The faltering beads of sweat sway
As strong arms in unison play
As smog sways up to greet the sky
Money buzzes through mouth and eye
Thin and dry
The conveyor belt looks up high
To see the hands that fashion
This artifice of sweat and light
This paranoia pulsion
Of need and might
Push piston! Crash and lock!
Let the model meet the maker!
Raise your hand! Fire your gun!
Grab all that you are and run!
Strong arms sunder! Tear the cloth!
Smear the make-up! End the sloth!
Scream we are we are we are we are
“we are we are we are we are”
The initial idea behind this poem was to try and capture the atmosphere of a night club. I tried to imitate the beat of club music through heavy, monosyllabic words, often using onomatopoeia like ‘crash’. I also ended the first two stanzas with short lines, which was meant to be like a hook in a pop song. I don’t think this was necessarily successful, yet with the title and the closing quote from the song ‘Scream & Shout’ (by will.i.am ft. Britney Spears)* the reader may pick up on the intended effect.
The imagery in the poem began by representing the likely themes of a poem about nightclubs – money, sweat, sex, but took an unexpected turn as I started including images of manual labour and revolution, such as the “conveyor belt” of stanza 2 and the imperatives “Raise your hand! Fire your gun!” These two images coalesce in a strange way, implying that an amorous couple in a nightclub is somewhat akin to a labourer and their creation. From this set of imagery, a new connotation of the title ‘Club’ is released, that of the tool used to beat, to destroy.
Like a caveman’s club, the nightclub is a destructive force. It is the place where the clothes are torn and make-up smeared. But this act of drunken love can also be a creative force. And not only in the obvious way: I know of many people whose lives are based around drunken nights out and the stories they can glean from them. I have also lived like this, and still do to some extent. I was thinking of this when I described clubbing as a “Clash | Of need and might” as well as when I included the quote at the end. When we are clubbing, “we are we are we are we are”.
* It has come to my attention that the official lyrics are “we oh we oh we oh we oh”, which is a little bit disappointing but I don’t think really affects my poem all that much.