Category: LGBT

American Pandemic, a poem by David Garyan, published in Interlitq

“American Pandemic” was first published in Volume 12 of The American Journal of Poetry (January 1st, 2022). Volume 12 was the final issue of The AJP before it ceased publication. The archive remained available for some months, until early 2023, after which the website disappeared completely.

Please click here read the story behind the initiative to republish all my work.


American Pandemic (The President’s Prayer)

For although you may have absolutely no choice in some matters, this does not mean the things you must do in these moments are absolutely right.
—Wilde 3:16

Dear Lord, today we give
thanks for no longer
having to fear the rapists
living next door to us—
at least those who,
out of their own volition,
did trust in the miracles
of science and go down
to the nearest vaccination center,
where shots
of AstraZeneca are done—
approved, of course, by the CDC and EU,
for its benefits
lie precisely in the fact
that it has killed
a trivial amount
of people,
and was made
by a British-Swedish company,
unlike Sputnik,
which, regrettably,
also, did ice
a similarly trivial amount,
but was, of course,
made by the Russians—
a dilemma, indeed,
for if the rapist
had simply chosen
Slavic vaccination,
it would’ve prevented
him from entering indoor
venues like movie theaters and schools,
much less having access to Europe,
where this vaccine,
along with the Chinese Sinovac,
are still under rolling review,
all for your own safety, of course.
Dear Lord, though we must keep walking
through the valley of the shadow of death,
we will fear no evil;
for Thy Protestant and Catholic
vaccines will protect us,
while the heathens of the East—
Orthodox Slavs and Chinese communists, that is,
will be barred from entering
the Schengen Area
for having disobeyed Thy command,
and taken jabs
from the forbidden list of vaccines.
For we know that your only
begotten Son, Jesus,
cares not whatsoever about all Christians,
nor even those recognized
by the United Nations,
but only those G-7 (formerly G-8) Christians,
who by their burden of upholding
democracy, human rights,
and women’s rights,
(two different things altogether,
as women aren’t humans),
did follow the true path of Thy Son
when they expelled Russia
from this hallowed community
after its illegal annexation of Crimea.
Lord, we ask that you give us
patience and strength
in this time of uncertainty—
for our other neighbor, Bill,
living with his lovely family
just four houses down,
are followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses;
despite having frequently made generous
donations to charities fighting poverty
in Sub-Saharan Africa,
they remain unvaccinated due to their beliefs—
thus posing bigger threats
than the very rapist living next door,
who, in fact, holds a bachelor’s degree
in pharmacology,
and this he received from Tufts,
meaning he has rightly
been ordained as a monk of science,
with fervent faith in all the hottest biology.
Indeed, our dear Lord,
it helps neither Bill,
who once rescued two children
from a burning building,
nor his pleasant family
that often volunteers
to pick up trash in their neighborhood,
to be good, yet unvaccinated Christians.
For the Lord so commanded:
Thou must let all vaccinated
fornicators into heaven,
for if they present
the Green Pass,
and it is valid,
every sin and transgression henceforth
shall be forgiven by the glory of God.
Let us rejoice, sweet Jesus,
and let the miscreants inside!
For it is at once righteous to do so,
but, alas, also legally necessary,
for Lord Fauci,
in all his infinite
scientific glory
and wisdom,
hath ordained that full
vaccination bestows
full immunity
against any sexual misdemeanor,
and perhaps even felony,
but only so long as blood
tests can show
the presence of antibodies;
heathen Bill, however,
can neither be allowed
to keep his job,
nor attend any community functions,
and his satanic family
shall have to wear medieval
masks of shame wherever they go.
Let us pray, dear Lord,
that blasphemous Bill
and his infernal ménage
continue being good Christians,
for their donations
and community service are important,
but let us, nevertheless,
wholly distance ourselves socially,
for they cannot be spoken
to until they receive the sacrament of vaccine.
