Janis honey chile/ you are ashes turned to dust/ laughin’ at us/ We are left on this planet/ with all the wars plagues famines/ starin’ us in our stupid materialistic faces/ all the crap we created/ finally comin’ home/ mirrors of our own sick souls/ love? what’s that?

by Judy Joy Jones

She wailed like a dog in heat

and cried like an old cat

thrown out to die


Janis moaned and groaned

into every microphone

slugging her whiskey down

adding a snort or two of pure cocaine

to intensify her brain


Oh honey

that woman child

done shrieked and moaned her guts out

her soul laid bare

janis had nothing hidden there


Her shrieks cries groans and moans

came from a place deep inside

until she shot pure “H”

into her swollen veins

and one nite

janis joplin died


But oh when she was alive

“you go girl you go”

aint nothing pretty

‘bout livin in our cities


We hear our own

silent muffled groans

within your every

shriekin’ groan


So slug that whiskey down girl

put that wild stallion in your veins

and coke up your nose

makes your eyes mighty bright

they glows


And after your last show

layin’ all alone that nite

you crawled to the mirror and saw

a skeleton with a cross

and you knew

you had wailed yo last tune


Veins juttin’ out

puffy eyes

skin like glue

nothin purty ‘bout you


Grabbin’ a towel

you straddled the commode

one corner in yo mouth

and so tightly you pulled

until that last vein

popped into sight


Takin’ the needle

holdin’ it to the lite

you smiled

cuz its gonna be

one hell of a nite

and soon baby

soon every thing’s gonna feel alright

oh yeah it sho is


Last drop of whiskey

dribbling down your chin

one last look in the mirror

falling on the cold bathroom floor

you began to laugh

cause ms janis joplin

joke’s on us


“JANIS” This painting of Janis Joplin was created by longtime Street Spirit poet Judy Joy Jones.


We are left on this planet

with all the wars plagues famines

starin’ us in our stupid materialistic faces

all the crap we created

finally comin’ home

mirrors of our own sick souls


love what’s that?

ha! we want some fast green cash


But you ms joplin

you janis honey chile

you are ashes turned to dust

laughin’ at us


As we listen so closely

to your screechin’ moans

echoing in our bones

speaking the language

we are afraid to speak

as we pretend to be

“oh so sweet

so wise and kind”


And you know janis you know

its all motherfuckin’ lies


And as we listen

to your moaning truths

screamin’ thru the microphone

hangin’ on to your every word

as you slugged that whiskey down

snorted cocaine

and put big white ‘H’

into your swollen veins


What your voice

shrieked cried and moaned to us

before you died ms janis joplin

was we are living

motherfuckin’ lies


the joke’s on us

da last laugh yours

so tip your hat

and take yo last slug

of ol’ jim beam

a snort of coke

one last wallop

horse in your veins

this time its on us


cause you know

what we refuse to see

joke’s on us

yeah baby you know huh

ms janis joplin

the motherfuckin’ jokes on us

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“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.