Beautiful & Heartbreaking – Vliet Recites Poetry, 1993

Both beautiful and heartbreaking, Don Van Vliet recites his offbeat poetic lyrics:

1. Fallin’ Ditch.

When I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan

When I trip fallin’ ditch

Somebody wanna’ throw the dirt right down

When I feel like dyin’ the sun come out
’n stole m’ fear ‘n gone

Who’s afraid of the spirit with the bluesferbones

Who’s afraid of the fallin’ ditch

Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones

How’s that for the spirit

How’s that for the things

Ain’t my fault the thing’s gone wrong

‘n when I’m smilin’ my face wrinkles up real warm

’n when um frownin’ things just turn t’ stone

Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones

’n when I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan

Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones

2. The Tired Plain.

The bra was white and yellow elastic

and held to foam cones

the corners triangular shaped


three edges made one point

starfish and embry boards

triple D cupped and poked to a point

the main character was composed into a bow

that broke first in the front

and equal on adjacent sides

American cowboy was approaching on a collision course

-his hands groped outstretched three digits triangular

to the front nail a line was drawn from the middle

finger to the knuckle of the index finger across

the middle finger onto the third –

creating a perfect arrow 

with an imaginary front point

3. Skeleton Makes Good.

There’s so many things

to feel and see while you’re awake 
they’re just out of reach

out of grasp

yeah out of reach

and just as many; maybe more

the minute that you sleep

so I got to throw my preach

skeleton breath

scorpion blush

I have a crush on your skeleton

watch out unsuspecting stranger

you’ll fall off the log

headfirst into dreams

end up screaming

this will comb the wolf

and that will comb the fog

what will peen the rain

what will preen the hog

oh you mean earth

and hell over you

and laugh at your tire tracks

if you get up

skeleton makes good.

4. Safe Sex Drill.

The child

held the old T.P. roll 



not to misshape

the hole

5. Tulip.

It could be

a tremendous black upside-down tulip

it could be

a black fishes’ tail

it could be a day, artistically crimped

and buoyant

in its taped together way

6. Gill.

Bub & Gil

Bub & Gil

Bub in India

Bub & Mat

Bub in the wool

Bub in a rug

Indoor Bub – Bub in stitches

Glass Bub – Bub in rope 

Bub in jail

Bub in tent

Bub in pale

Bub on springs – Bub’s brakes

Bub in pyjamas

Bub’s party – with Gil & Mat & Bub in stitches

Erect Bub

Gill’s pill


Don’s recitation can be downloaded from Zappateers.

Note: Thanks to “randolphr” for uploading the above video. Thanks also go to “reldditmot” for informing us here at KUR that these poems were “actually recorded in 1993 and first released on CD with the ‘Stand Up To Be Discontinued‘ art book in 1994.”

Author: urbangraffito

I am a writer, editor, publisher, philosopher, and foole (not necessarily in that order). Cultural activist and self-described anarchist.

One thought on “Beautiful & Heartbreaking – Vliet Recites Poetry, 1993”

  1. I have been listening to Beefheart non-stop for days now. No-one else touched his way with words..or his music.

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