this is where i enter text


sign of something more

just like tom thumb's blues. simple. genius. nothing. a mirror (to the reader). kill the rhyme. now in time.

Bob Dylan is a genius. sometimes I forget that, and sometimes I wonder how much of a genius the guy could be, he's just a damned musician. And not a particularly classically pleasin' fellah by any stretch. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And then I hear things like my millionth time listening to "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and I don't wonder about 'lil Bobby Z for another moment.

If you skim through the lyrics and catch bits and pieces, as most people do, you hear a bunch of fantastic couplets and turns of phrases. "When you're lost in the rain in Juarez / And it's Eastertime too" "The cops don't need you / and man they expect the same" "I started out on burgandy / But soon hit the harder stuff" that's all pretty cool. They always said Dylan had a way with words. And damned if he doesn't.

Then, you listen a little closer. Maybe to a verse.
Maybe on the rain in Juarez. Maybe Saint Annie. Maybe you latch onto Sweet Melinda. Housing Project Hill? The Authorities? Drinking? Is that what you then thought the song was about? A whole song about one of those characters?

They said that Dylan was smart!! Shit! I bet the whole song fits together into one long tale. One guy traveling through an experience of some kind. An epic tale! I should learn about it. Maybe it'll be like the Ballad of Billy the Kid. Everybody knows that's a dope song about a L.I.E. boy. (That is about what Dave still looks like. Only he looks more like a rockstar now, as my favorite ex-girlfriend will have you know!)

Then you hunker down and listen. Okay. It's a story about me. Me? Why would I be lost in the rain? Let's find out. Hmmm... doesn't say. Must be bad if I'm there on Easter with these hungry women. Shit. Dylan knew one of 'em and now he can't even get a shot. What kind of shot? A bourbon? A shot in the arm? A shot at Annie? Even his best friend doctor doesn't know! Wait, who's Melinda? Someone he knew after Annie apparently. That explains why I was nice. How was I kind? well, I didn't go to her too soon. How soon is too soon? I don't know, but she's got my fucking voice, dude. Which leaves me upset all night. Maybe leading me to housing project hill? Fortune or fame. Neither is what it claims. But what does each claim? Well, whatever it claims, that's exactly what it ain't, right? Yup. Well, I better get out of here before it gets silly. What does he mean by silly? I don't know, but the cops don't need us, so we better not need them for shit, alright? Yeah, even the authorities don't do nothing but boast about turning on their own, man. Who are we supposed to trust? Well, learn your lessons from Angel because he left here looking like a ghost. What does a ghost look like? Well, I don't know but seeing one will drive a man to drink. Starting of with something easy (as seen in context even if you don't know what burgandy is) but then moving on. And didn't' you know, when people say they're going to be there, they aren't always. And when I figured that out and laughed the joke was on me because I was the only one there, so nobody heard it. Damn. that's gotta be ironical or something. And who goes back to NYC when they've had enough that's backwards!

And then you read back what you just wrote down on the first run through and relize that you missed everything. Somehow. Even though you followed the narrative pretty well, you have no idea what's going on here. Is there one character? Multiple? What happens to the guy in Juarez? What about the ladies in the Second Act? What about that brush with the lowlifes on Project Hill? Or the clash with the authorities? Or when we faded away into the bottle, alone into terrible laughter?

Damn. Nothing.

What about visual cues? Are there colors? Nope. Only burgandy. And that was a beverage. Places? Juarez and New York City. I don't even know where Juarez is. I know New York, but no two people know the same New York. So, even all of those images we pictured the whole way through were not shared? Nope. They were all your images. No descriptions of the people? Nope. Let's run through this again. So we've got... unknown person in an unknown place in unknown weather at an unknown time of day during easter when gravity fails and the unknown person of unknown gender is stuck out with some hungry women on a made up french-death sounding avenue. in that area i might see saint annie, but i don't know what she looks like or anything else about her aside from she left my narrator without strength to take an unknown shot of unknown anything, and worst of all, his best friend the doctor won't say what the narrator's got. not what his sickness is, not what the shot is, not what is going on, not anything. now sweet melinda enters the picture and she, though gloomy, invites me up to her room where i'm kind (of course) though i don't know what that means and i don't go too soon even though i can't speak, only howl. in project housing hill, you can have one of two things that every has their own ideas about, the catch is that while you can have either, neither is what they claim. although we don't know what they claim. and if you think this is nonsense, you better go back the way you came because the cops don't need you and you don't want to need them. nice threat. the authorities are bad too, though we don't know which authorities. just the ones who blackmailed someone to pick up an ungendered someone who was no longer the same person were when they eventually left after an unknown period of time. in fact, they looked like a ghost. but we don't know what a ghost looks like. well, that made me drink unnamed hard stuff which lead to an unknown number of people who said that they would stand behind me leave when the game got rough. which was funny because there was no one there to call my bluff, which meant i had been lying to all however many of them there were in the first place which means that when they left, they did just what they should have because i was lying to them just like they were lying to me. nor not (sic).

So... there are no details in this song. None. Every image is placed there by the mind of the consumer/listener/reader/whatever. Wow.

Then you notice that the emphasis placed on the rhyme is just there for amusement. There should be something linking those rhymed words. Some meaning. Something should be revealed there. a Relationship between the words. Something. here, there is nothing. The rhymes are pedestrian, if not the most obvious thing that would come to mind. But there is nothing to tease out. Nothing to infer.

Well damn, what can you get from this madness? Can you pick out feelings? Maybe. not the linear ones we so often hear about. Not Joy. Not desperation. Not exactly sadness. But there is a feeling of that. There is also inevitability. Passing of time. Change. Not from one particular state to another particular state, but from one ill-defined state to another ill-defined state. Not from happy to sad to happy. From imperfect to imperfect to imperfect.

Such is life. Constantly changing imperfection. Are you ever just happy? Maybe. But you can never know that you're just happy because the minute you think about being just happy, you're no longer just happy, you're thinking about being just happy. That's why the second time is never as good as the first. In anything. Until you realize that it isn't about being as good as the first. It is about being different than the first. The joy is in the change. The joy is in experiencing the contrast. It will never again be like it is now. It will only be different.

That encapsulates everything, right? Good. Now we can talk about how Dylan destroyed and mocked convention so long and so well that he became conventional. Love that guy!

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"He's just this guy, you know?"