Monday, July 18, 2011

"The Tomb of Oscar Wilde"


I had been trying to write a new weird tale for Horror for the Holidays, an anthology being edited by Scott David Aniolowski for Miskatonic River Press.  But writing has been next to impossible since moving my laptop upstairs, to the dining room, so that I can keep a closer look on me mum, who is becoming more and more challenging to watch over.  And so I gave up on writing the new Sesqua Valley story I was working on, a tale of Rosh Chodesh in which Shub-Niggurath is worshiped as part of the Shekinah.  Sadly, I inform'd Scott that I simply couldn't write.  He then ask'd if I cou'd perhaps write a wee sonnet sequence concerning Jewish holidays for the book, & I've had the ache to return to poetry of late, so I said I'd try that.  I wanted one of the sonnets to concern the minor holiday, Rosh Chodesh, the festival of the New Moon.  Dwelling on ye moon always makes me think of Oscar Wilde, because the moon is so often invoked in Wilde's poetry, in Salome and others -- and there is that wonderfully irreverent illustration by Aubrey Beardsley, "The Woman in the Moon."  Thinking of Wilde led me to scan his poetry for mentions of Luna, and this led me to YouTube, so as to listen to readings of Wilde's poetry.  Among the Wilde videos were some shewing visitors to Wilde's tomb ---

and, girlfriend, I was APPALLED!!!  I had no idea that Wilde's tomb had been so marred by graffiti and lipstick kisses.  I did a Google on Wilde's tomb to see if this issue had been address'd and discover'd that ye animal fats in lipstick seep into the monument's stone and does irreparable damage. I knew that I had to address this in a poem or weird tale, and thus I work'd on a new story, bringing in Rosh Chodesh and Shub-Niggurath.

It is always nice when a new story kind of creeps up on one as a surprise of inspiration, especially during a period of writer's block when nothing seems to be working.  I wrote a first draft and worked on it a bit, then sent a first polish to Scott; and then this morning I did a final revision/polish, adding some dialogue that came to me in the night as dream.  I wrote a new sonnet for the tale, which I read last night on MrWilum.  It feels wonderful to have finish'd something new, even though 'tis but a wee thing of merely 1,600 words.  What I really love is now I have a story of that title, so that, in some future epoch, I can assemble a new omnibus of my work and call it The Tomb of Oscar Wilde and OthersYes!

 Nu, I have a new tale in which I evoke poetry and my Jewishness, and in which I pay homage to dear Oscar, the poet whose work I so adore.  Those of you who have The Tangled Muse will have read my prose-poem tribute to Wilde therein -- & it will be reprinted in my forthcoming collection from Hippocampus Press, Uncommon Places, to be publish'd next year.  Maryanne K. Snyder and I have also written a tale of young Wilde and his encounter, in London, with newly-spawn'd Simon Gregory Williams of Sesqua Valley.  The delightful Jason V Brock has accepted that story for a forthcoming hardcover anthology.

Wilde will continue to haunt me as Magnificent Muse.  I've always had a hankering to write my own wee novel inspir'd by The Picture of Dorian Gray.  I may yet do so.

Shalom.

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