Friday, August 13, 2021

Non-Artpunk Dungeon Poem: Myth Bazaar of the Godliver Krait

Summary: This is a dungeon I wrote for Prince of Nothing’s “No-Artpunk Contest

The contest was announced here.

This dungeon is compatible with all systems.

Did this on my tablet with my fingers oh yeah


A weaving green enlocked in shade
A trilling hum on high
The brightlit boughs brow shadowbars
Where cherry manes abide
Mark yon cream petals shivering
While squirrel couples flee
Below espy black ribbed earth
Cut windward neath the tree

There’s a glen of murky soil
Clove sorrowful alone
And more a veined windy gate
Agaping in the loam
And there are the marks of anima
The mothman and the snail
They are not beasts ye well may know
But deeping men in mail


That bluelight transom irontide
Bears symbols on the frame
A wolfen arch hangs numinous
Chert graven-clad, voluminous
To transfix human game
For as you root bewitched by this
Ill tiding in the hollow
Thirty malforms heralding wrath
Draw apex’d oer the lowling path
Like ferric wraiths from east of Gath
Their quarry hart to follow

TREMBLE, STAGS and draw thy swords
Thy morning stars and staves
Though on the morrow they shall track
The blood of thy caressed backs
All glorious twirling haversacks
And make you into slaves.

No more tumescent sun to kiss
No more the sweet one’s hair and lisp
A-windward down the boiling tide
And dimward shown by transom wide
The cavern and the core

Away a stained-glass blur of light
And armored forms in catch or fight
At peace the hart and roe and stag
Record the cherries’ half moon crag
And rue the blood-churned battleground
The sprig-strewn lissom sparrow-down
From where her skin was tore

The Kingdom of the Night

A gremlin hall affixed on high
Dodekatheon of beasts
In graven alabaster shades
With gleaming ebon fireblades
The gargoyle kingdoms feast
High laughing statues mar the way
And bend to jeer the soul:
First Ganasar the looming light
Who only slows when he’s in sight
Then Banetar, sectioned cosmic wight 
And Jastor, to whom stone is flight
Escort you down the hole

Oil Grotto

In wan gray pale lavender light
Doth spread a shade abode
A darkness not of shadowfall
But of shadebinder’s choking call
Sunk deep in the commode
Now in yon fountain doth abide
A sticky limbic tower
A mass of joints and gleaming spines
Like superstructural oil vines
Osmotic in a stickbug’s frame
But manifold and without name
It rises up and glowers

The slick castellan of the Queen
The keeper of the way
Then standing in a pool of oil
His gore turns lance and dart and foil
Throw fire tincture at your peril
He will not fall, but become feral
And suck the air away

Beyond this superable havoc-lens
Appears a cruciform cavern-bend
And left and right do flit the wraiths
Of shear-crushed cities ashen-laced
A rank ethereal gate

The Fanged City-Lake

And past the crucifix, looming-lake
Caws katabasis, shimmering plate
Served upon which are stalac-spikes
And caressed down by towers tight
Upon the cavern’s pate

In gelid lake a swarming seed
Fed eons back by divine need
(Gesticulated into time
By xenocosmic pantomime)
Awaits you for its mate

Past pearl lake espy the forms
Black armored, nude, or clad in storms
Of stygians and their ancient slaves
Of smote antediluvian clades
Repurposed as of late


Now lower still and still more low
Doth drape the city down
A heathen’s nest of rancid quills
Whose windows ring like sounding mills
Stalactites full of warring souls
Tenebrous armored vertic poles
Hang pointwise from the crown


Peer down the murk from greenstone bight
And see the coming towers
As bloodstained steeple obelisks
Bouqueted stalagmites flower
And gloam the graven crystalpanes 
Illume their inky steepleframes
Murk sidelong in the city-sea
The incandescent filigree
Titian infernos scour

The Slavers and the Sacking

The slavers’ faces fall as one
Alike where they abide
Their fort consumed with anarch flames
And hearthwise spilt their lovers’ brains
Right dashed out with their unborn babes
Their triumph like denied

