Poem: A Stack of 45’s

By: Richard Luftig

alone-darkness

I tried to explain them to a Millennial
once but it didn’t take. How they looked:
squat, dressed in their sheer plastic.
Mouths wide open in perpetual surprise.

And always those B-sides:

I’m a Hog for You Baby.
I Won’t Go Hunting with You Jake but I’ll Go Chasin’ Women.
Crunchy Granola Suite.
The Last Word in Lonesome is Me.

And I, living within
the monastery of my own
room, my own thoughts.
Always drawn to them.

Recorded as if an afterthought.
The ones no one knew about,
no DJ played, hidden in plain
hearing. They were our secret;

me and those orphan songs,
waiting to be discovered.
They, resigned to spin
their spindled tunes

unheard. Face-down,
away from the light,
cheek-to-turntable.
But always so close,

really just a single flip
of the disc away
from stardom,
from feeling that light

scratch of recognition,
the love of needle-on- groove.
Waiting until all that remained
of their future was consignment

to the bottom of the pile,
when some new, more popular sibling,
still asleep in the darkness
of a paper sleeve, would take their place.

 

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