December 1996

Root Page of Article: Going Into the Woods, by Christine Boese

Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo, Bourbon St., New

Be Easy

Wear it like a loose shirt, maybe silk,
maybe stuck to some sweat
in the middle of your back.

It is easy to be here after the long drive
above Lake Ponchartrain. Everything hangs low
but the graves, vaulted cities.

Seamless August nights on Bourbon Street
are for tourists. If this were Disney
they'd charge thirty bucks to get in.
But it isn't, and you are one, so go on.
Stay drunk and you won't notice
the money leaving your wallet.

Fall in love with a Jimmy Buffet-singing surfer
with cascading blond hair and amazing longevity.
Fuck away the afternoons at Le Richeleau.
Leave your hair loose and long like his and
wear miniskirts, with little bells around your ankles.

Love the blues.

Or discover Bloody Mary oblivion
and 7 p.m. technopop with dry ice fog.
Haunt a Blackjack machine now because
later you will sing Otis Redding's hits
to an empty Karioke bar.

Leave the sad sex show with overweight strippers
for the fake orgasm contest down the street.

Better yet, be the blond existentialist surfer
with amazing longevity. Run three miles
through your hangover in the steaming noon.
Cool off in a flourescent parrothead bar
with a flourescent green drink.

Find a psychic in the French Market
who will take a beignet to tell how
your past life was royal, how you should
write historical novels at sea and
watch what you eat.

Or be the chef and owner of a hidden restaurant
on Chartres. Cook with your soul
and on a slow Sunday, stand in the street
to call in customers. And when they come
to your empty tables and exposed structural brick
serve up New Orleans tableside
and light it on fire.

By Christine Boese © 1993, Santa Clara Review, reprinted with permission.

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