Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tune Therapy

image borrowed from bing

Tune Therapy

“The 60’s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, 
sex never as free, and the rock & roll never as great.”
---Abbie Hoffman

Back in my woebegone wage-slave days,
during my 30 minute commute to the office
each & every weekday morning,

to avoid the tremendous tedium,
to cheer myself up,
to dig the moment inhabited,
to put forward some positive vibes,

always listening to one FM Classic Rock station,
I would play a little game along the way,
always the Pollyanna at the start;

knowing that rock songs are 3 minutes in length,
knowing that I had 8 to 10 chances,
knowing that the damned odds were long,
knowing that my success would be minimal,

I created two Rock Group categories;
“Best of the Best I” and
Best of the Best II”.

In the first group I included five
of my favorite R&R artists,
needing to hear one of their songs;

Rolling Stones
Elton John. 

In the second group I included
my next five favorite R&R artists,
and would accept songs from,

Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Joni Mitchell
ZZ Top
Pink Floyd.

I would always get more excited
if I could hear a song from Group I,
but, of course, would still

love it if I heard any tune
from an artist in Group II, but
this game was complex.

I decided that if I could hear just one song
from either group, my whole day
would be ringed with rainbows;

on a fabulous day I would actually hear
up to 4 artists from both lists during
the half-hour commute,

but on a gray day, I would hear
none of them, and that day
would be dullard & flat-assed.

It was my will against the odds,
with my heart vulnerable to
the whims of cruel chance.

Sometimes I would go a whole week
without scoring a win, but hey,
sometimes I would be fat-flushed

with luscious luck, and my songs
would appear in cheerful clumps
day after day, a shining week.

This silly superstitious routine
was practiced for several years
and I never tired of it.

Sometimes, yes, I do miss the game, but
not the terrible traffic,
not the woeful worries,
not the fatuous fatigue,
not the belligerent bosses,
not the writhing work day. 

Glenn Buttkus

July 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets FFA

Would you like to hear the author read this List Poem to you?


Claudia said...

ha smiles..what a fun game... and i agree...just one cool song can change the whole mood of the day... i use my commuting time for all kind of things..writing poetry in my head...thinking about the things i have no time for otherwise, listening to the daily audio bible, inventing songs myself - ha - always a precious time..smiles

Anonymous said...

I don't care what anyone ever says--the music from basck then was so far out there it's still going strong.>KB

Victoria said...

Glenn, this is so fun. I think we all play those kinds of games and this makes me want to turn on the Bose and tune in to some classic rock. Living in Reno, we get a chance to see some of these artists: Elton John (3 hours without a break), Moody Blues, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan. I still like to listen to them when I'm doing house work. Adds a little energy to it. But I like the idea of the randomness of your game. Well-written and felt list poem.

Brian Miller said...

ha. there are def things i dont miss of my baltimore commute...the traffic...mine is rather long now but its back roads and i miss most of the traffic for more pastoral scenery...might have to take up your game....zz top was the first cassete i ever owned...hearing the right song will def shape the day as well...

Anonymous said...

What a great game and I love your selections! Isn't life grand when you are out of the rat race x

Mary said...

What a cool game! Good way to make the commute to work pass a bit faster. And yes, those were the 'good old days' of music for me too...

Anonymous said...

Love that line "my whole day would be ringed with rainbows"-- fun read! ~peace, Jason

Grace said...

Clever list of music rock stars while commuting to work ~ I too listen to my favorite music station but don't have a favorite artist ~ Of course, you don't miss the hustle and bustle of working mundane (I am still here and stuck for some time, sigh) ~

Smiles, Glenn ~

Anonymous said...

Queen, Pink Floyd: two of my favorites..
A very true to heart and open-minded creation. Your words just kept on flowing and flowing, like a song.
For the last 20 days, I've been writing, listening to the same playlist every time. And now I am a little superstitious that a good idea starts to whirl in my mind only when I am listening to Dishwalla's Every Little Thing.. :-)

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Love this. Love the audio. Must learn how to do this.

S.E.Ingraham said...

I love this! I may even give it a try on our oldies station one day...what a great idea. I'm sure I'll be every bit as superstitious too...I'm retarded tho' (oops, that's retired) so can just crawl into bed, if it's going to be a bad day...again, great poem (and as always, well-read).

Anonymous said...

Some cool music in this list...would keep my day going for sure. Very cool!

Ginny Brannan said...

Funny the mind-games we play to escape the tedium. Like your musical choices--classics, they never grow old!

vivinfrance said...

This has a real ring of truth, with inventiveness thrown in. I don't miss commuting and all the other trials of the wage slave life.

ds said...

I played that game too. So glad my commute is ridiculously short now. Fun poem. Thank you.

humbird said...

Love your music choice, and games you're playing...for me jazz channel
radio can always bring the joy and make any day colorful...Great list poem, thanks for mentioning classics!

Beachanny said...

I thought we all sort of played that game (maybe still are). Cameron Crowe said he played it to extreme - it became his diary - ever changing so that he made (at first) cassette tapes of his faves (dating each) and later cds. I think they formed the background music in part to "Almost Famous". Huh, I just googled it - and look at this:

Anyway love this list of how it happened - spinning back the golden oldies of when it was all radio and rock 'n roll!

Katie Mia Frederick said...

Epic beauty youtube

f**L treasure

UN treatise


Tony said...

This is cool!