Sunday, January 15, 2012



Comments by Bob Dylan on his record label's site (Columbia) pertaining mostly to a "China controversy," however, the last paragraph is as follows:

 To my fans and followers

"Everybody knows by now that there's a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I'm encouraging anybody who's ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them."

 Well, a "great" book?  Like a classic? Don't know how many responded to this suggestion and how much of a book might be developed what is usually a brief interaction with an admirer, but I finally did finish "Bob Dylan and Me," a 50 page straight forward account, not suitable for publication, spanning the over 40 years of how our connection came about, although an entire anthology of poetry etc. exists which goes far deeper into the heart of the matter.

Whereas I've written two novels but I don't have the desire or drive at 70 to refine, expand and/or embellish Bob Dylan and Me." 

 In an ideal world an already established, published author would come along to do that.  After all, it's one thing for Bob Dylan to waltz into a publisher and present them with Chronicles, quite another for a "complete unknown" to do so and the mountain of proof he referred to somewhere is mostly on his side.  As of this writing our sometime go-between is still alive but has been like so many around "Dylan" not about to speak of private matters.  Most know what happened with  R.T. and his former wives and girlfriend have their own reasons.

Some intrepid, clever person may unearth this one fine day, more than likely, after my and Mr. Dylan's demise, considering how these things often happen -- people will be falling over themselves to make all sorts of assertions - " they can talk about me plenty when I'm gone".)

 Naturally I can't but speculate if Bob would sue over such a book, ignore it, a more likely scenario, or be pleased and proud someone he's known so well for so long came out of the woodwork to reveal how love sick we were.

 At this point, any interested writer would have to establish their credentials and deal with my son (E.J. Lukas), insofar as 'coming to terms' is concerned or Bob Dylan and Me will prove to be  just an amusing, entertaining (hopefully) bit of family history for my descendants.

Photograph: New York City, 1960s


                                                   We weren’t on the wrong side, sweetness/
                                                   We were the wrong side”


                                        “Was I a fool or not to try to protect your identity?”

                                                                             “Ain’t Talkin'"  by Bob Dylan

                                                                                                                             Autumn 2013

                                                                                  My initial reaction, from a former blog 


 Imagine if you inspired and influenced Bob Dylan? What if on top of that, he wrote songs for and about you?  Songs like “Lay Lady Lay,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Simple Twist of Fate,” “Make You Feel My Love,” “Forgetful Heart” and an implausible dozen or two more?!

                                                             B. Dylan

These songs are listed for their mainstream familiarity -- others such “Shelter from the Storm,” “Born in Time,” “Oh Sister,” “Where Teardrops Fall,” ”In the Summertime,” “Shooting Star” and “Born in Time,” to name a few, are equally stunning.

 Rarely is a person's name noted in Bob Dylan's songs and he would have to identify who every song is about himself and that ain't likely to happen.  If he decided to even just "allude" to our long and enduring liaison of over 40 years in Chronicles II, it would be surprising and personally gratifying, ( it is troubling that a person who was significant part of one’s life can simply be excised from an autobiography, but then privacy was important to us both) -- if I'm still around to read it that is, but now at 70 years old, being behind the scenes -- and having lived with this secret in plain sight is hardly a novelty.
We were neighbors in Woodstock for a time in the late 1960s and coincidentally lived around the corner from each other in Greenwich Village in New York City for a couple of years in the 1970s.  I also came to  live in Los Angeles expectedly for five years in the 1980s some time after he had moved to Malibu.

Inspired and compelled by the insightful, spiritual and comparatively austere John Wesley Harding album and particularly the luminous, mystical “I Shall Be Released.” I began writing him about a year before Nashville Skyline was released and mailed him spoken-voice audio cassette recordings before Blood on the Tracks after that.  (I was technically single for 27 years, but remarried some time before he recorded Love and Theft.)
 Marriages, divorces, family skepticism and disapproval and other relationships, one would think, would have made more of a difference in our association, insofar as our coming together was concerned.  In retrospect, however, it's particularly obvious that it was the potent emotional and artistic impact that fortified our connection for so many years and throughout numerous changes.

