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Odd Words June 25, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface. Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina. In 1998 a collection of Mr. Rosenthal’s photographs, Regarding Manhattan was published by Safe Harbor Books, and in 2005 his work was included in Safe Harbor’s Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers. In August of 2008 an exhibit of his Lower Ninth Ward photographs, “Then, Absence,” was displayed at the New Orleans African-American Museum and Boston’s Panopticon Gallery. Mr. Rosenthal was awarded a 2008-2009 North Carolina Arts Fellowship.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.

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

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Skunk by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man’s doorway, it’s a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It’s not clear—but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature’s attention, only to find himself missing something. . .

This slyly hilarious tale brings together picture book talents Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell for the first time.

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Louisiana State Poetry Society features the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work at the East Bank Regional Library,

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Marquer Theater the ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project presents “Teatro Sin Fronteras / Theater Without Borders,” a series theater events or “tertulias” in Spanish with music & food to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of New Orleans in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the storm.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater conclues their month of poetry in June with readings by Sarah Xerta and Kia Alice Groom.

& Also on Wednesday the New Orleans Jane Austen Society hosts a night of all things Jane trivia at the Pearl Wine Co. Test your knowledge of Austen’s novels, her life, love interests, manners, films and more! We’ll have prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

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

Enter title here June 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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If not exhaustion then running on fumes, as if huffing fumes, stumbling more like it, threading the obstacle course of too much stuff of a life squeezed into too small an apartment with a ragged disregard for my personal safety. Sort of a swashbuckling exhaustion if your idea of swashbuckling is Johnny Depp mimicking Keith Richards on Quaaludes, and if you don’t like Jack Sparrow there is something deeply, disturbingly normal about you.

The spring water bottle drips and coughs like some sad Dicken’s character. So: Winn-Dixie, an archipelago of unimaginably distant, mythical aisles and all I really need is a bottle of spring water. The Kentwood cooler which no longer cools (but thankfully still pours hot enough for tea) will have to stand totemic and emptyfor a day.

No tea tonight, anyway. Not night meetings. So certainly no coffee. When one’s body goes into shutdown mode at 5:30 in the evening clearly sleep is the necessary medicine. Perhaps it is the new medicine, warnings of somnolence and such, in the absence of mania. My lifelong ADHD is compounding my complete lack of investment in the current job, and the job has to stay for now, so I can’t afford this medicine not to work.

I can make it to Canseco’s riderless (good horse), threading the overhanging plants and managing the rippling brickwork. There are, however, cigarettes at Canseco’s, and winded pumping up the bicycle tire argues both for the bicycle and against cigarettes and untold other things a laptop-bound, post-amitryptiline fat man should not be allowed to even consider.

Consider Fig Newtons. It’s Real Fruit. Says so right on the package. Unlike the chocolaty peanuts which contain no fruit whatsoever and an adjective masquerading as an adverb pretending to be chocolate. Fig…Newtons, the last bit a soft and savory mouthful of vowels, with just a hint of the seedy crunch in the t and ending in the s of satisfaction.

So, glass of water in hand and a plate of Fig Newtons (not the bag, oh my god, don’t bring the bag) and all I need is something to read. Preferably with large type and small words. Or at least something on the Kindle, so I can blow up the type to some ridiculous size. Let the words pass by large and slow like a ship on the river which will certainly loose control and crash into my chest (“they are still dredging the carpet looking for the remains of several Fig Newtons missing after the disastrous collision”) before I can turn off the light.

Odd Words June 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, Toulouse Street, Writing Workshops.
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Coming up this week in literary New Orleans:

& Tuesday Garden District Books hosts the book launch of Laura Lane McNeal’s Dollbaby, A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets.

& At the East Bank Regional Library on Tuesday the Louisiana State Poetry Society hosts the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work. Free of charge and open to the public.

& In Westwego the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at he Edith S. Lawson Library.

& Wednesday Amanda Emily Smith, Donney Rose and Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore read at Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater.

& Thursday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface.Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.
& Thursday at the East Bank Regional 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

Madrid, Espana 18 Junio 2014 June 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Memory, The Narrative, The Typist.
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I can’t help think of Washington, D.C. as I traverse Madrid on the N3 night bus back to my hotel, set in Ciudad Lineal, a quiet apartment block suburb much like Arlington, VA just outide the ring road. Both are great capital cities, but one was built by bureaucrats and acountants and one by kings and their artists. The meandering path from where the N3 night bus drops me requires I ask for directions three times before I manage to traverse the three blocks back to my hotel, via a rounabout intended to gather up and redirect the traffic directed by the radial imperatives of a monumental city . ¿Qual izquirda when five street meet? I am not sure it helped that the bus stopped across from an all night gas station where I picked up a tall boy of Mahou to combat the jet lag confusion of seven time zones and my first two sets of direrctions in Spanish.

My first mistake was setting my phone (which does not work in Spain) and my tablet an  hour slow. I was up from my jet lag sieta an hour late,  and took 40 minutes to realie it. I decided to take the autobus anyway to save money, and managed to find the Cafe Bogui Jazz in time to grab a hasty tortilla patatas and two cup of strong coffee before the show in a clearly local cafe. The  second small cup of black dynamite was a bad idea, but I was still in my jet lag haze, trying to converse in my collegio Spanish with the waitress in what was clearly a neighborhood joint. Three beers at Bogui Jazz did not help much, nor did the adverture of discovering my 53 bus did not run at night, figuring out that I needed to take the N3, followed by a amble through the neighborhood, tall boy from an all night store in hand and half understood directions, in search of my hotel. Now I know the way, and that  I can  grab a beer if I think sleep wil be slow coming and find my way back all in 10 minutes.

The “free jazz” night of Bogui Jazz was more of a straight-ahead modern set with a few moments of transcedently improvizational glory. The saxophonist told me on break they had played with Donald Harrison, Jr. at a festival In their hometown of Leon, so I was clearly in the right spot. I was thrilled enough to write a poem on scraps of paper inspied by a duet beteen the singer and the drummer, and pressed it in her hands while thanking her in village idiot Spanish and then English for making a perfect first night in Madrid. I was clearly in The Zone.

I know I am going to love this city. I think I am going to find my way back to that cafe with its rack of dry cured hams one man was carving the whole time I was there to try the boqurenones rellenos con jambon before I wander off to another night of jazz flamenco, even if it takes me an hour to navigate the narrow and convoluted Europen streets from Salamanca to El Centro and the Cafe Central.

If it weren’t for the prepaid tuition I might consider abandoning a month in the Ezra Pound castle and spend 40 days here recovering my forgotten Spanish, and finding those one or two things each day that demand a poem, spend my siestas in the Bibliotque National or the Cervantes Center with pen and notebook, or early mornings in a plaza soothed into concentration by a baroque fountain.  I think I may have found my haven when Atlantis comes to pass.

Moonlight On Vermont June 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I have 10 hours sleep total over the last two days, a Speaking Tequila Skull and my new CD copy of Trout Mask Replica (no more annoying scratchy ticks or other cicadaian interruptions; the record he almost dead, a penny for the old stylus).

What could possibly go wrong?

Arabella and I have this covered.

20150619_153901

(It’s Just) Another Day June 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Hi Gemini,
There’s simply nothing you can’t do if you’re armed with patience and perseverance…

What my horoscope doesn’t tell me is where I can acquire these things. I am the poster child Gemini, flighty, garrulous, of two minds about everything but insistent when my mind is made up.

Patient, not so much. Perseverance? Really?

I think I will arm myself with patience and persistence. Mañana.

For now, there is coffee.

[rewind]

I had a good night’s sleep, by the clock. It started probably around 7:30, perhaps a quarter to eight. I know I woke just before ten with half of the beer I opened for dinner clenched in my first, my vape fallen into the sofa, my old Kindle lying on the floor. I had slid into a position that made the space between my toes hurt, my body gradually slumping while my rubber-bottom sandals remained planted in place, cutting into my feet. I went straight to bed, and plugged in the phone but forgot to turn on Sleepbot. I may have snored like a warped board saw and tossed and turned all night, but have no way of knowing. By five my brain decided it wanted to get up, although my body is exhausted.

