i got the antediluvian de-stroyed de-brised de-scouraged homeland insecurity blues

· Edgewise, Katrina, Paleoblogs

Sittin’ in a friend’s Uptown shotgun listening to Bobby Lounge bang the ivories singing “do not pass on by” while the dog sleeps and the mockingbirds sing on a softly humid Monday morning. The friends are workin’, a blessing in this post-Katrina, trauma-tized, water-marked, limpin’ and hurtin’ New Orleans. “We Back” says the spray paint on the door but there’s a “for sale” sign on the porch. Uptown gardens are bloomin’, the ginger blossoms spilling over picket fences and “fleur de lis” flags fly from the house eaves in a show of hope from those who got lucky and still have an eave. But the gardens are an island in a sea of debris. Drive the boulevards – Jeff Davis, Broad, Gentilly – and mile after mile of blank, empty, forlorn houses sit waiting for a decision: rebuild, remove, repair. Noboby knows what to do until after the (mayoral) election, after hurricane season, after FEMA payments end, after the levees are repaired, the flood maps re-drawn. Though they weren’t wiped off the grid like the Lower Ninth, neighborhood after neighborhood sits deserted, one house here or there cleared of debris, gutted, and boarded up to wait. A grey water line smears across the city’s houses, and abandoned cars, a line of fate, a binding tie, a fading trail of memory back to old New Orleans.
Lakeview americana