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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019
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Tim Gardiner
Manningtree, Essex, UK


Telstar

She’s banging on the ceiling again. Why must she persist in interrupting my work? I’ve got Buddy in tonight, here to talk about his new material. I check the chimney for bugs before running my hands over the wallpaper feeling for microphones. Nothing must come between Buddy and me. By midnight, the recording deck has his thoughts under control and I leave 304 Holloway Road.

cemetery
tape recorder—
a cat’s meow
from beyond
the grave

On my return to the flat, Buddy’s chair is empty again. She’s fucked it up once more. A pill or two gets me through to daybreak, when the dark glasses will be needed for a trip to the Suffolk countryside. If the Kray twins see me, they’ll threaten to tell mother about THAT incident in the public toilet.

shotgun
under my raincoat—
a fly inspects the zip
of a suitcase dumped
on hedgerow violets

The last of the petty cash has been frittered away on uppers. Sleep is impossible in this flat anyway, the constant chatter of the poltergeists fractures the silence. Fed up with their immoral insinuations, The Tornados jam until sunrise. It’s just like the glory days of sixty-two.

my landlady
bangs on the door—
two shells
one for her
one for me


Author’s Note: Joe Meek was the producer of the 1962 hit record Telstar. He suffered with poor mental health (notably, bipolar and schizophrenia) in later years and killed himself in 1967 after murdering his landlady. He was a suspect in the Tattingstone (Suffolk, UK) suitcase murder shortly before his death.

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