Monday, September 14

RIP Jim Carroll

There will always be a poem
I will climb on top of it and come
In and out of time,
Cocking my head to the side slightly,
As I finish shaking, melting then
Into its body, its soft skin

"Poem" by Jim Carroll

Author, poet and musician Jim Carroll (1949-2009) passed away a few days ago.

Jim Carroll's edited diaries from his teens were released as "The Basketball Diaries" in 1978. I discovered his work at 15, when I saw the movie adaptation of "The Basketball Diaries" starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Despite being a story of abuse, deaths and drug addiction it was deeply moving. It is one of the reasons why I am firmly against drugs of any kind.
I still have the casette tape with the movie soundtrack.

Despite being a heroin addict at 13, Jim Carroll was a basketball star in high school and wrote poetry. He published his first book at 17.

Jim Carroll went on to work for Andy Warhol and shared a flat with Patti Smith, who encouraged him to start a band. He collaborated with a number of musicians during his career. My favourite of these tracks is Rancid's "Junkie Man".
Rancid's album "... And Out Come The Wolves" was named after a line in one of Jim Carroll's early poems.

I looked out on the big field
It opens like the cover of an old bible

And out come the wolves

Their paws trampling the snow

The alphabet

I stand on my head and watch it all go away

Rest In Peace Jim.

UPDATE: The New York Times have just published a good obituary about Jim Carroll. Click here to read it.

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