I came across a trove of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s books at the used book store.
I have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy Beat Poetry. (Ferlinghetti denies he is a Beat, but at the very least there’s a kinship.) Anyway, I guess that’s where I am at the moment.
Empty our pockets
Missing all our appointments
And turning up unshaven
Old cigarette papers
stuck to our pants
leaves in our hair.
Let us not
worry about the payments
Let them come
and take it away
whatever it was
we were paying for.
And us with it.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti intended for Junkman’s Obbligato to be an eternal work-in-progress; improvised words against an improvised jazz background.
But I do think the words stand on their own. There are several transcripts on the internet, one of which is HERE.
Full lyrics at The Annotated Grateful Dead, but this is one of those songs where the meaning is so much more than just the words.
I’ve probably posted this before.
Sometimes that happens.
Wow. He evokes the best of Otis Redding, James Brown, and Joe Cocker.
You wish you could just reach through the screen and give him a hug. The official video is equally heartbreaking: YouTube Link
What I didn’t realize, until reading the album credits yesterday, was that The Missing Years could have been credited to John Prine and The Heartbreakers. Except for their drummer, all of The Heartbreakers are here- including Tom Petty, who sings harmony on the first track.