Sunday, September 13, 2009

Those Are People Who Died...R.I.P. Jim Carroll, September 11, 2009

I was 21 years old when I first read Jim Carroll's "The Basketball Diaries" in 1987. Not long after, I purchased The Catholic Boy record and played "Those Are People Who Died" ad infinitum et nauseaum. A month after I moved to NYC I saw him read at The Bottom Line, and subsequently saw him read and perform several times thereafter. Jim Carroll taught me that you could write how you talked and that there was beauty, poetry and great things to be observed and put on paper that didn't represent the fresh and clean NYC that TV shows like "Sex and The City" have celebrated. Life is messy. Life is hard, and sometimes it kicks you in the ass but you can still write great things that celebrate mean streets, borrowed clothes and no money fun. No one did that better than Jim Carroll. Not everything has a purpose or a happy ending, but pay attention to the little things, the small signs that every day life has to offer - Learn, observe, fall down, get up, live and fucking write about it if that's what blows your hair back.

Mind the grit and find the beauty, lesson and sweetness in the sometimes shitty things life serves up.

I am saddened beyond words that he has departed us too early and on a day that can easily eclipse his greatness but seems oddly fitting to the City that he was born and raised in. He was, to my mind, the best that NYC has to offer; a writer. A writer about a City and a time that kicked his ass, offered him life lessons - perhaps a bit too early, and gave us all some of the best writing and music I've ever had the pleasure to read, hear and live by.

This post is for you my brother...

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