Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Excerpts from one of my morning reading books, introducing the month of September: “Dreams, intuition, and the inner life. September is a pivotal month during which the outward-directed energy of summer begins to shift inward in preparation for the six months spent in the darkness of the Earth Mother’s womb. This month...we will open our sixth sense by noticing synchronicity, and we will enter the world of dreams...We enter the Gates of Mystery through the Dream world, descending into the fertile darkness in which our souls are made new again”.

    I’m working on remembering my dreams when I wake up, and jotting down what I remember as soon as I can. I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, but usually completely forget the dream within minutes of awakening.

    Last night, or early this morning, I had a dream about Bob Dylan. It was kind of weird - I was walking through the farm behind Toner Institute in Pittsburgh, across a field I used to play football on, heading towards “Toner’s Woods”. Those woods were where my imagination used to run wild when I was a kid. I spent hours and hours there with my friends, living out many fantasies that we created. We played out the Knights of the Round Table there, we were the 3 Musketeers, re-created the West Side Story gang rumbles, along with dozens of other stories we just made up. They were gallant times in our fantasy world. I must have gotten killed there 50 different times, and honed my death scenes to a fine art. I could die with the best of them!

    It was from a transistor radio that my friends Billy and Regis Hampton, who lived on the Toner Institute property, had playing as we rolled around on the hill beside their house, that I first heard a Dylan song, “Positively 4th Street”, and was immediately taken by the sound, and the words behind the sound. I’m guessing this is why he showed up in a dream set in the same vicinity, although I am not really sure how these things work. Dreams never make any sense to me after I wake up, although they always make perfect sense in the dream itself.

    In the dream, Bob and I were old friends. I wasn’t star-struck or anything like that, we were just a couple of old pals, a couple of writers, strolling down memory lane, but also chatting about things current. I mentioned a story I recently wrote about him on Cowbird. When I went to explain what Cowbird was to him, he shook me off and said, “No need to explain, I know all about Cowbird – I’m on there, myself.” Oh, o.k., that’s cool. He said he uses a pseudonym, not his real name, and I jokingly said, “Well, Mr. Zimmerman, you know all about pseudonyms, don’t you?” He just laughed and said, “Yeah, Hawkeye, and you do too, doncha?” We both laughed at that, and walked on.

    I told him about this thing we’re doing on the Cowbirders’ group in Facebook, where each writer was challenged by Jaga to post the link to one story, that they would want someone to read, who had never met them before, that would tell that person what they’d want them to know about themselves. He liked the concept. “I don’t like people knowing too much about me. But, I would probably have to go with “My Back Pages””.

    Just then, a football came my way, I ran after it and picked it up, and began running up the sideline, chased for 15 yards or so, then tackled hard by about 5 guys much bigger than me. As I crawled out of the pile and looked around, Bob was walking into the woods. He never looked back. I woke up.

    Here's his story - one of my favorites of his, by the way.

    My Back Pages

    Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin' high and mighty traps
    Pounced with fire on flaming roads, using ideas as my maps
    "We'll meet on edges soon" said I, proud 'neath heated brow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then! I'm younger than that, now...

    Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth, “Rip down all hate”, I screamed!
    Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed...
    Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep somehow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then! I'm younger than that now...

    Girls' faces formed the forward path from phony jealousy
    To memorizing politics of ancient history
    Flung down by corpse evangelists, unthought of, though somehow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then! I'm younger than that now...

    A self-ordained professor's tongue, too serious to fool
    Spouted out that “liberty is just equality in school!”
    “Equality”, I spoke the word, as if a wedding vow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then! I'm younger than that now...

    In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
    Fearing not that I'd become my enemy in the instant that I preach
    My existence led by confusion boats, mutiny from stern to bow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then! I'm younger than that now...

    Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
    Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
    Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt somehow
    Ahh, but I was so much older then I'm younger than that now

    Copied from
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.