Jim Carroll is dead.

The first Carroll poem I ever heard was laced into a punk song. In the middle of Rancid’s Junkie Man, at the 1 minute and 54 second mark, Carroll’s voice squawked:

My hand went blind clairvoyant I make love to my trance sister My trance sister went on And my trance parents see from the balcony I looked out on the big field It opens like the cover of an old bible And out come the wolves Their paws trampling the snow The alphabet I stand on my head and watch it all go away

It was imaginative, dark, leering. It snuck into my head. I would hit reverse on the tape player, rewind to that moment, let it start up, and sing loudly trying to match Carroll’s staccato. Snarl and smile.