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Vieux Carre Cray

A New Orleans Ballad

Photo by Thomas Charters on Unsplash

Sometimes late at night
I drive homewards through
the French Quarter.
Vast dirty puddles pooled
from the daily summer
rain. Random displaced shouts
and laughter. Fat tourists
from Alabama struggling to
walk in a coherent line.
Uneasy shadows pass and
disappear by the levee,
where the joys and sorrows
of broken souls fall into
the big river and turn to foam.
Scattered light of
counterintuitive colors
flash on the sidewalks
and the decrepit plaster of
old brick and termite wood.
The sounds of desperation and
folly, the smells of human secretion,
the unfathomable despair of fallen hopes
and the bliss of blind yearnings.

I create a feathered plume of
glinting water by accelerating
through another puddle,
headlights colliding with
red glare and bottle and cigarette butts
and vomit, and it seems like
everything is alive
with desire and tragedy and
everything is dead with
crystalline focus, and all I want
is to get home and yet
all hope of finding home has been
annihilated by knowledge and vision.
The night goes on as I pass through
the filth and the tumult of life happening
and leave the chaos of the Vieux Carre
in my rear view mirror.
The dissipation of poetry behind me
diminishes into a quiet hum
that sounds much like the
omniscient rumble of the next
coming downpour.

New Orleans, July 2021

~Steve Spehar



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Steve Spehar

Steve Spehar

Writer, photographer, actor, poet, musings on life, philosophy, travel, culture, art, politics & zen. Based in New Orleans, living in a garage by the river.