The Poetry Of: Spandau Ballet

A series written by our literature reporter, Hammy, who combines a love of fine poetry with a total inability to realise that most pop lyrics are total shite. 

Diamond, Gary Kemp

Chrysalis Records (London) 1982

Mr. Kemp’s collection Diamond finds the poet in a refreshingly unfathomable mood.  Perhaps the most intriguing piece is called Innocence and Science.  The opening stanza sets the scene.

Water from my mind

breaks the rope and binds

water comes from inside

and frees me

innocence and science

I think that we can all agree that this is about making an omelette.  Or perhaps Proust.  Or perhaps some kind of sex game in the bathroom.  The startling opening image suggests that Gary’s brain is dribbling in some way.  Gary’s brain dribble is able to break the metaphorical ropes and free him from the leaking faucet located somewhere in his body.  Innocence and science.

Metal sings my name

poisoned love sustained

metal breaks me inside

and frees me

innocence and science

I will never forget

Neither will I Gary.  This is truly unforgettable.  In any case, it appears that he is grateful to his surgeon for removing the rusty tap he got stuck up his bottom.

Another poem called She Loved Like Diamond also dabbles in mystery and nonsense.

She ran the risk from unity

obsession dies alone with tragedy

she loved like diamond

and cut so hard

she died

Putting the meaning of these lyrics to one side for a moment (perhaps locked in your neighbour’s basement), I would like to draw attention to what Mr. Kemp is doing here.  He is at play with language.  Not for him conventional sentences that are coherent and follow the rules of grammar.

A passion course that leads to pain

an acid taste that laced her soul again

Exactly.

Reminds me of the time I took a passion course at university.  Man that acid taste laced my soul real bad.

But let’s end with Instinction.  Yes, instinction.

You cry, justify

but deep beneath the feelings lie

photo, looking old

memory makes the day feel cold

they’ve gone, sing your song

walk the flow, oh, too slow

post boom, second doom

stealing cake to eat the moon

Extended metaphor for irresponsible financial speculation.  That’s what I’m going for.  You know, the raw instinction of the trading room, the boom and bust, the stealing of cake to, um, eat the… er, moon.

Extraordinary.

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3 thoughts on “The Poetry Of: Spandau Ballet

  1. Ever read Douglas Adams, JP? (Have I asked you that already??)

    “Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They have a page for people like you” 😛

  2. This reminds me of why I thought I should’ve been able to major in college in the analysis of old pop band lyrics. No one at my university believed it had any value to society but you just proved them wrong.

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