rain drenches the city
as we move past stuffed black mammies
chained to Royal St. praline shops
check it out

past Bourbon St. Beer cans
shadowed moorish cottages
ships slipping down the riversnake past
images of the bullet-riddled bodies of
Mark Essex & Bras Coupe
buried in the beckoning of the blk
shoeshine boy
when it rains pours
check it out

pas blk tap-dancers of the shit-eating grin
the nickel & clime shake-a-leg
shades of weaving flambeau carriers
of the dripping oil & grease-head
“weare mardi gras” one said
check it out

pas that to where you play yr banjo
“it’s plantation time agin” you say to us
& we laugh…
Outside a blk cabdriver helps crippled
Sweet Emma into the front seat
she done boogied the piano another night
for maybe the 250th year
she laughs loudly to herself as tourists
there is Ashanti saying
when one hears something but does not understand, they say:
“like singing to the white man”
Check it out

Tripping past raindrops with the ancient slick-haired
Jelly Roll piano player
to listen to some “modern musicians”
at Lu & Charlie’s
& the old piano player saying
“they can play a little bit can’t they”

Tom Dent, “secret messages”, in Magnolia Street (1976) dedicado à memória de Danny Barker, um dos grandes jazz-entertainers de New Orleans