Poem of the Week: Basketball Diaries Excerpt, by Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll

Photo: Michael Zagaris

Winter 66

The more I read the more I know it now, heavier each day, that I need to write. I think of poetry and how I see it as just a raw block of stone ready to be shaped, the way words are never a horrible limit to me, just tools to shape.  I just get the images from the upstairs vault (it all comes in images) and fling ’em around like bricks, sometimes clean and smooth and then sloppy and ready to fall on top of you later.  Like this house where I got to sometimes tear out a room and make it another size or shape so the rest make sense…or no sense at all. And when I’m done I’m stoned as on whatever you got in your pockets right now, dig?

Now I got all these diaries that have the greatest hero a writer needs, this crazy fucking New York. Soon I’m gonna wake a lot of dudes off their asses and let them know what’s really going down in the blind alley out there in the pretty streets with double garages. I got a tap on all your wires, folks. I’m just really a wise ass kid getting wiser and I’m going to get even somehow for your dumb hatred and all them war baby dreams you legt in my scarred bed with dreams of bombs falling above that cliff I’m hanging steady to. Maybe someday just an eight-page book, that’s all, and each time a page gets turned a section of the Pentagon goes blast up in smoke. Solid.

— from The Basketball Diaries

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Categories: Books

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. sophisticated and elegant. he had beauty. tony

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