Sunday, January 5, 2014

Little Currents along the Mississippi

There are so many small and seemingly insignificant events that occur in New Orleans that might never happen elsewhere.

Take, for example, an "Oxford American" party held at the Saturn Bar. These annual events that celebrate local contributors to the Southern literary magazine used to be held on the rooftop patio of the esteemed Ogden Museum, but I can only guess management felt they needed to come down to the people. Bywater is full of real and artsy people.

As usual, I was delayed due to a deadline, so the free magazines and CDs had already disappeared. A few folks lingered about and a small musical ensemble played in the dark and dusty back room. A real dive, Saturn Bar clearly was not a recipient of FEMA assistance. Its interior has remained untouched for decades.

I got a beer and leaned against the wall to listen. Little Current is a modest group with two guitars and an unassuming front singer who wore glasses and a cardigan sweater while sitting on a stool. With a sing-a-long format, I decided to join in with the help of distributed sheet music.

Another woman and I moved to the center of the room under the broken chandelier and began harmonizing. One of the group's original songs was entitled, "I'm not your groceries" - sentiments which can be appreciated in this part of the world.

Finally, we sang "The Wonder Show," an original composition.

Herein lies a tale so true, but not for the truthful tellin'
You've heard these words and lines before but these here are deep dwellin'
There's patience longing and compassion hidden 'tween these sheets
Youthful wares and good fortune is not what I be sellin.

So bring forth your guns, your weaponry, your armor and your crossbows
There's all roads home for those who choose to stay and be real careful.
But arm yourself nonetheless for future fun-or-ama
And take good care to always share your warm baked bread with mama.

No more details will I give you 'cept for those certain erotic.
A chance encounter taken fast has motives pure chaotic.
Want so much to have the time to share so undisputed.
Assume the worstest for the last to survive surely melodic.

A mirror image of a word, once said is not forgetful.
Embrace the mess of togetherness and not the least regretful.
Tastes of visions had once real, are not the same as is bleak.
Some said signs of spring have come and herein lies the youthful.

I later spoke to the singer who asked a bunch of questions about Holy Cross. I told her we were the up-in-coming neighborhood.  A month later, she came to a local meeting and a month after that, she and her family bought a house! That's how things happen in a small community where you meet somebody in a bar even though or because you arrived late.

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