Tuesday Poem: Queens Of Silk, Kings Of Velour

 
Queens of Silk, Kings Of Velour

A 70s party: disco, afros, flares and Abba.
I’m dancing with the women,
talking with the men.

Three songs up, strutting my stuff,
the only male dancer, bathed
in unprecedented female attention.

Three songs down, back on the sofa,
our gang of four likely lads
trading facts about the history of punk.

On the floor, I’m surrounded
by silk, smiles, the sensational
shimmying.

On the sofa, we’ve moved on to Yes.
I sing the chorus of “Close to the Edge”
with a man I don’t even know.

This is what it means to be a man: not
the All Blacks, not power tools,
not fighting foreign wars,

but the ability to name
all the members and ex-members
of obscure seventies bands.

“Dance To The Music,” Sly says,
and so I must obey.
But not without a caveat:

“Is this actually from the seventies?”
asks a couch-bound friend.
“From 1968,” I say. “Let’s dance!”

Tim says: This poem has just been published in JAAM 28: Dance Dance Dance, the 2010 issue of JAAM Magazine, edited by Clare Needham and Helen Rickerby.

JAAM 28 has a lovely cover and, from what I’ve read so far, is an excellent issue. It’s definitely worth asking JAAM for the next dance.

You can find all the Tuesday Poems online at the Tuesday Poem blog.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: Queens Of Silk, Kings Of Velour

  1. Men briefly explained? It always amazed me how men knew all sorts of interesting facts about bands and songs, and I just knew what I liked. I was so proud of myself when I worked out that the riff in Magazine's \”Shot by Both Sides\” was the same as the one in the Buzzcocks song \”Lipstick\” and I finally had something to contribute to the conversation. Great poem – a nice slice of life.

  2. This is indeed another MBE poem, Janis.One of my heroes growing up was E. L. Wisty, as played by Peter Cook, described by Wikipedia as a \”bland, monotonal know-it-all\”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._L._WistyHis catchphrase \”Did you know…?\”, followed by some obscure and rarely factual fact, stood me in good stead through years on the wallflowers' sofa.I did know that the riff of \”Shot By Both Sides\” was the same as that of a Buzzcocks song, but not *which* Buzzcocks song – so thank you for the information!Now, did you know that Howard Devoto … [cont'd on p. 94]

  3. I laughed, Tim–both when I first read this poem in JAAM 28: Dance Dance Dance and again today, having recently seen the phenomenon of \”the only male dancer, bathedin unprecedented female attention\” at a wedding in Auckland. And of course, the last line, straight to David Bowie.

  4. Thanks, Elizabeth and Catherine – I'm glad you liked it. Catherine, maybe I should embark on \”From Lawrence Welk to Lady Gaga: Tim's Poetic Journey Through Popular Music\” – or, then again, maybe I shouldn't.

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