How to put it all together
Dylan bleating in the background
the ghost of the century we yearned to be
bard of a dying civilisational breed
the eternal brooding outsider Jew
master of the medium, massager of the message
murderer of true meaning
messiah without muttering mammaries
stammering laments in octagonal monstrosities
crawling the walls, batting his eyelids
lost to the purpose wide awake crying
howling at the moon a werewolf for the ages
singing ‘where do we all go from here?’ *
We have lost more than we have found
we have cried more than we have danced
we have abused and battered lamented and lost
and now we are stumbling not counting the cost.
Is Art no more than vanity or can it spark a spiritual purpose?
In the dark a single flame burns bright
in the dark a single candle shows the way
in the dark the soul expands softly
a moth to the flame
a butterfly to the flower
after break of dawn
to blossoming day
in warmth and light and burgeoning pleasure.
Where are we headed today?
We have seen ‘the best minds of our generation’
sacrificed on the altar of the franchised profit margin.
How cliche but how true.
How maudlin and how blue.
And to think I was Allen’s G’s meditation instructor
and decades later Peter O’s too –
a sad and noble lover waiting to follow his beloved
into the great beyond, gently and oh so sweet.
How to handle being put in authority over Dylan’s ‘bard and mascot?’
By not thinking about it that way – but that’s another story….
Deliberation is the key.
Precision in practice
between you and me
with stars all around
swirling and extinct and bright and remote
like winter’s worn coat.
I put on my boots, and put on my hat
step out in the void thinking ‘well, that’s that.’
where are the days of glory and fame?
When will we see such splendor again?
Time out of mind is time without thought
and thought without purpose is bird on the wire
is hawk swoop and plunder is eagle’s lament
until love’s labours lost and all labour spent.
- * As far as I know, Dylan never wrote this line, but for many of his young listeners in the early days he seemed to be almost prophetically answering the question. Though if you ever asked what that answer was, probably there wouldn’t have been much more than a shrug or a laugh in response.