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Speak To Me, Frederico November 15, 2008

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Midnight at the Movies November 6, 2008

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Ah to be say 16 and standing outside the Carrollton or some other small neighborhood theater at a quarter to twelve waiting to go into to see Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, The Groove Tube or some other wholesome fare at the Midnight Movies. There was a certain je ne sais quoi in the air at those events. Or maybe it wasn’t something French but instead something Mexican. I really can’t recall. I’m not sure when or where I saw this except that it was as an opening short at one of the Midnight Movies.

I’m off to a wedding in Gulf Shores on the Redneck Riviera, second time for the 50 something fellow with whom I saw many of those Midnight Movies. Try not to let them demolish the house while we’re gone.

Spirits in the Night November 4, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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It is not the specter of Bobby Seale but the spirit of Bobby Kennedy that walks in America tonight, not an angry radical reaction to the angry reactionary nightmare of the years just past but an eternal flame that burns not just on one lonely hill tonight but all across the land in the hearts of Americans.

It has been a long journey of forty years, wandering in the desert, since that night in 1968 when Kennedy told a crowd much like those we saw tonight–young, many African-American–that Dr. King was dead, and calmed their fear and anger with the words of Aeschylus. Neither man lived to see this day.

But I see the ghostly hands of King and Kennedy upon his shoulders as Barrack Hussein Obama leads this nation on our first step into the Promised Land.

Sad Baritone Saturday November 3, 2008

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A sad baritone blowing big round Jello-tremulous Os of the blues. That’s what started this ramble into a pleasant melancholia, a fizzing afternoon beer buzz sadness not quite cheerless, simply there like a color in the air, a sky so blue and clear you can hear it like a faint hum beneath your feet, a Fall afternoon so perfectly empty you just want to lay down in the arms of some big oak and root, thinking: well, if the world is going to caterwaul in a crashing train wreck, I guess I’m not busy today. Go ahead. I voted early.

And then you remember the Indians, stuffed into the lobby of the museum and so you go and the colors aren’t quite right, all that expanse of white marble flattening the chromatic costumes into something cartoonish, robbing the scene of all depth perspective like some VCR on endless loop alone in a neutral cream room of neatly labeled artifacts under glass instead of the slow approach up a street lined with low, sameish houses, long rows of shotguns and maybe a catacorner store, first just a spyboy peering around the colored chalkboard brightly proclaiming Hot Breakfast and Cold Beer, then a hollering of tambourines in the distance and then you spot them, turning a corner, creatures from a dream peopling an otherwise ordinary street, singing in a language they have made themselves.

That’s when you decide No Thank You. I want to slap the snooze button on that doom clock. Your time doesn’t apply to us down here we’re on Central River Time and things, things are just a bit slower and we’re not quite ready for all your rapturous end times of votes and riots, we’re all in pawn up to the brim of our sharp fur felt hats so here’s a dime, call in all your tall Wall Street stories to someone else. If you’re going to destroy your world try to keep it down to a manageable rumble in the distance, please, perhaps a smudge of smoke on the horizon like a marsh fire and leave us to ourselves, to the scat-o-logical chantings of Fi-Yi-Yi to mad tamborine time, the bright side of the poverty and sadness you turn into columns and hours of politics and we turn into a sad baritone blowing big round Jello-tremulous Os, measuring the girth of the blues just about city sized and right for us, thanks.

Vincent October 31, 2008

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Ah, Tim Burton meets Vincent Price. Does a Halloween vid get better than this? Nevermore!

Filth Licker v. Slash-mouth Woman October 31, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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We like our holidays here on Toulouse Street. My wife’s favorite is Christmas (and the decorations will be popping up around the house as soon as this weekend, I fear). Mine, however, is Halloween as the flood of short videos, etc. you’re about to suffer will testify.

Halloween has so many attractive aspects, not least of which is the Oddity of it all, American-style. None of this cowering around the hearth while the Wild Host passes noisily overhead. Instead we dress up our children in often ghoulish costumes, and send them out into the dark to collect candy from strangers. I will have no truck with people who think children should go out in daylight to be “safe”. Halloween is not about being safe, but rather the opposite. It is about handling our fear of the Other.

