New Orleans

New Orleans
by Carl Josehart

20 feet below sea level
like the lost city of Atlantis
lies a city
in a constant state of
elegant decay
soft
swampy soil
struggles
to reclaim the city
from its human inhabitants

Sinking
slowly
buildings crumble
foliage
engulfing structures
in green
moist
blankets of moss

the constant need for
human effort
fights against
sub tropic
humid
heavy air

Sipping sweet tea
under
sweet gum trees
it would be easy
to succumb
to the sweet siren’s cry

to sit idly by
while
tender green shoots
push through concrete
gnarled brown roots
roll away sidewalks
silty soil
digesting civilization
reclaiming
swamps
marshes
wetlands

pulled back from the brink
again
and again
the second line
joyously singing
”laissez les bons temps rouler!”


”Louisiana in September was like an obscene phone call from nature. The air—moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh—felt as if it were being exhaled into one’s face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing. Honeysuckle, swamp flowers, magnolia, and the mystery smell of the river scented the atmosphere, amplifying the intrusion of organic sleaze. It was aphrodisiac and repressive, soft and violent at the same time. In New Orleans, in the French Quarter, miles from the barking lungs of alligators, the air maintained this quality of breath, although here it acquired a tinge of metallic halitosis, due to fumes expelled by tourist buses, trucks delivering Dixie beer, and, on Decatur Street, a mass-transit motor coach named Desire.” 

― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume


 

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s