I’ve just finished downtown fixture and prolific rock and roll poet Patti Smith’s latest, Just Kids. I expected a full autobiography and, in a way, it is, but what’s really special is that it’s an incredible love story for the tomes. Smith shows us what love looks like in all stages, even when her partner, the famous Robert Mapplethorpe, admitted he was gay and eventually died from AIDS. Robert and Patti are always one—a string the weaves through them and that glows when either is in need of the other.
I’ve been a huge Patti Smith fan for a while. I learned her through her music. Her 1975 album, Horses, is one of the best albums of the century. Her voice has a girl-like-Leonard Cohen-mixed-with-Tom Waits ramble and her sound is simple. But what really shine are her words. Once I discovered this, I jumped into her poetry.
I consider myself a poet and have been writing seriously for over ten years. Until yesterday, however, I hadn’t written a poem in almost a full year when I wrote one daily. My website grew static, no one had visited. It was dark and dull—perhaps a relic from Victorian England. Poetry is part of my soul and I felt I were dying, suffocating with lack of creativity.