I See George W. Presidential Motorcade and other works by Chris Sullivan
Chris Sullivan is a New Orleans poet and photographer. His amazing photoworks project in the two years following of Hurricane Katrina, Underperforming Billboard Dreams, can be viewed at www.scribd.com/doc/507542/Underperforming-Billboard-Dreams-in-New-OrleansHorizontal#document_metadata. His poetry and photography will be featured in the forthcoming issue of YAWP: a Journal of Poetry & Art.
I See George W. Presidential Motorcade
What street is named after earth, take a right cross bering straight okay land bridge scatter - most will choose patriarchal brawn, knives, and human sacrifice; a contented few end up making boats, stringing beads, and naming places Malibu. One day a Spaniard circumnavigates the globe and consequently (aka 472 genocides later) I grow up safe and sound in a so-cal tract-home. THIRTY-TWO YEARS LATER there is an absentee millionaire property owner in Kenner I am presently in the employ of, I only know he loathes repairing his buildings, but sometimes it must be done. Who knows what shade of red and green the interiors of the vacant apartments were painted, but the spectrographic analyzer at sherwin williams on Decatur? I bring a few chips scraped off these walls to, now: its about a year since 43 said heckuva job Brownie and Decatur street is empty; dismounted motorcycle police at every intersection. My van, known as Storm-windows, is parked on this street. I'm very tempted to start her up and on my way - but, I go ask the cop, who's a tough barking 6 foot 5 type of guy - which way can I go? He says nowhere, this is the route of the president of the united states and this street is Locked Down. I said well what if you were looking that way and I made a quick U - turn down that alley? Route of the President of the United States he says, end of conversation. I'm looking at him, Dealey Plaza never crossing my mind - but sandra day o connor coup d etat, of Junior n Jeb smuggling plane loads of coke - to Miami, and did you vote for this fix is on worst president since jefferson davis - these thoughts did, I just don't get it. I shouldn't have asked. I walk back to the van. I wait. Then it comes - 40 mph black grey shiny, 26 vehicles in the conveyance of this - President of the United States - followed by two dozen more local law enforcement vehicles. And I honestly, hopelessly, hate them all. Right across the street is the Canal Place Cinema where I saw the Al Gore Movie. Three minutes later the scary cop is history and Decatur is back to its usual.
We could go to Spain
Music, or Architect, between Congress past the free giveaway place or the Colored Soldiers commemorative plaque (around back) of the Arc de Triumph thing at Burgundy and Pauline admiring how natural it seems for structures here to preen. We'll notice, compare, conjecture and contrast foilages, cats, shadows, rust, heaving sidewalk, rickety steps, slabs of cypress, old building methods, exultant ornamentalities, if Bukowski was unprimed plyboard gone to seed: and the greatest tall peaked narrow building this country has ever known creole shotgun paint peeled by Sol, a sad precipitous low porch, how columns announce nobler than we, a yard sale at the intersection where the supreme court punked out in 1896, Verses Ferguson, and all I really want to do is New Orleans 9th Ward Architectural Walk w/you.
50,000 Things I Can Do Save(d) the E A R T H
write 49,989 letters home via serious, serial lyrical refrigerator photo collage
like a puzzle closing on U north of the golden mean
I think a sane person delights, and his freezer door anoints
an exchange vivid as the mustard yellow jersey I wore to Disneyland '67
recorded on Polaroid by Dorothy to relieve my fathers hands from shutter clicking
to camp shepherd like on our shoulders, the same hue of the wall grounding you
in Algiers, all olive and black, always a veil, a line, alight, a laugh
just past launching a string of golden beads
alongside a blue bottomed blood orange and yellow float-boat
if I did not keep them from falling my shutter surely did
catch and bottle your ready hey lets! effervesce-ing self
Sheetrockists Statement: 15 Bucks an Hour Is Bullshit and You Know It
Franny's collecting recordings - Warren Zevon Lives' - in his last year he enjoyed every sandwich. I tell homegirl it is not called my Boss for I have no such thing - just a man I work for. Wallboard is not what made this country great. Plaster - lath was a wall. Now I hear Maggies Farm as a clarion call to entrepreneurial arms. Take time to unfold the paper flaps on the insulation batt and staple those to the studs to get maximum R value, overlap the next. This is important! I tell the man I work for, who just wants to stuff it in the bays with a cursory staple or two to keep the fiberglass from slumping; conservation of BTU's is a moral imperative. It will keep our clients cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter; and just maybe, fewer tragic invasions of foreign soils. Measure, score, snap and screw, just a dimple the paper to keep the mud-man, who by nature is puny minded and foul, keep the mud-man happy. Goop-spreading is not my forte - what did you use, a fork? The limited poetic of the workin man - a beer to stunt my throat. It is sad. Eagle flies on Tuesday at about 10:30. A.M. I think Lulu likes me. Application of uniform irregularity "Texture" coat - just like flinging mud on the wall. Hanging consolation in these empty rooms, incipience soon to be called home hurry home early hurry on home boomboom mancini's fightin bobby chacon. The Sheetrockists type of music is Classic Rock, which I do not think should inherit the earth, but it has, and I despair. Good work posture is all - straight on, weight into the drill. My willingness to, rather than reach, go up and down and back up the ladder to maintain this "good work posture" - I am not a naturally gifted tradesman - this has made me the Sheetrockist I am today. Archimedes I think overnover Archimedes. Finish this job go onto the next. Up on the wander my mind ladders. When I was 21? One sip of a time. I did not have a "girl" she was a young woman. No soy nada. I think about her sheer life force. This should be the prime earning phase of my life ha ha sinking the inch and a quarter "grabber" every 12 inches. Or so. A residential wall and ceiling from start to finish - is a nice product. 47.5 hours this week. Hot cajun sausage sandwiches - PoBoy - from Gretna on Friday the man I work for buys. Are very good. Would I work on Saturday. I can buy my own sandwiches I do not say. I squint. Double? Buys enough petrol to go 2000 miles. In this great country buy comparison, until the moment I am found incapable of even these willing nesses, not to be confused with skills - oh, the sanguine ice cream on top moment arrives at the end when above all, my conviction of inadequacy and 24/7/365/80 exhibition of humilities - is pardoned. A great country is bullshit and you know it.
Underperforming Billboard Dreams
My project Underperforming Billboard Dreams in New Orleans consists of 110 color photographs, most of them manipulated to imagine the billboard as memorial conscience and civic witness in Levees Broke New Orleans. I've admired the marketing effort in response to immediate needs, that put paint to cardboard or moldy plywood, spelled the service or thing offered, a phone number or arrow, then fixed to high visibility post or fence. Collected "Now Open" signs; favored small businesses crucial to the recovery; identities from the legions of operations forever closed; offered models for renewal, such as the conversion of KFC Restaurants or Gas Stations to Doctors Office and Pharmacy; and observed, collecting stories sure to vanish from an extraordinary time and place. Chris Sullivan New Orleans 2005-7.