We’ve brought over most of our Others from the Old Country, where ever that may be. Ghosts, vampires, zombies, mummies: all of these as we recognize them have some root in the old fears of our ancestors. The Celts have a large part to do with this as Samhain, the original pagan holiday on this date, is a Celtic holiday absorbed into Roman (as in legions) Catholic culture, giving us Jack O’Lanterns and enough ghost stories to last us until dawn of All Saints. And as you might have noticed, we are also Eirephiles here on Toulouse Street.

It is fun to find some new ghoulies to think on come All Hallow’s Eve, and I have a new one now. The Filth Licker. The Japanese have swallowed Halloween whole like so much of American and European culture, but they’ve given in their own twist.

Monsters…are a more serious matter. They are indigenous [in Japan] and reputed to be everywhere. One is called Akaname, the Filth Licker, and he haunts dirty bathrooms. Using his long, lascivious tongue, he eats bathtub scum.

The Halloween season, then, is an opportunity to shine a festive light on the Filth Licker and his creepy kin. There are thousands of them, and collectively they are known as yokai, a word that is formed from the Japanese characters for “otherworldly” and “weird.”

I like these yokai. The Filth Licker is an easy headline grabber, but I also like the tales of Kuchisake Onna, the Slash-Mouth Woman. “This yokai is a shapely and well-dressed but violently insecure young woman who wears a mask over her monstrously disfigured mouth, which reaches from ear to ear and is bursting with teeth. First, she asks her victims if she is pretty. They, regardless of the answer, she slashes her young-girl victim’s mouth.

There there is the kappa: a short, green, flatulent monster with a tortoise shell on his back and a cup of water on his head, from which he draws his terrible powers. He likes to eat human entrails. Kappa are said to live in rivers, lakes, swamps and wetlands. To keep their offspring from playing in these dangerous places, parents over the years have told chilling tales of what an angry kappa can do. One can escape the kappa because they are unfailingly polite. If you bow to them, they will bow back and spill the cup of water than gives them there powers.

This is a fabulous bit of folklore, offering your basic Boogie Man warning about playing around water, and tossing in a lesson to be polite to boot. Strange how all of us kids behaved better with an appropriate dollop of fear in our lives. I’m not sure what message the Slash-Mouth woman is supposed to mpart, but she reputedly likes candy. If you run into one tonight the appropriate response is to toss a handful of candy as far as you can, and run like Hell.

Or she will Get You.

Happy Halloween. .

The Horror October 30, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Gumbobama Yeah You Right October 24, 2008

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Eh, la bas.

Blessed Relief September 28, 2008

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It is Odd that all the trees are so green, that some are now flowering just when the heat of summer breaks, when we throw open the doors of our converted shotgun and let the cool of autumn blow over us. I have lived where there is a true Fall, where a first freeze browns the garden suddenly and routs the mosquito’s, and the trees respond in kind, turning a crisp red and gold, rustling dryly in the wind like the leaves of a cheerleader’s pom-pom.

We do not live here on Toulouse Street for the weather any more than we lived in Fargo, North Dakota for the fine winters. When my wife and I first discussed leaving the East Coast and I argued for New Orleans, I pointed out that summers in New Orleans were just like those in Washington, D.C.: there was just more of it. That did not turn out to be a winning argument. Here on the Gulf Coast we swelter from March until October, air so thick you don’t breath so much as bathe in it, so fraught with water you’re not sure if you are dripping with sweat or the salty water of the Gulf of Mexico. For relief we have hurricanes, an excuse to flee north and inland to a place where nights in August can be, at least to us, refreshingly cool.

