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I Am Not Alright, But I Am Upright September 22, 2012

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Four people came to Toulouse Street looking for “new orleans upright tattoo” and all four clicked through to hear Raymond “Moose” Jackson’s “O’Neil’s Lament”. Some words have power beyond their simple human utterance, and Jackson’s words struck me so strongly as an epigraph for a place and time, an epigram for what others had already forgotten, that I will wear them on my right arm until the end. Bury me in a sleeveless shirt, right arm toward the room.

As I finish re-watching Season Two and prepare to read a year’s worth of Wet Bank Guide in preparation for Sunday’s premiere and the conversations to come on Back of Town I recall last season’s Treme teaser poem by Gian Smith, “Oh Beautiful Storm.” I think the refrain from “O’Neill’s Lament” on Jackson’s Illusion Fields disk gets as close to the wound inside the characters of Treme, a hidden stigmata that haunts them like a waft of church door incense on a lapsed Catholic, as an outsider can possibly get.

New Orleans or New Haven, first-time viewer or Treme Sunday devotee, give “O’Neill’s Lament” a listen before Sunday’s show.

We are not alright, but we are upright.

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