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Odd Words May 30, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Bloomsday, the celebration of James Joyce’s Ulyssses, returns to New Orleans and the Irish House on June 16, organizer Micheal Zell has announced. The entire action of the novel is set on June 16 in Dublin, Ireland, and all across the world fans of Joyce celebrate with a day of readings and other festivities. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink. All are welcome to read, up to 10 minutes max. Featuring guest readers: John Joyce, The Brothers Goat (Michael Jeffrey Lee & Christopher Hellwig), Vincent Cellucci, Pandora Gastelum, Herbert Kearney, and Susan Larson. This year’s celebration will be starting at 2 p.m. instead of breakfast.

On June 5-8 New Orleans, Louisiana will host the 21th Annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. The four-day festival is slated to take place in downtown New Orleans. The Southern Fried Poetry Slam will be expected to attract over two hundred people. The literary competition features preliminary bouts and culminates in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam Finals on Saturday, June 8, 2013. In addition to the commemorative Moon Pies and RC Colas of Southern Fried tradition, this year’s champions will receive over $6500 in cash and various prizes as well as a couple local merchant wears. You can get more details on events and venues on the Facebook page.

& The Thursday night poetry scene continues at Flora’s Coffee Shop with an evening of poetry featuring Chris Carries and Quess? followed by the open mic at 8 p.m. t Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop is located at 2600 Royal St. at the corner of Franklin Ave. Carrier is the author of Mantle and After Dayton and several chapbooks. He earned an MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he divides his time between Lafayette, where he is pursuing a PhD in English (with a concentration in creative writing) at the University of Louisiana, and Clarksville, AR, where he lives with his person Dawn Holder. Michael “Quess?” Moore is a poet, educator, and an actor in that order. His writing and work with youth as a poet led him to the classroom where he most recently spent four years as an English teacher—3 as a middle school teacher at Martin Behrman Charter Elementary and one as a freshman teacher in NOCCA’s Academic Studio. He is a founding member of Team SNO (Slam New Orleans), New Orleans’ first slam poetry team since Katrina, and the only 2 time national championship team the city has ever produced. He’s also a member of VOIC’D (Voices Organized in Creative Dissent), a collective of actors with a focus on social justice, whose last production, “Lockdown,” received critical acclaim and sold out audiences several nights in a row. He has produced a self-titled CD, “A Scribe Called Quess?” and his debut book of poetry, Blind Visionz, can be found at http://www.lulu.com

& Also on Thursday evening the Alvar Branch Library hosts an evening of poetry at 7 p.m. featuring Chris Champagne, Kelly Harris DeBerry, Jonathan Kline, and Valentine Pierce read from their work. Come for the poetry! Stay for the pie! This month features poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn: Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna* Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie.

& This Friday Spoken Word New Orleans hosts a very special show at Special Tea at 8 p.m. call The Retro Mic, dedicated to the “old heads”. Spoken Word New Orleans organizer Lionel King says, “I called up a few of my old poetry friends and we decided to get together and have a lil poetic fun. Already confirmed Hollywood, Shedrick White, Benjamin, Danielle, Erica Murray, Ginger, Butter, Peaches, and a very special guest. This is one of those show you don’t want to miss. Watch the architects show you how they build this scene.” Hosted by Lionel King. Admission $5.

Maple Street Book Shop moves the monthly Diane Tapes reading this Friday to the Maple Street shop at 6 p.m. for featured poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn. Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie

& On Saturday the Latter Memorial Library’s monthly Poetry Buffet changes the menu to feature creative non-fiction read by Constance Adler, Karen Celestan, Bill Lavender, and Patrice Melnick at 2 p.m.

& Storytime with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Uptown features The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numeroff at 11:30 am.

