The Jivin' Ladybug

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Jared Demick

Katrina

 

I five years too late dredge these words from my deaf brain, mummified in Amerwrecka, a specter spectating. Yet the broken levees won’t leave us and let us believe that Amerwrecka isn’t AWOL. In our darkening language will/could we wear the wound? Woo the woe of the situation?

 

***

 

Katrina, she don’t know what she wants

all she knows is that she wants

I said Katrina don’t know what she wants

all she knows is that she wants

my footsteps are always hounded

by that always-hungry haunt

 

***

 

Crowds abandoned in that psychlone, left to face Katrina, ‘65 Betsy’s wicked stepchild. Mayor Nagin nags on TV with his emergency warrings: Leave the city even if you don’t have a car! No escape from the wind-roar & water-rise. Dark skies klaxonklang OMMM-inous. The omen of us.

 

***

 

A blues-blown proverb: If it keeps on raining, the levees are gonna break. . .

 

But Delta-shucked wisdom never said anything about levees never finished. 40 years & the Army didn’t engineer a complete levee. So the levees broke: a thunder struck large & dug deep, the shatterdrum come in hectic hallelujah plague rush & the waters heave the torn tears of the city’s past suffruriations returning & turning & turning & churning.

 

Mississippi ghosts with a moantone, “Don’t drink that muddy water!” that brackish bric-a-brac that dogs don’t dare drink. Days die from heat & still the stillwaters sludge. The waters go nowhere, sprout roots & call Norleans Home.

 

***

 

don’t drink that muddy water

the waters have reached attic-high

don’t drink that muddy water

yet help keeps on passing me by

don’t drink that muddy water

corpses float like in the Ganges River

don’t drink that muddy water

how in all this heat can I shiver?

don’t drink that muddy water

how long onto life can I keep?

don’t drink that muddy water

the river silt’ll drag you deep

 

***

 

Helicopters hacked the above air, while camera-crews stole people’s dreadening stares. Unpaid replayed image-poems taken from trapped bodies. We ate those suffer-scenes just like we traded lynching postcards 100 years before, the collection of souvenirs masked as documentation.

 

***

 

Vigilante venom descends on two black boys walking the streets. Hit wit ratichic shit-out shot hot with hate. Drop your weapons, your heart-halting grave-senders with their goosestepping gestap-op-op-op-op-pop flares! Stone silence sent, honing in & hugging tight to our humid flesh-hum.

 

***

 

Folks were freighted by the wind, but they were frighted by a braying nation, a group lost in 911 & Eyewrack.

 

A soggy housegrave’s graffitied epitaph testily testifies:

 

Fix

Eeverthing

My

Ass

 

5 years later, 1,000 people still stuck in those flimsy FEMA trailers that sway even in a midget moquito-wing wind while biz-czars landgrab the lower 9th Ward, the geo-orphan Norleans has tossed out.

 

***

 

But ghosts still stay, they hang in the air thicker than humidity.

 

Early photographers voyeured into a city’s loin-spirits & caught Storyville whores’ glim-orbs kerosening through their sepia-soaked shots, daring the camera to become a gun.

 

Little Louis’ cornet which didn’t trance-end the gut-bucket, it made the gut-bucket trance-ended, making us own what we call refuse & refuse to nail into memory. The laughing suffer-horns hawk antidote musick more true than could come from the horn of plenty. They bleat & bleed:

 

the world ain’t right!

but still I breathe!

the world is so-not-right!

but I still manage to breathe!

I’m too stupid to die

ain’t nobody but God gonna make me leave!

 

***

 

These historickity & fractual truths bite me broken. We, the crudible witnesses need to testify. The words need to arrive in a ser/pent-up light, excess of shine, eye aches rolled in by revelations, bodies wracked in the writhems of our truth-trawling voices, preaching piking speeches, pulling down & annilihating our Mannafest Destiny, that Maniac Feast that festers in this whirl & hurl world.