I sit down with the microwaved dregs of yesterday’s coffee, and light a cigarette. I was determined last night not to buy cigarettes and did not. As I draw on one of the last ones in what was to be the last pack, I can feel Death’s hand squeezing the tops of my lungs. They are not icy but warm. Still, I can sense the cold bones underneath. Death whispers “emphysema” with each exhale, and gives a little squeeze. I look in the box at the last two smokes, and contemplate running to the sketchy store before works starts at seven.

Does contemplating going out for smokes in this condition constitute suicidal ideation? I will have to ask the expensive but empathetic psychiatrist.

[rewind]

I believe insistently logging into VPN at the current incarnation of Moloch before 6 a.m. constitutes suicidal ideation.

Memo to self: un-hide the resume on Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder. Let my boss’ next check-in call go to voicemail as if it were an accident. Let her hear the greeting that tells why I don’t answer unrecognized calls, that if you are yet another recruiter that I am currently employed and thank you for your interest. Change the arrangement; tip the scales in my favor.

For now I am one hour away from “protected time,” the arrangement by which a multi-national Moloch manages meetings between New York and Singapore. Next week it will be 7 pm until. And then I will start again with a two-hour morning meeting at 7 am, and another at 9 pm.

So it goes.

[rewind]

I need an attitude adjustment, but grow weary of pills. I can’t afford the psychiatrist I sought out to get away from them and a therapist. I missed the first class of Tai Chi yesterda, because work did not give me a moment to call doctors to make sure I got my new medication and made arrangements to not run out of my blood pressure medication. I should be practicing the mindfulness technique my psych and I practiced on Monday, but feel compelled to write, and the compulsion to write calls for the “seer in front” with a cheering section deep behind him, and the lizard brain hiding beneath the stands swilling coffee and contemplating cigarettes.

[rewind]

All along Moss Street they walk, they run, they bike. They walk their dogs, or run with their dogs, and sometimes (but not this morning) let their running dogs pull their bicycles. I drive, entombed in my car, a new pack of cigarettes safely in my pocket. (Emphyyyseeeemaaaa.) A clearly homeless man, wearing a dirty yellow safety vest, is hand-lining for breakfast, his distant but pleasant expression places him more at peace with his world than I am with mine. (Work: T minus 33).

If I had more time, I should have jumped on my recently repaired bicycle and forced myself to ride to the sketchy store for cigarettes. If I had more time. Today’s calendar hangs from my tiny whiteboard by a magnet, a cryptically colored, solid block of no-time, of not enough time even to do what is written.

Coffee. Emphysema. Cigarettes. Work.

[rewind]

Tonight is date night. Hopefully I won’t be exhausted.

My side of the bed at my girlfriend’s house is what I call my “happy place”, the one spot in the universe where I feel truly relaxed and at peace. I don’t dare go there tonight, and risk falling into a restful slumber. I have a meeting tomorrow.

At 7 am.

[rewind]

“I heard another beep. Who joins?”

[rewind … flap … flap … flap … Krapp]

1. The title comes from the irrepressibly cheerful Paul McCartney, the one who should be dead. I fucking hate Paul McCartney. [2]

2. A working class hero is something to be. [3]

3. Listening to George Harrison’s “Wah Wah” on the car stereo while in a hypomaniacal state, I might as well be cranking it while swilling straight from the Speaking Tequila Skull while doing donuts in front of the police station. This is what I believe the mania index quiz calls “risk taking behavior.”

The Slow Noon Burn of June 16 June 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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As I am not making it to Bloomsday (again), republishing this.

Canal Street in the slow noon burn of June. Thin dribbles of tourists pass up and down, hug the narrow ledge of shade along the buildings as if some abyss yawned at the curb. A handful of hotel workers in dull uniforms colored maroon and dark blue shuffle unhappily toward work or tiredly toward their bus stops and home. There are few suits on the street, no conventioneers with plastic badges swinging from their necks our for lunch. Two men in wilted jackets, ties-loosened, pause outside the Palace Café; they consult the burning blue sky, one’s watch, the cool, dark windows of the restaurant and decide to slip inside. I imagine the spicy fried oysters nestled in a bed of cool greens and blue cheese, a sweat-beaded glass of tea besides. The café tables on the street are empty; pigeons huddled under the canopy pick at the crumb-less pavement. The birds outnumber the people passing by.

Canal passes like a diorama: the peppery aroma of Popeye’s Fried Chicken is followed by powerful cloud of patchouli coming from the Hippie Gypsy shop, then the more delicate smells of browning butter out of the Palace Café; music passes like the tuning of a radio, bars of Cajun from one and jazz from another of the progression of tourist shops with names like Gumbo Bayou and Jazzland and Dixie Market with their racks of tacky t-shirts and windows garlanded with beads; in between ageless Levantine gentlemen stand stiff and mute in the doors of electronics shops like sentinels in crisp cotton shirts and slacks, windows blazoned with No Tax! 220v! PAL Format! waiting patiently for sailors who no longer get shore leave from the mechanized container ships. They watch the masts slip past just over the floodwall up the block and wait.

By midday the sun has warmed everything until the heat no longer comes from above but radiates from every direction: down from the sun and up from the pavement and off the sides of passing windows and we pass in the middle like loaves through some mechanized oven, perfectly browned on all sides. In the distance a church chimes and as if part of the clockwork the last thin ribbon of shade slips under the buildings and there is only the harsh glare off the pavement. I stop and listen to the fading echoes from a dozen buildings, try to think: which church, St. Louis Cathedral to my left or the Jesuit Church behind me on Baronne Street?

I remember as a child my grandmother and I catching the old green Perley Thomas cars at Cemeteries for the trip down Canal. She would shop and we would eat lunch at the K&B Drugstore counter or the lady’s cafe’ in D.H. Homes Department Store but my clearest memory is Immaculate Conception; the dark, narrow Jesuit church filled with flickering red glass candles, my grandmother lighting a taper to Mary while I studied the procession of men who stood, heads bowed and murmuring prayers with one hand on the foot of Saint Joseph. To this day every time I see a status of Joseph I study its feet, notice how generations of hands sliding on and off have worn the wood.

I don’t remember it being this hot when I was a child. I study the parents leaning heavily on the handles of strollers, the women’s sun dresses collapsed damply over their bodies as toddlers skip happily away over the roasting pavement toward traffic. To a child this weather is as natural as the damp warmth of the womb, they see the sweat on their bodies as beautiful dewdrops, tiny sunlit jewels. I stop and mop the inside of my hatband and then my brow, watch anxious parents corral the children back into the stroller and set off grimly for the Aquarium and the promise of air conditioning and the cooling illusion of immersion. I squint over my shoulder back toward Baronne Street and imagine for a moment stepping into that dark nave, into the cool innocence of my own childhood, then turn back to continue my trudge toward the river.

I am not on vacation. I have no lunch date. I am walking away from work but only for a while. I have, frankly, no good business being out in the mad dog sun except to walk and watch and listen. It is June 16, and I am taking my own advice, spending Bloomsday not reading about Dublin 1904 but setting out on my own ramble through New Orleans, to capture a snapshot of this city in June 2009. There is little to see except the street itself. The heat has driven all but the desperate indoors, and those who are out in the sun don’t waste their energy talking. I walk on.

The first and last real crowd I pass stands in the plaza of the last tall high rise before the river, the office tower disgorging lunchtime smokers onto benches. They stand alone or in small knots, and I wander in and through the crowd but there is not much conversation. It is all they can manage with a full belly in the noon sun to get the cigarette up to their lips and back down to their sides, blowing smoke up into the sky to carry away the extra heat. I bum a light to excuse my intrusion and perhaps pick up a bit of conversation but all I get are grunts of assent, and a flame held at arm’s length. I puff, nod and walk on.

The last block to the river passing the humming utility substation is empty except lone vendor eyes me excitedly, waving dripping bottles of water in my face for only a dollar, coldest on Canal he promises and the last chance, he throws in. I smile back (his the only smile seen today on the street, and my reply is equally forced). No, I manage through my pleasant grimace and head up toward the place where the streetcar and Public Belt Railroad tracks both cross Canal. I stop and look both ways but there are no cars or trains in site, the empty tracks remind me that the river is no longer the city’s big business. The Aquarium across the tracks and it’s tourists are now our stock and trade, the stores where my grandmother once browsed are now Gumbo Bayou and the Hippie Gypsy.

