31 days of songpoems

*I was 16 when I flew to Paris. I went with my French class. It was 1996, and I hadn’t yet delved into meth—that would come a few months later. A belated birthday gift from my parents. I got my Visa, packed all my lovely vintage clothes and left. I wanted to be draped in 1960’s regalia while walking the streets of Paris. I packed all of my essentials—a walkman, one cassette tape, Doc Martens and a chapstick. The cassette tape was “Cheap Thrills,” by Big Brother and the Holding Company. We arrived at night after a 15-hour flight. Starved and exhausted we ate big slices of quiche with a side salad, coke with no ice and a beef stew. Once inside the hotel room, I plopped down on the soft bed and put Janis’s voice in my ears.  I drifted into sleep and woke the next morning to commotion outside the window. A new day. Two weeks of bliss awaited and Janis’s rendition of “Summertime” supplied the nostalgic frequencies I’d bring back home with me

{  a soft body shakes

rises up in smoke, 

a mouth of perfume disentombs  }

I wake up singing

one wing spreading

poked and frail—

lush bouquet of hate

aimed at all the beauty I can’t tame

sky climb 

a grey day waits 

unidentified objects circumvent my face

a caricature of a time well spent

a mouth jumps

a death of joy

eats at what’s left 

the eyes’ve seen so much, 

I take them with me

when I die…

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