Monday, October 17, 2011

At the Club

Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
The sacred ceremonies there partake,
The which do endlesse matrimony make,
And let the roring Organs loudly play
                  --Edmund Spenser from “Epithalamion”

There is a certain feeling,
A visceral vibe,
You know it’s going to be a good night.
The DJ is spinning,
Spilling treasures ebullient onto the floor.
Crossing over Jordan,
No worries or dangers or cares
On that bright shore.
No poisonous pairs
Looking to wheel home a third.
The men are all clumped dark and far
Away, skulking at the bar.
The night, the dance, belongs to the girls.

Eyes kohled, hair hennaed.
Fantastic-lashed pastel petals glitter.
Grown-up schoolgirls
Catholic short-skirted.
Azerbaijani princesses girded
With black leather bras
And leopard poly skins.
Goth nurses twisted hair
Ghostly openly stare
Black and periwinkle wide.
High strapped booted tight
Atop heels of consequential height,
All are lost in essential delight.
Rose attar, neroli, clove,
Patchouli, musk,
The garden roars
Cinnamon, jasmine, sandalwood.

And all, we all are such touch whores,
Endorphin freaks demanding more
Wordless promises petting, praying:
You won’t hurt me, I know
You won’t hurt me.
Only comfort to cut the pain
Connect reassure another smother
Shyly asking with hands brushing
A shoulder smooth
A breast caress sweet
In Drum & Bass
House trance bump ass
Scratch vinyl slick.

But our romance ends
When the needle comes up.
The smoky remains,
A tremolo echo
That lives only here
At the club.



  1. i love the punchiness of the language, jane, and the assurance, the play over the curves of woman's sensuality. i wonder though, is it really this way, or can it be? i have always felt more threatened around women in a bar than comforted. but then again, i have felt threatened around men in a bar, too. perhaps it is only the environment.

    and the second question, in regards to the not being hurt, is it not all the same, or is it understood that it is a transitory coming together?


  2. Thanks for reading, erin.

    It's funny, I was just cruising around YouTube and clicked on "How Soon is Now" which I think addresses where I was in this poem. I'll quote from the song:

    "There's a club, if you'd like to go
    You could meet someone who really loves you
    So you go, and you stand on your own
    And you leave on your own
    And you go home
    And you cry
    And you want to die."

    And some nights I did, but sometimes it felt a little like
    some kind of needed exchange happened and it was joyful.

    So, my experience was that I was desperately hungry for some kind of love. I felt very distrustful of men. I felt that the interchange between women on the dance floor was "safe" for me. It fed my need for touch, for sexual release, if not sex per se. There was an understanding that it was transitory. No one would corner you or demand that you go home with them. I had to read people's body language--which was pretty easy to do--a quick touch on the shoulder would let you know if it was OK to proceed. But mostly I had to have the courage to reach out to someone and actually touch them knowing that I could easily be rejected (and then not take it personally--they just didn't want to play). Does that answer your question?

  3. I do not know these spices on a dance floor, but I can smell them, and feel the heat, in your poem. Such rich language.

    I am very interested in the social exchange, and the psychological and emotional need, that got addressed somehow on the dance floor. I had a bit of what you describe here in bedrooms, with girls, but not dancing.

  4. Sheesh, Ruth! That is a most intriguing comment. And of course I want to know more.

  5. Yeah, its the girls who just wanna have fun-un. From the maenad boogie to Ariadne's dancing floor, from l Faust's witchkitchen boogaloo all the way to the severe Isises 'n' Gretchenfetchens baring widesmile fangs to each other beneath the disco ball, its all a circular rite that the men, for all of their dangling participles, can't ever quite penetrate. The Eleusinian Mysteries have a long, long shadow. As Ruth and Erin said, the spices are exotic fragrant and pure musk. - Brendan

  6. for all of the comings on (and not) over the years, one of my most cherished bar memories happened in Hong Kong. i went out dancing with a friend, a girl friend, yes, and a very curvaceous and gregarious Filipino woman, as i walked by, touched me and looked into me and said something like, oh sweetheart, you are so good. but it wasn't the words. it was that as she looked into my eyes and i believed her. what astonishment, to believe this of someone else who merely passed me by. and so with this memory in my pocket and your explanation, and ruth's, too (for i remember wrestling with my girl friend in her bedroom when we were only twelve) i understand. i understand. and i am continually surprised of our need for witnessing to feel whole. sometimes we need to be witnessed not just with eyes or minds, but with gentle hands.