Here on the plaza another vendor paces up and down shouting his own cold drinks, water a dollar and Powerade available, but he’s on the wrong side of the square. I walk alone into the middle of the plaza while the scattered tourists make directly for the shaded overhangs of the Aquarium where they huddle under the arcade, lining up to escape into the promise of frigid air.

I head straight for the railing along the river, hoping to find a consoling breeze there. I can see it out on the river where the wind stirs up a tiny, rippling chop amid the swirling flat water where the confused current prepares to make the hard bend at the Gov. Nicholls and Esplanade wharves before heading down through St. Bernard and Plaquemine to the Gulf. I light another cigarette and watch the wind but it stays over the main stem away from the riverfront. I pull off my hat and mop again, then start walking along the water’s edge. Usually you can smell the river but today is so hot the creosote is oozing out of the timbers that edge the dock and its aroma overpowers everything. I am alone on the promenade.

There is no traffic on the river. I crane my neck to look upstream but nothing moves. Even here where tourists often congregate it’s deadly quiet; no buskers out playing or liquor-loud knots of bead wearing young people in from the dry north. The riverboat calliope is silent. I am startled when the ferry hoots its horn, ready to cross. Usually the pigeons that swarm here for the lunch leavings would launch themselves into disturbed whorls at the sound, but they are nowhere to be seen, have found shade somewhere else. Realizing I have less sense than a pigeon, I turn and start to head back to work.

The only action is a woman who poses in front of the aminatronic dinosaur advertising an exhibit at the Audubon Zoo and starts hollering, “Help mommy! Help mommy!”. A small toddler grabs his father’s hand and starts tugging him. “Help Mommy, Daddy, help Mommy”. Then the plastic raptor lifts it’s head and let’s out a roar and he freezes even as mother squeals louder, “help me, help mommy”. Not yet two and already he’s torn, facing his first betrayal: the woman and love or his own skin. You don’t get to save a pretty girl from a dinosaur every day and if you don’t you might wind up a lonely pair of eyes, one of the solitary watchers of the world walking alone at lunch, instead of one of the heroes.

I root for innocence and heroism but I need to find the water man, coldest in town and only a dollar, before I start my march back to the office, before the wriggling lines of heat invade my head and start to spin like disturbed birds. I need to replace the bucket of sweat the day has taken out of me, and to wash out the taste of cigarette and creosote. Before I turn the corner I look back to see how things played out but the boy and his parents are gone, into the aquarium where the monsters are kept behind thick safety glass.

The Perils of Memory June 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in je me souviens, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The man with the silver hair and blue suit led the way. They climbed into the bus that was waiting at the sidewalk. The man counted the Japanese as they passed in front of him. He climbed on in turn and sat next to the driver. He was holding a microphone. The Jardins du Luxembourg was just one stop and they had all of Paris to visit. I wanted to follow them on that glorious morning, harbinger of spring, and be just a simple tourist. No doubt I would have rediscovered a city I had lost and, through its avenues, the feeling I’d once had of being light and carefree.

Flowers of  Ruin, Patrick Modiano

Teach Me To Dance June 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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You can laugh, too, huh? You laughed!

All The Way June 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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                I’ve had enough. I’m going to
pull myself up over the side, and get
all the way out of my mind.
From “JUST NORMAL” by Everette Maddox

Another long week at Moloch stuffing screaming debtors into the flames, and it’s time to just get fucking weird again. Just another Friday night at the Fortress of Squalitude…

Smile, my mother whisper-hissed, as I tread up the aisle many years ago..

Where Are the Snowden’s of Yesteryear? June 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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yossarian tree

“You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You’re dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!”

Surplus Labor Incarnate June 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Working from home: you have to get up early to check the Internet and VPN, allowing time to shower (optional) and dress (optional) should you have to flee to the coffee house to get connected. Once you are logged in you have to check your calendar. Someone may have cancelled an early meeting. Or, worse, someone also on night meetings may have pushed out an earlyish meeting, and your are a time zone behind. .So now you are in Outlook. All of the testers whose work you are validating are in China or Poland. It is already 8:30 pm in Singapore, and 2:30 pm in Poland. You know this because you have a screen on your tablet filled with world clock widgets: New Orleans, New York, Singapore (most of the overseas team are in Singapore, but that tiny nation is on China Standard Time), India. And Venice (which is in the same time zone as Poland, but one can dream). Once you are into email they have got you by the lobes, and you haven’t yet brushed your teeth or made your morning gruel of yogurt and Grape-Nuts. You are getting fat, tied down from early morning until late at night into a four-by-four space between the desk and the easy chair in the living room, stressed, taking medications for stress that make you blow up as if you had swallowed the business end of a gas station air line, and you feed in quarters like you feed yourself hypomaniacal snacks. The blue tooth headset hangs from the architects lamp. Both computers are fired up and ready for the day. There is no escape. You got a panicked text message from a new contracted co-worker about her computer. It seems the person she replaced was released because he was too often off-line, but you are convinced the client’s rickety Citrix environment runs on a cluster of scavenged desktops from the late Nineties,and their version of IBM Rational Quality Center–where you spend much of your day–has taken to throwing over license messages when you log on, is hopelessly oversubscribed and overloaded. You are an involuntary contractor–discarded by your last real employer a few days before  you received your five year pin, because you refused a compulsory relocation. But the message is clear. You do not have the freedom to set you own hours as long as the work is done. if Moloch’s systems don’t work, don’t complain. Just put in more hours to compensate. You are paid a salary and not by the hour, and the hours are long.  You are surplus labor incarnate, and you doubt your employers know the difference between a Marxist and a Marxian. You do what you are told.

This is Freedom.

This is the Invisible Hand.

This is America.

This is Fucking Insane.

“A pig. In a cage. On antibiotics.”
— Radiohead, “Fitter, Happier

Odd Words June 11, 2015

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

Tuesday is Bloomsday! Details below.

Joyce in New Orleans

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Robert S. Brantley’s Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect. Few nineteenth-century architects ventured far from the pattern-book styles of their time. One architect not constrained by tradition was the Irish-born American Henry Howard, who started as a carpenter and stair builder in 1836 New York and arrived in New Orleans the following year, soon establishing a reputation for distinctive designs that blended American and European trends. His career gained momentum as he went on to design an extraordinarily diverse portfolio of magnificent residences and civic buildings in New Orleans and its environs. Henry Howard is a lavishly produced clothbound volume featuring hundreds of contemporary and archival images and a comprehensive analysis of his built work. The first book to examine the forty-year career of the architect, Henry Howard establishes a clear lineage of his aesthetic contributions to the urban and rural environments of the South.

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

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Jim Field. If you ever see a box of cornflakes offering a free lion, ignore it! This is the hair-raising story of two brothers who didn’t- and then ended up with a grizzly bear, a cranky old crocodile, and a huge gorilla! Now if only they could get a free tiger…

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet/songwriter, Mike True performs his work, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday June 16 is Bloomsday, the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. Bloomsday in New Orleans will be observed upstairs at The Irish House from 6-8 p.m. Reading from the celebrated novel will include featured readers Brian Boyles, Yuri Herrera, Mwende “Freequency” Katwiwa, Benjamin Morris, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Katy Simpson Smith. Members of the public will be invited to join in and read brief passages of their own selection from the work.

