Dance Craze Blaze

Elsewhere I have examined the closing scene of Queer as Folk in terms of the ongoing dance of the community. Here I cite Michael Lynch from These Waves of Dying Friends, the fifth section of “Sand”

My friends who rarely boogie never know
the telling mark of the great DJs, the sense
of everlastingness, music with without end,
of seamless mixes and 8 a.m. conclusions that
don’t conclude but do go round again
one more time. When I last left
I knew when I’d return I’d have the sense

of nothing ended, nothing altered, nothing new
in the only life I count as true: the dancefloor.

Jane Byers in Acquired Community has a whole section called “Keen” which is an intergenerational dialogue between a young gay man and the ghost of Michael Lynch. The poem “Transfiguration” in the Keen sequence touches upon dance. The ghost of Michael kicks off by asking: “Tell me, when you dance / do you rage against loss?” The answer is a predictable and puzzled “no” given the exchanges to this point: “Huh? No, we just dance / in the hopes of getting laid.” There follows more in this vein as the poem runs through the nature of belief and why one might make a rapprochement between dancing and Christ’s transfiguration. It leads to a priceless ending (the ghost of Lynch is on the right; on the left the guy not wanting to but talking to the dead guy)

I’m a ghost.
No pallid mourning.
Just furious rage on the dance floor
that electrifies our bodies with energy,
transfers power to the living—
that could only have been his legacy.

Whose?

Another dead friend.
A new Jesus

Careful, you’ll go to your hell for that.

Wait, you are telling me to be reverent?
All your sex and fluid ethics,
your post-AIDS privilege.

Ah, your soapbox.
Stand down.
It’s just dumb luck.

Do you think only Jesus shines with rays of light?
Do you think your energy comes from only you?

I thought …

Not by yourself, you didn’t

The whole poem deserves to be consulted to fully savour this sharp ending.

And so for day 2288
19.03.2013

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