X3: Barnabas Collins and the Poetry Slam

“As you lovingly bite my neck, your fangs sink ever deeper.”

Wednesday falls over the great house at Collinwood, and I’m still taking a week off so that I can polish my harpoon collection. So I’m going to post some interesting selections from The World of Dark Shadows, and then hypnotize you into thinking that counts as today’s blog entry.

By the way, did you ever try to find the exact center of a piece of fine crystal? Let the colors flow past you. Keep searching for the center. Yeah, that’ll do.

553 dark shadows barnabas reading

In Monday’s post, “Barnabas Goes to the Circus,” I talked about fanzines, which were very important in keeping the spirit of Dark Shadows alive after the show was cancelled.

Before the internet, the only way for a group of fans to interact was through the mail, and The World of Dark Shadows was the central hub of a whole network of fan writers, artists, convention attenders and public television supporters.

The World of Dark Shadows published lots of stories and poems over its nearly 25 year run. If you’ve never read Dark Shadows poetry before, then your life is about to get enriched in a fairly significant way, because I’m going to post a selection. I have asked nobody for permission to post these, because I am reckless and irresponsible, so I hope nobody minds, and here’s some poems.

510 dark shadows stokes julia composition

People wrote stories about a wide range of DS characters, but the poetry focused pretty heavily on Barnabas. You’d get the occasional Vicki, Josette or Angelique lament, but the savvy Dark Shadows poets knew exactly what the public wanted: vampires, brooding.

There were three categories of Barnabas poetry: Damn the Curse, Bite Me, and General Mayhem.

Here’s a few selections from the first category:

Damn the Curse
by William Long
TWoDS #47/48, Feb 1987

The long, long feeling
of half-life I have —
which there is no way to stop.

Damn the curse.
Damn the one who put it on me
straight to the Gates of Hades…

But that
has already been done
by that one’s own acts.

Yet the curse
is still here,
and so am I.

Damn the curse.

542 dark shadows adam carolyn read

Time Traveller
by Debra J. Sims
TWoDS #45, Aug 1986

I am alone in eternity.
Time stands still, it has no beginning or end.
Generations pass before me, but I am not a part of them.
I am a bystander, lost and alone, travelling aimlessly
Through the ages.
Memories of bygone days, of youth and innocence are
All that are left.
But now my heart has grown cold and these hands will
Never again feel your warm touch.
I am an empty shell.

493 dark shadows reading julia

My Need
by William Long
TWoDS #51: Aug 1988

When I must go out
and seek
That which I need
to live —

I must prey
on those
Of the day.

For they are
the ones
Who keep me

326 dark shadows barnabas julia book

Vampire Villanelle
by Sandy Adams
TWoDS #73: June 1996

This Curse of Darkness is my plight,
for all Eternity meant to roam
doomed alone to walk the Night.

Human chains have bound me tight.
Without even Death to call my own,
this Curse of Darkness is my plight

endless, forced to dread the Light,
and I the Tomb must call my home.
Doomed alone to walk the Night.

I saw my Bride gowned all in white,
laid bloodless, broken, still as stone —
this Curse of Darkness is my plight.

Driven by lusts I could not fight
beyond the touch of all I’ve known,
doomed alone to walk the Night.

an Un-dead THING, unholy blight!
A sinner reaps what he has sown:
This Curse of Darkness is my plight,
doomed alone to walk the Night.

409 dark shadows hand natalie josette

Here’s some poems from the Bite Me school, which go further into the Twilight Saga area than I feel entirely comfortable with.

He Comes to Me In Darkness
by Jane Rowan
TWoDS #85/86/87/88: Aug 2001

He comes to me in darkness,
Shrouded in a cloak of night.
The shadows wrap about him,
As he seeks their velvet depths.

He comes to me in darkness,
When the cruel, restrictive day
Has finally released him
From his silent prison.

He comes to me in darkness,
And I eagerly await
The moment he will arrive,
And make me part of his world.

Then I become the darkness,
Part of the purple shadows.
In his passionate embrace,
I am made one with the night!

Oh, how I loathe daylight,
The harsh and shining hours!
As daytime keeps us parted,
I’ve no patience for it now!

And, thus, I live for twilight,
for the ending of the day,
knowing he will be here as
He comes to me in darkness!

530 dark shadows barnabas reading

by Alyne Lawchilde
TWoDS #51: Aug 1988

Fear not.
My touch is cold
But only for a moment.

Let me kiss you
And you’ll soon be warm.
Or, at least,
No longer feel the chill.

337 dark shadows caretaker reads

by Emily Bredfelt
TWoDS #77/78/79/80: Aug 1999

Dedicated to Jonathan Frid

You call to me, I obey.
I come to you with open arms.
I know what your intentions are.
I offer you my unresisting neck —
you accept my loving offer.
When you give me your warm, sweet smile
You bare your gleaming white fangs to me.
I do not scream in fear, but yet
moan in pleasure, softly, whispering your name aloud.
You have me under your hypnotic spell.
I won’t resist your fatal charm.
As you lovingly bite my neck, your fangs seek even deeper.

