Disco IV The Oasis Nightclub

Poetry Lovers, welcome to Disco IV! To put another perspective on the golden age of disco, we have a great piece from the lovely poet Sharron Green. Titled The Oasis Nightclub, this intricately detailed piece sums up memories of our nights out. Thank you for that, Sharron

The Oasis Nightclub

Down the Oasis on a Saturday night,

the kings of the jungle are spoiling for a fight.

The Blues have lost, the ref was a tool,

they’re finding it hard to keep their cool.

Only way to make the anger fade,

is to end the night by getting laid.

All tanked up on vodka Red Bull

who will be the first to pull?

Joe the bouncer hears them first,

built like a hippo: tux ‘bout to burst.

Round the corner, they sound scary

but they won’t get in if they’re too lary.

He and the missus had a blazing row,

so he stomped off, still angry now.

He’s so wound up he’s seeing double,

not in the mood for any trouble.

The ladies teeter in the queue,

it’s bloody cold ‘n they need the loo,

their legs are bare and their figures slight,

they’re dressed for summer – and look a sight.

To get some warmth they light their fags,

and cuddle their ‘designer’ bags.

They all have high hopes for tonight,

at least a snog if not Mr Right.

At last, inside, they made the cut

a feminine wiggle, a macho strut.

The girls disappear to the Ladies Room,

and paint their faces in the gloom.

Aagainst the bar the blokes all throng,

today’s Happy Hour lasts all night long.

They order beers with whiskey to chase,

and scour the room for a pretty face.

On the dance floor the music’s throbbing,

a mass of bleached blonde heads is bobbing.

It’s Eighties Night and they’re in the groove,

so jam packed, they can hardly move.

‘It’s raining men!’, ‘Come on Eileen!’,

anything by Cher or Queen.

They all enjoy the eighties sound,

though few recall the first time round.

At first the ladies dance in twos,

around their bags or high-heeled shoes,

with flirty glances and a ‘come on’ grin,

they select their prey and reel them in.

Soon the boys are on a mission,

for once they show no inhibition,

they are ‘greased lightning’ on the floor,

until they can stand up no more,

then Joe steps in to find their feet,

and lead them out into the street.

For those still standing at the end,

there is a chance to ‘make a friend’,

the lights are dimmed, to change the mood,

they dance together as if glued.

They’re total strangers don’t forget,

although bathed in each other’s sweat.

Small talk and chemistry say whether

the two of them will leave together.

The lights go up, now comes the test,

to look less wasted than the rest.

Joe sends them out while they’re still reeling,

with that drunken, dizzy, headspin feeling.

Along the wall, new lovers huddle,

Joe’s off home for a kiss ‘n cuddle.

The rest of the crowd splits into two

for the burger van or the taxi queue,

they say good-byes – some short, some long

swop their digits – some real, some wrong.

Then there’s a week to prepare for one highlight

– down the Oasis on a Saturday night.

Sharron Green 2019

Thank you so much, Sharron. Wasn’t that just terrific! So many memories of Saturday nights flooded back.

Thank you for tuning in, PL’s. We’ll be back shortly with more poetry antics real soon…….

Memory Corner

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I could not resist a quick memory corner on this dull dull day. Jump in the DeLorean, and we’ll go back to 5th May 2019.

Seat belts on now!

I’ll always treasure the memory of being made feature poet for Poetry Performance at the Adelaide. This is me being interviewed by the amazing Anne Warrington, co-founder of this great institution.

Now, why does it always look like no-one’s present when I’m reading poetry? Every picture looks like I’m the only attendee! I promise you there were other people and poets present!

On that magic evening, I read seven poems, including The Walk Home, Teatime and Joyce. I was drained afterwards. Although it is a lovely experience and one I’d recommend, it is exhausting being featured poet.

Now, don’t ask me what I’m doing in the first picture. I’m obviously expressing something! And the middle image looks like Anne and I are about to sing a duet, like in the Val Doonican show! However, it was a marvellous in-depth interview and a great atmosphere.

