Arts

The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison

by on January 26, 2015
 

If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.

James Douglas Morrison, better known as Jim Morrison, catapulted himself to dizzying heights of public imagination and is immortalised in the history of rock and roll, through his music, lyrics, and the cult of his personality. Although best remembered for being the lead singer, lyricist, and frontman of The Doors, Jim Morrison was also a poet, a writer, and an artist ahead of his time; as testified in his own words:

“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps ‘Oh look at that!’ Then whoosh…and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again. And they won’t be able to forget me – ever.”

Which turns out to be quite the self-fulfilling prophecy: for yes, there will never be anyone like him again. However, in Wilderness: The Lost Writings Of Jim Morrison, we get to see a side of Jim that was hinted at and repeatedly glimpsed in his music, but never as fully realised  as in his writing. Beautiful, surreal and often evoking highly visual and other sensory perceptions of touch, smell and taste, Morrison’s poetry is no less an extension of his mind as his music. As he writes in Wilderness,

I’m kind of hooked to the game of art and literature; my heroes are artists and writers.

I always wanted to write, but I always figured it’d be no good unless somehow the hand just took the pen and started moving without me really having anything to do with it. Like automatic writing. But it just never happened.

Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything, it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.

. . . and that’s why poetry appeals to me so much- because it’s so eternal. As long as there are people, they can remember words and combonations of words. Nothing else can survive a holocaust but poetry and songs. No one can remember an entire novel. No one can describe a film, a piece of sculpture, a painting, but so long as there are human beings, songs and poetry can continue.

If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.

Jim Morrison’s poetry nevertheless carries allusions and references to a highly imaginative but a deeply troubled mind, bursting with ideas and anxieties equally. His fascination with death and decay is as apparent as his fascination with love and unbridled, intoxicating passion. At times full of rigour, and at times hauntingly despondent: Morrison flits between two opposite shades of passion and indifference, love and hate, life and death:

1.

I get my best ideas when the
telephone rings & rings. It’s no fun
To feel like a fool – when your
baby’s gone. A new ax to my head:
Possession. I create my own sword
of Damascus. I’ve done nothing w/ time.
A little tot prancing the boards playing
w/ Revolution. When out there the
World awaits & abounds w/ heavy gangs
of murderers & real madmen. Hanging
from windows as if to say: I’m bold –
do you love me? Just for tonight.
A One Night Stand. A dog howls & whines
at the glass door (why can’t I
be in there?) A cat yowls. A car engine
revs & races against the grain – dry
rasping carbon protest. I put the book
down – & begin my own book.
Love for the fat girl.
When will she get here?

2.
I am troubled
Immeasurably
By your eyes
I am struck
By the feather
of your soft
Reply
The sound of glass
Speaks quick
Disdain
And conceals
What your eyes fight
To explain

3.
Everything human
is leaving
Her face
Soon she will disappear
Into the calm
vegetable
morass
Stay!
My Wild Love!

Wilderness: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison and its companion volume, The American Night, are timeless insights into of of the most talented, bustling, passionate and ultimately troubled minds in rock and roll history.

The Unlearner is ad-free. If you enjoyed this article, please support the website by sharing it.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on Google+

Psst! Our free newsletter offers the greatest and the smartest ideas, essays, books and links in one convenient place. The emails you receive will be short, smart, and always interesting. Sign up here >>

Be the first to comment!
 
Leave a reply »

 

Leave a Response