To be a DJ

Posted: February 10, 1993 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

the DJ comes with a lot of power: the President,
me (the good one) surprises and pleases
eliciting happy yells smiles and sighs from the crowd;
it is all for me.
I see faces light up as they soak with sweat
dripping shaking moving all around,
recognition of another song loud and in your ears
smashed into your face by 1000 watts;
they’ll dance harder than the last song,
move faster, become natural.

people stop listening and start feeling
the rhythm bumping along, house style, steadying
while the dancers elaborate
or flips to a fill-in breakbeat; the New Jack Swing
where you just try to prevent your butt from moving
or suddenly the song makes you cry
or sweeps you away in an enthusiastic mosh pit
or brightens your your eyes with something
you haven’t heard in a long time.

some DJ’s get stuck in one record groove
but the best surprises always compare and contrast
yet find a common thread that dancers’ bodies understand
but that I’m at a loss to explain.

what to spin next turns into the most important decision in the world
and it will be like this until I have to choose the next.
my head reels from the network of songs to choose from:
this beat would fit, this sentiment would meld,
this intro would trip, this track overwhelm
when you’re dancing, flashing colors of flesh
I’m mixing sweat and body heat
I mix you together – you whirl with my turntables.
eyes fly out of the mass of movement,
catch mine and flash like the strobelight.

I lean over to catch an excited request
to straighten my precious stacks of wax,
screams as someone recognizes what I’m playing:
playing with them
watching their reactions.

my emotions flow through my hands to the vinyl;
you can tell what I feel by how well I play,
drunker on you than on the 40s in my crates.
I turn your music up beyond hearing
and you feel it;
supportive
moving you –
you translate it to your ass your hips your hands.

the more you feel the more you learn.
learning to dance, learning to love someone new,
learn to understand what I’m saying.
I’m backed up by the best talent I can find,
be it the PE, Madonna, Fishbone, Dead or Messiah
I free your mind with my many voices.

and I’m dancing as hard as anyone,
fingers searching through record sleeves
caressing beats to match, speeds to coincide,
boogying between the coffin and the crates.
searching carefully for any sign of discontent
remembering what people want
giving myself up to the group good time.

here, women shimmering with sweat
recognize and close their eyes;
the groove is a lover, a beat
that chases between their thighs, over their stomachs
and up their spines;
unconscious every one is beautiful, so hypnotized.

here, men swirling around throwing arms in the air
touching the ground on time, on time.
intent on dancing, on laughing, on glancing back
at those girls I’ve just described.

every person I can find I train my recorded charisma on
cajoling with individual requests
urging on with the party songs
twirling all of this sound and poetry into a rumpus room
out of love for you.

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