Janis in Port Arthur, Texas

Janis Joplin

Excuse me, sir, but need an assist? I can see that you’re sitting around like a hang-dog watching the water recede from your porch like someone’s pulled the bathtub plug and it’s all going to shit. Pardon my potty mouth. If you didn’t live so far out, maybe one of your neighbors could lend a hand. All I’ve got is an extra cold beer. Take it. Let’s say I have my own private stock. But what I really wish is that I had something stronger to offer. Me? Like to drink whiskey on a couple of unsteady rocks.

See that you’re working in the refineries, got that company logo on a blanket pulled around your shoulders. I always peddled out to Sabine Woods, loved to watch the loons and pelicans away from the sound of those catalytic reformers and desalters. Fuck, this place stinks. Always has. Always will. Curious about what we’re drinking? Curiosity almost killed a cat. Got it from one of those microbrew places in Austin. Glad they didn’t get washed out, and hallelujah to that!

Names for all those machines come to me second nature. My daddy was an engineer at Texaco; mom was a registrar. So much for that.

See you have a few guitars still left standing on your porch.

Back in the day, I stood on stage with a white python wrapped around my neck. Wore sequins; the audience kept clapping. Everyone was stoned out of their minds. No, didn’t come here for some benefit concert. FEMA workers running around with clipboards. Red Cross workers unfolding cots faster than you can say, Open Sesame. Ha! I’m here for your benefit–to the rescue. Let’s drink to that!

You feel me? You play?

Mostly, I wanted to see if that marker in front of my old house got washed away. Curious, I guess. More like a way for the city to rope in tourists. Called me a misfit. Expected me to refine shit.  You got that right. What we got on our hands is a Biblical flood. We need to build the Ark and sail away.

I like what you’re playing. Cool licks. Sounds like the rain and the wind having a hissy fit. Back where I came from, they’re celebrating the Summer of Love, By all accounts, I think it’s the 50th anniversary. Glad I stopped by to cheer you up. Aw, let me give you a kiss. 

A bigger kiss. Take a little piece of my heart now baby.

Upcoming Readings:

September 2, Oakland Beast Crawl, The Good Hop, 2421 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland

September 9, San Francisco, Quiet Lightning, Candlestick Point SRA, 10am to 5pm: Literary mixtape readings by: Gracia Mwamba, Rich Baiocco, Lisa Piazza, Kimberly Gomes, Raina J. Leòn, Linda Michel-Cassidy, Tomas Moniz, Peter Kline, William Vlach, Lenore Weiss, Abbie Jeanne Amadio, Yael Hacohen, and Jill Bronfman!

September 16, Berkeley, Poetry Express, 1585 University Avenue, 7-9pm, Open Mic

October 14, Alameda, Frank Bette Art Center, 1601 Paru Street, with Nina Serrano, 7-9pm, Open Mic,

November 1, Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, 200 N. San Pedro Road, with Rose Black and Andrena Zawinski, 1-3pm

November 12, Jewish Community Library, San Francisco, 1835 Ellis Street, 1:30pm

Buy my book, The Golem

Links to my work

The Amazonian

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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