Practice Pages – Music To Die By

This Practice Page was inspired by a line in a text I was reading (I wish I wrote down what it was – it may have been an article I was reading online). The line that sparked the thought forms the title, Music to Die By.

Oh, it’s all flaws and problems but I like the idea of simply throwing words down on paper to explore an idea; try to excise the cliches and boring prose with something different. I find the same phrases or half-sentences popping up in my writing like dandelions, spreading their seed when I fart and sowing a new crop of half-arsed sentences.

Therefore, the practice pages are a good way to expunge tired expressions from my writing and find new images and constructions. And, yes, this is all just practice and in no way should be considered ‘art.’

Music To Die By

The funeral march, never heard by your own ears, is a cadence of steps bearing the weight of the coffin with you inside it. The missed step and misstep, Perhaps the last thing you heard was the shufflely slap of slippers in the hallway, the click of the bathroom light and stop/start splash of urination.

You have a set list of songs you’d like played at your funeral; even one or two put on there as an ‘up yours’ to certain family members. But if there was one song to play, that best encapsulated who you are, and who you were, what would it be? The sentiment of a song, meaningless to everyone else but you, and you can’t hear it.

While mulling it over, there are playbacks of other songs: the frenetic two-beat of punk, a stuttering motorcycle of attempted rebellion until the motor smooths out and rebellion is understood as a revolution of the mind, not the clothing.

Or the rushed climax of lovers as the radio plays some innocuous pop song in the background, a soundtrack gouged in wax and on each subsequent listen the memory replaces the physical engagement until the only thing left is chemical memory and the desire of what it represented.

This then, is the purest music: the silence between heartbeats until at last, the needle of the record lifts, pauses, returns to the carriage and with the final click, the revolutions cease.

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