DESOLATION ROW – Guest Poem

DESOLATION ROW

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They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad, they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As lady and I look out tonight, from Desolation Row

Cinderella, she seems so easy
“It takes one to know one,” she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets, Bette Davis-style
And in comes Romeo, he’s moaning
“You Belong to me, I believe”
And someone says, “You’re in the wrong place
My friend, you better leave”
And the only sound that’s left after the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel and the hunchback of Notre Dame

Everybody is making love or else expecting rain
And the good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight on Desolation Row

Now Ophelia, she’s ‘neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday she already is an old maid
To her, death is quite romantic, she wears an iron vest
Her profession’s her religion, her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking into Desolation Row

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago with his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful as he bummed a cigarette
As he went off sniffing drainpipes and reciting the alphabet

Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin on Desolation Row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world inside of a leather cup
But all his sexless patients, they’re trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser
She’s in charge of the cyanide hole
And she also keeps the cards that read
“Have mercy on his soul”
They all play on the penny whistles, you can hear them blow
If you lean your head out far enough from Desolation Row

Across the street they’ve nailed the curtains
They’re getting ready for the feast
The Phantom of the Opera, a perfect image of a priest
They’re spoon-feeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured
Then they’ll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words
And the Phantom’s shouting to skinny girls
“Get outta here if you don’t know
Casanova is just being punished for going to Desolation Row”

Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders and then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping to Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero’s Neptune, the Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting, “Which side are you on?”
And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much about Desolation row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
About the time the doorknob broke
When you asked me how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now, I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters, no
Not unless you mail them from Desolation Row

Guest Poem: Songwriter: Bob Dylan

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edenbray comments:~

ALAN GINSBERG STATED BACK IN THE 60’s/70’S THAT DYLAN WAS THE ONLY TRUE POET OF THE 20TH CENTURY – PERHAPS HARSH ON QUITE A FEW OUTSTANDING WRITERS THAT COME TO MIND FROM THAT PERIOD – BUT THEN AGAIN IN PIECES LIKE ‘DESOLATION ROW’ – DYLAN IS AT HIS MOST ACCOMPLISHED – POURING OUT VITRIOLIC METAPHOR AND ROMANTIC AFFECTION WITH THE SAME BREATH THAT HE APPLIES A SURREAL MAD-HATTER STYLE SATIRE WITH RELENTLESS AND COMIC VICISSITUDE – AT THIS STAGE OF HIS LIFE – DYLAN WAS INDEED ‘CENTRE-STAGE’ AND LOVING EVERY MEANINGFUL SECOND OF IT – THE WORDS JUST TUMBLE OF HIS TONGUE LIKE SMOOTH, BURNING OIL – HE IS ALL THAT GINSBERG SAID HE WAS, MORE AND A TROUBADOUR TO BOOT! – HEART-WARMING SATIRE THAT REEKS OF ORWELL’S – CLERGYMEN’S DAUGHTER, KEROUAC’S – ‘ON THE ROAD’ WITH MAYBE JUST A SLICE OF CLOCKWORK ORANGE ON THE SIDE – A VERITABLE COCKTAIL OF HAND-GRENADE LINES!

🍊they don’t make them like that anymore – except that you don’t ignore MOZ! #Morrissey

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DELILAH’S THORNY BUSH

Delilah’s Thorny Bush

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Obsession was never ever the mother of invention

The host always has the advantage over the willing guest

We all long for the valley even when on the mountain tops

Deep down in the gulley, it is both verdant, fertile and warm

On the high plains, on the bare, smooth face of liaison

The impulse, the draw, the gratitude of Rosemary’s smile

No, we are never sure how strong we are or could be

Put to the test we might all crack under extreme torture

For temptation is a torture, as I pass that glass ‘candle’

and light the alcohol wick that burns contentedly at both ends

I often waltz with a dream through my amber haze

I dreamed I met the president and the 1st lady once, they were fake

In the absence of reality there are moments of almost divine pleasure

Like when I first saw Delilah’s real smile by the thorny bush

Awkward, disarmed, overcome by the weakness and the longing

Samson was only a man after all and muscle is never insight

The waves rush on, the tide never tires, it rises it falls

Behemoth, when was it we collided? – I forget things thats true!

