posted on November 19, 2008 at 7:37 pm

the dawn awoke before the killer
a night of blue flashes and bone rattling thunder
a night of vivid dreams n astral visitations
memories slide down the window with the rain
my dad comes back sometimes n we talk
my dad says
youre older than me now, slim….!
i say
but i still cant play the piana like you dad
dad says
you need to let go to really play the piano, son
he starts to muck about on his piano
look at this….slim!… youre not even watching….
lyneham oh lyneham oh lyneham
wherefore art thou lyneham?
yeah they got some counterfeit lyneham there now, dad
what d’you meanby that, son…?
well they got internet access n gays drinkin’ soy lattes
dad says
i didnt understand a bloody word…..
dad, theres trees n all the houses are done up
and all the old ghosts have fled…..
and the young girls are now grandmothers
and the teachers are all old and distracted
time has moved on
leaving us all struggling in its wake
and this is just another dream, isnt it….
i catch a bus into town to the olympic pool
richard michalak and colin burton n paul turner are there
the p.a. plays the latest hits of the day
and the music keeps me in a state of constant sensitivity
everything overwhelms me
i jump in the pool n nearly drown
i go n buy some lollies…a kurl bar n licorice
my sunburn is peeling
my hair is short
my head is like a square
my eyes seem old
my teeth are yellow with 2 white stains at the front
my nose is red n freckled
my hair is dead straight n nondescript brown
i stand in the mens changerooms looking in the mirror
god i’d like to become invisible n go into the ladies changerooms
god, i’d like to see a naked lady
i sit on the bus for ages
all the way down miller street thru turner n o’connor
megan mc who i am secretely in love with
has taken the same bus home
she sits 4 rows further up
oblivious to my presence
but to me the air is charged with fairydust
the bus drivers radio blasts tinnily
i say hey hey you you get offa my cloud
the rolling stones come thru some tiny speaker
it feels dangerous just to listen to em…
whats the date, dad?
aw i dont know…..november something, isnt it?
its the 20th of november, leslie…says aunty lou
shes putting the dinner things out
egg n chips with tomato sauce
custard n rhubarb for afters
be christmas soon …my dad says
mum in the kitchen groans
what you want for christmas then …..slim?
dad do you remember that year…?
i got a simon n garfunkel record
and i got a tank that needed batteries
so you drove me down the esso but they were closed too
and a loada people rolled up
who all got mildly drunk, i guess
except for you n mum
and the kids ran around wild
and lyneham itself was wild
there were frill necked lizards 3 feet long n yabbies in the dam
farmers with shotguns on horseback chasing us thru the barb wire
everything smelt of chlorine
our washing went round n round on the hills hoist
our back yard was half n acre of stones n weeds
canberra sat in a valley in a heat dope stupor
the sixties had finally arrived in minis n mu-mu dresses
the bitter lemons released their own record
wow! the bitter lemons…what a great name
at school i drew pictures of bands playing guitars
at school where slagger slade was the principal
so called
cos when he was talking he’d spit all over you
it was truly a disgusting victorian kind of thing
and he gave me the cane and fuck! it hurt
i played cricket n got in fights n got punched in the face
i got ten cents a day
5 cents for half a vegemite roll
5 cents for afterschool lollies
or maybe a sunny boy with a lucky number in it
or maybe chip in with someone for 10 cents worth of chips
lets ride out to the quarry off dryandra street
jesus its all uphill
at the quarry we chuck stones at the silvergreen water
and finally some kid chucks a rock through some glass
and people come out shouting at us
and we jump on our bikes laughing n riding away
but i hit a rut n fall off my bike n hurt my arm
n all the kids are laughing at me
as i try not to cry
when i get home mums angry cos russells hurt himself too
and the dog dug up next doors garden
n pru daly is playing country n western too loud
n mark daly is practicing the drums
he plays the same drum riff over n over
my dad says something that makes everyone laugh
even auntie lou
he says:
“he’ll never play those drums
as long as he’s got a hole in his bum!”
just like some oldtime cockney comedian…
oh les! says auntie lou trying to stifle her giggling
its not a pretty sight
shes such a big lady
shes not fat
shes big like a rawboned rugby player is big
charming language for the table says my mother
although she laughed as well
but outside
the drum practice n tammy wynette fill the summery air
lyneham as it will never be again
before all them trees n soy lattes
when kids ‘d shoot at ya with air rifles n cracker guns
and i walked abroad in my shortie pyjamas
2 channels blacknwhite
cup of tea n chocolate biscuit
mum rings england every christmas
dad always makes her mum n dad laugh
20th of november….christmas soon
school begins to kinda deterioate in early december
we are allowed to bring games
the last week of school
someone brings a record player
and we listen to records n play games
the sky was always blue
the nights were always hot
the stars burnt on so fiercely
dad, do ya remember all that?

23 Responses to “yes or november”

  1. avatar
    davem | 19 November 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    I bet he remembers all that and more, like my Mum. 17+years on I still miss her!
    Even so……..I saw Megan Mc first. Keep those brick layers hands off!