& The East Jefferson Great Books Discussion Group will discuss Sanctuary by William Faulkner at 7 pm. Psychologically astute and wonderfully poetic, Sanctuary is a powerful novel examining the nature of true evil, through the prisms of mythology, local lore, and hard-boiled detective fiction. This is the dark, at times brutal, story of the kidnapping of Mississippi debutante Temple Drake, who introduces her own form of venality into the Memphis underworld where she is being held.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Latter Library hosts an Author Night: Historic New Orleans Cemeteries, featuring Dr. Ryan Gray, University of New Orleans faculty member, sharing his research on our local graveyards.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Russel Swensen and Nikki Wallschlaeger. Wallschlaeger is the author of two chapbooks, Head Theatre (2007) which etched itself out of her palms unexpectedly & “I Would Be The Happiest Bird” (2014). Her hands continue to talk, which is why she writes. Publications include Esque, Nervehouse, Coconut Poetry, Word Riot, Pirene’s Fountain, Burdock, Spork, DecomP, Shirt Pocket Press, Horse Less Press and others. Her book “Houses” was just released by Horse Less Press. She is currently working on her first full-length manuscript of poems called Crawlspace. She is also the Assistant Poetry Editor at Coconut Poetry. She lives in Milwaukee with her spouse and son.Swensen earned his MFA in fiction from the California Institute of the Arts and his doctorate in poetry from the University of Houston. His poetry chapbook, Santa Ana, was the winner of the Spring 2011 Black River Chapbook Contest. His full length collection, The Magic Kingdom, will be released by Black Lawrence Press (January 2016). His work has appeared in Black Clock, Pank, Quarterly West, Prick of the Spindle, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

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

Have Faith June 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I know you. I know your torments. When you fall into your fears and doubts like this, you become mesmerized. You see nothing outside yourself, my brother. It is as if you walked down a road forever gazing into a mirror, walking toward yourself and blind to the world. Have faith.

-Luis Alberto Urrea, The Hummingbird’s Daughter

When I Am Old June 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I shall paint my house orange…

Orange Wall

Fuck You, Google June 7, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Of course The Google knows it’s my birthday. It knows Everything. I was fascinated and appaled when I found I could  trace my movements through Europe last year when I relied on GPS and Maps to help me find my way..

So, O Great Google, do you now I now weight 259 pounds? That the medication I have taken to avoid compulsive eating in hypomania has caused me to blow up like a fucking balloon off the party shop stand up tank? That the last anti-depressent I took did the same fucking thing? That I’ve gotten up twice this morning and stood over the garbage can holding the Rouse’s doberge cake, only to put it back in the fridge because P wants to light a candle and sing Happy Birthday in her best Marilyn? That the new meds have not kicked in enough to completely stiffle hypomaniacal, compulsive eating? That the cigarettes I’ve reverted to this past two weeks haven’t helped?

I can live with myself at 235, am much happier at 215 , which is still on the red side of that chart written by doctors who haven’t gotten over their amphetemine addiction from residency. Two fucking sixty is just too much. I was ready to set out for a birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurnts. P wanted to wear a dressy dress she made last summer so I changed into long pants and and a favorite linen shirt she found for me at Goodwill, and as I began to button it I knew it would not work:I was liable to pop  a button the moment I sat down. The pants, Haggar Cool 18 chinos with a hidden stretchy bit, cut into my stomach.

Off we went, but this was not the happiest birthdy dinner I have ever had: fat, dumb struck and unhappy I still ordered the tamalaes with a crema drizzle, and split a flan for dessert. The flan and tamales at Casa Borrega are too damn good not to eat. I tried, really, but no amount of expensive reposado  was going to improve my mood, flat as a fallen cake  I came home and collapsed into bed in my (binding) boxers  without even bothering to change into my drawstring bed pants. I turned to the wall and waited for the meltonin and herbal concoction to kick in.

So, thanks for the imaginary cakes, Google, but fuck you very much. I’m off to walk to Walgreens (leaving the car behind) to get a pack of cigarettes and browse the patent medicine aisle for a box of whatever berry and green tea pills. I am not ruling out mail order tapeworms.

Odd Words June 4, 2015

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

& Room 220 is pleased to present a Happy Hour Salon celebrating two excellent New Orleans music books: Spirit of the Orisha by Janet “Sula Spirit” Evans and Talk that Music Talk edited by Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes. The event, featuring readings, discussion, translation, and live music, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Spirit of the Orisha is a book-music combination meant as a teaching tool to connect new generations with traditional Orisha music. It features a selection of song lyrics compiled and annotated by Janent “Sula Spirit” Evans, translated into English by Omoba Adéwálé Adénlé. The book’s accompanying two-CD album features performances of the songs by the Zion Trinity, of which Evans is a member. Talk That Music Talk: Passing On Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way is the latest major offering from the wonderful Neighborhood Story Project. Editors Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes spent years compiling oral histories, photographs, and documents that tell the story of how brass music in New Orleans has remained alive and thriving for more than a century. Breunlin is co-director of the Neighborhood Story Project and Barnes is a veteran park ranger at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

&Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Bill Hancock and Riding With The Blue Moth. After the death of his son, Will, in the 2001 airplane crash that took the lives of nine additional members of the Oklahoma State basketball team and support staff, survival became a common word in Bill Hancock’s vocabulary. Bicycling was simply the method by which he chose to distract himself from his grief. But for Hancock, the 2,747-mile journey from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast became more than just a distraction. It became a pilgrimage, even if Hancock didn’t realize it upon dipping his rear tire in the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach, California in the wee hours of a July morning. On his two-wheel trip, Hancock battled searing heat and humidity, curious dogs, unforgiving motorists and the occasional speed bump-usually a dead armadillo. Hancock’s thoughts returned to common themes: memories of his son Will, the prospect of life without Will for him and his wife, and the blue moth of grief and depression. That pesky moth fluttered around Hancock as if he was a beaming lamp pole in an empty parking lot.

& Also at 6 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library. the group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read William & the Missing Masterpiece by Helen Hancocks. Debonair cat-detective William finds himself at the center of a mysterious theft when the Mona Cheesa is stolen from a Parisian gallery. Can William put the clues together and solve the crime? Fans of Helen Hancocks’s Penguin in Peril won’t be disappointed in this hilarious tale of cat and mouse.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet serves up its monthly reading at the Latter Memorial Library. This month features poets Ralph Adamo, Carolyn Hembree, Brad Richard and Mark Statman reading from their work.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 5 pm Crescent City Books will be home to a poetry reading hosted by Thaddeus Conti featuring noted local poets Megan Burns, Joseph Bienvenu, Nancy Dixon, Bill Lavender.

& At 6 pm Tuesday the West Bank 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.

& Tuesday at 7 pm “TEATRO SIN FRONTERAS” is a community arts initiative of the “ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project” supported with funds from Alternate ROOTS’ Partners in Action Program. José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo Productions in partnership with Puentes LatiNola have launched a series of 7 “Movable Feasts” and “Theater Without Borders” events to engage the community at large, and gather around food, theater, & music for sharing of stories & ideas to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of LA NUEVA ORLEANS for the 10th Anniversary of the storm. Featured artists at this event are Featured Artists: Veronica Isabel Giraldo-Puente, poet/performer, Antonio Garza writer & performer, Ecos Latinos & Carlos Valladares short films, and Margie Perez & Guitarist performing original songs.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Joseph Bienvenu & James Blanchard. Bienvenu is the author of Atom Parlor (BlazeVOX 2010), Cocktail Poems (Hobby Horse, 2011), and Pool Hall Quartet (Verna Press, 2008). His translation of the poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus was published by Dialogos (2013). Joseph is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives and teaches Latin and English at a local high school. He received his B.A. in Classics from Loyola University of Chicago and his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Blanchard is a writer, spoken-word artist, poet, bartender residing in Lafayette, Louisiana.

& 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 Universal Switch June 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Regular dancing has been shown to lead to significant decreases in salivary cortisol concentrations.[1]

Down on your knees digging through the shelves of vinyl the cat has de-spined looking for Quadraphenia because you heard “5:15” on the satellite radio at the store where you were loading up on intentionally healthy things to stuff hypomanically into your gullet: cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, a non-fat low sodium French Onion dip, a tub of guacamole with pico de gallo and a bag of blue corn chips and you still bought cigarettes anyway, home and not sure what pose to strike, the classic boy hunched over his scooter or the famous inside shot of Todd Rundgren from Something/Anything, hands extended in a Nixon victory salute, so you choose the slouch on the couch and the Kindle and manage 20 pages of the new novel before you get too fidgety, the buttons jumping pages and changing the font size unbidden like the time you tried to watch Arachnophobia while clutching the remote like a protective totem which worked, after a fashion, switching off the movie every time you spasmed with terror.

I want to find that remote, the Universal Remote capable of controlling all channels: the Shopping for Losers channel, the Netflix is Empty channel, the Radiohead and Patti Smith Pandora channels, the channel you have dug from couch to kitchen in search of more compulsive food, the Ant Races channel, any channel carrying Black Mirror’s White Bear episode [No Talking, Keep Your Distance, Enjoy Yourselves], the imaginary but compulsively anticipated stress episode flashback channel, the flood of emotions overflow outlet channel that runs through your nervous system.

