Academic journal article Hecate

Blue

Academic journal article Hecate

Blue

Article excerpt

Everyone knows blue, the hue of soul, the waft of smoke. Blue-collar working-class, navy overalls, blue uniforms, a blue-scarved woman finishing work at the ammunitions factory talking to One of the girls' on the tram home. The driveway violets I picked for my aunt - purple velvet akin to their tall cousin irises. The droopy wisteria, hark of dark Canterbury Bells, forget-me-not blues, and the giraffe-high agapanthus my Nana planted along Torquay holiday-house drive I visited as a child. On my first art-smock my aunt embroidered these tall-star flowers on my right shoulder. My grandad's and uncles' lambs wore first-prize blue felt sashes at the Royal Melbourne Show. Reckitt's 'Blue bags' my aunt used to wash with - small cloth bags spreading a wealth of blue dye through the washing water to bring up the whites. The checkered blue of cheap primary-school dresses; blue bloomers and blue netball skirts on taut thighs. The denim of jeans and casual encounters and 'don't follow me' hard arts; blue-stockinged literati, purple 'votes for women' and feminine power.

The graduated suits of pinstriped accountants. The Blue Meanies threatening to take away music - to sink sailors without leaving anything behind. Turning blue from robbed breath. The pink-and-blue patches of my hands I cannot bend - so cold coming home from school. The blue of bruises I tried to story into flowers on my skin that, in reality, when lightly-pressed brought involuntary tears. The turquoise gem birthstone I held tightly in my hand to wish that things would get better. Betty Blue losing her shoe, who kept looking for her matching two and always rebelled against 'm/other's right' telling her 'what she should do.' But Little Boy Blue was too fast asleep, hero-in dreams, to blow his own horn. The chlorine of borrowed swimming pools and the cobalt of first paints and the sulphuric acid that lifted my spirits whenever I saw its grains in a tube.

Blue-flame of science-room Bunsen burners that would never take away the table smell of mice. Cool blues, moody blues, squid-inky blues: Laszlo Biro's invention of ballpoint ink pens that I chewed on the plastic ends in class, dismantled and rubbed in cold weather to get their ink moving again, or cut and dripped like blue blood across my wooden desk. …

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