Friday, 10 June 2011

Hamster jam......

I went to Amsterdam for a few days with friends, I haven't been to the Dam for about 25 years. During my misspent youth I spent a fair bit of time there, almost got myself in a bit of a pickle but the fates were kind, I was saved. Others were not so lucky. Anyway, we had a brilliant time strolling down memory canal, and we went to see Patti Smith play a blinding, acoustic gig in an old church. And I wrote a poem as an homage.....what might have happened later that night....

Patti in Amsterdam
I went to bed
We went to bed
But I went out.
I walked the streets of Amsterdam
I prowled the streets of my memories
Of Damrak
Of The Dutchman
Of bars and dope
Of bars and dope and people
That I could not remember.
I went to The American
I met an American
She said,"Hi"
I said," Hi".
Patti sat on a sofa.
So far
So good.
I said,"Hi, I saw your show."
She said, "So?"
I said, "You were very good."
"Good enough?"
Enough? Enough?
Enough of this bullshit.....I wanted to say
Enough of this
You were great Patti
I love you Patti
Like the guy said
We love you Patti.
A siren wined outside in the night
"You want a coffee?" Patti said.
We talked
Of Verlaine
And New York
And Van Gough
And people
And things
And all the time I'm thinking
Patti Patti Patti
And we're talking
And we're laughing
And we're talking
About stuff.
And we're talking about
Oh oh oh aud....
Oh oh oh aud....
And then Patti says
"I gotta go....."

Top tip: pop up holidays...... get out of town, little and often.


  1. Quiet applause--you have captured her spirit I think. What an awesome 'concert'--Patti Smith in an old church.

  2. Hello:
    We have enjoyed your poem so much. Truly evocative of a time and a place and a person. Amsterdam we have yet to visit. This whole post encourages us to do so soon. Thank you.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Wow, Patti Smith in an old church in Amsterdam - the business! too (slightly earlier than you) had a mis-spent summer in Amsterdam - I recall going to the Paradiso club, but not a lot else! Great poem. Abby x

  4. Patti Smith in the Dam. You sure know how to spend your weekends.
    Love your words.

  5. Ooooh - are you following her around? I must buy a bedside lamp soon as I was halfway thro' Just Kids when we moved house - but the old lamp didn't make it. Mr RB is always already in bed all lights out by the time I stagger up there. Never remember to bring the damn book downstairs! Lame....

  6. Love Amsterdam, Patti and your poem.

  7. Oh Amsterdam. The smoky bars, the Genever, the thick pea soup, the redlight district with everything on display in the windows, the stoned tourists, Zwarte Piet and Sinterklass at Christmas, Advocaat eaten with a spoon, friendly people and very friendly girls.
    Don't remember meeting Rimbaud though.
    Wasn't he a looney French poet?
    Thought he was dead.

  8. Great comment you left, wished I had used it as my last line!

  9. Hi there-how lovely and captures a great mood completely. xx

  10. What a weekend! Love to hear more about your youth and the experience of being young and in Amsterdam! Glad you were lucky and saved!

    Wonderful poem, too - Enough Enough!

    Great writing.

  11. My friend is on her way to Amsterdam on Sunday! I'm so jealous that she gets to go visit- I've always wanted to go! Great poem, it flowed wonderfully!