I have to admit that after 20 years split between the middle East Coast and the Midwest I do miss a real Fall with all the trimmings .While only the cypress trees promise a taste of the Fall color my wife misses desperately, there are other signs about us. Here at the back of town end of Toulouse we once again hear the bands and the crowds from the high school games at Tad Gormley Stadium. The serious neighborhood gardeners are as busy as the fairy tale ants, getting their planting beds ready for a change of seasons. The vegetable man in his brightly painted pickup truck changes his list if not his basic sing-song patter. He still announces “I got tomatoes, ripe red tomatoes” but lately I hear he “got potatoes, fresh red potatoes.” I’m often stuck on the phone when he passes on the days I work at home, but the first time I hear “I got squash and pumpkins” I may have to plead technical difficulties and flag him down.

One thing I think I will miss this year is the mysterious appearance of candy corn and (better yet) the little candied pumpkins and all their like. I understand that “we” are going on a diet, so I suspect that the magical appearance of a dish of fall candy that no one will admit to filling would not be met with exactly the same seasonal joy. I will have to wait for Halloween before I can get my metabolism into training for the holidays.

Fall on Toulouse Street is superficially not terribly different from other places I have lived with the stark exception of the turning of the leaves. The same sort of chores call inside and out, and must be scheduled around Notre Dame and the Saints. My wife starts to dig through the closets (too soon, I tell her, much too soon) looking for summer things to put away. She is possessed of a gene prominent among Midwesterners but recessive to the point of the vestigial down here, the one that calls them to fill the cellar with apples and the shed with firewood.

Here on Toulouse Street we do not take the sudden coolness as a call to arms, to the frantic preparations for the long and hard siege of winter. My spigots will not freeze if the hoses are left on. There is no seasonal retirement for the lawn mower or snowblower to get ready. I do not need to beat the first snow that will leave a yard full of leaves sodden with no prospect of enough warm sun to dry them out again. I have no apple tree from which to pick a dozen or more bushels and then figure out what the hell to do with a bathtub full of cooking apples.

That first cool morning is for us not an alarm but something more like the breaking of a fever, a sudden relief from the languid suffering we have just come through. It is not the signal for a frenzy of activity but rather a moment to move out of the sweat spot in the sheets and shuffle off to a comfortable chair, to slowly let go of the delirium of southern summer, to take it easy a few more days until we get our legs back under us.

Blessed Relief indeed.

Still Raining, Still Dreaming August 24, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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A lazy day as the last of Fay rains itself out over New Orleans. I posted up some stuff on the Rising Tide Blog and moved the mailing lists for NOLA Bloggers to Google for reasons I don’t think I’ll get into. If you’re on the list, you probably know why.

The short of it: Rising Tide was another success. Our keynote speaker John Barry his current talk (which I’ve seen bits of online), and it is a powerful and important message on why New Orleans matters to the entire nation. All of the panels were interesting and well-received. I think the Levees.org film was a bit of a letdown, and I may have something more to say about that later. The food from J’Anita’s was fantastic. Thanks to Octavia Books for coming and setting up at the conference. I hope they did good business. I did my part, picking up a copy of Barry’s The Great Influenza and finally a copy of blogger Deidra of G-Bitch’s novel. I think I’m the last NOLA blogger to finally get a copy, and I plan to start it this afternoon.

After all, it’s a rainy day and I have nothing much pressing to take care of. I think I’m going to plant myself on the porch and be one with the plants, every now and then turning a page. A cigar sounds good.

Since it’s going to be such a lazy day, I will fleed to the ultimate refuge of the lazy blogger: YouTube. I somehow missed Blind Lemon in the 1990s, and came across this song as an oldie on the kid’s favorite radio station. It’s a perfect song for a rainy day. The instrumental solos are among some of the most fabulous in jam/grunge; no strike that, one of the great bits of rock in any sub genre. Listen to the bass line and tell me this doesn’t want to make you go out and dance in the rain.

Hot Time August 8, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Is it the heat that leaves me as mindless as a humming monk when August finally settles in, the hot, damp air thick and clinging? I ask others and they answer with shrugs as they reach for their iced drink: the zen perfect non-answer. So much to be done and so little energy. Work rolls in at the counting house as relentlessly as waves off the ocean, and I have to catch up from a week at Destin in Florida and another few days in Miami. Summer is ending for the children. My daughter has already started at NOCCA, and I need to finish laying in school supplies. The period called summer vacation on the school calendars may be drawing to a close, but we are deep in the middle of the scorching season.

