Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Basketball Boy

I first came across Jim Carroll in the guise of Leonardo DiCaprio. As a teenage girl and budding poet, this was really the best way to go about it. Jim Carroll's work made me cry, shiver with pain, laugh...it was the kind of work I craved, the kind that sucked energy from its environment, got right to the grisly, dark heart of things.

Later in life, Carroll became a music entity, fronting a punk band appropriately titled the Jim Carroll Band, and hanging with the likes of Andy Warhol and Patti Smith. But he will always be best known for The Basketball Diaries, which dealt with drug use, sex, and class issues, in a personal, accessible, and immediate way.

Jim Carroll died last weekend. This week, I remember Carroll's strength and honesty, and the way his work gave me a little bit of both.

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