25 October 2009

That August Night in New Orleans

Mind met up
with Soul
of Tchoupitoulas & Canal.
She undressed
him on the ferry
to Algiers.
Other passengers
they didn’t say
a word
against that
pale naked Mind
(It was New Orleans, remember?)
just standing
by the deck rail
in the rain
stunned but
glad to have
figured it out
at last.

New Orleans, it's one of those magical cities where you know just about anything can happen. My favorite time to be there is August, when most of the sensible tourists stay away from the 100 degree heat, monsoon downpours, and steam-bath humidity. Something about the town, especially then, peels me down to what's essential; especially when each breath is saturated with moisture, the aromas of fabulous food, and the muddy-wet smell of the Mississippi as it curves around the French Quarter.

I wrote this poem (yup, it's one of mine!) upon returning to Tennessee, my mind still soaked in a funky residue after spending a few days in New Orleans. The piece comes from a waking dream of sorts, one in which it's easy to imagine the feminine Soul getting the masculine Mind to let go and just be. Lately, my mind has been racing into fast forward or short circuiting in the past, so looking at this poem reminds my Mind to hush now, be still, let Soul strip us down.