I try to wrap my brain around work as I trudge up the sweltering canyon of Common Street in the morning, but some days the long, sweaty slog is like Everest without oxygen. I stare off at no fixed point and mechanically plant one foot ahead of the other. In spite of the city’s fabulously expensive sanitation contracts, the lemony-fresh smell is long gone. Most days it smells of sun-roasted garbage, and one morning it was the cloying aroma of all-the-rats-in-the-sewer-have-died.

Days working at home are almost as bad. If I dare to step out onto the porch to sit and have a cigarette I am like my laptop suddenly unplugged: my eyes go dim just as the computer screen does, and little warning messages pop up–something internal has been disabled. I have to retreat quickly back into the house. Nights we sit out endlessly–it is near to our favorite spot in the house in all weathers–and as I try to organize what was accomplished today and what must be done tomorrow my thoughts simply evaporate even as the sweat does not, and I stare for a long time at the tricolored ginger plant potted on the porch.

My wife suffers from the heat even more than I do as she bravely sits beneath the porch fan, her feet bathed in a basin of cool water. She was not raised to this climate but a childhood spent in blizzard country, where they say forty below keeps the riff-raff out, has produced a person not easily intimated by simple weather. In spite of her complaints she manages to keep as busy as a farm wife, sitting with her notebook of endless lists of things to be done, adding and subtracting activities as industriously as the fabled ant. She asks me questions or reminds me of this or that and I find myself slowly peeling my gaze away from the ginger plant and asking, “what?” all too often. A distant, vaguely Asian voice in my head prompts me: focus, grasshopper.

When we came back from Destin in the Florida panhandle, we had resolved go to back in June next year. It was not so much the heat as the swarming jellyfish that kept us mostly out of the ocean that prompted this discussion. I recall from my childhood that jellyfish were an August phenomena, and the chair attendants are too young to remember when they didn’t come in mid-July. As I sit at home and thoughtlessly scratch at the sun burn itch under my shirt I have to wonder if perhaps July is not the perfect time to go, ideal for collapsing into a canvas chair and becoming just another bit of flotsam slowly baking on the beach. I was fairly active in Miami, venturing into the bug-cursed Everglades of August, shopping Little Havana for cigars and wandering for several sun-delirious hours along Ocean and Collins Avenues in South Beach. Still, I spent an awful lot of time at the Biltmore Hotel beside its enormous pool, wagging my empty mohito glass at the strolling waiters as the hovering pool boys brought glistening cups of ice water.

Now those trips are behind us and I must somehow catch up at work and at home even as the temperatures consistently climb into the nineties. Today is a relief as a large front has passed, stirring up storms all night and leaving a breeze from the north behind it. The wind cools a bit as it passes over Lake Pontchartrain, and between that change of weather, the clouds and the fan the porch seems positively pleasant. It won’t last. In a day or two, August will roll back in and over us as it always does.

I was talking to a neighbor yesterday and they said something that reminded me of the line I mentioned above from North Dakota: forty below keeps the riff-raff out. We spoke of the weather and he said that if it weren’t for the heat and the humidity, everyone would want to live here. I haven’t heard that one in a while, but it holds a world of truth: the idea that New Orleans is worth the suffering of summer and the subtle dread of the start of the real hurricane season. While the rest of the world trudges across sun-backed acres of shimmering shopping mall blacktop to escape into the A/C, we chose instead to wander art galleries on White Linen and Dirty Linen night, to taste new drinks at Tales of the Cocktail and listen to hot music at Satchmo Fest. It sounds stupid as I say it in my head but I can’t resist: even in the swelter of August New Orleans is cool, cool in every way the word has been used since the first hipster spoke it as a way of being and not a temperature.

