Bob Dylan

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

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CHAMBER

In the room of life
We come and go
Sometimes speaking
Of Michelangelo *
Enter the door
Screaming in distress
No! No! We protest
For many of us
The room is warm and safe
We learn to navigate
Evading the sharks
Growing older with sparks
Of knowledge, love
And often power
But before too long
Trying not to whimper
Turning the denial into a song
We murmur
No… No…
I do not want to go
But we walk through the door
Formerly invisible
No-nonsense beckoning
To accept the reckoning
Of our so very short stay
In the room of life…

*see T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Dylan’s Watchtower

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: TIME, LIFE & DEATH

LYRICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

 

*scroll down for YouTube video of S&G*

i.

Wish I’d studied archaeology

But could never see myself

In desert, jungle or ice

So stayed content

Wandering through silent museums

Or looking through picture books

From free libraries

Food crumbs and oily fingerprints

Pressed between the pages of mystery

Left by others interested

In ancient lives

But archaeology exists in music

Sure, we have bios about a few

Composers from centuries ago

But think of lyrics

From songs of the last century

ii.

Paul Simon’s America

If we weren’t alive yet we now know

In the early sixties

Men traveled by bus wearing suits

Belted raincoats worthy of the finest 30s detectives

And bowties!

Smoking cigarettes and eating Mrs. Wagner’s pies

We also know, though,

That like today

People were empty and aching

Yet moved by the moon rising over open fields

All that information in a three-minute song

We learned that Bobby Vinton’s women wore

Blue velvet

Before blue denim

And black leather reigned

And Joni Mitchell fell in love

Dancing in a torn stocking

We know Joe Hill and his men

Drove around the country, writing union songs

Being profiled by small town law

Torn out of their Depression-era cars

Beaten, hung

Bob Dylan sang to us about pellets of poison

Flooding our waters

As Phil Ochs refused to march again

To another war

And Richie Havens

Asking for freedom

In the Garden of Music

At Woodstock

Best of all

We have that visual

Of a head with hair

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Hair down to there, shoulder length or longer
iii.

So each and every one of us

We who memorized or heard a lyric

Has dug through the sands of time

Discovering treasures

Greater than dead gold artifacts

Or mummified bones

We are the culture archaeologists

Owners of rhythm and melody

Alive music in harmony

Part of our historical quest

Forever in our hearts possessed…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
YouTube video Simon & Garfunkel “America”  https://youtu.be/W773ZPJhcVw

“HOW MANY TIMES…?”

 

Oh, the outcry

About Dylan’s lack of

Poetic language

Since when

Has HOW something is said

Become more important

Than WHAT is being said?

Beautifully-crafted words

Versus

The convocation

Leading to freedom

Perhaps a national trait

At least, since 1776

What good are Wordsworth’s words

About Daffodils

If they are poisoned by

Monsanto?

For biblical fans

You’ll understand

There is a time for beauty

But also

A time for action…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Troubadour (thuleanperspective.com)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB DYLAN

 

 

DYLAN’S FIRE AND WATER CHANGING EARTH

 

*Scroll down to hear a YouTube video of Hattie Carroll by Bob Dylan*

 

The first time hearing

“The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”

Scattering his words across my enraged soul

Shoved by the force of the tidal wave

Engulfed in a musical swelling

All went dark

Only Dylan in a spotlight

Dylan, a light diffuser,

As the lyrics gushed

In a pinpointing geyser

Soaking me

Sixteen soon

Guiding me

Down a one-way path

That would last a lifetime

On a search for misplaced justice…

 

© 2015, 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Poetic Alchemy: Talking Blues

 

https://youtu.be/1jiYVUU1RXQ The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Bob Dylan