& Saturday the New Orleans Public Library kicks off its Summer Reading Program for children and teenagers with special events at branches all over the city. You can get the details for your local branch on the library schedule on the Nutrias.org website by following this link, and a full listing of programs through the summer here.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Tuesday Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Claire Manes at 6 p.m. featuring OUT OF THE SHADOW OF LEPROSY: The Carville Letters and Stories of the Landry Family. In 1924 when thirty-two-year-old Edmond Landry kissed his family good-bye and left for the leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana, leprosy, now referred to as Hansen’s Disease, stigmatized and disfigured but did not kill. Those with leprosy were incarcerated in the federal hospital and isolated from family and community. Phones were unavailable, transportation was precarious, and fear was rampant. Edmond entered the hospital (as did his four other siblings), but he did not surrender to his fate. He fought with his pen and his limited energy to stay connected to his family and to improve living conditions for himself and other patients.

& Adrian Van Young and Michael Jeffrey Lee will be at Maple Street Book Shop’s Bayou St. John location Tuesday, May 4th, at 6PM. Adrian Van Young will be signing his newest book, The Man Who Noticed Everything, while Michael Jeffrey Lee will be signing his collection Something in My Eye. has taught writing at Boston College, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, a creative writing non-profit. In fall 2013, he will begin teaching creative writing and composition at Tulane University. He received his B.A. in English from Vassar College, and his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where he formerly taught as well. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Henfield Foundation Prize and was nominated by Columbia’s faculty for inclusion in the Best New American Voices 2010 Anthology. Lee’s stories are bizarre and smart and stilted, like dystopic fables told by a redneck Samuel Beckett. Outcasts hunker under bridges, or hole up in bars, waiting for the hurricane to hit. Lee’s forests are full of menace too-unseen crowds gather at the tree-line, and bands of petty crooks and marauders bluster their way into suicidal games of one-upmanship. In Something In My Eye, violence and idleness are always in tension, ratcheting up and down with an eerie and effortless force. Diction leaps between registers with the same vertiginous swoops, moving from courtly formality to the funk and texture of a slang that is all the characters’ own. It’s a masterful performance, and Lee’s inventiveness accomplishes that very rare feat-hyper-stylized structure and language that achieve clarity out of turbulence, never allowing technique to obscure what’s most important: a direct address that makes visible all those we’d rather not see.

& The First Tuesday Book Club meets at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location at 5:45 PM the first Tuesday of every month. June’s book is On the Rez by Ian Frazier. Book club books are always 10% off at Maple Street Book Shop. On the Rez is a sharp, unflinching account of the modern-day American Indian experience, especially that of the Oglala Sioux, who now live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the plains and badlands of the American West.
& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica hosts a new show on “True Confessions” featuring erotic writing at the Allways Lounge, with doors at 7 and show at 8 p.m. A donation is requested. Odd Words visited week before last and this is an electrically charged evening with a good dose of fun (and a drinking game, at least at the last one). Highly recommended for those who think the tongue, ear and brain are among the most important erogenous zones.

& The Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts an Author Event! Wednesday at Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska at 7 p.m. in the East Bank Regional Library Jefferson Room. Most Americans wouldn’t recognize their names: Charles Hallock, Caroline Willard, Harry de Windt, Mary Hitchock. Yet, their stories are as integral to the larger story of America as anyone’s, says Jean Morgan Meaux, who has written about these and 23 other “hardy souls” who in the 19th and early 20th century traveled to Alaska to discover and record the last and largest of American frontiers. The book, In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales 1879-1909 is a labor of love for Meaux, who began compiling the first-person accounts from the Alaskan wilderness in the 1980s, when she was a resident of the state

& Bloomsday in New Orleans

& Coming up in June the Louisiana Humanities Center will host “Tuesdays with Earl,” a five-week lunchtime reading series. Participants are invited to bring their lunches for a scholar-led conversation about Earl of Louisiana, the 1961 book by legendary author A.J. Liebling. The one-hour sessions will take place every Tuesday at noon, from June 18 through July 16 at the Louisiana Humanities Center at 938 Lafayette Street. Enrollment is free but limited to 40 people. To sign up, email boyles@leh.org.

