Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Patti Smith

Today is the birthday of poet and musician Patti Smith, born December 30, 1946. The Godmother of Punk has been writing and singing her scathing poetry since the mid-70's with various degrees of success. She is getting her due this year with the widespread release of a documentary about her career as a poet and musician, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, and the release of a new memoir, Just Kids, which documents her long relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, set to come out on January 19. She has several readings and musical performances lined up in and around New York City in support of the book and movie, including Patti Smith and Her Band live at the Bowery Ballroom on 12/29, 12/30, 12/31; a reading of Just Kids on Jan. 19 at Barnes & Noble Union Square and on Jan. 21, Smith reads with longtime friend Sam Shepard at the 92nd St. YMCA.

This poem is from Patti Smith's 1978 album, "Easter."


I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future. Over the skin of silk are scars from the splinters of stations and walls I've caressed. A stage is like each bolt of wood, like a log of Helen, is my pleasure. I would measure the success of a night by the way by the way by the amount of piss and seed I could exude over the columns that nestled the P.A. Some nights I'd surprise everybody by skipping off with a skirt of green net sewed over with flat metallic circles which dazzled and flashed. The lights were violet and white. I had an ornamental veil, but I couldn't bear to use it. When my hair was cropped, I craved covering, but now my hair itself is a veil, and the scalp inside is a scalp of a crazy and sleepy Comanche lies beneath this netting of the skin. I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun. I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me. In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I'm an American artist, and I have no guilt. I seek pleasure. I seek the nerves under your skin. The narrow archway; the layers; the scroll of ancient lettuce. We worship the flaw, the belly, the belly, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore. He spared the child and spoiled the rod. I have not sold myself to God.

No comments: