Song of the Week: “I Think I’m Wonderful” by The Damned

This B-Side originally backed the 1982 single “Lovely Money,” but I own it on the vinyl 1985 compilation Damned But Not Forgotten.  Talking about it now feels awkward–if I focus on what The Damned meant to my fourteen-year-old self, that’s mawkish.  If I discuss the lyrics or the music, it’s redundant.   It’s too personal, like talking about my family and expecting others to experience them as I do.  Maybe that’s it, though–maybe The Damned are family.  My cool British older cousins, the ones who helped me accept myself, the ones who did stuff I wanted to do.  I stole my teen “look” from both Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible.  “I Think I’m Wonderful” speaks to that–the externalization of my own inability to fit in.  Being a freak is both happenstance and choice, for me.  Clearly, I’m not the only one.

-Jen Besemer

Multi-discipline artist Jen Besemer is the author of several electronic and print poetry chapbooks and books, including What Is Born, Quiet Vertical Movements, Ten Word Problems, Telephone and Object with Man’s Face (the latter two forthcoming in late 2013). Jen’s recombinant poetry projects are also represented in the important anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics as well as in publications like BlazeVOX, Sentence, Otoliths, e-ratio, Drunken Boat and Aufgabe.  In addition to poetry, Jen writes features and reviews for the award-winning Rain Taxi Review of Books, and is an occasional guest blogger for  Drunken Boat. To find out more, visit

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