3:36

By Douglas Richardson

Poem

I lived my entire life in a hippie commune.
I don’t have much to say about it,
but this doesn’t mean I was dull
or without conviction.

I was born three months premature.
My mom ate poison mushrooms
and drank Southern Comfort
because she thought it would
make her more like Janis Joplin.

She was right.
Her singing voice improved
when she was hallucinating and drunk.

The commune midwife who delivered me
believed it wise to play music
for the mother-to-be in labor.
She played Janis Joplin, Neil Young,
the Byrds, and Led Zeppelin.

I came out of my mother’s womb
to Zeppelin’s “Going to California,”
a pretty song for acoustic guitar
three minutes and thirty-six seconds long.

When the song came to an end, so did I.
My mother followed the next day.
I lived my entire life in a hippie commune.

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Born in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Southern California, DOUGLAS RICHARDSON is a poet, novelist, editor, and sports aficionado, specifically tennis and baseball. His first collection of poetry, Sugar Fish, was published by The Sacred Beverage Press in 2007. Since then, Richardson has written and published under his own publishing company (Weak Creature Press) a novel (The Corruption of Zachary R.) and three additional poetry collections: Out in the Cold, Cold Day (a limited edition chapbook originally published in 2009 and currently being transformed into an art book to be published in 2012), Poems for Loners, and his latest, Ghosts in Time and Space. Poems for Loners and Ghosts in Time and Space were selected by Poetry Super Highway as Holiday Recommendations in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Richardson has been a featured poet at numerous venues throughout Los Angeles, including The Third Area reading series at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica, Loyola Marymount University Extension, and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice. Currently at work on his second novel, Richardson’s prose and poetry coexist in the hubbub of Los Angeles, where he sits in coffee shops and cafes patiently waiting for his characters’ next burst of inspiration and wisdom.

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