The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:
Waking the Dead at MacLand and Bobby’s
Mac Long and Sarah Ivy, friends of Tyger, hold
court at MacLand. They make local derelict Clyde get out of the
trash. Some bongo jamming takes place. Later, Tyger, Mac and
Armor’s go to Bobby’s Club by the streetcar barn and listen to an
rock and roll group called the New Neanderthals. They return to
the paradise recalled that is MacLand.
“Waking the Dead at MacLand and Bobby’s”
Pretty little black girls, all in a row. One flies southward,
the others walk home.
Beautiful monochrome pigeons rock last laughs at that across
Oak Street cat who looks over his shoulder grabbing bats last.
Gipper will and Nancy won’t. They party down in these last
hours of their Alzheimer’s miracle.
Hey, who is really in charge here — Baker, Casey, Weinberger, Bush?
History trudges along leaving an indelible mark. Holy, shit,
Batman. Molecules is ‘xploding.
Atoms, particles, and inexplicable physical phenomena
stretch from pillar to post mocking man who is powerless to a
fault. Like wow, mind-blowing shit.
Currently being transported mystically to this state of
mind is Tyger detector returning to this place for the umpteenth
million time. He is an existential moot point transmogrified
by events beyond his camera’s eye through time. Hark!
A blade of light in a silver streak sparks these thoughts.
“Good things happen to those who wait.” “Bad things happen
to good people.” Conversation drifts along between
Mac Long and girlfriend Sarah Ivy.
Another silent explosion divisible by the hands of fate.
Welcome to a slice of paradise amended. Recollections of a
feather nest upended. Fly you little blackbirds as we recall.
“Hey, there has been some bad shit happening lately, baby”
“Bad shit happens to good people.” “No shit.” “Shit.”
“Forget all that shit for now.” “Aw, shit on it.” “You are
shitting me.” And like “Shit.”
Disembodied voices once lost in time are discussing the
absent Tyger. “What do you suppose he thinks he’s doing?” “Wha?”
“Yeah like, hear he has got a what ya call it?” “Job.”
“Yeah, like wow. Job. Ihought he was independently
wealthy.” “Like, he’s cracking up.” “No shit.” “Shit.”
“Armor’s told me he was following people around.” “Groovy
Anyone we know?” “Never know.” Little feathers floating on a
couch in a room in a house by a square in the Carrolton section.
of forever young New Orleans. Elusive illusions mark forward progress.
“Hey like listen to this.” Cascading down a million big bang
explosion African drums Mac expands the universal principle of
order made from chaos. “Yeah, I like, cool, ” Sarah coos.
Impulsive implosion. Entropy. Reverse exact replay of a
certain moment. Another joint jointly disappears.
Here ye hear ye. Have another hit.
Sweet joy in these made-for-television actual
real-life true remakes of previous news fake items.
What is it this time? Good things happen to bad people.
Obviously, they have met a few.
Digging outside in the trash like a ferret like a groundhog
like a little black rat is dear old Clyde, a local semi-derelict.
Hey Clyde, get out of the trash. He is a neighborhood guy.
“Uhh well, just you know, looking,” Clyde swings, and misses,
strike two behind in the count, wandering past
an open gate through the small green yard up a few steps and
on the porch in front of a three-bedroom shotgun dwelling.
Get out of the house, Clyde. “Like, well I was just looking
around and you got any spare change? Want to buy some clickums?”
(Note: Clickums were marijuana cigarettes laced with pcp or
some type of animal tranquilizer that made a person somewhat
lightheaded and very insane. They never became as popular as rock
crack cocaine. Lower profit margin.)
“No Clyde, ‘”‘Like I was just wondering,” “No, Clyde … ” “If
you could just spare some change man.” “O.K. Then leave.”
A highly religious give-and-take or a badminton smitten
birdie in flight. Today’s Clyde toll: Two bits, four bits. A dollar.
O.K. Clyde blasts off, careening down Oak Street.
