Chicano Poet

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Henry Cohen

When Lennie Cohen opened his eyes,
he was between thighs
which at that very moment belonged to Janis Joplin.

Bob Dylan took his crooked voice
and called Lennie’s songs
prayers without gods,

barren as Canadian ice
on cold winter windows
reflecting the sunlight blight

that doesn’t end until spring.
Janis has not touched the streets
of Port Arthur since

and the racism hasn’t gotten any better.
Her hippie beads rattle ghost-like on Haight,
half a country away.

And, Lennie,
well, Lennie thinks he’s zennie.
He’s shaved his head like a basketball player,

thinking he’s a rap star,
but he can’t out-jump black guys---
that’s what money buys!

He wants to travel back in time
and touch her perfect body
with dream songs of decline.


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