Recontextualizing Oscar Wilde

Recontextualizing Oscar Wilde

“For years, Dorian Gray
could not free himself
from the influence of
this book”
—Oscar Wilde,
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Today’s Dorian Gray—the same beauty
That had so fascinated—Basil Hallward

Even those who’d—heard evil rumors
About his dishonorable—London lifestyle

Those who whispered—to each other
About his notorious—Whitechapel affairs

Those who sneered—behind his back
Gossiping about—rowdy foreign sailors

How curious Dorian’s—unspotted beauty
The purity of his face—rebuking critics

How his male beauty—stayed untarnished
Charming and graceful—unstained

While those around him—became sordid
Debauched and ugly—over the years

While men at the club—talking grossly
About him—grew silent in his presence

There was something—transgressive
And decadent—about Dorian’s lifestyle

Transgendering himself—metro-meandering
He seemed to be constantly—theatrical

Indeterminate—concealing and negotiating
The Importance—of Performance Art

Like Alfred Hitchcock—playing cameos
Getting off a bus—in North by Northwest

The disguised killer—in Rear Window
Waiting in the attic—in the deadly Birds

Pulling the shower curtain—aside
Janet Leigh sliced & diced—in Psycho

New identities—Jude Law playing Bosie
Appropriating Wilde—destroying him again

With instant images—coexisting alongside
Age-old loyalties—revisiting Decadence

The Importance of—Being Dorian Gray
The forever young man—amongst slobs

Attempting to predict—the future relevance
And appreciation of—Oscar Wilde the poet

Such a task is—inevitably hazardous
Since Decadence—is no longer viewed

As an Age of Transition—between Modernity
And high Victorianism—but rather a spotlight

As never before—as a conflict between
Decadence and counter-decadence

With new cultural & literary—intersections
Coming from the Internet & the Blogosphere

And the emergence—of mass marketing
Literature, Film & You Tube—into Today

Disambiguation—and Decadence
The recontextualizing—of Oscar Wilde

The electronic borrowing—of techniques
Converging as never before—into Aesthetics

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