Poems & Other Pieces


Go Away You Bomb

For Dave Glover

Lonesome Christmas

Blowin' In The Wind

The Kennedy Poems

A Message From Bob Dylan

A Letter From Bob Dylan

Six Poems

Letter To Larry

Dear Mummy

Letters To Tami Dean

First Letter

Second Letter

Third Letter

Fourth Letter

Walk Down Crooked Highway

Adam's Rib


Go Away You Bomb


Go away you Bomb get away go away

Fast right now fast quick you get me sick

My good gal don' like you none an' the kids on my corner are sacred a' you

An' my friends 're gettin headaches that split an' spit an'

That kind a feelin' is rubbin' off on me an' I don' like it none too good

I hate the letters in yer word - B that means bad yer so bad that even

A dead hog in the sun would get up an' run O that stands for orrible

Yer so orrible that the word drops it's first letter and runs  M

that stands for morgue an' all them folks in it 're feelin' lucky an' I don't

Mind folks feelin' lucky but I hate that feelin' of envy an' sometimes when

I get to thinkin' about how lucky they are I get envicious

of 'm an' that's a bad lonesome feelin' too B - that means bad but that's

The second time 'round so it's twice as bad


I hate you cause you make my life seem like nothin' at all

I hate you cause yer name's lost it's meaning an' you can fool anybody now

I hate you cause yer man made and man owned an' man handled

An' you might be missmade an' miss-owned an' miss handled an' even miss used

An' I hate you cause you could drop on me by accident an' kill me

An' I never liked yuh anyway - I'm against yuh to begin with

An' I hate you twice as much as Jimm Crow hates me


I want that bomb - I want it hangin' out a' my pocket an' danglin'

On my key-chain - I want it strapped to my belt buckle -

I want it stickin' out a' my boot

I want it fallin' out a' my sock

I wanna wear it on my wedding finger an' I wanna tie it with bandanas

To my head


I want that Bomb -

I want it settin in my mouth like a cigar

I want it stickin from my ears like a carrot

I wanna look in the mirror an' see it in my eyes

I want one in both hands

I want two in both arms

I want that bomb to be hangin' an' hurtin' an' shinin' an' burnin'

I want it glowing and backbiting - and whistling an' side winding

I want it showin' all over my living self

I want it breathin' from every porthole

I want it blowin' from every pore

I want it weightin' me down so I can't even walk right

I wanna get up in the mornin' an scare the day right out a' it's dawn

Then I walk into the White House an' say "DIG YOURSELVE'S"


Poem written for Izzy Young's Bomb Book 1962

[Source: photocopy of manuscript]





For Dave Glover


We used t drink cough medicine bottles a vodka t'gether

We used t stay up all nite laughin and singin

And we did that when there weren't too many people doin it

Hey man - I'm sorry - // I mean I'm really sorry

I wrote many lines in the past few years but there ain't no letters in

                      none a the words t spell out how sorry I am

It's a complicated day

I keep rememberin the songs we used t sing an play

The songs written thirty fifty years ago

The dirt farm songs - the dust bowl songs

The depression songs - the down and out songs

The ol blues and ballads

I think a Woody's songs

I think a Woody's day

"This land I'll defend with my life if it be"

An I say t myself "Yeah that's right"

"Hitler's on the march"

"I don't wan''m takin my ground"

"I don't wan''m livin on my land"

An I see two side man

I see two roads to pick yer route

The American way or the Fascist way

When there was a strike there's only two kind of views

An two kinds of tales t tell the news

Thru the unions eyes or thru the bosses eyes

An yuh could stand on a line an look at yer friends

An stand on that same line an see yer foes

It was that easy

"Which Side're You On" ain't phony words

An they ain't from a phony song

                      An that was Woody's day man

Two sides

I don know what happened cause I wasn't aroun but somewhere along

                      the line a that used t be day things got messed up

More kinds a sides come int' the story

Folks I guess started switchin sides an makin up their own sides

There got t be so many sides that no eyes could could see the eyes facin'm

There got t be so many sides that all of'm started lookin' like each other

I don pretend to know what happened man, but somehow all sides lost their

                      purpose an folks forgot about other folks

I mean they must a all started goin against each other not for the good

                      a their side but for the good a jes their own selves

An them two simple sides that was so easy t tell apart bashed an

                      boomed an exploded so hard an heavy that t'day all'ts left and

                      made for us is the one big rockin rollin



Nowadays folk's brains're bamboozled an bowled over by categories

                      labels an slogans an advertisements that could send anybody's

                      head in a spin

It's hard t believe anybody's tellin the truth for what that is

I swear it's true that in some parts a the country folks believe the

                      finger-pointers more'n the President

It's the time a the flag wavin shotgun carryin John Birchers

It's the time a the killer dogs an killer sprays

It's the time a the billbord sign super flyin highways

It's the time a the pushbutton foods an five minute fads

It's the time a the white collar shirt an the white sheeted hood and the

                      white man's sun tan lotion

It's time a guns and grenades an bombs bigger'n any time's ever seen

It's the time a Liz Taylor fans - sports fans and electric fans

It's the time when a twenty year ol colored boy with his head bloody

                      don get too much thought from the seventy year ol senator who

                      wants t bomb Cuba

I don't know who the people were man that let it get this way but they

                      got what they wanted out a their lives an left me an you facin a

                      scared raped world

They frained the free thinkin air an left us with a mental institution


They rotted the poor wind and left us mixed up mislead

                      puny breeze

They stole Abraham Lincoln's road an sold us Bill Moore's highway

They shot down trees - buried the leaves an nailed "Profess" t the


They damned up the clear runnin river of "Love thy neighbor"

                      said by Jesus Christ a Bethlehem an poluted us with "I'll guard"

                      "the school with my body" said by governor Wallace of


They robbed the Constitution of the land an snuck in the censors of

                      the mind

They bought up everythin at the auction an left us with a garbage

                      market a fools an fears an frustratin phoniness


Yuh ask how I'm doin Dave

I'm still singin - I'm still writin

I'm still doin all a things I used to do I guess

But the difference is probably that now I really ain't thinkin

                      about what I'm doing no more

I do worry no more bout the covered up lies and twisted truth in front

                      a my eyes

I don worry no more bout the no-talent criticizers an know-nothin


I don worry no more bout the cross-legged corner sitters who try an

                      make rules for the ones travelin in the middle a the room

I'm singin an writin what's on my own mind now

What's in my own head and what's in my own heart

I'm singin for me an a million other me's that've been forced t'gether

                      by the same feelin


Not by no kind a side

Not by no kind a category

People hung up and strung out

People frustrated an corked in an bottled up

People on no special form or field - age limit or class

I can't sing "Red Apple juice" no more

I gotta sing "masters a War"

I can't sing "Little Maggie" with a clear head

I gotta sing "Seven Curses" instead

I can't sing "John Henry"

I gotta sing "Hollis Brown"

I can't Sing "John Johannah" cause it's his story an his people's story

I gotta sing "With God On My Side" cause it's my story an my


I can't sing "The Girl I Left Behind" cause I know what it's like

                      to do it

I gotta sing "Boots a Spanish Leather" cause I know what's like

                      to live it

But don't get me wrong now

Don think I go way out a my way not t sing no folk songs

That ain't it at all

The folk songs showed me the way

They showed me that songs can say somethin human

Without "Barbara Allen" there'd be no "Girl From The North Country"

Without no "Lone Green Valley" there'd be no "Don't Think Twice"

Without no "Jesse James" there'd be no "Davy Moore"

Without no "Twenty one Years" there'd be no "Walls a Red Wing"

Hell no

Them ol songs're the only kinda picture left t show the new born

                      how it used t be in them times

Them ol songs tell us what they had t run thru or walk thru or

                      dance thru

The ol songs tell how they loved an how they kissed

They tell us what they rejected and objected to

They laid it down an made the path

They were simple an tol the story straight

They said who they fought an what they fought for an with what they

                      fought with

An who they fought against

Now's a complicated day

An all I'm sayin' is'at I gotta make my own statement bout this day

I gotta write my own feelins down the same way they did it before

                      me in that used t be day

An I got nothin but homage an holy thinkin for the ol songs and


But now there's me an you

An I'm doin what I'm doin for me

An I'm doin what I'm doin for you


I'm writin an singin for me

An I'm writin an singin for you

I'm writin an singin for me cause I'm human an I'm breathin

In a world that was made for me

I'm writin an singin for you cause yer a part a me an everythin I

                      stand for

I don know why I aint written t yuh

maybe cause I never write letters t'myself

yeah maybe that's why


                                            See yuh when I get there


                                                                                       yer friend


                                                                                                                                   Bob Dylan


[Source: the Newport Folk Festival program 1963]




Lonesome Christmas


the school quarter ended, an there I stood ...

stranded ha ...

it was harder then I thought yes...

