When I set out to write "Kiss Me, Ahab!", a satire of John Milton's "Paradise Lost," as well as of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” I knew I was embarking on a daring and audacious endeavor. In this blog post, I want to take you on a journey through the creation of my manuscript — a novella in one hundred and twenty cantos — that attempts to queer the Western literary canon over 550 times through the use of footnotes.
From the moment I put pen to paper, my goal was clear: to challenge the norms, biases, and assumptions ingrained within the Western literary tradition. With every canto and each carefully crafted footnote, I aimed to subvert the established narratives and present a fresh perspective that embraces queerness, diversity, and inclusivity.
"Kiss Me, Ahab!" is a rebellion against the literary canon's exclusionary tendencies. I wanted to disrupt the heteronormative, cisgender narratives that have dominated our literary landscape for far too long. It was time to center queer experiences, voices, and desires within the canon and critique the conventions that limited the representation of marginalized identities.
Through the poetic cantos, I sought to explore the depths of love, identity, and the human condition from a queer lens. Each verse became an intimate space where emotions ran wild, desires were celebrated, and the complexities of existence were laid bare. By infusing my verses with moments of self-discovery, intimacy, and personal liberation, I hoped to spark conversations that challenge societal norms and encourage readers to question the status quo.
The footnotes, those little subversive gems scattered throughout "Kiss Me, Ahab!", became my voice of critique. With over 550 footnotes meticulously placed throughout the manuscript, I seized the opportunity to interrogate the Western literary canon. Each annotation served as a provocation — a call to reevaluate long-held assumptions and biases that have shaped our understanding of literature. These footnotes became a testament to the power of critical analysis and a celebration of the diverse voices that have been silenced or marginalized within the canon.
"Kiss Me, Ahab!" is not just a novella; it is an invitation — a call to arms for readers to reimagine the literary canon and demand more inclusivity. It urges us to question the boundaries of literature and embrace the vibrant tapestry of human experience. Through satire, poetry, and footnotes, I aimed to disrupt, challenge, and ultimately transform the Western literary canon into a more diverse, representative, and inclusive space.
In conclusion, "Kiss Me, Ahab!" is my love letter to the queerness within the Western literary tradition. It is an act of rebellion, a celebration of diverse voices, and a critique of the established norms that have silenced and marginalized identities. I invite you to join me on this journey of exploration, reflection, and transformation as we queer the Western literary canon one canto at a time. Together, let's create a literary landscape that embraces and uplifts the beautiful complexities of our shared humanity.
Link to purchase: The Rainbow Cantos book by G.R. Tomaini (thriftbooks.com)
Kiss Me , Ahab !
A Queer Novella In One Hundred And Twenty Cantos
Table of Contents
Division I : Innocence Lost
A Love Poem By Ahab Candomblé
Ahab My Love ,
Move - In Day I : The Boys
Move - In Day II : The Girls
Sargasso State College Convocation
Cultural Studies 101 I : Syllabus Week
Prospero Crowley Accosted
Brower Commons : Valhalla
Antigone In The Mirror
Sargasso State Involvement Fair
Doctor de Sade ' s Office I : Increase In Lithium
Cultural Studies 101 II : Antonin Artaud
Office Hours I : Lilith de Sade
Office Hours II : Prospero Crowley
Alcibiades ' s Poetry I : Ode To My Butt In These Jeans
Oh , Oberon , Lord of the Fae !
Office Hours III : Lilith de Sade
The Subjugation of Alcibiades
Lolita Adopts Two Worms
Alcibiades ' s Poetry II : Mrs . Hendrickson Answers The Door
Scarlet Honor Council : The Case of Alcibiades
Fuck Ayn Rand : Literally !
Alcibiades ' s Poetry III : Desdemona ' s Secret
Cultural Studies 101 III : Emily Dickinson
A Letter To My Scumbag Son
Humpty Dumpty Had An Accident . . .
Gay Conversion Therapy
Meeting of the Leftist Society : Hadrian and Antinous Wrestle
One Last Hemlock Infused Scotch For Socrates
Alcibiades ' s Poetry IV : I Saw God . . .
Alcibiades ' s Psyche : Black and Blue
Winter Break : Miami Vibes
A Matrimony Interrupted
Alcibiades ' s Funeral Pyre
Alcibiades ' s Poetry V : Ode To Whom ?
Oberon ' s Impotency
Office Hours IV : Lilith de Sade
Division II : Innocence Interrogated
The Fellowship of The Light
Something Is Rotten In The City of New Brunswick
Ahab ' s Poetry I : Prometheus Rechained
Get Lolita To A Dionysian Nunnery !
