Out On The Floor

A Northern Soul all-nighter is a cult of steps.
We’re at the nucleus of impassioned vibes,
The backbeat and the Benzedrines
Are first-string at this go-go (baby-o-baby).

At 5 Eddie Holman will split ears
Let loose by Snake Davis (and the Suspicions)
Quickening to a nostalgia for daybreak.

But we are now in a sideslip of time
Spun out in the midst of 2 and 3, or in a spiral galaxy
Of dependable vinyl,
An all-presence between
R&B and disco?

?the blending is tight, improvised harmonics,
In turn the instruments,
The wall-to-wall lungs of soul divas,
Ball lightning on the dance floor.

Stomper hour is an electric blue pulsebeat,
Bit-chomping dancers walking on hands
Doing splits, backflips.
Spencer bags (18 highwaist tucks)
Blotting talc off a sprung floor.

The exacting overlay of strings,
A brief impression of floating raspy screams,
      –   You’d testify: this was music thrown
Along the cobra ribs of a tunnel.


omorrow we have
Voodoo wheels and over-heated decks in our heads,
Burned out feet
And in fits and starts
We dream of gospelly crescendos.