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...
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,
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
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
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
He doesn't know about anyone’s ashes.
must be an old tenants he says.
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.
coming into my house.
Not in the bucket in my
bikes cargo basket.
There's a plastic cooler under
Cool shady secure chill, someones
I set it inside.
And tonight, I think I'm going
down to the river, and hope that's alright
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
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.
About...5 lbs of Calcium?
It’s a lot of
What about Washington Square Park -
not getting a clear picture of the Big Muddy.
grove with a winding path to the Nola Aids
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?
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
Free Peanut Butter and clothes and
Meals Ready to Eat.
Property Owners got upset and shut it down after
Thanksgiving...Lets walk down Frenchmen.
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.
golden hued, those racketing insects in the trees.
Maybe you were the entomologist, I don't know,
Now past Check Point
One guy playing to no one, wah wah 70's
funk, imagine that.
A crosswalk while we wait for
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
I agree, and say no more about
that disagreeable attic.
Shoulder tug, I know you
have been ready for a long time.
Club – Sunny Side of the Street....
We wont go
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
A bantering going on.
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
Isn't that sweet?
Now live music playing in a
and when we Kiss
segue into sax
now another left.
Smells a little like
Singapore by this restaurant.
The waiter is on his
game and a big round table is happy.
smelling and eating tasty things don't you think?
Now I can see the Bridge.
This is going to be your
Governor Nichols Wharf to the left,
Jackson Square to the right,
Algiers just across the
way, the Bridge right now, its a Joel Meyerowitz
She and I took our 2nd walk in Nola
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
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
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
I was National Guardsman Buck Private
$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.
he is definitely a lot of charisma.
So lets do this.
I'm climbing down the levee over these rocks.
great being able to walk and balance and hop and
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.
another cloud of powder drifting away from the
I've tried to throw you farther.
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.
The band is playing Chaka Kahn.
Tell Me Something Good.