Decadence and Disambiguation

Franz Kupra, The Yellow Scale

and Disambiguation

“Wilde’s individuality generally
announced itself in flamboyant
theatricality and indeterminacy”
—Joan Sloan, Oscar Wilde

Decadence—and Oscar Wilde
Go hand-in-hand—like Lady Windermere

And her Fan—like Importance and
The Being of Earnest—like the Picture

And Dorian Gray—all of these texts
Recontextualizing themselves—rather

Adroitly and ambiguously
The Disambiguation—of Decadence

Rather than resolving—literary conflicts
Is actually a way of—increasing and

Making even more complex—the images
Wilde creates with his—plays and poetry

Short stories and fairy tales—and his
Infamously decadent—Dorian Gray

Like Alfred Hitchcock—playing cameos
In his own films—Oscar Wilde promotes

Fictional images of himself—resisting the
Counter-decadent—those extra-legal forces

Of society—continuing to uncomfortably
React and reject—the love that dares

Not speak its name = Proposition Hate
Present-day Wildeans—are even more

Vulnerable today—to fears & prejudices
Because the love—that dared not speak

Its name has now—gone Metro and the
Conflict between—the forces of decadence

And counter-decadence—have converged
In new systematic—Aesthetic ways

Decadence today—in our global village
Through urbanization—and emergence

Of mass markets—technical innovations
Such as the Internet—and Blogosphere

With film, literature—and You Tube
Borrowing from each other—thru new

Disambiguations—of Ambiguity
So that the images—of Oscar Wilde

Celebrated by consumerists—and gay
Political sub-cultures—GLBT activists

With different loyalties—memberships
Undergoing—their own disambiguation

Are going beyond—avant-garde Wildean
Traditionalist—conformist rebel styles

Recontextualizing—Oscar Wilde today
On Stage—in Film, Poetry & the Media

Through the nouveau—Blogosphere
Gives insight into—Texts in Contexts

So that Oscar as wit—dandy, literary
Anarchist, self-publicist—homo martyr

Deploys a new—gay intertextuality
Wilde today—is extra-decadent

Given the chance—always choosing
Both alternates—no matter how

Compromising—or contradictory
Politically disabling—or postmodern

The importance—of being Oscar Wilde
As Ellmann says—in his biography

Wilde’s life—a life of paradox

Paradox and—performance art

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