Marie Marshall

Author. Poet. Editor.

Tag: New Orleans

Parade throws and other lovely stuff

When they speak of ‘Mardi Gras’ in New Orleans they don’t just mean Shrove Tuesday, they mean a whole season when parades and all kinds of other high jinks can take place. It may surprise you to know that the parade season has already started there. Part and parcel of the parade procedure is the ‘throw’. Throws are gew-gaws and souvenirs that the marchers give away – literally throw into the crowd. This means that on Saturday all the throws containing my quick-fire poems about Doctor Who landing the TARDIS in New Orleans have… gone! Not one remains! Well, what does remain is the blog record of the assembly line – check it out here!

Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

In other news, renowned Shakespearean actor Ben Crystal, who is the son of linguist David Crystal and the brains behind the project to present Wm Shakespeare’s plays in their original pronunciation, declared my ‘A sonnet to explain why Veronica Franco misses the first hint of spring‘ to be “Lovely stuff!” Let me explain something: Ben really understands iambic pentameter, and I’m honoured that he should have even read my little piece of not-so-serious sonnetry.

Anything else been happening this weekend? Well, I have been working on some extra material for the possible TV adaptation of ‘Axe’, and have picked up one of my shelved novel projects, The Deptford Bear, to see if I can get it moving again. So far it stands at a little over 11,000 words and I think it can work.

Throwaway art and poetry


If you have not already done so, please check out, or even follow, my New Orleans collaboration for Mardi Gras 2015. Thanks.




I have been asked to do some funny things in my time, but honouring the ‘Sacred Drunken Wookiee’ has to be one step beyond. Let me explain. Sort of.

I was recently approached by a member of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, which is a Mardi Gras parade organization from New Orleans, and asked to provide a series of short poems. The poems would be integrated into a number of ‘parade throws’ – items to give away to the street audience as the parade passes.

The Krewe consists (according to the person who commissioned me) of in excess of five hundred wonderfully nerdy ‘sci-fi geeks’, whose mission is to save the Galaxy… one drunken nerd at a time. Their parade theme is science fiction taken not-too-seriously, eco-friendliness taken slightly more seriously, and whooping-it-up taken in deadly earnest.

We’ll be producing the parade throws between now and February 2015, when the parade season begins in New Orleans. They’ll be in the form of little boxes, into which will be placed little pictures, gew-gaws, and found items, as well as a little baked-and-painted TARDIS. The outside of the box will be decorated as a TARDIS, and the idea is either to inscribe my words on the back of the box, or include them in a little scroll inside. Whichever, I get my name and © on each poem.

It’s rather exciting knowing I’ll be part of next year’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, if even by remote control. It’s not my first remote connection with that city, as not only were several poems in my first collection, Naked in the Sea, inspired by what I knew of it, but also another poem was inscribed on an African drum which is now on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Not bad for someone frae Dundee…


Corner of Bourbon and Dumaine


naked-in-the-sea-cover-2The corner of Bourbon and Dumaine in New Orleans is where you’ll find the famous Clover Grill. I’ve never been there, but then I’ve never been to Baku, Uppsala, Rome, or Harlem, and that hasn’t stopped me writing about those places, either realistically or as fantasy versions of themselves. ‘Plain Jane $3.99’ is one of my handful of New Orleans poems. It appeared in my first book of poetry, Naked in the Sea, which you can still buy. Just a couple of days ago a friend and fan, resident of New Orleans (and, I have to say, the person most responsible for making me write about her city) decided it would be cool to record herself and others reading my poetry aloud, and in particular the New Orleans poems. The first step was a recording of ‘Plain Jane 3.99’, which you can hear by clicking on either the street sign above, or the book cover to the left, or by following this link. There’s a smattering of adult language – you’ll have heard far worse – but if you like this recording, pass on the link, particularly if you’re in N’awlins or know someone who is. If and when any other poems become available I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, I know you’re all wanting to know how the teen-vamp novel is coming. Patience. You’re also going to have to be patient about my second novel The Everywhen Angels, which is due out soon, and about The Phoenix rising from the Ashes (the anthology of sonnets for which I am Deputy Editor). I’ll let you know as soon as something happens. Meanwhile, how would you like the chance to get a free e-book copy of my first novel Lupa? The first step would be to enter the P’kaboo Facebook Share Contest and hopefully, having followed the instructions, to ‘Like’ my novel on Facebook. Go for it.

Seulement dans le Vieux Carré

Decatur St., New Orleans, by Russell Lee.

Decatur St., New Orleans, by Russell Lee.

Seulement dans le Vieux Carré

Seulement dans le Vieux Carré
tombe mon coeur au trottoir,
là-bas où les maqueraux crient
  “Hé, chère!”.

Il me faut regarder de nouveau,
peut-être avec les yeux
d’un oiseau de printemps,
douces, à la teinte parme;
ou comme les Acadiennes
pendant la semaine sainte…

En cheminant à la Rue Bourbon
– en plein soleil
ou à la tombée bruyante de la nuit –
je le ramasserai, mon coeur,
qui nage sur
  un flot de jazz…

  et ça suffit pour vivre.


Only in the Quarter
does my heart fall to the sidewalk –
down there, where the pimps call out
“Hey, honey!”

I need to take another look,
maybe with the eyes of a spring bird,
soft, violet-hued;
Or like the Cajun girls
at Easter time…

Making my way along Bourbon Street
– in full sunlight,
or around clamorous nightfall –
I’ll pick it up, my heart
that’s floating on
a tide of jazz… 

and that’ll do to live on.