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A poet's travel journal

As part of NolaVie's new Yeah you write! campaign, we are inviting readers to submit New Orleans-related content for a chance to have their work featured on our site. Whether it's a personal essay about moving from New Orleans, a photo of French Quarter Fest, or a video of a second line, we want to know: what's your New Orleans story?

Today's featured submission comes from Aprill Atkins Cameron, a Toronto resident who, as some many New Orleans visitors do, fell in love with the city during her multi-month vacation. Based on her longing for the city after returning to Toronto, Cameron created a poetic journal of her short pilgrimage. “We shall return soon,” she vows. Check back later this week for images from Cameron's travels. 

DRINK  A  LITTLE  POISON   ’FORE  YOU DIE

It’s a blur, my New Orleans pilgrimage.

Every memory in motion:  walking  people  margarita  grits  

walking  people  margarita  grits    blues

Big Chief of the Nation  wild wild creation     walking  people  margarita  grits  blues

Big man with black cape envelops me

I love you baby,   he croons.

walking  people  margarita  grits  blues      magnolias

 

SAINT  SATCHMO

White cathedral   Black spires pierce

cobalt sky   Wrought iron   Crumbling

stone    Chipped paint    Jazz hounds

 

Sun has set   Light slanting   No shadows

Circus barker dances   Solitary girl   raggedy   21

Voice a hollow tin can   rings out over inky  Quarter

 

There is a house in New Orleans  they call the Rising Sun

 

Feet walk in other direction   LOUIS ARMSTRONG AIRPORT

Slight chop   Bridge over Ponchartrain ends

Ice welcomes   Colourful outfits fade   Tinny voice

wakes me at 4 a.m. these days   I’m goin’ back to New Orleans

To wear that ball and chain

 

LEFT  MY  HEART    IN  SIBERIA

Cool Russian ladies dance the night away.

I want to dance with them,   too shy,    so I

watch transfixed.   My grandmother’s Russia

did not look like this.

 

Lightening Lee  & Little Freddie King headline

tonight.  Lee is effusive.  He gives me a faux red rose,

bordello scented.  I cannot take it home.   I may be

arrested at the border.

 

Little Freddie wears red.   He is 4 foot 7 and sits

close to the Russian ladies on a bench.   He is cool,

incarnate.  Plays the guitar like the devil knows

his name.

 

Never  go to New Orleans,  gentle reader,   I implore you.

For, though The Saints  may pray for your sorry-soul,

In your chest, there will reside a heart-shaped hole.