Queer before queer was really a thing. No, not true,
but something was missing until Poly screamed
‘Oh, Bondage up yours!’ and Bowie’s ‘Boys keep swinging’
hit the television channels and one could see, in real time
and full colour (but no slow motion), how words and music
crashed spectacularly against a wall of stereotype.
Life-long adoration of the girl with the braces
started with girls who should only be seen and not heard.
“Oh, bondage!”

A reworked version, not simply a cover, Seth Bogart
Adding faded glamour, an element of longing,
transporting the song from youthful cry of liberation,
call to arms, to a flicker of a sad backward glance.
Homage is too little credit for the tenderness
of the recreation, bringing the song back to life
like it has always existed, proper love letter
for the girl with the braces, her shiny neon laces,
the one who refused to listen. “Oh bondage…up yours!”

Now it suddenly feels plush and forlorn;
empty cocktail bar that has seen better days.
Now it feels like a dirty dive into the soul of the party,
illegitimate child of ‘Tainted Love’, or, put differently,
the chain of memories associated with a former lifetime;
Neon burning big wheel above the tunnel of love.

You are all perfect strangers.
Past images and future projections,
Sometimes the low ride through the tunnel of love
Ends crashing against a blind wall called exit.
Sometimes it doesn’t.

(based loosely on a playlist where Seth Bogart’s reinterpretation of ‘Oh Bondage, up yours’ is followed by Dire Straits’ ‘Tunnel of Love’)