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23 Skidoo December 17, 2011

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, The Odd, Toulouse Street.
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No Hostilidays on Toulouse Street this year, but here’s a bit of holiday cheer in honor of John Prine’s visit to all good little boys and girls tonight.

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An Odd Fellow’s Memorial Day May 25, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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“Now, I have come again
to the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise.
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest,
children of night,
who among you will run with the hunt?
Now night arrives with her purple legion.
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth.
I want to be ready.”
— Jim Morrison

It is two years Memorial Day since I saw the city’s towers and the white arc of the Superdome rising out of the vast, flat waterscape, my car hurtling southbound on the Causeway at 80 after days of towing my boat at 55 or 60 the entire breadth of the country, ‘OZ pouring in from the radio like a beacon and the lake flashing in the late afternoon sun like the runway lights of some great airport as I prepared to touch down–the white lines hurtling past–at the Final Destination.

And then I am rolling down Causeway Boulevard in the perfectly American stripmallandia of Metairie, past the old Lakeside Shopping Center and the corner where Harry Lee’s family Chinese restaurant, the House of Lee, once stood. Thinking I will stop to buy some Abita I opt to go down Veterans Boulevard rather than take the I-10 into town. Instead I am too absorbed by the landscape to remember to stop, too smitten by how little has changed on the mostly dry side of the levees. The familiar landmarks march past–the building once a Shakey’s Pizza but now a sushi place, a convenience store at the Bonnabel Boulevard corner where I bought cigarettes so many years ago that I should not have been allowed. The closer to town the more reassuring it becomes: the Lamplighter lounge, Dorignacs: so little has changed in 20 years. And then I am across the 17th Street Canal and rolling down into the lumpy, camp-pottery bowl that is home.

My wife is sitting on the porch of our new home waiting, the wife I have lived apart from for almost half a year is waiting to show me all she has suffered through to make the shotgun double we bought at Mardi Gras a familiar home, painted in many of the colors we first chose in Fargo and now furnished with our things. And still I go the long way down Polk and pass through Lakeview, crawling down the bad streets past the hollow cottages of old south end. I turn up Canal and point myself toward home, past the drowned sunken gardens on the neutral ground and toward Cemeteries, toward Toulouse Street and the house where the children will join us in another day and make it home in full.

As I passed the assembled Saints and Angels that stand watch over the tombs of Greenwood and St. Patrick–wondering who watches over Odd Fellows behind its high walls–this came to me: like Jesus on his ass I knew I had reached the end of my road, the Golden Gate; I knew that some great fulfillment was at hand. What now, I asked aloud, starting up through the sun roof at a sky wholly blue and empty, and pitilessly hot? What next?

I have come to the appointed place.

I was just gonna say, don’t get hung up about Easter March 20, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Leon Russell, music, Toulouse Street.
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Look, I’m just saying that somewhere between Jesus dying on the cross, and a giant bunny hiding eggs there seems to be a gap of information.
–Stan from South Park

Yes, Lisa, there’s Peter Cotton Tail la-la-la. I’m not sure how I managed to forget that after raising two children to 16 and 13. Perhaps its that same trick of memory that doesn’t exactly remember what it felt like to put your hand on the stove, but keeps you away from it.

Here’s a better candidate for an Easter Song by Leon Russell. If James Brown was the undisputed Godfather of Soul, Leon Russell is the indisputable Godfather of Rock-and-Roll piano, the Master of Space and Time. His music was a rock-and-rollicking good time built on the rock-solid foundation of southern music and all it roots. On top of that, he was a perfect electric Rorschach acid test of every far out space of the times, the perfect avatar for the long-haired children of the early 1970s.

It’s too bad I can’t find an on-line version of the Leon song I really wanted, “Prince of Peace” (quoted below), so I”ll have to settle for a video of “Roll Away the Stone”.

Try to judge me only by my time and changes
and not mistaken words, for I say many.
Listen only to my song and watch my eyes.
There’s not much time to spill, there’s hardly any.

Well, look at all the children living in the streets,
and they’re looking, not afraid to touch each other.
They’re not afraid to be themselves or someone else
or choose their friends with love and not by colors.

Never treat a brother like a passing stranger.
Always try to keep the love light burning.
Sing a song of love and open up your heart
for you might be the Prince of Peace returning.

Oh, love the blind and wounded as your love yourself
And the businessmen in cells collecting pennies.
Judge their wealth by the coins they give away
and not the ones they keep themselves for spending

Oh, never be impatient with the ones you love.
It might be yourself that you’re burning.
Sing a song of love and open up your heart
for you might be the Prince of Peace returning.

Breakfast with Jesus in Heaven January 13, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Ok, so I have this blog called Poems Before Breakfast. The name comes from the time I steal to write, often very early in the morning, when I drag myself out of bed to steal some quiet time. About 50 percent of my traffic to the site is people Googling for “breakfast” and “poem”, a combination that never really crossed my mind in any way.

So, with the maniacal egoism of your typical vanity blogger, I’m checking out my Sitemeter and find this search: poem – breakfast with jesus in heaven. What, do they think heaven is like Disney Land? If I die in good standing with American Express, can I do breakfast with Jesus and Moses all on the same trip?

* Note: there are some famous poems about breakfast, including one by Elizabeth Bishop and one by Frank O’Hara, who also published a New Directions chapbook entitled Lunch Poems. The only poem about breakfast with Jesus I can find was rather insipid but certainly inspirational to someone. It did not, sadly, clarify my burning question on the subject: does Jesus eat bacon?

I am so going to hell. December 20, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Dancing Bear, Mid-City, New Orelans, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, parody, Toulouse Street, Xmas.
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I wonder what they do down there on Xmas eve? Roasting chestnuts? I do miss having a roaring fire at the holidays and those little pine cones covered with heavy metals that make the pretty colors…

The Rebel Jesus December 19, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Chieftans, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Mid-City, New Orelans, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK, Xmas.
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I tried to answer Bart’s question about how to deal with Xmas when one is not an Xian as best I could. I think, however, that Jackson Browne kicks my ass.

So here, Bart, is at least part of the answer you are looking for:

So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

The Rebel Jesus
Jackson Browne
The streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants’ windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tales
Giving thanks for all God’s graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

They call him by the “Prince of Peace”
And they call him by “The Saviour”
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worshiped in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgment
For I’ve no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.