― “It was a Dark and Stormy Night” from Edward Bulwer Lytton and Madness in Civilization by Andrew Skull
The author writes,
“Bulwer Lytton on occasion
beat Rosina, and perhaps sodomized her.”
A better word is raped,
Mr. Skull, Lytton “perhaps” raped her.
Bulwer’s a writer, wrote
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
His cliché, a taxidermized seagull,
Insisting its proof of life,
even after death.
Rosina was carted off
to an asylum.
She wasn’t mad.
She told the name-calling,
at the voting box,
Bulwer’s Parliament re-election day.
Who would’ve blamed her
for the onset of insanity?
Besides the alleged rape,
Bulwer “set up a stable of mistresses.”
After her Dublin affair,
he took their kids
and their daughter died of typhoid.
I am in love with this Victorian.
Rosina called the Queen pigheaded
and threatened rotten eggs
against her Majesty
in attendance of Bulwer’s play.
Kathryn V. Jacopi is an English Department adjunct professor for Fairfield University, which is also where she received her MFA in creating writing. Her writings have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Statorec, Fjord, Manzano Mountain Review, and Drunk Monkeys. When she’s not reading, writing, and lesson planning, Kathryn’s often kayaking or enjoying her husband’s fantastic cooking.