Good day already. The usual kitty litter spread on the
world about you dude. Buy a newspaper Clyde.
“You did a great performance the other night,” one sensitive
MacLand soul tells another . “I loved the way you got yourself up
to the top of the ceiling using that pulley contraption.”
“Yeah. It took a lot of upper body strength.”
They are discussing an artist’s party the previous night
at a warehouse district loft.
“And you. Great idea sitting in the front window with an
endless tape loop of Mr. Ed reruns. Truly awe full art inspiring.”
And in the far corner, as light outside begins its daily
dissipation, a small bongo beat follows. It gathers steam as a
spirit calling all followers. Guide us sir beat as we this sacred
moment meet. Mac and all have a jamming fine time.
Pretty young girls in long dresses, unshaved armpits,
legs, nose rings and tie-dye fashions.
What a joyous and nostalgic puff of smoke as a drum machine now smashes.
They giggle as a corner scoop of beautiful pelicans;
congas and bongos crashing.
Welcome to the jungle. Hear the lion roar. Graceful gazelles
scooting towards the kitchen. Where goes that Tyger neo-detective?
Rumbling bumbling stumbling sounds cascade on a hardwood
floor. This ain’t Bourbon Street. So they love it.
Yowza, yowza, dowza, rising flying spirit sounds soar to
seven millionth heaven. Next door, the dead at Louis’s Funeral
Parlor do not even shake, rattle, role a finger at the rhythmic conflagration.
Wait, comrades. Maybe their fingernails are clicking after all.
Where’s the chicken? Missing information. So cries the hot
tamale man. So dives a prospector seeking spiritual gold. Yes,
dear spirit guide, come to this place. It will make you whole.
Such is the pulsating recollection of MacLand’s karmic song.
Memories of jam sessions pass under the bridge and float along
free at last, thank dawgs and cats almighty.
Paradise revisited. Creating a new world from anarchy and disorder.
A white pelican soars above an orange purple sunset levee to
the west. Big mudddy river flows. Final bicyclists request an
encore performance of that lovely MacLand song.
Over there, see, enters Tyger through the open door.
“Hey, you’re no Clyde,” Sarah comments. “What’s happening’?”
“What it is.” Mac replies for Tyger’s sake.
“In some circles,” Tyger says, “I am considered a smart
guy, but I am considered an idiot in others.”
“That’ssssss nice,” Sarah serpentines real time.
Tyger tells Mac all about the developments of the last two weeks.
“Yeah, heard a rumor about something like that from Armor’s.
“Hey, I’m into it, baby.”
“Sounds groovy, maybe.”
Mac picks up another drum beat, snatching it
with a mysterious hand from a solid block of atmosphere.
Outside, the occasional automobile and life’s plans backfire.
Or are those gunshots? Only the shadow knows. It gets wild
around there. New Orleans is their kind of madhouse town.
About an hour passes. Mac is reigning king of the
Uptown barbecue crowd. Chicken breasts answer grillings
with flavorable aplomb.
Mac takes a quick break checking charcoal for heat. Burning
nicely, thank you. Tyger, Tyger also burning bright.
Resumption of spirit beat.
What follows is a description of a sacred state:
A hypothetical hidden valley Uptown on a semi-hysterical
street. Oak trees hanging around mid-sized shotgun houses.
Telephone polling the usual suspects amidst acts high-wire.
Darkness lonely heroes your grand design unfurls its
boisterous banner. Hangers-on and mysterious survivors step
lively through existential mine fields.
Hahahaha. Rain forest drums reach epiphanies that, in turn,
wander wondrously towards zenithal callings. Allusion, collusion,
confusion and mixed metaphor bombarding an army charging inside.
Hey sisters and brothers– duck and cover, y’ all.
A four-track reel-to-reel tape player rounds into view.
Large microphone wrapped in grey duct tape is suspended on a
four-foot base, silver stand. Mac must be taping live.
Pretty little girls in sexless sack dresses, swooning
swans as they come and go, speaking of Barry Manilow.
