Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is a fantasy conversation with Janis Joplin, who tragically died of an overdose at aged 27 in 1970.
Mirror Poem Explanation
There is no anniversary relevance for a poem about Janis Joplin in the wider world, but she was the subject of Reflection 19 in Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections, and it is that reflection’s turn to be serialised on Marc’s greenYgrey website.
So, in a first from that book, here’s a new Folding Mirror poem inspired by a reflection. It tells a story of an imaginary meeting with Janis in a biopic kind of way, based on real aspects in her life.
Janis grew up in Port Arthur, Texas and had a younger sister who attended her wake in San Francisco. Janis started her California career singing in the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Somewhere Near Salinas is part of the Me and Bobby McGee song made famous by Janis.
New Mirror Poem
Here’s the poem:
Happiness over Horizon, Jiving with Janis
on a memorable day of bopping
round clocking with Janis Joplin
at some Hollywood palace
of debateable excellence
I asked her if she treasures
memories from Port Arthur Texas
why did I ask, you really wanna know
forgetting love Somewhere Near Salinas
I remembered my past without fuss
boredom creates blues
feeling nothing to lose
replied singer in Big Brother
but I cherish Laura little sister