But Delilah walks with a confident gate within her armoury

The ‘knowledge’ that she knows the way around one fool or the other

Lead me on then my sweetest Delilah, I’ll be your willing fool tonight

Take my will away till I am tangled in the thorny bush

Like Abram’s son and heir!

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writtenbyedenbray09.06.19

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THE SWITCH IN OUR HEADS

THE SWITCH IN OUR HEADS

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Marlon fingered the marbled, glass cubes he held in his other hand

His fingers explored the shallow dints like he was feeling his woman’s body

He enjoyed the gentle scrape as they rubbed against each other.

Six, three, one and two, he turned them over individually,

The door had opened at the far end of the wooden, polished room floor

that gleamed in the sunlight, that lit the darkened room like a Hopper panel

with all the richest, darkest tones and the two men in full view eyed each other.

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The painting itself was around 12 feet by 6 and hung on the one un-windowed wall

It was a massive landscape of the Wyoming Oil Fields caught in late afternoon sun,

Full of rugged detail with long grasses and a low, broken and wired fence

It ran off into the middle-distance providing focus to an otherwise featureless daub

Yet Marlon loved it as it offered hope and a breath of perspective to his city life

He often stood, legs splayed, hand on chin, comfortably content in its vast scape

Today it provided only back-drop scenery to this drama, too late to reconvene

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Angry words ensued as the men shouted the length of the sun-splattered hall

Bill’s face grimaced, almost contorted spat disdain and unforgiveness

Marlon could not have explained his point of view with more restraint

He pleaded that the case had other outcomes, violence was not necessary

Bill was carrying a weapon which he flailed, describing patterns in the air

By now Marlon’s good arm had raised and he pulled the trigger with control

Bill crumpled, fell awkwardly and the dice bounced loose on the polished floor!

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writtenbyedenbray05.06.2019

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Entity and Arched Ingenuity Spawned

I am a defender of the free spirit, a champion of the open mind

A bastion of the right to speak, a marvellous moment in the day

That shines silver in the new dawn of mans reason & determination

That echoes with the resonance of artistic thought; creative intellect

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writtenbyedenbray13.05.2019

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FRAILTY and DISCORD

FRAILTY and DISCORD!

We watched the fields burning
The sky turning black then gold
We saw the dark birds fleeing
Smart animals running crazy-free

I, am not embarased by my honesty
Like a bloody steak laying on a cold plate
Like a mysterious line from Hemmingway
Like a centre-page from Spick and Span

If we were prisoners of the Bolshoviks 
If we were sought by Gestapo puppets
Trained by the rigours of excess hatred
Trapped and snared by Delia’s thorny bush

The river still flows eastward muddy
The snow-peak falls still tumble bloody
I watch the fires burn and sweat anguish
I’m a sentinel, a watchman, a torrid tale

And here is a bloodied child alone
Confused like us rest – searching
Broken, bleeding with no meaning?
Shame and frailty – cover the child!



writtenbyedenbray24.02.2019  









 


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WHITE POST – TWO

White Post – Two

white post 2

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I’m on my way to the white post again

The white post calling me since I was six?

I follow the dog who is pulling the hardest

I always get to the white post the fastest

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Down on the farm some chickens are feeding

But which way do you run when you are bleeding?

Or when the white post calls & you are caught speeding

Follow the white post over the brow of the hill 

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The white post strong always stands firm, long & still

At the edge of an urban field earth-brown & muddy

Or by the golden sea waving tall in mid-term breezes

The pangs of summer roll on when the sea-river freezes

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We  want you back to stare at the stargazers tribute

Flying high in a sunburst sky of orange and lemon haze

I caught sight of Gagarin’s sputnik once for several days

The young Aldrin stepped on the moon in its 1st phase

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Which way now my love as we stare at the moon above?

Which way to the white post, which way is it leaning?

Which way past the golden fields, in the sun, gleaming?

