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the only thing
I ever felt
when I killed
someone was the
now I’m sitting here
with a fully loaded hand gun
ready to stick it next to my temple
and pull the trigger
how fast will that bullet fly?
will I have a chance
to feel the recoil
before the bullet
only one way
to find out
text © Buzz Dixon
All Along The Watchtower by Bob Dylan
“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.
“No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.
© Dwarf Music
art by John Rea Neill
lyrics by Bob Dylan
Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” is one of my favorite songs. It sounds like the opening scene of a great, epic fantasy (indeed, writer / editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson tried years ago to turn it into a lengthy story with another writer, but her co-author’s untimely death pretty much killed any momentum that project had; still, it would have been wonderful). Unlike most ballads, it does not complete its story; rather it leaves it open ended and ripe for interpretation. For that reason, it is haunting.
update: “As you allude to, I published Ron Nance’s first story ‘Watchtower‘ about the Jester and the Thief. He wrote a very few more tales of this duo, and he and I co-wrote ‘A Wine of Heart’s Desire‘ set in the world of Dylan’s characters, to be found in the Tor Books anthology Tales By Moonlight.” — Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Well, my friend, it has been a droll evening.
But all evenings — and all games — must come to an end.
So, which shall it be?
Shall you reach for your gun?
Or shall I show you my card?
Or the card?
…or the card?
Choose wisely, my friend.
We dangle on the precipice of hell.
art by JC Leyendecker
text © Buzz Dixon
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be – wait, no, what am I saying? Nah, that could never happen. Forget I even brought it up. Say, how about them Kardashians, huh?”