monday cover #1: neil young: don’t let it bring you down

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after his third beer, the old records came out. all the best are worn thin from late night listening sessions years ago, eleven college kids crammed in a small room, cigarette smoke, empty beer cans, loud conversations about politics, breakfast cereal, and music: pulling out “after the gold rush” to prove that neil young’s voice is more expressive than nilsson’s.

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monday song #49: crucifixion is easy


sally mccarthy bathes her daughter in a shallow tub on the kitchen table. the baby fusses but stops short of crying.

as she sponges her tiny hands, sally marvels at the soft palms, just starting to prune. and her uncle carter’s voice speaks up in her memory.

“i don’t see what all the fuss is about. if i was jesus, i would have begged to be crucified.”

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monday song #47: still life


staring at the floor. frozen.

scuffed wood once elegant, now dulled by years of water spraying from the kitchen sink.

it’s the eighth floor at liberty lane.

frozen. looking down. familiar.

elliott came from a family that spent their lives propping up the walls, keeping the ceiling in place. his father drinking and laughing and screaming and occasionally hitting.

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monday song #45: the 10 o’clock news


charlotte woke up crying. her father sits at the end of the couch.

his voice is soft, his breath is sweet. the party is quieting down, but there are still adults talking downstairs.

charlotte is seven. she dreamt that the house was on fire.

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monday song #43: i’m in love with everyone


cheever street, late afternoon. a muffled roar pulses from a garage near the end of the block. from outside the clamor is hard to recognize, but the roar demands attention.

more than one neighbor watches their clock for the agreed upon curfew of six pm to arrive, when they can call to complain. why they ever agreed to tolerate the racket is a mystery to each. he used to be such a nice boy.

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monday song #42: punk


james lives on fenton street down the block from the empty lot that once held the 7-11. a firehouse is going up slowly.

he’s a teenager, but you’d only know it from the library books in his backpack:

salinger, the autobiography of malcolm x, arthur c clarke. his looks would place him in elementary school, his placement test would have him in high school. but he’s trapped in the middle world, the boiling limbo of junior high.

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