Harold Be Thy Name

A review of No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese's Bob Dylan biopic.

Your poet was a creation of his own self-deluded over active imagination and well placed lumps of dirt and clumps of mud and subtle references to greasy, grimey gopher guts, and itsy-bitsy birdy feet.

The one before that was a crusader against evil empires on the behalf of homosexuals and intellectuals and intellectual homosexuals.

And the one before that broke fresh baked bread and spilled bad wine like blood upon the dust where it curdled and walked on water across channels and liberated those in need of libation and liberation.

Somewhere in the midst of that a bridge was built from one to the next by a man with a machine that killed fascists and racists were brought to face facts and crowds gathered and swelled and pounded their chests.

Where does that leave us?

More importantly, where does that leave me?

There are no more crusades.
There are no more crusaders.
There are no more causes.
There are no more protest songs.
There are no more wrongs to be righted.
Right-minded or otherwise.
There are no more black lists and long lists of injustices.
There is no more anything.
There is nothing left to say.
There are no more words.
There are no more realities, perceived or otherwise.
There is no more kerosene or turpentine or binder twine or barbed wire.
There are no more empires.
There are no more colonies.
There are no more soap boxes.
There are no longer any points of contention or calls for undivided attention.
There are no more points of reference.
There are no more points of reverence.
There are no more points of deference.
There are no more differences of opinion to opine or arguments to open and unwind.
There are no more cats in sacks or worms in can or fish in kettles.
There are no more frontiers to settle.
There is no more long division.
There are no more multiplication tables.
There are no more Luddites or Hutterites or Civil Rights.
There are no more wrongs.
There are no more laments.
There are no more tent cities or the tens of global tent villages it takes to raise our children.
There are no more children.
There is no more war.
There are no more child soliders.
There are no more fires.
There are no more tears.
There is no more darkness.
There is no more light.
There is no more morning, noon, mid-afternoon, early evening, or night.
There is no more rhyme, reason, verse, nor iambic pentametre.
There are no more charlatons.
There are no more cranks.
There is no more bubonic plague or Krapp's Last Tape.
There is no more television, radio, newspaper, or the internet.
There is no more mouse poison.
There are no more mosquitos.
There are no more Moscovites.
There are no more Haligonians.
There are no more white fences or Berlin Walls.
There are no more pleasures of the flesh or french fried potatoes.
There is no more Mr. Dressup.
There is no more Casey.
There is no more Finnegan.
There are no more yellow ribbons.
There are no more old oak trees.
There is no more fast forward.
There is no more rewind.
There is no more time.
There is no more Presidents of the United States of America.
There is no more Hootie and the Blowfish.

There are only explosions of grey matter when it doesn't matter for reasons that don't compute made clear by television programs and pop songs and websites of ill repute.
There are only broken satellite dishes with bad picture and high definition sound.
There are only comma splices, and sentence fragments, and National Lampoon Chevy Chase vehicles when he needs the money and we have the time.
There are only down-sized super sizes and half-hearted, limp-wristed, whiffs at wiffle balls high and outside.
There are only dismissive waves to our mothers.
There are only modular homes and modular kitchen cabinet kits (some assembly required).
There are only earthquakes and hurricanes and ill-conceived but well received Bambi re-remastered re-releases.
There are only off-leash dog parks and converted bomb-shelter parking lots.
There only herbs, spices and apples imported from South Vietnam.
There are only Alphabits and Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes, but only in an "ironic" sense of the cereal.
There is only a vomit taste, without the vomit.
There are only tunes, without the words.
There are only alabis, and aliases (both of which are television shows, or should be).
There are only earnest attempts at ironic cynicism and jingoism and jingle-jangleism with a slight hint of post-neo-janism, until tomorrow.
There are only tambourine men.
There are only wash clothes and blood clots, without the wash basins or blood baths.
There are only under-zealous slightly-bemused utterly-disinterested zealots at home watching reruns on rented DVDs.
There are only membership cards and unpaid dues and unbore burdens and forgotten usernames and unused passwords resembling an anagram of your mother's maiden name and your first pet's middle initial.
There are only frost heaves caused by global warming, without the shifting of the tectonic plates.
There are only endurable hardships, tolerable cruelties, reconcilable differences, forgivable tresspasses, reversabe damages, finite circular arguments about perpetual motion, conceivable truths about possible impossibilities.
There is only unsustainable sustainibility.
There is only heightened sensitivity, without the heigthened sensibility.
There is only laughter and forgetting.
There is only cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dentistry, without the root canals or triple bypasses.
There is only Facebook and Hotmail and Yahoo!, until they are all bought by Google.
Then there will only be Google.
There is only post-posterism.
There is only illiteracy.
There are only racey photos of everyone, without showing anything.
There is only cleavage and curves, bulges and biceps.
There are only tiny fists of fury, without the tiny fists of rage.
There are only leopard skin pill-box hats, with out the pelt based economies of wholesale barter-based scale.
There are only Alonso's, Sancho's, Aldonza's and an infinitely growing number of windmills.

(Read aloud and proud at Words in Edgewise, St. John's, NL, 20 May 2010).

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