Read Jim Morrison’s poem ‘Ode To L.A. While Thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased’ from 1969
Jim Morrison wasn’t only The Lizard King, nor the lead singer of the 60s stalwart band The Doors. No, he was also an incredible poet. None more so is this seen than in his perfect poem ‘Ode to L.A. While Thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased’, written in 1969.
The poem was a mainstay of the band’s live concerts during that time as it was passed out to the crowd before many of their gigs. Printed on bleached green paper and with olive green ink the pamphlet is a thing of beauty without considering the touching contents. As confirmed by Alan Graham’s notes saying that Morrison was “passing the poem out to everyone he met. It was published in pamphlet form on pale green bleached parchment with olive green ink.”
Written not only about his beloved hometown L.A. the poem has more resonance with the subject of Brian Jones. The founding member of The Rolling Stones was found dead at age 27 in his swimming pool on July 3rd, 1969 and paid tribute to the star as a mythical figure.
Only two years later Morrison’s own untimely death came at the same age and also saw his body found in a body of water.
Take a look below at the poem printed on the pamphlet and transcribed below that.
I’m a resident of a city They’ve just picked me to play the Prince of Denmark
All those ghosts he never saw Floating to doom On an iron candle
Come back, brave warrior Do the dive On another channel
Hot buttered pool Where’s Marrakesh Under the falls the wild storm where savages fell out in late afternoon monsters of rhythm
You’ve left your Nothing to compete w/ Silence
I hope you went out Smiling Like a child Into the cool remnant of a dream
The angel man w/ Serpents competing for his palms & fingers Finally claimed This benevolent Soul
Leaves, sodden in silk
Chlorine dream mad stifled Witness
The diving board, the plunge The pool
You were a fighter a damask musky muse
You were the bleached Sun for TV afternoon
horned-toads maverick of a yellow spot
Look now to where it’s got You
in meat heaven w/ the cannibals & jews
The gardener Found The body, rampant, Floating
Lucky Stiff What is this green pale stuff You’re made of
Poke holes in the goddess Skin
Will he Stink Carried heavenward Thru the halls of music
Requiem for a heavy That smile That porky satyr’s leer has leaped upward