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Jessica E.

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  1. Hippie Heaven by Jessica A. Eaton

    It was on a New Year’s Eve many moons ago
    I was driving to a party when I got stuck in the snow
    the temperature was dipping and I was chilled to the very bone
    I didn’t have any food or drink and no bars on my Obama phone

    Turned the heat up in my car to keep my butt from freezing
    found fermented grape juice ’neath my seat, dated from last season
    so I grabbed that homemade vino and gave the bottle a gentle tug
    it only took three little sips before I felt like a Kafka bug

    The aroma was vintage locker room and the taste was tart at first
    but it made me feel quite relaxed and it magically quenched my thirst
    Watching the winter wonderland slowly descending down upon the street
    I suddenly began to feel dizzy from my noggin down to my feet

    While admiring the falling flakes I saw a reflection in the window of the door
    twas a big ass twisted cigarette laying near the gas peddle down on the floor
    I picked it up and noticed that it wasn’t a Newport  or a Marlboro Red
    and I sensed before the night was over I would be chilling with the dead

    Well I lit up that humongous doobie and took a couple of very healthy drags
    and in the moonlight sky the clouds looked like a bunch of fluffy Doritos bags
    Soon that wacky weed worked its magic – had me Jonesing for a snack
    but there was nothing in the glove compartment, so I turned and looked in the back

    There upon my grandson’s Batman booster seat what did my eyes behold
    but a couple left over slices of Dominoes pizza, looking like solid bricks of gold
    just when I thought the Munchie God couldn’t have presented a better scenario
    I spotted a pack of Twinkies and a half eaten peanut butter Oreo

    I turned on the radio and the Strawberry Alarm Clock was belting out a jam
    as I took a bite and tasted olives, onions and what might have once been ham
    the pepperoni looked gray, diseased and wrinkled like the liver of Keith Moon
    and my taste buds started to revolt when I bit into a rubbery mushroom

    I was drifting in & out of half consciousness as if as Rip Van Winkle on Qualudes
    As Mott the Hoople started singing a ripping tune about a couple of young dudes
    I then stepped out of my car, through a righteous cloud of Sinsemilla smoke
    and all around the winter wonderland looked hallucinogenic and baroque

    I was lucky to thumb a ride on a passing psychedelic bus
    that ran on mystic peyote buttons and Columbian cannabis
    On board were merry pranksters who made me feel right at home
    using a tennis racket as a guitar and a hair brush for a microphone

    So we jammed to Grand Funk Railroad and a tune by Iron Butterfly
    watching the Byrds fly 8 miles high while a purple haze kissed the sky
    I was clearly out of my mind, but not sure whose mind I was in
    felt like I was floating beneath a crystal blue celestial aquarium

    I saw neon colors swirl in shapes as they mixed and danced and floated
    and I helped myself to a handful of bennies that tasted sugar coated
    I saw Elvis trying to shake his pelvis, but his britches were too tight
    when he ripped the seat of his pants there were 2 moons out that night

    We were getting famished so we thought we’d stop for a bite
    though the driver of the bus refused to move too far over to the right
    Soon we spotted a pulsating  sign ahead touting Alice’s Restaurant
    advertising we could get wavy gravy over anything we want

    Walking through the diner door, the atmosphere was smoky and surreal
    I spotted Julius Hoffman on a bench next to a duct taped Bobby Seale
    a disco ball that Ted Nugent had shot up was on the floor  obliterated
    and it had everyone cheering madly, feeling  groovy and liberated

    I saw a suave Warren Beatty in a beret he borrowed from Che Gueverra
    as he cavorted past Carly Simon winking with one eye in a mirror
    every song on the Whirlitzer  was a billboard chart topping hit
    and we found an empty table open up when the Beatles had to split

    The busboy looked sharp like a conductor on the Marakesh express
    the waitress was attired with love beads and a tie-dyed mini dress
    the decor of the restaurant looked like the inside of Jerzy Kozinski’s mind
    with booths  adorned with custom bongs and table cloths Peter Max designed

