the museum of americana

a literary review

Self-Portrait as Janis Joplin’s Porsche — Poetry by Susan J. Erickson

 
Sometimes it’s not enough
to be your oyster gray self. Not enough
to travel through life, a metaphor
for sex and speed.

If you can’t be loved for yourself,
do you settle for being loved for who
you’re with?

That funky paint job was Janis’
psychedelic scream to the universe:
Hey, see me! Hear me! Her fans
slid their hands over every inch of my body
as if I could grant wishes. They scribbled
notes of devotion on scraps of paper
and anchored them under the wiper blades.

The only thing to do? Floor it.
The other thing to do? Listen
to the radio while Janis ripped
out pieces of her heart, threw them
like candy along a parade route.
 
~  ~  ~

susan-j-ericksonSusan J. Erickson’s first full-length collection of poems, Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine, recently won the Brick Road Poetry Prize.  Susan lives in Bellingham, Washington, where she helped establish the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk and Contest.  Her poems appear in Crab Creek Review, The James Franco Review, The Fourth River and The Tishman Review.

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