Monday, September 14, 2009


Genius is not a generous thing
In return it charges more interest than any amount of royalties can cover
And it resents fame
With bitter vengeance

Pills and powders only placate it awhile
Then it puts you in a place where the planet's poles reverse
Where the currents of electricity shift

Your Body becomes a magnet and pulls to it despair and rotten teeth,
Cheese whiz and guns

Whose triggers are shaped tenderly into a false lust
In timeless illusion

Jim Carroll
, poet, punk rocker, all-city basketball player, former hustler and drug addict died Friday in New York City. Famous for writing "The Basketball Diaries," Carroll was part of the New York art and punk scene in the 1970s, and a friend of Patti Smith, Warhol, Larry Rivers and Robert Mapplethorpe.

“I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation,” the singer Patti Smith said in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Sunday. “The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty.”

The guitar claws kept tightening, I guess on your heart stem.
The loops of feedback and distortion, threaded right thru
Lucifer's wisdom teeth, and never stopped their reverbrating
In your mind

And from the stage
All the faces out front seemed so hungry
With an unbearably wholesome misunderstanding

From where they sat, you seemed so far up there
High and live and diving

And instead you were swamp crawling
Down, deeper
Until you tasted the Earth's own blood
And chatted with the Buzzing-eyed insects that heroin breeds

The Jim Carroll Band perform "People Who Died"

Jim Carroll, with Patti Smith, back in the day

"Catholic Boy" by the Jim Carroll Band. Push the button.

Jim Carroll interview 1/18/91 Cleveland Ohio

You should have talked more with the monkey
He's always willing to negotiate
I'm still paying him off...
The greater the money and fame

The slower the Pendulum of fortune swings

Your will could have sped it up...

But you left that in a plane

Because it wouldn't pass customs and immigration

If only you hadn't swallowed yourself into a coma in Roma...
You could have gone to Florence
And looked into the eyes of Bellinni or Rafael's Portraits

Perhaps inside them
You could have found a threshold back to beauty's arms
Where it all began...

No matter that you felt betrayed by her

That is always the cost
As Frank said,
Of a young artist's remorseless passion

Which starts out as a kiss
And follows like a curse

--excerpts from "8 fragments for kurt cobain" by jim carroll

On Dennis Miller, 1992

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I saw him read poetry with Patti Smith and he was amazing.