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You Don't Know What It Is (2018) by Jennifer Jolley

from Something Is Happening Here by Brianna Matzke

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Response to “Ballad of a Thin Man”

I saw Bob Dylan in a concert once. He was swinging through Columbus Ohio and a couple friends of mine got our tickets to see the legend himself. Mavis Staples (of The Staple Singers) was opening for him, and in passing, one mentioned that Dylan proposed marriageto Mavis but she turned him down.
“Who would turn down Dylan?” he asked.
My other friend and I shook our heads. “Too much baggage,” she said.

After Ms. Staples was done with her set, the thin man himself stepped on stage. He’s older now; his voice wanes and warbles, but it still carries the same tune—that times are still a-changing and the revolution is still happening. There are some who listen to his teachings, but many who don’t.

Bob Dylan has been prophesying his message since the Vietnam War, merely switching out his harmonica for a piano. His intentions are still the same, yet his forewarnings probably took a toll. This time his message carries a little more pain and a little more weight, in that everything he sings to us now has a little more meaning. – J.J.


from Something Is Happening Here, released March 15, 2020


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Brianna Matzke Cincinnati, Ohio

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