And he just smoked my eyelids
And punched my cigarette”

from Bob Dylan – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

This is a reference to Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, who ruled Dylan’s career (and others, including Peter, Paul, and Mary) with an iron fist. [Grossman famously made Mary Travers stay indoors on vacation so she never looked too tan.]

Grossman smoked his cigarette in a bizarre fist-grip. In Fred Goodman’s Mansion on the Hill Peter Coyote talks about sitting across from Albert Grossman while this song played and realized how “literal and precise” Dylan was.

From Mansion on the Hill:
“You know how Albert smoked a cigarette—between the pinkie and fourth finger?” asks Coyote. ‘One day I’m in Albert’s office, he’s sitting there, and Dylan is playing on the loudspeaker:

Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine.
And I said ‘oh I didn’t know that'
But then again there’s only one I’ve met
And he just smoked my eyelids

         And punched my cigarette.

And there’s Albert sitting there with this cigarette out of his fist! All of a sudden it popped to me how literal and precise Dylan was: The trainmen are like the railroad robber barons—drinking up your blood
like wine; smoking your eyelids is tricking you; and punching your cigarette. And there he was! Albert was framed up against these huge loudspeakers, and Dylan was calling it down.“ (pp 110-111.)

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” by Bob Dylan Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box