Can you Pass the Rorschach Test?


Sixto Rodriguez. What a great name. This guy from Detroit made a couple records back in 70 and 71. His record name is simply Rodriguez, though he has been credited as Jesus (Hey! Zeus) Rodriguez. I just got his 1970 album Cold Fact. My first listen was 3 hours ago. I am on my 6th listen now. It runs 31 minutes so I am rounding, but let me tell you, it’s a killer 31 minutes. His style is a little bit folk a little bit psychedelic and a lot-a-bit blow off your head lyrics. I’m very psyched he has the complete lyrics on his website. I’ve been sitting here pondering track 4, “THIS IS NOT A SONG IT’S AN OUTBURST: OR THE ESTABLISHMENT BLUES,”

Adultery plays the kitchen, bigot cops non-fiction
The little man gets shafted, sons and monies drafted
Living by a time piece, new war in the Far East
Can you pass the Rorschach test?

It’s a hassle it’s an educated guess.
Well, frankly I couldn’t care less.

I do read poetry. I like a lot of the heavy hitters: Whitman, WCWilliams, Buk, Lawrence, Neruda and some of the more lucid Beckett. I have a huge crush on Emily Dickinson. I do continue to read new poets, though I am usually disappointed. Maybe there are too many. Karl Koweski is fun to read, but overall none have really stuck. I just read the entire lyrics of Rodriguez. Words alone, this shit’s better than most of these boring fucks now:

The sun is shining, as it’s always done
Coffin dust is the fate of everyone
Talking ’bout the rich folks
The poor create the rich hoax
And only late breast-fed fools believe it

So don’t tell me about your success
Nor your recipes for my happiness
Smoke in bed
I never could digest
Those illusions you claim to have going

And it’s rhyming! Cheap rhyming poets (not like my Emily’s slants) populate one of the lower rings of hell where they hang by hooks thru their tongues. And yet, Rodriguez pulls it off. I am converted. For anyone interested in one of the best lyrical singer/songwriter kindoflike-Arthur Lee/Syd/Bob, but a little more down to earth (yes, Dylan included), albums of all time, get Cold Fact. A working class guy from Detroit pointing out the wrongs in the world. Not oddly enough, the lyrics have not aged a day. Rodriguez still ain’t no establishment blues.

Thanks for your time
And you can thank me for mine
And after that’s said
Forget it

Bag it.

I’ve got Track #7 for you:

Rodriguez- Inner City Blues

Complete Cold Fact lyrics here.


One thought on “Can you Pass the Rorschach Test?

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