MONDAY: Geriatric Rockstars, A Life’s Soundtrack


Copyright is held by the author.


Geriatric Rockstars

This is the era, the first era
of geriatric rockstars

and those who weren’t so lucky

Weathered wrinkles of chiseled skin
frazzled hair and worn leather

We don’t see

We see instead
a smoldering August night

a black radio with big dials leaning against the windowsill
dialed to that one DJ

Our favourite song blares through cricket sounds
as we share hidden secrets

We feel the cut of our thumbnail into a plastic cover
until it pops, revealing the scent of cardboard
We gently place our needle on the groove
of the song we hid from parents

We explore lyrics
of rebellion,
of asexuality,
of creativity dipped so deep into the inkwell that the splatters will never replicate.

We sit in dark paneled basements
with lasting friends who know
We hear the crack of a plastic CD case
popped open by a first date, awaiting our approval
as the disc slides noisily into the console
of a beloved first car

The music of a first breathy kiss,
a first electric touch
forever scorched in memory

That song is heard for years to come by others
but never the same for us

We mourn this era, this first era
of geriatric rockstars

and those who weren’t so lucky

We do not mourn because we loved them
We do not mourn because we knew them

We mourn because their notes and beats and lyrics and melodies
have become one thread in the braid of a memory.

And when that thread is gone, our memory is forever altered.


A Life’s Soundtrack

When I die
Don’t play the songs we hear
at funerals

No hymns, no pipes, no chords that cause even the stoic to weep

When I die
Play the soundtrack of my life

That long eclectic mosaic of melody and lyrics
that whispered against my soul

And caused the moments of joy — so intense that tears flowed — to be forever scored
And caused the moments of pain — that brought me to my knees — to be forever comforted

Play the first radio song I noticed
as my mother swung her hips while stirring at the stove

The one I came to recognize as her song

I want to hear the tune of that not yet jaded boy band
The one that made my knees go weak and wrinkled posters to sprawl across my bedroom walls
by chipping yellowed tape

Play the one I sang with my giggling girlfriends in loose cotton PJs
on scorched summer nights
hairbrushes as microphones
potato chips strewn on the bed

Blast the lyrics from the band the world was questioning
The one that showed me how words could blend together
into a single feeling
The one that taught me

being creative isn’t always being accepted
Allow me re-live how one single rock star dared to break away from a stale band
and soothed me
when teenage love taught me the word “abandon”

Let us dance again, as we danced, the night of our wedding and forever after
Then play the radio song the children will notice as I swing my hips while stirring at the stove

The one you came to recognize as my song

  1. I found the longing for things past depressing.

  2. Nostalgia has its place but in this instance I found the context depressing.

  3. Captures so well how music of our past influences the present and future.

  4. oh thank you for the great celebration of the era this past era.I remember baby doll pj’s getting a new vinyl record — your poems are such a super celebration of those times that made us who we are today. I live fully as an aging boomer but love to look back and recall these most wonderful times. You made my morning kick off — Bobby Curtola just past. He was one of those memorable guys who got our hips swinging. My song this morning is Fortune Teller. 🙂 Your writing clearly took me on the best journey back as I begin to live in this time now having had those remarkable times. The “Thread of memory” is a part of me that lives on in “the braid” of all I am today. Bravo to you. Keep your hips swinging and your pen writing.

  5. Loved the opportunity to read and reminisce. Some bittersweet, but then again that’s life!

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