But let us all the while, dear Lord,
invite the rapist—
provided he agrees to wear a mask
and continues, like before, observing
social distancing rules,
because, indeed, the sacrament of vaccine
works not miracles every time,
something the pharmacologist offender,
or more aptly, offender pharmacologist,
knows very well;
and so, in the name of Jesus, our Savior,
let us pray for that gentle predator,
for he has become
the epitome
of responsibility,
and a shining example
of good fellowship
towards Woman (and also Man,
but only in rare homosexual cases—
for let us not, dear God, tolerate
those who discriminate
against a misfit
that prefers chasing men),
for he knows not only
all the hip sciences,
but also totally trusts
every hip doctor and science,
even when they say
opposite things.
Let us hence rejoice
and place our faith
in that rapist,
for he truly cares
about the safety of others,
even when he’s raping them,
for he will not lay hands
on any unvaccinated souls—
no matter how strong
his urge to do so may be,
and in this way, our heavenly Father,
we didst finally see
a prominent drop
in not only COVID infections,
but also cases of sexual assault;
these latter numbers, howbeit,
are neither relevant nor crucial,
for we’re not so concerned
with them these days,
mostly because developing
vaccines against battery,
even the sexual type,
is scientifically impossible.
And so Lord, we ask that you bless
and watch over
the sexual deviants,
(but only the inoculated)
for before Johnson and Johnson
they were blind,
but now they can see,
and protect also those who took
Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca,
and especially young women
who took AstraZeneca,
since they are most at risk
of dying from it,
but let us, oh Lord, have faith
and renounce our fright—
for these fair maidens
are now vaccinated
and no longer need Thou;
truly, they hath nothing
left to fear,
for we know
that all the world’s problems
disappear after full vaccination,
two weeks after the second dose, that is.
Have no mercy, howbeit, on those who took Sputnik,
for pride, tyranny, and wickedness cannot last,
but the righteous shall live by Western-approved
jabs and that holy democracy worthy of us all—
the one which accidentally bombs
civilian targets in Afghanistan,
but only under a Democratic administration;
a Republican democracy where civilian
targets are accidentally hit,
can, absolutely, not be tolerated.
Our Father who art in heaven,
we need good, honest democratic
leaders who blow up churches and schools
in the name of Saint Schumer,
of whom the public does approve
no matter what he commands,
and if there be doubt,
it shall excuse his failures
as honest blunders;
the same mistakes
just across the aisle, however,
must properly and justly incur the wrath
of all left-leaning news networks out there,
because that is what it means to be fair,
balanced, and objective, in the name of Christ Almighty.
We ask, also, in this time of uncertainty, dear Lord,
that you promptly hear the grievances aired
by the community—
for on numerous occasions
they’ve demanded that bombs
dropped on civilian targets
proudly display Pride flags on them,
otherwise protests will erupt
across the whole country.
We pray, as well, that all who deny
the scientific thrust behind
these rockets be labeled
provocateurs and Republicans—
meaning anyone from Afghanistan
must display proof of bombing,
preferably with QR codes,
before we can consider them refugees,
much less admit them to this country,
which, supposedly, isn’t a Christian one,
but whose presidents have all been Christian.
And so, in the name of all that’s holy, dear Lord,
please forgive us for putting
sanitizer dispensers
inside your churches,
and wearing masks,
for it’s nothing personal
against you or the miracles
you’ve worked on this earth;
it’s just that washing your hands
frequently absolves us of all sins—
for if Pontius Pilate only had some Purrell
that day he was to condemn
your only begotten Son,
there would be nothing
he would need to answer for today.
Dear Jesus, please know
that if and when you decide
to have your Second Coming,
all the vaccinated rapists,
murderers, and pillagers
will be free to attend the event,
which is scheduled to be held
at the LA Convention Center,
