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  • The heat beat down. The solace was inside the shadows. I walked like dog fur, panting. The Quarter was deserted, the shadows were walking, it was a ghost heat. Last night's jasmine riot still lingered on the rooftops.

    Then the enchainment came.

    My eyes locked on to the giant palm shadow, the pale inviting old paint custom pink shade, the reduction to form, shape. A door, a chain, a wall, a knife shadow. August in New Orleans. The abstract scene told me a realistic truth: I wanted this combination of the spontaneous and the harmonious in my work. I wanted words to feel so calm and sharp and true.

    I wanted to be blunt, to lie for the sake of truth, to make fiction stop someone in their dog heat, to accept the thunder, the sky-high cloud towers, the growing swamps, and yet lend a brute elegance to the moment we are here.

    The scene was an oasis for my eye.

    I wanted do that, to be that.

    I walked back to my little apartment in Treme and kept on writing,


    (Photo by Susan)
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