let us never forget that the human race with technology is like an alcoholic with a barrel of wine
~ Ted Kaczynski ~

The Jeff Freels Transplant Fund

The Creator of the BEAN d2 RPG needs our help:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

CM Distro sent this awesome Baphomet Xmas image in their sale email this morning. I thought it was so cool, I just had to share it!

For all your headbanging, slamdancing, ear-splitting needs, visit www.cmdistro.com

Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Poem

My latest work to be published, a prose poem entitled 'Why Do We Bury Our Dead?', will be appearing in the December 9th issue of Every Day Poets. To check it out, or to get a free subscription delivered to your email inbox daily, please visit: http://www.everydaypoets.com/

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shatter: a new EP and video by Triptykon

It has finally arrived, the new EP by Tom Gabriel Warrior's band Triptykon entitled Shatter Eparistera Daimones Accompanied. I was really anticipating this follow-up to the album, a piece I had also highly anticipated. I was not disappointed, as the title track and the second song, I Am The Twilight, are awesome, definitely an extension of the album. The third track, Crucifixus, is an earlier released demo, a spooky, atmospheric instrumental piece. The last two cuts are live versions of the Celtic Frost songs Circle of the Tyrants and Dethroned Emperor. Overall, a great, heavy, angry EP, and as the title implies an accompaniment to the earlier album. As awesome as the live CF tracks are, I would rather have seen two more unreleased Triptykon tracks, forward the new identity and leave the old behind. Not a disappointment, but what I would have rather seen included.

When the album, Eparistera Daimones, was first released, I ordered it as a digital download. I thought it was so great, when the EP was released I ordered it and the album in CD format. Great to have hard copies, and the booklets. Tom has liner notes after the lyrics of each song, cool little insights and blurbs about each piece. If you are a fan of his earlier bands Celtic Frost or Hellhammer, both the album and EP are a must, but expect something fresh and new, something evolved into a deeper, darker, angrier evil. Check out the band's official site for ordering details: http://www.triptykon.net/

I am a big fan of Tom and his art, his bands from Hellhammer to Celtic Frost to Apollyon Sun and now Triptykon. But Tom is an artist in several ways. Check out his 'Self, Deceased' series. I very much want to own one of these elegantly disturbing pieces of artwork someday: http://selfdeceased.blogspot.com/

Triptykon has also released a video for the title track, Shatter. Check it out at the bottom of the blog, in the Rock & Troll block.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rock & Troll III

The third installment of R&T brings us Osaka Popstar's latest video. Made up of members of The Misfits, Black Flag, The Ramones, and the Voidoids, Osaka Popstar delivers a bubblegum punk sound infused with pop-culture themes as well as classic punk influence. You can sing along to this stuff, just like old school punk!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two Short Horror Stories For Halloween

Two of my previously published horror tales. The first, Carnal Desire, was my first published piece of fiction.


Carnal Desire

He softly caresses her, lightly kissing her neck and breasts. Gently, he pulls her resisting legs apart and enters her. His mind swoons with lust as his body flushes with passion. His warm tongue explores her mouth as he makes love to her. Sweat beads upon his forehead as his back stiffens and he climaxes. Satiated, he pulls the sheet up for her and fastens his scrubs.

Suddenly, the morgue door opens and the coroner steps in.

“Hey Doc, I wasn’t expecting you. Can I help you with something?”

“No, that’s okay, Joe. I got what I needed.”

{First appeared in Necrotic Tissue July 2008}


Crimson Cravings

I can feel it again, nibbling at the edges of my sanity. It’s almost constant now, the need, the want. The fucking hunger. I fight to ignore it, but it’s like trying to ignore a never-ending train while sleeping inches from the tracks. Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. It just keeps on and on, like a cacophony of malevolence that echoes through my head. Crimson fantasies begin to play out in my mind, dreams of brutality yearning to be realized…

Damn it, it’s driving me crazy!

Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. I hear you, Kleaver, I hear you calling. Look at you, still embedded in a rotting piece of the last one. Come to me, my friend. You belong in my hand.

I knew I never had a chance of resisting. From the first pangs of hunger I knew. Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. You’re right! I can’t take it anymore. After all, a man’s gotta eat, doesn’t he? Let’s go, my friend.

Can you smell it, Kleaver? Beneath the stench of car exhaust and pollution: the pungent-sweet odor of blood. Look at them. An endless parade of cattle, ripe for the slaughter. Imagine how each would scream, how each would taste. My mouth is watering, and my stomach is whining. Let’s pick one, quickly! Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. Yes, I see him. The homeless man with the long, wild white hair and tattered wool overcoat. He’s perfect. No one will miss him. Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. I know, I’m so excited my body is quivering and my balls are tingling!

Shit! We’ve been following him for blocks, Kleaver, each step an agony as we try to resist ripping into his belly. Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug. I know you’re thirsty! Soon, he has to stop soo… wait! Look, he’s going into that abandoned warehouse. Let’s slip in that side window, sneak up on him. Ka-chug, ka-chug, ka-chug.

