Rhyme Out of Mind

Dee Locke

'Twas the night before Bob's concert, and I was locked in my room
surrounded by bootlegs and all my copies of TOOM.
I was restless and nervous, as excited as I could get,
I needed some sleep, but it wasn't dark yet.

So I let myself out, put on my full-length leather coat
and went down to the dock to take a look at my boat.
I tore up the ticket that was attached to the mast
and had a strange, eerie feeling that I was living in the past.

I shook off that thought and went along on my way, then
a man said "Hello", but I had nothing left to say.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out my harp,
put it up to my mouth and huffed out a B sharp.

I sat down on a rock to sharpen my knife and
I wondered if I should maybe get myself a life.
Then I seemed to remember as I swept off my hat
that for many dark hours I'd been thinking about that.

So I banished that thought from out of my brain,
then put a towel on my head, 'cause I was Expecting Rain.
I got up off the rock and went on down the street
and that's when I noticed something wrong with my feet.

I was walking lopsided, I didn't know what to do,
I was alright 'til I fell and broke myself in two.
I pulled myself together, came right back from the brink,
felt a terrible thirst for something to drink.

I saw a machine that sold sodas, it said,
but when I put money in, I got nothing instead.
I gave it a kick, then I gave it a slug,
saw that it wasn't MT, it was only unplugged.

I picked up the cord and knew just what to do,
plugged it into the wall, heard someone yell "Booo!"
but I didn't care, then I saw with a frown that
my soda was stuck, so I shook that sucker down.

I had got what I wanted, I would unplug it later,
plug it in, plug it out, thought I heard the word "traitor"
but I got over that and went on down the road,
saw a green thing a-jumpin', thought I'd call it a toad.

Saw a woman come towards me, pretty as she could be,
she said her name was Sara, but I called her History.
I walked through some traffic, the last firetruck sped past,
but I knew that the fast one would later be last.

Then I thought about me and I thought about you,
and I got that same feeling I'd had, deja vu.
I tried then to stop it, to get my thoughts straight,
I sat down like a wallflower up against Eden's gate.

It was way past midnight, but I still felt strong
and I knew that I could, I would go on until dawn.
I knew I was having a middle-age crisis
but I still had my tickets, and a subscription to Isis.

I knew the new album had gotten four stars,
I knew all the lyrics, all the chords and the bars,
I had a new stereo, and I had my ear phones,
but no three-star albums, like the new Rolling Stones.

I walked through the dark, as I searched for the light,
then put on my dark glasses, 'cause I have poor eyesight.
In Triumph I wandered, heard a crash in the distance,
like a symbol, a cohort, or a motorcycle, for instance.

But that wasn't important, or maybe it was....
who knows what things matter, what things don't and what does?
Maybe from turmoil our fate we can steal.
To cheat the grim reaper; how does it feel?

To rise up above things and prove critics wrong,
to pour out your heart and your soul in a song.
To go where thoughts take you, to bring yourself back,
to win against odds, to make white from black.

To have courage to change all the leopard's dark spots,
to have the courage on TV to wear polka-dots,
to be free to be you, to be free not to care,
free to not ever run a comb through your hair.

But back to my walk, those thoughts were too deep,
if I kept on like that, I'd never get any sleep.
I thought of the concert to come the next day,
was he in town yet, and where would he stay?

How was he feeling, and how would he look?
And what's left for Heylin to put in a book?
Will there be posters for sale in the lobby?
Does he like to be called Bob, Zimmy, or Bobby?

These thoughts filled my head and they fell to the road
where they squashed the poor creature that I'd called a toad.
I kicked it aside and down over a hill
I gave it a new name, I called it "roadkill".

I sat on a stool that I found in a rut,
but I couldn't get it straight under my butt.
I reached around back, pushed it off to the rear,
then reached there again and pulled it up near.

I slid off the edge, then I knocked it aside
I'd never had dignity, but I still had my pride.
I stood on my feet and I whipped off my glasses,
this night was passing as fast as molasses.

I was headed towards home when I came to a lake,
I jumped in with my clothes on, for modesty's sake.
I prayed to the rabbis and to Jesus Christ too
that the fish wouldn't bite me, 'cause they usually do.

I climbed up the bank when I got to the end,
it was the Bank of Montreal, then I went 'round the bend.
I came to a railroad, the tracks were all clean,
if there had been any blood, there was none to be seen.

A freight train was coming, it was coming on fast,
but it seemed a lot slower when it finally went past.
This calmed me right down, and quelled all my fears,
I knew I could go on for many more years.

I followed the tracks right back to my place,
I picked up my flesh and put it back on my face.
The whole night had gone, and the next day was past,
I jumped in my Malibu,drove that Chevy real fast.

It was time for the concert, it was now getting late.
The Bob was appearing, and legends can't wait.
I drove over the highlands, the highway of despair,
hoping he'd wait for me to get there.

I pulled up at the gate and ran towards my section,
somebody showed me the proper direction.
A cop grabbed my arm, asked what was I running for,
"Tryin' to get to section seven before they close the door!"

The cop let me loose and I raced for my row
without desolation; I was in time for the show.
The announcer spoke up, and then Bob did appear.
He was wearing a suit and his blue eyes were clear.

His voice rang out strong, his guitar work was art,
But it seemed like he still had some pain in his heart.
He sang the new songs, he sang for two hours,
He smiled at the crowd, at the ones wearing flowers.

I danced in the aisles, I let myself go,
And just for a minute, I did the Calypso....
Then I got back on track, to the business at hand,
And listened to Bob, and the words, and the band.

He stuck out his leg, then he pulled it back in,
he squinted his eyes and he lifted his chin.
He played with the words as the organ chords swirled,
he was better than ever, all was right with the world.

Reproduced with permission.


Expecting Rain