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HILARY SIDERIS
Four More Keith Richards Poems


1954

Big-haired, bangled, lighting
Dunhills with a silver Zippo,
 
she exhaled glamour in our
semi-detached house, as if
 
the Ronettes had arrived,
& made us speculate about
 
our gypsy blood, all of us
hotheads, harmonizing on
 
Mum’s side. I remember
When Will I Be Loved
 
with Aunt Joanna. She was
a true Dupree. Whatever
 
crap or masterpiece came
on the radio, we’d try.

*************************************

SWEEP MY BROOM
 
We trawled the record stores
of Bexleyheath, Mick & me,
 
among aficionados, horn-rimmed
blokes opposed to amplifiers.
 
We got a Grundig reel-to-reel
copy of Diggin’ My Potatoes, Down
 
the Road Apiece & Sweep My Broom.
They met in little clumps like
 
early Christians, muttered matrix
numbers, checked for the shellac
 
on first printings, guys who
booed at Muddy from the back
 
row when he brought his band
to London, electrified.

*************************************

MICK
 
I worked one summer
loading burlap sacks
 
that cut each time you
slung them over
 
your shoulder. Sugar’s
a motherfucker, but butter—
 
that nice little square?
I had to hack it from
 
a boulder while Mick
studied economics.
 
Spit wads graced our
Edith Grove flat’s walls.
 
In a way, he had it harder,
having higher class folks.
 
We gave them names
like Goldilocks, Queen
 
Green
. We had fun.
Mick has changed.

*************************************

MARRAKECH

Brian dragged two
tattoed whores,
 
hairy whores, Anita
noted, to their suite.
 
He pelted her with
room service food,
 
at which point she  
moved in with me.
 
I have no memory of
writing Brown Sugar
 
& my hat’s off if
that riff’s Mick’s,
 
but I recall
Cecil Beaton
 
drinking a toast
to our torsos. 

 



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