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This poem is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Two Poems Robert Minhinnick

Chillies for Phil Ochs

I sit under the ristras
In a Mexican bar off Washington Square
And a guitarist plays 'There But for Fortune'.

It's a song this small world understands
Though the writer stays unknown.
Phil, what's fame but an acid-bath

Where your bones gleam?
Yet the shadows too can be a poisoned place.
You frightened us, made us look away,

So at Carnegie Hall we catcalled off
A folksinger in gold lamé
For getting too close to the truth.

But if The Village has become a tourist scene
Somewhere the songs remain.
I see them hard and sharp

As these jalapeños above my head,
...


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