"What's he give you?" I once asked.

"Freedom," she breathed.

Chimes of freedom. I taped Dylan's picture between Rimbaud and Lotte Lenya. I was beginning to comprehend why we draw from others. We are trapped in our own teenage skins. We long for a way out but lack the right moves, verbs, and curves. So we lift a hair, a gesture, a way of dress. Any means necessary to break out.

Sometimes it soothes, investing some of this wondrous, terrible energy into the profile of a stranger, transforming it all—from acne to ecstasy—and gleaning a little confidence, a little imagined love. It is how the artist creates, how the young man gets through the night, and how the girl gets through her day. It's how we expand ourselves, and extend the perimeters of our mirror.



from babelogue - ( please right click to open links in a new tab ): 


Poetry and Prose


"I don't consider writing a quiet, closet act.
I consider it a real physical act.
When I'm home writing on the typewriter, I go crazy.
I move like a monkey.
I've wet myself, I've come in my pants writing."

--Patti Smith


the poetry and prose of Patti Smith is mostly available in her several books, for which the following information is available:

detailed bibliography

tables of contents w/ publication history

an example of Patti's composition process:

a 1980 trouser press photograph of a legal-pad scribbling of a poem, the text of which is displayed side by side with its final version as "true music" in Early Works 1970-1979

some selections from patti's writings that have not yet been collected, or are no longer available, are listed below.

preface to monument by lynn davis -- ('99)

liner notes for peace and noise -- ('97)

Perfect Moon -- poem/song from Ivan Kral's Nostalgia album ('96). Note that the text is of the poem "december", p. 90, Early Work / 1970 - 1979, Copyright © Patti Smith 1994.

untitled -- poem from les nouvelles polyphonies corses' in paradisu album ('96)

on Artaud and Genet -- brief published remarks in association with June '96 Artaud-Genet conference in London.

mirza -- an extended version, in prose, of the poem "mirza" ('95)

introduction to Japanese edition of babel -- a letter from Patti to her Japanese readers ('94)

we can be heroes -- an article from Details ('93)

pain and ink -- a book review of Edmund White's Genet, with thoughts about Genet's influence (11/93)

february snow -- a prose piece about winter and departed friends (12/92)

shots in the dark -- memories of Robert Mapplethorpe (11/92)

Foreword (untitled) -- to Janet Hamill's Nostalgia of the Infinite ('92)

the meaning of life -- a short essay from a Life magazine anthology ('92)

poem about rimbaud -- from Hector Zazou's Sahara Blue album ('92); The poem itself, I believe, is circa 1971-75(?)

dedication -- dedication for book: Mapplethorpe's a perfect moment collection ('88)

american prayer (scream of the butterfly) -- review of Jim Morrison's American Prayer (1/79)

HERoes -- tale of trip to koln, along with review of David Bowie's Heroes (4/78)

où est baudelaire? -- short piece on the critic and the artist (5/77)

you can't say "fuck" in radio free america -- a manifesto against censorship (3/77)

on jeanne moreau -- comments on her love of jeanne moreau in the movie mademoiselle (1/77)

jukebox cruci-fix -- prose piece about departed heroes (6/75)

flying saucers rock 'n' roll -- prose piece about her experience of scarlet fever (6/75)

untitled -- review of Velvet Underground's 1969 live (9/74)

masked bawl -- review of dylan's planet waves (4/74)

star fever -- poem ('73) printed on large pink "band-aid" and enclosed in a Todd Rundgren album

jag-arr of the jungle -- Patti's fun comments on her enthusiasm for the Stones ('73)

todd's electric exploitation -- review of Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star (4/73)

Edgar Winter's After Dark -- album review (3/73)

a useless death -- poem ('72) originally published in chapbook format

3 poems from another world anthology -- "the famous easter act," "january 26," and "j.p." ('71)

ladies and gentleman / blaise cendrars is not dead -- another poem from an anthology ('71)

autobiography -- poem (9/71)

for sam shepard -- poem (9/71)

for bob neuwirth -- poem (9/71)

review of todd rundgren's runt lp -- the only time she wrote for rolling stone (8/71)

quotation from cowboy mouth -- the play she wrote with sam shepard ('71). The Play was Staged Feb '71, although it wasn't published until 1972



artwork by patti smith



about 100 of patti's drawings on extended play website of photographic resource center at boston university

drawing of arthur rimbaud

drawing of lizzy mercier-desclous

another drawing of lizzy mercier-desclous

artwork from galerie veith turske -- titled human explosion, pencil and colored chalk on paper, 1969

poem and drawing of rimbaud from hector zazou's sahara blue album

illuminated manuscript page -- titled plate and commentaries i

self-portrait -- used on invitation card for robert miller gallery exhibit, early '97

drawing for promo of peace and noise



patti smith interviews


"I like performing anywhere there's a lot of energy. Like Jesus says, when two people are gathered together in my name. Well, I feel the same way. I like performing in an interview situation or for 4,000 people or in a club. As long as all the energy is directed toward the same place."