or perhaps Madison Square Garden,
depending on parking—
strictly observing, of course,
all the social distancing
protocols recommended by the CDC.
And if the people
ever decide to crucify
you once more,
something they are bound
to do sooner or later,
proof of vaccination
will no longer suffice;
given the more exciting nature
of this particular spectacle,
negative PCR tests (valid for 48 hours)
and cavity searches will be required
to access the crucifixion site,
for when it comes to safety,
no right or freedom
is sacred enough to uphold.
Oh, hallelujah, dear Lord,
we pray that the planet
and every hallowed
thing you created,
in the name of the Father,
the Son, and Holy Spirit,
simply go to shit
while our chosen leaders
sit there and figure out
how to save us from COVID;
for there are maps, statistics,
and analysis, sweet Jesus—
so much scientific scripture
capable of showing us all,
and very precisely at that,
how fucked up things have become.
Do you not see, my brethren,
that the US registered
148,202 new cases today,
which, on a fourteen day spectrum,
represents a twenty-nine percent increase?
Have the numbers and colorful graphs
not made an impression, my dear brothers?
For if we can’t quantify something,
the problem isn’t worth solving.
And is it not such a tragedy
that we have more vaccines
than anyone knows what to do with?
For in Pelosi 2:3-4 it is so written:
When Moderna ran out,
Fauci’s mother turned and said to him—
“They have no more Western vaccines.”
But that Son of Science so replied:
“Woman, why do you involve me?
My hour has not come yet.”
And after having ordered the syringes
to be filled with Sputnik,
the patients were given those injections
and all were then amazed
they had turned into Pfizer.
The Son of Science did this—
the first of his many signs,
in Cana of America,
and it revealed his glory,
and his disciples believed in him.
So now we must jab them all,
starting with dead people
and unborn fetuses
that can no longer be aborted,
for if daily quotas are not met,
the UN will come raining down
on our asses like a goddamn fucking
firestorm with their resolutions
that have never been legally binding
anyways, hence why be afraid?
And so, feel free to keep committing
your war crimes, my fellow African dictators,
for though they might say
and even shout a lot at the UN,
fear not, I command, fear not—
for everyone sitting
in those plush chairs
will be much content
to have heard the pretty sounds
of their own voices,
only to have done nothing at all
about the problems
they so enjoyed discussing;
at most, they shall show
“deep concern about the rising
tensions in the Middle East and Africa,”
but this too shall pass,
and with some persistence,
you’ll be free to plunder again,
without those pesky
colonizers (Europeans, that is)
scolding you for being colonizers.
And so, my brothers,
forget the rising levels of racism,
greed, and unhappiness,
for there’s no science
behind them anyways—
no graphs, maps, or tables
to show us the daily increase
in anti-Semitism, apartheid,
or even xenophobia,
for all the lab rats
working in democratic countries
have yet to develop vaccines
against these pandemics,
but if there’s no jab
to solve the problem,
then there’s no problem
to begin with—
nothing worth inspecting
any longer.
Just to be safe, howbeit,
keep distancing yourself
from Blacks, Asians,
Latinos, and anyone who isn’t White,
including Arabs and Persians
with American passports,
some of whom may look
and act “Caucasian,”
but don’t be deceived, my brothers,
and remember the famous Bible passage,
Shakespeare 3:16, Act I, Scene III:
Libyans and Iranians
can cite US passports
for their own purpose.
Also never forget
the Civil Rights Movement,
and which color of skin
was then barred
from entering buildings
and using facilities,
even before the Green Pass;
but let us, dear Lord,
remain vigilant as ever,
for unvaccinated Whites,
especially the poor ones,
now pose the same threat
as vaccinated Iraqis
and Afghans with US passports;
alas, should the unjabbed
Whitey, however,
happen to be quite wealthy,
then we must consider
this proof of vaccination,
because gaining COVID
from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
then dying from it
bestows both status
and upward mobility
upon the dead one,
while catching COVID
