The Tarantula Files: How Old and The Wooden Chest

by Larry Fyffe

How Old

The Tarantula Pilgrims on the way to NY meet up with a traveller who claims to be a Palaeontologist:

(W)e sat in a room where Harold, who called himself
'Lord of dead animals', was climbing down a ladder
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

His seemingly lost records might contain revelations such as:

He found an animal that left a trail
Had a great big head and a great big tail
Couldn't fly because it was as large as a bus
Ah, think I'll call it a Tyrannosaurus
(Harold: List Of Names For All The Dead Animals)

Romantically speaking, everywhere, in these modern times, all that’s left are complacent Hobbitts, Babbitts, and Babboons.

Even in the White House:

(T)he Plump himself tried to give a warning
but he was so drunk that he fell into a barrel
& a tractor being driven by some dogs ran him over 
& dumped him into a garage ...
the world didnt stop for a second
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Below, a source poem that looks back to the tales of ancient mythology:

(T)he ploughman may
Have heard the forsaken cry ...
and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky
Had somewhere to get to, and sailed calmly on
(WH Auden: Musee Des Beaux Arts)

Especially now, asserts the song beneath, in these days of the H-bomb, attention must be paid:

For the love of a lousy buck
I've watched them die
Stick around, baby, we're not through
Don't look for me, I'll see you
When the night comes falling from the sky
(Bob Dylan: When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky)

The Wooden Chest

“Tarantula” is presented by its author as a rather mean ole god who gains the upper hand over the God depicted in the Holy Bible ~  apparently, modern-day Hebrews, Christians too, are abandoned by JHVH because they turn yet again to worship the Golden Calf.

It’s speculated by a number of biblical scholars that the precious Ark of the Covenant (wherein stored are the Ten Commandments) either gets hidden away by faithful Hebrews or taken away by Babylonian invaders.

Lost anyhow:

& curious tabernacles move slowly thru your mind
- hitchhicking - hitchhiking unashamed thru the goofs of your brain
- your ideals are gone
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

According to Tarantula, the other God (He Who tells Abraham to kill his own son) appears to be missing from the scene:

(T)rip into the light here abraham
What about this boss of yours
& don't tell me that you do what youre told
(Bob Dylan; Tarantula)

A long time ago, according to the Bible, Abraham’s God gets the Ark back by sending plagues upon the Philistines who’ve killed the wayward sons of High Priest Eli; the Philistines snatch the Arc away, but they’re more than glad to give it back:

And the Ark of God was taken
And the two sons of Eli ... we're slain
(I Samuel 4:11)

Then much later on, the Babylonians, worshippers of the Golden Calf, invade southern Israel. The Ark, say some sources, has been hidden away; others claim that it’s taken away:

The Christian portion of the Holy Bible goes on to assert that the Ark’s in Heaven, enclosed the wooden chest be by a grand temple:

And the temple of God was opened in heaven
And there was seen in the temple
The Ark of His testament ...
(Revelation 11:19)

Mixed-up confusion everywhere.

For example, there be claims that the Ark is in the hands of Ethiopian Christians who disagree, for one, with the Catholic Church by the Ethiopians insisting that Christ has a single ‘nature’ only.

Ethiopia able to hold off getting taken over by the spread of the Islamic religion

Seems thus speaks Friedrich Nietzsche in the lines below while carrying a torch in his hand; on his shoulder, an ink-stained tarantula marked and mocked with the motto “everyone’s equal”:

I'm just like Anne Frank, like Indiana Jones
And them British bad boys, the Rolling Stones
I go right to the edge, I go right to the end
I go right where all things lost are made new again
(Bob Dylan: I Contain Multitudes)

Nietzschean-like lines beneath too, but even more ambiguously laden:

You're the lamp of my soul, girl
And you torch up the night
But there's violence in the eyes, girl
So let us not be enticed
On the way out of Egypt
Through Ethiopia ....
(Bob Dylan: Precious Angel)



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