A Master of War (poetry)

This week I happened to stumble across a couple of dazzling looks at Bob Dylan, perhaps our favorite warrior of thought. Thought I put them up for your bemusement. With luck, sometime soon I’ll have a chance to review his latest, Modern Times, but for now, let me call on a poet John Hodgen:

When Dylan Left Hibbing Minnesota, August l959

Not even Dylan then, more like David the Blue-Eyed Shepherd Boy Giant Killer instead,

the way he must have looked in those Golden Book Illustrated Bible Stories we never read,

the ones with the pictures of the prophets, each with a gold record stuck to his head,

or like the Classic Comics Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov rocking and rolling on his bed,
heading on down the highway out of St. Petersburg, the landlord’s axe still in the shed,

throwing stones at all the stop signs a-bleeding in his head.

Wasn’t he a singing terrorist then, slaying us in the aisles, knocking us dead,

like some wild-eyed kid from Fallujah now, his machine gun guitar slipped over his head,

his ass in a sling, his mind full of dynamite, his righteous streets turning red,

his only song his heaven’s door, toward which he runs, arms outspread.

Oh, Zimmerman, we never heard a single word you ever said,

from Ararats to ziggurats, from alpha down to zed,

our heads cut off, our tongues cut out, no words left to be said,

all the things we’ve ever loved, dead, dead, dead, dead.

And from the National Lampoon, back when it was funny…


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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