This is the truly Universal Remote, as mystic and distant as the Theory of Everything. The instructions for its programming and operation are hidden somewhere in the Paragonian Foundation’s webpage between The Heraclitus Project and Integral Relational Logic: Liberating Intelligence from Its Mechanistic Conditioning. The PIN code required is Hebrew and hidden in the Kabbalah. By default it operates on the radio frequency spectrum around 2.7 GHz so stay the fuck away from the microwave popcorn. Operation at 1420 Mhz is not supported outside the mothership and Radiohead lied to you. Patti Smith lied to you. They are not coming to rescue you.

You can only rescue yourself.

Whew. For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself.

1. Quiroga MC, Bongard S, Kreutz G (July 2009). “Emotional and Neurohumoral Responses to Dancing Tango Argentino: The Effects of Music and Partner”. Music and Medicine 1 (1): 14–21. doi:10.1177/1943862109335064

Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) May 31, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The End, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Out of my brain on the five fifteen.
— “5:15”, Quadraphenia

Train songs for the cigarette apocalypse, at the hour of the conjunction of the Third Klonopin and the Second Beer, your jittery teeth the tight shot  black-and-white of the piston and the driving wheels.

Love & Loathing May 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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La Dolce Vita 7

“The day that you understand you love Marcello more than he does, you’ll be happy.”
— Steiner, La Dolce Vita

Fallin’ Ditch May 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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When I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
When I trip fallin’ ditch
Somebody wanna’ throw the dirt right down
When I feel like dyin’ the sun come out
‘n stole m’ fear ‘n gone
Who’s afraid of the spirit with the bluesferbones
Who’s afraid of the fallin’ ditch
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
How’s that for the spirit
How’s that for the things
Ain’t my fault the thing’s gone wrong
‘n when I’m smilin’ my face wrinkles up real warm
‘n when um frownin’ things just turn t’ stone
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
‘n when I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bone
— Don Van Vliet

The Ghost in the Stone May 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Travel, Writing.
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Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting
“Which Side Are You On?”
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

I remember listening to this, the almost prophetic lines, almost a year ago to the day in that window of time between my graduation and leaving for Europe, wondering what lines an intent and malcontent young man a thousand years hence would–given an fortuitous manuscript in an ancient tongue–would render into his own poetry: Pound’s or Dylan’s?

I cannot see the future any more clearly clearly  than Ezra Pound could see the past. My current desire is to find a narrow swath of time, a butterfly’s worth say, in which to find some peace, the surcease of the black verses of Pound or early Dylan.  When I need to get away from the chatter of streetcars and the lowing of trombones,, I think of the Castle, Brunnenburg, last outpost on the winding castle road and guardian of the springs that watered the mountaintop fortress which loomed over it.

Madness. Pound is madness wrought fine, at once the distilled essence like  Nick’s fine grappa from the grapes that surrounded us, and the great stone in which the reader must discern the form. I followed the steep Via Ezra Pound and immersed myself for a month, my studies interrupted everyday by a gourmet lunch fresh from the Castle farm tended by his grandchildren, up late, falling asleep sitting up in my tiny room in the croft, and up again early scribbling marginal transcriptions of the sense of it from Terrell’s agate companion. Madness.
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Ruins of Brunnenburg, 19th century engraving

I would do it again in a moment, for there I discovered not Pound’s truth but my own: dedication to something I loved beyond all reason, at least two healthy meals a day, and the steep climb to town if I wanted dinner or cigarettes. A mind well engaged and a body well fed and worked hard at least once a day. To live well and work hard at something worthwhile, not just to pay the bills.

I would leave today.I have my passport and 30 Euro found months later stashed in various pockets of my clothes.

I sit here sipping a Campari and soda (there is cava in the fridge, but not just now) listening for imaginary vaporetti passing along the canals of New Orleans. Yes, Venice: Venice is an essential part of the equation, four days our reward for hard work but still kept on task, following in Pound’s footsteps, passing our hands over the smooth sandstone pommel on the bridge leading to the small piazza where a young Pound contemplated tossing his early verses into the canal.

I am so often to tired to write much. Books of poetry topple constantly from their otherwise undisturbed stack. I sometimes go through my meager manuscript and consider what, if any of it, is worth the death of a tree. I watch from a quiet distance the steady success of a friend who for all his own troubles and the grind of his job practices his craft with a discipline I cannot conjure. In those moments I want to return to the castle, to rent the spare room off the küche and lose myself in poetry again, distracted only by the fairytale beauty of the low mountains of the Südtirol, the rescued eagles of the Castel Tirolo soaring, the warbling of the turkeys wandering the yard.

That is not going to happen anytime soon. June will be a death march through the work project at hand and I hope that keeps me too busy to dwell upon last June. Still, I must not forget the lessons of the castle: to eat well and walk long, to find time to bury myself in poetry, to stop and watch the hawks hunting in the park.

I write, Castles and mountains and iron-cloistered Virgins are all within my reach. I need only place myself before a metaphorical Via Ezra Pound, and take that first step up the daunting climb. Once started there is no point in turning back.

Through a prism, darkly May 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Odd, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Spectrum

King Kong Mother Fucking Superman

                                                                     cries sometimes

                                               alone

in his Fortress of

                                                                                                 Solitude

Hey, Mister May 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Another week booked and billed, another chapter lived but unwritten, another beer opened on Eastern Time and I want a fucking cigarette. How else, then, smoke rings?

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

— Bob Dylan, “Mr. Tamborine Man”

This completely unnecessary attribution is dedicated to the handful of patient professors–Gery, Marti, Hazlett–who tolerated (just) my rambling sentences of intricate internal logic unbound from the shackles of Latin and Aristotle, and my irregular conjugations of the MLA handbook, which was no larger than Strunk and White when I started out on that road. Why does English in any usage or situation adhere to something like the MLA? Rules? In a knife fight?

Odd Words May 21, 2015

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

& Thursday at 7 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts An Evening with Performance Artist & Poet José Torres-Tama. Immigrant Dreams and Alien Nightmares is a debut collection that documents twenty-five years of José Torrest-Tama’s poetry in his unique bilingual voice.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop from 11:30 AM to 1PM features Berthe Amoss, author of the new book Mischief and Malice. Set in New Orleans on the eve of World War II, Mischief and Malice is a brand new work from an iconic figure in young adult literature. Following the death of her Aunt Eveline, fourteen-year old Addie-who we first met in Berthe Amoss’s classic Secret Lives-is now living with her Aunt Toosie, Uncle Henry, and her longtime rival cousin, Sandra Lee. A new family has just moved into Addie’s former house, including a young girl who is just Addie’s age. Meanwhile, Louis, the father of Tom, Addie’s lifelong neighbor and best friend, suddenly returns after having disappeared when Tom was a baby. Between school dances, organizing a Christmas play, fretting about her hair, and a blossoming romance with Tom, Addie stumbles upon a mystery buried in the Great Catch All, an ancient giant armoire filled with heirlooms of her family’s past, which holds a devastating secret that could destroy Louis and Tom’s lives. Once again, Berthe Amoss has created an indelible portrait of a young girl coming of age in prewar New Orleans.

& Saturday at Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop frojm 2:30 – 4:30 PM local poets and writers from the MelaNated Writers Collective, the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, and UNO perform.