Ugh, this place reeks of piss, ka-chug, but I still can smell his blood. Look Kleaver, ka-chug, what luck! These old twisted racks will keep him from seeing us coming, ka-chug. I love your seductive whisper as I slide you out of my belt, ka-chug. Can you hear my fluids racing through me? My senses are so alive, ka-chug, my mind feels like it’s gonna fry. Slowly, methodically, we hunt for our prey, ka-chug. Oh, Kleaver, this is so fucking intense, ka-chug, I’m getting hard! Soon, we’ll carve him, ka-chug, like a butcher carves a side of beef. Soon, ka-chug, we’ll feast on his dead flesh, ka-chug, and drink his still-warm blood!

There he is, with his back turned, ka-chug. Kleaver, my temples are pounding with bloodlust, ka-chug, my legs and arms are trembling, ka-chug. My beautiful Kleaver, ka-chug, are you ready to slice him open and pour his steaming insides onto the, ka-chug, dust-covered floor? Uh-oh, it looks like he’s heard us Kleaver, ka-chug. He’s turning around, ka-chug, look Kleaver, look! I can’t wait, ka-chug, to see his expression, to see his…smile? Ka-chug?

What’s this? Why isn’t he screaming and cowering in fear like the others? This homeless wretch actually wants to challenge us! Ha, ha! Oh Kleaver, this is gonna be so good, so… is his face changing, narrowing, becoming… animalistic? Shit! Are those fangs, and claws!?! Kleaver, what the Hell is going on? I’m so scared I’m pissing myself! Kleaver? Why aren’t you answering me? Run feet run! Why aren’t you fucking running? Kleaver, where have you gone? Please, stay away, away from me… Kleaver? Help me, Kleaver! Kleav…


{First appeared in Microhorror, March 4, 2009}

A Few Poems For Halloween

Some of my previously published work appropriate to the holiday...


She roams
the dark halls, seen
yet unseen, wandering
memory of yesterday, lost
in death.

She weeps
tales of pain, heard
yet unheard, whispering
shadow of yesterday, calling
in death.

She dwells
in herself, here
yet not here, a woeful
vestige of yesterday, walking
in death.

{First appeared in Amaze: The Cinquain Journal Volume 6, No. 2, 2008}

Silver Bullets

Full moon’s
ashen shadows
embrace the wolfsbane blooms;
Gunshots ring out across the moors –

{First appeared in Sketchbook April 30, 2008, Volume 3, Issue 4}


of stars, broken
wings and shattered halo,
love betrayed, Kingdom asunder –
lost grace.

{First appeared in Sketchbook April 30, 2008, Volume 3, Issue 4}

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Blog Launched

As I am sure has been noticed, I have gotten a bit rabid about P&PRPGs again, particularly Tunnels & Trolls and related games by Ken St. Andre and others. To avoid clogging up DECADENT BLOSSOMS with endless posts about RPG gaming, I've decided to launch a new blog dedicated to just that. I call it TROLL HAMMER, and you can find it here: http://trollhammerpress.blogspot.com/

TROLL HAMMER is also a precursor for another event, the future birth of TROLL HAMMER PRESS, but you'll have to follow future posts at the new blog to learn more.

I have been hard at work on several RPG projects which will be announced in the near future at TROLL HAMMER.

So, back to the business of poetry, my writing, and dark interests here at DECADENT BLOSSOMS, and off for a bit of RPG escapist fun at TROLL HAMMER.


Rock & Troll II

I've changed the song in the Rock & Troll feature at the bottom of the blog. We say goodbye to Finntroll and hello to Idiot Flesh. Idiot Flesh was an anti-rock performance band, masters of the bizarre, and quite talented. After the demise of Idiot Flesh, several core members continued together and formed the band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, one of my favorite bands. Enjoy the foray into strangeness!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Metamorphosis Alpha 1st Edition

I bought the pdf version of Metamorphosis Alpha 1st Edition from RPGNow today. I wanted all the errata and extra stuff that came with it. They also had free character sheet downloads. I've always been fascinated by the setting of MA, post-apocalyptic lost in space, what a terrifying concept. I plan on buying House on the Hill in the near future as well, while it is on sale. It is the first real supplement ever for MA1e, aside from a couple of dozen or so magazine articles from the past.

I plan on printing it out (and the supplement) in booklet format with a cardstock cover and saddle stitching it.