Out of the Dark Crept Paul of Tarsus
Ahab ' s Poetry II : He Is Don Mosquito
Saint Paul Bogarts The Blunt
Chaplain Zarathustra Blesses The Expedition
For Doomed Is All Love !
How Oberon Is A Charlatan !
Enter Mephistopheles , The Prince of Lies !
Ahab ' s Poetry III : The Rape of Europa By Toussaint L ' Ouverture
The Demonic Possession of Ishmael Daedalus
The Withdrawal of Saint Paul
Rendezvous At Antinous ' s Childhood Treehouse
Prospero Crowley Consulted : Let Us Resort , Then , To Magick !
Lolita Takes Her Vows : Introducing Sister Lola Montez
And Then They Drank From The Cask of Amontillado
Mephisto ' s Presidential Proclamation I : Turn Water Into Wine !
Ahab ' s Poetry IV : El Diablo On The Runway
Mephisto ' s Presidential Proclamation II : Victorianism Is Our Cross !
Sermon : Thus Spoke Chaplain Zarathustra
Mephisto ' s Presidential Proclamation III : Football Is Sacred !
Ahab ' s Poetry V : Poolside Resurrection
Ahab Dreams of The Whale
Doctor de Sade ' s Office II : Increase In Xanax
The Witch Doctor Is In : I Scry The Leviathan !
School Newspaper : Wild Knights Have Wild Nights !
Ahab ' s Poetry VI : Papa Flee
And Thus The Heart Will Break , Yet Brokenly Live On
Pride and Prejudice and Poppers
Ahab ' s Poetry VII : Crystalline Ballet Dancers , Three
Mephisto and Screwtape Sit For High Tea
Ahab ' s Poetry VIII : Fitzpatrick The Fetus Aborts Mommie Dearest
Sister Montez Ministers To The Nerdy
Ahab 's Poetry IX : Miss Betsy On Her Bench
A Matrimony Uninterrupted : Bells ! Bells ! Bells !
Omen : Lightning Strikes At The Ginkgo Tree
The Exorcism of Ishmael Daedalus
Alcibiades In Hell
Division III : Innocence Regained
Where Were You On The Ides of March , Two Thousand Twenty One ?
In Search of Lost Time : A Madeleine For Ahab
Clarissa ' s Poetry I : Jesus In The Bathtub
Mrs . Dalloway Snubs The Emperor of Ice Cream
Clarissa ' s Poetry II : Berries For Dessert
Nursing Home Recreation I : Mercutio The Fool
Flowers of Evil For A Lachrymose Ahab
Clarissa ' s Poetry III : Childbirth
Lolita ' s Archived Journal I : The Fetus That Broke The Camel ' s Back
Ahab Takes Up An Old Folio Containing Melville ' s Moby Dick
Clarissa ' s Poetry IV : My Real Friends
Lucretia Candomblé ' s Archived Journal I : I Will Say This Predator ' s Name !
Ahab Uses A Walker To Have Reveries of A Solitary Walker
Clarissa ' s Poetry V : No Xanax For Cicadas
Prune Juice For Ahab Candomblé
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway I : That Kiss , A Thousand Times Accursed !
Clarissa ’ s Poetry VI : Five Hundred Gallons of Scotch Whiskey
Ahab Takes A Tumble Amidst The Ginkgo Trees
Alcibiades 's Archived Journal I : The Grave Is A Fine And Private Place
Clarissa 's Poetry VII : Caffeine Spinal Tap
Lolita ' s Archived Journal II : I Hear America Singing !
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway II : The Gates of Hell Are Open Night And Day
Clarissa ' s Poetry VIII : My God Pees On Trees
Lucretia Candomblé ' s Archived Journal II : Pack Up The Moon And Dismantle The Sun
Clarissa Dalloway Feuds With Headmaster Svengali
Clarissa ' s Poetry IX : The Seatbelt Monster
Alcibiades ' s Archived Journal II : Dreams of A Life Spent Together
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway III : Griefs Are A Joy Long After
Clarissa ' s Poetry X : Spider Real Estate
Nursing Home Recreation II : Angels In America
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway IV : Taste The Life Eternal !
Clarissa ' s Poetry XI : A Lost Penny !
Ahab Preemptively Begins His Embalming Process
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway V : Time Does Not Bring Relief
Clarissa ' s Poetry XII : Two Voluptuous Breasts
Lucretia Candomblé ' s Archived Journal III : Is This A Dagger I See Before Me ?
Visit From Clarissa Dalloway VI : Do Not Go Gentle Into This Good Night !
Clarissa ' s Poetry XIII : Death of A Cell Phone
Ahab Is Granted A Vision of Dionysus In Mourning
The Angel of Death Comes For Ahab Candomblé