Monday, September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll

I fucked up. I sit here with my liver and kidneys vibrating inside from uncertainty in every direction. Poetry can unleash a terrible fear. I suppose it is the fear of possibilities, too many possibilities, each with its own endless set of variations. It's like looking too closely and too long into a mirror; soon your features distort, then erupt. You look too closely into your poems, or listen too closely to them as they arrive in whispers, and the features inside you--call it heart, call it mind, call it soul--accelerate out of control. They distort and they erupt, and it is one strange pain. You realize, then, that you can't attempt breaking down too many barriers in too short of a time, because there are as many horrors waiting to get in at you as there are parts of yourself pushing to break out, and with the same, or more, fevered determination.

Jim Carroll, "The Price You Pay"
from Forced Entries © 1987 Penguin Books


"Catholic Boy" mp3
by The Jim Carroll Band, 1980.
available on Catholic Boy

"People Who Died" mp3
by The Jim Carroll Band, 1980.
available on Catholic Boy

"A Peculiar-Looking Girl" mp3
by Jim Carroll, 1984.
from Better An Old Demon Than A New God
out of print: via UbuWeb

top photo: © Ted Barron
Jim Carroll, New York City, 1983.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is the squalid, or moving, part of the story, and the scene changes. The people change, too. I'm still around, but from here on in, for reasons I'm not at liberty to disclose, I've disguised myself so cunningly that even the cleverest reader will fail to recognize me.

J.D. Salinger
"For Esmé - with Love and Squalor" 1950.
from Nine Stories Little Brown and Company © 1953.


"Nine Pound Hammer Is Too Heavy" mp3
by The Monroe Brothers, 1936.
available on Anthology Of American Folk Music Volume 4

"Blue Yodel No. 9" mp3
by Jimmie Rodgers, 1930.
with Louis Armstrong
available on Jimmie Rodgers: Recordings 1927-1933

"Apartment No. 9" mp3
by Keith Richards, 1977.
Out on Bail (and out of print).

"Number Nine Train" mp3
by Tarheel Slim, 1958.
available on Fire/Fury Records Story

"Riot in Cell Block No. 9" mp3
by the Robins, 1954.
available on Smokey Joe's Cafe

"Love Potion Number Nine" mp3
by the Coasters, 1971.
available on Down Home

"Cloud Nine" mp3
by The Temptations, 1969.
available on Cloud Nine

"If 6 Was 9" mp3
by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967.
available on Axis: Bold as Love

"Revolution 9" mp3
by the Beatles, 1968.
available on The White Album