  2. avatar
    matt davison | 19 November 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    A little blury…but yes!!


  3. avatar
    the dean | 19 November 2008 at 9:19 pm #

    Your descriptions of 60s australia visualises in my mind, bringing memories from nowhere, heat, glare, flies, adventure, uncertainty. It’s all there. A time of concrete, sparrows and stray dogs. Now what have we but trees and wildflowers.
    For me this is your best stuff.

  4. avatar
    craig1.618 | 19 November 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    yeah i wonder too

    i relive it everyday in my mind

    even just now before i walked in here

    sat down and looked at this computer screen

    i was seeing it all again

    but i had to make myself stop thinking about it

    it’s just all too much……..still

    i don’t know if i’ll ever be the same again

    it overhelms me

    mom, do ya remember all that?

  5. avatar
    jax | 19 November 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    gawd that was brilliant.. the storm brought that on didit? There is atmospheric lectricity connecting made me remember..Dad?you there?

  6. avatar
    John | 19 November 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    It’s like I’m there.

    John Garratt

  7. avatar
    Celticat | 19 November 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    I loved todays blogge,

    Thank you

    Love Celticat

  8. avatar
    Richard | 19 November 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    vegemite rolls were up to 10c when I hit high school

    but I could get tarzan jubes at 5 for a cent

    you can still buy sunnyboys and glugs and razz(s) – but they’re smaller and a different shape and you don’t get the (occasional) magical yellow writing on the inside

    were scanlens football cards a big thing in your neck of the woods?

  9. avatar
    steve kilbey | 20 November 2008 at 12:16 am #

    it was 5 cents for half a vegemite roll!

  10. avatar
    Richard | 20 November 2008 at 12:28 am #

    oops – so it was

    sorry teach … gotta read more carefully

    (so, if you spent 10c did you get the vegemite spread on both halves?)

  11. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 November 2008 at 2:20 am #

    I often wonder if the young Steve Kilbey ever liked “A World Of Our Own” and/or “I’ll Never Find Another You.” I bet not !

    In the recent Rolling Stone Magazine David Fricke devotes 2 pages reviewing Dumbs and Noses bombastic new CD and a mere paragraph to Jeff Beck’s vastly superior new CD release. That’s life in our fallen world.

    I think are dead parents and relatives are around us in the luminous spirit world. I drink with the lights out and the music blasting.

  12. avatar
    kat | 20 November 2008 at 2:28 am #

    i agree brien c !

  13. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 20 November 2008 at 4:28 am #

    evocative writing….
    love always…

  14. avatar
    andmoreagain | 20 November 2008 at 5:33 am #

    Brien, I love that you never forget to mention your first love in every missive. 4 STars for that crap. Who fucking cares!!! Anway, lovely blog Steve. Miss me Dad (and Mum tho’ she’s still with us) too.

  15. avatar
    andmoreagain | 20 November 2008 at 5:39 am #

    Is Numbers just not the best song ever? I remember seeing the Seattle show on the Forever Yogurt tour and Steve mysteriously introducing it as about someone to whom everything was numbers and one day the numbers just didn’t add up. I figured it was about a autistic savant. Some Rainman. Knowing the Kilbster a little better, he was probably talking about his accountant. Hee, hee. You were really funny at that show. It was so good I had to leave before the last song because I couldn’t bear for it to end.

  16. avatar
    eek | 20 November 2008 at 11:19 am #

    A lovely piece today, Steve.

  17. avatar
    lily was here | 20 November 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Bewitching conversation with your dad.

    I remember a free sonny boy or happy snax card was like winning the lottery back then…sigh, life in the fast lane of childhood.

  18. avatar
    matthew | 20 November 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    SK you conjured so perfectly that 60s-70s canberra era… haha – and i clearly remember kids walking around in summer pyjamas late, during daylight saving! …Well, I drive thru “Neo Lyneham” almost every day now… and I live just a block from Miller Street… so I’m curious – what street did you live in, in Lyneham?

  19. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 November 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    very nice blog today, steve.

    lotza love….

  20. avatar
    steve kilbey | 20 November 2008 at 7:41 pm #

    7 baines place
    hey all my fiends could chip in n re-buy that place for me

  21. avatar
    davem | 20 November 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    I wish sk!
    Pay day tomorrow… so i can send my usual, humble monthly donation. If i had any dosh a good wedge would come your way.

  22. avatar
    CSTCoach | 20 November 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Beautiful piece today. Reminds me of how much i miss my father (gone 3 yrs now).

    Love to read these sorts of nostalgic reminicenses. Your music always puts me in that same space.

    >>the bitter lemons released their >>own record

    Anyone know if the name "bitter lemons" was inspired by the Lawrence Durrell book on Cyprus by that same name? The time period would be right.

  23. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 21 November 2008 at 1:19 am #

    i’ll buy you 7 baines place just as soon as you get to 3036 Joyce Lane place…

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