The Primrose Blinda
The Primrose Blinda
The list of the Poets' Foundation
Poetry in RockUSA Classics

Outlinded epitaph #1
Desolation Row
Born May 24, 1941, Duluth, Minn., U.S.
American folksinger who moved from folk to rock music in the 1960s, infusing the lyrics of rock and roll, theretofore concerned mostly with boy-girl romantic innuendo, with the intellectualism of classic literature and poetry. Hailed as the Shakespeare of his generation, Dylan sold more than 58 million albums, wrote more than 500 songs recorded by more than 2,000 artists, performed all over the world, and set the standard for lyric writing.
I end up then
in the early evenin
blindly punchin at the blind
breathin heavy
an blowin up
where t go?
what is it that's exactly wrong?
who t picket?
who t fight?
behind what windows
will I at least
hear someone from the supper table
get up t ask
"did I hear someone outside just now?"
an hour ago
it came t me in
a second's flash
an was all so clear
it still is now
yes it is
it's maybe hidin
it must be hidin
the shot has shook
me up...for I've never
heard that sound before
bringing wild thoughts at first
ragged wild
numb wild
now tho they've leveled out
an been wrong out
leavin nothin but the strangeness
the roots within a washed out cloth
drippin from the clothes line pole
strange thoughts
doubtin thoughts
useless an unnecessary
the blast it's true
startled me back but for a spell
content with
all pictures, posters an the like
that're painted for me
ah but I turned
an the nex time I looked
the gloves of garbage
had clobbered the canvas
leavin truckloads of trash
clutterin the colors
with a blindin sting
forcin me t once again
slam the shutters of my eyes
but also me too wonderin
when they'll open
much much stronger
then anyone whose own eyes're
aimed over here at mine
"when will he open up his eyes"
"who him? doncha know? he's a crazy man
he never opens up his eyes"
"but he'll surely miss the world go by"
"nah! he lives in his own world"
"my my then he really must be a crazy man"
"yeah he's a crazy man"
an so on spangled streets
an country roads
I hear sleigh bells
jingle jangle
virgin girls
far into the field
sing an laugh
with flickerin voices
softly fadin
I stop an smile
an rest a while
watchin the candles
of sundown dim
unnoticed for my eyes're closed
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 fortunetelling 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
Then 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 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 spoonfeeding 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 Outa 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 door knob broke)
When you asked 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
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.