 For the past ten years, when mail became no longer viable (E.M., our sometime "go-between," as of this writing, is apparently still alive, but like many surrounding Bob Dylan was not about to reveal personal matters.) I posted comments and poems on a very popular fan site for a number of years and before that on the official Columbia community site -- messages, which by necessity, were considerably circumscribed compared to the intimacy of private correspondence.    

 The past few of years I  also maintained a blog, from which I edited periodically and of which Bob is also aware.


    "These people meddlin' in our affairs, they're not our friends/Let's                                         keep it between us."
                                    “Why can't we love like we did before?”
                                                            B. Dylan

 His side of our history continued to be expertly and beautifully conveyed in his songs. We saw each other in person occasionally over the years on the “avenue”, but never actually met. 

 I wrote letters to him and poems for him for over four decades and he responded with songs.  End of story.

                              “I had so much left to do
                              I had so little time to fail
                              There’s some people that
                              You don’t forget
                              Even though you’ve only seen ’m one time or two”  

                                                  B. Dylan

Quotes from me about Bob Dylan

“The absolute freedom he required paradoxically resulted in oppressive constraint.”

 “Our mutual insecurities and what we perceived to be our unattainable status probably  acted as an additional stimuli and had some bearing on the fact that things lasted as long as they did.  Without the rarified atmosphere of exquisitely crafted music and intentionally or otherwise decreed physical absence spanning more than forty years -- without poetry, suspense, mystery, wonder, drama,  excitement, theological, philosophical and metaphysical inquiry -- without sorrow, ecstasy, deprivation and the challenge, tension and feeling of suspended animation created by an artificially prolonged romantic courtship, our story -- that of star-crossed lovers -- might have been nothing more than a one-night stand.”

  “Capitulation and compromise are in the service of every diplomat, especially if another’s agenda is unknown and various resolutions have been unsuccessfully explored.  Whether that sufficed for love is uncertain, but it is my belief it proved invaluable in sustaining the momentum of our involvement."

 “As determined by many, seemingly ad infinitum, Bob Dylan is an intriguing and fascinating individual. The uniqueness of the majority of his lyrics and the mythical atmosphere he created are enthralling and his breathtaking melodies -- sometimes exuberant, sometimes mysterious and shadowy never failed to enchant me. 

  "The dynamism of his ideas uplifted and inspired and the heartfelt sentiments he expressed were nothing short of entrancing. The overall originality and eclectic approach of his almost omniscient work made for admiration, but the sensitivity, perceptiveness. care, effort and time he spent to respond to me...led to love."

  “Whenever he or I “drifted too far from shore” -- something in him wouldn’t, or perhaps couldn’t completely let go and from my side,  in addition to other reasons, discontent, melancholy and restlessness compelled me to return to him time and time again.”

      " Every time you leave and go off someplace, things fall to pieces in my face."

                                                                   B. Dylan

“His reactions were fine-tuned and right on cue and the qualities he credited me with were more than I could have ever imagined.  It was a remarkable tribute, an irresistible seduction. Ours was an eccentric arrangement, an attachment and dedication --  a dream destined to end in what, to my mind, ultimately resulted in an impasse but also a certain rapprochement.”

               "Don’t need a shot of whiskey, help me be president
          It don’t satisfy the hurt inside nor the habit that it feeds”  
                                                               B. Dylan

 "Improbable harmony was achieved by predictable expectations but unpredictable rejoinders. Couched in respect and admiration, balance was achieved by alternating aggressive and submissive impulses that sparked interest and subsequently invited continuity. The affectionate rapport that resulted between us provided an atmosphere conducive to trust and a feeling of equality, which for us was necessary to facilitate a catalyst for creativity.”

