- Ode to Donna Summer -
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Hey, loved to love ya’ baby.
Anyone who dies at 63 young years
has died too soon.
With probably much left to do.
So I Feel Love, for Donna.
Whose summer of love and disco (sucks),
swelled during my early teen ages,
My close friend’s favourite t-shirt,
ratty black, bold and disdainful,
blazed DISCO SUCKS and it did then.
She Worked Hard for Her Money
but not ours. Sorry we didn’t contribute.
Donna, if only your last name was
Ramone. Though your name did
rhyme with M-M-M-My
Sharona, well not really but close.
Bad Girls, you were our poster child.
We threw lawn darts at you.
For every throbbing beat we heard
at school dances, we blamed you.
We were metal chained to the ledest
of zeppelins, which crashed as you bloomed.
Then the Ramones cut down the Queen
(Freddie Mercurial, not the disco monarch)
The Clash reset our compasses so we
hated you like thieves hate police
I know – hate – such a harsh word but at 14
hate comes so easy and thoughtless
that it’s trite and un-dance-able.
It’s real meaning disco-vered years later when
‘it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it’
seemed refreshing after the venom
and poison in the world
brings a real understanding.
And how many followed you and your
pounding metronomic beat, it’s deep
syncopation and your odd choirgirl
bump and grind. Too many.
Too many without a glimmer,
in a disco ball or strobe light,
of creativity, just grotesque mimicry.
Flashing dance floors grew dimmer
as Travolta and the Bee Gees got the fever.
Hell even Bowie got out his knife and
carved out his piece of your beat.
And I nearly surrendered my faith.
So now it’s the Last Dance. The platform
shoes, plastic-fabric shirts and pants,
dresses of thighs and sequins are relics.
You remained somehow mysterious as I
later found your 22-minute moaning
version of I Feel Love and it compelled me
to the dance floor, though I had no
sense of disco’s fashion sense.
You slithered and sighed your way
into my musical dialect.
Fond adieu Ms. Summer.
Your late autumn,
early winter too short.
There can only be one Queen
of the Disco Ball. You claimed
your crown, your realm. I
wasn’t your loyal subject though.
But 63 is too young for
the diva to sit out the last dance.