from a homeless drunk
then dying from that
is simply a tragedy—
upward mobility
without any fame.
Oh, dear Lord, we pray to heaven
that you get with the program at last
and allow just fully vaccinated
souls into your kingdom;
it would also be nice, sweet Jesus,
if you could demand
that the certificates be shown
in digital form,
with QR codes and cavity checks
and the whole nine yards, really,
for so many have already
been tempted by Satan,
and bought fake certificates
on Telegram and WhatsApp—
a clever business model
with great revenue streams,
something deeply upsetting
for the bureaucrats of Big Pharma.
On the other hand, dear Lord,
Big Tobacco may have cause
for celebration, as some studies
have shown that smoking
may help prevent COVID—
indeed, it doth appear as if nicotine
interferes with ACE2 receptors,
thereby preventing the virus
from entering cells.
Hallelujah, our Father in heaven!
We pray in the name
of your only begotten Son
that all the smokers in Kentucky
will now rise up and initiate
protests demanding mandatory puffing
measures at work, schools,
and hospitals,
but especially hospitals,
for no freedom,
and this we swear,
is sacred enough
to give up in the name of safety,
even the freedom to breathe.
Starting next week,
mandatory proof
of smoking shall
be presented
at the entrance
of every gym, restaurant,
and nursing home.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, fellow brethren!
And as with vaccines,
connoisseurs of Russian cigarettes
will absolutely
be prohibited from entering
any indoor venues,
until the proper clinical trials
can be carried out;
the CDC has already
scheduled rolling reviews
to see if cancer sticks
made by former communist heathens
pose the same health risks
as those made in the free world,
because only the cancerous kinds—
the ones with arsenic,
liberty, and lead inside them
have been known to interfere
with the aforementioned ACE2 receptors.
So far, the CDC has only approved
the democratic cigarettes of Marlboro,
Newport, and Camel against the coronavirus—
in clinical trials, they’ve shown
a smashing 99 percent effectiveness
in killing people before they contract COVID,
much lower than the despotic
brands of Russia,
which have far less additives
and kill only 89 percent of subjects,
but these are just the results
of one medical study funded by Republicans;
the very same study funded by Democrats
showed that Russian cigarettes
kill people on contact,
with vaccinated Americans
from ages 0 to 100 being most at risk;
the State Department hence recommends
that anyone holding a US passport
avoid traveling to places
where this tobacco is sold—
if you absolutely must travel,
buy forty packs of Marlboro
and smoke two a day while wearing
a mask fully covering nose and mouth.
Our dear Lord, we ask in the name of Jesus
that you please forgive
all the fornicators,
thieves, and lawyers,
but especially lawyers,
for any wrongs
they may have committed,
be they sleeping with monkeys,
stealing relics from your churches,
and, naturally, defending
those who slept with monkeys
and stole relics from churches,
but solely if said miscreants
who’ve lived total lives of sin
agree to accept Science
as their only true Savior,
and receive the holy
communion of antibiotics,
and when, with glory, those sins
have been thoroughly cleansed,
shall they proceed, at last,
with the deathbed vaccination,
for the Church of Democratic Science
teaches that only sincere deathbed inoculations
can prevent the spread of COVID at funerals,
while the Church of Republican Science
asserts that COVID was manufactured in a Chinese lab
and hence can threaten only Chinese funerals—
ever since the Great Schism of Science in 2020,
questions surrounding the afterlife
remain a disputed issue in both disciplines,
all because the Church of Democratic Science
and the Church of Republican Science
couldn’t agree on the issue
of whether it was acceptable
to use unleavened jabs
for the sacrament of full vaccination;
other disputes revolved around the fact
of whether scientists could marry
or had to remain celibate,
devoting their whole lives
to the study of reproduction,
rather than reproducing themselves.
And so, it looks as though the teachings
of Democratic Science
and Republican Science
will remain at odds forever.
