The songs of Elliott Smith, who died 10 years ago this October, have earned plenty of comparisons to poetry. Now he’s cropping up in a new book full of the stuff. As the Fader reports, Smith appears in The Weaklings, an upcoming collection of poetry by novelist Dennis Cooper, a former SPIN writer and contributing editor.
“I’ve always been incredibly into music, and there’s a resemblance between poetry and lyrics,” Cooper told Fader when asked why Smith turns up in one of the poems. “Elliott’s music was beautiful and uncompromising. It’s very rare when you find someone who does emotive music that’s so carefully modulated that he can become very deep and expressive without being cheesy, or becoming sentimental or becoming confessional. He was brilliant at it.”
Cooper is the revered author of nine novels, including the five-book series The George Miles Cycle (spanning 1989’s Closer to 2000’s Period), 2004’s The Sluts, and 2011’s The Marbled Swarm. But he was actually a poet first, debuting with the collection Idols in 1979 and following in 1981 with The Tenderness of the Wolves, which received a nomination for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He still often writes about music on his blog.
Smith has been a big presence this year, given the decade anniversary of his suicide. FIDLAR recently covered his “Whatever (Folk Song in C).” Cat Power, Sky Ferreira, and a host of others paid tribute to Smith in a recent Brooklyn concert. And here are 97 Smith concerts you can download.