“New Orleans” – Poetry by Violet Mclean

Storyville Photograph - E.J. Bellocq, circa 1915
Storyville Photograph – E.J. Bellocq, circa 1915

For our Fall 2015 issue, Violet Mclean contributed “New Orleans,” a gorgeous & stirring poem about our most favorite city.

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HE MAKES BLOODY MARYS IN SECRET because he is shy of anything too Louisiana. He flattened out his vowels and straightened up his consonants before I knew him.

There is a home of his I know – But then he says: Home is not heavy voices, air, lived in houses elevated from time and water. Home is not a magnolia blossom.

 Did you know the word “jazz” comes from bordello girls in the French Quarter with their jasmine perfume?

Yes, we are all familiar with Ken Burns’ work.

 May I ask this?

If I boarded the Mississippi in Minnesota and floated down her back, toes running the spine of the continent, would I know then? Would my arrival come in the morning with mundane Bloody Marys and walks down an ordinary street? Could we make small talk near Dauphine and Desire? Laugh over newspapers and sunglasses heralding the beginning of something old, a picture.


A dream

Listing on a wall where we can see the form rise.

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FullSizeRenderVIOLET MCLEAN is an essayist and poet living in Northern California. Her work has been featured online at The Toast, What Weekly, the Human Parts collection on Medium, and in the journal Prose & Lore. She tweets up a storm @oh_my_vi

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