Archive for Poetry

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…

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“H.P.L. R.I.P.” (A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 29, 2016 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Beyond the Wall of Sleep, in atramentous bardo

Shuddersome scenes replay, endlessly, in eldritch tableau

May Eve at Meadow Hill, revelers chant their baleful song

“Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat with a Thousand Young!”

Innsmouth maids lie with frogs, to breed an amphibian race

Hominine at first till time shows their Demi-Deep-One face

Richard Upton Pickman, with exceptional ghoulish flair

Paints his nightmare visions ensconced within his North End lair

At the bale libraries of Miskatonic U.

The Necronomicon is stored and kept away from view

On an uncharted isle, in non-Euclidean crumble

Constrained Cthulhu waits to return as mankind trembles

Whilst misanthropic Old Ones plot in aphotic space, their scheming

In his grave at Swan Point, dead H.P. Lovecraft waits dreaming

H.P. Lovecraft, depicted as an 18th century poet, by Virgil Finlay.

H.P. Lovecraft, depicted as an 18th century poet, by Virgil Finlay.

Fragments for the Griff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 16, 2016 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Fragment #1

My hummingbird heart races in my chest, where you lay your ivory cheek

I take in the heady fragrance of your titian crown and respire slowly to slacken my pulse

As I look across the darkened room to the flickering light on an adjacent chair

I make note of this perfect moment and exhale a happy sigh

Fragment #2

I miss her hair, I miss her face

I miss her awkward gangling grace

I miss it all, but of all the misses

The thing I miss most are her fairy kisses

Fragment #3

I just want to set the world on fire

In tribute to  my love which smolders on a funeral pyre

Then I’ll fiddle and play as it burns away, with my congeries of untapped desires

I just want to set your heart on fire

With the ardor of my gambol and gyre

Fiddling out woe on my heart-strung bow, as the devil joins in on a lyre

This is a drawing I did back in 1991, which I call "Pelirroja con araña", or "Redhead with spider". Whenever I see it now, it reminds me of my friend Hydroxia.

This is a drawing I did back in 1991, which I call “Pelirroja con araña”, or “Redhead with spider”. Whenever I see it now, it reminds me of my friend Hydroxia.

The Mad Man in My Attic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 29, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

There’s a mad man in my attic, and he’s been there for years

I’ve always sensed his presence, but chose not to see him

He keeps me awake at night, stomping and swearing

Causing a ruckus that frightens my loved ones away

I hear his vile chattering through the floorboards overhead, but choose not to listen

Even so, his words find their way to my subconscious mind

Their poisonous import seeping into the darkest corners of my deepest desires

Strangling my hopes and dreams with its sooty tendrils

Infecting my thoughts with anxiety and fear

Panicking, I lash out, flailing my arms at my intangible foe, grasping at smoke

Only to find, when the murk clears, that the mad man in my attic

Is me

 

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.

 

The Golem of Prague

Posted in Blood Libel, golem, Golem of Prague, Gothic Poetry, Jewish folklore, Joachim Neugroschel, Paul Wegener, Rabbi Loew with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

“Great Tales of Jewish Occult and Fantasy” by Joachim Neugroschel (1991, Wings Books)

Back in the 90’s I picked up a collection called Great Tales of Jewish Occult and Fantasy: The Dybbuk and 30 Other Classic Stories (1991), by Joachim Neugroschel, which featured themes of mysticism and the supernatural. This was the first time I had heard of a Dybbuk and it is also where I read the original account of the Golem of Prague. I was so inspired by the Golem story, that I wrote a narrative prose poem about it, coming from the point of view of the creature, which I initially entitled “Thoughts of a Soul-less Savior”. Over the years, I have read it at poetry readings and shared it with some of my Jewish friends who appreciate the acknowledgement of their people’s lore from a gentile. My old band, the Dark Young, even made a performance piece out of it which we have finally recorded in a studio, after 20 plus years, and we shall be releasing as part of our long overdue follow-up to our 1994 debut album–but that’s a tale for another blog entry.

