Song of the Week: “Not Dark Yet” by Bob Dylan
I’m on I-76 in northeast Colorado heading to Omaha. It’s strangely dry and beige out here. I feel like if I stop I’ll find the box with decapitated head from the end of Seven. I keep driving, but I feel as far from Omaha as when I started out from Denver, and Denver feels equally far. Bob starts singing “Not Dark Yet” and even though I feel distant from where I started and where I’m going, I feel strangely present to this feeling of distance.
“Not Dark Yet” does that for me, to me. When he sings, “There’s not even room enough to be anywhere,” or, later on, “I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from,” I want to jump out of my seat. I don’t really know what it means to “be anywhere” and I’m not sure if Bob knows either, but not knowing together means a lot to me. And the way Bob phrases it means a lot, too, because he found the words to put to a feeling I didn’t know had words. But it does now because of this song, and I’m really grateful for it.
Christopher Kondrich is the author of Contrapuntal (Parlor Press, 2013) and a recipient of The Paris-American Reading Series Prize. New poems appear or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, Guernica, Jerry, The Paris-American, Sixth Finch, 32 Poems and Washington Square.
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