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Bloomsday NOLA June 14, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, Irish, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Bloomsday NOLA will be observed at Micks Irish Pub, 4801 Bienville at Bernadotte. 6:30 pm until we can’t read coherently any longer. Bring anything you like by Joyce to share, or just come join in the literary craic. Visit and Like the Bloomsday NOLA Page on Facebook or look for the #bloomsdaynola tag on Twitter for further updates.

Odd Words May 5, 2011

Posted by The Typist in 504, 504ever, books, literature, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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I am looking to organize a Bloomsday event in New Orleans on June 16. If you’re interested in participating join the group on Facebook Bloomsday NOLA or drop me an email. If you can’t manage to attend a Bloomsday event, you can always visit this project and get your fill of hearing the book read aloud at James Joyce intended it. And if I don’t get enough people, look for me on a corner in Frenchman Street the evening of June 16, reading to the crowd. If it comes to that, beer and relief readers will be most welcome.

Thomas Beller edited the esteemed New York literary magazine Open City for 20 years and 30 issues. It recently ceased publication, and Beller, now an assistant professor at Tulane, spoke about the magazine’s life and death, among other things, with a new local literary website started by the Press Street press, Room 220.

And so, the listings:

& I’m not a big fan of mysteries but former Times Picayune report Julie Smith has always come highly recommended to me, and she joins fellow New Orleans mysterian Greg Herren in celebrating the release of their new Young Adult novels at Octavia Books Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

& Starting May 5, a free staging of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus will be held here. OK, not exactly on the FB page but at 612 Piety. It sounds, um, fun: “In a warehouse in the Bywater, a small ensemble of actors will unfold Shakespeare’s earliest, goriest and most absurd tragedy with lighthearted savagery.” Get you some epically dead people. You know you want some. Through May 14th.

& Because you can never have too much Shakespeare, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is the idyllic setting for the NOLA Project’s dusktime performances of Shakespeare’s whimsical A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tickets $10, $8 seniors/students, $6 children, free for NOMA members and students from many local universities with student ID. 7 p.m. Friday May 6 through May 27. That sounds like tonic relief from Titus Andronicus indeed.

& The Ebony Center at 4215 Magazine Street hosts a weekly spoken-word, music and open-mic event. Tickets $7 general admission, $5 students. 11 p.m. Friday.

& Also on Friday, May 5 Maple Street Book Shop will host a reading with Eve Abrams and Thomas W. Jacobsen on Thursday, May 5, 2011, 6:00 P.M. Ms. Abrams conducted the interviews the Preservation Hall Band Members for the new book, Preservation Hall. Mr. Jacobsen is the author of Traditional Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music. Gather with us for a night of music, culture and food!

& On Saturday, Poet Gian “G-Persepect” Smith and Alphonse “Bobby” Smith host Pass It On, a weekly spoken-word and music event at the George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet St. Admission $6. 9 p.m G-Persepect is the poet featured in the Treme trailer.

& On Sunday, May 8 the Maple Leaf Bar hosts the Everette Maddox-founded poetry reading at 3 pm (ish) with an Open Mike.

& Don’t forget every Wednesday at 9 pm be sure to check out the open poetry forum hosted by Kate Smash in the amphitheater on Decatur across from Jackson Square. No list, no mic, just anyone who shows up free to read what they like. Musicians encouraged to join. Organizer Kate Smash said the first one was, well, smashing.

& Also every Wednesday Thaddeus Conti will revive the Dinky Tao poetry meeting (reading, discussion, drinking–coffee in this case) at 8 pm 5110 Daneel at The Neutral Ground Coffeehouse.

The Slow Noon Burn of June 16 April 17, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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My runner-up entry in the NolaVie Creative Writing Contest, selected from among 157 entries in poetry and creative non-fiction, is published now on the NolaVie page of NOLA.com.

Bloomsday June 16, 2010

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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It’s Bloomsday, June 16: the day of the year depicted in 1904 in James Joyce Ulysses.

And I forgot.

If you find me wandering the streets, take me home. You know what street I live on.

joyceart_nolarising

The Slow Noon Burn of June 16 June 20, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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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.

