Poems | Kathryn Kopple

Kathryn wrote to us about the poetic process she employed to craft these poems. She writes, "... these poems are titled after legendary American songs. I grew up listening to these songs played, like, I'm not kidding, maybe a billion times on the radio. But, I do love something about each one of them. Call it nostalgia.  What I have tried not to do is imitate the song itself but make a poem out of it."

Source: icollector.com

1. Lady Marmalade

Vieux CarrĂ©, Vieux CarrĂ©—on your feet,
Visitors come together to celebrate,
La, la Marmalade, ma, ma Marmalade

The loco-funk ladies break out in anthem,
Take not in vain our rights or forsake them,
La, la Marmalade, ma, ma Marmalade

This is no club for gentlemen only,
This is where the sisters are in charge,
La, la Marmalade, ma, ma Marmalade

Hey ya, mon cher, maybe coffee today,
How do you take it? Hot and creamy.
La, la Marmalade, ma, ma Marmalade

2. Subterranean Homesick Blues  

Until you perceive the extreme loneliness of flannel,
And rub your hands on the paint smacked brick walls,

Until you ponder the sad, square eyes of motels,
And the vinegar streaked sunsets,

When you are at the mercy of soups and kitchens,
And remember the rucksack grandmothers,

When you consider under a microscope the ubiquity of cash registers,
But fail to monitor how one hand washes the other,

And you keep company with the marooned apartment cats,
And share the Purina One and the litter box,

When you understand you will perform a miracle every day,
When you finally get the artistry of lighting a match in strong winds,

When you live the purgatory of a five-story walkup,
When you suffer the pensive handshake of a stuck doorknob,

And survive years and years of emotional defenestration,
And never lose faith in the shamanistic properties of library cards,

And your body treats you like an unwanted tenant,
And you do the best that you can,

Until the stars come home,
Until God knows when.