¿es divertido o es extraño cómo funcionan las cosas?

And no-one saw the carny go
And the weeks flew by
Until they moved on the show
Leaving his caravan behind
It was parked out on the south east ridge
And as the company crossed the bridge
With the first rain filling the bone-dry river bed
It shone, just so, upon the edge
Away, away, we're sad, they said

Dog-boy, atlas, half-man, the geeks, the hired hands
There was not one among them that did not cast an eye behind
In the hope that the carny would return to his own kind

And the carny had a horse, all skin and bone
A bow-backed nag, that he named "Sorrow"
How it is buried in a shallow grave
In the then parched meadow

And the dwarves were given the task of digging the ditch
And laying the nag's carcass in the ground
And boss Bellini, waving his smoking pistol around
saying "The nag is dead meat"
"We caint afford to carry dead weight"
The whole company standing about
Not making a sound
And turning to dwarves perched on the enclosure gate
The boss says "Bury this lump of crow bait"

And then the rain came
Everybody running for their wagons
Tying all the canvas flaps down
The mangy cats crowling in ther cages
The bird-girl flapping and squawking around
The whole valley reeking of wet beast
Wet beast and rotten hay
Freak and brute creation
Packed up and on their way

The three dwarves peering from their wagon's hind
Moses says to Noah "We shoulda dugga deepa one"
Their grizzled faces like dying moons
Still dirty from the digging done

And as the company passed from the valley
Into a higher ground
The rain beat on the ridge and on the meadow
And on the mound

Until nothing was left, nothing at all
Except the body of Sorrow
That rose in time
To float upon the surface of the eaten soil

And a murder of crows did circle round
First one, then the others flapping blackly down

And the carny's van still sat upon the edge
Tilting slowly as the firm ground turned to sludge
And the rain it hammered down

And no-one saw the carny go
I say it's funny how things go

Edie y sus rápidos 28

Here she comes, you better watch your step
She's going to break your heart in two, it's true
It's not hard to realize
Just look into her false colored eyes
She builds you up to just put you down, what a clown

'Cause everybody knows (She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please (She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease (She's a femme fatale)
See the way she walks
Hear the way she talks

You're written in her book
You're number 37, have a look
She's going to smile to make you frown, what a clown
Little boy, she's from the street
Before you start, you're already beat
She's gonna play you for a fool, yes it's true

'Cause everybody knows (She's a femme fatale)
The things she does to please (She's a femme fatale)
She's just a little tease (She's a femme fatale)
See the way she walks
Hear the way she talks

Lou Reed en The Velvet Underground, 1966

Andy Warhol: I wonder if people are going to remember us?
Edie Sedgwick: What, when we're dead? 
Andy Warhol: Yeah. 
Edie Sedgwick: Well I think people will talk about how you changed the world. 
Andy Warhol: I wonder what they'll say about you... in your obituary. I like that word. 
Edie Sedgwick: Nothing nice, I don't think. 
Andy Warhol: No no, come on. They'd say, "Edith Minturn Sedgwick: beautiful artist and actress... 
Edie Sedgwick: ...and all around loon. 
Andy Warhol: ...Remembered for setting the world on fire... 
Edie Sedgwick: ...and escaping the clutches of her terrifying family... 
Andy Warhol: ...Made friends with everybody, and anybody... 
Edie Sedgwick: ...creating chaos and uproar wherever she went. Divorced as many times as she married, she leaves only good wishes behind. 
Edie Sedgwick:
 That's nice, isn't it?

recuerdos de la infancia en el camposanto


Let me see. [Takes the skull]
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

Hamlet. William Shakespeare

The young lord Hamlet -1868-. Philip Hermogenes Calderón.

en el auto de papá

A veces sucede que en un poema que no me gusta hay partes integrantes que me encantan. Este es el caso. El poema entero lo tenéis aquí; es de Benjamín Prado. Y lo que me interesa es esto:

Mi padre conducía siempre coches usados.
Los domingos, casi de madrugada,
cruzábamos despacio la ciudad: calles frías,
letreros encendidos, casas oscuras.
Mi padre buscaba estaciones de radio.
Yo veía las torres de la luz, el cielo
extraño de las fábricas. 


Peeping Tom

Ojos de solitario, muchachito atónito
que sorprendí mirándonos
en aquel pinarcillo, junto a la Facultad de Letras,
hace más de once años,

al ir a separarme,
todavía atontado de saliva y de arena,
después de revolcarnos los dos medio vestidos,
felices como bestias.