Dear Lord, we ask that you punish
those scholars who sell indulgences—
fake vaccination certificates, that is,
for it will take a Reformation of Science,
initiated by the one and only
Martin Luther, MD, PhD, PsyD,
with no relation to the former
Augustinian monk,
to create yet another split,
and this time in the Church of Republican Science—
it shall come to pass that doctors
will have no right
to exercise power over people
in jab purgatory,
that is those who may qualify
for vaccination exemptions,
but must show extra proof
of valid medical contraindications
to receive that holy Green Pass.
The Church of Democratic Science
sees all this as heresy,
arguing that patients
must prostrate themselves
before doctors and ask
for vaccination penance—
only this way can they be
admitted to the Stanley Cup Finals,
and also Super Bowl LVI.
The World Series, however,
is a totally different ballgame—
being America’s Pastime,
it does, unfortunately,
require not only prescribed
vaccination penance,
but also a full baptism
with either Olay or L’Oréal—
also known as a “shower”
in scientific literature;
any rituals conducted
with Russian water
and their heathen
communist products
will not be recognized as democratic,
and may result in excommunication,
but also being burnt at the stake.
For we know, dear Lord,
that Psalm 51:7
tells us to purify our sins
strictly with Purell, but perhaps also Lysol—
only, however, if there’s a shortage of Purrell,
for that is surely the superior product,
and then we will be clean;
wash us, our heavenly Father,
but just with brands
approved by American
board-certified dermatologists,
and we shall be whiter
than Russian snow.
Let us pray, dear brothers,
that neither the ACLU,
nor the Woke Apparatus
of Twitter bring
charges of racism
against the Old Testament,
and perhaps even the whole Bible,
for, certainly, African-Americans,
along with darker skinned Latinos
and Asians, have no way of cleansing
themselves to the level
of Scripture-approved
shades of White—
at most, they shall be known
as “Two or More Races,”
or “Some Other Race,”
with the US Census Bureau
very much highlighting “Other,”
for that is how powerful
and prestigious
American body washes
remain on the world stage,
so help us God.
And let us remember,
today and for all times,
Fauci 3:5, where it is so written:
Trust in the Science
with all thy heart,
and do not depend
on your own understanding—
something, dear Lord,
which is good and true,
but certainly contradicted
by Biden and Harris 14:15,
which doth proclaim:
“The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought
to their steps.”
For it is the spiritually unvaccinated
who remain separated from Science,
and thus tempted by Satan himself—
for, today, that devil
is not really the Devil,
but rather the embodiment
of the Christian religion,
for in Buttigieg 16:23
it is so written:
Fauci turned and said to Jesus,
“Get behind me, Satan!”
You are a stumbling block
to my Science;
you do not have in mind
the concerns of vaccination,
but merely human concerns.
And so, from this day on,
Christianity became the Devil,
for it was not concerned
with just biology and the body,
but merely human concerns.
For yes, we all know, dear brothers,
that only the communion of vaccination
can absolve us from our sins.
And as the disciples
gathered for the Last Supper
at the White House,
Fauci said: “Take these masks
and wear them, for they are my body—
made in China, of course,
and though America
is on the brink of total collapse,
we can be sure these masks
will protect us from every economic,
social, and natural danger.
He then gave thanks to China
and offered his disciples
the syringes, saying:
“Each of you inject,
for this is my blood,
which seals the covenant
between the President
and his people,”
thus it was written
in Biden and Harris 26:27-8.
And so Washington
did truly rise again
from death,
and took its vaccinated
body—with PCR tests and everything—
that which appertained
to the perfection
of Man’s American nature,
wherewith it ascended into Heaven,
and there will sitteth, until the government
returns to judge all unvaccinated Men
(and also Women, of course,
for we must certainly discriminate
against unvaccinated Women as well)
on the last day.
In the name of the Father,
Uncle Sam, and American Spirit.


