A Day’s Playlist

Music can make a mood,
Stoke a thought,
Change a feeling,
Make a moment.
My day started in darkness,
I emerged in a light
Full of memories,
Doused with creative energy,
Inspired to run, write, to be ridiculous.

This is how they played…

Just Like Heaven (1987), The Cure

Four-thirty in the morning,
Birds are chirping, they do that you know,
I’ve heard AC was built for that reason.
That little trick line
Took me way back to a time when high school
Was over, but the relationships were still strong,
Took me way back to a place where cheesy rose high
In a converted roller skating rink turned night club
Took me way back, when there was no showing of tricks,
And high school ended.
On this dark morning, thirty-something years later,
I could only smile,
Wondering how life would be different with a little more guile,
A little less ambition, and a better trick.

Magic (1984), The Cars

One big ass drop, two loops, and the status of mythical monsters,
That was The Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens,
A new roller coaster, loops, speed, balls out fun,
I’d meet college kids there,
Hanging with them making me feel cool,
Since high school,
Was at least another year from being done.
There was the track runner,
She was something.
There was the party dude,
He knew a lot about her,
But he had no magic with her.
In the blazing hot summer, he tried to start a fire,
She put it out like the cold air in the break room,
No problem, he accepted that his wallet wasn’t thick enough,
And headed to the LeMans cars.
In fact, we all did,
Trading in the lime green overalls,
For shorts and running shoes.
Maybe that got me to this morning
When a longish run
Was on the agenda.

The song ended.
Unfolding myself from the truck began.
Two minutes later
The real sleight of hand began,
Legs moving,
Heart beating,
Cobwebs shaken off,
Running.

Pretending (1989), Eric Clapton

West Philly, no AC, no birds chirping,
Buses, police cars, fire trucks spewing noise,
My apartment, spartan, poetry spitting from a dot matrix,
Me on my back wondering what I had done,
Leaving the Colonial Capital for the City of Brotherly Love,
Bound to duty and unwilling to break ranks,
While Clapton implored me to stop pretending.
I stayed making the most of things,
Thinking the path was true

It wasn’t.

Many years later
The gig was up.
Life would get better
Where no faking would be necessary
For truth in feeling, that soul massaging way
Got back to me.
Yes, Eric, no pretending.

Home By the Sea (1983), Genesis

Her parents weren’t home,
My friend’s girlfriend and her friend were alone.
He drove a Camero, earliest 80s vintage,
He drove fast, the Ironbound Express,
A blue blur flying through the night
His foot inspired by adolescent dreams.
Nobody talked, the windows were down,
Spring can get hot in Tidewater,
Since it is a home kind of close to the sea,
I’m not sure about seat belts,
The will to live is different at seventeen,
Death has no dominion then.
We made it safely.
We left safely.

The Lakers won that night.

Wicked Garden, (1992), Stone Temple Pilots

Rage, frustration, I don’t know with this one,
When it came out, I was mad,
Mad at a lot of stuff,
Mad because I was a chump.
I might still be,
I can’t claim to be an interpreter of song,
But this one gets the adrenaline pumping,
Motivation, aggression,
A soul taking, ankle-breaking mentality
Fit as a mid-day espresso.

The run was long past,
The sun was high in the sky,
The hurricane that my office fan stirs
Blew with Category Five ferocity and
When this song hit,
I was the eyewall, spinning in imagery,
Letting go of work’s never-ending frustration.

Music can make a mood,
Stoke a thought,
Change a feeling,
Make a moment.
My day started in darkness,
I emerged in a light
Full of memories,
Doused with creative energy,
Inspired to run, write, to be ridiculous.

This was how they played…

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