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Riot Poof

Lyrics by Tori Amos

break the terror
break the terror
break the terror
of the urban spell

you know what you know so
you go break the terror of the urban spell
this alliance you say "I'm on the threshold
of greatness girl" so you
burn your pagoda through
the congo where there's a broken bond
on the birth of the search white trash
my native son

it will all find its way in time
blossom, riot poof

you know what you know so
you go chain her to your flow
she bites through your dried lean meat
as she's going to the movie show
in a bath of glitter and a tiny shiver
she crawls through your java sea
black sahara I'm stepping into your
space oddity

it will all find its way in time
blossom, riot poof

the sun is warming my man is moistening
on the bomb on the bond on the bomb

Tori Quotes

"Riot Poof" is an English from a Dutch saying that is homosexual reference... Sort of like a queen. And one of the guys on the crew came out and I wrote it in honor of him. [ chat - October 2, 1999]

To me "Riot Poof" is about one part of my family that is the conqueror and the other part who where being conquered. They fought at both sides. And you have to find out who you are. Many people don't want to see that they're partly victim and partly the executioner. Every evening I get letters. Hundreds of letters. A great part of them are letters from young women (and men) who where sexually abused by adults they trusted. They hate themselves because they think they made the adults do this. They are all wearing a little victim sign. Like they belong like some elite group. They're drown in a lake called victimhood. Instead of saying, "No! I have the pride of a lioness. I will hunt. I will escape from this all." I found this place when I lost my baby. Then I understood the life force you can get from it. So I could go to Venus, to make passionate records there. I can't define my new record yet. I only see this picture in front of me, like it is filmed from a camera that is circling 'round the heart of Venus. So I can look at her in all her darkness. [Oor - September 18, 1999]

For the most part, we're developing a theme from ourselves in our own loops. Even if we want something to sound like, I don't know, something that was recorded in 1981 in a linoleum room with Naf plastic boots on, there is a design element. We are the design team; we design. With "Riot Poof," there's cocoa butter on that golden ass. And that ass is chocolate. A lot of R&B has no ass right now. Some of it does, some of it doesn't. And there's a sterility to a lot of electronica. Sometimes you want something to be sterile; that's your point. But the whole idea of "Riot Poof" is the concept of when I say "you burn your pagoda through the Congo," pagoda being a spiritual reference, and we all know what's happened on the Congo, and if you want you can use it as black being the shadow, being the rhythm, being the holder and the keeper of secrets, not the acceptable material world but the witch doctor who sees what we masturbate to, what we fantasize about -- the things we don't find acceptable about ourselves, that we're always constantly cutting out but sometimes we get tripped up when we drink too much to keep it down, or we go have an affair with God knows what. [All Music zine - October 1999]

Where did the phrase "Riot Poof" come from?

It's a Dutch thing. I love that, their idea of not a drama queen but a poofter. But I love the word "riot" being with it, because in a strange way it's a joke. But at the same time it's not, because of the unleashing of the gay community. Sometimes it really is a sexual riot, a frenzy. It's a real male frenzy, that whole song. But the idea of the unbelievable judgment that men have against men who desire to be with other men... But women wanting to be with women is quite yummy to anybody. If you think about it, the idea of men who love watching women being together, there's an erotica. That's "on the birth of the search/white trash, my native son." I'm singing "Riot Poof" from the concept of the mother, the all-inclusive mother, having borne men who want to be with men, having borne men who want to "break the terror of the urban spell," who want to kill men who want to be with other men. Because Venus, that's the mother mode. She's singing it from her point of view: "The sun is warming, my man is moistening." [All Music zine - October 1999]

It's like I'm the tooth fairy, the homo fairy and this is my present to all the homophobes. I'm leaving it under all their pillows... "Blossom riot poof."

What is that track about?

Well, that being a poof doesn't mean you're not a hunter, that you're not masculine, or a man. And also being feminine doesn't mean that you're not a hunter either. There are all these concepts around but now the paradoxes are starting to live. [Attitude - November 1999]

"Riot Poof" is for all the jocks out there who need to deal with their secret sexuality. [Pulse - November 1999]

Live Versions

"Riot Poof"
September 24, 1999 - Las Vegas, Nevada

"Riot Poof"
March 23, 2003 - Tulsa, Oklahoma

"Riot Poof"
June 22, 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey

"Riot Poof"
July 16, 2014 - Vancouver, Canada

"Riot Poof"
July 23, 2014 - Los Angeles, California

"Riot Poof"
August 19, 2014 - Atlanta, Georgia

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