for Andy, wherever he is

My friend with the cassette recorder
taped the music, taped the dead.
You’d see him everywhere, pockets
stuffed with batteries and paper,
a pen to detail whatever it was
he’d chosen to preserve. He always
arrived early to get a front row seat,
the perfect place to document
whatever was happening that night.
All the musicians knew him, said
it was fine; knew he wasn’t selling,
just obsessed. And most of them
have died. I saw Lol one last time
here in Cornwall, he remembered
your name. Years later I thought
I’d found you again online; it was
the same music but the wrong man.
I still listen to what you played me,
remember a gas cooker burning
to keep your flat’s kitchen warm
as we listened to saxophone squeals
and a voice working out what to sing.


© Rupert M Loydell

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