One, two, three pretty maids, all in a row.
One flies northward. One on a thin silver flute blows.
Girl with a tasteful nose ring drifts into lofty repose.
Tyger taps a lamp base and for a change of tone
two empty beer bottles as he reclines on vibrating floor.
Two cats scramble for cover. One finds a higher plane to
paw on a blank lamp shade. They illustrate cat subspecies
wingheadus, a MacLand feline tradition.
Christmas lights twinkle twinkle little star of old hat
Bethlehem. Dare we name this Shangri-La?
Nah. Paradise is over by now, although that is beyond
current participatory ken.
Follow the chanting mantra ball y’all. Their fingernails are
clicking. Intensely esoteric beats sing of revolutions that they
lost, and why; revolutions yet to come, and how far and
wide they will grow. Or not.
Bongos, congas, weird old drums fleeting flying spirit
guides. What is that mystery sax Mr. Milty spies?
Toot toot alors, little darlings for tonight briefly jams as one.
Moments of time lovingly suspended fom memory like water
slipping off a melting icicle. Winter days in New Orleans can
feel much colder than they are because of high humidity and
contrast with the usually miserable heat index.
However, on this particular composite date, memories flow
together in scenes as one. All is warm, all is right.
Toot toot tootsie, good night.
Twister? Twister? For some reason
a game has begun to slither and slide.
Strange diversions. An old cassette of Roxy
Music’s “Stranded” space-time’s by.
Scene right, stage left. A joint break for the chosen few
from Armor’s homegrown pot stash.
Beachcombers pick over a tape rewound. Mac turns down Bryan
Ferry, turning up the Macland sound gone wildly bizarre. Alright
pretty babies; a tisket, a tasket, yer a faggot and
that is a take. Cowabunga!!!
A semi-hey line brushes greatness along a corridor leading
to the room of ultimate release, the bathroom. Hey hey hey,
pushing subjects beyond objects, then down under.
Hey hey hey. Yoooow! Stuff like that was very much like fun.
However, we must leave this place for now.
Faces dissolve, up up up in sweet smoke. Offstage actors
stretch and strut the night away.
Mac wraps up the session and prepares to make the local haze.
Off to Bobby’s, a sad local excuse for a rock and roll club.
Here at the appointed hour, a local fake attraction prepares
to open for some far-out national act. Attendance appears sparse
even though this is a weekend night. Bad scene.
Armor’s shows up with the attractive pussy lady from the
Blue Bayou, she of the sexy breasts and sweet disposition …What
was her name again? Doesn’t particularly matter.
They are all properly placed for the moment, comrades.
Pete Fountain plays at the Fair Grounds.
This unfair ground is wired for the New Neanderthals.
The New Neanderthals are good, but star struck, and not in the good way.
Lost in time, they play some lesser-known, but no less lively
late-1950’s covers. Their following is small, yet strong as is the whiff of
patchouli oil overpowering Bobby’s usual stale beer odor.
MacLand and fellow travelers pony up to the show.
Various shades in black glide past a barn streetcar across the
street. Red brick exterior walls mingle with the vague stench of
fragrance interior dark. Step lively as you walk through time.
Bellying up to the bar are melting styroheads; red, purple,
Mardi Gras colors, green and gold, elongating, combining in the
raging fire. Spirit auras of all that disre-embers.
See these talking heads, faces with names and secret lame
games infinitely pretending. They are endless stories unaware of
current surveillance. Tyger will never tell until later.
Information cascades out of control everywhere through the
expansion of space forever misled.
Pretty little girls and how they have no doubt aged.
Dreams never lived now disappear down black holes gone.
Forgotten sounds emanate from such a locale as is this moment
recollected and represented by an out-of-date group of New
Everyone stands around partying to the New Neanderthals sounds.
Paradise lost that they never knew began. The New Neanderthals
are passing nuts and bolts lost in pre-history.