About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He received a master’s degree in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. He lives in Trento.

Multiply and Divide Using Scientific Notation, a poem by David Garyan

February 6th, 2022
Trento, Italy


Multiply and Divide Using Scientific Notation

Only scientists should seriously discuss science,
meaning Judith Butler should stop talking gender.

Only psychologists should seriously discuss psychology,
meaning Harold Bloom should’ve stopped talking behavior.

Only historians should seriously discuss history,
meaning Stephen Greenblatt should forget the history of ideas.

Be an expert only in yourself.

Specialize. Divide. Categorize.

If you’re white, feel only your pain.
If you’re black, do the same.


About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He received a master’s degree in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. He lives in Trento.

“La respuesta inconveniente de Oscar Wilde” por Francisco Ardiles


La respuesta inconveniente de Oscar Wilde

Por Francisco Ardiles

Hace más de cien años Oscar Wilde fue detenido porque le gustaban los hombres y llevado ante un juez que seguramente iba a condenarlo por conducta inapropiada. Su relación íntima con Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie) dejó de ser un secreto y comenzó a generar incomodidades por doquier. El escándalo social que produjo el chisme de ese relacionamiento desató la ira furibunda del padre de su novio, John Sholto Douglas, noveno marqués de Queensberry, quien no sólo lo acusó de sodomizar a su hijo menor sino que lo sometió al escarnio público. El autor dublinés tenía cuarenta y un años, y su amante, Alfred Douglas, el hijo del aristócrata histérico, sólo veinticinco. Todo el mundo sabe que el padre de su amante era terriblemente prejuicioso y tenía muchas influencias. Es por eso que la demanda tuvo tan lamentables consecuencias. Recordemos cómo fue.

A consecuencia de esta demanda Wilde fue sometido a juicio. El juez de cuyo nombre no tengo el más mínimo interés de recordar, citó al poeta en el estrado un día como hoy y después de hacer algunos comentarios innecesarios, le preguntó si su novela publicada 4 años antes, en 1891, El retrato de Dorian Gray era una apología a la homosexualidad. Wilde mirando a la audiencia con cierto dejo de ironía contestó que no sin el menor titubeo. El juez quedó en silencio y le formuló una pregunta aún más malintencionada. Le dijo algo así como que si una persona de la calle, cualquier bienandante, una persona normal ordinaria y trabajadora, de a pie, se encontrará con el libro, lo llevase a su casa y lo leyera, podría llegar a considerar que ese libro titulado El retrato de Dorian Gray era una apología a la homosexualidad. Wilde volvió a oír todo sin el menor signo de asombro, y sonrió, miró de soslayo, y con cierto aire de desdén, le respondió severamente “señor juez, yo no tengo ni idea de lo que piensan las personas ordinarias…y sabe qué, ni me interesa. Las personas ordinarias no serían capaces de entender lo que quise decir en ese libro. Déjeme decirle algo más, no escribí ese libro para ellas, o pensando en lo que irían a pensar, porque sabe qué, las personas ordinarias no piensan. La mayoría de las veces dejan que las personas como usted piensen por ellas.” El juez por supuesto se quedó sin palabras.

Era el año 1895, es clave en la vida del escritor. Dicen que siempre hay un año que cambia todo para bien o para mal definitivamente, estoy convencido de que casi siempre es para mal, porque casi siempre acaba con aquello que era para uno el propósito de la vida. En el caso de Wilde en qué consistía ese propósito, en hacer lo que quisiera, con quien quisiera y donde quisiera, aquello que se nos antoje.

Su propia mujer, Constance, había sido testigo de eso. Cuando le tocó declarar ante el juzgado, le contó a los presentes que en los últimos tres años, es decir, desde 1892, su marido había perdido la cabeza, salía a cualquier hora del día en coches de alquiler a uno y otro lado de Londres detrás de aquel muchacho, le compraba regalos carísimos, se iba al café Royal a beber, a exposiciones de toda índole, a fiestas privadas imprevistas donde se llevaban a cabo ceremonias abyectas. Ella aseguraba que pasaba la noche entera en casa de amantes desconocidos, y que había dejado el hogar familiar con sus dos hijos para mudarse al hotel Savoy porque era obvio que toda esa vida doméstica le producía un profundo desdén.

A partir del 1895, ya no pudo hacer lo que se le antojaba. Lo que comenzó como un simple enfrentamiento entre un hombre de mediana edad y un pilar del establecimiento que lo llamaba sodomita frente a todo el mundo, terminó en drama. Ese año a pesar de que estrenó dos obras de teatro de incuestionable impacto: Un marido ideal y La importancia de llamarse Ernesto, fue sometido a tres juicios consecutivos que de alguna manera fueron provocados por su indignación y su necesidad de rebelarse. Wilde pudo haberse librado de todos estos inconvenientes tan desagradable sin mucho esfuerzo, tenía los recursos y el apoyo necesario para hacerlo, pero no quiso. A pesar de que sus amigos le aconsejaron en reiteradas ocasiones que viajase al exterior para librarse del peligro inminente de una condena, hizo caso omiso a sus recomendaciones y decidió quedarse a enfrentar a los jueces y a la sociedad victoriana que lo escarnecía con su intolerancia. Confió demasiado en su gracia, su ingeniosidad verbal inigualable, su profundo sentido de la ironía y su excelsa inteligencia. El resultado fue el escarnio público y una condena. Una condena a dos años de trabajos forzados que se le adjudico simplemente por ser homosexual. Solo por eso.

Pío Baroja comenta en un breve texto que escribió sobre este suceso, que en un país verdaderamente progresista un juez serio, objetivo, profesional, ético, hubiese debido responderle de la siguiente manera: Mire usted, señor Wilde, al salir de aquí, busque sus maletas, diríjase hasta el puerto más cercano, tome un barco, vaya usted al continente, instálese donde le parezca y viva donde quiera y como quiera. Haga lo que quiera pero en otro sitio, y no regresa. Si lo hace no será bienvenido. Eso era todo lo que se necesitaba hacer pero lo cierto es que no fue así, porque la Inglaterra de ese momento necesitaba dejar por sentado un castigo ejemplar.

Wilde fue arrestado y condenado. No sería tan difícil imaginar lo que significó eso para su carrera. Vio todas sus obras dramáticas retiradas de la escena, perdió todos sus recursos monetarios y quedó en bancarrota. Su casa se subastó, y su mujer se quedó con todo el dinero obtenido por la venta de la propiedad. Luego huyó a Italia con sus dos hijos, y no contenta con eso, avergonzada por la leyenda negra que se posaba sobre la imagen derruida de su marido, decidió cambiarle a los niños el apellido Wilde por el de Holland.

El poeta pasó dos años de prisión encerrado en tres cárceles: primero en la cárcel de Pentonville y después en la de Wandsworth, y al final en la de Reading. En esta última penitenciaría escribirá su célebre Balada de la cárcel de Reading. Veamos un fragmento de este lago poema, en el que Wilde habla del martirio que simboliza su cautiverio, para que entendamos de qué se trataba la agonía de su confinamiento:

No todo hombre muere de muerte infame, un día de negra vergüenza ni le echan un dogal al cuello, ni una mortaja sobre el rostro, ni cae con los pies por delante, a través del suelo, en el vacío. No todo hombre convive con hombres callados que lo vigilan noche y día, que lo vigilan cuando intenta llorar y cuando intenta rezar, que lo vigilan por miedo a que él mismo robe su presa a la prisión. No todo hombre despierta al alba y ve aterradoras figuras en su celda, al trémulo capellán con ornamentos blancos, y al director, de negro brillante, con el rostro amarillo de la sentencia. No todo hombre se levanta con lastimera prisa para vestir sus ropas de condenado mientras algún doctor de zafia lengua disfruta y anota cada nueva crispación nerviosa, manoseando un reloj cuyo débil tictac suena lo mismo que horribles martillazos. No todo hombre siente esa asquerosa sed que le reseca a uno la garganta antes de que el verdugo, con sus guantes de faena, franquee la puerta acolchada y le ate con tres correas de cuero para que la garganta no vuelva a sentir sed. No todo hombre inclina la cabeza para escuchar el oficio de difuntos ni, mientras la angustia de su alma le dice que no está muerto, pasa junto a su propio ataúd camino del atroz tinglado. No todo hombre mira hacia lo alto a través de un tejadillo de cristal, ni reza con labios de barro para que cese su agonía ni siente en su mejilla estremecida el beso de Caifás.

El 14 de mayo de 1897, es liberado. Inmediatamente huye y viaja a Italia primero y luego a Francia. Sus antiguos amigos lo rechazan y no quieren recibirlo. Entonces decide instalarse en Berneval, un pequeño pueblo de la Costa francesa, con un nombre falso: Sebastian Melmoth. Allí va a verlo André Gide, y observa que ha perdido el entusiasmo, que su piel, sus manos ya no tiene colágeno, y sus dientes se ven estropeados, porque se encuentra sumido en la más absoluta depresión. Por esa respuesta que dio a aquel juez, este caballero inglés y escritor sin igual, admirado por Borges, Gide y tantos otros, había sido condenado para siempre.

Dicen que nunca dejó de estar encerrado. Luego se muda a París y pasa sus dos últimos años de vida. Henry Toulouse Lautrec, lo conoció en un pequeño bar e hizo unos esbozos de un retrato que nunca terminó. Su lugar de residencia era en realidad un hotelucho de mala muerte, que luego se transformó en un hotel de lujo por la leyenda que dejó la visita del escritor. Wilde vivió en ese lugar en medio del más completo abandono, acosado por los recuerdos, la culpa y la inercia irreversible de su propia decadencia. Así fue como se dejó morir lentamente. Tuvo amantes por supuesto, hombres de toda edad y oficio, en ese aspecto no discriminaba demasiado. En ese París impresionista, snob y bohemio, en el que en sus años de gloria había frecuentado los salones más distinguidos, terminó relacionándose con chaperos de la calle, prostitutos, bandoleros, malandros y malvivientes de todo tipo y calaña. En medio de esa absoluta decadencia siguió escribiendo, luego viaja a Sicilia y a Roma, se bautiza y cae irreversiblemente enfermo.

El 30 de noviembre de 1900, muere en el Hotel d’Alsace, de meningitis. Yo creo que fue por una enfermedad venérea. Acababa de cumplir cuarenta y seis años. Fue enterrado en Bagneux. Su amigo Robert Ross paga sus deudas, publica sus obras, traslada sus restos al cementerio del Père Lachaise y le manda construir a Jacob Epstein, el famoso escultor, un mausoleo digno de su obra. Pensar que todo fue por una frase malinterpretada. Era artista, tenía mucho talento, predicaba una estética que iba en contra de la sociedad dominante, era divertido, irónico y fue condenado por lo que representaba una respuesta inconveniente. Una frase que ponía en entredicho los principios morales de su época. A uno le da por pensar que todo hubiese sido diferente si le hubiese respondido de otra manera al juez. Tal vez hubiera sido diferente pero tenía que hacerlo.

Creo que Albert Camus escribió en 1951 un libro para entender a Nietzsche que hoy en día nos sirve para entender a mucha más gente de su época. Ese libro fue publicado con el título L’Homme révolté (El hombre rebelde). Wilde no solo era un hombre de la misma época del filósofo alemán; sino que además de caprichoso, extravagante, decadente, dandy, popular, ególatra e irreductible, también era un hombre rebelde, un hombre profundamente molesto, perturbado por determinada situación. Lo que tanto afectaba a Wilde y lo llevó a provocar la ira y la persecución de sus coterráneos, era esa moral tan profundamente hipócrita que todos compartían de lo más cómodos. Eso lo sacaba de quicio, que la moral estuviera por encima de la igualdad y la libertad individual. Por eso no se quedó callado, ni ante aquel juez, ante su esposa ni ante sus contemporáneos.

Sobre Francisco Ardiles


Francisco Ardiles