Poem For Patti Smith, 1997

Back again.

Tough girl don't take no shit from no one.

Hammerin' the earth, where the great ones tremble.

Hard rock, noise rock, punk rock and then some,

If you see the kingdom come, come along,

By the bridge, there'll be a gatherin'.

All hail the punk priestess.

"Waiting Underground," two chord hit,

Coursing through the vein.


Sweet, so sweet, reggae sweet, voice sweet,

Sexy sweet ripped Keith t-shirt, stripped t-shirt,

Breasts pushin' against ripped t-shirt,

Black jeans, black hair, face like an angle,

Like you are trippin' on another planet.


Shouting, screaming, ranting, raging,

The sea of faces, Tibet Freedom time.

MTV, fuck you, media, fuck you,

Drain the life, all for the sake of entertainment.


Freedom, right speaker, freedom, left speaker,

Hit the road, punk diva,

Jack's callin', Jack K's beckoning,

Flamenco guitar, Beat trippin',

1959, good times, bad times.

Howl, holy, howl, holy,

The soul is holy.

Cock, cunt, asshole,

Female punk rapper.

It'll never play in Kansas.


Hypnotic, hallucination,

The drugs don't work no more.

Kindness of the soul,

Music from nowhere, sounds from nowhere,

Rewriting the book, doin' the Watusi.


"Don't Say Nothing," nothin' was delivered,

Cool song, good song, great song, wild song,

Gonna do somethin', Gonna DO somethin',

Gonna be somebody, Gonna leave this piss factory,

Gonna do somethin', Gonna DO somethin'.

Ain't gonna let this fuckin' world off,

Not gonna give an inch, not gonna give an inch,

Not gonna take shit from no one.


"Dead City," dead time, dead life.

Longin' for freedom, suck, sex, city.

Payin' to watch you be free, payin' you to be free,

Mother to Sonic Youth, mother to Bikini Kill, mother to Sleater-Kinney,

You could kick those Gallagher boys' asses.


Lullaby, your voice is like cold, dreamy water.

So cool, so tough, you were gonna ride, ride your pony.

Hymn or rock 'n' roll song? Peace and Noise.

Funeral procession, all hail the dead who have given us so much.

Have you seen death singing?


Like Coltrane, like Jackson Pollock,

Like Andy and Lou and Sterling Morrison,

Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and that ripped Keith t-shirt.

Jammin', jammin'. Johnny's in the hallway, boy looked at Johnny.

Just a boy goin' up. Kurt, oh Kurt, you are gone forever.


In our darkest hour, rejoice,

On our death bed, dream of heaven,

As we mourn the dead, rejoice,

Let the noise rage, let the noise wash over you,

The spirit lives, the spirit is free.

Final song, wanderin' soul,

Kurt endin' it all with a shotgun blast,

Drainin' the life away, drainin' the music away.

A soul reachin' for heaven.

Oh Patti, Oh Michael, Oh Patti, Oh Michael.