Nov 21, 2013

The Day Lou Reed Died

The Day Lou Reed Died

Nick Flynn

It's not like his songs are going to simply evaporate,

but since the news I can't stop listening to him

on endless shuffle - familiar, yes, inside me, yes, which means

I'm alive, or was, depending on when you read this. Now

a song called "Sad Song," the last one on "Berlin,"

sung now from the other side, just talk, really, at the beginning, then,

the promise
or threat, I'm gonna stop wasting

my time, but what else
are we made of, especially now? A chorus

sings Sad song sad song sad song sad

song. I
knew him better than I new my own

father, which means
through these songs, which means

not at all. They died on the same day, O what a perfect day, maybe

at the same moment, maybe
both their bodies are laid out now in

the freezer, maybe side by side, maybe
holding hands, waiting

for the fire on the earth or the man or the salt…

if I could I'd let birds devour whatever's left
& carry them into the sky, but all I can do

it seems
is lie on the couch & shiver, pull a coat

over my body as if it were all I had, as if I
were the one sleeping outside, as if it were my

body something was leaving, rising up from inside me

& the coat could hold it inside
maybe a little longer.

(The New Yorker, 25/11/2013)

(The Day That Music Died - Don McLean)