This moment barely passing by the wetlands near the levee
along the Mississippi River’s crescent curve that is
for the sake of argument, Saturday Jan. 16, 1988.
The dark black clad rockers have a temporary ball and chain,
no thoughts of futures large or small.
‘Tis a zen party moment. Any gurus out there celestially
interested still? If only time weren’t so easily lost in space.
So it goes, so it goes, so it lovely longing blows.
The drummer pretends to break a sweat. A few lively
styrofoam cutouts twist and shout.
Streetcars come and go. More beer greets a light joint outside.
Weather tonight could be an inhibiting factor.
Temperatures certainly are dropping. So are patrons. But as they say,
the show must go on?
Clang clang clang go the
instruments. The vocalist, a sickly
looking black youth dressed in black, croons ever so awkwardly.
It almost pains to watch.
“This is the end, my…er,” long pause, “uhhh, friend, the…
uhhh, end.” Doo wah doo-wah ditty. Tasteful mystery guitar from
Mr. Milty and a few hot licks from Buck, shady lead guitarist.
Of course, Heave Broward, bass guitar player, is lame.
But that is his job. Fake is real.
Heave is a tall vacuous shit who steals everybody’s fun
through a constant disinformation campaign. How does he get away
with it? Simple, everyone wants to believe his lies are true.
Such represents his ultimate problem, total lack of
artistic creativity that must be covered up at all karmic cost.
But we digress. Karma.
Melting heads, belting heads, some are even drinking head.
Bobby’s becomes a huge mural of elongating, shrinking, wall banging half-lives.
Strange phantoms slam-dance near the stage,
run around outside, smoke reefers at car parties,
then sit back down beer sloshing, hard liquor chasing
thrown in for contrapuntal measure.
Featured act crashes cymbals, smashes guitars, playing to
a very bitter end, loud as an airport runway landing the beat.
Bobby himself mills about Bobby’s surveying the aimless wanna have
fun wannabee — shall we say — crowd. How does he stay in business?
Favorable lease or inheritance no doubt.
Are we having fun yet? Let us consult our guru.
Where in hell is Mac of MacLand nearby?
No matter, noise splatters. New Orleans knows no closing time.
Too bad, everyone seems to be tiring en masse.
Tyger and group pour unfinished beer in cups to-go,
wandering the few blocks back to the MacLand asylum.
All is quiet, all is calm. Ish.
Mac flips on the cassette deck at relatively soft volume.
Ahh, sweet melodic harmony, for a change, flutters infinitely
around loping ear lobes.
“This boggles the minds-eye,” Armor’s remarks to Mac as his
date repairs to the back area, commiserating with Sarah. Armor’s
surfs around the known universe, returning empty-handed.
“What you looking for?” Mac asks.
“I don’t know,” Armor’s replies, “or else I would have found it.”
“Explain to me again how millions of simultaneous thoughts
shoot through your mind’s-eye in a nanosecond,” Tyger asks.
“More, or less, a nanosecond,” Mac sez.
“Oh,” Armor ‘s suddenly remembers. “I gotta run. Where’s my date?”
A few parting reeds, strange orchestral bleats, mini explosions,
red red robins, songbirds bobbing. Sounds linger, blowing
the night away. Yet it is a tasteful tune, sweet background music
for a dockside video or garden party rhythm.
“Nice, nice, nice,” Mac rocks back in a comfy chair taking
in his latest, and greatest, procreation.
“Yes, we have had our moments,” he concludes in reefer
smoke. “Would that it were always such,” adds Tyger every
man observer of the moment.
Late night, early morning, MacLand crowd wants to stay but
leaves as psychically ordained. Tyger resumes his “interesting”
new job Monday bright and early.
Mac and Sarah walk down the path to the front gate, waving
so long, goodbye to the crowd that departs smi1ing.
“See y’all later.” “Later, gator.”
A final song emanates from within their hearth, their home.
It longs, as in the movies, for a final happy ending.
How right, the moment feels.
How justly sublime.