ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about Antoinette the Voodoo Queen, who told me my fortune in New Orleans the last day of my honeymoon. She claims to be a direct descendent of Marie Laveau (it even says so on her business cards), which is quite possible. Marie had 10 children, and the city of New Orleans is probably crawling with her progeny, or at least was before hurricane Katrina pushed them to all corners of the country.

It was the middle of September in 2000. Getting my fortune told in Jackson Square happened to be one of the things on my to-do list, along with visiting the French Market and riding on a riverboat. Antoinette had her table set up right across from the Saint Louis Cathedral. She was a tall woman with milk-chocolate colored skin and long braids that she covered by a tignon, like her famous ancestress. She sat beneath a large golf umbrella with her tarot cards and small bottles of magic potions on the table in front her, ready to do business. Her demeanor was friendly and business like. I asked her price, then sat across from her and put the money on her table. She accepted in and got to work.

One handsome man and two spirits )

New Orleans

Dec. 3rd, 2005 11:45 am
ninanevermore: (Default)
When I read at the open mic on Saturdays, there is one piece that currently gets requested every time of late.

"Do the one about the French Quarter. I love that one."

I'm kind of getting bored reading it. I wrote it after the flood, but I couldn't write about the tragedy that was happening. It was too much like watching a good friend drown, live on TV, and not being able to do anything about it. New Orleans was a flawed city, but you fell in love with her anyway if you spent any amount of time in her company. So I wrote about that, about loving the Big Easy even though you know she's no good for you.

It may suck just reading it on a screen. I worry that part of the appeal of my work is that I know how to read it, how to perform it, and that this is why people like me. I have no idea how my poems work as literary works without me there to interpret them for people.

But let's give it a go, anyway.

Love Poem for New Orleans )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today, as I drove into work, I was faced with a moral dilemma.

Is it wrong to pray that Hurricane Rita heads for Beaumont? I've never liked Beaumont very much, and I wouldn't miss it if it blew away.

But, of course, the best place she could hit is New Orleans since the place is already empty.

Still, God has a wicked sense of humor. With so much of New Orleans seeking shelter in Houston, I can see the damned thing making landfall here.

It's one of those jokes that will only seem funny years from now. Well to me, at least. To God, the joke is probably already pretty funny right now.
ninanevermore: (Ferris Wheel)
If the Carney were not so busy these days directing people off The Ferris Wheel, I would ask him to talk to his Boss for me.

Lucky for me, I don't expect much from the Boss. I don't expect life to be fair. I don't expect people to be fair. But I can still be disappointed.

I expect people to see beyond the noses on their own faces; it shocks me every time when they don't. I expect people to at least want to do the right thing. I expect them to see the humanity in their fellow man. I expect them to empathize with the hungry, the sick and the poor and think, "There but for the Grace of God go I."

But they don't. They never have and they never will.

If we are made in God's image, does that mean that God is small minded, greedy and mean? Why were we given free will but not the good sense to use it for the greater good? Why do those who have so much only want more, no matter how much they already have?

I think I've lost my faith in mankind, not that I had much to lose. There are people who ask, "Where was God when all of this was going down?" The answer is that God was there. He gave us free will, and we use it to turn our backs, to not shore up levees when the only ones who will drown are poor people who don't have any financial pull. Sure we started paying attention once 10,000 were dead. Who can sleep with all that screaming for help? And when the water goes down, the stench will be overwhelming. Sure, we got off our asses. Eventually.

I guess I can forward a message to the Boss direct, but He never answers me direct. Frankly, I'd rather He didn't.
ninanevermore: (Ferris Wheel)
I drove by the Grim Reaper this morning with my window down, and I noticed he was singing a lullaby. He had a baby in each arm, and other children clung to his legs as he walked. One clung to his back with her arms around his neck and was studying the tattoos on his right arm with interest.

I'm sure he's had weeks worse than this past week, but he sure looked tired.

It's all part of the job, I know. It's what he has done since the Dawn of time. But as with any job, some days are worse than others. You can tell by looking at him that he prefers the company of adults; children make him feel awkward. He had that look that people who don't normally have to deal with children get when they suddenly find themselves surrounded by them - kind of overwhelmed and stressed and tender all at once.

I've never heard him sing before. In spite of his rough appearance, he has a beautiful voice. I was surprised.
ninanevermore: (Default)
I can't get her out of my mind. She was on my TV last night, standing outside of the Superdome with tears running down her face. She looked young, maybe 23. The baby in her arms looked about 8 months old. He was not moving. She said he was dehydrated. He was limp, and did not even stir as his mother cried and wailed and pleaded for help.

Why is this evacuation reminding me so much of the Titanic? The first class passengers of New Orleans fled because they had the means to - they had the cars to drive and the money to pay for hotels. Left behind are the people in steerage. Busses out the the city, the lifeboats, are being loaded first-come, first-served, instead of the very young and the very frail being given priority. I heard a reporter (with just a mike, no video) talking about the dead laying around him, including two babies. He was choking up as he described the situation.

I can donate money. I can donate the baby items I loaded in the back of my care (including a bag filled with food and medicine). But there is nothing I can do to help that mother I saw last night. There is no one to tell me that her baby is alive and well and has been fed, or that no other children are going to die of dehydration before they make it out of that Hell hole.

I held my own son a little longer this morning. I marveled at how beautiful he is. I tried to imagine the horror of feeling him die in my arms and not being able to do anything for him, and my mind hit a wall, a voice saying, "Go back, don't go there, you will go insane even thinking about this." So this is what horror feels like. It's not what you feel watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster. It's not an adrenalin rush, it's a chill that runs through your entire being. It's just not fear, it's devastation and dread.
ninanevermore: (Ferris Wheel)
Oh, those silly voodoorines - they used all their magic to blow the hurricane to Mississippi, and forgot to use any to shore up the levies! Now look what a mess there is.

I've always had a crush of New Orleans, since I first saw the Quarter when I was 15. God, I hate to see her in this state. It makes me want to cry.

When I saw the Carney earlier this Summer, getting ready to unload a lot of people from the Ferris Wheel of life, I had no idea how greedy he was going to be. Every time I pass by him of late he has his back to me; he is busy operating the ride and taking tickets and pointing the recently disembarked toward the exit.

Business is good, providing your industry is death.
ninanevermore: (Default)
Driving into work this morning, I was thinking of Antoinette, the Voodoo Queen, who read my fortune in Jackson Square when I was on my Honeymoon back in 2000. She told me that "an unborn spirit" was following me around at the time. I now pay $125 a week in daycare for that little spirit.

I was wondering about the Gris Gris that Antoinette and all of the other Voodoo queens must have been spinning furiously to make hurricane Katrina veer to the east at the last minute. The Gris Gris coming out of Mississippi just isn't as strong as that coming out of New Orleans, where the bloodlines of Marie Laveau reside.

I'm glad the Big Easy didn't wash away. Good work, Antoinette.

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