My purchase isn't without inspiration. As has been obvious around here lately, my interest in RPGs, and Tunnels & Trolls in particular, has been on the rise again. Additionally, I have always been obsessed with apocalyptic-type settings. My recent purchase of Gamma-Trollworld has gotten my creativity flowing, and I started thinking of a Metamorphosis Alpha 1e-inspired setting for Tunnels & Trolls. Well, work is under way. I've laid down a bunch of design notes and background info, now I'm outlining exactly what types of rules and additional info I will need to include. I plan on designing it as a supplement to T&T7.5e, and those rules will be essential to using the supplement. While inspired by MA1e, it will not simply be a clone converted to T&T7.5 stats. There will be a few 'nods in tribute' to MA1e, and the flavor will be similar, but it is definitely being written with T&T7.5 in mind. The working title for the project is 'Alpha Troll 666'. Following is a short blurb which may or may not change drastically before the final draft is completed:

After the banishment from Trollworld of Lerotra'hh and Khara Khang in 1601 A.K., Triskadekaphobos, a very powerful wizard, wanted to escape the changes being brought about by the rise of the great dragon, Shangingshing-shingingshang, so he began building a gigantic magic-powered, ark-like ship. Once completed, Triskadekaphobos christened it the Alpha Troll, loaded it with all types of flora, fauna, and kindred, then departed from Trollworld in 1666 A.K., set to discover a new world and conquer it. Unfortunately, only thirteen months into the journey, the Alpha Troll passed through the tail of a rogue comet, bathing all aboard in deadly radiation, wreaking havoc with the magic and technology which controlled it. The comet utterly and irreparably devastated the ship’s propulsion units and engine cores. The mighty Alpha Troll became a derelict floating in open space, able to sustain life almost indefinitely, but forever marooned in the cold, dark expanse.

666 years later (2332 A.K.), life on the Alpha Troll is very different...

Wish me luck in bringing this project to completion, and then on to publication!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

nine years

nine years today...

since my buddy paul left us
paul and many others
mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts
daughters, sons, nephews, and neices

i remember sucking down suds
and blowing smoke rings with paul
cranking sabbath and priest and maiden
smokin' 'boros in the bathroom

it'd been a long time since i'd seen him
too long, you know how it goes after high school
married, children, divorced, remarried, more children
lost track of all the ole mutha-fuckas i downed suds and blew smoke rings with

it'd been a long time since i'd seen him
too long - then the terrorists made sure it was forever
they made sure it was forever for a lot of people
a lot of people who were guilty of going to work

unlucky bastards, huh
nothin' we can do
can't bring 'em back
footnotes in history, who'll remember their names

i'll remember paul's name
his last name was fiore, it means flower in italian
his daughters will remember his name
but they were too young to remember the real paul

his wife will remember his name
i never met her, or his girls
i heard she had his memory etched into her back
a memorial tattoo of her beloved paul

nine years ago
my son, paul jr, was a month old
and nine years ago
my friend, paul fiore, died in the towers

9/11/2010, paul ingrassia

Thursday, September 2, 2010


For any who may be interested, there is a new place waaayyy at the bottom of my blog called Rock & Troll. Every now and again, it will feature a new video from bands I think are cool. To kick it off, I have included a video I first saw at Trollhalla by the band Finntroll, entitled Trollhammeren.

Pull on yer moshin' boots, grab a femur and yer drinkin' horn, and get ready to slam thy trollish brethren!

PS: The name of this new little diversion is inspired by the kick-off band, Trollhalla, and Tunnels & Trolls.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tunnels & Trolls

I've won a copy of Tunnels & Trolls 1st Edition Special Print 1985 on ebay! I've always wanted to see the beginnings of my favorite RPG, and now it's on its way. I've also won, from the same seller, a hardcover copy of Gamma Trollworld, which is, as the name implies, Tunnels & Trolls done Gamma World style. How friggin' cool is that!

I've been playing Tunnels & Trolls since about the mid-eighties, and of all the RPGs I've ever played, it is the single one I always end up returning to. I started off playing the Corgi boxed version, which contained the 5th Edition rules in a digest sized book, a format I loved. I quickly bought up the Corgi digest sized double solos, and a bunch of solos published by Flying Buffalo/Blade, including the limited edition solo Elven Lords by Michael Stackpole. One of the best parts about T&T, at least for me, were (and still are) the solos. Eventually, I started GMing a small group, and the rest, as they say, is history.

A few years ago, I bought the Tunnels & Trolls 7th Edition 30th Anniversary Tin published by Fiery Dragon, and most recently I bought the pdf version of Tunnels & Trolls 7.5 Edition, as an update to my T&T7E set. I like a lot of the changes in these editions of the rules, they addressed and solved some issues that cropped up in earlier editions.

I look forward to future additions to my T&T collection, especially New Khazan by Tom K. Loney, a T&T space fantasy setting that looks to be exciting.

