III. New Orleans

III. New Orleans

A Poem by Dana Alsamsam
"

From my series "World Vision" in which I address a poem to every destination I've visited.

"
Cafe Aulait and beignets seduce
Into a burnt orange date with Psychic Maria. 
The couple laughs as they exit 
Through bronze arches, forgetting
Their fortunes and joining the debauchery. 
They dance- steamy, fingers drawing
A swing rhythm on the small of each others backs. 
Kismet couples mistake Jazz Bar smoke
And crawfish for romance. I hope
For their sake they attach themselves
By the neck with Mardi Gras beads
Before they realize they're merely 
a painting labored over by a starving artist-
Image sold for far less than it's worth. 

Sweet, silvery saxaphones seep blues
and waltz with my synapses to keep me
On bourbon street forever. Create pockets
Of mental silence in the loudest town 
I've ever tasted. Spring break
Can only fit so much in its mouth. 
I pass a shirtless stripper. She goes home
At night and her fishnet stockings leave
A fragmented checkerboard on the inside
Of her thighs- a prettier sight
Than the bruises she carries like flowers, 
Pretending they were given to her by a lover. I realize
That romance blooms best, rose petal bruises, 
Between the cracks of a decrepit sidewalk. 

© 2013 Dana Alsamsam


My Review

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Featured Review

"mistake Jazz bar smoke and crawfish for romance"

nice lines..this poem really gives a feel of new orleans...i have not been there, but a significant other was there and other friends and they really gave me a feel of it.

you capture it.."a shirtless stripper" nice description of a flasher.

but what is really cool here is how you have the speaker pass through a gate into this other world..this escape from reality...this land of drink and play and crazy.

bluesy piece

jacob

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

as i'm under twenty one i didn't fully experience what most go to new orleans for. frankly, i had th.. read more
jacob erin-cilberto

7 Years Ago

geez, Dana...your writing reflects years of insight beyond your age.
Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

that's such an incredible compliment. thank you.



Reviews

I love this one Dana, been to N'awlins half a dozen times, it's lovely and chaotic as the magical place itself...didn't expect that ending, but it's all a part of the flavor. Muchly enjoyed!

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

glad you liked it! especially coming from someone who has been there this means a lot :)
Frieda P

7 Years Ago

My pleasure Dana, now I"m dying for a beignet & some chicory coffee!!
Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

mmmmm so good i could go for those as well.
I love this write, it reminds me of Fat Tuesday and my sister, some great lines up in here...especially lines 5-6 that describe the stripper, nicely metaphor- ed, brilliant in spots IMHO

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

thank you so much! i'm glad it was able to bring personal experiences to mind
Very vivid, and enticing even if it has a seedy feel to some of it. I'm Acadian by birth and have long lost ties with the Cajuns of Louisianna and other eastern and southern States, so I have always wanted to walk down Bourbon St. Beads, or no beads I felt revelry and heard the improvisation flowing like Davis and Parker deep in the heroine sweat soaked pocket. Should I never make it there, I will always feel that I have because of your pen.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

wow coming from someone whose origins are there this is even more of an incredible compliment! i rea.. read more
Astro

7 Years Ago

You're welcome, me too!
A jaw-dropping juxtaposition of pain and pleasure...I tell myself I'd love to visit and just take it all in as an innocent bystander (like I do with life in general) but I wonder if I'm fooling myself...there is no fooling involved in the adoration I have for this piece though...it just brings the senses to life with an intensity that I can't overstate...incredible work Dana, maybe your best :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


kublakhan27

7 Years Ago

You're most welcome :) You could have fooled me on the age thing with the weight of your poetic voic.. read more
Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

that is such a lovely compliment! thank you so much. and no worries- i think many of the best poets .. read more
kublakhan27

7 Years Ago

Always a pleasure :) I agree wholeheartedly, though it does get a bit boring at times even for a poe.. read more
Dana this simply blew me away! This is such a well constructed portrait it should be hung in the Tate Modern!

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

oh wow thank you so much for your incredibly kind words!!
Archangel Gabriel

7 Years Ago

No you are an excellent poetess!
noisy, wonderfully vivid, tangental, off beat, and slightly given to introspection....this piece fits NOLA well....your pieces always seem to hold something i've seen before in a different colored light.

Content aside, I did find the capitalization of every line to be somewhat distracting....not so much so that it negates the quality of your work, but I never quite understand the point of capitalizing each line when writing in free verse....I realize that's a matter of personal preference, but thought I'd mention it as something for you to consider.

CM

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

i've always just thought capitalization at the start of each line was proper grammar, but yes defini.. read more
I read this poem a few times because the images were so delicious! Really strong write, I had favorite parts in both stanzas, thoroughly impressed by this piece here! Keep it up!

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

thank you so much for your kind words!
K. Louis

7 Years Ago

well deserved! :)
The atmosphere and setting are perfectly captured as well as the mood.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Wow, this piece is a tangible treasure indeed. I love the imagery, and to imagine walking those streets and seeing those sights makes my cheeks flush with longing. There is a bit of escapism here; a nod to the surreal world that exists within every reality. Wonderfully written...wording and phrasing is wonderful.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

thank you so much! i would one hundred percent recommend it as a travel destination. the culture is .. read more
Girl Friday (Sarah W.)

7 Years Ago

Oh, and I would so love to go!
If I haven't said this before, I think this series is a great idea. With that said, there are so many lines here that I love. I'll agree with Jacob that you really captured what this city is like. Now I have never been there, but some of my AmeriCorps friends when there last year and came back with stories like this.

Now for the things that really spoke to me in such a profound way:

they're a painting
In a starving art fair. Image sold
For far less than it's worth.

Spring break
Can only fit so much in its mouth.

Than the bruises she carries like flowers,
Pretending they were given to her by a lover.

I thought all of those were brilliant and very well executed lines. All of them provide great visuals, social commentaries, and emotional complexity.

Keep it up!



Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dana Alsamsam

7 Years Ago

thank you so incredibly much! new orleans really is a lot to fit in your mouth...or in a poem. i tri.. read more
Clockwork

7 Years Ago

You're welcome :-)

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Added on July 2, 2013
Last Updated on September 17, 2013
Tags: new orleans, travel, romance, couple, stripper, jazz, blues, bar

Author

Dana Alsamsam
Dana Alsamsam

Chicago, IL



About
"my brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness." i dance, write and play violin. i'm studying english and training in dance in chicago. i like spooky things, red lipstick, caffeine, punk/indi.. more..

Writing
mother mother

A Poem by Dana Alsamsam



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