The tale deals with the story of the Rabbi Loew, or Levi, depending on the source, who must defend his people against the “Blood Libel”. The Jews of 16th century Prague ghettos were the victims of anti-Semitic attacks and were being accused of kidnapping and sacrificing Christian children in blood rituals (never mind that this soooo un-kosher the very idea is ludicrous). The rabbi made a homunculus, called a golem, out of clay and brought it to life using rituals and incantations. The creature protected the rabbi’s people until an oversight allowed it to run amok and wreak havoc, so he had to put it down.

The Rabbi Loew and his golem.

The Rabbi Loew and his golem.

An excellent film adaptation of this was done in 1920 by director Paul Wegener, called “Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam” (“The Golem: How He Came into the World”), the creation scene of which should be used as the visual for the Dark Young piece if it is ever made into a music video, as it follows the ritual I describe verbatim.

The beginning of the end for the Golem is when he falls in love. [

The beginning of the end for the Golem is when he falls in love. [“Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam”, 1920]

In recent years, I decided to make the subject of the poem a little easier to recognize by renaming it as “The Golem of Prague”, and it shall be one of the 13 poems in my upcoming collection “Black Hymeneal: the Black Light Verse and Gothic Vignettes of Manuel Paul Arenas”, which I am presently putting together and which shall be illustrated by Arizona artist Michele Bledsoe co-author and illustrator of the children’s book “The Secret Kingdom”.

“The Secret Kingdom” a children’s book of poetry and paintings by Richard and Michele Bledsoe.

Michele’s husband, Richard Bledsoe, who also contributed to “The Secret Kingdom”, gave me a painting he did of a golem which ties in beautifully with my poem, which is now hanging on the wall of my living room.

“Golem” by Richard Bledsoe.

I’ve mentioned it a lot on here, but I do not recall ever having posted the poem itself, so without further ado, here is my poem “The Golem of Prague” as it stands today (a note to the reader “circumferring” is a word I created to fit the piece, basically the word is used here imply that the “air sign” is carrying the Torah around the circumference, or perimeter of the golem) :

I am Joseph, the mute beadle of the Maharal; conceived of in a dream, I am the answer to his prayers. God is not my creator, although it is through His mercy that I exist. A child of the elements am I, and of them men which from them are derived.

Seven times did the fire sign encircle my form and I began to glow with a fire in my frame.

Seven times did the water sign encircle my form, and the fire was quenched.

Seven times did the air sign encircle my form, circumferring the sacred scrolls of the Torah and reciting the cabalistic incantations which would set my being into motion. Then, simultaneously, they uttered the Holy Verse of Creation, and I lived!

But I shall only be suffered to do so until my people are free of the dark cloud of the Blood Libel; then I shall lay myself down and my fathers shall reverse, thus undoing, the rituals which bind me to this world.

And I shall return, as they themselves must eventually do, to the lifeless clay from which I was fashioned.

Moribond

Posted in Gothic Poetry, graveyard poetry, personification of death with tags , , , , on August 14, 2014 by Manuel Paul Arenas

My latest poem…”Moribond”

All hail Moribond, killer of kings
The ultimate leveling ender of things
None can escape his fast-felling grasp
Once one’s heartbeat he’s sought out to clasp
Much less avoid the nigrescent haze
Which swirls within his soul-quashing gaze
Wanting of ears he hears not the pleas
As fey humanity beg on their knees
Their solicitations and piteous cries
Rebound off his countenance, haloed with flies
His scythe sounds a ring like the toll of a knell
As it soars through the fated with impetus fell
Then with a swipe of his osseous hands
He gathers the fallen in funeral bands
And onto his shoulders he facilely heaves
The souls of  his victims in black-ribboned sheaves

Note: I have come up with new lines which would come between “…haloed with flies” and “His scythe sounds a ring…” I tried to insert them into the text, but had issues with line spacing, so I’ll just add them here:

“Quailing and quivering, they weep as they retch / From the pestilent bouquet surrounding this fetch /Their viscera heaving in spasmodic wrench / As they choke on his mephitic bone-yard stench”