Thursday, May 09, 2013

The One I Love

There's a playlist on my iPhone that I call "AA playlist": first, I tried to write an "A playlist" of all my favorite artists (hey, why is my computer "correcting" the spelling of "favorite" by putting that British U into it?; time to check my settings, I guess). But that playlist was way too long to fit on my phone, so I split the A list into a AA list (my very best stuff) and an A list (the stuff it would be nice to have but that I wouldn't miss if it's not on the main list). 

An hour or so ago, I was listening to the AA playlist on shuffle (as I am wont to do), and up came "The One I Love," by REM. I've got REM on the AA list because I like so many of their songs, but if pressed, I would have said I actually only truly love one of their songs: "You Are The Everything," which is quite close to being perfect; if it didn't say "eviscerate your memory," which is a bit too weird, then it would be perfect.

But when "The One I Love" came on, I had one of those moments where a song could be said to do just that: "eviscerate your memory." The rush of hearing that song everywhere back in 1987 came back to me: what a joy it was that a band that had been putting out such excellent music right from their first album had finally struck it big. What a joy that the song that was everywhere was so good. What a joy to hear them live, and what a surprise to discover that they were a hard-rocking band, not just the jangly light sound of their albums.

What a joy to feel those feelings again. A Robert Creeley poem:


I'll not write again
things a young man
thinks, not the words
of that feeling.

There is no world
except felt, no
one there but 
must be here also.

If that time was
echoing, a vindication
apparent, if flesh
and bone coincided—

let the body be.
See faces float
over the horizon let
the day end.

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