Past the peasant women in the darkest fields gleaning

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I heard muffled voices and I noticed their dress, shabby

In muted colours, not a hint of thigh, arm or breast

These women are the patriarchs married all to sailors

Who battle the seas & return to their mothers’ heartfelt pleas

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The white post sees them, it’s the marker from Spring to fall

Where the tide turns, where the white line and the white birds call

Travel on then my beauty you don’t need to fear

The white post is still there, its got it all sussed …

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writtenbyedenbray16.11.2018

 

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BATHSHEBA’S PROMISE

Bathsheba’s Promise

BATHSHEBA

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O’ tumbled then the fairest whiskey both an’ the flowered wreath in Crispin’s wake

Who lit a flame and carried bower o’er’ morning dew whoever slew the fatted ox

Or caught the sun it’s nestled slew which drew an auburn haze ablaze at set of sun

The fairest wench I ever saw dressed with flowing hair and velvet skirts replete

Whose smile and pretty eyes in no wise disguise the frailty of her ficklest gaze

That meets the dawn of each and every mornings days wherein we run our race

With part hope, part fear, afraid to look even for some earnest cheer or praise or promise

Bathsheba knows and always follows at a distance decked with grace of a certain kind 

Written, woven, carved into her face and set, if not in stone, then with cautions steed

Who runs at speed while Bathsheba sits aside the saddle dedicate and delicate

Not knowledge, or esteem, or wonder, or gratitude, or lovelorn duty or respect

While we watch the ancient clock engulf the curr and write a name of pedigree

We, who were born to handle and cure the strangest, strongest meats yet hover now

Over death-defying feats, at least complete and safe in the knowledge of deceit

Good grace that welcomes charm is but lost on Sheba’s less than noble arm and hollow 

Of all these vestment balms she has but negligible qualms in dressing up to thrill

For Bathsheba is her only gauge and ambivalent to the rage that clatters around her head

In this arena, if nothing more be said, it is that she who has led a least extraordinary life

That flickers, … , brightens, fades, warms to a lighthouse blaze, still glistens off-shore tidy.

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writtenbyedenbray10.11.2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WALK WITH ME A LITTLE WAY

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Walk With Me A Little Way

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Seals_Blakeney

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Let’s not talk about our saddest stories

Let’s not spoil this moment we have shared

With darkened tales of pain and sorrow

With cold memories of what we’ve endured

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Let’s not taint what has grown between us 

Let’s not sully, poison, change the view   

Nor muddy waters so clear and clean

With tales of what should not have been

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We only travel with each other part the way

And distant journeys keep us together

Just long enough, the fewest words to say

Then, let’s not discuss those saddest moments

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And if I meet you at the wooded corner

Coming back from where you’ve been

Please don’t tell me of the darkness

In your life, that you may have seen

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writtenbyedenbray08.11.2018

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BOB DYLAN .. .

Bob Dylan

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BOB

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“Bob Dylan”, he said. “You musta’ heard a’ him.”

“Sure, I heard a’ him. He sings songs done’ he?”

The question in his voice kind of riled me. “A’ course he’s a singer, fool!”

I kinda’ liked Bob Dylan. He said things in a way I liked.

“Well, what of him anyways?”

“Bob Dylan said, ‘The times they are a’ changin’ and that is true now.”

“Come gather ’round people, Wherever you roam And admit that the waters, Around you have grown.” I couldn’t help my self from interjecting a little more substance to the conversation.

“Yes, that’s right, it’s an anti-war song I think.”

“Aha, yes I surely heard a’ that bastard song! Yes, I have.”

“Well, then you oughta know what he says later in that same song. ‘And don’t criticize what you can’t understand, Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly agin’.”

“Yes, I heard that song, I surely did.”

Melvyn and Caleb would dis-cuss matters in this way quite frequently. I was used to these kinds of discussions, so  I was not troubled too greatly by it.

“So then, don’t.”

“Don’t what? What am I supposed to have done anyhow?”

“Well now, I wonder?”

“Don’t criticize what you c ‘ain understand, fool!”

I didn’t like to say, ‘Don’t call me no fool in anger, man.”

