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When Thy King Is a Boy: Black Dance and the Question of Agency in the Quare Body

ISSUE:  Summer 2018

Keywords: g-house, booty house, juke, percolator, bang-bang-bang, skeet-skeet-skeet


Though recent scholarship regarding Chicago house music has centered around the aesthetics of ghetto house (commonly referred to as “juking music”), seldom has this provocative model of coquettish discotheque been attributed to its quare forefathers. Resulting is erasure of the joyous black uranian body in contemporary urbanity. This lyric will contend with such anomalous events and the psychosexual repercussions therein. Take, for example, an eight-year-old boy’s first juking party, his awe at the syncopation of crackling snares, claps, and flashing lights; his dismay when the DJ’s sound system spits If you ain’t jukin’ getcho’ ass off the flo’, Joe in the strobe-lit dim of an unchaperoned basement. Further, this poem is not necessarily interested in ass-clapping as praxis. Instead, this verse is concerned with the moment the poet-as-speaker attempts to flee the lucent scene, frightful to become one among prepubescent loins which glow in the dark. Not for fear of defying his precious catechism, but rather the queer intrigue to be a thrashing fille fatale who takes rank in this soirée of tiptoe, swivel, and pivot. This poem will extrapolate the speaker’s unwillingness to submit to the lit thicket between hips, his idiosyncratic reactions as his older brother holds him against the wall while a faceless girl pounds into his privates like a fist, his angst as he prays for the demolition of refrain.



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