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Janis and Me


I got a fan letter from Janis Joplin once about a decade after her death. How is this possible? Her friend and lover, Linda Waldron, whom I knew through my friend Patti, was a psychic and sometimes, especially after a couple of bourbons, Linda would channel Janis who would call me on the phone with that boozy cackle of hers and tell me how much she liked my poetry, especially Fucking—Janis loved Fucking, maybe because part of it was dedicated to her. Janis’s note says: dear Don. i love you for your poems, your friend, Janis

In the famous nude photo—I guess it is famous—all the beads that Janis is wearing were strung by Linda. In documentaries and books, it is Linda who gives witness to the fact that Janis didn’t just happen—Janis listened to singers, took notes and tried to match them note for note. She worked and was ambitious according to Linda.

Now Janis and Linda are out there in the ether. I hope they are having fun together.



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