What also meant a lot to me was the support of my lovely pals. The first picture is of the two Mary’s, Kathryn, moi, Heidi and the lovely Richard Mabe, who is a powerful poet. Missing you, Richard.

Phew! Enjoyed that quick memory burst! Thank you for indulging me, PL’s.

Now jump back in that DeLorean now, as I need it to drop me off at Tesco!

Stay tuned for more poetry antics.

Disco III

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I’ve jumped right in the deep end and posted a third instalment about the golden age of Disco.

This comes from wonderful poet Trisha Broomfield’s perspective, and a sharp and astute one it is too. One is reminded of different aspects of disco and how much violence and rivalry was a common occurrence.

Thank you, Trisha. Sold gold, beautifully described, and features earrings I’ve always wanted to wear …..

Op Art Earrings

Op art earrings

Flushed faces

acne flaring

fists flying

hormones raging

the fearsome fight

of two boys being men.

Voices breaking

sharp toes jabbing shins

and softer places,

shirt tails free

and buttons tearing

the awkward arms and legs

of two boys being men

One girl, white boots

disco dress, black eyes,

fag askew in fudge brown lips

Op art earrings

backcombed beehive standing stiff

ultraviolet light makes

bra straps white.

Amused, bemused,

now chews a pearl pink nail

turns unbothered back

on two boyfriends being men.

Trisha Broomfield

Wasn’t that wonderful? Weren’t we back in that strobed blackness again? Our underwear fluorescent under ultra-violent for all the world to see? Hormones raging, as Trisha puts it so well. Thank you so much for that.

Thanks for tuning, PL’s. I’m going for a Disco IV, but I’ll put a quick memory corner in first. Stay tuned…..

Disco II

Hello PL’s,

I’ve decided to stick to the Disco theme – or rather the misery of Disco. They weren’t great for everybody. Especially when you went with older cousins, who were stuck with you for the week!

Ooh, they were long holidays staying with her. My Cousin made me as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit!

Anyway, I’ve penned this one, have a read…….

The Summer of Hate

My older cousin would throw me

an indifferent glance as we moved

from disco to disco.

I sat and watched her dance with one

youth after another.

I asked people the time simply to pass it.

Girls in their midi’s and hot pants

made me shrink into my dotted halter neck.

I got a sympathy dance from someone’s

boyfriend, and my cousin hooted around

the arcade that I’d never been out with a boy!

My red face matched her fluorescent pink blusher!

I sigh – not everyone can strut around the disco like her.

It was going to be a long week’s holiday.

This truly was a Summer of Hate.

H Moulson 2021

There you are, PL’s, not every summer was idyllic -and don’t get me started on her coming at Christmas!!

And of course, any Disco memories you may have are welcome. Especially terrible ones!

Tune in soon, Poetry Lovers, and thanks for reading…..

Fashion Crisis ‘71

Hello Poetry Lovers, now I’ve been tidying out the Poetry Sideboard to find a theme for today’s post. And I came up with yet another poignant memory from 1971.

78yt

As you can see, there is a wealth of material lurking in here, so I’ve penned this one set in ‘71 and the importance of the right clothes for the disco. In fact, I remember it being the end of the world!

Read on

Fashion Crisis’71

My Mum won’t let me wear her wet look boots,

she won’t even knit me a tank top

My brother won’t lend me his Ben Sherman.

I can’t pass off my PE shorts as hot pants.

And maxi dresses are too expensive.

I’ll never get a boyfriend now,

my mates up the disco all have slow dances

with random youths, but even when

my pal lends me her smock top,

I still don’t get asked.

Approaching fourteen, and never been with a boy!

I am entirely on the shelf!

I miserably listen to David Cassidy on

the radiogram.

“Whatever suits you is fashionable”,

he said in Mirabelle magazine.

He’s talking through his arse!

