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A poem I wrote for New Orleans

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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-14-05 10:59 PM
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A poem I wrote for New Orleans
Au Revoir, Mon Ami (Good-bye, my friend)

I remember New Orleans, the first time around
I was underage and you allowed me to drink freely
And for that I respected you dearly.
Those oversize beers. That carefree spirit. Just what an 18-year-old needed.

I remember my uncle wrestling a female stripper in a Bourbon Street bar
As a transvestite ring announcer played guitar
And the man next to me smoked a smelly cigar.
I was under your spell, for that scene never seemed bizarre.

I remember the jazz and the blues and that voodoo vibe, the way you had that jovial jive

I remember New Orleans, the second time around. Mardi Gras, purple beads, flashing boobs, endless booze.
That girl with the rose tattoo.
Five days and nights of drunken debauchery, derelict duties and depraved deeds.

I remember confusing Cajun with Creole and consuming crawfish in the Quarter,
And kissing a girl named Katrina in a crowded club called Cats Meow
Katrina, I told her, your name is so sexy
Corona, she told me, my glass is so empty

I remember the jazz and the blues and that voodoo vibe, the way you had that jovial jive

I remember New Orleans, the third time around. New Years Eve. Sugar Bowl.
Canes. Gators. Brawls on Bourbon.
Sweet Superdome. Innocence unscathed.
The horrors to come, years away.

Hurricanes routed, we got rowdy
Hurricane cocktails, fueled the party
The night was spent, boasting on Bourbon.
Canes in the house, dont even try it

I remember the jazz and the blues and that voodoo vibe, the way you had that jovial jive

I remember New Orleans, the fourth time around, a five-day stop on a road trip home.
I was alone and free to roam.
I played chess with a man named Hal on Canal, the street that drowned living up to its name.
I drank a hurricane in the August rain, still thinking that Katrina was a sexy name.

Beignets at Caf du Monde, muffelatas from Central Grocery and shrimp po boys from The Alibi.
It was hard to say good-bye, but my money was running dry, and my time was passing by.

I remember the jazz and the blues and that voodoo vibe, the way you had that jovial jive

I remember Katrina when she was just a flirting storm, teasing our coast like a virgin whore.
I remember inviting her inside, and how she pushed me aside, removing that mask and revealing that bitch inside.

I remember Katrina headed for your coast, I am woman, hear me roar
Show me this city of legend lore.
No longer the virgin whore, but a hardcore witch out for war.

I remember Katrina barreling into the bayou, lashing at you as she swept right by you
Lacerating your levees and liquidating your streets, littering your homes with lifeless limbs

I remember how they left you to die as Nero ate cake and fiddled with his fly.
As you clung to your roofs, water neck high, telling the world you were still alive.

I remember your cries, your demands for help
Please get us out of here, its a living hell
And I remember the crime was broadcast live around the world
La mort Nouvelle-orlans. Una tristezza

I remember the jazz and the blues and that voodoo vibe, the way you had that jovial jive

And I thought of the people I met the year before, that sultry summer of 2004.
The hustlers, the jokers, the street performers, the musicians, the artists, the waiters, the bartenders
This community of incorrigible, creative characters.
This collection of Cajuns and Creoles and color
That was not afraid to cry out and say

Be free, be yourself, and to hell with everybody else

And I remember realizing how much of you they must despise, which is why they turned a blind eye
Leaving you to your demise

And I remember how they said theyre going to rebuild you, bigger and better than ever
And I knew that meant richer and whiter forever

And I was left mourning. Too angry to respect your death with a jazzy New Orleans-style funeral procession.
There would be no more dancing on Decatur.


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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. So many images come to mind and very heartfelt.
This says it all. Thank you. ;(

BTW, you might want to check out another heartbreaking poem posted here, on the same theme...

My Katrina-inspired poem
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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