Tag Archives: life

Quotations and attributions

Dylan I

“…I’ll know my song well before I start singing…”

Now, I know there are more than one Dylan. Not the Brit, Thomas, but the American, Zimmerman. You must admit, if you’ve ever listened to him, he has far more quotable phrases than should be allowed one human being.

My wife has told me I should have been writing sooner but I always think of the above Dylan line as a response to such suggestions. Don’t get me wrong, I write. I actually write often, just not fiction. I have spent hours crafting fine, multi-paragraphed, liturgies on topics of politics, religion, sociology, and death. A little about sex. Not a favorite of mine for public consumption though, that last. To paraphrase Yeats, any conversation not about sex or death is inconsequential.

But for the writing, I practice. I think about stories and how they would work out. I lay them out in my head. I have spent many years trying to find my voice, as they say. There are so many things that come along with the writing that I thought it best to bone up on these other skills before setting out.

What’s amazing to me is that there are people such as Bob Dylan who know what they want to do and know how to work their craft from such a young age. I once told someone that Bob Dylan is more like Bob Dylan than I am like myself. What I mean is that there are those who hear their own voice so clearly and follow it so completely that they become what they were truly meant to be. Bob Dylan is a shining example of that person in my eyes.

Here are some of what I consider to be his gems:

“and the national bank, for a profit, sells road maps for the soul to the old folks home and the college.”

“The commander-in-chief says with a sigh, ‘death to all those who would whimper and cry’ and dropping a barbell, points to the sky saying, ‘the sun’s not yellow it’s chicken.”

“If I had the stars from the darkest night and the diamonds from the deepest ocean, I’d trade them all for your sweet kiss ‘for that’s all I’m wishing to be owning.”

“Grandpa died last week and now he’s buried in the rocks. Everybody still talks about how badly they are shocked. But me, I expected it to happen. I knew he’d lost control when he built a fire on main street and shot it full of holes.”

“God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son’. Abe said, ‘man, you must be puttin’ me on.’ God said, ‘no’. Abe said, ‘what?’ God said, ‘you can do what you want Abe but the next time you see me coming, you’d better run.’ Abe said, ‘where d’you want this killin’ done?’ God said, ‘out on highway 61’.”

“If you’re looking to get silly, man you’d better go back to where you came from because the cops don’t need you and man they expect the same.”

“They’re selling postcards of the hanging. They’re painting their passports brown. The beauty parlor’s filled with sailors: the circus is in town.”

“now I didn’t mean to be nosy but I went into a bank to get some bail for Arab and all the boys back in the tank. They asked me for some collateral and I pulled down my pants”

“But I mean no harm, nor put fault, in anyone who lives in a vault but it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him.”