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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.

The History of Poetry: 3 April 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Sappho…fragments…matchbook promises to call…carelessly discarded like…used Trojans…by careless men…

Romantic lovers are not heroic, this merely women, and the lyric is not yet.

Impounded in the Lost and Found by cold scholars, a curiosity, a woman of passion and talent.

I do not think she dies in the kitchen, beside an oven cold as the ashes of Dido’s pyre, eaten by crows.

“A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw…

Beware! Beware!”

More likely consumed by her own fiery passion, and the gods tend to any men who stood too close.

“Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware..”

The incendiary fragments support this analysis.

What say you, Catullus?

Odd Words April 15, 2015

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

& All this month, The Pizza Poetry Project celebrates National Poetry Month and the power of youth voices by publishing poems by New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18. Working together with Reginelli’s, Pizza Delicious, Magazine Pizza, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, and G’s Pizza (who generously donate 10% of their proceeds to Big Class’s free youth writing programs), Big Class publishes poems of all kinds on pizza boxes, for delivery and pick up on April 17. Pizza eaters/poetry readers post their poems on Twitter and Instagram using #pizzapoetry15.

& Thursday at 6 pm Jamie Kornegay discusses and signs his book, Soil, at the Garden District Book Shop. Michael Pitre, author of Fives and Twenty-Fives, will interview Jamie following the reading. It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he’d be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself.

Also at 6 pm  come out to hear National Book Award Finalist Rene Steinke (Holy Skirts, Friendswood) and short story writer Sean Ennis (Chase Us: Stories) read from and discuss their work  at UNO’s Lakefront campus. The event will take place in Auditorium room 140 in the Liberal Arts Building and is free and open to the public.  Steinke is an American novelist. She is the author of three novels: The Fires (1999), Holy Skirts (2005), and Friendswood (2014). Holy Skirts, a novel based on the life of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Ennis is a Philadelphia, PA native now living in Water Valley, MS where he teaches writing and literature for the University of Mississippi and the Gotham Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in Tin House, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, The Good Men Project, and the Best New American Voices anthology, among others. Chase Us: Stories is his first book.

& Thursday at 7 pm The University of New Orleans Women’s Center and Quaint Magazine host Women Write, presenting special guest reader Anne Marie Rooney along with local poets studying in UNO Creative Writing Program including Kia Groom and Clare Harmon at The Sandbar on the UNO Campus. Anne Marie Rooney was born and raised in New York City. Right now she’s living in New Orleans, where she is a teaching artist. Her first book, Spitshine, is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She is the author of two chapbooks: The Buff, part of The Cupboard’s pamphlet series, and Shell of an egg in an effort, available from Birds of Lace. She has won the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, the Amy Award, the Greg Grummer Poetry Award, and the So to Speak Poetry Prize. Her writing has been featured on Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Lambda Literary, The Feminist Wire, The Awl, and The Huffington Post, as well as in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies.

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

& Friday at 6 pm Join 12 of NOLA’s top spoken word artists as they compete for the National Poetry Month Slam Champion title and CA$H prizes at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The night will kick off with a showcase of youth poets from around the city and will end with one poet being crowned the NPM Slam Champ. $10 adults, $8 seniors+students (with ID), $6 children/youth (7-17), 6 and under and NOMA members are free. COMPETING POETS: A Scribe Called Quess?, Akeem Martin , Beck Cooper, Honey Sanaa, iCon, Jessica Bordelon, Kataalyst, Preach, Sadecru and Sam Gordon. This event is put on in collaboration by the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and Slam New Orleans (Team SNO)

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Friday at 6 pm Alan Cumming will be coming by the Faubourg Marigny Art and Bookstore to shop, visit, and sign his books. Come by between 6pm and 7pm to see Alan Cumming, buy a book and have him sign it for you!

& Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library is hosting a Poetry Writing Seminar featuring four local poets/educators.

The workshop, held in honor of National Poetry Month, features the following speakers.

• 11 a.m. – Bill Lavender speaks on metaphor.

• 12 noon – Lee Grue speaks on the slant rhyme with some attention to end rhyme.

• 1 p.m. – Valentine Pierce speaks on free poetry writing.

• 2 p.m. – Kay Murphy speaks on the elements of a good poem.

Each presentation lasts roughly 50 minutes. The workshop is designed for poets of all levels.

& Saturday from 8:30 am – 5 pm The Greater New Orleans Writing Project (GNOWP) and the National Writing Project (NWP) invite you to WriteFest 2015–an all day teacher professional development conference highlighting best practices in teaching writing in urban classrooms. 16 breakout sessions at UNO feature classroom-tested lessons from NWP Teacher Consultants and local and national literacy experts serving urban classrooms across the US–from Portland, OR to Ferguson, MO, to our own New Orleans. By ticketed admission available here: writefest.eventbrite.com.

& Saturday from 12-4 pm NOLA Til Ya Die, the Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans, and One Book One New Orleans, a project of the Young Leadership Council (YLC), are teaming up to address one of the biggest–but least discussed–challenges to adult learners in our community: transportation. Many of the approximately 3000 students attending adult literacy centers in Orleans Parish rely on bicycles as their only means of transportation, yet the learning centers lack secure bike racks, which has led to bike thefts on more than one occasion. We as a community can help. The three organizations will hold an event titled “Learn Til Ya Die™,” dedicated to celebrating lifelong learning in New Orleans. NOLA Til Ya Die, which will host the event at 3536 Toulouse Street, has generously agreed to donate a portion of every sale of select merchandise toward installing bike racks outside adult learning centers. After this event, Where Ya Rack, also a project of the Young Leadership Council, will work with us to install the bike racks.

& Saturday at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Second Banana by Keith Graves. “Think of us as bananas. Obviously, I am Top Banana. The Big Banana. Numero Uno Banana. You are Second Banana,” says the Amazing Bubbles, the star of the circus. And what does Oop, the Second Banana, do? A Second Banana helps fill the pool so Top Bananas can dive. They hold the music so Top Bananas can entertain the crowd. They keep the tires full of air so Top Bananas can drive. In short, they are not the stars of the circus. But what happens when a Top Banana gets hurt and an eager Second Banana has to stand in his place.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a Teen, Tween Comic Workshop by Harriet Burbeck.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday the Latter Memorial Library will host a special Poetry Brunch event: Poets Reading Poets Reading. Everyone is invited to read the poem(s) of their favorite poet(s).

& Saturday at 6 pm at Octavia Books L. Kevin Coleman presents his novel, DIFFERENT SPRINGS. He will begin with a brief flamenco guitar presentation accompanied by a flamenco dancer, followed by a reading and signing. Coleman will take you on a thrilling journey from New Orleans, to Spain and the Middle East. At age 17, Coleman became a flamenco guitarist for José Greco and his Spanish dance company. In between tours he lived in Madrid, attending classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing at the now legendary Amor de Diós dance studios, and trying not to freeze or starve to death. He has been a lawyer in and around New Orleans since graduating from Tulane Law School in 1979 and has written about law, politics, religion, and flamenco in various magazines and newspapers.

& Saturday at 8 pm Pass It On open mic is back again. An exhibition of arts and ignorance all rolled into one good time. The city’s finest spoken word artists will be displaying their talents to the backdrop of Cliff Hines musicianship on Saturday April 18. The Building, at 1427 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, will be flourishing with the light-hearted spirit of your hosts Bobby & G while Ayo Scott sets the canvas for your evening.

& At 2 pm Sunday Shannon Ables discusses and signs her book, Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide, at Garden District Book Shop. How can you have a rich and fulfilling life? The choices you make, not your income or financial assets, are the most powerful determining factor for your quality of life. Women have never had so many options. Yet we often experience a kind of paralysis, an unconscious willingness to follow societal dictates rather than become the CEOs of our own lives. When we mindlessly follow the dots, we smother our innate gifts and miss opportunities to fulfill our true potential. There is another way—choosing to live a simply luxurious life. You can curate the life of your dreams by being purposeful and selective, no matter where you live, your income, or your relationship status. Luxury and true fulfillment are ours for the having if we know where to look and how to make the right choices.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Sunday at 4 pm in Baton Rouge there is Poetry Collaborations BR Gallery Reading. Vincent Cellucci and Christopher Shipman read Battleship verse from A Ship on the Line (Unlikely Books, 2014) and Chris and his other co-auther Brett Evans read from T. Rex Parade, a book about the tit’Rex mardi gras art parade ( Lavender Ink / Diálogos, 2015).

