Friday 31 August 2018


(Beautiful South, no.14 November 1994, 
Go Discs GODCD 122) 

adrift on Cathedral precinct
the corner by the Polish Deli
a tousle-haired busker
in battered leather jacket,
I spare a half-glance
and a spin of coin
into his big acoustic case,
no-one to meet,
nowhere to go,
but hurrying anyway
until, as some triggered
juke-box track
blue-toothed to my soul
his pulse of words
tangle up my head
in one last love song
to share my desolation,
spines that riff my mind
snag into those memories
rip out my heart
in such sweet torture,
I know this song, know its
weary country melancholy,
its heartbreak bitterness
rinsed in hard liquor
yet still that beautiful ache
of separation and loss,
Neil Young, Phil Ochs,
Waylon Jennings?
can’t place it, but it replays
in my head on endless repeat,
I miss you now you’ve gone,
the cheap lyrics of forgotten hits
fold those moments in glistening chords,
drifting back through Cathedral precinct
on the corner by the Polish Deli,
and he’s gone
his work done, the ghost of
his song… echoes…

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