True Stories about Koko Taylor
by Eve L. Ewing
Koko Taylor walked up on John Henry
took the hammer right out his hand
and bent it and twisted it into a fine necklace
and took him to a real nice dinner.
Koko Taylor had twelve thousand wigs.
One she never wore. Just kept at home.
Was enchanted, spun from gold and full of rubies,
and sang to her at night in the voice of her mother.
Koko Taylor wrote songs with a blue ink pen.
Koko Taylor wrote rivers with a blue ink pen.
Koko Taylor wrote the Illinois Central Rail line with a blue pen.
Just got right on her knees and scratched it into the ground.
Koko Taylor was the ghostwriter of seventeen Beatles songs.
Koko Taylor was the inventor of the icebox.
Koko Taylor could play chess with checkers.
Koko Taylor could bake a pound cake in the palm of her hand by winking.
Koko Taylor flew from Memphis to Chicago on a jukebox.
The jukebox could grant three wishes.
Koko Taylor wished for lipstick the color she saw in a dream.
She wished to be born again, under a good sign.
She wished for a better jukebox.
“True Stories about Koko Taylor” from “Electric Arches.” Copyright © 2017 by Eve L. Ewing. Used with the permission of Haymarket Books.
In this episode:
“I’m a Woman” by Koko Taylor
Produced by Koko Taylor, Bruce Iglauer and Richard McLeese at Mantra Studios, Chicago, Ill., 1978