Archive for The Dark Young

“Gargoyle” to appear in Spectral Realms #10

Posted in calligraphy, Felix Rust, Gargoyle, Gothic Prose, Halloween with the New Addams Family, Morbidezza, S.T. Joshi, Spectral Realms, The Dark Young with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I logged into my email this morning to find a response from Mr. Joshi concerning my submission to Spectral Realms of my prose poem Gargoyle. He called it “Splendid”, and said he would like to place it in the 10th issue of the journal. There it shall be in good company with my other prose poem Morbidezza.

Gargoyle began as a response to a lyric in a song from the 1977 TV special Halloween with the New Addams Family. In there they have a line about Gargoyles coming off the walls to frighten you, and I countered that that’s not at all what gargoyles are for, and then I wrote this prose poem. It has changed a bit since I first wrote it sometime betwixt 1990-91, and it was even set to music by my old band The Dark Young, a recording of which may be found on our 1994 eponymously titled debut album. For a listen, go to https://thedarkyoung.bandcamp.com/track/gargoyle

The artist who created the logo we used on our album, Felix Rust, also did an illustrated version of the poem, a scan of which is featured below:

Illustrated version of my Gargoyle poem, calligraphy and illustration by Felix Rust.

 

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The Grimoire of the Dark Young

Posted in Gothic Poetry, Gothic Prose, Nostalgia, Poetry, Prose Poetry, song lyrics, The Dark Young, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Now that Black Hymeneal is on the verge of publication, I have begun work on my next release: The Grimoire of the Dark Young. This sinister sounding booklet will feature the words to the poems and lyrics featured in the music of the Dark Young in which I had a hand in writing.

It shall contain brief essays on the book and the band, scans of related artwork, and photos of the band from those halcyon days of yore. The table of contents will run as follows:

01. Tetragramophone

02. My Friend Boris

03. My Love and I

04. Gargoyle

05. Tasty Little Muffins

06. The Silent Sibling

07. Reflections in the Darkness

08. Flower of Evil

09. Thoughts of a Soulless Savior (The Golem of Prague)

10. Femme Fatale

11. The City Never Sleeps

12. Ring-a-Ding Dingy

13. XIII

I will keep you all posted on any updates as things develop.

The Grimorium Iuvenis Obscurum.

 

Goodbye 2015

Posted in 2015, Planet Poe, Year End Review with tags , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by Manuel Paul Arenas

2015 was an odd year for me. Some very big things came up, but never quite came to fruition as it were. Most of my accomplishments and failures revolved around my book, “Black Hymeneal”.

With the help and guidance of my good friend Michele Bledsoe, I put together the content and layout for the book, which I had been talking about making for twenty years or so. We arranged to have the fund raiser, through Indiegogo, but didn’t even come close to reaching our goal of $2,000. Now, we are changing our original plans and seeing how we can cut costs and use the money we do have. It will still be published, it just won’t be the hardcover art book I hoped it would be, and it may take longer than I’d hoped to get it done.

portrait

Michele Bledsoe’s portrait of me for the “Black Hymeneal” book cover.

Michele is looking into other options, even electronic, which might get us more distribution and still allow us to use our collected funds for a few books for the folks who contributed to the fundraiser. A new goal for 2016, I guess…

come hither.jpg

“Come hither, my little darkling…” one of the many great pics from the Black Hymeneal photo-shoot by Hydroxia.

Also associated with “Black Hymeneal” was when I asked my good friend Hydroxia to do a photo-shoot promoting the book. In our travels to find the appropriate props and costume for the shoot, we realized that we had a strong connection, which blossomed into a very promising relationship, which unfortunately went awry and eventually imploded. As fraught with drama and high emotion as it was, however,this proved to be the closest I have come to a real reciprocated love relationship. I acknowledge that my inexperience in such things, added to my social anxiety,  probably sparked my friend’s misgivings about the whole affair, which translated into her slowly but surely pushing me away until I couldn’t deal with it and hastily put an official end to everything; but I still feel that not all blame should fall on me, as she was a bit impatient with me and also did not follow through on many heavy proclamations she made at the start of things, which gave me expectations that I fret over (perhaps too much, admittedly) when not realized. Even so, there’s no use crying over spilled milk as they say. What’s done is done and if I had my druthers now, I would have forgone the failed romance to save the friendship. She is a smart, beautiful, talented, fun, young lady and I miss her terribly.

IMG_0782_resize

Me and Hydroxia at the Planet Poe show in May of 2015.

In my attempt to process what I was feeling, I tried to write some poetry about it. However, the memories hurt too much for me to get much done, so all I have are fragments of poem ideas which I shall share at the end of this post. The only good which I consider having come from this is that I have some great photos, some great memories, and now know what not to do or say to a prospective partner if and when I get another chance at love.

