That up there is a poetry performance piece done by regular Gothic Council member and author of the Encyclopedia Gothica, Liisa Ladouceur. The video, directed by Tomb Dragomir, helps answers the eternal question, "What is goth?" This is, of course, the whole purpose of the Gothic Council. Well, that and making fun of people until they cry, but mostly the whole definition thing.
Now, all goths have written bad poetry in their lives, even me. Especially me. So I thought it would be fun if I contacted some of the gothic community to own up to their compositions from back in the day when the angst was just too damned angsty to stand and had to be poured out upon the page to be left somewhere where others could find it and gently ask us what was wrong.
Ladies and gentlemen, we present the first of what I hope will be many more Gothic Def Poetry Slams.
Good stuff, right off the bat. Not only do we have this 1997 work from Houston's own Bear Wilder, DJ, VJ, and manager of the short-lived, but awesome Bone Church club night, but we have it scanned right off the original notebook paper! Wilder wrote "Holy Night of the Ecneloiv" after a perfect evening at one of Houston's other sadly lost clubs, the Cellar.
Wilder was also a premier publisher of goth poetry back in the day through his Zillah's Lamp zine.
Another original scan, this time from Sean Ozz of the dark rock band the Abyss and even including some illustrations from the tattoo artist. Ozz wrote the poem for inclusion in a band he was in during the early '90s and later reworked it again for the Abyss, where it was the second track on their debut EP.
The BROKEN TIES THAT BIND
I am walking down a street I see my myself turning away a flowing dress trying to catch my steps as I run behind me the sound of shattering glass breaking into 1000 pieces on the blacktop the sound of my heart
I cannot see anymore the twilight has turned to black the gentle falling rain is now a storm the pressure is building in my soul my nerves rocking like waves tossing when I see you
I cannot comprehend the loss of feeling you reserve for me the things I imagine you do behind my closed eyes the words that once flowed like water that you no longer say to me all I hear is fragile ropes tearing hope falling like stars and the sound of broken glass
Regular Council member and fashion designer Batty composed "Broken Ties" near the end of the last millennium, and had it published in Wilder's zine. They're... pretty horrible, as Batty herself admits. "This is pretty much the most terrible... although I have, like, two more that are pretty damn bad too."
Did I do right? The Wall is strong The Army is here Are you safe? Did you survive? Do you think? Do you feel? Are you still beautiful? Did I save you? You never speak. You never blink. Nothing touches you. No one speaks to you. Are you still alive in there? I built the Wall. Do you want a door?
Our final selection of the night is a teenage poem from Age of Decay co-founder Alethea Carr. In her own words...
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"At that point I thought I had to be pretty self-protective to keep a shred of sanity. Trying to live in hiding and present a false front to everyone is not a life at all. I was frustrated and honestly in real despair over how much I'd built up defenses - I couldn't even see my real self at that point. I know I wanted that metaphorical door, but I was also terrified of stepping through it.
"Things didn't change for me until I came out of the goth closet for a second time (the first time was an unmitigated disaster, which just made me hide deeper), and this time I was stronger and had the support of other goths around me. So I, quite literally, credit the subculture for saving my life. I can never do enough to repay it."