Wanna do yourself a HUGE favor? Then check out Tunnels & Trolls! Get to clicking these links:


Flying Buffalo

Fiery Dragon

The Trollgod's Trollhalla

Vin Ahrr Vin's TrollBridge

New Khazan

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Warrior, Rogue and Mage

I recently downloaded a pdf RPG from DriveThruRPG called Warrior, Rogue and Mage, and it looks to be a great game. It is a rules light, classless system with game mechanics that use dice roll checks based upon attributes, skills, and talents. There are three attributes, Warrior, Rogue, and Mage, which allow for a flexibility in character design and development not found in many games. Characters are fluid and free, not confined to classes.

Best of all, the rules and first supplement are FREE! You've got nothing to lose by checking it out. However, free doesn't mean cheap in this case, the pdf is wonderfully illustrated with top notch artwork. A second, background free, printer friendly version is also included.

To become familiar with the game mechanics, I plan on running either a random solo adventure using the solo dungeon matrixes from The Strategic Review (D&D), or possibly a run through Arena of Khazan (T&T). I've already created a character and am eager to get started. Once I've learned the game, I'll dig into the included setting notes to design a GM adventure and find a small group to play it.

You can download the Rule Book, as well as the first supplement for free here:

Monsters! Monsters!

I ordered a reprint of an old school pen and paper rpg called Monsters! Monsters! published by Flying Buffalo. It is the 'flip side' of Tunnels & Trolls, fantasy rpg from the monster's perspective. Cool, get to kick some adventurer butt!

I also ordered The Toughest Dungeon In The World, an old Judges Guild solo adventure usable with either Tunnels & Trolls or Monsters! Monsters! I found it on ebay, as it is now out of print.

Both were written by Ken St. Andre, the Trollgod himself.

I've been wanting this game, so I'm pretty excited. I also noticed the latest issue of TrollsZine (#3) has a gm adventure for use with Monsters! Monsters! Sweet deal!

I'll post some comments after I check it out.

In the meantime, to order Monsters! Monsters!, visit: http://www.flyingbuffalo.com/mm.htm

For a free copy of TrollsZine #3, as well as free Tunnels & Trolls rules, visit: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=2238

Friday, August 13, 2010

My latest cinquain poem

My next cinquain, titled Unwritten, will be published in the Sept 5, 2010 issue of Every Day Poets. To subscribe to EDP, visit: http://www.everydaypoets.com/

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Cinquain at Every Day Poets

My latest cinquain, entitled Empty Vessels, was published 7/31/10 at Every Day Poets. Check it out here: http://www.everydaypoets.com/empty-vessels-by-paul-ingrassia/

Friday, July 30, 2010

French Poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

Today I received a copy of Arthur Rimbaud Complete Works, translated by Paul Schmidt, I had ordered from ebay. Very exciting, his prose poetry is among the best ever written, and his is the classic, tragic story of the decadent, explosive poet. Strangely enough, most of his literary output was created before the tender age of 18, and he abandoned creative writing altogether before he was 21.

I have read some of his work before, and I particularly enjoyed 'A Season In Hell', arguably his best collection of prose poetics, and widely believed to be his creative swan song, his final writings. A brief excerpt from 'A Season In Hell', from the piece entitled 'Second Delirium: The Alchemy Of The Word':

"I became a fabulous opera. I saw that everyone in the world was doomed to happiness. Action isn't life; it's merely a way of ruining a kind of strength, a means of destroying nerves. Morality is water on the brain.

It seemed to me that everyone should have had several other lives as well. This gentleman doesn't know what he's doing; he's an angel. That family is a litter of puppy dogs. With some men, I often talked out loud with a moment from one of their other lives - that's how I happened to love a pig.

Not a single one of the brlliant arguments of madness - the madness that gets locked up - did I forget; I could go through them all again, I've got the system down by heart.

It affected my health. Terror loomed ahead. I would fall again and again into a heavy sleep, which lasted several days at a time, and when I woke up, my sorrowful dreams continued. I was ripe for fatal harvest, and my weakness led me down dangerous roads to the edge of the world, to the Cimmerian shore, the haven of whirlwinds and darkness."

Anticipating the arrival of the book, I had Netflix deliver a copy of 'Total Eclipse', starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Arthur Rimbaud. The movie (which I haven't seen yet) apparently details Rimbaud's relationship with poet Paul Verlaine. I am looking forward to watching the movie and then diving into the book, hopefully enhancing the experience of each.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Hidden away, deep in his mound, away from the eyes of man, he watches, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes numb. Other times, he creeps out from his mound, a stunted and twisted thing, into the shadows...

Sometimes he dances in the gusts along the cliff's edge - other times his knife dances along a pale throat. Sometimes, he just rides his bulwand steed, prancing upon the breeze. Fingers flying across a fiddle may capture his soul, sometimes from afar - and other times he grabs the fiddler and holds him close; locked-up, for a year-and-a-day. Kept.

Sometimes his eyes burn into you from the darkness, and your soul shudders.

Someday you may open your eyes, and he will be there, and his knife may dance with you.

