the first: Astral Weeks
Lester Bangs got it right: twirling melodic arc
How come you never told me this was your Psalm?
I’d seen you in those photographs: scrubby, mod shoes,
fluffed hair, sewn bravado, scuffling drumsticks, 1967.
It was as if hope was on your T shirt, the back read: hip.
I’d lock myself in my bedroom & play musical dress-ups.
Me, with a comb, mimicking heartbreak & loss
& you sliding in & saying dinner’s ready sweet thing.
the second: Blonde on Blonde
Dylan: the firm glue. Watching you with guitar
& harmonica, softly layering your vocals with mine
(ghost of ‘lectricity) we’d wink (howls) discussing what
the next line means, flinging definitions & sources.
Double vinyl like wheels driving me further into
the dreamy tongue of new landscapes & there
in the sun, I’d know I was your daughter, it’s marked:
deeply depressed in the bones of your face.
the third: White Light/White Heat
I’d crouch in the living room, headphones & squalling,
craning my neck to see if you’d move to catch me
orbit-happy, decibel-excess, the wheezing of sound.
This thrill of circular, impatient thrust, rambling
the coffee table. Picturing stark night-clubs eight
years too early. Winding words aloud, then I’d
run through the kitchen in my socks, skidding,
scrambling just to tell you: this is my favourite bit.
the fourth: Chelsea Girl
On first listen, my diary writes of orange heroin,
the girl with the cheekbone blue-green eyes.
This was only on during late Sundays, never
when guests were around fawning over your LPs.
I savoured this one, kept the taste for quiet recipe.
Fizz would play the record years later in our flat,
openly, as if it could heal the mournful, the searching.
I hope it saved her; Nico with her arms around my friend.
the fifth: Greetings From LA
Provocative hallucinations cushioning my teen years
I would get ready; doloroso dolling up; Buckley
wailing in funky groove. Rebellion, at least has rhythm.
All my moods were in time: energetic & experimental.
LA: Australia contains those two letters but we were
worlds away. Sometimes you and I would go weeks…
but then, the amp in the background or the snare &
we’d be all rock group again, on stage, together
in the lounge-room
belting out our history in song.
Alicia Sometimes is an Australian writer, poet and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Alicia is a regular guest on ABC 774 and Radio National talking books, arts and culture. Alicia was a 2014 Fellow at the State Library of Victoria and writer and director of the science-poetry show, Elemental that toured extensively in planetaria around the world. In 2017 she co-produced ‘Chaos to Calm’ (Soundproof, RN) creatively exploring scientific processes. She is passionate about arts and science and is currently working on a new show on particle physics. www.aliciasometimes.com