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spacer.gif   Chuck Perkins
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 09:21 AM
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Poetry:  Click On The Author's Name New Orleans

If your American dream is painted on a canvas
Neatly folded in the corner of Andy Warhol's mind
New Orleans is a hurricane beating down your coast
If you close your eyes
And feel the easy ride
Of the St. Charles Street Car
Where a solo tuba
Blows the scent of magnolia
Down narrow streets
and everyone plays possum with the heat
and no one's too big or too small
to paint their tongue with a snowball
where former slaves pay homage to the first Americans
by masking in suits of rhine stones and bright colored feathers
that transform security guards into Indian Chiefs
doing rain dances on Congo Square
where the drums drum
and the wine drink
and the big chief sing
somebody give me a quarter
cause pretty big chief want some water
if you can envision the souls of yesterday
living in the music
that rises from the cracks in the sidewalks
New Orleans is your dream
With a heart as soft
As the spanish moss
Dripping from centuries old oak tress
She's a pretty face with dirty feet
The good witch of lake Ponchartrain
The spice god of shrimp and crawfish
Keeping the spirits fed
Communities of windowless monuments
Masquerading as cemeteries
Tower above ground
No earth or worms to cover the flesh
No silver bullets to turn out the spirits
That still dance with her
Spin your umbrella
And wave your bandanna
It's Mardi Gras time
And everybody's happy
Armed with a blue print of civilization
The new world stormed in
With enough asphalt and cement
To pave a boulevard back to Paris

the spirit of the swamp still hasn't submitted
Leaving mildewed kisses of disapproval
On every thing foreign to the wet lands

Catholicism could not turn out the spirit of Marie Laveau
The wrecking ball could not turn out the spirit of Storyville
And death could not turn out the spirit of Louie Armstrong
When yesterday hangs on to forever
Tradition is a temple.


Jack

even though he lived in a shack
it's a fact that Jack
nearly broke his back
working like a dog to buy a diamond
he slid it on to his finger
as if he was sliding royalty on to his name
acted like a super hero
with a new gizmo
that would make him ten times stronger
and ten times smarter
ten times faster
and ten times harder
but his was a none functional stone
that really only looked pretty
even though he lived in a shack
it's a fact that Jack
did not value the mysteries that gave birth to the diamond
he only valued the petty sensation of having what others wanted
and even though he lived in a shack
it's a fact that a blind man asked Jack
If his diamond was as pretty as a sun set
Jack boasted about the sparkle in his ring
that danced on the sky
like a white bouquet of half drawn rainbow's
and than he dead paned
who cares about a sleeping sun
even though he lives in a shack
it's a fact that if the men who control the access of those stones
could figure out a way to block out the sky
and sell sun sets by the ounce
that men like Jack
who have never notice the daily miracle of the gods
slipping below the horizon
will break there backs
to buy sun sets in fancy packages
and in the end
when all is said and done
the sun
will still mean nothing to them.


Do You

It is difficult to imagine life beyond the grave
When your heart is a poor man's memorial
Bearing the names of over fifty men
You useta slap hands with
Is everyday beyond the age of 25
An unearned bonus
Are ya in awe of the child
you thought you'd never live to have
do ya wish for your kid
to be as lucky as you
Are ya scared
So hurt
Ya laugh when ya should be outraged
Do ya daydream about a piece of metal
penetrating your scald
does the phone ringing in the middle of the night
momentarily stop the world
does your I'm going to live
by my own means mentality
taunt your fatalistic prophecy
when they piss you off
would ya curse a muthafucker
call'em an asshole to his face
instead of his back
piss on their rotten pecan decency
showing up like firm handshakes
with soft intentions
do ya wish that the killing would stop
but can think of no good reason
for some people to live
do ya throw fist over conflicts
that a mature tenth grader could solve with words
do they think you were raised in a cave
if ya could
would ya never go to sleep
while the rest of the world is being cool
are ya bouncing off the ceilings
do little kids quietly suspect
that you are a little kid
do ya feel like a set of brass knuckles
bagged with a jelly donut
are ya anxious
do ya try and remember
how every picture is placed on every wall
do ya savor the taste of every bowl of pasta
are ya always the last one to leave the party
do ya like to do it slow with your women
when you've been drinking all night
do ya drink too much
does music scented
beer slanted nights
temporarily pull the curtains
on the memorial inside your chest
do ya wish that your heart
was just a heart.

 
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