Part the Second

Drummer Geoff Chse’s cover art for the follow-up Dark Young album, “Part the Second”, featuring a Posada print.

2015 was also the year that my old band the Dark Young finally released the long-awaited follow-up to our 1994 debut album. It is composed of recordings made in several different countries over 20 plus years, and it sounds at home along side of the original album. I wish we could have had a reunion gig to promote it, but we all live in different states now and our saxophonist lives in India at the moment, so that wouldn’t be practical.

Last, but not least, 2015 was the year I joined the Planet Poe theatrical troupe, run by Robert X. Planet, and which specializes in dramatic recitals of various works by Edgar Allan Poe. I have done two shows so far, and have enjoyed it immensely. I love the work and my companions are wonderful people, from whom I have learned a lot about the art of acting. We have plans to do another show in the Spring, so keep an eye out for more news on that in the future.

A snapshot of me, in costume, with the skeleton prop from "The Oval Portrait", taken by fellow troupe member, Joy.

A snapshot of me, in costume, with the skeleton prop from “The Oval Portrait”, taken by fellow troupe member, Joy.

Anyway, I did not quite meet my goals for 2015, but I got close and learned a lot. Hopefully 2016 will prove to be the year I finally realize some of these dreams. I wish you all much joy and prosperity in 2016. See you all next year!

As promised, here are the fragments for Hydroxia:

https://mannysbookofshadows.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/fragments-for-the-griff/

 

“Part the Second”, by the Dark Young

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

20 plus years in the making, with tracks recorded not only in several different states, but even different countries, my old band the Dark Young have finally released the follow-up to their eponymously titled 1994 debut cassette tape (!) entitled “Part the Second”. My old bandmate, guitarist Mac Randall, wrote a nice blurb on our Bandcamp page detailing the story of how these tracks came to be. To read this and to check out the album itself just click on the link below:

http://thedarkyoung.bandcamp.com/album/part-the-second

Cover art for "Part the Second", by the Dark Young.

Cover art for “Part the Second”, by the Dark Young.

The image we used for the album cover art, pictured above, is by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913).

Photo from the recording sessions at the Sound Museum in Boston, 06-07-2010. Left to right: guitarist Mac Randall, Me, and drummer Geoff Chase.

Photo from the recording sessions at the Sound Museum in Boston, 06-07-2010. Left to right: guitarist Mac Randall, Me, and drummer Geoff Chase.

Early Poems

Posted in colored pencil illustration, Gothic Poetry, illustration, lyrics, Poetry, vampire poetry, Van der Graaf Generator, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I recently discovered some illustrations I’d done, circa 1992-93, for some of my early poems and wished to share them with you all. They were outlined using fine point colored pens, then filled out with colored pencils.

The first one is “Coup de Corps”, a prose poem, where I compare vampirism to spiritual highjacking…

“Coup de Corps” 1992.

“Coup de Corps”

It’s rather like watching a horrible scene without being able to close your eyes; or being a helpless and unheeded passenger on an endless nightmare ride throughout eternity.

My body is it’s own master. When I speak, the words are not my own. I sit in a cavern somewhere in the pit of my heart and await the day when it is pierced, and the walls are broken which enclose me in this rebellious, sanguinary shell gone mad.

*

Next is “The Necromancer”, which I intended to be a lyric for a possible song from my days in the Gloom Twins duo. We actually came up with a tune for it, driven by a dissonant organ riff (a la Van der Graaf Generator) but it never got past the early development stages. There is a clumsy reference to the Necronomicon, because I was just really starting to delve deeply into the Lovecraft Mythos at the time, otherwise it’s a bit more Faustian in tone. I was never quite happy with the result, but here it is in all of it’s awkward glory, accompanied by an illustration which I am rather fond of. On the shelf is Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, Robert E Howard’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten, and, my own creation, the Grimorium Iuvenis Oscurum.

“The Necromancer” 1992.

“The Necromancer”

I have delved into the realms of darkness, and spoken to the dead

Called upon the daemons who send servants in their stead

Made sacrifice to devils, paid tribute to their Lord

In return for youth and power and jewels for my hoard

The blackest of books I have read, the cursed rites of Abdul Alhazred

Mad Arab’s testament for which he was torn to shreds

Necronomicon, Book of the Dead

Dealing with tricksters, which don’t keep their word, sifting through their lies

Tempting me to leave my circle, I never meet their eyes

The darkest of pleasures I have sought

Untold destruction I have wrought

The blackest of majicks were my tools

But they, in turn, used me–and I am the fool!

