Friday, November 25, 2005



This gruel is about as thin as it gets.

Inspired, for a moment, by the superfluity of meaningful lyrics to a good blues song, I threw these sketchy lines across some appropriately minor blues changes and, for a while, it made its way into my live sets on an at least occasional basis.

Sharp-eyed fans of 60's lit may notice a few references to poet-novelist-folkie Richard Fariña's nearly forgotten novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, which attained near scriptural significance for me as a young man.

Perhaps because it was very much a young man's book, perhaps it was because Fariña had died, still a young man himself, only a year or two before I discovered him... at any rate, I read and reread it and then went on to read his pal Thomas Pynchon's V and Crying of Lot 49, looking for some sort of clue about where to go from there. (If you've read V, you probably know how scary that notion is... And, no, it wasn't the source book for the 70s sci-fi TV show.)

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Wake up baby, turn your
dimmer lights down low
When it gets yellow like this it hurts my
eyes -- but it eases my soul

Come here baby pay those
monkeys in the shadows no mind
Those monkeys are my demons -- they been
waitin' for me such a long time

I been down -- but it
never looked like up to me

I been down but I guess
down isn't what it used to be

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