~ Paul Ingrassia


Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Cinquain Published

My latest cinquain poem, There and Back Again, has been published at Sketchbook. You can read it here: http://poetrywriting.org/Sketchbook5-3MayJun2010/Sketchbook_5-3_MayJune_2010_I_Paul_Ingrassia.htm.

My next cinquain, Empty Vessels, will be appearing in the July 31 issue of Every Day Poets. An excerpt from the EDP July Table of Contents announcement:

"We start the month going Loco with A J Smith and we have poems from lots of favourite EDP poets this month including Richard O’Donnell, Angel Zapata, Paul Ingrassia, Jennifer Stakes, Rumjhum Biswas, Fehmida Zakeer, Guy Belleranti – I could go on! Hey, it’s a going to be a great month at EDP!"

EDP publishes one poem daily, delivered to your email inbox. To make sure you do not miss out on a single poem by talented poets from around the world, subscribe at: http://www.everydaypoets.com/. If you plug my last name (Ingrassia) in the search box, you will find all my works that have been published at EDP, as well as some other posts in which I am mentioned or referenced. Additionally, one of my cinquain has been selected for inclusion in the first Best of EDP anthology, which should be released soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Collecting Crapsey continued

I bought a first edition copy (not sure if it was ever reprinted) of Mary Elizabeth Osborn's Adelaide Crapsey from ebay. This biography is from 1933 and is something I have wanted to read for a very long time. Definitely a score, as it is one of the few better known collectibles associated with Crapsey. It has a tight binding, complete pages, includes the dust jacket (wrapped in a preservative sleeve, like they do at libraries), and is even signed by the author. Some pages have tears on the edges, and the dust jacket has some missing bits around the edges, but overall it is in great shape. At $30 plus 3.50 shipping, it is a most welcome addition to my Crapsey collection.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sipping Absinthe and Puffing the Breath of Bast

Hanging with the twin green faeries, blowing smoke rings and counting how many drops of ice water it takes to dissolve a sugar cube. Slipping into the funk of the surreal, irreal me, Patti Smith tells me 'bout Joe and then her Skunkdog, warming me up before an Apollyon Sun bathes my brain waves in techno-light. Merry Independence day, though not really sure just how independent my shit is. Are we free, for real, or just free-er than the rest? Free to bitch, to moan, to piss, eternally distracted from what the real problems are. T.K. sailed those waters on his Ship of Fools, but burning hands isn't the answer, as he learned, and we were all taught. Fucked up, really, the man knew his shit, but his delivery sucked. Man + technology = alcoholic + barrel of wine. Brilliant. And now, for something completely different... how fucked up is the oil fountain? I just don't even know what to say, just don't know, we did it now, we really fucked up, we really ass-fucked ourselves now, but who cares, right? Ain't shit we can do, 'cept bitch, and we know where that gets us, just, nowhere, but it feels good to pretend, don't it? Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled programming of utter bullshit. Patti says dog - god - dog - god, Thomas says god leaves (and dies). I say fuck society and the deity it rode in on ~ or perhaps ~ fuck deity and the society it rode it on... but, I've been there, I've done that, you can find it here. On the bright side, the butterfly bush is beginning to bloom, and hummingbird feeders are like little fast-food franchises for my flittering friends. Gonna slip deeper now, time to blow more smoke rings and melt another sugar cube, time to sail away and keep lying to me, reassuring the happy-go-lucky me that it ain't that bad... really, dude... it ain't... that... bad...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July with Jerry Only

Jerry Only of the Misfits sings the national anthem:


Happy Birthday to the best country in the world!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thinly Veiled Rant

Modern Art
By Paul Ingrassia

Jason cautiously stepped into the fancy art gallery. His shrink told him to get out more, soak up some culture. He hated opera, so he figured some stuffy art exhibit would be the next best thing.

Unsure of himself, Jason wandered aimlessly through the gallery halls. Statues, paintings, and dozens of other exhibits overwhelmed him. As he rounded a corner, he came upon a small group of people gathered around a painting, excitedly chattering and pointing. He decided to join them and see what the fuss was all about.

“Amazing! Utterly amazing,” a lady with a foreign accent said.

“He explores depths of perception like no other,” a tall man in a suit said.

“His title says it all: ‘Anger’,” a short lady in an expensive dress said. “The emotion in the piece is astounding.”

“Yes, yes. He truly is a master,” a thin man with thick glasses said.

“You know, ain’t it interesting how we all see things differently?” They turned to look at Jason. “You all say you see this and see that, but all I see is a big white piece of paper with a little red square in the middle. I just don’t get how that is anything but a little red square.”

“But the title, ‘Anger’, says it all,” the lady in the expensive dress said.

“Sorry, ma’am, but I still just see a little red square,” Jason said.

“Look deep into the painting, feel the emotion,” the man in the suit said.

“Well, mister, I still just don’t see it. I gotta question for you, though. If I painted a picture of a blue triangle and called it ‘Sad’, or a yellow circle and called it ‘Happy’, what would you think?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, he is a master!” the man in glasses said.

