A Dylanist’s Diary

“My monthly income is $500. I just spent $130 of that on the newly released Dylan Basement Tapes.  My daddy thinks I’m no good with money.” That’s the opening of the following diary in which the late Carmelita Estrellita noted down her responses to Bob Dylan’s sixties sessions with the Band in Woodstock.

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Estrellita’s Last Quartet

Carmelita (AKA Natalie) Suzanne Estrellita died last Friday.  She was 60 years old.

The transgender rhymer  was a world-class wit who realized, per Oscar Wilde, “those who see any difference between soul and body have neither.” Like Wilde, Estrellita got off some of her best shots in conversation, but many of them made it into lyrics she published in “First of the Month/Year”:  “anguish as a second language”…”loss is more”…”Am are I?”…”knee-jerk heart”…”jerk de soleil”….”you don’t know me from ishmael/I don’t know you from dick…”

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Me and Petrarch

my love’s way beyond unrequited
I need a new word now
to describe the yearning of yearning for someone
I’ve never even found

me and Petrarch
sitting in a tree
he’s gonna be married
long before me

Estrellita’s is a world-class wit but her stuff is more than clever. It’s deep too. And it’s getting deeper. Dig Estrellita’s new stretchy collection of lyrics which starts with a Rolling Stones tribute and ends on “Petrarch’s Ark.”

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