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writtenbyedenbray28.12.2017

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https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/10/bob-dylan-nobel-prize-blonde-on-blonde

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ITS A BAILEY

its a bailey

when I was eight years old   in nineteen fifty-seven    on a sunday morning  with  2 way  family favourites playing on the radio    I came down late for breakfast    which was a weetabix   and I observed the actions of the family    like joe browns song   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️   dad was working in his shed    mum was working in the kitchen    brother was reading on the sofa   ⚫️   i felt neglected  abandoned  alone   ⚫️   properly alone probably for the first time in my life   ⚫️   no one seems to notice me   isnt it a sin   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️  then it came to me   i would have to leave home   i was six years old   ⚫️   i planned my exit and i was very apprehensive  ⚫️   i had the coolest toy gun you have ever seen and i mean ever    ⚫️   it was a retro luger pistol  ⚫️   i also had the coolest leather casket type bag with a shoulder strap   ⚫️   i would need to defend myself if i were attacked out there in the world   so i put the cool pistol in the cool bag   put the strap around my shoulder and headed off   i made sure not to bang the side gate while leaving  ⚫️   i felt bad for leaving home   it had been a good life and i really loved my family but this rejection i felt threw  serious doubts about their love for me   ⚫️   i went out our front gate and turned right   walking past the front of our house and turned right again into fieldsend road   behind the tall hedge and i was gone   ⚫️   i journeyed up the hill past fromondes road and turned left into tilehurst avenue and down the sharp incline to st dunstans bypass   it was always a busy dual carriageway   ⚫️   i looked both ways carefully and nervously and crossed two lanes to the small bollard island in the middle of the road opposite the wide swing gate to spillers field where there was a hawk that flew high in the twilight   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   i waited for the traffic to pass and crossed the remaining two lanes   turning right and onto the pavement and past the two cottages set back on the far side   ⚫️   two hundred yards and i could climb the few steps down into sears park and away from the noise of the traffic   ⚫️   i was wearing a tee with  denim jeans and black and white bumper shoes   ⚫️   i always wore black and white bumper shoes with white laces   ⚫️   sears park was one of many great parks in our area of around  say   six or seven acres   ⚫️   i crossed the park diagonally  passing the open pavilion where older boys and girls met and talked in groups   ⚫️   i did not enter the pavilion because i did not like to see some of the words scrawled in marker on the walls   although most messages were simple  naive   love talk   or  kilroy  style drawings   ⚫️   tom loves maddi   cas fancies jimmy   susie shagged richard   that kind of thing   ⚫️   i continued walking the remainder of the park which ran down the hill and past a wide bed of tree sheltered rose bushes and then i exited into the wooded path that ran for three hundred yards through to west sutton and the gander green lane shops   ⚫️    on entering the path i was probably three quarters of a mile from home   ⚫️   it was warm in the sun but coolish in the shade   ⚫️    this path was known as   boney hole   ⚫️   it was called that   as it goes  because allegedly while digging down the lane  workmen unearthed human remains   namely a skeleton   ⚫️   the legend was that someone had been murdered and buried down boney hole just next to the grammar school playing fields   ⚫️   the story gripped my imagination and i wondered where the bones had been found as i walked down the cold  enclosed path alone   ⚫️   i was six years old   ⚫️   at the far end was a barbed wire fence and an overgrown area which spread itself onto the path   ⚫️   i exited the path into the warm sunshine to walk past a run of four or five shops i was most unfamiliar with   ⚫️   i did not know why but the sight of these shops scared me   even more than the boney hole had   ⚫️   i thought i knew the way from here though   through the back streets to sutton which was three miles maybe from where we lived   ⚫️   i saw the red phone box and knew i should ring home   ⚫️   i was still six years old and a long way from home   ⚫️   i still had the luger pistol in my leather bag around my shoulder   it made it difficult to enter the phone box as the door was on a firm spring   ⚫️   i knew our phone number as well   people recited their number when answering the phone in those days   ⚫️   i had been told to lift the receiver and say clearly   fairlands 4205   ⚫️   the phone box smelled musty and i had no money but i lifted the receiver and dialled the number and listened to the bleep  bleep  bleep   ⚫️    my family must really be missing me and worried too   ⚫️ i exited the phone box and retraced my steps   ⚫️   past the shops   down boney hole   across sears park   down to the falcon field   over the carriageway   up the hill to fieldsend road and then on down down down   round the corner   past the tall hedge and in through the front gate and the noisy side gate   quietly in fear and trepidation   ⚫️  dad was working in his garden   mum was working in her kitchen   brother was lying on the sofa   ⚫️   what a crazy world were living in   ⚫️   nothing was ever said   no questions were ever asked   even about the anonymous phone call   on the day i decided to leave home   ⚫️

            writtenbyedenbray17.11.17

its a bailey … using no traditional punctuation

 

  ⚫️    ⚫️

TOY LUGER

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