R. Hell Site Forum Message

JIMs Funeral

Posted by:Pablo Lopez (‘adayattheraces@hotmail.com’)
Posted on: 28 Sep 2009

“Watching steel change to ivy”

Jim Carroll’s funeral took place yesterday September 16th at 9.30 in the morning at Our Lady of Pompeii R.C. Church on Carmine Street. And there I went accompanied by a friend.

As soon as we approached the entrance of the church, I saw the hearse and a few people chatting while they waited out front. Suddenly Patti Smith arrived holding her daughter’s arm who is as tall as her father Fred Sonic Smith. They greeted the rest of the guests. Amongst them there was Rosemary Carroll, Jim’s ex wife and longtime friend. A group of men in suits came over to push the casket up the stairs and inside the church. The guests followed the body in procession. We followed them. Nobody asked us who we were. I guess we weren’t the only ones that wanted to say goodbye to Jim without having been invited. I noticed Richard Hell arriving from behind me holding his woman’s hand. I also noticed Lenny Kaye carrying his guitar and the rest of Patti Smiths group and more people I wasn’t able to recognize. There was a man in the entrance giving out pamphlets with quotes from Jim’s poems. The priest sat us down and begun the ceremony. I couldn’t believe the experience I was living. It was like being inside of the ending of a chapter from one of my favorite books, like reading Jim’s diaries, like experiencing one of his poems about death and “ redemption through pain, not through joy “ as the catholic boy he was. I was there in that church, under domed high ceilings and between pillars while Jim was receiving forgiveness and eternal rest, while Patti Smith stepped on the altar with Lenny Kaye and sang a beautiful lullaby to Jim, perhaps for the first and last time. There she was braided hair, in her blue jeans, cowboy boots and blazer, sobbing out a sweet melody before Jim’s body, maybe recalling past innocent moments.

The priest purified us with frankincense. He offered the body of Christ and I took it to feel in peace.

It all happened at a church of the Greenwich Village. I was with Jim Carroll, Patti Smith and Richard Hell. The three contemporary poets I admire the most. I’m sure Jim was there watching everything from a different dimension.

When the service finished me and my friend went to the farmers market to buy some flowers and bring them over to the St. Marks Church were Jim used to do his poetry readings. I picked him a bunch of purple Verbena. My friend painted him a very cool portrait. We placed them between two candles next to the weeping willow of the poet’s garden of the church.

It was the most special day of my life. He is the one who first inspired me to want to be a poet.

Jim Carroll died on Friday September 11th of a heart attack while he was writing at his desk.


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Message thread:

         Jim Carroll RIP by SD, 13 Sep 2009 (9)
                 obit by SD, 13 Sep 2009
                         bad news indeed. by Hannah, 16 Sep 2009
                                 Grey Geese by Slimedog, 17 Sep 2009
                 Jim Carroll by Richard Hell, 19 Sep 2009
                         whoa by Hannah, 19 Sep 2009
                         jim by antoine, 20 Sep 2009
                         real real gone by andrew hardin, 22 Sep 2009
                         regards by david, 27 Sep 2009
                         JIMs Funeral by Pablo Lopez, 28 Sep 2009

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