Audio Poem–“My Janices”

I’m beginning what is to me a very exciting new blog series. Once a week (preferably on Sundays, when I’m able) I am going back into the vaults of my old poetry and re-posting some of my best (or your favorites–sometimes your favorites aren’t my best), with a twist–they are audio posts, and I’ll be reading the poems!  I used to be very opposed to this, as I thought it would make me seem like I thought I was famous.  But fuck it.  It sounds fun. 

For no particular reason, I’m going to be doing these as chronologically as I can.  I’m going to start with the oldest poems that I still think are any good and work my way up to present day.  One interesting effect of this (theoretically) is that it should show the gradual but very pronounced evolution of my poetic style and voice. 

I will also be posting the text, so you can read along if you choose.  I’m tempted to complain about the sound quality of these audio posts, but really, I think it gives it a “classic” sound that is pretty appropriate for my purposes here.

OK, so the first poem in the series is one that goes so far back, I was still an active alcoholic when I wrote it.  The poem “My Janices” appeared in my last collection as a drinker, the panicked and maudlin collection There is Something on Fire Downtown, which really, as far as the drinking poems go, was actually a pretty good collection.  In fact, “My Janices” is probably not even the best poem in it, but some of the better ones in that collection are so depressing I can barely read them, and “My Janices” always stuck out at me a rock song of a poem.  If I were to ever give a public reading, it would still be in the “setlist”, I think.  So, without further ado, here is “My Janices”  (click the little gray arrow to hear it):

My Janices

I wish I knew a girl named Janice,
for then I could yell across a crowded room,
“Hey Janice!”
Likewise, I wish I wore a size 10-and-a-half shoe
so I could say to the man at the bowling alley,
“Ten and a half, please.”
If I had an uncle with no arms, I would be happy.
I’d tell folks about him,
recount his terrible story.
I’m sure it would be gruesome.
If a shark had bit me and I survived
I’m sure I’d write an article
and maybe be on TV!
But oh, to be dying of some terrible nameless disease,
to break that to your friends,
to watch them cry.
To tell them you are about to drive
the car into the lake.
The priceless looks on their faces then!

19 Responses to “Audio Poem–“My Janices””


    Thank you. :) This was a great idea you came up with all on your own.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      haha I really WAS going to do it!! It was the first thought I had when Kyle discovered the audio blog! But it’s nice to know you wanted me to do it, too. :)

  2. Chandra Says:

    I DEMAND a new one every week! This is way too cool! Sad and foreboding poem, but cool!

  3. I’m in love with this idea. Reading has been quite pleasurable all these years when it comes to your writing, but this is even better. When you’ve compiled enough, I would like to throw in my vote for CDs. I’ll supply some to make me copies. :)

  4. Whether it means you think you are famous or not it sounds cool to have the author read the poem and give you their own interpretation of how it sounds.

  5. Amazing! Just to hear you give voice to your poem is like being there to see the lake in your photography.

  6. sethdellinger Says:

    Thanks everybody!!! You’re all so damn nice!

  7. ooooh can I make a list of my favorites that I want you to do??

  8. shannon Says:

    I also thoroughly enjoyed this poem! Thanks again for sharing your wit.

  9. cory w. Says:

    This poem wasn’t my favorite, but to hear you read it was a treat! I’ve only ever heard you read your own work a handfull of times. This was a treat! I agree with Tiff, there are a few older ones I’d love to hear.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      well if you knw the titles, send them my way! I’d love to read the ones you want to hear most. And thanks for admitting this one wasn’t your favorite—helps me to know you’re honest and not just one of the “like everything” kinda people! I mean, I know that anyway but it’s nice to be reminded!

  10. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    There was one you wrote EONS ago WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the myspace days that stuck with me. I don’t remember the title at all, but I remember you talked about being in a mall with a girl and waiting while she tried on clothes.

    If you can easily access it I’d love to read it again and hear it. If you have no idea which one it is or can’t get it easily, please don’t dig for it! I spent the last few days going through myspace trying to find one specific blog and it’s damn frustrating how unorganized that old blog was.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      wow that’s really strange because I honestly don’t remember that poem at all!! And I am pretty good about remembering them…hmmm. That has me kerfluffled.

      • sethdellinger Says:

        Oh I remember now!! That wasn’t what I’d term a poem, it was (pardon the writery talk here) a stream-of-consiousness prose piece. I’m glad you liked it that much!!! But if I remember it clearly, there’s n way it would work as a reading. However, I WILL dig it up and re-post it sometime!

  11. Kudos. I like very much

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