Rock/Soul/Prog, Spring 2008

Robert Zimmerman

April 16th, 2008 by · 1 Comment

impossible to describe without the tired clichés of almostbeatpoets, analyzed to death and distraction, how to do verbal justice to the man of his time, our time, of past and modern times? an anathema to apple pie americana, he scorns his followers and critics alike – is anyone worthy of his admiration? we can’t all be guthrie and ginsberg, killing fascists and howling, can’t even come close to that degree of highly concentrated insanity and brilliance. how frustrating it must be to sit in a press conference and listen to the bland, atonal drivel of reporters, lesser creatures, lesser mortals (you try so hard but you don’t understand!). not a pop singer, not a folk rocker, so what are you? a song and dance man, he says, and leaves it at that. so. how to do him justice if he rejects all classification, rejects all order and society, rejects even the folk singers and hippies? but what poetry – ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet? a simple transcript of his winding lyrical acrobatics would be a greater tribute than any i could give, sitting here in my office with the fluorescent light starting to flicker out (and the ghosts of electricity howls in the bones of her face). if he were easy to figure out, it wouldn’t be worth it, now, would it? emulated from seattle to new york. maybe we’re giving him too much credit? piss-drunk, angry, emaciated and sarcastic, how can this be our finest hour? we wish we could say we see a bit of ourselves in him, but god knows we don’t, not even close (name me someone that’s not a parasite, and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him). he is a guitar and a harmonica and a whining drawl, a minnesota boy in the big city, a moment in time and a stream of unconsciousness (couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me any better than that) (sweet lady). who are you, man? a little bit of the open road (out here a thousand miles from my home) but don’t expect him to tell you that. anyway, you wouldn’t understand him if he did.

Original post by nomalley12

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