Go home and write a poem, Mary
it’s not that easy
it looks easy: compared to writing a novel
or some long memoir
that used to be more interesting
but now is just old
old memories of long ago
when you could live your dreams of living
when things were free
which freed up your life
to chase the day-time dream
to do art, or music
and still have a place to go at night
to feel like a dharma bum
to live on “not much”
when people were willing to share
now people of that generation are leaving:
one by one
by evictions, or old age, or death
our flower child days are long behind us
what would have happened if Janis Joplin
had survived?
would she be a voice for the people, still?
would she still be drinking whiskey?
or would she join A.A., shop at Cosco
and bitch and moan
about the good ol’ days.
I’m still here, singing her songs.
her boozy voice sings with me.
— Mary Getlein

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