I dont think I made it ... no ... the nite was drunk and it was now winter ...

Christmas vacation ... the almighty restin

period ...

I was livin in this fraternity house.

Everybody's gone ... they all went home ... the house?

mine ... belongs t me.

big lonesome house.

nobody's even ???? not even in the kitchen ...

I sat between two barrals of butter this mornin. thinkin about poor me.

sittin between two barrals of butter.

it's now nite the street is mine.

god it's lonesome ...

who will I go see?

I love Judy.

Judy says she loves me but she also says she's busy. I told her I love her ...

I hate her cause I sense she dont love me ...

I wish I didn't love her. I wish she'd invite me for christmas for

christ's sake ... I wish I had a car ...

I wish I wish. Hey mr. christmas man I wanna know where I'm supposed t be.

gimme that for christmas ... (no answer).

I shut the lights off in the main room of the house so nobody can see me an I

watch out the window ...

dirty window nobody even cleans the windows here

well it aint gonna be me (bitin my teeth)

I'm just

roomin here ... they advertised for boarders an they got me ...

they didn't get no fraternity pledge of alligence cat whose got t wait

on them or their windows ...

I aint even friends with any of em

they think I'm odd ... my clothes an hair aint right ...

they smile at me too ...

sometimes I smile back but then they chuckle ...

why in the fuck do they chuckle?

I gotta chuckle back what's they start it for?

headlights turn into the alley!

somebody's comin ...

I quick pick up the phone an pretend I'm talkin ...

dont want nobody whoever it is t think I'm all alone here ...

the brakes slam the car door slams the screen door slams an somebody

who I hardly know walks up the steps an seems startled by me ...

he stops headin for whatever he was headin for as he hears me say

goodbye an hang up the phone ...


 "you been here the last couple day?"

 "no I went up north but came back down"

 "aint yuh going home for christmas?"

 "well I did man but like I said I came back down"

 "well where you going for christmas?"


I look out the window pretendin I'm waiting for somebody -

he's gotta have porpoise brains t believe this


 "I dont know I got about three places I chose from"

 "yeah well I's just surprised t see anybody here that's all"

 "yeah well I'm kinda takin care the house ha"

 "I'm on my way upstairs t get some books see yuh on my way down"


he jumped the steps three at a time thud thud ...

man if I had the guts I think I do I'd steal

your louzy car an turn on your louzy heat an drive down

that lousy road ... an blow out your lousy radio -

thud thud ... he's back again wavin notebooks.


"see yuh take it easy now"

 "yeah yeah take it easy too"


I walked upstairs ... the house was cold ...

the first snow that fell had melted

outside it was rainin

in the mornin there'd be snow again

I stopped into somebody's room an glanced

over some dirty magazines ... man I wish I could jump right

into one a them magazines ... ah yes gimme that

for christmas too ...

what's all this wrapped up ribbon shit ...

gimme some kinda world t jump into ...

judy judy god damn I gotta call judy ...

ring ring her ma answers.

her ma hates me.

snobby sort ...

wants the best for her daughter.

society bitch.

bitch of a mother ...

talks down at me when she knows it's me callin ...

sometimes she even says that judy aint there ...

judy says not t call at certain times ...

ah man it's all so fuckin complicated ...


 "is judy there?"


 "is judy there?"

 "muffled sound"

 "I gotta talk t judy"

 "a muffled silence"


 "hello judy?"

 "I told you not t call what d'yuh think you're doing?"

 "I just gotta ask yuh something"



I feel good from hearin her voice but feel sad

cause I know she's gotta go ...

probably with someone else ...

someone else her mother likes an makes more sence t her than me ...

ah I wanna cry out load an scream over the phone ...


 "when can I see you?"

 "I told you not t come back"

 "yah but yuh said you loved me"

 "but I cant see yuh this week"


 "cause I made other plans that's why"

 "but you love me - you said yourself"

 "but I cant break plans"

 "what d'yuh mean yuh cant, will yuh please come over here, it wont take long an ..."

 "but I dont break dates"

 "dates? ah wow I just ... I mean I dont understand"

 "look I gotta go please dont call til after Christmas"

 "Judy you son of a bitch you said ... that ..."


 "you said that you loved me ..."



girls have hung up on me an have hung up on me as far back

as I can remember ... each one promises t be the last.

I walked out in the lonesome nite hearin bells off in the distance.

the rain drizzled as I too wished I was off in the distance.


[Source: The Telegraph # 35, from the Margolis & Moss manuscripts]




Blowin' In The Wind


It aint no use in talkin about folk music -

It aint no use in takin stands an sides an gettin all sweat about it -

It don make sense really t learn names an shout labels an get yer-

self all confused -

It aint got no meanin at all t discuss an defend it -

An it dont mean nothin t offend it -

Of all the corners a the question there aint no answers noplace worth

       lookin at seriously cause the question jus aint that almighty big

What folk music an what aint's got nothin t do with the world -

It just aint healthy t let the music run yer life like that -

Yer life's gotta run the music -

You can't afford t let yer guitar own yer mind -

Yer mind's gotta own that guitar -

So what if other folks try an makes rules for it -

So what if other folks try an boundary it all up -

So what if other folks try an chain it down and tell yuh what's it all about -

It don make no difference at all if yer own life is running things -

But if the music's runnin you then yuh get swallowed up by all blabber talk -

You don have t worry about that's folk music an what aint -

Man, it's just a wide circle a silly tongues ant it aint important at all -

Don let nobody block your head off -

Don let no one weave a wall in front of yer eyes -

Don let no one teach yuh what t call things -

Just get up in the mornin an go -

Just open your eyes an walk -

Forget the silly talk -

There's a million paths t take -

There's a million miles t make -

There's a million border lines t break -

The shadow a the mountain sure moving an shiftin -

Raindrops an snowflakes're free fallin an forever driftin

Tree top're wavin an shakin an the fog is liftin

The white line on the highway's reflectin -

Behind the ditch broken down empty shack're still standin

Above the road an the cove caves're still hiden -

In back a the fence the dogs're still barkin -

The pacific Ocean is soundin and poundin

An the Monterrey sands're waitin

For yer bare feet t be walkin -

There's train lines rattlin an there's whistle's screamin -

The wind's jauntin an there's hitchhikers thumbin an bummin -

The color a the sky's changin

An the color a the clouds're turnin

An the color a the ground's fadin

Fathers an mothers laughing an biebies're cryin

Young girls're sighin

An ol men're dyin -


The dark nite's foldin an people're fightin an frightened

Ships're sailin an trucks're haulin

An New York City's crawlin

With hungry voices callin

An ol buildings fallin

An clothes lines're  stretched an strung out

With all different colors a pants an shirts hangin -

An the dirt in the alley's risin

An jackhammer dust's flyin -

An the Hudsin river're restin

An kid's voices're ringin

The hobo poet's whisperin and the bartender's not listenin -

The East Side is sweatin an steamin

an fightin' t be breathin -

Forty 2nd Street's flyin an floatin and jumpin an twistin an explodin -

Subways're loadin

Folks 'f all colors an creed're settlin an sittin on park benches an street

                       corners an curbs an roof tops an bus stops -

The back a the bar rooms're lined steady an standin full with road

                       walkers an road workers an road poets an road painters with

                       lonesome thoughts an hungry feelings -

Junkies an flunkies line the wind along side ban-the-bomb demonstrators

Girls're hustlin for dollars on one side a the street an

Girls're sittin down for their rights on the other side a the street -

The new Premise's playin

an Moondog's beatin his drum an sayin his lines -

Lenny Bruce's talkin

an Lord Buckley's memory still movin

An Doc Watson's walkin

Ray Charles's shoutin an speakin

Bertrand Russell's yellin from across the ocean

an Julian Beck's tellin the same on this side a the sea -

Jim Forman is livin an Ross Barnett's losin -

Harry Jackson's paintin -

Maybelle Carter's really standin an really strummin

an Mike Seeger's really real -

An Pete Seeger's really Pete Seeger -

An Joan Baez is still unshattered

An Marlon Brando's on the good side -

An the time's a rollin down every single street -

There's a girl waitin on every single corner -

An men're still breathin

An men're still breathin

An it's all music -

Every space a human life

It's all music -

An it don have t have no stamp 'f approval from nobody -

It don have to be ok ed by no one -

There aint no scholar that's smart enuff t invent the rules -

There aint no lawmaker high enuff t chain it down with boundaries -

There aint no guard that's good enuff t hold a gun on it -

An there aint no gun that's got enuff bullets an shells t shoot it -



An it's yer life

Do it - don talk it -

Forget about the talkers -

They'll always be around

You won't ......


