That Old-Time Religion

I remember this one metalhead I used to know, guy
about my age, told me the first time he heard that Quiet
Riot song Bang Your Head on the radio, he was so impressed,
he fell to his knees in the middle of his suburban driveway
& began to smash his forehead against the asphalt
as hard as he could, & it was bleeding something awful
& his mother came rushing out & stopped him, yelling
What in God’s name do you think you’re doing, but little
did she know he’d just been saved. I was a metalhead
from that day on, he said. I almost passed out, but it felt
so good to just let everything fucking go. I saw stars.

4 Replies to “That Old-Time Religion”

  1. Dave, This poem (dare I say) rocks! With just a few choice words and images you paint a vivid, telling picture. This is great poetry. Every word counts, does its job to move the poem forward and tell the story. I love it!

    1. Thanks, Jill. And not to be self-deprecating or anything, but it’s for ones like this that I added “…poem-like things” to the category description. It was kind of an experiment in sight-based rather than rhythm-based line division, and I’m always curious to see just how closely an economically told story resembles poetry. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter what people call it. I’m glad it worked for you.

      Off-topic: It’s always struck me as curious that the two-terms used most often in reference to a genre — “heavy metal” and “headbanging” — come from songs by bands outside that genre (Steppenwolf and Quiet Riot, both hard rock).

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