The Crimson Tome by K. A. Opperman


  • ISBN 978-1-61498-132-9
  • 182 pp
  • Preface by Dr. W. C. Farmer
  • Introduction by Donald Sidney-Fryer
  • Cover art and interior illustrations by Steve Lines


“Mingling metaphysical, spiritual, and physical horror, Opperman patently derives from, and meritoriously continues, the macabre heritage of the modern poetic masters in the genre . . . , H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard.”—From Donald Sidney-Fryer’s Introduction


In this scintillating volume, K. A. Opperman immediately places himself in the forefront of contemporary weird verse. Deeply influenced by Clark Ashton Smith, George Sterling, and other masters of the form, Opperman nonetheless reveals a vibrancy and originality of outlook that stamps his poetry as very much his own. A master of several of the most rigorous forms of metrical poetry—the sonnet, the quatrain, the rhyming couplet—Opperman's poetic brilliance conveys, seemingly without effort, images of terror, gruesomeness, and bleak melancholy. The book concludes with tributes to Opperman by D. L. Myers and Ashley Dioses.


K. A. Opperman is a young poet living in California. His verse has appeared in Weird Fiction Review, Spectral Realms, and other venues.


The Crimson Tome 

Open no more the Crimson Tome—
Its pages teem
With demon moans in haunted gloam
Of eldritch dream.

Read not the verses writ therein
In crimson ink,
Lest spells weighed down with death begin
Your soul to sink.

I. The Nightmare Muse 

The Nightmare Muse bestows her sable kiss
Upon the poet who explores the Land
Of Darkest Dreams, with dim witch-light for brand
To lead beyond the wood where shadows hiss.
Among the graves of dreamers who have died
In quest of terrors cloaked in cannabis,
The horrors of her realm are near at hand—
Hear what the monstrous mushrooms would confide. . . .

The fleeting flutter of her ebon gown
Entices those who court her as their bride.
It flaps in tempests of autumnal leaves,
To vanish in a blackness that would drown
The common seeker—for the way she weaves
Leads far away from any waking town . . .
Beyond the sphere the timid lamp perceives.


Advance praise for The Crimson Tome:

“The poetry of K. A. Opperman is a wonder and a revelation. His verse spans the full spectrum of the weird, from fantasy and the supernatural to brooding pessimism and melancholy. The Crimson Tome is his first book, but all lovers of true poetry will fervently hope it will not be his last.”
—S. T. Joshi

“The California Romantic tradition lives on in this ambitious and varied collection.  Whether questing for the Crimson Tome through an extended sonnet sequence, celebrating the heights – and hideous depths -- of romantic attraction, lingering in October shadows, or traversing lost Atlantis, these poems are surefooted and unabashedly exotic.”
—Ann K. Schwader, author of Twisted in Dream & Bram Stoker Finalist

“Opperman is a latter day lapidary who works in words much as did his spiritual mentors George Sterling and Clark Ashton Smith. Here you will find poetic gems of a rare provenance, indeed, perhaps mined long ago in Xiccarph or Averoigne and cut with the aid of a most powerful sorcery.”
—Michael Fantina

“This generous collection marks the appearance of a distinctive new voice in weird and fantastic verse. The exemplary degree of craft in Opperman’s darkling poems is exceeded only by the author’s delectably delirious imagination, and his command of language of elegant simplicity interspersed with archaisms to savour, like exotic black berries glistening on platters of ebony. Songs of sorcery and sensuality mingle herein with incantations on the ineluctable effects of decay and the death which awaits us all. A rare feast for all devotees of the macabre.”
Leigh Blackmore, author of Spores from Sharnoth & Other Madnesses

"K. A. Opperman’s The Crimson Tome reveals a flare for intense weird poetry. Elevated, beautiful imagery vies with startling and fearful visions of dread for supremacy of tone. The titles themselves convey some of the wide range of subjects touched on: “To an Unknown Enchantress,” “The Corpse of Beauty,” “Siren of the Dead,” “Vampiric Roses,” and “Decapitated Kiss,” amongst so many others, exhibit an unearthly decadence and splendour not to be missed. In such bardic horrors as these, the Muse of Monstrousness unveils her face and smiles wickedly."
—Charles Lovecraft



Preface: Opperman’s Opus, by Dr. W. C. Farmer

Introduction: Crimson Pages from the Future Perfect Past, by Donald Sidney-Fryer


The Nightmare Muse

The Land of Darkest Dreams

I. The Nightmare Muse

II. Yorehaven

III. Tavern Rumors

IV. A Daemon Impulse

V. The Witch-Light

VI. The Trail Between Two Trees

VII. The Pumpkin King

VIII. The Wood of Hissing Shadows

IX. The Cemetery of Dead Dreamers

X. The Muttering Mushroom

XI. The Windows

XII. The Shadow of Yorehaven

XIII. The Bookshop

XIV. Transformation

XV. A Mirror Image

XVI. The Beckoning Hand

XVII. Necromancy

XVIII. Initiation

XIX. The Black Kiss

XX. Dream Decay


Unpleasant Dreams

Nocturnal Poet

The Crimson Tome

The Chimeras of Midnight

Unpleasant Dreams



The Fatal Flower

Soul Rot

The Darkness Within

What the Moon Saw

The Treachery of the Stars


And They Took Her Away

Corpse Moon

The Crimson Unicorn

The Thirst of Count Aster

A Vampire Fear

The Scarlet Font

Vampiric Roses



Siren of the Dead

My Darling Bride


Nocturnal Lovers Part I


Nocturnal Lover

Dark Poetry

Witch’s Charms

A Heart Defiled

O Pale Temptress


Ashiel’s Gem

Ashiel’s Mirror

Ashiel’s Prisoner

Ashiel’s Diary

Ashiel’s Ritual

Three Poems After Venus in Furs

Severin’s Venus

Wanda von Dunajew

Venus in Furs

Mistress of Torture

Priestess of Pleasure

The Demon and the Vampiress


Nocturnal Lovers Part II

Dark Star of My Desire

Dark Poetess of My Heart

Sorcerer’s Lament

A Secret Sorcery

Sorcerous Bond

The Scarlet Seal

Lunar Love

Dark Valentine

Love Atlantean

To an Unknown Enchantress

Beneath the Cold, Cold Stars

The Perishing Rose

Decapitated Kiss

Love Beyond the Grave

Graveyard Promise


The Palace of Phantasies

Cemetery of Broken Hearts

The Corpse of Beauty


The Moonward Trail


Faerie Song

The Faerie Moon

Duel with the Dark Double

Nocturnal Flowers

The Well of Purple Wine


The Dreamer

Writing Shrine

Oracle of the Black Pool

The Wrath of Xyre

The Wizard

Khayyam’s Wine

Lord of Illusion

The Palace of Phantasies


Twilight Sorrows

The Tree

Autumn Hearts



All Hallow’s Eve


The Wraith

Thin Grows the Veil


Funereal Sun

Winter Crow

Twilight Sorrows

The Angels All Are Corpses in the Sky

The Mascaron

The Gargoyle

Shattered Hopes


In Mortal Dream

The Doom of Words



Twisted Trails of Thought

A Sorcerous Tome

The Crimson Kist

The Sorcerous Scribe





This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 21 July, 2015.