 

 

 

Lost

 

it's lovely how the

      still, sad music

   of your breath

             still shatters me

  fuzzy Orangina dreams

    rifles rustle under dorm bedsheets

  we were hard voices

   harlequin lightning           urine moon,

   your mother lost in a nameless wind

     this narrative            our birth certificate

  last meeting's window view: slippery shower sex      then

                goodbye

 

blue dog moon moan           haze ricochets

            off our mamboing secrecies

   I'll put my ears on your chest holes

        and swallow the dribbling ghost snow

    but your coffin wine I'll not taste

           I'll remain awake forever

       to be sure that your death hasn't killed me

under insomniac streetlight:

           me: "why the hurry?"

           you: "didn't I tell you I'm Russian?"

 

 

Short-Changed Poems

 

I came promising light-years

but the instants bloomed falsetto fire

I am endless

       a story without a tongue

 

     *

 

some nights

   I sexually harass myself

 

 

 

If I should rain tonight*

                      for Angela

 

If I should rain tonight,

     I would splatter you

   1,000 times

giddy w/ an excuse

     to keep on touching you.

 

 

 

MOTHERSHATTERBLUES

 

 

MOTHER,

BLUES  WRITHE

      W/  SPELUNKIN’  WRITHEM

MOTHERBLUES  MOTHERBLUES  MOTHERSHATTERBLUES

          HEART  DROP  COFFIN  DEEP

    SNAKIN’  SNEAKIN’  TEARS  TEAR

 MOTHER’S  SON’S

                   BULLET  BASHED  BODY

  MOTHER’S  ASHFRAME  COMETS  COFFIN

        GNATTY  HAIR,  TORN  TISSUEPAPER  HANDS

SON’S  BULLET  HOLES  ARE  YAWNING  BABY  MOUTHS

  HIS  DEAD  TONGUE,  ANOTHER  BELL  UNTOLLED

                   ANTS  SIFT  IN  THIS  LIFE  UNTOLD

 HER  ASH  SWIRLED  EYES  HOLDEE  NO  LIES

          DAY’S  ANT  INSTANTS  SEWN  INTO  BLUESHOUTS

                   BLUESHOUTSHROUDS

  PEELING  INTO

          MIFFLED  MOTHS  MOONMISTING  MORGUE  MOUTHS

SON,

   LET  YOUR  SKULL  TEACH  US  THE  GRIN

                   WE  CAN’T  HOLD,

    SMILES  UNSEWN

          BY  SATURDAY  NIGHT’S  SHATTERED  BONES

SPOOKS  SPOKE,  STILL  SPEAK  FROM  WHISKEY  STILLS

          SPOOKSPOKES

                WHEELING  BY

                             MY  THUMPIN’  EYE

   WHEELING,

             WHEELING  AND  DEALING

      WHEADILING  AND  SQUEELING

                   E-E-E-E-E-E-E

            RATRABID  TRUMPETS

FARTIN’  MARTIAN  CODE

          JIVEASS  SOLOS  CINDER  INTO  NIGHT

                   VODKA  BOTTLE  AND  GRANDMA’S  TORN  DRESS

          VIOLIN  SADISTS  KRUNCHAMUNCHA  NOTES

    SHEBAGGLING  INSTANTS

                INTO

         STONEPSYCHIC  GROTTOS

               GAGGING  ON  DEE  GAGASHITICACA

      AGE  OF  ROBOT  HEROES

                   SPIDERWEB  FREEWAYS  FRICTION  BLISTERED  HEARTS

                 THE  GROTTO  CHILD  BRINGS  ME

             ASHED  BLUES

NIGHTINGALES  SHITCAKED  IN  NIGHTGALES

       LONELY  LOSS  LOZENGES

      BLUESGALES

                   BLUESGALES

          POURING  OUT

                      MOTHER’S  BREASTS

 

Billie Holiday

 

     under that heroin moon

 

              oh i hear her sing,

 

      that headhung insomniac singing

                 to her brain

            to believe the words

              her lover bomped her with.

 

                           don't leave me baby, please baby!

                              the blues are a child of God's icy smile

                                      and

                               this empty whiskey bottle

                                       only brings echoes .

                                                                        .

                                                                   .

                                                                        .

                     with donedead nail screeches

                          and

                glittering shadow vibratos

                              she sings

 

     night is just day's hangover

           and

                  death

   well death is just open arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

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The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
 
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