January 8th 2016 Bowie Day

by Brendan Strong

Today, my friends, was Bowie day:
We are lucky to live in an age
Of online music streaming and sales:
No waiting for lunch or the end of the day
To get Blackstar into my brain.

Remember haunting Tower or HMV
Fewer than ten years ago to see
Whether it was possible a CD
Might be there a few days early?

Even then, planning to go out at lunch break,
The morning in the office was just a wait,
This unknown music a secret fate –

Wondering what sounds and lyrics
Were encoded on the silver discs.

Download on demand is bittersweet:

The music is immediate bliss
But you miss the artifacts of the disc.

The cover art, inserts with words,
Holding the jewel case or cardboard.
Pausing to stretch a moment and absorb

It all. Slipping the disc into the CD-ROM tray
(Oh, God be with the days!)
Headphones in, tuned into music for the day.
Magic melancholy floats you away:

To some spaceless place,
Existing in a wonder state,
Manifest imagination always worth the wait:
Is there the discipline for that today?
Never mind: today was Bowie day.