& Tuesday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop David Baldacci discusses and signs his book, Memory Man. Join in the celebration of Baldacci’s 30th book. The store will have refreshments and a Jazz band. mos Decker’s life changed forever–twice. The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything. The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered. His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts s presentation and signing with Gay Leonhardt, editior of SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS: Authentic Vintage Cocktails from A to Z. This recovered prohibition era recipe guide was originally created by noted New Orleans artist Olive Leonhardt (she illustrated the New Orleans literary magazine The Double Dealer) and political activist Hilda Phelps Hammond around 1929. In the 1920s Prohibition was the law, but ignoring it was the norm, especially in New Orleans. While popular writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald invented partygoers who danced from one cocktail to the next, real denizens of the French Quarter imbibed their way across the city. Bringing to life the fiction of flappers with tastes beyond bathtub gin, SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS serves up recipes from the era of the speakeasy.

& At 7 pm Wednesday the East Jefferson Public Library hosts a Poetry Event featuring Joel Dailey and Bill Lavender. l Dailey is best known for Fell Swoop!, a magazine he’s published for decades and that he calls “a newsletter for the Insane or the Inane.” He has published several books with Lavender Ink. His latest is Industrial Loop. In a long and engaging 2012 interview, Dailey talks to Camille Martin about the poetics of satire, Dailey’s poetry in Rolling Stone, small presses, poetic influences (such as Ted Berrigan and Anselm Hollo), and the magazine and its relationship to Hurricane Katrina, among other things. Dailey’s books include Nutria Bounce (Open 24 Hours Press, 2005), Lower 48 (Lavender Ink, 1999), Release Window (Semiquasi Press, 1998), Ambulance (Blank Gun Silencer Press, 1993) and Doppler Effects (Shockbox Press, 1993). Lavender is a poet, novelist, editor and teacher living in New Orleans. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others. His most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, dubbed by Rodger Kamentetz “a contemporary autobiographical masterpiece,” was published by Black Widow in 2011. His novel, Q, a neo-picaresque view of a world in constant economic crisis, appeared from Trembling Pillow in 2013.

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

The History of Poetry: 2 April 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

A year of Circe and then

        Calypso!

The Phaeacians dance under the island sun.

Odysseus broods in the shade over his untouched sunburger and Elpenor. The Last-To-Go-ians snatch it out of his hands and conga line out the door singing “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah.”

Roll another lotus, won’t you?

Fucking Cyclops, (fuck you Poseidon), voracious hole Charybdis and that man-eating bitch Scylla. Sometimes a guy can’t catch a break. But, wow, those Sirens.

Ever try. Ever sail. Sail again. Sail better.

Blood, blood is the answer, the universal language of men. (He dug the ell-square pitkin, dug the slashing of the animals, dug the flowing of their blood.)

Not now, mother, I’m talking to Tiresias.

Wait.

What?

Suitors?

Son gone off adventuring after his father. A woman patient to a fault, the faithful guardian of the patrimony, weaving and unweaving lies. Of course. It’s expected (c.f. Eden). In the end the ever seen, never heard servants. Those who remembered.

The rest? Off with their heads, the Bed King said, and they fell like axe heads, those who only labored for their daily bowl of porridge in lieu of a potentially disemboweling loyalty to No Man, the one who wasn’t there, who had no Hero’s part.

In the end, was Penny worth a pound, after all those goddesses? On this the Epic Poet is silent.

The silence of a blind man is perfect.

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.

Odd Words April 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans, while everybody is at AWP but us:

& Friday at noon the Tulane Bookstore hosts a Book Signing with Barri Bronston of Walking New Orleans 30 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, Culinary and Music Corridors, and Recreational Wonderlands. From neighborhoods such as Lakeview and Mid-City to landmarks including the Saenger Theater and Mercedes Benz Superdome, from its restaurants and music clubs to its parks and museums, the Big Easy has regained the title of the world’s most fascinating cities. In Walking New Orleans, lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer–and there’s plenty–Faubourg Marigny it provides tourists and locals alike with one heck of a good time.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday from 8-11:30 am Garden District Book Shop presents Maggie Heyn Richardson signing Hungry For Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey at the Crescent City Farmers Market, 700 Magazine Street at Girod Street. Food sets the tempo of life in the Bayou State, where people believed in eating locally and seasonally long before it was fashionable. In Hungry for Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey award-winning journalist Maggie Heyn Richardson takes readers to local farms, meat markets, restaurants, festivals, culinary competitions, and roadside vendors to reveal the love, pride, and cultural importance of Louisiana’s traditional and evolving cuisine.Focusing on eight of the state’s most emblematic foods-crawfish, jambalaya, snoballs, Creole cream cheese, file’, blood boudin, tamales, and oysters-Richardson provides a fresh look at Louisiana’s long culinary history. In addition to concluding each chapter with corresponding recipes, these vignettes not only celebrate local foodways but also acknowledge the complicated dynamic between maintaining local traditions and managing agricultural and social change. From exploring the perilous future of oyster farming along the threatened Gulf Coast to highlighting the rich history of the Spanish-Indian tamale in the quirky north Louisiana town of Zwolle, Richardson’s charming and thoughtful narrative shows how deeply food informs the identity of Louisiana’s residents.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30. This week she’ll read It’s Only Stanley, written and illustrated by Jon Agee. Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. “That’s very odd,” says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he’s always reassuring: “It’s only Stanley; he’s fixing the oil tank.” “It’s only Stanley; he’s clearing the bathtub drain.” But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he’s turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like Click Clack Moo and I Want My Hat Back.

& Saturday from 2-4 pm poets Jordan Soyka and Brett Evans demonstrate how to turn any piece of writing into poetry (and even make old poems new!) through the technique of erasure. In this hands-on workshop, participants ages 10+ will be encouraged to make their own erasure creations. Refreshments will be served. Algiers Regional Library 3014 Holiday Dr,

& Saturday at 2 pm Octavia Books features a presentation, signing, and tasting celebrating the release of Dale Curry’s GUMBO, a Savor the South® cookbook. Dale will be bringing samples of her chicken and andouille gumbo. Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother’s house in New Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale Curry offers fifty recipes—for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe—that will put Louisiana taste and hospitality on your table. Gumbo calls to mind the diverse culinary traditions of Louisiana that, like gumbo itself, are simmered from elements of the many cultures circulating in the state. Drawing historically from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish, Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game.

& Saturday night at 9 pm rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer is performing at the Civic Theatre, where she will sign her recent book, THE ART OF ASKING: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, on site with Octavia Books following the show. Tickets to the performance are available through the Civic Theatre. Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter. Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 5 pm New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops at the East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Boulevard, that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. This is a recurring event every second Monday of the month.

Monday at 7:30 pm Loyola University presents a performance of The Diary of One Who Vanished by Leos Janacek. In 1917, while reading his local newspaper, the Czech composer Leoš Janáček discovered the poems that he was to set to music in his song cycle Diary of One Who Vanished. Written by Ozef Kalda and published anonymously, the poems tell the story of a farmer’s boy who abandons his home because he has fallen in love with a Gypsy.
This program features tenor Tyler Smith, Extraordinary Professor of Voice at Loyola University New Orleans and pianist Carol Rausch, Director of the Loyola Opera Theatre. Free and open to the public in the Roussel Performance Hall, 2nd Floor, Comm./Music Complex.

& Monday at 6 pm #1 New York Times Bestselling author Stuart Woods returns to Octavia Books with HOT PURSUIT, his new Stone Barrington Novel. It’s not often that Stone Barrington finds a woman as accustomed to the jet-set lifestyle as he, so he’s pleasantly surprised when he meets a gorgeous pilot who’s soon moving to New York, and available for closer acquaintance. Their travels together lead them from Wichita to Europe, but trailing them is some unwanted baggage: his new lady love’s unstable, criminal ex-boyfriend.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts a Poetry Event featuring Ava Haymon, Ralph Adamo and Andy Young. Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana, Haymon’s most recent poetry collection is Eldest Daughter, published by LSU Press. She has written three previous collections and edits the Barataria Poetry Series, which premiered in Spring 2014. Her poems have appeared in journals nationwide. Prizes include the Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry in 2003, the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award for 2010, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2011 Award in Poetry.A committed teacher of poetry writing, she worked as Artist in the Schools for many years. She teaches poetry writing during the school year in Louisiana, and during the summer, directs a retreat center for writers and artists. Adamo began teaching English at Xavier in Fall 2007, and has edited Xavier Review since Spring 2011. His six collections of poetry were all published by small presses, most recently the selected volume Waterblind from Portals Press in 2002. He won a National Endowment for the Arts award for poetry in 2003. Former editor of New Orleans Review in the 1990s (and Barataria Review in the 1970s), he has taught at most area universities and continues to work as a journalist. Young is the co-editor of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. She teaches Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her work was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “The World” and published in Best New Poets 2009 (University of Virginia Press), Callaloo, Guernica, and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton & Co). Her work has also appeared in electronic music, buses in Santa Fe, flamenco productions, jewelry designs by Jeanine Payer, and a tattoo parlor in Berlin.

