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Janis Lyn Joplin
B. 1.19.1943 Port Arthur, Texas / D. 10.4.1970 Los Angeles

I am such a stupid hippie.
It’s just awful
Every time I think I’m stepping up the evolutionary ladder, its rungs will suddenly change substance and dissolve
like semaphores in smoke
or what’s in those lab photos of chromosomes
and I fall into a heap of love beads, which trail me from the room
like Marley’s chains
or Gypsy Rose Lee’s towel.
I am such a junk shop.
It’s so cluttered
Every time I almost think of something new, all the old merchandise starts to crowd and push forward
like orphans at a gate
or bank ads in Times Square
and I select a fistful of familiar love beads with which to re-accessorize myself
like they were James Brown’s ermined crown
or Ophelia’s flowers.
How gullible I am!
It’s always the same
If you tell me someone planned to lift the Pentagon with mind control, I will think, “What happened?”—every time
like a note on an electric piano
or war in Afghanistan
and I will seem to see a band of turquoise love bead blue appear between the lawn and stone
like Rothko’s ghost
or Thisbë’s wall.
What a needless non-conformist!
It’s so common
With my freedom, I like to just sit around at home concocting every unlikely scenario that time allows
like in a child’s excuses
or The Pit and the Pendulum
and I like to follow that up by wearing out convenient words, of which beads and love are two
like when letters get low in the Scrabble bag
or sand versus rock.
It’s scary.
I am such a stubborn hippie.
Everywhere I take the time to look around, another approach to joy becomes apparent
like flags in a graveyard
or thoughts of infinity
and I stand there beading strings of ways to share it
like wow man
or else.

Consolation Site: Hotel Sabine

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