Sunday, April 11, 2010

Memories of Janis Joplin

walking in the Park, surrounded
by a small crowd of admiring

hung-over one morning
in the Café Garuda on Haight Street,
bitching about something grungy
at the bottom of a mug of spiced tea

in the summer of '68 there was
a Hell's Angels party at the Carousel Ballroom,
with beer barrels, fist fights, and blood,
and above it all sat Janis
with a five-foot hash pipe, while
the band screamed like a saw mill

at two in the morning
the entire S.F. Tac Squad
lined up in front of the building,
standing by as a couple hundred
Angels started their motorcycle engines
creating a thunder reverberating
down Market Street to the
Ferry Building; it was fabulous

at all the rock concerts
she was the the hippie chick incarnate,
a whirl of motion, and suddenly
she became the lovesick Earth Mother
wailing for her demon lover

one night, in those days,
I dreamed that Janis and I
played Telemann sonatas together
on alto recorders

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