Now I have asked for much, without considering the cost

And in my lust for power, my immortal soul I have lost

Within my dying breath, I see Lilith come to me

To burn me with Her infernal love, and down to Hell then drag me

*

Last, but not least, we have an illustration for “My Friend Boris”, which really was written about a spider that lived in my bathtub in Hartford, CT circa 1988. It later became a poetry piece for my old band The Dark Young. Again, that’s supposed to be me, but it doesn’t really look like me. By the way, , FYI; I feel obligated to point out here that I have never sported a mullet, my hair is tucked behind my ears here–LOL!

"My Friend Boris" illustration, 1992, by yours truly.

“My Friend Boris” 1992.

“My Friend Boris”

A spider Lives in my bathroom; today I gave it a name. I called it Boris; I named it after a song.

I hope it’s a boy. After all, I wouldn’t want to offend it in any way by giving it a name of the opposite gender, now would I? Why, I hardly even know it yet!

Boris keeps me company when I’m bored and lonely–what a guy that Boris is.

I don’t know what he lives on. I suppose the baby roaches which I see crawling in and out of the cracks in the walls.

What a nasty fellow that Boris is! Imagine, feeding on babes! Oh well, different strokes, different folks.

Just the same, he is my friend. He is my familiar, Boris is, and I think I’ll let him live.

To roam and feast on his cockroach critters and any other little beasties and vermin which may come to call–uninvited.

What a guy that Boris is, what a guy!

Black Hymeneal Photo Shoot

Posted in black humor, goth, gothic, photo shoot, portrait photography, promotion, skulls, voodoo with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

On May 15th, I did a promotional photo shoot for my upcoming poetry collection, Black Hymeneal. I decided that I wanted to put a face to the book, which already has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BlackHymeneal) and let people know what sort of project it is. I felt a bunch of fun photos with a Gothic twist would project the appropriate image for what I have in mind. I asked my friend Hydroxia to take the photos, since I had seen some work she had done in the Gothic vein and could see that she had an understanding of the aesthetic I was aiming for. Of course, I was correct in putting my faith in her talents because (as you see here) she really caught the essence of what I was trying to get across. She helped me find the right props for my surroundings and she also helped me with my look, which is very similar to what I used to wear in my Dark Young days, although the “guy-liner” was her idea (I must admit it does make my eyes stand out a bit more) and she helped me find the amazing robe I am wearing, which we located through Redhead Sadie Vintage:

Redhead Sadie Vintage business card

Redhead Sadie Vintage business card

We staged the shoot in the living room of my good friends Richard and Michele Bledsoe (authors of the children’s poetry book “The Secret Kingdom”); we drank some wine, took some pics, and had an all around fun evening. Here are some of my favorites:

Not sure exactly what this sphere is, but it makes me think of Pinhead's puzzle box.

Not sure exactly what this sphere is, but it makes me think of Pinhead’s puzzle box.

Effervescent crystal ball:

Effervescent crystal ball: “I see a bottle of sparkling Spanish Cava in your future!”

This one's got a voodoo vibe to it.

This one’s got a voodoo vibe to it.

Whispering swart nothings...

Whispering swart nothings…

Me in my colonial days

Me in my colonial days

Can I help you?

Can I help you?

Sepia tone pic of me in my new robe, wearing Richard Bledsoe's glasses. They look nice, but I couldn't see a damn thing through them--LOL!

Sepia tone pic of me in my new robe, wearing Richard Bledsoe’s glasses. They look nice, but I couldn’t see a damn thing through them–LOL!

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Bava

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Bava

My paranormal romance novel cover pose:

My paranormal romance novel cover pose: “Come hither, my darkling dear…”

Surprise! Note the bottom cuspids, which almost make me look a little lupine here.

Surprise! Note the bottom cuspids, which almost make me look a little lupine here.

Another paranormal romance cover pose: love the flowing locks and the inviting gesture.

Another paranormal romance cover pose: love the flowing locks and the inviting gesture.

Some behind the scenes shots:

Candle detail

Candle detail; I love the sparkly cobweb drapery: magical!

The set: how many skulls do you see in this picture?

The set: how many skulls do you see in this picture?

Table detail

Table detail

One of the many skulls on our set, replete with votive candle for that extra eerie look

One of the many skulls on our set, replete with votive candle for that extra eerie look

Michele feeds me grapes

Michele feeds me grapes

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.

 

Update 11/25/2017: I took my friend Galad’s advice and gave a listen to Yvette Mimieux’s recording of Cyril Scott’s 1909 English translation of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, featuring the music of  Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. What a great performance of a great translation! As I have said elsewhere, sublime would be an understatement! It is available on Youtube if one is curious and I have seen it for sale on Amazon.

YM

Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal) by Yvette Mimeux & Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (1968, Connoisseur Society).