The naked sheaths clack hollowing
And square the shoulders set
Now with a curious conchen ring
The solemn choken column sings
And charges down the murder-things
But you the braves forget

The Godliver Krait

Now once the party reach the lake
Up to the surface comes a snake

Spined taenia carnivore
Tragedian, lachrymator
A-wisp in dew-phlegmed ebonhide
His lance an impregnation spike
The surface now he breaks

“I am, fair globs, your seaside chum
I’ve marked you on the make
Ken, hear to me, for I’m your worm
Where water’s wet and stone is firm
Your truth and telling snake”

Here he raps the stones with a flagellum.

“Your tootling quest of folderol
Twixt sooty void and fireball
Has ended up in anarchy
A warzone as you well may see;
In direific straits

Now what you need is armament
To cut the very firmament
A weapon from the ages sent
From frightened eons burnt and rent
By woundhound consummate

But there’s one thing I ask of you
A meal which I’m overdue
(Though this is not your fault)

Traipse you to the thoroughstair
You’ll find a striped marrella there
(Not yet to fly the vault)

He’s mocked me, stranded in this sty
So that cocksucker has to die

Go tear the trilobitic twat
From what insouciance has got

(He sneered a cave bird’s bijou brow
A swallow’s low phrenology
They’ve got him as a captive now
‘Twas not the time for repartee)

Then I will cough up what you need
And you will be rewarded
A gashplough of the ancient breed
And you will leave me sworded”

Returning with the marrella

“Well tut-tut-tut and my-oh-my
What has the cat dragged in?
A benthic filthtongued mockingfly
Yanked yowling from the bin”

“I bid you, sir, please stay your throat
Papillae and keratin
Take this time and have a gloat
Give me my civics lesson”

“Alas, my crab, it’s you, not me
Who’s wry and winded long
I shall eat my lunch posthaste
You make my choler strong”

And with these words he ate the rogue
And coughed up what’s to party owed

Wormfeeder, she is aptly named
For in my gut she’s ages lain
And in a wound she instant seeds
Grubs, larvae, mites, and millipedes
Watch supercilious foemen dance
When blows raise bug mounds at a glance
And take your mirth and pleasure”

With this the blackworm slithered back
And settled in a hairline crack
Which scarce the sight could measure

He winked up once with opal eye
Then closed it, finer things to scry
And in his dreams took leisure

The Bazaar

Approaching now that myth bazaar
Which rings littoral fluorspar
That wist harmonious haggling, now
Bloodstained rag-forms fixed in row
Set there the bones of fate

Behold the froth-tossed warring breaks
By solemn tribes of Veth
Clad in their centrifugal snakes
Whose skin is stone but breath
They press the priests of fallen realms
Hallucigenian remnants
Each potentate in human morn
Now stone-clad shadow brush forlorn
And in fresh genocide is shorn
His torc and scepter regnant


But scattered here amongst the waste
Of troglodytic bones
Are treasures from a thousand caves
The murdered ones called home

That dead thing there whose shell is spined
Like katakanic adamantine
A-looped throughout his puissant back
Is tied a twinegirt shale rack
Of coral figurines

And tiny over shattered stalls
Do fungible trogloxenes crawl
And twixt phalanges clad in bronze
Roll poison letheleech somnobombs
Intended for the Queen

The Vault of Stairs

Pictureframed in fraying shade
A chamber high and graven
Where apexing the vault unfold 
In budding reams of white-blue gold 
The gables of a temple sky
Envisaged but never espied
By pilgrims lean and laden

Now the sacred fane is thronged
With thousands from the towers
The deepingshrine of exiles weeping
Singing dirge-knells deathly keening
What civil war devours

Look about the shivering shade
The flitting shadows stride
A chamber which by natural right
Adrifts in stygian chasmnight
Bathed chatoyant in mushroomlight
Where crowding phantoms glide
And in the gloaming from below
Is shown the tearstained heights
Seams red mercurial pittering
Stone aventurescence glittering
And fissure fluestreams tittering
With burning vein’s delight

Now merchants push upon the throng
With treasures for review
They’ve petals plucked from heatherbrae

And lichen laced with caraway
Marrella held in gilded cage
By swallows astral blue

But holding up the surging tide
A warrior clad and vorpal
Who those nearby his graven plate
With sidelong glance interrogate 
Twin sistine witches trailing bright
Perambulating signal wights
All bathe him in a flashing light
Where he stops up the portal.