                              Bob Dylan


[Poem published in Hootenanny magazine December 1963]




The Kennedy Poems


Mrs Kennedy ... you were crawlin

on all fours ... I saw you

they printed you that way

for the curiousity seekers

t get a close glimpse

of Mr Kennedy's last

car ride ... yes I too was

forced into acceptin my

role as curiousity seeker ...

they showed you in four separate

pictures runnin in slow motion

after you knew your

husband was shot ...

the second after you knew your husband was shot

you were up an past

the back seat ... climbin

down the trunk ...

then a man came runnin ...

he came runnin t'wards you ...

he was called a security guard

he came closer as you were farther out on the trunk

he jumped up on the trunk ...

there were no more pictures


showin this the magazine

then proclaimed that you

were tryin t help the man

into the car ...

Mrs Kennedy you dont

need excuse for being out on the trunk

the seconds after your husband was shot

everybody could see what was happenin

in these pictures with their own eyes ...

why was the truth of human beings distorted?

how far can this hero image go?

everybody aint a hero ...

why am I deliberately lied wild lies

about what I see with sound eyes

who am I t be so insulted?

I respect you Mrs Kennedy

but I need no pictures t provide the respect ...

my respect springs from reasons in my soul

of which I cant touch

nor explain ...

I do not feel better knowin you are human

I knew it all the time.



Mr President I too take off my hat t you

I shall abandon the rumours from mogrul's world

as old hags in high clothes

an court my truth as a youthful girl

an not worry about my heart being broken


oh some say it was more men than one

oh the wind blows bitter

I am sick t my soul an my stomach

thru communication I heard the high men speak of him

as tho they were best friends

all criticizers

t recall the day once more in my mind

I'd just as soon not for its useless


Broadway was salted like a truse had been sighed

all eyes were magnitised t each other

all regret they'd ever criticised him

even those who've even been known t 've dispised him



to compliment one

the complete reward

oh your hair looks fine today


I look at myself

with cause to examine

dressed in jeans

like the magazines say

ah I ask "would I kill the president"

for any reason ...

an men have reasons

for how they act

an I say



I stand an watch the clock tick

a bridge of time 'tween

my cliff an the one across

the great white way

I've never seen the likes

of where I'm goin before

I do not know how

soft or how hard the ground is over there

for its never been explained

in terms of standin on it ...

but with every tick

I take another step



stunned by disbelief

as everybody in the room

we watched Walter Cronkite

half asleep tryin his best

t fasten rumor t'gether

it was friday mornin

yesterday a riot started up

in Harlem

t'day at least for now it is no more


I shall court the truth

like any other youthful girl

an worry not about a broken heart

but the sword that bleeds

from a mortals blood

shows only its holder's reflection


Broadway was sleepin with people

as groups gathered round radios

it was


[Isis # 30-31 from the Margolis & Moss manuscripts]




A Message From Bob Dylan


to anybody it may concern ....





mr. lamont?

countless faces I do not know

an all fighters for good things I can not see


when I speak of bald heads, I mean bald minds

when I speak of the seashore, I mean the restin shore

I dint know why I mentioned either of them


my life runs in a series of moods

in private an in personal ways, sometimes,

I, myself, can change the mood I'm in t the

mood I like t be in, when I walked thru the

doors of the americana hotel, I needed t change

my mood ...  for reasons inside myself


I am a restless soul


perhaps wretched


it is hard to hear someone you dont know, say

"this is what he" "meant" "t say" about something

you just said


for no one can say what I meant t say

absolutely no one

at time I even cant

that was one of those times


my life is lived out daily in the places i feel

most comfortable in. these places are places where

i am unknown an unstared at. I perform rarely, an

when I do, there is a constant commotion burnin

at my body an at my mind because of the attention

aimed at me. instincts fight my emotion an fears

fight my instincts ...


I do not claim t be smart by the standards set up

I dont even claim to be normal by the standards

set up

an I do not claim to know any kind of truth


but like an artist who puts his painting (after

he's painted it) in front of thousands of unknown

eyes, I also put my song there that way

(after I've made it)

it is as easy an as simple as that


I can not speak, I can not talk

I can only write an I can only sing

perhaps I should've sung a song

but that wouldn't a been right either


for I was given an award not to sing

but rather on what I have sung


no what I should've said was

"thank you very much ladied an gentlemen"

yes that is what I should've said


an I didn't because I did not know


I thought something else was expected of me

other than just sayin "thank you"

an I didn't know what it was

it is a fierce heavy feelin

thinkin somethin

is expected of you

but you dont know what exactly it is ....

it brings forth a weird form of guilt


I should've remembered

"I am BOB DYLAN an I dont have to speak"

"I dont have t say nothin if I dont wanna"


                      I didn't remember


I constantly asked myself while eatin supper

"what should I say? what should I tell'm?"

"everybody else is gonna tell'm somethin"

but I could not answer myself

I even asked someone who was sittin nex t me

an he couldn't tell me either, my mind blew

up an needless t say I had t get it back in its

rightful shape (whatever that might be) an so

I escaped from the big room.... only t hear my

name being shouted an the words "git in here,"

"git in here" overlappin with the findin of my

hand being pulled across hundreds of tables

with the lights turned on strong.... guidin me

back t where I tried t escape from

"what should I say? what should I say?"

over an over again


oh God, I'd a given anything not t be there

"shut the lights off at least"

people were coughin an my head was poundin

an the sounds of mumble jumble sank deep in

my skull from all sides of the room

until I tore everything loose from my mind

an said "just be honest, dylan, just be honest"


an so I found myself in front of the plank

like I found myself once in the path of a car

an I jumped....

jumped with all my bloody might

just tryin t get out o the way

but first screamin one last song


when i spoke of Lee Oswald, I was speakin of the times

I was not speakin of his deed if it was his deed

the deed speaks for itself

but I am sick

so sick

at hearin "we all share the blame" for every

church bombing, gun battle, mine disaster,

poverty explosion, an president killing that comes about

it is so easy t say "we" an bow our heads together

I must say "I" alone an bow my head alone

for it is I alone who is livin my life

I have beloved companions but they do not

eat nor sleep for me

an even they must say "I"

yes if there's violence in the times then

there must be violence in me

I am not a perfect mute

I haer the thunder an I cant avoid hearin it

once this is straight between us, it's then an

only then that we can say "we" an really mean

it.... an go on from there t do something about it


When I spoke of Negroes

I was speakin of my Negro friends

from harlem

an jackson

selma an birmingham

atlanta, pittsburgh, an all points east

west, north, south an wherever else they

might happen t be

i rat filled rooms

an dirt land farms

schools, dimestores, factories,

pool halls an street corners

the ones that dont own trees

but know proudly they dont have to

not one little bit


they dont have t be like they naturally aint

t get what they naturally own no more'n anybody

else does

it only gets things complicated

an leads people into thinkin the wrong things

black skin is black skin

it cant be covered by clothes an made t seem

acceptable, well liked an respectable....

t teach that or t think that just tends the

flames of another monster myth....

it is naked black skin an nothin else

if a Negro has t wear a tie t be a Negro

then I must cut off all ties with who he has

t do it for

I do not know why I wanted t say this that


perhaps it was just one of the many things

in my mind

born from the confusion of my times


when I spoke about the people that went t Cuba

I was speakin of the free right t travel

I am not afraid t see things

I challenge seein things

I am insulted t the depths of my soul

when someone I dont know commands that I

cant see this an gives me mysterious reasons

why I'll get hurt if I do see it.... tellin me

at the same time about goodness an badness in

people that again I dont know....

I've been told about people all my life

about niggers, kikes, wops, bohunks, spicks, chinks,

an I been told how they eat, dress, walk, talk,

steal, rob an kill but nobody tells me how any of'm cries

or laughs or kisses, I'm fed up with most newspapers,

radios, tv an movies an the like t tell me, I want

now t see an know for myself....

an I accepted that award for all others like me

who want t see for themselves.... an who dont want

that God-given right taken away

stole away

or snuck out from beneath them

yes a travel ban in the south would protect

Americans more, I'm sure, than the one t Cuba

but in all honesty I would want t crash that

one too

do you understand?

do you really understand?

