Janis Joplin – a Poem by Andrew Vinstra
They say she sang from her testicles,
so virile they sprung whole from her body
and hovered above her
like a setting sun, an ascendant moon
pushing and pulling like a loom
through the web of her hair that flows back
from her scalp like all the waters of the earth.
She sang from a tide as wide as the idea of penis
and pussy in harmony freefalling
together in a frictionless rhythm of oneness.
She rose on the exhaled breath constricted
from the squeal of love between mothers and daughters.
Above gravity’s pull of rage and shame
Janis levitates on a drawn note of pain.
Out of the chaos of a new birth of mourning
the feral child begins to wail.
When she starts in to moan
even the stars will cease their song.
47 years ago October 4 Janis died of a heroin overdose at 27 years old. Janis Joplin, whose voice is still stands out unique. She was able to communicate with her voice even when she used no words, just the sounds of an aching heart. She was the first female rock superstar. She opened the door way for all that followed her. She gave it her all and it remains so even to this day.
Rest Gently Sweet Pearl,