Dear Dorian

Bjorn is hosting the pub today for our Meeting the Bar segment. He is asking us to write poetry in the form of a letter. It must be a true letter with salutation and ending and poetry in between! Today Karin is promoting us to write a letter poem.  


My Dear Dorian,
It has been many years since I last saw you at the Café Royale.
I was surprised to you see you sitting
in the midst of The Kong – The Four
as we in Society named you.

Whistler, Forbes, and Oscar looked
older, wiser, more foolish,
dusty around the edges –
like a doily left too long on the surface
of a table that has waited too long to be dusted.

There you sat
like an exotic orchid
perched among faded roses –
but those roses still have long thorns
with blood on them.
Their tongues will ever be sharp!
I wonder if I will live long enough
to see them discarded and dead
In the trash bin.

You saw me and your beautiful mouth
curved in a sardonic smile.
You tipped your glass of champagne
in my direction.

One more café mocha –
It makes my heart go so fast,
But then,
when spring has paled and lovers
such as you consigned to the grave –
it is good to feel my heart beat faster,
to feel alive.

Is that why you did it?
Why you made your deal
with Fate?
So you could feel alive forever?

I wonder. But I just wanted you know –
I know your secret.

With best regards,
Lady Lavinia Thornsby

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray, Penny Dreadful

dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics

Today Bjorn is prompting us at dVerse Poets Pub for Tuesday Poetics. He is asking us to write something “Halloweeny”, so here is my contribution. I have always been fascinated with late Victorian life and especially the people who used to hang about the extremely fashionable Café Royale in Soho. It’s denizens have always had an “alternate” story for me. This poem in no way implies anything about Wilde or Whistler. It is after all, just a poem. And the Café Royale is still in existence serving their incomparable cafe mochas. Posted for dVerse Poets Pub and Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens:

public domain photo James Whistler

The Salon at the Café Royale
Because of his story about Dorian Gray
everyone thought Oscar Wilde was a vampire.
Everyone thought he based it on himself.
Well, he didn’t –
He based in on a young man of whom he was enamored.
However he was a vampire.
His friend Whistler was a werewolf.
I know. I often stood in my window
when I was a child and watched the
two of them leaving the house next door.
I saw how they gleamed in the moonlight.
I watched how they leapt over the garden wall
with the effortless grace of deer.
I watched when they returned and
I saw them splattered with blood
and heard Oscar’s high laughter
and Whistler’s lower chuckles.
I saw them. Yes I saw them.
I was not dreaming when I saw
the vampire and the werewolf
leap down from the wall
and settle weightlessly as dead leaves
upon the lawn.


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