Last Thoughts on Woody

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    Last post ago about 6 years by Imagin.ation
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          Woody Guthrie was one of Bob Dylan's biggest influence.  After Woody died, Dylan wrote this poem.

          I interpret it as a poem of Hope.

          Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie

          When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
          And you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
          When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
          In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
          No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
          If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup
          If the wind's got you sideways with one hand holdin' on
          And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
          And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
          And the d's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it
          And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long
          And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong
          And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
          And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
          And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
          And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'
          And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
          Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
          And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'
          And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'
          And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'
          And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
          And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
          And to yourself you sometimes say
          "I never knew it was gonna be this way
          Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"

          And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat
          And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
          And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
          And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare
          And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
          And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
          And yer jackhammer falls from yer hands to yer feet
          And you need it badly but it lays on the street
          And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat
          And you think yer ears might a been hurt
          Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
          And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
          When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush
          And all the time you were holdin' three queens
          And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
          Like in the middle of Life magazine
          Bouncin' around a pinball machine
          And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
          That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
          But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
          And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed
          And no matter how you try you just can't say it
          And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
          And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
          And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
          And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
          And his jaws start closin with you underneath
          And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
          And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign
          And you say to yourself, just what am I doin'
          On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'
          On this curve I'm hanging
          On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
          In this air I'm inhaling
          Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
          Why am I walking, where am I running
          What am I saying, what am I knowing
          On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
          On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
          In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
          In the words that I'm thinkin'
          In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
          Who am I helping, what am I breaking
          What am I giving, and what am I taking?

          But you try with your whole soul best
          Never to think these thoughts and never to let
          Them kind of thoughts gain ground
          Or make yer heart pound
          But then again you know why they're around
          Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
          "Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping
          And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
          And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'
          And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking
          If that was you in the dream that was screaming
          And you know that it's something special you're needin'
          And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'
          And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding.

          And you need something special
          You need something special all right
          You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
          To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
          You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
          That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
          That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
          You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
          That won't laugh at yer looks
          Your voice or your face
          And by any number of bets in the book
          Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze.

          You need something to open up a new door
          To show you something you seen before
          But overlooked a hundred times or more
          You need something to open your eyes
          You need something to make it known
          That it's you and no one else that owns
          That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
          That the world ain't got you beat
          That it ain't got you licked
          It can't get you crazy no matter how many
          Times you might get kicked.

          You need something special all right
          You need something special to give you hope.

          But hope's just a word
          That maybe you said or maybe you heard
          On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve
          But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
          And yer trouble is you know it too good
          "Cause you look an' you start getting the chills
          "Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
          And it ain't on Macy's window sill
          And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
          And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
          And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
          And it ain't on that dimlit stage
          With that half-wit comedian on it
          Ranting and raving and taking yer money
          And you thinks it's funny
          No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
          And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
          And sure as hell you're bound to tell
          That no matter how hard you rub
          You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
          No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you
          And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
          And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
          Or down any movie star's blouse
          And you can't find it on the golf course
          And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
          And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
          And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
          And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
          That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'
          Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute...look at my skin
          Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
          Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
          When you can't even sense if they got any insides
          These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
          No you'll not now or no other day
          Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache
          And inside it the people made of molasses
          That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
          And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
          Who'd turn you in for a tenth of a penny
          Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
          And before you can count from one to ten
          Do it all over again but this time behind yer back my friend
          The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
          And play games with each other in their sand-box world
          And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
          That run around gallant
          and make all rules for the ones that got talent
          And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
          And think they're foolin' you..
          The ones who jump on the wagon
          Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
          To get their kicks, get out of it quick
          And make all kinds of money and chicks
          And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
          Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that?
          Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at?
          Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel?
          Good God Almighty

          No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race
          You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face
          You gotta look some other place
          And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'
          Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'
          Where do you look for this oil-well gushin'
          Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'
          Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
          And out there somewhere
          And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
          Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
          Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
          You can touch and twist
          And turn two kinds of doorknobs
          You can either go to the church of your choice
          Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
          You'll find God in the church of your choice
          You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

          And though it's only my opinion
          I may be right or wrong
          You'll find them both
          In the Grand Canyon
          At sundown
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          Dylan laid it all on the line in this poem. He poured out every emotion down on lonely street there is. Would of been nice had he made a song out of it. Dylan always had a dark out look. The painful side of life. But there is beauty in that. Because at some point or another we all feel it. He put's it in perspective and let's us know its alright to feel even when it don't feel so good. 

          I am sure they let Woody in when he was knock knock knockin on Heaven's door.

          Thanks for sharing

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            Super Hero
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          yeah, no one says it like Dylan does!  lol
          His lyrics and imagery in all is songs are truly special...such control of the English language.

          Jack Johnson put music to some verses of this poem.  imo, its not that good, he kinda butchered it.  but hey, who am the hell am i to say.  lmao

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          I read this about 5 times.. he spoke life in every way possible, i'm wordless because he said it all, speechless but with highest compliments to Dylan..

          It seems he is saying that life has its choice.. and choice is given to you in your life, but still we have a hard time accepting it.
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            Super Hero
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          Seriously! this poem says it all.  Dylan left nothing out.
          This poem really impacted my life from the moment I first heard Dylan recite it.

          Hear Dylan recite it..its way better than just reading it.  Theres this rhythm and flow to it that can be better appreciated when Dylan spits it.

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          On the brink of insanity, how sanity fights back.. it's like this duel he's having in the collision of the two.. parallels can't angle, theres no clashing only to run side by side making sense of life choices..this/that

          a quote from one of my poems..

          "Words transparent in the aftermath, escape through the doors of sanity"

          Thank you ishin this was amazing to listen to

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