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Blues for Sister Sally

Posted to What Are You Reading?

I plan to perform this particular poem, written by Lenore Kandel but I am having a little bit of trouble with it. I love the words of this poem and the way it is constructed, but I want more background information on it. Who the narrarator is, who the audience is and what kind of perspective is she taking about the poetry. If anyone can help me, I would greatly appreciate some feedback and ideas.

Blues for Sister Sally

Moon-faced baby with cocaine arms
Ninteen summers, ninteen lovers

Novice of the junkie angel
Lay sister of mankind penitent
Sister in marijuana
Sister in hashish
Sister in morphine

Against the bathroom grimy sink
Pumping her arms full of live
(holy holy)
She bears the stigma (holy holy) of the raving christ
(holy holy)
holy needle
holy powder
holy vein

Dear Miss Lovelorn: My sister makes it with a hunk
of glass do you think this is normal, Miss Lovelorn


Weep, for my sister she walks with open veins
Leaving her blood in the sewers of your cities
From eastcoast, to westcoast, to nowhere

How shall we cannonize our sister who is not quite dead
Who fornicates with strangers
Who masturbates with needles
Who is afraid of the dark and wears her long hair, soft and black
Against her bloodless face

Midnight, and the room, dream-green and hazy
We are all part of the collage.
Brother and sister, she leans against the wall
And he, slipping the needle in her painless arm
Pale fingers- (with love) against the pale arm

Children our afternoon is soft,
We lean on each other
Our stash is in our elbows, our fix is in our heads
God is a junkie,
And has sold salvation for a weeks supply

-Lenore Kandel