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Page 37
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<< 36. No Fear (poem)38. Uncoiling (poem) >>

Jimi (poem)

By William J. Reiter

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it was a hall
an old movie house really
in the city of saint francis
near the ocean called peace

a grace slick-like chick
jumpin' in blue white strobe lights
amorphous light shows, pulsing walls
all just a prologue to hendrix

he came out at last
a 'fro imitation of a black ragdoll
escapee from some absurd beckett cast
surely a tragedy or farce was about to unfold
in the silver screen-less seat-less theater
above a stoned blue clowning crowd

he violently struck left-handed
upside down strings a bell-bottom blue heron
with piercing dark eyes
heavy with one guitar wing

he looked down
as if into san francisco's blue bay
as if from coit's high tower
as if to jump from another hughes hurly bird

i pushed to the front to hear
his voice soft wings
the wind cries mary
gliding around us
around the statue of saint francis
in the city of saint francis
near the ocean called peace
a cable car hushing up telegraph hill

i wanted to know about over there
so he played alarums purple haze
murderous intent in hey joe
pain of rejection star spangled banner
with its true blue taps near the end

jimi left the stage that night
prophesying his own end
which eventually came street easy
a barbiturate permanent sleep

he was right on however
about over there
and as he knew
coming back was worse

—William J. Reiter

<< 36. No Fear (poem)38. Uncoiling (poem) >>