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

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

Odd Words April 2, 2015

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

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday Dale Curry will be signing and serving samples from her newest cookbook, Gumbo at 11:30 AM. Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother’s house in New Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale Curry offers fifty recipes—for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe—that will put Louisiana taste and hospitality on your table. “Gumbo” calls to mind the diverse culinary traditions of Louisiana that, like gumbo itself, are simmered from elements of the many cultures circulating in the state. Drawing historically from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish, Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game. This book is part of the latest batch of releases in UNC Press’s acclaimed and popular Savor the South® cookbook series.

& Also on April 4th at 11:30 Alexander McConduit will be reading from his book Snoballs For All, and Melissa Wallace from her book It’s Great To Be A NOLA Kid. Plum Street Snowballs will be here with snoballs for all! Snoballs For All: It’s spring in New Orleans, and that means it’s snoball season Paul is sitting in school when he hears the magical call “Snoballs for all “ He embarks on an adventure through the city, hoping for just a few of those icy treats. But where are the snoballs? On foot and by streetcar, Paul searches high and low. He thinks of all the flavors he could have: grape, strawberry, wedding cake, spearmint, apricot pear . . . but where is that call coming from? If there are snoballs for all, can’t someone spare just one for Paul? Everyone who’s tasted the syrupy-sweet, cold, refreshing concoction that is the beloved New Orleans snoball will slurp up this spunky story. Bright illustrations in every color of the snoball rainbow fill the pages with triple-extra-large fun.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library. Poets Gina Ferrara, Melinda Palacio, and Andrea Young read from their work. Books will be for sale and a reception will follow.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet and a leading light of the New Orleans Haiku Society Juliet Seer Pazera followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Tuesday at 4:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a very special story-time reading and booksigning with children’s picture book author/illustrator Mike Curato featuring LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG CITY, winner of the 2015 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Book Award Honor (which he will receive two days after his Octavia Books appearance). Little Elliot, the polka-dotted elephant, is about to find out that life is full of sweet surprises . . . sometimes in the smallest of packages. Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy–like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter–a friend.

& The 1718 Society’s featured reader for April is Katy Simpson Smith. She will read from her book, The Story of Land and Sea, at 7PM Tuesday at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave.). Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave—characters who yearn for redemption amid a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love. Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University and is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

& The Louisiana Humanities Center’s look at Louisiana publishers continues this week with an evening of readings and conversation on Wednesday, April 8. The event begins at 7 pm and is free and open to the public. The second event in the series looks at two new books from University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. Laura Kelley’s The Irish in New Orleans traces the history of one of the city’s largest immigrant groups. Click here to read an excerpt published in Louisiana Cultural Vistas. Click here to listen to Kelley in an LEH-funded story on WWNO 89.9FM. James Nolan’s new collection of short stories, You Don’t Know Me, has received positive reviews in The New Orleans Advocate, Kirkus Reviews and Foreword. NPR’s Andrei Cordescu said, “James Nolan is New Orleans’ master storyteller. If Flannery O’Connor had been a bad boy living in the French Quarter, she’d have been James Nolan…these stories are wise, marvelous, funny.”

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

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.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. March 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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image

Odd Words’ Tennessee Williams Festival Preview Part 2 March 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, Louisiana, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, The Typist, Theater, Toulouse Street, Writing, Writing Workshops.
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Here are some highlights of the weekend activities for the Tennessee Williams Festival. For the complete list, visit the TWF website for the electronic program.

& First, to get your full on fill of Tennessee:

  • TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’ EUROPEAN INFLUENCES Williams was both a product of and a muse for Europe over the last half century, and their mutual exchange of themes, ideas and images altered the artistic landscapes of several post-war nations. This panel of Williams specialists discusses the early Williams and the uses he made of various European sources in his theatre; the late Williams and the promise European theater afforded him with his
    experimental plays; and the posthumous Williams and his influence on late 20th and early 21st century European theater and cinema. Panelists: John Bak, Michael Hooper, and Barton Palmer. Moderator: Robert Bray. Williams Research Center Saturday at 10 am.
  • TENNESSEE TODAY: HIS CRITICAL REPUTATION AND POPULAR IMAGE “Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence,” Tennessee Williams wrote in his essay “The Timeless World of a Play.” In the 32 years since his death, Williams’ plays continue to be produced, his critical reputation grows, and his influence on today’s playwrights is undeniable. From many productions of his works on Broadway, London’s West End and beyond, to the hundreds of references to Streetcar in every form of popular culture including Woody Allen’s film, Blue Jasmine and in TV shows such as “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” Williams’ genius not only endures but continues to captivate global audiences. Williams experts and friends discuss the playwright’s hold on our contemporary cultural reputation, and how the future may view the resonating worlds he created. Panelists: Kenneth Holditch, David Kaplan, and John Lahr. Moderator: Thomas Keith. Williams Research Center, Saturday at 11:30 am.
  • TENNESSEE TODAY: HIS CRITICAL REPUTATION AND POPULAR IMAGE “Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence,” Tennessee Williams wrote in his essay “The Timeless World of a Play.” In the 32 years since his death, Williams’ plays continue to be produced, his critical reputation grows, and his influence on today’s playwrights is undeniable. From many productions of his works on Broadway, London’s West End and beyond, to the hundreds of references to Streetcar in every form of popular culture including Woody Allen’s film, Blue Jasmine and in TV shows such as “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” Williams’ genius not only endures but continues to captivate global audiences. Williams experts and friends discuss the playwright’s hold on our contemporary cultural reputation, and how the future may view the resonating worlds he created. Panelists: Kenneth Holditch, David Kaplan, and John Lahr. Moderator: Thomas Keith. Williams Research Center, Saturday at 11 am.
  • A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN LAHR Interviewed by Robert Bray How do you chronicle a life that defies illummation? John Lahr, the longtime senior drama critic for The New Yorker, has emerged victorious in this task. Lahr’s critically-lauded biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, is a triumphant weaving of Williams’ journeys as an artist and as a man. The mammoth undertaking involved a decade of research and writing, and illuminates Williams’ works and life, giving readers the added gift of titillating insight into the lives
    of the theatre greats who were Williams’ contemporaries. Join Lahr as he discusses his book, a 2014 National Book Award finalist, with Williams scholar Robert Bray. Sunday, 10 am.
  • And of course: Shouting Contest Contestants vie to rival Stanley Kowalski’s shout for STELLAAAAA!!!!” in the unforgettable scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. Women are welcome to try a little
    role reversal and yell for Stanley. Free and open to the public. Prizes will be awarded. Jackson Square, 4:30 pm.

& Also, in addition to the numerous stage productions around town, don’t forget about LITERARY LATE NIGHT: MIXED COMPANY “There’s a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.” ― Tennessee Williams The 21st century moment is an exciting and uncharted time in literature and publishing with new and traditional media forms both co-existing and duking it out to create new avenues for artists to get their work to the public. Mixed Company is an independent publication featuring the writing, art, and photography of women of color currently based in New Orleans. This late night offering will highlight the interplay between tradition and innovation and the syncretic results of a culture of diaspora. “Mixed Company” will be a multi-media presentation of literature, art by artists of color based in New Orleans, film, and music that will expand our notions of reading and seeing into the present, past and future. Location, TBD, 8 pm.

& Saturday and Sunday means panels, panels, and more panels featuring exciting writers and topics. Odd Word’s picks with a focus on panels for writers. All events are by admission, and in the Hotel Montleone unless otherwise noted.

