i was talking today to an older, successful writer. She was saying there isn’t a good how-to writing book about how to live a life and still write. Make a living, manage the paid work with the passion work, retain relationships, attend events, juggle pitches and poems, save time for spacing out. Wish i could write that one but i can’t/ Don’t know the how-s or the to-s of it.
side 2 (of Horses) feels older, a little bit. Side 2 is about longer-ness and loudening and farewells, but also about really becoming yourself.
So, why the post-adolescent confessionals in response, all typed out like a Beat, what’s up with the question marks and where’s the rock and roll analysis, what gives with the girlish need for perfection, the romance of artistic superlatives?
Because, patti smith, your work — music, words, all — connects me with something tiny and true and wonder in here, something that tells me, remember?, and remember. the something never satisfied, the something keeps you making, the something that always asks for more. greedy in its own gifting, this something.
A million and a half smart people have written briliant critiques of your album, patti, saying things like gamechanger, like godmother, birther of a vivid nascent howl of culture (and your flow, your sweet rapper’s flow, they sing of you!) sing how you traveled time for generations of us, young, who heard you first in others, who only later really noticed hearing you. for me you followed your own influence, the way the jump-cuts of Jean-Luc Godard came for me after MTV: by the time we got it it was quotidian, even typical.
i ask to let me never think of voice as everyday, be it raw people poems or Fenders or my own. i ask to let them also be this way: unleashed like potential, like the tremor in a land-owner at hearing the pump-slash-gutwrench of electric guitar meets angelic imagery, accessed like an every-day how-to.
Like young you, standing in an ideal triangle of light before the shutter of the artist of your life, we ask for more so we can become it.
cuz we can only try, sweet girl, to be the artists of our lives.
we don’t mind.