Friday, February 27, 2009

Black History, Fat Tuesday & Chicken Bones

I missed on posting something just for Mardi Gras. Still grieving the death of a legendary city. Her songs will come. And the Queen City will also share other songs lamenting fallen cities. Baudelaire's Swan comes to mind (deposed African queen, exiled, bedraggled, wandering the streets: je pense à vous) despite its parched environment. He understood the city without ever having been there.

Until then, this is for her ... for end days of Black History Month (that she is so much a part of) and to introduce readers to Chicken Bones
New Orleans poet, 1900-1976, Marcus B. Christian's Whitmanesque poem catalogs and celebrates the city's complexities and the role of African-Americans in its long history.

New Orleans sunflower growing out of post-Katrina toxic muck

More NOLA images (2005-2009), photos by Eric Paul, Metairie LA

A Survivor's Poem (excerpt)
Give me a drink. I have been
bound here for three days
watching the wretched water
have its way
destroying and terrorizing
anything in its path
and here I stand thirsty
in the Aftermath
Stand . . . I stand when waves
of death surround me
when treacherous floods
attempt to swallow me
I look to the left there is water
I look to the right there is water
I look for my children there is water
I look for my home
and all I see is water
But I’m here
and I’m looking for water
not the kind I can drink
and be thirsty again
but something that will become
in me a fountain
of water springing up
By Denay Fields, posted 11 September 2005

Chicken Bones: A Journal for Literary and Artistic African-American. More poetry in Literary New Orleans: Poems, Essays, Reports, etc, from those outside or those in the Big Easy.

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