Posted by: Mark Nielsen | September 10, 2019

Bob Dylan’s Blue Eye -orig. poem by Mark Nielsen

Dylan & Ginsberg read Kerouac, from “Rolling Thunder Revue”, Martin Scorsese’s inspired documentary, available now on Netflix

Bob Dylan’s Blue Eye

-a poem inspired by rolling thunder resurrected from 1976, 9-10-19

Bob and Allen Ginsberg are at Kerouac’s grave in Lowell,

105 miles from the ocean at Plymouth Rock,

first stop for the carnival.

Together, even in unison,

they read some choruses

from Jack’s Mexico City Blues about death.

Life is to be celebrated,

precisely because death is out there, stalking.

Bob says he got the book in ’59 from a Minneapolis friend.

Mind permanently blown.

The asshole German’s camera

(invited along to bear witness,

to capture graveside incantations forever)

for once tells the same story–

–a truthful, wonder-full, unmasked, unfettered, dreamlike story–

same story

as the mike,

as the poem,

as the paper it’s printed on,

as the grass they stand upon,

as the rock of Jack’s gravestone,

as the perfect dust in the coffin,

dust which has now become air and Spirit

(precisely as the poem suggests),

Air which is the soul of Ti Jean,

listening in, laughing,

fluffing the feather in Bob’s Western cap.

Air enters and exits both men’s lungs, crossing their lips, forming words, resurrecting ideas,

forming words, resurrecting ideas,

cemetery whispers blowing around

like Autumn Leaves,

an old whispered melody

soon to be Howled from Bob’s carnival stage,

but for now,

it’s just two men blowing in the wind,

blowing upon a rapidly fading spark

in a Burning Bush of a book,

spark from the fire of a long ago friend,

with all three (and me)

trying to beat death at its own game

(“Time is an ocean / But it ends at the shore”

… sung defiantly by the carny sideshow barker.

Your move, death).

The spark leaps from the page to become

a glint in Bob’s blue eye,

and through his eyes, once and for all,

though only momentarily,

I see clearly not just what he sees, The Ineffable,

but how he sees.

My heaviness dissipates in the crisp, lively autumn air,

and a distant thunder signals that the storm has turned.

An inner flame ignites.

Grief is wrapped in Gratitude’s arms

and takes in the warmth

(which I shall soon emanate again).

I float upon that same Bicentennial air,

that 1959 air,

on Shakespeare’s and Jesus’ and Mount Denali’s

ancient, rarified on-fire air,

upon air filled with pollen but also mold,

filled with possibility,

but heavy with smoke

from dashed or defied expectations.

Its dust motes are lit with eternity’s Light, banging big like a kick drum,

though seen just barely, from my distant shore.

I am only the dot above Bob’s blue “i”,

in the word Wind.

I am the beautiful nearly-nothing, but I am something.

I am no more knowable than the answer in that wind

(yet I am fully known, nevertheless,

and because I pay attention,

forever I will know what I know).


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