“it’s blessed queer!” “It is blessed queer!” he agreed. “It’s damned queer!”
Every instance – 54 of them – of the word “queer” in William Hope Hodgson’s The Ghost Pirates, arranged into a poem about the queer sea and things that queerly happen on it in totally queer ways. Also, accompanying materials for a longer work on the limits of horror’s language and horror as the ornamental flourishing – and the bloody-minded repetition – that emerges when it hits the self-prescribed limits of its language and still just doesn’t know how to stop or speak otherwise. Above all, that not as a “failure of imagination or lexicon” but as the very point. Thought hits its head against the wall, and having no way to describe the stars that flood its vision other than as “starry”, it recurrently batters itself to a useless, and very starry, pulp.