June 20, 2010

Love I Guess



Okay, I painted that grimy black piano in an effort to lift my mood...didn't work...took forever to dry properly...now I'll clean the keys and get it tuned...someday I might learn to play it...someday after my novel is written and published and I've won the Nobel Prize for Literature...I love the piano because it's percussive and as you might know I meant to play the drums...the story of why that didn't happen is the story of my life...but who cares?..I told it already.

I tacked a map of Louisiana over the un-usable fireplace...I might as well admit it, it's my home...but I'm an alien there too...not to mention persona non gratis...New Orleans I'm sorry bores me to death...one bloody party after another...public drunkenness...the worst streets in America...the most-corrupt city government...some of the dumbest bastards you ever met...I know it seems cynical...okay I'm cynical...screw your frigging parties and your Mardis Gras too...Jesus what a boring spectacle.

But Louisiana is beautiful...I'm talking about the natural world, that is...the piney woods and cypress swamps...marshes and bayous...birds and...butterflies...what's left of 'em...they've been disappearing long before the current obscenity of an oil spill...I counted...there are only four cardinals in New Orleans and not a red-winged blackbird for 50 miles around it...I saw one tiger swallowtail in 14 months and perhaps one black swallowtail...they have the butterflies caged in the new "Insectarium" I hear...it reminds me of a vision I had once...the Metropolitan Museum has gobbled up Central Park and there is only one tree left...in the middle of the museum with a plaque: "An oak tree of the original Central Park, which once occupied this space."

Some of the rudest people in the world live in Louisiana...but they think they are polite..."southern hospitality" don't you know...there was said to be a white liberal living somewhere between the Sabine and Pearl Rivers, the boundaries of Texas and Mississippi...but it was only a rumor...and "liberal" there means liking Jimmy Carter...there are some liberals in New Orleans but they mostly are young people from other parts...New York, San Francisco, Paris...who came there to help out after the hurricane and liked the authentic dirty-ness and the palmetto bugs so much they stayed...they find something charming and appealing about those soft southern accents and the underlying hard-bitten meanness...oh and the parties the parties the parties...and the parades...good god the endless parades...and what they have to parade about I haven't understood yet...city parish and state government is so rotten and corrupt they think it's the natural state of things...between Baton Rouge and New Orleans oil and chemical refineries along the river have turned the corridor into "Cancer Alley"...they know as much about their own true history as I know about nuclear physics...I know a guy so mean he cut a dude's leg off then burned him to death...true it was revenge for the guy raping and killing a woman and her baby...and he's a well-known musician.

And there are the bone-crushing Saints of course...oh everybody loves the violence and boastfulness of it...but it bores the shit out of me...football my ass...they should take up ping-pong and chess...if anybody can invent a good game named "Corruption" it will sell like po-boys there...everybody knows how to play it already...it's known as hooray for me and fuck you...it's more popular than Jesus, but you won't find anybody to admit it...out in the country people have chronic sore knees from praying...and the only thing that hasn't happened in New Orleans yet to my knowledge is a mass killing in a church...bullets fly around like bees at any time of the day or night in any part of the city...white people whisper that "at least it's them killing each other"...meaning you-know-who all right...some whites see the horrendous murder rate among young blacks as a blessing...you think I'm shitting you?

I grew up a mile from one of the biggest oil refinery complexes in America...it's 10 times bigger than it was when I was a kid...I came over the Earl K. Long Bridge in Lake Charles at night and it looked like a Las Vegas of lights in my old hometown of Westlake...the old First Baptist Church has been replaced by a casino...the swamps are now parking lots...but I wrote about this in Tending Graves and Smashing Idols...in my mind's eye I see the hundreds of thousands of flamingoes and cranes that used to nest there...but people need jobs don't you know...and the Gulf is full of oil wells...more than three thousand of them I think...and numerous deepwater wells already pumping I hear...so the birds can find some other place to nest...millions nest in the Chandeleur Islands of course...where the oil is landing...oh well they are only birds...Louisianans would prefer nuclear war to losing their oil incomes...there is no comparable profit in flamingoes and cranes...and the future? oh Jesus will take care of that.

I wish I could think of something good to say about Louisiana but with the mood I'm in I couldn't find something good to say about Heaven...if there were such a place...I had an uncle once...he's dead I think...at least I hope he is...he was in the oil business his whole adult life...he told me once that large parts of the acquifier of West Texas was ruined long ago by oil companies pumping salt water into the ground to force the oil up...I think he told the truth though he was dishonest about other things.

But Louisiana is my heartaching home despite the fact that I find most of the people ludicrous shallow and boring...try having a sane conversation with those fundamentalist know-nothings who recently discovered politics...they discovered it on FOX...enough said?..I had one give me a lecture on Ayn Rand believe it or not...can you imagine?...I read that mean bitch and rejected her philosophy 45 years ago, but 30 years after she was absolutely discredited and her golden boy Ronald Reagan had tripled the national debt, sacrificed 45 unarmed marines in Lebanon, killed 250,000 Salvadorans and 30,000 Nicaraguans, illegally traded arms with terrorists, fired 25,000 air traffic controllers and upped the air accident rate 25%, and beat bloody hell out of defenseless Grenadians who were building an airstrip for tourists...to show what a macho guy he was after the marine debacle in Lebanon...where he cut and ran like the bloody craven empty-headed coward he was...this guy had just discovered her...and John Galt...trying to have a reasonable conversation with him was like explaining English literature to Eric the cat...and not nearly as pleasurable...Eric at least listens...and I never know how much he understands.



I was listening to this song with its incredible guitar riffs and almost felt love again.

Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar,
dancing on the light from star to star.
Far across a moonbeam,
I know that's who you are.
I saw your brown eyes burning once before.
You are like a hurricane.
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm getting blown away,
somewhere safer where the feelings stay.
I want to love you but I'm getting blown away.

I am just a dreamer,
but you are just a dream.
You could have been anyone to me.
Before that moment you touched my lips,
That perfect feeling when time just slips
away between us and our foggy trip.
You are like a hurricane.
There's calm in your eye,
and I'm getting blown away
somewhere safer where the feelings stay.
I want to love you but I'm getting blown away.
Blown away.

You are just a dreamer,
and I am just a dream.
You could have been anyone to me.
Before that moment you touched my lips,
that perfect feeling when time just slips
away between us on our foggy trip.
You are like a hurricane.
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm getting blown away,
somewhere safer where the feelings stay.
I want to love you but I'm getting blown away.


Hurricane by Neil Young



My friend hasn't dusted in the 35 years I've known him; doesn't bother him, doesn't bother me, and doesn't seem to bother Buddha.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...Louisiana! The words says it all.

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