By Rebecca Brookfield
I wrote this poem about the last rave that I went to. It was in March 2020, a festival at a family seaside resort just before lockdown. This poem exists because I miss the rave and I wanted to capture it, to remind myself that it really happened when it seems so divorced from our current situation. Raves are a space to blow off steam and connect with each other. This is a picture of what we are missing in these isolating times, and something I hope it will be safe to return to one day.
Words below, performed here:
The Last Supper
DJ Trev’s on in The Queen Vic. We take speed
and dance to Star Wars/ Party Hard and hard house,
we’re dancing next to a girl in a Bolton goth donk t shirt –
a pentagram of the Blackout Crew on her chest.
We are bouncing along nicely on a March Sunday –
the last day of the last rave of the century.
The wonk has started, a subtle knife
between the music and the psilocybin kicking in.
Henge is playing the main room –
my crew are setting them selves up
like space invaders, three quarters of the way back
waiting to attack front left
We’re about to smash into a fever
float on sound waves between the clattering tracks
and there are creatures on stage giving us black lace,
demanding the means to unite and colonise space –
lead singer – a plasma orb strapped to his head,
shaman of synth and glow sticks.
The smaller we are, the harder we fly,
up in steam of sweat, then between the chalets.
You should have seen Saturday night, taps on sliding windows,
men with lights sabres and lists of owt for cash,
slid from palm to bra to keys to nose
This old holiday resort is a trip
I came here with my friend’s family at eleven
and rang Sam up at four in the morning to tell her –
the Buckfast, the front lawn swamp where people float in the day,
when the beach is less than a mile away.
I’m trying to conjure it here in the ice age
waiting for a vaccine to cut through
listening to Luke Vibert on Spotify
dreaming through the cocktails in my kitchen
of getting out of my head with all of you
and a decent sound system.
I wonder if I will ever see the fairy rings of friends
jammed between penny machines and teddy grabbers
the same way again, creating spells that let people out,
let themselves be caught like kisses.
Or male friends suddenly frolicking in wigs
when they are a uniform or tie kind-of-guy in the week.
The glitter, the tank tops, cutting off each others dreadlocks –
I need it back, friends, beat and dark.