& At 1 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shops hosts Dr. Leong Ying and his book From Newton, Einstein, to GOD., Dr. Ying’s family memoir written uniquely in rhyming poetic verses following his history in six chronological parts from his birth in 1961 up to 2012. The book will have readers laughing at his antics when childhood pranks were his specialty in his birthplace of Singapore, and feeling compassion toward his challenges as the only non-white student in Liverpool (UK) where his family emigrated and his struggles with dyslexia and the language-barriers but excelling in numbers and evolving into his groundbreaking scientific research. But it is his writing and scientific research that takes center stage in Dr. Ying’s life, mostly focusing on his exploration of the Twin Universe theory, which combines science and religion to prove the existence of God and answer many of the formerly unknown answers about the world such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy. He developed the Universal Laws of Thermodynamics to prove God’s existence in 2002.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Monday is Memorial Day. All regional libraries will be closed.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop Amy Conner discusses and signs her book, Million Dollar Road Eighteen-year-old Lireinne Hooten has always been on the lowest rung of the ladder. Abandoned by her mother, Lireinne lives with her stepfather in an old trailer on Million Dollar Road. Every day she walks the long mile, through a canopy of live oaks, to her job at the world’s largest alligator farm. Shy and overweight in high school, Lireinne has become lean and resilient from months of hosing out the huge cement barns. And just like Snowball—the enormous, all-white alligator she feeds illicit treats every day—she’s hungry to be free. Lireinne’s boss, Con Costello, is powerful, attractive, and used to getting exactly what he desires. Now that he’s noticed Lireinne’s haunting beauty, he wants her too. But unlike Con’s needy second wife, Lizzie, or Emma, his still heartbroken ex, Lireinne isn’t interested. Undeterred, Con’s growing obsession will upend all their lives—compelling Lizzie to confront the hard truth about her marriage, pushing Emma past her self-imposed isolation and back into the world. And for Lireinne, it will lead to an unexpected chance to redefine herself, far away from her past and from Million Dollar Road.
Amy Conner discusses and signs her book, Million Dollar Road.

& 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.

& At 7 pm Wednesday Science Fiction and Fantasy Club meets at the Old Metairie Library. This month’s discussion will be on the book, Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber.

& At 8 pm Wednesday Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater welcomes poets Clare Harmon and Charles Garrett followed by an open mic in the poetry living room. Harmon trained and worked as a classical musician. In the fall of 2012 she wrote her first poem and it’s been a delighting hell ever since. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her poems have appeared in Quaint and PANK Magazines. Her first book, The Thingbody: A Hybrid Verse Memoir, Sounding & Illuminated, is available from Instar Books. Garrett, has published no books; has no published collections for you to buy or pretend to care about. He has no stake in making you like him or his words, but you will undoubtedly love his voice. He loves cooking for his son, and learning the extremes of his own tolerance. He is not a “teaching artist” nor a professional one, but will gladly talk and share with anyone, willing to listen. He believes poetry is in the way we bleed, not how much we do so.

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

& ! Coming Up… June 16 in Bloomsday in NOLA, from 6-8 pm at The Irish House Pub and Restaurant. Mark your calender for this annual public reading from James Joyce monumental work Ulysses, which takes place over the course of a single day-June 16–in Dublin . Time to start your annual, biennial (our choice), quinquennial or maybe your first time tackling this amazing work. If you are this far down the list, you know it is on your To Do list. Follow the link under the title above, and let Indie Bound find you a copy now!

‽ A confession… Toulouse Street, and the blog Wet Bank Guide before it, became an affiliate of The Evil A long before Odd Words started. In coming up on ten years of blogging with Evil A Affiliate Links I have referred many readers, but not earned a penny. So goes the The Evile A. The link above to Ulysses will take you to Indie Bound. All book links in the future will take you to the Indie Bound site for the book, which features a helpful search box for your closest Indie Book Store.

Stop That May 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Pointness, The Typist.
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“Don’t you think the Sagrada Familia is a bit Gaudi?”

#pynchonhumorsyndrome #punforthecure

it is myths that haunt us, not ghosts May 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, literature, quotes, The Narrative, The Typist.
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That it is myths that haunt us, not ghosts, which are only specters produced by an unexpected intersection of myths. A Celtic myth, for example, might intersect with an Aztec one. But what interests me the most is the syncretic capacity of Christian myth to embrace them all and make them all rationally accessible at once, and at the same time irrationally sacred.

— Carlos Fuentes, “Reasonable People”, from Costancia and Other Stories for Virgins

You’re Only Coming Through In Wave 1 Release May 15, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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This week has been more fun than pulling cactus spines out of your hide, but not as much fun as falling drukenly into the cactus. I am listening to the solo works of Syd Barrett VERY LOUD while sipping a beer as I finish up work. There is an unopened bottle of the sugar skull tequila, intended initially as decorative, staring at me suggestively (cut that out!) from the mantle.

This is certain to end well.

The madcap laughed at the man on the border
Hey ho, huff the talbot
The winds they blew and the leaves did wag
And they’ll never put me in their bag
The seas will reach and always see
So high you go, so low you creep
The winds it blows in tropical heat
The drones they throng on mossy seats
The squeaking door will always creep
Two up, two down we’ll never meet
So merrily trip for good my side
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride!

Odd Words May 14, 2015

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

& At 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop presents Patty Friedmann’s Do Not Open for 50 Years. The world turns upside down when Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, blasting apart three generations of women in the final installment of the The Cooper Family Saga. Darby Cooper, the daughter of Bernie and Letty whom we met in Too Jewish and came of age with in Too Jewish: The Next Generation, has become a bestselling New Orleans author, drawing on the tragedy of her father’s life.

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

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Friday the Freedom Writing for Women of Color group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Get ready to be Infused and join Octavia Books for a Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmers Market featuring Annelies Zijderveld signing and giving samples from her new cookbook, STEEPED: Recipes Infused with Tea, bringing the flavors and fragrances of tea to the table in 70 freshly brewed recipes. Get your oolong on! From morning eats to evening sweets, Steeped infuses your day with the flavors and fragrances of tea. Romance your oat porridge with rooibos, jazz up your brussel sprouts with jasmine, charge your horchata with masala chai! Annelies Zijderveld’s deliciously inventive tea-steeped recipes include: Matcha Chia Pudding Parfaits, Earl Grey Soba Noodle Salad, Green Tea Coconut Rice, Chamomile Buttermilk Pudding with Caramelized Banana, and Earl Grey Poached Pears with Masala Chai Caramel Sauce.

& Saturday at 10 am The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America occurs at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The meeting features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore topics other than romance writing though they focus on subjects that make writers better at their craft.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Meet the Dullards is a clever and irreverent picture book about a comically boring family, from bestselling author Sara Pennypacker and illustrator Daniel Salmieri. Their home is boring. Their food is plain. Their lives are monotonous. And Mr. and Mrs. Dullard like it that way. But their children—Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud—have other ideas. Never has dullness been so hilarious than in this deadpan, subversive tale.

& Saturday from 11am – 1pm Deborah Burst signs copies of her books Louisiana’s Sacred Places and The Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. The first blurs the lines between the sacred and the profane. Author Deborah Burst combines her love for art, history and architecture into a poetic trail of churches, cemeteries and Voodoo ceremonies. Explore Louisiana’s most solemn and revered locales. From New Orleans’ most telling portraits of eternal architecture to St. Roch Chapel’s chamber of miracles with relics of pain and suffering. Burst brings readers inside Voodoo ceremonies with vivid photography and a detailed history on the religion. Moving north along the cypress bayous learn the mysteries of the Creole tradition in lighting the graves on All Saints Day. Follow the trail west along the muddy Mississippi where country chapels whisper tales of survival against the river’s mighty floods. Inside the Feliciana Parishes, nineteenth-century

& At 2 pm at Octavia Books Margret Aldrich presents and signs THE LITTLE FREE LIBRARY BOOK. In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries—freestanding front-yard book exchanges—now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

& Please join us at Pistil & Stamen Flower Farm (1900 St. Claude) on Saturday, May 16th at 7 pm for a “GAY/GARDENS”-themed book release party in honor of Jenn Marie Nunes’ AND/OR, winner of the the inaugural Queer Voices Contest from Switchback Books. We will have flower-themed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, copies of AND/OR for sale, and readings by Jenn Marie Nunes, Anne Marie Rooney, Megan McHugh, and Kristin Sanders. Please note that the rain location is Baskerville

& Sunday at 2 pm visit Octavia Books for a Sunday afternoon reading & signing with Megan Braden-Perry (author) and Lyn Brantly Vicknair (illustrator) celebrating the launch of their very cute debut children’s picture book, ALLEN THE ALLIGATOR COUNTS THROUGH NEW ORLEANS. “One alligator named Allen, wearing a silver medallion, boarded the Elysian Fields bus. He greeted the driver, paid his fare and spotted his good pal Gus.” What follows is a day full of fun and adventure, from eating classic New Orleans cuisine to stopping bullies and touring a police station.