SATURDAY:

  • CRAFTING MEMOIR: OURSELVES AND OTHERS Memoir–You writing about you. But you are not a deserted island. How do memoirists portray themselves in the context of significant and non-significant others? Outside the personal sphere, a writer’s own perspective is set against larger realities—race, gender, sexuality, and nationality. How important is the recognition of the writer’s point of view—and position in the world—in memoir? Can a reconciliation between the You and the many Others happen on the pages of a memoir? Or are memoirs just fine as single and singular stories? Writers on this panel have taken on love, race, and activism in their works. They’ll be considering these questions and more in this panel. Bring your own for the Q&A. Panelists: Molly Crabapple, Jim Grimsley, and Mac McClelland. Moderator: Lauren Cerand.
  • MIGRATING WORDS: HOW POETS INFLUENCE AND ADAPT TO LANGUAGE The rules of the English language are always in flux— from assimilated words to idioms born from social media. Poets are the shepherds, more than the arbiters, of language. Panelists Vijay Seshadri and Saeed Jones write poems that manage to acknowledge the traditional form while simultaneously innovating its use. They will discuss how language came to them and read from their pioneering works. Panelists: Saeed Jones and Vijay Seshadri Moderator: Ava Leavell Haymon. Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant,
  • THE TRANSNATIONALISTS: AMERICAN WRITERS ON BORDER CROSSINGS The U.S. literary landscape has always been a transnational space—America goes on excursion into the world and the world comes in—as seen in works of authors from Faulkner on to the many multiply-hyphenated, diasporic writers. In this panel of consummate border crossers, authors will discuss what it means to be an American writer in the world today, at home and abroad. Phil Klay, an Iraq veteran and author, Molly Crabapple, an activist, writer, and artist, and Laila Lalami, a Moroccan-American novelist and linguist, will discuss point of view, writing from within (and about) the U.S. borders and looking inward from abroad. Panelists: Molly Crabapple, Phil Klay, and Laila Lalami. Moderator: Pamela Paul.
  • STORM AND STORYTELLER, TEN YEARS ON: TWO WRITERS AND A PHOTOGRAPHER REVISIT KATRINA In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this panel brings together three of the storm’s most eloquent narrators: Dan Baum, Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans, Cheryl Wagner, Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around: A Memoir of Floods, Fires, Parades, and Plywood, and photographer Ted Jackson, Hurricane Katrina Then and Now. The panelists will reflect on their Katrina work, consider the responsibilities of journalists and writers in such crises—both as reporters and as storytellers—and share their perspectives on the city of New Orleans ten years after the storm. Reporter, writer, and New Orleans native Lolis Eric Elie, most recently of HBO’s “Treme,” will
    moderate the discussion. Panelists: Dan Baum, Ted Jackson, and Cheryl Wagner. Moderator: Lolis Eric Elie
  • CONVERSATION WITH RICK BRAGG In his biography of aging music legend Jerry Lee Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg has dared readers to “find one boring page in this book.” Indeed, the life story of the Louisianaborn music sensation known as “The Killer” is one that keeps eyes bulged and mouths agape. The son of Delta sharecroppers, raised as a “holy roller” Pentecostal, Lewis would go on to earn a reputation as a hell-raising rock ‘n’ roller who would shake the music world with his outlandish piano-banging theatrics and offstage scandals. David Johnson, editor of Louisiana Cultural Vistas and KnowLA, The Digital Encyclopedia of Louisiana, will interview Bragg and discuss Lewis’ life and times. Williams Research Center.
  • LADIES WITH AN ATTITUDE Women have come a long way in the crime world from the days when they were either femme fatales, damsels in distress, or simply the murder victim. Where do things stand in the modern day world of crime writing? Join three successful women crime writers as they discuss the state of the art for women in the world of crime fiction. Panelists: Laura Lippman, Annamaria Alfieri, and Rebecca Chance. Moderator: Greg Herren. Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant

SUNDAY:

  • A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN LAHR Interviewed by Robert Bray How do you chronicle a life that defies illummation? John Lahr, the longtime senior drama critic for The New Yorker, has emerged victorious in this task. Lahr’s critically-lauded biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, is a triumphant weaving of Williams’ journeys as an artist and as a man. The mammoth undertaking involved a decade of research and writing, and illuminates Williams’ works and life, giving readers the added gift of titillating insight into the lives
    of the theatre greats who were Williams’ contemporaries. Join Lahr as he discusses his book, a 2014 National Book Award finalist, with Williams scholar Robert Bray.
  • A BYLINE OF ONE’S OWN: WOMEN IN LITERARY LIFE Where are the women on the page? Apparently not very many places as counts of magazines bylines by VIDA Women in Literary Arts have revealed. What does this mean for writers, readers, and the intellectual landscape of our time? Join us for a conversation about women as authors, critics, and readers in contemporary literary life with author Pamela Paul, who edits the New York Times Book Review, Brigid Hughes, founding editor of A Public Space who was formerly at the helm of The Paris Review, and independent publicist Lauren Cerand. Panelists: Lauren Cerand, Brigid Hughes, and Pamela Paul. Moderator: J.R. Ramakrishnan
  • BUILDING STORIES: A PANEL WITH A PUBLIC SPACE In a piece for the Brooklyn-based literary journal A Public Space, now collected in Best American Essays 2014, Yiyun Li wrote that “there are many ways to carry the past with us: to romantize it, to invalidate it, to furnish it with revised or entirely fictional memories.” But how can writers begin to shape experiences into engaging sentences, and what role can editors and mentors play in bringing
    stories to life on the page? Li will be joined on stage by A Public Space founding editor Brigid Hughes and APS Emerging Writer Fellow Vanessa Hutchinson for a candid discussion of fatalism in fiction, the importance of revision, and how writers – like their stories – can emerge in unexpected ways. Panelists: Yiyun Li and Vanessa Hutchinson.
  • NEW ORLEANS: CRAFTING A MYTHICAL CITY New Orleans looms large in the popular imagination, a city envisioned as a peculiar bohemian outpost, loosely attached to the United States in locality and mentality. Tourists seeking a foreign experience within America are drawn to this exotic metropolis, and many arrive with a perception shaped by a long literary tradition of writers who have played off the city’s reputation for eccentricity, debauchery, mystery, and corruption. From Mark Twain and Anne Rice to Tennessee Williams, Frances Parkinson Keyes, and journalists covering the Katrina disaster and its aftermath, this panel will examine how such writers have molded the image of the Crescent City and inadvertently commoditized it as a tourist destination. Panelists: Brian Boyles, Rien Fertel, and others TBA. Moderator: David Johnson

If you hear a cry of Stellaaaaa!!!! in the distance before Sunday, that will be me taking a break from a weekend long special project for the day job that pays the bills that lets me pay Mr. Zuckerman to make sure you see this post on Facebook.

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!

Odd Words March 25, 2015

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

& You should check out the Tennessee Williams Festival Part 1 post here. Otherwise, here’s a short list of other events likely abbreviated by the Festival being in town.

&From 5 to 7 pm on Thursday celebrated poet R. Flowers Rivera reads from her new book Heathen. Dr. Rivera is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. The event at Loyola University, Whitney Presentation Room, Thomas Hall, is free and open to the public.

& Meanwhile at Tulane University at 7:30 pm, Kevin Young–Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University–will read from his poetry and be interviewed by Peter Cooley, Director of Creative Writing and Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities. A reception will follow in the Faculty Lounge of Newcomb Hall. If you hurry you can hear both.

& At 7 pm Thursday Swirl in the City will conduct a wine tasting, to be followed by a reading including Geoff Munsterman, Sara Slaughter, and Andy Young at the Nix Library.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation, tasting and signing with Edwin Garrubbo featuring SUNDAY PASTA: A Year Around the Table with Family and Friends. SUNDAY PASTA is Ed’s new cookbook featuring a year of weekly pasta recipes, each with an accompanying expert wine paring and beautiful photography. The book includes 54 recipes, arranged by season, with personal musings, fresh insights about key Italian ingredients, a guide to pasta shapes and sizes, and a handy Italian food glossary.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library will host an Author Eventm Tai Chi American Style, by Terry Rappold. Tai Chi American Style was written to provide a simple guide to healthy living for those leading busy, fast paced, active, mentally challenging and often physically exhausting lifestyles. It draws its information predominately from the 3,000 year old Chinese art of Tai Chi. Readers are invited to undergo a mind shift, perceiving daily activity and movement as exercise. Readers also will be taught to ‘actively’ move both their external physical body and their internal energetic body, creating greater Chi (vital life force) circulation. Terry Rappold has been studying Tai Chi and the Healing Arts since the late 1980s. In 1983, he contracted rheumatic fever and shortly thereafter began his search for healthy ways to manage the disease. After several years of Tai Chi study and practice, Terry began to share his experiences in the class setting. Within a few years, he was teaching in several Southeast Louisiana area hospitals and wellness centers.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& It’s Edible Book Day Friday at 4:30 pm. Edible Book Day is an international celebration of literature, art, and food. Local community groups and individuals are invited to bake and decorate cakes inspired by books through the integration of text, literary inspiration, or form. Sponsored by the New Orleans Museum of Art. (NOPL’s own Charles Brown, City Librarian/Executive Director, will be among the judges.) Café NOMA/NOMA’s Elevator Lobby, One Collins Diboll Circle in City Park.

