PITY THIS MEANDER
In 1968 I reckoned with my attitude
and went north. We walked and hitched
unbelievably, like crazy fools halfway to
Vermont, but turned sideways to get to
Bearsville instead. It just seemed a better
idea than continuing up to an unkown
destination. Well. No. Not that it had
ever mattered before. Seeing a I was
on the lam, as it's put, anyway, I wanted
to fade. There was no fading there. To
the north, I should have stayed. Problems
abounded. In fact, really abounded. (If
you ever get to someplace I've been, yeah,
look under the floormats, where that lump
is, for bones.) Damn for me, I left my cat
on Avenue B. That was another problem
that would always be. Grimace. Yes. Blake.
A few dead bodies closed the 60's for me, and
a tad early too. Hello. Goodbye. Goodbye. Hello.
When it all comes down to that, it's way too
late. Beatles baby talk rock and roll envious
irony and Tumblin' Jack too. When I got to
Bearsville, this was the time - that Dylan guy,
short-haired and shorn, wearing a white
cowboy hat and looking like some Jewish
Annie Oakley out on his own. Him was
resting now. Kids and babies and dogs.
Circumstantial evidence sometimes ain't worth
shit. Like the book that's not worth the paper it's
printed on, or the guy that smokes his foot in
his pipe. Aromatic for sure. Tasty. Right.
I hit town - or as they liked to say once I
got there - 'pulled into Nazareth' feeling
'bout half-past dead. OK. The morning
journal was printed already and in there my
name was red. But. It. Was. A. Mix-up.
No worry. I went to the bakery and they
fixed it all up. Harlan, that was his name,
Harlan Forsooth, the village baker.
So, anyway, I said to him, I said: 'Now
Harlan, what do you think? To whom
(yep, I said whom) should I perhaps make
a forthright confession?' He smiled my way
and said, 'Boy, the key is in not saying a
God-damned thing. And if anyone starts
talking at you, just motion you're deaf.
Hell, I'll even vouch for you.'
He gave me a loaf and a donut too, to
walk off with. But, I thought, where to go?
I don't know why you say goodbye.
I say hello.