I mean I want t see. I want t see all I can

every place there is t see it

my life carries eyes

an they're there for one reason

the reason t see thru them


my country is the Minnesota - North Dakota territory

that's where I was born an learned how t walk an

it's where I was born an learned how t walk an

it's where I was raised an went t school.... my

youth was spent wildly among the snowy hills an

sky blue lakes, willow fields an abandoned open

pit mines, contrary t rumors, I am very proud of

where I'm from an also the many blood streams that

run in my roots but I would not be doing what

I'm doing today if I hadn't come t New York. I was

given my direction from new york. I was fed in

new york. I was beaten down by new york an I was

picked up by new york. I was made t keep going on

by new york. I'm speakin now of the people I've met

who were strugglin for their lives an other peoples'

lives in the thirties an forties an the fifties

an look t their times

I reach out t their times

so, in a sense, I'm jealous of their times

t think I have no use for old people is a betrayin thought

those that know me know otherwise

those that don't, probably're baffled

like a friend of mine, jack elliot, who says he

was reborn in Oklahoma, I say I was reborn in

New York....

there is no age limit stuck on it

an no one is more conscious of it than I


yes it's a fierce feeling, knowing something you

dont know about's expected of you, but it's worse

if you blindly try t follow with explodin words

(for that's all they can do is explode)

an the explodin words're misunderstood

I've heard I was misunderstood


i do not apologize for myself nor for my fears

I do not apologize for any statement which led

some t believe "oh my God! I think he's the one

that really shot the president"


I am a writer an a singer of the words I write

A am no speaker nor any politician

an my songs speak for me because i Write them

in the confinement of my own mind an gave t cope

with no one except my own self. I dont have t face

anyone with them until long after they're done


no I do not apologize for being me nor any part of me


but I can return what is rightfully yours at any

given time, I have stared at it for a long while

now. it is a beautiful award, there is a kindness

t mr Paine's face an there is almost a sadness in

his smile. his trials show thru his eyes. I know

really not much about him but somehow I would like

t'sing for him. there is a gentleness in his way

yes thru all my flounderin wildness, I am, when it

comes down to it, very proud that you have given this

t me. I would hang it high, an let my friends see in

it what I see, but I also would give it back, if

you wish. There is no sense in keeping it if you're

made a mistake in givin it. fir it means more'n any

story bought thing and it'd only be cheetin t keep it


also I did not know that the dinner was a donation

dinner. I did not know you were gonna ask anyone

for money, an I understand you lost money on the

masterful way I expressed myself.... then I am in debt t you

not a money debt but rather a moral debt

if you'd sold me something then it'd be a money debt

but you sold nothin, so it's a moral debt

an moral debts're worse'n money debts

for they have t be paid back in whatever is missing

an in this case it's money


please send me a bill

an I shall pay it

no matter what the sum

I have a hatred of debts an want to be even in

the best way I can

you needn't think about this, for money mens

very little t me


so then

I'll return once again t the road


I can't tell you why other people write, but I

write in order to keep from going insane

my head, I expect'd turn inside out if my hands

were t leave me


but i hardly ever talk about why I write, an I

scarcely ever think about it, the thought of it is

too alarmin


an I never ever talk about why I speak

but that's because I never do it. this is the

first time I am talkin about it.... an I pray

the last

the thought of doing it again is too scary



ha! it's a scary world

but only once in a while huh?


I love you all up there an the ones i dont love

it's only because I do no know them an have not

seen them.... God it's so hard hatin it. it's so

tiresome.... an after hatin something to death,

it's never worth the bother and trouble


out! out! brief candle

life's but an open window

an I must jump back thru it now


                                                                 see yuh

                                            respectfully an unrespectfully

                                                                                       bob dylan



[Message sent to the Emergency Civil Liberties Comitte after Dylan received  the "Tom Paine award at the Bill of Rights dinner on 13 December 1963]




A Letter From Bob Dylan


for sis and gordon an all broads of good sizes


let me begin by not beginning

let me start not by startin but by continuin

it sometimes gets so hard for me

I am now famous

I am now famous by the rules of the public famiousity

it snuck up on me

an pulverized me ....

I never knew what was happenin

it is hard for me t walk down the same streets

I did before the same way because now

I truly dont know

who is waitin for my autograph...

I dont know if I like givin my autobiograph

oh yes sometimes I do ....

but other times the back of my mind tells me

it is not honest.... for I am just fulfillin

a myth t somebody who'd actually treasure my

handwritin more'n his own handwritin....

this gets very complicated for me

an proves t me that I am livin in a contradiction....

t quote mr froyd

I get quite paranoyd....

an I know this isn't right

it is not useful healthy attitude for one t have

but I truly believe that everybody has their fears

everybody yes everybody....

I do not think it good anymore t overlook them

I think they ought t be admitted....

an I think that all feelings should be admitted....

people ask why do I write the way I do

how foolish

hos monsterish

a question like that hits me....

it makes me think that I'm doin nothin

it makes me think that I'm not being heard

yes above all the mumble jumble an rave praises

an all the records I've sold.... thru all the packed

houses I play.... thru all the communication systems

an rants an bellows an yellin an clappin comes

a statement like "Why do you do what you do"

what is this?

some kind of constipated idiot world?

some kind of horseshoe game we're all playin

respondin only when a ringer clangs

no no no

not my world

everybody plays in my world

aint nobody first second third or fourth

everybody shoots at the same time

an ringers dont count

an everybody wins

an nobody loses

cause everybody lives an breathes

an takes up space

an cant be overlooked

an I am a people too

I cannot pretend I'm not

an I feel guilty

god how can I help not feel guilty

I walk down on the bowery and give money away

an still I feel guilty for I know I do not

have enuff money t give away....

an people say "think a yourself, dylan, you're

gonna need it someday" an I say yeah yeah

an I think maybe about it for a split second

but then the floods of vomit guilt swoop my

drunken head an I spread forth more gut torn

bloody money from the depths of my forsaken

pockets.... an I whisper "ah it's so useless"

man so many people need so many things

an what am I anyway? some kind of messiah walkin


hell no I'm not

an I ask why dont other people with things give

some of it away

an I know the answer without lookin

security security security....

everybody wants security

they want t be secure

they want t be protected

an I say protected?

protected against what?

protected against starvin I guess

an power too

an protected against the forces that they know will

get them if they lose their money

ah why does it have t be like that?

man why are these walls built?

who is this god that is so feared?

certainly not in my life this isnt

yes I have my fears but mine are the fears of

the mind. the fears of the head

a lonely person with money is still a lonely person

I had never had much money before

an so it is easy for me I guess t spend it

an overlook it

but I'm sure that many other people could overlook

some of theirs too

I'm not speakin now of the century ridin millionares

but rather of "get theirs and get out" people

I dont understand them

I dont understand them at all

there's many things I admit I dont understand

I dont understand the blacklist

I dont understand how people against it go along

with it

I'm talkin about the full thing

not just a few of us refusin t be on the show

I'm talkin about the people that stand up

against it violently an then in some way have something

t do with it....

not just the singers mind you

but the managers an agents an buyers an sellers....

they are the dishonest ones

for the are never seen

the play both sides against each other

an expect t be respected by everybody


the heroes of this battle are not me an Joan

an the Kingston Trio nor Peter Paul an Mary

for none of us need it go on that show

none of us really *need* that kind of dumbness

but there's some that could use it

for they could use the money

I mean people like Tom Paxton, Barbara Dane,

an Johnny Herald.... the are the heroes if

such a word has t be used here

they are the ones that lose materialistically

ah yes but in their own minds they dont

an that is much more important

it means much more

we need more kind a people like that

people that cant go against their conscience

no matter what they might gain

an I've come to think that that might be the most

important thing in the whole wide world....

not going against your conscience

nor your own natural senses

for I think that that is all the truth there

is.... an no more

thre all the gossip, lies, religions, cults

muths, gods, history books, social books,

all books politics decrees, rules, laws,

boudarie lines, bibles, legends, an bathroom

writings, there is no guidance at all except

from ones natural senses

from being born

an it can only be exchanged

it cant be preached

nor sold

nor even understood....


my mind sometimes runs like a roll of toilet paper

an I hate like hell t see it unravel an unwind

at my empty walls

I'm movin out a here soon

yes the landlord has beaten me it hurts me t tell you.

this place I'm typin in is so filthy

my clothes cover the floor an once on a while

I pick up somethin an use it for a blanket....

the damn heat goes off at ten

that's mornin wise

gushes of warm smelly heat always wake me up

when I sleep here

the plaster falls constantly

an the floor is tiltin an rottin

but somehow there is a beauty to it

columbia records gave me a record player

oh the goodness of some keeps on amazin me

an sometimes I play it.

gettin back t the landlord tho

he is really too much

he owns I guess three buildings

I pay him way too high

an I'm gettin screwed an I know it

an he knows it

but I just dont have the time t go down t the

rent control board. I been told they'd get after

him but I'm so lazy. when sue was here he was

gonna jack up the prize cause he said I never told

him I had a wife. you really got t see this place

t believe it. I ought a've jacked him up a long

time ago an used him for heat. last year he put

in a new window (there was a god damn hole in the

other one) man it was like I asked 'm for his blood relation

or something (which he'd probably give away)

anyway the record player's one now

an I'm listenin t Pete sing Guantanamera for

the billionth time. I don't have many folk music

records (I dont have many records really) but

I do have that one of Pete's.

god it's like I go in a trance

he is so human I could cry

he tells me so much

he makes me feel so good

it's as tho all of the things that're sold t make

one feel better, aint none of it worth while.

all the cars, an clothes, an trinkets an food,

an jewels an diamonds an lollypops an gifts of

glad tidings, just dont do nothin for the soul.

