Janis Joplin & Jimi Hendrix Perform “Summertime”

In the political novel The Iron Heel Jack London says the conflict
is always there, in our economic system, between capital and labor.
You can hear it in the way Janis belts out One of these mornings
you gonna rise up singing. Hendrix tosses in the lead-guitar-as-
exclamation-point so Janis can sing Child, you’re livin’ easy
and be sure we know the irony is that it’s a dream. Not real.
My friend, Stevie Conley, was at Woodstock. He tells me
Janis got falling-down drunk. That she talked a lot of shit.
She’s not talking shit here. She’s got a fear in her voice
says Jack London is right and we’re, all of us, doomed.
This version of the song is about that struggle between
wanting and needing and then receiving what you need.
The real trick is getting you to believe your daddy is rich,
your momma good looking. That we will rise up singing.

Roy Bentley About Roy Bentley

Roy Bentley is the author of four books and several chapbooks. Poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Blackbird, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, and elsewhere, recently in the anthologies New Poetry from the Midwest and Every River on Earth. His new collection of poems, called Somewhere Down the Crazy River, is currently in search of a publisher. He has received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA (in poetry), as well as fellowships from the arts councils of Ohio and Florida. He makes his home near the Jersey Shore.


  1. Stevie Conley says:

    Love this one. Please give us more Roy Bentley

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