jump to navigation

Pure Despair for the Savor of It September 30, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, poem, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
Tags: ,


No, he’s not about to jump. He’s just some guy whose roommates preferred he smoke outside, catching some rays on the ledge outside the window of his third floor room in North Stadium at LSU sometime late in 1976. The Odd thing is they snapped this picture while he was likely doing precisely that, stepping out for a smoke, and ran it in the last edition of the Reveille for the year over an excerpt from the found journal of some candidate for taking the final’s week dive off of the high rise dorm (Miller Hall? I don’t remember; it was a long time ago).

I should have lawyered up and paid my way through private school on the proceeds (did they not teach Sullivan v. N.Y. Times at the J-School at LSU?) but instead I just saved the entertaining picture and moved on. Go with the flow, man. And yes I really was once that skinny and had that much hair. Like I said; it was a long time ago.

I don’t know why but when my biorhythms start the long plunge down the luge run into malebolge I don’t dive headfirst into escapist television (wow, a World’s Deadliest Chef marathon!) or read cheerful and uplifting stuff (anyone seen my bio of Helen Keller?) No, I tend to just ride the tide and dive right into some lovely Everette Maddox (he was a mess, by everyone’s assessment including his own) or perhaps some Charles Bukowski, pure despair for the savor of it like a cheap cigar.

Today’s inspirational verse is taken from Everette’s epistles to the Carrolltonians and is absolute poetic proof of the positive power of drinking alone. So as The Byrd’s All The Things plays at unneighborly volumes and the weeping pedal steel guitar sets up harmonic vibrations in the aluminum empties at my elbow, here’s a little something to cheer us all up.

By Everette Maddox

The cream stucco
of my ex-wife’s dentist’s office
across the street

Light green budding liveoaks

A sky-blue Volvo backing up
on this side from

behind the red white and blue
Cinzano umbrellas

Dark figures in the front
of the dark bar
faces edged in TV baseball light
from Busch Stadium

And down at this end me

If I should die now

Oh if this moment
should indeed prove
to be the corner
I’ve spent thirty-five years
painting myself into

think only this of me

That one more cheap camera
has shattered
against the world’s beauty.