17 July 2015

August 21, 2010 Repairing a ceiling in K's house, 

spreading mud, not exactly a Michelangelo at it, 

listening to As the World Turns, for a full minute 

thinking one of the characters is a man called Spot

 ("...Spot you are one of the most amazing Men 

I've ever met and you deserve..."); its actually

 Scott, but I may have a new song to work on...

 Regarding the damage to K's ceiling, there was a 

failure in the seal of the bathtub drain in M's 

apartment above. So a trip to the attic where a 

foregone conclusion as materialist 20th century 

human condition abides and testifies to a 

prosperity of sorts: 19th century sewing machines 

next to a 45 inch plasma tv box, for instance, and a 

Canon Windows 95 desktop computer, guitars, 

teddy bears, old water heaters, clothes, blankets, 

beads, building materials, knick knacks, Ronco 

gadgets, souvenirs, reel to reel audio tapes and the

 close tips of old nails coming through the roof... I

judge it a hazard that to clear before a plumber 

enters, as I'm not touching this crawl-space 

corroded galvanized bath drain into brass fitting, 

no sir. So gather, collapse, and consolidate 

cardboard boxes (hating styrofoam) and fill 8 large

 garbage bags, but – there was a fancy shopping 

bag (Lenox Gifts That Celebrate Life) containing 

two large ziplock baggies, enclosing two quart 

sized plastic tubs (inside paper bags) with snap 

lids. I am a conscientious sorter, and this attic has 

its share of rare fine good and no telling among all

 the boards and dvd player box junk. At first I 

think, bath salts? Then open the other. It is 

calcium of an aggregate particle size I recognize - 

along with a faint, indefinable (dreadful) smell - I 

recoil. Human remains. As if the spirit came out 

and enervated me, a little like nausea, and I had to

take a break. I bring K his old beautiful guitar that 

has been residing here two decades at least. And a 

soft white Christmas Teddy bear with a blue 

sweater. He doesn't know about anyone’s ashes. It 

must be an old tenants he says. Probably shouldn't 

leave them there I say. Oh no, K agrees, they could 

be haunting the house. Maybe you could spread 

them in the garden. I think of these damn feral cats 

who I can not keep from shitting in my flower bed, 

I think of the Mississippi, five blocks away, 

sometime this evening. In the meantime, where to 

keep these two containers – the fancy shopping 

bag was torn in the strife of purging the attic. Not 

coming into my house. Not in the bucket in my 

bikes cargo basket. There's a plastic cooler under 

the house. Cool shady secure chill, someones 

ashes. I set it inside. And tonight, I think I'm going 

to go... down to the river, and hope that's alright 

by you . So, two quart sized polyethylene snap lid

 jars, containing human ashes, sheathed in paper 

bags enclosed in ziplock baggies, found inside a 

fancy department store bag in K's attic this 

morning, left long ago by tenant unknown, the sun 

is waning but yet bright, are you ready? For a long 

time. Ride in the black shoulder bag Rebecca gave

 me 2003 or so. Okay I'll tell you two stories, I 

collected a lot of fine beach stuff in this bag, from 

the Gateway to the Spirit North America, and once

 religiously kept composition notebook and pen

 and blood glucose monitor. Ahh. Sorry. Tug my 

shoulder. About...5 lbs of Calcium? It’s a lot of 

ballast. What about Washington Square Park - I'm 

not getting a clear picture of the Big Muddy. This

 grove with a winding path to the Nola Aids 

Memorial. Engraved names on granite bricks and 

glass faces with memorial benches. Long leaves,

 purple flowers. And how about some grass. Bright 

and sunny. Frisbees and blankets and novel 

readings and picnics, that sound alright? Yes the 

white chips are kind of conspicuous for much. 

Maybe a teaspoon of you, mostly white, some tan, 

orange, yellow, a blackness or two. I don't like 

looking too close. I met this park in October 2005 

when it had been taken over by commune hippies 

and barefoot doctors. It was called the Welcome 

Home Kitchen and it was a beautiful thing for a 

traumatized derelict and 4/5ths abandoned city. 