[Note: listed dates for print media are dates of publication, not necessarily dates of interviews]

11/12/98 with Rolling Stone (re. Clinton fiasco)

01/98 with Mojo Magazine January 1998.

01/98 on Shaktisound (With Lenny Kaye's Brother-in-Law, Webmaster/Musician Thomas Richardson (aka Ras); On His WebSite.)

12/97 with the Boston Globe December 2, 1997.

11/97 The *Official* Version of the Patti Smith / Rocktropolis Chat
Transcript, is Abridged in that *Only* the questions from the "Moderator"
are transcribed; Whereas *All* of Patti's Answers are given.
-- An Enhanced Version of the Chat: Patti's Cyber-Chat - Part I; And,
Patti's Cyber-Chat - Part II.

11/97 with allstar (Rocktropolis)

11/97 with Stomp and Stammer.

09/97 with philadelphia city paper

09/97 with philadelphia inquirer

08/97 with Benjamin. The Vocalist with *Smoke*. There is Patti Smith Content.

01/97 with the age

01/97 with the australian

07/96 with bam magazine

07/96 with uno mas

07/96 with shambhala sun

06/22/96 with the guardian

06/96 with terry gross on national public radio

06/96 with new york times

05/96 with lisa robinson in elle

03/96 with sonicnet music news

01/96 with thurston moore in bomb

--A short piece by Thurston Moore which is a great Addendum to his Previously published 1996 Bomb Interview with Patti.

12/12/95 with the new york times

11/95 with philadelphia weekly and city paper

09/95 with big o

08/95 with the village voice

1988 with tower records' pulse!

10/88 with the music paper

05/88 with interview

04/88 with spin (actually 3/79 with william s. burroughs)

06/79 with new york rocker

09/78 with creem

08/78 with stereo review

1978-81 with hit parader and new york rocker (news items re. end of the patti smith group)

1978 (again) with hit parader

1978 with WNEW in nyc

1978 with philadelphia inquirer

1978 with japanese television

1978 (again) with hit parader

1978 with circus

03/78 with melody maker

03/78 with lisa robinson in hit parader

11/77 with acid rock

10/77 with patti smith fan club journal

07/77 with hit parader

06/77 with hit parader

04/77 with patti smith fan club journal

03/77 with "miles," published in john bauldie's wanted man

01/77 with club quest

12/76 with circus magazine

11/76 with WNEW in nyc

11/76 (realaudio) at loyola college

10/76 with british press (in melody maker)

07/76 with oui

05/76 with melody maker

04/76 with penthouse

01/76 with hit parader

01/76 with rolling stone

12/75 with newsweek

12/75 with crawdaddy

12/75 with new times magazine

12/75 with the new york times magazine

09/75 with mademoiselle

1975 with hit parader

09/74 with after dark

1973 with andy warhol's interview



people have the power

[phtp in patti's handwriting]

...this section is the merest beginning of an index of people who've been important to patti in one way or can contribute by volunteering to do a brief write-up (even just a couple of lines) about someone, where possible including a quotation from patti about that person, and/or providing a link to an already-existing write-up or home page...we also need more suggestions for this list...

also, don't assume that because someone's name is in this beginning list, that we already have a full write-up on them: some of the pages just have links to other sites.


antonin artaud

charles baudelaire

constantin brancusi

andré breton

william s. burroughs

john cale

jim carroll

bob dylan

marianne faithfull

allen ginsberg

janet hamill

lenny kaye

william kunstler

vali meyers

jeanne moreau |

jim morrison |

bob neuwirth |

pier paolo pasolini |

peter reich

william reich

arthur rimbaud

jane scarpantoni

sam shepard

fred "sonic" smith

kimberly smith

michael stipe

tom verlaine


other suggestions so far: bruce brody, jeff buckley, rosemary carroll, jesus christ, the dalai lama, jay dee daugherty, jack douglas, jane friedman, jean genet, jean-luc godard, lynn goldsmith, patty hearst, jimi hendrix, jeanne heberterne, alan hovhaness, jimmy iovine, pope jean paul I, mick jagger, brian jones janis joplin, jack kerouac, ivan kral, wayne kramer, allen lanier, judy linn, albino luciani, robert mapplethorpe, brice marden, amedeo modigliani, andi ostrowe, jackson pollack, oliver ray, keith richards, the ronettes, rumi, todd rundgren, edie sedgwick, tony shanahan, the queen of sheba, beverly smith, huey smith, jackson frederick smith, jesse paris smith, linda smith, todd smith, richard sohl, bruce springsteen, samuel wagstaff