Archive for the Poetry Category

Paeans for Polly

Posted in Broceliande, Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, love poems, Merlin, Nimue, Poetry, Pollyphilia, Vivien with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2017 by Manuel Paul Arenas

In the early oughts I ran around with a young woman many years my junior (she 19, I somewhere in my early 30’s). She was a brilliant writer, but she had some issues, as do I. We were both lonely, so we gravitated to one another and were inseparable for a few months. Eventually, our respective issues collided and she dumped me. To heal, I wrote many poems, some good, others not-so-much. I hope these are some of the former. The first was a ditty which popped into my head as a song, complete with a melody from some obscure nursery song I cannot recall otherwise. I sang it to her and she loved it. The second was penned after everything went south. In it, I compare our May/December relationship to that of Merlin and Nimue (Vivien, the Lady of the Lake):

 

Pollyphilia

I love my Polly, oh yes I do / No one’s as pretty or smart as you

We go out dining and play at pool / We muse on past lives and laugh at poo

We smuggle J.D. into you room / Chase it with o.j. to mask the fumes

We watch the X-Files and Lenny Bruce / Wax philosophic and get real juiced

Narrow hands just like an icon / I love her more than my bacon

Eyes of absinthe: green and cloudy / Lips like cushions, flush and pouty

Skin so soft and fair complexioned / She’s as sweet as crème confection

Florida’s boring, but we’ve got smokes / Long Island Iced Teas, sun-ups and jokes

We’ll go to Vegas and make our name / Then move to Madrid, grow old in Spain

I Love my Polly, oh yes I do / No one can move me quite like you do

Verlaine and Rimbaud, that’s me & you / Here’s hoping this round things go more smooth

"Merlin and Vivien" by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1911).

“Merlin and Vivien” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1911).

Broceliande

Piscean, watery enchantress ardent, lubricious Lady of the Lake
Merlin, assotted, awaits you, though he knows your kiss means to quell
Nimue, bury me in your joyous garden–once curiosity is slaked
The loving cup you offer over-brims with a philtre fell

Eyes of pale green luminescence, searing my soul straight through
Nipples like red Chinese lanterns on hillocks of new-fallen snow
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you–but know that I love you still true
In a place where time is suspended, tho’ forgiveness and love freely flow…

Ode to Stout

Posted in Beer, Boston, Guinness, Irish Pubs, Nostalgia, Poetry, Stout with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

During the early oughts, I took a couple of semesters at Broward Community College, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, While there, I took a creative writing course which proved to be one of my favorite courses during my time at BCC. During the course of the semester, I wrote several pieces which I still share and read in public to this day. Gothilocks, Travels with Gigi, and Black Hymeneal are just a few of the pieces I wrote during this prolific time for me, and of course, there is Ode to Stout.

What began as a writing assignment turned into one of my favorite poems. Anyone who follows my blog or has seen me read at the local open mics is aware of my love for Gothic Horror and Dark Fantasy, but if you know me personally, you know that I am a big foodie as well. I love to cook and I love to eat! Although I am not a big drinker, by any stretch, I do enjoy a good glass of wine (preferably red), a sweet hard cider, or a good pint of ale. One of my favorites is stout ale, particularly Guinness.

A promotional poster showing how to pull a perfect pint of Guinness.

A promotional poster showing how to pull a perfect pint of Guinness.

Having lived through most of the 90’s in Boston, I developed a taste for it, which has stayed with me ever since. I remember how in some Irish pubs they would even make a little shamrock with the foam at the top of the head, which never ceased to amuse me.

shamrock pint

A “shamrock-ed” pint of Guinness

The assignment was to compare two things that seem unrelated and show how they are similar. I started comparing stout ale to dark chocolate, but it soon turned into just a tribute to stout. The poem went over well in class and my professor even recommended I send it as an entry for a contest to win a pub in Ireland but, alas, the contest had been closed for sometime when I looked it up. Still, I have the poem and now I shall share it with you:

“Ode to Stout”

Stout is like a chocolate drink, semi-sweet and well nigh black
Delectable amaritude in creamy bitter draught
Sweet unmalted barley wort, cordial cocoa quaff
Heavy, almost viscous, seen darkly through the glass
Liquid velvet, hazy curtain, obfuscates the eyes
Tawny lips, the foamy kiss, a bitter-sweet goodbye

me, a few years ago, having a pint of Guinness at the Rúla Búla Irish Pub in Tempe, Arizona.

Me, a few years ago, having a pint of Guinness at the Rúla Búla Irish Pub in Tempe, Arizona.

 

Flower of Evil

Posted in Beresford Egan, C. Bower Alcock, Charles Baudelaire, Fleurs du Mal, Gothic Poetry, Poetry, The Dark Young, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Sometime in the early 90’s I found a used copy of the 1929 edition of “Fleurs du Mal” by Charles Baudelaire. Translated by C. Bower Alcock, the illustrations were by Beresford Egan, who had a bit of an erotic art déco vibe to his style.

Title page for Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire, translated by C. Bower Alcock. Sophistocles Press and T. Werner Laurie, 1929.

Title page for Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire, translated by C. Bower Alcock. Sophistocles Press and T. Werner Laurie, 1929.

I was lost in the beauty and decadence of the language and the illustrations were, are, sublime. I was so taken aback by this book, that I nicked the title of it for a poem, which was basically me putting up a brave front against the world: “I am a flower of evil, and those that touch me…die!” In retrospect, I can see the false bravado, but it later became an effective song (?) for my band the Dark Young. The recording of which will finally become available on a follow-up to our 1994 debut album. More on that later.

Upon completing “Hell-Flower”, I decided to read them both at the next open mic I was to attend, which as luck would have it, is tonight, and here in all its petulant glory, is “Flower of Evil”…

On the tree of life, I am but a biter fruit

Acrid to the palate, and overwhelming to the senses

In the garden of society, I am a blight

Not even the very worms of the earth dare partake of my flesh

A vampiric weed, I suck the life from my peers

I shun the light of day, and grow hatefully in the dark

Although I am alone, no wallflower am I

I am a flower of evil, and those that touch me…die!

"Flower of Evil" illustration, 1992, by yours truly.

“Flower of Evil” illustration, 1992, by yours truly.

Thoughts Upon Seeing “Haute Tension”

Posted in French Horror films, Grand Guignol, Haute Tension, Poetry with tags , on July 3, 2014 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Dismay, disgust and disdain at the slaughter of a family

Decapitation, mutilation, overkill à la Grand Guignol

I cover my eyes but peek between my fingers

Fountains of gore cannot quench the implacable blood-lust,

Pathetic cries cannot sway the  impervious evil of

the killer

French poster for

French poster for “Haute Tension” (2003) featuring an image of the Killer

Saturated with the cruor of his kills he opts for take-out

A fettered female is tossed into his ancient van

He is cocky and cruel, but also heedless

He is being tracked by a hip sexy heroine, come to fight for her beloved

Or is she just shadowboxing?

USA poster for stateside release in 2005, featuring the heroine, Marie

USA poster for stateside release in 2005, featuring the heroine, Marie

At turns titillating and horripilating, the story twists and flips

Leaving one numb and disoriented

When I close my eyes I see gory images running in a loop

Like carrion birds circling their supper

I will never see France the same way again

The killer drops off his latest victim after getting a little head

The killer drops off his latest victim after getting a little head