Te recuerdo, es curioso
con qué reconcentrada intensidad de símbolo,
va unido a aquella historia,
mi primera experiencia de amor correspondido.

A veces me pregunto qué habrá sido de ti.
Y si ahora en tus noches junto a un cuerpo
vuelve la vieja escena
y todavía espías nuestros besos.

Así me vuelve a mí desde el pasado,
como un grito inconexo,
la imagen de tus ojos. Expresión
de mi propio deseo.

Jaime Gil de Biedma

en los sueños de David

La película es del 86, o sea, de hace 27 años; David tenía 40 años; Isabella, 34; Kyle, 27; Laura, 19; Dennis, 50; Dean, 50 y Roy, qué cosas, 50 también, aunque su In dreams era del 63, es decir, de hacía 23 años, cuando él tenía 27. La letra era suya también, por cierto.

A candy-colored clown they call the Sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
"Go to sleep, everything is all right"
I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night, I softly say
A silent prayer like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you
In dreams I walk with you
In dreams I talk to you
In dreams you're mine all of the time
We're together in dreams, in dreams
But just before the dawn
I awake and find you gone
I can't help it, I can't help it, if I cry
I remember that you said goodbye

It's too bad that all these things
Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams
In beautiful dreams


Richard Corliss, Time, September 22, 1986

''Things got a little out of hand,'' nice young Jeffrey (KyleMacLachlan) tells his nice young friend Sandy (Laura Dern). Well, yes. Walking through the woods of peaceful Lumberton, Jeffrey found a severed human ear crawling with ants. The ear belonged to a man who, with his son, had been kidnaped by Frank (Dennis Hopper), a sicko on a helium high. Frank was blackmailing the man's wife Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini), and hiding in Dorothy's closet, Jeffrey watched Frank work his awful sexual will on her. When Dorothy discovered Jeffrey, she took him to bed. ''Hurt me,'' she said. ''No, I want to help you'' -- but he soon enough acceded to her masochistic desires. Then Frank taught Jeffrey a lesson. He smeared lipstick on his own face, kissed Jeffrey hard on the mouth and beat him senseless. Sandy responds to such revelations like a child at the end of a nightmare fairy tale: ''It's a strange world, isn't it.''Strange and repellent and seductive -- a world of power plays in which everybody's somebody's victim. Sandy is attracted to Jeffrey's quiet intensity. Jeffrey is beguiled by Dorothy's mystery, her dangerous demands. To keep her family alive, Dorothy must surrender to Frank's depraved games. But even Frank is in the thrall of Ben (Dean Stockwell), an epicene drug dealer, who in turn is subject to the political power of a heavyset enigma in a yellow jacket. On that stroll in the woods, Jeffrey fell down the rabbit hole and found an inverted pyramid of moral monstrosity. ''I am seeing something that was always hidden,'' he says. Now he can't take his eyes off it.The plot alone would be enough to earn Blue Velvet this year's Authentic Weirdie prize. But wait, there's more. Writer-Director Lynch (Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune) has stocked his movie with artifacts from every decade of postwar America; it could be taking place now, then or never. Emotionally, the picture comes from outer space. Instead of seducing the audience, the characters are picture-book flat. Only the images are deep and dense. The friendly loggers of Lumberton wave at the camera; Frank screams an obscenity and poof! disappears; a corpse is bound and bowed like a Kienholz sculpture; the climactic gun battle takes just a few shorthand strokes. The acting styles collide fiercely too. MacLachlan and Dern have an innocents-in-hell sweetness; Stockwell does a preening Percy Dovetonsils number; Rossellini is a madwoman with all stops out; Hopper tops her, with maybe the vilest sadistic creep in movie history.All of which is to say that Blue Velvet is in no sense a realistic film. It is not modernist camp either. Lynch believes every bit as much in the redemptive power of teen love -- with families miraculously restored and two kids kissing to the crooning of a wedding-chapel organ -- as he does in the force of evil. He and his film will surely be reviled, but as an experiment in expanding cinema's dramatic and technical vocabulary, Blue Velvet demands respect.

