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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Cheribun: 245 words
Footnotes: 284 words
By Jane Salmons

Blue Velvet

After David Lynch
 

Into the blue. Out of the blue. Battered black and blue with bruises the colour of ripened plums. A white apparition rises out of suburbia’s deepest fears. I can still see blue velvet through my tears. What would you do if a naked woman appeared unexpectedly at your door? The Velvet Revolution was a phrase applied to the peaceful overthrow of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989 under Vaclav Havel. A blue velvet curtain opens on the seedy side of life, dissolves into cerulean sky. Although synthetic, ciselé, commonly known as crushed velvet, has a smooth nap and shiny drape, which give it a luxurious look and feel. A Velveteen was an old nickname for a gamekeeper, from his once common velveteen jacket, velveteen being a sort of Fustian or twilled cotton with a pile. Blue baby. Baby blues. “Some sort of sadness, a mystery, something I don’t understand.” Like a flame burning brightly, a wig and velvet dress thrown askew. Screaming blue murder, the historical Bluebeard killed over 140 children. A ruthlessness, severity, or tyranny concealed by a polite and courteous manner is an iron hand in the velvet glove. Entangled by the sash of a blue velvet robe. Blue movie. Blue blood. To the little gentleman in velvet was a favourite Jacobite toast in the reign of Queen Anne.


In the wild blue 

yonder Queen of 
the blues sings 
 
her large dark eyes 
luminous and full 
of tragic knowledge. 


Footnotes:

1. “I can still see blue velvet / through my tears” is from the song “Blue Velvet,” sung by Bobby Vinton. Songwriters: Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris. Lyrics © Mojo Music & Media Group Ltd, Raleigh Music Publishing.

2. Source of “The Velvet Revolution was a phrase applied to the peaceful overthrow of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989 under Vaclav Havel”: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 19th Edition, edited by Susie Dent (Chambers Harrap, London; 2012).

3. “Although synthetic, ciselé, commonly known as crushed velvet, has a smooth nap and shiny drape, which give it a luxurious look and feel” is adapted from a Masterclass article: What Is Velvet? A Guide to the Different Types of Velvet (updated 12 August 2021).

4. Source of “A Velveteen was an old nickname for a gamekeeper, from his once common velveteen jacket, velveteen being a sort of Fustian or twilled cotton with a pile”: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 19th Edition, edited by Susie Dent (Chambers Harrap, London; 2012).

5. “Some sort of sadness, a mystery, something I don’t understand” is a line of dialogue from the 1986 film Blue Velvet, directed by David Lynch. The dialogue is spoken by the character Jeffrey Beaumont, played by Kyle MacLachlan.

6. Source of “Screaming blue murder, the historical Bluebeard killed over 140 children”: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 19th Edition, edited by Susie Dent (Chambers Harrap, London; 2012).

7. Source of “A ruthlessness, severity, or tyranny concealed by a polite and courteous manner is an iron hand in the velvet glove”: same as Footnote 6 above.

8. Source of “To the little gentleman in velvet was a favorite Jacobite toast in the reign of Queen Anne”: same as Footnote 6 above.



—One of three unranked Finalists in MacQ’s Cheribun Challenge

Jane Salmons
Issue 12, March 2022

is from Stourbridge in the UK. After teaching 16- to 19-year-olds for nearly three decades, she now works as a part-time consultant teacher trainer and private tutor. Her poems have been published in various webzines and journals, including Poetry Salzburg Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, and The Emma Press Anthology of Illness. Her first collection of poetry, The Quiet Spy, is forthcoming with Pindrop Press. She is excited to be writing cheribun for the first time. In addition to writing, Jane enjoys creating handmade collage art, handbound booklets, and cards, which she sells online and at craft fairs.

 
 
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