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

into mellifluousness

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.