  “He did quote me in his songs and occasionally used common sayings I’m fond of, but for the record and to his credit, he never lifted anything from my writing.  When he did, for example, ‘appropriate’ the name of the goddess Isis and the word ‘nymph,’ that had momentarily beguiled me, to consecrate his regard for someone else -- it did feel like a betrayal, but then what are words compared to a life? All words are stolen anyway."

  “Did it trouble me when others got credit for something that came about due to my encouragement and/or influence?  Might I have acted and/or reacted differently had I known some of his secret involvements? No doubt. But then "She ain't no angel and neither am I" and that was the price of not only being involved with a man who had something to say and said it well -- but the consequence of being tangled up with Bob Dylan.”

                                                              “Idiot Winds”

 “He was known to be attached to strong, talented, independent types, but my impression was, except when professionally involved, he seemed to prefer his women sequestered at home in the service of Vesta.  Presumably to keep the home fires burning.”

                        “…Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow” 
                                                                 B. Dylan

 “Artistic, platonic, aesthetic and at times otherworldly in nature, treasures for the heart and mind that attracted spirit and soul were stacked outside my door– while inside I waited…"

 “Beauty, romantic songs, poetry, passion, drama, and confident and convincing promises made for an intoxicating mix, but the persistent mocking refrain of ‘if he really loved me he would have made certain we met' taunted and tormented me. As to his reasons for avoiding a confrontation -- they are as varied and complex as the man himself.  But how could I regret a state of affairs that embodied skill, wit, tenderness, inspiration and pleasure?  I wish I had known what I signed up for though. My memories are bitter sweet.”

                                “…You hang the flame, you’ll pay the price”
                                                                B. Dylan

 “For the longest time I was convinced that we were coming ever closer to some sort of resolution, (longer than a sane person -- "Love Sick") but it was not to be. Honor, exploitation or both? A matter of opinion."

                                                            “Million Miles”

                    I give you all of what I could provide” 
                                                    B. Dylan

  “To have expected conventional results from an unconventional relationship was heartbreaking and the height of foolishness.”

 “Predisposed to be attracted to others, we nevertheless understood and loved each other in our fashion, understanding full well unconditional love is impossible.”

                        “I’m in love with a woman who don’t even appeal to me”
                        “….he’s tall, dark and handsome, and you’re holding his hand”
                                                               B. Dylan

 “Free Love, All’s Fair in Love and War and ‘Til Death Do Us Part, battled for dominion pertaining to my view and justification of our relationship.  Turns out, I need to have been concerned.  There never was a choice, not really.”

“Both of us were single at the same time once or twice, as far as I know, but when married, since there never was a physically compromising situation involved, ethics hinged on betrayal only from the standpoint of "Emotionally Yours." Although the private world we created together was compartmentalized, I want to believe we gave full measure to those outside as well.  Be that as it may, right or wrong, the exclusivity and continuity of his place in my life was assured. Not to say I didn't also "throw it all away" -- different time, different mountains, but then a 25 year old couldn't possibly have the same insights as at now at 70 and the temptation was just too great.
                                                  "I Threw It All Away"
                                                             Bob Dylan


                                           ...heartbreakingly beautiful

 “I had to determinedly school myself to look for what there was…instead of what was lacking.  Instead of personal contact and fulfillment in a reality based sphere with ‘props’ of animation and tangible elements, I possessed with my eyes and ears that which I could not experience directly  and cherished in my mind thoughts and feelings expressed to and for me in his songs  

                               Reality has always had too many heads”  
                                                                 B. Dylan

 “Whereas his music was shared by the world – anyone with the price of an album, or ticket to a show and whereas songs made his living and supported a large family, for me there was the treasured reassurance that he, whose opinion I greatly respected, thought I was worthy of respect and affection, as well as a gratifying, albeit somewhat grim sense of ego gratification -- a persuasive reminder of value.

