Latest News:
February 18, 2019: Website updated and revised.

Gutted Guernica Galloper Goes Green!

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After all, what could be more organic than rotting?

Fantasy Antique Landscape

By the waters of Babylon, we wept for thee, Sybaris or some darn place, it was all so long ago.

 

By the waters of Babylon, we wept for thee, Sybaris or some darn place.  It was all so long ago.

The Latin tag is from one of Virgil’s Eclogues and also the title of a fairly famous painting by Poussin. My Latin still stinks and I’m not much of an artist either.

Wildman Dean In Glory Days

Watch out for the wild eyed ones.

Watch out for the wild eyed ones.

 

I found this photo of hardcore punk Eugene Dean. It’s from 1983 and was taken at the old WUST Music Hall, now the new 9:30 Club. Dag Nasty and Minor Threat were playing a double bill. Gosh, what a holy terror Gene was in those days. Thank God he eventually settled down.

Good, Succinct Bio of England’s Most Fascinating, Magickal Asshole

The best con man is the one who believes his own con.

The best con man is the one who believes his own con.

Alesteir Crowley:  Magick, Rock And Roll, And The Wickedest Man In The World, Gary Lachman, 346 pp., Jeremy P. Tarcher/ Penguin Books.

Like many young boomers, I must most reluctantly confess that the occult fascinated me. Of course, poking around with mumbo-jumbo the dark arts inevitably leads to Aleister Crowley, black magician, accomplished yogi (the first Westerner to attain this), early mountaineer, and the so-called “wickedest man in the world.” My interest went far enough to try to read his novel, Diary Of A Drug Fiend, at 17 with high hopes of being enthralled by lurid tales of drug fueled sex and magic orgies, only to find it completely unreadable.  Some years later, a friend of mine bought a copy of his autobiography at a yard sale for a dollar and gave it to me. Also basically unreadable, probably due in no small part to Crowley actually being on drugs when he wrote this stuff.

Fascination with the Great Beast has continued through his own lifetime into the present day. Crowley’s own works on magick remain in print and videos discussing his theories and practices are pitched to credulous boobs seekers of hidden knowledge throughout the Internet. Numerous writers have used Crowley as a model for sinister black magicians or charlatans in various novels, to include Somerset Maugham. There are also a fair number of biographies written about His Magic Grossness. Gary Lachman’s telling of Crowley’s lifetime career of crap artistry necromancy is objective, balanced, and supported by documentary evidence. The author is well qualified to write on Crowley due to his lifelong interest in the occult, an understanding of the subject that has matured and deepened over time so that Lachman can discuss his subject rationally while at the same time grasping the bases and ramifications that underlay Crowley’s magick. He also doesn’t resort to sensationalism, a hard tendency to resist when dealing with someone like Crowley, one other biographers have readily yielded to. The understatement makes his portrait of Crowley all the more damning.

Crowley was a spoiled, upper class, English twit, although one with a decidedly peculiar background, from a family of Plymouth Brethren, an incredibly austere and hermetically sealed sect of Protestant dissenters. Stifled by repression while simultaneously cosseted (an only child, he was privately tutored  and never learned to get along with others, much less to consider their needs), he was driven by his rebellious nature to act up as much as possible as soon as he could, at college with whores, alcohol, and general debauchery.  His interest in the occult was strong from early adulthood and he soon became a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn, a mystical society whose members included the great Irish poet, W.B. Yeats, and the Victorian actress, Florence Farr. It’s interesting that, in his lifetime, Crowley met many notable and interesting personalities of his day, but came away completely uninfluenced by them. Instead, like the narcissist that he was, he recklessly plunged on ahead, pissing his inheritance away on high living, world travel, and occult speculation. He was also a complete heel, a manipulative user of both men and women who left a trail of scandals, suicides, and ruined lives.  Crowley burned through friends like he burned through money. Ones with enough sense simply got away from him, like Allan Bennett, who moved to Burma, now present day Myanmar, to become a Buddhist monk. Once he exhausted his own money, Crowley had to spunge off others and was constantly on the prowl for new suckers devotees he could fleece for donations. Among other people he conned was the mother of Preston Sturges, the film director. Eventually, sick and old, with all his bridges burned, Crowley died in a lodging house for crackpots, taken in basically out of charity, an officially registered heroin addict with the British government. You would think that a master of the black arts could do better in life.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the occult or to someone who would just enjoy a good read about a really godawful man.