I believe I'd rather listen to Pete sing Guantanamera than t

own everything there is t own,...

(that's my own private selfishness shinin thru there)

yes for me he is truly a saint

an I love him

perhaps more than I could show

(as always is the case ha)

I think of love in weird terms.

sometimes I even feel guilty about it

because I know I love sue

but I should love everybody like I love sue

an in all honesty I dont

I just love her that way

an I say what way?

an a voice says "that way"

an I get quite up tite

an I know I have a long way t go

when the day comes when I can love everything

that breathes the way I love sue then

I will truly be a Jesus Christ ha ha

(but I dont wanna be a Jesus Christ ha ha)

an so I am again contradictin meself

away away be gone all you demons

an just let me be me

human me

wild me

gentle me

all kinds of me


saw the last issue of broadside

an especially flipped out over

"talkin Merry Christmas"

I have never met Paul Wolfe but I'd like to

he has an uncanny sense of touch

as for Phil, I just cant keep up with him

an he's gettin better an better an better

(spoke with someone who was with him in Hazzars

named Hamish Sinclair.... an englishman

of high virtues and common tongue)

I want t get over an see Phil's baby

I'm told the girl came out yellin about

the bomb. good girl


my novel is going noplace

absolutely noplace

like it dont ever tell a story

it's about a million scenes long

an takes place on a billion scraps

of paper.... certainly I can't make nothin out of


(oh I forgot.

hallelujah t you for puttin Brecht in your

same last issue. he should be as widely known as

Woody an should be as widely read as Mecky Spalline

as an widely listened to as Eisenhower.)


anyway I'm writin a play out of this here so called

novel (navel would be better I guess)

an I'm up to my belly button in it.

quite involved yes

I've discovered the power of playwritin means

as opposed t song writing means

altho both are equal, I'm wrapped in playwritin

for the minute my songs tell only about me an how

I fell but in the play all the characters tell how

the feel. I realize that this might be more confusin

for some but in the total reality of things it might

be much better for some too. I think at best you could

say that the characters well tell in an hour

what would take me, alone, two weeks t sing about


I shall get up t see you one of these days

just cause I haven't in a while please dont think

I'm not with you. I am with you more'n ever.

yours perhaps is the only paper that I am on the

side of every single song you print an I am with with with you


my nite is closing again now

an I shall drift off in dreams

an climb velvet carpets up t the stars

with newsweek magazines burnin an disappointin

people smoulderin an discustin tongues blazin

an jealous mongrel dogs walkin on hot coals

before my smilin unharmful eyes

(of such nitemares)


an I shall wake in the mornin an try t start

lovin again


I got a letter from Pete an he closed by sayin

"Take it easy but take it" I thought about that

for an hour or more when I reached my conclusion

of what it really meant I either cried or laughed

(I cant remember which) I will repeat the same an

add "give it easy but give it" an I'll think about

that for an hour an at the either cry or laugh

(I'll write you another letter an tell you which

one it is)


all right then


shaloom an vamoose

I'm off again

off t the hazzards an lost angels an minneapolicemen

an boss town an burnin hams an everything else

combines and combustioned for me....

tryin t remain same at all times


love t agnes

she is one of the true talents of the universe

I've always thought that an would like t see her

again some time


love t everybody in your house


                                                                                             see yuh


                                                                                             softly an sleepy

                                                                                             but ready an waitin


                                                                                             Bob Dylan


[Source: Broadside Magazine, January 1964]




Six Poems


a snap a the fingers in the face of time

brought the clocks to a halt

brought the hour t its end

brought the

the village bells toll the

an the flags at half mast they're a wavin


Of his personal life I proclaim to know nothin

an unconscious comparison will sleep in my mind

between the followin ones

an their daughters and sons

with politics havin nothin t do with it

an unconscious comparison now sleeps in my mind



please if your not sure

pray not for death

on what you hear

   skills are cheap

an men are mortal an the hills're steep

for men are mortal an skills are cheap


you curse fast when the odds are good

an run your tongue as a dagger blade

into the soul that needs no wound


rap rap rap

upon my door



I skipped a rock across a pond

an watched the water ripple once

an the stone sank

fast ... much too fast

for such an arm

as strong as mine



no reach in sight mama. there is no reach.

yes, the long arm prances high


          and even daring

but according t the wind today

  there are no pockets waitin

          an the breeze has even built it's wall

   down with tryin.  down with tryin ... so hard

  up with forgetness ... an unknown regrettin

       forgiveness. not forgettin

   an then will the same sun rise tomorrow?

I pray your fingers'll stay deep in step

all but when nite's cradle passes

leavin all bird's songs undone:

please do not crucify the dawn

by grabbin for it ... uh uh an it is only me that

tells only you

      for the swingin of your arms

        is all that I need t see

          if you could


              believe that ....



LeRoy was the kind a boy

that listened t his ma's advice

when she said "LeRoy stand up tall

in front of who you're standin to

an you shall never be in chains

for they'll not try not even once

for they'll know of you there is no hope

t swing around your neck a rope"

an LeRoy did what his mother told

he stood up tall so tall an bold

In a room of peers he couldn't allow

t chain his neck tho he couldn't see how

they could do it anyway

he stood up so tall that the roof gave way

an he stuck his head out in the day

leavin his peers down there below

an he heard the doors slam in the house

an he saw the cars drive away



On the street a the city I happened t be walkin

When I spied a crowd watchin a political rally

I immediately started in it's noisy direction

An soon was surrounded by many a person

Who I guess were there for the same curious reasons

I made my way forward as the banners was wavin

Til I stood directly in front a the platform

As the people was shovin an the flags was a flyin

An as the crowd grew larger the band played louder

An I was bumped an thumped an pushed an grabbed

I waited for the speech by the good politician

Who'se name was plastered on the papers an posters

But nobody spoke and no speech was given

Just the trumpets an drums on a tuxedo suit singer

Who sang the same song over an over

An finally after forty five minutes

The air was gettin thinner an thinner

An I pushed my way out t the sound a the singer

An the song he was singin was "Lady Be Good"

An the hour was high sundown

An the day was low Sunday


[Isis # 30-31 from the Margolis & Moss manuscripts]




Letter To Larry


deare larry.

have no sports car.

weather., good.

traffic moving slowly thru tunnel.

breeze is from the west an I ahah am goin

t france tomorrow. have t look thru all my pants pockets

an collect things t send t you.

as of now I am in the midst of destroyin all I've

done (I've even crashed my old typewriter t pieces an have burned my

pens into little tiny plastic statues)

I know I will send you something one of these days.

all I have t do is finish something t send you.

in any case, if I am poisened or framed or kilt orratted on

I will will will you some edgar lee masters?

type (bob dylan written) poems of grand embarassment.

thelonius monk grand style grand (me upright)

the world's fair begun down there.

I'm gone.

Sailin on (across the sone) son,

sawn. dawn. anyway I'm gone.

I'm up here.

my adress is me-bearsville. just got back from trip t boston area.

sung songs at providence.


arrived in amhearst with 15 friends from cambridge.

left providence with 15 friends from providence.

ditched them on highway tho. (yes I pledge alliegence t the luckyness of havin

some so many friends.)

an here's t the republic.

up the irish.

ah yes my flag has turned into one color.

who fast?

me fast?


ha you must be joking. I'm not turnin. burnin. maybe smokin.

not running cunning.

not me.

