As If Reality Wasn’t Scary Enough

Belas bats

White on white translucent black capes
Back on the rack
. . .   Bela Lugosi’s dead.

The bats have left the bell tower / The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
/ Bela Lugosi’s dead…

Bela Lugosi’s dead / Undead, undead, undead . . .

The virginal brides file past his tomb
Strewn with time’s dead flowers
Bereft in deathly bloom / Alone in a darkened room
: The Count

Bela Lugosi’s dead . . .  Bela Lugosi’s dead . . .  Bela Lugosi’s dead
Undead, undead, undead

I had this poster of Bela Lugosi on my bedroom wall as a kid.

Truly undead HERE

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The Mother of all Mummies

Of the myriad films about mummies
that send chills to the pit of our tummies,
the original’s best.
You can keep all the rest;
their appeal is to modern-day dummies.


The original 1932 film is less a horror story
and more a psychic thriller about reincarnation and eternal love.
I get very wrapped up in this stuff:

The burden of Egypt.
Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt:
and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence,
and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians:
and they shall fight every one against his brother,
and every one against his neighbour;
city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.

And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof;
and I will destroy the counsel thereof:
and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers,
and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord;
and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 19:1-4

 

Surely the princes of Zoan are fools,
the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish:
how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise,
the son of ancient kings?

Isaiah 19:11

 

Classical Monsters

I am on (in?) a Classical groove today, having posted two favorite poems:
Poe’s To Helen  and Nerval’s Delfica.

They share many similar Hellenic traits (or is Hellenistic a better term? Someone explain the difference  please—it’s all Greek to me).  I find many rich associations in both poems. In To Helen , the image of those Odyssean triremes transports me to the ancient Aegean, where the the name Psyche combines with Delos to form “psychedelic” (a purely subjective association, I know).  By now I am hearing Cream’s Tales of Brave Ulysses in my mind—but I digress . . .

If you know French, I hope you will enjoy Delfica. Here is a translation into English by A.Z. Foresman if you don’t.

Psyche’s agate lamp has illuminated and inspired me ever since I first went on an E.A. Poe kick around the same time I got interested in Symbolist art during the mid 80’s.  But long before that, in 4th grade, I attempted to memorize The Raven. I can still make it up until the line “… sorrow for the lost Lenore”.  I was really into horror movies as a kid, which would explain some of what you find at this blog.  I had a subscription to Famous monsters of Filmland magazine in the early 70’s. Did any of you read Monster magazine as a kid? I was obsessed with creepy stuff. I used to BEG my parents to let me stay up late on Saturday night for Creature Feature and Tales of the Unknown. (Channel 56 if you grew up in the Boston area)

Back to the poems: Nerval’s Chimères have fascinated me ever since a college French professor turned me on to them. Nerval’s poetry takes neoclassical madness right up to the edge of Christianity (one thinks of  Paul before Festus and Agrippa  in Acts 26: 24 -28 ) but then leaves you hanging  in a philosophical void. The French seem to have been hanging in this void for a long time, ever since their Revolution turned into a blood bath which in turn paved the way for Napoleon.  Gérard de Nerval was also left hanging apparently . . .

I wonder whether Nerval was a Christian or not.
Le Christ Aux Oliviers is so entwined with classical Greek paganism it is hard to tell.

I have tendency to blather. Gotta post this and move on.  I thought it would be about Classical Greek allusions but it turned into a monster somewhere.

Hope you found something in the poems.