It’s once again that time of the year where all the frightening ghosts and goblins and Edgar Allan Poe impersonators come out. Where ugly gray WalMart plastic gravestones and badly named and deceased victims such as Chandel Lear and I.P. Daily show up on your neighbors lawn.
Yes my friends.
It is Halloween.
Where now every college English department, every high school and every open poetry mic usually does a scary tribute or has a cosplay overly mustached version of Ed take the stage and read, just like the previous year before “The Raven” or “Annabelle Lee” from the old and most well known greatest hits list. But do I think that this is awesome? Of course I do. I’m a huge fan of Poe’s work. Always have been since childhood. But I was creating themed events/benefits like the one’s described above years ago from around 1998 up until just a few short years ago. We (Albany Poets, local musicians) and I threw huge Halloween benefits and we raised alot of money for causes. Fought AIDS and saved alot of kittens and we had alot of fun doing it too at such Albany venues as The Lionheart and Valentine’s. These were great times and everyone looked forward to being a part of this special event. No one else had anything like this then.
But now, these days Poe events are everywhere. And sometimes I miss those days and the organizing of and the bringing of Ed back from the grave once a year to read his work. For what we once had was unique and a one of a kind Edgarfest is now over. And as I said without end around this time of the year? My old friend Edgar is now everywhere and has become increasingly popular. For alas My friend Ed has moved on, mustache and all, without me. And it’s a very sad and gothic tale to tell. Reading his poems and stories and sharing them with others was a wonderful experience and there is no replacement or remedy for it.
Edgar Allan Poe. The Writer.
You either love him or you hate him. There is no in between. Some thought him and genius while others can only see the photo of a frail thirty-something man who looked years beyond or much older than that. He is still a mystery. Created the mystery genre. Died in poverty like most artists and writers of his era and what he died from is still speculated and a mystery subject all it’s own. Rabies? Consumption? We still don’t know how. Edgar was a tragic man and I only knew him up to that point. But what I do know is that he was a dreamer and that he had the great gift of imagination. And that’s probably the reason why I’ve always loved his work so much. Sure there are other writers of horror and fantasy that I love like Lovecraft & Stephen King but none so singular as this man Poe whose words I have a connection to. To take on the guise of Edgar is more than just reading him. You become him. And it’s very hard to shake that feeling off.
Someday maybe I shall resurrect him again when all this EdgarLust has passed. When he’s not in a television show as a sidekick or in a movie solving crimes. When to me, Edgar can just be my friend Edgar again and not some overused Halloween time prop.
Would anybody out there be interested in doing a new agey pagan poetry fest? Or how about a Tim Burton movie character reading?
I thought of it. I get first dibs on Barnabas Collins.