In 1964, Bob Dylan looked at a stack of Barry Feinstein's photos and wrote a pile of poems to go with them. And then, well, Dylan forgot about the whole thing. When asked, in the foreword, "Do you remember writing the text?" he responds, "Actually, no."
Unlike a lyric repeated so many times it's hard to genuinely hear it, the poems in "Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript" by Bob Dylan with photos by Barry Feinstein (Simon & Schuster: 160 pp., $30) are fresh and arresting in their play with language. In "19," a long poem that accompanies a sequence of photos drawing closer and closer to the Hollywood sign, the striving narrator begins optimistically but soon is seeing the sign -- and perhaps Hollywood itself -- up close: "grime rolls in it / there's holes in it."