“Well, I’m sure someone told you that, or maybe you read it in some artsy book or something. Fact is, the man who painted that is just that, a man. Just ‘cause someone told you he is a master, hell, that doesn’t mean a thing. I bet if I did paint a yellow circle or a blue triangle, and someone told you I was a master, you would go all ga-ga over me,” Jason’s eyes lit up. “I gotta go.”

“What is wrong?” the foreign lady asked.

“Nothing. I just gave myself a great idea. You all are looking at the next master painter.” Jason rushed off.

The little group stood in silence for a few moments, just staring at the painting. One at a time, they walked off without a word.

Author's note: This one was rejected as a thinly veiled rant, hence the headline, but I think it's a fun story, so I hope you got a smile out of it. I really meant it as less of a rant and more of a statement of 'every day joe's' attitude towards the arts.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Legendary Artist Frank Frazetta Has Passed Away

On May 10, 2010, the master of fantasy art, Frank Frazetta, passed away due to a stroke at 82 years old.

Being a Robert E. Howard fan, Frazetta's work has been a part of my life since I was a kid. My mother even had two mirror/paintings of Frazetta's. They were paintings of Conan, which she didn't know, she just liked them! His work in comics and book covers is legendary. His art has inspired my writing and fantasy RPG gaming countless times over the years.

Fantasy fans world wide will feel the void his passing has left.

Rest in peace, Mr Frazetta, and thank you for sharing your incredible art with us all.

Official website: http://www.frankfrazetta.net/

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Oh What A Night
by Paul Ingrassia

A steady beeping woke Francine, and it made her head feel like a pounding bass drum.

“What a freakin’ night,” she tried sitting up, but met with resistance.

Her eyes snapped open, but it took a moment for her vision to clear. Slowly, a small room with stark white walls and no windows or doors came into perspective. Francine saw she was strapped to a gurney, naked, and her belly was swollen. She realized the sound was coming from a monitor she was connected to. Otherwise, the room was barren.

“Where the hell am I?” she screamed. Her only answer was the pinging monitor.

“What happened last night? What’s wrong with my stomach?” Confusion turned to panic.

“Okay Francine, calm down, you’ve gotta think this through. I went to see the Misfits with Stacy, and we met those two hot guys. After the concert, we went back to their place to party. God, I got so wasted. Then what happened? Wait, that’s right, I went into the bedroom with the big guy to make out. Yes, I… I remember! He started tearing my clothes off, I tried to stop him, but he was so forceful. It hurt when he took me, so I started screaming for Stacy, but he wouldn’t stop. So I… holy shit! What did I do? NO! I bashed his head in with that ashtray. Oh my God, I hope I didn’t kill him!”

Sweat beaded across her body and she started shivering. Then, she felt a strange sensation in her belly, as if something were moving around inside her.

“What the hell is going on! Stacy! Stacy, where are you?”

There was a sudden whooshing sound as one of the walls slid open, then Stacy, wearing a white lab coat, stepped in.

“Stacy, what is going on? Why are you wearing that coat?”

“Francine, I am not who you think I am.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I am a scientist from the planet you call Mars. You have been selected for an extremely important experiment.”

“What the hell are you talking about? We’ve been friends for six years. For Christ’s sake, we even slept together!”

“As I said, you were selected. It was my job to make certain you would be a suitable host, and that included making sure you could handle rough intercourse. The males of our species are quite ferocious, so impregnation can be painful.”

“Impregnation? Oh my God, are you saying I am having an alien baby!?!”

“What I am saying is you have the honor of being the first host to carry a Martian-Human hybrid child.” Stacy began preparing a syringe. “You will be giving birth momentarily.”

“It only happened last night…”

“Actually, it happened thirty days ago, you have been under sedation. The gestation cycle is complete, the time has come. It is a shame you will not witness the historic moment.”

“What do you mean?”

“A tribunal decided you must be executed for the crime of killing our breeding stud. He was only a teenager. I am sorry, but you will be euthanized after the birth. You will never see your child,” she inserted the needle into Francine’s arm. “Goodbye, Francine.”

“Stacy, please, no! Please, help me, don’t… do this… please… Stacy…”

Francine’s vision faded to black.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Collecting Crapsey

My Adelaide Crapsey collection consisted of, up until this week, the standard essential books: Smith's Complete Poem's and Collected Letters and Alkalay-Gut's Alone in the Dawn. This week I have had the pleasure of adding three items to my collection.

The first, a copy of Crapsey's Verse published by Manas Press. This is the first edition from 1915. It is probably the one single book I have always wanted, at least since first reading Crapsey's work. Want to know the exciting part? It is in great shape, and I only paid $10 plus $4 shipping! Considering I never see it listed for less than $45, I consider this to be a great find!

