“This Magic Moment” by Lou Reed
Lou Reed’s cover of “This Magic Moment” (the original is by The Drifters, 1960) implanted itself in my brain in 1997 when I saw David Lynch’s neo-noir film, Lost Highway. You’re in a garage. Dark reverb. The brown-eyed mechanic looks across the room at a blonde woman getting out of a car. She turns her platinum head. Then it happens—the electric caesura between him and her—and two worlds hang on either side of this moment—everything before, everything after—and the whole whirling world is seized here like a shining red bulb dangling from a Christmas tree. And there’s Lou Reed with his matter-of-fact voice cut with longing, spinning the sparking engine with all the voodoo that he do so well. Magic happens between the words; the guitar’s momentum, the choice made with one look between two people before anything else happens. When Lou says “save the last dance for me” at the end of the song, I see a tiny couple waltzing at the edge of a cliff on the very last day of the universe. But still, there’s going to be more and we want it bad. Please, baby.
Cate Peebles is the author of three chapbooks, including 9 Poems (Eye For An Iris Press, 2013) and James (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Tin House, Lit, Forklift Ohio, Octopus and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and Handsome. She co-edits the online magazine, Fou, and lives in Brooklyn.
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