Sunday, March 24, 2019

Heath Brougher writes

If I Could Hop Trains
       (for Fin Sorrell)

I wish I could hop trains
across the country with my friends
but, unfortunately, my brain cyst,
this stone atop my head,
causes me to visit my doctor once a month. 

If not, I would be out there with them,
living the dream of truest freedom, jumping
from train to southern train during the winter
in order to escape the cold of New York
as we would hop train after train until
we finally got to Nola, the train hopper's paradise.

There, we would be warm and romp around
in an ecstatic state of Kerouacian bliss.

Image result for new orleans french quarter paintings
French Quarter Festival in the Streets of New Orleans -- Connie Kittok

1 comment:

  1. Fin Sorell (a regular contributor to this blog) finds his home (as he says) in many different places such as New York, Louissiana, Florida, and Washington. He started Manniquen Haus in New Orleans as an online literary arts journal in 2016 and has expanded it to an all-video issue and print issues as well. "Nola" is New Orleans, Louisiana, regarded as the most exotic big city in the US because of its continuing Franco-centered presence, its distinctive music tradition as the birthplace of jazz, its Creole cuisine, and celebrations (especially Mardi Gras). It was settled in 1718 and until it was annexed to the US in 1803 was the territorial capital of La Louisiane, an extensive administrative district of Nouvelle-France that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico to the Appalachian mountains to the Rocky mountains. “Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who paraded on official days and broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime” -- a typically Kerouacian statement by the author of "On the Road" (1957). Jack Kerouac recalled his 1st visit to the city, which "burned in our brains" as he rode south with Neal Cassady (called "Dean" in the novel): “There was a mystic wraith of fog over the brown waters that night, together with dark driftwoods; and across the way New Orleans glowed orange-bright, with a few dark ships at her hem, ghostly fogbound Cerano ships with Spanish balconies and ornamental poops, till you got up close and saw they were just old freighters.” William S. Burroughs told him the city was "a very dull town" and the bars "insuffrably dreary" but Jack thought otherwise. “‘Oh, smell the people!’ yelled Dean with his face out the window, sniffing. ‘Ah! God! Life!’ He swung around a trolley. ‘Yes!’ He darted the car and looked in every direction for girls. ‘Look at her!’ The air was so sweet in New Orleans it seemed to come in soft bandannas; and you could smell the river and really smell the people, and mud, and molasses, and every kind of tropical exhalation with your nose suddenly removed from the dry ices of a Northern winter.” A radio program on WJBW further fueled his imagination (and prose): “It was the Chicken Jazz’n Gumbo disc-jockey show from New Orleans, all mad jazz records, colored records, with the disc jockey saying, ‘Don’t worry ’bout nothing.'”


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