Jim Carroll, poet, tortured artist, pulled off an absolutely kick ass rock album with Catholic Boy. He had a minor hit with People Who Died, great tune within a storehouse of great rock songs. A real glimpse into legitimate tragic greatness. One of the very, very, very few rockers whose lyrics can really be called poetry. He began a poet. I got to see him open for The Boomtown Rats. Brilliant, that.
I was in a poetry class once and everyone in the class had the opportunity to choose a modern poet, get to know him or her, and introduce them to the class in whatever way they wanted. Granted, it was a college class and so many of the youngsters were so very enamored with their rocker-heroes, but god if half didn’t want to choose a freaking musician. There are hoards of extremely talented poets out there but half were just like, “Dylan’s a poet, I mean, his lyrics are like total poetry.” It was tough going, no doubt, for the professor. I would have bitch-slapped them and sent them to the library.
I chose William Matthews. Check him out. Brilliant modern poet, very visual, sets up scenes that you’ll hold in your head for a long time. I should have chosen Jim Carroll just to be an ass.