Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmastime in New Orleans

Got a call in Cali from anarchist "Bork"
Said she needed some help for a number of reasons
I jumped on a bus and rode for three days
Arrived travel lagged with no map in the haze
Took a ferry boat ride across the Mississippi River
Nobody knew of her or my destination, but then
A bartender recalled the location of the health clinic
That Bork co-founded, and sent me off in the general direction
All the locals knew the place and I walked and walked
Found her place next to a mosque, the word MAGIC
Appeared in a window, flowering plants on the steps
And lots of Mardi Gras beads hanging from the iron railing
One block from the railroad tracks just before the
Huge bridge linking The Big Easy with the west bank
Algiers, established 1719, where slaves were brought to
Be prepared for servitude, and we're just four blocks
From Gretna, where a statue of the founder of the Ku Klux Klan
Stands in front of the court house!  Algiers got
Annexed because politicians needed more votes
The last eleven mayors won due to supportive
West bank voters, and Algiers has paved streets now
I met Swamp Rat Jack who told me the whole history
His house was burned down by neighborhood drug dealers
So he's rebuilding and chatty with all who pass by
And Bork's friend Nellie invited ne to a Thanksgiving
Dinner at her compound of three houses while some
Of the extended family removed a truck engine in the
Yard and talked about the Saints football team and
Nellie and Jack and Bork are organizing the Neutral Ground
Social Centre to benefit youth who need a serious political
Education and so they talked and talked about the details
Of establishing such a place in Algiers and how they must
Prevent it being fundamentally changed, like the health
Clinic which went from serving anybody who walked in the door
To now requiring appropriate insurance and it just received
Federal designation and a three quarter of a million dollar grant
But the poorest of the poor are once again living at risk and
Bork herself is no longer welcome even though she co-founded it!
Bork has a smashed spinal column and no top frontal teeth, because
The police beat her because she was attempting to prevent the
demolition of the 1940s public housing units after the devastation
of Hurricane Katrina...certain forces did not want the poor to
return Here, after shipping them out of state, and bulldozed the
units so
That they would have no place to return to.  This is called"racism".
Bork is nearly crippled, walking with a cane, is in constant pain,had
Her I.D. stolen, does not receive significant social benefits such
as food stamps, because the insurance provider and the caseworker
like Many others here are praying that she move somewhere else, her doctor
Says that she needs one more risky operation which might leave her
in a Wheel chair, and Bork refuses to consent to having her spine
severed to
Qualify for assisted living.  Meanwhile, she throws up all of the time,
Drinks a lot of soda pop to remain conscious while fighting the
Which is resultant because the insurance company does not provide
Adequate medication for nausea, to offset the painkillers.  And she
Cannot get the broken teeth removed and replaced with dentures
because the insurance provider, etcetera.  The other night, I came
back and Found her on the floor, where she had been for two hours
unable to get Up; she said do not call 911, because they send an
ambulance which Takes her to Tulane's emergency room where she is
refused medication Because the staff perceives her to be a homeless
woman trying to get Drugs to get high.  So, she argues all night
with the staff and police,
And then they drive her back.  She said that she might as well stay
Home and save herself an unnecessary trip; her next doctor's
Appointment is January 3rd to discuss all of this.  Extremely
Frustrated with her overall situation, she cries and then I help
her get into the eleven thousand dollar massage chair that her
doctor got
For her.  She once again begins to speak of the emerging Neutral
Ground Social Centre, as I make dinner which she will not keep
down, and wait For when she collapses in her bed, and I will light
incense, sit on the Couch fingering my neem meditation beads from
India, and quietly and Elegantly watch everything fade away.

Craig Louis Stehr
December 17, 2013
c/o Jamie "Bork" Loughner
333 Socrates Street
New Orleans, LA 70114

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