British author J. G. Ballard on David Lynch's Blue Velvet (originally published in Time Out in 1993):

Blue Velvet is, for me, the best film of the 1980s - surreal, voyeuristic, subversive and even a little corrupt in its manipulation of the audience. In short, the perfect dish for the jaded palates of the 1990s. But a thicket of puzzles remains. First, why do the sensible young couple, played by Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern, scheme to break into the apartment of the brutalized nightclub singer (Isabella Rossellini) and risk involving themselves with the psychopathic gangster - Dennis Hopper in his most terrifying screen performance?
The second puzzle is the role of the severed ear found by the young man after he visits his father in hospital, and which sets off the entire drama. Why an ear rather than a hand or a set of fingerprints? I take it that the ear is really his own, tuned to the inner voice that informs him of his imminent quest for his true mother and father. Like the ear, the white picket fence and the mechanical bird that heralds a return to morality, Blue Velvet is a sustained and brutal tease, The Wizard of Oz re-shot with a script by Kafka and decor by Francis Bacon.

J. G. Ballard, 'Blue Velvet' in J. G. Ballard, A User's Guide to the Millenium: Essays and Reviews


Del minidocumental de Oliver sobre su trabajo Sweet dreams me llamó la atención la explicitud de sus comentarios acerca de su desasosiego y me gustó mucho la pequeña referencia que hace a la incomodidad de tantos y tantos creadores con el hecho de vivir tal cual está propuesto -min. 7-. Al final, viene a decir él, muchos se marchan de manera voluntaria, pero no por ello carente de sufrimiento, o bien crean sus trucos para sobrevivir, como él propone al final: imaginarse en el 2020 sin sus monstruos. Por lo que leo de Vic, el caso no debió de ser muy distinto.
En 2007 salió a la luz su álbum North Star Deserter, dentro del cual estaba la canción que nos ocupa, You're never alone, interpreto que su particular truco al estilo del 2020 de Oliver. Dos años después, en las navidades de 2009, el truco no dio más de sí.

it's ok, you can take a condom
it's ok, you can take valtrex
and it's ok, you can get an abortion
and then keep on keeping on
it's ok, you can take a prilosec
and it's ok, you can take vioxx
and it's ok, you can get a quadruple bypass
and then keep on keeping on
you are never alone

it's ok, in moderation
it's ok, cutting down
it's ok, you can quit tomorrow
but for now keep on keeping on
it's ok, you can take the bible
and it's ok, you can be saved
and it's ok, you can be forgiven
and for now keep on keeping on
you are never alone

Tres años después, 2012, uno de los que lo querían publicó un disco que giraba en torno a él. Dejo una muestra, el primer corte, de una finura de escalpelo.

Don’t know what the fuck they talk about
Maybe blowing kisses, blowing…
And really what difference does it make.
Oh oh oh, grandpa’s coughing in the kitchen
But the string sound good, maybe add some flute
And how do you get the cups out from up there
Will you use a ladder, just use the ladder
Seagulls just avoid talk about seagulls
They running off of some … table
And harps and electric guitar, his phone rings
Oh, oh, oh, the young …
Them dudes always crying, walking under…
And everything is plenty, spilling over,
Like it was the last thing on your mind

Oh, and who's gonna miss you.
Here come them crazy flutes, them crazy flutes again.
Sustain me with your voice between the coffee maker.
I adore you. And I represent you cryin, 'cause
We were born, we were born to lose

Oh, and who's gonna miss you.
Here come them crazy flutes, them crazy flutes again.
Sustain me with your voice between the coffee maker.
I adore you. And I represent you cryin, 'cause
We were born, we were born to lose

la amenaza de la piedra pómez


Things do not explode, 
they fail, they fade, 

as sunlight fades from the flesh, 
as the foam drains quick in the sand, 

even love's lightning flash 
has no thunderous end. 

it dies with the sound 
of flowers fading like the flesh 

from sweating pumice stone, 
everything shapes this 

till we are left 
with the silence that surrounds Beethoven's head. 

Derek Walcott 


Las cosas no explotan,
se debilitan, se desvanecen, 

como la luz del sol se desvanece de la carne,
como la espuma se absorbe rápidamente en la arena, 

incluso el relámpago deslumbrante del amor
carece de un final estruendoso, 

muere con un sonido
de flores marchitándose como la carne 

con la piedra pómez húmeda,
todo trabaja para esto 

hasta que nada nos queda 
salvo el silencio que rodea la cabeza de Beethoven.

