Monday, March 15, 2010

Your Ghost on Glass

All I had to do was return to HPL. This is a lesson I learn over again & again. If ye writing isn't coming forth, return to your Master Muse. He died on this day, this Ides of March, in 1937. It is appropriate to write a prose poem in his memory. I spent the morning reading sonnets in his honour on YouTube, and then doing a goofy vlog. And then I printed out a ghostly photograph of him, & it reminded me, again, of what a remarkable face he had -- haunted & haunted. I've had this title, "His Ghost on Glass," forever. I wrote a wee prose poem about Jessica Salmonson called "Her Ghost on Glass," which she publish'd in either Fantasy Macabre or Fantasy & Terror. Then I wrote a really suck-o prose poem, on this day some years ago, in memory of Todd, the young man I loved with all my soul, and who died in my arms on this day in 1995; & I called that "His Ghost on Glass." But it was maudlin and didn't feel authentic. It was more a paean to my self-pity than a genuine memory of intense & eternal love.

& thus, Howard, I gazed at that wonderful image of your remarkable face, & it came to me -- not easily, with gentle effort and cautious choice. I call it

"Your Ghost on Glass"
by W. H. Pugmire, Esq.

Ah, there you are again, within this mirror. Yet not completely, for your face is partially eaten by devouring shadow, the void that is caught inside your black reptilian eyes. What else do I see in those eyes? Loneliness, sorrow? Resignation? Ah, no -- I see the soul of a dreamer. Why is your stern mouth so clamped? Of what are you afraid to speak? No matter, I shall read your dark and liquid eyes. You died on this day, and how richly you haunt the universe. I sensed you once, in Providence, and spoke your name to shadow -- and how queer it was, to sense that shadow drink my hot mortal moan. Loneliness, sorrow? I know them well -- and yet how stupid they are compared to phantasy and dream. How insignificant, that the boy I love will never kiss me; for I have been kissed by cosmic dread, by the emptiness above me, into which I long to submerge. Is that where you roam now, sad and lonely spectre? If I breathe onto your image in this polished realm, can you drink my hot mortality and cool me from this bondage of bone and flesh?

Ah, no. For now you disintegrate and drift into the dull backward of Time, into a boundless past. Where you walk alone.

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