We know him from The Doors, but he was also a decent poet. He had to be, particularly considering his original songs, particularly in his group’s initial album, The Doors (1967). I am not that much into rock music, but I did take the trouble to visit Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris after he died of a drug overdose.
Here is one of my favorites among his poems:
The Celebration of the Lizard
Lions in the street & roaming
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground.
He fled the town.
He went down South
And crossed the border
Left the chaos & disorder
Over his shoulder.
One morning he awoke in a green hotel
W/a strange creature groaning beside him.
Sweat oozed from its shiny skin.
Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin.
You can’t remember where it was.
Had this dream stopped?
The snake was pale gold glazed & shrunken.
We were afraid to touch it.
The sheets were hot dead prisons.
And she was beside me, old,
She’s, no; young.
Her dark red hair.
The white soft skin.
Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom,
She’s coming in here.
I can’t live thru each slow century
of her moving.
I let my cheek slide down
The cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood.
The smooth hissing snakes
Once I had a little game I liked to crawl back in my brain I think you know the game I mean I mean the game called “Go Insane” Now you should try this little game Just close your eyes forget your name forget the world, forget the people and we'll erect a different steeple. This little game is fun to do. Just close your eyes, no way to lose And I'm right here, I'm going too Release control, we're breaking through
Way back deep into the brain
Way back past the realm of pain
Back where there’s never any rain
And the rain falls gently on the town
And over the heads of all of us
And in the labyrinth of streams beneath
Quiet unearthly presence of
Nervous hill dwellers in the gentle hills around
Fossils, caves, cool air heights
Each house repeats a mold
A beast car locked in against morning
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant
Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets
And daughters, smug with semen
Eyes in their nipples
Wait! There’s been a slaughter here
Don’t stop to speak or look around
Your gloves and fan are on the ground
We’re getting out of town
We’re going on the run
And you’re the one I want to come!
Not to touch the earth, not to see the sun Nothing left to do but run, run, run Let's run, let's run House upon the hill, moon is lying still Shadows of the trees witnessing the wild breeze Come on, baby, run with me Let's run Run with me, run with me, run with me Let's run The mansion is warm at the top of the hill Rich are the rooms and the comforts there Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs And you won't know a thing till you get inside Dead president's corpse in the driver's car The engine runs on glue and tar Come on along, not going very far To the east to meet the Czar Run with me, run with me, run with me Let's run Some outlaws live by the side of a lake The minister's daughter's in love with the snake Who lives in a well by the side of the road Wake up, girl! We're almost home Sun, sun, sun Burn, burn, burn Moon, moon, moon I will get you soon...soon...soon! I am the Lizard King I can do anything
We came down the rivers and highways
We came down from forests and falls
We came down from Carson and Springfield
We came down from Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you the names of the kingdom
I can tell you the things that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade
For seven years I dwelt in the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games with the girls of the island
Now I have come again to the land of the fair
And the strong and the wise
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
Children of night
Who among you will run with the hunt?
Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready