For Mardi Gras

Thinking of New Orleans & the first Mardi Gras after Katrina, and of the friends in Nola. Here are two poems by Dave Brinks, New Orleans poet, organizer of the 17 poets reading series at his Gold Mine Saloon at the corner of Dauphine and St. Peter in the French Quarter, and editor of Yawp magazine. Dave Brinks is in fact an all-around-gold-mine-by-himself. The poems are from his caveat onus series — one of the very best poem-sequences in elaboration right now in these States.

the caveat onus ::: fifty-eight

I’m floating on a stardust channel
behind an eye
that starts from the sublime
then moves in the opposite direction
like the zombie I’ve become
these recent months
in a city whose latest folie de grandeur
is a blunderfuck called disaster
where the mind never stops seeing double
and the coffin flies keep landing on my sandwich
I need a new address for the things in my head
a rare mountain somewhere inside a japanese painting
because what I know no longer seems real

the caveat onus ::: sixty-one
for Mina

before the water fell
nothing kept us from a good time
it was as simple as digging up
worms in the backyard
trains going by near the playground
were big jaw-droppers
the ice cream truck adored us
“the after dinner moonlight wagon ride”
was our most recent ritual
hopgrassers smushrooms and puppy dog shoes
were newly minted vocabularies then
now the water keeps falling
it never stops

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2 Responses

  1. John Sakkis says:

    oh good. i met dave’s wife last summer at naropa’s SWP and had wondered if they had gotten out alright…

  2. Pierre says:

    yeah, they are both fine, as is their place in the Quarter (though their house is heavely damaged) — & Megan just gave birth to their second child. My son, Miles (13), made a couple lovely videos based on images of Nola we took when there and a poem each by Dave and Megan, he was so impressed by them. They are there, safe — & yet, you can feel, touch, sense, hear, taste the trauma of katrina — and even more so of the aftermath & irresponsibility of the powers that be that add so much to the intial disaster.

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