52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Assignment 3: Narrative Poem

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When we got the car back

When we got the car back the stereo worked.
It could play an ipod and CDs, and the radio
of course. We lost the cassette deck. When the
Wherehouse and Tower began to close, I picked up
cassettes, priced 99 cents, by Billie Holiday,
Hank Williams, Bruce Springsteen, The Bangles,
Cheap Trick, the Beach Boys. A friend, as we walked  
from Tower to the Side Street Café, said,
“The Beach Boys’ Party? You crack me up.”
The café was run by a single mother
and her daughters. I found them alluring.
We met some other friends there.
I ordered eggs and toast and some sort of breakfast meat.
The hashbrowns had peppers, at that time too much
for my weak palate. I used ketchup.
I still break out Party!, its pastiche of “Little Deuce Coupe”
proof the Boys could be funny, its fake jubilation
no match for forgotten words, obvious pleasure,
and drawn-out ending of “Barbara Ann.”
I would break it out, but the cassette player…
My younger son’s dazzled by the new deck's 
ever-changing lights. He says he wishes it played tapes.
He’s a curious soul, a lover of remnants.

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