Ballarat, February 2022
A grotto of cathedral rock
blue in the shallows
bleak in the depths
secular guides point lurid torches
pilgrims offer candles – neither can illuminate
the mystery of Elliott Smith.
The glam descent, a dark modal turn
sappy crimson plastic keys
inverted ivory, a tone scaffold collapses
steel strings pick at old wounds
a plectrum amplifies more forceful declarations.
Whisper thin voce finta
double-tracked allusions to strength
lyrical fragments at the precipice of longing:
his songs kept me holding on for years.
A scratched disc in a glove box
the records she took when she left –
my absent lover inhabits these songs.
There is no space in my heart for the music of Elliott Smith.
Stereo Story #717
Anthony Camm’s Spotify playlist for his poem.
Also see Maria Majsa’s story about Between The Bars.