HM 2021

Thanks for reading, PL’s. A lot of us can remember those times. Weren’t maxi dresses beautiful? And so painfully out of reach for a lot of us! Tune in soon for more poetry antics….

The Other Woman

Hello Poetry Lovers

The clever and wonderful poet, Trisha Broomfield has inspired us once again with a marvelous piece The Other Woman, from her collection Husbands for Breakfast.

It is poignant, painful, colourful and very true. A real human situation that if we oursleves have not gone through this, we know someone who has.

Thank you so much for this, Trisha. A very moving piece to start off 2021.

Now read on –

The Other Woman

I saw her once

and she saw me.

You’d told me where she worked

and so, quite by chance,

I found myself

in the shop.

I took in the rosy cheeked apples

smiling peaches

and fake grass cloth

the silver weighing scales, boxed dates

her auburn hair.

She felt my eyes on her

and turned.

There was a whole book

in her look

even though she had never before

seen me.

We stared at each other.

An older wearier me

regarded a younger

fresher her.

We knew

and all the time said nothing

until she turned her back,

the other woman,

resigned to what her husband called

his other life

and to the existence

of a younger self.

Trisha Broomfield 2018

Wasn’t that just superb, not only did the poem describe the emotions but also its setting. Thank you, Trisha.

Tune in soon, PL’s for more poetry activity.

Interview….!!!

Hello, Poetry Lovers!

(deafening applause)

Yes!! We’re back in the studio again!

(the audience cheers)

We have a wonderful guest on the show, so let’s give him a big welcome…..

(audience go wild – security on standby)….

Heeere’s Eddie Chauncy

(rapturous applause as Eddie descends the lighted stairs gracefully)

Eddie, welcome to the show!

(pandemonium – the host silences the audience with a look)

How I love that fringe suede jacket and crushed velvet trousers! You’ve been up Carnaby Street, obviously…..

A pleasure, Heather. And yes, you’ve read me like a book….. great jacket but just don’t eat soup in it! I worry though that the raspberry trousers are a bit much!

(audience loudly disagree)

You’re the man of the moment, Eddie. You invented the term Cool! You can wear anything!

(rapturous cheers from the crowd)

Now, Eddie….

.(tension in the air as the host sweeps everything off the desk assertively)

Tell us a bit about your background…..

I was born in 1965, and have always liked to write. When at school, the chance to write a poem was a treat. The rest of my education had a strong academic focus, and learning Latin and Greek gave me a strong linguistic discipline.

Also, the way I was encouraged to analyse poetry, all the way up to undergraduate level, gave me an appreciation of what poetry could contain. Most importantly, I had a chain of wonderful English teachers all the way through, who, one after the other, gave me encouragement.

In adulthood, I had a business career, but have kept on writing all the way through. Latterly, a second degree in psychological counselling have given me new insights into how to see the self and the mind.

That’s a very impressive background, Eddie.

How did poetry become a part of your life?

I have written poetry for as long as I can remember. When young, I used to draft poems by hand, then get out my mother’s typewriter, and bash out the words. That gave me a sense of both the hard work of drafting, and the importance of presentation.

One particular English teacher, when I was eleven, took me seriously with an attention that helped me focus on developing. Later, poetry was the companion to my emotional and intellectual development.

It was only years later that I got involved in reading poetry out loud. To me, it’s the art of sharing minds, such a privilege, and great to listen to other people in the flesh.

Ah, those typewriters! I remember yearning for a Golfball! You did start very young.

Who are your biggest influences?

My education stuffed me full of all the age of the poets, which have become a part of my automatic expression. At Cambridge I focused on the Romantics. It seemed to be that, around that time, poetry developed two different strands – one elegant, pious and beautiful; and another conversational, egalitarian and direct.

I think my poetry has increasingly explored the tension between both, and has played with engaging through beauty, but also surprising through directness.