These may be the dog days, but you’re as likely to find us out baying at the moon as curled up beneath the porch fan. If you love New Orleans, you’ll tolerate the weather and even drag yourself out into it. (My wife tolerates it because she loves me, an even more mysterious phenomena). For us it is not just a matter of coping, but also of learning to live through the swelter. I lamented long ago that we’d forgotten how, but the longer I’m home the less I think so. You’ll have to excuse me now but lunch hour is over and I need to crawl back into the air conditioning of my office. But first I need to check and make sure there are limes. A mohito is sounding very good right now and, in the absence of pool boys, come five o’clock I will need to be ready. If you pass by later you may not see us behind all the plants, but we’ll be on the porch. Stop by and join us under the fan at the coolest place on Toulouse Street.

To The Reader July 15, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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“I am tired. I am weary
I could sleep
for a thousand years.”
— Velvet Underground

I am so tired lately. I’m just crawling out from under some respiratory illness but could not miss work last week, so all you see around here on Toulouse Street are some lazy You Tubes, a perfect analog of my situation: collapsed on the porch, listening to music and trying to read. Words rattle around in my head, but I’m too tired to make them come out here. I slouch in my plant hidden chair watching the fan whir like a helicopter turbine. Still, we go no where. The ice water glass drips cool condensation into my hand and I wipe my forehead with the icy balm, but I just can’t seem to drag myself out of that first heat wave lethargy. At the same time, I seem to be spending more effort at PBB, which is something for me but perhaps not for you, mon sembable — mon frere. And the subject of my last effort there, No. 14, is a poem about, well, boredom. At least my brain has not completely shut down. We seem to have a theme going, after a fashion.

And so I retreat into quoting, the refuge of the lazy blogger.

Among the vermin, jackals, panthers, lice,
gorillas and tarantulas that suck
and snatch and scratch and defecate and fuck
in the disorderly circus of our vice,

there’s one more ugly and abortive birth.
It makes no gestures, never beats its breast,
yet it would murder for a moment’s rest,
and willingly annihilate the earth.

It’s ENNUI! Tears have glued its eyes together.
You know it well, my Reader. This obscene
beast chain-smokes yawning for the guillotine —
you — hypocrite Reader — my double — my brother!

— Charles Baudelaire’s Au Lecteur (To the Reader) translated by Robert Lowell, from Marthiel & Jackson Matthews, eds., The Flowers of Evil (NY: New Directions, 1963) [and I changed boredom back to ENNUI. So shoot me. I was going to put the hookah back in but stopped myself.]

Who am us, anyway? May 31, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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I write about myself with the same pencil
and in the same exercise book as about him.
It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.

— Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

I first posted this quote 8/31/06 without any comment, when this blog was lurking in a dark and lonely corner of the internets and only seen by spiders.

Who are we that write out our lives on these blogs? Some of us play out the Social Media or Citizen Journalist role, but what about those of us doing something at once much more personal and still very public? I once tossed out the term “narcissistic blogger” on a mailing list and recoiled in horror at the familiarity of the face in that mirror. Some treat these little stages we erect on the Internet as the set of the one person show of our fascinating lives (so we think, or why else would we be here?), while others take on a mask and become someone else, hiding behind the possibility of anonymity. In either event the act of public writing transforms us.

As actors of a sort who we are deep inside informs whoever we try to project on this stage–a public Self or a fabulous Character. (And our public Selves are certainly contrived Characters, keeping Mr. ID corralled and Dr. Ego’s social relationships in good trim, else the world would be littered with the bodies of murdered co-workers and a long trail of casually ravished lovers). Whoever we think we are in our blogs, the act of performing in words makes us someone new, something more than the simple sum of actor and character. “It is no longer I, but another who’s life is just beginning.”

As I said, I had posted this quote before without much comment almost two years ago. I found it online the other day while looking for something else, and chose to unearth and repost it. Do we repeat ourselves because we’ve exhausted other subjects, or because repetition is an irresistible part of life; not a circle necessarily but a spiral that clocks around an imperceptible center? I like to think the latter rather than consider myself a broken record, a tiresome bore sitting on the same stool day after day drinking the same stale beer and endlessly recycling the same stories.