& Sunday at 2 pm Garden District Book Shop features Eleni N. Gage’s The Ladies of Managua. When Maria Vazquez returns to Nicaragua for her beloved grandfather’s funeral, she brings with her a mysterious package from her grandmother’s past-and a secret of her own. And she also carries the burden of her tense relationship with her mother Ninexin, once a storied revolutionary, now a tireless government employee. As Ninexin tries to reach her daughter, and Maria wrestles with her expectations for her romance with an older man, Isabela, the mourning widow, is lost in memories of attending boarding school in 1950’s New Orleans, where she loved and lost almost sixty years ago. When the three women come together to bid farewell to the man who anchored their family, they are forced to confront their complicated, passionate relationships with each other and with their country-and to reveal the secrets that each of them have worked to conceal.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet James Robinson will read from his new chapbook, The Caterpillars at Saint Bernard from Mule on a Ferris Wheel Press. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Amy Conner and Million Dollar Road. Eighteen-year-old Lireinne Hooten has always been on the lowest rung of the ladder. Abandoned by her mother, Lireinne lives with her stepfather in an old trailer on Million Dollar Road. Every day she walks the long mile, through a canopy of live oaks, to her job at the world’s largest alligator farm. Shy and overweight in high school, Lireinne has become lean and resilient from months of hosing out the huge cement barns. And just like Snowball—the enormous, all-white alligator she feeds illicit treats every day—she’s hungry to be free.
Lireinne’s boss, Con Costello, is powerful, attractive, and used to getting exactly what he desires. Now that he’s noticed Lireinne’s haunting beauty, he wants her too. But unlike Con’s needy second wife, Lizzie, or Emma, his still heartbroken ex, Lireinne isn’t interested. Undeterred, Con’s growing obsession will upend all their lives—compelling Lizzie to confront the hard truth about her marriage, pushing Emma past her self-imposed isolation and back into the world. And for Lireinne, it will lead to an unexpected chance to redefine herself, far away from her past and from Million Dollar Road.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Great Books Discussion Group chat about “Catcher in the Rye”. Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists.

& Wednesday Jenn Marie Nunes and Kia Alice Groom read at Blood Jet Poetry at BJ’s Lounge at 8 pm. Nunes is the author of five chapbooks, including HYMN: An Ovulution, a collaboration with poet Mel Coyle, from Bloof Books. She lives in New Orleans where she co-edits TENDE RLOIN, an online gallery for poetry, and performs as [Bi]Nary with the New Orleans Poetry Brothel.Her first full-length collection, AND/OR, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin as winner of the Queer Voices Award, was just released from Switchback Books. Groom is a writer, poet and professional cagreenhairt lady from Perth, Western Australia. She currently resides in the United States, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Edith Cowan University in 2011 with a First Class Honours in Poetry. She enjoys writing about the intersection between the grotesque and girly, and can often be found asleep, or covered in glitter.

& Wednesday will be Esoterotica’s Debaucherous Duets third year, and that means you get to see your favorite local provocateurs do it again, together, on stage. Yes, that’s right, Wednesday, May 20th, it’s an evening showcasing entirely collaborative and group erotica. Of you are curious (in any color) this is art not smut, and an Odd Words recommended event.

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

Do you remember the future, Dr. Memory? May 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street, WTF.
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I’m sorry, Clem, but you’re making The Doctor unhappy happy.

wavy-gravy-header

Someone get the lizards out of my guacamole May 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street, WTF.
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11:30 No, it’s actually 10:21 Central River Time but I put my last task entry in about 20 minutes ago and logged off, and that was today’s total. Now I’m sitting here wondering if I can make it to the Sketchy Store for cigarettes before two mood stabilizing agents, two melatonin, valerian and various hippy weed caplets and this Negra Modelo kick in. I think I had another hour in me but the fucking lizards would not stay out of the guacamole, and I had to stop and do something about that.

So instead its Visions of Johanna (the ghosts of electricity crawl through the bones of her face), a fine late night song when you’re out of guacamole and you don’t care for lizard canapes. This could quite possibly flow into Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, at a moderate volume playing in the next room, a much younger man than either Dylan or I am serenading me across the decades slowly into Mirtazipine-enhanced dreams of a badly synced technicolor convergence trembling at the edge of coherence in the mildly psychedelic shades of South Pacific.

Did they mean the film to look like that, or are the psilocybin tints a fortuitous accident like that transcendental fuzz on an overloaded mix channel in the guitar part of the Kink’s See My Friends?

Some things are just meant to happen. Escher falls up and grasps a railing that accidentally yanks everything back into a rational perspective. Tomorrow will bring its own set of incidents in search of coherence, and once again I will go dredging through the barrage of emails and the contentious spreadsheets, navigating the meetings alternatively panicked and authoritarian, until I drive the last nail into the finely crafted coffin of another day.

Monday May 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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half done and I am waning fast. Still night meetings to go. By Woden’s Day I should be hanging upside down by the ankle from a nearby tree. Eye gouging optional.

Freya, Lady of the Vanir,
come swiftly to our aid
and we shall hail You,
always.

Handbill art by K Switzer  for the play CRAVE for The Catastrophic Theater, found as I cleaned out old papers

Handbill art by K Switzer for the play CRAVE for The Catastrophic Theater, found as I cleaned out old papers

That Bright Moment May 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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The Typist:

I have lost that man, and wander through my thoughts as if stapling his image to telephone polls and asking passing strangers if they have seen him, hoping in my wander to find him by chance lounging in the shadow of a familiar bar, cigarette in his mouth, fumbling through his pockets for a light. He is Mark I, and I dream this search from inside the bubbling vat of a madness, curled in the fetal position, almost wholly formed but still bound by umbilicals of memory and fear, not quite ready to be reborn Mark II. And that is my doom, waiting for that bright moment, the slap of the master which opens the eyes, unleashes the old cries from my lips reborn.

Originally posted on Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans:

YOU ARE TRAPPED IN THAT BRIGHT MOMENT
WHERE YOU LEARNED YOUR DOOM
— Samuel R. Delaney in City of a Thousand Suns

Trapped not as you might think, given the juxtaposition of the word doom; trapped instead in the complex web of postdiluvian New Orleans in the way light is said to be trapped by a cut and polished gem, refracted by the complex play of facets until made into a flashing thing of beauty: that is how I try to live with what was once the shadow of The Flood, the rafts of ghosts it unleashed.

I have not finished Delaney’s novella trilogy Fall of the Towers, so I am not certain how the moment described by that recurring line will play out, the mass, simultaneous discovery by an entire society that a key assumption about their lives–that there was an enemy beyond the barrier; that they were…

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HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME May 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, WTF.
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New Orleans: 4:39 pm
New York: 5:39 pm
Poland: 11:39 pm
Malaysia: 5:42 pm
India: 3:12 am

Monday 6 am: 61:14…61:13…61:12…..

Odd Words May 6, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Crescent City Books hosts a reading by poets John Amen, Brett Evans, Jenn Marie Nunes, and Christopher Shipman read from new books. Bio details for Amen and Shipman are below on Sunday’s Maple Leaf listing.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Christophe Pourny’s The Furniture Bible, Booksigning & Demonstration. Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the South of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update, and care for their furniture—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms or funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse,vernis anglais,and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch.

& At Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm the shop features a presentation & signing with Matt McCarthy featuring his new book, THE REAL DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU SHORTLY: A Physician’s First Year. “It’s just you and me tonight…and eighteen of the sickest patients in the hospital,” medical intern Matt McCarthy’s second-year resident adviser told him on his first night as a physician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. “These patients should all be dead. Almost every one of them is kept alive by an artificial method. And every day they’re going to try to die on us. But we’re going to keep them alive.” For McCarthy, this task was sobering. Just two weeks out of Harvard Medical School and with only a few days of medicine under his belt, he could recite pages from a journal article on kidney chemistry and coagulation cascades, easy, but he hadn’t yet been schooled in the practical business of keeping someone from dying. How do you learn how to save lives in a job where there is no practice?

Jimmy Ross

Jimmy Ross

& Thursday at 7 pm poet Jenna Mae has organized a 30th Birthday Party for Jimmy Ross’ Dreadlocks! Jimmy is a poet, playwright, actor and raconteur extraordinaire and the most beloved and colorful figure in New Orleans’ contemporary literary world. You won’t want to miss this.