His panoply is feared by all

For its impertinence

For plate and greatsword madness are

In tunnel confines 

(Of the stairs)

Xxxxx Which are

All verdigris and satinspar 

Xxxxxxx abound

Yon separatists afurther field

Deputation xxx (wight?)

(But blocking)

While at the luminal cavern’s hem

Bleaks work the fresh expired

To shadow-salved abominry

Embalmed by necroartistry

All laced with gears and wire


  1. Indeed, it does rhyme
    and rhyme,
    and rhyme,
    and rhyme.

    The light lies unburied.
    Where comes the shine?

    1. I wist it’s born in hexen wish
      Or iridescent bone
      Mayhap the marrow of the moon
      Writ small in solar naiad’s tune
      The remnant of her tone

      But why, autumnal semiurge
      Do weave the verses round?
      Recursive as an orrery
      Imperfect yet in harmony
      Why do we love this sound?

  2. There's some interesting changes of pace here. The Krait was unexpected.

    1. He seemed to emerge from necessity given the horrific conditions of the caverns in general

  3. For some reason I thought this was finished at first and I was having the goddamndest time trying to understand what to make of the very last part (which I now think is probably just kind of notes to self), but it gave me an idea - something about the structure of the poem falling apart as the situation falls apart. You're doing some interesting things with form and meter throughout and I wonder what might happen if you hit a certain point where you went more e e cummings than Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Although it's not precisely Taylor either, I only say that because the first two stanzas so strongly give me the rhythm from Rime of the Ancient Mariner. But you get what I mean - from something with iambs and rhyme and some structure even if it is variable to something more modernist like cummings to something that devolves into like punctuation, single letters, and almost unpronounceable words like rxxrlyr (or whatever), or just makes a picture with the text without regard for semantics at all, or something like the prose poetry of Guyotat's Eden Eden Eden. That might break with your purpose though. You could do it it the other way too - start loose and get tighter and tighter as the tension goes up. Anyway, as usual, nice work - I am really looking forward to seeing a finished version of this!

    1. Haha, yeah the last parts were my final notes, which I was about to delete from the Blogger drafting screen and then scratched my head like, wait, actually that’s kind of effective like unexpected television static that disrupts the nature of the show you’re watching, and then suddenly clears and delivers malign programming.

      I like that idea you’ve got, that it’s working in tandem with the evolution of the content being depicted. I’ll have to read Eden Eden Eden because it sounds buckwild. For this I was sort of experimenting with different rhyme schemes but tried to make stanzas simple where there was humor and more intricate when depicting something diegetically beautiful or wondrous

  4. Contest, uncontested
    Submission, unsubmissive
    Victor, crown thyself!

    1. Wassail! Crowned not with mine hand, but with thine, as all just crowns are won

  5. Deftly the Knight Comes
    With Shining Sword-blade
    Making Red Stave-work
    At Haughty Princeling

    Mail chimes are ringing
    With Mighty Skald-make
    Snow intermingling
    A river of sweat

    Iron is Princeling
    Armor is ancient
    Impregnable Bulwark
    Immutable Law
    Piercing the Laughter
    Of cypres-tall lordling
    A toast to the Knight
    For valor and pluck

    Next autumn Young Knight Comes
    With sword forged for fighting
    Edge like a doe-hair
    Tempered in bull's blood
    The Morigans field is
    no place for Staves

    1. Ah, I didn’t realize there was a Matter of Marienburg…


Art - First Run