Beatles Breakdowns

Returning to home from Old Sturbridge Village, I made the error and glorious decision to drink two beers and listen to the Beatles album Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  My wife was driving, thank God. I found myself once again on the verge of tears, praying to the Lord to help me not break down, repeating to myself internally:
It’s only silly hippie music by English pop stars, it’s only rock music, it’s a low cultural art form, etc.

But I was on the edge of total mental implosion and no one knew but God and myself.


I:  Lyric Line of Flight

Cavern Club / black leather / German rockers /  proto-youth culture groped its way from Liverpool TV slowly sped up / modernity invented / flown in planes / swallowed in pills / I watch the second Kennedy funeral on the screen in shades of gray rain / warming to mid-60’s hues / into the stratosphere / a lysergic surge / retinal after-images / intensities of nostalgic color / that British courtesy in understatement / Paul’s voice a bassline / George a guru of six-armed confusion / tasteful: now a meaningless word / it was Apollonian-Dionysiac /  my childhood’s soundtrack 

II:  Poem

They grooved—as our world became another

up from caverns to psychedelic flight.

They look so young in melancholic light

harmonizing black and white to color.

So distant—yet within our life’s short span

they grow apart as the hair grows longer

(The West’s resolve to expire grew stronger.)

Quadruplex visage:  young god sold to man.

I crack up beholding the mid-Sixties

lost in late-night YouTubes, I start to break.

time past: removed from the complexities

Recalling every song, the beat, the shake…

They sang the primrose path to confusion

nostalgia replacing resolution.


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