In a kinda poetic order…

1. “Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.”

― Jim Carroll

2. “I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.”

― Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems

3. “It was a dream, not a nightmare, a beautiful dream I could never imagine in a thousand nods. There was a girl next to me who wasn’t beautiful until she smiled and I felt that smile come at me in heat waves following, soaking through my body and out my finger tips in shafts of color and I knew somewhere in the world, somewhere, that there was love for me.”

― Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

4. “You’re growing up. And rain sort of remains on the branches of a tree that will someday rule the Earth. And it’s good that there is rain. It clears the month of your sorry rainbow expressions, and it clears the streets of the silent armies… so we can dance.”

― Jim Carroll

5. “Little kids shoot marbles

where the branches break the sun

into graceful shafts of light…

I just want to be pure.”

― Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

6. “That, I realized, is the great beauty of dreams: the devil may inevitably find a way to jerk you off, but you can always wake up before he makes you cum.”

― Jim Carroll, Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973

7. “Violence is so terribly fast . . . the most perverse thing about the movies is the way they portray it in slow motion, allowing it to be something sensuous . . . the viewer’s lips slightly wet as the scene plays out. Violence is nothing like that. It is lightning fast, chaotic, and totally intangible. ”

― Jim Carroll, Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973

8. “they’re fucking up minds they do not own.”

― Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries

9. “I love this mansion, though it is too many windows

…to open halfway each morning

…to close halfway each night.”

― Jim Carroll

10. “You see, you just don’t know

I’m here to give you my heart

And you want some fashion show”

― Jim Carroll

11. “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 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, Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973

12. “It’s all as if words, phrases, images, syntax were small glass beads from a necklace which was wrenched from some neck and spilled on the floor and down the sides of sofa cushions and armchairs and under bookshelves and maybe swallowed by the cat. I’ve got to find all the glass pieces before I can even reorder the color sequence, and restring it and tie it tighter than before. There’s always a splendor in beginning all over. Even if it means getting on one’s knees to search beneath that bookshelf or prospecting through years of lint and ashes beneath those cushions. Even if it means breaking open that cat’s shit, which it conveniently has deposited in a plastic box, more orderly than any secretary could ever hope to be.

Then I’ll appreciate the value of each bead – rather, each word and image – that much more, never wasting another. And I will, I swear to myself, get it all back in time, string it all together, tighter, as I said, than before.”

― Jim Carroll, Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973

13. “all right buddah gets a backstage pass

but all his friends have to pay”

― Jim Carroll, Void of Course

14. “On a whim, he stopped and bought a watch from a sidewalk vendor. Normally, Billy could not abide keeping time, especially when it was attached to one’s body. Time was like a relentlessly needy lapdog one had to haul around. It barked too much and had no sense of loyalty.”

― Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo

15. “Our team is good at getting dressed real quick, because we’re the type of team that wears their uniforms all day.”

― Jim Carroll

16. “Whiteness is the color of death, you know, not black. Wetness is life, the breeder and shaper of life. In the beginning the sun was black. So all light was absorbed before it had a chance to return. And our dreams, then, were empty.”

― Jim Carroll

The Jim Carroll Web site


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