Traducción de Óscar Paúl Castro Montes

Oliver mirando hacia 2020

SWEET DREAMS from Oliver Behrmann on Vimeo.

Aquí, la página de Oliver con sus trabajos. Otro día día publicaré alguna otra obra suya con un contenido poético elevado.
Estas son algunas de las canciones de Trinidad que allí sonaron. Maravillosamente elegido todo: el espacio, ella y sus canciones:


Dice Jesús Aller en su página personal lo siguiente de sí mismo, hablando en tercera persona:
(...) profesor de geología en la Universidad de Oviedo. Especializado en geología estructural, sus intereses investigadores se centran en la geología regional del noroeste de la península Ibérica y en la cinemática de los procesos de plegamiento. 
Pero Jesús es dual y presenta  también intereses literarios. Nada nuevo por otra parte. Los siguientes extractos son de un análisis suyo conmemorativo del medio siglo del Aulllido de Ginsberg -aquí,completo-. Los dejo como virutas de madera flotando sobre un agua turbia.

Acostumbrados a percibir solo la normalidad que los medios y los productos culturales del poder crean para nosotros, nuestra angustia se convierte al final es un problema individual, y es necesaria una poderosa conmoción para que veamos. La obra de arte es a veces el instrumento para esta visión (...)

En Aullido y otros poemas, su primer libro, publicado ya con treinta años de edad, se encuentra una crónica puntual de estos hombres, con un viaje a las historias y los lugares, y también una aguda visión, en tono profético, del sinsentido de aquella sociedad.

De todas formas, sería interesante reflexionar sobre si este éxito no significa en realidad un fracaso del poemario. Que un libro decidida y manifiestamente crítico con un sistema acabe siendo celebrado por este parece querer decir que su ataque no era lo bastante contundente. Hay que pensar que quizás la ideología difusa y el énfasis en unas gentes bastante especiales resultaron al final fácilmente asimilables por un poder que parece tener una rara habilidad para adornarse con todo tipo de plumas exóticas. 

arañas, recuerdos y el deseo de alienación

Dejar de ser yo by Señor Mostaza on Grooveshark


1. tr. Deteriorar o maltratar algo, quitándole parte del canto o boca y haciendo portillo o abertura. U. t. c. prnl.
(De puerta).
1. m. Abertura en una muralla, pared o tapia.
2. m. Postigo o puerta chica en otra mayor.
3. m. Camino angosto entre dos alturas.
4. m. Paso o entrada que se abre en un muro, vallado, etc.
5. m. Mella o hueco que queda en una cosa quebrada, como en un plato, en una escudilla, etc.
6. m. Entrada o salida que, para la consecución de algo, queda abierta por falta de cuidado o de medios.
7. m. En algunas poblaciones, puerta no principal por donde no podía entrar cosa que haya de adeudar derechos.

un silencio incómodo

Entre otras cosas, la parábola de Wislawa  podemos enlazarla con el Crusoe de Elizabeth, unos cuantos años de por medio, no tantos. Pertenecen a una época, ambas, suficientemente cercana para que ya avistaran, desde su privilegiada y costosa posición, que las generalidades nos iban a traer más de un disgusto y que los paraísos no necesariamente iban a ser los que se prometían.


Ciertos pescadores sacaron del fondo una botella.
Había en la botella un papel, y en el papel estas palabras:
"¡Socorro!, estoy aquí. El océano me arrojó a una isla desierta.
Estoy en la orilla y espero ayuda. ¡Dense prisa. Estoy aquí!"
-No tiene fecha. Seguramente es ya demasiado tarde.
La botella pudo haber flotado mucho tiempo, dijo el pescador primero.
-Y el lugar no está indicado. Ni siquiera se sabe en qué océano,
dijo el pescador segundo.
-Ni demasiado tarde ni demasiado lejos. La isla "Aquí" está en todos lados,
dijo el pescador tercero.
El ambiente se volvió incómodo, cayó el silencio.
Las verdades generales tienen ese problema.

Wislawa Szymborska en versión de Gerardo Beltrán


Un mundo sobre el cuerpo

Todo pesa
Pesa decir
Pesa la palabra peso
Pesa el cielo que nos ha tocado
Sobre nuestras cabezas herméticas
Pesan las hormigas y sus burgos
El Hades y las lagunas sucias

Dime a dónde voy
Y si amar no es una pérdida de tiempo
Pesa hablar
Pesa escuchar
Pesa herir
Pesa que te hieran
Pesa el niño sobrealimentado con leche artificial
Pesa pasar hambre
Pesa la obesa noche sin objetivo
El día sin intención de luz

Dime a dónde voy
Y si amar no es una pérdida de tiempo
Pesa amar a tu madre y a tu padre
A tus hijos y a tus congéneres
Pesan los sueños de los sueños
Pesan los simples sueños
Pesan las tiernas ilusiones
Pesa el piano sobre tu cuerpo desnudo
Pesa amar el bosque, el mar, la órbita insegura
Y la canción con la que follaste la primera vez

Dime a dónde voy
Y si amar no es una pérdida de tiempo
Pesa vivir en un planeta redondo
Pesa pertenecer a un  mundo con estrías
Pesa la peluca que disimula el cáncer
Pesa la belleza
Pesa el milagro, el aburrimiento
Lo sagrado y lo profano
De todas todas, pesa el ser

Dime a dónde voy
Y si amar no es una pérdida de tiempo
Maite Dono

Elizabeth a punto de cumplir los siete años

In the waiting room

In Worcester, Massachusetts,
I went with Aunt Consuelo
to keep her dentist's appointment
and sat and waited for her
in the dentist's waiting room.
It was winter. It got dark
early. The waiting room
was full of grown-up people,
arctics and overcoats,
lamps and magazines.
My aunt was inside
what seemed like a long time
and while I waited and read
the National Geographic
(I could read) and carefully
studied the photographs:
the inside of a volcano,
black, and full of ashes;
then it was spilling over
in rivulets of fire.
Osa and Martin Johnson
dressed in riding breeches,
laced boots, and pith helmets.
A dead man slung on a pole
"Long Pig," the caption said.
Babies with pointed heads
wound round and round with string;
black, naked women with necks
wound round and round with wire
like the necks of light bulbs.
Their breasts were horrifying.
I read it right straight through.
I was too shy to stop.
And then I looked at the cover:
the yellow margins, the date.

Suddenly, from inside,
came an oh! of pain --
Aunt Consuelo's voice--
not very loud or long.
I wasn't at all surprised;
even then I knew she was
a foolish, timid woman.
I might have been embarrassed,
but wasn't. What took me
completely by surprise
was that it was me:
my voice, in my mouth.
Without thinking at all
I was my foolish aunt,
I--we--were falling, falling,
our eyes glued to the cover
of the National Geographic,
February, 1918.

I said to myself: three days
and you'll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
I gave a sidelong glance --
I couldn't look any higher--
at shadowy gray knees,
trousers and skirts and boots
and different pairs of hands
lying under the lamps.
I knew that nothing stranger
had ever happened, that nothing
stranger could ever happen.
Why should I be my aunt,
or me, or anyone?
What similarities--
boots, hands, the family voice
I felt in my throat, or even
the National Geographic
and those awful hanging breasts
held us all together
or made us all just one?
How I didn't know any
word for it how "unlikely". . .
How had I come to be here,
like them, and overhear
a cry of pain that could have
got loud and worse but hadn't?

The waiting room was bright
and too hot. It was sliding
beneath a big black wave,
another, and another.

Then I was back in it.
The War was on. Outside,
in Worcester, Massachusetts,
were night and slush and cold,
and it was still the fifth
of February, 1918.

Elizabeth Bishop.

Otra lectura, no de Elizabeth, está al final de esta página. 
Y aquí, un análisis múltiple y exhaustivo.

Una versión en castellano de Roser Amills Bibiloni:

En la sala de espera 

En Worcester, Massachusetts,
acompañé a Tía Consuelo
a una cita con el dentista
y me senté a esperarla
en la sala de espera del dentista.
Era invierno. Anocheció
temprano. La sala de espera
estaba llena de personas mayores,
catiuscas y abrigos,
lámparas y revistas.
Mi tía estuvo dentro
lo que me pareció una eternidad
y mientras esperaba leí
el National Geographic
(ya sabía leer) y observé
las fotografías con atención:
el interior de un volcán,
negro y lleno de cenizas;
después aparecía vomitando
ríos de fuego.
Osa y Martin Johnson
vestidos con pantalones de montar,
botines y cascos de protección.
Un hombre muerto colgando de un poste
-“Gran Cerdo”, rezaba la inscripción-.
Bebés con las cabezas puntiagudas
enrolladas con vueltas y más vueltas de cuerda;
mujeres negras, desnudas, con los cuellos
enrollados con vueltas y más vueltas de alambre
como el cuello de las bombillas.
Sus senos eran horripilantes.
Leí todo esto sin pausa.
Demasiado turbada para parar.
Y después contemplé la portada:
los márgenes amarillos, la fecha.

De pronto, desde dentro,
surgió un ¡ay! de dolor
-la voz de Tía Consuelo-
ni excesivamente alto ni prolongado.
No me sorprendió en absoluto;
por entonces ya sabía que ella era
una mujer tímida, estúpida.

Tal vez debiera haberme sentido avergonzada,
pero no lo estaba. Lo que me tomó
completamente por sorpresa
fue que había sido yo:
mi voz, en mi boca.
Sin darme cuenta
yo era mi estúpida tía,
yo -nosotras- estábamos cayendo, cayendo,
con los ojos fijos en la portada
del National Geographic,
febrero, 1918.

Me dije: tres días
y tendrás siete años.
Estuve diciendo esto para detener
la sensación de estar cayéndome
del redondo, giratorio mundo
hacia un frío espacio azul marino.
Pero sentí: tú eres un yo,
eres una Elizabeth,
eres una de ellos.
¿Por qué tienes también tú que ser única?
Apenas me atrevía a mirar
para averiguar lo que yo era.
Eché un vistazo de reojo,
-era incapaz de mirar más arriba-
hacia las sombrías rodillas grises,
los pantalones y faldas y botas
y diferentes pares de manos
que yacían bajo las lámparas.
Sabía que nunca había sucedido
nada extraño, que nada
extraño podría suceder jamás.
¿Por qué debía yo ser mi tía,
o yo, o cualquier otra persona?
¿Qué afinidades
-botas, manos, la voz familiar
que había sentido en mi garganta, o incluso
el National Geographic
y esos terribles senos colgantes-
nos mantenían tan juntos
o nos hacían uno solo?
Cuán -no conocía ninguna
palabra para designarlo- cuán “improbable”…

¿Cómo había llegado yo hasta aquí,
igual que ellos, y había oído por casualidad
un grito de dolor que hubiera podido ser
peor y más estridente pero no lo fue?

La sala de espera era luminosa
y estaba demasiado caldeada. Se desvanecía
bajo una gigantesca ola negra,
otra, y otra más.

Entonces regresé.
La Guerra estaba en marcha. Fuera,
en Worcester, Massachussets,
había la noche y la nieve aguada y el frío,
y era aún cinco
de febrero, 1918.

de qué hablamos cuando hablamos de ballenas

Last great American whale

Album: New York (Lou Reed, 1989), written by Lou Reed

They say he didn't have an enemy
his was a greatness to behold
He was the last surviving progeny
the last one on this side of the world

He measured a half mile from tip to tail
silver and black with powerful fins
They say he could split a mountain in two
that's how we got the Grand Canyon

Last great American whale
last great American whale
Last great American whale
last great American whale

Some say they saw him at the Great Lakes
some say they saw him off of Florida
My mother said she saw him in Chinatown
but you can't always trust your mother

Off the Carolinas the sun shines brightly in the day
the lighthouse glows ghostly there at night
The chief of a local tribe had killed a racist mayor's son
and he'd been on death row since 1958

The mayor's kid was a rowdy pig
spit on Indians and lots worse
The old chief buried a hatchet in his head
life compared to death for him seemed worse

The tribal brothers gathered in the lighthouse to sing
and tried to conjure up a storm or rain
The harbor parted, the great whale sprang full up
and caused a hugh tidal wave

The wave crushed the jail and freed the chief
the tribe let out a roar
The whites were drowned, the browns and reds set free
but sadly one thing more

Some local yokel member of the NRA
kept a bazooka in his living room
And thinking he had the chief in his sight
blew the whale's brains out with a lead harpoon

Last great American whale
last great American whale
Last great American whale
last great American whale

Well Americans don't care for much of anything
land and water the least
And animal life is low on the totem pole
with human life not worth more than infected yeast

Americans don't care too much for beauty
they'll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
They'll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
and complain if they can't swim

They say things are done for the majority
don't believe half of what you see and none of what you hear
It's like what my painter friend Donald said to me
"Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they're done"