A guide to being an apathetic Byronic aristocrat vampire in the 21st century
  • If the sun is up return to bed and wait until nighttime. There are not enough hours in the night to spend them sleeping. Once it is dark you can be all Dante Rossetti about it and stroll about some darkened woodland or else lay amongst Chinese patterned pillows in the nude reading Marcel Proust. 
  • In fact do a great many things naked. Or if you insist do them naked under a silk robe which trails after you as you stalk the halls of your estate.
  • And since everyone is fated to die anyway smoke cigarettes while you can. Be blasé about death in general. Or lament it constantly – incessantly – until all who know you associate it with your presence. That is what being a Romantic is all about.
  • And in the spirit of Byron take such bad care of yourself – by eating badly and drinking copiously – that you might at any moment pass into that lamented great beyond. The best ways to die are in a battle or in a Revolution as well as from sloth – simply laying about wasting away transfixed by a beautiful painting or the memory of a lost lover – or finally simply succumbing to an illness procured from exposure to the harsh elements of nature. The last is the most probable since you will often find yourself standing on mountaintops above mist-laden seascapes shouting Nietzschean quotes into the frosty air and heralding your own impending doom in the process.
  • Read many books. Watch Orlando by Sally Potter for immortal style tips.
  • Become a sensual creature (as opposed to a sexually satisfied one) so that you may either conquer a harmen of lovers wherein you can loose yourself for hours on end in a kind of Delta of Venus scenario or else live as an Dionysian hermit finding solace entirely in literature, flowers and moonlight.
  • Be not strictly woman or man but rather an amalgamation of femininity and masculinity. Embrace bisexuality. 
  • Keep strange pets. Anything besides a dog or cat or gerbil. Or if you must have a dog then choose a Borzoi or Wolf Hound. And if you must procure a cat then name it Lassitude or Nothing as Jean Paul Sartre did. Raise peacocks and keep a menagerie of exotic fauna and flora in an otherwise overgrown rose garden.  
  • Half of what you say ought to be a quote by John Milton, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Either that or nothing. If you are not reciting – either the work of others or your own – then be quiet. Observe and consider, but rarely speak.
  • Drink red wine. And white wine. And champagne. Do not however drink vodka unless you find yourself in the Russian Winter Palace filial roaming pale and crazy-eyed down halls with a fur coat whipping behind you and a novel by Tolstoy in your pocket. 
  • Life is a feast. Eat oysters for breakfast and decorate your dinner table – and the food itself – with flowers. Hannibal is the go to cooking program for culinary flair.
  • In fact Hannibal ought to be the only tv show you watch besides Penny Dreadful. 
  • Wear chokers. All your jewelry ought to be heirlooms. 
  • Keep a much younger lover – if you are a woman – or a much older one – if you are a man – and have them rip the choker from your pale neck as you fall together in a passionate throw onto a 17th century ottoman.
  • Dress in shrouds of velvet and silk. 
  • Stay out of the sun.
  • A moushe – a painted-on beauty mark – is entirely appropriate, as is a Jacobin ruff.
  • From now on sex shall be referred to as Making Cattleya.
  • Appropriate venues for socializing are cafés which do not play music or serve cappuccinos, theaters built before 1960 and opera houses not built after 1930. Jazz clubs which refrain from fusion or acid. Libraries and old cinemas in general. Family estates and parental mansions, abandoned houses in the country side, churches and cemeteries, woodland openings and castle lawns, museums and – of course – small apartments where you can sit on the floor smoke cigarettes and discuss the collective sense of ennui you share with your friends.
  • Inappropriate venues are shopping malls, franchise coffee shops and anywhere where reading a novel or smoking might seem out of place. In fact stay clear of any place built after 1980. Avoid food courts, gyms, sports or hotel bars and clubs with more than one dance floor as the plague.
  • Refer to your circle of friends as your Family. Be religiously devote and romantically involved with them. When it comes to your actually family a cool somewhat distanced relationship is the most appropriate. Or if so inclined consider a more obsessive cloistering constellation that will inevitably lead to rumors of past inbreeding – the French aristocratic kind – and scandal. Refer to your parents by their first name or not at all and thus have them remain an elusive periphery to your life. 
  • Instead declare Richard Wagner as your emergency contact.
  • Descend stairwells slowly.
  • Express yourself through Greek axioms and lyrical poetry or lingering secretive stares. Consider perfume as a means of communication. 
  • Remember that the only respectable means of transport are the Oriental Express, steamships across the Atlantic or long boats along the Nile. You may also travel by foot if you do so in a languid fashion. As far as tourism goes the primary vehicle of experience ought to be stargazing and kissing. 
  • Consider yourself eternal
  • And eternity meaningless. 
6

TITLE: The Poet and the Flea

A Graphic Novel by G. E. Gallas

http://thepoetandtheflea.wordpress.com

SYNOPSIS: The Poet and the Flea is a reimagining of the life of the poet-painter William Blake. Set in 1790, at the onset of The Industrial Revolution, William suffers from the death of his beloved younger brother, Robert. Catherine (Kate) Blake attempts to comfort her husband, but cannot dispel his grief. During this spell of anxiety, William is visited by an ominous creature: The Ghost of a Flea. The Flea reveals a vested interest in William’s spiritual well-being — the result of an unorthodox wager. Will William triumph over The Flea’s sinister meddling? Or will he fall victim to The Flea’s corruption?

“Gallas’ style, pen and ink with a discernible influence of Manga, sets Blake, to no detriment, as a young Johnny Depp in a romantic and gothic Tim Burton scene.” –Sarah Goode for the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

“Gallas knows when to focus on the written narrative, and when to let the pictures speak for themselves.” –Hannah Meiklejohn for Lemonade: Freshly Squeezed Art & Culture Magazine

“What a wonderful telling of this story! Word & image came together in a rich harmony. We could all see angels lighting up a tree if we got into the habit of looking for them. You encourage me to keep on looking!” –Stephen C. Winter, Anglican priest, spiritual guide, writer and speaker

“When I view [Gallas’] narrative, I feel it in my stomach like a knotted up fist we feel when we ride a roller coaster, so the feeling is visceral, and tender and it stays with you for some moments, less of the mind more of the soul…” –blogger tocksin.wordpress.com

“…it’s really a beautiful and touchingly told little book. …[Blake] was more than due for a comic treatment, and Gallas does it precisely as it ought to be done.” –author of webcomic Fredrick the Great: A Most Lamentable Comedy Breaching Time and Space

You’re searching for a pretty way of saying that you’re breaking inside. You want to find words that make your suffering look beautiful. It doesn’t matter how many metaphors and similes you find that you think can describe what you feel, he’s still gone. He’s with another girl, not thinking about you. You’re not going to be able to be with him. You have to realize that your life isn’t some poem and he’s not going to come back and tell you that you’re apart of him and he needs you and you make him want to breathe. Stop romanticizing your heartbreak. He left and you’re hurting. There’s nothing poetic about that.
—  bitter but realistic (3:43)