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"dry" - January 1999-
August 2005
i remember decatur street in august-
it was hot, then,
and dry-
we walked along through the quarter and into the marigny-

i remember rainfall in june
down on banks street-
it feels almost flippant to mention it now,
but the rain came down hard that day
and well into the night,
and we had nowhere to be
and too much to do
and our shoes got soaked,
right up until it was time
to get in the van
and drive away-

i remember decatur at night-
humid, dripping
with sweat-
walking the narrows
with an eye out for those
who make decatur their home-
the drunks staggering-
decatur judged them harshly
while we walked and smiled
(like we knew better)
just passing through town-
decatur just laughed-
the joke on us,
we were there too-
we were there-

where are the hustlers?
the ones i remember with hungry eyes,
looking for unfamiliar faces
and the outline of a fat wallet-
where are the hustlers today?
on buses, helicopters, trains-
on their way to texas?
wandering flooded streets,
floating trash cans full of bread?
preying on tourists-
praying on stars-
no more easy marks
between the bars-
where are the hustlers?

no shoes need shining tonight-
not a brass band distraction-
and where'd you get those shoes?
where'd you get those shoes?
you can have them-
at least they're dry.

donate to the red cross.

house a refugee.
5 defect from the Old ; create the New
kidradical From: kidradical Date: September 1st, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

where are the hustlers?

The SuperDome!!!!!
roobytoosday From: roobytoosday Date: September 2nd, 2005 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Well put, Dan. Well put.
withknivesout From: withknivesout Date: September 2nd, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dan, thanks for that link, i just offered my futon.
paperparasol From: paperparasol Date: September 7th, 2005 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
when did you work at starbucks?
ms_nomer From: ms_nomer Date: December 31st, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

those shoes

The week before Christmas in downtown LA, a black guy asked me for some change. I said, "No, sorry, man." He said, "What if I can tell you the day you were born? Wait--I'll tell you the day you were born, I'll tell you where you got your shoes."

"On my feet buddy, on my feet--I'm from New Orleans," I said. That's actually not true. I'm from a much smaller town near New Orleans. But you stil can't fool me with that one. He made me smile though and as soon as I'd left I wished I had given him all my change. Where else could be from, but New Orleans?

The next day, he or another man (I didn't get a good look that night) was singing and dancing on the corner. Again, it made me happy and sad to see this. Does the spirit of New Orleans live on in small doses on street corners across the country?

I don't see it being profitable in downtown LA--no tourists. If I see him again, I'll be sure to send him to Venice Beach.
5 defect from the Old ; create the New