In Cuauhtémoc

from by Kevin Dickerson



I took a long hot shower after two rough nights in Cuauhtémoc
In a shitty apartment with no hot water on the first night, oh fuck
And then no water at all on the second day
And the host didn’t respond to me when I complained

The immigration line at the airport was a sweat box
And I heated up a wet hand towel in the microwave to try and wash up
And the place was next to a bumpin’ bar with cocktails, charcuterie, and terrible music
Blasting until two AM… for picking a place to stay, I really blew it

And lying in bed on the first night, stinking
My brain seized in a vice grip of inspiration
Sometimes it just doesn’t stop
And it all comes pouring out with music or whatever my brain’s locked on

Like, I’ll go to a restaurant and eat something so good it almost makes me mad
Oh fuck that’s is delicious why haven’t I tried this yet?
Knowing I’ve been missing out every day prior
On something so incredibly inspiring

Like Brentwood corn or heirloom tomatoes
Or Mariana’s ramen at Los Loosers
I’m far away from the small town I grew up in

Or an unreleased Neil Young album Hitchhiker from 1976
Beautiful music speaks to the soul regardless of how undiscovered or rare it is
I don’t need music blogs or trust fund kid music criticism
I just ask my friends what inspires them

When I was a kid things were different than they are now
We shopped for groceries at a place by a barn something like D&A in town
It wasn’t much and the lettuce was brown
Things seemed less complicated back then, but maybe it was all just an illusion

Looking back now I wonder if I just didn’t see it
Growing up with a modest life
Maybe we were just missing
Out but we always had more than everything we needed

Like my early records, The Beach Boys and The Christmas single
Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
Which I listened to a million times until my mom went insane
I was too small then to fret chords on my dad’s Martin built in Nazareth, PA

And sometimes I hear beautiful music
That makes me think things like, “I wish I’d thought of that”
Or I have thoughts like, “that’s the kind of music I want to make”
When there’s a sound or a chord change or a feeling that makes you double-take

Music speaks to universal truth
And music heals us and helps us work through
Mundane or challenging
Thoughts and issues we face

Like, “why do I still bother reading the news?”
Meanwhile everyone in Mexico’s like Aww that’s cute, you’re just catching up
While forty years ago Neil Young was singing about Peru
The news in Mexico was already many decades into being fucked up

Maybe the world isn’t worse than it used to be
Maybe it just seemed simpler in the 90s

Sometimes you gotta take a stretch
And make something pure and from the heart
Even if you make a mess along the way
To make an omelette you gotta break some eggs

I can be a pain in the neck, ask Maryam or those who know me best
I don’t stop moving and I can get pretty intense
I can’t help the way I was made
I see the good and the bad in everything often simultaneously

Anyway here I am in La Condesa in CDMX
Reading a book “Don’t Suck, Don’t Die” about Vic Chestnutt by Kristin Hirsh
No one would insure Vic because he was a quadriplegic
And he needed surgery but couldn’t afford it

Sure Kurt Cobain was around, and it was before Twitter and Facetime
But all the while Monsanto was rising

TV life was dumbed down for couch-surfing hillbillies
Remember Jerry Springer, Dateline NBC or unsolved mysteries

I took a walk in the park under the cool summer rains
Things are easy here, and I don’t really miss the bay
The food is good and the music is inspiring
And I gave a guy a few bucks and he played Bach’s Concerto for Cello in C minor

Back in the bay I talked to my old neighbor Kerry
About the homeless addiction in Old Oakland, my old neighborhood

She said there’s a problem with pills and heroin
I got a ride home with a Lyft driver, she had a masters in social work
She had a nice smile and asked me how my day was
And I asked her about the opiate crisis,
"Please share your insight"

She told me about how street drugs are laced with bad shit
That many times the drugs are traced back to legitimate prescriptions
They are finding that folks don’t react the same way as people used to
When they overdose, and I didn’t mention that earlier this year I attended a funeral

And now I’m back home in the bay
And life goes on, the more things change the more they seem the same


from Sunburst, released November 2, 2018
Kevin Dickerson - Words, vocals, Spanish guitar, Michoacán vihuela
Maryam Qudus - Oberheim OB-8
Ted Carstensen - Drums

Written by Kevin Dickerson
Engineered by Maryam Qudus
Produced by Kevin Dickerson
Recorded at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco
Mastered by Jacob Winik
Album Art by Kevin Dickerson


all rights reserved



Kevin Dickerson San Francisco, California

Kevin Dickerson is a singer-songwriter who lives in San Francisco. His latest full-length album is called "Ginger Grapefruit."

Follow @kevindickerson on Instagram, Twitter

Photo: Kristin Cofer

contact / help

Contact Kevin Dickerson

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Kevin Dickerson recommends:

If you like Kevin Dickerson, you may also like: