ABC: The Lexicon of Love

 First on the pop shelf of my collection we have one of my favorites. ABC: The Lexicon of Love – the original with no extras i.e. endless remixes or demos. The open salvo of horns grabs me every time. This an album that simmer under the bombastic production work of Trevor Horn. I can remember hearing Poison arrow for the first time on the dance floor and was captured by that engineering work.

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This was one of the first recordings that, for me, elevated disco (or dance music as it being called.) Martin Fry’s vocals were a compelling, if a bit ripe, mix of Brian Ferry, David Bowie with a dash of Spandau Ballet. Lounge glam blasé, it was mope music pitched to make me dance.

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I loved the videos – this was when video was killing the radio star (an earlier Trevor Horn hit). If I was watching Much Music I was eager for their over-the-top videos to show up. I always thought it ironic that music pitched to a queer dance audience had videos pitched to straight television viewer. My Lp quickly wore out.

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The follow up, Beauty Stab, had moments but they never captured the slick seduction and emotional bombast of the first Lp. Very much a sound of its time it did bring me back to listening to modern pop.


Lake Pinebow 5

my son my son

my darling son

what have you learned

what has nature shown you

has she given up her secrets

to lead you another step

further along the road to manhood

my son my son

what have you learnt

in the brave air of camp this summer

what have you learnt

father dear

mother dear

many things have been revealed

deeper than I can say

I have come close to the heart of fear

yet not stepped into it’s path

I have seen how nature tempts us

makes herself so pretty and inviting

only to snap your neck

with a flick of paw

or suddenly

hold your tender feet

with the sludge of the lake

to take you deep deep deep

where one can ever return

that is what I have learnt

of the many things

that is the one I hope I never forget

dear mother dear father

my son my son

that is a lesson

well worth the cost

it is one

that has let you move along

to the harsh reality of life

outside these woods

away from this lake

into the virgin territory of the future

we are pleased and honoured

you have survived once again

that you are now ready to face

what must be faced next

and what have you made

dear mother dear father

this is a wallet

folded of fine leather

and stitched by my very own hand

the faces on the front

embossed with all my might

honour my fallen comrades

one who ventured too close

Pinebow Lake late at night

and were whisked beyond our sight

never to be seen

never to be found

without a trace or a clue

I have honoured them with this memento

every time

I reach for money

I will think

of my dear fallen comrades

of the foolish chances they took

and be wary and cautions

as I spend my way into the future

dear son dear son

such a tale you tell

of those who have vanished

we are so grateful it was not you

touched that you chose to recall and remember

and take their deed

as a lesson for yourself

the wood has taught wisdom and prudence

and what else have you made

dear mother dear father

this is an ashtray

made of sausages

bound together with

the finest of maple syrup

fired deep

in the violent heat of the smoke shed

polished and perfect

for you dear father

to keep on your desk

as a reminder of what you have put me through

to make this small token for you

to remind you that this son

has risked life and limb

mind and body

to learn the lessons

to make him fit to follow

in your footsteps

into the dark promise of tomorrow

my son my son

I have no words to thank you

this is more than I expected

a treasure for me always

one no father could deny

one which all father’s will envy

but have you nothing for your mother

dear mother dear father

have no worry there

I have for her this mark

a brand of mother

that as I roll my sleeve you can see

it has been burned into my arm

seared and scorched

the skin smelt of death

for a day or two

but when the scab fell off

I was safe and proud

I have suffered for love

and here is the proof

dear mother

suffered to prove

what no one can prove

that I am ready to be

the man you dream me to be

ready to let go

of those things of the past

to go out of the play room

to leave the toy box behind

and wrestle with the grim patterns

of being an adult

plushiethe Denizen 

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