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The Jim Carroll Website Home > Works > Uncollected Works > Message from Jim Carroll (1996)

A Message from Jim Carroll

The graphic shown here is a scanned image of this never-published fragment, which Carroll copied out of his notebook in February 1996 while waiting for his flight at the Toledo, OH, Airport.

Audio Clip


Recorded live at First Avenue (Minneapolis, MN) on June 18,1996. (0:25)

Have you isolated
Your rage?
. . . and what route have
you designated

to dispose of it?

How often do you / in a day /

fear
losing it all?

Don't worry, don't
worry, you'll get home

Just remember
to keep the river
on the right.

2/21/96 --Jim Carroll




Note #1:
The phrase keep the river on the right is a direct reference to the memoirs of New York painter Tobias Schneebaum, who "headed off alone into the uncharted Madre de Dios rainforest of Peru. His only directions were 'keep the river on your right.'" Check out the book!

Note #2: This poem eventually metamorphosed into "Sick Bird," published in Void of Course (1998). Check out the evolutionary history.

   

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