Hunky Dory
by Harry Gallagher

I loved you from the very start,
from your first crackled groove
that hooked my thirteen year old,
want-away, inside-I’m-dying heart.

My fantastical androgyne,
you lit a fire under
a sleeping, fleeting,
heart skip a beating
would be Bewlay Brother.

To a world where cool dad
calls his boy Small z,
but you just knew he rhymed it
with bee and not bed.

And now your maker has turned out
to be merely human;
but you, my slice of perfection,
remain flawless to me.

With your tattering glam cover,
I sometimes catch your gaze,
like a poor forgotten lover
and we’ve both seen better days.

But my darling Hunky Dory,
you still speak to me.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Hunky Dorky was my first album and like many teenage boys (actually, it may just be me!) I grew to know the sleeve notes by heart. I love its code, where he reveals little bits and pieces of himself and his influences — I used to fantasize that only I fully understood it! Some of these details are referred to several times in the poem itself. More than 30 years later, it’s still there in my music room and is still my favorite album — what do they say about first loves?

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo is the only one I can find of that period and also catches an 11 year-old me-quite horrifically trying to grow my hair like Mr. Bowie, turning out more like a wannabe Bay City Roller — sorry! I’m the one in the terrible brown cord thing.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Harry Gallagher has been published, in the UK and abroad, by The Interpreter’s House, Poets’ Republic, Rebel Poetry, Lucifer Press, Black Light Engine Room, Clear Poetry, and many others. He performs live regularly and is co-founder of The Stanza, a monthly North East poetry event.