I Dreamed He Rode St Augustine.

images-1Make me chaste and continent, but not yet.

How long, how long, this ‘tomorrow and tomorrow’? Why not finish this very hour with my uncleanness?

I lived a life in which I was seduced and seducing, deceived and deceiving, the prey of various desires.

I had a pony.

Her name was Lucifer.


…She broke her leg and needed shooting. I swear it hurt me more than it could have hurted her.

images-9Temptation’s flame is very angry indeed.  I yield to it, and I get to name it Satan, and the partner of my sin, she’s the very demon itself, but I know good from evil–and god I tell you, it hurt to lose her and it hurt to destroy her, but I did what I had to do. I swear, and I suffer–I still have a soul, don’t I? 



Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied.

Instead I liked to excuse myself and accuse something else–something that was in me, but was not really I.

Sometimes I wonder what’s going on with Miss X.


She got such a sweet disposition, I never know what the poor girl’s going to do to me next.

images-7And every time I pass that way, I always hear my name. That gun is still smoking, and they still won’t leave me alone. Miss X, one X or another, these sweet dispositions, these honey traps, they’re wily, I can’t outguess them. I fall like prey, I can’t be blamed.


I got a new pony.

She knows how to foxtrot, lope, and pace.

Howmuchhowmuchhowmuchlonger? She got great big hind legs, long shaggy hair hanging in her face.

images-8That Miss X–oh god, what this new pony can do! And look at her!  Make me chaste…but not yet.




People say you’re using voodoo.

I seen your feet walk by themselves.


But baby, that god that you been praying to gonna give you back what you’re wishing on someone else.

images-4The morals of despair. I’m lost, and I can’t know I’m Lost unless I can still suffer for not being Found. That new pony, she belongs to a trickster god, a god that throws your prayers in your face, a god of magic, a god of bodies without spirits. Don’t think I can’t tell the difference. …But not yet. 


Come over here pony, I want to climb up one time on you.


You’re so nasty and you’re so bad.

But I love you yes, I do.

By these thoughts I was thrust down again and choked; but I was not brought down so low as to that hell of error where no one confesses to you… It’s not voodoo and it’s not snares, and I might have walked past that door when I heard my name called out, but not yet…. It’s my lust and my sin and my ‘Yes’, and why not finish this very hour with my uncleanness?  Because there’s this pony right here….






8 thoughts on “I Dreamed He Rode St Augustine.

  1. Please, sir, what are you on about?

  2. You didn’t like my other comment? You like playing the great dictator who can banish all dissent?

  3. I have a very tiny kingdom to rule over, and it’s true enough that my word is the only government here. I have enough room in it for dissenting opinions but as the resident tyrant, I choose to banish speculations and comments about Bob Dylan’s personal life that I think are not what I want to be pursuing here.
    I am grateful that you read what I wrote and took the time to respond. Street Legal to me is an album that deserves and rewards much closer attention than it’s had. The songs he composed for that album, and how he performed them, are the great burst of creativity before his public turn to evangelical Christianity. The album to me is very much a dark night of the soul. I hear Augustine’s famous “How long, how long…” echoed so potently in New Pony’s “how much longer.” I have to thank theologian Stephen Hazan Arnoff for using that passage from Augustine in his own writing on Dylan–I immediately heard New Pony, and went to read Augustine’s Confessions for the first time. Many Dylan echoes in that text, from grains of sand to numbered hairs, to the clarity of a voice struggling to emerge from desire into truth. And that;s where this post came from. Whatever was happening in Bob Dylan’s own life at the time he wrote or recorded this song may or may not be relevant. We have the song as part of our own lives.
    And I’m not a “sir.”

  4. Dear Sir or Madamoiselle,

    I right in retention to your recent misses apertaining to the aforementioned chazan of his local shul.

    The personal is the realpolitikal, ethnicity is destiny? Don’t think u can ignore dylan’s jooish subtextual momentum.

    He married out, very out, no wonder he was perturbed.

    In some ways my favourite album, u gotta luv it, yeh?

  5. ohsisterwhenicometolie

    You know when people say things like “We have the song as part of our own lives” … well, what do those kind of cuddly-wuddly statements really mean?

    There’s no point having something as part of your own life if you have misunderstood where it’s coming from. And to understand that you need to look at its genesis, its origin of spectacles, is the Creator of this song chop-sui genesis or is he only such superficially?

    Do you want your deep truths to be based on superficial profundity or deep-sea de profundis?

    As with Ivrit, go back to the root, stick to the route.

    Blessings and brachot.

  6. Some people’s cuddly wuddly are other people’s fuddy duddy discretion.
    Some people’s superficial profundity are other people’s deep sea de profundis.

    Blessings and genug schoen.

  7. As Zimmerframe almost wrote: “I’m a-floatin’ on a sea of relativiteeeee …!”

    heroic erika you go gurl !

    love it !

    Over n out f’now !

    Ps – I am becomin’ rather partial to your carefully chosen visuals. I wonder whence they come?

  8. Well, my response to this post is much more simple minded–I have never thought of these 3 songs (St. Augustine, New Pony, Grain of Sand) in conjunction before, but now I will never be able to think of them except as siblings–for which I am grateful.

    Greil Marcus–a hero-villain if there ever was one–dismissed “New Pony” as a song Dylan could “write in his sleep.” I think Greil, a smarter man and better Dylan critic than I am, must have been sleeping when he listened to it. It’s one of the most frightening blues I have ever heard, and I’m glad to know someone else (implicitly) agrees.

    Keep on keeping on, Eruke!

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