Friday, 29 October 2010

The very silly season - Poetry Bus style

So this week's Poetry Bus is driven by Liz Gallagher (all the options over here). I went for the option "the night I dressed as a..." and whilst the poem below isn't about a Halloween costume strictly speaking it was a costume and it sure was scary (and I wore it on stage in front of lots of people). So what was I dressed as..? Here's a clue:



Back at this post there's another clue too (right at the end of the post, I should say).

And as for the poem - I wrote this years ago but it was never right so this week I've rejigged it a bit. It's still not what I would call my best work... but that's not really the point always is it?


The true but sorry tale of the woman who was once a sanitary towel


In a fashion show once was I
We never really knew quite why

It wasn’t simply looking good
More 'artistic, yet light-hearted, study of the nature of womanhood'

So in a full nightclub at 1 am
We dressed all girl for all gay men

But unfashionable I in the trendy glare
Never one to read Vogue, look now, style hair

Demonstrated the usual poor career management
And a giant sanitary towel, somehow, I wore as a garment

A female Australian Boy George lost in space
Ringlets of tampons ahung round my face

In surfboard with wings and top of dry weaving
I was menstruation for part of an evening

Very Brit Art Pop culture and all of that blur
Very cool, very weird, very him, maybe her

Our stylist, in love with ideas and their power
Was half Carol Smillie, half whiff of Madonna

In pseudo-political, confrontational fashion
I was struck down with pre-making-a-cock-of-myself tension

And I recalled the case for in-your-face womb lining
From years gone by and feminist redefining

But this wasn’t it, this was hip fancy dress
Aspects of woman without all the mess

How even a towel can have a great time
Dancing on catwalk in clean white design

No second formers being on the rag
No hiding of evidence deep in your bag

No awkward moments during insertion
No sitting funny and cursing the cursing

This was grown-up crap with the usual gloss
Fashion, once more, a provider of dross

Down in the cellar the day dragged along
Waiting for showtime, the volume, the throng

To prepare for the show, for this silliest of nights
Aspects of woman got higher than kites



RF 1997 (rejigged 2010)

For those interested in Rachel trivia that night it was a group of us from a Leeds club visiting a popular Manchester night called Flesh (read about Flesh here). And for those who don't know who Carol Smillie (pronounced Smiley) is she's a Scottish TV presenter (and former model) most famous for a home makeover show.

x

p.s. Really good poem by Mike Venner at my last post (here). Plus a boat made of tetrapak... maybe I should try wearing that this year...

36 comments:

Sarah said...

That's so funny! I would love to see a picture! I think it beats my worst ever fancy dress costume which was when I dressed as a blanket. This involved cutting a hole in the middle of my squares blanket-all homemade you know, and tying it around the waist. It was a strange choice and I still don't know why I chose it. Nobody knew what I was dressed as so I had to keep explaining-they thought it was my idea of a nice dress! Weirdly enough this was also in Manchester, a place I have only been to twice.
Where are you flying to later in the year? Wherever it is I hope you enjoy it!

Rachel Fox said...

There is picture of me getting my make-up and hair done on the old post I linked to in the clues. No pic of the full get-up though as far as I know (though there were pics of the night in "Attitude" magazine at the time). The costume wasn't my idea...and now I look back I do wonder why it was me that our leader picked for that particular outfit. Maybe my 'no shame' factor. That and being a bit mental.

As for the other flying... all will be revealed soon...

x

Kat Mortensen said...

Oh lord! Thank god you got higher than kites.
That "whiff of Madonna" made my nostrils flare.
(We both used "throng".)

Kat

Rachel Fox said...

More about the throng...
x

The Solitary Walker said...

But your Halloween pumpkins, what did you put them in?
(It all sounds like some artwork by Tracy Emin.)

Did you say 'thong' or didn't I hear you correctly above the din?

Rachel Fenton said...

This poem deserves a place in every woman's handbag! Brilliant! Even my smile got wings!

