The White Album—Two Outtakes

Outtake 1

she appears at the edge of the wharf 2-3 nights a week// as if she's surveying the vastness of nothing// it's around the time you're learning how to play the harmonium// something pulls you like the moon// you want to own it & put it in your pocket// one night your butterflies get risky// you clear your throat & she turns// surprised by your cliche your mod look & cuban heels// in a chiffron baby doll dress with spaghetti straps/ she could pass for a darker shade of jean shrimpton// she talks of many things// murder on the docks the effect of the sun the overuse of echo in psychedelic how her father never recovered from his wounds from Franco's men circa 1937 // how london is a city of zombies // light & dark play musical chimes across her face // she says she is "fallen angel" [angel caido] the name of her all girl band// she says she can't score a contract// it's a boy’s world she says// a sneer// then says she knows your face// but can't recall the name //how can that be? you wonder// is she playing you?// you tell her you too are in a band // working on the purest album of a career // a "white" album// you visit her working the crowds in underground clubs // she plays guitar with finger pads still too soft// they drop off or form blisters// she sings like a beautiful manic-depressive // a comet falling & reversing //complains that she feels empty & emptier until she will be nothing// she offers to sleep with you if you can get her a contract// you say will try but no promises // one night in her room overlooking the docks & the impression of white birds the reflection of elongated lights// your hands your thrusts almost go through her// until you can only feel yourself //she's gotten too thin you think// it's the last time you ever see her //winter arrives//white birds hide under their impressions// you give up playing the sitar



Outtake 2

ringo meets a girl-silhouette in a short black dress   her legs are long, as alluring as throwing oneself into the thames to get over a bad life   maybe the dress is what erases her    having been called "tone-deaf" by george    or web-handed by the south 5's drummer    he suspects everything is distorted    he follows her down carnaby street   he buys her a drink at an east side pub   she has large dark eyes & small mouth painted pale   she takes him in   he's reminded of the softness   the tragedy of asia    women with napalm smiles faraway curves   he knows nothing is cheap  at her place she tells him  "i always die after sex"   they make love on a rickety mattress  witnessed by windows w/ fine cracks  inside her he feels he's become an ecstatic void a swirl   afterwards, what will he mean?   after three nights of practically shelving her  the memory of her soft dolly-girl legs  his sinking   he becomes obsessed   he can't concentrate on drums & loops   they meet accidentally in the rain  she tells him that she never got over being jilted by a lingering shadow   what's that supposed to mean he says straining his voice through the mist   she turns & runs   a week later   he finds a piece of black batik fabric  floating on the thames   he wants to swim but can only belly-flop   he panics & calls her  in a phone booth that doesn't close all the way  on the other end   her shadow listens



Kyle Hemmings

Kyle Hemmings has work published in Sonic Boom, Deracine, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. He loves 60s garage bands and 50s grade B sci-fi flicks. 


Edited for Unlikely by dan raphael, Staff Reviewer
Last revised on Friday, February 9, 2018 - 12:42