James Dennis “Jim” Carroll was an author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which was made into the 1995 film of the same name with Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.
The urban classic coming-of-age story about sex, drugs, and basketball.
Jim Carroll grew up to become a renowned poet and punk rocker. But in this memoir of the mid-1960’s, set during his coming-of-age from 12 to 15, he was a rebellious teenager making a place and a name for himself on the unforgiving streets of New York City. During these years, he chronicled his experiences, and the result is a diary of unparalleled candor that conveys his alternately hilarious and terrifying teenage existence. Here is Carroll prowling New York City–playing basketball, hustling, stealing, getting high, getting hooked, and searching for something pure.
You see, you just don’t know
I’m here to give you my heart
And you want some fashion show
I’ll Die For Your Sins If You Live For mine.
they’re fucking up minds they do not own.
Little kids shoot marbles
where the branches break the sun
into graceful shafts of light…
I just want to be pure.
Back then, Billy imagined that drops of rain were unanswered prayers falling back to earth.
It was a dream, not a nightmare, a beautiful dream I could never imagine in a thousand nods. There was a girl next to me who wasn’t beautiful until she smiled and I felt that smile come at me in heat waves following, soaking through my body and out my finger tips in shafts of color and I knew somewhere in the world, somewhere, that there was love for me.
Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.