Keep nailing crushed beer cans to the soles of your Nike’s to make tap dancing shoes.
Keep dragging your box of change around the French Quarter dancing fast and bitterly.
Keep telling tourists, “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning”.
Keep making impromptu stages out of spray painted palettes.
Keep drumming your afro-pick against an empty Heineken bottle as you dance.
Keep smacking a tambourine against the neighbor lady’s bottom.
Neighbor lady, keep salsa dancing, keep smiling in your pretty red hand me down dress. It owes its beauty to you.
Keep old men in tennis-ball-walkers on the mic, shaking their baggy hips, scraping their feet.
New Orleans, keep singing through the hole in your teeth.
Keep your police doubled up atop giant horses, watching us finish warm whiskey from the label.
Keep boasting the pressed and folded garments of security,
The uniform is a brown bag over a beer can.
Keep police relaxed and smiling at Jazz Fest, at Tuba Fats park, joking, smoking with locals.
Keep hipsters on skateboards being pulled by the leash of their pitbull into the darkness at the edge of Frenchman street.
Keep the handicap orbiting around the intersection in a Hoveround, dancing circles for the brass band.
Keep switching trolley track with a hot crow bar, impatient in the sun.
Keep fishing off the side of the levee for catfish, using spark plugs to weigh into the mud.
New Orleans, you keep trying to modernize
And hurricanes keep saying, ‘sit yo’ ass down, my baby,
You are a preserved moment in time,
I can’t just let you go on now.
God wasn’t gon’ make it easy for anybody that carry a torch.’
You are the keeper of an old light
Now kept young and lasting.
If we keep muddy enough
The rags that make up the frayed quilt of America
Can always be scrounged up from your puddles.
So, New Orleans,
Keep playing that ‘Big Fat Woman’.
You won’t always get half of what you put in.
Keep swerving your chrome cruiser bicycles apathetically down the wrong side of the street.
Keep your flowing oaks growing into porches and power lines.
Keep burning early morning torches for 6 a.m. saggy floorboard swing.
Keep your crawfish mountains high on a sheet of plywood, 1000 little red devils.
Keep telling people Tuba Fats blew his horn into the pregnant belly of Glen David Andrews’ mother and the next day Glen David Andrews was born.
New Orleans, keep playing your rusted bazooka,
Like it’s a shiny golden horn.