Klonopin espresso shots! Wallace Stevens Terry Gilliam! Fellini Bugs Bunny! Gasoline-flavored rainbows! Clem and the Amazing Technicolor Radio! the whizzing pinball governor humming Apple bomb chords of tilt resonating Steven Gould’s piano.
The trick is putting Xmas back neatly in its box–not a jingling crinkle out of place–with a just-so paper lady bow.
What The Cypress Knows November 30, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Once Upon A Bayou, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: fall color, Louisiana cypress
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It knows the warm spell is just that, a few days of enchantment before the cold returns. Few trees change color here, and I’ve never taken notice of the evergreen oaks, if there is a sudden November uptick in leaf litter. The cypress are among the few reliable barometers, turning colors of orange and sometimes a spot of red after the first cold snap. The short row of what I’ve pegged as burr oaks across the streets were unspectacular this year, quickly going roasted turkey brown without a hint of other color, but every neighborhood has its cypress. I walk through the park regularly and all along Bayou Metairie–what you probably know as the lagoon just north of City Park Avenue–has quite a few mixed in among the oaks, palms and bits of clumping bamboo. Those cypress know that while I ought to be in the shower on this 72 degree morning instead of capturing these thoughts, our octopus ride climate will soon come to a stop and settle in for its long winter’s nap.
Bloody Bourbon November 29, 2015Posted by The Typist in Murder, New Orleans, Remember, The Dead, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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I think it is time to take up again the Victims list pages I abandoned from emotional exhaustion, and to pursue another shelved project on the subject; to take it up again as something like chanting prayer, an invocation against that which I chronicle. Sweet teachers, pray for us.
I have some serious catching up to do.
Thanks anyway November 26, 2015Posted by The Typist in Fortin Street, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
It is too easy to slur Columbus Day and ignore Thanksgiving, for fear of upsetting the neighbors. Today we sit down to celebrate the complete incompetence of European settlers to feed themselves and contemplate the gratitude they showed to their Native neighbors, to offer our thanks to their omnipotently paranoid god who blessed the casual erasure of humans and bison from sea to shining sea, to engorge ourselves on indigenous corn and potatoes and African yams without a thought to their origins, eat thick slices from the engineered breast of a native bird bred like Chevrolets in a feed house it could not survive without constant dosing with antibiotics.
Let’s just fess up and admit that we are setting out to a glutton’s banquet at which we will eat until we are barely able to bend forward and reach the bottle to pour yet another glass of wine. I am Orleanian to the bone and have no problem with this. The gods of my hearth are not cosmic, are small and indigenous to this place and take great pleasure in our banquet. They are the absent ancestors whose places we have taken at the table, and food is their holiest sacrament. I will give thanks not to a remote god but to the stooped-back women who picked the cranberries and the men who wielded the death hammers of the slaughter house. I will wish them joy of a tall boy and pre-paid card from the corner store to call their distant families, camaraderie over food as best they can manage, and a day of rest.
Poetry Is Not November 17, 2015Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Nicanor Parra, PoetryIsNot
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In poetry everything is permitted.
With only this condition of course,
You have to improve the blank page.
— Nicanor Parra
The Magnolia Gate November 9, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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If I do not leave as I entered, between the two trees I call the Magnolia Gate (careful of the fallen fruit), have I really returned? Or is some small bit of me still circling the Bayou Metairie lagoon? Such a small haunting would not a bad thing in this ghost-peopled town. If you think you catch sight me of walking that path in the park late at night or in some inclement weather, then perhaps I am forever a bit of that part of the Back of Town.
A Single Step November 8, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Carolos Casteneda, xochicalco
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Twelve more days, and then…
“You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.”
― Carlos Castaneda
Image by xochicalco.
Unfuck Yourself November 6, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Your temporal/spatial forecast for today November 6, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Your temporal/spatial interaction forecast for today extends outward for a very limited ~8-10 hours and an associated radius of two miles from the Fortress of Squalitude due to continuing limiting factors. Sleep, concentration and social interaction remains deeply disrupted by the massive adharmic rent in the fabric of the universe located somewhere on the 41st floor of a building in Long Island City, NY. Energy drain remains as a very high peak flux along a fixed, occluded trough extending from LIC to the Fortress. The static potential associated with this trough has reached gigavolt levels, with a high possibility of random discharge. Bridges are at particular risk from such events. The previously forecast dissolution of this persistent trough has moved out to Nov. 20. (The event itself will continue to consume disproportionate energy in a generalized mode until the dissolution of the corporate vortex occurs. There is no visibility in this forecast suggesting this would occur soon.) Catastrophic amounts of coffee and associated chain-smoking continue, punctuated by weekends of continued pre-dawn awakenings combined with frequent naps, will continue. Social interaction remains at an extremely low 1.5, depending on your son’s work schedule and the possibility of exhaustive disassociation or meetings with Singapore on Date Night. Due to continued libidic disruption and extreme dietary restrictions of minus 1 on the Leidenhiemer scale associated with the high level of sheer stress from extreme cognotive dissonance resulting from this extended event, interaction with Arabella the Ghost Stick and the Speaking Tequila Skull is contraindicated. Do not wear your Trout Mask.
