Janis Joplin, the Banshee Angel

Leah Welborn
The Shortform
Published in
May 22, 2022

A Taliswomen Short

Original Artwork by the Author

Just over two years before I was born, my fellow Texan Janis Joplin shot too much heroin in Hollywood and became a founding member of the 27 Club. I would’ve been 13 when I learned about her — my best friend’s hard-living mother worked nights and smoked cigarettes and oh how she loved Pearl. Even back then, Janis’s voice hurt my heart with its rawness.

A few years and a lifetime later I lived a few blocks from where Janis had lived, just off-campus in Austin. I was going to UT, where she’d been voted “Ugliest Man on Campus” when she was a student. My god, how cruel life was to her, sweet beautiful angel id.

Years later, a woman in LA said I reminded her of Janis. I’m ashamed to say I was offended.

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Leah Welborn
The Shortform

Empower Your Magical Self with me. I'm the Mystic Autistic, a writer and spiritual baddie. LeahWelborn.net.