(Sailboat Books, 1976)
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

Book with Q

The Finks - "Emma Again". A book of short stories, sitting on the bench at a bus stop. It is just a little paperback, bright yellow cover, and after a while you pick it up because the bus is late. The book feels good in your hand; feels just right. The sky is clear as a perfume bottle, blue, you think to yourself wanly, as the Librarian's eyes. Lately you have been obsessing about the Librarian and you have been quietly enjoying this obsession - you are not sure how much you are being ironic when you type and delete and re-type the Librarian's name in the Facebook status update box. You just know that you always close the window.

Now you are at the bus stop with the little yellow paperback. It feels good in your hand so you flip open the cover. A story called "Emma Again". You squint at that title. "Emma Again". Someone has taken a ballpoint pen and crossed out the word Again. You shift on the bench and cross your legs. You start reading the story. It is a story about new love. It is written in a fumbling, bumbling style, like the author does not have a full command of the English language. You flip back to the cover. "by Emma D----". Is Emma writing about herself? Is the narrator deliberately clumsy? Is this meta-fiction or whatever? The back of the paperback doesn't have any information, just a publisher. You wonder what the Librarian would say about this book. Would they know all about it, just from the author's name, the publication date? Would the Librarian be able to quote back the opening line?

You keep reading and on the third page you find another word has been crossed out. In fact it is the same word. After a while she said I'll go home again. You pore over the rest of the pages. Throughout all of "Emma Again", every instance of the word again has been crossed through, in a wobbly blue line. Why? It is a mystery. You look up - the bus is coming. Its orange lights shine through the morning mist. This little paperback is a mystery, a mystery, and you clutch it happily. You're so happy to have found a little mystery. You rummage in your pocket for a bus token. Later you will see the Librarian again and you will have this book in your raincoat pocket and the mystery will give you something to talk about. A loose thrill rolls around in your chest. You are a bit embarrassed by the somersaulting thrill, the fuzzy heat of it - you don't even know if you even really like the Librarian; but you try not to overthink it. You squeeze into the bus and try to find a place where there's room to stand and also room to hold the yellow paperback in your left hand, thumb wedged in the spine, to read. You will read the whole story, while the bus rolls and shudders, again and again and again.

[The Finks on Soundcloud]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at October 1, 2012 11:06 AM

i fucking love this band

Posted by trafalgar at October 2, 2012 1:02 AM

love the story LOVE the song

Posted by marsellus at October 2, 2012 8:20 AM

Some of the best writing I've seen on here. Brilliant work, Sean.

Posted by Jess at October 8, 2012 5:12 AM

Agreeing with Jess...

Posted by siege at November 5, 2012 6:04 PM

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about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by .
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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