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video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 poems True Happiness in the New Millennium, Just Desperation and Other Souls at the 5 year anniv. of the open mic Elizabeth’s Crazy Little Thing in Wicker Park, Chicago (Cfs)
video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 poems True Happiness in the New Millennium, Just Desperation and Other Souls at the 5 year anni. of the open mic Elizabeth’s Crazy Little Thing in Wicker Park, Chicago (Cps)
video video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers (wrapped in VHS tape) in her 8/14/15 show “Farewell Chicago” in her final scheduled feature at Poetry’s “Love Letter” (while living in Chicago) in Chicago (Canon Power Shot), with her poems Chicago, Breaking Their Heart, change (2015 edit), Planting Palm Tree Seeds, Shared Air, Other Souls, and ever leave me.
video video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers (wrapped in VHS tape) in her 8/14/15 show “Farewell Chicago” in her final scheduled feature at Poetry’s “Love Letter” (while living in Chicago) in Chicago (Canon fs200), with her poems Chicago, Breaking Their Heart, change (2015 edit), Planting Palm Tree Seeds, Shared Air, Other Souls, and ever leave me.
the “Farewell Chicago” 8/14/15 chapbook
Download poems in the free chapbook
Farewell Chicago

of this & other poems read 8/14/15 at a live Chicago show
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading 4 poems 8/31/15 at the Chicago open mic Weeds (Canon fs200), with an edited version of her poem Communication, plus her poems Death Takes Many Forms, True Happiness in the New Millennium, and Other Souls.
video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading 4 poems 8/31/15 at the Chicago open mic Weeds (Canon Power Shot), with an edited version of her poem Communication, plus her poems Death Takes Many Forms, True Happiness in the New Millennium, and Other Souls.
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 2/1/17 25 minute poetry reading at Austin’s Half Price Books, with her poems “old school and high-tech monuments”, “extinct on planet earth”, “Other Souls”, “Open Book”, “Mapping the Way to True Love”, “Years, Centuries, Eons”, “Zenith of the Night Sky”, and “just one book(filmed from a Canon Power Shot SX700 camera).
video See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 2/1/17 25 minute poetry reading at Austin’s Half Price Books, with her poems “old school and high-tech monuments”, “extinct on planet earth”, “Other Souls”, “Open Book”, “Mapping the Way to True Love”, “Years, Centuries, Eons”, “Zenith of the Night Sky”, and “just one book(filmed from a Canon Power Shot SX60 camera).

Other Souls

Janet Kuypers
6/26/15

Other souls
litter history books.

- - -

I wish I was Joan of Arc,
carrying her banner in battle,
giving Divinely-inspired advice
to the men under her command.

And I wish I was burned
at the stake for my beliefs.
As the flames rose
to her Roman nose*,
I wonder if she ever knew
of her ultimate power.

- - -

I wish I was on the Titanic
(that sounds so like me —
I’d be the rich elite
on the first cruise
across the ocean)...
I wish I’d gone down,
gone down with them.**
I don’t care
what passenger I am,
the point is that
people will study the disaster
that I was in
for centuries.
Books will be written.
movies will be box office hits.
All from me being
in the wrong place
at the wrong time.

- - -

I wish I were my ancestors,
Marie, Aafje, Petronella, Johanna —
I wish I was in the resistance
like them
to save Jews from the SS
in World War Two.
I never lived
through their struggles
but I’d gladly take their place
and fight for something,
even if it meant
being killed by the Nazis,
for what,
for trying to save lives.

- - -

I wish I was on flight 175,
just another one of my trips
across the country,
I’m getting used to airplanes,
it’s actually quite a nice morning.
Come two thousand one,
come all the damage I have seen
so far in my life,
maybe this would be a way to go.
I haven’t seen
the World Trade Centers
since 1995, wow, what a view
this flight is giving me.
Maybe I’d hear
from a neighboring passenger’s
phone call about the hijackers.
No matter.
I’d see the inferno
of the North Tower
before I’d take part
in a big inferno myself.

Some time to panic,
and then,
like that,
it’s over.
Years later,
my name would be
cut through metal
memorialized around the fountains
on the once tallest buildings.

Yeah, it would be quick,
but people would come
to this New York intersection
by appointment only
and run their hands
around the letters
of my name.
After all this pain,
they wouldn’t forget.

- - -

Other souls
litter history books.
Some may have been great,
some, as I said,
may have been
at the wrong place
at the wrong time.
And after I’ve been attacked,
and after I’ve been almost killed,
what.
I’ve pieced myself back together,
I’ve screamed my stories from rooftops,
I’ve etched my words into stone.
And no one hears me.
And if they do,
no one will remember.

 

* The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
** Morrissey, “Munich Air Disaster 1958”


Copyright © Janet Kuypers.

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