Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 27, 2012

Steven Tyler Is the Devil (aka “I Dream in Future Tense”, a song)

William S. Burroughs and Jayne Mansfield had a baby, and they named him Steven

Steven Tyler Is the Devil  – a Surrealist song by Mark Nielsen

I dream in future tense

some call it prophecy,

because it all comes true.

Except that Betty White

substitutes for my mom

and Betty White is also you.

I see you in a mirror,

I’m in a Talking Heads suit,

Except it’s gray, not white.

I’m trying to find a door,

out of this locker room,

it’s going to be an awful night.


This knowing without knowing

is a heavy cross to bear.

I know the devil’s coming.

I just don’t know when or where,

’cause in my dream he looks like

Steven Tyler with no hair

and we all know a bald Steve Tyler

isn’t really there.

He would just disappear.

verse 2:

I’m onstage in the wings.

I’m waiting to go on.

But I forgot all of my lines.

I have to find the seed,

replace that zinnia,

then everything will be just fine.

‘Cause when it grows up tall,

it makes the medicine,

that heals the wound inside my head,

so I can drive my kids

to all their soccer games

knowing that Steven Tyler’s dead.

Repeat Chorus 2X

…and Fade Out… (furreal, y’ feel me?)


  1. After I posted the above song, I wandered around to a few other blogs, found myself connecting with one on forgiveness. I realized the above song is part of my own forgiveness process. The blog is called *Men [Myself] & God*, by Patia Braithwaite out of Brooklyn []. Gotta love a post that starts like this:

    “Those Oprah life classes make forgiveness seem easy. Sprinkle some quotes, cue Iyanla and PRESTO! Forgiveness for all… For me, it sucks. Holding a grudge is like emotional hoarding, and this prayer challenge makes me feel like someone is asking me to throw out my 300 eye glass cases that I know I might actually need! ”

    Click thru above to read the rest of her notes on the challenge of praying and re-praying to forgive someone you’re pissed off at.

    Meanwhile, reposting below my comment back to her:

    Thanks so much for keeping it real, bringing some stuff down to gut level… Seems I was following the Spirit down a nice rabbit hole in coming to your blog, as this exact type of “self-freeing” Forgiveness was also the central topic of my pastor’s sermon yesterday (Pastor Fred Nelson … …if you’re curious and/or from Chicago area… sermon itself, based on Miroslav Volf, might also be posted to website within a couple weeks).

    Forgiveness has been the difficult work of my life the past two years, especially with regards to my wife, who left me. It’s cyclical… I keep thinking Jesus has brought me to a new healthier place, and He in fact has. But then it’s like weeds in the garden of my heart: I see there’s still some leftover bad seed or root of the injury, a pain that we didn’t get all of, so we have to go back out and weed again. I suppose time and new blessings will make this maintenance work on the “old” garden less frequent or difficult, but I want grace to make it unnecessary right NOW, and forever. Not how God works… I know. But I’m not “sweeping it under the rug”, and I trust God to get me there slowly but surely.

    I think the strangely surreal song/poem I wrote this morning and posted at my blog [ ] is also about forgiveness, in a way that I’m still trying to figure out. It’s about *the struggle between the masculine and feminine*, within me and in the world, and the challenge of reconciling with certain people, powers-that-be, or ideas that are ultimately mysterious and elusive, or thorny and requiring serious *ego submission* (the old contemplative masters called it “humiliation”… and our dreams are often about that same sort of submission).

    Keep making that Mystery a little more clear, dear. We need it…

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