We may have a history of elegant poetry, but we have also evolved a thing called conversation, which is arguably richer and more nuanced than any poetic tradition could be. So my biggest influence is the way we all talk, naturally. I spent years, in my psychology studies, transcribing recordings of individuals talking about their deeper emotions.

People who have engaged with anxiety and depression, and found ways of expressing that for other in kind words and deeds – they are the poets for whom I have the greatest respect.

That’s fascinating, Eddie. Yes, conversation can be the richest of experiences and education.

Now, your last pamphlet Poems from 2014-2018 was unique and quirky and moving. Do you have another on the horizon?

I don’t publish formally, as I prefer the personal aspect of sharing privately, or the group aspect of sharing in person.

The pamphlet you mention was made for a poetry reading, and sold to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. My sister died of cancer and I’ll never forget the kindness of the nurses.

Every year, I print all the poems I write into a book. It’s a habit I started for my parents. About 80 to 100 poems a year. Each collection now has a name and an introduction.

Previous names have included The Politics of Longings (2018), and But You Let the Hours Fall (2019). Some people buy a copy each year, which is nice. This year’s will be called ‘Identity’.

Well, Eddie, I for one, will want to get my hands on that. Your work really is superb

(audience ripple with murmers of agreement that threatens to get out of hand).

Yes, I remember you bringing your pamphlets to the Adelaide in March 2019. The amazing piece about your sister was so moving. You could hear a pin drop that night.

Now, tell us the best gig you’ve ever done – then the worst!

I don’t think of them as gigs, just invitations to read. I don’t really know how to answer, as I find reading both a happy privilege, and an excruciating and demanding thing, both at the same time. I am very glad my dad came to one I did at G-Live, because it was the first and last time he saw me read, and that means something.

The worst gig wasn’t poetry – I was the lead singer in a band, and was so shy that I sat cross-legged on stage, facing away from the audience. It was well-received, and I think I accidentally found a modus operandi. In my poetry too, I’d rather let the words speak, than display too much ephemerally.

Gosh, Eddie, I can imagine you as a rock & roll guy. These things stay with us….

Well, what can I say? Thank you so much for being on the show. (rapturous pandemonium from the audience).

And I hope and pray that one day we’ll both be performing live again. (esctatic clapping)

Where you off to now? Somewhere cool, I bet……

Off to the Lightbox disco in Woking, with Greg, Rodney, the Dempsey’s……..(clamps his hand over his mouth) Whoops!!!

Grr. They all told me they were staying in and watching Z Cars!! One day, I’ll get invited, you’ll see. If I work very hard.

Well, Heather, I’m going to leg it now before Dobby comes off security duty. These jacket fringes will be too tempting…….

(our lovely guest takes the lighted stairs two at a time)……

Wasn’t Eddie just amazing, PL’s?! A very strong and talented poet. Thank you for tuning in, and we’ll be back shortly with more poetry antics.

Meanwhile, I think Dobby has just found Eddie, going by those screams upstairs…..

Memory Corner

Hello Poetry Lovers

I could not resist a quick memory corner with this poet, as we have an interview with him coming up very soon.

Was it really 4th March 2019 that the lovely Eddie Chauncy came to read for us?! A featured poet at the Adelaide, it was an unforgettable night as Eddie blew us away with his wonderful work.

Swooning over Eddie’s work at Guildford and Woking, we were overjoyed when Eddie agreed to feature for us at the Adelaide.

The air was charged that night as Eddie read from his pamphlet he made to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. You could really hear a pin drop!

The poems ranging from 2014-2018 included clever pieces such as Telling The Time, Prams And Smiles and the incredible and moving MMM. A painful and so personal account of his late sister in the last stages of her life. The emotion and poignancy was palpable.

What a great night of talent that was! Eddie is here with moi, the late Bob Sheed and Anne Warrington. We hope you can come back soon, Eddie.

Meanwhile, look out for an interview with this great poet, coming up very shortly. Book your tickets now!!!!

Thank you so much for tuning, PL’s. A Happy New Year to you.

