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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Groovy Kind of Love?

This is what we meant by spin
before the doctors of politics
collared it
made it their own --
us whiling away
days to remember at H.M.V.
feeling the way of the vinyl
as slowly it turned
into something more final.
Spinal perhaps,
like the spine of a book
that neither had read
or a cord that ran through it.

Then spin letting sin
creep into the frame.
Two partners in crime
but under the skin.
Not knowing the rules of the game. 
Well trusted friend
grooming me. 
(This
I know now -- though he,
I am sure, did not see it so.)

Bach. Brahms. Beethoven. Britten. Liszt. All
of them tarred with the same brush, kissed
by the devil. But fit to fight back --
and how fit they were!
He bought me my first new L.P.
my earliest Britten
and first symphony.
(My very first set)
Yet no one suspected a thing.
Did they know, I wonder,
that such things were?
The world was different then.

Looking back, it was spin
and spin time I valued,
remember the best.
The time in the cubicle,
sound-proofed and bullet proof
just he and I
spinning the discs,
trapped by the vinyl
lost in the sound.

(Serving in Italy
during the war
he'd seen too much
of what happens to guys
who go with girls.
Hence, I suppose, 
there was me. I was clean.)

Later. Unease.
Feeling something was wrong.
Keeping a distance.
Later still. Guilt.
I'd taken his gifts,
but giving them back
would involve explanations.
Image as prompt from Tess Kincade at The Mag

14 comments:

Brian Miller said...

giving them back would involve explanation and make things messy, esp when the guilt was already there...and avoidance...its hard when things go this way for sure...there is always the music though...

manicddaily said...

A very well told story. Very easy to relate to. Really quite poignant. I love the old vinyl. k.

Mary said...

I enjoyed the telling, Dave. I still have a collection of the vinyl, though I don't play them any more. I could never throw them away...too many memories there.

kaykuala said...

The vinyl traces the process of growing up - of what songs and of different times. Nice to hold on to them for the oldies they contain. But one must continually take good care of them. Thanks for the memories, Dave!

Hank

Ygraine said...

I have a collection of vinyls too. And just a glimpse of them brings ancient memories flooding back...recollections of a group of friends sitting in a circle around an old record player...and later, melodious evenings shared with someone really special (but we won't go into that!).

Yes, some wonderfully poignant memories surfacing here, Dave.
Many thanks:)

Tabor said...

Old times. I had forgotten those magic sound proof booths where you could drift away for some while in the store. Can you give a gift back?

jabblog said...

It's remarkable how guilt can be remembered afresh so many years later.
I remember the listening booths - what a strange world it seems now.

Kat Mortensen said...

There's a duality at play here. "Grooming me" is what tipped me off. Really something, Dave!

anthonynorth said...

Still vinyls in our house, too. They certainly do bring back memories - but i won't go into explanation.
Great write.

Leovi said...

Excellent poem, the sound of a new vinyl is a lifetime.

Tumblewords: said...

Our lives have been written by music, or within it. Each memory soaked with notes. A fine, fine poem.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I really enjoyed this, considering also the veneration I have for vinyl records. And I will put a poem in my blog, which maybe I had put already some years ago, in answer to this, celebrating the old LPs.

Other Mary said...

Oh my...what a beautiful, poignant piece David. I admire your skill with words, the ones you choose and the ones you omit. And I'm so glad you're a fan of Uncle Johann. ;-)

Dave King said...

Brian
Yup - and it would have meant telling the family, which I would have found very difficult. Although I had not participated, there was a great deal of shame attched - even though I still did not understand what I was on the point of getting into. It simply felt wrong.

manicddaily
Yes, I did mourn (not too strong a word, I think!) the passing of vinyl - like steam engines: part of my world. We still have some L.P.s, but don't play them now. THE L.Ps. were consigned to the bin after a decent interval.

Mary
Yes. Although, having said that, I did throw THOSE ones away BECAUSE of the memories!

Hank
Yes it was certainly that. In many respects, a time of passage for me.

Ygraine
Yes, thanks for this. There were also the covers , of course. Some were worth saving for the covers alone.

Tabor
No, you're right. I was confused, though. Were they gifts ( as I describe them in the poem) or were they bribes? I still don' t know. The friendship part, even now, seems genuine. But can there be such conditions to a genuine friendship?

jabblog
Yes, but not just remembered afresh, remembered anew: seen differently, perhaps, in the light of current mores and morals.

Kat
There is a duality, you are right. There was a duality at the time, one I didn't understand but instinctively felt. I don't think the word "grooming" would have been in use then, not in that context.

anthonynorth
Many thanks for this. Fondness for the old vinyls still rules OK I think. We have a shop locally which still sells - and buys - them.

Leovi
Thanks for this. Yes, I agree.

Tumblewords
A beautiful thought. Should go on a calender. Many thanks for it and the kind remark.

Tommaso
Thanks for this - and for the write-up and poem on your blog.

Other Mary
Thanks a lot for these thoughts, very flattering they are, and very much appreciated.