https://www.amazon.com/Aleister-Crowley-Magick-Wickedest-World-ebook/dp/B00DGZKHN6/ref=sr_1_3?crid=5JLEJVQBGIQR&keywords=aleister+crowley&qid=1551978604&s=gateway&sprefix=alesteir+%2Caps%2C139&sr=8-3

My own effort at portrayal.

My own effort at portrayal.

Website Update

Jackass HeadshotIt’s been a long while since the old spread had an update. That’s now been done thanks to the good offices of Webmistress Fiona Jayde (fiona@fionajaydemedia.com). Along with a newer, more current photo of myself (older, but no wiser), the bibliography has been updated to circa January 2019. I’ll toot my horn here and note that I now have sixty original published stories, with approximately ten more as reprints. I like to think that shows I must have been doing something at least halfway right over the past three decades.

So give the updated site a look over if you have a mind to, and please wish this broken down old waddy good luck as I ride my string on out to the end.

http://mellonwritesagain.com

No Beer For The Damned!

 

Beer for the Dead104

 

So hurry and drink up while you can, folks.

“High On Mexican Lucky” Published In Story And Grit

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High On Mexican Lucky is the ninth short story featuring Alec Pargrew, cowhand PI. Stories about Alec have previously appeared in crime magazines like Yellow Mama, Thuglit, Suspense Magazine, and Noir Nation. High is the current lead story in Southern Grit, an online magazine that focuses on “Southern Fried Crime.” I got the idea for this story a couple of years ago when I couldn’t escape this Top Ten song called Up All Night To Get Lucky. Putz that I am, I misheard the lyrics and thought the guy was singing “He’s high on Mexican Lucky.”

This raised the question in my mind:  if there was a drug called Mexican Lucky, what would it do? I came up with something that could hit you one of six ways, with croaking deader than hell being one of the options to add that exciting element of risk to spice up the experience. The story just naturally grew from there. The picture above by yours truly is the cover art and hopefully conveys being high out of your mind on Mexican Lucky (albeit crudely) .

If this interests you and you’d like to give the yarn a read, you can do it for free by clicking the link below:

http://www.storyandgrit.com/2019/01/high-on-mexican-lucky-by-mark-artanis.html

“Woe, Babylon Besieged” Back Online

Fall of BabylonWoe, Babylon Besieged, my H. P. Lovecraft pastiche, appeared in January 2018 in Trigger Warnings, an extreme horror magazine published in Denmark that went offline almost immediately afterward. Lo and behold, the story is now online again, resurrected through the miracle of the Internet, albeit in archival form:

https://triggermagdotorg.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/woe-babylon-besieged/

This is free, but, reader beware, for horror fans only. Lovecraft loved to bring on the creepy and siege warfare in the Fertile Crescent was just as nasty and vicious as in any other era.

Note too please that this story will also appear in the next issue of the UK magazine Lovecraftiana, the Magazine of Eldritch Horror. I appreciate their interest in Woe. It just goes to show you that you can’t keep a good Cthulhu down!

http://www.schlock.co.uk/pb/wp_ff24f549/wp_ff24f549.html

 

Trigger Warnings

lovecraftiana

 

 

 

 

From Words To Blows!

In Antiquity as it is now, an old story.

In Antiquity as it is now, an old story.

Felix Dies Natalis Solis Invicti MMDCCLI

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