and janis is dead oh, janis damn!! damn from port arthur out of austin and finally to a hollywood hotel, poison rush ebbing into death alone cold and alone we let them make you into an object of our fantasies when we were saying no more objects men, never-to-be-lovers, dreamed of fucking you women, never-to-be-sisters, dreamed of being you we used you to get closer together but you never got to get closer only farther away from home dylan retreated to woodstock and then we followed half a million strong we watched while the performers were flown in, separated from us, eating hors d’oeuvres and drinking cold champagne while half a million tried to make it together in the mud wasn’t it clear enough that we didn’t need stars we were doing okay remember even bob dylan sometimes must have to stand naked and when janis joplin looked in the mirror it didn’t make her feel good remember marilyn monroe i saw you twice in nightmare new york, you were incredible but it was some grandly-opened spot and i overheard the vice president of columbus records and he was bragging about his investment and then home, in austin hair blowing, joking about the guitar giving threadgill what he always needed goddam, i wanted to know what was in your head about women it must have been far out but i was scared by the feathers and the bluff now, threadgill who is sixty, still wears an apron to serve beer and janis is dead we have to find a way to make music ALICE EMBREE Austin Outta sight!” Her legs were blue in the cold. “Way to go, Jerry!” On his next defensive opportunity, Bradley charged in low and powerfully, his penetration carrying him so deep into the Orange backfield that he over-ran the ball carrier who immediately shot through the vacated territory for a 20-yard gain. Bradley stood back at the 50-yard-line, hands on hips, shaking his head in disgust and staring coldly at the visiting father, who suddenly studied his shoes. San Jacinto’s scoreless Blues got off a final fourth quarter drive, aided by two unnecessary roughness penalties against the Ornage. “Coach,” one of the bench warmers sang out, “they’re playing dirty.” “Let ’em play dirty,” Jerry’s father responded. “We’ll take that 15 yards every time, baby.” But balls were dropped and young feet slid in the mud, and in the end the Blue drive ended ignominiously. San Jacinto’s Blues were fighting off another Orange advance when the game ended. They lost again, 0 to 8; their coach was safe from running laps. “We gonna work in the blocking pits next week,” he promised his young charges as they ran though the rain to their bus. BRADLEY, SHOWERED and dressed in street clothes, limped slowly to his visiting father’s car. His right shoe was unlaced because of the swollen ankle; by nightfall, it would show dark blue around the shinbone with bright red welts running along the heel base. “I’m sorry I didn’t do better,” Bradley said. “I got confused. You yelled one thing at me and the coach yelled another. You said charge hard and he said just stay there and plug up the hole.” “Well,” the visiting father said lamely, “I’m sorry I yelled anything at you.” There had been too much yelling. “Can’t you get heat treatment for that ankle?” he asked. “Or at least some supporting tape?” “Naw,” Bradley said. “They don’t give us those things until high school.” They drove along in the rain, the windows steaming over. They passed Lee High School, where a squad of perhaps 60 young men drilled in the rain, padless, tuning up for their Friday night game against Abilene. Thousands would drive the 200 miles East, some of them drunk or drinking. Probably at least one would hit another car or a telephone pole. “I may not play in high school,” Bradley blurted. “I may not even play next year. The eighth grade coach came scouting around last week, and he asked me some questions and I told him I might not even play next year.” His blond hair was wet; his creamy young face was red. He looked angry and haggard and somehow old. “Way to go, Bradley,” his visiting father said. and janis is dead . Nov. 13, 1970
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