liner notes for peace and noise

     by patti smith

                 Memento Mori
           William Seward Burroughs
      February 5, 1914 -- August 2, 1997

patti smith
peace and noise

Waiting Underground. Whirl away
1959 Spell Don't say nothing
dead city blue poles death singing
Memento Mori. Last Call.


      j. d. daugherty.     drums.
      lenny kaye.       guitars
      Oliver Ray.       guitars.
      Tony Shanahan.     bass.
      patti smith       vocals


      recorded by Ray Cicala
      weehawken N. J.

Greetings. labor day approaches. Our
labors near complete. just perhaps
the hope of uncovering one last
thing, as I write, a few more
words. but all words are covered
save those wound about a spool
wind as those unwind, forming a
prayer of their own, we repeat that
which is taught by those that were
taught before. And how can
we tell if this teaching is true.
By its own existence. For it was
formed from that which formed
the word. And if it came to one
was it not sent. We consider
this as we scrape the dying earth
from the bottom of our shoes. The
sheriff is dead long live the sheriff.

The dead speak but we as a
people have forgotten how to
listen. We hold them in our
hands, they course thru our blood
they are found in the leaves of
the Koran, the psalms, the Torah,
the Constitution, the New
Testament. all revelations, all
poetry all the sacred books.
They send words of love and woe.
And we entwine their labors with
our own and form our own body of
ideas, of hope. Labor day
approaches. Let us now salute
our neighbor. His trials both
honorable and pathetic are our own.
So we can laugh and also weep. The
sheriff is dead long live the sheriff.

Our neighbors await. The great
conscience awaits and the pool
of memory, distance and dream.
The sheriff is dead. And did
he not love us. Did he not
magnify our spirit, our very
just by simply existing. And
now, what is our task. The
New Century awaits and how
shall we slouch toward it.
What vows will we utter. What
fruit shall we pluck from
perspiring limbs. And who will
be first and who will be last
and will we do the right thing
or is there a right thing or just
simply existence formed and
reformed by our labors gathering.

if you believe all your hope is
gone. down the drain of your
humankind. the time has
arrived. you be waiting here
as I was in a snow white
shroud. waiting underground.
there by the ridge be a gathering
beneath the pilgrim moon.
there we shall await. the beat
of your feet hammering the
earth hear the voices tremble
the ancestors forming the gods
of the ancestors and their gods
forming and reforming from
the clay wherein they sleep.

notes for waiting underground.
smith. ray.

whirl away-- whirl away hello friend
hello friend. hello

hello friend I come a calling
passively stationed. active patrol
sliding in high noon like some
reluctant sheriff. not want to
get involved in it all. who stands
guard for each other. why must
we guard anything at all.
From the earths 4 corners the
people are calling. forming equations
but the questions are hard. All
men are brothers killing each
other and Mother Earth is wringing
in wonder. who stands guard for...
Theres a cross on the road theres a
great mill turning. Some seeking
answers. some are born with answers
You can hold on to its blade and
turn around forever or be flung
into space into another kind of grace.
smith. kaye. ray. whirl away.

["notes for 1959" scratched out]

listen to my story. got 2 tales
to tell. one of fallen glory. one
of vanity. the worlds roof was
raging. but we were looking fine.
cause we built that thing and
it grew wings in 1959.
wisdom was a teapot. pouring
from above desolation angels
served it up with love. igniting
strife every form of light then
moved by bold design. slid in that
thing and it grew wings in 1959.
China was the tempest and
madness overflowed. the lama was
a young man and he watched
his world in flames. taking
glory down by the edge of clouds
it was a crying shame. another
lost horizon. Tibet the fallen
star. wisdom and compassion
crushed in the lad of ShangriLa
but in the land of the Impala honey.
we were looking fine. cause we
built that thing and it grew wings
in 1959. smith/shanahan.

it was the best of times
it was the worst of times in 1959.

[acknowledgements page]

      Be a Gathering

Copyright © Patti Smith 1997

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