I aint none of them things.

not me.

yes most deffinately would like t borrow cabin at big sur.

cant say when.



it just hit me.

I do got things of songs an stories for you.

my hangup is tho that I know there will be more.

I want t send the more more then I want t send the got.

yes I guess that's it.

that's it in a nutshell pruneskin.

that's the whole story.

nothin but the truth.

nothin but the nothin.

would've liked t spent more time in san francisco.

would like t spend more time in many places.

sometime I will.

someday I will.

tomorrow. yeah tomorrow.

I a, in a strange light alright.

I remember a few years ago.

tramping. bummin.

ridin the rods all wrong.

hitchhiking (pretending stock markets crashin all over me) thru the ever ready

usa. guitar on my back.

my thoughful tool.

yes an the only thing I wished was that someday I'd be able t come back

t these fucked up shootin gallery pay me for my playin coffee houses.

coffee bars.

oh how I used t hope that someday if nothin else. I'd have enuff friends or

know the right people t survive with my head at least as groovy as

theirs ... man.

I never got a chance.

I got a motorcycle tho.

but unlike the last ones I had on south dakota an minnesota roads,

this one's for the fields.

so you see, after all, I'm not really going all that fast.

you cant go too fast in the fields you know.

the only thing that's wrong is that there's no fuckin motels.

absolutely no advertising.

I'm the first one hit by the forest fires an god knows that a fallout

shelter'd be insane.

terrible buzzard flies an my front steps all loaded with killed dear

hit by cars ... yet I still wave t airplanes

an shit like that (what whit like that?) so I'm not all bad.

all good.


yes I've chopped much wood.

I'll write you later an send clippings from my head.

as for now there's a horn honkin.

must be for me.


or however you spell that.

will be in france for awhile.

someplace where they dont read life magazine.

of course I'll be back tho.

an will be out in sanfrancisco again.

I have nothin t do.

an no place t go.



say hi for me.

say hi t anybody

see you then

              comemoratin    figitatin

                agitatin    satined


                          homogenized. egg creamed. pie in the faced

                              egg in the eyed

              untied. complyed. plywooded. do-gooded. hooded.

                 lamp shaded understated hated backdated

           muscatelled. muscatold musca went wrong someplace

                       displaced. cock traced

                    embraced umbraced ohbraced

                         church laced

                           straight faced

                     an all that



                            see you then



[Source: The Telegraph # 36, letter to Lawrence Ferlinghetti 28 April 1964]




Dear Mummy


                              on the 21st



dear mummy

  it's me here.

i'm up in woodstock at uncle alby's.

nice house you oughta be here.

swimming pool.

all that stuff.

i'm with you-know-who.

dick an mimi're also around the place but i've hardly seen them

sinse you-know-who got a hold on me.

mummy you must believe me.

i was gonna stay at the foremans as planned i mean i was all set

to an everything.

anyway when me an mimi got t town an right away first thing we

did was t go there.

an you know me i was tired and it was already past noon an well i fuigered

like t get t sleep you know an well i got in t bed

y'know an jesus i pulled back the blankets an who do you think

was hiding under under the quilt?

yeah him.

i mean like i don't know if you'll believe me or not

but i swear t gawd he was rolled up like a ball inside the pillow.

mummy, i shit.

the first thing i did was t call for mimi.

mimi came running down the hall but do you think it did anygood?

you-know-who just slowly stood up an jumped on the floor.

mummy, his hair had grown down past his waist,

he was wearing this monster sweater that stank like he hadn't

taken a bath for a year.

mummy, he was terrible.

i mean like even alfredo the cuban was heard t comment later "ay tairdbil"

(aye, que terrible) anyway, mimi saw him there an she turned

an ran.

mummy, she just turned an ran.

you-know-who didn't waste any time let me tell yuh.

he threw me on the bed like some kind of caveman. (he hadn't shaved for about

four days mummy. honest t gawd. four days!)

an you know how tired i get.

i mean like i was in no position t fight.

an he wa sayin something.

he was sayin like i never heard before.

i mean like i never heard it in any movie.

i mean like he was sayin "hey c'mon hey c'mon" over an over again.

hey an you know me like i just fall like an anvil.


when it comes t new things that i aint never heard before.

i mean like i don't want you t think he's (you-know-who) influenced me or nuthin

mummy i just fall into all these traps.

maybe that second shrink was right.

maybe i DONT know myself as i should know myself.

maybe he was right when he said "Joannie darling, you just don't know

yourself" anyway, you-know-who, for lack of better word, just about seized me.

it wasnt like any captain kid came swirling

down from the masttype thing but still it was kind of wierd.

i mean he really did sort of take me by surprise.

i mean like what would you do?

i mean i fought an everythin.

mummy i fought him no end.

i bit the shit out of his nose.

kicked him where it really hurts.

clawed the back of his neck till blood came out a his bellybutton.

mummy, i blew so hard in his ear, i thought his eyes would pop out.

but then he did this dumb thing.

i mean like he was still sayin "hey c'mon, c'mon" but then also too now

he started reciting poetry.


like it was about the time i was

scratching an trying t bend his elbow off he started

calling me ramona.

i swear at first i thought it was some game.

he kept sayin things like "no use trying" an words like "exist" an

mummy i swear he even mentioned something about

crack country lips.

mummy, i couldn't fight.

i mean like i just couldn't fight.

yeah like so i passed out.

yeah an i woke up here.

aint played a concert for a month.

manny is calling perpetually.

victor keeps answering the phone an says "no, she aint here"

in a funny voice an you-know-who doesn't say nothin

excpt "everything's all right" an "nuthin matters"

yeah well i gotta go. you-know-who's making this movie

an he wants me t rub his head while he gets ready.

all in all everything i guess is ok.

house is coming along.

oh, i signed over my car t you-know who.

yeah, he said it'd take a lot of worry off my mind about owning things

an well ... it has a little i guess.

i wouldn't mind that too much but well ...

you-know-who sold the car.

he says that's better that way cause now i wont be pesterin him

t let me drive it.

mummy, he's the worst driver in the world.

i swear i nearly have a bird everytime he takes me t the shrink.

my shrink hates him but that's another story an i'll write you later about it.

    ok then faretheewell


manard solomon says hello

an keeps asking when you're

coming back

    ok 'bye

an dont worry bout me none


oh, p.p.s

    i gave that little tiny picture of me

    t you-know-who an he posted it on top

    of his ford station wagon interior


      mummy, i'm fine

      dont worry about me please

      everything passes everything changes

       oh, mummy mummy I love you so much

      oh mummy

    give regards t brice an pauline


       oh oh! here comes you-know-who

       i dont want him t catch me writin

         t you

         gotta go

              luv yuh




[Source: Joan Baez: And A Voice To Sing With, letter to Joan Baez's mother]




Letters To Tami Dean

First letter


oh how I got your letter this morning ... (troubled times yes)

why aren't you here.

why aren't you hear (here) ah the good an happy times slay me. do they slay you.

who are you.

I mean really now. (you know I dont).

do you write poetry as well as paint. (I read your letter twice.

my friend is readin it now. (I claim you to be one of thee great disrobed

artists. (your texas blood disturbs me) ... say hi t John faulk.

tell him I dont mind that he grabbed my leg.

tell him I dont mind at all.

as for you, my leg is out anytime.

I'll even close my eyes.

have you hitch hiked long?

stop soon tho' huh.

we need you on the lines.

we need you at home.

hey, we need you with us.

get the fuck off the highway. (a fine spade chick just walked by.)

write out a bunch of letters. (she has plaster in her eyes.)

send them by mail (an she is cryin) an that's all you gotta do. (I think

she was cryin; where is denton texas. I was in dallas three weeks ago.

passin thru. (up tite?) no slushin thru. (wierd)

mozze-in thru.

pullin in a gas station outside of dallas... "hi killer.

fill 'er up" ... "yeh yeh yes sir. right away sir" ...

have you ever rode on number 287 highway.

have you ever been in witchita falls?

it is rainin here today.

new york is a lonesome town. (as the forsakeness of high degree romance

overtakes me.)

my poor embeded soul.

mu lusty soul. (tell me about my soul.)

I said tell me ... click. (oh these humphrey bogart weegy

words at times do bury me.

why did you think that I might think that you thought i thunk

you were for a second an ivy joe? (wow!)

you dirty ivy joe.

do you actually know any ivy joes?

I know what a grassy john is explainin what color

you eyes are to me.

tell me how you walk.

yes talk t me.

forgive (please forgive) me an my directions if you never

hear any echo back again. (fuck the echoes) ...

