Academic journal article Hecate

Night of the Queens

Academic journal article Hecate

Night of the Queens

Article excerpt

The Night Queen's coming - sending her premonitions on ahead, the Night Queen's coming, beaming - already she looses a shower of small grey grainy drops warning the stars to light - she lifts her arms and shadowy from her underarms fall scents and incense, grape vines, tangerines, breath - as soon as the day dissolves she will over-arch us -

down in the Town Hall car park where floats are warming up and the exhaust is rising puffs of bluish-white and pixies in tights are twisting yellow and orange balloons into a pyramid and a flimsy archway entrance spells out HERO - and a Venus of Willendorf bum juts, silvery - or is it the Great Mother - who is the centre, figurehead - who has being without her? She is the longest eye, the first creation - She precedes histories, imprisonments, hangings, stonings - She came before three-personed patriarchs and holy ghosts - tonight She is naked, the moon goddess - her breasts are drupes, she is hairless, her platform is alive with Amazons, silver-painted, breast-plated, shaking double-headed axes up at the railings - above her, powerful, is four-armed Kali - darkly, richly red, gold, jewels - all our goddesses we call tonight, all our children of the life - and below her the dykes are wiring up speakers and guitars - this night we come out singing - in our bands

and here are other decorated trucks - two silvery breasted dancers swirl in a plastic bubble dome -

and cosmic man, an athlete, swinging wildly in a gyroscope - and the Fairy Queen takes his perch in a white bower - and Carmen straightens his stocking seams, the drivers take their seats - Stilt Woman thrusts her fire-brand into a flame and it bursts, burning, high -

hey, hey, we're off - we're away - we're taking the turn into Queen Street!

and all those years in the wilderness - hundreds! thousands! are going, going, gone - in a small acceleration, a false start, revving, brakeage - in a tremor, roaring, in a rush -

a bouquet rises - surrounded by outbursts of white camellia it sprouts roses of elation and scarlet hibiscus behind the ear - it comes in a mix of brown and pink faces transparently thrilled to be here - it comes in feathers, vinery, starry eyes, in floats and flowers - tucked into optimist buds - ponga and fern and greenery - sniff the petrol fumes and tears and heady hungover wine -

here we are, O here we are, Night Queen! Here we are stopping the traffic in Queen Street - here we are stroppily Queens of the Night -

here we assemble - bare-breasted with torches, in Valkyrie helmets, operatically peaked - here we are bands of us - duo and trio, con brio in satin, black leather and net - here we are sporting our gauzy wings, lipstick - here we go prancing in falsies and drag, in skinny-dip, clown-face - with axes, grins, instruments - singing our heads off, playing fool, flute, guitar - here we are with our saucy boobs, cheeky bums, jock-straps - here we breeze slinky, with palmed hair and ties - here we go clumping in dyke boots and brilliantine - here we go strapless, strutting pink-gowned in fake fur - flamboyantly femme among bobbing balloons - here we go bra-less, curious, outre - here we are, goddess! …

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