I feel myself grow even weaker.
You know this. I fall into your arms
for all eternity. Now I am as you are.
A vampire. It is you I will love forever.
With heightened blood lust we drink.
As I lie fainting in your arms,
looking into your dark-brown eyes — so soft.
Before I sleep, with you by my side,
I will look upon your loving face.
You stare back at me with kindness. You softly kiss my lips.
When I feel your warm, soothing touch, Barnabas,
for your bite I won’t ever resist.

Now, I am presenting these with love and respect for the beautiful and deeply peculiar pastime of watching an old television show, and saying to yourself I shall express my feelings about this vampire in verse. I am all about the creative expression of the Dark Shadows audience at large.

However, I do have one comment about Emily’s poem, which is that she might want to dial that back a little.

542 dark shadows carolyn adam book

So let’s move on to the third category, General Mayhem.

In the Mansion
by James Dinsmore
TWoDS #52/53: May 1989

Darkness falls over the countryside
as a child of night awakes:
remembering his thirst,
killing to satisfy it.

Screams echo in the mansion,
He had tasted the maid again…
drinking her life’s essence,
only to want more.
Wanting more, more, more!
Screams fill the mansion.

302 dark shadows julia barnabas album

Night of Darkness
by Natalie Brown
TWoDS #51: Aug 1988

Black is the night
As red comes the thirst
For those who walk eternity
For them who feel the curse

Red runs the rivers
Red runs the seas
For the ancient ones have come
To spread the dark disease

The rains come streaming
Turning the fields into mud
And darkness forms the puddles
With the tainted ancient blood

As if in a trance
They silently walk the streets
Their pale beauty so striking
They enchant all they meet

Darkness has conquered day
As it has won its bloody war
And the night goes on forever
For the sun shines no more

365 dark shadows liz roger julia book

Dark Shadows
by Karen Martin (age 10)
TWoDS #71/72: Aug 1995

Danger is near be in fear
And Barnabas comes out
Reach help if you can
Krunch krunch in to you

Sh sh hide if you can
Help help you scream
And nobody comes
Down on your knees for help
Oh what a night
Wow, I can’t believe he’s gone
Sounds of the night scare me.

Tomorrow: An Uncertain and Frightening Journey.

626 dark shadows jeff vicki books

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

7 thoughts on “X3: Barnabas Collins and the Poetry Slam

  1. What shall I sing to my lord from my window?
    What shall I sing for my lord will not stay?
    What shall I sing for my lord will not listen?
    Where shall I go when my lord is away?
    Whom shall I love when the moon is arisen?
    Gone is my lord and the grave is his prison.
    What shall I say when my lord comes a calling?
    What shall I say when he knocks on my door?
    What shall I say when his feet enter softly?
    Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor.
    Enter my lord. Come from your prison.
    Come from your grave, for the moon is a risen.
    Welcome, my lord.

    The Innocents

    1. Crazy hours, party nights
      Lady power, hardly right
      Oh! The showers cold and light
      Hot! And lonely every night
      You try to find a love
      Holding on, wanting love
      You try to find love
      You keep holding on,
      Just hanging out
      Searching for love in the night
      Searching for love in the night
      Out and easy every night
      How you see me is hardly right
      A one and only, ( Sho Nuff) would be nice
      Hot! And lonely every night..

      Withers, B. (1970) Searching for Love in the Night. Retrieved from the Bill Withers Album Watching You Watching Me, 1970.

  2. Is this line “Human chairs have bound me tight.” supposed to be Human chains? Beause it’s making me think of some pretty twisted chairs.

    I love the book reading screencaps that go along with this.

    It’s nice to see poetry because apparently poetry is dying according to the government. I think it’s because modern poetry tries to be too esoteric and self-important. Compared to some of the officially published stuff I’ve read lately these actually aren’t too bad.

    And just for the heck of it my one piece of fanfic poetry I wrote for my favorite Guiding Light Couple. She Kissed Me Back: A Poem in Free Verse

  3. Two real winners for me in this collection: Karen Martin wins hands-down in the Avantgarde (“almost a haiku”) Category.

    The Traditionalist Category has a clear front-runner in Sandy Adams. Her ode manages to evoke a near-complete late-18th to early-19th Century mood via judicious use of antique language.

    Permit me to add this from the great German poet Novalis:

    “Aside I turn to the holy, unspeakable, mysterious Night. Afar lies the world, sunk in a deep grave; waste and lonely is its place. In the chords of the bosom blows a deep sadness. I am ready to sink away in drops of dew, and mingle with the ashes.– The distances of memory, the wishes of youth, the dreams of childhood, the brief joys and vain hopes of a whole long life, arise in gray garments, like an evening vapor after the sunset. In other regions the light has pitched its joyous tents. What if it should never return to its children, who wait for it with the faith of innocence? “

  4. Why is it that a poem about someone really, really consenting to sexy-vamp bite-time makes me more uncomfortable than the various less-than-consensual bites in the show? I can’t help thinking Emily’s not the one with the issues here…

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