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Ballad of the Broken Strings

February 26, 2013

Jackie and Jane
dug Joni Mitchell
at the Coffee Cup Cafe
in New York
they promised each other
they’d write songs together
in the days before
the towers turned to chalk

so they packed their guitars
and headed out west
with sun and surfers
in their hearts
in sad Santa Monica
Jane bought a harmonica
and Jackie a few poisoned darts

they rented this cool condo in Glendale
and wrote a dirge called ‘Blundering Joe’
the needle of the numb
the hustle in the muscle
California’s a rusty glow

*

a year later
at the Copper Penny
Jumping Jackie
Harmonica Jane
waiting for the dealer
the Pittsburgh stealer
the girl that dealt on the train

the Pittsburgh showed up late
said she won’t be fixing anymore
because she’s met Jesus Christ on Venice Beach
something beautiful to live for

well Jackie turned angry
punched the wall
Harmonica Jane just laughed
the Pittsburgh Stealer slinked away
to make a fortune in new age craft

sweating and shaking
Jackie and Jane
went breaking
into chemists in the cold
nowhere to live
nothing to give
guitars and lipstick cheaply sold

they died in the Hollywood Hills
turning tricks
for a ten-dollar bag
an Alabama man
with a psychotic tan
strangled them
with the Union flag

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