I wrote this on a night in 1997 when a good pal called me and told me that Townes Van Zandt had moved onto another dimension.
Goodbye, you old rounder.
I’ll miss your gaunt sad voice singing
of the spirit and the trying and the being true
and the lying and the dying and the living through.
You were a hard road and
in more than a few of your thousands of songs
despair wraps you in its cape and billows out
over us, where we are able to hide in your
shadow and remember, as you sing
of being utterly desolate,
that not one of us is alone, ever, and we can connect
to something, however tenuous, if we so choose.
All we need is a horizon and an itch to see some country,
a couple aces, a taste of whiskey, some wry laughter, a sunrise,
and the certainty that we’ll feel just as good as
we feel bad and that tomorrow doesn’t matter at all.
I’ll sing your songs until my roll craps out.
Vaya con dios, Señor Troubadour.