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It hardly rains in Eureka, California February 25, 2013

Posted by The Typist in Bayou St. John, Crow, cryptical envelopment, Fortin Street, Louisiana, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Certainly it’s rainy west of the Cascades: Oregon, Washington, Northern California; all those dreary grey days, redwoods and ferns, heroin and grunge. Portland and Seattle are the sentimental favorites. Along the Hurricane Coast it rains buckets, pissing pythons my girlfriend’s text message said the other night. It’s February 24th and we have had twenty cloudy days and thirteen of rain, including Mardi Gras Day. January we had twenty-six cloudy days, thirteen of rain. December: twenty cloudy days and eleven of rain. You get the idea. A rain of frogs would be an interesting relief.

Winter here makes you long for summer when the unrelenting heat and humidity are relieved by the afternoon monsoons, the fairly regular afternoon thunderstorms, watching the inbound cumulonimbus crowning over the coastal wetlands and the lake, the dense tropical splendor of the cooling downdrafts and downpours. One night not long after the flood I was stopped on a dark Marconi Avenue (the lights not yet restored) by a parade of ducks crossing the road to see what the raucous chorus of frogs were singing about in the small wetland that lies between the road and the levee. I rolled down the window and stopped the engine in the middle of the then-deserted road and simply listened in the cool aftermath, watched the egrets high-stepping through this cypress-studded niche eco-system.

The black sky is just turning gray as I write this but I can already hear the crows calling the laggards over the breakfast at the racetrack stables. When it’s this wet the seagulls will be with them, and I can stand just inside my door with a cigarette and watch their chessboard battle over the soggy infield and the best bits left by the horses. If I were a true naturalist masochist I could grab my hurricane slicker and an umbrella and walk the blocks to the park and watch the pelicans over the bayou but I have an inexplicable love of crows, love to watch the stark battle of black versus white against the gray sky. I don’t understand the attraction for the seagulls with the bayou a half-dozen blocks over. I understand the attraction to me, to stand with the heat of the house pouring out behind me just under shelter from the next downpour watching the crows loud party. We are rather fond of large and animated dinners down here.

The Birds April 8, 2009

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, music, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Here on Toulouse Street we’ve had crows on our mind this past week. It began a week ago after making a remark online about maybe seeing a raven last Wednesday (from Wodin or Odin’s Day), and as I snapped pictures of the Green Man mural in the Marigny from out of the birdless sky came two crows to circle overhead and watch me. Of course Odin was served by two Corvus, Huginn and Muninn, which were his agents in the world of mortals.

Okay then, not that we’re particularly superstitious but heh (knock wood) we thought that a bit Odd. Odin in his earliest (and less bloodthirsty) aspect was associated with poetry (a plus here on Toulouse Street) and madness (including the form of madness the Celts called awen, the possession of the muse), so I have to admit to a certain, well, fondness is not quite the right word, let’s say affinity to old One Eyed Jack as Lord of Poets.

As to Odin’s warrior aspect, I’ve been intermittently re-reading Carlos Castaneda not so much for the wild mushrooming tips as for what struck me the last time I did a post 70s spin through his work: the sage advice from the later books. The concept of a brujo as a fearless warrior, and one who’s conduct is impeccable, has also been on our mind so that’s another chalk mark up on the plus side for Odin.

As to the mad side of “poetry and madness” here on Toulouse we tend toward the simply Odd, but will confess to a certain attraction that draws us occasionally to the brink of madness, to peer over the precipice and admire the twisted vista, tossing the Odd pebble over the edge to listen to it skitter into the abyss.

So for One Eye’d Jack and raven-friends everywhere here is something from the Black Crowes (natch), a song that is itself a postcard from the needle-sharp heroin edge of madness. We like it for the elegant lyric and swinging southern blues-rock sound of the Crowes, and for the birds they represent and other sundry reasonS. And so may it please you and Old One Eye’d Jack: She Talks to Angels.