Louise Brooks, 1920s
One year I was Louise Brooks for Halloween. I loved it.
From 2012. Extreme embalming indeed.
“It’s a really nice way to say, ‘The party’s over.’”
Uncle Lionel did it better.
“[Shakespeare’s plays] survived as art only because they first excelled as entertainment.”
I want to start writing again. I exiled my pen a while back when every word seemed dipped in arsenic, saccharine, or tar. (I am notorious for being tough on myself. Hey, at least I have notoriety for something.)
I think the main issue was I was heartbroken and worn and everything I wrote seemed designed by my unconscious to chain me to that sad rock of a heart like Prometheus was to his.
Yeah, fuck that.
I am in a rebuilding phase. In old school terms, I’m rehabbing a decrepit structure. In new school terms, I’m rewriting my code. It started with the rehab of my leg, broken in a Vespa accident. It continues with the rehab of my soul, something I have neglected for a bit too long.
There is a house up the street that has been stripped to the frame. The roof is intact (as intact as a roof on a house like that can be) but the rest of the house is bones. I love that house. It is my metaphor.
One of my goals is to rebuild my body into something different than the body I have used for decades. The accident last July has made that possible in that I lost so much muscle tone from laying about in a cast that I have the option to restructure my leg muscles. In a sense, I am hacking my old body and crafting something new.
These changes are very slight and I might be the only person to notice them, but I am seeing differences. I’ll never be muscle-bound. I would hate that, especially after years of learning to accept my lithe cheetah body. What I will be is what I make of myself, literally, corporeally.
From all the running I am doing, I now have a butt. I discovered this yesterday. That might seem a small thing to a stranger (and it is a small butt) but it’s a butt I never had before. When one reaches a certain age, the last thing one expects is to have the option, capacity, and will to reshape the body. Therefore, seeing changes like the ones I have been attempting is kind of cool. My thighs are growing ever so slightly. Again, kind of cool. I never experienced proper thighs of my own before.
It’s 5:00 and I haven’t been able to sleep well from last night to this early morning and I feel self-consciously like a 16-yr-old going through puberty and blogging about it. I bloomed late. To battle the self-judgment, I will leave me a memory.
I had dinner with a pal last night at a new restaurant in the Garden District. Seed opened very recently and serves delicious fare, veggie and raw, and we had a great time. I walked her back to her house in the LGD after a long and lovely meal and we experienced the night blooming jasmine in all of its charm. A few times I buried my face in a bush to take in as much of the scent as I could.
That’s how I live my life. Find what I love. Dive in. Share it. I’ll start writing again. I have a play that needs to get down on paper. I have a novel to write. However, I’ll stay away from poetry. I know too many great poets. They have it covered.
Blue Moon for the Crescent City
You can’t hide all night. Like the skinny rat who slinks into clubs on Frenchmen Street, eventually, you will draw attention to your hide&seek glow in the dark of a city without power soul shell.
Excuse me. Neal Cassady wants his beat back. A stack of flapjack Kerouac drifts into a silent harbor. This moon, your blue moon, is less rare than the storm that troubled this city, cradled by that silty river with all those repeating consonants.
Miss. Do you know what it means to Miss. New Orleans. Miss. Ms.
There are no women beat poets whom we “remember.” Every system, every regime, fails. Ginsberg sang of Diane di Prima. One in a million who know Jack have ever heard a whisper of di Prima.
That candle that burns, there, fights to stay lit against winds from the old quarter, this candle Diane, la luna, the not-so-rare blue moon, a song, a rhapsodic nostalgic heart-tipped spear tossed blindly into this near-dark New Orleans night stabs a live oak in the neutral ground between then and never.
[Written in response to Hurricane Isaac, the first hurricane I ever experienced. I was three months new to living in NOLA.]
I never asked you to carry more than my weight. Your slate bones shine your darkness. Our world repairs itself for the next named chaos.
Does our world pull itself down in increments so we have something to lean our tender backs into until the new storm?
The next time I ride you over these streets, the clouds will be nameless. The empty cage of blame waits for an occupant.
The slate shingle in my bag, torn from a rooftop, bears his name.
Sometimes when I see a fountain I try to imagine how many units of volume it takes to fill it. How many bottles of Orange Crush? How many shots of whiskey? Sometimes, I try to imagine how many tears would have to be shed to fill a fountain, and I realize more than I have ever cried in my life. If I felt sad, I feel better thinking of that.