During lockdown many important things happened. People had birthdays, weddings, funerals even, and all were dealt with in as appropriate a way as was possible, given the circumstances. A notable thing that happened in my world was the anniversary of Prince’s death in April. He’d been gone for four years. What a loss. I loved him when I was younger. His music was ace, never failing to make me smile or want to dance or sing along. As a short skinny fella when I was younger, Prince’s legendary swordsmanship reassured me that you didn’t have to be a conventional ‘hunk’ to get any attention off the ladies. I later learnt that while not being a conventional hunk wasn’t always required, it probably really helped being Prince though! What a guy! So, I wrote a poem for him. As is kind of usual for me, it wasn’t particularly serious. I’d like to think that he’d have the kind of sense of humour that would have appreciated it. Maybe he’d call me up, invite me to Paisley Park to just hang out…
We’re four years down the road without you in a world now where unscrupulous retailers sell hand sanitiser for 19.99, Isolation’s brand of selfishness, a terrible crime. No funk, no sex dwarf to admire and no soul. Everyone’s stopped lovin’ to search for toilet roll. We need a multi-instrumentalist psexopath who used baby oil, not water when he was having a bath, A man turned on by a raspberry beret, a walking erection at any time of day. You told me to jerk my body like a horny pony would, Well, I’d try anything if you said it was good. Purple suits, stack heels and an Errol Flynn ‘tache,a sexy motherfucker, shakin’ that ass. An encyclopedic knowledge of sexy time know how, impregnating anyone with the suggestive raise of an eyebrow. With twenty three positions in a one night stand, that’s sexual flexibility like a rubber band. Lockdown might have been made for you, Prince, but adapted to incorporate a harem and no social distance. PE with Joe, telly, snacks, the odd role in the hay, you put the right letters together to make a better day.
I wrote the poem because I genuinely loved Prince and I was surprised that it had been four years since we lost him. As a much younger man, in a band, we’d been quite heavily influenced by his music, spending hours listening to albums like Lovesexy and Sign ‘O The Times and debating what we thought the lyrics were or what they meant. I wanted my poem to be affectionate, but with a sense of humour. And it had to reflect the times that we were now living through. I couldn’t help but wonder what someone like Prince would have made of being locked down.
That first line about hand sanitiser is referring to the fact that people who had it when it was in short supply were selling it at inflated prices – if you were into awful puns you could say it was a sign ‘o the times…
Is it possible to hear tumbleweed on a blog? I also wanted to reference a Prince song – 1999 – and I never actually saw any hand sanitiser at that price!
I think the term sex-dwarf came from either the comic Viz – and very English institution – or a radio show that I used to listen to. I can’t remember which, but I’ve always remembered it and thought of it as affectionate and amusing, rather than offensive.
The line about toilet roll is again referencing selfishness during lockdown. In the UK some people went panic buying as we were locked down, buying trolleys full of toilet roll, as if chronic diarrhoea was the thing that might get them, rather than a flu-like virus.
I came up with the word ‘psexopath’ and it really made me smile. Prince had a bit of a reputation as a ladies’ man, so I liked the idea of him just running round frantically having sex with anything that moved…when he wasn’t making music! It’s definitely how I like to think he lived his life and as a young man in the late eighties it was a lifestyle that just seemed to be a great choice! Thre are a few other references to his sex life in the poem too, none of them meant to be judgemental and all written with a smile on my face.
Finally, because I loved his lyrics, I wanted to get some of them into the poem. I managed a few, but I really like the line ‘jerk your body like a horny pony would’ from the rap in Alphabet Street, so I wanted that in the poem, albeit slightly paraphrased. It’s always fascinated me where that idea came from and always made me laugh a little bit.
I hope you like the poem. I hope it made you smile because that was very much the intention – a light-hearted tribute to someone I very much admired. I’d love to hear what people thought, so feel free to leave me a comment.