RIP Jim Carroll 1950 – 2009

by sophie

My first time alone in New York City, I was 17 & had just graduated from a high school. The last year had proved to be traumatic & I’d spent much of the spring skipping school, wandering around Pittsburgh & writing poems. My parents thought I was staying with friend on Long Island, but I’d made other arrangements to suit the wildfire in my head. One afternoon I wandered into a bookstore on St. Marks & picked up “Living at the Movies,” by Jim Carroll. I’d never heard of Carroll before, but the title “Living at the Movies” had a similar tone to my mentor Jim Daniels’ book “Places/Everyone.” Then of course, on the cover of the book, this striking black & white portrait of a man whose eyes seemed to have the wildfire I kept in my head. I took the book to a park, where a love affair lasted all afternoon, and bloomed in my heart at the oddest moments, for years to come.

Fragment: Little N.Y. Ode

I sleep on a tar roof

scream into my songs,
into lazy floods of stars…

a white powder paddles through blood and heart

and

the sounds return

pure and easy…

the city is on my side.

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