& Saturday at 10:30 Octavia books and friends of the Child Development Program (CDP) host a very special live performance – complete with puppets, props, and plenty of silliness – featuring Pat Roig’s hilarious picture book, THE BEIGNET THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY. This uniquely New Orleans tale chronicles the adventures of cockroaches Ralph and Roxanne as they chase an elusive beignet through the streets of the French Quarter. The Child Development Program is a center-based Infant Nursery and Preschool in New Orleans with the mission to foster the social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual development of young children from ages six weeks through Pre-K. Please mention the Child Development Project when you check out, and we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to CDP.

& Also on Saturday it’s Story Time With Miss Maureen (no time posted, but usually at 11:30 am). This week she’ll read Home by Carson Ellis. Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Claire Louise Harmon reads from and signs her new book, The Thingbody, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: Tempesta’s Dream, by Chip Lococo. Giovanni Tempesta always dreamed of becoming an opera tenor and to sing sing from the stage of the La Scala Opera House in his hometown of Milan. But with no real training, his dream has little chance for fulfillment. One day, he meets and immediately falls in love with Isabella Monterone, whose father, a wealthy and powerful Milanese judge, refuses to allow his daughter to date a penniless musician. At the lowest part of his life, Giovanni finds himself inside the Casa di Riposo, a rest home for musicians established by the great opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi. There he meets Alfredo del Monte, a blind, retired opera singer with a secretive past who gradually becomes his mentor. Could Alfredo be the one person who could assist Giovanni in finding the break he needs? Or is Giovanni destined to be on the cusp of reaching his lifelong dream, only to find failure?

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

Odd Words’ Tennessee Williams Festival Preview Part 1 March 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, The Typist, Theater, Toulouse Street, Writing, Writing Workshops.
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It’s Tennessee Williams Festival Week. Sadly, Odd Words will not be covering the festival as in recent years as the paying day job makes that impossible. Here, however, are the highlights for the first two days of the Festival (Thursday and Friday):
Program-Logo-Cropped
& Master classes kick of on Thursday at The Historic New Orleans Collection, including:

  • RANDY FERTEL: IMPROV AND THE ESSAY If improvisation generates spontaneous works of art inspired by the
    muses, born of instinct and intuition, and spurred on by revelry, then what city could be more nurturing of improv artistry than New Orleans? Join scholar, author and philanthropist, Randy Fertel, as he investigates the role of improv in the confecting of the essay and works of creative non-fiction. With the city that care forgot as a Dionysian backdrop, Fertel’s call to action, based on his A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation, may encourage hesitant artists to develop a taste for chaos and discover a recipe for pure and undiluted creativity. & This would be OW’s Go To Master Class. I’m reading the essay right now and I think this will be a fantastic event.
  • NIGEL HAMILTON & PATRICIA BRADY: WRITING TRUE STORIES So you want to write a real Life? Where to start, how to conduct research, organize your materials, scaffold the story—and bring it to life? And finally: for whom? Who is your audience, and what, in theend, do you want to communicate, and why? Two distinguished biographers, Nigel Hamilton whose latest work is The Mantle of Command; FDR at War, 1941-1942,and Patricia Brady (A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson), explain—and take you to the heart of biography today.
  • ROY BLOUNT, JR.: ALPHABET JUICE—GETTING THE GOOD OUT OF LETTERS Writing may be about any number of things, but it always consists of the alphabet, variously arranged. Always comes down to wrangling the ABC’s. So let’s take a close look at the building blocks of writing in this master class. In addition to writing bestselling books, Blount is a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary. You will enjoy his take on dictionaries, slang, rhyme, rhythm, and yes, weasel words. This will spice up your style, liven your language, and tickle your funny bone.
  • MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER How do you write a novel? Maybe the better question is how to write pieces of a novel. Thinking about the form as a sum of parts can help relieve the anxiety of the whole. How can you shake things up, give the novel the propulsion it needs to sustain? Discover some different strategies to use when thinking about the next step for your novel-in-progress and practice creating intruders for your story with in-class exercises that may give your work the push it needs.

& And you won’t want to miss this (I won’t since it’s after work): Don’t miss your chance for a first look at the next wave! New Orleans literary blog Room 220 will host the #TWF15 Contest Readings. The contests, part of our organization’s mission to encourage and support new talent, unearth the freshest new talent from hundreds of entries. Writers who have yet to publish a book compete for cash prizes, publication, and the honor of being selected by a judge. This year Molly Antopol (The UnAmericans) judged the Fiction Contest and Vijay Seshadri (3 Sections) judged Poetry. In this panel, the winning writers will read and discuss the contest with Seshadri and novelist Zachary Lazar (I Pity the Poor Immigrant). Press Street HQ, 3718 St. Claude Ave., free and open to the public.

& Another Not To Be Missed Event Thursday: JOHN WATERS: THIS FILTHY WORLD: FILTHIER AND DIRTIER Visionary filmmaker and one-of-a-kind personality John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Female Trouble,
and Hairspray) is bringing his show “John Waters: This Filthy World: Filthier and Dirtier” to New Orleans, presented in a presentation by Daniel Nardicio. Waters takes on taboo topics as only he can do in this hilarious and completely uncensored one-man show. Waters, who has been dubbed “the Pope of Trash” and branded “O for Offensive” by the Catholic Church, earned his bad reputation by turning bad taste into high art. Part confession,
part Vaudeville act, he’ll share his origins in the trash genre and his subsequent adventures.

& Friday’s Master Classes include:

  • LAUREN CERAND: LITERARY BUZZ AND HOW TO GET IT Lauren Cerand is the independent literary publicist you want in your corner. •In this Master Class, she’ll talk about innovative publicity now, from tricks-of-the-trade of the old school in traditional publishing right up to the evolved media landscape and social media of the present day.
    Attendees will have a chance to discuss their personal challenges and aspirations, and work towards formulating a sensible public relations plan that can serve as a “North Star” in order to orient themselves, and focus on strengths and strategy.
  • LAILA LALAMI: DECEPTIVE HISTORIES, TRUTHFUL FICTIONS If history is fated to be written by the victors, then fiction offers tantalizing alternate readings of official records. Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account follows
    conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez’s 1527 expedition to the New World. The 300-man enterprise ended with four survivors, three Spaniards and an enslaved African named Estebanico. The latter’s account—and role as the first African American explorer—is obscured in the authoritative historical chronicle. In her novel, a NYT Notable Book of 2014, Lalami imagines Estebanico’s story. She will discuss history as narrative force, her re-creation of the multilingual voices of the past, and the points at which facts turn into fiction with Festival literary programming
    director, J.R. Ramakrishnan.
  • JIM GRIMSLEY: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH Writing fiction and nonfiction about painful subjects involves a willingness to expose the harder and more painful sides of ourselves. Grimsley will share from his own experience in writing nonfiction about the racial attitudes he learned in the South of his childhood, detailed in his memoir How I Shed My Skin, to be published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in April 2015. He will also discuss the different processes for approaching such difficult material in fiction and in nonfiction.
  • MARLY RUSOFF AND JONATHAN ODELL: AUTHOR AGENT ALLIANCE An agent and author explore their dynamic partnership in the today’s changing world of publishing. Roles are no longer as fixed in this brave new world of publishing. How does one navigate times of increased fluidity, where roles often need restructuring in the face of market demands? It’s exciting, fast-moving, and can be daunting, as events happen very much in real time. There are no easy templates but in this class, agent and publisher Marly Rusoffand author Jonathan Odell will share their experiences and innovative ideas about how to succeed in publishing in today’s world.

& Friday is also the annual Tennessee Williams Scholar’s Conference. Panels at the The Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Center 410 Chartres Street include:

  • Tom’s “good time girls”: Burlesque and Chorus Girls in Williams’s Early One-Act Plays — Dr. Annette Saddik, City University of New York, Mr. David Kaplan, Provincetown Theatre Festival, Dr. Michael Hooper, St. Margaret’s School (UK) Moderator: Dr. John Bak, Université de Lorraine (France).
  • The Paintings of Tennessee Williams — Dr. Cori Convertito, Curator, Key West Art and Historical Society John Bak, Mr. Bradley Sumrall, Ogden Museum of Southern Art Moderator: Ms. Margit Longbrake, The Historic New Orleans Collection.
  • Suddenly, Last Summer, Play and Film Discussion — John Lahr, former New Yorker drama critic Brenda Currin, actor Dr. Barton Palmer, Clemson University Moderator: Dr. Henry Schvey, Washington University.
  • Southern Literature and the White Trash Aesthetic — Dr. Andrew Leiter, Lycoming College, Dr. Meredith McCarroll, Clemson University, Mr. Jim Grimsley, Emory University, Moderator: Dr. Robert Bray.