The second, a copy of Century magazine from November 1914 that I purchased on ebay. This magazine contains the only professional publication Crapsey had within her lifetime, just prior to her death. It contains the poem 'The Witch'. Along with a first edition of Verse, I consider this to be one of the most important Crapsey collectibles. This copy is in pretty good shape, the cover has some tearing and chipping, but otherwise not too bad. The price tag? Only $15.97, plus $4.95 shipping. Again, I feel a good price.

The third has me particularly excited, Woman's Home Companion magazine from March 1928. Why so excited? I have never seen this reprint of Adelaide's work listed in any bibliography or publication list for her. I purchased it from the same ebay seller as Century. The listing contained a table of contents with the mysterious line:

POEMS / LIMERICKS (Title/Author/Illustrator)
Unknown title / Adelaide Crapsey / photo

I quickly clicked the 'buy it now' button and sat back to wait and see what I got. It arrived the same day as Verse. I tore open the package and carefully flipped the pages. I found a page containing a photo of a slanted tree, and below it the poem 'On Seeing Weather-Beaten Trees', however it was untitled. It is credited to Crapsey from Verse, courtesy of Alred Knopf. This over-sized magazine is in very good shape, and it set me back only $23.97 plus $4.95 shipping. Again, to the best of my knowledge this is an unknown reprint of Crapsey's work. If anyone else has heard of this reprint before, please let me know, and where you heard of it, if possible. As a matter of fact, if anyone knows of any comprehensive bibliography of Crapsey's work/reprints, besides Alkalay-Gut's most excellent website, please share the info!

So, now my Crapsey collection has gotten a great jumpstart. What are my future collecting plans? I'm glad you asked! I plan on finding copies of the second and third editions of Verse put out by Knopf in 1922 and 1934, possibly the extra printings of these editions as well (put out 1925 and 1929 for 2nd, and 1939 for 3rd). I am also considering picking up some of the modern reprints as well. I know, I know, a bit obsessive, but she only has one book of poetry, so it stands to reason collecting various editions adds to the thrill. I also plan on picking up a first edition of her A Study of English Metrics, Knopf 1918. I will pursue any reprints of her poetry I can track down, like A Book of Vassar Verse and other anthologies. I would like to pick up the books by Osborn and Butscher, as well as Bragdon's' books that reference Crapsey. Eventually, I will probably pick up Sandburg and Ridge's books containing their poetic tributes to Crapsey. For someone like Adelaide with such a short life and low poetic output, there surely is quite a bit for the collector to chase.

I would love to hear stories of other people's Crapsey collections, items, and finds, and if anyone has any of the titles I mentioned and are looking to part with them, or any other Crapsey collectibles, I would love to hear from you!

Paul Ingrassia

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Emperor Returns

Tom G. Fischer, the Emperor of extreme occult metal, is back! His latest band, Triptykon, completes his musical triptych of extreme occult metal (Hellhammer~Celtic Frost~Triptykon). Eparistera Daimones is an album I was highly anticipating. I purchased the mp3 version (wanted that instant gratification), and it came with a digital booklet, which is a very cool extra, containing images, lyrics, and liner notes. Every digital album should include one!

The music is no disappointment either. Extremely heavy, generally fast with slower parts mixed in, and of course Fischer's signature vocals, although he sounds even angrier and raspier than usual. Triptykon is well conceived and well constructed death/occult metal, and Fischer has selected a talented band to back him up.

Every song on this album is a dark piece of musical artwork, but my top 3 personal faves are:

Abyss Within My Soul
A Thousand Lies
Myopic Empire

The Japanese release contains a bonus track, which I have heard is awesome. I have also heard that an EP is planned for later in the year, so perhaps it will contain the bonus song.

Triptykon's homepage: http://www.triptykon.net/

Sunday, April 18, 2010

RIP Peter Steele (1962-2010)

I read the news last night, oh boy. I was devastated, Peter Steele, legendary frontman of Type O Negative and Carnivore, died April 14, 2010 of apparent heart failure. Just like that, in an instant, one of the most unique, creative, and intelligent voices in Metal history was silenced forever.

I remember, back in the 1980s, first hearing Carnivore and saying "Holy fuck! It doesn't get much heavier than this!" I remember when Slow, Deep, and Hard came out, I raced to the record store to buy it thinking "Fuck yea, Pete's back".

I can't successfully express in any words what Pete Steele and his music have done for me over the years. His lyrics have expressed some of my deepest emotions for me. His music has brought out the primal in me, as well as the scholar. How many Heavy Metal band lyrics actually send you researching the meaning of words? His work has inspired my own writing in many ways. Bloody Kisses is one of the all-time best albums to have sex to! He wrote violent, shocking, and sometimes comical songs, quite serious but at the same time often tongue-in-cheek. Pete's music was and is an outlet for me, in more ways than I can count.

