In Memorium; Channeling Billie Holiday; Night Bloom

Jean Passarelli

In Memorium


I’m about to take an Uber taxi to Auschwitz.

Everyone knows Paul Simon has paid for it.


The MGM lion is long dead and enjoying his legacy.

That man across from me is making rapacious love to a plate of nachos.

I have been dead

so long.

I might be out of the loop.





Channeling Billie Holiday


“Mom and Pop were a couple of kids when they got married.  He was 18, she was 16, and I was

three.”  -Billie Holiday


She knew that a tired man is a good man (same with dogs)

I try to tire of men.


I heard they found something in the mangroves.

She sang of Strange Fruit.


I am sometimes dope.

She was dope.


She wore a white gardenia in her hair like an extra ear.

I believe that sentiment is nearly always the gilded lily.


She was forever making a comeback.

Nobody ever tells me where I’ve been.


She said “God bless the child that’s got his own.”

I cannot abide God, or children who are not my own.


I put a needle on the record.

She put a needle in her arm.


I got an idea for a poem, and it would not let me sleep.

She got an idea of sleep, and would not let the poem.





Night Bloom


Apoptosis du jour occurs, while Frenchmen invent cures for road rage,

and eating too much.

Social diseases,

and bad fashion.

Cheap wine,

and not knowing how to take holiday properly.

Lately, I lie in my bed and imagine that everything might be grown in a petri dish-


Babies (well, maybe that one we have)

The materials to build that dream house.

Another Mozart.

Lately, I lie in my bed and wonder if anything at all could be grown in a petri dish-

What would spoil and wither –

What would explode into the exponential sky





Jean has had several acceptances, most recently in After Hours Press and Ocotillo Review. She voraciously pursues poetry and more recently the flash fiction genre by attending readings and taking workshops.
She is a lifelong Chicagoan, and finds the city an endless source of inspiration.