& Literary Panels , Theatrical Performances, and Special Events for Friday (Odd Word’s picks; for the full list go to the Festival Website):

  • LOUISIANA WITNESS: HOMEGROWN NARRATIVES The gumbo of the American South’s identity comes from cultural histories as diverse, and in some cases more diverse, than America itself. So when writers, born of the region’s native locales, render and evoke the South, their personal narrative perspectives inform the stories that we receive and read. Panelists discuss how their characters bear witness to an ever-changing Southern social and cultural climate, evolving views of histories, and how these views inform the overall work. Panelists: M.O. Walsh, Rick Barton, Laura Lane McNeal, and Vicki Salloum.
  • SWEET AND SAVAGE: WRITING THE WOMEN OF THE SOUTH Southern women in fiction have faced and overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity, Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlet O’Hara and Alice Walker’s long-suffering Celie come to mind. In this region of sweet tea and magnolias, lynching and the Klan, female characters have long had to be less than genteel, perhaps at times even savage, in order to live their lives and protect those around them, as we see
    depicted in the works of the writers on this panel. Panelists: Natalie Baszile, LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Katy Simpson Smith, and John Warley. Moderator: Nancy Dixon
  • GOOD MORNING, BALTIMORE: LAURA LIPPMAN INTERVIEWS JOHN WATERS John Waters’ wry eye on pop culture has resulted in some of America’s most beloved cult films. The Pope of Trash decided to put his finger on the pulse
    of contemporary culture by hitchhiking across America, from his home in Baltimore to his home in San Francisco, armed with no more than his sardonic wit and a sign saying “I’M NOT A PSYCHO.” The book Carsick is an account
    of what he found. Another Baltimore icon, award-winning bestseller Laura Lippman, sits down with him to talk about what he found on his trip, the experience, and get some insights on America.

& More events the first two days include Southern Rep’s production of Suddenly Last Summer, matinee shows of HOTEL PLAYS BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (THEATER), in which The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival brings short plays by Williams including The Last of My Solid Gold Watches and Lord Byron’s Love Letter set in such rooms. At the Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street, $30; and, BLUE DEVILS AND BETTER ANGELS: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS TRIBUTE READING These luminous readings will be comprised of scenes, monologues, poetry, and correspondence of Williams that relate to the struggles and triumphs of the spirit. Readers include author and cult filmmaker John Waters; playwright Martin Sherman; veteran stage and screen actors Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon; and John Patrick Shanley, who will read excerpts from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt. Also joining our cast are author/columnist “Ask” Amy Dickinson, and glamorous thriller writer Rebecca Chance. Curated by Paul J. Willis and Thomas Keith, and hosted by Keith. The Old Ursuline Convent, 1112 Chartres Street, $35.

Look for another listing Friday of the weekend’s events here on Odd Words, or visit the website for the complete program.

Moonlight Mile March 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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It is the hour of ground fog in the feral corners of City Park nearest to water, the hour of empty streets, dark except for the illumination of unsleeping neon , disregarded stoplights and the taillights of third shift police cars, the first shift workers, and the passing of  the wheel- and teeth-clenched homeward-bound reveler aiming for the center line, Bourbon Street itself mostly empty as the street cleaners pass, their powerful jets of water washing plastic and vomit into the storm drains, while around certain corners a few streets are still haunted  with the music of jukeboxes where men in leather or in lace panties slowly dance in a drunken embrace and the last shift of bartenders and busboys call out for rounds of shots in bars where the doors are stored behind the cigarette machine, the hour in which the most unholy rituals of the city are observed in the dark of Sunday mornings beneath faded bunting in the colors of the  ecclesiastical calender and the cemeteries glow in their most waxen, bloodless alabaster, the hour of the disinterested cat cleaning itself on a wall while the rats scurry along the powerlines toward their dark holes, the silence of tree-draped weekend streets unbroken by the rumble of the trucks and the whistle and shout of the garbagemen, the moment when my own mind sparķs to life as if an unseen hand has thrown a sparking knife switch and I wake with the cut-glass  clarity I once felt stepping out of the Abbey and into the street to clear my mind of the fog of alcohol with a cigarette and the surcease of uneasy laughter, to relish the echo of certain songs carefully selected for this moment with the slide of my last quarters into the jukebox,  music certainly written in pre-dawn hours the for the pre-dawn prowler, Keith Richard’s fingers picking out “Moonight Mile” with the precision of a needle sliding into a well-worn groove, the last rush of exhilaration before the nod and the stumble home become, with age, unwelcome coffee and the flush of an uncertain shade of morning obscured by clouds and illuminated with birdsong.

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

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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.

Odd Words March 18, 2015

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

& Thursday at 7 pm Crescent City Books presents Two writers and the poet, featuring Justin Noble, Jason Kerzinski and Christian Cubs, also known as Cubs The Poet. Nobel’s stories have been published with Tin House, Orion, the Oxford American and in Best American Travel Writing 2011 and Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014. He is presently at work on a book about a New Orleans man wrongfully convicted of murder and put on death row. Other projects include a collection of stories about the weather, and an upcoming journey to document lifestyles along the Gulf Coast in the face of sea level rise. Kerzinski is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer. He’s published three chapbooks to date. Little Abyss, Exceedingly Beautiful and Ruler of Hearts. He’s working on his 4th chapbook. Cubs The Poet, is an on the spot poetry curator. Usingthe street as his conduit, Cubs, customizes poetry uniquely for each person that stops in office.Equipped with a 1970’s Hermes Rocket, he is able to create verses in under 3 minutes.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Royal and St. Louis, by Renee Austell. Multi-billion dollar international conglomerate SYNX Global is melting down. Top executives murdered and founder and CEO Godfrey Dolan squeezed out of his company for reasons beyond his control. Two power brokers are left standing in the corporation, Emile Fontaine, a mysterious suave sophisticate and Robert Collier, a long serving SYNX executive with many secrets. Speculations on the motive behind the murders run wild and chaos seems to rule the day as young corporate attorney Gillian Claire is thrust into a web of intrigue and deceit when she is tasked with representing the man accused of the murders. Completely out of her element, Gillian must separate fact from fiction and piece together the truth behind the murders. Along the way she learns more than she bargains for. Each revelation spirals her deeper into the clandestine personal lives of the über wealthy and puts her at greater risk of becoming a killer’s next victim.

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

& Thursday at 8 pm The New Orleans Literary & Performance Series​ at the Gold Mine Saloon presents JOHN SINCLAIR and GRAY HAWK with special guests LOREN PICKFORD on alto sax & flutes) and author DR. JERRY WARD JR. followed by an Open Mic hosted by JIMMY ROSS. This event is free but a benefit for the Institute for the Imagination. A donation of $15 is requested at the door,\.

& Friday is the registration deadline for those who wish to participate in the New Orleans Public Library Edible Book Festival, in which participants create book-themed culinary creations. Registration is available at all branches.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& At 11:30 am Saturday Maple Street Book Shop hosts Whitney Stewart at the store reading from and signing her new book, Meditation is an Open Sky, Mindfulness for Kids. Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life. Stewart is a children’s book author, meditation teacher, and a born adventurer. She has traveled to Tibet, Nepal, and India and teaches mindfulness at Tulane University and to children and teens. Her most recent children’s book is A Catfish Tale: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife. Whitney lives in Louisiana, with her husband and son.

& Saturday at 1:30 Octavia Books invites everyone to celebrate Spring with children’s picture book author Dianne de Las Casas and Kid Chef Eliana – storytelling and a cooking demo! Dianne will tell and “egg-cellent” story while Kid Chef Eliana demonstrates 3 ways to use boiled eggs. They are the authors of The Little “Read” Hen.

& Saturday at 2 pm the GNO Chapter of LA Poetry Society meets at the Old Metairie Library and hosts a Poetry Workshop: Poetry reading and discussions for poetry lovers.

