Black Petals Issue #91, Spring, 2020

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

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BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Hole in the Somewhere-Fiction by Richard Brown
Everything Echoes-Fiction by Todd M. Guerra
Exit to Dove's Tail-Fiction by Ken Goldman
I Dream of Fire-Fiction by Matthew Penwell
Living Doll-Fiction by Carl Hughes
Angelika's Tough Decision-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Cat-Fiction by Chris Alleyne
The Demon-Fiction by Misty Page
The Run-Fiction by Thomas Runge D'Amore
We Are the Monsters We Seek-Fiction by Karen Heslop
Brother of Mine-Flash Fiction by D. C. Plump
New Terror-Flash Fiction by Denis Alvarez Betancourt
The Flapping Thing-Flash Fiction by Robert Masterson
The Clown Loved Cherry Lipstick-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Ganymede-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Space Probe RH 120-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
The Buffoon-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Just Another Day in My House-Poem by Tom Davidson
Blue Bell Hill Beast-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Plum Island-Poem by Richard Stevenson
The Thing in the Woods-Poem by Loris John Fazio

Chris Friend-Spring, 2020

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CHRIS FRIEND’S BP #91 MARS NEWS, SPRING 2020

 

 

Besides the old Irish festival of Beltane (May 1st), there is another witchy festival on April 30th/May 1st. May 1st was Walpurgisnacht, or Walpurgis’ Night. Largely Germanic, it was a night when witches flew to their Sabbaths and vampires were quite active. Possibly named after an 8th century abbess (but more likely after the old Teutonic goddess, Walpurgis), the date was set aside to honor the moving of the saint’s bones to Eichstätt. But eventually it became associated with more diabolical doings, like Black Masses and vampires and such. With vampires being active on this night the Bohemians would take precautions by putting out hawthorns and wild roses to snag the vampires’ shrouds, thus slowing down their evil mischief making. Walpurgisnacht is so well established in vampire lore that it even made its way into Bram Stoker’s “Dracula’s Guest” as a very bad night to be out and about.

 

Speaking of “Dracula’s Guest,” I am currently reading the essential Penguin book of Vampire Stories. The book has only the very best vampire tales, from “Varney the Vampire” to “Mysterious Stranger.” One of the outstanding offerings has to be August Derleth’s 1939 “The Drifting Snow.” It could even be seen as a precursor to “The Shining” with its spooky isolated house buried under the snow, trapping its inhabitants. Then there’s a large bay window that always has its curtains pulled to hide what is going on outside, especially at night. Seems that a young servant girl was cast out during a fierce winter storm and left to die by the master of the house. He sees the apparition of said girl and runs out to save her. Too late! Soon the ghosts of both girl and master are seen lurking in front of the mirror on long winter nights, even though “Drifting Snow's"  author refers to these apparitions as vampires. Other stories in this wonderful anthology include those by Manly Wade Wellman, Tim Matheson, Lord Byron, and so on. Slip this into someone’s Easter Basket.

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Caught John Water’s trashy “Female Trouble” on TCM a while back. Starring Water’s superstar Divine in the female lead, we get an odyssey of extreme debauchery (rated NC-17 no less!). This was better produced than I expected, wherein the unusual Divine plays a single mother with a bratty daughter and weirdo friends. When all is said and done I am not too sure what it was about, just that Divine gets fried in the electric chair at the end. And so it goes. Happy spring, Earthlings.

Land of Big Teeth

 

Warm blood flows underneath scaly skin

While powerful jaws crush the hardest of shields:

T-Rex hunts and conquers the Mesozoic world.

 

Possessed 

 

Demons suck rats; 

Witches nurse bats; 

Blood rushes as my stigmata  gushes,

Leaving Stygian pools, 

A feast for ghouls.

 

 

 

Chris Friend, mars_art_13@yahoo.com, of Parkersberg, W.Va , who wrote BP #91 Poems, “Land of Big Teeth” & “Possessed” (+ BP’s fall 2018 poems, “Demons Play Flutes” & “Purdy Picture”; BP #84’s poems, “The Sentinel” and “Psalm of Mithra”; the BP #81 poem set, “Angel of the Bereft, “Beauty’s Sleep,” & “Dark Trinity”; the BP #80 poem, “The Temple of Colors”; BP #79 poems, “The Marquis” and “My Bloody Valentine”; the BP #78 poem, “The Old Yule Goat”; BP #77’s 4-poem set: “At 50,” “Owls,” “Vintage Halloween,” & “Xmas in the Doll Asylum”; BP #76’s 4-poem set: “Hag Fairy Communion,” “Love’s Sepulcher,” “Night Wanderer,” & “St. Andrew’s Feast”; 2 poems for BP #75, “Angel of the Pagan Dead” and “Churchyard Watcher”; BP #72’s 2-poem set, “Ed Gein” & “Sour Puss”; and the 2008 poem “All Hallows’ Eve”), writes and illustrates our “MARS News” column. He did a cover for Black Petals back in 2000 for the fall issue, and has been around ever since. BP keeps up two websites for him and prints his column in the issue quarterly. Chris has a gallery at http://chris.michaelherring.net/ and was featured artist in Kurt Newton’s Ultimate PerVersities (Naked Snake) [Jan. 2011].

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