Thursday, March 22, 2012

I impure thee, come explore me (Patti Smith)

Dear Patti

I am coming to the end of Just Kids and feel the need to write.

It sometimes feels like I've loved you forever and it sometimes feels like I only started to live differently the day Linley Wood told me about a great record called Horses. I was 19. We were standing outside the entrance of the library at Auckland University, half way through our first year at Auckland University (1977). She knew I loved music and she told me about a record she loved by Patti Smith. You had tentacles and you reeled me in.

The Auckland University Bookshop had copies of Seventh Heaven and Witt and The Night (with Tom Verlaine) and Ha! Ha! Houdini and Babel. I'm not sure how some pretty obscure poetry books by a pretty obscure New York poet found their way to far away New Zealand but I loved each one.

Then it was singles and Piss Factory and suddenly it's Easter and my American poetry lecturer blows our minds with John Giorno's Suicide Sutra, Robert Mapplethorpe and Babelogue. Then I find myself going to shows with Dallas Smith, then I come out of the university years and I'm married to Jacky Smith, ain't it strange?

Patti, I loved reading Just Kids. I didn't want it to end because I knew it would end as it began and I wanted your liquid prose to keep me adrift.

Simply - thank you.

Sincerely - WNP

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