Bloomsday June 16, 2009

Posted by The Typist in books, Ireland, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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joyceart_nolarising

“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read…”
— Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

And so it is Bloomsday and there is nothing going on in New Orleans. No, that is not true. In this city there is always something going on, at this time of year when everyone is out on a stoop or sitting under a shady spot on the neutral ground or strolling in the shade of Audubon Park or Lake Vista, in spite of the dreadful heat that has finally arrived there are people everywhere, somewhere people are cooking, many others are drinking, and somewhere there will be something very like a parade (I think of the bicyclists I saw the other night coming out of the Marigny at Elysian Fields, of the woman who had dressed a tricycle out as a white fairy horse and rode it in a diaphanous Princess Buttercup gown into the Quarter. Never say “nothing is going on” in this city; ask yourself why you are at home telling yourself that).

I forgot to ask Amy at the bookseller’s party Saturday night why she was not holding a Bloomsday party this year and of course last year I didn’t go and there isn’t one this year and let that be a lesson to you, that if you see something good happening in this town and you do not go it will be your own damned fault if next time there is nothing, you will be one of those “if only a few more people had shown up” and you’ll have no one to blame to yourself. That was part of the long conversation I had with the famous geographer who came to collect his book award (and that long conversation part of the reason I forgot to ask Amy about Bloomsday), and he asked why I came home and I told him I was afraid for the city, that if there was not a critical mass of people sufficient to sustain the place it might fail and I wanted to be here, to help tip the scale toward survival. So if you don’t go, its your own damn fault when its gone.

So if there are no Bloomsday readings, not even a handful in a bar with broken copies sprouting yellow post-it notes and pouting favorite passages then maybe what I need to do is something solitary (no, I’m not going to go stand on a street corner and read into the crowd as I once suggested when no one answered my online queries, but if you see someone doing this somewhere tonight buy them a drink, will you?). The story of Ulysses is not just the story of Bloom the unlikely everyman or Daedalus his chronicler but also the story of the city, a picture of Dublin on June 16, 1904, the day James Joyce met Nora Barnacle, and the story advances as much by the action of it’s characters in the context of the street as by their interaction with the other characters, the city unfolds not when Bloom and Dedalus meet but as they each make their separate walks though it. Ulysses is probably the most ambitious and famous example of capturing the “the genie soul of the place“.

What I should do is not worry about the Dublin of 1904 but about the New Orleans of 2009. I should take myself out and walk some familiar street as I once walked the streets of Rehoboth, Delaware on our last trip to the ocean before we left for Fargo, to walk with a mind to build a perfect mental picture of a place I was afraid I might not see again. I should pick somewhere (perhaps a circuit of the French Quarter, or a walk the length of Magazine, somewhere there are certain to be people) and just take careful mental note of everything and everyone I see, every bit a conversation overheard, to do what I pledged to myself long ago but don’t do enough now (life is too busy: the counting house, the kids, her crazy job I have to hear about for hours every night) which is to be myself a chronicler of place, of people in a place, to tell the story of a city.

So don’t sit inside tonight reading about a city an ocean and a century away but set out down some street here in this city, your city–down your street, or an old street of fond memories or a new old street your barely know–with your warehouse eyes bright with Arcadian rum and drink it all in, let the city wash over and into every pore. Be a part of the city’s story, then tell it. There is not one great work of a single hand like Ulysses that tells the story of New Orleans and may never be, but there are a hundreds of bloggers each telling a small piece of the story of New Orleans. Step out sometime today into the city and remember all you see. Try sometime this week to tell a small bit of the story of June 16 in New Orleans

Tales of Grave Ulysses February 28, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, postdiluvian, quotes, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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joyceart_nolarising.jpg

….O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gilbraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

— James Joyce’s Ulysses

Soon it will be June and where then shall we meet, and who shall read? I have never done a Bloomsday and have always wanted to. The last hereabouts looks to have been June 2005 and then, well, you know. So, who’s in?

.

P.S.–It’s hard to see online, but this has a NoLa Rising tag painted down the left side.