I was riding on a Tiger when I came upon a land
that smelled of rotten eggs and was under the command
of a man with blue electric eyes that never seemed to blink.
A man whose sole condition is the deal signed in red ink.
It’s said that he hangs out somewhere on Highway 61,
but that’s not right. He’s out in Rosedale, on the corner of 8 and 1.
He and I went for a stroll on top the old levee.
The moonlight and the shooting stars made it so easy to see
the vacuum of his eyes beneath the brim of his white hat.
Around his neck he wore a silly, frilly lace cravat.
He said, “Go on and laugh at me. You made me in your head.
You’re the one who’s lost control. You’re the one who’s dead.”
After floating down the hill and into Leo’s for a drink,
the folks inside just stared at me like I was bathed in ink.
I looked down at a blue hat on the chessboard-patterned floor,
and assuming he who left it must not need it anymore,
I picked it up and put it on. Of course it fit just right.
The tag inside read Johnson. The hat was out of sight.
Trudging in my tattered boots on the other side of town
a man came limping up to me dressed just like a clown.
His face was red with lips of white and eyes like dull gray steel.
He begged me for forgiveness, then change to buy a meal.
I reached into my dungarees and pulled out my last buck,
then the bum went into a liquor store and I cursed my bad luck.
As I stood there on the sidewalk chastising myself,
a green-toothed urchin sauntered up from off the bottom shelf.
She winked at me, said, “For a fee baby we can have some fun.”
Right then a crab jumped on my nose and I turned around to run.
The bum stumbled out the liquor store, gin bottle in his hand.
Our worlds collided. The bottle fell. He screamed. That’s when I ran.
I didn’t stop. I ran like hell, but things got even worse
outside the city limits where I met a sorrel horse.
A coat of red and insane eyes – it didn’t neigh, so much as roar,
and every sinful sound it made reminded me of war.
I asked it where its brothers were, but the beast just shook its head.
so I continued down, away from town, conversing with the dead.
Next thing I knew I saw a house with a flag above the door
and realized in another life I’d been this way before.
A man walked out, all wrinkle-faced, shotgun on his hip,
apprehension in his eyes and a quiver in his lip.
He shouted, “You get out of here! I’ll tear you limb from limb!”
I said, “You refused Bob Dylan too.” He yelled back, “You’re not him!”
He waved his hand and dogs attacked. I was besieged on all sides.
by drooling hellhounds on my trail, all craving human pie.
I scrambled up into a tree and prayed to see a cop
and yelled out to a white car with blue lights upon the top.
It cruised on by the tree branch where I was perched alone.
The public servant didn’t see me. He was playing with his phone.
After 10 long years of tripping through that dark and lonely place
I stomped back up the levee and spat in that man’s face.
“Listen pal,” I said, as he took one large step back.
“This place is like a prison, man, a giant torture rack.”
He nodded and his lifeless eyes turned red as burning coal.
“Get used to it, kid. You’re here for good. I own your mortal soul.”