[with a hat tip to Peter Masiak, who left these many and several fine words in my inbox late last night, with this message attached: “ever just read the lyrics? I had about 75% wrong.”]
“The Country Diary Of A Subway Conductor”
“O get him out of there!” What if it cost 25c
to wake up in the morning? A dollar, ten dollars?
I’d pay it all the way to the poor house. It’s not made
if it’s made in Roanoke. Night pulling up in front of
the house like a bus. It came at me with shears. Her
sweater had faces, famouse faces knitted all over it.
The porch swing ticked off Central Daylight time.
“How many hours do you think it’ll take me to smoke this
cigarette?” she said with a smile. The smell of fried
food came drifting out one of the castle windows.
“Lets go around back” I said “my brother burried some
stuff back there.” We ducked down and walked through
the black bushes. My shoe made a sucking sound in
the turf. “He can afford anything” I said “he’s got
dogs that blow on trumpets.” “Priests!” she cussed.
Thunder cracks over Ben Franklin’s shop. Who wrapped
my dreams in a blanket and led them outside to the black
book in the yard? “Hey what indian tribe occupied
southern california? They were a lucky bunch of fellers!”
Sting Bible, More Sea Bible, Knur & Spell. In moments
downhill, towards sleep in the still water shop. Imagining
places I was almost sure I’d never been & had taken to
assuming were the memories of my grandfather somehow
deposited in my mind. They were there and gone, just before
I could get my bearings, catch any names or find out
where the hotel was. Just a pile of glass shavings that
could never be reassembled into the gone order
of buildings & the shade puring off of them. “WATER!”
From the intro (click anywhere on text to get the whole piece): >>Terse and enigmatic, occasionally ignoring questions outright, Berman was nearly impossible to pin down, which was especially frustrating since everyone wants to believe that their musical or literary heroes could easily be their drinking buddies or best friends. But Berman is a man who can say a lot even when he’s not saying much, and his general reticence served to increase the gravity of moments when he actually opened up. Just another part of the Berman package, I suppose.<<