• Richard Tattoni

December Is Going To Be Heavy

Updated: Feb 29

Face it. Wow, December is going to be a heavy month with hard deadlines, stresses, big events, cookouts, big books, music, more music, metal, more metal, beer and/or spiked egg nog, Uncle Bob or Rob or whoever, etc., etc. and I’m just beginning.

Have you read a good book lately? Have you listened to good music lately? These questions belong together in the same paragraph and I’m going to explain.

Bob Dylan’s award is important to literature. A musician winning any international literary award is a big deal. He creates new poetic expressions within the great old American song tradition. He could visualize with rhythm and paint with his words. “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” is a song I’ve been studying lately from his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. In the song, Dylan’s lyrics affectionately ridicule a female fashion victim who wears a leopard-skin pillbox-hat. The pillbox hat, a popular, highly fashionable ladies hat in the United States in the early to mid 1960s and most famously worn by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is unpopular again and it’s cool. Dylan satirically crosses a high-fashion image with leopard-skin material, perceived as more downmarket and vulgar and doing it with some great hyphenated words.

Never-mind Bob Dylan’s son or Johnny Cash’s son, SOBs don’t really matter in the bigger picture. "I’m Not There" is movie about Bob. Haven’t seen the movie, but it’s a pretty cool premise. Why not make a movie about yourself and not show up for the movie? Why not glorify cool in a world of global warming where everything is uncool and not-so-bad-funky-ass-shit is actually whatever we want it to be?

I’m halfway through Naked Lunch. It's like Shakespeare naked abusing the art of language. Don’t be fooled whether or not it’s good writing. There’s texture and rhythm from his rule-breaking writing methods and distant profane observations. I appreciate the way William S. Burroughs and Bob Dylan expose aliases. However, Burroughs brilliantly concocts characters from the shady depths of depravity.

Salvador Hassan O'Leary, alias The Shoe Store Kid, alias Wrong Way Marv, alias After Birth Leary, alias Slunky Pete, alias Placenta Juan, alias K.Y. Ahmed, alias El Chinche, alias El Culito, etc., etc. for fifteen solid pages of dossier, first tangled with the law in NYC where he was traveling with a character known to the Brooklyn police as Blubber Wilson, who hustled goof ball money shaking down fetishists in shoe stores. (Burroughs, 1959, p. 131)

Or write a story on Instagram. Nah, it's been done before.

Skedaddles, I'm pretty sure I know what hasn't been done before.

#blues #Bob #Burroughs #music #literature #book #beyond

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