800 meals a day, good meals, a place to 

congregate. Free Peanut Butter and clothes and 

condoms. Meals Ready to Eat. Very Nice 

Vegetarian Dinners. Community. Then the 

Property Owners got upset and shut it down after 

Thanksgiving...Lets walk down Frenchmen. I'd 

like a beer from the Deli. And a Peanut Crunch 

bar just for you. Two pretty young girls in little 

dresses and chubby arms just came in all smiles... 

You like this kind of evening don't you. Warm and 

golden hued, those racketing insects in the trees.

 Maybe you were the entomologist, I don't know, 

cicadas', crickets... Now past Check Point 

Charlies. One guy playing to no one, wah wah 70's 

funk, imagine that. A crosswalk while we wait for 

a green-light. I know you were cared about in that 

fancy shopping bag, inside a bag, inside a bag and 

inside these sealed jars. Maybe you were just too 

sudden or much for someone. At the time. I guess

 you are woman about 120-40 lbs, going by a 

previous container. I agree, and say no more about 

that disagreeable attic. Shoulder tug, I know you 

have been ready for a long time. Balcony Music 

Club – Sunny Side of the Street.... We wont go 

down Decatur! Left along the Mint toward the 

River, Right through the Market. Is closing now, 

just a few vendors closing shop. Would I be 

surprised at all to learn August 21 is the day you 

were born. A bantering going on. He's saying: 

That is None of Your Concern. This is about 

seeing him next Saturday. Good natured, it 

appears, but there's always an edge to things 

people say, you know that. Marvin Gaye on the 

PA. Isn't that sweet? Now live music playing in a 

courtyard and when we Kiss Fire... segue into sax 

solo – now another left. Smells a little like 

Singapore by this restaurant. The waiter is on his 

game and a big round table is happy. Its great 

smelling and eating tasty things don't you think? 

Now I can see the Bridge. This is going to be your 

view, okay. Governor Nichols Wharf to the left, 

Jackson Square to the right, Algiers just across the 

way, the Bridge right now, its a Joel Meyerowitz 

photograph, She and I took our 2nd walk in Nola 

here. A Saturday in June. That night she went to a 

wedding and came back a little past tipsy. I was 

staying in this big impressed with itself house all 

by myself. We slept in the corner bedroom. 

Sometimes we'd try the next one over. It was like 

changing sets or inhabiting a beautiful painting. 

She said she loved me and it wasn't just the drink 

saying so. Well it was, but I did.. Did you know 

this is where I made a movie called Deja Vu with 

Denzel? Yes Washington. Right across there in 

Algiers. I was National Guardsman Buck Private 

DUNN. $75 a day and good food. I felt like a dope 

in the uniform, but at least I didn't have to wear 

those silly sailor white bell bottoms. Yes, I did, 

and Denzel gave me the Stink Eye for staring. Oh 

he is definitely a lot of charisma. So lets do this. 

I'm climbing down the levee over these rocks. Its 

great being able to walk and balance and hop and 

carry you. Now there's a little sandbar. I'll put my

 feet in the water. First Jar. You are a cloud of 

powder drifting away from the scatter. You are a 

white plume in the water. You are sinking and 

filling in the ridges of sand. Walking a few yards 

away in the direction of the Bridge. You are 

another cloud of powder drifting away from the 

scatter. I've tried to throw you farther. There's a 

young man stacking or writing with rocks on the sandbar. A couple walking along the Levee. 

A man sitting up there saying 
–Last week the water was this high. 

Pointing to where he sits. 

The young man with the rocks says 

 –it can go down fast. 


Pause at the trash can. 

I'll keep these jars. 

Rinse them to keep my mother of pearl shards. 

If you don't mind. 

Walking back. The band is playing Chaka Kahn. 

Tell Me Something Good.