 "It goes without saying that Bob Dylan had a multitude of influences and inspirations throughout his career and I have no illusions that he might have been equally encouraged by someone else, or more so, but during a specific time and particular songs would not...could not have been the same.”

 “The very qualities in me that captured his imagination were the same that very nearly destroyed me."

             "Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your silence for snobbery
             Got the message this morning, the one that was sent to me
            About the madness of becoming what one was never meant to be"              
                                                           B. Dylan

 “Desire,” (an album cover incidentally featuring The Empress from my interest in Tarot) was never brought ‘home,’ but taken on the road instead with a spouse and an old flame.”

                       "...I'd a-done anything for that woman
                            if she didn't make me feel obligated"
                                                         B. Dylan

 “Unsurprisingly  most gifted, influential, successful individuals are attractive – but these accomplishments and attributes also caused him to feel the need protect himself and served to isolate him and thereby made it virtually unachievable to meet him.  I was never a stalker, and good manners prevented me from bothering him at his homes (back then when I knew exactly where he was), but I did attempt everything else I could think of to make contact, but despite of my efforts and his continuing encouragement, my insignificant station in life, lack of funds and connections, (and the necessity to continuously and steadily persevere earning a 9-5 living, as well as many years being a single mother) --  made it impossible.   Well known aspects of his habits and personality were undoubtedly also a contributing factor."
                    “…And when finally the bottom fell out
                    I became withdrawn
                    “Forgive me, baby, for what I didn’t do
                    For not breakin’ down no bedroom door to get at you
                                                     B. Dylan

 "Most everyone knows fantasy is custom made to satisfy every scenario, to be enjoyed at leisure, without intrusion of mundane details or pedestrian considerations.  It's something most admiring listeners indulge in to some extent -- for us it was a creation of a world apart."

 "In our atypical collaboration, my outspoken approach granted me the boon of uninhibited, unadulterated freedom of expression and the gratification of his intriguing, charismatic and artistic rejoinders. I believe it allowed his imagination free rein and enabled him to focus without the daily demands and intrusions a more traditional relationship would have required.  Also, under the influence of the idealized archetypes we inadvertently and subconsciously embodied, his perception were, I believe, enhanced. It made for a rewarding situation of give and in addition I think we intuitively and generously granted each other the characteristics of flawed humanity inherent in everyone.  The misunderstandings that were bound to and did result as a consequence of this unique situation, were not however negligible. ”

 “My audacious confidence originated from youthful energy, idealism and an adventurous spirit and those irreproducible moments of art that spontaneously evolved and manifested.  Feelings of intimacy and validation also ensued from my belief that he was the only person I've ever known who truly appreciated me and understood the poetry I wrote for him. The freedom of self-expression and the concept of egalitarianism that was explored and encouraged in the 1960s by the so-called counter culture also contributed to create the belief that anything was possible.”
                                                    "No Time To Think"
                                                            B. Dylan
 “I relied on serendipity to some degree, but even though I achieved being regarded by him as a friend or even a cohort of sorts and despite our established alliance, albeit circumscribed and challenging, I believe he counted on me to come up to snuff in certain ways -- which felt, as time went by, like a responsibility.

 "His exalted status compared to my obscurity created distance but also produced a contrast that, I tend to think served a purpose. Perhaps it reminded him of his youth or maybe it facilitated to ground him somewhat from the superficiality that frequently besieges the entertainment industry."

 “Fortunately, the humor that was part of Handy Dandy’s sideshow, inhabited by the likes of  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, a wiggling snake, a bo weevil and The Ugliest Girl in the World, etc. may have helped to diffuse the situation and remind us not to take ourselves too seriously."

 "Unequal positions of power are known to produce momentum and add a piquant susceptibility to an attraction.  In addition, Bob Dylan, had the continuous assurance I was not an individual seeking an intimate relationship for material gain.”  

