Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Dan Bern Wisdom

I realize a lot of you may not even have one iota of a clue who Dan Bern is, so I'll clue you in: he's this generation's Bob Dylan - less tuneful than poetic. Political, abstract, irreverent, and occasionally relevant. In honor of Dan Bern, I've constructed this blog post entirely from his song lyrics. 

Sometimes I walk and wish LA was some small town near Monterey.  I got a walkman on my head every step I take; put Thorazine in my morning coffee break. I lock all the doors, click click click bang bang.

I caught a cold and for two days straight my ears have been plugged up, as if my body's saying, "You don't need your ears. You don't use 'em anyway." I still smell tobacco on my fingers. My breath reeks of pot and wine and sex. I don't meditate. I don't pray. But I eat two samosas everyday. The heat seeps into my skin when I get too terribly giddy.

Someday I'd like to be on TV, dead in your lap beside a gun. And I guess we shoulda done like James Dean did, instead of putting on weight and sinking down, down, down. If we had just skidded straight to Souvenir City... Down midwest backseat bumpy streets you sang my Beatles songs with me; I sang your Broadway melodies. Bad harmonies. We were just in time, - just barely in time - for another interview. Now it's too late to crash, too late to burn, too late to die young.

He sits at a canvas with a Marlboro, in his mind, "VanGogh, VanGogh, VanGogh, VanGogh." VanGogh sits next to me with a bucket full of paste. He rips off my ears and says, "Glue this to my face." 7-Eleven's got so many bottles of juice - I love the colors, but I decided I wasn't ever gonna paint again. You saved me from a night of trying to scrape myself off the wall. You don't have to leave. You can stay here. After all this is a love song.

I'm glad the coffee shop wasn't busy at all.  No one sits around talking revolution anymore. They all get their Starbucks to go. Yeah, I was sitting there updating my list of enemies when this girl walked in and the Universe kind of stopped. She said, "Love, love, love is everything."

I said, "Okay, I guess, whatever."

She said, "What does that mean?"

I said, "Nothing. It's just good to have a back up plan."  You can't talk to her long unless you're drunk yourself then you can talk all night.

Sometimes I think I'm gunnin' for the big time, and that big odometer in the sky just turned over. Maybe I should get into a fight, look for someone's honor to protect? You know, most days I don't want to talk till 8 p.m.

Now I'm sitting in the church of the Holy McDonald's. Santa Maria, Gloria Padre, holy candy wrapper beneath the foot of Sierra Madre. If I peeled away your wrapping would you hold one of your grudges? When we said goodbye I thought was locked eyes for a minute. Was that just my imagination? We were particularly low and mean, but it sure beats sitting around here.

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