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The Jim Carroll Website Home > Research > Performance Reviews > Poem-review of Jim Carroll at NYU by by Amy Spencer, 1995

a poem that begins at the end

Jim Carroll at NYU


It's not always natural to start from the
beginning.

The white lines jut out in every
direction and I am now.
I sit admiring skaters in their
coordination, subordination, poise, presence,
denial.

Approaching a kind of a god in
all his catharsis, i too felt as
though I were on stage, or like a
student beaming over the empty
display case no matter because
it is the procession that counts.

My head contracted in a pulse like
rhythm and I oozed vile juices
but as I stepped up and came near
he spoke and I began to quake
muscle deteriorating senses
reaching a semi-orgasmic
pinnacle

He became mine inscribing
indelible words on the page
that is me the other I
searched for and could finally
hold was in that moment
perfected
simplicity the
key to enhancement

His performance it cleansed
me enlightened me
in him i found my
personal charioteer
in whom i take refuge

Our planes overlapped
every syllable building
closer to that narrow
point where everything
seems clear
when viewed through
a distorted glass.

I waited I would have
forever
sitting waiting watching waiting
first to wait, hurry up
and wait
life is a line and
Murphy rules my realm

I arrive and write

dreams are poetry pure
i walked
the park
hack
hot dogs greet pretzles
while knish says good-night

The N comes to a screeching, sparking
stop
an eternity slips by and
25 minutes pass
squeezing, insertion, flying

A POEM THAT ENDS AT THE BEGINNING

   

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