I Never Danced To Chubby Checker

I never danced to Chubby Checker, or for that matter Desmond Dekker
Photo Credit www.blackpast.org

I don’t consider myself a poet. That said, I do enjoy the freedom and the lack of conformity that poetry allows people. It is another way to express ourselves.

Some of my writing ideas come from snippets of what I suppose is poetry. I find it a useful way of playing around with words, to make an impact.

My home city of Nottingham has built up a supportive community of poets. The annual Nottingham Poetry Festival runs for over week and brings in established and published poets.

There is also the DIY Poets, a collective that has been in existence for over ten years. The aim of DIY Poets is to give budding poets the opportunity to perform their work in public. They create an atmosphere where poets feel confident about performing their work in public. They also want the public to see that poetry can be exciting and relevant.

Nottingham’s poetry community is also privileged to be supported by the work of Miggy Angel and his regular Do Or Die poetry events. Do Or Die Poets are the attendees of his weekly creative writing workshop. Miggy’s own words explain it perfectly:

The Do Or Die Poets are writers in recovery, who have found a way to marshal the word to the cause of survival, and their courageous poetry will leave you broken open and etched anew. Like all good and true poetry should.

Miggy Angel

I attended one of these events and, whilst unprepared, I felt obliged to present something of my own. I hurriedly put some words together and had a go. Not really performance poetry, more reading aloud with emphasis.

These words were the ideas for the following piece. It is there to represent all of us in our teenage years, when we were finding out about life. It is expressed by referring to the music that was ‘unique’ to the teenagers form every generation.

I never danced to Chubby Checker, or for that matter Desmond Dekker.
Your time. No better. No worse
Teenage. Carefree. Uncertain. 
Rose coloured by the passage of time.
Intangible Time. You’ll turn to stone if not already set in it.
One day those eighteen yellow roses will wilt and die.
Phoney Beatle Mania. Summer Holidays
Special without the Specials. Motown not Ghost Town.
Not my generation nor my optimism. Not my genre nor my insecurity.
Our time will come. Five years. Sweet sixteen to twenty-one.
Their time has gone. Roots, radicals and rockers.
Beatles and Stones. Revolution stuff. What a Drag.
My time was evolving. Not quite ready. Five years. Coming of age.
Same emotions. Different era. Musical Continuity.
Flowers and Herbs. Electric warriors. Glam and Sweet.
Yet We’re All Crazee Now. A lack of taste. Out of touch.
New attitude. New Reasons. Political. 
White Riot. What a Waste. New Wave. Never Too Much.
Red Wedge. Blue Monday. New Clubs and Bars.
New Romance. Modern Romance. Sentimental.
London hadn’t burnt. The dark club has a brighter name.
The romance was in a different corner. Taking stock.
Aitken and Waterman. Are the kids alright?
Café Bleu. Cool. Continental.
Britpop and Techno. Innovate and Rave
Pop was never dead. Anyone Can Play Guitar.
If they want to. You get what you give.
Just need some teen spirit and a wannabe.
Happy Hardcore. Nirvana or Bitter Sweet Symphony
Drum and bass. Trip-Hop. New Radicals.
The Noughties. I’m stood watching. Not dancing.
A certain romance with no fake tales from San Francisco.
Bolshie. All killer no filler. More honesty.
Flipside. Electro Piracy.
Post- Punks and Electronica.
Streaming and downloads. Panic at the disco.
The Teen Years. The Jean Genie has left the bottle.
The Radical Rockers are fifty years on. Some are gone for good.
Rose coloured glasses are back.
Daltrey. Morrissey. Ringo Starr. Unable to define the E in EDM.
Molten mix of rap and samples. Drake. Kanye. Hip Hop goes country.
Teens dancing to a different tune. Taking us Back to Black.
Whether we danced to Chubby Checker, or for that matter Desmond Dekker.
We all had our time. For five years it was on our side.
Slave to the rhythm. Jump to the beat.
Let’s twist again. Dancing in the street.
Death of a disco dancer. Maybe in the next world
Those eighteen yellow roses will wilt and die.

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