an ode to patti smith

dear patti,

I fell in love with you when I read your words about Robert [Mapplethorpe] and I grew jealous of your photo shoots and memories. And then I read your poems. And listened to the moan of your voice, rocking out into microphones. When I moved back to New York, I searched for you. Knew that we’d collide, but wondered when. Then, one Thursday or Tuesday, you read from a book at St Marks bookshop and I went there with some poet friends. Patti, I thought this would be our moment of meeting. This would be the time our eyes would meet and you’d notice the poet in me and the rebel and even the sad and you’d grab me. Patti, you’d grab me with your skinny arms and bring me into your chest. You’d kiss me. Not like first-base-French-style, but just like from one poet to another. And you’d rub your years into my skin and we’d run away together. Patti…..this did not happen. Because when my friends and I got to the bookshop, we could barely fit in. The place was Times Square crowded. I nudged myself behind some bookshelves and for an hour, I listened to you read, with the view of just your nose, between the stacks of books. Just your nose, Patti.

 

Tonight, I get to celebrate you without you (because you are in France or the Netherlands or somewhere too far to make it here.) But just know that because of your magic, many poets and writers will gather to read you. And sing you.

Where? you (may) ask.

Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street in the West Village/ NYC

And what time? you (may) wonder.

6pm. And though it’s $8 to enter, that does include a drink.

So, who’s reading my words? you (may) inquire.

Madeline Artenberg, Meagan Brothers, Megan DiBello, Daniel Dissinger, Gordon Gilbert, Aimee Herman, Selina Josephs, Gabriel Levicky, Lulu Lolo, Jess Martinez & Zita Zenda

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