& Sunday afternoon Octavia hosts Sunday afternoon booksigning with writer Barri Bronston celebrating the launch of Walking New Orleans: 30 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, Culinary and Music Corridors, and Recreational Wonderlands. In Walking New Orleans, lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love of her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer — and there’s plenty — Faubourg Marigny it provides tourists and locals alike with one heck of a good time.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet James Nolan reads from and signs his new book of poems, Drunk on Salt Also reading, Genaro Ky Ly Smith, a Vietnamese-black American poet whose first book, THE LAND BARON’S SON, has just come out with University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Also at 3 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shop features S. R. Perricone and Blue Steel Crucifix. When Wilson Three Eagles, a young Native American law student, is recruited by the FBI, he is assigned to a secret task force that will investigate the pernicious grip of organized crime on both Louisiana’s public officials and on the FBI, itself. As he is trained and put into place in the seductive, corrupt, and complex city of New Orleans, Wilson finds himself in the crosshairs of Biaggi and the mob, the ex-governor and even his own new colleagues who are all on a collision course over stolen secrets and valuable records. As this thrilling sting unfolds in the murderous back alleys of the French Quarter, and as the Sicilian and Russian crime bosses try to out-maneuver Louisiana’s politically corrupt, the young Special Agent discovers his true abilities and many others find redemption through a blue steel crucifix.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Kate Cooper’s BAND OF ANGELS: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women. From peasants to empresses, women of the ancient world contributed to the growth of Christianity as it flourished to become a world religion. With authority earned within their local communities through their role as parents, organizers, and small business owners, women played a central role in spreading new Christian faith through informal friendship and family networks. Through the telling of their stories, Kate Cooper highlights the independent heroines who mobilized friends and family to share the ideas that had inspired them, and in doing so, helped create the enduring legacy of Christianity’s “social miracle.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop gets into the Tennessee Williams Festival spirit early,featuring James Grissom’s Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog.An extraordinary book; one that almost magically makes clear how Tennessee Williams wrote; how he came to his visions of Amanda Wingfield, his Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Alma Winemiller, Lady Torrance, and the other characters of his plays that transformed the American theater of the mid-twentieth century; a book that does, from the inside, the almost impossible—revealing the heart and soul of artistic inspiration and the unwitting collaboration between playwright and actress, playwright and director. At a moment in the life of Tennessee Williams when he felt he had been relegated to a “lower artery of the theatrical heart,” when critics were proclaiming that his work had been overrated, he summoned to New Orleans a hopeful twenty-year-old writer, James Grissom, who had written an unsolicited letter to the great playwright asking for advice. After a long, intense conversation, Williams sent Grissom on a journey on the playwright’s behalf to find out if he, Tennessee Williams, or his work, had mattered to those who had so deeply mattered to him.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N. K. Jemisin when she joins us for a discussion and signing featuring her most recent publication, THE INHERITANCE TRILOGY omnibus, as well as THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN – a duology. And she will give preview of her forthcoming book, THE FIFTH SEASON.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Westwego Branch Library, featuring writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room

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

& The Tennessee Williams Festival gets underway Wednesday with the staging of THE HOTEL PLAYS by Tennessee Williams. Williams lived on the move, often in transitory situations. Many of his short plays are set in hotel rooms and boarding houses, way stations between reality and dream. David Kaplan, artistic director of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, returns to The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival with a selection of four of the maestro’s most poignant and charming works…and stages them environmentally, at the Hermann-Grima House, where small groups of the audience will be guided from room to room, in intimate witness to each poetic tale. Ticket information at the Tennessee Williams Festival website.

& Look for a special Tennessee Williams Festival Odd Words next week, with our own picks for the best of the Fest, which runs March 25-29.

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.

Odd Words March 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& The UNO Creative Writing Workshop will host a reading by poets Megan Burns, Jonathan Penton, and Bernd Sauermann, Friday, March 13, at 3 p.m., at the UNO Lakeside Campus, Liberal Arts Building (on Founders Road), Room 197. The reading will be followed by a reception of donut holes and black coffee. Bring your own cream (budget cuts). This event is free and open to the public.

& At 6 pm Friday Garden District Book Shop presents Kevin Sessums’s I Left it on the Mountain: A Memoir. On his 53rd birthday, Kevin Sessums woke up in his L.A. hotel room wondering how he would get through his scheduled interview with Hugh Jackman. For years he had interviewed the bright lights: Madonna, Courtney Love, Jessica Lange, and all the other usual suspects; but, Kevin knew that his rapidly unraveling life was as shallow as the hotel’s hip furniture and he was hanging on by his fingertips.
In I Left It on the Mountain, Sessums chronicles his early days in NY as an actor, his years working for Andy Warhol at Interview and Tina Brown at Vanity Fair, countless nights of anonymous sex, his HIV Positive diagnosis and his descent into addiction. It’s also the chronicle of one man’s spiritual redemption found while climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo and trudging across the cold, lonely winter beaches of Provincetown.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday means It’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 at Maple Street Book Shop. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, she’ll read Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie DePaola. Jamie O’Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland, far too lazy to help his wife on their farm. Then, after a chance encounter with a leprechaun, Jamie finds himself growing the biggest potato in the world. But what will happen when the potato grows too large for Jamie and the villagers to handle?

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Charlotte Mears reads from and signs her books, Sweet Air and Winds of New York, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Sunday at 8:30 pm it’s Writing Out the Sads featuring Australian-American writer Oliver Mol, author of Lion Attack! (forthcoming from Scribe Publications in May of 2015) read from his work, along with special guests including Jeanne Thornton, Tyler Gillespie, Stephanie Doyle, Clare Harmon, Jennifer Hanks, Andrew Kooy, Danny Caporaletti, Elizabeth Theriot and more.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop at 6 pm its Skip Horack and The Other Joseph. Haunted by the disappearance of his older brother Tommy in the first Gulf War, the tragic deaths of his parents, and the felony conviction that has branded him for a decade, Roy Joseph has labored in lonesome exile–and under the ever-watchful eyes of the law–moving between oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana and an Airstream trailer he shares with his dog. Then, on the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Roy is contacted by a teenage girl from California claiming to be his lost brother’s biological daughter. Yearning for connection and the prospect of family, Roy embarks on a journey across America, visiting childhood haunts in the South to confront his troubled memories and history, and making a stop in Nevada to call on a retired Navy SEAL who may hold the answer to Tommy’s fate. The ultimate destination is San Francisco, where a potential Russian bride and his long-lost niece await, and Roy may finally recover the Joseph line.

& Wednesday The Blood Jet returns to B.J.’s Lounge at 8 pm with

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

The 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.

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?

Odd Words March 4, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Jyl Benson and Sam Hanna bring their book FUN, FUNKY, AND FABULOUS: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes to Octavia Books. Filled with folksy art and creative recipes from affordable restaurants captured in tantalizing photographs—with tidbits of history thrown in as lagniappe—author Jyl Benson serves up just the right taste of this fascinating and ever-evolving city. Included are neighborhood favorites such as MoPho, Purtoo, Toup’s Meatery, Lola, Bhava, and Juan’s Flying Burrito: A Creole Taqueria.

& Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library.

& IT’S THURSDAY NIGHT & THE GIRAFFES ARE ON FIRE…That means it’s time to call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel for a personal poetry reading! Call 504-264-1336 between 8-Midnight CST. [This copy taken directly from the Poetry Brothel Facebook page. To the best of Odd Word’s knowledge, no giraffes were harmed in the hosting of this event.]

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Friday at 9 pm brings Slam Up to The New Movement, 2706 St Claude Ave. In case you didn’t know Slam Up is kinda like “underground speakeasy meets bubblegum pop. It’s dirty, jubilant, tender and inspiring. Not exactly a comedy music set, not exactly a poetry slam, not exactly a lesbian folk duo- Slam Up is something all to itself.” -William Glen, Fringe Review.

& This Saturday brings Story Time with Miss Maureen 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shop.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library from his carnival break. Poets Stacey Balkun. Elizabeth Gross, Geoff Munsterman, and Daniel Reinhold read from their work.

& Also on Saturday The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans hosts its March meeting at the Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library from 2:00-4:00 p.m. BLEAK HOUSE, Chapters 43-49 will be discussed. The New Orleans Branch of the Dickens Fellowship holds meetings September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is BLEAK HOUSE. Dues
are $25/person (couples $40) payable in September.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series celebrates the life of Sara Beth Wildflower, presented by Lisa A. Hix and Brad Ott. Bring any poems, photos or memories!followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Robert E. Smith branch library will host its biweekly creative writing workshop.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books will host a Middle School Book Event, Peter Lerangis and SEVEN WONDERS #4: The Curse of the King. The adventure unfolds in this fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Seven Wonders series!