I have heard your echo by that you know (must know?) that you must've

heard me.

yes heard me at one time or another.

sometime I will talk t you (as opposed to 'shall') if only my time

was mine.

right? (jesus christ anyway.)

hey I'll see you sometime.

sometime on a strange nite.

when the leaves're blowin.

an it's close t shiverin.

when the headlights pass above the bluff yeah (yeah?)

yes I'll meet you by the crossing.

the criss crossin on the edge of town.

in the brown dust. (sneezin) an you can sing love poems in my ears.

I will tell you how I see the outline of the sky. (yes we will

walk all the way t california. t salinas. (no. t sanfrancisco.)

anyway ...

I know you wont get killed waitin for me.

We will just be gettin up the same time on the same day an eventually (oh god)


at the same place. (come come now mr. dylan)

I'm comin ... hey I'm always comin.

an the so well oh wow therefore ahah what by far -

I mean t say is that i cant think

right now of t much to say.

you have caught me with drowsy thoughts.

I'm going out t ride the ferris wheel.

yes there's one down the street an my driver is waitin.

write me another letter.

I will receive it.

an you know I will read it ....

hey, so long

          an I see you then

             me ... muzzled? an puzzled



                in an out

                   reeferized homogenized

                   tenderized ... cocained

                            gas stained

                     high brained an half trained

                          tell me more


                    (signed 'Bob Dylan')


Second letter


my life, yes, could be better by you.

an also martha an the vandellas. (yes it's true I answer all fan mail.)

I shall concede t the fact I think you are a true poet.

as for my afternoons, they are spent on the smilin highways.

the hysterical street corners.

the mad blushin (russian) ever-flowin flacky snowbanks.

do you dig major lance?

oh gawd (oh god) you have t dig major lance.

I am tappin in time t monkey time. I am swirlin in "you get yours I'll get

mine" an then the music begins t play.

an the forsaken echo of gettin ready prancin.


it fills (believe it or not) this whole fuckin room.

I am out in jersey.  new jersey.

New Jersey?

I am swarmin in the suberbs.

we have invaded the home of a writer friend of mine.

his kids an my friends an his wife an my kids (all of us) yes we are

runnin wild with all windows open dancin dancin.

flyin around this house.

marvin gaye. do you know "who" marvin gaye is?

he's singin' now.

about somewitness.

he's gotta get a witness.

he's gotta get a witness and me?

me - i gotta get a witness too.

all of us ha yes all of us.

we all gotta get witnesses.

you ask of my notes.

are you askin of MY nite or my NITES?

hey, my nites are nothin.

I stay up sometimes all nite.

sometimes I even go t sleep before nite comes.

before nite falls.

before nitefall.

come fast, you dope fiend angel.

you methedrene pen pal lover. (you freaky lad sister) of (of course)

mounin mournin mornin glory seacher of jesus.

do you dig jesus?

yes, tho, come an save my poor (my poor me) lifeless body,

limp on joannie's strange bed.

my eyes are blue.

sometimes they (I'm told) turn green.

why do you write such short words.

I have nothin t do.

I have nothin t do at all.

i dont even have sometimes something t do.

I never have nothin t do. (ah but I do so many things)

do you do alot of things?

tell me how many things you do.

do you greet people on the street? (how's your soul today?)

do you talk t the neighbors? (what do yuh mean, 'what do I mean by the

word-soul?' just what d yuh mean what do I mean by that anyway?)

you must ask for cigarettes someplace (ok, ok for you. then I wont ask

you again)

what are you doing in texas?

I dont know what the fuck I spend my rainfalls like.

I gaze out of cathedral windows when I can.

at other times I gaze up at them from the rainy street.

an at other times I just think of them as I know them from rainly (rainy


remembrances of water soaked days.

yes an recollections of foggy wanderings to and fro.

up and down.

around an about.

here and there.

ahah i would like t meet you.

I would like t meet you as I fade out.

as I lastly laugh.

as I turn an smile.

an say farewell.

come an jump on me.

come an leep on me from a tall building.

I will be high so it wont matter.

I'll even buy you an airplane permit.

what do you do for christsake crizake crise ache down there

in where you live.

write t me nex time at bobdylan box 125

fairsfield, bearsville, new york.

yes you see, I get most letters like you write directed there.

it is my official allen ginsberg adress.  (even he, yes writes t me.

in fast form.

so I'll get it quickly, there.)

you write there too.

I'll madly rip your letter open in the dusty driveway of the

1p10 post-office.

tear it savigely an read it droolin an spittin.

I will dance down the almost forgotten dirtroad

wavin insanely your letter.

yes write t me again.

there is for you much t write. (as for me. my writin is too muchly

as it is) I have t run.

I have t run here.

I have t stop.

I have t jack off my digingness an stroke my uptiteness.

I have t think of my lovin memories.

I have t go breathe on the innocent front porch.

I have t go breathe innocently.

it's quiet there an I know in front that it's quiet.

perhaps that's why I have t go there.

in any case, the paper is growin dizzy on me.

an my words (t say anything at all) are

sting together.


               write an tell me more

                    I am in your bed

                      so please watch your head

                       mornin is such a bring down

                           faretheewell then

                              I'll see you


               breakin feardy worlds

                 makin wierdy girls

                      (is that it?)


Signed five times in three margins, a sixth signature has been cut out.


Third letter


hi there. gee it was good t hear from you.

How're the kids?

the weather here is just beautiful.

maggy caught a duck the other day.

little suzy is five now.

you oughta hear her talk.

jesus willikers she can walk an do all the stuff.

she comes in her pants at five years old an keeps

asking when you're coming back.


I'm ok.

fell down the chimney tryin t fix a flat but other than that I'm still

up an at 'm.

a hard rain rottled all my onions last week.

gonna write a song about it when I get the time.

jerry ate too many cream puffs an blew up.

we tried t feed him pills but nothin worked.

we buried him at the bottom of the pool. "strange algee growin" said

martha when she gazed out from the diving board.

you remember martha.

funny little chick hung up on masterbating in tin can.

yeah well, she saw jerry down there an shit.

the pool's pretty funky now.

this yul brynner looking

spade that hangs out at worlds fair is scheduled to come

clean at it at four o'clock.

we're all just sittin round waiting for him.

nothin new is happenin.

doctor zen says hello.

I told him you were off in oklahoma.

he says no she's not.

i say ok i dig.

there is no oklahoma.

he says you asshole there is no she.

i say ok ok he says hi to her..

doc gets wierd sometimes.

he stuffs lsd in his turban most everyday an is workin on doing

summersault experiments while blowing his nose thru glass tube.

currently he's expecting t come up with a new formula for cross breeding

belly hairs with rattlesnakes.

all in all everybody's been quite busy.

you oughta see Ramar von Cringe do his new act.

Highly top secret am not composed enuff t tell about it except that sky

gets black every time he does it.

jinx and her dog both got draged by high flyin railroad train not too soon ago.

jinx fell off in new jersey.

dog i hear dog ride an rode t florida.

lastly we heard he was in Mexico.

livin with poncho lookin senorita round guantonovistima square.

oh forgeot t tell you.

geno an hugh discovered they were writing the same book.

did pillow feathers fly around here for a week.

geno left carrying stash in open elbow wound down highway 95

in early mornin.


goddam you shoulda seen him.

doctor zen just laughed said "see yuh later geno"

geno never heard.

hugh sits with high powered binoculars up totem pole.

just sits there.

aint ate for a week.


oh god we try t pull him out of it but he just

mumble somethin about that he cant understand.

that's he seems t say "i cant understand i cant unnerstand".

neibors say they can hear him at nite.

i think he's sayin "a cannon hurts sand" a cannon hurts sand

but i dont speak too loud an keep the thought t myself

dont hurt no feelings that way an doc says its good

for one t talk t oneself.

oh, the greatest thing happened t mary lou you know-who.

she picked up some wanted posters at the post office an went out

bounty hunting.

caught this cat who robbed tennessee dentist of 20 pounds of gold.

chased him thru lincoln tunnel going 50 hair blowing.

dress flying.

trapped him finally in connecticut deserted mine shaft.

she took off her clothes an he came out with his arms open.

takin off shirts an pants.

she kicked his balls with boot she bought in texas.

the cat just keeled over an moans.

hit the front pages round here.

poor outlaw layin on ground.

mouth twisted out of shape.

mary lou you-know-who standing over him looking like teddy rovevelt.

yeah well i gotta go.

we're filming a movie in about an hour.

i gotta play humprey bogart.

things looking up a little as some fellow

yesterday offered me record contract.

