Friday, 11 May 2012

Round 4: Poetry


Punk’s gobby charm largely passed me by,
lost in a chasm between disco and metal.

I’ll admit to a headbanger award at Dreamland,
(a 50’s frock in a sea of denim), split ends thrashing

to Mötorhead’s Overkill; yet, still too shy
to compete as a disco champ, unlike Emin.  

And while I flitted between the pages of Sounds,
you were NME. I shouldn’t sneer; we got together

to Smash It Up, never to be DLT’s kind of couple.
And while I loved the women’s spikes and chains,

who could afford ‘Sex’ on the Kings Road?
And I saw Rotten once with PIL (so much better

than the Pistols) he walked off after 20 minutes.
I disliked him then and now. This is heresy to you,

with your three pairs of bondage trousers,
your home-stencilled Combat shirts –

I knew no one like you in Margate. And now,
Reid’s pins hold a number to a marathon vest,

punters paying to advertise two companies
for 3 hours, 39 minutes. Today, you’ll thread

a safety pin through your lapel. And while I dance
to Sister Sledge, I’ll loosen my hair for the Sabbath.

Katrina Naomi 11 May 2012


  1. Hi there - any comments, questions, views on this poem and/or the process most welcome. Also, quite happy to see discussions about the joys or otherwise of writing about punk, metal or disco in poetry. But whatever you do be nice about Margate! I'm going to be away for a week but Tim will be around and will be starting to think about his response...
    And thanks for following, Katrina

  2. I will be reading and re-reading Katrina's poem and teasing out what i will react to and what i will ignore, tough when it is quite close to me and us.

  3. Admire your bravery in this venture. For me, the strongest line is "I knew no one like you in Margate" and I think it would be a good way to begin a poem or a story. The final three stanzas are strongest, for me. I love the different clothing uses of the safety pins, the bondage trousers, the lapel, which imply the different types of wearers, or wearers at different stages of their lives.

  4. Kat has found it quite a challenge to come up with a poem in 2 weeks and she has gone all punk and relationship, which is an area of contention for us, punk that is. She is in France for a week so I am replying to the comments. Not sure I can do punk, as it is a bit too close for me to have some artistic distance from. I used safety pins in my picture not through any punk ethos, rather through the fact that they were there.

  5. Dreamland again, eh? A Mythic Naomi site, ha ha! I love the opening couplet - the description of punk as having a 'gobby charm', the 'chasm' between those unlikeliest of bedfellows, disco and metal...for me the strongest image is that of the safety pin - how it transitions from the punk symbol to a marathon vest, how it's pointy and sharp yet also a connector, attaching things tightly, intimately - a metaphor for relationships, perhaps?

  6. Sarah, Dreamland indeed (England's dreaming as Lydon once sneered) You have a good analogy there with the safety pin, a sharp connector indeed and relationships, yes I think that is the way my reply may be headed.

  7. Hiya Sarah, Josephine and Tim - thanks all for your comments. It's really useful to see what's working and what's not in these poems, so cheers for that. I'll be really interested to see what Tim comes up with in response, it's probably quite tricky for him, given his punk sensibilities and that he needs to move things on rather than merely 'illustrate' 'Jubilee'. Anyway, the clock's ticking Tim - no pressure!