Backmasking
Poetry
5.5 x 8.5, 48 pp.
Pub Date: 05/15/2014
  paper
Price:        $8.95

978-1-937875-76-3

Published by Texas Review Press

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Backmasking

Harold Whit Williams

The poems of Backmasking uncover secret messages of rock and roll in relation to religion, mostly in a loose sonnet form reminiscent of David Wojahn's classic, Mystery Train. Set mainly in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, these narrative poems, spun in reverse, detail a young man's ascent into the glittery world of guitar heroes, all the while singing out the day-to-day absurdities of the sacred and the profane.

Fame Studio Session

             Muscle Shoals, Alabama 1989

Its history in rock and roll was lost on me
The night that we snuck in. My buddy Jon
Had called a friend who'd let us tape for free.
The evening band had paid, was packed and gone
When we arrived with drums, guitars and Tom—
His blank cassettes would dub our only tune.
I can't recall who played the bass, or hum
The hooks and riffs we tracked. So, pretty soon
We called it quits, our demo done. I'd love
To say we felt Aretha's vibe, or heard
That Wilson Pickett preacher-scream above
Our own pathetic din. But clever words
And chords are not enough. Beside our cars
We lingered in the lot and spoke of stars.        

HAROLD WHIT WILLIAMS, who lives in Austin, Texas, is guitarist for the critically acclaimed rock band Cotton Mather, whose album Kontiki has been rated at number 26 of the Top 200 Power Pop Albums of all time. Williams’ poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, Chattahoochee Review, Oxford American, Cold Mountain Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Tulane Review.

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