Memoir Mixtapes Vol.1 / Track 17

On “Drive-in Saturday” by David Bowie by Lisa Matthews


Saturday. My father spent his working life with other people using his skill to make money. He came home and talked about the men he grafted alongside, the sparks and the brickies and the plasterers. Jung, the foreman prayed at work. Half-rhymes and surrealist imagery fold back and forth, bound by a voice and face I’d not seen before. None of it made sense. Pour me out another phone / I’ll ring and see if your friends are home. Where we lived, there was poverty and tradesmen making profit from other people (refer back to first line of prose-poem). There was no-one called Buddy in my street, but I imagined him leaning on a wall, flicking a rolled-up cigarette into the gutter. He’d shrug and ask to stay. So, he stayed. And he opened my world to Astronettes, The Stones, video films and the juxtaposition of strange characters and cut-ups. I had no idea what the bureau supply for aging men might be, but I knew the voice coming out of the radiogram was saying something important. I was compelled to listen, I took it in and felt it start to grow. For months, this song filled my room – on Saturdays – when my parents were out at the working men’s club. To feel a bigger world beyond the top of our street, to know for the very first time that life was more expansive than the one I could see above the backyard wall, to consider the man with the red flash down the side of his face, his supine body dissolving away into grey sediment. To witness people – and their language – moving around in rooms, and streets, and cities, all lying and dying and living to extremes I was yet to know.

About the Author:

Lisa Matthews is a poet, scholar & collaborative artist. Her fourth collection of poetry, Callisto, will be published in the UK by Red Squirrel Press in the spring of 2018. Lisa is currently working on a part-time, practice-led PhD looking at the relationships between prose-poetry and sequential writing and their roles in the creative exploration of grief and trauma. &

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