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my katrina story: part 1

shoot forth thunder | cover

Skip this if you choose. It isn’t about motorbikes….

When I was contemplating leaving Bikernet to set out on my own, a friend told me that this site was about me, and that was what was unique about it. Even though my ego and arrogance are almost impossible to contain, I brushed off his statement as that of someone whom I’d flattered too many times. In retrospect I’ve discovered he was right. So tonight and tomorrow I will share a little bit of a city and an event that has shaped me like no other and maybe you will enjoy the tale. It starts with a story that was published in a little book by Reactor Press from San Francisco three years ago. The book is a series of shorts I’d written that summer on my 1929 Royal typewriter. shoot forth thunder begins with a prophetic piece I wrote in early July of 2005:

walking new orleans city streets talking sweaty, sticky smiles. she wants to do what is right, to be smart to be strong and still submissive.
this town may be angry like me, like jesus drunk with curse words, raging mad with the laughter of the loved and misunderstood and so what? how else would he be if he sat before me today?
i have *** and death with **** and hate. i have new orleans. i walk these histories and hear the church bells ring the time of his death. five steeples five crosses and the gold of their misplaced wealth reminds me, i have returned to the place of aristocratic a**holes, of french f***ing foo-foo, of jazz and voodoo, of death by drowning a monstrous wind of circles of repeating history of corruption and money changers in the temple of the coming flood of self-imagined fears of dreams gone bad. of resurrection.

she reminds me of this town when she asks me to teach her while she fights me with every step of hot, sweaty ***** dripping alcohol breath whispering inside jokes about **** *** before the trolley arrives to bang bang bang my growing tolerance to liquor. i have built a tolerance to most things as it seems a man must do to keep the painful memories managed or else a million innocents murdered for the rage of the truth of the subjugation by millionaire sadists hiding behind the cross created by men who jesus, drunk with curse words, would beat up to write the word HYPOCRITE upon their backs with the blood of their beating.

that their hearts might cease to pound the rhythm of the love of ***.

this town is like my love and like jesus, my friend crying on his cross. this town is like a hypocrite screaming “DO AS I SAY!”

she seeks to find the better part because i understand her. i have dreamt better and she knows even as we both witness to the black parts of my soul. mad dog wisdom for the last cigarette of my vision from ***.

clear wings and blood.

jittering flies dying on the windowpanes of my newspaper hand.

she swoons before me thinking of tonight, tonight where i said “no, we will make it, don’t go,” when she appeared ready to weep for her fear and hurt of not wanting to go strip and grind and wish for me as i asked what can i do? she said so. i repeated her words and held her. smoking and drinking with my typewriter sweating words that should be inside her, falling wet onto her assbud, then upon the sheets that lay to rest upon our bed. we will eat tomorrow. we will laugh and love and love tomorrow waking with sunlight with dreams different from today.

tonight, we will spend everything. we will eat and drink and f**k on the futon cloud of our love. she will tell me as she did last week in the motel room of **** found in a drawer and heroin tools under the mattress. she will tell me things that here mere words cannot convey. here she touches me and her blue eyes speak everything as she says i should spank her when she purposely misunderstands or willfully demands from a heart of anger or cruelty. she seeks me sweating, sticky with smiles to be my little girl panting for serious wisdom, a gentle fact.

“you cannot use this when mad at me but you are the only person i have ever met that i believe is smarter than i am,” she once spoke to me standing tall, releasing her bra.

i could have bathed her in my seed right then. a hundred thousand million gallons right then. to witness her smile then, the answer to my angry prayers. she will then lay beside me and breathe to sleep her visionary dreams of the prophet she loves and is. my dream of one last drop, our dream, that it might enter her fighting for love and begin life anew.

that we might fight this world, this town, to see that love grow.

new orleans cries for the wisdom of *** to speak and touch it with blessings, not a flood.

she smiles when she returns sweaty and sticky from the market with my booze.

like jesus drunk with curse words we go out to root for the best dream, f***ing with **** and love and giving everything.

+ + +

our living room, captured by a cell phone camera, august 2005
our humble living room

The words of that summer were fueled by my home-made Bathtub-stirred Buttmunch Gargle Juice: MD 20/20 Orange Jubilee, Mountain Dew, a splash of orange juice, a dash of Tabasco, and lime smeared on the lip of the glass.

Five years ago at this moment I was hunkered down in our townhome on Annunciation street with the woman who inexplicably loved me, her ten year-old daughter, my woman’s girlfriend, and her dog. The wind was beginning to howl. Our landlady had come by with plyboard and screws earlier in the day and we spent a few hours affixing the wood to windows on our house, as well as two others attached to us that were currently vacant.

We did not have a car and flights had been booked for days as airlines canceled flights.  Resigned to stay, we researched online to discover that we were on high ground and hoped flood waters would not be so terrible as to be 25 feet high and drown us.

our kitchen, captured by a cell phone camera, august 2005
our kitchen

The two-story we lived in was clean and recently renovated with stainless appliances and modern cabinets, but was 160 years old and had a leaky roof. Over the summer it had been repaired twice, but we were not convinced that the last job would survive a thunderstorm, much less a Category 5 hurricane.

It turned out that our fears were not unfounded. At approximately 3 A.M. the wind and rain had taken off portions of our roof. Flying debris from the towering tree next to the house probably assisted in its demise. In our daughter’s room upstairs, the ceiling began to leak. We had two large Tupperware boxes that stored many of her dolls and toys. They were immediately emptied and set under the leak. Within minutes, water was pouring in as a bucket would fill, we’d replace it with another, and carry the 30-gallon container to the tub where we dumped it, ran back, took the new one which would already be filled, and repeat.

books and stairs
books and stairs

A new leak started in another corner of her room as a large chunks of drywall began falling to the floor from the first leak. After about forty minutes we gave up and turned our attention to moving everything out of the room and gathering everything important and finding corners of the house we hoped would not get wet. The ceiling above the living room was holding so we moved things there while taking the most important belongings and hiding them in the closet under the stairs.

Under her bedroom was the kitchen. It wasn’t long before the ceiling started to buckle and collapse under the weight of the water upstairs.

That sucked because it was only 5 A.M., the wind was buckling the house fiercely, and the girls were scared…

kitchen | october 2005

living room | october 2005

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