Personally, the saddest part for me is that I never got to see Pete perform live. I've always called it the 'Type O curse'. Over the twenty plus years I have been a fan of his work, every single time I was planning to see him live, something inevitably happened to cause me to miss the show. Everything from rides not showing up to bring me to the show, to friends forgetting or neglecting to get me tickets, and more. The absolute worst was Ozzfest in the late nineties, Type O was on the bill along with a shitload of other bands. I had tickets, I was on my way, finally I was going to see Type O! Mere minutes away from the Meadowlands in NJ where the show was happening, one of the cars travelling with us died. Actually, died is an understatement. It literally spewed oil into the air like a shower of black tears. The car owner stayed with his vehicle, the rest of his passengers jumped into other cars that were traveling with us. We finally got there, I was pumped to see Type O. On the floor, I ran into a friend and told them how psyched I was for Type O. My friend looked at me and said "Dude, you missed them. They were the openers, and they were awesome." I was beyond disappointed.

Now, my chance to see Pete perform live has passed forever. My loss. My tears.

I'm really not sure what else to say, other than a huge hole has been left in the world of Metal. NOBODY WILL EVER FILL THE SHOES OF PETE STEELE.

In tribute to Pete and his bands here are some links to check out:

Official Type O website, includes official statements from his band mates: http://www.typeonegative.net/index.php

Check out Pete's earliest recorded material, a band called Fallout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jquW3AEZ_E

One of the Gods of Metal is dead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mlM1ZFcw3M

Perhaps Pete is finally at peace, his Inner Conflict finally ended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw3BuORXZFg

This one is for you Pete, you've told us Everything Dies, and now you've shown us (I'm listening to this one, tears streaming): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ3aiM8K6D0&feature=fvsr

I can't tell you how many times over the years I have said I Don't Wanna Be Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXIWRan3XGY

Probably one of my favorite Type O songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEfeR-4DzMQ

And finally, the two songs from Bloody Kisses that propelled Pete and the boys into Metal stardom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0LSO-dtsxo


Love your fan for all eternity,
Paul Ingrassia

Photo swiped from: http://muzyka.xlonline.pl/peter-steele-znowu-umiera-2/music/

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Risen from the ashes of the awesome anti-rock performance band Idiot Flesh, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is a band that can truly be called eclectic, strange, and unclassifiable. Their music can be melodic, artistic, creepy, and ass-kicking heavy, all in the same song. As far as genre, good luck, single songs contain multiple genres. Think the love child of opera raped by death metal and raised as the adopted son of folk theater and prog rock. In short, fucking awesome. Every song on their three studio albums is a unique piece of musical creativity, well-conceived and expertly executed.

Personal faves:

From the album Grand Opening and Closing
Sleep is Wrong

From the album Of Natural History
A Hymn to the Morning Star
Donkey-headed Adversary of Humanity
The Freedom Club
The Creature

From the album In Glorious Times
The Companions
Helpless Corpses Enactment
Angle of Repose
The Salt Crown

The best way to understand SGM is to check them out. Their official website: http://www.sleepytimegorillamuseum.com/

Here are a couple of vids. Warning, they are strange, creepy, and fucking awesome, especially 'Hymn'. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Helpless Corpses Enactment

A Hymn to the Morning Star

If you want a real journey into creepy weirdness, check out this vid by Idiot Flesh, the band SGM was before SGM was! Their album Fancy kicks ass.

Idiot Song

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meditations with Sam Adams, Idiot Flesh, and the Breath of Bast

42 years ago...February 3, 1968...Bronx, New York, USA...I was spat forth from the silent Dark Void into the chaotic light of manifestation. The path to today has been fraught with love and hate, passion and violence, stillness and chaos, bounty and decadence. Self-loathing is an art, arrogance an obsession. Trust may be earned, but segregation is an instinct. Peace is a dream, and aggression is natural.

42 years ago...February 3, 1968...Tet Offensive...Hue City, Vietnam...nine US soldiers died for me. They were:

The 2nd Bn, 12th Cavalry

A Company:
PFC Frank A. Azzarito, Brookfield, CT

C Company:
SP4 Michael B. Cervera, Bloomfield, NJ
PFC Harold L. Gray, St Louis, MO
PFC Harold S. Higginbotham, Coral Gables, FL
PFC Edward W. Hughey, Sprott, AL
PFC David Quinones, New York, NY

HQ Company:
SGT Eugene D. Treadwell, Essex Center, VT
PFC Hoi T. Lau, Pasadena, CA
PFC Edward Manowski, Rowland Heights, CA

I honor their lives, and pray for their spirits.

Today...February 3, 2010...Valhalla, New York, USA...Cold bottles slowly disappear from the fridge, only to reappear one at a time on the counter, empty and at attention, like dead soldiers in formation. Soundscapes of art color my mind Fancy. Puffs of smoke carry my dreams back to the Dark Void.

~ Paul Ingrassia