& Also at 7 pm Thursday the Alvar Branch of the New Orleans Public Library will host an author event featuring illustrator, Mon, and writer, Jinks, will discuss their project of creating an abridged and illustrated adaptation of Silivia Federici’s text, Caliban and the Witch. This book offers a history of the body in the transition to capitalism.

& Friday the Freedom Writing for Women of Color group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& New Orleans will celebrate Independent Book Store Day this Saturday (delayed a week by Jazz Fest because that’s just how we roll down here. Activities in New Orleans will take place at three independent stores across the city: Tubby & Coo’s, Garden District Book Shop, and Octavia Books. The three stores have joined together to give away a limited number of Blackbird Letter Press New Orleans City Notebooks (printed in Louisiana) to customers who purchase a limited edition IBD book or item or who spend $25 or more on May 9th.

Store-by-store highlights include:

  • At Octavia Books in the morning, there will be coffee and Rebecca’s famous carrot cake chip cookies, brownies and a blueberry coffee cake to go along with a discussion of The Golem and the Jinni by the Science Fiction Book Club. In the afternoon, New Orleans piano man Armand St. Martin gives a solo performance, and we’ll have special author visits by Irvin Mayfield presenting NEW ORLEANS PLAYHOUSE, Carrie Rollwagen discussing THE LOCALIST, and Sarah J. Maas reading A COURT OF THORNS & ROSES. We are also featuring some exclusive literary-themed art and gift items you will want to have to remember this special day.
  • Maple Street Book Shop will celebrate Children’s Book Week Saturday with a party with children’s authors Kenny Harrison , Marti Dumas, and Alex McConduit who will be reading and signing, 11:30-1PM. At 1:30PM, Big Class students will read from their work.
  • Tubby & Coo’s will have Taylor Made Wings on the Geaux food truck, giveaways, exclusive items, and fun activities going on all day, including: a Celebrity Death Match style write-off between local authors for charity; authors reading bad reviews of their books; on the spot personalized poems from local poets; story time for the kids; and, exclusive items available only on IBD, including a Finders Keepers broadside from Stephen King and a signed Hyperbole and a Half broadside.
  • Garden District Books hosts David Eugene Ray and The Little Mouse Santi at 1 pm. Meet the little mouse Santi—he may be small, but he has a big dream! This beautifully illustrated story explores one of the most important aspects of a child’s life, the search for identity. Santi wants to be a cat, and even though all the other mice laugh at him, he follows his dream. This timeless story ends with a whimsical twist as Santi learns a valuable lesson about self-determination while also learning he is not the only dreamer

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poets Chris Shipman and John Amen will read from newly published books. Amen is the author of four collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer, More of Me Disappears, At the Threshold of Alchemy, and The New Arcana (with Daniel Y. Harris). His next collection, strange theater, will be released by New York Quarterly Press in early 2015. Shipman is the author or co-author of five books and three chapbooks, most recently a book of poems co-authored with Vincent Cellucci, A Ship on the Line (Unlikely Books 2014), Cat Poems: Wompus Tales and Play of Despair (forthcoming from Kattywompus Press), and a book of poems co-authored with Brett Evans, The T. Rex Parade (Lavender Ink, 2015). The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Tuesday at 6 pm the Hubbel Branch of the NOPL in Algiers hosts an author event featuring a discussion of Jyl Benson’s Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes and Kit Wohl’s New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes.

& Also on Tuesday at 7 pm the West Bank Writers Groups meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego, 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.

Bunker 3036 May 6, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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            I can hold out for ten minutes
With my sergeant and a machine-gun.
            And they rebuked him for levity.

— E.P., Canto XVI

you May 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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You Are Beautiful

Fortin Street Stage April 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Jazz Fest, je me souviens, Memory, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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by the time I stop drinking and start thinking about sleep
by the time we’ve eaten the last of next-door jimmy’s hot meat
by the time my feet have shuffled their last hussle
on the public blacktop ballroom of Fortin Street
and the hustle has all gone downtown to Bourbon
and the bustle has all gone downtown to Frenchman
and the last of the one-song, school-kid bands
and the last of the weary ice-cold water men
have carried themselves home weary to the bone
and one sad bicycle hangs abandoned on the fence
and the can picking man passes on his sad, last round
i will stand on Fortin Street and glisten to the sound
the last frantic arpeggios vibrating in the silence
attenuated into memory, a faint flow of the distant glory
like the milky way backdrop to the asterism’s story–
then, yes, then and only then will I go to bed
with tempered brass angels at foot and at head

Odd Words April 30, 2015

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

Through this weekend the New Orleans chapter of the Gulf South Booksellers Association will run the Jazz Fest Book Tent. Proceeds go to literary programs supported by this group, so buy a book. Do you really need another rayon shirt you’re a little embarrassed–as a local–to wear?

& Jazz Tent Book Signings Week Two of Jazz Fest.

  • Thursday:
    Bill Loehfelm, 1, 1-2PM, Doing The Devil’s Work; Leif Pederson, 2-3PM, Adventures of Swamp Kids – A Zoo Ta-Do; Richard Campanella, 3-4PM, Lost New Orleans.
  • Friday:
    Bernie Cook, 1-2PM, Flood of Images; Guy Lyman, III, 3-4PM, A Big Easy Childhood; Dennis McNally, 4-5PM, On Hwy 61: Race, Music and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom.
  • Saturday:
    M. O. Walsh, 12-1PM, My Sunshine Away; Cornell Landry, 1-2PM, Good Night Cajun Land; Michael Pitre, 2-3PM, Fives and Twenty-Fives; Troy Andrews & Brian Collier, 3-4PM,Trombone Shorty.
  • Sunday:
    Brian Boyles, 1-2PM; New Orleans: Boom and Black Out; Johnette Downing, 2-3PM, Fifolet.

& Thursday nights, call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel TONIGHT & they’ll read you a poem! 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. 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 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 11 am to 7 pm it’s that time of year again: Free Comic Book Dake. Stop by Crescent City Comics, 4916 Freret St., for free comics (www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981) and a to-be-decided-later sale

& Sunday from 2-5 pm come out and celebrate the work of those who graduated from the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop in Summer and Fall of 2014, and Spring of 2015. Everyone and your mother is invited (particularly your mother)! At the reading, thesis committee directors often introduce the readers with what is usually a heart-warming and/or hilarious spiel. You don’t want to miss this. Then we will all have the pleasure of hearing readers share parts of their thesis for about 10 minutes each. Readers include: Tad Bartlett, Dana Glass, Dawkter Marvelous, Brendan Frost, Cynthia Davidson, Andrea Panzeca, Ross Peter Nelson, Zil Nagoh, Roxy Seay, Kia Alice Groom, Christian Coleman, Benjamin Sines, and Eirc Mac Dillman. The reading will take place in Kirschman Hall Auditorium (room 122), on the UNO campus at 2000 Lakeshore Drive. Come for the reading, and then consider heading over to our celebration banquet where food and drinks will be provided for a cover charge of $25 (please note: the reading itself is free).

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet Trevor Tingle will give a farewell reading before leaving New Orleans, 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 4 pm in Baton Rouge it’s the annual LSU MFA Third Year Reading. Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art, 1515 Dalrymple Dr, Baton Rouge.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring The Darkness Survives by Sally Michelle Jackson. Hank Heilsing and his new bride had really planned this honeymoon to New Orleans as a duo but soon after their arrival a few ‘incidents’ require that the whole team assemble in the Crescent city. While New Orleans is a tourist mecca with swamp tours being considered to be great fun, it takes on a different feel when you are touring on foot through a restricted area battling with a deranged adversary, his henchmen and a swamp creature or two.

& If you missed Sunday’s graduation bash, Wednesday at 7:30pm New Orleans Professor Carolyn Hembree’s UNO MFA poets will read at the Bayou Beer Garden.

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

& Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop presents Reading Between the Wines featuring e K.L. Owens, Jade Hurter and Maurice Ruffins, at Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company from 7:00-8:00 pm/

∆ t April 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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‘Personal density,’ Kurt Mondaugen in his Peenemünde office not too many steps away from here, enunciating the Law which will one day bear his name, “is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth…
‘Temporal bandwidth,’ is the width of your present, your now. It is the familiar “∆ t” considered as a dependent variable. The more you dwell in the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are.

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