Poet Contemplates City's Future in 'Molly's Song'

Residents of New Orleans' French Quarter are drifting back from places where they took refuge from Hurricane Katrina. Some have been away for months. Commentator Andrei Codrescu sings Molly's Song, which he wrote at a bar called Molly's while watching his neighbors come home.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

With Mardi tourists gone, many residents of New Orleans's French Quarter have drifted back from place where they took refuge from the August hurricane. Some had been away for months.

Commentator Andrei Codrescu has watched them come home, and he's put his thoughts to song with the help of few friends.

(SOUNDBITE OF ACOUSTIC MUSIC)

ANDREI CODRESCU: Acquaintances greet each other, friends that haven't seen each other in ages. Strangers meet strangers. How is your house, darling? How is your life and your mementos, your chachkas (ph) and your mother? It's gone. I'm gone, but he or she is fine. Mostly, I seem to be alive. Mostly I seem to be alive. It's dark where I'm staying. I came to the corner. I came to the corner. There is nothing were I use to live. So I'm crashing in the corner now.

I drove 400 miles to be here. It's the old 'hood, the old ship. By the quiet, thank God, Mississippi.

I pulled away from the USA and set my anchor in the Quarter. Right here, in [unintelligible] Café. I feel the dirt around me when times pass. Came right here and sat in the coffeehouse and tried to think of what came next. Something always did. Some conspired to make money, others wrote [unintelligible] hidden. Something always came next. In 1812, in 1850, 1956, 1968, maintain, 'cause we're still alive, here in the old French Quarter, in the old French mother ship, in the old French mother ship.

SIEGEL: Andrei Codrescu, he's author of the book NEW ORLEANS MON AMOUR. He was accompanied by musicians Jonathan Fralich on guitar, Alex McMurray on bass, David Reibeck on fiddle and occasional percussion by David Sobol.

In New Orleans, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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