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

& Wednesday The Blood Jet returns too B.J.’s Lounge at 8 pm with poets Jonathan Penton and Bernd Sauermann. Penton founded the literary electronic magazine Unlikely Stories. Since then, UnlikelyStories.org has grown into a contemporary multimedia journal of sociopolitical and cultural essays, reviews, interviews, criticism, poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, movies, visual art, music, cross-media work, and first-hand tales of political and cultural activism, now known as Unlikely Stories: Episode IV. It has spawned a print and e-book subsidiary, Unlikely Books, which has published, among other things, the 418-page anthology (CD and DVD attached) Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind. Jonathan currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Unlikely Stories: Episode IV and Unlikely Books, Managing Editor for both Fulcrum and MadHat Press, and a co-ordinator for Acadiana Wordlab, a weekly literary drafting workshop in Lafayette, Louisiana. Born in Hof, Germany, Sauermann graduated in 1993 from McNeese State University with an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry). Since then, Sauermann has taught at colleges in Illinois and Vermont and currently teaches composition, literature, creative writing, and film in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Sauermann was also the poetry editor at Whole Beast Rag, a now-retired online (and sometimes print) journal of art, ideas, and literature. He has a chapbook entitled Diesel Generator out from Horse Less Press (2013), and his first full-length collection, Seven Notes of a Dead Man’s Song, was released by MadHat Press at the Brooklyn Book Festival, September, 2014

& Wednesday at 6 pm The New Orleans Youth Open Mic invites all 7th-12th grade poets to come out and share their work OR support their friends as they share at Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center, downstairs in Der Rathskeller Cafe. This month, we have partnered with the Tulane Black Arts Fest for a double whammy of a feature with 2 New Orleans born and now internationally renowned poets! First we have 2014 National Poetry Slam Champion, award winning educator and top tier TED Talker Clint Smith! He accompanies the legendary queen of New Orleans poetry, HBO Def Poet Sunni Patterson! This is a line up any poetry fan would swoon over! And we’re bringing it straight to the youth! Don’t miss it!

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

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.

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.

Odd Words February 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This CRAZY BUSY coming week in literary New Orleans:

& At 6 pm Thursday the Alvar Library hosts To the Blighthouse! Readings by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Carin Chapman, and Tad Bartlett. Ruffin won the 2014 Iowa Review Award for his short story, “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You”; and the 2014 gold medal in the novel-in-progress category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition; among others. His work has been published or is upcoming in The Iowa Review, Callaloo, Cicada, Massachusetts Review, New Delta Review, So To Speak, Redivider, Apalachee Review, and others; and in the New Orleans atlas-and-essay collection, Unfathomable City. Chapman’s work has been named a finalist for the Svenson Award and was shortlisted for the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She is currently an Instructor of Composition and the Coordinator Associate of Freshman and Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. Bartlett’s essays are found on the online Oxford American, his poetry in the Double Dealer, and his fiction in Bird’s Thumb and The Rappahannock Review. He is currently an MFA student at the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.

& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 hosts a Happy Hour Salon to celebrate the launch of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot by Brian Boyles from 6-9PM on Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will also feature best-selling novelist Jami Attenberg. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. New Orleans Boom and Blackout is a nonfiction account of the 100 days preceding the 2013 Super Bowl hosted in the New Orleans Superdome. Many will recall the (partial) blackout referenced in the title. Through original research and interviews, conveyed from a casual yet erudite first-person perspective, Boyles unpacks the complex tangle of events that took place as the local government, tourism apparatus, and city at large prepared to showcase the New New Orleans for millions of Americans who had their eyes trained on the game. From the Streetcar Line To Nowhere to VIP celebrity events to cab drivers, bartenders, and street performers hustling like mad to capitalize on the influx of visitors, New Orleans was rife with happenings those 100 days before the game. Through Boyles’ interpretation, they speak volumes about the present state of our city. Jami Attenberg is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestselling novel The Middlesteins, which has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her forthcoming book, Saint Mazie, is a novel inspired by a movie theater ticket taker-turned-caregiver on Manhattan’s Lower East Side profiled in Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel. Attenberg writes frequently for the New York Times, The Rumpus, Salon, and other distinguished places.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away. It was the summer everything changed…My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson–free spirit, track star, and belle of the block–experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too. In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday Carolyn Kolb will be reading from and discussing her book, New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City at the Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library. Carolyn Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History”.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books hosts A Children’s Picture Book Event: Good Night, Sleep Tight Storytime with Miss Holly. Miss Holly will regale readers with a range of picture book tales. What happens when a bunny family finds a wolf on their front stoop and adopts him? Why do bears need underwear?

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& This Saturday brings Story Time with Miss Maureen 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. She’ll read Last Stop on Market Street by by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library from his carnival break. Poets Stacey Balkun. Elizabeth Gross, Geoff Munsterman, and Daniel Reinhold read from their work.

& At 7 pm Saturday Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop hosts UNO graduate Tawni Waters reading from her new novel Beauty of the Broken. And she will likely sneak in some poems from her recently released Siren Song as well. She is an award winning writer and poet, and she currently teaches creative writing in Phoenix, AZ. In this lyrical, heartwrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats. Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos. Mara knows she can’t live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?

& Monday at 5:00 pm the Alvar Library hosts New Orleans Spoken Word Artists monthly workshop that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& Meet author Suzanne Lewis on Sunday at 11 am and help Octavia Books launch her first picture book, A PENGUIN NAMED PATIENCE: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story. Patience is a South African penguin. She is small at roughly 6 pounds and approximately 20 inches tall; but at 24 years old, she is the “penguin in charge” of the penguin exhibit at New Orleans’s Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hits, devastating the city and surrounding areas with its catastrophic winds and flooding. The aquarium is severely damaged. With no electricity or relief in sight, the temperature in the aquarium reaches dangerously high degrees, putting the penguins in peril. Patience, and the 18 other penguins, along with some of the other zoo animals, must leave their home and their favorite human, Tom, the penguin keeper. Tom drives his penguins to Baton Rouge where an airplane transfers them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Here the penguins will recuperate and live until they can return home to New Orleans. After nine long months away from Tom and their home, the aquarium is finally restored. And Patience, who has been patient, and her penguins return to New Orleans to a cheering homecoming.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Danny Kerwick followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 7 pm Newcomb College Institute hosts A Reading and Interview with Lorrie Moore, thes 2015 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence at Tulane Univeristy, in the Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC), Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. Moore is the author of five collections of short stories and two novels. Her most recent collection, Bark, was published in 2014. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Moore has received numerous honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Rachel Breunlin & Bruce Sunpie Barnes and their collaboration TALK THAT MUSIC TALK. In the early 1900s, jazz was created in New Orleans. Soon afterwards the fear began…it’s moving away, it’s going to die out, it needs to be preserved. Yet each generation has put time and energy into making sure the roots of the music stay strong in the city. This book is about the history of that kind of organizing work, and what happened when the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park brought together a new group of young people to learn traditional brass band music from older musicians and the Black Men of Labor Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts C. S. Harris’s Who Buries The Dead the 10th Book in the Sebastion St. Cyr series. London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen.

& Also on Tuesday at 7 pm the 1718 Society features reader Jesmyn Ward. National Book Award winner Ward will read and discuss her work at the Columns Hotel. The 1718 Society is a literary organization run by students of Tulane and Loyola. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site to sell books. Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, the latter of which won the 2011 National Book Award and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi, and lives there now.

& AT 8 pm Tuesday Clare Harmon launches her book Thingbody. “There will be an “OFFICIAL” event with book sales and readings and so on TBA but after that we’re going to party drink artisanal cocktails and be merry at Sarsaparilla (Tuesday night pop-up in Dante’s Kitchen). Please join me, none of this would have been possible without the support and inspiration from such amazingly talented colleagues and friends!”

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts One Book One New Orleans’s title Unfathomable City, by Rebecca Snedeker. Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city’s remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of sixteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory.

& The UNO Creative Writing Workshop hosts poets Ralph Angel and Andy Young in the liberal arts building, Room 140 at 8PM Wednesday. The reading will be followed by a q&a, book signing and brief reception. Young grew up in southern West Virginia and has spent most of her adult life in New Orleans working at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. For the last two years she has lived in Egypt, where she worked at the American University in Cairo and documented the revolution in essays, poems and photographs. A graduate of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, her writing has been published in three chapbooks, publications in Lebanon, Egypt,
Ireland, Mexico and throughout the United States. Her first full-length collection, All Night It Is Morning, was published in 2014. Angel’s latest collection, Your Moon, was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. In addition to five books of poetry, he also has published an award-winning translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song. He lives in Los Angeles, and is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

& On Wednesday at 7 pm Fleur de Lit and the Pearl Wine Co. host Reading Between the Wines. This month’s featured authors include Dawn Chartier, author of new paranormal romance Bewitching the Enemy; Erica Spinder, author of The First Wife; Deborah Burst, Author of Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo and Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. Louisiana’s Sacred Places; and Alys Arden, author of The Casquette Girls. More details on each author can be found on the Tubby and Coos website.
HI Mr. Folse–

Just reaching out to request that you re-post the Neutral Ground Coffee House Poetry Night for Wednesdays!

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

Find X February 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
1 comment so far

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.
3 comments

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.

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