My best friend and I visited my little sister and her boyf in New Orleans in February. We hit the road too – I obviously sat in the passenger seat. Here are three poem type things… (the last one was very drunken and scribbled on a bar napkin so it doesn’t really make sense)
Bikinis sit in my suitcase redundant,
Me and Yam watch our breath,
the smell of Slice Pizza
Where my sister and Arch
Sit devouring starch
And the parade whistles down the road
I can’t believe it’s so frickin’ cold
We have NOLA family which I immediately befriend,
Rather controversially call the dog my boyfriend
They welcome us in and I immediately love my new relations
To think we were separated for so long – bloody interfering nations
A little girl called Evangeline screams PIZZA in her blonde locks of hair
‘That’s my girl’ I shout and follow her through streets which bulge at every corner,
Immediately in love with the city, I think about leaving and already mourn her
NOLA the goddess of the south,
Oh the LOAN I’ve taken out to hear this city’s bluesy moan
And here I am, few dollars in hand, waiting for an eightballsy man
Beads fly at my face while floats parade down the street
On every corner we meet
Rows of filled deck chairs shouting and shaking their ass,
My English accent ‘sorry, excuse me, trying to pass’
The next day we seek refuge in the park,
Vampires sitting waiting impatiently for the dark
There’s a weird memorial service with Frisbee and dog
And with fast food, my arteries start to clog
Off to the museum of World War Two
There’s a cafe with hot dogs – PHEW!
While I get over excited on a sip of a someone’s cappuccino
NOLA had little to do with the war, didn’t you know?
Yeah – there was a guy called Higgins who made some boats and shit
But that honestly is just about it
It’s the night before Mardi Gras and our intentions are grand,
We’ll just listen to a little bit of music by an early evening band
Suddenly we’re at Mimi’s munching on the best steak,
And I see our plans disappear in a red wined wake.
After all, how can we leave?
A guy is playing violin on a saw,
Oh go on… one glass more…
What else can he conjure from his tool tin?
I slur sipping on a 3am gin.
Then to bed, we’re rising early for St Ann’s parade,
Feeling atrocious we hit the tequila at approximately noon,
Oh! through these crammed streets, I wish we could zoom.
Off to a party by my godfather’s mate – hope it won’t be lame,
Far from it -the Jackson Square party of considerable fame
Everyone is dancing – jumping up and down,
A guy in a tuba wears a plastic crown.
Decorated musicians play instruments never seen before,
And elaborate costumes butterfly crawl through the door
Silv and I are dressed up as cheerleaders.
Pale and fat from fried chicken,
Not sure we’ve got the Mardi glisten.
I laugh about all my mates at home – eating pancakes.
I mean seriously in comparison to this – what kind of shit tradition is that?
Still, I know I’ll be munching them next year, feeling like a complete twat.
On various other houses we descend,
stopping for fast food at every bend
At the after parties hip hop seems to be the general vibe,
Weird – I thought this lot would be a strictly blues tribe.
We make up for the blue when Mardi Gras ends.
We’re all desperately sad about the loss of our new friends.
But we’d have to get SO drunk again to make amends
It turns out we’re probably not going to tour America’s states
With North Carolina’s Crazy Nate
Just as well as we see him munching out a bin
Fuck – we were all so in love with him.
We rent a little Honda and hit Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale,
Where the landscape loses colour and goes a grayish pale,
And storm Pandora’s mission begins – the Honda derail…
#pandora (the storm that stalked our road trip)
Clarksdale – Not Tennessee due to Pandora – Memphis
Eyes fall on miles of ploughed land,
Where once a farmer did stand
But now machinery looming
A giant centipede
Praying on land for grooming
Hard rain washes away months of sin,
That has lived within lines of motels
cluttering this barren land,
Do I know any of this?
Or only have movies to hand?
I am sick
But was I ever well?
Veins of grey and white
Take their plight
Across pink skies
The thin legs of feathery creatures
Stuck in muds thick and deep
Floored, like ships they’re moored,
Waiting like we were
Shacked up at shack up inn
Blues in our shoes,
And cold stagnated in our throats
Praying for bigger, better coats
Cotton floats freely now
but hurricanes hanker
past grief and all beneath
Feels weekly laid,
A land tormented and underpaid
A fresh produce sign, ink blurred from the austerity of the rain
Each hail stone brings a new pain.
Fast food threatens at every yard
Master obesity’s face is with ketchup scarred
Medications fill the heads of many a men
Beauty fallen from many a pen
Tales of Walt Disney’s
But on what mouths do they fall?
Obesity, heart disease
Arteries clogged with plastic cheese
Tall pine trees line the roads of maroon
As yet another lump of lard hits my throat in a plastic spoon
Al Green’s voice reached into my intestines and shook them around
That and $1 nuggets for breakfast left me feeling far from sound
I can’t seem to find my feet in Jackson but Pandora can
She weeps and howls for her Mississippi man
And she certainly does not refrain from knocking about our Honda
PANDORA – Jackson is not travelling with us, he is yonder.
DRUNK AND ANGRY IN MEMPHIS
Hurricanes hindered you then and what hinders you now?
White overfaced bodies leer over balconies
watching black hands patter ferociously on steel plates
And fingers are licked while rib juice catches in plastic bibs
And if there’s a god that does forgive, why is he too cocky to fucking live?
Whiskeyed voices shout to realities beyond
And in the awkward jilts of the body they forge a bond
There’s no wisdom or truth in my alphabet. Of reason, I’m bereft.
I can only be identified by the pant of my beer and camel lingering breath.