Getting It Taped

entry picture

For Martin


When I couldn’t keep up with the cost of music,

I found a solution: the second-hand

reel-to-reel I picked up at a snip –

a Philips most likely or maybe a Grundig,

some brand I thought would last.


Its clickety counter gave no insight

into the digital age. It couldn’t remember

or shuffle a thing. Pre-CD and pre-cassette,

it lacked a remote or any inkling

of the bells and whistles to come.


To make a start you wound the tape

onto the empty spool, then let it

run to take the slack. Engaging

its five sturdy controls

required decisive pressure.


And once you’d hooked it up to the radio,

you only had the space of a song

to change your mind and reset it,

ready for the next one, your dithering clunks

recorded in that seamless stream.


So I gave up on Pick of the Pops

and ‘Fluff’, its pop-picking deejay,

but left it purring quietly to the John Peel show,

his musical taste consistent,

his mumbles, yeah, laid back.




◄ A New Shirt

The Way We Were ►



Fri 22nd May 2020 14:59

Reminds me of simpler times, nostalgia is necessary for survival in times like these.


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