New Year past and present….

Happy New Year, Poetry Lovers – or is it?!

This is such a bizarre era that we enter into another year with trepidation. So there’s only one solution- go back to the Seventies, where we would have chortled at the mere concept of wearing a mask. How that would have interfered with our fags and Watney’s Party Seven!

So I’ve penned a nostalgic poem, whereas the wonderful Sharron Green has written a present day New Year poem. A very clever piece conveying optimism and wariness for 2021.

First of all, the slovenly one!


New Year ’77

Is it still the Seventies?!

I’m partying hard, being chatted

up by nice blokes, while knocking

back Babychams.

Stevie Wonder on the stereo.

The telly on at midnight.

Cheering and kissing people

I’ll never see again.

I’m looking forward to 1980

when I can sit down and watch

television, a Bargain Bucket at

my side and an indifferent film

on BBC2.

A proper New Year’s Eve.

I’ll give disco’s the old heave-ho

and go to theatre’s and films –

real ones in arthouses, showing

Woody Allen and German subtitles.

I’ll wear black sweaters and people

will say “Isn’t she interesting?!”

But more likely it will be

“that’s that bird from Bill’s party!”

H. Moulson 2020

Now, we travel back to the present impending New Year’s Eve –

2021

It’s a second to midnight, or at least getting

near,

and I’m feeling quite nervous, for reasons

unclear.

Looking back, we all know, it’s been a bad

year,

so reaching the end should fill me with cheer,

but I’ve always felt wary, some would say fear,

– as into the unknown, I cautiously peer.

Armed with resolutions I hope to adhere,

like writing more poems, and reducing my rear,

(not the first time for that goal to appear!)

and helping the planet that we all hold so dear.

I wish all the best to all of you here

and will toast 2021 with a sparkling Kir!

@rhymes_n_roses 2020

Sharron’s vibrant new collection Viral Odes is available in paperback and e-book now. Go to her site http://rhymesnroses.com to buy a copy.

Well, that’s it. Happy New Year from me and Dobby. Thank you to Sharron, and all my lovely poetry followers. See you next year……

The Night Before Christmas

Hello Poetry Lovers

I hope your Christmas was good.

Swooned over this poem by clever poet Trisha Broomfield who captures the era of our Off Licence’s, many long gone. Unbelievably, we still have one in Twickenham, standing proud with its good quality ales and ciders amongst the Costa’s and Tesco Metro’s.

However, most of us can recall when they were commonplace, and our visits there on cold dark nights, especially Christmas ones as Trisha recalls.

I remember marvelling that they could stay open late where the sweet shop next door had to shut at 6.30. An ideal place to buy 10 fags before the disco.

Anyway, thank you for this memory, Trisha. Read on…..

The Night Before Christmas

It was dark

frost freckled the pavement

my breath puffed clouds of winter cold,

Christmas Eve carried romantic notions

and a lighted star shone from the Off Licence.

The bell tinkled, as I pushed the door

bright yellow warmth greeted my red-nosed face

the aroma of recently drawn corks, wooden casks and cigars embraced me.

Maxi coat collar up, hair tucked into a knitted lime scarf

I was a long-legged girl from Jackie

my reflection in the mirror tiles told a different story.

I picked up a bottle of Blue Nun

lost myself in the blue of your eyes

then as you pressed your keys on the till,

I wished on the bright star that you would ask me out

that I would find something witty to say apart from ‘Yes’,

your eyes lingered only on my change as you handed it over

before you disappeared with my dreams

into the back of the shop.

Trisha Broomfield 26.12.2020

Wasn’t that a wonderful piece?! Memories of being tongue-tied with hunky shop assistants also flood back. Although in my seventies Off Licence, it was some rather grumpy woman who mumbled. Well, you couldn’t have it all. Bless you and thank you, Trisha, keep them coming…….

Tune in soon, PL’s, for some more poetry antics and an interview coming very soon….

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