I think Yeats had it wrong, at least in general. If the spiral gyre runs out from the center it is not a failure of gravity but instead the trajectory of something that has reached escape velocity, acting out a driving impulse but anchored by the mathematical center without which the curve becomes a line. Our personal trajectory through time and space is certain to be governed by some center as surely as the moon controls the tides. Toulouse Street itself is the center here, seems fairly fixed in space and time: an island in this stream we think we are admiring from the deck even as the current sweeps us away, the unseen captain spinning the unresponsive wheel and shouting frantic orders lost down the tube in the diabolical noise of engines run amok.

This is an adventure.

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.

Trust your story January 26, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, ghosts, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, poem, Poetry, quotes, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Remember your name.
Do not lose hope–what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have
helped to help you in return.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
— Neil Gaimain, “Instructions”

I can’t for the life of me imagine why Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things is remaindered at Borders. It’s a fantastic collection of stories and some oddments (a set of very short pieces titled “Strange Little Girls” that were the liner notes for a Tori Amos recording, some poetry including the one quoted above) and is otherwise chock-a-block with fabulous short stories.

I fell into the modern/urban fantasy world via Charles de Lint, but the more I read of Gainman the more he is my favorite. I think the attraction is the shorter works. He is clearly, in stories like “The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch” or in “Diseasemaker’s Croup”, the clearest heir to Borges I have found, and I’m awfully fond of Borges.

Its a new day January 21, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 8-29, Bloggers, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Flood, home, New Orleans, NOLA, NOLA Blogroll, Odds&Sods, Rebirth, Recovery, Remember, Uncategorized, We Are Not OK.
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Just a note if you’ve wandered in from Wet Bank Guide, as I transition out of that project and on to others, to welcome you to Toulouse Street — Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans. This is a different space, one I originally started as a place to put odd things that didn’t seem to fit on the high tone I had set at WBG. If you scroll down, you’ll find plenty of odd bits of life in NOLA here, and some just plain odd things that just pleased me as I sit here typing on Toulouse Street.

I have updated the once brief blogroll here to incorporate everyone (I think) who is still publishing that was listed at WBG. I’ve I’ve left you off, sorry. I often steal time away to blog late at night or early in the morning when the faculties have sometimes sent themselves to sleep early even as I bask in the glow of the monitor and thoroughly screw up my circadian rhythms, or else are still lying tangled in the mind’s sheets even as the body stands upright and stares intently at the dripping coffee.

New Orleans remains my theme, my obsession almost. That deep connection was always there in me during the 20 years I lived away, in the manner Catholicism is imprinted upon me by growing up in New Orleans and twelve years of Catholic school regardless of professed or practiced faith. New Orleans will still predominate here, but since this is more a blogger’s blog–what I once called (no insult intended) a vanity blog–I feel freer to drop in bits of favorite music, poetry and the just plain weird.

If you’re looking for something more like what Wet Bank Guide had become over time, keep coming. I am not going to stop writing about New Orleans and I will continue to find joy and sorrow worthy of note and a special effort on my part, and will post some of that here. You can also drop by Poems Before Breakfast and find where some of my creative energy has been going lately.

And here, as at Wet Bank Guide, we will always Remember. The events that drove WBG are as imprinted on us as the necessity that any dish in a pot worth having should begin with celery, bell pepper and onion in a sizzling roux. It is still After the End of the World. Don’t you know that yet? My touch stones remain: Je me souviens Remember 8-2; We will never forget. Still, Toulouse Street is more a celebration than a lament. Jim Morrison’s lyric “I love the friends I have gathered together here on this thin raft” is our slogan, even if we are still huddled together here because it is after the end of the world. For us it’s a new day every day, a continual act of will and creation to make again one of the great cities on this earth.

Ok, that’s enough cheerful stuff this early in the morning. We now return you to your regularly unscheduled coverage of my view from Toulouse Street — Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans.

Happy Holidays from the Burning Pit December 20, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Mid-City, New Orelans, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, parody, Toulouse Street.
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2 comments

Somebody stop me, please.