Monday, January 19, 2009

Gwynne Garfinkle


back when you had to work for it
when there was one or maybe
two rock shows on TV per week
none of my friends even had a VCR yet
my dad got our first in 1976
a Betamax that only recorded
one-hour tapes

One night my best friend Becky stayed up late to catch the Eagles on the Midnight Special. I was at home doing the same, for her sake, really, because I didn't much like the Eagles. It was a clip of "One of These Nights" with frame after frame of seventies-groupie-looking women, with long hair and soulful eyes and maxi skirts, just photos of women synchronized to the song, and I imagined Becky, her eyes glued to the screen: she waited patiently, hope against hope for a glimpse of actual band members performing the song, the hope dying as the song passed the halfway mark. The next day she told me she'd cried.

Kate Bush swirling around to
"Wuthering Heights"
& "Wow"
her mouth an O
didn't know if I liked her at first
she was weird
an acquired taste
likewise dissolute little Ian Dury
singing "Wot a Waste"
and the Clash drooling and swaggering
to "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A."
but I played the videotape
over and over
till I loved them
new and strange

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