One’s Inner Daemon October 31, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Getting in touch with one’s inner daemon, not infernal but an amoral engine of perception whose only purpose is music, not of the spheres, of the equinoctial routine but rather the assembly of images like maenads, words raving and tearing at each other’s clothes until assembled, naked and purposeful, in union, in invocation: the earth shifts its ecliptic and the divine eye is opened.
Every time a bell rings, someone has entered the shop door of Hell. October 25, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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“Things are tight, ” the man
said, tightening his
“We can’t give you a
job, we can’t give you
any money, and
we don’t want these here
poems either.” He
tightened his tie. “Fact
is, the old cosmic
gravy train’s ground to
a halt. It’s the end
of the line. From now
on there’s going to
be no more nothing.”
He went on, lighting
a cigar: “We don’t
wish we could help, but
even if we did,
we couldn’t. It’s not
our fault, by God, it’s
just tight all over.”
He brought his fist down
on the burnished desk
and lo! from that tight
place there jetted forth
rivers of living water.
- Everette Maddox
The voice, it is not madness October 24, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
A melody, a rhythm, the solo that lives inside them. Words as melody and rhythm, the solo that makes a poem. The voice of god in the bell of a mad saxophone. The poem as illuminated gospel. The artist in the corner frantically keeping time, the signature of pencil or charcoal capturing in her imagination the melody of colors to follow from the notes.
Listen. Listen to his tune. Calls it his duty-free gift for the Traveler.
— Rahsaan Roland Kirk, “Theme for the Eulipions”
Pedestrian I: Lost Flamingo October 18, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Pedestrian I, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Its bright pink eroded by so many suns, nearly hidden in the shrubbery, faded to something like the waterbirds in the nearby park who also hide themselves along the marge, it is reduced to a muted respectability appropriate to a neighborhood which takes its name from that park, and is entered between two pillars.
Unhappy: hcolom October 14, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Scott Walker
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(That’s It For) The Other One October 6, 2015Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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He ends his day by slipping comfortably into the third person, as into a pair of slippers formed to his feet by long use. This shift is not among his many disorders, those of the mind, of the body, the derangement of his bookshelves or the irregular draping of his room in laundry. This narrative shift out of of day’s I shall, I must, I have forgotten, I must never into a comfortable distance quiets the incessant, neurotic scissoring of memory and its demon familiars, regret and doubt.
The plural simply won’t do. What shall we have for dinner evokes loneliness, the absence of so much as a cat. He had a cat once, his daughter’s, which he watched die, taking with it the last possibility of a plural innocence. His son, who loved the cat perhaps more than his daughter, assisted at the end, and by doing so helped erased their childhoods from his life.
He is incapable as that other, self-aware and self-centered person of meditation, of stilling the mind. The inexorable scissors, clattering from the moment he awakes–often bodily exhausted and short of sleep–that slice open the envelope of worry and empty its contents onto the bed. Then it is did I? Will I? How shall I and so on to coffee and a cigarette, his ego’s faithful companions in preparing to confront the mirror, his I standing their red-veined and unfocused, stumped by the choice between washcloth and toothbrush, the dangerous razor.
He lives to survive another day, his I fixed on the computer screen and the unending stream of work. To Them he is a third person, a distant figure time zones and plane changes away, a receptacle for tasks to be emptied every night, but this is not him, and evening’s distanced and remote person is his own creation, something beyond Their reach. He lights a cigarette and reaches for his book or his e-reader, ready to surrender to someone else’s story, allowing their omniscience to fill his world with hims and hers and them.
Later he will brush his teeth and wash up without reference to his tiny shaving mirror, the bathroom conveniently disarranged with a set of shelves before him and the mirror off to the side. He knows where his mouth is, the familiar shape of his face under the washcloth. The brush and rag are always in the same place, one bit of stability among all his disorders, the unstable arrangement of his unwashed dishes faintly rattling as he passes, the dishabille of his bedclothes, the absence of pajamas in his overstuffed drawers. When he is done he can pass through the house switch by switch, enveloping it in a comfortable darkness. There is no need for his I to guide him down his familiar path.
Sleep will come without too much difficulty as long as it is he and only he who climbs into bed, having closed his I hours ago.
The Future Is Fun October 2, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Firesign Theater, We're All Bozos On This Bus
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Many busy executives ask me, “What about the job displacement market program in the city of the future?” Well, count on us to be there, JIM, because, if we’re lucky tomorrow, we won’t have to deal with questions like yours ever again.
(How does he make his voice do that?)
Dream Song 103: I consider a song will be as humming-bird September 29, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I consider a song will be as humming-bird
swift, down-light, missile-metal-hard, & strange
as the world of anti-matter
where they are wondering: does time run backward—
which the poet thought was true; Scarlatti-supple;
but can Henry write it?
Wreckt, in deep danger, he shook once his head,
returning to meditation. And word had sped
all from the farthest West
that Henry was desired: can he get free
of the hanging menace, & this all, and go?
He doesn’t think so.
Therefore he shakes and he will sing no more,
much less a song as fast as said, as light,
so deep, so flexing. He broods.
He may, rehearsing, here of his bad year
at the very end, in squalor, ill, outside.
—Happy New Year, Mr Bones.
— John Berryman
Furthur September 22, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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“The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
― John Crowley,
Agape September 12, 2015Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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By César Vallejo
Today no one has come to inquire;
nor have they asked me for anything this afternoon.
I’ve not seen a single cemetery flower
in such a happy procession of lights.
Forgive me, Lord: how little I have died!
On this afternoon everybody, everybody passes by
without inquiring or asking me for anything.
And I don’t know what they forget and remains
strangely in my hands, like something that’s not mine.
I’ve gone to the door,
and feel like shouting at everybody:
If you’re missing something, here it remains!
Because in all the afternoons of this life,
I don’t know what doors they slam in a face,
and my soul is seized by someone else’s thing.
Today no one has come;
and today how little I have died this afternoon!
A Moment of October September 12, 2015Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The air is heavy with September in this barely peninsular city, surrounded by bath water swamps and a large, shallow lake, where the Yankee Farmer’s Almanac is purely a source of amusement. Humidity respects no levee and as the sun burns through the morning stratus the air warms slowly like a pot of soup. Soon it will bubble and the vanishing stratus will be replaced by clumps of cumulus that will rise to the boil of thunderstorms. I took a walk this morning to see what the crows were so excited about. One cawed not far to the north, a block I would think, and its companions came shooting toward the call with unusual urgency. I followed them up the street but whatever the excitement was, it was further away than I thought. The single caw had moved off toward the railroad tracks, and was lost in all the other bird call. In spite of the whine of Saturday morning lawn work the sound of a half-dozen different sorts of birds rose above it all. The birds know something is up. There is a cold front just over the horizon but nothing except the morning paper and the restless flutter of the birds indicates it is coming. There are no warning signs darkening the horizon. The air merely simmers. The leaf-rattling winds will come tonight, one hopes. The chill winds, blowing away all the clouds and leaving the air cool and dry, the first pleasant moment outside of a passing thunderstorm in months, one brief day of October arriving early like a scouting party. Tomorrow around 7 a.m. it will plunge to 66, just minutes after sunrise, as a temporarily gentler sun crests the trees. If you are not out looking east tomorrow, shame on you. It is only a single day, say the weathermen, and then it will be back to September again, summer’s close cousin. Leave a window open tonight. As the winds clock north, let the restless trees replace the sound of the air conditioner. Let the chill be your wake up call, and the warmth of the coffee welcome as you step outside.
Row September 10, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Hokusai, The Great Wave
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Hokusai’s Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa
Through the lens of imminent disaster Fuji–the looming ink stroke over innumerable sepia washes–is an insignificant bystander. The mountainous water towers over the iconic peak and the doomed boat. The sailor’s backs are turned to the crest of threatening fingers, their hands clasped in muscular prayer, heads bent to the task of rowing. They did not choose the sea. It is the world they were granted by their ancestors, rain on their fields and fish in the sea. The sky is a mirror of the sea, sometimes placid and other times fierce with wind, and where else shall they live except between the sky and the sea, those promising and pitiless fields of blue? They know the tales of typhoon and tsunami, whole villages swallowed by the sea, coasts given over to ghosts. Still, they rise up with the sun and go down to their own boats. When confronted with the Great Wave, there is nothing to do but row.