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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 342
Mon, Dec 24, 2012

“We Three Kings”
Patti Smith

1997

“♫ Star
of wonder/ star
of night/
star with royal
beauty bright/
westward
leading, still
proceeding
[…] ♫”

Richard Hell once said, “Patti Smith is like Christmas on Earth.” If you’re looking for that perfect gift for the Patti Smith or literary thinking woman’s [man’s] rocker enthusiast, I recommend a copy of the critically acclaimed Just Kids. One of my favorite passages in Just Kids is when Patti is describing Christmas in Times Square, as Patti wrote:

It snowed on Christmas night. We walked to Times Square to see the white billboard proclaiming WAR IS OVER! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John and Yoko. Looking up, we were struck by the ingenuous humanity of this New York tableau. Robert took my hand, and as the snow swirled around us I glanced at his face. He narrowed his eyes and nodded in affirmation, impressed to see artists take on Forty-second Street. For me it was a message. For Robert, the medium. Newly inspired, we walked back to Twenty-third street to look at our space. We stood at the window and looked out at the snow falling beyond the fluorescent oasis sign with its squiggly palm tree. “Look,” he said, “it’s snowing in the desert.” I thought about a scene in Howard Hawks’ movie Scarface where Paul Muni and his girl are looking out the window at a neon sign that said The World is Yours. Robert squeezed my hand. “It’s Our decade, “he said.””

May your holidays be as hopeful as Patti Smith’s was at the moment she stood with her then paramour Robert Mapplethorpe watching the snow fall in Times Square. It’s moments like these with lovers, loved ones, friends and family that make these days so blissful. Live in the moment, cherish the love and eat drink and live merry.

Now listen how a poet like Patti Smith does Christmas, this is Patti’s take on ‘We Three kings” just like her prose, it’s eloquently poignant and memorable as fuck.

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