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Jim Carroll quotes (showing 1-26 of 26)

“Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.”
Jim Carroll
“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
tags: love
“I'll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.

Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
“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
“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
tags: poem
“they're fucking up minds they do not own.”
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
“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
“I love this mansion, though it is too many windows open halfway each morning close halfway each night.”
Jim Carroll
“You see, you just don't know
I'm here to give you my heart
And you want some fashion show”
Jim Carroll
“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
“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
“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
“all right
buddah gets a backstage pass
but all his friends have to pay”
Jim Carroll, Void of Course
“Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.”
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
tags: rain
“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
tags: time
“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
“I sleep on a tar roof
scream my songs
into lazy floods of stars…
a white powder paddles through blood and heart
and the returns
pure and easy…
This city is on my side.”
Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
“Poverty of young men alone behind the
stairways, who practice
alchemy inside bottle caps, who know
the altruism of a last syringe.”
Jim Carroll, Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
“To sit in this awful mess and maybe smoke some dope and watch some innocuous shit on a dumb glass tube and feel fine about it and know there's really nothing you have to do, ever, but feel your warm friend's silent content. You don't feel guilty about not fighting a war or carrying signs to protest it either. We've just mastered the life of doing nothing, which when you think about it, may be the hardest thing of all to do.”
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
“I wind up stretched across the couch
still nodding with Sherlock Holmes
examining our crushed veins”
Jim Carroll
“He was about to find out that when you open a door with a psychiatrist’s name on it, you’d better be prepared to witness exactly how fucked up your life has become.”
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
“Billy was fascinated by the television. At its most basic level, it occupied his time and shut out the demons of isolation. This was another irony because, for so long, he had shunned the tube for a similar purpose—to prevent it from bombarding his brain with demons of banality. However, each time he turned the machine on, he began to discover a world of assorted delights, as well as gain insight into the insidious manner in which this medium was shaping the mass psyche. If nothing else, he learned there was nothing innocuous about it.”
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
“Our team is good at getting dressed real quick, because we're the type of team that wears their uniforms all day.”
Jim Carroll
“Is there such a thing as public good? That's all I'm asking. I mean, is your good the same as my good? I doubt that seriously. So, if we do not agree on a common sense of good, then how can there be any larger public good?

What about some homeless person who sleeps on a heat grating down the street from that sculpture? Does he feel the public good when he stares up at this excessive interplay of metallic shapes? More likely he interprets this art through the way its form and function are relevant to his life, making this piece fairly useless. Such a lost soul's aesthetic viewpoint is overriden by the terms of his subsistence. Maybe he feels frustrated and hopeless that a behemoth made almost entirely of metal contains no surfaces large enough that he could use as shelter from rain or snow. Seeing the abstract metaphors, analogies, and conclusions that they invoke, or just laughing at the artist's pretense or the corrupt visions, which are particularly rife as this century comes to an end, requires taking your bank account for granted. That's a fine luxury for those with places to sleep and clothes that are clean.”
Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo
“It was in Central Park near the lake and I watched a weeping willow turn into a giant rooster and fly off. No tree remained. It glided beautifully into the sky, a big blue barnyard. My mind went with it, something all you bald head generals and wheelchair senators could never imagine.”
Jim Carroll, The Basketball Diaries
“It always puzzled Billy that so many of his most fond and formative memories took place in winter. The fact was that he never liked this season, except as a young child when falling white flakes were magical, and the sun on the snow-covered baseball fields in the park was the color of light through quartz.”
Jim Carroll

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