zelda flipped.

says t do it.


i'm not too sure.

i ask Anthello what he thinks an he tells me two a n two never

make four.

not so muchs as ( ------ ) myself thinking about it too seriously.

i disappear in dostoevsky books dont come back til sundown.

have still got my eyes on the future an am not letting go of my

visions t make it with terry thomas.

my friend mavis says it's possible but might have t go thru peter sellers


i ask her what she means by that an she say the answer

is blowing in the wind.

i've always knew she was crazy but the chick has gone outright loony.


               watch them indians out there

              an remember

                 nothin's right







                           the goodest god





Fourth letter


so there i was. riding on this umbrella.

omaha passed gaily.

daily i shouted t going by friends "hey hey dig me

can you dig me on this umbrella.

can you do it can you do it?"

rememberin i had no friends anyway in nebraska i decided t cool my energy.

whishin hopin thinkin sucking huummmmmm feeling grabbing.


pulling scathing snathin snellin smelling jump humping

licking fucking wondering no hope thisaway not this time

that time yuhp uh huh that's the way t get 'm.

then heeeee'llllll be yoarssssssssss.

whishin and a hoping hopin rather gather me?

me open.

not scared up there.

ol bee jay rides by.

texas sweatshirt lost he says.

linda bee jay on shoulders shitting down his neck. "nice day parder"

he says all of a sudden looking like a chinaman.

i say "you men PARDNER, doncha buddy?"

he says "while shore" just then, this buzzard with frank sinatra's face

on, if you look closly,

comes flying out the poverty pavilion.

circles the sky.

throws out a few care packages of gorilla shit. smiles.

opens her mouth and her tongue reads "bang".

flies low over all our heads.

ol bee jay shook us all that day i'm not ashamed t say.

he just lean down on the ground.

picked up a handful of dirt. "land" he called it.

he just stood there.

weiving back and forth.

let the dirt seep slowly thru his fingers.

mumbled something about his back being smelly am said: "thas mah little

lady theh" yes an its been ever sinse that day that i have

become t wonder about just WHO should be allowed

t sit on OUR shoulders.

many times has been the nite when i have had cause t wonder deeply an most

deliberately about these uncaused sensations.

at off beat measures, they seem t be unconsciously eating me.

anyway today finally now i decide t do something about it.

yeah i'm gonna run for office i decide.

i walk to the door an start running.

i bump into fuller brush salesmen two at a time.

all fall down.

get up sorry now. "howdy i'm running for office" they smile.

i buy five toothbrushes an a ring for my kitchen sink. "don't put

it on your fingers" they say as wave goodbye.

me? i stick it dog's mouth travel on. "i guess i showed them"

back on umbrella again by evening time i forget all about

this running for office i fly around circus style.

watch for cave ins an dont be too good to nobody.

they might get wrong idea.

sneer at graveyard.

make patty cake thank you mam good gawd son is at London bridge about t go?

i mix up crazy phantoms.

exchange their eyes bust into plate glass predictions.

get in two timed position.

try t make it with the manacans.

mocasins hurling every which way.

see at a glance i mistaked mistooken inian indian's joe

for j.c.penny any.

i get chopped off head no hair under armpit.

go dancing back t where i'm better known.

arrive in a flurry.

hurry bring tools.

what? me worry?

my head back on backwards i stumble out door.

wave bye bye get hit by loose lion.

knock down cop comes.

old cop.

says what's wrong with your head.

i call him kimosabee in broken french.

arrests me as a trespasser.

i say i'm folksinger in real life.

he dont wanna hear it.

i say i'm poet storyteller.

he grabs my throat.

says theres a noose waiting.

i say i got influence round here.

he swings at my heart with fiery billy club.

i kill him leave him lay there.

paint muscateer on forehead so noone recognize him.

head off for points unknown.

wishin hopin

thinkin see picture of dusty springfield in closed out record store.

people point t me tho.

they're all pointin at me tho. "there's dusty springfield" they yell.

i say ok i dig that.

chase me muthafucker.

wham zoom fall in running river on edge of town.

small town.

everyone knows each other.

hey aint that dusty springfield at jes fall down

in that ther o water.

not me t care tho.

got much t do.

seeds all sowed.

corns in.

aint had much rain but the tractor's comein soon i hear tell.

keep rememberin messages of the city.

was there some time not ago.

roar thru.

dont never again live there no more.

used to but not now know for sure.

east side my own first old east side.

same east side.

village has moved over.

village unbelievable.

me lucky lucky.


     an god's own pillars've even turned t rust

     sugar tastes bitter. salt is sweet

     ramming bali ligosi girls on the tails of mice

         rats ring the bells

         truth dont lie in the alley dead

         bums dont die

     cleopatra's sister opens her mouth at the manhole

     tries t grab mayor wagner's son

     he him an them got better things t do

     everybody takes the clap for syphlis

     an hank williams dont never sing too well no more these days

     ah what care i for sorrow's tomorrow ANYWAY

     yeah ANYWAY

     the winds aint strong

     can only break windows

     time ahah

     can go thru anything

     but cant go backwards. sickly time. stiff neck terrible

     will go t death in institution. cremate style. in

     silver oven advertiazin perhaps camel cigarettes?

     hot point frigerators for sure.

     leave records on at nite when going t sleep

     an dont be afraid of gene genet.

ghosts on the highway. they will follow you. if you travel up

          these highways. dont you know that.

                         hold on

             jeep yr eyes on the plow

                         (or whatever)

                    later soon me. jeanny tarter.



Signed "uh-huh".


[Source: The Telegraph # 16, answers to letters from a fan]




Walk Down Crooked Highway


laura speaks of God almighty dragon up avenue B cut throat lyer in long pants.

barks at cream puffish meek salesman who asks: "can I help you?"

acid runs off her teeth.

says t shovel level headed doom freak down toilet.

string up nazi football player by hands backwards.

kill him at sundown hollywood bowl style.

invite his mother too.

laura ponders on historical documents,

memorizes who gets biggest laugh.

invites friends

over t discuss matters, tells them not t answer phone no matter what,

then goes out t phone booth an calls herself.

devotes full time t killing evil.

stomps on cockroaches like giant force laurence of arabia swooping down from peace love beauty

sweeping sky an hangs a picture of john henry over bed each nite.

i sit with bandaged head two floors up.

make sign language t harpo marx, try not t compare people with people

an wonder just who's gonna be born next.

"we're all in the same boat brother" rings from bong bong wall cracks.

clink an little white mice scatter tryin' to stay out of each other's ships.

i shout "commander commander ok i'm here, i'm here in your vessel now where do we go?

what's happening? hey hey" a thousand celloes vibrate from sound holes

of rang tang dobro

i hear thunder from left right middleplace everyplace

"follow me follow me" i turn, wipe eyes an laura falls past window going downward.

"what's at?" i yell "what's at you said an who are you anyway uh huh?"

laura hits bottom and screeching voice booms out

"up up up here. up here"

i look high but all i can see is shut off light bulb.

keyhole falls off door as ambulance screams from behind setting sun.

radio gets louder an louder and i realize it'd barbara streisand singing.

she's singing some song about people.

i dust myself off,

write "nothing matters, dear texas" across forehead an get ready t travel west...


[Source: Sing Out! January 1965]




Adam's Rib


Dear Jamie:


Life on the road is not what it used to be.

But what used to be may not have existed anyway.

All of Europe used to be a desert.

What they say about shifting sand is not unfounded.


Everything is happening by the clock.

Without clocks there wouldn't be any useful idea of time.

My soul is unaware of any time, only my mind,

my poor mind which is so bombarded with dates,

calendars and numbers has been deceived into believing

there is such a thing as time, woe me.


hasn't everybody at some point of their life asked "What time is it?"

It's no time.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down.

That's what time it is.

That's why it's taken me so long to write you this letter.


Anyway, Jamie, we say things like "Gee, was that a year ago?", or

"Look at those fields that were so familiar to me as a child

where now skyscrapers stand".

All of us can tell the story it was just the other day

when this or that happened.

That's only our minds talking.


Anyway, travelling around makes you think of these things

including my thoughts to drop you a line.

Reflecting on this, brainwork brings you to the realization

that this earth is truly God's footstool

and until the entire world believes and obeys the same God

there can be no truth or justice peace for anyone.

The soul never dies and neither does it know time.

OK Jamie, until the next moment, God bless you much,

good luck and say hello to the boys.


Bob Dylan


P.S. Congratulations on your second year.


[Letter to the Editor of Sister 2 Sister magazine, 1991]





This page last updated 20 May 2001.