Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton

Little Big Star: for Alex Chilton (1950 – 2010)

“I never travel far without a little Big Star”
— Paul Westerberg of The Replacements in the song “Alex Chilton” on Pleased to Meet Me

All that mattered was the song, Alex,
the letters and the words
and those succulent poppy hooks.

We danced for you, Alex,
we learned diminished chords for you, Alex.
We bought your records.
We played them on our turntables

until the vinyl wore so thin
that light passed through the grooves

and it is that light that we miss, Alex,
but it shines on wax and gleams in bright
binary code like the light we drank from you –

our “Blue Moon” in darkness.
It will sustain us for now, Alex
until that next misfit unearths
a copy of “In the Street”
without a thing to do
except talk to you.

Aah.

Previously published by PresentMagazine.com.
© 2010, Shawn Pavey. All rights reserved.

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