The poetry & poetic prose of Brandon Gene Petit

…And the Cats Came from Lovecraft.

I’m going to tell you all something I have told no one before… mainly for fear of ridicule and for fear of accusations of egotism. Surely many of you, whether writers or artists – or even avid sports aficionados – have found a particular artist, writer, or professional athlete that you have always felt a strong connection with. Then, with that in mind, perhaps my suggestive claim is not so immediately absurd. For me, my idol has been the long-deceased horror/fantasy writer, H.P. Lovecraft… and there are various reasons why (some stranger than others). For the longest time I have had this odd, vague, chronologically displaced “memory” that I wrote a Lovecraftian story in my early youth, having not yet discovered the author let alone read any of his stories. I remember scribbling a story messily on several white sheets of typing paper, and I distinctly remember showing the story to my mom and her asking, “What is this word right here? How do you pronounce that?” I proudly replied, “ARR-LAY… it’s an underwater city.”

The word I was referring to was “R ‘ leyh”, which was of course – according to Lovecraft’s fiction – an ancient underwater city where the great deity Cthulhu was harbored in a state of suspended slumber. My parents loved the story and tried to send it in to publishers… but, they rejected the story, saying it had been done before… naturally, by a man named H.P. Lovecraft. The odd thing is that I could swear I did not read my first Lovecraft story until late high school, and not the definitive story Call of Cthulhu until even later. Now, don’t quote me on this, for I have no proof of this highly questionable and vaguely remembered account… and there is usually (and sadly) a more logical explanation to these sort of things (usually). At least in this case, I suspect it is merely another anomaly of memory that I have been known to experience as a result of disorganized thoughts over a period of time. But, it is fun to imagine… what if Lovecraft did somehow have a psychic connection to me from beyond the grave, and I somehow unknowingly transcribed one of his most famous stories before having ever consciously read it? A maddening and most juvenile thought, I am sure, but as a writer with a deep affection for Lovecraft’s work, I cannot help but to occasionally entertain my wildest conjectures and pause quizzically upon such an arguably egotist fantasy.

Still, even if this is indeed not true, but rather another misremembered experience or a misdirected dream from my subconscious, my psychological connection to Lovecraft and his work is not doubtful. Symbols from his literary creations appear frequently throughout my dreams even to this day… everything from monstrous Cthulhu-esque deities to the benevolent yet mysterious cats he had such a deep affection for in his daily life. Every time I dream of felines roaming through a dark house at night, I cannot help but awaken and instantly make the connection to the great master of weird fiction… perhaps they are an addition of his own through some supernatural channel connecting his posthumous thoughts to my living mortal dreams.



2 responses

  1. I don’t think that is weird or arrogant at all. For years people told me my work (mostly fiction mind you) was decidedly liken to Poe and/or Lovecraft (mostly Poe). I didn’t read Poe until my late 30’s. Then a friend reviewed my first poetry book and made the comment of Poe would sit up in his grave and smile. lol. I look into Poe’s background and found something rather funny. The Raven was published on the same day as my birthday. :p I don’t live in an area where Ravens frequent, but since my teen years I always “talked” to the Crows. They are entertaining creatures, and quite bawdy. I think your experience(s) is the great creative conscious all tap into. Kind of live mental airwaves and time nor death sunders the “lines”

    April 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    • Thank you for sharing, Rebecca, and I’m glad you can relate on some level. As you can see, as much as I cling to science I still have a slightly superstitious side. I’m always a fool for an eerie coincidence or two!

      And I totally know what you mean about “mental air waves”… thoughts are waves, too, in a sense. Who’s to say that – through some undiscovered quirk of science – our thoughts cannot interfere with each other’s in some underlying way? And who’s to say that the thoughts of the dead, the particles of their consciousness long scattered to the air, cannot influence our waking actions from the realm of the afterlife? It is quite an intriguing thought… after all, as complex as this world is, you just never know.

      April 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

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