    So I looked around, t’is what I found
    Captain Beefheart and Major Lance
    Admiral Halsey in khaki pants
    Sargent Pepper and Major Tom
    Colonel Parker and Cheech and Chong
    stuck in the middle between Steeler’s wheel
    sat Donovan smoking a banana peel
    Poor Gilbert O’Sullivan was sitting alone
    waiting for Jim Croce to hang up the phone
    in a corner sat the Allman brothers
    rambling with  Dick and Tommy Smothers
    Charles Whitman and William Calley,
    Murph the Surf and Mustang Sally
    I saw Charlie Manson and a beach boy drummer
    with a bitching tan from surfing all summer

    I turned my attention back to the folded menu in my hand
    every entree was a product grown on some commune organic land
    there was tofu salad and hamburgers made strictly out of soy
    and the dishes were adorned with ivy shipped in from Illinois

    I heard Harry Chapin in the doorway asking who had called for a cab
    When I spotted Mrs Robinson at the register squaring away her tab
    using the plastic that Benjamin had been advised to bring along
    as he stood obediently beside her wondering where Joe Dimaggio had gone

    Mrs Parks implored that everyone return to their assigned bus seat
    so in piled all the musicians with Small Faces and Little Feat
    Soon we were back on the road heading south on 95
    to a farm in upstate New York where some bands were playing live

    When we arrived I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd
    there was peace and love everywhere and the music was really loud
    some women skinny dipping had daisies in their flowing locks of gold
    and judging from some naked fellas, the water was getting cold

    We all decide to camp out underneath the stars that night
    tuning in, turning on and dropping outta sight
    and we marveled at the full and distant moon as we fell asleep
    where only a month earlier Neil Armstrong had taken a giant leap

    After some transcendental meditation and a tab of purple micro-dot
    we found in our altered imaginations,  the Utopia that we sought
    In the wee hours of the morning Country Joe led a spirited chant
    I would tell you what he spelled out but my upbringing dictates I can’t

    But I can tell ya what I did see
    I saw Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
    Carlos Santana and Woody Guthrie’s son
    Richie Havens and Jefferson Airplane
    Ten Years After singing in the rain
    While Melanie strummed a groovy tune
    John Sebastian vowed he’d be home soon
    Afterward Sly and his Family Stone
    played a jam that rattled my occipital bone
    Joe Cocker belted out a Fab Four song
    with a little help from his friends who sang along
    on the stage came anthems of harmony and peace
    there was no need for National Guard or riot  police
    there was no mistaking who’s generation
    was rejoicing in the spirit of this celebration

    After three days we figured it was time for us to hit the road
    agreeing we desperately needed to find a shower and commode
    feeling euphoric although we were all smelling somewhat ripe
    which was probably the main reason we constantly sparked up a pipe

    In a day or so we found ourselves camped out in Washington DC
    to listen to a man of peace thank god almighty for finally being free
    along that narrow reflective pond stood the children of Mother Earth
    who had come together to validate that everybody’s  life has a worth

    I met some every day people who were not much different than  myself
    some came from impoverished backgrounds, while others came from wealth
    but everyone shared a mutual respect, despite the differences of our skin
    and for a few fleeting magic moments, we really all felt like kin

    Gassing up the bus we split, saying goodbye to our new found friends
    we headed to the southern states, where there were freedoms to defend
    Word had spread about a march down in  Selma and Birmingham
    regarding lunch counters, water fountains and the equality of every man

    So we lent a hand and took a stand and did what we could do
    and walked along and sang a song to make the dream come true
    We saw Jim Crow fly away, as they promised changes to the law
    so we split toward Louisiana to join in the debauchery  of Mardi Gras
    We stopped at a party in some house down in New Orleans
    where we spotted Captain America and Billy ride in on their machines
    they had some lawyer in a football helmet hanging onto his seat
    who waved to John Fogerty  standing on a corner at the end of Bourbon street

    There was impromptu dancing, by ecstatic people wearing beads
    congregating in taverns, clubs and bars, satisfying all their pent up needs
    we soaked in the orange sunshine above this abstract scene
    listening to some blues by B.B. King and a Mississippi Queen

