Song of the Week: Visions of Johanna by Bob Dylan

Sometimes, around midnight, if the sky was clear, and everything worked just right, I could get this Toronto station on the little radio I kept by my bed.
That night, the static was bad, and I was about to give up, to turn it off and go to sleep, when I heard this faint tiny voice. I could barely hear it. It was like listening for truth at the bottom of the sea. “How can I explain?,” the voice said, “it’s so hard to get on.”

I felt like I’d been hit by something. And then there was this long, slow song, these pleaded growly words about visions, and salvation, and the highway blues, and cruelty, and the goddess he was waiting for who never, ever appeared. That song was like a light in the night, and I hadn’t even known how dark it was.

I’d never known how dark I was.

-Joe Ahearn


Joe Ahearn is the author of one full-length collection of poetry, Five Fictions (Sulphur River Review Press) and three chapbooks, synthetic (Firewheel Editions), Five Fictions (Mudlark Chapbook Series) and Kyoko At Play (Harvest Publications). He earned his MFA at the University of Texas, where he was a  fellow at the Michener Center for Writers and served on the editorial board for Bat City Review. Ahearn co-edited the anthology, Best Texas Writing and currently curates the blog, Bat Terrier. He is also currently the guest editor of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints? Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

See all Songs of the Week here.