I live in central coastal California where I write stories and poems. I have performed stand-up comedy, spoken word, and in poetry slams. My poems have appeared in The Camel Saloon, Melancholy Hyperbole, Poems-For-All, The Stray Branch, and other journals.
When I first heard Sad-Eyed Lady,
I thought Dylan was singing to me,
in my early twenties,
I thought I was invincible,
I was an unwed mother with a baby,
but that didn’t stop me from taking
far too much LSD, and running out
into the streets of New York City.
I thought everyone we passed
was wearing a mask.
“Why isn’t anybody REAL?”
My friends kept shushing me.
We went home to the Sad-Eyed Lady—
that song got seared and scorched
and burned into my memory.
Maybe that acid was cut with speed,
or maybe I just took too much,
but the Tambourine Man never
led me on such a downer before.
I thought LSD and me, we
had a natural affinity.
I thought it would never leave me
stuck in the wrong song.
But no one ever came to my gate
with any Arabian drums,
every time I heard that song for years,
I would go so far down into Desolation Row,
like some innocent struck dumb,
with a fatherless child, waiting, up on a pedestal,
stuck like an insistent needle skipping
monotonously on thin vinyl,
the ghosts of every lost relationship drift down
the dark back alleyways of fading dreams,
trapped in rhyme schemes,
young and spinning wildly, it was so easy
to get hooked on a song.
©2015 Nancy Gauquier