                                                  "Spirit on the Water"
                                                             B. Dylan
 “We were more than friends, but the fact remains that when I was in need of conversation or an embrace, or more than once, when I found myself actual dire straits, I could not count on him in any concrete real way.  He was and is not reachable.  Imagine for a moment, however, the suspense, exhilaration and reassurance that accompanied every album release for literally decades.
                                                 "Together for Life"
                                                           B. Dylan

  “From time to time I felt compelled to cease writing him or listening to his music. It was not a matter of negligence, disregard or a Forgetful Heart."  On the contrary, much like an exhilarating and/or comforting but treacherously lethal drug, tremendous self-discipline was required to limit my involvement.  To say I remember it all very well is a colossal understatement.

                                        "Oh no, I don't need any reminder
                                        To know how much I really care"

                                                            B. Dylan     

 So deeply and passionately entrenched did I become, overwhelmed by disconsolate yearning and the wrath provoking frustration of not being able to be with him, I feared putting myself in grave danger. It will sound like an exaggeration only to those who have not experienced something similar. Silence was my only recourse.  

          (For the record: You were just a painted face on a trip down to suicide road --         wasn't me -- some lyrics, of course, not literal and some were an amalgamation.)" 

“Can one ever truly separate heart and mind? We were spiritual siblings and to this very moment in time, not a day goes by when I don’t think of him.  You dream the same dream year after year, occasionally try to convince yourself it wasn’t all a lie and then you're old and fully comprehend that you'll never realize your deepest longing and hope finally dies.   It’s liberating in a way, but not a freedom I would wish on anyone.

                   "I’m tellin’ myself I found true happiness
                               That I’ve still got a dream that hasn’t been repossessed” 
                                                        B. Dylan

  "As a poet is able to clarify what is incomprehensible and discern and extract interest and beauty from the ordinary and the results are remarkable.  It was my impression it mattered not overly much to him whether my missives were good, bad or indifferent as long as I continued. Of course, taking into account music is his career, he didn't have that luxury.  For me comfort lies in that we persevered."

 “Pristine dreamlike moments of perfection and assurances that surpassed the most extravagant desires grace my history -- that and striving to overcome resentment due to neglect, secrets and thoughtlessness. He, in turn, I want to believe, he has forgiven me my inability to make it happen and the way I chose to attempt an escape from him and salvage something of the life I had left after he had come into it.”
                           “Sugar baby, you ain’t got no sense, no how”
                                                                B. Dylan
“From an ancient hexagram: ‘To contemplate and be contemplated’ – Hearts were joined, hearts were broken  -- inspiration persisted throughout -- through all.”
Photo items:

1) IMPETUS - Fiction

2) Litany in Persian Green (Poems from the 1990s)

3) Conflagration of Spirits - Poetry Anthology

4) "The Black Collection" - Original Poems from 1960s and 1970s

5) Bob Dylan and Me - A True Story

6) Various Poems/Reviews/Information/Comments &

    Records Pertaining to Bob Dylan and Me

7) Memory Journal

8) Album of Art by AlexRa (Incomplete)

9) Manhattan is a Long Way from Montana by Rebecca Rockwell (pseudonym)

Had more than enough? No?  Well, there's this:

There's also more poetry on the shelf and is that  Bob Dylan and Me book outline about how it all happened. I dare say there are things only Bob and I understand and others we'll take into the grave with us. Not everything in life has to be talked about, recorded or turned into profit. ("Let's Keep It Between Us" and "Ain't Talkin'".)
If Bob decides to publicly acknowledge our history, it’s alright by me at this late juncture, but except for a couple of the better poetry recitations and the in fun singing parts, (if only to add a glimpse of credibility or if nothing else to amuse) I wouldn't want  to have particularly sentimental letters and tapes that represent blood, sweat and tears released. It best all be consigned to the flames before he goes to meet Elvis (if indeed that stuff still exists), so as not to fall into unkind hands.

                            "I tried to love and protect you because I cared" 
                                                         Bob  Dylan