    Soon we were out on Route 66 following  the setting sun to the west
    along the way, upon a hill stood an aging Indian in a deer skinned vest
    he looked sad and disillusioned as a teardrop rolled down upon his face
    as he stood silently reminiscing about a once proud and sacred place

    We stopped to stretch our legs at some desolate roadside stand
    east of the Painted Desert where  Gram Parsons was burnt in sand  
    and while the proprietor was busy strumming a Buffalo Springfield tune
    I bought  vanilla fudge, a chocolate watchband and an electric prune

    Someone suggested that we stop at a church along the way
    to say a prayer or two for some sexual healing of Marvin Gaye
    but we couldn’t find a house of worship that welcomed every soul
    so we made our own religion and we called it rock and roll

    When we finally made it out to that sunny California shore
    the Pacific winds blew our freak flag higher than it ever flew before
    In Hollywood we hit the Whiskey a Go-Go down on the Sunset Strip
    where we  took a moonlight drive on Mr Mojo’s Crystal Ship

    Someone suggested that we should drive farther up the state
    and hang out around Haight Ashbury and see the Golden Gate
    On the way a stranger joined us just south of Monterrey
    who inquired if we all were heading up  San Francisco way

    Going by the name of  Scott  he wore a flower in his hair
    and said that we would meet some really gentle people there
    So up the Pacific Coast Highway ,we toted, laughed and sang
    determined to end our road trip not with a whimper, but a bang

    As we got closer  we heard some music from the Altamont speedway
    where Mick and his fellow band mates were performing that autumn day
    and though we were stoned immaculate, we decided to roll on by
    to find a place to get mug of moby grape and a slice of  humble pie

    We saw some smoke on the water across the Frisco bay,
    it looked like a giant balls of fire coming in from Berkeley way
    we could smell the burning of draft cards in the rebel breeze
    along with some smoldering playtex bras, a few were double Ds

    We took in a couple sights and a concert at the Fillmore West
    where they gave away  an apple and a poster to every guest
    Down on Powell Street in a Corvair, Ralph Nader slowly drove on by
    and Vote Pat Paulsen for President was written across the sky
    The Diggers were handing out free sandwiches to some hungry souls
    who lounged on dirty blankets; dressed in worn out shoes with holes
    some were living, some seemed dead and some you just couldn’t tell
    beneath a sign proclaiming, “Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

    This really harshed my mellow and I quickly started to loss my high
    and knew it was just about time for me to finally bid goodbye
    so I gathered up my senses that I had developed along the drive
    and I promised Zager and Evans  I’d return in the year 2-5-2-5
    But before I left I reflected about my trip
    There was  Eldridge Cleaver and  Malcolm X
    Marc Bolen and tyrannosaurus-rex
    I saw Ratso Rizzo walking there
    by a midnight cowboy with Jon Voight hair
    Nancy Sinatra in her walking boots
    hung out with Mods in Italian suits
    Bob Dylan finished  with a cryptic sigh
    a song longer than the Treaty of Versailles
    Ken Kessey flew over our rolling cuckoo’s nest
    on his way to take an electric Kool Aid acid test
    In Romper Room was Captain Kangaroo
    teaching soup can art to Twiggy and Nico too
    we listened to Allen Ginsberg in a coffee shop
    and saw Lenny Bruce getting hassled by a cop

    When I awoke I found myself in someone else’s clothes
    speaking in hippie jargon and  polyphonic prose
    wearing a Nehru jacket and Jesus sandals on my feet
    I noticed that the snow had melted all along the street

    I decided to skip the party;  drove back home instead
    figured I’d take a shower and get warm and cozy in my bed
    when I jumped out of the shower and was drying off my ass
    I noticed fresh ink promoting  “Hippie Heaven; Lifetime Pass”

    And on the other cheek, much to my chagrin
    was another tattoo that read, “We hope you come again”
    after I shook my head, I really couldn’t help but laugh
    I guess I’ll always follow down that old happy hippie path


    *Disclaimer: This Hippie was not stoned during the writing of this poem.
    All similarities to people past or present was, of course, intentional.  :) -  Jessica A. Eaton


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