Gwei Mui said...

ROFL a real pearl!

Liz said...

Brings fancy dress to new heights. Can totally see it as installation art with rhyme...enjoyed reading it 'aloud in my head' so to speak...too early for aloud aloud...has set Saturday morn off to an interesting start. : )

Rachel Fox said...

No thongs here, SW!

Glad you're enjoying it (rest of throng). I wish it wasn't true... or maybe I wish it was part of someone else's weird life story...

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

Fancy dress competitions? Maybe it's time to throw the towel in.

You should write a book!

Titus said...

Bordering on genius. Not the initial concept, obviously, but the description and hindsight. I shall treasure
'pre-making-a-cock-of-myself tension'
for always!

The Bug said...

Oh what fun! I totally have no shame when it comes to stuff like that - I would gladly have done it sober! Now try to get me to think I'm PRETTY & walk down a catwalk - whole nother matter altogether.

Rachel Fox said...

Towel humour - excellent, TFE.

Yes, Titus...the language of Viz!

And Bug - it's the only time I've ever been on a catwalk!

x

hope said...

I laughed at the thought of the sight of you, with the slogan from a most annoying feminine product ringing in my ears, "Have a Happy Period!"

Obviously written by a man. But at least you made it sound amusing. :)

Rachel Fox said...

It was fun actually... a long time ago now!
x

Dick said...

Such a shame that there's no photographic record of this event. I assume that strong drink was taken early on in the process.

The Solitary Walker said...

Bloody hell, Hope! That was red rag to a bull. Most of the alpha- women I've encountered in marketing and publishing could easily have written such a slogan ;)

Rachel Fox said...

Oh the bad jokes are just flooding in...

And yes, Dick, drink and other random stimulants...

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

Yes,please,let's put an end to this, no more bad jokes. Period

Peter Goulding said...

One to tell the grandchildren, all right. Great fun.

Rachel Fox said...

Grandchildren... now you're scaring me!
x

Dave King said...

Only 21 comments (22 now)! I'm surprised, thought they'd be into three figures... can only do feminism a power of good.

Emerging Writer said...

A memorable costume, raising so many bad puns and otherwise in my head I can barely contain them.

Niamh B said...

read this on friday, still can't believe it's true!!
The madness of youth!
Fab memory

Argent said...

Wow! That has to be one of the oddest costumes I have ever heard of. I liked "In pseudo-political, confrontational fashion/I was struck down with pre-making-a-cock-of-myself tension"

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I almost wish it was fictional... or hallucinational...
x

Karen said...

That's hilarious, Rachel! You've had an interesting life, indeed!

Marion McCready said...

Laughing so much at this, Rachel! It's brilliant, like something I could imagine Victoria Wood singing!

Enchanted Oak said...

Alas I have been deserted / by the tampons we inserted / or rather by the need / for stoppage of the bleed / and trust me, I don't howl / for the loss of the towel / as well as that persnickety seed.

My favorite part was the tampons dangling like ringlets in your hair.

Rachel Fox said...

Indeed Marion, there is more than a hint of VW in this! If only I'd stuck at those piano lessons...

There is a photo of headgear, EO. It's on the old post I've linked to. Sadly (...) no pic of the neck-down....

x

Jeanne Iris said...

Rachel, this gives 'Vagina Monologues' a whole new twist! Well done.

Rachel Fox said...

Do you know I've never seen that show/play? But bizarrely Carol Smillie has starred in a production of it... which suggests to me that it's not as outrageous as its name might suggest. Though maybe that's unfair to her... she was pretty good on Strictly Come Dancing after all (D with the Stars to you).
x

MuseSwings said...

You probably looked just like most of us felt for several days EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

Rachel Fox said...

I know...who came up with that bloody system. As it were.
x

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think I must have led a very sheltered life.

Rachel Fox said...

Well, I've never lived on a farm, Weaver...
x