Sometimes my dad would get drunk, red wine usually, sometimes rum and coke. A habit he said he picked up from a folk festival he once went to in Portugal. I remember he just said he had this vision of Dulcimer stuck in his mind. Dulcimer in a bikini, crashed out on a sun-lounger, with a bottle of Captain Morgans by her side. That’s my dad – always had ‘a thing’ for fiddle players.
And when he did drink, the stiffness and awkwardness would disappear and, in those moments, he would open up and shine. I remember that night he showed me his records and we enthused over the vinyl and the picture discs, the album sleeves and the artwork and the little brush he taught me how to use to clean the dust off the old LA Guns album before crashing guitars filled the room from grooves of the black spinning disc. I would never have dreamed of the magic of that little black brush, how something so small and innocuous could sweep away the years of dust and wipe the slate clean, releasing the sounds and the memories from another era. His era.
And from there who knew what might unfold? Ticket stubs, photos, autographs, picture discs, stories, poems and poetry books would come pouring out. We’d talk about art and music, read poems and stories until, at some undefined point, the spark would just go out. Without warning. That was it. And I always waited and I always wished it would return.
James Laurie is a UK based poet walking the fine line between Shadow and Destruction. His work has been published by the ‘I Am Not A Silent Poet’ blogzine and ‘A New Ulster’.
“Our Shadow is the device we use to hide our wounds yet the Shadow is an imperfect disguise and the truth will out. Destruction is the truth when there is no longer any need or desire to hide.”