Friday, October 14, 2016

Bob Dylan's Tarantula (Pointless Like a Witch)

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
A witch in Central Park.

In being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016, Bob Dylan's first and only foray into published poetry, Tarantula was invoked as an "experimental work."

Written at the height of his fame in 1965 at the age of 23, Dylan was given the galleys of Tarantula in June 1966, for his final approval before publication.

(Pointless Like a Witch)


trip into the light here abraham...what about this boss of yours? & dont tell me that you Just do what youre told! i might not be hip to your sign language but i come in peace, i seek knowledge, in exchange for some information, i will give my fats domino records, some his an hers towels, & your own private press secretary...come on, fall down here, my mind is blank, I've no hostility, my eyes are two used car lots, i will offer you a cup of urn cleaner — we can learn from each other/ just dont try & touch my kid

got too drunk last nite, musta drunk
too much, woke up this morning with
my mind on freedom & my head feeling
like the inside of a prune...am
planning to lecture today on police
brutality, come if you can get away.
see you when you arrive.
write me when you are coming

                your friend,
                homer the slut


— Bob Dylan


Before he could give his final sign off on the Tarantula manuscript Bob Dylan was involved in his infamous motorcycle accident and was not ready to "make the changes." This just added to the aura of Tarantula, and with the public's thirst for all things Dylan, copies of the galleys were reprinted and sold as bootlegs. Tarantula would not be officially published until 1971.